David Bidstrup guest post. Green steel

I see that Labor has found another way to save the world from the dreaded “carbon emissions” by promoting “Green steel”.

The process of smelting iron ore is known in chemistry as a reduction-oxidisation process where the carbon from coal takes up the oxygen from iron ore, (an iron oxide), to yield iron and carbon dioxide. The energy to run the reaction comes from the combustion of coal. This is done in a blast furnace and is a proven technology that has been in use for many years. The molten iron is further treated to reduce the carbon content to make steel.

“Green steel” uses hydrogen to take up the oxygen and the main by-product is water.

On the face of it this sounds like the answer to the maidens’ prayer. Of course the hydrogen will be manufactured using “renewable energy”, providing another reason to trash coal and save the world.

At present hydrogen costs around $12 per kilogram to produce and the green steel process needs about 51 kilograms of hydrogen to produce one tonne of molten iron, so the hydrogen cost is about $612.00 per tonne of metal produced. In a blast furnace around 800 kilograms of coal is needed per tonne of hot metal. It’s difficult to find a definitive price for coking coal but it looks like it is around $150.00 per tonne FOB at present. Using this number gives the “hydrogen alternative” of $120.00 per tonne of metal so there is quite a difference; “hydrogen smelting” costs $462.00 per tonne more at present prices.

The boosters say that hydrogen costs “will fall” just like they say electricity costs will fall but it has no factual basis, it’s just another dream.

There have been efforts made to introduce alternative smelting processes in the past and so far none of them have been commercially viable. When I was doing the reading for this post I found an article by Environmental Clean Technologies Limited, (see link if you are interested https://ectltd.com.au/green-steel-articles-omit-cost/), where they talk about another alternative process. The article contains the following about “green steel”:

…steelmaker Arcelor Mittal has acknowledged that industrial scale-up is likely to take 10-20 years and the cost of the steel is projected to be some 60 to 90 per cent higher than existing methods, calling into question not only the timeframes but fundamental commercial feasibility. You see, steel is a globally traded commodity, and with over half the world’s production coming out of China, competitive pricing is non-negotiable.

Labor’s adoption of “green steel” seems to be just another ruse to try and convince us that a bunch of politicians can change the world if only we spend enough money. As usual there is no consideration about the infrastructure costs to build the hydrogen production facilities and the new steel plants or any thought that it might not be a good idea to throw away a proven technology to embrace one that is more expensive, has not been “road tested” and depends on developing a “hydrogen industry” from a standing start.

There is also the usual hyperbolic bullshit spouted about Australia becoming “a clean energy superpower harnessing the wind and sun to spark a new manufacturing boom”.

Bonus. Dutch fantasies on the same theme.

“Clean” hydrogen, ie produced from electricity generated by intermittent renewable energy sources, is now popular and promoted by the European Commission.

But looking at the facts, this solution is more of a utopia promoted for political purposes than a viable alternative for the future.

A guest contribution by Samuele Furfari , professor of geopolitics of energy at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, doctor of applied sciences (ULB), polytechnic engineer (ULB), and president of the European Society of Engineers and Industrialists .

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to David Bidstrup guest post. Green steel

  1. Rex Anger

    The hilarious irony about all this, is that most modern industrial-scale hydrogen extraction (as far as I am aware) is not water electrolysis or anything involving the sun or the wind, but according to Comrade Wiki, treating methane with steam and a nickel catalyst, partly oxidising methane, or gasifying COAL. How do you get steam? You boil water! How do you do this? You burn natural gas or coal to heat the water!

    In effect, they are promoting paying 4x the existing market price for steel produced by a method that can be very effectively and economically sidestepped by using the feedstocks for their original intended purpose! I can understand Karens and Tims paying 4-5x the market price for ‘organic’ tomatoes raised in someone’s backyard on chookshit and good intentions, cos emotional forelock (ahem) tugging. But steel? Hmmm….

    The degree of logical failure on display here by these shills and snake gas salesmen (snake farts are even harder to obtain than oil, and thus much more expensive! 🤪) makes our resident troll IamPeter look like an erudite and insightful savant by comparison.

  2. Neil

    To make steel you need iron ore + heat + carbon. Coal is great because it provides 2 of those things.

    Not much carbon is needed to turn iron ore into steel but you still need to have a carbon source. The heat source i guess could be provided by hydrogen, coal, wood, renewable energy

  3. RobK

    These industrial processes are done on a massive scale. All the feedstocks have to be coordinated to be on hand at the required time without fail. To delegate the energy supply to a process that is derived from weather and plays second fiddle to grid consumers by way of over build doesn’t sound very robust to me.
    A stockpile of coal is very cheap storage, very cheap supply insurance.

  4. Nob

    This is all because it’s finally got through to the thickhead dickheads that if you want more electric everything and fast trains etc, you need more steel which needs coal.

    So it’s a giant hedge against the pro-coal argument. Desperately needed by labor because they fucked up colossally by going anti coal in the election but can’t admit it.

    Never mind that is impractical and unaffordable, nothing of any use will get bullet.

    The purpose is simply to obstruct and delay by convincing technically illiterate nongs (most Australians) that there is a super green alternative just around the next corner. It will always be just around the next corner.

  5. Nob

    “get bullet” = “get built”

  6. pete of perth

    BHP HBI failure anyone. Syngas used for direct reduction. CO +H2

  7. Karabar

    All of this is just a distraction from the obvious.
    CO2HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WEATHER!!
    All of these arguments about “emissions” is nonsense.
    Besides which, steam reforming produces CO2 just like the real process.
    And once you have steel, you still need abundant resources to heat it so that you can roll it.
    I suggest that anyone entertaining these ridiculous notions has never set foot in a steel plant or a rolling mill.

  8. Rex Anger

    @ Karabar-

    I suspect that’s rather the point. Rich people and mugs alike tend not to have much experience in the steel industry, and I suspect that neither does the Consultancy that wrote the piece…

  9. Rayvic

    We are poorly served by our Liberal and Labour politicians as they are science and economics illiterate, and capitulate to the Green-left bureaucrats who run Treasury and the energy portfolio and adore promotion of RE.

  10. Nob

    It’s not about steel.

    It’s about fucking up coal exports by claiming that it won’t hurt other industries.

    Because coal bad.

  11. Rayvic

    Correction: replace Labour with Labor.

  12. NoFixedAddress

    David,

    Look on the bright side of life.

    No steel will mean the end of mining, construction, cars and corporatism.

    If it was good enough for the original owners of this land to live without electricity, transportation, complex legal systems and universities then surely it is good enough for us.

    To claim otherwise is just white racism.

  13. Mark M

    I’m looking forward to heatwave free days as we speak …

    Port of Newcastle aims to shift to 100% renewable energy

    https://www.ship-technology.com/news/port-of-newcastle-shift-100-renewable-energy/

  14. Herodotus

    Politicians will continue to sell this sort of bulldust until such time as the media tell them to stop or they have some other form of shock treatment.

  15. Entropy

    As usual there is no consideration about the infrastructure costs to build the hydrogen production facilities and the new steel plants or any thought that it might not be a good idea to throw away a proven technology to embrace one that is more expensive, has not been “road tested” and depends on developing a “hydrogen industry” from a standing start

    Quite so. Maybe if we had a developed hydrogen energy supply system like we do for other fuels, complete with refuelling stations etc it might be remotely feasible, if at a higher price. However the greenies don’t want hydrogen cars. They want EVs.

    Labor’s adoption of “green steel” seems to be just another ruse to try and convince us that a bunch of politicians can change the world if only we spend enough money.

    Quite so

  16. Mother Lode

    Another example of a scientific idea that sounds reasonable as a broad hypothesis but which has turned out, when more thoroughly interrogated, to possess insuperable obstacles.

    Aether and phlogiston, perpetual motion machines, and of course the current silly windmill fad.

    The whole AGW hoax itself is another example: CO2 has a higher retains more heat than air, therefore increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases heat retained overall. So when we turn on a light or drive to the shops we are consigning posterity to an eternity roasted in the flames of Hades.

    Working out the nuts and bolts, comparing to the real world, revealed that the contribution of human activity to the atmosphere’s CO2 was minuscule, that CO2 influence decreased logarithmically, that the contribution of CO2 to the misnamed ‘Greenhouse Effect’ was eclipsed by other gases such as water vapour, that the assumption that the earth was a closed system was telling and flawed, that CO2 actually has its own cycle that removed it from the atmosphere, that the blazing orb which energises the solar system was not designed by the Swiss and actually fluctuates in its output etc.

    How about those windfarms that produce a fraction of the energy they were meant to, or the ‘wave’ power stations collapsing in rusted heaps on indifferent shores.

    It really is simple – and better corroborated than anything the warmies have come up with – that nothing Green ever works.

  17. Entropy

    It really is simple – and better corroborated than anything the warmies have come up with – that nothing Green ever works.

    Quite so. If it did as promised it would have no need for market rigging regulation and ginormous subsidies to ,une the pockets of the carpet baggers. The market would grab it with aggressive acclaim.

  18. nb

    I suppose our friend Mr Albanese would like to adopt the moniker ‘Steel man’.

  19. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Green Steel – about as relevant to the betterment of humanity than this other type of coloured steel

  20. pat

    audio below. 17 minutes in: 2GB’s Michael McLaren with Liberal NSW Minister for Energy & Environment; McLaren pushes his pet nuclear option, meanwhile letting Kean get away with what could just as well be a Green/Labor energy agenda. NO COAL.

    paraphrasing MATT KEAN: this is not about closing down coal for coal’s sake. we rely on coal, but coal plants are coming to the end of their lives. we must make sure we have reliable energy…and affordable. CSIRO, the experts, say the cheapest way to deliver energy into the market is a mix of wind, solar, gas and pumped hydro. and that’s how we get affordable, reliable energy in the system. right now cheapest is pumped hydro and gas.

    AUDIO: 28 Jul: 2GB: Michael McLaren Wake Up Australia
    https://www.2gb.com/podcast/wake-up-australia-28th-july/

    26 Jul: SMH: Kean, on a green streak, goes in search of the political centre
    By Peter Hannam
    Even as politics becomes more polarised almost everywhere, it’s sometimes a little unclear which side Matt Kean, NSW’s Energy and Environment Minister, is on…
    Among his environment goals was a plan to create 200,000 hectares of new national parks within this term. The tally already stands at 157,000 hectares…

    On the energy front, he touts among his achievements his rollout of two of the three special renewable energy zones. The first attracted nine times the 3000 megawatts capacity on offer, and the second is targeting 8000 megawatts, or not far shy of the state’s entire fleet of coal-fired power plants…

    Clues to Kean’s political heroes and what he calls “true north” aren’t hard to spot. Anyone visiting his parliamentary office overlooking the Domain, will see pictures on his walls of US President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby but also civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr…

    Deferring to scientific and expert opinion is also what has guided him to put climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the apex of his agenda…
    During an energy conference in Sydney in December where the whiff from the outside bushfire smoke filled the Hilton Hotel conference hall, Kean warned that the extreme weather was “exactly what the scientists warned us would happen”.

    Six weeks later, with the bushfires still raging over much of forested NSW, Kean went on to say members of Morrison’s frontbench had privately contacted him to offer support for his comments linking the fires with climate change.
    Morrison’s angry response only elevated the issue and Kean’s profile: “Matt Kean doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he doesn’t know what’s going on in the federal cabinet and most of the federal cabinet wouldn’t even know who Matt Kean was.”…
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/kean-on-a-green-streak-goes-in-search-of-the-political-centre-20200724-p55f38.html

  21. pat

    same 2GB audio from 3mins in: McLaren’s support for mandatory masks in NSW, based on respected academic expert, followed by Matt Kean on locking up even more of NSW with National Parks in an attempt to double koala numbers. says 5,000 koalas out of 20,000 died in recent bushfires in NSW. McLaren doesn’t ask if that’s the number for koala deaths in NSW, what made up the other BILLION-PLUS animal deaths claimed by the WWF?

    30 Jun: BBC: Koalas face extinction in New South Wales by 2050, report finds
    About 5,000 koalas are thought to have died in devastating recent bushfires, the report to state parliament said…
    The inquiry, by a cross-party committee, found pre-bushfire estimates that koalas numbered 36,000 in NSW were now outdated…
    The committee made 42 recommendations, including establishing new national parks in identified areas and reducing land clearing…
    Last year, the Australian Koala Foundation estimated there were “no more than 80,000” left in Australia – though others say it is difficult to know for sure…
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-53231348

    28 Jul: BBC: Australia’s fires ‘killed or harmed three billion animals’
    The findings meant it was one of “worst wildlife disasters in modern history”, said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which commissioned the report…
    Mammals, reptiles, birds and frogs died in the flames or from loss of habitat…

    During the peak of the crisis in January, scientists had estimated that 1.25 billion animals had been killed in New South Wales and Victoria alone.
    But the new estimate takes in a larger area. About 11.46 million hectares – an area comparable to England – was scorched from September to February.
    “When you think about nearly three billion native animals being in the path of the fires, it is absolutely huge – it’s a difficult number to comprehend,” said Prof Chris Dickman, who oversaw the project by 10 scientists from Australian universities.

    He said they could not yet state an exact death toll, but noted the chances of animals escaping the blazes and surviving were “probably not that great” due to a lack of food and shelter.
    Limitations on data meant that some groups – such as invertebrates, fish and turtles – were not included in the estimates…
    Koalas and wallabies – as well as bird, fish and frog species – were among those needing the most help, said experts…

    Australia is holding a royal commission inquiry into the fires, which is due to report findings in October.
    It has heard overwhelming evidence from scientists who said the unprecedented frequency and severity of the blazes were a result of climate change.
    Experts also said that smoke from the fires was linked to more than 445 deaths.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-53549936

  22. Say, doesn’t Hydrogen go ‘BOOM’?
    Tony.

  23. Rafe Champion

    That is the only boom we are likely to get from Hydrogen in the near future!

  24. Rex Anger

    The last hydrogen balloon I ignited in High School Chemistry went FWHOOP!

    The one immediately before it developed a hole right below ths taper and slowly burned itself into a shrivelled mess. And left a small puddle of melted rubber on the floor. A terrible disappointment…

  25. Mule

    If you let me post I can explain why coal steelmaking is not the future

  26. Mother Lode

    Say, doesn’t Hydrogen go ‘BOOM’?

    Which will become the reason to phase out hydrogen and go to a less efficient form so ultimately all technology is too expensive.

    Then, at last, we will be able to return to an Eden where we cook yams over a dung fueled fire until we die at 25.

  27. thefrollickingmole

    The headline made me think of this…

  28. Bruce

    These proponents of “green steel” appear to not have a clue (or give a proverbial about how steel is made and WHAT DEFINES “steel”.

    Never mind their grasp, or lack thereof, of actual science and technology in general.

    As I learned, many years ago. The “carbon” in the caper is needed in the reaction to reduce iron oxide to metallic iron.

    HOWEVER, because carbon actually dissolves into the iron in the process, the initial basic product is an alloy with a very specific set of characteristics and called “pig” or “cast” iron at various stages. It is HARD and brittle, as opposed to pure metallic iron, which is relatively;y soft and malleable. IF you can economically and SAFELY reduce iron oxide to pure iron using hydrogen, then, good luck to you. Let us know when you have solved the “issues” with capturing, storing and transporting industrial quantities of hydrogen. Start with the energy equations.

    SOME carbon in the final steel is useful, even essential. Pure iron cutting tools, be they kitchen knives or machine tools are a non-event. There are many applications where carbon steels are more appropriate than those alloyed with other exotic metals. Thread taps is one in certain specialized applications. Carbon steel taps are HARDER than alloy steel ones, but they are brittle; use care, (correct coolant / lubricant and proper technique) and they will last a long time. Get it wrong and they may break off halfway through tapping a thread. The ALSO can happen to alloy-steel taps.

    The difference is that if you break a carbon-steel tap in a blind hole, it is sufficiently brittle that it can be shattered in place and the fragments carefully extracted. Snapping an “alloy” (High-Speed) steel tap will bring forth much weeping and wailing. If specialized “broken tap extractor” tools fail, trying to bash it into fragments like a carbon-steel one will simply embed the stump into the workpiece. Then you have to take it to a specialized workshop and have the errant stub “eaten out” by spark-erosion (Electro-Discharge Machining); neither cheap nor “convenient”. Been there, done that, got the “T-Shirt”.

    The real “Prime Directive” of the Universe is this; “TANSTAAFL”.

    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

    So, in the unlikely event these clowns ever economically make “iron” using “hydrogen”, it will be fun to watch them tap-dancing around the role of CARBON in actual, useful materials made from an iron base.

  29. Mule

    No country in the Western world will ever build a new blast furnace. Reasons are multiple. To start with, Capex is too high. Secondly, councils will not want them in their backyard as they pollute. And I am not talking about CO2 here but sooth and visible emissions. They can be mitigated but not eliminated. As a result, there hasn’t been a new blast furnace built in a Western country since the ’90s. The alternative is to build them in remote areas, where installation cost is much higher and labour would need to be imported.
    Blast furnace will eventually phase out. Some will do a relining when due (expense in the order of $100M), some won’t and they eventually be decommissioned. They will be replaced with Direct Reduction Plants, which use natural gas as a reducing agent. H2 is an alternative reducing gas and the beauty of Direct Reduction Plants is that they are very flexible in that regard. They can use 100% natural gas, 100% H2 (in theory) or any combination in between, or even syngas and other gases. If H2 will eventually reach the $2.5/kg mark, the substitution will be complete. If it won’t, quite simply NG will be the reductant of choice.
    I think the main flaw of Mr Bidstrup’s post is that it implies that H2 will be used as an alternative to coal in blast furnaces. H2 can and is injected in BFs as a supplement, like pulverised carbon injection is, but no-one thinks it can replace coal altogether.

  30. Kneel

    “Maybe if we had a developed hydrogen energy supply system like we do for other fuels, complete with refuelling stations etc it might be remotely feasible, if at a higher price.”

    Hydrogen is very difficult to store – or rather, to keep in storage.
    It leaks – a lot.
    To have any chance, you need to keep it liquid (cryogenics) = energy consumed.
    It’s flammable over a wide range of fuel:air ratios.
    And on, and on, and on…

  31. Tel

    The real “Prime Directive” of the Universe is this; “TANSTAAFL”.

    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

    If that was really true, there would not even be a universe in the first place … the whole thing is a Free Lunch, unless you can show your universe building credentials.

  32. Astatine Jones

    Thankyou Mother Lode and others for your erudite explanation of why carbon dioxide has no effect on ‘the weather’ or the climate.

    Hydrogen will certainly be part of the future mix of alternative energy sources and of course it already plays an important role. Rex Anger is correct – hydrogen is indeed produced largely from coal and natural gas sources but it’s used for many purposes aside from a fuel. RA neglects to mention though that the use of the fuels produced from steam reforming of natural gas or coal gasification in electricity generation is typically more efficient and less carbon polluting than when it’s done by the traditional combustion of coal.
    Obviously if you’re sitting in the intractable position that we can continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere without consequence then it’s business as usual with coal burning. But the vast majority of scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers…(‘thinking people’ generally)… around the world disagree with this position. However, use of coal will not disappear overnight, if at all – it’s obviously the go to for steel making and it has many other uses in industry. Not the least is its high value as a raw material in the manufacture of a myriad of organic compounds and stuff like carbon fibre. Much of this potential is yet to be realised. In the short term, as the world moves towards increasing the use of alternative energy sources, coal will continue to be an important fuel source, but it is imperative that effective and cost-efficient ‘clean coal’ technology comes online as quickly as possible. The Chinese understand this very well:
    https://www.pnas.org/content/116/17/8206.short

    So perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom for the coal industry, even in a world that accepts that increasing carbon emissions will not result in positive environmental outcomes for the planet.

  33. Rex Anger

    Obviously if you’re sitting in the intractable position that we can continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere without consequence then it’s business as usual with coal burning. But the vast majority of scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers…(‘thinking people’ generally)… around the world disagree with this position….So perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom for the coal industry, even in a world that accepts that increasing carbon emissions will not result in positive environmental outcomes for the planet.

    Troll in the dungeons, gentlemen. Stand to…

    RA neglects to mention though that the use of the fuels produced from steam reforming of natural gas or coal gasification in electricity generation is typically more efficient and less carbon polluting than when it’s done by the traditional combustion of coal.

    Consider energy in vs. energy out. Yes, hydrogen and syngas are chemically more efficient in their combustion, but how much energy (and additional, catalysing material) is inserted into the system to get the desired result?

    Let.me tell you, Mr. Jones of a story of wrack and ruin bought on by technocrats amd ‘experts’ agreeing that adopting something for the sake of modernity was a ‘good idea.’ In the mid-1970s, faced with rolling oil embargos (Mid-East and Anti-Apartheid sanctions) and additional crises at home and abroad, the South African Railways decided it really, really wanted to dieselise. This was in spite of the vast natural coal reserves of excellent quality, a system optimised between electric and steam traction, good mechanical condition of its locomotive fleet, very cheap and efficient operating costs for same and high ability for domestic manufacture. In spite of all this, a ‘modernisation’ plan was drawn up for the steam fleet that would see all mainline power gone and replaced by 1990. This was done for political, rather than practical reasons.

    In practice, there was a rush to dieselise the non-electrified system. While steam persisted until the mid-80s, the sheer cost of scrapping steam and the expotentially increasing cost of diesel locomotive cost and maintenance led to all manner of financial woes for the South African Railways. The election of 1990 and the subsequent Affirmative Action policies led to the utter gutting of the system to the shrivelled husk of a network it is today.

    The 1990 election did not sound the death knell of the SAR. The technocrats had sealed its fate long beforehand.

    So, please understand that I am aware enough of the history of ‘good ideas’ by ‘thinking’ people like these to be very suspicious of anything that purports to be ‘progressive.’

    Though, if it is paying your salary, AJ, I can understand your enthusiasm…

  34. Terry

    But the vast majority of scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers…
    These One’s?

  35. Nob

    The vast majority of “scientists , engineers” etc that have any sort of position on CO2 and climate are in The West, and even there they are in a minority. Economists and policymakers, I can’t answer for.

    The vast majority of steel is not made in The West.
    The vast majority of coal burned is not burned in The West.

    And the vast majority of scientists and engineers who know anything about steel production aren’t in The West anymore, either.

    “Green Steel” is a domestic politics concept underlining The West’s irrelevance in this debate.

  36. Bronson

    Agree Nob – steel is majority made in Asia and the expertise for making it fled the west along with the mills. The west cannot re-establish steel mills because it can’t compete with Asia on price and it no longer has the expertise. They can talk about green steel all they like but it’s not going to happen in the west.

  37. Astatine Jones

    Rex Anger:
    Troll in the dungeons…

    ‘troll’ = someone who doesn’t agree with me (but I’ll defend the right to free speech)

    Have to chuckle a little when you see this on a ‘libertarian’ blog.

    Despite what you’d like to believe, ‘climate change’ doesn’t pay my salary. I also don’t know much about railways in South Africa or elsewhere, although I enjoy train trips.
    Regardless, if you read my post, I don’t make any argument that ‘green’ steel offers any advantage over conventionally produced steel (with coal). I’m talking about progress in the development of alternative fuel sources. Alternative to the current situation where we pump too much CO2 into the atmosphere. I think that’s not a good situation to be in. Nothing really to do with ‘adopting it for the sake of modernity’ at all. Nothing to do with fashion. All about risk analysis. Many people agree with this idea/paradigm/approach, call it what you will. Some disagree. Who is ‘correct’ comes down to the science. The rest is obfuscation. Smoke and mirrors.

  38. Nob

    All about risk analysis. Many people agree with this idea/paradigm/approach, call it what you will. Some disagree. Who is ‘correct’ comes down to

    … policy.

    Always was, always will be, policy.

    Science is just one of the inputs.

  39. Rex Anger

    Okay AJ, we’ll upgrade you to ‘Concern troll.’ Far nicer than the usual bile-slingers, and employing a beautiful collection of nice-sounding managerial buzzwords to justify it.

    Mooning about ‘alternative energy’ when there is very clearly no concerted effort to develop it going on anywhere, despite the huge sums of money flowing into entrepreneurs’ bank accounts from quangos and Governments, suggests very strongly that it is merely another prong of CAGW-inspired profiteering. You can Big Oil and Big Coal me all you please, but there is nothing out there.

    Of course, as I said, if you are rich and well-connected enough to not be too closely subjected to the societal crippling your dreams will bring, then kudos. I personally do not wish to see the society and culture I know and love destroyed for the purposes of good feelings for ‘right-thinking’ people.

    As Nob says, Everything comes down to policy. In my example, Dieselisation was a policy. Was it based on a reality? Yes. The reality of looking nice and ‘modern’ in the minds of SAR’s management. Not on the reality of appalling economics.

    Just as the planned withering of Australian manufacturing and power generation in favpur of utterly unsustainable renewables has been a policy carried out to make us all look ‘modern’ and ‘green’ in the minds of our politicians and bureaucrats. And maybe some suggestible idiots at the UN…

    As the trope has been demonstrated across all human history, when you have no direct connection to the consequences of your actions, it is very easy to make a momentous decision…

  40. rickw

    Steel is expensive enough as it is without Government messing around with things.

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