David Bidstrup guest post. 3 letters sent; 1 reply.

Some time ago Rafe asked people to write letters to their MP’s about the parlous situation with Australia’s electricity supply. I decided to have a go and these are the results. In fairness to my local MP I have removed anything that would identify her as the correspondence was sent as a personal message. I have also removed details of my address and phone number.

Here is number 1:

11 July 2020.

To: XXXXXXX MP.

Dear Ms XXXXX,

I am writing to express my concern at the continuing fiasco of electricity production in Australia.

It is a shambles that has raised the price of power to levels where many people are unable to afford to pay for it, businesses struggle to survive and the grid hovers on the edge of failure on many occasions, particularly in summer. The “market” structure is a joke and it is indefensible to allow unreliable generators to take market share from reliable coal power stations and destroy their businesses. The fact that it still exists is evidence that those who implemented it have no understanding of the fundamentals of power generation and have been very badly advised.

The rise of “renewable energy” is the direct cause of this situation and I wonder why you and your other parliamentarians refuse to face the facts. Renewable energy only exists because of the flawed policy of subsidising their production by foisting extra costs onto consumers. Without those subsidies they would not be able to exist as going concerns. The trashing of reliable generators like Port Augusta and Hazelwood are acts of economic vandalism undertaken in the pursuit of an ideology that is founded on junk science and justified by temperature records that are manipulated after the fact to fit the story. The imminent closure of yet another at Liddell will be another act of vandalism that will have dire consequences.

Renewables are inherently unreliable needing the constant backup of reliable assets like coal, gas and hydroelectricity, and there are many analyses that demonstrate this. The idea that some sort of “storage” or interconnection will fix things is wishful thinking. The cost of “storage” to be able to keep the grid going for just one day is mind boggling and the technical challenges are enormous. The fact that this fiasco continues means that you and your colleagues are either ignorant of the facts or are too enmeshed in an ideology to be able to see the light. There are many people who are perplexed that such an obviously flawed plan is allowed to persist and who want a return to sanity.

I urge you to spend some time finding out the other side of the argument regarding the imminent “end of the world” caused by a benign trace gas that is the basis for all biological life on earth. If you need any direction on how to find this information I would be very happy to assist you.

Australian electricity consumers have been penalised with eye watering prices, reliability has dropped through the floor and we are nowhere near a solution, in fact it seems the default position is to continue the madness in spades.

The late philosopher Roger Scruton describe ideologies as a belief system where”

”Facts no longer make contact with the theory, which rises above the facts on clouds of nonsense, rather like in a theological system. The point is not to believe the theory but to repeat it ritualistically and in such a way that belief and truth become irrelevant”.

This is where we are and have been for the twenty years that various governments have sought electoral advantage by pretending that they can change the world by committing economic suicide.

Please do something about it.

Yours faithfully, etc.

Here is the answer:

Dear David

Thank you for your email to the Office of XXXXX MP and for taking the time to offer your feedback and thoughts on this matter.

A report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has highlighted the challenges of integrating record amounts of renewable energy generation into the National Electricity Market.

AEMO has released the first stage of its Renewable Integration Study, which is a technical analysis of the steps to be taken so that the electricity market could operate reliably and securely with higher levels of renewable energy.

AEMO highlighted the challenges around the increased use of solar and wind generation.

The AEMO study recognised solar and wind generation alone aren’t enough, minimum levels of inertia that is ordinarily provided by synchronous generation, such as a gas-fired power station, which will be crucial to maintaining the security of any large power system.

The Morrison Government has already been working to ensure Australia’s energy systems remain reliable and affordable as more renewables are brought online.

The Government’s $1.38 billion investment in Snowy 2.0, the Underwriting New Generation Investments program, and the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund will provide the long-term storage and firming required to support the secure operation of the electricity market. This is also why we have been working with the regulators on ensuring new renewable projects are tied to a level of reliable baseload generation, such as gas.

These programs, along with ongoing investments from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), form a suite of measures that the Government is delivering to ensure that the lights stay on and drive down prices.

The Government is committed to continue working through the COAG Energy Council, industry and stakeholders to provide Australians with secure, reliable and affordable electricity into the future.

I hope this information is of assistance.

If our office can be of further assistance to you on any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Kind regards

The Office of XXXXX MP

I suspect it is written by a political hack who is instructed to repeat the official party line telling us that everything will be OK; they have their best people working on it. Note the reference to Snowy 2.0, one of the most stupid proposals ever to see the light of day.

I also had a go at getting the attention of the Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister. Here it is:

24 July 2020.

The Hon Angus Taylor MP

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions.

Parliament House Canberra ACT.

Dear Minister Taylor,

A couple of weeks ago I sent letters to my local member XXXXX and to your colleague Craig Kelly regarding the parlous state of the electricity industry in Australia. I have had no reply other than an automatic message saying the emails were received. (Note this letter was sent before the reply from my local member). For your information I append both letters to this one.

I am a retired engineer who worked for 40+ years in construction here in Australia and in PNG before it became the terminal basket case that it is today. In engineering the numbers reign supreme. If something works well it is not thrown away for something that does not. It is also evidence based where any theory is put to objective testing to determine its merits.

The history of the decline and fall of the country’s electrical system makes a grim tale. Where we once had abundant and cheap electricity we now have a shambles that defies description. I know of elderly pensioners who are unable to heat their homes in winter because the costs are so high yet the boosters of “renewable energy” keep telling them that prices will fall, and they never do,

Here in South Australia an ideologically driven Labor government actively promoted the destruction of a perfectly good power station leaving the state vulnerable to shortages and 3 months after its closure the state was blacked out. Had that power station been available the state would not have suffered severe economic losses. The rabid socialists in Victoria closed Hazelwood shortly after. Prices skyrocketed and have never come down.

I spoke with someone yesterday who had spent $15,000.00 on a solar system and was shattered to learn that in the future she will have to pay to “export” electricity and that someone will determine whether her system should be shut down to try and preserve the integrity of the grid. Not long ago governments were actively promoting solar and offering feed in tariffs as an incentive. Now that the penny has dropped that solar is a lousy idea those subsidies have been wound back leaving many in the lurch.

It is incredible that governments have fallen for the fantasyland story about global warming/climate change and that they are prepared to impose such economic damage on the citizens in the pursuit of a chimera.

Frankly, it is an inexcusable mess and totally avoidable. I see the plethora of bodies who are supposed to regulate the industry and when I hear what some of their people have to say I am amazed that such ignorant people occupy these positions.

The whole “renewable energy” fiasco is a reaction to catastrophists and doomsayers who rely on dodgy temperature figures to make their case. Our own Bureau of Meteorology is complicit in the scam and has been called out a number of times. The reaction from government is to ignore it and let them continue to lie to the public.

The proposals for wind, solar and the myth of “storage” show that those who are supposed to ensure the well-being of the people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about and are actually dangerous to our economic health. I have analysed many proposals for wind, solar, pumped hydro and other harebrained schemes and concluded they are worthless. The fact that work is continuing on Snowy 2.0 proves that no one has any idea about electricity generation.

I realise that your colleagues have been consumed with dealing with yet another non-problem and am dismayed that the reaction there has been the same; mad animal panic and economic destruction that will leave the next generation of people bereft. While you all might bask in the poll numbers it is worth keeping in mind that many people vote for you only because the alternative is worse. If there were ever any sensible people offering themselves for office many of your colleagues would be on the dole. I will also send this letter to the Prime Minister and Treasurer but suspect the response will be the same as I received from Ms XXXXX and Mr Kelly.

If you would like to call me I am available on 0408 880 203 at any time. The letters to Ms XXXXX and Mr Kelly follow for your information.

Yours faithfully, etc.

No reply yet and not holding my breath.

Recently Craig Kelly popped his head up from the trenches and spoke about changes in temperature measurements done by the BoM. I thought I would try to engage him as well as I have followed the BoM saga documented by Jo Nova and Jennifer Marohasy. Here it is:

11 July 2020.

To: Craig Kelly MP.

Dear Mr Kelly,

I am writing to thank you for your efforts in unmasking the dishonest behaviour in the Bureau of Meteorology, as reported by Jennifer Marohasy.

Since retirement I have taken an interest in the ongoing saga of “climate change” and the various attempts by governments both state and federal to convince us all that carbon dioxide will end the world as we know it and that the solution is to commit economic suicide by “emissions reductions” primarily delivered by demonising coal and shutting down the most efficient means we have to generate reliable and cheap electricity.

You will note that I am a citizen of South Australia, the state that has become an electricity basket case soon to be joined by the rest of the country. I have just sent an email to my local member XXXXX and append it for your interest at the end of this letter.

I am a retired engineer and over my 45 working years it has always been the case where numbers rule. Things are not constructed with “concensus” and we do not throw away things that have been proven to work for others that do not. I recognise that politics does not work this way and that is a pity because the quest for electoral supremacy via “Climate change action” has done immense damage to ordinary folk who have some naïve trust that governments will act in their interests rather than for political survival.

When the SA government actively promoted the closure and demolition of the Port Augusta coal fired power station I contacted every member of our 2 houses to suggest that it was a stupid idea. The silence of the response was deafening, including those on your side of politics and who are now going down the same road as their predecessors.

I have done many studies of the “renewable energy solutions” proposed to save us all and if you have time you might read some of them that were published on the Catallaxy Files website. In all cases they turned out to be massive wastes of money, particularly crazy schemes like Snowy 2.0 which is proceeding but will add nothing but debt.

My interest in the machinations of the BoM was started with the supposed “record” temperature in Adelaide on 24 January 2019 when we were told the maximum was 46.6. The previous record was in January 1939 and the BoM records showed it as 46.1. When looking at the actual records in newspapers of the day the record was 117.7F which convert to 47.6, one degree higher than the “new” record and shows the BoM adjusted it down by 1.5C to 46.1C.

Jennifer Marohasy and others blew the whistle on the Bureau some years ago but government did nothing about it then and probably will do nothing about it now unless you make a noise.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If nothing is done to make the BoM act honestly and to halt the slide into energy poverty by way of “renewables” I fear the country has had it. For me it is not a big deal, I am 72, but I worry about the future for my 3 boys who, I am sad to say, are starting to believe the twaddle put out by the left.

Please keep on the case, there are very few politicians who are prepared to stick their heads up above the trenches.

Yours faithfully. etc.

No answer yet and not holding my breath. In a fit of masochism I decided to try out the treasurer and the PM so I ccd the Angus Taylor letter to them as well. Again there has been no answer other than the auto reply from Frydenberg and a message saying Morrison’s email does not work.

The only bright spot, and it is only a very dim bright spot, is that Labor is tearing itself apart as their loonies propose silly ideas like “Green Steel” powered by renewables and hydrogen while the few rational members of their mob try to moderate the ideological insanity. When you look at the people in the vanguard of this madness it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Fortunately for Morrison et.al Covid-19 has eclipsed everything else for the time being but they need to remember that summer is only 5 months away and reality will strike as the grid wobbles and fights to stay on.

Mind you, many people will see this as the least of their problems as their lives have been trashed by “fighting the virus” and they have been busted.

I think my letter writing has shown me the truth in the quote attributed to Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

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19 Responses to David Bidstrup guest post. 3 letters sent; 1 reply.

  1. Roger

    I suspect it is written by a political hack who is instructed to repeat the official party line…

    This highlights one of the problems with our democracy – the representatives of the people increasingly have little actual contact with the people they represent. (I am fortunate to have direct access to local Liberal members at state and federal level but that’s only because they know me from “a previous life”; heaven help the average voter trying to get passed the party minders.)

    One small step to addressing this might be to adopt a feature of the UK system wherein parliamentarians hold weekly “surgeries” in their constituency (or on-line when parliament is sitting) whicvh involves meeting voters face to face and discussing the issues on their minds. This would go at least some way to making parliamentarians accountable to the voters and not just their party.

  2. Bill

    Most letters which actually do get responded to are written by public servants in the relevant ministerial department. Sometimes your local member or senator will pass it on to the relevant minister who then has to pass it on to his or her department and then it filters to the correct division and branch and section with someone tasked to respond. It then goes back up the line as a draft until everybody is satisfied with the tone and then goes back to relevant member or senator’s office and which then gets signed by said person or one of the advisors.

    You will notice the responses never deviate from the part line, nor say anything which may prove to be controversial or god forbid, even true.

  3. Vagabond

    I have had similar experiences writing to my previous and present local members who are both soggy wet LINOs. Other than voting against them there’s not much else that I can do. In my (nominally liberal) seat it is usually a 3 cornered contest between the libs, liars and green slime garnished from election to election with a few minor party loonies. Informality is the best option, at least that denies them the per capita payment.

    It’s very depressing. The only good thing about elections now is the fete that’s held at the church hall polling booth. There’s a good book sale every time (lots of used copies of 50 Shades last time heh heh) but the old ladies who used to make terrific jams have all gone. I hope they’re ok and not imprisoned in some aged care pestilence ridden hellhole.

  4. min

    David I am not an engineer, but at least trained at post graduate level in Statistics Research and Analysis and my late father -in-Law was Associate Commissioner on the Snowy scheme now SMEC. and as frustrated as you . Not sure why Craig has not been in touch I have spoken with him and he knows the energy problems backwards . I also know Josh and handed him a flyer I had done and sent around before last election . I used the cover of Der Spiegel when it showed the result of Energiewende in Germany and asked how much would RE cost Australia when Germany had spent Billions of dollars ,had energy poverty and the turbines etc, falling to pieces after 20 years . Also sent in Shekllenberger’s article in Forbes that also included Der Spiegel cover as wekll as Michael Moore’s documentary.to many . All ignored. Ask questions using data rather than stating it scares them. Have you the Der Spiegel article?

  5. jupes

    No answer yet and not holding my breath.

    I used to live in Craig Kelly’s electorate. My wife emailed him twice to complain about the ABC. She received no response. He lost her vote because of this.

    Poor form on his behalf.

  6. Rafe Champion

    Thanks for the memories Vagabond, what a shame that the best reason to go to the booth was the chance of a cheap copy of 50 Shades and a nice pot of jam!
    I wonder if the jam would have met the legal requirements for the acceptable amount of sugar?

  7. Rafe Champion

    Our letter campaign is a bit different, we are going to tell them some stuff that they didn’t know and their minders and the bureaucracy don’t tell them.
    The facts of the RE debacle are incontrovertible and they do not depend on any kind of complex science, the wind droughts are obvious in the AEMO data, the island effect is clear enough, likewise the choke point factor ( the low point of supply kills you) and the lack of battery power is obvious as soon as you show them the numbers. As for pumped hydro…
    They will find out these things because there are just enough of their colleagues, at least among the Coalition to tell them about it if their minders don’t let them read our letters.
    They will all be warned and when the shit hits the fan they will not be able to say that nobody told them what was going to happen.

  8. jupes

    I suspect it is written by a political hack who is instructed to repeat the official party line…

    That is how they roll.

    Last year, I emailed my state member about deros in the city. He phoned me for a chat a couple of days later. 12 months later there has been no change to the situation so I emailed him again. I got a reply from the party hack because the member was on sick leave. She sent me a 49 page policy document of public service jargon and motherhood statements.

    This contained no solutions that I could see, so I told her so. She then told me how much money the state was spending on the problem (as if that meant they were dealing with it). I told her that that information just made it worse, as all the taxpayers money was spent for no change whatsoever. A complete waste.
    No more trying to convince me after that. She said she would pass the email to the member when he returns.

    Despite the setback, it was an interesting look into the mindset of the public service / political class, where spending taxpayer money and producing incomprehensible documents is seen as ‘doing something’.

  9. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    a technical analysis of the steps to be taken so that the electricity market could operate reliably and securely

    Here’s my analysis, which funnily enough, contains only two required steps:

    – Remove/cut off all input from “renewables” into the energy grid as of yesterday and cease subsidising them
    – Build some coal fired power stations and/or nuclear reactors ASAP, you monstrous quisling dunderheads

  10. Slim Cognito

    You should be commended for your effort.

    My local member is not worth writing to and has no power to do anything as he is an “independent”.

  11. BoyfromTottenham

    FWIW In September 2019 there were nearly 900 solar PV systems of 100KW or greater in Australia (and lots more in the pipeline thanks to generous RET subsidies). This from here: https://pv-map.apvi.org.au/
    An interesting read!

  12. Exit Stage Right

    Very good letters David.
    I am just amazed that people smart enough to get elected to our Parliament are dumb enough to get sucked in by this Renewable Energy scam.
    I still believe that the majority of politicians in both houses know its a scam, but persist with the pretence that solar and wind are going to power the world. Blind Freddy can see that ain’t going to happen. As for Snowy 2.0, pumping water uphill, may as well be pushing shit uphill.
    Shame on our Liberal politicians for not exposing the fraud.Can’t expect any better from the Cheaters Party.

  13. Peter

    Maybe a class action would get their attention. I am not joking.

  14. David Bidstrup

    I see today that the 10GW solar project to power Singapore has been given major project status.

  15. Megan

    its over three weeks since I emailed my MP and apart from the automatic reply that came back within seconds the response has been…crickets

  16. old bloke

    Good effort David.

  17. Charles Rasp

    David, your heart’s in the right place, but sadly your letters will have no impact.
    The first rule of marketing is “what’s in it for me”? That is, what’s the benefit (or downside) to me as a first-class flying, all-powerful pollie, from what you are trying to say?
    No alarm bells will ring with any adviser/ numpty who reads your letters.
    Start up front with the downside in bold, beautiful, simple bullet points. Grab em by the scr-tum (apologies ladies in the audience, no need to get excited: “sensitive external gen-talia”, pardon my lapse into androgen-speak).
    What are these triggering bullet points? Rafe: can you provide? Simple, but unanswerable with gobbledygook is no good.

    Secondly: as a former (fairly lackluster) public servant, I learned early that to force a response from some sucker (sorry, constituent) to the Minister or member YOU MUST ASK THE IDIOTS A QUESTION!
    THEN they must respond ( some archaic convention from some obscure Westminster place).

    What are the two or three devastating facts that the idiots cannot squirm away from? Use these relentlessly (Alinsky) to force acknowledgment of the point.

    It’s not just facts (we have plenty) but how they are presented and prosecuted that matters.

    BTW, our opponents don’t know how to write a letter and prefer to win through Twitter and Molotov cocktails … we are definitely starting from behind.

  18. DrBeauGan

    The entire political class live in a wholly verbal universe having no contact with reality. The physical universe reaches them not at all.

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