Category Archives: cane growers
The never-ending battles of the Coral Sea
by Viv Forbes, science writer
For at least 50 years Australian taxpayers and other innocents have supported a parasitic industry in academia, bureaucracy, law, media and the tax-exempt Green Alarm “Charities”, all studying, regulating, inspecting and writing about yet another “imminent threat to Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.”
The Queensland Labor Party Government is about to embark on another reef-runoff onslaught against coastal farmers that is intended to close down farming along the entire coastline, from Cooktown to Brisbane.
It has become the never-ending battle of the Coral Sea.
The threats change, but there is always a doomsday forecast – Crown-of-Thorns, oil drilling, fishing, cane farming, coastal shipping, global warming, ocean acidity, coral bleaching, port dredging, chemical and fertiliser runoff, coal transport, river sediments, loss of world heritage status etc. Every recycled scare, magnified by the media and parroted by politicians, generates more income for the alarm industry, usually at the expense of taxpayers, consumers or local industries.
The reality is that sea creatures would starve in pure water – all marine life needs nutrients, salts and minerals. These come from other life forms, from decomposing rocks and organic matter carried to the sea by rivers, from dissolving atmospheric gases, or from delta and shelf sediments stirred up by floods, cyclones, dredging or coastal shipping. No one supports over-use of toxic man-made chemicals, but well-run cane, cattle and coal companies can co-exist with corals.
Corals first appeared 500 million years ago and have proven to be one of Earth’s great survivors. They outlasted the Carboniferous Forests, the Permian and Cretaceous extinctions, the dinosaurs, the mammoths, the Neanderthals and the Pleistocene cycles of ice age and warming. They thrive in warm tropical water, cluster around hot volcanic fumaroles and survive massive petroleum spills, natural oil seeps, tidal waves and volcanic dust. They have even recolonised the Montebello Island waters devastated by atomic bomb testing in the 1950’s.
The ENSO oscillation of blobs of warm Pacific water which caused recent coral bleaching can be identified in historical records for at least 400 years. Corals have survived El Nino warmings for thousands of years and they will probably outlast Homo Alarmism as Earth proceeds into the next glacial epoch.
See the Supercorals:
Corals do not rely on computer models of global temperature to advise them – they read the sea level thermometer which falls and rises as the great ice sheets come and go.
In the warming phase like the one just ending, ice melts, sea levels rise and the reef that houses the corals may get drowned. Corals have two choices – build their reef higher or just float south/inshore and build a new reef (like the Great Barrier Reef) in shallower, cooler water. When islands sink beneath rising oceans, corals may build their own coral atolls as fast as the water rises.
Then when the cold era returns, ice sheets grow, sea levels fall, and the warm era coral reefs get stranded on the new beaches and coastal plains. Usually the process is slow enough to allow the coral polyps to float into deeper warmer water closer to the equator and build another reef.
This eminently sensible policy of “move when you have to” has proved a successful survival policy for the corals for 500 million years.
Humans should copy the corals – “forget the computer climate models but watch real data like actual sea levels and . . . move when you have to.
by Viv Forbes, Science Writer
Every day some green energy promoter or a battery salesman tells us how green energy with battery backup will supply Australia’s future electricity needs.
A battery stores energy. Energy can be stored using lead-acid, nickel/cadmium, lithium, molten salt, pumped hydro, hydrogen, flywheels, compressed air or some other smart gizmo. But NOT ONE battery produces new energy – they simply store and discharge energy produced by other means. They all deliver less energy than they consume. Moreover, to manufacture, charge, use and dispose of batteries consumes energy and resources.
The idea of producing reliable grid power from intermittent green energy backed up by batteries looks possible in green doodle-diagrams, but would be absurdly inefficient and expensive.
Solar works a Six hour day
Consider a solar panel which is rated to collect say 100 units of energy per day at full capacity, in full mid-day sunlight, with a clean panel, properly aligned to face the sun.
No solar energy arrives overnight and only minimal amounts arrive during the three hours after dawn or before dusk. That means that solar energy can only be collected for about 6 hours per day, providing it is not cloudy, raining or snowing. No amount of research or regulation will change this – the solar energy union only works a six-hour day and takes quite a few sickies. So instead of feeding 100 units of energy per day into the grid, at best, the panel supplies just 25 units.
Can the addition of batteries give us 24/7 power from solar?
To deliver 100 units of energy in 24 hours will require an extra 75 units of energy to be collected, stored and delivered by the batteries every sunny day. This will require another three solar units devoted solely to re-charging batteries in just 6 sunny hours.
Cloudy/wet days are what really expose the problems of solar plus batteries. (This is why isolated green power systems must have a diesel generator in the shed.)
To insure against, say, 7 days of cloudy weather would require a solar/battery system capable of collecting and storing 700 units of energy while still delivering 100 units to consumers every day. However if several consecutive weeks of sunny weather then occur, this bloated system is capable of delivering 7 times more power than needed, causing power prices to plunge, driving reliable generators out of business and wasting the life of solar panels producing unwanted electricity.
Solar energy obviously does best in sunny equatorial deserts, but that is not where most people live. And the huge Desertec Solar Power Dream for the northern Sahara has failed.
The report card on wind energy is different, but equally depressing.
When Australia had reliable, predictable coal-gas-hydro power in every state, the need for heavy interstate transmission was minimal. But green power will require robust and costly interstate transmission facilities to send large amounts of power at short notice from sunny coal-rich Queensland to cloudy Victoria, windless South Australia or droughted Tasmania.
Playing Snakes and Ladders with Australia’s Electricity Supply.
We are told that wind/solar plus pumped water storage will provide adequate grid power. Unfortunately those huge hydro-pumps need steady continuous power – something not provided by intermittent green energy. So are politicians planning to install huge chemical batteries or diesel motors to steadily re-charge the elevated water storages in order to get back less energy than was consumed by the pumps?
Both wind and solar are unpredictable, unreliable, intermittent and weather-dependent energy sources. They require large collection areas with a cob-web of access roads and transmission lines. Their output can change suddenly and cannot be managed easily to meet demand fluctuations. They need flexible backup power able to swing in quickly to maintain stability and supply.
Gas provides the easiest back-up for green energy, but gas exploration is banned in many areas of NSW, South Aust and the whole of gas-rich Victoria. Canny residents of the green states are now investing in diesel generators.
The Perfect Solar Battery
God has already given us the perfect solar battery for long-term storage of energy: it is called “Coal”. Solar power from sunlight is converted by photosynthesis into wood, and thence into coal for high-density long-term solar energy storage. The downside to this system is that it has tied up large quantities of carbon that is therefore unavailable to the natural world. The upside is that releasing the energy from coal also releases life-giving CO2 back into the biosphere, where it belongs.
Our growing energy crisis was caused by political interference – Australian politicians have not learned last century’s lessons of central planning in the comrade societies.
Robert Gottliebsen writing in “The Australian” 21/3/2017 puts it succinctly:
“The looming crisis is much worse than I expected. Three state governments, Victoria, NSW and South Australia, have vandalised our total energy system. The Premiers of each state clearly had no idea what they were doing. . .”
He also wrote: “My information from the best possible sources is that if Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is shut on April 2, there is a 75% chance of blackouts in NSW and Victoria next summer.”
The best solution would be to cease all government force-feeding of intermittent green energy, get politicians out of the energy business and allow the construction of any gas/coal/nuclear or hydro plants that stack up for energy companies, investors and consumers. This will eliminate all the land-loss, materials and labour involved in building, running and maintaining an unreliable, unpredictable, uneconomic, intermittent and absurdly expensive solar/wind/battery/hydro/diesel monstrosity?”
Intermittent energy with batteries or back-up should be used and paid for by those who find them useful. They should not be subsidised or forced onto power grids or reluctant consumers.
Society has better things to do with community cash than squandering it on massive green energy toys and battery baloney.
Viv Forbes has formal qualifications in Applied Science and Investment Analysis and long experience at analysing industries and projects.
To view or print the whole article with image click: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/snakes-and-ladders.pdf
Solar Power Realities: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/solar-realities.pdf
The 53 year old Hazelwood Coal-fired power station makes more electricity than Australia’s entire wind industry: http://joannenova.com.au/2017/03/hazelwood-countdown-53-years-old-and-making-more-electricity-than-australias-entire-wind-industry/
Hazelwood is vital to Australia’s power supply: http://www.newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=57624
Australia must Keep Hazelwood Power station open: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/mar/24/emergency-intervention-urged-to-keep-open-hazelwood-power-plant
Lifetime audit: offshore wind generation remains uncompetitive with gas and coal which are half the cost: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/22/by-the-numbers-lifetime-performance-of-worlds-first-offshore-wind-farm/
Desertec Sahara Solar Project Fails: http://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2015.4
Study finds that trying to store green energy in a battery does more environmental harm than good: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Study-storing-solar-power-is-a-bad-idea-10900007.php
Britain needs to come clean on the costs of renewable energy: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=53b44af288&e=e1638e04a2
Singapore-owned Wilmar Sugar refuses to pay cane growers fair price.
Thanks to the Liberal National Party cane farmers cannot go to arbitration because the LNP removed the clause from Shane Knuth’s bill.
19 February 2017: KAP Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter and State Member for Dalrymple, Shane Knuth MP today, in the Burdekin town of Ayr, attended a meeting with cane farmers to end the sugar marketing stalemate with Singaporean based company Wilmar.
In 2015 Mr Knuth introduced into the QLD Parliament the Sugar Industry (Real Choice in Marketing) Amendment Act 2015 giving an estimated 4,500 cane growing families choice in who they market with – the Bill passed with the support of the LNP and Independent Member for Cook. It was the second KAP Private Members Bill to become legislation and came within 24 hours of passing the ethanol mandate.
“The outcome of the meeting today still does not give clarity because there is no manoeuvre by the Federal Government to introduce a Code of Conduct,” Mr Knuth said.
“The numbers in the QLD Parliament have not been secured by the LNP, as yet, to get any amendments to the sugar marketing legislation. But as I did in the past when we drafted this legislation – working with the LNP and Canegrowers – we will be doing the same to ensure effective changes can take place,” Mr Knuth pledged.
Mr Katter whose electorate of Kennedy is highly reliant on sugar, was critical of the LNP for removing the final arbitration from the KAP legislation.
“The State representatives who were there today – we are only in this hole, without any cane supply agreements (no contracts between farmers and millers), because the LNP took out the clauses for final arbitration – where the referees decision is final. That was in there and the LNP took it out. We didn’t have the numbers without the LNP so it had to go through QLD Parliament without that clause,” Mr Katter said.
“With all of the QLD State LNP seats now in serious doubt and vulnerable to attacks from KAP and PHON, we might be able to get the QLD State LNP more scared of us than their corporate masters.
“George Christensen has crossed the floor on ethanol. His crossing the floor on ethanol was an act of very great courage and I think he has played a key role in convincing the Feds to stop them from intervening and overturning the sugar marketing legislation.
“The LNP today says ‘we believe in a competitive market and when it doesn’t work we intervene’. Fancy saying that when they (the LNP) introduced the deregulation.
“Statements about ‘we believe in competition setting the market price’. What an appalling statement! Do you believe the market sets the price of milk with only two buyers in there? Or the price of apples, bananas, oranges or sugar?
“The two giant supermarket chains set the market price. Sugar has a 400% mark-up on the price for refined sugar that the industry gets paid.
“Our second underlying problem is the world sugar market price is set by Brazil and they have over the last 16-17 years received $420 a tonne, and I doubt whether we have got $360 a tonne. We can’t survive on $360 a tonne average price.
“George Christensen no doubt was instrumental in getting the Deputy Prime Minister to stop any intervention from Canberra to overturn the Sugar Marketing legislation. Farmers and every worker in Australia should be entitled to arbitration. Thanks to KAP for introducing the legislation, at least one industry now has arbitration.
“We thank the Deputy Prime Minister for listening to George Christensen on this issue,” Mr Katter ended.