Environment

The evil plastic industry?

Sadly a post from a former competitor spoke of how no plastic is ‘guilt free’. CM simply replied “all plastic CM uses is 100% guilt free”. Worse, there was an absurd assertion that the plastic industry was going out of its way to keep polluting the world. Is it?

Basically she’s going to have to give everything up. Her credit cards are plastic. No doubt most of her car interior, toys and utensils for her young child contain a lot of plastic. Same for the toothbrush, iPhone,iPad, laptop, desktop and TV.

The article from The Intercept showed the reality of plastic. When the Chinese stopped recycling the world’s plastic waste in 2017 it only proved how far down the cost curve plastic has become.

Think about it. Plastic is one of the most versatile, practical, strong and flexible materials that can be produced at really low cost. The reason why China doesn’t recycle the world’s waste is that it’s not cost effective. If it was they’d still do it. The Chinese didn’t stop it because they felt pangs of “guilt”.

Speaking of guilt. No sooner had the virtue signaling at Coles & Woolworths supermarkets started, both launched plastic toy series to encourage kids to collect the full set.how many plastic bags in one mini shop or ooshie? While shopping the other day. A kindergarten was doing trip to the super market in hi-vis jackets. The store manager handed all the kids a plastic bag full of goodies. Great PR. Hopefully the teachers won’t confuse the kids while teaching the alphabet that plastic is evil and they must feel guilty.

In 2006 the UK Environment Agency did a study on the effectiveness of alternative packaging solutions to HDPE (conventional plastic bags) in terms of lowering environmental impact. It said,

The paper, LDPE, non-woven PP and cotton bags should be reused at least 3, 4, 11 and 131 times respectively to ensure that they have lower [impact] than conventional HDPE carrier bags that are not reused.”

So if conventional biodegradable plastic shopping bags are used to throw out garbage that means 6, 8, 22 and 262 days.

The plastic industry isn’t fighting to pollute the world. Laziness in its disposal is the problem.

60% of mismanaged plastic waste was from East Asia (i.e. China), 11% from South Asia; 9% from sub-Saharan Africa; 8% from MENA; 7% from LatAm; 3% from Europe and 0.9% from North America. Australia doesn’t even get a mention. Our impact is zero.

If all else fails, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has the answers on plastic use.

Jacinda’s Way

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NZ PM Jacinda Ardern is in Australia and unsurprisingly the media is giddy with delight. Before we have Lisa Wilkinson write another open letter to ScoMo, What a surprise the NZ PM kicked off her tour in the Democratic People’s Republic of Victoria alongside Chief Commissar Dan Andrews.

While her wellness budget has been sold as a savior, remember in Australia our current commitments in wellness already outweigh NZ’s on a per capita basis. Maybe that’s why 570,000 Kiwis live here and only 39,000 Aussies in NZ.

CM’s budget comparison can be found here.

Palaszczuk backflips on Adani

What a farce. Queensland Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is about to backflip on the Adani coal mine approval after her federal colleagues were wiped out in Queensland.

Typical. She’ll still lose the next state election in October 2020 for this expediency. She had to weight for the litmus of a federal election to find her missing conviction. Total clown show.

The people have spoken. So all the radical left activists have failed. The bullying of the banks which caved in to this pressure are no better.

This approval process has been 8 years in the making. An Indonesian coal mine took only 18 months.

Queensland Government appointed an advisor, Tim Seelig, to the Dept of Environment. As an anti-coal Greens activist it seems apparent he threw up roadblocks to dissuade Adani from going ahead by unnecessary and overbearing approval processes.

Now Palaszczuk is considering launching an inquiry as to how Seelig was hired into the role despite the applications deadline having ended. Another backflip.

Once again – get woke, go broke!

The dirt on solar panel recycling

According to Forbes, solar panel recycling is a dirty business. Given widespread solar installations around the world, experts predict in two to three decades there will be large scale waste and ecological damage when they’ve hit the used by date. To quote the article,

Were these statements made by the right-wing Heritage Foundation? Koch-funded global warming deniers? The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal?…None of the above. Rather, the quotes come from a senior Chinese solar official, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. solar industry, and research scientists with the German Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics.

“…The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2016 estimated there was about 250,000 metric tonnes of solar panel waste in the world at the end of that year. IRENA projected that this amount could reach 78 million metric tonnes by 2050…

…“We estimate there are 100,000 pounds of cadmium contained in the 1.8 million panels,” Sean Fogarty of the group told me. “Leaching from broken panels damaged during natural events — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. — and at decommissioning is a big concern.”  

…Chinese and Japanese experts agree. “If a recycling plant carries out every step by the book,” a Chinese expert told The South China Morning Post, “their products can end up being more expensive than new raw materials.

There is an irony when fighting to save the planet. All we’re told is the positive side of renewables being good for the futures of our children and grandchildren. Just goes to show that these panels of virtue have side effects too. There is a sort of belief that solar panels and wind turbines have an infinite life when installed.

Governments are now thinking of pushing recycling costs back on the manufacturers. That would be a great idea. Drive up costs and send more businesses saddled with overproduction closer to bankruptcy.

Australia should go nuclear. If we want cheap, reliable, CO2-free electricity generation it is the only way to go. Yet our politicians fear treading on such ground.

If we go through history Chernobyl and Fukushima were ALL caused by human error. The systems functioned according to spec.

Solar and wind have proved epic failures, not in installation terms, but as reliable energy sources in operation. South Australia and Victoria are beta test cases of weakening the grid yet we wish to pursue a doubling down of this madness.

In Australia, the environment is ranked 4th in terms of election issues behind income growth/cost of living, affordable housing and power prices. At the 2016 election, the environment was ranked 9th. Do we read this as Aussies becoming decidedly more green in the last 3 years or is it they see all the environment policies being championed affecting issues 1-3? It would seem the latter is more plausible. Yet our politicians are reading it the wrong way. What a surprise!

German car makers in trouble with the EC environmental regulator

While governments around the world champion the idea that auto makers are “all aboard” when it comes to climate change mitigating tech, it appears the VW Group (incl Porsche & Audi), BMW and Daimler have been raked over the coals by European Commission (EC) officials for deliberately withholding it.

Why doesn’t the EC understand that advanced pollution cutting technology costs more the tougher the emissions regulations get? That cost gets passed onto consumers.

If auto makers met all the appropriate legislative hurdles at the time, why should they be punished? The law didn’t mandate it. Furthermore consumers put safety and utility at a premium to exhaust fumes.

The EC might complain these auto makers colluded but even if they hadn’t met in secret the outcome would have been exactly the same. Focus on shareholders wouldn’t change. Why can’t we accept it is a 100% reflection of the car makers’ true feelings about the environment. They don’t care! VW even cheated the tests.

What more evidence do we need? Automakers push narratives that they’re big on saving the planet so as to not catch the wrath of the activists. Actions tell the real story.

Perhaps we should question the regulator for not introducing tougher standards earlier rather than beat manufacturers over the head for their inability to provide adequate oversight?

Ocasio-Cortez took bank bashing to new levels

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took bank bashing to new heights yesterday. While questioning Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan she suggested that the banks that financed fossil fuel companies which cause environmental damage should pay for cleanups. Sloan correctly said WF doesn’t “operate” the pipelines of their customers.

She also accused Sloan of Wells Fargo lending to publicly listed corrections companies which operate ICE detention centers which detain children.

So basic is her level of understanding of how banks work, perhaps she might understand the ridiculousness of her own attacks better if she is told she has to accept financial punishment for any failures that are a result of implementing the Green New Deal.

The Democratic leaders really need to rein her in before she damages the brand any further. Left to her own devices she’ll provide hours of video gaffes come election time. Attacking Sloan had no basis let alone substance.

If we’re so keen to stick to Paris should we feel guilty about nuclear power?

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Australia seems keen to stick to the Paris Accord. Despite knowing whatever we do on saving the planet through following the politics of Paris will result in no palpable change in world temperatures at considerable economic cost to overstretched taxpayers. If we seem so keen to do our bit for tokenism, why not copy so many signatories and build nuclear plants? After all if we don’t want to be censured for abandoning the accord should we feel any sense of guilt if we adopt the very same CO2 limiting measures of others? Safety in numbers – literally.

CM was privy to a meeting with a former US Navy officer who was speaking about how negative PR can create false narratives. Nuclear power was one of them. He argued that the US & Japan were losing the PR war hence technological leadership on civilian nuclear power. The likes of Toshiba-Westinghouse are now shrinking minnows whose dwindling order book looks like the victim of a sunset industry when in reality it has been terrible program management. However why should it?

Nuclear power is set to be 14% of global electricity generation by 2040 from 11% today. Emerging Asia get the practicalities of nuclear power. Affordable and sustainable baseload with virtually no emissions.

Of course the horrible outcomes of poorly managed nuclear plants has come at great financial cost as experienced most recently  with Fukushima but the safety record of nuclear power is astonishingly good. Quantum levels more people die in coal mine accidents every year than the combined deaths from radiation from Chernobyl or Fukushima meltdowns since either occurred.

The misplaced fear of Fukushima was so high at the time that Americans across the Pacific were stocking up on radiation masks and Geiger counters in preparation of impending irradiation. It seemed the further one got away from the reactor the more hysteric people became. Deaths in the US as a result of the Fukushima meltdown? Zero!

As it stands, the US has two nuclear plants under construction at present which are saddled with delays and costly overruns based on incompetent execution. The Chinese have twenty in the build phase. India 7. Korea and the UAE 4 each. Russia 3. Even Bangladesh & Pakistan have two in the pipeline using technologies outside of the US/Japan.

There are about 150 power reactors with a total gross capacity of about 160GWe on order with about 300 more proposed. Where are the former world leaders in power technology? Next to nowhere. Cowering in a corner and allowing themselves to be beaten up senseless over false statistics. Where is the PR reporting reality? It’s as if they’ve given up. Where is the media lambasting China, India and other nations for putting our lives at risk? That’s right – nowhere.

What probably escapes many people is that for all the negative news cycle around nuclear power and the thirst for renewable alternatives, many Americans are already surrounded by active nuclear plants. While they visit a zoo or the beach they are blissfully unaware that at all the naval ports dotted around the mainland (e.g. California, Connecticut, NY, Florida, DC, Texas, South Carolina etc) and islands (e.g. Hawaii, Japan) there are 100s of nuclear reactors sitting safely in close proximity to millions of civilians. Yet where is the outrage? Not a peep.

Shout from the hilltops at the efficiency of renewables all you want. Then explain why those with higher levels of renewables as baseload power end up with the highest incidents of blackouts and steepest prices.

South Australia is the case in point. Australia is home to the cheapest materials (gas, coal and uranium) to make affordable electricity but we have caved to the green madness and saddled ourselves with punitive power prices to meet goals based on unproven and often whistle blown manipulated science. If climate scientists were subject to the same punitive damages that players in the financial industry are then it is likely the “targets” leading to our ecological disaster would be pared back to such a degree we’d just keep calm and carry on. Yet because there is no risk of jail sentences the tax dollars get misappropriated, funding an industry whose survival and growth depends on fear. Talk about a lack of ethics.

Even worse we want to double down on this inefficient renewable technology (where claims are often made on 100% capacity rather than the 20% they truly operate on) despite having empirical evidence of its all too obvious shortcomings. Virtue signaling actions such as blowing up old coal fired power stations has ironically proven the stupidest of moves in that all the while demand hasn’t changed reductions in reliable baseload supply makes us vulnerable.

Throw on the desire to electrify the automobile  and we already know that existing base load won’t cope with the increased demands. Take a look at Britain as an example. Apart from the risks of losing massive fuel tax levies (around 5% of total government revenue) the power industry’s current projections of new electricity generation additions can’t meet the expected demand if we all plug our EV in overnight.

So Australia should quit worrying about what others think and act in its own best interests. Maybe Canberra needs a PR agency more than the nuclear industry does. High time to look at real data and sustainability.