A Diesel in the Shed.
You can have your solar panels
and your turbines on the hills;
You can use the warmth of sunshine
to reduce your heating bills.
You can dream you’re self-sufficient
as you weed your vegie bed;
As long as you make sure to keep
A diesel in the shed.
When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy – horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility. We were almost “sustainable” but there was little surplus for others.
Our life changed dramatically when we put a thumping diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines and an electricity generator which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch. This system could also power Mum’s new electric clothes iron as long as someone started the engine for a bit more power.
There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle. Here is the exact model which saved us from a life of dairy drudgery, kerosene lights and Mother Potts irons:
See and listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itxY98A8wHQ
But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”, and coal was used to produce coke for the new slow-combustion stoves. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies, AGA cookers displaced the old smoky wood-burning stoves in the kitchen, and clean-burning coal gas replaced dirty open fires in the cities.
On Earth Day we should Celebrate The True Green Fuels – Hydrocarbons and Nuclear.
The Carbon Sense Coalition today urged people to celebrate the true green fuels – oil, coal, gas, nuclear and, in places, geothermal and hydro.
The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that these fuels have reduced man’s pressure on the environment to such an extent that they should be celebrated on “Earth Day”.
Climate alarmists claim incessantly that all bad weather is caused by man’s use of hydro-carbon fuels – oil, gas and coal.
They insist that man-made carbon dioxide is the trump card in the climate game. Their computerised models of doom assume ever-rising levels of carbon dioxide which will trump all natural climate controllers.
Unfortunately for their credibility, since at least the year 2000 global temperatures have trended level despite significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Climate Alarmists turn back the Clock
Three centuries ago, the world ran on green power. Wood was used for heating and cooking, charcoal for smelting and smithing, wind or water-power for pumps mills and ships, and whale oil or tallow for lamps. People and soldiers walked or rode horses, and millions of horses and oxen pulled ploughs, wagons, coaches and artillery.
But smoke from open fires choked cities, forests were stripped of trees, most of the crops went to feed draft animals, and streets were littered with horse manure. For many people, life was “nasty, brutish and short”.
Then the steam engine was developed, and later the internal combustion engine, electricity and refrigeration came along. Green power was replaced by coal and oil. Carbon energy powered factories, mills, pumps, ships, trains, and smelters; and cars, trucks and tractors replaced the work-horses. The result was a green revolution – forests began to regrow and vast areas of crop-land used for horse feed were released to produce food for humans. Poverty declined and population soared.
But new environmental problems emerged. Smoke pollution from burning cheap dirty coal in millions of open fires, old boilers and smelters produced massive smog problems in cities like London and Pittsburgh.
The solution was improved technology, sensible pollution-control laws and the supply of coal gas and coal-powered electricity to the cities. The air was cleared by “Clean Coal by Wire” at the flick of a switch and “Piped Coal Energy” at the click of a gas-lighter. In some places use of hydro, geothermal and nuclear power also helped.
In recent years, however, affluent urban alarmists have declared war on the carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and gas. They claim it is a pollutant and it causes dangerous global warming.
Wake Up Australia: we are becoming Green and Defenceless.
As Australia’s industrial capacity declines, Australia is becoming green and defenceless. History holds lessons.
Back in Dec 1941, Japan suddenly attacked the huge US Naval base at Pearl Harbour. Three days later, two “invincible” British warships, “Repulse” and “Prince of Wales” were sunk by Japanese planes off Malaya. Soon Japanese armies were rampaging through Asia towards Australia. By Feb 1942, the “impregnable” British fortress of Singapore surrendered and Japanese bombs were falling on Darwin. By Sept 1942 the Japanese army had slashed their way down the Kokoda Track and could see the lights of Port Moresby. They were looking across Torres Strait to Australia. At that time, most of our trained soldiers were fighting Rommel in North Africa or in Japanese prison camps.
Suddenly Australia was on its own and needed to defend itself with what we had here.
Armies need soldiers, weapons, bullets, vehicles, fuel, food, alcohol (and cigarettes).
Soldiers volunteered and were conscripted. Australian conscripts formed part of the force that met the Japanese on the Kokoda Track.
Of course Australia had very few engineering tools when war broke out, especially key tools like lathes. F W Hercus Manufacturing started making a copy of the famous American Southbend lathe in the 1940’s. These machines were installed in factories around Australia and used to make small parts for the war effort. Most of the lathe operators were women.
Enfield Rifles, Bren Guns and Vickers Machine Guns were produced in large numbers at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow supported by feeder factories in the area. Britain lost so many weapons at Dunkirk that Australian factories were sending guns to them. We could not do that now.
Motor oil was produced in limited quantities from oil shale at Glen Davis, but petrol was in serious short supply, and had been rationed since 1940. With the fall of Singapore, this shortage became severe, and charcoal burners suddenly appeared to keep cars and trucks moving. Kerosene was scarce so carbide lights were widely used. The demand for charcoal was so great that firewood became scarce so it was also rationed.
To conserve supplies for soldiers, rationing was introduced for tea, clothing, butter, sugar, meat and cigarettes. Hotels were only allowed to serve alcohol twice a day for one hour at a time of their choosing.
An immediate critical shortage was copper for cartridge cases and communications – Australia had mines producing lead, zinc, silver, gold and iron, but there was a critical shortage of copper. Fortuitously, just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, an exploration drill hole at Mount Isa had struck rich copper ore.
Mount Isa was called on to avert a calamitous shortage of copper in Australia. With government encouragement, Mount Isa Mines made the brave decision to suspend the profitable silver/lead/zinc operations and convert all mining and treatment facilities to extracting copper.
The lead concentrator could be converted to treat copper ore, but the biggest problem was how to smelt the copper concentrates. Luckily the company had skilled engineers and metallurgists in the lead smelter. In a miracle of improvisation, scrap steel and spare parts were purchased and scavenged from old mines and smelters from Cloncurry, Mt Elliott, Mt Cuthbert and Kuridala and cobbled into a workable copper smelter. In 1943 the first Mount Isa blister copper was produced. Production continued after the war when Mount Isa returned to extracting the then more profitable silver/lead/zinc. Later new plant was built enabling both lead and copper metal to be produced from this fabulous mine.
This story of the importance of self-reliance has lessons for today.
By Richard Treadgold
Len Mills sends us a study of wind farms reported in the Daily Mail. It emerges that their real production history falls a long way short of the breathless claims some make for them.
I too wish to save the world, but not by using wind turbines, because they’ll ruin us first. They’re expensive, ugly, short-lived, noisy to the point of ill-health, ugly, kill bats and birds, they stop generating if there’s too little or too much wind, they demand lots of rare metals and they’re ugly.
Incidentally, if you actually want to contaminate a dependable schedule with a wind turbine’s unpredictable variability, a wind farm needs instant, reliable backup (meaning fossil-fuelled spinning reserve), meaning you greatly increase your establishment costs, about double your operating costs and your CO2 emissions are not reduced by a jot or tittle. I ought to mention they brutalise the landscape.
Promoting Parasitic Power Producers
Wind and solar are parasitic power producers, unable to survive in a modern electricity grid without the back-up of stand-alone electricity generators such as hydro, coal, gas or nuclear. And like all parasites, they weaken their hosts, causing increased operating and transmission costs and reduced profits for all participants in the grid.
Without subsidies, few large wind/solar plants would be built; and without mandated targets, few would get connected to the grid.
Green zealots posing as energy engineers should be free to play with their green energy toys at their own expense, on their own properties, but the rest of us should not be saddled with their costs and unreliability.
We should stop promoting parasitic power producers. As a first step, all green energy subsidies and targets should be abolished.
The Miracle of Green Energy – by Steve Hunter
Read more, as well as:
- Blowing Our Dollars in the Wind
- Five Fatal Flaws of Solar Energy
- The Sensible Environmentalist to Visit Australia
- Thanks for your Support
- The Last Word – our enemies have noticed us Trilobites
Read the full report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/parasitic-power-producers.pdf [PDF, 150KB]
Keywords: Green energy, parasitic power, wind power, solar power, Dr Patrick Moore, the trilobites strike back.
Environmental exaggeration and scare campaigns are a danger to our health, happiness and prosperity and usually harm the environment.
The media are rightfully sceptical to anything said by private corporations. But they believe without question everything served up by self-serving green entrepreneurs and corporations.
Prepare to be shocked about fracking, green energy, nuclear power safety.
By Kimball Rasmussen | President and CEO, Deseret Power | November 2010
With Acknowledgement to: John Droz at the Alliance for Wise Energy: http://www.wiseenergy.org/
“Wind energy has a highly intermittent output that significantly mismatches demand and delivers energy largely when it is less needed. Wind cannot satisfy the demand requirements of a utility unless it is backed up with fossil fuel plants and/or energy storage projects. This results in duplication of resources and additional costs, with little, if any, carbon mitigation. Further, the steep increases and declines in power delivery of wind put the reliability of the grid in question. The tactic of switching off excess wind supply only diminishes the already weak pattern of intermittency and adds to the per kWh cost of wind. Typically, wind resources are located far away from where the power is needed and require significant additional costs of building new transmission. Intermittency, duplication and grid operations all significantly increase the already high cost of wind energy.
“Wind becomes even more questionable when proven solutions like natural gas can deliver even greater reductions in emissions at half the cost.
“While solar power is much more grid friendly than wind, it is generally the most expensive form of renewable energy. Solar energy quasi-matches system peak load periods, but the peak solar output significantly misses actual electric system load peaks. In addition, solar facilities still produce only about 18 to 25 percent of the time. Without electricity storage, solar energy will not be able to do more than serve as a supplement to other forms of energy. It is not currently a full-scale alternative to baseload energy.
“A Renewable Portfolio Standard, or mandate of 20 percent, can result in a utility-scale duplication of net investment in generating plant of 100 percent or more. The mandate can also cause the wide variation of rate impacts, depending on availability of renewable energy projects and other utility specific parameters.”
Full detailed report: http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/rational-look-at-renewable-energy.pdf [PDF, 3.5MB]
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By Craig Rucker
So-called “renewable energy” is not clean, renewable, reliable, affordable or sustainable.
“Renewable energy” is a sexy term used to drive public policies and spending The Obama Administration and like-minded Green zealots have said repeatedly that they are waging a “war on coal,” intend to bankrupt coal-based power plants, and delay or block oil, natural gas and nuclear projects – while fast-tracking and subsidizing ethanol, wind and solar programs
Another apostle of the renewable energy, anti-hydrocarbon movement is Senator Harry Reid. The chief organizer of and keynote speaker at this week’s falsely named National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Reid is a true believer in destroying conventional energy through subsidies, regulations and strong-arm tactics. He even wants to shut down every coal power plant in Nevada.
Senator Reid may believe that compelling and subsidizing increased renewable energy use, while undermining and even outlawing conventional energy, is the way to economic growth and energy independence. In reality, this reckless scheme could easily cause the collapse of our energy grid, job creation, economy and living standards, just as it is already doing in Europe.
Unfortunately, Reid and his allies could get away with it, because “renewable” confers an almost Holy Grail status that ensures widespread political, media, public and corporate support (for a lot of wrong reasons). That lofty status, however, ignores two fundamental facts: