So the anti-nuclear campaigners think wind power is safe, do they?

A tragedy struck the wind power using US state of North Dakota last week, resulting in the catastrophic mowing of some grass and the inconveniencing of local rodents. And yet the media are bound not to make the kind of big deal about it that they have about that minor incident in Japan.


Oh, the humanity.

Basically, those poor farmers might as well have had a nuclear plant there, is what we’re saying.

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73 responses to “So the anti-nuclear campaigners think wind power is safe, do they?

  1. Splatterbottom

    The Chinese have this right. They are building more coal-fired plants to allow their economy to grow and wind turbines to sell to gullible alarmists. When it comes to useful power generation wind-turbines are little more than pretty toys to amuse the gentrified left. Nuclear is even less desirable due to the proliferation risk and the nature of its by-products which require careful management over an extraordinarily long time.

  2. “When it comes to useful power generation wind-turbines are little more than pretty toys to amuse the gentrified left.”

    Nearly 1100 MW last year in South Australia SB, nearly 15% of our states energy requirements with an average load factor of 36%.

    I personally know families who own grazing and cropping land under the Lake Bonney/Canunda wind farm (290 MW) who are now farming as profitably as ever, but are also receiving $5000 pa in rent payments from the wind farm operators for each turbine on their property.

    We love wind farms down here in the south east.

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong all the time SB? It must do terrible things to your self esteem.

  3. “They are building more coal-fired plants “

    Yes they are building more efficient plants , taking the older, dirtier plants offline, why do the rightards always fail to mention this? Are they ignorant, stupid or both? China leads the world in coal burning technology

    “and wind turbines to sell to gullible alarmists.”

    They’re currently producing 41.8 GIGA Watts from wind. The gullible ones are the twats who take the rantings of the right wing shock jocks as gospel. Stupid rightards!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/world/asia/11coal.html

    Some snippets:

    “But largely missing in the hand-wringing is this: China has emerged in the past two years as the world’s leading builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants, mastering the technology and driving down the cost.

    While the United States is still debating whether to build a more efficient kind of coal-fired power plant that uses extremely hot steam, China has begun building such plants at a rate of one a month.”

    And

    “Western countries continue to rely heavily on coal-fired power plants built decades ago with outdated, inefficient technology that burn a lot of coal and emit considerable amounts of carbon dioxide. China has begun requiring power companies to retire an older, more polluting power plant for each new one they build.”

    They’re light years ahead of the US and AU.

  4. Splatterbottom

    Duncan: “We love wind farms down here in the south east.”

    We all know that everybody in the wind power industry profits at the expense of consumers. Farmers are never happier when they are sticking it to the city slickers. If South Australians can afford the exorbitant price and irregular power supply of wind-power good luck to them.

    “Do you ever get tired of being wrong all the time SB? “

    Tilting at windmills is my specialty.

  5. “When it comes to useful power generation wind-turbines are little more than pretty toys to amuse the gentrified left.”

    And yet Businesses – private power businesses who also own coal fired power- keep investing billion upon billion in them, SB.

    Someone should tell their investors that they’re spending billions of dollars on pretty toys. They’ve been telling them something very different.

    Fairly sure

  6. Splatterbottom

    Keri businesses will always take easy money. If they can get subsidies they will invest in anything. My power bills are through the roof subsidising the idiot solar scheme we have just dropped in NSW.

    Business is always happy to raise money on the basis of the latest fad, although having a look at the share price of companies like Geodynamics suggests that the fad will soon pass. The Banks are good at setting up funds, taking the savings of ordinary Australians and pissing them against the wall while locking in obscene management fees (this is one area that urgently needs regulatory reform).

    No one has made any money from these enterprises other than through subsidies.

  7. Splatterbottom

    I agree with you RobJ we should build more new efficient coal plants. Maybe we could trade in the useless desal plants for a coal power station and a couple of dams.

  8. “I agree with you RobJ “

    No, no you don’t. Face it, you were either ignorant of the facts when you made your post or you were just being dishonest as per usual.

  9. “… and the inconveniencing of local rodents”

    Won’t someone think of the voles!?!

    “If South Australians can afford the exorbitant price and irregular power supply of wind-power good luck to them.”

    All power generation techniques are irregular, SB. Even coal – you have to take a generator offline at some point to do maintainence if nothing else. There can also be interruptions to coal supply (the floods and Cyclone Yasi cut off major supply lines up north recently if I understand correctly).

    Which is why you don’t put all your eggs in 1 basket – you mix up the technologies – wind, solar, hydro, coal, and so on. It isn’t “wind” or “coal”, and never was except in simplistic binary right-wing brains.

    Energy storage technologies (think industrial strength batteries) are also coming along, allowing troughs in demand to be smoothed out. I’ve seen some proposals to use the electric vehicle in the garage as battery back-up for a house’s solar-driven electricity grid. If you don’t need the energy now, store it in the car for later. The software required to balance multiple energy sources like this is already in daily use in millions of laptops and mobile phones.

    There is a huge amount of energy in natural systems of wind, waves, tidal forces, and the sun’s output. We currently harness a tiny fraction of that. Better to ignore it and keep burning fossil fuels until we boil to death.

  10. “Energy storage technologies (think industrial strength batteries) are also coming along”

    Molten salts.. The coal lover’s heads will explode when confronted with base load solar!

    Village South of Berlin has been built properly, produces more energy than it uses over the year.

    “It isn’t “wind” or “coal”, and never was except in simplistic binary right-wing brains.

    Hear hear!

  11. Splatterbottom

    Trouble is, this is all still pie in the sky stuff.

    As Unique noted above, wind is as constant and reliable as coal and we can put it all in batteries. And as Keri noted, it is highly profitable for business. It makes you wonder why we need a carbon tax at all when the logic of alternative energy is so compelling!

  12. Trouble is, this is all still pie in the sky stuff.”

    You talking about carbon sequestration?

  13. Splatterbottom

    That too. Completely unnecessary.

  14. “this is all still pie in the sky stuff”

    You sound just like one of those shock jocks. It’s easy to educate yourself about renewables but you’d rather stick your head in the sand.

  15. “It makes you wonder why we need a carbon tax at all when the logic of alternative energy is so compelling!”

    Because the market isn’t god and regularly cocks things up?

  16. Splatterbottom

    RobJ I have educated myself about renewables. They are pie in the sky and of very little practical value in the immediate future. The day they become economically viable, I’ll be on board.

    Jeremy: “Because the market isn’t god and regularly cocks things up?”

    You would have thought humans would have developed a better way of allocating resources by now, wouldn’t you? I mean how can the millions of people making economic decisions every day expect to produce a better outcome than a Green commissar.

  17. “… and the inconveniencing of local rodents”

    Won’t someone think of the voles!?!

    Not unless two of them turn out to be Aussie tourists – then the wall-to-wall concern can gush forth. Especially if one of them is a barmat-stealer.

    All power generation techniques are irregular, SB. Even coal – you have to take a generator offline at some point to do maintainence if nothing else.

    The real problem with the coal dodge is of course…

    http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/documents/memo.pdf

    … the barmat-stealing voles running it

  18. “You would have thought humans would have developed a better way of allocating resources by now, wouldn’t you? I mean how can the millions of people making economic decisions every day expect to produce a better outcome than a Green commissar.”

    No, see, I was mocking you for your suggestion that if the ALMIGHTY MARKET hadn’t done something then IT MUST NOT BE WORTH DOING.

    Let it go, SB. The Market is not infallible, and it’s not your friend. It is indifferent to you. It will crush you if you get in its way.

  19. “The Market is not infallible, and it’s not your friend.

    Oh C’mon Jeremy, the market has been wonderful it’s given us such great things as tobacco and asbestos and the GFC!

    “RobJ I have educated myself about renewables. They are pie in the sky and of very little practical value in the immediate future.

    Yawn!!!! Let’s keep ignoring them and concentrate on the immediate future after all we’ve got plenty of unsustainable fossil fuels to last us all the way into the immediate future!

  20. narcoticmusing

    It makes you wonder why we need a carbon tax at all when the logic of alternative energy is so compelling!

    Answer in two words: Vested. Interests.

  21. SB, it’s not highly profitable, and the government subsidies they released for wind power didn’t help. They released too many certificates, which drove the price down, and meant at least one major retailer put a wind-farm project on hold as a direct result of the subsidy SNAFU.

    The investment is happening because most of the players are hopeful that the price of generating rewenable energy in the future will be lower than the fossil-fuel alternatives. And that once they’re combined with viable energy storage options (Which is the reason for the higher prices and issues with supply), it’ll be cheaper again.

    The rising cost of electricity is us catching up with the rest of the world. If you look at what the rest of the world is paying per KWH, we’re still not anywhere near. It’s like petrol. Comparatively speaking, we’re still paying peanuts. Doesn’t make factoring in the increase any easier, but pretending we’re paying more because of a subsidy in NSW (Which would explain the price increase Australia wide how, exactly?) is errant bullshit. Easy for O’Farrell to blame a previous governments policy for an increase thats commensurate with the rest of the country, but unfortunately it lacks any basis in reality.

    Personally, I don’t think wind is the answer (Unless they manage to harness the frankly astounding amount of hot air SB generates). Alternatives like Bio-Gas and Thermal are more promising and cost less per KWH than solar (Which is up there with wind as the most expensive to generate), and are easier to finesse (The main issue with wind and solar is it’s hard to turn it up or down. You can shovel more coal on, stop shovelling coal, you can draw more heat out of the earth. You can’t turn the sun up, and turbines take a long time to slow down, particularly in bad weather)

  22. “I mean how can the millions of people making economic decisions every day expect to produce a better outcome than a Green commissar.”

    As opposed to the unelected “commissars” in private industry (normally called CEO’s) that do whatever they hell they want, damn the consequences. “Don’t interfere with our Holy Profits, or we’ll threaten to blow up the entire ecomony! So There!” Those commissars? I think we’d be better off without them.

    The “millions” have very little control over “economic decisions” – the decisions they can make are already predetermined by the rigged game we’re all forced to play by the childish foot-stompers at the top.

    The market works to a point – it works at the street level of product buy and sell. It doesn’t scale to national and international size without massive negative impacts on society – the last few decades of corporate hegemony have proven that to all but the most fanatic Ayn Rand foot-stompers.

    Time for new commissars – the ones we have now are defective.

  23. narcoticmusing

    The main issue with wind and solar is it’s hard to turn it up or down

    And yet many cities successfully utilise lightning – can’t get much more of a huge up then long lag. To maintain base load, and to maintain control of it, we don’t need the best source but the best storage. It’s all about better capacitator designs (rather than relying only on batteries which can be very expensive/harmful to the enivronment). Your average old school TV (think CRT ppl) has capcitors in it we could have been re-using for this…

  24. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “The Market is not infallible, and it’s not your friend. It is indifferent to you. It will crush you if you get in its way.

    The market is people with the freedom to make individual choices. It has limitations and constraints, but it has no rival. Nothing dreamed up by bitter twisted leftists comes close. So instead they pretend that every time they don’t get their own way it is evidence of market failure.

    In the case of renewable energy there is no evidence of market failure at all. Renewables are too expensive. Business only invests in them if heavily subsidised to do so. The catch is that the voters are prepared to tolerate only so much of this largesse. Right now they feel they have spent enough chasing fairytales, and the polls are showing this.

    Narcotic, the real vested interests in all of this are those who profit by alarmism. People like Flannery and Gore and every scientist who has had their prestige enhanced and funding increased by their pious statements.

  25. “The market is people with the freedom to make individual choices. It has limitations and constraints, but it has no rival.”

    That’s not what you were saying. You were suggesting that its failure to support long-term policy like renewables was some kind of indication that they were unworthy. That the MARKET HAD JUDGED THEM and FOUND THEM WANTING and so they deserved to be ignored.

    We’re simply pointing out that the Market is not God and it regularly cocks things up.

    “the real vested interests in all of this are those who profit by alarmism. People like Flannery and Gore and every scientist who has had their prestige enhanced and funding increased by their pious statements.”

    BUT ONLY ON THAT SIDE. Monckton, Abbott, Bolt etc – completely objective and believable.

  26. The development of the sub prime mortgate products were a beautiful example of the Market working perfectly and benefiting mankind with the resultant GFC etc.

    From an environmental perspective, the problem with markets is that the cost to the environment when goods are produced and disposal at end of life of the goods is not IN ANY WAY built into products.

    eg. buy a can of coke and the cost to the environment is not built into the product (it takes a lot of electricity). Same with packaging of KFC, tyres on your car, disposal of plastic supermarket bags, or any product you’d like to mention. This is what the carbon tax is all about. It’s a very tiny start, but atleast it’s a start.

  27. I dare say if the market really worked as well as SB fantasises, the fossil fuels industries wouldn’t need the government subsidies we pay to keep them operating. Talk about bludging on the public purse.

  28. Narcotic, the real vested interests in all of this are those who profit by alarmism. People like Flannery and Gore and every scientist who has had their prestige enhanced and funding increased by their pious statements.

    Are you saying all the vested interests are on one side? You’re not even trying to look out of your other eye, are you? As if there aren’t people profiting from denialism. Give us a break.

  29. Thank you zoot for mentioning the un-mentionable – the massive subsidies paid by hardworking taxpayers to the fossil fuel industry. In a recent article in the Age (10 March 2011) John Watson said this fossil-fuel welfare was worth $12 billion a year.

    What sort of sick industry needs help like that?

    This is a link to the article.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/twelve-billion-holes-in-plan-to-cut-carbon-20110309-1bny3.html

    Brendan O’Reilly

  30. Splatterbottom

    Keri, I hope we have cost-effective alternatives to all our energy needs, and soon, so prices decrease. What I don’t want is for my electricity bill to go up by about 40%, which it has recently. Keneally ultimately admitted the scheme was a ripoff and she terminated it, but not by cashing in on it herself days before it finished. Every time I pay a power bill I curse greenies.

    Unique: “The market works to a point – it works at the street level of product buy and sell. It doesn’t scale to national and international size without massive negative impacts on society – the last few decades of corporate hegemony have proven that to all but the most fanatic Ayn Rand foot-stompers.

    Time for new commissars – the ones we have now are defective.”

    Time to get rid of all commissars – monopolist, communist and environmentalist.

    Gordicans: “The development of the sub prime mortgate products were a beautiful example of the Market working perfectly and benefiting mankind with the resultant GFC “

    More like they were a product of Barney Frank, Chris Dodds, Fanny Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act. this shows what happens when regulators get cosy with big business to chase social objectives. Once you get to “too big to fail” there is not much room for market forces only endless rounds of quantitative easing.

    Brendan are you seriously suggesting that the government subsidises fossil fuel? Really? Show me how the government pays out more to that industry than it collects in taxes on fossil fuels. Start with the $17bn fuel tax add to that the $5bn coal royalties the states collect and a couple of billion in PRRT, then tell me how the government pays more than $20bn in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

  31. SB, so do you agree that the cost to the environment during the production and disposal of goods is not factored into the cost of those goods?

    Is it not obvious that the Market in no way deals with the destruction of the environment during production and disposal?

  32. “More like they were a product of Barney Frank, Chris Dodds, Fanny Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act. this shows what happens when regulators get cosy with big business to chase social objectives. Once you get to “too big to fail” there is not much room for market forces only endless rounds of quantitative easing.”

    The “too big to fails” were the investment banks, privately owned and operated by childish foot-stompers who then turned around and demanded a government bail-out for their risky behaviour. Allowed to get that big by decades of right-wing nitwits screaming about how regulation is bad and we need to “let the market decide”.

    You’re absolutely right that regulators getting too cosy with big business causes massive problems. You’ve just succinctly and beautifully described the Bush Administration. The permissive regulatory regime, and the GFC crash, happened on his watch. Right-wing government in action.

  33. Oh, another thing:

    “this shows what happens when regulators get cosy with big business to chase social objectives. ”

    Explain to us SB why chasing social objectives is a bad thing. If doing it with the help of big business is your objection, then explain how we can chase those social objectives otherwise.

  34. Splatterbottom

    Gordicans: Is it not obvious that the Market in no way deals with the destruction of the environment during production and disposal?

    The ‘tragedy of the commons’ a fraught issue. Pricing real damage and mandatory remediation are important parts of the necessary regulation governments must impose since the market doesn’t. Doing so wisely is something the left don’t seem to get as illustrated by the utterly pointless carbon (dioxide) tax proposal.

    Unique: “You’ve just succinctly and beautifully described the Bush Administration.”

    And the Obama administration.

    “Explain to us SB why chasing social objectives is a bad thing.”

    Marrickville Council.

    Actually the Whitlams were prescient about Fiona Byrne, when they sang:

    “By the time she gets to Marrickville we’ll be masturbating.”

    Also BER, the home insulation scam run by celebrity arsonist Peter Garrett and the NBN, where Telstra has already grabbed $11bn. It will only get worse. NSW land developers, Sydney Airport and most PPPs. Giving private enterprise a statutory monopoly, which is effectively a right to tax, is fraught with danger. Farming out government activities (like detention centres or prisoner transport) almost always leads to tears.

    The issue of achieving social objectives is a question of balance – the good you can do versus the destructive effects of your actions. There is always a danger in getting business (in this case banks) involved because banks are by nature rapacious. In the case of the social objective of getting low income people to own houses they could not possibly afford, the consequences for many of those people were dire. Then the banks took it to a whole new level by harvesting peoples’ savings and superannuation by writing derivatives over the loans that were doomed to failure.

    The correct role of government is to regulate anti-competitive practices, not to foster them by creating more monopolies.

    ” If doing it with the help of big business is your objection”

    It is indeed.

    “explain how we can chase those social objectives otherwise.”

    By direct taxation (instead of the taxes that businesses effectively levy when put into a position to do so by government. At least with direct expenditure of taxation revenue we have a real measure of the cost and can appropriately prioritise the social objectives.

  35. “By direct taxation..”

    What, like the carbon tax? I thought you didn’t like the govmint stealing your money to spend on social objectives?

    Better recant quick, before you get excommunicated from the Church of the Latter Day Wingnuts! The invisible hand will be angered, and you risk terrifying visitations from the ghost of Ayn Rand.

  36. SB, I’d hardly describe the current government as left. It may be slightly left of news limited, but in terms of ideology they are no further left than the liberal party and haven’t been for some years. For example their policy on carbon is to the right of the liberal party. The idea that the labor party represents the left is nonsence, as can be seen by Gillard’s bizzare (and suicidal) dog whistling on the unemployed recently.

  37. Splatterbottom

    No, not like the utterly pointless carbon (dioxide) tax, Duncan

    “Better recant quick, before you get excommunicated from the Church of the Latter Day Wingnuts!”

    I am not on any side. If you think for yourself you end up with substantial disagreements with those who hitch their wagon to a particular ‘side’. That’s why I don’t get leftists. You should start to worry if you agree with any ‘side’ too often. So come on, give up the security blanket and start thinking for yourself.

    Gordicons, it is all relative. The centre on any issue is whichever position happens to be logical. Labor diverges from logical positions on some issues to the left and on others to the right. It is more correct to categorise them as “poll-driven bipolar”.

  38. narcoticmusing

    You should start to worry if you agree with any ‘side’ too often.

    Totally agree. I find myself, in general, on the left in terms of my views but often disagree. I don’t think being ‘left’ or ‘right’ all the time means you aren’t thinking for yourself, but one should certainly reflect on their sources of information if they always find themselves convinced of what people purporting to represent one side or the other say. Hence, I often find myself agreeing with SB, who, like me seems to be mainly on one side (albeit opposite sides) but occassionaly drifting elsewhere.

    And the Obama administration.
    Hardly. The Bush administration represented the views/belief structure of the GOP. Obama doesn’t represent his party or the people that voted for him. He seems to think his role is to be a mediator between parties which means he starts his negotiating position by already conceding things the right would want and then wonders why they demand more – he leaves nothing in reserve. Obama is a fool and betrayed all who voted for him.

  39. jordanrastrick

    SB, I think I have to forgive you for your entire history of douchebaggery. This:

    Actually the Whitlams were prescient about Fiona Byrne, when they sang:
    “By the time she gets to Marrickville we’ll be masturbating.”

    Is just so great on so many levels….

    I want to get back to the original point, and ask Jeremy how he can possibly justify attacking the Nuclear Industry over Fukushima. You know, seeing as Japan was hit by the second worst earthquake/tsunami disaster in human history. And a nuclear power plant bearing the brunt of the destructive forces, that was producing power while Chernobyl was still under construction, was damaged but survived; the resulting “safety crisis” has, so far, killed zero people, and possibly contaminated some fish to a level where there’s no actual scientific evidence they’d pose a health risk, but we won’t eat the stuff as a precaution.

    Check out, in contrast, the damage a damn destroyed by the earthquake caused (admittedly not a power generating one, but it easily could have been.)

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/dont-fall-victim-to-nuclear-phobia-20110320-1c24t.html

    Read all the stuff George Monboit has written lately on this if you want to read the left-wing case for embracing Nuclear in the post-Fukushima world.

    Google “nuclear dread risk ratio.”

    Check out this pretty well sourced chart on relative dangers posed by different power sectors, on the relevant metric of deaths per watt produced: http://www.geekosystem.com/coal-oil-nuclear-deaths-chart/

    And I’m sure you’ve already seen the xkcd chart that puts a bit of perspective on the hazard level of the materials released in this incident: http://blog.xkcd.com/2011/03/19/radiation-chart/

    Now I support increased use of wind turbines. But they’ll never provide anything like 100% of power demand.

    If you’re serious about a carbon free future, and understand anything about economics and risk management, you support nuclear. The left in the U.S. and even Europe understands this. In Australia, evidently, not so much.

  40. Don’t believe SB’s “I’m not wedded to any ideology” schtick.

    It’s true occasionally but he’s also reflexively anti-left and has quite a weakness for the neocon kool aid. He tends to define the Centre as whatever position he holds, as evidenced by his nonsensical claim that “the centrist position = the logical position” above.

  41. jordanrastrick, Jeremy’s point as I read it is that when something goes catastrophically wrong in wind power, including unforeseen events that are impossible to plan for, the effects are purely local. When something goes catastrophically wrong with a nuclear reactor, the effects are far from local.

    Note: In principle I support considering nuclear power in the mix for the energy future. The toxic waste disposal issue is my biggest problem with nuclear. I’d rather put our research efforts into fusion than continuing the toxic waste mess that are fission reactors.

  42. SB, your words are gobbledegook; you have hitched yourself to a particular side by being consistantly anti left and anti environment

  43. jordanrastrick

    jordanrastrick, Jeremy’s point as I read it is that when something goes catastrophically wrong in wind power, including unforeseen events that are impossible to plan for, the effects are purely local. When something goes catastrophically wrong with a nuclear reactor, the effects are far from local

    There’s no scientific evidence of Chernobyl posing any measurable threat to human health outside of a couple of hundred km radius. That’s not local in the way a wind farm is, but the idea that nuclear plants pose these global threats where a disaster in Japan is of serious concern to Australia is preposterous.

    In principle I support considering nuclear power in the mix for the energy future. The toxic waste disposal issue is my biggest problem with nuclear.

    While its not a non-issue, the volumes of high grade waste produced are so small, relative to all our other electrical/industrial processes; it’d only take one big lead-lined steel-reinforced concrete bunker, dug 5km under the ground in the outback somewhere, to solve the entire world’s nuclear waste issue for a century. We could take all of it, and charge everyone else bucketloads for the privilege, spending it all on good causes including more than adequate payments to get local residents and traditional owners on board.

    I’d rather put our research efforts into fusion than continuing the toxic waste mess that are fission reactors.

    4th and 5th gen fission reactors are much better for waste than the old kinds; see for example TerraPower, which they’re aiming to run nearly entirely using depleted uranium from older recators.

    Whereas Fusion is maybe 100 years away from viability for all we know. Certainly there’s zero chance of it displacing fossil-fuels in the kind of timeframe we need.

  44. I am not on any side. If you think for yourself you end up with substantial disagreements with those who hitch their wagon to a particular ‘side’. That’s why I don’t get leftists. You should start to worry if you agree with any ‘side’ too often. So come on, give up the security blanket and start thinking for yourself.

    Assuming you’re not trolling, your capacity for self-delusion is clearly total. At least 90 per cent of what you contribute here is straight out of the conservative showbag. What is it with the right and false claims to centrism?

  45. “… any measurable threat to human health outside of a couple of hundred km radius … but the idea that nuclear plants pose these global threats where a disaster in Japan is of serious concern to Australia is preposterous.”

    Distance of course makes us safer. However, if Australia embraces a nuclear fission energy future as you are advocating, then the reactors we will be relying upon will be more likely to be in Bondi than Sendai. Or at least within “a couple of hundred km radius” of our own major population centres.

    As for burying the waste out in the desert – you have to get it there first. You want to risk polluting an outback rural town, or a protected national park ecosystem, because a truck overturned on the highway from Sydney Nuclear Reactor, Inc. to Woop Woop Hole in the Ground, Pty Ltd?

    You could fill every windy valley in the Blue Mountains with dodgy fly-by-night wind farms that topple over in moderate thunderstorms, and never come close to the mess that one cost-cutting slip-up in a fission reactor could cause. Even if no one dies, who is going to buy our beef exports after such an accident?

    As I said up-thread – we need a mix of energy solutions. More thinking is required, and less regurgitation of nuclear industry propaganda. We shouldn’t replace one pollution problem (carbon) with another (toxic radioactive by-products) and pretend that’s the best we can do.

  46. jordanrastrick

    There are real risks and costs associated with nuclear, and they should be intenalised. When they are, it still comes out ahead.

    As for nuclear industry propaganda, thanks, but I prefer to make my own. Look at global trends in population, realistic figures for mean per capita energy consumption, and the production capacity of wind and solar. Do the figures yourself. I did. Renewables will never be anywhere close to a 100% supply solution this century. That means we need alternatives, and hoping fusion might eventually work, or demanding we think harder about the problem, doesnt create any actual kilowatt hours.

  47. jordanrastrick

    However, if Australia embraces a nuclear fission energy future as you are advocating, then the reactors we will be relying upon will be more likely to be in Bondi than Sendai.

    On this, Australia currently produces 40% of the world’s Bauxite. We could probably increase this share, and further more be shipping it out in the form of finished carbon-free Aluminium, by building Nuclear plants at the major sites of production in Weipa (Qld) and Cove (NT), both in the far north and hundreds of kms from major existing population centres. If we stick an airport and a university or two in the area (with fully funded scholarships for all traditional owners’ families unto 5 generations, of course) there’s a potential to have a real regional hub for infrastructure, investment and education.

    We could even sink some submarine cables over to PNG, East Timor and Indonesia to sell them subsidised carbon-free electricity as a far more cost effective form of aid than a lot of our existing programs. In the latter case this would have a big foreign policy/national security benefit, too, by increasing economic interdependence with our most powerful neighbour.

  48. narcoticmusing

    Toxic waste etc – it really disregards the level of completely unregulated radioactive toxic waste produced by our current coal powered plants – at least the nuclear ones have to account for their waste.

  49. jordanrastrick , do you think your idea of developing the Gove area and the inducements to do so that you recommend a fraction paternalistic? Are you suggesting some sort of takeover? I mean it is their country. After they’ve been totally f**ked up the arse up in that region of the world since the ’70’s they may view your generous offer of airports with some suspicion.

  50. jordanrastrick

    Indigenous australians have been pretty fucked up the arse since 1788 by most government policies, so they have every right to be skeptical in general. But refusing to even offer traditional owners a chance to say yes or no to these kinds of investments is surely far more patronizing than making the proposal and letting them decide.

  51. “No, not like the utterly pointless carbon (dioxide) tax, Duncan”

    So direct taxation IS acceptable (despite being theft), as long as its not “pointless” as determined by you, or is proposed by a Liberal government?

    “So come on, give up the security blanket and start thinking for yourself”

    SB, full of shit as usual, assumes im a card carrying leftist.

    Im a recreational shooter and fisherman, i drive a big 4WD ute, i have never been a union member, i work in irrigated agriculture, i eat meat, i oppose immigration on all but refugee and compassionate grounds, i resent dole bludgers and single mothers with heaps of kids living off my tax $$ while not contributing anything to society.

    Apart from my views on homosexuality, drug decriminalisation and the environment, im actually quite a conservative (for want of a better word) person. I quite like the term “Left Neck” (as opposed to red neck) as a description of myself and people like me.

    I reckon its you who needs to “give up the security blanket and start thinking for yourself”. Difficult for you, i know, as pretty much everything that drops from your puckered lips is a right wing meme or talking point straight from Glenn Beck and friends.

  52. Splatterbottom

    Duncan: “So direct taxation IS acceptable (despite being theft), as long as its not “pointless” as determined by you, or is proposed by a Liberal government?”

    No. Taxation is essential for civilisation. Wasting taxes on pointless measures is indeed pointless. Whether a particular measure is pointless is a question of fact. Being a logical type I trust my judgment, not yours or anyone else’s.

    “SB, full of shit as usual, assumes I’m a card carrying leftist.

    You could be right about the first point, as I may have guessed incorrectly about your Leftneck views. Equally your grotesque caricature of me is not a fair and balanced characterisation.

    “Im a recreational shooter and fisherman”

    Please stop killing animals for pleasure. No matter how good it feels, it is barbaric. Killing animals for food or environmental management is often reasonable, but recreational killing is wrong.

  53. I kill environmental pests only SB, its not my fault if its fun. And i eat the fish i catch, so what is your issue? (rhetorical question SB)

    “Please stop killing animals for pleasure. No matter how good it feels, it is barbaric…..Farmers are never happier when they are sticking it to the city slickers. ”

    A “grotesque caricature” perhaps SB?

  54. Splatterbottom

    Nah. That’s not grotesque. You are the one that said killing animals is fun. I really don’t get that.

    Also my comment about farmers sticking it to city slickers comes from living in a rural area for 20 years. When they best another farmer, that’s just business. When it is a city slicker they tell the tale with extra glee.

  55. Prepare for feigned outrage and gross misrepresentation in 3..2..1..

    “Nah. That’s not grotesque. You are the one that said killing animals is fun. I really don’t get that.”

    After all the ghoulish pro war/pro Israel/pro torture (sorry, enhanced interrogation) stuff you have posted here over the years, that rings more than just a little hollow.

    You find it grotesque that i enjoying hunting and eliminating environmental pests, but are just fine with kidnapping, illegal invasion and occupation, and even torture. I’ve even seen you defend Pinochet on this very blog.

    You support the IDF using white phosphorous and cluster bombs in densely populated urban areas, but are horrified at the idea that someone would want to blow away the cute widdle bunny rabbits destroying their pastures and eating their feed.

    And what about those poor, defenceless feral dogs, the ones that ate the labia off of a still living cow which was suffering calving paralysis. Is it “grotesque” that i would enjoy eliminating these vermin?

    I guess enjoying killing vermin is no longer grotesque if you call them a “Paleostinian” or a terrorist before burning them alive.

    You really are shameless!

  56. Splatterbottom

    Duncan: “Prepare for feigned outrage and gross misrepresentation”

    It was gross misrepresentation, but I’m not feigning outrage. In fact I’m not outraged at all. If you tell lies like that you discredit yourself, not me.

  57. What lies would those be SB?

  58. A nuclear power plant at Gove?

    That’s cetainly an interesting proposition jordan.

    I don’t know whether or not the locals would go for it, but let me say one thing – bark petition.

  59. Splatterbottom

    Duncan: “What lies “

    “I’ve even seen you defend Pinochet on this very blog.”

    Grossly misleading – I have not defended Pinochet for his murder of opponents.

    “nd what about those poor, defenceless feral dogs, the ones that ate the labia off of a still living cow which was suffering calving paralysis. Is it “grotesque” that i would enjoy eliminating these vermin?”

    Here you conflate two issues. I was quite clear that “Killing animals for food or environmental management is often reasonable”. We agree on that. I was also clear that taking pleasure in the act of killing is grotesque. Your word were “it’s fun”. It is rather like a soldier who enjoys killing people in the course of his duty.

    In your case you said you enjoyed ‘recreational shooting’. It seems that, for you, environmental management is just cover for the real fun of killing, seeing as you described the killing as recreational rather than as a necessary evil.

    “I guess enjoying killing vermin is no longer grotesque if you call them a “Paleostinian” or a terrorist before burning them alive.”

    It is, although it looks as though you would have ‘fun’ killing people if you thought you had justification to do so.

  60. As i predicted, gross misrepresentation and faux outrage.

    Its all you’ve got after all.

  61. “It seems that, for you, environmental management is just cover for the real fun of killing, seeing as you described the killing as recreational rather than as a necessary evil.”

    Yawn.

    Yeah SB, and my support for wind farms is because i secretly love seeing birds get hit by giant spinning blades, and because us farmers “love to stick it to city slickers.”

    My opposition to nuclear power is due to me loving, absolutely LOVING the idea of people shivering through the winter without enough electricity to keep the house warm.

    My opposition to GM crops is because, as a vile leftist, (y’know, the ones that only exist in your imagination) i relish the thought of people dying of starvation.

    And i assure you, my pro choice stance is nothing to do with respecting other peoples choices, it is entirely a façade to cover up the fact that i love the idea of unborn babies being torn to pieces and then slurped out with a vacuum cleaner.

    Im just that kind of guy.

  62. Splatterbottom

    So Duncan quoting you is somehow misrepresenting you? And trust me on this: I am not outraged at your deceptions. Bored more like. I’m not even bothered enough to reply to the latest round. Have a happy Easter, maybe chill out and hit me with something more substantial when you’ve regained your composure.

  63. It is, although it looks as though you would have ‘fun’ killing people if you thought you had justification to do so.

    At least we know you’ll have some strawmen to keep you company over the Easter break, SB. Enjoy.

  64. It is rather like a soldier who enjoys killing people in the course of his duty.

    That’s fairly offensive stupdity SB – even for you. Equating a passion for hunting with a passion for killing human beings is errant nonsense.

    Although I guess if you’re focused more on offending other posters and less on communicating anything resembling intelligent or reasoned argument you might not notice how ridiculous you’re starting to sound.

  65. Splatterbottom

    Happy Easter Buns.

    And you too Mondo. It is not unreasonable to find offensive recreational shooters who say that killing animals is ‘fun’. I find it quite disturbing. Maybe I’m just a bit too squeamish?

  66. A reasonable person would not assume that it is the “killing” that Duncan enjoys, so much as the thrill of the hunt and the capture of his quarry. A hunting instinct is, after all, hard-wired into most men from the day they are born.

    But I suspect you already know this.

    Happy Easter to you too.

  67. It is not unreasonable to find offensive recreational shooters who say that killing animals is ‘fun’. I find it quite disturbing. Maybe I’m just a bit too squeamish?

    Maybe. But definitely you’ve deliberately avoided addressing mondo’s criticism of you.

  68. Splatterbottom

    Buns, I’m not in the mood for fighting. I’m sliding into a holiday weekend and looking forward to a relaxing time with my family. I made my point and acknowledged that others may have a different interpretation. Earlier when I went OTT on Duncan I admitted that I was probably full of shit. I’m always the one trying to calm things down with a little peace love and understanding.

  69. narcoticmusing

    Notwithstanding Mondo’s explanatory post @4:21, when I read Duncan’s recreational shooting comments, I was left with the same, or at least similar, disgust to SB. Again, it wasn’t that he shot vermin/pests that disturbed me, but that he regarded it as fun in such a blase manner.

    Now, Mondo’s post made me rethink all of that (ty btw) but I think everyone’s criticism of SB on this one seems to be a knee jerk ‘attack the SB-troll’ rather than consider if what Duncan said originally and in his clarifications was reasonably interpreted as ‘recreational hunting/killing animals is fun’ – that was a reasonable interpretation imo.

  70. Splatterbottom

    TY Narcotic, and happy Easter.

  71. I’m always the one trying to calm things down with a little peace love and understanding.

    Give us a break, SB. If you are going to make deliberately inflammatory comments because you enjoy annoying people, don’t complain when you get the response you were after.

  72. Mondo is entirely correct.

    I don’t enjoy killing anything, it is the hunt, the skill involved and the satisfaction of removing environmental/agricultural pests which i enjoy, as im sure SB knew all along.

    If i simply enjoyed killing surely i would get a job at an abattoir, rather than a dairy farm.

    My comment about it being fun was a poorly chosen throw away comment, deliberately misinterpreted by SB to provoke exactly the response he achieved.

    A slow day at work perhaps? In any case i know SB well enough not to take anything he says too personally. And for all his bullshit, this site would be less interesting without his ‘centrist’ take on life.

    So happy Easter all (you too SB) and sincerely hope all the violent religious imagery of crucifixion and dead men rising from the grave doesn’t harsh your mellow holiday mood. :)

  73. As an avid fisherman I too struggle with the ‘killing’ aspect of my favourite passtime.

    It never feels great to kill an animal, but I have to keep reminding myself that my squeamishness is illogical: a mis-firing of my empathy. I eat animals all the time and it makes no moral sense to distinguish those I have killed with my own hand from those I have had others kill on my behalf.

    Still – it’s probably the least enjoyable aspect of fishing.

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