The true meaning of populism

spot-the-difference

Here’s the dual headline that comes with the pic: Rolling Blackouts In South Australia As Wind Farms Fail Again/Coldest Winter In Decade Causes Energy Shortages Across Southeast Europe. I’ve often invited my wife to write a post or two, but I have never seen her as furious as she is about the devastation of our carbon-based energy supplies. This is the true meaning of “populism”, where our political leaders bend to the greatest mass delusion in history. Here are the excerpts of the different news stories that come with the photo.

The Federal Government needs to take urgent action to improve its energy policies before the rest of Australia falls victim to the type of large-scale blackouts experienced in South Australia, the Australian Energy Council has warned. About 90,000 South Australian homes and businesses were blacked out Wednesday when the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued a load-shedding order to avoid potential damage to the network equipment due to supply deficiency. –Claire Campbell, ABC News, 9 February 2017

German coal and gas-fired power plant output in January rose to its highest in almost five years as cold weather boosted demand while below average wind and record-low winter nuclear availability reduced supply, according to power generation data compiled by think-tank Fraunhofer ISE. –Platts, 3 February 2017

To appreciate how quickly and fundamentally things are changing, it is necessary to go no further than a one-hour press briefing held jointly this week by the ­Global Warming Policy Foundation and Foreign Press Association in London. Rising from a sea of incredulity was a question from one journalist present [Channel 4 science editor Tom Clark] that underscored just how things had changed. “Me and my colleagues in this room haven’t spent much time speaking to people like yourselves and the Global Warming Policy Foundation over recent times because nothing you have to say has any support in fact,” the journalist said. “There are a lot of politicians and policymakers who have determined what you have to offer is essentially meaningless in terms of where the planet should be going, where the economy should be going and business should be going, but yet here we are all sitting in a room listening to you again. Why do you think that is?” he asked. Ebell said: “Well, elections are surprising things sometimes.” –Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 3 February 2017

As freezing weather triggered energy shortages across southeast Europe at the start of the year, Bulgaria’s refusal to export power was typical in a region where everyone had to fend for themselves. Nations from Greece to Hungary hoarded power last month in response to the coldest winter in a decade, exposing the weakness of the region’s power markets, which should enjoy unrestricted flows. –Bloomberg, 9 February 2017

The German Muenster district court on Thursday granted an emission-control permit to Datteln 4, a hard-coal fired power station under construction by utility Uniper that has been held up by an intense legal battle with environmentalists. Uniper said it aims to begin supplying electricity and district heating from the 1,050 megawatts plant in western Germany in the first half of 2018. –Reuters, 19 January 2017

If you want to read the full news stories you can find the links to the originals there.

DEATHBED CONVERSION UPDATE: I’ve just come to the story on the front page of The Australian wherein we find: Turnbull slams Labor’s power ‘horror show’.

Malcolm Turnbull has blasted Labor’s renewable energy “horror show” by seizing on blackouts in South Australia to warn of out­ages across the country under the “insanity” of Bill Shorten’s 50 per cent renewables target.

As the energy crisis dominated parliamentary debate, the national energy market operator ordered a mothballed Adelaide gas-fired power station to fire up to increase supply and prevent further outages.

As Canberra residents were urged to restrict electricity use today by limiting cooking and avoiding using home appliances such as dishwashers, the Prime Minister warned that the blackouts could be repeated in other states under Labor’s policy for a national rollout of the failed renewable energy “experiment” in South Australia.

I do not know what Malcolm personally believes nor do I care. But when even “Canberra residents” are in the firing line, you have to know that a cool change is on the way.

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