Proponents of green power — solar and wind — took a blow to the head Saturday when Australia’s Liberal-National Coalition united conservatives and threw out the opposition center-left Labor Party on a platform that stressed economic growth, tax cuts and support for Australia’s energy producers.

It was a simple case of let the money lead — or follow the money.

The bottom line, as we quoted The Wall Street Journal Saturday, was “voters in resource rich districts turned against center left opponents who had put climate change at the heart of their campaign,” — making climate change a moral issue rather than an economic issue.

But don’t expect to read or hear anything much about this “climate change drubbing,” said the Journal. Because the climate alarmists — and their allies in the media — were defeated.

“Climate change re-emerged as an election issue following a summer of wildfires, drought, floods and extreme temperatures,” noted the Journal. “Voter support for policies aimed at addressing climate change was at the highest level since 2007. But, as in the U.S., divisions grew more stark as the issue gathered steam.

“Labor [the Australian center left party] pledged to reduce emissions by 45% from 2005 levels by 2030, after Australia under the conservatives became the first developed nation to abolish a price on carbon in 2014. The party also promised a push on renewable energy and electric vehicles …”

But it failed to achieve voter approval.

Australia is a coal producing powerhouse, and to Australian voters economics matter far more than perceived green energy that is far more expensive than hydrocarbon energy — oil, natural gas and coal — and is far, far less efficient.

Why? Because “Caring in the abstract,” said the Journal, “isn’t the same as doing something that has tangible costs. Faced with lost jobs, higher taxes and a higher cost of living, voters in democracies time and time again have rejected climate change policies that wouldn’t in the end matter all that much to the climate.”

The newly elected Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, famous for posing in Parliament holding a lump of coal, “reminded voters,” said the Journal, “that no renewable energy source is as efficient as carbon and that China’s annual emissions rise is greater than Australia’s total emissions each year.”

Warren Buffet, the billionaire investor, has placed a $10 billion bet on the future of oil and gas, “helping old-school Occidental Petroleum buy Anadarko, a U.S. shale producer,” says Mark Mills, in a Journal op-ed. A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a partner in Cottonwood Venture Partner, an energy-tech venture fund, Mr. Mills is the author of The ‘New Energy Economy’: An Exercise in Magical Thinking.

Commenting that the shale revolution has been the single biggest addition to the world energy supply in the past century, “and even bullish green scenarios still see global demand for oil and gas rising, if more slowly,” he says “none of the wealthy nations that are parties to the Paris Accord — or any of the poor ones — have come close to meeting the green pledges called for.”

Quoting the International Energy Agency on what has actually happened, he says: “Energy demand worldwide [in 2018] grew by … its fastest pace this decade … driven by a robust global economy … with fossil fuels meeting nearly 70% of the growth for the second year running.” And it foresees the U.S. supplying nearly three-fourths of the world’s net new demand for oil and gas.

Why? Because renewable energy remains far too expensive. “Simply propose taking away subsidies or mandates, and you’ll unleash the full fury of the green lobby,” he said.

John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation and a columnist whose pieces regularly on these pages, points out that solar facilities are terribly over rated. Saying solar enthusiasts misrepresent solar efficacy by omitting peak demand shortcomings, he says most of the time they don’t produce any energy. “Engineers who’ve worked with electric utilities say solar facilities generate no power most of the day and seldom reach peak generation, yet they are marketed by how many megawatts of electricity they can produce during the rare times they’re at maximum output.”

He quotes Herb Eckerlin, professor emeritus at N.C. State University and a retired engineer who has designed power plants for the electric utility industry saying county officials who approve zoning and permits for solar facilities and state lawmakers can be misled by the megawatt ratings assigned to a solar application because the rating reflects only potential — a maximum output that occurs for about one hour around noon on a sunny day. “A solar plant generates less than the megawatt rating the other 23 hours, and no power at all the 14 hours the sun is down.”

Yet — solar power is subsidized — “the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act requires utilities to buy all commercial solar power generated, even if it’s more expensive than energy from nuclear, natural gas or hydro power.”

Climate alarmists and political manipulators have proposed that America adopt a regressive tax on carbon — which Australian voters abolished in 2014 — redistributing it as a “dividend.” It may be debated but it won’t fly.

(7) comments

David Collins

Read about that the other day. Just a tempest in a teapot as the old saying goes. Still awaiting the next ice age that was forecasted 50 years ago by the same group of people. Different faces but of the same need for drama and hand wringing. Some things will never change. Need a cause to embrace, heck, just invent one.


Yup, they look like a dog chasing its own tale. (for over 30 years now).

Quite possibly, these great magician's need to take all their great technology to a country that is actually offending the globe, like China, and see just how easy their voices are accepted!

Heck, even he circus moves from town to town, never in one place more then 2-3 nights! [wink]


Eastern NC needs wind farms. Wind is a commodity that we have plenty of and can export farther inland. It will create a surge of jobs building it. It will have permanent jobs maintaining it. It will turn farmland into commercial--big tax base.


Herb Eckerlin made those comments four years ago. I know him and he is alright in my book.

Since then, solar panels have more than doubled in efficiency and batteries are getting close to cost for mass storage of power. Solar is cost-effective because it produces the most power when air conditioning systems are drawing the most and demand is the highest. With the newest solar panels, it gives good power much more than five hours now. Wind energy is even more reliable here. I cannot remember the last time the wind stopped blowing.

Now natural gas is more available here for running gas turbines. They power up in no time compared to firing up an oil or coal boiler for steam turbines; I bet a lot of folks around here know that you don’t want a boiler to go out. Gas turbines complement the wind and solar on short notice. I know that natural gas is a fossil fuel but it is the lesser polluting of most of the others. We just can’t cut off all fossil fuels instantly but we need to make an effort to taper down. Am I the only one who remembers the Arab oil embargo of 1973? Fossil fuels will run out.

Eastern NC needs wind farms. Wind is a commodity that we have plenty of and can export over the power lines. It will create a surge of jobs building it. It will have permanent jobs maintaining it. It will turn farmland into commercial--big tax base in addition to the property tax on the actual turbines.

I have no idea what there is to lose and please do not use that fiction of it will run the military off. There has been massive construction at Cherry Point over the past ten years and that will not be readily undone. The USMC will never voluntarily close the world’s largest air station.

David Collins

.... We have had several windless or almost windless days lately. Turning farmland into electrical generation farms might make a few dollars for some but just how do you feed folks from solar panels. If it comes down to trading food for energy, most will chose food and so would you. Nice try though but rather lame and out of touch. The reality of renewables is out of the bag and is being rejected more and more. You proponents are free to try what you wish but the rest of us will stick with what works, thank you very much.

(Edited by staff.)


Get over the wind farm, lunatic liberals are full of wind.

Go fly a kite if you want to use the wind.


Can We Rely on Wind and Solar Energy?

Might be better served reeducating everyone on why these ideas WILL NOT WORK . (before trying to continue to dupe people out of hard earned money).

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