Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Flannery’s Flim Flam Drought

 Flannery’s Flim Flam Drought



The news last week revealed that Sydney's main water supply, Warragamba Dam, was 100% full and was overflowing. That reminded me of predictions by the Flim-Flam man, Tim Flannery.

Perth is facing the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the city’s water supply,” says Tim Flannery, director of the South Australian Museum and Australia’s most high profile scientist and ecologist. His next book, to be published in October, will feature the water crises faced by Perth and Sydney.

“I’m personally more worried about Sydney than Perth,” Flannery told me. “Where does Sydney go for more water? At least Perth has a buffer of underground water sources. Sydney doesn’t have any backup. And while Perth is forging ahead with a desalination plant, Sydney doesn’t have any major scheme in place to bolster water. It also has nowhere to put the vast infrastructure of a desalination plant.”

Climate change is working against Sydney. “There’s only two years’ water supply in Warragamba Dam,” says Flannery, “yet Frank Sartor [NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities] is talking about the situation being stable … If the computer models are right then drought conditions will become permanent in eastern Australia.”

And wasn't there something else that Tim said about: "even the rain that falls....."

SO even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to
fill our dams and our river systems…

Gee, what would you ask Dr Tim today? And will "our" ABC question Tim about his dud predictions?

Then I began to think about what makes rain......

I am a simple man, so I went to First Grade Walks  and found:

Now, I thought that the yellow object in the top right of the above picture was a clue, but I went to First Grade Walks' next slide:

Now, let's see if I have this right......

1: The Sun makes water warm and evaporate.  

Hmmmm.... if the Sun's warmth puts the water vapour into the atmosphere, isn't it warming that causes rain?

But, this cannot be! Tim Flannery told us that warming was going to cause drought.

Was Tim completely wrong? Well, he has been wrong before with his science fiction book "The Weather Makers."

Dr D Weston Allen exposed Flannery's flawed fiction in his rebuttal "The Weather Makers Re-examined."(link)


Climate News - September 2020


Alan Moran

1 September 2020



A review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics, and governance associated with climate change developments.




Political and economic issues

Tilak Doshi analyses the differences between the Biden and Trump energy policies. Biden has adopted the key Bernie Saunders policies. Though he would not phase out fracking, he favours “near-zero” emissions by 2040, ending the sale of gasoline and diesel cars by 2030, denying federal permits for new fossil fuel infrastructure projects. As James Taylor points out, Kamala Harris sought 100% renewables by 2030.


The Democrats plan to spend more than $400 billion a year (11 per cent of federal revenue) to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This excludes cost-enhancing renewable regulations.


Only one per cent of Americans place climate change issues as their major consideration in spite of which it is central to Biden’s policies.  However, as well as with fracking he diverges from radical Democrats in promoting nuclear, reversing 50 years of Democrat dogma. Perhaps his advisers recognise the economy-crushing implications of a renewables-rich electricity supply, especially one lacking a counterbalance to wind/solar's inherent instability.  


Woke California shows the consequences of replacing fossil and nuclear plant with wind/solar. Francis Menton explains the rolling blackouts effect of a heat wave (predictably, blamed on climate change). To meet demand of 42-44 GWh California has 76 GW capacity, but 33 GW of this is wind/solar and often useless. Here is the daily production from renewables.

As Frank Wolak points out, 33 per cent of supplies are required by state law to come from renewables.  By relying increasingly on these variable supplies, California has put itself “in a position where regular intentional blackouts are inevitable”.  Christopher Horner notes increasing blackouts were predicted by the main supplier, PG&E, after those in October 2019. The State legislature is having second thoughts about going deeper green, as is renewables advocate Governor Newsom.  Due to its renewables policy, prices in California are 60 per cent above the US average. 


Virginia too is plumping for zero net emissions in a policy that will cost households over $500 a year in higher energy bills as well as reducing reliability.


EU governments are committed to spending 30% of the EU’s budget on climate — a 10% jump from the 2014-20 budget. With a total package of 1.8 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion), the climate tag comes in at 600 billion euros. But environmental groups claim half of this is actually being spent on subsidies within the Common Agricultural Policy.  Angela Merkel wants to accelerate the carbon phase-out with a new pricing mechanism, the euphemism for a carbon tax.


In a report prepared for Senator Roberts, I estimated the annual cost of renewable energy policies in Australia at $13 billion a year. The cost per household in electricity alone is $536, representing 39 percent of the bill.  The $536 total comprises $90 in requirements for renewable energy itself, $75 for increased network and administrative costs, $219 due to increased wholesale prices and $151 in taxpayer subsidies for renewables.  


Australian committed new investment in wind and solar has fallen markedly. 

Pursuing additional subsidies, the renewables lobby group attributed this to, “challenges associated with the grid connection process, unpredictable government policy interventions and underinvestment in network capacity creating congestion and constraints.” Work has commenced on the government owned $10 billion Snowy2 pumped storage facility, designed to iron out the volatility inherent in renewables.


Marc Morano draws attention to a plea from WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: "the Covid-19 pandemic has given new impetus to the need to accelerate efforts to respond to climate change. (It) has given us a glimpse of our world as it could be: cleaner skies and rivers."  Tedros calls for the world to use the virus to rid economies of fossil fuels. Bill Gates would agree, he says COVID-19 is awful but climate change could be worse, with a death rate that could be fivefold greater.  Similarly, according to Australia’s peak medical groups, “The world is in the middle of two global health emergencies: the viral pandemic and climate change”; they urged the Prime Minister to act on climate change as part of the COVID-19 pandemic economic response.  And, seeking a share of carbon sequestration subsidies, Australia’s peak farmer group calls for net zero CO2 emissions.


Supported by NGOs and vested interests, UN Secretary-General Gutteres led calls urging India to avoid coal power investments and embrace renewables which, he claimed, are cheaper.  In a statement that inadvertently demonstrated the uncompetitiveness of wind/solar energy, he also argued that they create three times as many jobs – that is cost three times as much in labour!


The Global Warming Policy Foundation reports that, contrary to some broker claims, high rating environmental, social and governance (ESG) shares have not been well-performing and have made a trivial contribution to the overall stock market growth.  Looking beyond the initial crash in March, Canadian, US and Dutch researchers found that ESG factors were negatively associated with returns during the recovery in the second quarter.

Scientific developments

This was not supposed to happen.  A new temperature reconstruction indicates today’s sea surface temperatures are colder than all but a few millennia out of the last 156,000 years.

A new paper by McKitrick and Christy (who unveiled Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” that fraudulently depicted a unique rise in modern temperatures) shows all 38 IPCC climate models overpredict warming.  Similar findings of climate models over-predicting temperature increases were also made in a paper by Mitchell et al


Particularly in 2019, due to high-pressure systems over Greenland, drawing in warm air from North America and causing melting, the earth is losing lots of ice.  The net effect is estimated to be responsible for 0.55 inches of sea level rise since 2003. Other estimates put the increase in global-average sea levels by 0.3 mm/yr.


Scare of the hour – climate change threatens the chocolate we eat due to the usual suspects:  different precipitation, temperature variability and more heat.


This year marks thirty years of last chances to prevent catastrophic global warming given by The Guardian.


At last, some pushback against low flow showers.  Designed to save greenhouse gases, legislated by Bush in 1992 and pilloried by Seinfeld, Trump is looking to deregulate the highly regulated flow.

In August, I published the following climate-related articles:


The Green Road to Blackouts

 Opinion Piece

Australian Climate Sceptics Blog
Please Spread around

1 September 2020

The Green Road to Blackouts

by Viv Forbes

To download this article with all illustrations click:

California leads the way to electricity blackouts, closely followed by South Australia.

They both created this problem by taxing, banning, delaying or demolishing reliable coal, nuclear, gas or hydro generators while subsidising and promoting unreliable electricity from the sickly green twins - solar and wind. All supposed to solve a global warming crisis that exists only in academic computer models.

Energy policy should be driven by proven reliability, efficiency and cost, not by green politics.

Wind and solar will always be prone to blackouts for three reasons. 

Firstly they are intermittent, producing zero power when winds drops or sunlight fails. 

Secondly, green energy is dilute so the collection area must be huge. Both solar panels and wind turbines are old technologies and now close to collecting the maximum energy from a given land area of wind and sun, so limited technology gains are possible. Wind turbines generate nothing from gentle breezes and must shut down in gales. To collect more energy the green twins must collect from greater areas using a widespread scatter of panels and towers connected by a fragile network of roads and transmission lines. This expensive, extensive but flimsy system is far more susceptible to damage from cyclones, hail, snow, lightning, bushfire, flood and sabotage than a big, well-built, centrally-located, well-maintained traditional power station with strong walls, a roof and lightning protection. Green energy also requires far more investment in transmission lines and inter-connectors that consumers must pay for, and the energy transmission losses are greater.

To download this article with all illustrations click:

Canberra Solar Panels after a hail storm.
Where do we dispose of defunct and abandoned solar panel and wind turbine waste?

Solar Generation after a Storm in Puerto Rico
Greens also worship expansion of unmanaged forests which then threaten flimsy power lines with falling trees and raging bushfires.

Tornados, Cyclones and Lightning also demolish wind turbines:

Thirdly, green energy is like a virus in a distribution network.

When the sun shines, solar energy floods the network, causing energy prices to plummet. Coal and gas plants are forced to operate at a cash loss or shut down. Erratic winds make this problem worse as they are less predictable and changes can be quicker. But when all green energy fails suddenly, like in an evening peak demand period after a still cold sunset, coal cannot ramp up quickly unless it has been kept on standby with boilers hot, waiting for an opportunity to generate some positive cash flow. Gas and hydro can fire up swiftly but who wants to own/build/maintain an expensive fair-dinkum power station that operates intermittently?

Currently hydro, or stop-start gas turbines on standby, or coal generators fired up but not generating are keeping Australian lights on during green energy blackouts. But no one will build new reliable generators to operate part-time. Soon we will have day-time where there is heaps of electricity producing no profit for any generator, and night-time when electricity prices will soar and blackouts will threaten.

Authorities have their solution – rationing. They will use a blackout crisis to grab the power to dictate rolling blackouts of whole suburbs, areas or factories or selective consumer blackouts using smart meters.

Naturally Green “engineers” also have a solution - “More Big Batteries”.

There are many contestants in the battery growth “industry” including pumped hydro, lithium batteries, compressed air, big flywheels, hydrogen storage, capacitors and molten salt. They all need to be able to cope with a few days without wind-solar, which makes them huge and expensive. And all are net consumers of energy as they go through the charge/discharge cycle.

Half-tonne Li/Co/Pb batteries are huge consumers of energy – energy for exploring/mining/refining metals and for concrete, battery manufacture, transport and construction; energy to charge them and absorb the inevitable losses in the charge/discharge cycle; energy to build battery warehouses and finally energy to recycle/bury worn-out batteries (which wear out far quicker than coal, gas, hydro or nuclear power stations).

Few people consider the extra generating capacity needed to maintain charged batteries. Solar energy at best delivers power for about 8 hours per day when there is no cloud, smoke or dust in the air. So a solar array needs batteries with a capacity of twice name-plate capacity just to cover the hours of darkness, every day. These batteries then need extra generating capacity to charge them during daylight hours.

But a solar system also needs to be able to cope with up to 7 days of cloudy weather. This needs 7 times more batteries plus the generating capacity to charge them.

The Big Battery in South Australia has a capacity of 150 MW and cost $160m. East Coast demand these days is about 22,500 MW which would require 150 SA batteries and adding a 10% factor of safety = 165 batteries. The cost could be 165 X $160m = $26.4bn.

184 Tesla Giga-factories would be required 
to produce sufficient lithium-ion batteries 
to power the world for one day.”

Australian Government, Office of The Chief Scientist, October 2016


No matter whether the battery is stored hydrogen or pumped hydro, the cost to stabilise 100% green energy would be prohibitively expensive. Before we leap over this green cliff, those who claim otherwise must be obliged to demonstrate a working pilot plant without coal, gas or diesel.

Wind power suffers the same problems but is far less predictable. Wind droughts are a common feature. At times wind turbines drain electricity from the grid. 

To maintain grid stability, the generators must charge batteries which can then supply a steady stream of electricity to the grid. This requires many more transmission lines and battery connections.

At this point the maths/costs of zero-emissions with 100% solar/wind become preposterous. And the ecological disruption becomes enormous.

When Danish windmills stand silent, they import hydro power from Scandinavia. When German solar panels are covered in snow, they import nuclear electricity from France. And California can draw power from Canada.

But Australia is an island. When the grid fails, Tasmanian hydro or New Zealand geo-thermal are the closest reliable-energy neighbours.

The looming Covid Depression has no room for more green energy silliness. We cannot afford to mollycoddle an aging failing technology. A hard dangerous new world is coming. To survive we will need cheap reliable energy – coal, gas, nuclear or hydro. 

Viv Forbes 
Washpool Qld, Australia
31st August 2020

Further Reading:

California Declares Blackout State Of Emergency:

Thanks to Green Energy Mandates, California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse:


Blackouts loom in South Australia:

Australians pay $1300 per family to prop up green energy:

Beginning of the End for Wind Industry:

Blackouts in Germany:

Shadows over Greentopia:

The Green Elephant in the Snowy:

Toxic Waste from Green Energy;