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Mar 29, 2008

“Dark Hour - a Sign of the Times”.

By Viv Forbes.

The Carbon Sense Coalition today came out in support of “lights out” during Earth Hour (Saturday 30th ) but claimed the time should be renamed “Dark Hour” and suggested that consumers should also forgo the consumption of gasoline and diesel during this period.

The chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, claimed that consumers should spend the hour they sit in the dark with no transport, air conditioning or hot coffee, remembering the contribution that carbon fuels have made to modern society.

“And while contemplating this hour of darkness, they should steel themselves for the hour when, if the Global warming alarmists have their way, this will become a necessity not a nicety.

“The only thing that lifted mankind from the Stone Age was carbon energy from coal, oil and gas – for heating; for steam power; for electricity and water; for mining, smelting and refining of metals; for transport on land, sea and air; for lighting, heating, cooling and communications; for production of food and chemicals; and for power for processing and manufacturing.

“All of this comfort, safety, convenience and prosperity is now threatened by hysterical claims that man’s carbon emissions can and should be stopped. Even though the weather records and the science deny the doomsday forecasts, the politicians, like lemmings, are leading us over the Greenhouse Cliff. Without the nuclear parachute, it will not be a pleasant fall.

“Many other countries have already experienced their own dark days, most caused by silly decisions taken to appease the Greenhouse Gods.

“If we continue down this path, we can no longer assume that electricity will come at the flick of a switch. Consumers need to learn a new vocabulary for these bad new times – “load shedding, demand management, quota allocation, rolling blackouts, brownouts, emission permits, load prioritisation, interruptible customers, emergency customers, zone rota systems, power emergency declarations, priority lines, three-day-week rationing, power outages, grid instability, electricity rationing, operating reserve, maintenance shutdowns . . . .” - all the jargon of a power system in crisis, suffering from stagnant or falling capacity and growing demand.

“One of the first places to experience power shortages was, appropriately enough, California in the early 2000’s, where Deep Greens have harassed and delayed every practical method of generating base-load power. The operating reserve margin in California is now about 5% whereas 15% is considered safe. More “Dark Hours” can be expected there. And their Green Tick solar collectors will produce 12 Dark Hours EVERY DAY.

“Then came South Africa, which was forced to shut its big mines for several hours because of insufficient power to guarantee safe operation of the hoists. The South African government has now admitted that demand for electricity will exceed supply until 2013 – five years of dark hours are in prospect there.

“Then it was China’s turn. The Global Cooling of 2007 plus insufficient generating capacity and inadequate coal stocks caused widespread power failures. Whole regions and millions of people were forced to cope with blizzards without power for days. Power blackouts and brownouts hit 17 Chinese provinces.

“Then one day in Texas recently, the wind dropped, the whirling blades stopped turning, power supply collapsed and load shedding commenced before the old reliables of coal, nuclear or gas could pick up the slack.

“The aging European power grids are now also subject to similar disruptions from the intermittent supply from unreliable sources like wind and solar. However France has been very canny by building large nuclear capacity, then agitating for decarbonisation for their competitors. Foolish Germany got sucked into this caper, but also committed to phase out their nuclear power. It is not possible to cut both nuclear power and carbon emissions at the same time without morbid consequences. Germans can only continue this rot while their accommodating neighbours will sell them the power.

“Across Africa, the Americas and the -stans, the same problem appears – an aging power grid and an orchestrated campaign to delay and deter new power stations.

“Even here in Queensland, the coal capital of the world, a few blackouts in 2004 revealed an over-loaded and under-funded electricity grid. There may be a few more Dark Hours for us, at less convenient times.

“Australia and New Zealand both live in cuckoo land, believing they can maintain living standards in the face of population growth while drastically cutting carbon emissions and prohibiting nuclear power. Saturday’s “Dark Hour” caper may be just a practice run.

“So, let us all in Australia and New Zealand spend our “Dark Hour” thinking on the realities of life - such as where we will get the electricity, motor fuel, food and jobs for our kids and grandkids if we allow the Deep Greens to destroy our backbone industries, on the false promise that our sacrifice will improve the future climate.

To steal a phrase from my friend, Rod Bates: “On Saturday night, after they have turned off their lights, I suggest the participants in Earth Hour wander down to the nearest beach, pee into the sea and observe what effect it has on the tide.”

“This will illustrate the effect that cutting man-made carbon emissions will have on future climate.”

Additional Notes:
Both the science and the past records are indicating very strongly that man-made carbon dioxide has negligible consequences for climate change. For a very good summary of the science, by a scientist, in plain language see:

Given the political momentum for the introduction of damaging policies such as Emissions Trading or Carbon Taxes, Carbon Sense repeats its call for a joint ANZ Royal Commission into the science of man-made global warming. Carbon Sense strongly believes that only through settling the science will the truth emerge.”


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