The state of our State


Think it through - elephant cartoon
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The state of our State is distressing.

I prefer not to air political stuff on my blog if I can help it. Today is an exception. It’s getting ridiculous, downright embarrassing and – there are many genuine concerns about the state of our State. Not to mention the ability of our illustrious leaders to provide quality, well thought out leadership that doesn’t bankrupt us again.  We’re still paying for the last one.

Power supply is a hot topic here in South Australia at the moment. Debate is raging as politicians scramble to gain brownie points to undo the damage created from previously badly thought through scrambles to gain yet more brownie points. Meanwhile our state is hurtling faster than the speed of sound towards ever increasing  difficulties in

  • supplying enough electricity to meet demand – oh the misery of cooking by candle power while slowly melting
  • ensuring water availability – oh the misery of not enough at the price of gold
  • providing health services – oh the misery of a brand new yet to be opened ‘state of the art’ hospital that has more flaws than you can poke a stick at
  • maintaining roads and underground pipes that burst – oh the misery of never-ending band-aid fixes

Andrew Bolt, a political commentator in our local paper today asked a very pertinent question: Why are our politicians putting coal-fired power stations out of business without anything ready to take their place? 

Coal fired generators  have been closed down due to global warming policies. Since then South Australia has become so dangerously dependant on unreliable wind power that it has twice suffered massive blackouts – one when the winds blew too hard and wind farms tripped the whole system, and the other when the winds didn’t blow at all.

The plan now is to build the world’s largest battery at a cost of more than AUD 100 million. But there is a problem. It can only generate 100MW of power.  Enough for a couple of hours.  On a hot day South Australia needs more than 3000 and for more than a few paltry hours.

the state of our state - electricity

So sum up, to pretend to fix what they pretend is a global warming crisis, our politicians have forced shut our coal-fired generators without first making sure we’d have enough electricity to keep going.

Now they offer hugely expensive schemes they pretend will fix what they pretend they didn’t break.

Please pretend to thank them.

The Retired Husband (TRH) has taken pen to hand to the keyboard and aired his concerns publicly. He wrote a letter to the Have Your Say Letters in our local rag, The Advertiser. It got published last week. Yes – TRH  is now a PA (Published Author)!  Here is what he had to say-

Think it through

‘So here go our disaster twins, Jay and Tom, with their cure for the shocking state of our electricity supply.

These two are saying how they are making our state greener. Or are we transferring our carbon footprint merely to other parts of the world?  Together with our livelihoods.

Let’s take wind generation. Each wind turbine has about 420kg of rare earths. China has 96% of world resources. Mining a ton of rare earths produces a ton of radioactive waste. Don’t forget tons of steel and the chemicals to make carbon fibre blades and many, many cubic metres of concrete, the manufacture of which produces vast amounts of carbon.

So we are transferring horrific pollution overseas as most of the components are imported. Huge tracts of land are mined in China to mine rare earths. And don’t forget that we need to replace each one after 20 – 25 years.

What about rooftop solar ? Panels contain aluminium, various silicones, cadmium, tellurium etc. They degrade at the rate of 1 per cent a year, so only produce rated power for 12 months, if one keeps them clean. Again most of the materials come from overseas and we are transferring the pollution to these countries.

Next, batteries. These probably are the worst of all. How many tons of chemical-loaded batteries do we need for 100MW for about four minutes to run the state – with limited lifespan, deteriorating capacity, from day one? And currently Australia does not have recycling capacity and only 70% of this tonnage can be recycled.

I did not list all of the polluting materials to these generator types, as it would consume far too much space. But we really need to be informed about the positives and the negatives. For example, what ends up being a net gain for a wind generator after 20years when we need to replace it? Is it really worth the pain?

Lastly, SA and the rest of the country are bleeding jobs, partly due to electricity costs and reliability, and government policies (state and federal) of buying the cheapest overseas product.

So by all means work at doing things in a better and cleaner fashion, but please consider how it’s done.’

Oooops – I’ve gone and done what I said I wouldn’t!

I  just want reliable services within budget. Kinda like how TRH and I run our household.

End of rant.

©  Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.
— UNESCO Constitution

42 thoughts on “The state of our State

  1. Are you saying g that they won’t look into wind power to use for electricity? Is there a water shortage? I can’t imagine that. Our world is collapsing slowly. And we/thbare to blame. Wow!

      1. Thats a good place to be. I think hope is good. Here in America, I hope that with continued resistance, awareness, and (I know this may sound sappy) love things will turn around. That and Im signing a lot of petitions. 😀

  2. Pingback: Energy – disue
  3. Yes, it is a very frustrating state of affairs Raili. If we run our household budgets like the State Govt runs theirs I don’t think that we will get support from the Feds. Saw the TRH piece in the paper. good work!

  4. It is all a scam Telsa has proven that the earth’s energy is free but industry want people to pay for energy and they can’t supply enough of it. Imagine when people wake up and somehow the knowledge of tapping the earth’s energy is made available. It will result in clean air, clean water. When the greedy industry leaders pollute the air and water to the point it is no good, they will learn they can’t drink or breath money……

  5. I feel your pain, Raili. It gets harder every day to keep politics from invading my blog, too. CORRECTION – it gets harder every tweet – and any time Agent Orange opens his ‘uge’ mouth.

    We need to round up ALL the politicians, send them to an island and force them to live with the p&ps they foist upon the rest of us, and for the rest of their natural born lives. Since they OBVIOUSLY don’t think, we can get them there with the promise of a taxpayer-funded vacation, no doubt.

    Anybody know anybody with a spare island?
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      1. You are right, we got the Catalanes, and the El Pais Vasco, Galllegos, and a cople two more that are pushing for the independence of Spain. The simple and quick answer would be, let them have it lets see how it goes for them on thei own after having recieved milllion and billions of money from the central government a.k.a Spanish people who are paying taxes.
        That would be the quick and easy response, the not so quick and easy is too much of a stress on me right now… wink wink

  6. I have to say straight out that I don’t know much about this story, Raili, but from what you say, it doesn’t seem that the situation was well handled. In general, I’m all for trying to tackle climate change and for phasing out coal if and when that’s feasible, but doing it before there’s a suitable alternative source of reliable energy doesn’t sound like a very good plan.

    1. That’s the big problem Bun. That, and the fact the solutions are not well thought out for long term sustainability. This state has squandered a LOT of money of white elephants.

  7. Every once in awhile, it’s healthy to rant. It seems so much of the world is in a state of flux. Here’s to hoping good sense will prevail. 🙂

  8. Many States are in a quandary in recent times and I think we are really making expensive mistakes that would cost the future generation. Sometimes, one can’t escape mentioning what troubles one in their neighbourhood or Nation and for Dear TRH to wade in, then it must be disturbing enough. I can’t even bare to think of my home country – it’s dismal, then when I think that I might be going back to Houston eventually, I pray hard that things would have come to a reasonable head. I can’t just do with all the angst.
    Meanwhile, a toast to the published TRH 🙂

      1. Yes.. here’s to Girl Power and the returning Feminine Energies.. 🙂 ❤ Just think how many are now entering heads of state Something quite unthinkable in times gone by… Changes happen right under our noses.. For we are all part of that Change.

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