S-O-S: Coal-Fired Power Only Answer to Australia’s Power Pricing & Supply Calamity

STOP THESE THINGS

That’s right boys, it’s in the ground & it’s powering us 24 x 365.

Faced with rocketing power prices and a grid on the brink of collapse, the Morrison Federal government remains committed to the policies that caused the debacle.

Instead of ensuring the survival of Australia’s extensive coal-fired power fleet and building new High Efficiency Low Emissions coal-plants, the PM and his Energy Minister have selected a grab bag of green-left fantasies, including squandering hundreds of $millions on converting excess wind and solar power to hydrogen gas, pumped hydro and batteries.

The treatment of Australia’s most reliable and affordable generation source – coal – is a mixture of insanity and contempt. And that contempt extends to whole industries and the thousands of jobs that depend upon them.

The Australian’s Greg Sheridan provides a pretty fair rundown on how a notionally conservative government has abandoned not only its principles, but…

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Race and racism in America (video)

Family Inequality

In my Social Problems class we’re spending the next few weeks on race, racial inequality, and racial politics. Step one is this lecture on race and racism.

After a tangent on racial identity, idealism and its enemies, I address biology and race, describing the classic racist racial categories in relation to vast human diversity in Africa and the world overall, with discussion of biological evolution and the sources of human variation. Then I turn to the US and discuss social definition and self-definition, race versus ethnicity, definitions of racism and discrimination, and how the Census Bureau measures US race and ethnicity, before summarizing current and projected race/ethnic composition. And I used the new Zoom feature where your PowerPoint slides are the virtual background (which is harder than it looks because your image isn’t mirrored while you speak!).

It’s 35 minutes. The slides are here, CC-BY: osf.io/uafvp. To see all…

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Keynesian Economics Is Wrong…Again

International Liberty

I’ve previously written that Keynesian economics is like Freddy Kreuger. No matter how many times it is killed off by real-world evidence, it comes back to life whenever a politician wants to justify a vote-buying orgy of new spending.

And there will always be Keynesian economists who will then crank up their simplistic models that churn out results predicting that a bigger burden of government spending somehow will produce additional growth.

They never bother to explain why they think draining funds from the private sector is good for growth, of course, or why they think politicians supposedly spend money more wisely than households and businesses.

Nonetheless, there are some journalists who are willing to act as stenographers for their assertions.

In a September 25 story for the Washington Post, Tory Newmyer gives free publicity to Keynesian predictions that the economy will grow faster if Biden wins and…

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Minneapolis fails to defund police

Why Evolution Is True

When a person or group cries “Defund the police!”, it could mean several things:

1.) Completely eliminate the budget of the police department, and hence the department itself. This is the demand that the University of Chicago’s #CareNotCops group makes for our campus police, saying they want the University Police gone by 2022.  For a case like this, the police department (PD) isn’t supposed to be replaced with another law-enforcement organization.

2.) Reduce the police budget, spending the extra money either on social-service programs or grants given to minority or crime-ridden communities.

3.) Change the method of policing, for example eliminating no-knock warrants or chokeholds.

4.) Supplement police services with social services, like having psychologists or psychiatric social workers respond to calls instead of the cops. That’s not practical, but some places have “ride along” programs where social workers go to relevant calls (domestic violence, child endangerment) with police. Other…

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David Andolfatto: Safe Asset Shortage

Ekonomicky blog

Gary Gorton: The History and Economics of Safe Assets (2016)

Andolfatto: So to begin, we should be clear about what economists generally mean by safe assets, right? I mean a safe asset is not necessarily a risk-free asset. So it’s a bit unfortunate that the labeling suggests that it is. But instead it’s an asset that can be basically readily accepted as an exchange medium or basically used as a form of money.

So the cash in our pockets is a perfect example of a safe asset. The cash in our pocket is not risk free. I mean, the price of your favorite good or service might suddenly jump tomorrow and that would whittle away at the purchasing power of the cash in your pocket today. So that’s the sense in which a safe asset is not necessarily risk free. But we like to hold these monetary instruments…

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Separate Stories and Solitudes

Science Matters

Rod Dreher writes at American Conservative about the chasm opening and dividing the previous United States.  His article is titled Joe Rogan World Vs. NPR World, but those words don’t reveal the importance or depth of his insights.   He starts with a familiar experience of hearing newscasting perverted by an agenda.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  

Yesterday when I drove up to the country to visit my mother, I listened to NPR until I couldn’t take it anymore. There was a story about black Mormons. Normally I would have found that compelling, given my interest in religion. The Mormon religion used to be formally racist, but changed its teaching. What is it like to live as a black Mormon? That’s a story that interests me. Or normally would, but I swear, I turned off the radio. Why?

It had nothing to do with the black Mormons. It…

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Why are animals cute?

Why Evolution Is True

If, like me, you’re one of those softies who likes cute animals—especially baby animals—and visits places like The Daily Squee, Zooborns, or Acting Like Animals, and if you’re also a tad reflective, you may have asked yourself, “Why do I find these things so god-damned adorable?”

There are, of course, two ways to answer that question.  The proximate answer requires that you single out those features of animals that make them cute versus ugly, and perhaps amalgamate them into some general explanation.  Why are baby ducks so cute, and baby parrots so ugly?  Why are baby chimps so much more appealing than adult ones?  Why are hairless cats uglier than normal ones?  Why are human babies so irresistible compared to teenagers?  General answers to these questions might involve fur, relative size of the head or of the eyes, length of the limbs, and so on.

Then there’s…

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Sweden: The 1810 Act of Succession.

European Royal History

The 1810 Act of Succession is one of four Fundamental Laws of the Realm and thus forms part of the Swedish Constitution. The Act regulates the line of succession to the Swedish Throne and the conditions which eligible members of the Swedish Royal Family must abide by in order to remain in it.

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It was jointly adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates, convened in Örebro on 26 September 1810, and Carl XIII, as a logical consequence following the election on 21 August of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte as Crown Prince.

The actual contents of the Act, save the solemn preamble, has been thoroughly rewritten over the years: the most notable change occurred in 1980 when the core principle of agnatic primogeniture (male succession only) was changed in favor of absolute primogeniture (eldest child regardless of sex).

Historical background

The Act of Succession was adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates…

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How California’s Environmental Mandates Led to Blackouts

Green Jihad

California’s rolling blackouts this summer were caused by decades of costly and poorly planned decisions to replace coal, nuclear, and gas-powered plants with solar and wind, according to some energy experts. Critics say the state’s dependence on solar and wind have made the power grid unreliable and overly expensive.

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When solar and wind capacity increase

Trust, yet verify

When pointing to the huge fluctuations of solar and wind production in previous post, I wrote that these fluctuations will only grow when South Australia advances on its path towards 100% renewable energy. Looking at the fuel mix and demand data that I had gathered until then, I noticed a fine example of exactly that. Just look at the fuel mix and demand data:

AEMO South Australia (charts0011a) overview

Let’s focus on the minimum on September 5 at 20:00. That is around the time that I looked for the first time at the overview panel (see previous post). The data showed that the total production of solar and wind was 4.341 MWh, which is 0.29% of what was produced at that moment. Contrast this to the peak of 1,258.486 MW the next day around 22:00, just after the evening peak when energy demand was slowly starting to decrease. It is this dynamics that will lead…

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