Friday, February 10, 2017

Hot

(Written Wednesday night) It is thirty five degrees outside, that is about 95 degrees in the old money and this is at 9.42pm when it should be cooling down. It is deliciously cool inside.

I was just out on the balcony and the air con is pumping huge amounts of heat into the atmosphere. Is it not curious that to cool ourselves inside, we have to pump heat outside, adding to the external heat. Multiply this by tens of thousands of air con units that are doing the same thing in our fair city. Probably our car air con units do the same. It is a night to leave the aircon on overnight, with a forecast minimum of 27 degrees.

We are fortunate in the State of Victoria that we huge amounts of filthy damp slow burning and mega polluting brown coal to burn to give us electricity at a relatively cheap price.

I think a massive bank of solar panels somewhere near Mildura might be an answer to the problems caused by coal burning, along with wind farms and states with common borders having connections in all directions to share power for the common good, rather than for overseas companies to make money. Of course that does not suit our Tory government who is about propping up big business and shareholder mates of dinosaur companies that invest in coal.

Look at this now decommissioned Yallourn power station belching its filth into the atmosphere.


Harmless steam you say? Please don't spoil my post with facts. The filth is there for all eyes to see. My younger memories of iced over puddles in Melbourne, will remain a memory, never to be seen again. What has in our name been done to our country?

25 comments:

  1. Sadly it's not just your country. it's happening all over the world - and here in the US or environment is under threat by the "billionaire" tycoon-in-chief elected with the help of low-income families who want their coal-producing, smog-manufacturing jobs to come back. (as if that's even possible)

    So our planet will be uninhabitable in 100 years. Who cares? We'll all be dead by then. The important thing is to make sure ExxonMobil makes more money!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Chris. The only hope we have is that humans are quite clever with remedial work. It is just a shame we are not better with proactive.

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    2. Chris and Andrew

      I am with you both 100%. Climate change makes places hotter or colder or more cyclone-prone or drier. And it drowns Pacific Islands.

      We are all rooted :(

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  2. It's that time of the year...we may not enjy it, but we must expect it...

    Summertime and the livin' is easy
    Fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high
    Oh, your daddy's rich and your ma is good-lookin'
    So hush, little baby; don't you cry
    One of these mornings you're gonna rise up singing
    And you'll spread your wings and you'll take to the sky
    But till that morning, there ain't nothin' can harm you
    With daddy and mammy standin' by...

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    1. Lee, I hope you are not suggesting I can't whinge about the weather. It is my reason for being. It is always too hot or too cold or too wet or too windy or too dry.

      Summertime is one of my favourite songs. Go Ella and Louis.

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    2. Don't despair! I'm hating the heat, too. :)

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  3. Jthank you for your tribute to jac...so sad

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    1. John, she was a pretty good stick, hey.

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  4. When you think that after WW1 we managed to make the useless brown coal (German technology) into burnable product but in the 21st century we can't find a way to make the damn stuff burn cleaner. Money, money, money and more money into research for the future but too busy being greedy now.

    As for Exxon, people are still trying to clean up their oil spill from the Exxon Valdez, how many years now but the oil is still rising through the sand.

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    1. Jah Teh, Malcolm says there is such a thing as clean coal burning. I am doubtful, and why bother. We should be rid of such old technology.

      Exxon Valdez is still a problem? I didn't know.

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  5. You certainly have had it so very hot over your way, at night as you say.
    Let's hope some solutions for power can be found and who knows in the future 'coal' can be clean - we just don't know yet.

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    1. Margaret, I think technology and other methods of power production will bypass and step ahead of clean coal. That could be why the government and capital is trying to extract the maximum value from it now.

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  6. We're in day three of the four day heatwave and the aircon only cools the living room, so I have fans going too at night, one in the living room to push cool air into the bedroom, then one in the bedroom to circulate the cool air there.
    An article in our paper had me spitting chips: rolling blackouts were started in the name of rotational load shedding, to lessen the strain on infrastructure, so 40,000 homes and businesses were without power for about 45 minutes then inexplicably "they" decided to turn the power back on and there were no more rolling blackouts. Throughout all of this, our second power plant at Pelican Point was fully gassed up, ready to go, but NOT TURNED ON. And this was on Wednesday when we sweated through 42.4C (108F) with an overnight of about 31C.
    Maybe I'm wrong, but if infrastructure is in danger of melting down or breaking down under high usage, shouldn't it be built stronger, did someone cut corners and pocket the difference way back when? Or was it simply assumed there wouldn't be so much future demand, with more and more people installing air conditioners for life saving comfort.
    As for "clean" coal, surely emissions can be filtered somehow, like the BHP Smelters at Port Pirie when they had to modify their emissions because of the lead.

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    1. River, I would be very cross if I was load shed, as many people in Adelaide were. I saw a map, and I don't think you were load shed. We were load shed once a few years ago. R had to help Sister down many flights of stairs with a very young Little Jo, and then climb back up. It was for about two hours. Forty five minutes is not so bad, but load shedding should not happen where there are many buildings with lifts and major hospitals. Yes, they have back up power, but at the point of the ultimate test where they are need, they often fail.

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  7. From what I heard from various news sources, they couldn't find anyone to take the responsibility of turning on the switch at Pelican Point.

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    1. JT, it seems it was the responsibility of the national regulator, unless it was an emergency situation, which then made it the responsibility of the state energy minister. If houses going dark is not an emergency, then what is? It is politics.

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  8. Such a turnabout in weather Andrew. Over here we're experiencing the most rain and coolest weather EVER at this time of the year. Hard to believe there are still some who deny climate change. Totally agree re the solar panels and wind farms, it makes so much sense it's difficult to believe it's not already happening!

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    1. Grace, I saw the rainfall figures. Extraordinary. And, it is not over yet.

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  9. Anonymous1:25 am

    I think the load shedding is solely about money.

    If we built power systems to cope with maximum demand (ie for 45 degree episodes which occur on a tiny percentage of hours/days each year) our costs to build maintain and run those systems would be huge. Well more huge than they already are.

    So we build systems that cost less because they do less.

    If people could live in well insulated homes near trees and knew to close their homes during the day and open them up at night, we wouldn't need to run our air conditioners so much. I guess this doesn't help those of you in States sweating through the past few days but sometimes the cold wet tea towel around the neck and the low kw fan are better reactions rather than just flicking the air conditioner switch on.Perhaps not so much in St Kilda Road but surely people in Brighton could whip out a cold wet tea towel or six....

    Cheers Marie

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    1. Here's the thing: not everyone lives in well insulated houses and many don't have trees for shade. It would be ideal, but people live where they can afford the rent mostly. As for opening up at night, that's useless when the air is so hot overnight temperatures stay high, like in Adelaide this past week. Wednesday night was 39C, that's 102F all night.

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    2. Anonymous6:27 pm

      Hi River

      That's why I said "if people could" rather than "people should" - it's mainly about long range planning by the Government regarding green belts and building codes. It shouldn't be the case that rich people live in well designed cool/warm houses and poor people live in penny pinching reezing/hot houses and consequently incur high power bills, when environmental laws could set the standard for all of us.

      But barring 39 degree midnights, I think even individuals in hot boxes can generally plan ahead to lessen the effects of extreme high and low temperatures.

      Cheers Marie

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    3. Thanks Marie. Even though we can choose to where we live and we own where we live, there is very little we can do save energy. Wind and solar power have been investigated for the building, but there is not the roof space.

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    4. Maire, re your earlier comment, but that is thing. Our system needs to cope with hottest days. What is the point of it otherwise. Some can reduce the needed energy by your examples. But sun and wind and other renewables are free, with just some infrastructure required. Only the profits for coal and petro companies are holding us back.

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    5. Anonymous1:35 am

      Hi

      Getting a bit out of my depth here, but I think current technology does not allow wind and solar power to be stored and used reliably enough for energy to be reliably provided at the level required on extreme demand days.

      And Governments baulk at building and sustaining coal powered energy plants that can provide enough energy for our highest demand days. I think I remember the WA Treasurer saying it would cost about 30% more to provide the level of power required for our highest demand days which are only about 3% of a year ie 10 days out of 365. So on those days we put up with staggered blackouts.

      I don't want to pay 30% more each power bill. And many people couldn't pay 30% more.

      Clearly I am not an expert and I don't vote for the Greens, but I try to understand what they are saying and I think we need a shift in thinking at both macro and micro levels.

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    6. Anon, we are well on the way to being able to store electricity easily with house batteries. A newish house battery is very thin and can be put inside walls like insulation. These sorts of inventions will come thick and fast as the need arises. Supporting dying industries like burning coal to make energy is a waste of money. Thanks for your comment. It's all good input.

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