Flat White

Listen to Reagan: governments don't solve problems

8 July 2022

4:00 AM

8 July 2022

4:00 AM

It was the astute Ronald Reagan who gave us the quote: ‘Government does not solve problems; it subsidises them.’

I thought of this piece of wisdom as I contemplated the escalating drama that is our supply of power and water. I say ‘escalating drama’ because I am old enough to remember when government agencies supplied these basic services without interruption or concern for users; unless the coal miners went on strike. It was a time when politicians knew what their basic obligations were to the people and mostly met those responsibilities without the need for repeated ‘press releases’ and halfhearted ‘mea culpas’.

I include ‘water’ even though our dams are mostly full and rivers flowing with above-average volumes, because I know this situation will not last, and around two years into the next inevitable drought, many people in southern Australia will be without adequate water. This is bound to happen as a result of governments failing to plan for the future and build the infrastructure needed to supply these basic services. We have not built a dam of any significance in almost fifty years and during that time our population has grown by over eleven million people. Just to provide water for municipal use for these extra people would need storage of around six million megaliters. That is the same as three full Warragamba Dams. That soon-to-be-required storage has not been planned, much less built. Nor have we built the base load power generation capacity we now so obviously need.

With Reagan’s voice in my ear, I ask, ‘What is our government doing to ensure the people have adequate and affordable power and water?’ My first reaction is ‘nothing’. Yes, nothing other than relying on the unlikely supply of power from renewables and water from our unreliable rainfall most of which will run to the sea.

Why are we building reliance on sources of power that can never meet our peak needs as demonstrated in the graph below? There is an unassailable truth in this graph and it is that each day our peak needs for power are between 6am and 9am and again between 6pm and 9pm. And the indisputable truth is that at these times solar power is near zero.


I ask Prime Minister Albanese and Minister for Climate and Energy Chris Bowen, ‘Why are you deliberately misleading the Australian people by saying that we can provide our power needs with so-called renewables?’ Obviously, we can’t achieve this and given the escalating power prices from present failed attempts to do so, ‘renewables will be cheaper’ remains a fiction.

The words of Ronald Reagan are not only prescient, but very sobering as we appreciate that our recently elected government is not solving our problems, but it is ‘subsidising’ them and making them worse.

How can we possibly rely on solar power when for 13 hours of every day there is no sun? Our chances of cheap and reliable power are now just a mirage on the Australian landscape. And while water is presently abundant, in fact in oversupply, it will not be long into the next unavoidable drought that we will be desperately short of water.

Again, this is because of a lack of planning, and as Reagan said, ‘Governments do not solve problems.’ In Australia, they make little if any effort to foresee problems. Real problems are usually misdiagnosed and the most expensive non-solution applied where there was little concern in the first place. As an example, the destructive and ineffective Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

So, how did we get to this asinine situation where we are spending (wasting) billions of dollars every year on a non-solution to a non-problem? It was the United Nations that first advanced the hypothesis that ‘man’s burning of fossil fuels will increase CO2 concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere and this will lead to serious temperature rise’.

Words like ‘catastrophic temperature rise’ and ‘long droughts’ were all bandied about and sensationally advanced by a non-questioning media. What happened was that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere rose from an historic low of around two hundred and eighty parts per million to around four hundred parts per million where they stand today. But there has been no rise in temperature. As measured by the satellite temperature recordings the world’s temperature has remained steady for the last thirty years, while CO2 concentrations have grown by around seventy percent. But what there is no dispute about is that this rise in CO2 concentrations has been beneficial, not prejudicial, to all life on earth. Our planet is now greener and more productive than it previously was because of increasing CO2 levels.

The hypothesis so loved and promoted by Greens and others has been proven false and therefore can never be advanced as fact again. When this unwanted fact became known, the IPCC had to scramble to find another cause to advance their aims, which were always about transferring wealth from the first world to the third world.

‘Voila!’ Man is responsible for Climate Change. Beneath their breath mumbling, ‘That should be hard for the smarties and scientists to disprove.’ 

So, what is Climate Change? For starters the climate changes with the seasons and it also changes with the varying orbits of the earth around the sun. These are facts that have been known for centuries and are not disputed. Having established that man activities have no effect on Earth’s temperature, in what other ways could man be changing the climate?

In fact, none.

Our politicians are doing exactly as Reagan suggested. They are subsidising our problems and making matters worse.

If I could conclude with a quote of my own: ‘When politicians promote their own hype, the people suffer.’

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