Tuesday 16th of August 2022

taking pictures on a beaut day...

on a beaut day

I have wicked dreams… The new Premier of New South Wales, Gladys, is inaugurating her new stadium. She has managed to demolish the perfectly adequate Sydney Opera House and replaced it with a sports Arena with an open-and-shut roof looking like a modern version (more rounded) of the Old Building — a roof made of glass, steel and cardboard. 

Of course, I want to take picture of this beauty that looks like a pair of cruise liners has beached on a magnificent day for the pleasure of a tourist bus (from which I will alight lightly shortly) parked on the roundabout at the Neutral Bay ferry terminal — still looking tatty and in need of refurbishment that Gladys has in her next instalment of demolishment of anything with a past. The Kirribilli promontory has been removed, to make room for a tunnel and a small artificial island, with an Opal tower-like skyscraper, adorned by a front-lawn sculpture. It’s a miniature Opera House lit from within with various glowing advertising images, from Vegemite to how great Gladys is, around which a rusty sailing boat with rusty steel sails is spinning around on a rusty steel rod from a defuncted rusty hills hoist. A frangipani in bloom frames the scenery.

The day is so warm and so clear that I feel compelled to take joyous pictures of the lot. When I alight from the Groundhog white bus, I'm completely naked. I use my camera one-handedly as I need my left-hand to cover my block-and-tackle coyly warmed by a glorious sun to the front. As usual, as everywhere in Sydney, there's the ubiquitous leaning white-anted hardwood electricity post — with its temporary steel strut at the base preventing it falling further — planted in front. That contraption spoils the view a bit, but the festive array of traffic signs which I love, screwed onto the post tells us the times for no parking, no stopping and no partying in small prints… and it’s time to wake up... still naked. Too bad.

All this silly dream, I guess came about because our “Energy Minister”, Angus, is announcing that the Malcolm’s Snowies 2.0 project is going ahead, despite the disastrous environment problems this could cause to the last population of local mountain rats (possums), who already are starving from the lack of bogong moths reaching the peaks. This deadly sad situation is due to our usage of insecticide in the plains below, more or less doubling every year. The major problems for the engineers of Snowy 2.007 is to appear to be building and operate this new system of artificial lakes, pumps and pipes without using fossil fuels. It’s going to take about twenty years before being operational. By then rain will have stopped completely (unless it’s no more than a prostatic drizzle) and most water will have to be pumped from the Pacific Ocean, the level of which is going up due to the melting of Antarctica — which is not happening according to our esteemed PM, Scummo the cuddly bear and leader of the Noah’s Ark Society. 

Meanwhile, our esteemed “Minister for the Environment” (what’s her name again?) has not said a word since having been promoted to the job, more than seven months ago, apart that when alerted to the possible extinction of the Koalas (they are not a bear) due to deforestation and mining, she said that “you can’t stop progress". This is Australia.

We're in trouble. 

engineering snowy 2.0...

more to come...



Numbers of unique Australian moths that migrate in their billions to alpine areas have crashed, ecologists say, putting extra pressure on the endangered mountain pygmy possum.

Scientists believe the “astonishing” drop in bogong moth numbers is linked to climate change and recent droughts in areas where the moths breed.

At the same time checks on the endangered mountain pygmy possum, which exists only in Australia’s alpine regions, have revealed dead litters in the pouches of females. The moths are a key food source for the possums as they wake from hibernation.


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Whatever it is, I fear Greeks bearing gifts

“Quicquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis” (Virgil, The Aeneid).

Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) has proposed and is currently developing Snowy 2.0; a plan to add 2,000MW of pumped hydro to the existing Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. This involves constructing 27km of tunnels between the Lake Tantangara and Lake Talbingo storages and a power station inside a cavern deep inside a mountain between the two lakes.

There are large questions over the estimated costs of the proposed scheme when benchmarked against other equivalent projects. The largest cost item appears to be tunnelling for which there appears significant risk.

The CEO of Snowy Hydro has admitted that there will need to be a “massive amount of reinforcing of the tunnels” (Broad, 2017) because of the poor and weak structure of the rock that they will be tunnelling through.

Understandably, Snowy Hydro has not released its commercial business case. However, and somewhat unusually, it contracted a consultant to calculate the market benefits of the project which were estimated to be between $4.2 and $6.8 billion, depending on the scenario assumed.

The market benefits were estimated over a rather heroic 56-year study period (50 years of Snowy 2.0 operation).

However, the consultant’s analysis appears very narrow and does not cover the expected range of scenarios and states of the world that would be typical for a market benefits assessment. It might even be argued that the consultant has assessed favourable scenarios and ignored less favourable scenarios.

For example, there are several competing projects that do not appear to have been considered. And the costs of competing technologies appear unusually high, which when displaced by Snowy 2.0 in the analysis, produce more benefits than would otherwise be expected.

Market benefits is a regulatory concept used to assess the benefits of regulated investments in the NEM. It estimates the increase in consumer/producer surplus where the market is competitive.

The estimated market benefits are not relevant to the likely returns to Snowy Hydro, except that in a competitive market environment, they represent the maximum that Snowy Hydro could extract in returns;...


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using coal without burning it...

Imagine revitalising the coal industry and disrupting the agriculture market all in one fell swoop.

That is the extent of this ASX listed stock’s ambitions.

This ASX company plans to make money and fertiliser out of Australia’s vast coal reserves. And they plan to make it happen in seconds and to produce zero emissions from doing so.

The company is targeting the wheat industry by improving yields at a fraction of the cost of traditional techniques – and when wheat is the major crop grown in Australia, with a value of AU$7.1 billion, it’s quite a large market to be disrupting.

The company has a license to use a proven process invented by Professor Ken Anderson, of Southern Illinois University (SIU) in the USA.

The process – OHD, or oxidative hydrothermal dissolution – converts coal into a bio-stimulant fertiliser (again we stress the point that it can do this in mere seconds).

Like how farmers add fertiliser to ensure they get a good crop on any given year, bio-stimulants can be added to do the same; increase yield but are traditionally very expensive and were only used on high-value crops.

Recent trials on wheat demonstrated this company’s fertilizer can increase wheat yields by circa 300%.

This company is in an enviable position to disrupt the market as it is able to produce bio-stimulant fertilisers at 1/10 th the cost of traditional fertilisers and owns the rights to distribute its product internationally.

Of course this company is in the early stages of its development and investors should therefore take a cautious approach to any investment decision made and seek professional financial advice with regard to this stock.

It has its hands on some of the ‘purest’ coal going round... coal in the La Trobe Valley in Victoria.

La Trobe Valley coal is young and has a low ‘ash’ content (3% to be precise). If you don’t know much about coal, low ash content is quite rare – ash being the informal term for the waste material leftover once the carbon has been burned, some of which can be toxic.

Those in the industry have been aware of the quality of coal in the La Trobe Valley and today’s company holds an application for an Exploration License which would give it rights to an area in the La Trobe Valley which has an abundance of coal mines and the potential for additional large coal resources.

The License could give it the coal to continue to develop its proprietary technology, which it hopes to use for production of coal generated fertiliser in just 18 months to two years.

In October last year, this company started the first phase of tests using liquid produced by the application of the OHD process as a plant growth bio-stimulant. The test were carried out by Monash University with very positive results.

Testing is being expanded to cover a wide range of cereal crops. At this stage, by all accounts this could be the game changer the coal industry has been looking for and there has already been interest from national and international power groups looking at offtake agreements.

Yet these aren’t the only markets this company is targeting.

It has another clean energy play up its sleeve.

This company has a lithium play in Guyana, an underexplored nation north of Brazil.

It’s currently exploring the tenements with results due in weeks to see how prospective they are for lithium-bearing pegmatites.

By all accounts the lithium prize for this company could be rather large given its tenements are identical to the Pilgangoora “Hotzone” in Western Australia, which hosts over $2 billion of ASX listed lithium explorers and developers.

Add to that a third potentially winning card up its sleeve – a license over prospective tenements in the Northern Territory with confirmed potash resources and potentially lithium brines


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throw the CONservatives out...

The New South Wales government is anti-action on global warming, demolishes good stadiums for no reason (except envy of Melbourne's bigger ones), has destroyed koala habitats by relaxing laws on land clearing, has polluted and reduced the flow of rivers to the point of several massive fish kills, has destroyed Sydney's nightlife and its music venues, favours more cars over public transport, though it has invested in a few train lines and has also destroyed Sydney central business district with the construction of a 1929-solution tram line when modern electric buses and a restriction on cars in the CBD would have done a far better job, and by end of all this, this moribund CONservative government is ARROGANT beyond belief. Time for a change, even if it's not "for the best", it could not be worse.

Do yourself a favour. Throw Gladys out.


Note that most media in this country will support the CONservatives. It's a CON...


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the worst referee EVER SEEN on a football field...

 Papalii is back on the field and back smashing into the Roosters' defence. Fifth tackle and Sezer puts up the bomb, it's off Tedesco's head, and the referee waves for six again.

 Then, remarkably, he calls for the handover when the tackle is eventually made. Astonishing, the Raiders are blowing up.

 The Roosters go all the way down the other end and score!!


 Latrell flicked to Leilua to set him on his way down the left touchline, and Tedesco was lurking in support - and the Dally M winner finished it off! 

And Mitchell converts! It's 14-8 to the Roosters!


 Amazing that that should happen after that reversed(?) six again call. Unbelievable. 



And no, I don't care about this game of boofheads, but I care about blatant injustice, especially when it advantages one club of boofheads over another...

and perrottet dreams of being a wrecking ball...

A week after he said the White Bay Power Station should be demolished, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s views on the heritage-listed building are softening, but there are some other Sydney architectural landmarks in his sights.

While acknowledging he was relatively "architecturally unenlightened," Mr Perrottet said Sydney was littered with scars from the architectural establishment’s love for utilitarianism.

He took aim at apartment blocks Blues Point Tower in McMahons Point and Greenway Apartments in Milsons Point, while describing the annexure to the CBD's Land and Property Information Building as "an outhouse tacked on to a federation home".

Mr Perrottet said he should also not be allowed close to the city's Hospital Road Courthouse or the Cahill Expressway with a wrecking ball.

"Once such a monstrosity is built, it never goes away, because there’s always some dedicated fan club to proclaim its heritage value and demand its eternal preservation in our nation’s ever-expanding architectural pantheon of cinder blocks," Mr Perrottet has written in an opinion piece for the Herald.

The Treasurer sparked immediate controversy last Wednesday when he described the century-old power station as a "shocking building" and suggested it be torn down, during an announcement for a new Metro station nearby.

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne said Mr Perrottet’s comments were absurd and ignorant, while Planning Minister Rob Stokes suggested he stick with numbers rather than architecture.

The trio toured the building together on Tuesday afternoon, exploring the contaminated site that has sat relatively idle for close to 40 years since it was decommissioned in the early 1980s.

While the power station’s roof has been upgraded – including the removal of nine tons of pigeon droppings – much of the structure is severely dilapidated, with the NSW government looking to engage private investment to remediate it.


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There was a period in Europe, mainly Italy, when the governments decided to get rid of the ugly Baroque Churches... 

As a committed Devout extremist Christian, Perrottet would have been horrified... or may be not. He might be a acetic aestheticist like a tight-arse protestant. Unless he is a Catholic conservative traditionalist for whom the Vatican is not ornate enough and that Michelangelo's loose brushstrokes in the Sistine Chapel are too flippant. 


Of course, Perrottet is an artist of the purse-strings, selling every public asset that is bolted down or not to finance an illusion of a budget that in my view is more brutalist than the Sydneysian architecture he so despise. As a politician, Perrottet suxs. As an art student, he should get an F minus for his miserable submission.


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See also: 

the nasty bastards who see history in the way of their new toys, are at it again...

fertiliser's woes...


From F. William Engdahl



The global energy shortages which have driven prices for coal, oil and natural gas to explosive highs in the last months are a predictable consequence of the mad* pursuit of “Zero Carbon” economic policies that have seen foolish governments subsidize a growing share of electricity from unreliable solar and wind generation. One consequence has been a five-fold rise in the price of natural gas or methane across the globe. That extends from China to the EU, USA and beyond. A follow-on consequence of that natural gas shortage and price explosion is a growing crisis in world agriculture fertilizer production. This may all be no accident. It fits the WEF Great Reset Agenda of UN 2030. 

Ammonia-based fertilizers made from nitrogen (most of our air, so never in shortage) and natural gas or methane (CH4) make up almost 70% of all fertilizers used to support major agriculture crops such as wheat, corn, rice and even coffee. As natural gas prices have soared by anywhere from 300% to 500% over the past months, this has had a devastating impact on world fertilizer production where some 80% of the cost of making ammonia fertilizers is due to natural gas. 

When Hurricane Ida stormed across Louisiana on August 25, the largest ammonia factory complex in the world, owned by CF Industries, was closed for safety reasons and only reopened ten days later. Curiously at that point two more factories from the same CF Industries, those in the UK, announced they would close two more fertilizer plants on September 22, claiming high natural gas prices as the cause, despite the fact their Louisiana plant had just been out for ten days. The two plants supply some two-thirds of UK domestic fertilizer demand. The Government was forced to agree emergency subsidies to CF Industries to reopen one of the two plants temporarily to ease the pressures. The combined effect of the three major closures by the same group added to the crisis in world fertilizer supply. It may be just coincidence that the two largest stock owners of CF Industries are Vanguard and BlackRock.

This crisis is snowballing. As of early October reported closures of ammonia fertilizer production had been announced by the giant German chemicals company, BASF, in Belgium and Germany, indefinitely. It also affects production of ammonia-based diesel fuel additive, AdBlue. 

Further closings are ongoing in Achema in Lithuania, OCI in Netherlands. Yara International is reducing 40% of its EU ammonia fertilizer production. Fertiberia in Spain is closing a plant along with OPZ in Ukraine, a major fertilizer producer. In Austria Borealis AG has closed production and Germany’s largest ammonia producer, SKW Piesteritz, has cut production by 20%.

Worsening the overall global fertilizer crisis, the Biden Administration in August slapped sanctions on the Belarus government, explicitly naming Belaruskali OAO, the world’s fourth largest fertilizer producer, for “sustaining the Belarusian regime at the expense of the Belarusian people.” Belaruskali controls about one-fifth of the world potash-based fertilizer market. 

Heart of global food security

Nitrogen-based fertilizers are far the most widely used in global farming, about three-fourths of all commercial fertilizers. Since the development of the Haber-Bosch process in Germany just before the First World War, artificial production of nitrogen fertilizers has supported the enormous expansion in agriculture productivity. Nitrogen fertilizers are made from ammonia (NH3) produced by the Haber-Bosch process. It is energy-intensive using natural gas (CH4) which is methane, to supply hydrogen. This NH3 or ammonia is used as a feedstock for other nitrogen fertilizers, such as anhydrous ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) and urea (CO(NH2)2). Crop yields since World War Two have become strongly dependent on nitrogen-based fertilizers. It is estimated for the US that average corn yields would decline by 40 percent without nitrogen fertilizer.

Today estimates are that perhaps half the global population is dependent on nitrogen fertilizers. According to studies published in the scientific journal, Nature, 48 percent of the world population in 2008 was dependent on nitrogen fertilizers for their daily access to food. “This means that nitrogen fertilizers in 2015 provided food security for 3,5 billion people who would otherwise have starved to death.”

China shock

Adding a huge shock to the growing global fertilizer shortage is the decision by Beijing in recent weeks to severely cut or freeze fertilizer exports for a variety of reasons including shortages of coal and natural gas for electric power and a panicked try to control domestic inflation. Record summer floods in Henan Province hit the heart of the China grain region, and the government has started a campaign to have citizens undergo a “Clean Plate Campaign 2.0″ to stop food waste, which some believe is a way to disguise the serious harvest failures. 

China, India and USA are far and away the world’s largest users of nitrogen fertilizers in tons per acre. China is also one of the largest fertilizer exporters and there the government in September announced a ban on nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer export until June 2022. With soaring global natural gas prices, as well as coal which China imports, the country has seen significant electric power blackouts owing to electric companies closing rather than sell power at a loss. One consequence of the complex crisis is the fertilizer export ban. China is the largest exporter of urea nitrogen fertilizer, accounting for nearly a third of the global supply, and is also a major manufacturer of phosphate. 

In Bavaria in southern Germany, farmers are reportedly unable to buy fertilizer until at least next summer. The spreading global fertilizer crisis will mean sharp reductions in feed corn, wheat, rice, coffee and other crops in 2022. This hits amid the steepest food price inflation in decades, further aggravated by covid measures and disruptions in global shipping trade. 

COP26 Methane Attack 

Behind the growing global fertilizer shortage crisis is the five-fold explosion in the price of methane or natural gas as it is usually called. This has its origins in deliberate “anti-carbon” green policies of the Biden Administration and of the European Union with its “Fit for 55” program to cut CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, including methane or natural gas. The Biden administration has forced disinvestment in USA shale gas, and the forced expansion of highly-subsidized Green Energy such as wind and solar have created an unreliable electric grid. When the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine alternative electric power is missing. Storage is a huge problem. That was not so critical when solar or wind made up a tiny percent of the grid. But today in countries such as energy-dependent Germany, alternatives can make up 42% of gross electric consumption. As nuclear and coal plants are taxed into extinction for the Zero Carbon madness, prices for oil and natural gas are exploding. New investment in hydrocarbon exploitation is collapsing as a result, and supplies limited just when everyone needs it. 

The growing crisis in world fertilizer production fits well into the UN Agenda 2030 for “sustainable” (sic) agriculture by which the globalists such as World Economic Forum of Klaus Schwab and BlackRock of Wall Street, the world’s largest private investment fund with a reported $9 trillion in assets it manages, mean dramatic reduction in meat production, replacing it with fake lab-grown meats or even insects as a protein source. 

There is a growing demonization of agriculture and especially meat production, claiming it is a major source of global warming. Methane is now a major target of the Green Agenda from the USA and EU. Notably, at the recent UN COP 26 global warming gathering, some 100 nations signed on to a joint EU-US proposal to cut methane gas emissions by 30% by 2030. We can expect to see growing government and NGO attacks on our food system using soaring fertilizer prices, campaigns against meat and demands for “sustainable” agriculture to further raise our now-soaring cost of food. Key to this attack is the Green New Deal war on oil, gas and coal, the low-cost energy system that has been the heart of today’s global economy and escape from poverty since World War II.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


Read more: https://journal-neo.org/2021/11/12/now-the-organized-takedown-of-global-fertilizer-supply/


* mad but necessary...




With global prices soaring, it seemed odd timing this week for Incitec Pivot to announce plans to close one of Australia's largest fertiliser plants.

Key points:
  • Incitec Pivot announces plans to shut down its Gibson Island fertiliser plant in Brisbane
  • Global fertiliser prices are soaring, putting a lot of pressure on farmers' budgets
  • One of the largest issues facing the fertiliser industry is the cost of natural gas, a key input

The rising cost of another commodity — natural gas — appears to have sealed the fate for Incitec's Gibson Island facility in Brisbane.

"Despite extensive efforts, [we have] been unable to secure an economically viable long-term gas supply," the company said in a statement to the ASX.

"The decision to close the Gibson Island manufacturing facility after more than 50 years of operation is expected to impact up to 170 employees."

The company said it would cease manufacturing with natural gas at the end of 2022 but was looking into the potential of green ammonia.

The facility has spent decades converting gas into fertiliser products. According to its website, it has the capacity each year to manufacture 300,000 tonnes of ammonia, 280,000 tonnes of urea and 200,000 tonnes of ammonium.



Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-11-13/incitec-pivot-shut-brisbane-plant-amidst-fertiliser-price-boom/100610750


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This could keep the sewer recycling plants busy to provide "naturally sourced" composts...


not sterile...

Why is a ship carrying cargo from China refusing to leave Sri Lankan waters despite being asked to do so by authorities? 

The answer is a crucial shipment gone horribly wrong, leading to a rare diplomatic tussle between two close allies, the blacklisting of a bank, and a group of farmers and scientists up in arms. 

The ship in question - the Hippo Spirit - departed from China in September carrying 20,000 tonnes of much-needed organic fertiliser to Colombo.

The order was placed after the Sri Lankan government suddenly stopped all chemical fertiliser imports in May to convert the country into the world's first completely organic farming nation. 

It's the first consignment of Colombo's plans to purchase 99,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser from Qingdao Seawin Bio-tech group, a Chinese company specialising in seaweed-based fertiliser, at a cost of $49.7m (£36m). 

So given the desperate requirement for organic fertiliser, why is there a controversy over this shipment?


The issue is with the quality of the fertiliser - which scientists say, instead of helping, could prove harmful to crops. 

"Our tests on the samples showed that the (Chinese) fertiliser was not sterile," Dr Ajantha De Silva, director general, Sri Lankan Department of Agriculture, told the BBC. "We have identified bacteria which are harmful to plants like carrots and potatoes."

They insist that since the cargo has implications for the bio-security of the country, it cannot be accepted. 

The decision has triggered an angry rebuttal from Qingdao Seawin. It has accused the Sri Lankan media of using terms like "toxic, garbage, pollution" and other derogatory words to "slander the image of the Chinese enterprises and the Chinese government". 

"The unscientific detection method and conclusion of National Plant Quarantine Service (NPQ) in Sri Lanka obviously do not comply with international animal and plant quarantine convention," the company thundered in a statement.

As the controversy escalated, a court ordered the state-owned People's Bank to stop payment of $9m for the cargo already awaiting entry.




The Chinese embassy in Colombo responded by blacklisting the bank for not honouring the payment to the company.



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