1 March 2019, The media loves disaster stories – floods, cyclones, heat waves, droughts and fires - each one “the worst Evaaaah” (evaah since the last one). Each report of catastrophe is usually followed by a religious chant about “man-made global warming”. Pretending we can change global climate by waging a war on carbon dioxide is foolish and dangerous nonsense. Sensible people accept that natural disasters have happened, and will happen again. We cannot stop that, but like the Boy Scouts, we can “Be Prepared” by ensuring our essential infrastructure is more weather-proof. When cyclones, floods, droughts and bushfires strike we need disaster-proof helipads, rail links, roads, bridges, water and electricity supply. Not one solar farm or wind turbine will survive a severe cyclone, and in wild, cloudy weather they will produce zero power. And giant batteries/pumped storage are just a short-term energy crutch, not a source of reliable energy. We cannot change the climate no matter what we spend. But we must adapt and prepare for the inevitable cyclones, floods, droughts and bushfires. There will always be one that challenges past records. Three things are needed:
To prevent catastrophic bushfires, we need to remove excess fuel with frequent small controlled fires.
To reduce the severity of droughts and floods, we need more dams and weirs.
And for everything, we need the continuous reliable electricity that comes from coal, gas or nuclear.