solar power

Solar Puts Us On a Road to Nowhere

8 November 2023


By Tony O’Brien

“Anyone taken as an individual, is tolerably sensible and reasonable;
as a member of a crowd, he at once becomes a blockhead.”
Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

Following the communist victory in China in 1949, Mao Zedong promised many reforms. Part of his reformation included increasing the grain harvest across the country by identifying a government-declared enemy… sparrows.

To limit the damage inflicted by the pests, millions of peasants shooed the birds with bamboo flag poles, shouts and guns, denying sparrows the ability to land on trees, telegraph wires, rooftops, etc. Millions of birds died from exhaustion in Mao’s sponsored open season.

An unintended consequence of this group madness was the onslaught of insects, which devoured the very crops the eradication of the sparrows was meant to increase.

Undeterred, Mao then called upon the people to produce millions of tonnes of steel, which they attempted by felling trees, slashing forests, smelting their cooking pots and pans, iron gates and machinery, only to deliver useless slag metals. Mao’s economic thought bubbles were madness, but the people followed like lemmings.

Drive anywhere in rural Australia these days, and a similar Maoist madness blights the agricultural countryside and bush. This government-sponsored madness comprises the hideous roll-out of huge solar farms and Quixotic wind turbines, which supposedly will reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and perhaps one day in the distant future might reduce the cost of electricity… come in spinner.

A bank of small-scale solar panels has a useful purpose when located on the roof of a house, a factory, a barn, or as a replacement for a rusty old windmill; but when large-scale solar parks destroy thousands of hectares of what was once prime agricultural or grazing farmland, the lunacy of net zero pseudo-science is striking.


As a rule of thumb, to generate one megawatt from solar panels, two to four hectares of land are required. The number of panels required for that single megawatt varies depending on the amount of sunlight received at the site, the season and the wattage of each panel; but it comes in at around 2,500 to 5,000 panels.

The installation costs of trenches, footings, frames, panels, wiring, conduits and protective cyclone fencing are around $1,000,000.

A sales pitch used to sell solar power is the oft-heard claim that “solar panels pay for themselves”; yet this slogan echoes the historical mantra of an older illogical spiel that “the rain follows the plough”.

Many farmers have been persuaded to grant long-term leases or to sell acreage to allow installation of thousands of panels on their lands. Certainly, the farmer gets a financial gain, but the real cost is the degradation of the soil caused by concrete and steel foundations, trenches filled with PVC and electrical conduits, tree removals and the hazardous materials embedded in the solar panels.

Many panels incorporate a fruit salad of toxins, including cadmium telluride (CdTe), lead, and gallium arsenide. These materials can leach into the soil, the water table and creeks as the panels deteriorate or are damaged by hail, winds and fire.

Huge solar plantations exist around Chinchilla, Bouldercombe and Clare, in Queensland and Moree in New South Wales. But the piece de resistance is the proposed, but troubled, SunCable project in the Northern Territory, which will occupy 12,100 hectares (121 square kilometres).

Accidents Await

Large solar plantations require high cyclone fencing to keep out cattle, deer, goats, kangaroos, sheep, feral pigs and inquisitive humans. One wonders how successful these fences will prove to be in the event of a mouse plague chewing cables and wiring, or the sudden descent of a cloud of cockatoos examining and tearing at the panels. Such scenarios will, one day, eventuate.

Large 24/seven commercial solar farms connected into the grid require battery banks, mainly of lithium-ion batteries, but also nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride batteries to store the electricity.

These batteries are an essential requirement for renewable energy generation. They store electricity during off-peak times and feed into the grid during peak hours, night time or days of no sunshine.

Like solar panels, these batteries contain cocktail salads of nasty elements. If they ignite, which they are liable to do, they release clouds of hazardous pollutants.

As this article was finalised, the newly constructed, but not yet operational, large solar plantation in Bouldercombe in Queensland experienced a spontaneous battery fire, which erupted when no one was on site. Reports indicate that the fire was minor; but firefighters are unequipped to extinguish these types of fire.

Luckily the fire did not spread to the remaining 39 battery units, which adjoin the burning battery bank. This raises the question as to why these 40 units are co-located in multiples of eight units, with only a couple of metres separating each bank and not independently isolated by earthen bunkers and the site rigged with a brine fire-fighting system?

Further, why are there no regulations to ensure a viable technique for dousing a battery “thermal runaway” fire? A tested option is to pump a (-21 degrees Celsius) brine solution into the battery.


Energy Minister Chris Bowen, the Greens and Lib/Lab have so embraced the impossibility of net zero that they are overseeing the dismantling of the nation’s energy reliability. And a by-product of their actions is to put at risk the very environment that they are committed to protecting.

All this supposedly to save the planet from the as-yet not manifest harms feared from an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Bowen needs to read Charles McKay’s 1841 book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (available at Amazon Australia or as a free pdf on Wikipedia), if for no other reason than that his climate zealotry and groupthink will wreck the Australian economy by depriving it of reliable energy and that future historians will forever link him, the Albanese Government and the ABC with the delusion and madness of crowds.

Australia’s single-minded pursuit of net zero is already destroying agricultural land and forests and undermining stable/reliable electricity generation. It calls to mind historical groupthink manias that ended in disaster and tears: Tulip mania (1633-37); the South Sea Bubble (1710); the Victorian Land Boom (1883-89); the Wall Street Crash (1929); Western Australia’s Poseidon Nickel bubble (1969-70). These are clear illustrations of the madness of crowds and the dangers created by groupthink blockheads.


Originally published in News Weekly. Photo by Los Muertos Crew.

We need your help. The continued existence of the Daily Declaration depends on the generosity of readers like you. Donate now. The Daily Declaration is committed to keeping our site free of advertising so we can stay independent and continue to stand for the truth.

Fake news and censorship make the work of the Canberra Declaration and our Christian news site the Daily Declaration more important than ever. Take a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and truth. Support us as we shine a light in the darkness. Donate now.


  1. Jim Twelves 8 November 2023 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Tony O’Brien, thank you so much. Brilliantly written and argued. My comment is about how the mainstream political parties all bought into this madness without a calm reasoned debate. I don’t recall any ‘debate’ at all. From my memory, Morrison was siting on the fence for a while, then went to Glasgow and the rest is history! What happened in Glasgow and since when are we a nation ruled by one mans whims? I though that style of democracy was reserved for China!

  2. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 8 November 2023 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Madness which benefits China in many ways . Tony Abbott was hounded by the Media because he was against Climate Change. Many years ago my husband and I were at Fullers Bookshop , Hobart at the launch of a book debunking the science of Climate Change. A guest anti-Climate Change Speaker was a friend of Tony Abbott, Baron Pearson of Rannoch, Scotland whom we met. Back then there were very few opponents and it took courage to air our views against the herd !

Leave A Comment

Recent Articles:

Use your voice today to protect

Faith · Family · Freedom · Life



The Daily Declaration is an Australian Christian news site dedicated to providing a voice for Christian values in the public square. Our vision is to see the revitalisation of our Judeo-Christian values for the common good. We are non-profit, independent, crowdfunded, and provide Christian news for a growing audience across Australia, Asia, and the South Pacific. The opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Declaration. Read More.