OUR gallant Navy has decided to spend its scarce money to fight what it now figures is our real enemy: global warming.
Never mind the rising naval power of China, the flood of boats from Indonesia, or that we’re lucky if we can push just two submarines into the water at any one time.
Orders have gone out from Canberra. Global warming is now a big threat, and the Navy has mobilised our largest base, HMAS Stirling, south of Perth.
This may not be quite what the top US commander in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel Locklear, had in mind last week when he noted Australia’s defence spending had slipped below America’s European allies and we should “recognise” the need to make “investments in the military”.
But what would Locklear know? Australia now glories in the age of the Greens, when the only two naval ships worth having are HMAS Big Hugs and HMAS Taxi (boat people and pensioners carried free).
You think I exaggerate, don’t you? But how often have I warned we’ve gone mad?
Observe. The Prime Minister this week announced in Perth that the Navy would use wave technology to power HMAS Stirling’s electrical infrastructure at Garden Island.
Now, experts might think, huh? Wave technology?
Hang on. Wave technology, when not a single commercial wave generator operates in the world?
Wave technology, when the last wave generator built with $2 million of our money is now just scrap metal, rusting off the coast of Port Kembla after having been uprooted by a storm?
Yes, indeed. The Navy, undaunted, has signed up Carnegie Wave Energy Limited to supply wave power with a thingummy using giant bobbing buoys, working like pistons, to “contribute to Defence and Commonwealth greenhouse gas reduction targets”.
The deal turns out to be a godsend to the company, since it conceded in December its “alternative energy technology … is not on many radar screens or on (investment) analysts’ coverage lists”. Its shares, which touched 40 cents four years ago, had fallen last month to under three cents.