Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

NATION: Say it ain’t so, Bro …

*Pic: Cory Bernardi from his Twitter account … “his courage up after three months in New York observing the UN and the rise of Donald Trump, spearheads the attack calling his government’s plans to consider some form of ETS, “one of the dumbest things he had ever heard”. From Beastie Boy Cory Bernardi, that is saying something …

“You won’t find an economist anywhere that will tell you anything other than that the most efficient and effective way to cut emissions is by putting a price on carbon.”
Malcolm Turnbull Q&A 5 July 2010

“Say it ain’t so Bro,” Malcolm Turnbull tweets his pal John Key, on hearing of the Kiwi PM’s decision to abandon his very neoliberal ship. It’s a text his bestie could well have sent him … so dire is Turnbull’s decline this week. Any last hope his government might curb carbon emissions, or even grasp the gravity of climate change is dispelled – along with any hope he might yet manage the economy when he fails to hold his course on carbon. It is the worst week of his political career.

Forced to choose between saving Australia and the planet from global warming, or appeasing Cory Bernardi and the lunatic right, the PM plumps for keeping the nut jobs on side. No sooner is an ETS on the table than it is off again; dead, buried and cremated. It’s not so much political pragmatism as total capitulation. Surely there is no way Turnbull can continue to claim he is Prime Minister.

Turnbull’s monumental failure of ticker triggers a chorus of scorn and disbelief. There is just too much on public record of Turnbull’s earlier advocacy of carbon pricing to leave him a skerrick of credibility. He is too quick, moreover, to throw Josh Frydenberg under a bus.

Turnbull is “the most ineffective conservative prime minister since Billy McMahon”, says Kevin Rudd. Even Michelle Grattan reckons he’s run up a credibility deficit. Katharine Murphy drops the torch she holds for her PM, on climate, he’s “gutless” and “talking crap”.

Adani is given approval to proceed with its Carmichael mine, helped by a $1 billion rail loan from the North Australia Infrastructure Facility. Who could now heed a Coalition which cries poor to make its case to cut funds to health, welfare and education and slash its public service workforce?

And how doubly untrue Sunday, is its claim funding two weeks’ domestic violence leave will damage the great god the economy? As Labor’s family violence spokeswoman, Terri Butler, point outs “It’s domestic violence, not domestic violence leave, which costs our economy and harms our international competitiveness, citing KPMG research estimating domestic violence cost Australia $13b a year.

In one stroke, the Turnbull government proves it does not give a fig for the environment, global warming or its responsibilities as a world citizen and that it is prepared to tear up any social contract, renounce any commitment to a fair and just society. Let it regurgitate the propaganda of the mining and business lobbies. The Adani approval is a fatal error.

Federal Northern Australia Minister, Matt Canavan, tellingly says it is the “biggest news for North Queensland since the Beatles came to Australia”. Sadly, his government’s view of the environment is also stuck in 1964.

wilful piece of coal industry propaganda

Mainstream media spins outrageous fictions, long disproved, about the mine creating masses of jobs despite Adani’s own testimony in the Queensland Land Court last year of 1464 full-time jobs. “Bring millions of Indians out of poverty” recites Adani Australia chief executive officer Jeyakumar Janakaraj in a bare-faced lie straight from Peabody Energy’s website, a wilful piece of coal industry propaganda which flies entirely in the face of the facts. 84% of India’s poor live in rural areas beyond the reach of the grid. Those who don’t, can’t afford the prices.

Coal is a slayer not a saviour of the poor. One Indian study found that in 2011-12 exposure to pollution from coal-fired power plants killed at least 80,000 Indians and inflicted health problems on tens of millions more. In Queensland, last year, black lung was reported to have returned to the industry, causing the deaths of four miners and potentially putting thousands more at risk. The monitoring system appears to have failed.

Failing us too are our leaders. Nowhere in the national energy conversation is there room for truth. Along with Resources Minister Matt Canavan, Labor Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ought to be charged with wilful deception. She keenly recycles the mining lobby’s lies of ten thousand jobs. Nowhere is there mention of the adverse effects on the Great Barrier Reef due to the mine’s use.

Nor are miners good taxpayers. Energy and resources sectors have the highest level of non-payment. Fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil Australia, Chevron Australia, Peabody Australia, and Whitehaven are among those that paid no tax for 2013-14.

If they can’t be good corporate citizens, bugger the planet. Last year, in a brilliant bit of sophistry, Greg Hunt argued that the global warming achieved by burning the coal exported from Carmichael was not significant when calculating environmental effects.

Nowhere is there any admission that no Australian bank is prepared to fund the world’s largest new mine. The railway subsidy offer is received with great ceremony but Adani is in no state to begin digging. A sense of national leadership in abdication, a commonwealth in disarray is heightened as Australia is torn between appeasing the demands of the declining mining states of Queensland and Western Australia and the needs of the rest of the Commonwealth. Above all is the stench of appeasement at any price.

Any price except a carbon price.

Crushed by the burden of a nation’s unmet expectations and led on a leash by the rabid right, the weary PM picks his way out of COAG alone, Friday, cursing his self-inflicted, self-funded fate and his overweening ambition for leading him to believe he could be PM at any price. Any price except a carbon price.

Monday begins well, for the planet and common sense. Josh Frydenberg is a model of reasoned moderation on ABC radio, “We know that there’s been a large number of bodies that have recommended an emissions intensity scheme, which is effectively a baseline and credit scheme. We’ll look at that.”

Frydenberg is merely faintly reflecting his own party’s former policy. The record is clear. “The Liberal Party has a policy of both protecting the planet and protecting Australia. We support, in principle, an Emissions Trading Scheme” trills Julie Bishop in an electorate newsletter, September 2008.

Greg Hunt, best minister in Dubai’s view of world 2015, ever generous with superlative, gushes with praise for St John Howard, Liberator of Iraq, spinning his crafty bet-hedging on carbon tax in May 2008 as visionary , “Perhaps the most important domestic policy was the decision of the Howard government that Australia will implement a national carbon trading system. … We hope that the new government will take up this proposal.”

Federal Treasurer Scott “pothole” Morrison was all for embracing an ETS in June 2009. “There are a suite of tools we need to embrace to reduce emissions. I believe an emissions trading scheme, in one form or another, is one of those tools. Placing a price on carbon … is inevitable.”

Even Captain Turnback himself was on board with an ETS. “You cannot have a climate change policy without supporting this ETS at this time,” Tony Abbott babbled in 2009, support the suppository of wisdom now says he never gave. Onya, Tone. Play your cards right and you’ll be back on the PM perch in no time. Dead set.

…the free trade happy clappers church…

In the same year, Steve Ciobo, who has since moved on to lead the free trade happy clappers church, was all prophetic vision and pious intent “We want to work constructively because we recognise that in the future around the world in most developed economies if not all there will be an ETS of some sort.”

“We went to the last election with an ETS policy – many have forgotten that fact,” Sussan Ley lectures in 2009. Little did she know then how completely her party would renounce its vision. Malcolm Turnbull has not forgotten. Although his defeat was largely because then, as now, he was unable to unite and lead his team, he still needs to blame his defeat on his support of an ETS. It couldn’t have been his leadership.

Hansard records many other Coalition politicians who were to deny their faith; becoming hypocrites and converts to the Direct Action boondoggle as the price of their loyalty to Abbott; pinning their hopes to their party’s dazzling, rising star in lycra Tony Abbott who won his ascendancy over Turnbull by one vote and sealed it with a crusade against what he falsely called a carbon tax and its supporters in the 2013 election.

With all of its previous advocacy on board, the Coalition’s modern allergy to anything to do with an ETS is even more shocking – and yet another toxic legacy of the hyper-partisan Abbott era where carbon emissions were a stick to beat Labor.

Barely has Frydenberg shut his mouth before the air is filled with shrieks of heresy and the grinding of pitchforks. By Wednesday, after cabinet meets to force him to recant, the early worm is given the bird; Fry-in-hell Frydenberg is forced to retract, rescind and disavow in a Hobart news conference. He ships out to Antarctica, as you do. An ETS, his PM thunders, rising to cleanse the broad church of the Liberal Party from the sulphuric stench of climate apostasy, is dead buried and cremated. Wash your mouth out with coal tar soap.

Craig Kelly, coal fire in his belly, goes on ABC to reprise a Tony Abbott standard about power bills, lamb roasts and a Bee Gees’ inspired song about the lights all going out in old Whyalla. Barnaby Joyce echoes his former master’s voice. Even Turnbull lapdog, mincing poodle Christopher Pyne, yaps in time to the music, nipping the hand that feeds him along with a small army of defence contractors who are laughing all the way to the bank.

…a complete fraud and a fool.

It’s all too much for South Australian PM, jolting Jay Weatherill, who publicly rebukes the PM for heading a government “clearly bought and sold by the coal club”. He invokes Turnbull’s commitment to “mature evidence-based policy” communicated “through sophisticated explanation rather than infantile slogans”. He says “that’s all we are asking for here”.

Turnbull looks as if he’s made to look a complete fraud and a fool.

He has.

Weatherill accuses the PM of ignoring his own Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, and for “mischievous” lying about an ETS pushing prices up. Finkel and others have the figures to show it won’t. Weatherill won’t let up. “Many Australians were optimistic that Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership would provide us with sensible policy debate and action in the national interest. After this week’s events, any remaining optimism has now evaporated.”

The truth clearly hurts. Yet repeating the myths and clichés of coal lobby propaganda will cost more. Weatherill warns Turnbull his job is at stake. “The Prime Minister lost his job in relation to a decision back a few years ago. It would be a great irony if he was to lose his job for a second time being on the opposite side of the debate.” Ouch.

Turnbull’s coal-powered government has been attacking Weatherill for months, assisted by the ABC and led by News Corp’s The Australian, falsely accusing him of setting “reckless” and “ideologically-driven” targets for renewable energy generation which have compounded the state’s massive power outage and threatened the state’s “energy security.”

In reality, electricity prices soared when power was privatised and were helpfully boosted by Tony Abbott’s 2013 ten per cent bonus to power companies for investment in poles and wires which has raised costs to consumers by fifty per cent.

Now Turnbull backs into the blades of a spinning wind turbine. Or several. He, again, shows his utter contempt for the electorate. As Bernard Keane points out, “he has ratified an international agreement to reduce our emissions by 26-28% of 2005 levels by 2030 and has nothing that will achieve even that unambitious target.”

Less popular now than his predecessor Tony Abbott, when he deposed him, his political credit long spent, a weak, forsaken leader of a bitterly divided Coalition, he further shrinks to a bad Abbott caricature over carbon. His humiliating back-down on just a hint of a discussion paper on an emissions trading scheme, provokes a storm of media criticism and bad publicity. SA talks of going it alone on carbon pricing and Victoria pleads for real leadership. Has ever a Prime Minister been so comprehensively routed?

…the prospect of a party room revolt…

Monday’s announcement of his government’s long scheduled review of Direct Action which would include a system of baseline and credit carbon permits for electricity generators only is rescinded, even denied by Josh Frydenberg but 36 hours later, an ignoble retreat in panic at the prospect of a party room revolt.

Cory Bernardi, his courage up after three months in New York observing the UN and the rise of Donald Trump, spearheads the attack calling his government’s plans to consider some form of ETS, “one of the dumbest things he had ever heard”. From Beastie Boy Cory Bernardi, that is saying something.

Sunday, Cory’s all over the media protesting that Centrelink is authorising polygamy, by making payments to Muslims with several wives. Miranda Devine and Peta Credlin quickly leap on the Muslim-PC-welfare bashing bandwagon. “Just completely ridiculous” barks Belgian Shepherd Mathias Cormann, the alternative is a single parent payment which is more expensive than a partner payment. But it’s about the Islamophobic dog-whistle not the cost to the budget. Imagine what these gurus could do if 18C were repealed.

Environmental warrior Bernardi echoes Trump in calling for Australia to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, “for the good of the country”. He also falsely claims the move would drive down power prices, a line coalition members are queuing up to repeat in the most recent set of government post-truth talking points.

“Hardworking Australians”, as Turnbull likes to divide us, are left to wonder who is running the country, a puzzle which is not eased by the release of figures showing a quarter of negative growth, a contraction in GDP of 0.5%. By cutting public spending and failing to invest in infrastructure, Scott Morrison is depressing the economy; sloganeering about jobs and growth yet delivering neither. He pretends the news is a surprise.

In an admission, surely, that his government has been asleep at the wheel for the past four years, he candidly calls the bad figures as a “wake-up call”. What he means is that Labor should get behind the corporate tax cuts, an imperative which is somewhat undermined by the release this week by the ATO of figures which show that a third of companies paid no tax last financial year with QANTAS heading the list.

…add $15 billion to the cost of electricity…

Who is in charge? It’s “The Cory Bernardi government” runs a popular tweet as Turnbull’s right wing masters, yank him ignominiously into line with their climate-change denying, coal-industry serving and anti-Labor stance. We won’t meet our Paris climate change targets, Chief Scientist Alan Finkel warns COAG, and avoiding an ETS will add $15 billion to the cost of electricity, over a decade, but our government plans to do nothing about it.

Instead, in another capitulation to the Nationals, COAG agrees to import the Adler shotgun. A press release Friday, stresses “heavy restrictions” in an indictment of the Federal government’s evasion of real leadership and effective decision-making unrivalled since its backpacker tax fiasco last week.

The seven-shot model Adler A110 is restricted to professional shooters prompting howls of outrage from the shooters, fishers and farmers party yet the five-shot model is re-classified B, from A where it sat alongside air rifles, yet still putting a semi-automatic shotgun within the reach of a wide sector of the population. Experts attest to the ease with which this model can be modified to an eleven-shot without reloading weapon. Somehow, Turnbull tries to spin the result as a good thing.

‘This is the first time the national firearms agreement has been strengthened in this way in 20 years,’ he tells reporters.

Turnbull is not alone in his humiliating carbon back down. Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg is forced to deny from Antarctica that he ever suggested emission trading schemes, despite clearly announcing this Monday in foreshadowing his government’s proposed review of energy policy scheduled for 2017.

It’s “an extraordinary, gutless capitulation” writes Turnbull admirer Katharine Murphy. Frydenberg’s lie is quickly exposed by ABC TV and radio news which replays recording of the Minister’s Monday media release.

Help is on its way. Pauline Hanson’s recent flying visit to Launceston confirms reports that One Nation plans to expand into Tasmania. Although her party invariably votes for the government it is nice to offer the people of Tasmania the illusion of choice. Interviewed in her bathers, as she subjects the Great Barrier Reef to her empirical testing, only 1300 km south of where the coral is bleaching, she is a model of lucidity:

“We are being controlled by the UN and these agreements that have been done for people’s self-interest and where they are driving our nation as a sovereignty and the economics of the whole lot,” Hanson tells an adoring media in her best, incoherent, manner. Please explain? You can’t. But it makes as much sense as current flip-flop, appease-the-right-at-all-costs, post-truth coal-lobby Coalition policy.

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

Fairfax: PM’s kowtowing serves no one

Fairfax: Maybe it’s time for Shorten to have a turn as PM …

Ross Gittins, Fairfax: Politicised Treasury bites own tail, covers for Turnbull

• Chris Harries in Comments: … These guys go to bed and rise each morning thinking about money. They do understand economics, it’s not that they can’t grasp the basics. They do actually know what good policy would look like. Knowing this, one of their members will, from time to time, blurt out what is obviously sensible … and then will get quickly pulled into line again.

Crikey: Did Rudd’s stimulus spending really hurt the economy?

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. TGC

    December 16, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    #24 A good question to direct to ‘socialist’ politicians. Eddie Obeid might know a bit about this.

  2. Mike Adams

    December 15, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    No 23. Greed Fest is led from the front. How many other ‘non third world’ countries have Cayman Island tax dodgers as their prime ministers?
    And who preach budgetary conservatism to the rest of us?

  3. Kim Peart

    December 15, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Re: 22 ~ When the Fair Go was surrendered to the Greed Fest, we fell into mafia economics, which takes the bounty of the nation from the poor to give to the well-off and the rich, where the majority of politicians stand proud as mafia bosses, maintaining a status-quo built on a foundation of poverty and walls of fear.

  4. Christopher Nagle

    December 14, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    The Wronski report on the dismal state of the corporatist side of politics is a depressing reminder that we now live in an age where faith/ideological belief and reason seem to be parting company.

    It is not just that the myth of the infallibly self correcting function of markets cannot sit with a scientifically derived notion that markets completely missed the climatological elephant in the room, but the vehemence of it.

    Guys like Bernardi would rather eat strychnine than accept anything the other side said or did was right. I am old enough to remember that scion of traditionalist pragmatism, Bob Menzies, would routinely pinch some of the ALP’s better socialist ideas to keep himself in power for what seemed at the time, forever.

    And it would not have crossed his mind to challenge the CSIRO science on any subject, because science was then considered as close to godlike truth as it was possible to get in a secular society. We now have, heaven help us, ‘post normal’scientific ‘scams’ and ‘hoaxes’.

    Such attitudes were once the preserve of soapbox cranks who people laughed at when they spouted their ideas in the local parks on sunny Sunday afternoons.

    It isn’t that guys like Bernardi and the corporatist libertarians he represents are ‘stupid’. It is just that when tectonic pressures start to apply themselves within a social and economic order, everything becomes ‘post normal’.

    The fact is that the post WW2 settlements, both economic and ideological are coming unstuck as we speak. The underpins of asssumptions we have all taken for granted are sliding out and disappearing all over the place and no side of politics is being spared. Everyone is getting blindsided as many of their favorite prejudices start to ‘drift’….

    And the thing is that guys like Wronski, who have an absolutely crystal clear critique of guys like Bernardi are every bit as vulnerable as their antagonist. Bernardi can spot those vulnerabilities with an equally discerning eagle eye and his critique is telling and gaining traction.

    All those favorite petty bourgeois libertarian humanist wet and wobblesome holy cow narratives such as ‘refugees/asylum seekers’ ‘marriage eqality’, ‘anti imperialism/colonialst/racism, welfarism and above all their ‘anti authoritarian’ degovernancing of the reproductive and social commons, has left them extremely vulnerable to walking over an existential/political cliff, to end at the bottom of the valley of the shadow of marginalization, just like their favorite causes.

    But it isn’t just the likes of Bernardi who can sense the sweet acrid smell of dead flesh that is rotting off the humanist carcass. Lenin would have regarded the humanist wet and wobblesomes as an infantile petty bourgeois disorder not to be trusted by what is left of the working class.

    The working class has already made up its mind on that one, and any Chump will do…I mean Trump….

    When one listens to the Wronskis and Biggs, one would never guess that they are walking on ideological thin air…

  5. Kim Peart

    December 14, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Unlike hydro power, relying on rain, the ocean doesn’t drain, so wave power is a more sustainable renewable electricity option.

  6. Kim Peart

    December 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Re: 18 ~ The wave power option might also be considered for King and Flinders islands.

    I wonder if beam transmission will make undersea power cables redundant.

    If yes, then wave power from Bass Strait could be the best way to win pennies from the mainland electricity grids, and there is more ocean floor than there is land available for windmills.

  7. Chris Harries

    December 13, 2016 at 11:16 am

    #18: The last bit could have been done years ago. Flinders diesel power plant was chewing through over a million litres of fuel year in and year out, the cost of this being subsidised by all of us so that local residents’ power prices were affordable. This was the truly low hanging fruit stuff.

  8. Robin Charles Halton

    December 13, 2016 at 10:32 am

    # Chris, Other than gifting $1B for another Basslink at this early stage till the existing one karks it eventually, maybe a max of 20 -30 years times, when a replacement would be due, in the meantime continue with the construction of the Heemskirk and Cattle Hill Windfarms.

    My guess is further Chinese would not be welcomed nor would they be interested now that windfarms have their limitations, never the less within the smaller grid that Tasmania requires the Feds and the State could see it as an option for boosting local energy security.

    The two major offshore islands King and Flinders should be by now be totally self sufficient with wind power with battery storage and diesal only for backup!

  9. Kim Peart

    December 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Re: 13 ~ Solar thermal is now a proven and reliable form of energy catcher, with power gathered during the day being stored in liquid salt to draw on during the night. ~ Future systems may use liquid metal.

    Solar power can also pump water up hill during the day to drive generators at night.

    Elon Musk has just released a new roofing tile, in a range of designs and colours, that will turn houses into power generators. ~ No more solar panels.

    The reality of the Musk solar and energy storage revolution will be a game changer, allowing local towns and suburbs to go off the grid, and farms to be energy self-sufficient.

    The Sun offers a steady supply of energy for power and collected in space, will have no fluctuations.

    Inspirational leadership will lead the way with space based options, when the dots are linked between the carbon problem and a safe Earth, where excess carbon must be extracted from the air. ~ Can be done. ~ Takes heaps of energy not available on Earth.

    In this energy future we can desalinate any volume of ocean water and pump the liquid gold to any location on Earth, turn deserts green, build thousands of new cities, and create work, so that there is real work with real pay for all able workers. ~ How else is the bounty created to be shared?

    With the power of the Sun properly applied, we don’t have problems, simply options with applied solutions.

    When politicians get out of the zombie policies dictated by the fossil fuel addiction, companies will oblige the inspiration, instead of ripping off the nation and avoiding tax, and youth will be inspired to solve any problem on Earth.

    If we persist with zombie politics, we will get zombie politicians with policies built by fossil fuel.

  10. Chris Harries

    December 12, 2016 at 8:54 am

    #12: Trevor there’s some justification in relaxing rather than running around like a headless chook. On the other hand I don’t think you are exactly relaxing in plying the internet exhorting others to be complacent. It’s where you choose to put your energy.

    #13: I think you are right about Basslink, Robin. If Tasmania wanted to persuade the feds to part with a lot of infrastructure money we could do much better than spend it on a second Basslink – which would be almost certain to lead us into deeper trouble, economically.

  11. phill Parsons

    December 12, 2016 at 8:17 am

    The emperor’s new clothes are now as clear as day.

    He jumps to the tune of upstarts to retain his title.

    The arguments have all been put about the sense of letting the market decide about Carbon emissions and so it will.

    But without a regulatory scheme those decisins will be ill planned and create energy chaos in the supply system as the ageing infrastructure is blown down or brown’s out unable to cope with demand or hot weather.

    TGC claims he doesn’t care about the future. A true conservative saving the past perhaps?.

    Or has he recognized he has lost the argument, the evidence of global heating and climate instability so real and he now insignificant that he has to behave childishly, disrespecting opinions about a future nobody wants but apparently will be pressed upon us by our leaders.

    FFS even the energy industry are telling Turnbull to act. Bring in an emissions intensity trading schem so investment can follow a rational transition path where the lower Carbon energy systems can replace coal in an orderly way.

    Instead the idiot conservatives of the hard right will end up being told by the market spending where returns have surety which may nopt be Australia.

    Then comes the point where renewables are cheaper than coal and there is no market surety. Coal supply falls, electricity prices rise.

    Finally i must ask where was the $500 saved on every power bill that Abbott promised?.

    No Bernadi, Joyce, Christensen, all in fear of Hanson have thrown out the last of the Liberals credibility as economic managers. They have sunk to the level of pirates, crooks in suits robbing the poorest to pay the rich.

  12. Kim Peart

    December 12, 2016 at 12:52 am

    Re: 12 ~ Like the lizard running from a hundred snakes on a beach, survival is possible as long as the lizard can run.

    If the lizard relaxes, it is dead.

    We can design to survive a nuclear holocaust and plan a stellar future beyond the madness of politicians, if we will run.

    The lizard can stops running, when it’s safe to stop running.

    Our plight is no different to that of the lizard, if we wish to survive.

    Surrender survival, and extinction, or suicide by inaction, is the relaxed position.

  13. Robin Charles Halton

    December 12, 2016 at 12:25 am

    #8 True Kim , the establishment is unlikely to move away from current trends. The Pm has already has jumped on the States to fix up the electricity grid, especially South Australia who became too reliant on wind generation at the expense of gas and coal.

    Tricky one for Tasmania, current Basslink cable 11 years old and repaired, remainig service shelf life and reliability debatable.

    Better tas continues to allow the lakes to fill and sell less power interstate.

    Cant see the Federal government committing $1B to a 2nd undersea cable at this stage!

  14. TGC

    December 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    #2-but many others qualify “… saving this Earth from a carbon apocalypse” but generally posited on TT that “it’s too late”
    So the only credible thing to do is ” Relax”!

  15. Kim Peart

    December 11, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Re: 10 ~ As the election was pretty much a tie, well sprung.

  16. witters

    December 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Malcolm Turnbull is there to hold up a tie. It is the tie that is PM.

  17. Mick Kenny

    December 11, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    The backstory to how privatisation of the power industry boosted prices for consumers is nicely covered in The Monthly – https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2014/july/1404136800/jess-hill/power-corrupts

  18. Kim Peart

    December 11, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Re: 6 ~ The simple answer is, the carbon energy industry, one way or other, pays most of the wages, so, controlling the purse strings goes a long way to influence opinion and the media diet of the nation, and also ensuring that carbon energy spin determines our political culture.

    Will we dare kick the spin and launch the level of revolutionary change that will deliver a safe Earth?

  19. Frank again

    December 11, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Malcolm Turnbull has done a classic “Peter Garrett”!

    or should it be “the new normal” amongst the elite?
    btw:
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/al-gores-climate-change-documentary-an-inconvenient-truthis-getting-a-sequel/news-story/64ec5320fbb0008df7deecc0a94d9b50

    AL Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth is getting a sequel.

    Paramount Pictures said on Friday the follow-up to the Oscar-winning original will premiere at next January’s Sundance Film Festival.

    In the new documentary, former Vice President Gore examines global warming’s escalation and the solutions at hand, Paramount said.

    In a statement, Gore called for a re-dedication to solving what he called the climate crisis and said there are reasons to be hopeful.

    He met this week with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss the topic and termed the meeting productive. Several days later, Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate-change denier, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The Sundance festival said it will feature other films and events about environmental change and conservation.

  20. Mike Bolan

    December 11, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Urbo’s got it taped again! But will repeated detailed descriptions of the various insane and self-defeating policies and practices of our governments lead us towards a sustainable society focussed on people rather than printed money?

    When Grandad starts to forget where he is, and starts to mutter nonsense nearly full time, most of us quickly learn to ignore the less rational rambles.

    So why does our media spend so much (all?) of its time dissecting the inanity and self-interested unreason that spouts endlessly from our narcissistic politicians? Where do we think it will take us? And why would we want to use our lives in this way?

  21. Robin Charles Halton

    December 11, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I would rather Cory Bernardi’s views than those coming from Pauline Hanson’s poorly organised team.

    The wake up call for energy security in Australia confronts us as European countries are finding out with their over reliance on baseless wind farm generation.

    Australia does not need to fiddle with carbon emissions trading schemes, the worthless pieces of paper as agreements devised to distract energy security issues delaying the inevitable!

    Australia as are many Western countries are facing a “war zone” of issue on a number of fronts, mainly associated with dealing with demands of excessive population growth in relation to maintaining resource sustainability.

    At present cracks are emerging, dealing with excessive populations world wide, political instability and grabs for resources.

    Australia to a point is very fortunate having sufficient resources on hand, coal and agricultural land as leading examples.

    Australia at some point will have to choose between China and India as a trustworthy trading partner seeking a reliable ally in this part of the world when regional relationships eventually become over stretched.

    I think Australia would could choose India, hence the Adani mine deal is going ahead!

  22. john hayward

    December 11, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Malcolm seems a devoutly self-serving opportunist. So why can’t he galvanise his troops troops around him?

    I think its because he hasn’t clearly spotlighted his movement’s scapegoats. While he has defunded both education and scientific research and attacked public broadcasting, he has yet to renounce his earlier elitist admiration for cleverness.

    Malcolm’s followers crave something, like “political correctness”, which they can hate without ambivalence or thought. He might also consider changing his surname to some obscure synonym for “fart”.

    John Hayward

  23. Chris Harries

    December 11, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Just as the Liberals, and Turnbull, know full well that the most sensible thing to do on housing policy is to reform negative gearing, there is no chance of doing so for there would be a revolt in their own ranks. There is too much vested interest at state.

    Ditto regarding carbon pricing. Even the Libs know that carbon should be priced, and made a structured part of the economy. They won’t and can’t, for there would be a revolt in their own ranks.

    These guys go to bed and rise each morning thinking about money. They do understand economics, it’s not that they can’t grasp the basics. They do actually know what good policy would look like. Knowing this, one of their members will, from time to time, blurt out what is obviously sensible … and then will get quickly pulled into line again.

  24. Kim Peart

    December 11, 2016 at 9:59 am

    The carbon problem has been common knowledge for over a century, but like the tobacco industry, the carbon energy lobby has done a great work of pushing the truth aside, and way too many people have swallowed the spin, hook, line and singer.

    Just how bad the carbon crisis could get was well-known in the 1970s, when the only solution in town was to launch energy transition from fossil fuel to solar power harvested in space, which would have launched industry beyond Earth, further lifting the then heavy footprint of humans off the planet and also off the neck of Nature.

    When space development advocates could see the problem and the solution in the 1970s, why did environmental advocates decide to stay blind to the only carbon solution in town?

    Did carbon energy spin have the greens in a spin?

    If anyone wishes to say that the space power alternative can’t happen, tell me that there are no nuclear weapons on this planet and they cannot be built, that there was no war in Vietnam and Iraq costing trillions of dollars, that the Apollo Moon landings never happened, that our modern technological civilization doesn’t exist.

    We now know that CO2 in the air above 350 ppm, passed in the 1980s, is the way toward a runaway greenhouse effect and is now going beyond 400 ppm, and will likely fly past 600 ppm.

    CO2 is rising at 3 ppm per annum, a rate that can be expected to accelerate.

    Deep history tells us the CO2 in the air at 400 ppm will deliver 3C temperature rise and 5 metres of sea level rise, so what will 600 ppm CO2 deliver?

    If humans vanished, the carbon crisis would now continue, and might not stop before the Earth is dead, with greenhouse gases being liberated in a hotter Arctic.

    Political compromise by all parties only serves to empower the fossil fuel monopoly, a great honour to the power of carbon spin.

    The carbon truth is politically unacceptable, which is a big part of the reason the carbon facts are watered down and the carbon spin wins.

    The only game in town now to win back a safe Earth, is carbon extraction from the air, and the only way to get the level of clean green energy to do this work, is with solar power stations in space.

    Until a political vision rises that dares tell the brutal truth about the tune carbon energy spin has been playing, that all our pollies have been dancing to by degrees, we will be dancing a zombie time warp as the Earth goes to hell.

    The sooner leaders emerge who dare tell the truth, the sooner we can liberated ourselves from political zombies, and get on with the real work of saving this Earth from a carbon apocalypse.

    Win liberation from political zombies, and we will also open the way to a fair deal for all citizens, and win a more advanced civilization with serious space development.

    Zombie politics, as a future, is death.

    Will we run with life?

  25. Wining Pom

    December 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Harry Potter playing Quidditch seems more real than this government. Why would you stay in a job when the whole country, except the extremely irrational, think that you’re a dickhead?

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