TONY ABBOTT AND THE LONG SEARCH FOR YESTERDAY

Whenever our nation is in crisis we yearn for the good old days when threats like this did not happen. Whenever we avoid a crisis we say it is because we honoured old traditions that were certain to keep us safe. Of course, as we all know, there has never been any such things as good old days, nor could we revive them even if there were. We just enjoy a bit of nostalgia here and there. Continue reading “TONY ABBOTT AND THE LONG SEARCH FOR YESTERDAY”

THE POPE AND THE ENVIRONMENT – HAS FRANCIS CROSSED THE LINE

Pope Francis has issued an encyclical on the Environment called Laudato Si in which he firmly and clearly outlines his views on global warming, climate change and pollution, while linking them with poverty, employment, economics, science and religion. Continue reading “THE POPE AND THE ENVIRONMENT – HAS FRANCIS CROSSED THE LINE”

SENIORS ARMY WILL MARCH FOR WATER

Last week, I outlined a plan to drought proof our Australian continent by sending tropical water south via dry river beds and connecting channels.

The concept is fundamentally sound, but it will become a reality only if the private sector provides the money and expertise to do the job as all governments are consumed by an insatiable desire to retain power at all costs. They think that capital spent on water won’t get them as many votes as handouts.

Continue reading “SENIORS ARMY WILL MARCH FOR WATER”

WITHOUT WATER, LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE

Australia is the driest continent on earth.

Yet we invest tiny dollars in water even though we are aware that Australia has the potential to become the food bowl of the world.

Unaccountably, we are willing to risk only miserable dollars in this enormous trading opportunity.

Continue reading “WITHOUT WATER, LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE”

Reviewing the Challenges of 2015 – Economy – Environment – Religion

ECONOMY — ENVIRONMENT — RELIGION

2014 was not the greatest year in history.
Be this as it may, the one element of life that will never be lost is Hope. This means that we can plan for 2015 to be a better year, but, as in all things, success happens when we face and plan to overcome obstacles. So, as 2014 draws to an uninspiring close, we look at three significant roadblocks and talk about how to get around them. Continue reading “Reviewing the Challenges of 2015 – Economy – Environment – Religion”

Economic Growth or Quality of Life – measuring the progress of a nation.

Politicians and economists calculate the stature and prosperity of a nation by the annual percentage increase in its Gross Domestic Product. Governments rise and fall on the basis of this statistic, mainly because nations are declared to be in recession if there is negative GDP growth on three successive occasions.

However, the thoughts of many support the view that it is long overdue for this inadequate gauge of a nation’s growth to be declared the farce that it is.

I want to suggest that it should be replaced by a new measure that could be called General Domestic Prosperity. This means that a GDP will still be calculated, but it will have a new meaning and a different basis of measurement. Continue reading “Economic Growth or Quality of Life – measuring the progress of a nation.”

The Search for Clean Coal

The coal industry is at a crisis point worldwide, and any fallout from its decline will impact heavily on the Australian economy.

Barack Obama has stated that his goal is to gradually shut-down every coal fired power station in the USA, and Green lobby groups worldwide are calling for the picketing of all new coal mines anywhere on the planet. Warren Buffett has said that decline of coal mining is gradual, but permanent.

Gas, more so than nuclear, is being promoted as the ideal alternate to totally replace coal and, to add to the problem, coal prices are steadily dropping to the point where it soon will become uneconomic to dig it up. Then, there is the issue of the relationship between miners and farmers, which is at a low ebb and becoming even more militant on both sides.

All of this uncertainty has led to a tightening of the equity and debt markets for coal mines, with junior miners not having strong enough balance sheets to back their development capital requirements. This leads us to a dismal looking future for coal — so the industry is now slowly and reluctantly seeking ways to turn its fortunes around. Continue reading “The Search for Clean Coal”

Carbon – A debate without end.

In his Budget Reply speech last month, Tony Abbott resoundingly confirmed his previously-stated intention to immediately repeal the Carbon Tax if he is elected Prime Minister in September. This means that the nation as a whole now needs to consider the consequences of such an action, and prepare for its impact on business and on the lives of those who hold deep convictions about the environment, as well as those who believe that human activity is not the cause of the problem. Continue reading “Carbon – A debate without end.”

The Quest for Energy will dominate.

The Quest for Energy will dominate the politics of the future

The provision of energy to meet the growing needs of billions of people worldwide is an enormous economic challenge for every nation on earth. Half of the world does not have any form of power in their homes right now, and there is insufficient to meet the ever expanding needs of industry and transport.

The debate on the future of energy is about the use and abuse of oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, tides, ethanol, etc — which is best, cheapest, more environmentally friendly, available and sustainable — and what influence does political and financial power have on all of them.

Have just read “The Quest” by Harvard Professor Daniel Yergin — an excellent analysis of the global energy situation that covers all of the above. Well written, reads like a thriller. It caused me to form the view that it is not possible to understand world economics without having a basic grasp of the impact of energy on the aspirations of humanity.

The Political Turbulence of Climate Change

The abnormal weather patterns that have caused havoc on every continent over the past year have revived concerns about global warming and climate change. Having listened for years to passionate speeches about these subjects from scientists and politicians on both sides of the bitter debate, I don’t believe any of them.

However, I am aware that in the millions of years that this planet has existed, there has never before been 7.5 billion people living on it, and we know that every person pollutes the world in some small way every day. We should be concerned about this, particularly as in the decade in which I was born, there were only two billion inhabitants who could impact on the environment.

Therefore, it is prudent that we should take some positive action to progressively clean up the planet.

What the best plan could be is beyond my skills, but as Don Bradman said: “When in doubt, always play forward”. Scrapping the carbon tax would cause us to play backwards.

If Tony Abbott runs on that platform, he will lose the election. Most voters will regard it as an act of irresponsibility. But, as he has already changed his mind twice on this subject, who knows what might happen.