COVID, UKRAINE, INFLATION, FLOODS

Life is tougher at this point in time than it usually is.

There are many reasons for this, but four stand out as cornerstones of perils that impact our lives.

First of all, we have COVID.

It hit us without warning and dominated our lives for two years. We had no previous experience upon which to base our response. After all, the last great killer virus was the Spanish Flu of 1920. That’s a century ago and there are no survivors to tell us of their experience. So we battled valiantly to curb it, made some mistakes, suffered prolonged isolation & economic hardship and watched it foster divisions in our society, particularly when State Governments severely criticised one another while all had a bad relationship with the Federal Government. But, in the end, we won and we express gratitude to all who led us to a place of general safety as we now plan how to better handle the next virus that will inevitably hit us soon and for which we are not adequately prepared.

Our second crisis is the war in UKRAINE.

The most pointless conflict in the history of humanity. Created by Putin, a psychopath, who hugely underestimated Ukraine’s Zelensky, the world’s most revered leader. We mourn for the people of Ukraine who are suffering enormously. We share their pain as the war has severely diminished the world’s food and energy supplies and contributed to the curse of inflation. It has also revealed to us the weakness of world leaders who sit gutlessly on the sidelines, pointlessly wringing their hands, because they tremble in fear of a nuclear World War 3. That’s a carbon copy of the scenario that caused World War 2.

Number 3 is INFLATION.

This continues to rise and have a huge impact on our cost of living, particularly for those on fixed incomes. It seems to be out of control internationally and this is only partially attributable to Ukraine. Its major cause is unrestrained capitalism where far too many in the arena of business are raising prices for no reason other than to make huge profits and take the heaven sent opportunity to blame it on inflation. It is as huge a fraud as I have ever seen and it has been made even worse by wealthy people and their political clones implementing policies that claim it can be fixed by tax cuts for the rich which will ‘trickle down’ to the poor. Never in history has wealth ever trickled down to help the needy. It is simply a myth that is intended to make its greedy proponents look like good citizens. Tax cuts are undeniably a welfare hand out to the upper crust. Corrupt in the very extreme.

Last, but by no means least, are FLOODS.

They are frequent and more severe than we have usually experienced. And they are again hitting us hard right at this moment. Climate Change is a contributing factor but necessary action on it is not the complete answer as it will take decades of world wide cooperation before it will reduce the impact of climate on our weather. Our immediate aim must be for our entire community to be better prepared in every possible way. Very important must be to have decisive action taken by governments to financially help people have their homes demolished or moved from flood plains to higher places. Right now, it is almost impossible to insure a home that has been flooded and this, cruelly, makes the home unsaleable. The same applies to farmers and their herds and crops. It is a task we cannot avoid.

So, what is our overall challenge in finding solutions to all four challenges.

Firstly, we must be rid of the ancient and stupid ideologies that plague the closed political minds of both Right and Left. We need to foster an open minded implementation of a belief in THE SHARED GOOD. It is quite simple really as it is based solely on commonsense.

Secondly, let us never ever lose HOPE.

Lastly, let’s rejoice that, whenever there is a crisis, many good people get together to help one another. This is shown by the wonderful community spirit that is prevailing in the current floods. It is heart warming to witness the generosity and goodwill that is being shown all over Australia right now.

May it continue in better times as the future of the world is in the hands of those who turn up.

And please help me to remain solvent by buying all 3 of my books on nation building that you will find right here on my website. They make wonderful Christmas gifts.

THE MAN ON THE TWENTY DOLLAR NOTES is about the life of Australia’s greatest nation builder, Flynn of the Inland.

DINNER WITH THE FOUNDING FATHERS tells the compelling history of the giants who founded Australia in 1901 by leading 6 very independent States into Federation.

A BEAUTIFUL SUNSET which is a challenging novel about a Christian who handles terminal illness positively, a very topical subject now that all States have passed legislation to make Voluntary Assisted Dying legally available to all who choose to use it.

Half of the royalties of my books go to ACTS, the community service arm of the Aspley Uniting Church, of which I am Chairman. We send cash gifts to needy people who usually are not members of our congregation and are hit by floods, droughts, fires, domestic violence and elder abuse, all of which are huge national challenges in which we can all participate.

Grace and Peace.

Everald Compton.

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”

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 war over power prices.

The “war” over power prices reached a crescendo last month with the Prime Minister and Premiers blaming one another for the excessively high power prices from which we currently suffer.

However, we should all stop playing the blame game for a moment and agree that it is long overdue for us to acknowledge that price rises have little to do with the carbon tax, because our power stations are antiquated, inefficient, environmentally unfriendly and poorly managed. We need to spend billions replacing them with the world’s finest technology, including our first nuclear power plant.

Going Nuclear

The Anti-Nuclear people have had a field day of ranting and raving about the nuclear problems that Japan is battling. They are absolutely delighted that Japan’s tsunami gave them a new platform to parade their delusions.

Their hypocrisy has driven me further into the realm of nuclear believers. Most of the critics are people who spend all day worrying about what might kill them, instead of enjoying life to the full. Death is going to get us all one day, so let us all relax and let it happen. Continue reading “Going Nuclear”