Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our Kev

Our Kev, yes the one that we elected to government in November 2007 has let the side down.

We all knew that dealing with Climate Change was going to be difficult and would require courage, intellect, balls and brains. Little did we know that Kev would be taking his cues from the business lobby and their spokespaper "The Australian".

Kev talks about *getting the balance right* and says that both the *far right* and the *far left* are unhappy with his targets. He says that this shows that he is in the middle and that he is walking the tightrope and has got the *balance right*.

He can say what he likes – my view is that this is bullshit.

He has been conned by the business lobby and their far right spokespeople who write emotional claptrap that can only ever get published in the Murdoch press. If he chooses to listen to them ahead of the environmental lobby then of course he will be swayed by their view – as he obviously has. This is John Howard in drag – what is it about the office of Prime Minister that causes normal, rational, logical, honest and smart people to head to the *dark side*?

It seems like our Kev has been conned by Chris Mitchell – because he wants to be liked.

Kev, we didn’t elect you to be liked by Murdoch and Mitchell – we elected you to do the right thing by Australians.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Penny's Carbon White Paper

Today our government released it’s *White Paper* on Climate Change and the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) - why?

Because the planet is warming and we need to deal with it – pronto.

I haven’t yet read it all – because they have released 32 files and nearly 8 Mb of verbose content but my preliminary view is that it is either a bureaucrats dream or nightmare – there is an enormous amount of stuff there that seems designed to *obfuscate*.

In severe contrast with the Garnaut report – this one is full of stuff that I already know – or can’t understand. Whoever wrote this is a deft hand at producing content that seems designed to confuse.

Much of what I have read today is just a regurgitation of the problem and the need to act decisively with some detail about what has already been done/agreed. The Executive Summary alone is 35 pages of verbosity. Where is the new stuff Penny?

My initial impression is that much of this is a *marketing exercise* - with two key objectives.

1. To get the "deniers, nay-sayers and The Australian" on-side – a puny reduction is what the vocal anti lobby have been on-about and this delivers for them. Chris Mitchell should have a glowing "Editorial" in The Australian tomorrow. His vocal supporters in the business lobby will be jumping for joy at the crappy little attempt at mitigation. They can keep on pumping out *greenhouse gases* to their hearts’ content. No cost – no penalty and no need for change - all that lobbying seems to have worked.

2. The verbosity is also designed to obfuscate with those folks who have an understanding of the real problem and who want to see some real action. These people know that we can’t delay because there is no *PlanetB*. But it won’t work with this group who are already feeling frustrated by the delays of the past decade.

It amazes me that the first group don’t *get* the urgency to act. They view climate change as yet another *thing* that needs to be negotiated in order to get a competitive advantage over others. They haven’t yet worked it all out.

And frankly, I am over the BS that is put about by these turkeys – if they aren’t smart enough to realize that we need to act now then that is their problem – I am building a personal *mitigation plan and process* - designed to help me and my immediate family and friends get through the effects of a *post 450 ppm* world.

When we get there and these turkeys realize that they are seriously exposed – then they can *sit and burn* for as long as they like – the rest of us will be elsewhere.

Monday, December 8, 2008

OZ politicians - solving the crisis

Here is my take on some of the *contributing* factors around the current *crisis* and why it won’t be fixed anytime soon by our political class.

For over seventy years we as a nation have allowed our governments the freedom to attempt to *pick winners* at their sole discretion. Mediocre politicians have had a merry time with our money flashing it about to this or that cause – investing here or there – all in the hope that some of it will stick and that it will result in a sustainable and viable *industry* - creating that holy grail – "employment".

These same politicians would then go to confession and say "there – we did our bit for the nation" - in the hope that it would result in a gong or sinecure of some sort.

Seventy years ago they tried it with the car industry, then the aircraft industry, the defence industry, the oil and gas industry, the steel makers, the aluminium producers, the energy companies, the telco industry, the banking industry, the retailers, the wine industry, the mining industry, the fishing industry, don’t forget the farmers and the services industry. Have I missed anyone?

We have had just about every - old world industry on the planet asking for and getting some form of help, assistance, tariff or preferential treatment by our various governments – state and federal. And they are still at it.

Forget the lean, clean and modern IP based industries of the future - they are too complex for our political class to understand.

And here we are in late 2008 and strangely, we cannot point to any one of those needy - old world industries actually being world class, standing on their own and weathering the *crisis*. In fact they are all demanding yet more *assistance* to see it all through.

In a word – it’s "bullshit".

Our car industry is a classic – propped up by featherbedding, tariffs and government assistance – it has been in a class of it’s own – all because of the numbers of workers in the system.

Australian’s have been paying more than 20% too much for cars for eons. Government’s have been paralysed and unable to act for fear that they will be seen as the "bad guy" when the industry collapses – as it now has. Mind you the signals have been obvious for 5 or more years but the paralysis has just meant more inaction. It’s a tragedy – especially for the workers.

And Joe Citizen is not totally stupid – he has seen this unfolding and has reasoned that if the car industry can get away with it for so long then he will try to game the system as well. This is one of the reasons why Joe and his friends and family have been paying too much for houses – they reason that if governments can make us pay too much for cars for 70 odd years then what’s wrong with doing the same with houses for a few years? Good question.

And some of those same political class think that the future of the nation hinges on a $10 billion distribution to welfare recipients this week.

A welfare led recovery ;-) now that is unfrigginbelievable.