The Seinfeld election: a show about nothing
The Spectator, 17 May 2022
With the virus abating, and with the confected anger over supposed government inadequacies for compensation owed to those harmed by adverse weather conditions losing topicality – the issues that should be dominating the present election campaign are taxation, spending, energy costs, industry policy, and defence.
The Coalition and the ALP have tried to minimise their differences on these matters.
For its part, the Coalition has little alternative after five years of clothing itself in the ALP policies it claims to oppose. It has been spending in Whitlam-esque proportions since its MPs ..... Read more .....pdf
Build More Dams
Letter to the Editor, Regulation Economics (from Viv Forbes) - 12 May 2022
Since the days of Joseph in ancient Egypt, droughts have periodically rationed water and food supplies for humans and wildlife. Sensible peoples store water, but it is about 40 years since Australians built a big dam – young Aussie engineers have no damn experience.
Even beavers build dams and weirs to provide long-term wetlands and food supplies along rivers. Dams also moderate floods downstream.
See here for pictorial comment (right):
Foolish children and Green politicians think that floods are caused by carbon dioxide, but farmers know that it is La Nina that brings flooding rains to Eastern Australia ..... Read more
The politics of an energy dystopia
The Spectator, 10 May 2022
We are seeing unprecedented prices in the Australian gas and electricity wholesale markets.
The first five days of May saw electricity prices average over $400 per MWh in Queensland and NSW, and over $150 per MWh in Victoria and South Australia. Compare this with the historical average daily prices of $40-$80 per MWh.
Forward electricity prices for 2023 averaged 122 per cent higher than in 2021.
Stoking the fires of energy policy
The Spectator, 26 April 2022
Stung from previous election losses, the ALP is at pains to deny that it will introduce a carbon tax. The Coalition is trying to claim a Labor government would do so.
That aside, both sides are seeking to marginalise environmental issues and their all-important impact on the economy. Many on the government side believe the Matt Kean dogma that there is an inevitable ‘transition’ away from coal, while others feel obliged to murmur assent in the face of popular support for that same view, funded as it is by subsidy-dependent renewable energy interests.
Scomo, Albo, and their fantasy Net Zero policies
The Spectator, 15 April 2022
Both the ALP and the Coalition have the same Net Zero goal for 2050, but that time frame is, at best, aspirational and is contingent upon technological breakthroughs many of which verge on the fantasy.
A 2030 time-horizon is a more realistic means of comparing the two sides of politics.
For 2030, the Coalition has a goal of a 26 per cent reduction in emissions compared to the base year of 2005 and hopes to achieve a 35 per cent reduction with its present policies.
Renewables subsidies: $22 billion by 2030
The Spectator, 5 April 2022
Energy Minister Angus Taylor noted that the Commonwealth Budget added $1.3 billion to assist uneconomic renewable energy, bringing the total support to $22 billion by 2030. Added to direct budget support are the regulatory subsidies that force consumers to pay for otherwise unviable wind and solar energy as well as the networks that have to be built to bring their energy to market.
Green energy enthusiasts and vested interests fraudulently claim wind and solar are cheaper than coal-generated electricity. Some also concoct data purporting to prove that fossil fuels benefit from enormous subsidies.
You can't save the world with Net Zero
The Spectator, 24 March 2022
Ever since socialism’s credibility collapsed in 1990, environmentalism has increasingly dominated the political agenda. Central to this was the global warming scare and its implications for energy supply and economic activities in general.
Environmentalists’ pressures ensured that this agenda was widely embraced. Every Western country agreed to pursue ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions, replacing hydrocarbons with wind, solar, and prospectively hydrogen as power sources. In most countries, this was combined with rejecting another environmentalist bogeyman – nuclear power.
Will war end the climate alarmist zeal of the central banks?
The Spectator, 21 March 2022
Faced with implacable opposition from the Senate, Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Biden’s pick for supervising banks within the Federal Reserve (Fed), has withdrawn her candidature. During the Obama administration, she was one of the Fed’s seven governors and a Treasury deputy secretary.
Her rejection by the Senate was a result of her expressed intent ‘to incentivise a rapid, orderly, and just transition from fossil fuels and other high-emission investments’.
Not so long ago, that opinion would have not been a barrier to the job – indeed her appointments under Obama faced