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Yesterday we were treated to the painful video of Trump and Turnbull spruiking man love to the gathered reporters complete with “Alternative facts” which was dutifully accepted by those in attendance. I think it’s a photo finish as to who grovelled more. MT or the Reporters. With just one question about resettlement Trump could have imploded.

Most disgusting of all was the opening comment where Malcolm congratulated Donald for stripping away Healthcare from about 24 million of America’s poorest. He was so excited his eyes were watering. Don’t be surprised if this floats around in the next Election campaign.

This is the very same chap who decried that Labor ran a scare campaign about his support for Medicare because apparently we should ignore history and believe it when he said he loved the program (while actually making cuts to Medicare at the very same election.)

No sign at all of any embarrassment.

imageOne observation I would make though, is that if Trump had really paid any attention to MT he could have learned something. Trump uses the Tony Abbott approach of crash through or crash and we all know how that ends. MT already knows how to move up to the next step and it’s really quite simple.

Donald doesn’t even have to turn away from any of his policies. He can keep them as is. Just change what you announce but then do the opposite. If folk are worried about the Environment, tell them you are too, then claim you are making it better. When they start to get worried announce the very same thing but present it as new. Simply rinse and repeat.

If your mates want to prop up coal mining you do the same. Say you are making big changes, make an excellent speech. Then keep it handy for the next time someone realises nothing has happened. It works a treat.

Malcolm has companies in tax havens and makes great speeches about tax avoidance, then does nothing until the speech is required again. Same goes for Energy security, housing affordability, Superannuation, Climate Change, debt levels, all these he presents as something he cares about, but then nothing happens. Folk actually think he is different to Tony even though he has exactly the same policies. It’s amazing what learning to smile can let you get away with.

So the takeaway for Trump could have been better for him as far as popularity goes. MT has it sown up, and let’s face it folk, Trump has such a fragile ego that any help in that department would be gratefully received.

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On March 13  2017, There was an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review entitled Wind and Solar can only win on a tilted playing field. Not surprisingly, penned by Brendan Pearson, the chief exec of the troubled Image result for minerals council australia LogoMinerals Council of Australia.

Knowing the track record of trickiness from the Minerals Council, I thought it would be interesting to see what a little background check might reveal. I must admit to some trepidation because, when politics is involved, you have to be careful about the sources you use, but as it turnedImage result for int energy agency Logo out, by using the same sources as Mr Pearson, International Energy Agency,  the picture is far more interesting.

As it turns out the figure quoted is just about right, but what Brendan failed to mention is that subsidies for the Fossil Fuel industry are 4 times the size of those for renewables. Ouch.

Let’s look at the Global  figures for 2014 so we get a fair comparison.

  • Fossil Fuels $550 billion a year and climbing
  • Renewables $120 billion and climbing too, but remember Renewables is gaining market share so it is to be expected.

Currently Renewables are meeting an impressive 30% of the Energy market Image result for repositjust with current technologies and new developments like Reposit are heading towards covering peak demand issues. It’s just a matter of time before the basket of technologies cover the market. Maybe before they finally get “Clean” coal off the ground.

To me, those figures look about even given the percentage of the Energy market both serve. That alone makes a strong case for Renewables because on current figures, the attempt to meet 2DS (limiting the temperature rise to 2 degrees scenario) is predicted to fail when we hit 3.6 degrees. A horrifying figure almost double the target. (World Energy Outlook figures). We simply can’t afford to generate any carbon without serious damage to the climate.

Not feeling nervous yet?

Here is the killer punch. The US EPA did an in depth study of the cost that fossil fuel pollution has on the health of Americans. Bear in mind that chaps like Brendan Pearson give a wide berth to any consideration of the health impacts of his product.

On US figures, the fossil fuel industry gets a free pass to the tune of 14 to 35 cents per kilowatt hour which is actually higher than the unit price in someImage result for us epa Logo areas. To put that in perspective that’s a full 6% of US GDP. Compare that to the official subsidy of about 0.7% of GDP and you start to see how serious that oversight is.

Interestingly, this is not an issue with Renewables with the possible exception of manufacturing plants depending on what chemicals may end up being used. It will certainly be many orders of magnitude less than the problems caused by fossil fuels where everyone cops a serve.

Even leaving aside the health impacts, the case for Renewables is a strong one and unfortunately for Mr Pearson, the Industry is well aware of the problems facing his product. He may be able to influence a few pollies with things like “clean” coal, but it’s a non-starter with Energy companies and Financiers. Unless the Taxpayer foots the massive bill, the sums just don’t add up. Even if a political party starts funding it via the taxpayers, at best it will only last until the next Election and then the Voters will deal with the incumbents.

Our Pollies get a 3 year term, the Industry needs about 20 years to turn a profit. Unless you can buy both sides of the political spectrum, you have 3 years to break even. No wonder only a few short sighted pollies are up for it.

Sources:

Wind and Solar can only win on a tilted playing field. Brendan Pearson MCA

International Energy Agency Energy subsidies 

Reposit Australian energy company that manages your access to the grid

World Energy Outlook figures

the cost that fossil fuel pollution has on the health of Americans US EPA

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Aussie politics has been pretty interesting of late, though I imagine some folk aren’t enjoying it as much as I am. That comes from not appreciating the subtlety of backroom deals and the forlorn hope that there will be a sudden outbreak of common sense where the good of the country coming first.

How long can you hold your breath?

As negative as that sounds, I believe things are on the improve but more about that later.

Overriding our own trials and tribulations is the spectre of the Donald Trump experiment which has entered high farce now that smart decisions are requiredImage result for donald disability instead of just “bitching about the Gov’mint”. It’s turned out that Donald is so gripped by Obamaphobia he can’t think straight and running the government was way more complex than he realised. (Who knew? Certainly not the self described King of Debt )

This throws a dark shadow across Aussie politics because when Donald gets his war with China, and he is going to need it for the Polls, our Economy goes straight down the toilet. With Donald’s America First, he won’t be interested in paying for the damage and sadly our current government is still so besotted with America that we will sign up for any lunacy that Trump imagines. It’s no shock that Hanson wants to be besties with Donald too, and in her case there appears to be no recognition of how damaging the Donald will be. At least the Libs have some trepidation.

But all is not lost.

One positive thing that Donald has achieved is exposing some Aussie pollies Image result for pauline hanson angrywho celebrate brain dead ideas. Populist rubbish that doesn’t stand up to clear thinking. Finding minorities and beating up on them for personal gain. It’s given these self centred individuals an ill founded confidence that is rapidly fading as the full impact of their stupidity takes effect.

Like her last time around, Pauline is hitting the Media at every opportunity and Pauline fatigue is building. This would not be a problem if she had any clear ideas about what she wants to achieve but she is a walking disaster area of contradictions. Just last weekend she proclaimed that Malcolm Turnbull was too bossy but Vladimir Putin was what Aussies want. Just think on that for a moment.

She also decided that playing the anti vax card would be good for a few votes, seemingly unaware that quite a lot of older folk in her camp know what an iron lung looks like and remember how vaccinations made a huge difference to those requiring its use.

Consider yourself a “battler” and believed Pauline would stick up for your pay and conditions?  Shame about that. Pauline votes Liberal 87% of the time which imageis not surprising when you realise she was too hard core for the Liberal party when it was a more centrist body of people. She is happy to take your vote but don’t expect support, or even respect. Apparently nearly half her support comes from notionally Labor voters. They must be starting to realise she might not be there for them.

Climate Change is another area where Pauline thought she could pull a few votes but that boat has sailed long ago. Apart from a few die hards, the countryImage result for malcolm turnbull has mostly accepted the Science and is requiring action. Even Malcolm is getting beaten up over the environment and he has a much more agreeable media presence.

It’s tempting to depict Pauline Hanson’s One Nation as similar to the ill fated Palmer United party, but it way less sophisticated than that. Clive lost control quickly because those in his Party wanted to make their own decisions but at least it was after the Election that the wheels fell off. With PHON, Pauline tells us everyone has to do as she tells them because they represent her. Somehow representing the Voters fell off the back of the truck long ago.

The upcoming WA State election is on this coming weekend and it is going to be Image result for clive palmer one to watch. It sounds like support for PHON is already falling after the bizarre Pro Putin rubbish but WA is often hard to pick. They claim they like stability but who knows if that will turn their vote away from Pauline on polling day.

Whatever the outcome, when it comes to the Eastern States, hitching your wagon to a nutter like Trump, or an anti-Democracy chap like Vladimir, is really going to test Voters loyalty. With Pauline not realising public appearances can be seriously damaging, I think we are looking at a repeat of Pauline’s last foray into Aussie politics where folk got sick of the thoughtlessness. It’s great fun to have a bitch, but when Voters are looking for clever decisions, Pauline’s name is unlikely to be foremost in anyone’s mind.

 

Links

Donald’s fantasy world https://goo.gl/3ZhHAi

Pauline and penalty rates https://goo.gl/wXjCUv

Pauline and bestie Putin https://goo.gl/T5njUn

Pauline and bestie Donald https://goo.gl/4fFm6Q

Australia’s biggest trading partners https://goo.gl/xM8zhe

Palmer United Wikipedia https://goo.gl/nqBypo

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Our embattled PM seems to be bouncing around like a silver pin ball in a 70’s style arcade machine. Granted a lot of his trouble is coming from the hard right faction within his own party but it’s far worse than that.

I will give him credit for sticking it out presumably in the hope that a miracle will occur, that but doing nothing it may help calm down Cory and Co but it’s killing any impression that he is actually leading his party.

Case in point, his embarrassment with Donald Trump which he can’t blame on his party. That was all his own doing.

Any one with a couple of brain cells could predict dealing with the current US President is extremely tricky. The chap is clearly suffering some sort of mental issue or has a personality not suited to his current job, but one thing is for sure, expecting to be able to pretend you had a fruitful phone conversation, when in fact you got humiliated, is not going to make it past the first drunken twitter outburst.

I don’t blame MT for Trump’s insanity, but I do for faking it.

Malcolm’s first stint leading the Libs came to an abrupt halt when he defied sensible tactics over Ute-gate and ran the campaign himself only to discover Goodwin faked the emails. If he had followed good safety practices he would have handed the ball to someone like Chris Pyne or Barnaby and then just thrown them under the bus and kept his job.

However he didn’t see it coming and suffered a self inflicted wound that gave the unlikely Abbott a shot at the leadership.

That vision problem hits him time and time again. Get an idea to deal with Climate Change? Out he comes all excited then gets humiliated by his Party. A good idea comes up about the lowest cost for reliable power? Here he comes again and there he goes again.

With today’s departure of Bernadi it looks like more trouble ahead. The Liberal party has been quick to hide behind Cory to explain their lack of action on Climate Change, but there is no way MT is going to show leadership here and come up with sensible ideas now Cory has shot through. Wonderful words and imagea winning smile are all he has to offer.

Tonight I suggest they get their heads together to find a new bad guy to blame for doing nothing, otherwise folk will begin to realise MT isn’t really interested in the Environment.

With each day bringing new challenges, I think it’s time to give Malcolm some sage advice.

Eventually there will be another phone conversation with Trump so the least I can do is point out what should have been obvious from the very beginning. Forget any educated conversation and realise Donald’s all about Donald, and a fragile ego it is too.

Don’t talk about a tough Election this time around, don’t go anywhere near the numbers from when he was sworn in. Just pump up his tires about his businesses, or tell him about the Cayman Islands for avoiding tax. You know, something you both can relate to.

Oh. And don’t forget the I Love Donald badges and a fake Trump coiffure. Pauline or Cory can help with the badges.

Links:

Utegate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utegate

That phone call http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11794202

Tony beats Malcolm http://www.smh.com.au/national/shock-result-as-abbott-wins-liberal-leadership-by-one-vote–ets-dead-20091130-k1uz.html

Emissions Intensity Scheme http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-07/energy-minister-backtracks-on-emissions-intensity-scheme/8098196

The Trump wannabe http://www.smh.com.au/comment/blunt-instrument/bernardi-watched-trump-thump-the-establishment-up-close-and-learnt-nothing-20170206-gu6um6.html

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In political history Australia generally follows America by about a decade, although that distance may have shortened up these days. And by watching the US we have avoided the more extreme outcomes like undue influence from religious elements or other extreme lobbyists. We start to head in the same direction but pull up short when we see what it leads to.

It has been to Australia’s benefit because we have much better Healthcare, more sensible gun laws, and generally offer our citizens much better support from the community than the more competitive US system where income has a much bigger say in your future than your ability.

Well after benefitting greatly from the US experience we now have the opportunity to return the favor and as an added bonus we will be beneficiaries too if US Voters take heed.

First some words of encouragement to the long suffering US Voter. We understand your frustration with the Republican party who have lost sight of the Voter in the US system and can’t seem to see beyond the providers of campaign funding. We recognise that it is your jobs that have been surrendered in favor of higher profits for the folk who run your companies, and we sympathize with you having to deal with pollies who talk a big game, but put their efforts into providing for their benefactors. The snake oil sales people.

We had the same problem here in Oz and we still aren’t out of the woods, but we can show you what happens when you give the top job to someone who is not fit for purpose.

For your education I offer the comparison of Tony Abbott, our previous PM, and your Presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

Tony talked a big game and had the confidence levels only really possessed by the less thoughtful in Politics. Where others see competing opportunities and complex risks, the “get stuff done” guys roar straight in and then find something was overlooked. A good example of this was George Dubya Bush’s unfortunate “Mission Accomplished” banner that will follow him to his grave. Where others remembered the Sesame Street axiom “think what happens next” poor Dubya was out the door and committed before the analysis was complete. The tragedy continues.

It was the same problem for Tony as well. Have a thought bubble then get the spin doctors on the job and keep your fingers crossed. If that isn’t Trump to a tee then I don’t know what is. Both men also seem blissfully unaware that the Internet is standing there recording every thought bubble and backflip and both find themselves being caught out by silly comments or inconsistencies. To make matters worse, both try to deny previous comments when a simple google search will reveal to them, and everyone else who cares, that they are being untruthful. When you consider that both men claim to be honest, and not your standard pollie, it looks especially silly.

Both man have achieved some success with their bullying style and this has the unfortunate side effect of them having a high opinion of their abilities. In Tony’s case, he thought he was pretty smart when it comes to Economics, when in actual fact he was a disaster when it came to balancing the Budget and clearing out his famous Black Hole. In reality he tripled the size of the problem and was only saved from public embarrassment by having an ego that simply ignored the data.

The huge red flag in Donald’s case is his comment that he was going to be his own most trusted advisor. Full marks for confidence but zero for getting clever outcomes. You need quality thinkers to run the US. Knee jerk reactions are the last thing you want. As if to confirm his ignorance, Trump proudly proclaimed he would be unpredictable in Foreign relations. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that the World only survives by knowing what is and is not acceptable to your opponents. Unpredictable equals warfare when you misjudge what you can get away with.

Tony also had a huge problem with international relationships. He simply didn’t understand that you have to leave the bully boy style at home. Each time he had an involvement with Indonesia we had to send our Foreign Minister in to repair the relationship. Tony’s current opinion of his record? He still thinks he was good at it despite all the evidence to the contrary.

And that is probably the biggest problem with both these chaps. When you think you are smarter than you actually are, you don’t realise there may be a better way and that you should be talking to experts to get the very best outcomes.

In Australia, that led to Tony being ousted by his party, which is no mean feat for the Liberals where the Leader has more autonomy than their opponents have. But he simply had to go once the level of destruction he was delivering via the Voters was recognised.

The Republicans are going to have the same problem with Trump. The party will need to be rebadged or reformed to remove the stain of Donald’s fingerprints. When folk measure his performance against other Presidents there will be no escaping that Trump is a Republican.

Pollsters are tipping that Trump will fail badly but I’m not so sure and we can see another comparison with Oz in this matter. Before he won the Election, Tony was a loose cannon in his party. Thought bubbles abounded as did backflips that were driven by his audience. While appearing at a red neck speaking engagement “Global Warming is crap’ while a week later he appeared before a crowd that cared about the Environment and it was “Global Warming is real.” For all of 1 week he was the poster boy of the Climate Change deniers.

To anyone thinking clearly about his claimed honesty, this should have been a big red flag, but in actual fact it wasn’t. Folk mistook enthusiasm for integrity and he and his Media mates ran a campaign that was basically “I’m not the Labor party”.

You can expect the same approach from the Trump camp (with the same Media magnate pushing the smear campaign). For some strange reason folk don’t seem to be expecting the mother of all smear campaigns from Donald but what else does he have to work with? He has to get every friend and every dollar into the attack, and as we have seen before in the US, that is a lot of money and there is a lot of integrity for sale in US politics.

If Americans get this wrong and vote for an unsafe pair of hands, not only will their Economy suffer and more of their kids be coming home in body bags, so the rest of the world will be adding to the death toll unless they step back and leave Donald friendless.

Fingers crossed that US Voters can see beyond the snake oil, but a good number of them appear to really want to hurt the Republican party and if he can destroy Hillary’s credibility, he may just bring more instability into a world that already has plenty on offer.

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How’s this for a feature? While consuming your New Age macro biotic breaky you can summon your Tesla for that fast get away to work.

It parks itself too if you haven’t filled your shed up with junk.

Now does it arrive with a nice latte for that traveller to get you to work?https://player.vimeo.com/video/151422738

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Having just seen the new Tesla vehicle and being especially impressed by the features, I reckon it’s time to post a few short videos so folk can appreciate where car technology is currently standing.

 

https://player.vimeo.com/video/151359427

 

This first clip is about the Auto park feature. It’s not just parallel parking by the way.

Disclaimer: I don’t own or have any financial interest in Tesla vehicles. This is purely a short clip to look at what is out there.

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