Monday 7 August 2017
1 As this strange winter of our discontent continues its bleak contempt for humanity’s need for energy at a reasonable price, the Prime Minister has, in a show of see-through public relations, summoned the energy companies to Canberra for a dressing down.
The assumption being that it’s their entire fault and that’s all the public needs to know. Create a perception of fault. Life is about perception. Not what is, but what we perceive it to be. Not so long ago the perception created by the Coalition was that it was all the fault of Labor introducing a ‘carbon tax’. They are good at deception, at conning people.
“Australia is blessed with abundant energy so it is simply not good enough that some families and businesses cannot always afford to turn on their lights, heating and equipment,” said the PM.
The Prime Minister – as Chair of the meeting – might just pause and explain firstly why, just a short time ago in the government’s view the sole reason for energy prices soaring was Labor’s tax on carbon yet now it seems to be the energy companies.
And secondly, why the Finkel Report that has the support of every business group, the opposition, environment groups and anyone else you care to name isn’t being implemented in full. Including a renewable energy target.
Thirdly, he might like to explain how Australia’s carbon emissions continue to rise despite the Government’s assurances to the contrary. He might also like to tell his fellow Australians just why Greg Hunt had been lying during his tenure as Environment Minister.
He could also tell us why Josh Frydenberg continues with the same deception.
He might also like to explain why after years in power Australia doesn’t, despite the importance of the matter, have an ‘energy policy’.
Without a clearly stated policy to reduce carbon emissions the nation will fall well short of its Paris climate change targets of reducing emissions by between 26 and 28 per cent by 2030.
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions:
… are rising to the highest figures seen in years, according to official government figures, increasing 1.6 per cent in the last quarter and 1 per cent the past year.
The country’s emissions in the year to March 2017 are the highest on record at 550.3m tonnes of CO2 equivalent when emissions from land use change are excluded – a sector where the government says its figures have a high degree of uncertainty.
There seems to be a complete lack of government direction, in the wake of the Coalition’s Direct Action policy failure. It’s almost as though Turnbull has conceded defeat to the deniers in the coalition.
The necessity for an emissions intensity scheme (an approach that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ruled as being a strong option to reduce emissions and to keep electricity prices low because the conservative members of his party won’t accept it).
The Finkel Report was overwhelmingly received as a good compromise but Turnbull cannot accept lest he lose his job.
2 How extraordinary it is that the dear old Commonwealth Bank (formerly known as the people’s bank) is being sued by Australia’s financial intelligence agency for 53,700 breaches of laws, which it accuses of failing to report properly on $77m worth of suspicious transactions.
The bank stands accused of money laundering and terrorism-financing breaches.
On top of all the other misdemeanors committed by the major banks they are making an exceptional case for a Royal Commission. The only conflicting issues being the difficulty of raising one while legal proceedings are taking place.
3 Looking forward to a testing time in politics this week.
My thought for the day
“Luck is when enthusiasm meets opportunity.”