Gee, it’s amazing when you find your shtick how far you can go.
When Donald Trump was a recovering bankrupt businessman, he took a job on “The Apprentice” which consisted of him saying “You’re Fired!” after telling someone how inadequate he or she was. And while he couldn’t fire Obama or Hillary, he ran a whole election campaign talking about how bad America was and how it was all the fault of the people in power and how – as someone who wasn’t in power – he knew exactly what is was like to be an unemployed coal miner and if, you’d just vote for him, he’d build a wall/drain the swamp/make America great again/seal the deal/stop political correctness and allow locker room talk and so on.
So, of course, as POTUS, he’s showed that was only part of the act by calling up Sally Yates and saying “You’re fired”! Actually I’m not sure that he actually called her up, because when he sacked James Comey, there was no call. Comey saw it on the TV while giving a speech…
Trump must be losing it. Surely he should have had the cameras there for the big moment. Comey walks in. Donald, sitting behind the desk. Camera zooms in and Trump says…
Oh silly me!
He’s saving that for when he sacks the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Of course, his advisers might try to remind him about Nixon and Watergate by pointing out that it was the attempt to sack the guy in charge of the investigation that was the final straw. However, I could imagine Trump asking if that led to his impeachment and, when told that Nixon resigned before he was impeached, Trump would say that Nixon was a pussy…
Perhaps the wrong word to use when writing about Trump, but anyway, speaking of Malcolm Turnbull and coal miners, how do you like the Liberal response to the Finkel Report?
Like I said the other day, surprises are surprising but Tony Abbott is one certainty in a world of constant shocks. Yep, he’s concerned about coal. Now, Tony’s attachment to coal can’t be explained in logical terms. All possible explanations can only go so far. Financial support from the fossil fuel industry would only buy you so much love, but Tony’s admiration of coal rivals that of Donald Trump’s cabinet’s support for its leader.
Of course, the difference is when Mr Abbott speaks to a lump of coal and says, “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you’ve given us to serve your agenda”, we don’t have a bunch of sycophants adding that it’s a “Great honor to serve coal” or “My hat’s off to coal” or “This is the privilege of my life”.
Oh wait, yes we do.
We have the wonderful economic logic of the Liberals surfacing yet again. You know, the same economic logic that told us back in 2013 that they’d remove the enormous tax on everything, as well as the mining tax, not cut spending or put up taxes AND get the Budget back to surplus. Apparently, the concern with renewables is that they’ll push prices up, but George “I saved the public health system by getting my operation done overseas” Christensen telling us that the government should start building its own coal-fired power stations because… well, the private sector is a bit worried about investing in them. Now, I could put on my capitalist hat here and say, “Government investment! Outrageous. The Market, George! The invisible hand of the market guides everything and governments should put any spare money they have into reducing the tax burden on all those companies who have to pay their accountants millions of dollars to shift their profits off-shore!”
But instead I’d like to talk about Moore’s law.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Moore’s law wasn’t something passed by a government and can therefore be thought of as a ridiculous infringement on our civil liberties like child labour laws or anti-pollution regulations, but – by a strange coincidence – was dreamed up by a guy called Moore. Or maybe the law was named after him. Whatever. For the purposes of this, it doesn’t really matter. Neither does it matter whether I use the two years that Moore proposed in his 1985 paper, or the eighteen months that people have since used when talking about it. In simple terms, Moore’s law proposes that every eighteen months computers will have twice the capacity at half the cost. And, in the time since he suggested the idea, this has been largely true.
Which means, of course, when we talk about renewables and battery storage, we shouldn’t be looking at current pricing. While they may not be computers and subject to Moore’s law as such, improved efficiency as well as economies of scale will bring down the price of solar and wind power, while it’s hard to argue that coal-generated power will become cheaper as it captures a greater share of the market.
So, in the coming weeks, you can look forward to seeing our beloved Malcolm asking Labor for bipartisan support for an energy policy and hoping that Bill doesn’t try to point out that it’d be a good idea if there was some sort of bipartisan support within the Liberal Party on the issue. Or indeed, any issue. While Mr Turnbull may have previously said that he couldn’t lead a government that didn’t have a strong policy on climate change, I’m sure that he’ll justify himself by arguing that at no stage has he led this government, and that his position has more akin to the Governor-General where you’re only there to make approved speeches and cut ribbons, and not get involved in the politics of the day.
Yes, the Liberals have always maintained that they’re a broad church. Lately, however, they seem to be not only lacking the “true believers” but there seem to a rather disproportionate number of deniers.
P.S. I should probably tell everyone that the headline “Bludgers’ Coal Jihad” is not an actual headline from a Murdoch paper. Yes, it is hard to tell these days.