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Why Turnbull Has A Gas Problem And Why Vaccinations Are Not Safe!

Mm, it gets hard…

I’ve spent several days trying to reconcile the idea that certain people can both admire a leader like Vlad Putin suggesting that Australia needs a leader like him, while arguing that any attempts to persuade people to vaccinate their children is an attempt to impose a dictatorship and we all should have freedom of choice.

After giving the matter considerable thought, I’ve decided that either people believe that what we need is a strong leader who’ll impose all the things that I agree with and jail all those who dare to try to argue with me… Or else, many people can’t put two ideas together because they suffer from ADOITS (Attention Defic…Oh Isn’t That Shiny?)

Whatever, I do acknowledge that from time to time, the mainstream media, science, the political class has got it wrong. That’s why we need to research and seek out differing opinions. I like to hear arguments from people who think differently. I like to discuss differences and learn so that I may grow. And as a general rule of thumb, I’ve found that I’m most likely to grow from the exchange when someone begins the exchange with some like:

“Yes, but have you considered…?”

To which, I am likely to reply, either: “Yes, but that still doesn’t…” or “No, just let me think about that for a while!”

However, I’ve generally found that when the exchange begins: “You’re just an idiot who believes everything that they’re told and if you stopped listening to the mainstream media you’d understand that the following people are working together and it’s only thanks to someone like Donald Trump/a blogger who lives in treehouse and can only blog in short bursts because he generates all the electricity for his computer by peddling/Fox News/the aliens who visit me every Shrove Tuesday to explain why their predictions for the previous year were thwarted by gnomes/Cory Bernardi that we know what’s really going on and that vaccinations aren’t safe!”

Now, I’m sure that sometimes there have been some side effects from some vaccinations for some people. To me, it’s a bit like going to work. Sometimes people may drop dead of a heart attack from stress at work, but I suspect that in the overall scheme of the world, more people have died through not working and starving to death! (Ok, we could have a discussion about a universal income at this point, but I’m trying not to get…Oooh Shiny!)

I’m also old enough to remember that there are side effects from things like polio. Which according to someone on social media never really existed and it’s just a made up thing because nobody they know has ever had polio so why do we need the vaccine?

Now, vaccinations are one thing, but I’ve found the recent debate on energy even more confusing. Apparently – a few years ago – some of the states privatised the electricity supply and/or delivery to make it more efficient. This has led to a whole range of different suppliers and distributors and, even though, it’s all more efficient now, prices keep going up exorbitantly. Of course, part of this was the carbon tax which wasn’t a tax according to Peta Credlin. And that would make sense if it weren’t for the fact that it’s continued to rise even faster after the tax that wasn’t a tax was removed.

Ok, I sort of get that it’s all because of renewables, because apparently it’s cheaper to get coal and gas out of the ground than it is to get sunshine out of the sky or wind out of the air. Renewables cost a lot to set up. And they’re apparently inefficient. That could make sense if it weren’t for the fact that two of the states with the biggest price rises were ones where they had almost no reliance on renewables.

Then just lately we’ve been hearing that the big problems with renewables is their unreliability. As Tony Abbott told us a couple of weeks ago, sometimes the sun doesn’t shine, the wind doesn’t blow anywhere but Canberra and the tide is turned back by King Canute. We need fossil fuels! And not just because they contribute to so many Liberal Party lunches, but because they’re reliable and they’re always there.

Imagine my confusion then when I hear that we may have blackouts because of a gas shortage. No, not the one in California last year, but right here in Australia. We may not have enough gas because we don’t pay enough apparently and suppliers are selling it to people overseas for more than we’re prepared to pay unless we increase our energy prices. Which sort of makes it harder to argue that renewables are too expensive when gas is too expensive too.

Of course, someone with much more understanding of gas – like Malcolm Turnbull – will probably be able to explain that increasing investment in renewables won’t help. No, what we’ll need to do is stop our silly obsession with things like clean water and allow companies to start fracking and the like. After all, what’s the point of a country if you – or overseas companies – can’t exploit its natural resources.

When it’s all said and done, what’s the point of your population if they can’t be exploited, and with the growth of robots we don’t really need people anymore. Except to consume things. When they invent a robot who can do that, there’s no longer any need for anyone who doesn’t contribute to the Liberal Party…


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  1. Zathras

    I’ve had a sneaky suspicion for a while that we’re being softened up to accept the government building new coal-fired power stations.

    The storm-induced outage in South Australia was used to set the stage for dismissing renewables as a viable long-term option.
    Soon afterward the term “clean coal” was brought back into the discussion as some sort of alternative solution but quietly put to one side for the moment.

    Another outage was eventually blamed on the failure to use a gas-fired power station kept the discussion going as reminded everyone that gas was part of our ongoing power requirement.

    Now the fear of outages is being spread to the Eastern States along with the notion that gas supplies are approaching the critical stage.
    Domestic as well as Industrial and power requirements are all being flagged as somehow endangered.

    The fracking solution will probably remain politically unpalatable in NSW and Victoria so “clean coal” will soon likely be hailed as a potential saviour and the only viable alternative.

    Once the public start demanding power security (regardless of the truth behind presented scenarios) the pundits’ work will be done and the taxpayer can start funding new coal-fired plants.

    I don’t think I’m being paranoid.

    I’ve seen this sort of set-up before, whether it’s introducing a GST or sending troops to the Middle East it always reveals itself in stages.

    I will be watching the next development with interest.

    (Gas-wise, it’s a shame that Howard set up a 25-year deal to supply China with gas from the North-West Shelf for what’s now a third of what we pay for it ourselves. Maybe we should be buying some back or simply paying China not to take it away.)

  2. Kaye Lee

    First we had John Howard in 2002…..

    The Prime Minister says a $25 billion deal to supply China with gas from the north-west shelf offers the hope of more to come. The deal is the biggest contract Australia has been involved in since Federation. One single contract to supply gas to China will increase our exports to that country by more than 10 per cent.

    Then we had Martin Ferguson in 2009….

    PetroChina has agreed to buy $50 billion worth of liquefied natural gas – 2.25 million tonnes a year over the next two decades – from the yet-to-be developed Gorgon field off the coast of Western Australia. Australia’s Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, says it is a foundation deal for the purpose of securing the Gorgon investment, and creating jobs and economic opportunities in Australia, while creating a sense of energy security for China.

    Now in 2017….

    The Australian Energy Market Operator on Thursday warned of future power supply shortfalls, which could cause blackouts in South Australia, NSW and Victoria unless gas production is boosted and supplied to electricity generators. Australian gas being sold in Japan for a wholesale price that is cheaper than the price it’s available for in Australia. This is despite the fact it costs an estimated $3.70 a gigajoule more for the gas to be shipped there.

    “Australia is unique in its sheer stupidity in allowing companies to exploit our resources and not insist they provide for our domestic market,” according to energy analyst Bruce Robertson of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “The market on the east coast is controlled by a cartel of producers and is restricting supply to the domestic market to drive up the price, and they’ve been very successful at doing this,” he said.

  3. Matters Not

    What’s with this ‘we’ bit? Kate, for example, on The Drum tonight spoke of: We entered into contracts to sell … . Pardon, but when an overseas company (who most certainly doesn’t pay its fair share of tax in Australia) enters into a contract to sell Australian gas in Japan at a lesser price than citizens can buy in Australia, I can’t see how she can use the pronoun WE .

    In Japan, ‘our’ gas sells for a lesser price than ‘we’ in Australia can buy, even though there’s a significant cost in liquefying and transporting same. Are ‘we’ that stupid? That ‘we’ would sell to others at a lesser price than we are forced to pay for our own product? Surely ‘we’ aren’t that stupid?

    Fact is, Australia (the we) doesn’t sell things anywhere, anytime. Fact is, that companies and or individuals who happen ‘to travel’ under the Australia banner should not be equated with the Australian ‘we’ – because economically and socially they don’t see themselves and behave that way.

  4. Matters Not

    Rossleigh, you are a person of considerable philosophical insight – so where are the dividing lines which might be drawn between Australia the Nation, the companies (both foreign and local), the ‘communities’, and the ‘individuals’? (Examples only).

    Or should we simply ignore those potential ‘divisions’ and continue to reside (relaxed and comfortable) in the equivalent of Plato’s (intellectual) cave? Never knowing what to cling to, when the rain sets in? Or indeed never knowing when the ‘rain’ is falling?

  5. Peter F

    What I am pleased to see is that, while the government fiddles around the edges, Australians are reacting by rapidly installing rooftop solar and batteries.
    The Government apparently has no idea that the disruption of their supporters’ business model is imminent.

    Google ‘clean disruption Tony Seba’ ……and watch

  6. rossleighbrisbane

    Matters Not, you’re quite right that we should think about those divisions. Part of the trouble is that they’re so fluid in the world of politics, so that when politicians use terms like “we” it depends on whether they want to include or exclude, and phrases like “mutual obligation” come to mean that you owe us, not we have an obligation to share in the wealth or the country whether or not you are looking for employment.

  7. philgorman2014

    “We” is increasingly restrictive term. “We the people” was a fine sounding aspirational trope, or neat piece of propaganda, when coined. It was certainly an improvement on the Royal We. In Australia today it means my little tribe. The We who entered into long term contractual arrangements with the fossil fuel industries are the members of the ruling global corpocracy.

  8. james o'neill

    One of my sons is a senior executive with an energy services company (not Australian) and he tells me that Australia has enough gas to meet all its energy needs for the foreseeable future. The problem, as noted in some of the earlier comments is that privately owned companies can flog it off to foreign countries with no real concern for the domestic market. High domestic prices and short supply are an obvious consequence.
    One solution that no-one seems willing to discuss is the nationalisation of the natural gas industry with a brief to meet domestic needs first and only then sell the rest overseas.

  9. jimhaz

    [When they invent a robot who can do that, there’s no longer any need for anyone who doesn’t contribute to the Liberal Party…]

    Now there is an idea. We need to crowd fund to provide money to purchase as many of the latest human like robots as we can. These will be donated to conservative politicians with the idea that the robots are being provided so that they can abuse them, a bit like Pet Therapy.

    That way they can get their power kicks without needing to abuse humans. We could program the robots to be like union members or lefties complaining about some neocon abuse so that they get all enraged and stroppy at the robot – but when this occurs the robots spit out monopoly money while meekly saying “Yes, Boss”.

  10. Vikingduk

    Gas problems? From this month’s NASA newsletter clarifies our biggest gas problem.


  11. Steve Laing

    You have to hand it to this government. Their ability to draw a contradictory conclusions to the evidence that is staring you in the face is fascinating. If it isn’t renewables causing power outages, its negative gearing causing property prices to go up and down, or its refugees coming here to both steal our jobs and claim welfare. And yet the sheeple still vote for them. Humans are odd creatures. Sometimes I think that the effects of climate change is too good for them…

  12. Alan Baird

    That rare thing for Australia, a cluster-fcuk! “We” (a “difficult” word & concept) “have” the gas and charge “ourselves” more for it. That’s why “we” have “our” lunatics in charge of the asylum (without parentheses ‘cos it just is). And good ole Marn Ferson turns up in conversation like a big gassy fart in the cathedral. What an ornament to government Marn was. No wonder paeans of praise were uttered by the Libs when he pissed off. They miss the twerp. “You don’t get two of him”, K. Packer might have said. No wonder BOTH sides DON’T want to review the past doings. Tone doesn’t seem to want to talk about the STRANGE DISCONNECT between the termination of the carbon price and the inexorable rise in energy prices. No one on 2GB seems to be able to explain this. Odd.

  13. economicreform

    Rossleigh, you seem to be implying that President Putin is a dictator. Is this really what you mean? According to Wikipedia: In modern usage, the term “dictator” is generally used to describe a leader who holds and/or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly. Dictatorships are often characterised by some of the following traits: suspension of elections and of civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency; rule by decree; repression of political opponents without abiding by rule of law procedures; these include one-party state, and cult of personality.

  14. Matters Not

    One solution that no-one seems willing to discuss is the nationalisation of the natural gas industry with a brief to meet domestic needs first and only then sell the rest overseas.

    A couple of points. First, in the lead up to the last election Chris Bowen flagged:

    If elected, Labor would follow the lead of other gas-rich nations like the US and Canada, and introduce a Domestic Gas Interest Test for new or significantly expanded natural gas export facilities. The basic idea would be that every time a company wanted to create a new gas project an independent board appointed by the Treasurer would assess what impact it might have on the national interest.

    Bad Chris! He wanted to interfere in the ‘market’. Nevertheless as Menadue points out:

    gas reservation policies are pursued by every major gas producing nation in the world, including the US, Canada, Indonesia, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Algeria and Malaysia. Unfortunately, Western Australia is the only state in Australia with a gas reservation policy.

    Why haven’t we gone down that track? And now why aren’t we going down that track. The mantra of: it’s all Labor’s fault simply doesn’t wash. LOL.

    JOHN MENADUE. A little bit of honesty would go a long way in energy policy.

  15. Matters Not

    South Australia has a history of electricity ‘problems’

    Large parts of Adelaide blacked out for up to 18 hours without notice. Trams stopped in their tracks across busy intersections. A bitter and partisan debate in state parliament about responsibility for the chaos – the electricity supplier, the federal government, other states putting their own energy needs ahead of South Australia’s? A heated argument about energy sources – coal or

    alternatives? Firms threatening to shift to other states because of unreliable electricity supply. Bitter complaints from consumers and businesses about electricity prices.

    Sound familiar? No – not talking about recent times but a situation that arose in 1946. In response, the government of the day nationalised the British-owned Adelaide Electricity Supply Company. And no it wasn’t the nasty Labor socialists, but the response of Tom Playford – a Liberal hero of times gone by.

    Playford argued that: electricity supply was too important to be left to the private sector, and that a well-managed government utility (the Electricity Trust of South Australia – ETSA) could do a far better job than a private company driven by profit-maximising incentives and accountable to foreign owners .

    How times have changed. We now know that the private sector ALWAYS does a better job than the public sector. Except of course – when it doesn’t. It’s the exception that just proves the rule – or some such nonsense.

  16. archie

    “Matters Not”,I believe U certainly have the right IDEA,BUTT the LNCP drones(apart from their uni-grads)only know 2 agree with what soever “The Market”decrees,never mind what happens locally!

  17. Harry.V.Dirchy

    You’re a bloke (I presume) that has a way with words that I reckon can help me. I’m trying to develop this idea for a political TV show/series. Not the usual disection /satrical panel show that we have in Oz, but a scripted thingy like West Wing, or VEEP, Thick of It, or even, God forbid, Yes Minister. Something like that, except with Australian accents. Coz we don’t have any. I’d say it would probably last maybe two / three seasons, max. I have a fair bit of it worked out, like the the PM suffers from a condition call Chamealiodae Syndrome, where he just assumes the background of the current situation – and no one can see him. So much so that when he is at the Prime Ministerial desk, his staff can’t find him. He has though really earnt the right, as he tells everyone, to do the knee tuck with those of the same ilk, you know important people and guzzillionaires (unlike others we could mention). I have a fair amount of the other characters worked out as well: Frank Speaker, the Immingration Minister (was gonna call him P Duddy, but someone else already claimed that name) whose just carried on his previous job of locking people up, Barnham Bailey the Deputy PM – the man with the $100 roast mouth and the $11 on special silverside face, Morry Schlomo the Treasurer – a devout follower of Happy Clapper economics – where if he says, “Well that’s where you’re wrong and tis,tis,tis enough – well tis and that’s where ur wrong. There are a few others Cash Meouside – the Employment Minister; Brandy Sniffta the AG – a penchant for poetry and turning to sh!t anything he touches; Nukkle Dragga – the deposed PM looking for a way back; Boring Canardly, the rebel sheep farmer senator from Wombat Creek, a bloke from the Nats that has a stained glass window tattooed on his shoulder always threatening to cross the floor ( but Barnham, his party leader has a cunning plan – he puts the pastry cart in his way, and he never seem to get there). We’d have factions as well. I see somewhere where there is a faction in the current gov’t that have called themselves “the Deplorables”- nah not very original, already used in America, so change that to the Drongo’s. Then of course we have the Lemmings as well. – they’re the ones that always have to be on the Right of the next person – it keeps on going, to the right of course – coz no-one wants to be on the left, where they fall off the cliff of political irrelevance (I know it’s not original, but I was thinking of one of those Monty Python cartoon thingies). I was thinking of a satirical scripted thingy, but then I thought maybe we could just follow this current mob around with a camera (you know like reality TV) and call it satire. I’m still working on the rest, but I think there is plenty of material there. Wadda ya reckon.

  18. Politicians are just crooks in suits.

    The ONLY reason that the costs of renewables is “prohibitive” is because those profiting from fossil fuel exploitation want to continue profiting from it at any cost, and renewables being a direct challenge to that profiteering endeavour, means that those same people will manipulate costs and other figures, often by buying out the company selling or researching renewables, in order to make it seem (at least on paper) that it’s too expensive to be worthwhile. They use excuses like needing maintenance and replacement of components such as solar panels, or wind turbines etc.. Because we all know that power poles, coal powered generators and hydropower generators NEVER EVER need maintenance or replacement components from they day they are turned on til they are decommissioned. Right? Lol. That’s like trying to say that a $1 dollar lolly that’s exactly the same as 10c lolly is better because it costs more. Which is, again, plain bullshit. It doesn’t even make sense. So why is there so much resistance to renewables? And why do governments support and even encourage the resistance? Because they are big business shills that are more interested in their own profits and influence than in actually doing the jobs they are employed by us to do, which is make things better for us, not worse.. and by denying and withholding renewable energy alternatives that’s exactly what they are doing.. making things worse for the people, not better, and providing more opportunity for profit by big business through the raping and pillaging of the land and it’s resources, at the expense of the countries most important resource.


    Renewables are as good as fossil fuels and only the limits put on research into renewables prevents any improvement to the technology. And that again comes back to politicians not doing their jobs and allowing big business to decide how things are to proceed. If you want that to change, stop voting in incompetent, weak willed puppets and vote for people who will actually do the right thing, instead of enabling big business greed and negligence.

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