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Where are the Visionaries?

If ever Tony Abbott had an opportunity to become the infrastructure Prime Minister he boasted he wanted to be, right now it is staring him in the face. Right now he could authorise a massive capital spending program that would literally electrify the nation and elevate it back to near full employment.

It could be an economic revival to exceed anything our country has ever experienced. All it needs is leadership of the Whitlam and Chifley kind. The sort we haven’t seen since the early 1970s.

As Peter Martin demonstrates in The Age this morning, the money is there for the taking at an historic low interest rate (2.55%), the projects are numerous, the workforce is available, with resources able to be sourced locally and the prospect of multiple auxiliary contracts being let out to small and medium sized manufacturing plants.

What an opportunity! This is what visionary governments do. It is the stuff that future generations would look back upon and say, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” But where are those who could place their imprimatur on such an undertaking?

scroogeThey are counting pennies, robbing the elderly, depriving the sick, forsaking proper educational opportunities for the young. They are engaging in the regressive, conservative, miserly, backward thinking of Dicken’s Ebenezer Scrooge; of bean counters intent on consolidating what they think is a finite resource.

The Abbott government could become the most far-sighted in our history. But they won’t. Neither Abbott nor anyone in his cabinet has the foresight. His words are meaningless, his vision worthless, his cabinet full of backward thinking, thought deprived, mediocrity.

While a score of major national projects sit expectantly on engineer’ and architects’ desks, begging to be commissioned, these so-called leaders are all looking the other way.

The current 10 year target bond rate in Australia is higher at 2.5% than practically anywhere else in the world. In the US it is 1.81%. In Britain it is 1.54%, in Germany, 0.40%, in Japan, it is 0.24%. Investors all over the world are looking for government bonds that offer a better rate than that.

They have mountains of money to invest and would jump at the opportunity to bring it down under. We have mountains of projects we could kick-start. We have a serious unemployment problem destined to become worse as our economy contracts.

We have an inflation rate of 2.3% which is certain to fall further with the present slump in oil prices. The timing for a massive infrastructure program is perfect. There is the Brisbane to Sydney to Melbourne fast rail project, we could restore the NBN to its original specifications; the Sydney WestConnex road project and Melbourne’s North South Metro Rail tunnel are major infrastructure projects waiting to be given the nod.

So where is the pretend infrastructure Prime Minister? He’s still counting the repeal of the carbon tax as his greatest achievement.

fastAny number of projects up to a combined cost of $100 billion whose benefits exceed their cost could be undertaken, all of which could be financed with government bonds locked in at 2.55% for 10 years. It is a golden opportunity but with a limited window in which to take advantage. The bond market is set for a correction sooner, rather than later.

But what chance is there that a government that rails against debt and deficits, would grasp such an opportunity? What chance is there that a government that is determined to strangle our economy as it tries to produce worthless surpluses, could see the benefits that would result?

What chance is there that a government whose only plan was to stop the boats, repeal the carbon and mining taxes and whose leader thinks coal is good for humanity, would have the intellectual capacity to seize their moment in history?

What chance? None.

solarSaul Eastlake, economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch says, we could speed up the commercial availability of battery technologies that could power solar panels on our roofs and enable them to be removed from the grid.

Where are the visionaries that could create such a project? Where are the visionaries that have the potential to put half a million people back to work, increase tax revenues accordingly, reduce welfare costs and improve the overall health of the economy?

They would much rather have those overseas investment bodies own those projects such that the wealth they produce would remain in the hands of the 1%. The future prosperity of Australia could never be realised while under the management of neo liberal thinking conservatives whose leader thinks coal is good for humanity.

Not here. Not now. While The LNP are in power, the computer says no.



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  1. Sue-Ellen Smith

    Here here, well said

  2. M-R

    Couldn’t have put it better meself ! (or as well …)

  3. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Hopefully Bill Shorten will note this article and use this ammunition when seeking to displace the current mediocre lot.

  4. DanDark

    Great article John K
    The visionararies are out there, but because of the nature of the nasty politics theses days and the types of People it attracts, who would want to be in politics, they will rip your visions apart with full teeth baring ferocity they have dirt files on others, as we saw with Julia, the visionaries/ progressives are amongsts us, they just choose to stay away from the insidious cancer that has overtaken our politicians….

  5. Kaye Lee

    Australia and Antarctica are now the only two continents in the world where there is no high speed rail project underway.

    As part of the agreement to support the minority Labor government, the Australian Greens secured a $20 million feasibility study into high speed rail. That feasibility study demonstrated that it will cut pollution, enhance business and passenger transport and generate positive economic returns.

    Melbourne to Sydney is one of the busiest air routes in the world. High speed rail could alleviate the need for a second Sydney airport. Once fully operational (from 2065 if we start planning now), HSR could carry approximately 84 million passengers each year, with express journey times of less than three hours between Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Brisbane.

    The estimated cost of constructing the preferred HSR alignment in its entirety would be around $114 billion (in 2012 dollars) which sounds like a lot of money until you realise it is what we hand out in ONE YEAR in tax concessions (estimated to grow to $150 billion per year in 2 years.)

    Thousands of jobs would be created in the construction phase and, unlike roads, the HSR would provide ongoing employment for railway employees and associated industries. It would revitalise regional areas.

    In August 2013 the ‘High Speed Rail Advisory Group’ chaired by former Nationals leader Tim Fischer found “no insurmountable issues that preclude Australia proceeding with high speed rail as a priority”

    That group was abolished by the Prime Minister in November 2013.

    Nope, no visionaries here.

    High Speed Rail

  6. Jexpat

    You don’t need to be a visionary to recognise that it’s wise (and profitable) to borrow to invest when interest rates are at historic lows where you can get a positive rate of return AND valuable, long term capital assets at the same time.

    (Whether high speed rail is one of those twofers is debatable- but many other investments, such as myriad clean energy technologies clearly are as anyone browsing through the world’s financial publications can see for themselves).

    Unfortunately, the ideologue not only doesn’t see (nor care) about this (and hence, is a poor financial manager) but also is quite willing to cut off their own- and everyone else’s collective nose to spite their ideological faces.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, at this rate Antarctica will beat us to it.

  8. June

    Another article that reminds me I’m glad to have stumbled onto your site. Thank you JohnK. Alas, the vision our current government has is not simply myopic but backward focused. As Rosemary points out – one can hope Bill Shoeten reads these articles and takes note for future action.

  9. Kaye Lee


    I hear the walruses are taking advice from Telstra on holding out for a better deal

  10. John Fraser


    The Abbott gang are now in the frozen position Labor was at the height of the Rudd/Gillard debacle.

    A complete and total F *** Up of a government bought about because they only have an ideology encapsulated in big business ideals.

    More pressure should be brought to bear by social media to get Abbott up to Queensland to campaign for newman.

    Keep the pressure on the moron and his mate the simpleton.

  11. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    "Australia and Antarctica are now the only two continents in the world where there is no high speed rail project underway."

    Thanks for that little gem.

  12. Michael Taylor

    And the penguins are installing solar panels.

  13. Paul Scahill

    It appears very simple to those of us who have some vision and understand simple facts and figures. However we are talking to simple-tons who think they are smart(but are only smart-arses) l Hockey & Abbott. Long Live the King!!!

  14. DanDark

    lol Michael we need some of those penguins in gov, way more progressive than Tones and Co
    And smarter 🙂

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes we could have the infrastructure/technology for the future. All they had top d9 was add to9 NBNCO, Fibre to the premises, along with the CEF suite of legalisation. These alone would not be seen as debts by future generations, as they would be too busy reaping the profited

    There are man more.

    Propping up mining, especially coal and building roads will take us nowhere. They are now talking seriously about driverless vars. In fact already a reality, Where will the roads that Abbott want to build, fit in with this reality.

    It makes one sad, when you look at how much of Gillard’s achievements that this man dismantled.

    Dismantled for what reason? Cannot answer that one.

  16. Simon

    Its incredible to think that the opportunities are being wasted, if I may I would like to add the following points

    1. NBN should be restored to its former glory
    2. High speed rail should be considered but not before every major tollway corridor in every city in Australia is replaced by light rail, the possibilities that would create are much better than the Syd to Melb link in my opinion, this would remove literlly thousands of cars from the roads especially in outer suburbs and if you couple this with high speed broadband, the many many people could work from home, and not even use the car to get to work at least a couple of days per week.
    3. The scrapping of the carbon tax effectively stopped any investment in renewables, this is a problem for us as now we have lost the carbon tax revenue but we have also lost the opportunity to develop new industries that are cleaner and greener, which many people that are in extractive and heavy CO2 industries could transition into.

    Its disgraceful that a government is in power that basically resembles the muppetts, the person really driving the agenda is invisible, and we are left with the stupid puppet to look at

    Lastly please QLD send a clear message to Newman on 31 Jan and vote him out, his kind of politics is not welcome

  17. John Fraser


    Woolworths chief executive Grant O'Brien appears to be one of Abbott's "visionaries".

    ""We've got a government investing billions of dollars into the national broadband network," he said.
    "From a retail point of view it enables [customers] to shop internationally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So I don't get why the government invests in that and yet a government, and albeit it may be a state government say well, you can't open your stores before 9 o'clock and you must have them closed by 4 o'clock on a Sunday."

    Ahhhh !

    Yes lets shut down that nasty NBN so that everyone can shop at ColesWorths 24/7.

    As Australia goes backward I am so looking forward to seeing dial up once again ……. NOT !

    Apologies for the screaming.

  18. JeffJL

    ‘John Fraser January 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm


    The Abbott gang are now in the frozen position Labor was at the height of the Rudd/Gillard debacle.

    A complete and total F *** Up of a government bought about because they only have an ideology encapsulated in big business ideals.'

    I cannot agree with that John. I agree with the Rudd/Gillard debacle comment but under Gillard government the process of government kept rolling. There were a few budget items that did not make it into law a few months after the budget was pronounced but nothing like the billions that the LNP have sitting in the Senate (and in the House if you include the "Education Reforms".

  19. Brad K

    I doubt there’s many in the current government that could spell the word visionary let alone become one.

  20. mikestasse

    Sorry, but a vision to consume is no vision at all…….

  21. Graeme Henchel

    You think they know what they’re doing
    You think they understand
    Well I’ve come to the conclusion
    They really have no plan

    Sure they found a way to power
    Through lies and pure deceit
    but now they’re all but drowning
    In their neo-con conceit

    They had a list from the IPA
    Kiss the rich and punch the poor
    This manifest was not revealed
    in their glossy sales brochure.

    They’re no smarter than the rest of us
    But they think they know it all
    They’re just good at telling lies
    In fact they know stuff all

    They don’t know how to govern
    They don’t know how to lead
    There snouts are so far in the trough
    They’re stupefied with greed

    They take orders from those who pay
    And lie to those who can’t
    They’ve no idea what they’re doing
    They really have no plan

    Problem is their backers
    Who pull upon the string
    Also have got no idea
    Of what their greed will bring

    We’re led by a kakistocracy
    Made of the worst of men
    In good time we’ll throw them out
    And start all over again.

  22. John Fraser




    I haven't worded it very well.

    At the time of the first Rudd/Gillard shmozzle the Labor government was frozen.

    At the time of the second Rudd/Gillard shmozzle the Labor government was frozen.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government has gone down in history as one of the most successful, and for Australians, beneficial governments in history.

  23. lawrencewinder

    Great article.
    How could you expect vision from this talentless rabble who just action the thought bubbles of the sycophants from the IPA?
    Once were Managers, under Little Johnnie assistant mangers and now just the IPA’s office-Boys!

  24. corvus boreus

    “I could not bat,
    I could not bowl,
    I could not field,
    but I could sledge.”
    Anthony Abbott, gleefully reminiscing recently about his cricket ‘exploits’ at university.

    In other words, he had no skills in playing the actual game, just a penchant for cheating in the form of personal abuse.

    Utterly despicable.

  25. Florence nee Fedup

    This mob not only have no vision. They destroy the vision of others.

    It is that hard to imagine, that the future economy oft this nation will require a highly educated and skilled workforce. A workforce that is flexible, able to continually retrain itself, to take advantage of the Asian century and technological age.

    Education is not a luxury, not a choice. NO, it is an entitlement that one has an obligation to under take.

    Obama has just said in his addressed that carbon emissions must be addressed. Yes, the CEF was the beginning of addressing this need. Ahead of the world, not as we are now, falling quickly behind. Turning our back on the technology and industry of now and future makes no sense.

    What stood out in that address, was the mention of needing not fast broadband, but the fastest available. Now we were going that way. The NBNCo was quickly picking up speed, and not must dearer than the multi technology, non universal mess we are now getting. Whether it is up to scratch or not, depends on where you live. It is going to cost more in the long run,. Is taking as long to build. In other words. more waste, created by this mob, because of dogma.

    The one thing they will never show, is any imagination or any recognition of what is needed.

    We are leaving future generations great debt as they have to build, what we should be today.

  26. Ross

    Nation building, Tony hasn’t got time for nation building, by gad sir he’s far too busy putting the final touches to the Australia day honours list didn’t you know.

    Their Lordships Sir John Howard and Sir Rupert Murdoch.
    Sir Peter Costello.
    Knights Cross with Oak Leaves for Scott Morrisson.
    Dame Peta Credlin.
    An OBE for his wife’s tennis partner
    A WTF for some bloke he met on a bike ride once.

    It’s damnably hard work who gets what gong, what!

  27. stephentardrew

    They are far sighed John they continue to look back into the Neolithic past.

    However our ancestors made it to the future while this mob are going backwards at a great rate destroying a host of benefits earned in the past.

    We need to put them in monkey suits so they get the feel for their IQ. (Sorry monkeys)

    Welcome to Meccano no speed home made rail.

  28. sandrasearle

    I was watching the ABC24 news this morning and they had an interview with a man from the Massachussets (MIT). He was talking about the great advancements on battery storage for solar energy.
    The long and the short of it is, apparently it is ready for production & they are talking about letting countries who are interested in this technology manufacture it in their own countries. Now, I would think that this would be absolutely fabulous for this country giving it a real chance to make renewable energy a very large growth area.
    I’m not very good at being able to link to MIT (although I did google their web site), John, perhaps you or Michael or Kaye could see if you can find out more info from the ABC morning breakfast program with regard to getting more information or the video clip of the interview.
    If this information can get out to people they can then see what can be achieved in renewables & just how good it would be for our employment as well as saving our planet.

  29. Judith W

    Makes perfect sense to me John. But could you perhaps suggest some infrastructure projects that support getting women back into the workforce as well? Yes I know there are female engineers but it’s around 12% female representation in building and construction. “Infrastructure” spending in health care, welfare and education could do with a visionary approach.

  30. sandrasearle

    Thanks John Fraser, ‘tho it wasn’t what I was referring to, but it is also very progressive & interesting.
    What I was listening to this morning was about battery storage for Solar electricity for housing that the MIT (Massachussets USA) has developed.
    I would like to get hold of the video clip from the this mornings ABC 24 program. Not sure where or how to go about it.

  31. Harquebus

    More infrastructure is not the solution.
    Here is what politicians are trying to achieve.
    Increase energy production, increase populations, grow the economy, build massive amounts of energy guzzling infrastructure and pay off debt all while trying to reduce greenhouse gasses and the budget deficit. Ha!
    If we reduced our population, we would reduce pollution, conserve resources, preserve the environment, slow climate change and save ourselves a fortune by not building the necessary infrastructure required for a larger population.
    Forget the economy, it is on life support and has been for some time. Sovereign debts can not be repaid without increasing energy production and that ain’t gonna happen. Peak oil mates, peak oil.

  32. mikestasse

    Harquebus has vision. All we need is less.

  33. Brett Stokes

    Solar PV technology applied on a large scale to address many needs and desires – an idea worth thinking about – an idea worth supporting


    Aussie highways can get hot in the sun – so hot the bitumen melts … so hot that the cars all have air cons blasting …

    I love the idea of driving in the shade all the way from Adelaide to Perth with the windows down (in my electric car of course) …

    I have seen pics of a PV panel roof over railway lines (from France as I recall) …

    If there was a PV roof over the Adelaide to Perth Highway, it would have a length of 3000km …

    and it would be easy to have a parallel transmission line setup and enhance the national grid ..

    for the east-west sections of the highway, a sloping structure on the north side will do the job … midsummer sun comes in at approx 82 degrees … good clearance height above the road surface … water (rain and condensate) can be collected off the sloping structure (local indigenous people collected morning dew for drinking water) … a green corridor across the desert

  34. Harquebus

    @Brett Stokes
    Solar Pv and Wind generators will never be viable.
    “Planet-friendly Apple announced in 2012 that it would use solar to help power its cloud-computing centre in North Carolina. Sadly, to power it all with solar would have to involve seventeen square kilometres of panels, and this area would have to be completely bare of shadow-casting trees and structures”

    The Renewable Energy Myth
    “We haven’t discovered any form of energy that is completely clean and recyclable, and the notion that such an energy source can ever be found is a mirage.”

    The myth of renewable energy

    (Apologies to Kaye Lee and others for having posted these links previously.)
    @Kaye Lee
    High speed rail will never be built in Australia. Rail is the transport system of the future but, it won’t be high speed and those that already have them will be slowed dramatically. The faster one goes, the exponentially more energy is required in the construction and operation.

  35. mikestasse


    The combined quantity and quality issues of our renewable energy future are sufficiently daunting that Google engineers who, in 2007, embarked on an ambitious, well-funded project to solve the world’s climate and energy problems, effectively gave up. It seems that money, brainpower, and a willingness to think outside the box weren’t enough. “We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change,” write Ross Koningstein and David Fork, key members of the RE<C project team. “We now know that to be a false hope.”

    The Google team defined “success” as identifying a renewable energy system that could compete economically with coal and could also be deployed fast enough to stave off the worst climate change impacts. The team concluded that renewable energy isn’t up to that job. In their article, Koningstein and Fork put on a brave face, hoping that some currently unknown energy source will appear at the last minute to save the day. But putting one’s faith in a currently non-existent energy source seems less realistic than working for dramatic improvements to solar and wind technologies. A completely new source would require decades for development, testing, and deployment. Realistically, our choice of replacements for fossil fuels is limited to energy sources that can be harnessed with current technology, even if they can’t keep the industrial growth engine humming.

  36. mikestasse

    “Any number of projects up to a combined cost of $100 billion whose benefits exceed their cost could be undertaken, all of which could be financed with government bonds locked in at 2.55% for 10 years. It is a golden opportunity but with a limited window in which to take advantage. The bond market is set for a correction sooner, rather than later.”

    Doesn’t ANYONE understand that the entire global banking system is stuffed? That it’s likely to collapse as early as THIS year? Certainly not beyond 2016………..?? Peak Debt is here. NOW. Growth is finished. No growth = cannot service debts. The world is bankrupt. Anybosy here hear of the bank run in Greece? Greeks withdrew 700 million Euros in one day two days ago…… as soon as confidence disappears, it’s goodbye Capitalism….. Denmark and Switzerland are so shit scared of a Euro collapse, they have unpegged their currencies and are now offering NEGATIVE INTEREST…… can you get your head around THAT? They somehow hope that this wiill stoke growth through spending through credit. The hole just gets bigger every day….. I expect that as soon as Syriza win the Greek elections, they will abandon the Euro and defect on all their debts to the EU.

    You want vision? Let’s start with cancelling all debts…..

  37. John Kelly

    Mikestasse, let’s bring a little rationality back into the conversation. Firstly, global banking will never be bankrupt. That’s an oxymoron. If peak debt has arrived and by that I presume you mean no one can afford to repay anyone anything, then that is that. All debts will be cancelled and sovereign nations and currency issuing central banks will start again. That could be a very good thing. The ones who suffer the most will be those that have the most.

    I have not seen any reports that Denmark has unpegged from the Euro. They might but I don’t think they have yet. Greece would be much better to leave the Euro and start again, debt free.

    So, all is not so bad. The world will still turn no matter what happens. Chill out.

  38. mikestasse

    Rationality? Bwahahahahahaha….. There’s NOTHING rational about ANYTHING happening at the moment, rationality went out the window with Peak Oil (2006) and GFC Mk! (2008) and the banks are ALREADY bankrupt……. so are the oil companies. TOTAL oil has just announced it will deeply cut investment in US shale and dramatically reduce North Sea field expansion in the UK as the oil price plunges. SHELL has just announced it’s selling all its assets in Brazil. Shell may well be the first oil major to go tits up actually….

    Re Denmark,

    You don’t seem to understand the repercussions of cancelling debts……. there will be NO MONEY available to do anything. This will make the 1930’s depression look like a picnic in the park.

    I agree that those who will sufer most are the 1% (HURRAH!!!) but without their investment capacity (read print money as debt) there will be no money. Thee will be no oil. There will be no more renewables….. and we will finally be ‘saved’ from climate change…

  39. mikestasse

    Humans are “eating away at our own life support systems” at a rate unseen in the past 10,000 years by degrading land and freshwater systems, emitting greenhouse gases and releasing vast amounts of agricultural chemicals into the environment, new research has found.

    Too much growth, too many people, too much shit, too much infrastructure…… it HAS TO STOP!

  40. Kaye Lee


    This may have been the research you are discussing?

    The fellow concerned is Donald Sadoway.

    “Saw this story with Prof Sadoway on ABC News this morning

    the liquid metal battery — was developed at MIT in the lab of Professor Donald Sadoway.

    Their commercial arm is Ambri


    He said they were about a year away from a commercial product, and are looking to partner with Austrlian scientists and manufacturers

    It takes about 300 years of discharge cycles for the battery to fall to 80% capacity.

    An off the grid future for all :)”

  41. Roswell

    I’m lost when people go Bwahahahahahaha.

  42. John Kelly

    Mikestasse, your link confirms that Denmark has NOT unpegged from the Euro. There will always be money. Central banks will print money and circulate it, this time, hopefully, if the world financial system goes belly up and all debts are cancelled, they will ensure it goes to the people rather than to the banks. It will be rather refreshing living without oil but I don’t think that will happen in yours or my lifetime.

  43. Kaye Lee

    “Denmark and Switzerland are so shit scared of a Euro collapse, they have unpegged their currencies” Wrong again.

    “There has been significant speculation about the Danish currency peg to the euro following the SNB (Swiss National Bank) shock. We are doubtful that the Danish krone peg, which has existed for decades, is about to break. The DKK (Danish kroner) remained within the ERM (exchange rate mechanism) during the 1992 European currency crisis, even as the pound and the lira abandoned it. Unlike the CHF (Swiss franc), the DKK is not generally regarded as a global safe haven currency. Danish foreign reserves have actually declined by some 13% from their peak in mid-2012 after the passing of the European sovereign crisis, which implies a weakening of the pressure on DKK in recent years.”

  44. Harquebus

    @Mike Kelly.
    Does that mean we can expect QE to infinity. Energy makes money, money does not make energy. They can print all the fiat they like, it will not change the laws of physics.
    Mike Stasse is correct. The bond market is set for a massive correction only this time, energy shortages will not allow economic growth to continue. The fracking bubble is bursting.
    zerohedge and ecoshock are two sites that are worth reading and listening to. MSM is controlled by half a dozen corporations that echo government poopaganda in exchange for special favors. It seems to me that, you have, along with most, been poopaganded. (Poopaganded: shitted on)
    Switzerland unpegged from the euro. “Denmark, Sweden and Britain negotiated opt-outs for the Euro”
    @Kaye Lee.
    Renewable energy generating devices and expensive batteries will not be made in an oil deficient world.
    I know I am not believed me so, here is a site where oil industry people join in the chit chat. Nothing like getting it from the horses mouth eh?

  45. mikestasse

    Denmark has not OFFICIALLY unpegged……… but its currency is behaving like it has. The Euro is rooted.

    If the banks are not bankrupt, WHY do they need to be constantly bailed out?

    You lot need to stop reading mainstream media, worrying about our useless government in charge of NOTHING, and start reading REAL NEWS from good well sourced alternative sites that discuss the things Murdick doesn’t want you to know about.

  46. Kaye Lee

    I am sorry but while you continue to quote from unreliable sources I am not really interested Harquebus. You and mike have posted that Lewis Page article on every single thread on this site. The man is a fruitloop. He has misrepresented what was said by the google engineers and what they were trying to do. He has ignored the fact that Google, whilst abandoning that R&D project, have instead invested massively in renewable energy.

    The engineers looked into whether a 55 percent emission cut by 2050 would bring the world back below the 350-ppm threshold and concluded that alone would not achieve that goal.

    “Our reckoning showed that reversing the trend would require…radical technological advances in cheap zero-carbon energy, as well as a method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering the carbon.

    Koningstein and Fork hint at one possible focus: technologies like power electronics that can efficiently control the grid and enable higher penetrations of distributed generation. In July, Google unveiled a $1 million challenge to build an inverter one-tenth the size of existing devices.

    If we invented a distributed, dispatchable power technology, it could transform the energy marketplace and the roles played by utilities and their customers. Smaller players could generate not only electricity but also profit, buying and selling energy locally from one another at real-time prices. Small operators, with far less infrastructure than a utility company and far more derring-do, might experiment more freely and come up with valuable innovations more quickly.”

    They are not giving up as you suggest. They are calling for more R&D.

    “Consider Google’s approach to innovation, which is summed up in the 70-20-10 rule espoused by executive chairman Eric Schmidt. The approach suggests that 70 percent of employee time be spent working on core business tasks, 20 percent on side projects related to core business, and the final 10 percent on strange new ideas that have the potential to be truly disruptive.

    Wouldn’t it be great if governments and energy companies adopted a similar approach in their technology R&D investments? The result could be energy innovation at Google speed. Adopting the 70-20-10 rubric could lead to a portfolio of projects. The bulk of R&D resources could go to existing energy technologies that industry knows how to build and profitably deploy. These technologies probably won’t save us, but they can reduce the scale of the problem that needs fixing. The next 20 percent could be dedicated to cutting-edge technologies that are on the path to economic viability. Most crucially, the final 10 percent could be dedicated to ideas that may seem crazy but might have huge impact. Our society needs to fund scientists and engineers to propose and test new ideas, fail quickly, and share what they learn. Today, the energy innovation cycle is measured in decades, in large part because so little money is spent on critical types of R&D.”

  47. John Kelly

    Harquebus, does paint a grim future if true, however, those with the least now, will be effected the least. That lets out the 90% on the planet who will learn to adapt more quickly than the 10% who have been laughing at us for the past 40 odd years. Those among us 90% who have gone solar will have the energy. We are also good at growing our own food, storing our own water. Therefore there is hope. The 10% are the ones who will suffer the most. The money issued by central banks will reinforce the determination of the 90% to become more self sufficient. The 10% who have relied on asset appreciation, will have to find new ways of accumulating wealth. Good luck with that.

  48. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee
    I am not against R&D for solar Pv and wind generators. Who knows, we might even figure it out but, I doubt it.
    So far, these technologies are not viable and I see no reason to spend $billions and waste precious fossil fuel energy implementing these unproven technologies.
    You keep badgering me but, I see no useful contribution coming from you. You are a dreamer who has no understanding of energy nor physics. Economic arguments in favor only work because, economics does not factor physics nor the environment. Externalities in econo speak. If these externalities were included, the economic argument would fail.
    Our world can not continue business as usual. It is killing us.
    BTW: I did apologize.

  49. diannaart


    Sometimes “Bwahahahahahaha” is all a person has left.


  50. Harquebus

    @John Kelly
    Modern agriculture is the process of turning fossil fuels into food. Oil constraints = food constraints. An angry mob is one thing, a hungry mob is a completely different animal.

  51. Kaye Lee

    Yes I am a dreamer. I can only dream about the technological advances of the future.

    “economics does not factor physics nor the environment”. What absolute rot.

    “Our world can not continue business as usual.” This we are all agreed on which is why education and research are crucial and why we must fight against the changes to higher education proposed by the Abbott government.

  52. mikestasse

    “economics does not factor physics nor the environment” is NOT ‘absolute rot’…… economics is a non science totally ignorant of real science. Otherwise they would know the difference between PRIMARY energy, and seconadry energy, and they would understand the concept of SURPLUS energy. Economics is what’s got us into this mess…… some economist (dare I say MOST??) still believe in infinite growth.

    And John, the 90% have one really serious problem…… OVERPOPULATION. Just look at what’s happened to Egypt and Syria? And wait til the shit hits the fan in Saudi Arabia when the old king on virtual life support dies….. then we’ll really find out where our oil comes from. When 10% of the world’s conventional oil disappears on top of the 10% that is unconventional oil and disappearing as I write, oil shortages will create havoc everywhere, not least here where we import 90% of our oil already…..

  53. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee
    ““economics does not factor physics nor the environment”. What absolute rot.”
    Now your ignorance is really showing. Keep it up. You are your own worst enemy.

  54. mikestasse

    Here’s more on why Google abandoned renewables……

    A good indicator is found in a a publicly available position paper the company published titled, Google’s Green PPAs: What How and Why. In it, after some of the usual, obligatory preaching about how everyone has to go green, we find some rather frank talk about how solar and wind energy simply are not able to be trusted to power Google’s massive data centers. In fact, they are purposely located near some of those nasty, unsustainable coal and fossil fuel plants just to ensure they can keep the beast fed. (Emphasis added.)

    Given that you can’t tell electrons where to go, how do you “use”—and show your use of—renewable energy? One solution is to not use the grid at all. After all, we could put the renewable project “behind the meter,” meaning that it would be on the same premises as our data center. This is what is happening when people put solar panels on their roofs. It is also what we have done on our main campus in Mountain View, California, where our 1.6 megawatt (MW) solar panel facility helps power our offices. But this is not feasible for Google data centers (or most companies’ data centers) for a number of interrelated reasons.

    They go on to list some of these reasons, which are actually completely valid and familiar to Hot Air readers. But they also fly in the face of the stated reason for breaking with ALEC.

    For one, the area necessary to harness sufficient energy to power a data center by either method is much larger than the actual area of a data center and its surrounding property. Also, neither the wind nor the sun are constantly available resources. They come and go with the weather, while Google’s data centers operate 24×7.1 No matter what, we’d need to be connected to the grid to access “conventional” power to accommodate our constant load. The plain truth is that the electric grid, with its mix of renewable and fossil generation, is an extremely useful and important tool for a data center operator, and with current technologies, renewable energy alone is not sufficiently reliable to power a data center.

    AND this is why business as usual will NEVER run on solar. Unlike my house, which uses hardly any power at all and has enough roof space to generate 8 times what we need (and it’s only 145 m2…)

  55. Kaye Lee

    Agriculture may have to change.

    New research is documenting that organic farms can emit as little as half the carbon dioxide generated by industrial farms. Organic farms also use much less fossil-fuel energy than their conventional counterparts—in many cases as much as one-third less, and studies are also showing that organic farming can sequester carbon, providing a potentially powerful tool to help us address climate change. In fact, 10,000 medium-sized organic farms can store as much carbon in the soil as we would save if we took one million cars off the road. They also are more labour intensive so would provide employment for more people.

    Tony’s idea of building more roads to improve productivity is just creating heat islands and pollution and adding to deforestation. Decentralisation, smaller producers, better rail links connecting regional areas with cities, flexible work practices allowing people to work from home, infrastructure like the NBN to allow for data transfer and improved telecommunications (more teleconferencing, less travel) – there are so many things we can do to slow things down while the boffins keep coming up with ideas.

  56. stephentardrew

    There are a raft of new inventions in the pipeline. See Science Daily and Psyorg for extensive list of articles on the latest in scientific research. Even if only one quarter end up being economically viable there will be substantial new technologies coming on line in the next twenty years. Venture Capitalist and inventor Ray Kurzweil has clearly demonstrated that technology is growing exponentially and the first twenty years of this century will be equivalent to the whole of last century. The current state of technology is no indication of future accelerated change. After all evolution depends upon adaptation and it is those who adapt who will survive. Undoubtedly we need a new perspective that is not driven by autonomic and subconscious fears, however that demands we take a reasoned and well though out stance on the future of Humanity. Calm resolve is much more useful that feeding the fearful panic-machine which simply reinforces a paradigm of reactivity and not reason.

    This fear based reactivity is our nemesis. That is one of the reasons I am so impressed with AIMN because the articles are generally well thought out, and though they trigger emotional reactivity, they do try to deal with the facts at hand. I have fun being cheeky and satirical however I am clear about the fact that the only solution is rational well thought out science based engineering answers to politics and economics. We need to discriminate between subjective emotional reactivity and well reasoned proof based upon facts.

    Trouble is, in evolutionary terms, we are still fighting predators which have now become those who disagree with us rather than utilizing logic science and reason. If we don’t start from first principles of causal continuity then any type of irrational nonsense is posited as truth. In fact we need to overcome our visceral drives propelled by primitive urges and the only way to do that is through sound well thought out calm reasoning.

  57. stephentardrew

    Given my above post it is time for Labor to define a theoretical foundation of their goals and objectives because they certainly do not represent the Labor of old. Leaving us in the dark is a fools game. If you do not have solid foundations then your paradigm is prone to fall apart. Here is an article which asks some of the right questions. It is not definitive however it is a good foundation for a critique of the visceral drives that shape beliefs.

  58. corvus boreus

    ‘’? A US RWNJ site routinely denying anthropogenic climate influence.
    Better sources please.

  59. Jexpat

    Miskestasse wrote:

    “The plain truth is that the electric grid, with its mix of renewable and fossil generation, is an extremely useful and important tool for a data center operator, and with current technologies, renewable energy alone is not sufficiently reliable to power a data center.”

    That’s utter codswallop.

    Google and Apple located data centres in The Dalles and Prineville Oregon because of their relatively inexpensive clean and renewable energy.

    More on Google, Apple and Microsoft’s choices in this regard here:

  60. corvus boreus

    To be fair, that line was a quote from Googles’ own statement on the subject.

  61. Jexpat

    That may well be Corvus, but it’s directly contradicted by thier emphatic statement here:

    Renewable energy

    At Google, we’re striving to power our company with 100% renewable energy. In addition to the environmental benefits, we see renewable energy as a business opportunity and continue to invest in accelerating its development. We believe that by helping power more of the world with renewable energy, we’re creating a better future for everyone.

    More details:

    (Just as an aside, the real queen of comparative advantage for data centre siting is Iceland).

  62. Harquebus

    Data centers use a lot of power. They also save a lot. It is much easier to move electrons than it is to move mail and books for example. It is the generating of that power that is the problem.
    On the bus today, yes I use public transport, I was able to overlook someone communicating on their smart phone. Thinking about the energy that went into manufacturing that device, the infrastructure needed for it to connect and the energy used to process and relay the information which, was wasted on a totally useless conversation between two morons who were completely oblivious to environmental damage caused by all the above.
    If an Apple Ipad was manufactured holus bolus in the U.S., it would cost about $14,000 which, is a closer value to the environmental damage caused in the process. If you could put a price on the environment that is.

  63. mikestasse

    People who believe in technology don’t understand that technology CONSUMES energy…… it doesn’t make any. Renewables are just an extension of the fossil fuel industry.

    Richard Heinberg has just published:

    I consider myself a renewable energy advocate: after all, I work for an organization called Post Carbon Institute. I have no interest in discouraging the energy transition—quite the contrary. But I’ve concluded that many of us, like Koningstein and Fork, have been asking the wrong questions of renewables. We’ve been demanding that they continue to power a growth-based consumer economy that is inherently unsustainable for a variety of reasons (the most obvious one being that we live on a small planet with finite resources). The fact that renewables can’t do that shouldn’t actually be surprising.

    What are the right questions? The first, already noted, is: What kind of society can up-to-date renewable energy sources power? The second, which is just as important: How do we go about becoming that sort of society?

    Our Renewable Future

  64. Jexpat

    Here we have yet another patently absurd blanket statement:

    “…Renewables are just an extension of the fossil fuel industry.”

    No mate, they’re not. Wind, hydro and solar energy have been around- and have been harnessed in various ways since long before humans has a clue what fossil fuels were.

  65. Florence nee Fedup

    Seem to recall, the industrial revolution was first fuel by water running mills. Windmills are ancient. Then came steam, followed by the power driven engines. Wind and running water has been used since man left the caves. Wind drove that fleet to Australia to set up the British Penal Colony in this fine land of ours. Even with the hore3less carriage, if was a toss up between petrol and electricity. Petrol won at the time. Maybe to our disadvantage.

  66. Jexpat


    Technically, biomass and oils (both plant and animal) are derived from solar energy, which in turn means that fossil fuels themselves are simply stored up solar energy in a densely concentrated form.

    Of course, the former- while renewable, are typically not clean in terms of emissions.

    Returning to the topic of visionaries, we do have plenty here in Australia- just not so many in government at the moment.

    Beyond Zero Emissions, for example is a very impressive organisation with thoroughly researched and meticulously costed plans that would see Australia free from fossil fuels in rather short order (a decade or two) with existing technologies, provided we had the political will and fortitude to make the right investments.

    Check it out:

    See, in particular, the Zero Carbon Plan.

  67. Kaye Lee


    You flood us with links to anything you can find that you think backs up your extreme views. When it is pointed out to you that you are quoting from unreliable sources you just ignore it. That makes me view your information with a healthy dose of scepticism.

    Is the John Weber who wrote the article condemning wind turbines the same John Weber who was recently elected to the board of directors of Enphase Energy?

  68. rossleighbrisbane

    Gee, mikestasse had almost convinced me that all was lost, and was just going to go out and consume as much as possible before it all fell apart, but I’ll wait to hear his response to you Kaye Lee…

  69. diannaart

    There’s no such thing as zero emissions energy.


    You state the above as if none of us are aware of this fact; that NO emission free energy is possible.

    Well, neither is returning the entire population of planet earth back to subsistence farming. Sure some of us will be able to go completely off-grid – I would if I could, however, that is not remotely viable for EVERYBODY.

    Besides we have the technology to supply emissions reduced energy.

    If this is not good enough, then, no doubt subsistence living will be foisted upon us all at great cost – many deaths, much anguish, but it has not come to this yet, it may never come to that. Provided enough world leaders start to, well, lead – there are hints here and there – Obama has been making progressive noises.

    I seem to recall that I refused converse with you again, you being rather rude to me last time – well I have broken my own rule – I am only human after all – that’s the thing, Mike, we’re just human beings we may get this sustainable living thing right, or we may go sleep with the dinosaurs. But, please stop lecturing us like we are fools – not necessary, there are some very smart people conversing here – why not try a little discussion for change of pace?

  70. mikestasse

    Is the John Weber who wrote the article condemning wind turbines the same John Weber who was recently elected to the board of directors of Enphase Energy

    Don’t be ridiculous Kaye…….. Here is somethinh interesting about the man himself, who like me was ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED we would save the world with renewables until we understood the repercussions. I suggest you visit his very well informed blog where he wrote this:

    Denial is Denial –

    There is the entrenched denial of an impending negative – like a diagnosis of cancer or climate change – even when the evidence is overwhelming.

    Climate change deniers cherry pick the information they want. Climate change deniers disregard what goes against their beliefs. Climate change deniers often have a financial horse in the race. Some have an emotional need to maintain their position.

    A main underlying reason for the intensity of climate change deniers is their wish to maintain some version of business as usual (BAU).

    Recently, we had hundreds of thousands marching for climate change. They purport to see the big picture, the whole system. They would denigrate deniers. Many of these marchers are anti-fossil fuels and propose the solution is “renewable” energy.

    Let me propose that this only appears to be another type of denial. This one appears to support a positive; in this case a techno-fantasy dream of the future. It, however, is really an illusion because it also cloaks the total system view behind this dream of the future. There is often the same emotional commitment. In essence, it is business as usual with a twist but still BAU.

    I see no difference between these deniers and those that will not/refuse to see that the devices that are used to capture the sun and wind’s energy are extensions of the fossil fuel supply system. Supporters of “renewable” energy will not see/admit that there is a massive infrastructure of mining, processing, manufacturing, fabricating, installation, transportation and the associated environmental assaults. These advocates wish to simply overlook the physical facts that there would be no sun or wind capturing devices without this industrial infrastructure. This infrastructure is not green, sustainable, or renewable.

  71. Kaye Lee

    Does “don’t be ridiculous” mean no? The site you linked to is called sunweber. Enphase energy is a solar energy company.

  72. mikestasse

    I would if I could, however, that is not remotely viable for EVERYBODY.

    That’s why 90% of the people won’t make it the other side of Peak Everything.

    It isn’t the meek who will inherit the Earth, it will be the flexible…… Good luck.

  73. mikestasse

    Besides we have the technology to supply emissions reduced energy.

    Not good enough diannaart………. we have already gone too far with emissions with more than 2C set in concrete even if stopped ALL emissions today, right now. Why do you think my frustration is turning to anger? We’re all fiddling while Rome burns. we ar at tipping points NOW…. not next year, not 2020. NOW. This crazyness has to stop.

  74. Kaye Lee

    mikestasse, like all zealots, you lose people by your approach. I too am done.

  75. mikestasse

    John Weber is a retired psychologist from Minnesota. He lived off the grid for over 30 years making his own electricity from sun and wind.. And like me is most concerned about the psychological impact of the culture shock coming down the pike.

  76. Harquebus

    When renewable energy generating devices can replicate themselves and support the associated industries and the society that create them using the energy that they alone create, that is when renewable energy advocates can claim victory. It will never happen as they are too inefficient. The infrastructure that John Kelly is promoting will have next to zero renewable energy input and could not be built using renewable energy alone.
    We only have one option when it comes to saving the environment and ourselves and that is population reduction and control. All else is wishful thinking, pipe dreaming and/or denial.

  77. mikestasse

    One of the things my readers ask me most often, in response to this blog’s exploration of the ongoing decline and impending fall of modern industrial civilization, is what I suggest people ought to do about it all. It’s a valid question, and it deserves a serious answer.

    Now of course not everyone who asks the question is interested in the answers I have to offer.

    I expect few here will be……………………..

  78. corvus boreus

    Its all screwed and nothing can be done to fix it. All other thought is impractical ignorance. I am surrounded by idiots and fools.

    (off to cull some hominids?)

  79. mikestasse

    A decade ago, a team headed by Robert Hirsch and funded by the Department of Energy [what a hippy zealot HE was…] released a study outlining what would have to be done in order to transition away from fossil fuels before they transitioned away from us. What they found, to sketch out too briefly the findings of a long and carefully worded study, is that in order to avoid massive disruption, the transition would have to begin twenty years before conventional petroleum production reached its peak and began to decline. There’s a certain irony in the fact that 2005, the year this study was published, was also the year when conventional petroleum production peaked; the transition would thus have had to begin in 1985—right about the time, that is, that the Reagan administration in the US and its clones overseas were scrapping the promising steps toward just such a transition.

  80. Kaye Lee

    Could I suggest to mikestasse and harquebus that they write an article and submit it for Michael’s consideration instead of endlessly repeating the same old stuff on every single thread they comment on.

  81. mikestasse

    With an attitude like that CB……. I have to say you haven’y got a chance in hell…!!

  82. corvus boreus

    “We only have one option when it comes to saving the environment and ourselves and that is population reduction and control”.

    Birth control by female emancipation/education was dismissed as too slow(takes a generation). How else do you immediately reduce a population? Encourage voluntary self-euthanasia?
    The first 3 sentences were a paraphrasing of the stated viewpoints and sentiments of another, proffered in a condensed form for reflection. Criticism of input and suggestion cuts in all directions.

  83. stephentardrew


    Stop preaching to the converted and yes there are solutions. The shit may hit the fan and we must deal with it eventually. However dick competitions just get annoying when we understood your point of view long ago. You know democracy and everyones right to their opinion.
    Dogmatic assert-ability is not going to change things.

    We get the point.

    Once read twice shy.

  84. mikestasse

    NO ONE on this blog has yet shown they are converted……. otherwise an article titled “Where are the visionaries” would not even be bothered with politics. NONE of you “get it” You think you do, but you don’t.

    Everyone has a right to an opinion. But wen that opinion affects the future of my kids and the planet….. SCREW YOUR OPINION.

    You’re wrong. End of story.

  85. mikestasse

    AND I don’t need to write an article for Michael. Maybe he needs to contact John Michael Greer and ask permission to republish this which I already cited twice this morning…….. Greer is one of the most intelligent and insightful blogger I have ever read. Not only that, he is the visionary you’ve been looking for……..

  86. corvus boreus

    This one is sufficiently ‘converted’ to have, long ago, committed to the enaction of a personal policy of non-progenation as a personal contribution towards the solution of a fundamental aspect of the overall problem.

  87. mikestasse

    Do you own a car? Do you work for wages?

  88. corvus boreus

    I am a Capricorn and my interests include dendrophilia and evasions of unwanted queries of a personal nature.

  89. Kaye Lee

    That is enough from you mikestasse. If you continue to abuse people here I will remove your comments. Consider yourself on notice. if you just keep saying the same things and posting the same crap and being abusive you will be gone.

  90. mikestasse


  91. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee
    Did you read the essay MS posted from It was written by a renewable advocate and is worth the read. We could save ourselves a lot of argument if you do and the author is, after all, on your side.
    Here is something else I have just come across.
    Plant lots and lots of trees. Massive scale reforestation will help the climate, rainfall and be a valuable renewable resource for future generations. (Apologies for the repetition.)

    As for writing an article, I will think about that one. What subject would you like?
    Over population, resource depletion, global warming, environmental destruction, the poisoning of our oceans, fishery collapse, financial collapse, water scarcity, soil degradation and erosion, deforestation, wealth inequality, corporate greed, political corruption, erosion of liberties, concentrated media ownership, melting ice shelves, looming energy shortages, arctic methane, decaying tundra, pandemics, food shortages, peak oil, peak phosphorus, mass surveillance or some other threat that has already been covered ad nauseam and still ignored by MSM and the masses.
    I recommend looking up. Richard Heinberg, author of MS’s link above, Gail Tverberg and Chris Martenson.

    I don’t know if I have posted this before but, I recommend all to see. Prof. Bartlett passed away last year.
    This man had vision and was one of the greats. RIP.
    “Arithmetic, Population and Energy — a talk by Dr. Albert Bartlett on the impossibility of exponential growth on a finite planet. Professor Al Bartlett begins his one-hour talk with the statement, “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.””


  92. Kaye Lee

    “What subject would you like?”

    Positive practical achievable suggestions for the future.

  93. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee
    “Positive practical achievable”
    I posted them before here:

    How to sell the Economy

    Idealistic is what you called them. When the economy implodes, coming soon, points 2 to 5 will then be practical and/or achievable? Yes/No?
    Still waiting for positive practical and achievable from you.
    BTW: Did you read the article?

  94. Harquebus

    @John Fraser
    Not just contemplating mate, preparing for it.

  95. corvus boreus

    My simple five point plan.

    1 Overthrow the whole capitalist system.
    2 Remove lots (and lots) of people (nicely).
    3 Fix all the problems in the natural environment.
    4 Implement a sustainable agrarian utopia.
    5 Relax and drink beer.

    Still a few tiny little practical details to iron out in the first four points.

  96. John Fraser


    Ever thought about going and contemplating under a tree …. …. without a computer.

    Do everyone a favour.

  97. Florence nee Fedup

    Quickest and simplest way to reduce population growth is to raise wages and standard of living of the poor. Works every time.

  98. stephentardrew

    Well said Florence.

  99. corvus boreus

    Allowing females access to education and giving them some degree of legislative control over their own bodies also seems to work a treat in reducing birth-rates.

  100. Kaye Lee


    You began your “practical” suggestions by saying “Forget the economy” and you want me to keep reading? How do you intend to run schools, hospitals and emergency services or are we to forget about them too? What happens to those who are unable to work?

    Your second suggestion was to implement population reduction strategies. Like what? Enforced sterilisation? Enforced abortions? Culling? Hit a certain age then off to the glue factory?

    Your third suggestion was to “properly manage our finite resources”. That would be a good idea but once again I ask what your suggestion is on how to achieve this? Nationalising all resources?

    You want to reduce consumption using quotas rather than taxes. Are you suggesting we all go on ration cards? Have you considered how that inevitably leads to black markets?

    On point 5, I agree that reforestation is a good idea but there is only so much land where this would be viable. Water is a precious commodity.

    I see your suggestions as aspirational with no consideration as to how you would practically achieve any of them.

    You seem firmly convinced that Armageddon is happening this year. You may be right….but more likely not. We have challenges in front of us but I don’t think I’ll waste my time building a bunker just yet.

  101. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    A huge part of the equation of ‘reforestation’ is arresting current processes of deforestation.
    Revegetation tends to naturally expand from existing remnants and cores.

  102. Kaye Lee

    Good point cb. I rely on you as our resident forestation expert. Looking at my back yard I can attest to the truth of that.

  103. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    It comes down to that simple and near universal principle that a great deal of the time, effort and resource poured into fixing problems can be alleviated by not phuqing shit up in the first place.

  104. Florence nee Fedup

    “Allowing females access to education and giving them some degree of legislative control over their own bodies also seems to work a treat in reducing birth-rates.”

    All a part of raising standard of living. A badly paid and powerless underclass is a negative for a booming economy.

  105. Florence nee Fedup

    “I see your suggestions as aspirational with no consideration as to how you would practically achieve any of them.”

    Kaye Lee, perfect description of Abbott’s promise during the last election campaign. Abbott used the praised “aspirational promises” many times.

  106. stephentardrew

    Its funny this thing bout changing peoples hearts and minds. Its almost like there is this conceptual connection with the physical heart, which is a metaphor for love and decency, while we are run compulsively by our minds. How do we connect deep yearning for compassion and justice with a habituated mind running on survival and fear. Seems to me the best solution is to dampen down fear. However the rampant impact of violent fantasy in movies games etc. feeds back into autonomic fear of war injustice inequality and unwarranted suffering reinforcing the attributes that are doing so much harm. Making people suffer and struggle to survive reinforces fear and anger and then what have you got. Yet this seems to be exactly the objective of conservatism to use fear as a weapon of power and control. Pretty much reflects the fear of both God and the Devil in most religions. So how do we move towards a loving, considerate and empathic society.

    The only way we will solve environmental problems is to actually act out of love and consideration for our fellow travelers and planet. We are subjective creatures with wishes, hopes and desires and if those wishes, hopes and desires are thwarted by greed and cruelty people react from their visceral autonomic fear. It s not a religious problem or a a solution founded in agnosticism or atheism it is a problem of what we willingly do “immediately now” trusting the process will lead to a kinder world.

    We simply have to act from love and decency knowing and trusting that it will make a better society which can care for the environment. Psyche evidence demonstrates humans need a good dose of faith and a sense of purpose to survive. It eventually gets down to how we feel about ourselves. If we feel like crap because of injustice and inequality then we will get crap. Evolution is demanding we avoid fallacious free will yet, at the same time, make rational choices based upon empirical facts and the sentient need for well being.

    Yelling and anger just ads to the emotional confusion when we need steady well reasoned solutions. Damn difficult stuff. Evolution will have the last say however the imperatives may not be clear to us because we have to go through this threatening stage to overcome our visceral selfish drives. Evolution does not ask us what to do and since we can think and ruminate about our place in the world we either work it out or nature will take its toll. Millions of year yet for the next phase of sentient evolution to take hold.

    So we are left with the fact that it is fear itself that drives dysfunction and greed so we must find ways to dampen superstitious nonsense while suppressing our autonomic drives. If things are not changing then we are obviously asking the wrong questions and missing the emotional stability needed to survive. So eradication of poverty, suffering and inequality while enhancing human happiness, love and companionship may be the only tool that can help us to survive.

    Just a different perspective and yes we do need a good dose of idealism.

  107. Kaye Lee

    Life is an attitude. You can live in hope or you can live in despair. You can be generous and compassionate or selfish and greedy. You can welcome those you meet and show them kindness or you can be fearful and suspicious.

    Even if both roads lead to the same place I know which I would rather travel.

    One small act of kindness reverberates around the world

  108. John Fraser


    Now you see why I give short shrift to "Harquebus" and others of his ilk.

    "Ever thought about going and contemplating under a tree …. …. without a computer." … comment to "Harquebus".

    An act of kindness on my part.

    "Do everyone a favour"

    Spreading the love.

  109. Harquebus

    @Kaye Lee & John Fraser.
    It is all very funny now. Needing help with my sanity, sitting under a tree whilst doing nothing. Ha ha.
    What needs to be done I have stated. How it is done is for society to decide.
    Humanity is headed for disaster and the best you can do is criticize, humiliate and make jokes with no real solutions offered.
    The pair of you are not unique. You both think you know more than you do and you both think that you are smarter than you actually are.
    Economies, infrastructure and society will continue to decay. EROEI and peak oil mates.
    If you both are prepared to face the consequences of our civilization’s decline then, laugh it up.
    I pay attention to scientists, geologists and climatologists who, I respect. Economists and politicians, with the help of the likes of yourselves, have guided and fooled society toward self destruction.

    Forget the economy: Mankind got along quite well before it started worshiping this world destroy ideology. We must come up with something else which, at this stage, seems very unlikely.
    Reduce populations: How? Suggest something. One child policy is only one option. If we don’t do it voluntarily, nature will step in and do it for us and believe me, it will get very nasty.
    Properly manage our finite resources: Nationalizing resources is one option. Contracting the extraction of resources for what we need and not for just for profit is another. I am sure smart people out there can come up with others.
    Reduce consumption using quotas: Ration cards? Yes.
    Reforestation: This actually increases rainfall. Australia’s natural forests have been reduced to only a few percent. Europe also was once a forest and South America and Asia are now emulating this destruction.

    If you had bothered to follow the links that I post, you would be much wiser for it.
    Here they are again.
    Read this:

    Our Renewable Future

    Watch this:

    Educate yourselves and then come back and offer some real solutions instead of just ridiculing and criticizing. The world is not improving and you both are not helping.

    Visionaries you both are not.

  110. Pingback: Where are the Visionaries? | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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