LNP’s $500m decision – 1 drone or 1million solar homes? #100daysofblogging #day14

Australia spends big on militaryToday’s posts title pretty much sums it up. At last years election the LNP were promising a to contribute $500 toward installing solar at 1,000,000 Australian homes.

Why has this $500,000,000 renewable energy policy been dumped?

I don’t remember seeing them campaign on ‘building more drones’.  But there is at least $3,500,000,000 in the budget to buy 7 of them. That’s $500,000,000 per drone.

Sure camera drones help in protecting and keep an eye out for intruders but at the times of global crisis such as global warming and many other things I don’t think spending $500,000,000 per drone makes any sense. I’m happy with the camera drone I have(not comparing, just stating) for which I didn’t have to spend much but the same thing, when applied on a global level, makes no sense.

We do not need drones. We are not in the middle of a global war. We should never EVER ‘expect’ to be involved in such a war again.

If such a situation arose, conventional arms would matter little as intercontinental ballistic missiles loaded with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads would rapidly annihilate us all. This ‘mutual destruction’ guarantee has been in place for more than 50 years now. Continue reading LNP’s $500m decision – 1 drone or 1million solar homes? #100daysofblogging #day14

Coal free Collie – Let’s do it properly. #100daysofblogging #day13

Solar ThermalThe town of Collie is not something I really think of when intending to visit WA’s south west.

But that needs to change if the slated ‘SuperTown’ is to survive life after coal.

Even us Perth based locals who travel the South West often, rarely find our way to Collie. It’s a town that’s not ‘on the road to’ anywhere. As a teenager I heard stories of Collies “Friday night fight nights” and never really had a desire to visit since.

To me, Colle predominantly know as the seat of the electricity gods. All our electronic devices are belong to Collie. But the Coal will only last so long.

It’s already caused the State Government trouble, and if they decide the coal should stay in WA and only be used to fire local power plants, it may last 50 or more years. If they don’t, which wouldn’t come as a surprise, the coal will be bound for export and likely depleted within 15-20 years.

That’s not a lot of time to convert a 2 billion dollar+ economy and provide for an expected 15,000 population. But it can be done.

Continue reading Coal free Collie – Let’s do it properly. #100daysofblogging #day13

Book Review: Profits of Doom by Antony Loewenstein

Profits of Doom book cover

Antony Loewenstein’s book “Profits of Doom – How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World” is an apt extension of the investigations conducted in Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” and Jeremy Scahill’s “Blackwater – Rise of the Words Most Powerful Mercenary Army”.

What does the book promise/offer?

Antony’s focus on giving a voice to those directly impacted by vulture capitalism makes for a refreshingly honest and compelling read. There is no false pretext of neutrality in this book. Antony’s purpose is clear from the get go – to pick up where Klein & Scahill left off exposing massive international industries which profit from the perpetuation of human misery – and there is no doubt he achieves this goal.

Naomi Klein exposed the history of vulture-like multinational corporations and their exploitation of disasters both natural and man-made to reap massive private profits. Jeremy Scahill examined how unaccountable privatised military organisations grew to be the favoured tool of exploitative governments and corporations, used to enforce unpopular policy and redistribute military spending to achieve maximum private profit from the public purse.

In Profits of Doom Antony expands this research to include a variety of other contexts, including how disaster capitalism has made itself at home in Australia. Continue reading Book Review: Profits of Doom by Antony Loewenstein

Solar Cuts, Paid Parking and the Liberal Party’s budget

The Liberal Party of Western Australia are misusing the West Australian government’s budget in many ways. I only want to focus on 3 of them for now.

  1. Solar Cuts – Solar feed-in rebate to be slashed in half, despite 10 year contracts.
  2. Paid Parking – Free parking at train stations to be abolished as of July 1, 2014.
  3. Wasteful Spending – $20bn+ on Elizabeth Quay and $1bn+ on sports stadium.

One of the most controversial decision in the August 8 state budget are the “Solar Cuts” (see #SolarCuts). These will see the solar energy feed-in tariff literally halved, despite electricity prices having risen by more than 70% in recent years.

Existing customers currently receive 40c per unit sold, this will be reduced to 20c.

Continue reading Solar Cuts, Paid Parking and the Liberal Party’s budget

A difficult year for Australia’s two-speed economy (2012)

Australia’s two-speed economy looks set for a difficult year in 2012.

In December last year, a large unexpected drop in employment occurred nationally. Three of Australia’s largest employment sectors: finance, manufacturing and retail, are already experiencing major downturns and began laying off workers in 2011. This is pattern is unlikely to change, but may yet get worse.

The strong Australian dollar will continue to dampen exports and imported products will become increasingly attractive. This will hurt the local manufacturing sector. All indications suggest Australian retail consumers are unlikely to return to the excessive credit-driven spending of past, and will instead continue to use spare disposable income to pay down existing debts. Continue reading A difficult year for Australia’s two-speed economy (2012)