The coal, hard fact is we must put jobs first in this economic climate - The Australian

As the biblical saying goes, you can’t serve two masters. For a decade we have been trying to con ourselves we could. We thought you could serve the master of ­climate change and keep a strong manufacturing sector. The data doesn’t lie. You can’t. While we have reduced our emissions by 5 per cent (largely by making it illegal for farmers to clear their own land), our manufacturing industry has gone backwards for the first time. During the past decade Australian manufacturing has declined in real, absolute terms. The 1990s and 2000s were not boom times for manu­facturing but the sector still managed to grow by 10 per cent each decade. Since 2010, it has shrunk by 5 per cent. Read more

Has Annastacia Palaszczuk closed the borders to keep out Bob Brown and his rabble? - The Spectator

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has come under pressure this week to explain the continuing closure of Queensland’s borders. The case for its ongoing closure seems weak given that new coronavirus cases have slowed to a trickle. But that is looking at the Premier’s decision through a health lens. Perhaps she has other reasons. For example, if the government can keep the borders shut past October, she can keep out Bob Brown and avoid a sequel to the widely-acclaimed, diesel-powered, Stop Adani convoy of last year’s election. Read more

Woke to the threat - The Daily Telegraph

Twiggy Forrest has done a great service to the nation. He was wrong to suggest that Australia should change its stance on an independent inquiry into the Wuhan coronavirus. But the Chinese threats of retribution over such an inquiry have turned a huge spotlight on to a major problem.. Chinese officials have suggested that they may buy less from Australia unless we drop our insistence on a transparent inquiry into the virus. Business leaders are concerned about the economic costs of potential Chinese retribution. If we have an economy that is so vulnerable to one country’s threatening demands, we had better work to reduce that vulnerability as soon as possible. Read more

Green Ain't Green - The Spectator

Normally I waste many hours of my working day sitting in a big red chamber while something mistakenly called Question Time drags on. Like many things in government Question Time actually is the opposite of what it says, questions are not asked and answers are not given. It at least gives me time to reflect on some real questions. Like how are the lights on in this building when it is a still and cloudy day? Hasn’t the ACT declared that it is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy? Read more

Zero net emissions: Look no further than New Zealand for economic impacts - The Australian

In some respects, the Labor Party is as Australian as the Magic Pudding, both revel in fantasy. According to past Labor leaders, high public spending won’t raise taxes and, in any case, high taxes won’t damage economic growth. Now we have Labor’s greatest magic pudding yet, we can cut our carbon emissions to zero and no coal miner will lose their job. Read more

We could be a superpower, too - The Spectator

Back in 2008, Kevin Rudd announced a new ‘Green Car Plan’ which in his words would ‘make the automotive industry more economically and environmentally sustainable by 2020.’ As per much of what Kevin Rudd promised for 2020, things haven’t gone to plan. This week General Motors announced that it would retire the Holden brand by the end of this year. It is a useful reminder of the Tim Blair principle, that nothing green ever works. Like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, however, constant failure does not seem to stop constant trying. Read more

Coal-fired power stations create jobs and give a free kick to rivals - The Australian

In 1970 Gough Whitlam welcomed the federal government’s announcement that it would finance the building of the Gladstone Power Station. Whitlam said “power was the determining factor in the development of natural resources in the area and the attraction of greater human resources to the area”. Read more

Fighting fires - The Spectator

The richest man in Rome at the time of Julius Caesar was Marcus Licinius Crassus. Crassus made his fortune through many nefarious methods but one lowlight was his creation of the first fire brigade in Rome. Like any normal brigade his would rush to a fire but then things took a twist. Crassus would  offer to buy the homes in the path of the blaze for a fraction of their value. If the homeowner refused he would order his brigade to stand idle. Eventually, most homeowners would accept the low-ball offer to get something rather than nothing. Then his trucks would sweep in save the homes, and Crassus would make a small fortune. Read more

Shale be right: why fracking is the answer to all our energy woes - The Australian

In Midland, Texas, the centre of the Permian Basin, an energy revolution is unfolding. At regular intervals, truckloads of diesel pumps roar into life and pump water down wells rich with oil and gas. Each of the three wells at the site extend for more than 3km in a horizontal direction. It would take you 30 minutes to walk the distance of a single well. Read more

Rare earths a rare opportunity - The Australian

The German historian Alexander Dermandt once catalogued 210 reasons that had been given for the fall of the Roman Empire. One was the depletion of its mineral resources. The silver of the Rio Tinto mines of Roman times was no doubt important to the longevity of the Pax Romana but minerals are even more important to our modern economy. Read more



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