A story of two plans

John Quiggin observed:

    more than at any time in the past 20 years, the two parties have presented strongly opposed policy platforms reflecting underlying ideological differences on economic policy, symbolic (bankers vs unionists) and substantive (upper income tax cuts) class issues, climate policy, equal marriage and more.

But, he says, none of the big issues have been debated. Labor have beavered away with their 100 policies, but have struggled to be heard. The LNP have used slogans and smooth words, oft repeated, which according to electioneering theory is what you may well remember as you wander into the polling booth.

So it was with the diverging economic plans, or what Turnbull called his plan for the country. Continue reading A story of two plans

Labor’s costings go phut!

The basic story of Labor’s costings could be told in one graph, but because of their media incompetence I couldn’t find a square-on shot of it on the net on Sunday. Here it is from the AFR:

Labor costings 2016_1466939611932

The story is really quite simple. Labor makes structural improvements to the budget which lead to larger and growing surpluses over the longer term. The Coalition’s company tax makes the budget progressively more difficult in the out years. Continue reading Labor’s costings go phut!

Saturday salon 25/6

1. Brexit happened

The Brits went to bed on Thursday thinking they would stay in the EU, but woke up a 6am to find that they had decided to leave, by a clear margin. The simple version is that immigration was a bigger factor than economics, where many decided they didn’t believe the economists and capitalists anyway.

On another count it was an anti-establishment vote. People just want change. But in effect the Brits decided they would rather be screwed by their own one per cent, rather than the EU’s one per cent. Continue reading Saturday salon 25/6

Marriage equality plebiscite no certainty

    In modern Australia, no-one should have to justify their sexuality or their love to anyone else.

    And under Labor, instead of providing a taxpayer-funded platform for homophobia, Parliament will do its job and deliver marriage equality within 100 days.

That was what Bill Shorten said during the Facebook debate, and he’s repeated it since then. Continue reading Marriage equality plebiscite no certainty

The giant Medicare scare campaign

Back on 22 May I did a post Labor makes health central in its election bid:

    In revving up his election spiel Shorten said spending on health was an investment, not a cost. He says investment in health is basic to economic growth. It would be an important battleground if Turnbull would engage. The pointy end is that Labor is choosing to invest in Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme rather than spending money on company tax relief. Continue reading The giant Medicare scare campaign

Climate clippings 176

1. Battery storage to grow four times quicker than market thinks

The latest Morgan Stanley report is bullish about the growth of battery storage in the Australian market. They think we’ll have 6.6GWh of battery storage in Australia by 2020, which is what the Australian Energy Market Operator last week predicted for 2035. Continue reading Climate clippings 176

Bloomberg’s New energy outlook, 2016

In Climate clippings 175, Item 4, I made reference to the Bloomberg New energy outlook, 2016 report which identifies eight “massive” shifts coming soon to power markets. In this post I’d like to take a closer look.

The summary sentence tells us that “coal and gas will begin their terminal decline in less than a decade”. Frequently the title of an article and the summary lead-in sentence are not written by the authors. In this case the “terminal decline” of coal and gas is more than a little misleading. Continue reading Bloomberg’s New energy outlook, 2016

Election 2016 open thread: third last week

In the third last week, with pre-polls open and the electorate yet to become engaged, or so it is said, the Coalition became more shrill, and the policies still roll out. Of particular importance, I think, were Labor’s restoration of funds to the CSIRO and Labor’s NBN alternative. I’ll deal with those two and then tell you who is going to win the election. Continue reading Election 2016 open thread: third last week

Climate clippings 175

1. New technology offers hope for storing carbon dioxide in basalt

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) has been converted to rock and stored underground in a trial in Iceland.

    Most CO₂ sequestration projects inject and store “supercritical CO₂”, which is CO₂ gas that has been compressed under pressure to considerably decrease its volume*. However, supercritical CO₂ is buoyant, like a gas, and this approach has thus proved controversial due to the possibility of leaks from the storage reservoir upwards into groundwater and eventually back to the atmosphere.

To put it briefly, in the trial they dissolved CO₂ in water which then is acidic and attacks the rocks to form solid carbonate minerals. Continue reading Climate clippings 175

Green groups sucked in by smooth words

When he was here in April, Bill McKibben spelt it out for us:

    by approving the Carmichael Mine, the role of Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt had descended into farce, “a parody of what an Environment Minister would be doing”.

    “I saw [him]in Paris going on and on about his great, deep personal commitment to all of this, and how this was his most pressing personal thing you could ever imagine,” McKibben says. And then Hunt signed off on Adani’s Carmichael Mine, which would be the biggest mine in the Galilee Basin, and the entire Southern Hemisphere.

    As far as McKibben’s concerned, “You don’t get to do both of those things.”

Continue reading Green groups sucked in by smooth words

Did the ALP have the best terms of trade in history and blow it?

A claim has been made that that the ALP had the best terms of trade in history and blew it. The short answer is the terms of trade were certainly good back in 2011 when Wayne Swan tried to bring the budget back into balance, perhaps the best ever, but they turned sour and blew his budget ambitions away. Continue reading Did the ALP have the best terms of trade in history and blow it?