Monthly Archives: May 2022

Australian Politics 2022-05-26 08:48:00


Australia is already at Net Zero

Prof. Ian Plimer

Australia has a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population, greenhouse gas-emitting livestock, and heavy industry.

Combined with the transport of livestock, food, and mined products over long distances to cities and ports and the export of ores, coal, metals, and food for 80 million people, there is a high per capita emission of carbon dioxide. If for some perverse perceived moral reason we reduce our emissions of plant food, then we let millions in Asia starve. Our food exports contribute to increasing the standard of living, longevity, and health of billions of people in Asia.

The forestry, mining, and smelting industries have been under constant attack by green activists who are happy to put hundreds of thousands out of work and destroy the economy. They train their sights on the cheapest and most reliable form of electricity and want to replace it with unreliable subsidised wind and solar power simply because the burning of fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide which they fraudulently deem is a dangerous pollutant. The next target will be food-producing farmers. They, like the forestry and mining industries, have nowhere to go if destroyed by green activists. Australia cannot import food if there is no export revenue generated to pay for imports.

With inflation and debt on the rise, Australia has far greater economic priorities than to shift the whole economy into uncharted waters, increase energy costs, destroy a successful efficient primary industry, decrease employment, and decrease international competitiveness because its emission of the plant food carbon dioxide is deemed sinful. It is a very long bow to argue that Australia’s emission of one molecule of plant food in 6.6 million other atmospheric molecules has any measurable effect whatsoever on global climate.

Ice core shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide rises follow natural temperature rises and, in past times when atmospheric carbon dioxide was up to 100 times higher than now, there were ice ages and no runaway global warmings. Furthermore, it has never been shown that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming. Why even bother about the minuscule Australian carbon dioxide emissions when the big emitters don’t?

Annual Australian per capita carbon dioxide emissions are in the order of 20 tonnes per person. There are 30 hectares of forest and 74 hectares of grassland for every Australian and each hectare annually sequesters about one tonne of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. Australia has 4 per cent of the world’s global forest estate, the world’s sixth largest forested area, and the fourth largest area of forest in nature conservation reserves. On the continental landmass, grasslands and forests remove by natural sequestration more than three times the amount of Australia’s domestic and industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The expansion of woody weeds, crops, reduction in regular burning, and vegetation clearing restrictions further increases natural sequestration.

Australian forests adsorb 940 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum compared to our domestic and industrial emissions of 417 million tonnes. Add to that the absorption of carbon dioxide in continental Australia to the carbon dioxide adsorption of 2,500,000 square kilometres of continental shelf waters and Australia sequesters some five times as much carbon dioxide as it emits. Australia does more than its share of the heavy lifting for global sequestration of carbon dioxide.

Australia’s net contribution to global atmospheric carbon dioxide is negative. We are already at Net Zero. This is validated by the net carbon dioxide flux estimates from the IBUKI satellite carbon dioxide data set.

None of these calculations involve the fixing of biological carbon compounds and atmospheric carbon dioxide into soils. Soils contain two or three times as much carbon dioxide as the atmosphere, soil carbon increases fertility and water retention and reduces farming costs. Natural sequestration in Australia locks away carbon dioxide and to lock it away carbon dioxide by industrial sequestration in deep drill holes is a foolish fashionable way of wasting large amounts of taxpayer’s money.

Using the thinking of the IPCC, UN, and activist green groups, Australia should be very generously financially rewarded with money from poor, populous, desert, and landlocked countries for removing its own emissions from the atmosphere and the carbon dioxide emissions from many other nations. By this method, wealthy Australia can take money from poor countries.

Net Zero has nothing to the environment and climate change and is all about power and the transfer of hard-earned wealth.


Now steak and sausages are off the menu! Australians told to give up MEAT as part of woke academics' plan to save the world from climate change

This is an old song. It is never likely to get large-scale support

Australians will need to give up their weekly steaks and turn 'flexitarian' to meet climate change targets and hit net zero by 2050, according to academics.

Aussie meat-eaters are blamed for accelerating the crisis in a new book by Sydney University's Dr Diana Bogueva and Professor Dora Marinova of Curtin University.

They say one calorie of beef takes a staggering 38 calories to create, causing one-third of all greenhouse gases and wiping out wildlife through land clearing.

The claims have been dismissed by the cattle farmers as out-dated nonsense.

But the academics insist the meat industry needs to be overhauled if the world is to survive - and current farming methods are unsustainable.

'Rather than growing the grain or the food we need for human consumption we are growing the grain for the animals - and then eating them.' Prof Marinvoa told the ABC.

''That's a very inefficient and irrational way of feeding the population.'

She said Aussies were 'addicted to meat', but needed to slash their intake by 80-90 per cent and turn flexitarian by becoming mainly vegetarian with occasional meat.

The academics' book 'Food in a Planetary Emergency' says Aussies need to switch to a diet based on vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and fruits.

Prof Marinova admits older Aussies may find it hard to make the transition but she said the younger Gen Z population - born after 1995 - are more open to the idea.

But even they draw the line at switching to even more environmentally-conscious insect protein burgers and meat substitutes.

'They are quite keen to increase their consumption of traditional plant-based food such as fruit and vegetables, legumes, tubers,' she said.

'But they are more hesitant to go to alternative proteins despite this industry essentially booming.'

However the wider population has yet to get the message.

The book's authors carried out an earlier study which found meat consumption has gone up dramatically this century


Coles: Caring for some but not for others

Coles sacked the last of its unvaccinated staff at the beginning of this year, long after state mandates fell and other industries began allowing the so-called mavericks of the workforce back into the office. The move, along with other supermarket giants, saw thousands of Australians unceremoniously dumped, many of them single mothers or from struggling households.

‘Shop safe at Coles’ is something that looks good printed in big letters across double-page ads to those still suffering from anxiety hangovers. Just don’t ask too many questions about the health logic, given unvaccinated people can shop in the store, but not stand behind the counter.

Speaking of corporate virtue signalling.

The same company turned around this week and announced it would be offering its trans and gender-diverse employees ten extra days of paid leave for the purpose of ‘gender affirmation’. ‘Affirmation’ is a hazy term that Coles describes as ‘any process’ that relates to the act of gender affirmation including surgical, social, legal, or medical action. Leave could be granted for anything from an appointment with a lawyer through to full surgery.

Gender Affirmation Leave was timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia – one of the dozens of days and months dedicated to a sexual preference or pronouns.

Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer, David Brewster, (who also serves as the Chair of the Pride Steering Committee), released a statement.

‘We know that we have at least 900 team members who identify as transgender or gender diverse. We need to have proper policy and education in this area so there is clear guidance around taking leave for this important transition in their life.’

Coles attached a long and bizarre ‘gender affirming’ statement that seems a little over the top for employment that largely involves stacking shelves and pushing trolleys. Its headings include ‘encouraging you to be your authentic self’ and ‘developing our Pride Team member network’ – which doesn’t sound like something employers should concern themselves with.

This move, described as ‘way ahead of politicians’ (add to that logic, reason, and fairness) is meant to be an action against ‘trans hate’. 2022 has transitioned into a world where an employer who is not constantly, publicly, and (preferably financially) ‘affirming’ an employee they must, by default, hate them. For most of human history, workers preferred their employers to keep their noses out of any private medical business.

‘You’ll be supported as the gender with which you identify, wear the clothes or uniform of your affirmed gender, use the toilets and change rooms of your affirmed gender and be referred to by the name of your affirmed gender too,’ read a statement, issued by Coles.

The statement leans heavily toward sentiments of anti-discrimination and equity – which is fine, one is simply left to wonder where this emotionally sensitive Coles hurt-feelings committee was when it was ruthlessly sacking unvaccinated staff who simply wanted to keep their jobs and their body autonomy at the same time. Coles went one step further, attempting to impose its vaccination policies on unrelated suppliers, contractors, partners, and anyone working onsite.

And no. If you’re an employee with a non-gender related medical or emotional issue, you’ll have to plan ahead and sacrifice some of your holiday leave when you run out of the standard state-sanctioned medical allotment. No one is going to give you a Woke Virtue point for a hip replacement.


Tony Abbott warns Liberals against giving into political correctness amid election loss

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has warned the Liberals against panicking in the wake of its devastating election loss, saying the party should not give into political correctness.

In an opinion column published in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Abbott said the Coalition didn’t deserve to be bundled out of office, based on its record, and former treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who had navigated the country so well through the pandemic, should never have lost his seat.

“Defeat always prompts anxieties that our party might somehow be out-of-step with popular feeling on climate change, for instance, or on identity issues,” Mr Abbott wrote.

“And in the seats we lost on the weekend, perhaps we were.

“Yet between the Coalition and the ALP, this wasn’t actually a climate change election. Those that were – in 2010, 2013 and 2019 – had a very different outcome.

“The question is: do we win so-called teal seats back by trying to be even more zealous on climate or by finding other issues on which to ­appeal?”

Mr Abbott, who supported controversial Liberal candidate Katherine Deves during the campaign in his old seat of Warringah, which he lost to Independent Zali Steggall in 2019, said the loss of once blue-ribbon Liberal seats was just a “dramatic illustration of the long-term trend of better-off people to vote left”.

But also noted the declining margins for Labor in “struggle street”.

“Before leaping to the conclusion that the Libs should move further left, it’s also worth noting that the National Party held all its seats and that the Coalition did best in Queensland and Tasmania, where the state party has tended to be least ‘woke’,” he wrote.

“My instinct is that the teal seats will return to the Liberal fold when a Labor government is seriously mismanaging the economy, not when the Liberal Party goes green.”

Mr Abbott said the focus should be on the new Albanese government, which will inevitably make plenty of mistakes.




What Does Bitcoin Look, Walk, and Quack Like?

Duck, by Ross Sokolovski via Unsplash -

What is the best way to think about what Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is as an investment?

We've already demonstrated what it isn't. Bitcoin isn't "Gold 2.0". We know that's true because Bitcoin doesn't act like gold (KITCO: Live Gold Price), which rises in value whenever inflation forces real interest rates to fall. If anything, we found changes in the value of Bitcoin is almost completely independent of inflation-adjusted interest rates. If gold were a duck, Bitcoin wouldn't look, walk or quack anything like it.

Which then raises the question: what does Bitcoin look, walk and quack like?

We think Bitcoin looks, walks, and quacks like a non-dividend paying stock.

The thing that put us onto that line of thought was a recent headline: Bitcoin’s correlation with the Nasdaq 100 index reaches a new all-time high.

To be highly correlated with something is akin to looking, walking and quacking like it. So we put that proposition to the test, tracking the relationship between Bitcoin and the Nasdaq Composite Index (NASDAQ: COMP.IND), which is a broader measure of the stocks that trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The following chart shows what we found after we mapped the available data we have for the historic value of Bitcoin against the value of the Nasdaq Composite Index over the same period of time, from 17 September 2014 through 20 May 2022.

Bitcoin Value vs NASDAQ Composite Index, 17 September 2014 - 20 May 2022

In the chart, we see that Bitcoin's value has two distinct phases. One before the NASDAQ Composite index exceeded $10,000 in value, which was generally linear outside of a bubble-like period from October 2017 through November 2018. One after the NASDAQ exceeded $10,000 in value, coinciding with when Bitcoin began gaining institutional backing and its value with respect to the index took on power law characteristics. It both cases though, outside short periods where changes in its valuation decoupled from changes in the value of the stock index, Bitcoin has a generally tracked along with the NASDAQ, rising and falling with it in a positive relationship.

That makes it very much like a non-dividend paying stock, especially during the period after it began gaining significant institutional backing. We know that from the exponent of the power law relationship that exists between Bitcoin and the Nasdaq Composite Index during this period, which represents the ratio of the exponential growth rates of Bitcoin and that of the Nasdaq index, which includes dividend-paying stocks.

In doing that, Bitcoin is very much looking, walking, and quacking like a volatile non-dividend paying stock, which shares those characteristics. Unless and until it starts acting differently, that's perhaps the best way for investors to think about Bitcoin's qualities as an investment.


Federal Reserve Economic Data. NASDAQ Composite Index. [Online Database (Text File)]. Accessed 20 May 2022.

Yahoo! Finance. Bitcoin USD (BTC-USD), 14 September 2014 through 21 April 2022. [Online Database]. Accessed 20 May 2022.

Previously on Political Calculations

Image credit: Photo by Ross Sokolovski on Unsplash.

Australian Politics 2022-05-25 04:19:00


A note of caution

Below is one part of the post-mortem that the Liberal party is understandably having at the moment. I am inclined to think that the outcome will not matter much. It is often said that oppositions don't win elections, governments lose them. And the ALP is constitutionally incapable of dealing with the economic disaster that is already unfolding so will make any alternative welcome. And the Liberals are the only party with a claim to economic rectitude so will romp in next time

History is instructive. What hope is there that the ALP will tame inflation? None that I can see. Their policies will expand it. In an earlier era Gough Whitlam (ALP) pumped inflation up to 19%. That gave Malcolm Fraser (LCP) such a big victory that he even took the Senate with him

James Allan’s take on the worst night on the Liberal Party’s history is, by and large, right.

The leafy suburbs of Sydney have for years not been Liberal heartland in fact, and now they are not in name. People who are loaded and don’t have to worry about the cost of keeping the lights on, and can afford to indulge in their climate warrior fantasies and champagne socialism, vote Left as part of their virtue signalling. Allan is right: preferential voting delayed the transformation, but it’s now happened.

Allan’s long-time thesis, repeated many times here, is that the Liberals’ recent time in government tossed aside its social and economic liberal roots, and that a spell in the opposition paddock will soon set things right. Well, he’s got his wish.

But he is also confident that this period of agistment will be brief. ‘I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a renewed conservative Liberal Party win in 2025,’ he wrote on Monday. Provided, of course, that the Liberals follow the prescription and ‘opt to go down the conservative renewal path’.

The truth is, Jim, that the appropriate response is what The Castle’s Daryl Kerrigan used to say about classified ads in the Trading Post: you’re dreamin’.

Renewing the Liberal Party will take more than one term. It will take years beyond that. What happened on Saturday is so much an existential danger that long and extremely hard looks need to be taken by the party not just to consider what went wrong, but to determine exactly what its values and principles should be in an age where voters don’t much seem to care as long as they get free stuff, and parties believe they can substitute the character assassination of opponents for the hard work of policy-making and shaping a programme for government.

That means it’s too early to say, as some already are, that the traditional heartland-turned-Teal should be abandoned for the outer suburbs and regions. It’s too early to say that going hard to ‘dump Dan’ or ‘maul Mark’ is a key to renewed Liberal electoral success at state level. In fact, it’s too early to say anything. Just trying to make sense of Saturday’s every which way slaughter of the Liberal parliamentary party does my head in.

We in the Liberal party need to return to our centre-right conservative roots, but are they the roots of Menzies in the 1940s, or of a new plant more attuned to the realities of the 2020s? Is it simply standing firm against the climate warriors and social engineers, or is it something more innate? Is it going full libertarian or accepting, like Burke, that the state and community have a respected place in our lives?

As for the politics of the Liberals returning to government, truly this was a good election to lose. The social, economic, and security headwinds Mr 32 per cent Anthony Albanese, his Left-leaning government and even further Left-leaning upper and lower house crossbenches, will try the competence of a far more talented and balanced ministry than Albanese’s will be. But an invigorated Labor also will continue to outplay the Coalition on politics, and drive wedges into the new Opposition to exploit existing divisions and create new ones – do you really think that Albanese committed to implementing the Ayers Rock Statement from the Heart ‘in full’ entirely out of altruism?


Green True Believers now rule

It’s much worse than we thought. The ALP will govern in its own right, but will be forced into extreme positions by a Green-left Senate.

The first thing to recognise is that the result demonstrates a new consensus.

There are some differences between the ALP, the Coalition, the Teals, and the Greens. To placate its funders within the union movement the ALP will seek to abolish the ‘gig’ economy and promote a 5 per cent wage rise, something the Greens would also support. But that apart, the consensus represents a goal of abandoning the fossil fuel burning energy industry and coal and gas exports; differences are essentially confined to the pace at which this happens.

Replacing the socialist-free enterprise divide that conditioned political dualities during the 20th century, we now have the belief in global warming as the key delineator.

The vast majority of politically actives within society are undeterred by or unaware that there has been no significant warming over the past 30 years or that warmings and coolings were a feature of planet earth long before fossil fuels were burned. They are convinced that Armageddon is upon Australia with fires, floods, and rising sea levels resulting from human-induced global warming. These, the new True Believers, further believe that if Australia (with one per cent of greenhouse gas emissions) ceases to burn fossil fuels we will restore some imagined ecological nirvana. And, unchastened or unaware of this year’s five-fold increase in wholesale gas and electricity prices, they believe this will come at a trivial cost.

The Teal candidates, (described by Peta Credlin as, ‘Greens with nice clothes and designer handbags’) represent the left of the Coalition and have captured six Liberal blue-ribbon seats in major cities to add to their two incumbents.

Such success would not have been possible without the $12 million spent by Simon Holmes à Court and his affluent supporters (many of whom have vested interests in an outcome that promises more subsidies for renewables).

But Clive Palmer spent $70 million, which yielded very little.

The difference was that the Teals had the support of an army of devotees, many of them the result of the long march through the institutions that has indoctrinated a generation and a half of schoolchildren into accepting the green illusion.

Some National MPs representing coal districts and a handful of Coalition Senators like Gerrard Renwick, Matt Canavan, and Alex Antic depart from the delusionary climate consensus and recognise the importance of coal and gas for power generation as well as exports. There may be others, like Peter Dutton the presumed new leader, who were previously muted.

The Teals’ success may bring a split in the Coalition. Such an outcome was foreshadowed by Liberal leftist Senator, Simon Birmingham, though he saw this as a formal rupture between the Liberals and the Nationals, when the central Climate Change issue divides both parties (some more successful Nationals MPs, like Darren Chester in Gippsland, are pro-climate action). Simon Birmingham would take the federal Coalition along the path adopted in Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, a path that would leave it in permanent opposition to the ALP/Greens.

If the Coalition parties split, the conservative elements would develop policies covering a range of matters beyond energy and climate change to include freedom of speech, regulation reform, and spending cuts.

But forging such a new party would be a formidable challenge. The Freedom Friendly parties which include One Nation and Liberal Democrats and, incongruously, Palmer United, failed to exploit any presumed gap from the Coalition adopting green policies. Taking the Senate vote, compared to the Coalition (at 33 per cent) and the ALP (at 30 per cent), these parties (plus the shooters, fishers, farmers) got 11.3 per cent. The Greens and their close allies got 14.6 per cent.

The freedom parties’ vote has hardly grown. Senate, swings to the freedom parties, as illustrated below, were much lower than those to the greens and their allies – they were even lower than the 1.95 per cent swing achieved by Legalise Cannabis Australia!

The fact that fewer than 12 per cent of people unambiguously voted against green mysticism suggests that, in terms of political tactics, the Coalition could have done worse than prosecute the campaign on a me-too climate change platform. But this is, in part, because for six years they failed to explain the importance of reliable energy to the economy both for supplying domestic power and for its share of the export revenues (half and growing). Nor did they make a dent in unwinding the institutional forces feeding the climate change agenda.

The policies the electorate has endorsed are profoundly against the nation’s economic interests and must lead to an economic collapse. For a poor country, like Sri Lanka, going the Full Green Monty quickly unravelled the economy. Australia, though, has fabulous natural wealth and a desperate government may be able to avert disaster by cashing-in much of that, since, even after the excessive spending of the Turnbull/Morrison/Frydenberg era, debt remains at only 54 per cent of GDP, half that of many European countries, America, and Canada.

World recession and rising interest rates may however expedite an unravelling of the economy. In any event, we need political leadership which explains the operations of the economy with the hope that the people through a democratic process will recognise where their true interests lie.


Tony Abbott sees hope in suburbs and regions

In the USA, the Republicans have become the party of the worker Australia's conservatives could have a similar future

Tony Abbott’s advice to the Liberal Party not to focus too much on regaining the lost blue-ribbon heartland of Australia’s richest real estate but to look to less well-off outer suburbs for renewal and revival is spot-on.

Abbott believes too many former and current Liberal MPs have provided knee-jerk reactions to the drastic loss of affluent inner-city seats to the so-called teal Climate 200 group, declaring there needs to be a move to the “right or left”, particularly on climate change policy, as a solution without recognising the problem.

A swath of moderate, progressive Liberal MPs has been wiped out by teals running on just two policies – an integrity commission and more cuts to greenhouse gas emissions – in a parasitical political campaign that cost Scott Morrison any chance. In an election that mostly concentrated on cost-of-living pressures, the seats of Wentworth, Kooyong, North Sydney, McKellar, Goldstein and Curtin were not clamouring for income support.

But instead of conservatives or the remaining moderates fighting a new climate war over the undoubtedly difficult policy of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 they need to stand back strategically, and recognise the changed landscape and the entrenched nature of the affluent independent vote.

They also have to identify where to garner new support and build on existing strengths.

Abbott helped the Liberals where he could during the campaign and, unlike the man who knocked him off, Malcolm Turnbull, did not criticise or undermine the Coalition. As well, he has now spoken without recrimination or ideological bent to simply identify a potential advantage in a slough of despondency.

Women were ‘forgotten people’ by the Liberals this election
Former Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves says women were “the forgotten people” by the Liberal… Party this election. “Women like me who are told we can have it all – we got educated, we’re looking after kids, ageing parents, keeping our relationships together. We’re tired,” she told us.

As one of only four Liberal leaders to win government from opposition, as a successful opposition leader who reduced Labor to a minority government after just one term and who then won the next election with a 16-seat majority, Abbott’s view on a strategy on how to win deserves attention. He has recognised the likelihood of entrenched elitist, inner-city MPs holding traditional Liberal seats, just as Greens will hold traditional Labor seats, and the need and potential for Liberals to extend support in the outer suburbs and link with the regional and rural support of fringe Liberals and Nationals.

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson says the forgotten Australians need to be remembered in regaining… Liberal voters. “I think it’s incredibly important that the Coalition work together to ensure that they do not miss the concerns and aspirations of the so-called forgotten people,” he told Sky News

The demographics and election results speak for themselves of the potential for Liberal appeals to small business, family, migrants, tradespeople and contractors in the less affluent suburbs. In Sydney’s western, formerly Labor seat of Fowler, the only true independent success of 2022, Dai Le, who defeated former NSW Labor premier, Kristina Keneally, who was parachuted in from Sydney’s uber-exclusive Scotland Island, did so as a migrant and small businesswoman, with a family and grassroots support.

Obviously the Liberal Party has to repair its broken state organisations but it also has to do the reshaping without falling back on the stupid ideological and factional battles and look to a longer-term goal.


increased subsidies for electric cars coming

Anthony Albanese will introduce policies to boost the take-up of electric vehicles but will stop short of imposing a ban on petrol or diesel cars as part of his plan to tackle climate change.

The Labor Party will introduce tax benefits to reduce the price of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, forecasting that 89 per cent of new car sales will be electric by 2030.

The new government will also make it easier to charge electric cars by setting up hundreds of new charging stations so drivers can easily travel long distances.

Although the cost of buying an electric car puts many potential buyers off, they are much cheaper to run than petrol cars and will save drivers money over the long term.

By making electric cars cheaper and more convenient, Mr Albanese hopes there will be 3.8 million on the road by 2030.

Labor will also invest in boosting the electricity grid so it can cope with a big increase in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

Former Energy Minister Angus Taylor claimed the plan would push up power prices by $560 a year, an outlandish claim that was quickly de-bunked by experts - but there could be some smaller short-term price rises.

It remains to be seen whether the Greens will pursue their ambitious policies - such as banning petrol cars - in the senate where they can use their balance of power position as leverage on Labor.

Electric cars will be exempt from a five per cent import tariff that would reduce the cost of a $40,000 vehicle by $2,000.

They will also be exempt from fringe benefits tax which will encourage workplaces to give their employees electric cars.

The move would result in savings of up to $8,700 for a $50,000 vehicle.

The tax cuts will be introduced on July 1 this year and will be reviewed in three years.

Electric cars will be exempt from a five per cent import tariff . They will also be exempt from fringe benefits tax

Labor will also invest $39.3 million, matched by the NRMA, to deliver 117 fast charging stations on highways across Australia.

This will provide charging stations at an average interval of 150km on major roads, allowing Aussies to drive from Adelaide to Perth or Darwin to Broome with an electric car.

The result of these policies is that electric vehicles will make up 89 per cent of new car sales by 2030, with 15 per cent of all cars on the road by then being zero-emission.

According to this forecast, 3.8million vehicles on the road will be electric by 2030.

There is no electric vehicle sales target but Labor will overhaul the Commonwealth fleet to make it electric.

Labor dropped former leader Bill Shorten's plans to introduce average emissions standards for new vehicles.

In Australia just 1.5 per cent of cars sold are electric and plug-in hybrid. This compares to 17 per cent in the United Kingdom and 85 per cent in Norway.

Mr Albanese predicts some 5,960 jobs will be created in the electric car industry.

Electric Vehicle Council of Australia CEO Behyad Jafari has welcomed Mr Albanese's plans.

He said: 'It's refreshing to hear a federal political party recognise the massive potential electric vehicles provide for Australia and start to outline a plan to realise those benefits.

'There are some very positive and welcome steps already outlined. But key among them is to work with industry to develop a well overdue National Electric Vehicle Strategy.

'A great sign of things to come.'




Campbell’s Tomato Soup Prices Keep Escalating

More grocery stores have increased their prices to consumers for an iconic No. 1 size can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup. Here's how prices have changed since our previous snapshot of prices at ten of the U.S.'s largest grocery-selling retailers roughly two months ago.

  • Walmart: $1.17/each, unchanged
  • Amazon: $0.99/each, unchanged (Lowest)
  • Kroger: $1.25/each, unchanged
  • Walgreens: $1.50/each, unchanged when you buy 2 cans
  • Target: $1.29/each, increase of $0.10 (+8.4%)
  • CVS: $2.19/each, increase of $0.40 (+22.3%, Highest)
  • Albertsons: $1.59/each, increase of $0.59 (+59.0%)
  • Food Lion: $1.19/each, increase of $0.19 (+19.0%)
  • H-E-B: $1.21/each, unchanged
  • Meijer: $1.19/each, increase of $0.19 (+19.0%)

For the latest in our coverage of Campbell's Tomato Soup prices, follow this link!

Among these sellers, only Amazon continues to sell a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup for under $1.00. The next lowest price available to consumers is Walmart's $1.17 per can.

Since Amazon sells many fewer cans of tomato soup than all these other grocery-selling retailers, that means most tomato soup-buying American households are now typically paying far more than $1.00 for each can of Campbell's tomato soup they buy. So much so that the trailing twelve month average of a can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup has jumped to reach a new record high of $1.04 per can. The following chart presents the entire price history of a No. 1-size can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup we've assembled to mark the occasion:

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 1898 - May 2022

We anticipate the trailing twelve month average for Campbell's Tomato Soup will reach nearly $1.20 per can by the end of 2022. How long do you suppose Amazon might continue selling the product at what is now a deeply discounted sale price of $0.99?

Australian Politics 2022-05-24 10:47:00


Labor party already feeling heat over its emissions-reduction strategy

To meet the climate change promise that Labor took to the federal election, the Albanese government must boost renewable energy to 82 per cent of supply by 2030, put a carbon-trading scheme on big business and spend billions on infrastructure and new technologies.

But before the final numbers are even counted, the ALP is under pressure to do more.

The Greens have demanded tougher action to win their support in the Senate, and conservation and investor groups have been quick to insist that Labor lifts its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.

Labor’s policy for the election would cost $75bn by 2030, equal to 3 per cent of GDP. Billions of dollars will be spent upgrading electricity networks, electric vehicles will be given special tax ­advantages, and a new $15bn ­National Reconstruction Fund will provide finance and investment for renewables and other low-emissions technologies.

The centrepiece of Labor’s plan is a revised safeguards mechanism which would become a cap-and-trade carbon market for the nation’s biggest emissions industries. A new body would decide which major companies were forced to cut their emissions, with the total amount of emissions ­allowed across the economy to be reduced each year.

Offsetting emissions is expected to spawn a range of new industries in the agriculture and land care sectors.

Modelling for Labor before the election estimated its climate change policies would result in lower electricity prices for consumers and thousands of new jobs. But it did not calculate the inflationary impact of forcing businesses outside of the electricity sector to act.

Labor’s plan was more ambitious than the Coalition policy of cuts of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030 but below the demands of the teal independents for a 60 per cent cut and the Greens demand of net zero by 2035.

Mr Albanese has said his government would legislate the new target. But to get the changes through parliament it must win support in the Senate from either the Greens or Coalition senators.

“Labor’s goal to have 82 per cent of our electricity generated by renewables by 2030 is a step in the right direction, but the new government must reconsider its position on new coal and gas projects”, Ms O’Shanassy added.

The Investor Group on Climate Change said the election outcome offered an opportunity to reset and align Australia’s economic policies with climate goals.

The group said stronger Paris-aligned 2030 targets were needed to unlock $131bn in investment in clean industries and new jobs across the economy by the end of the decade.

Mr Albanese has made climate change a defining policy for his government. He has pledged to raise it with the leaders of the US, Japan and India at the Quad meeting in Tokyo this week.

To signal its new approach, Labor will seek to host a meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This year’s meeting will be held in Egypt where a decision will be made on the venue for 2023.

Labor’s commitment to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 is broadly in line with the pledges of other major countries.

To meet the target, emissions will need to fall to 351 million metric tonnes, or “Mt”, in 2030 in Paris budget accounting terms.

The ALP policy is projected to set Australia on a net-zero pathway by 2030, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

For this to happen, renewable energy penetration will need to grow to 82 per cent by 2030 compared to 68 per cent under business as usual.

The worst thing for the Liberal and National parties going forward would be to engage in another round of climate…
The Labor government has signalled $24bn in public investment to be matched by $51bn in private sector investment. During the election campaign, Labor said annual average electricity bills were projected to be $275 lower by 2025 and $378 lower by 2030.

The safeguards mechanism carbon trading scheme will be applied to facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2e per year across a range of sectors, including mining, oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, transport, and waste.

Labor modelled its policy on recommendations by the Business Council of Australia for emission baselines to be reduced gradually over time. Peak business groups have argued this would be in line with commitments already made by corporations to be carbon neutral by 2050. Businesses will be able to offset their emissions through internal abatement or external offsets from Australia’s carbon farming sector.

Industry will be given flexibility to discover low-cost abatement opportunities and invest in long-term emissions reduction technologies.

According to modelling published by the ALP, emissions covered by the safeguard mechanism have grown 7 per cent since its commencement in July 2016, rising to 140 Mt of CO2e in 2020-21 to be 17 per cent above 2005 levels, or just over one-quarter (28 per cent) of national emissions.

Without action, big companies were projected to overtake the electricity sector as Australia’s largest emitting policy segment in the early 2020s.

Labor said improvements to the Safeguard Mechanism were projected to deliver 213 Mt of GHG emissions reductions by 2030.

It said investment in industry abatement was estimated to create 1600 jobs by 2030, with five out of six of these jobs to be created in regional areas.


Incoming Indigenous Labor MP calls Greens a bigger threat to a Voice to parliament than Coalition

The incoming Indigenous MP for Australia’s red centre says the Greens are a bigger threat to the voice to parliament than the ­Coalition, as the left-wing party pushes a treaty between the government and Aboriginal people before any ­national Indigenous body.

Greens leader Adam Bandt on Monday dug in on the party’s ­official position that a $250m truth commission and a treaty process were higher priorities than Labor’s promised referendum on an Indigenous voice.

Tiwi woman Marion Scrymgour, Labor’s likely victor in the knife-edge count for the seat of Lingiari, said she believed the greatest threat to constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians did not come from the right but from the hard left.

“I’m not so much worried about the Liberals; it’s more the Greens,” she said. “While they say they are friends of Indigenous people, they’re not really because they just want to run their outrageous agendas all the time.”

The Greens were the first party to fully endorse the Uluru statement and its call for a voice in 2017 but they changed their policy after Uluru detractor Lidia Thorpe joined their ranks as a senator in 2020. Senator Thorpe was among activists at the time of the summit who walked out over the voice proposal, arguing a treaty should be top priority.

While Mr Bandt has previously said the Greens would not block a referendum, he has confirmed the party wants progress on a truth commission and a treaty in this term of parliament. “They are important things that we think we can get done during this parliament,” he said.

Incoming Alice Springs Country Liberal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said the Greens were hopelessly out of touch with ­Indigenous issues in regional Australia.

“The extremism, the radicalism of the Greens, it’s very concerning,” she said. “The Greens might want to look back with truth hearings but there are things happening right now that are far more urgent like the safety of women and children in regional communities.”

Incoming Indigenous Australians minister Linda Burney said on Monday that the new government supported a treaty but it would take time. “Treaties are complex. We need to look at the states and ­territories that already have ­treaty processes under way and look at the structures in place, the architecture,” she said. Competing priorities in Indigenous ­affairs in the new parliament have emerged as a record number of Indigenous Australians prepare to become MPs.

Counting from Saturday’s election continued on Monday but Australians have voted nine and possibly 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into federal parliament.

Ms Nampijinpa Price described the new Albanese government’s proposed referendum on the Indigenous voice as “a distraction” from the pressing issues ­facing Aboriginal people in ­remote communities.

The outspoken Warlpiri-Celtic woman said she would lobby Labor to keep the cashless debit card – a measure she sees as “a protective blanket for marginalised people” – and to block the reintroduction of alcohol into Northern Territory homelands.

Ms Nampijinpa Price said she hoped that Labor’s Indigenous MP in the NT, Malindirri McCarthy, and Ms Scrymgour – if she was elected – could work together on the issues affecting Indigenous women and children in the Territory, such as domestic violence.

Existing Indigenous senators include Pat Dodson from Labor, and independent Jacqui Lambie from Tasmania. The Greens’ two Indigenous senators – Ms Thorpe and Dorinda Cox – were also returned.

Ms Burney did not comment ­directly on the Greens’ urgent ­demand for progress towards truth-telling and treaty. However, she confirmed the truth-telling process that she planned would involve local governments and would not take the form of court-style hearings.

Ms Burney’s priority was to consult all Australians about the Indigenous voice, its role and the question they would be asked in the referendum. She said it was important ­people knew the Uluru statement called for an advisory body to the parliament on issues directly ­affecting Indigenous ­people.

“People need to be clear what they are voting for and need to be clear on the role of the voice,” Ms Burney said. “Uluru was absolutely clear … the voice is modest, it is generous and it does not have veto rights that would usurp parliament.”


Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn, who posted anti-abortion comments, expelled from party

The Victorian Liberals have voted to expel controversial MP Bernie Finn from the party.

The upper house MP has been a Liberal politician for nearly four decades, but has caused outrage within the party after a series of inflammatory social media posts.

Victorian Liberal Party leader Matthew Guy said the vote was not about the party "naval gazing from the federal election" but "being a sensible alternative government".

"It is disappointing that it has come to this, but I expect discipline from all members of the parliamentary party and I expect people to uphold respectful discourse," he said.

Speaking outside Victoria's Parliament House after the motion, Mr Finn said he originally joined the Liberal Party because "it was the party of freedom".

"What we have seen today is a statement from the leader of our party that the party I joined over 41 years ago is dead," he said. "The party of Menzies and Howard is no more — not in Victoria. "I will continue to fight, not just in this parliament, but in the next parliament as well."

Earlier this month, Mr Finn posted on Facebook that he was "praying" for abortion to be banned in Victoria, including for rape victims.

"So excited the US is on the verge of a major breakthrough to civilisation. Praying it will come here soon. Killing babies is criminal," he posted.

Mr Finn was referring to a leaked draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court that indicated the Roe v Wade decision, which makes abortion a constitutional right, could be overturned.

In response to a comment saying abortion should be available for those who have experienced sexual assault, Mr Finn commented that "babies should not be killed for the crime of his or her parent".

The comments caused fury within the Victorian Liberals, and Mr Finn resigned as party whip following the posts.


Voluntary assisted dying legalised in NSW

Terminally ill people in NSW will now be able to choose the timing of their death after a historic vote in state parliament legalised voluntary assisted dying.

Five years after it was first debated in parliament, NSW on Thursday became the final state in Australia to introduce assisted dying laws.

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich introduced the bill to parliament late last year, with Coalition and Labor MPs granted a free vote.

Greenwich told parliament that the “entire diversity” of the parliament were involved in passing the bill, with 28 co-sponsors from across all parties - the highest number of any bill in Australian parliamentary history.

However, an opponent of the bill, Finance Minister Damien Tudehope, told the upper house that it was a “dark day” for NSW as it joined the rest of the country in accepting assisted dying laws. “It was a sad day because it was an opportunity for NSW to say ‘we can be better than this’,” Tudehope said.

Tudehope said the decision of the NSW parliament would be judged by history as a “dreadful mistake”.