Pro-business and pro-markets are different

Here are the headline links at the AFR this morning:

Do you notice anything odd? There are two arguments running side by side here. The first is a series of sprays aimed at the Labor government for providing industry support to Alcoa in the face of the need for structural adjustment. That is, the process the Australian economy is going through in adjusting to greater output in the mining sector and lesser elsewhere, like manufacturing. The government is wrong, the AFR is saying, to prevent or fight against the market forces driving the transition. It is largely a question about jobs. Should labour be freed in one industry so that others can expand? Creative destruction as it were.

The other argument being put here is the opposite. It’s a of grab bag on whinges and whines coming from business about the structural adjustment being driven by a carbon price. That is, the process that the Australian economy is about to go through in which more output will shift from high carbon intensity processes to lower. The AFR goes to some lengths to also make this about jobs.

To me the hypocrisy of placing these two arguments together says everything about what is wrong with Australian business media at the moment. That is, it defends its chosen mates in specific businesses, not the market itself. What do I mean?

You could argue that there is consistency in this coverage. In both stories, the bad guy is government, which is intervening in “the market”.  But consider, if that were the case, then why is a market-based carbon trading scheme being demonised? The alternative approach, promoted by the Opposition, is piecemeal regulation, a far more damaging approach to market integrity.

So, by attacking a market-based carbon pricing mechansim, the AFR can only have a different agenda. Either it doesn’t believe in  the need for a solution to global warming, is taking gratuitous potshots at the Labor government (of whom I am no fan, to be sure), or it is defending the business interests affected by the carbon price. Or some combination of all three. The AFR is picking winners in every bit as egregious a fashion as the government it so apparently despises.

And this is the problem now with business media. It has completely lost its way via-a-vis what constitutes a functioning, objective market. Perhaps it is no surprise given that the same lack of commitment to competition has spread across all major sectors in the Australian economy in the past decade and more. After all, the oligopolies are the advertisers. Moreover, government too has contributed greatly to this by failing its regulatory task of preventing over-consolidation, and subsequently in the embrace of too big to fail.

Being pro-business is not the same as being pro-markets.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. H&H – this is now the problem – the carbon tax (which you know I do not agree with) will be the ‘demonisation’ of everything now. House prices? Cost of living? Power Unemployment? Wage pressures? Demise of the world as we know it? ALL can now be blamed on the carbon tax (rightly or wrongly) – Politicians from all stripes, journalists and the public will be encouraged to see that ALL that ILLS the Australian Economy can be blamed on the CT. A new meme has been created, a Frankenstein that cannot be put back into a box!

  2. Much of the media are now displaying the same relentless opportunism of both sides of politics.

    The ALP abandonment of the Hawke – Keating model in the late 1990s was a good example.

    Forget good policy or some sort of underlying consistency in policy.

    It is all about scoring cheap points for today.

    At least when someone has axe to grind it is usually coming from a reasonably consistent outlook or perspective.

    Keep up the good work

    • The core issue for me is “Forget good policy or some sort of underlying consistency in policy.”

      WRT the AFR I don’t think it matters what they say as how many people are actually reading it? Very few if I use it’s availability at my coffee shop as evidence 🙂

      • Every Friday I would buy the AFR for that review section full of good articles from overseas. It is easier reading that stuff on the iPad so i stopped.

        Having said that, it is only a matter of time before the penetration of apps and tablets reach the point that newspapers will be able to start shutting down their free content. I am more than happy to subscribe to a good publication in the form of a well designed app rather than go to a website.

        Back on topic – too little attention is paid to the way economic debate has been degraded since ‘economic rationalism’ got a bad name. Now all manner of daft pork schemes and rent seeking behaviour that shafts the community for the benefit of some sectional interest, get a moment in the sun.

        Unfortunately, the MSM are letting everyone down by playing the politics of spin rather than focussing on substance.

  3. There’s an obvious opportunity for an impartial, broad sighted, entrepreneurial, passionate individual or firm (No names, but follow my eyes!) to explore the opportunity of a ’freer’ press if the GR ambitions come to naught. But no doubt, you’re exploring those avenues, David…. ( MacroFax; Matter of Facts; I like it!)

  4. Are the stories really contradictory, or do they follow a consistent line that the government should neither subsidise _nor_ penalise arbitrarily.

    The carbon tax/price is a creation of government. Without a government to enforce its creation, does anyone really believe that companies would think to buy and sell carbon dioxide? If they did that, why not buy and sell oxygen?

    So, a ‘do not subsidise’ point of view is consistent with a ‘do not create costs ex nihilo’ point of view

    • I say as much in the post. But if that is the case then the AFR’s real argument (or hidden assumption at least) has to be that it doesn’t believe in climate change.

      Otherwise business can be free as it profits haplessly into the abyss.

      • What you have not touched on H&H is the ‘Macro’ picture – that is what is the world doing with and about AGW – man made climate change? This I think is what is really peeving business, that is, Australian business now has an extra cost, as the developed world abandons carbon pricing/ETS – literally because it cannot afford it due to the GFC and now GFC2 is imminent. Rio was another flop – literally the EU and to a lesser extent the USA is fighting for its survival and the whole AGW has gone out the window – it makes you wonder if AGW is as real as is supposedly stated!

        • Whether climate change is entirely man-made or not, the fact that it is happening is beyond doubt.

          (other than that, I’m not going to feed the trolls)

        • “it makes you wonder if AGW is as real as is supposedly stated!”

          This is the kind of glib comment that must be exposed for the crude obfuscation that it is.

          The international scientific community has spent the last 20+ yrs testing and re-testing the science. That is what they do. It is called scientific method. The above statment is not.

          We have now moved on to the policital dicussion of deciding how we best deal with the identified issues.

          At this point of the journey, vigilance is required to sort obfuscating vested interests trying to unscientifically re-argue the science, from those on both sides of the debate who are genuinely engaged in solving the problem whilst identifying and minimising any negative side effects.

          • And the Earth has spent 15 of those 20 years stubbornly refusing to warm. Another two years and even Ben Santer will start to wonder (according to his own public statement).

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            I find these climate change discussions useful, if only to weed out the nutters.
            They’re not nutters, that implies irrationality. They’re just selfish, greedy, psychopaths. Otherwise known as “Libertarians”.

          • Alex Heyworth

            And there was I thinking that this

            “The international scientific community has spent the last 20+ yrs testing and re-testing the science.”

            was Exhibit B. If that’s not a glib throwaway line I’d like to know why not. I’d also like to know why the Patrician thinks the Earth not warming is insignificant. Particularly given that the likes of Santer and Schmidt have gone on record as saying a rethink will be needed if the stasis continues much longer. Or perhaps Patrician is a better climatologist than them?

          • Alex Heyworth

            PS apologies to H&H are due for thread derailing, for which I admit partial responsibility.

            A pity because, whatever one’s view on AGW (I think it exists, but is likely to be mild, BTW) his post raised a good point about the schizophrenic coverage by the AFR.

          • Alex, even James Lovelock (Gaia) has conceded the science has failed to support the hypothesis and expressed regret for being ‘alarmist’.

          • Alex Heyworth

            3d1k, I agree that we can leave the “C” out of CAGW, and as you point out, Lovelock seems to agree. Most working climatologists haven’t come out in the open and agreed yet, because it would upset the gravy train.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Rio was another flop – literally the EU and to a lesser extent the USA is fighting for its survival and the whole AGW has gone out the window – it makes you wonder if AGW is as real as is supposedly stated!

          No, it doesn’t, because I understand that the fact of climate change has nothing whatsoever to do with what Governments and businesses are (or are not) doing about it.

  5. How is there any hypocrisy? Picking winers with industry subsides like alcoa and picking winers (green companies) with a carbon tax/market that trades hot air, ie nothing tangible is exactly the same thing! Government interference in the market.

    Of course if we are going to pick winners then we should focus on areas that value add to our mineral wealth or protect our food security. Unfortunately high labour cost manufacturing can not be competitive in this country and should be where the adjustments occur.

    • Penny Wong chose the Mitsubishi electric vehicle over the Victorian Blade I’d call that picking it’s just that our economy lost, as did her decision on CFCL fuel cells. Many other examples of where our green policy is going wrong. Where is the clear policy to benefit Australia and jobs while reducing CO2? I can’t see it yet I support sustainable everything.

      I’d argue that if we loose all our manufacturing and have to import everything with higher transport cost in the future what is our fate? You only need to look now at all the food we import due to the high AUD and what that is doing to our food security. All the while this government is selling off the farm. I don’t see a coherent policy that deals with our future.

    • To be fair, bailouts are directed at specific firms, and ones that have been massively unprofitable and underperformed.

      The carbon tax is *more* market oriented but the way our government goes about implementing it by taxing only the 500 “big” producers, setting up industry assistance, household assistance packages etc etc.. its a total turd sandwich.

  6. “…structural adjustment. That is, the process the Australian economy is going through in adjusting to greater output in the mining sector and lesser elsewhere, like manufacturing”

    And like the areas where big job cuts have been announced: financial services and media, neither negatively impacted by growth in the mining sector.

    And I guess that is partly where AFRs gripe comes from – government ‘valuing’ some groups of workers over others (600 aluminium workers bailed, 1900 Fairfax workers to face their fate kinda thing!) If government is going to continue to selectively ‘save’ some jobs, what criteria merits government rescue. It would appear not media, nor financial services, nor Qantas engineers, nor (as may occur in the future) retail workers.

    Policy, if there is any, is ad hoc, selectively applied with no apparent plan in place.

    As for the carbon tax – of course business is peeved – unlike climate change the carbon tax is proven to be entirely man-made and economically damaging.

    • +1. The carbon tax (and the mrrt) smack of ad hock politicism and poor design. Any intellectual merit and consensus benefit, if it did exist, was long lost in the bad politics.

      The point about selectively valuing jobs is a good one.

    • This. +10

      And what is with the continued assertation that a carbon tax is somehow a ‘market based’ mechanism simply because you call it a price? I guess we should just call all taxes a ‘price’ now, therefore all government intervention is just the free market at work. Socialism isn’t about government control of the economy it’s just the market determining that the government should control everything! The fact that the government are using their power to force the market to act in a certain way is irrelevant.

      That this can be passed as an intelligent argument on an otherwise excellent blog is truly beyond me.

          • I believe it is you that began the personal stuff, MattR.

            Of course carbon trading is market based. If, during , its inception it is distorted by giveaways then that’s inefficient as I’ve argued elsewhere. And yes, sadly that has happened.

            You simply don’t believe in global warming and you’re confusing that with some whacky notion about markets and socialism.

            That’ll be it for me on this thread.

          • “I believe it is you that began the personal stuff, MattR. ”

            Really? Where? Attacking an argument and saying it brings down a blog is not a personal attack.

            “You simply don’t believe in global warming and you’re confusing that with some whacky notion about markets and socialism.”

            Correct I don’t believe in man-made global warming. But even if I did, a carbon tax is not a ‘market based’ approach. Unless you consider a massive government intervention in an otherwise free market ‘market based’.

            Sidelined says it below, the government are either controlling the price or controlling the supply. You can argue what you want about AGW it doesn’t make a carbon tax ‘market based’ the same way price fixing of any commodity isn’t ‘market based’.

            It’s government completely controlled. I’m not confusing it with socialism it IS socialism.
            Take care I guess.

          • Carbon tax: Govt does not determine supply of carbon, but sets the price.

            ETS: The govt sets how much carbon to be produced, but not the price.

            In a truly free market, both the supply and price of carbon is set voluntarily by consumers and producers.

            As MattR rightly points out, these are not ‘market-based’ policies. At best, they are ‘market-simulations’.

          • Yeh, yeh, in a perfect world I’m a billionaire and married to Monica Belluci.

            In this world, setting a price for carbon, either way, unleashes market dynamism upon the needed transformation.

            OR, Tony Abbott can pick winners.

            That is IT for me on this thread.

          • “In this world, setting a price for carbon, either way, unleashes market dynamism upon the needed transformation. ”

            Only if you believe that it’s needed, which the evidence says it’s not. Only if you can determine that the economic damage done by a tax on carbon dioxide (a element required for life) is outweighed by the supposed benefits, of which right now, there are demonstrably none, even assuming every nation does the same thing (which they aren’t).

          • There’s more to it than a simple plus/minus calculation MattR. Personally, I am not convinced by the certainty of AGW, but as a risk manager – I don’t care.

            Risks are almost impossible to identify, measure and calculate viz a simple plus/minus equation.

            This is insurance – a hedge against the scientists being proven right, 50 years from now (because that’s the only way to calculate certainty in this risk, after the fact).

            The worst thing that can happen is an economy, reliant upon mining and selling houses to each other and all the malinvestment, hollowing out, too many bankers/brokers/financial advisors etc that goes with that, transformed into something much greater, and much more resilient to change.

            I’m willing to pay for that, and not just for the now – again another simple plus/minus CBA equation that has no meaning in real life – but the intangible benefits to my offspring and to our society in the decades ahead.

          • “That this can be passed as an intelligent argument on an otherwise excellent blog is truly beyond me.”

            That’s abusive.

            At least now your real argument is out. You are a climate skeptic masquerading as a libertarian. You’d vote for Pol Pot if he gave free reign to carbon output.

            That is IT for me.

          • HH,

            Orwell was on to something, beware of doublespeak.

            A ‘price on carbon’ is, in fact, a tax. Neither the carbon tax nor the ETS are ‘market-based.’ They are, in fact, govt interventions in the economy.

          • “This is insurance – a hedge against the scientists being proven right”

            Ok let’s analyse this argument. As a risk manager, would you pay an annual premium on your car insurance that exceded the value of your car? Would you pay insurance of $1000 a year if the benefit for any claim was only $100? Would you pay insurance to mitigage your risk if your neighbour refused to mitigate his and, in the event of an incident, the whole street suffers and you were the only one who had insurance? So you have had to pay for 50 years, nobody else has, but now you suffer the exact same costs as everyone else anyway?

            Of course you wouldn’t, the idea is absurd. So why are we doing this with the imagined threat of Carbon Dioxide?

            The worst thing that could happen is that we make our manufacturing even MORE uncompetetive and, as sending minerals overseas doesn’t add to our emissions, we encourage even more mining and even more dutch disease.

            It’s all pain, no gain.

            H&H, lol come on man, you’re better than that.

          • First of all, your examples are absurd. The cost of the carbon tax is not the same as the cost of the entire GDP of this country. Second of all, you are conflating a simple “this will cost A so it must provide a certainty of A+1 or x or its worthless” equation with the intangible and unmeasurable qualities that can come with an economy better balanced, more robust (even at a lower per capita GDP – I’d rather have a slightly lower standard of living if it means that the chances of having a tiny standard of living in the future is diminished by a lot).

            Third, the comparison of “well since the rest of the world is doing jackshit, we shouldnt have to do anything” is called, well, shortsightedness or lack of a vision by some, or in my case, pulling no punches – cowardice and a complete lack of responsibility.

            As for encouraging more mining, no thats the point of having a re-balancing MRRT/profit tax on mining. Its not about “sucking revenue out of productive capitalists” – its another insurance policy – one that has been enacted 10 years too late, and too tamely, to ensure that other parts of the economy, in the future, can be more robust to change. Revenue from taxation is secondary, its primary purpose is regulating the body that is the economy.

            I have this argument with libertarians all the time – for the record, I am one too, but I work and live and breathe in the real world, and see how people work, not how theories are SUPPOSED to work. People do not do everything for their own selfish interest all the time. In fact, the most selfish thing a person could do is say, all right, let’s pull up our belt, lets work out a way to insure our livelihoods, and the livelihoods of our children, at a minimal cost.

            That is how a true defender of liberty would act in these times.

            I’ve said enough, I go blue in the face trying to have this argument with people who bring EVERYTHING in life down to an equation, and dont have the imagination to see the positive and negative consequences of their selfish actions.

          • “as sending minerals overseas doesn’t add to our emissions”

            Also don’t forget that this also just moves emissions overseas. So we suffer the additional cost and even if AGW turns out to not be a total crock, we suffer that as well!

            Like I said, all pain for absolutely no gain or potential insurance benefit.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Only if you believe that it’s needed, which the evidence says it’s not.
            False. The evidence that excessive carbon dioxide levels are bad is quite convincing.

            Only if you can determine that the economic damage done by a tax on carbon dioxide (a element required for life) […]
            Water is required for life as well. How long can you survive under water ?

            […] is outweighed by the supposed benefits, of which right now, there are demonstrably none, even assuming every nation does the same thing (which they aren’t).
            This is the same argument put forward by people who dump poisons into water tables and clear land of all its vegetation: “it doesn’t hurt me now, so it obviously won’t hurt anyone, ever”.

            Though the true comedy doesn’t really come until you accuse others of having bad arguments, after having using the almost painfully bad ones above.

          • Prince, the price of this ‘hedge’ seems reasonable to you?

            A long and convoluted legislation accompanied by myriad regulations enforceable by public servants in the newly created ‘carbon cop’ bureaucracy. Another layer of government bureaucracy managed by a flotilla of highly paid public servants and associated hangers-on in academia. Another layer of government bureaucracy in the welfare sector busily redistributing the proceeds from one group to another for time immemorial to ‘compensate’ for expected increased cost of living expenses. An imposition of an additional tax on the productive sector at a time of economic uncertainty and increased global competition.

            And all for what? No-one, not even Bob Brown thinks the carbon tax will play any role in an absolute reduction of global emissions. Nought. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

            One hell of a price to pay…

            If future generations are your concern, you’d be better rewarded by listening to Niall Ferguson’s first Reith Lecture on the burden public debt and associated welfare liabilities will place on future generations. Here you go:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jms03

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            A long and convoluted legislation accompanied by myriad regulations enforceable by public servants in the newly created ‘carbon cop’ bureaucracy. Another layer of government bureaucracy managed by a flotilla of highly paid public servants and associated hangers-on in academia. Another layer of government bureaucracy in the welfare sector busily redistributing the proceeds from one group to another for time immemorial to ‘compensate’ for expected increased cost of living expenses. An imposition of an additional tax on the productive sector at a time of economic uncertainty and increased global competition.
            Indeed. As a designated representative of the mining industry, can you tell us how proud you are of the monster you helped create ?

          • “False. The evidence that excessive carbon dioxide levels are bad is quite convincing.”

            Bad? Yeah, in an airtight room. Bad in the sense that we are heating the world to hell? Not at all.

            “Water is required for life as well. How long can you survive under water ?”

            Cool, so maybe we should call water pollution and put a tax on that as well? Ditto for oxygen.

            “This is the same argument put forward by people who dump poisons into water tables and clear land of all its vegetation”

            Yeah totally because there is a real lack of evidence that poisoning water supplies with chemicals is bad… /sarc

            Talk about a fabricated strawman.

            “…after having using the almost painfully bad ones above.”

            Just because you aren’t convinced doesn’t make the arguments ‘painfully bad’. In fact they are quite strong and, having been tested in the court of public opinion, are now winning quite convincingly.

            But hey, you stick with your strawmen and red herrings buddy.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            Bad? Yeah, in an airtight room. Bad in the sense that we are heating the world to hell? Not at all.
            Yes, bad in the sense that high CO2 levels are a cause of global warming. The science behind that outcome is not questioned by anyone credible and has been around for more than a century.

            Cool, so maybe we should call water pollution and put a tax on that as well? Ditto for oxygen.
            I’m glad you can appreciate the absurdity of your argument, even though you somehow seem to remain ignorant of it.

            Yeah totally because there is a real lack of evidence that poisoning water supplies with chemicals is bad…
            I never said there was a lack of evidence. I said the presence of evidence hasn’t stopped selfish, greedy people doing it.

            Just because you aren’t convinced doesn’t make the arguments ‘painfully bad’.
            Indeed. It is how bad they are that makes them painfully bad. Good to see you continue on your roll with:

            In fact they are quite strong and, having been tested in the court of public opinion, are now winning quite convincingly.
            Because if ever there was a way of evaluating the merits of an argument, it’s a poll with a self-selection bias.

          • Prince -“This is insurance – a hedge against the scientists being proven right, 50 years from now (because that’s the only way to calculate certainty in this risk, after the fact).” If what you say is correct Prince a hedge/insurance against a possible risk – then what is Australia’s reducing carbon dioxide emissions of about .0001% going to do for the whole planet? Risk versus Reward – you spend more for what return? When the World is not joining the party? Do you really think that China, India & the USA is now going to get aboard because we are bravely leading the way? The risk/reward you seem to speak of is putting your mortgage on a 100 to 1 horse who is racing against Black Caviar at it’s prime. I do believe in climate change also – summer, autumn, spring & winter!

          • “I knew it would bring out the crazies”

            “You are a climate skeptic masquerading as a libertarian. You’d vote for Pol Pot if he gave free reign to carbon output.

            That is IT for me.”

            This site continues to continue to deteriorate into bigotry.

        • rob barrattMEMBER

          And for what it’s worth – here’s my looney tune:
          Much as climate change is a reality, the effects of peak oil over the next 50 years will make it look like a minor back seat player. A recent study by the US military

          http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-04-03/review-lt-col-eggen%E2%80%99s-thesis-impact-peaking-world-oil-production-global-balance-p

          contains the fascinating observation:

          “breaking [away from oil] too soon induces the loss of some power. Pushed by consumerism, no country will take the risk … until the ceiling of scarcity is hit”

          An exact parallel to the carbon tax. The big players aren’t interested – too much of a hit on the bottom line.

          Winston Churchill summed them up – “Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened”.

          Labor and the Greens will be singing to an empty concert hall…

          • I agree Rob – to simply do nothing and continue to burn fuels that are quickly depleting is a folly no matter which way we look at this. Every kilojoule of energy on this earth was put there by the sun, it is our only source of energy, and burning our energy store until the last drop of oil is gone is not the correct choice.
            Alternates have to be found, and the sooner we start the sooner we accomplish the task.

    • And like the areas where big job cuts have been announced: financial services and media, neither negatively impacted by growth in the mining sector.

      That’s where the big job cuts have been reported – manufacturing has died a slow death of a thousand cuts.

      • Yes. But 999 of those cuts were delivered via increased competition resulting from globalised manufacturing.

        • Exactly, dutch disease might be happening but far worse is the fact that the cost of doing business in Australia is just to damn high.

          Why would anyone want to buy Australian made when they can get something of exactly the same quality for a third the price by importing it?

          • Why would anyone want to buy Australian made when they can get something of exactly the same quality

            Because the expectation is in a developed economy you’d get something of better quality, an attitude which is sadly missing.

  7. ““Support for business is not support for “free markets””

    +infinity

    Corporatism, or crony capitalism, is *NOT* the free market. It has much more in common with socialism and fascism, where the state picks winners and losers, instead of the free market.

  8. It is always interesting just how polarised and dogmatic the debate becomes on issues that relate to the environment and then carbon price. That indicates to me that it necessarily belongs in the politics sphere – isn’t this where we go when there are intractable positions on both sides?

    Back to the point made on the hypocrisy of the MSM. The MSM – particularly financial media – has definitely been complicit in this anti-competition story that has been at the core of Australian business for a long time now. The battle for competition in media is a visible part of the structural changes that have embedded power in far few organizations, have systemically reduced the opportunity for innovation and turned our party political system into a bunch of corporate lap-dogs.

    I would like to see some more public economic debate on the outcomes and impacts of competition and market dominance given how much we are afloat on that ocean.

  9. We probably need to get rid of all subsidies – brilliant analysis H&H, I’ve been thinking the same thing for a long time.

    And then yesterday we had the State Liberals coming out in support of giving Alcoa more money to keep on making aluminium in a depressed market – none of this makes any sense. The worst example that I can think of is Ford – they hardly sell any locally built cars anymore – Falcon has been selling less than a thousand a month for ages and yet governments at both levels are forking over money for them to keep going.

    If you have a small business that’s failing then too bad – if you have a really big business then you just blackmail the government and go onto corporate welfare. Easy.

  10. drsmithyMEMBER

    It is always interesting just how polarised and dogmatic the debate becomes on issues that relate to the environment and then carbon price. That indicates to me that it necessarily belongs in the politics sphere – isn’t this where we go when there are intractable positions on both sides?
    It’s only polarised and dogmatic in the sphere of politics. There is no “intractable position” concerning the science.

  11. General Disarray

    At the end of the day we have an obligation to leave the planet in good condition. We’re only here for a short period of time and it seems almost sociopathic to think we can do what we like and not worry about what we leave for the next generation.

    The way we use fuels is but one example; it’s obvious we’re paying very little for our energy considering supply and what future demand will be. The only responsible solution is for current consumption to be taxed and the revenue used to fund development of alternate sources.

    Anything else is just passing the buck.

      • You know the reason minebot. Because that article was rubbish – like most pieces at The Cupboard – and as always, you’re trying to deflect the conversation.

        Last warning, then you can have the night off.