The million dollar question no one could answer

Last week “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” was filmed in Melbourne and this was the Million-Dollar question:

Who is the Victorian Leader of the Opposition?

Well the contestant who had known everything else didn’t know so he asked the audience. And the audience didn’t know either.

So he phoned a friend. And his friend – a Professor of Politics at the University of Melbourne – also didn’t know?

So he chose the 50-50. And even then he got it wrong.

So I will tell you. From Wikipedia, since I didn’t know either.

The current Opposition Leader is Michael O’Brien of the Liberal Party. He was elected Liberal leader on 6 December 2018, replacing Matthew Guy who resigned after losing the 2018 Victorian state election.

Undoubtedly the only time you will see his name in print between now and the next election.

And why did this come to mind? Because of this article in The Oz today: Victoria’s dodgy power supply is likely to short-circuit everyone. Where, among other things, you may read:

In Victoria, however, too much bird slicing is barely enough.

To entice renewable investment, the Victorian government absorbs the risk, guaranteeing fixed-price contracts for up to 20 years. The size of the liability further governments will inherit has not been calculated.

When it comes to saving the planet, the Victorian RET is about as useful as gluing your hands to the tarmac. As an incentive for rent-seekers, on the other hand, it is working a treat.

The result is more windmills under construction than in the rest of the country put together. Another dozen or so projects are waiting for approval. It means that more than 1500 or so turbines could be fitfully turning in a few years, generating 6600MW on paper at least, larger than the state’s coal-generating capacity before the closure of Hazelwood.

Non-synchronous power of this kind is worse than useless in a crisis, however. It serves only to destabilise the grid.

Not to mention this from the Financial Review: Victoria’s energy plan is a ‘leap of faith’, whose first line:

Victoria’s aggressive wind and solar push will shut down coal power stations and could send electricity prices skyrocketing, EnergyAustralia has bluntly told the state Labor government.

 Just because the place is named Victoria is no reason to drive us back to living standards last seen in Victorian times.


















Obama has no idea what rent seeking is so Charles Koch has to tell him

Here is something Obama will never understand:

It’s not going to help the country to be subsidizing uneconomical forms of energy — whether you call them ‘green,’ ‘renewable’ or whatever. In that case, the cure is worse than the disease. And there is a big debate on whether you have a real disease or something that’s not that serious. I recognize there is a big debate about that. But whatever it is, the cure is to do things in the marketplace, and to let individuals and companies innovate, to come up with alternatives that will deal with whatever the problem may be in an economical way so we don’t squander resources on uneconomic approaches.”

The man speaking was Charles Koch after he had been personally attacked by the President:

Obama said of those who try to thwart policies intended to boost clean energy: “That’s not the American way. That’s not progress. That’s not innovation. That’s rent seeking, and trying to protect old ways of doing business and standing in the way of the future.”

Obama continued: “I mean, think about this. Ordinarily, these are groups that tout themselves as champions of the free market. If you start talking to them about providing health care for folks who don’t have health insurance, they’re going crazy: ‘This is socialism, this is going to destroy America.’ But in this situation, they’re trying to undermine competition in the marketplace, and choke off consumer choice, and threaten an industry that’s churning out new jobs at a fast pace.”

To which the reply was:

“I don’t know whether he knows what that phrase means, but ‘rent seeking,’ of course, is, in economic terms, is getting the government to rig the system in your favor. And that’s exactly what these so-called ‘renewable energy’ proponents are doing.”

Actually he does know that Obama doesn’t know. There are, in fact, a lot of things Obama doesn’t know to go along with all the things he does know that aren’t true.