Sunday Territorian

Northern hemisphere’s glimpse into the future offers a scary vision for us

- Terry McCrann

AUSTRALIAN­S are being given a ringside seat at the mild version of what the life without fossil fuels that the chattering elites wants to impose of them looks like.

That is, rocketing prices to keep the lights on, heating in winter and cooling in summer, driving the car and, of course powering industry and jobs.

And that would be the “good news” outcome; it might cost you a lot more but at least you get power. The least attractive alternativ­e is “brown” and “black” outs, as we see rolling across China.

Now, yes, the immediate “supply chain” issues that are rolling and roiling across Europe, North America, Asia and especially China, might be – and I stress, might be – short-term and self-imposed.

Although that last bit – selfimpose­d - is hardly all that comforting, because that is precisely what we are planning for our future: to self-impose not using fossil fuels such as coal and petrol and gas.

In Britain petrol at stations has been running out because of a shortage of tanker drivers. Who knew you had to keep getting petrol into the tanks at stations or else they would run dry?

In China, they stopped buying Australian energy coal – the best quality in the world – and have been desperatel­y trying to buy coal somewhere else: anywhere else, at any price. Again, who knew if you chose not to deliver coal to coal-fired stations, they’d stop producing power?

But, as I say, there’s small comfort in that for our future. That’s because we plan going – and stumbling – into an exact same future.

But unlike what’s happening in Britain and China – and Europe, where they are desperatel­y trying to buy gas, having made themselves so crucially dependent on Russia; with gas, their go-to power source after getting out of coal – we plan it to be a “forever future” for us.

At least Britain can, and is, getting more tanker drivers; at least China can go back to

buying our coal (if of course we will supply it to them if we don’t want to use it at home); at least Europe is finding gas on the global market, if at spectacula­rly high prices.

But for us, when we’ve closed all our coal-fired power stations – and not built any nuclear ones or gas-fired ones – there’ll be no going back when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine and the socalled big batteries have gone flat.

That’s one side of the global energy crisis – and I might just add, this is before the northern hemisphere heads into winter. It is going to be one hell of a “winter of discontent”.

The other side is rocketing inflation. It’s not “coming”, it’s here and it’s going to get nasty.

What inflation, say the experts – better described as blithering idiots?

And two in seriously damaging particular – Fed head Jerome Powell and his predecesso­r, Janet Yellen, who is now Treasury Secretary to the escapee from a care home, President Biden.

Earlier this year, Yellen claimed confidentl­y that inflation in the US over 2021 would be a nice unthreaten­ing 2 per cent. It’s already added to 4.5 per cent over the first eight months – that’s an annualised rate of

6.8 per cent.

Gee, she’s going to have missed it by “just that much”.

A week or so back, Yellen claimed/conceded that it would in fact be “closer to

4 per cent,” demonstrat­ing she was either totally clueless or prepared to lie. It’s going to be “closer to 6 per cent”.

Lier or clueless? I’d go for the clueless.

Powell’s response to getting not so much forecasts of inflation equally abysmally wrong – a forecast is an attempt to predict what is coming, in the future; he was “forecastin­g” the present, as prices were rising all around him in the US – has been to say, effectivel­y: oh that inflation.

Well, don’t worry about that; it’s all only “transitory”; it’ll all go away once we get into 2022.

Again, there’s a good news story and a bad news story about all this.

The “good news” story is that the world heads into the sort of stagflatio­n we had through the 1970s: that’s rising prices and a soggy but not fullon recession economy.

The “bad news” story is that it all blows up: inflation starts to rocket away. And then central banks have two choices: let it rip or take interest rates to punishingl­y high levels and devastate the economy and send property and share prices really plunging.

The overall Australian economy – but not Australian workers or consumers – would be insulated to some extent by that rolling and roiling across the world through 2022, because we have what the world wants right now and will still in 2022: coal and gas.

Finally, again, who knew: that Adani would ship its first coal into rocketing high prices?

Thank you, assorted Greens.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

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