Green goes the ship­ping o.

The McLeod River Post - - Front Page -

It wasn’t so long ago that those mag­nif­i­cent clip­pers were ply­ing their way around the globe in the race to de­liver goods. Nowa­days the ship­ping in­dus­try is mainly pow­ered by diesel en­gines that are a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to emis­sions and pol­lu­tion. I read re­cently that ro­tor sails can, and I think, will re­place up to half of a ship’s en­gine propulsion needs per day. Good news for the en­vi­ron­ment, very good news for the ship­ping com­pany in terms of costs but bad news for the oil in­dus­try if the de­mand for ship­ping diesel drops by a very sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age.

I read that the pe­tro­leum in­dus­try started to kick off in 1859 in Penn­syl­va­nia. Since then there have been boom times and bust times. I think, and I fear for all those folks lo­cally that are em­ployed in the in­dus­try that we may have seen the peak and change is com­ing, hard and fast. Not only driven by en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors but changes in tech­nol­ogy driv­ing cost sav­ings and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

I ap­plaud the re­cent oil and gas demon­stra­tions and fully un­der­stand the plight of the peo­ple. I have worked in dec­i­mated in­dus­tries too, con­struc­tion and now jour­nal­ism. I un­der­stand there is a plan to take the demon­stra­tions to Ot­tawa, to be hon­est this is the only place where the at­ten­tion of the na­tion and the gov­ern­ment of the day can be al­most guar­an­teed. There is risk though. I don’t think that au­thor­i­ties, es­pe­cially the po­lice, are likely to be any­where near as sym­pa­thetic and things could get ugly if laws are bro­ken maybe even if they’re not. Ul­ti­mately, I would be sur­prised to see the gov­ern­ment change di­rec­tion, but you never know un­less you try. Never give up, never sur­ren­der.

As I write this col­umn the stock mar­ket is fore­cast to tum­ble again. Apart from the fun­da­men­tals of which I think the Em­peror has no clothes, huge swings up and down make me think of a few things, com­puter al­go­rithm trad­ing and spec­u­la­tors, maybe both, maybe even hos­tile trad­ing. Who do we know that likes to dab­ble with com­put­ers? Any­way, Pres­i­dent Trump was quick to own the bull mar­ket, some­thing ex­pe­ri­enced politi­cians shy away from, I’m afraid now, by de­fault, no mat­ter whom he blames for the falls, he owns that too by de­fault. Way to go.

More good news, not. Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Putin has an­nounced a new “in­vul­ner­a­ble” nu­clear mis­sile. Happy New Year every­body. Ap­par­ently, the new hy­per­sonic mis­sile will en­ter ser­vice in 2019 and is in­vul­ner­a­ble to U.S. de­fences.

The spat with China and Canada goes on with China crit­i­ciz­ing both the EU and France at the time of writ­ing. I don’t be­lieve that this is go­ing to get bet­ter any­time soon and if any­thing will get worse. I never wanted to go to China any­way, even less now.

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