Happy headlines

17/10/2011

ODT – All Blacks muscle way into World Cup final

Too big, too strong and, most of all, just too damn    clinical. The All Blacks beat the Wallabies 20-6 in the World    Cup semifinal last night, and showed they have the muscle and    grunt to go with the renowned finesse in the side . . .

Southland Times – ABs trample over Aussies

France versus 4 million, the All Blacks have their date with destiny after surging into the Rugby World Cup final. . .

The Press – Screaming for All Black joy

After living through their city’s devastation, Christchurch residents could
finally scream for joy . . .

Dominion Post – All Blacks reward party faithful at fanzone

Clad in black, with faces painted in silver ferns, a crowd of thousands cheered the All Blacks to victory in Wellington’s fanzone last night . . .

NZ Herald – Epic All Blacks deliver on huge night

Yes we can and yes we did – in style . . .

And not so happy:

The Australian – Wallabies outplayed out smarted all blacked out

THE Wallabies’ World Cup campaign lies buried in the graveyard of Eden Park after they were bundled out of the tournament by the All Blacks last night . . .

Sydney Morning Herald – Great hope of rugby fumbles and bumbles when he was needed most

If that was Quade Cooper’s best game ever, as captain James Horwill fearlessly  declared it would be on match eve, then one can only wonder what  his worst has  been . . .

The Age –  Kiwis on the cusp after walloping Wallabies

AND yea, verily, it is written. Though long have our Kiwi cousins walked in the  shadow of the Valley of Death, through World Cup loss after World Cup loss, as  an entire people plumbed the depths of despair, now, now the hour is  upon them. The promised land is now just up ahead around the bend . . .

Peter FitzSimons gets full credit for graciousness in the last column.

 


Generalising about Gen Y

12/10/2010

Gen Y was the topic of my discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today.

It was prompted by a series published in The Age:

Who are they? Talking about Me generation

Love Life Asking Y

Don’t say we are lazy brats, whatever

Entering into the sprit of things

Going for the good life

 


Buy local campaign conflicts with free trade

07/06/2009

The headline in The Age says ‘Buy Australian’ and free market theory aren’t in conflict.

That statement is wrong and so is the opinion piece which follows because it confuses a buy local campaign with country of origin labelling.

Buy American, Buy Australian or Buy Any Nation campaigns work on the basis of a simple, first principle concept. Consumers do not know the country of origin of the products they are buying. The first principle of a Buy My Country’s products campaign is to tell the consumer at the retail outlet where the produce or consumer products come from.

Country of origin labelling might persuade people to buy local, but that is not its primary aim.

The only aim of buy local campaigns is to persuade consumers to purchase domestic produce and products rather than imported ones and that is definitely in conflict with free trade.

Country of origin labelling isn’t always easy to do, but knowing where products come from enables consumers to make informed choices. That’s very different from telling them – often erroneously – that it’s better to buy local.

COOL gives information, buy local seeks to persuade consumers that domestic produce and products are better than imported ones.


The lucky country

06/06/2009

Australia’s reputation as the lucky country has taken a beating this year with widespread bushfires and floods.

The news it’s beating the recession has helped to counter that, but is it luck?

The Age puts it down to two factors:

One is the economic story . . . Stunningly high coal and iron ore prices, a decent wheat harvest and the Federal Government’s rapid-fire stimulus have all done their bit to shield Australia from the worst of the crisis.

Yet only partially: output per head, the economy’s real bottom line, fell 1.6 per cent in the year to March. Unemployment has already surged by 175,000. We are part of the global recession.

But in one important way, we are not part of the global financial crisis. Our financial system has not collapsed. The Government has had to offer guarantees for bank debt . . . but unlike other governments, it has not had to provide capital to prop up the banks. The smaller banks are experiencing turbulence, some of it heavy. But the Big Four remain AA rated and highly profitable — a reminder to banks in other Western countries of how good life used to be.

Given most of our banks are Australian owned there’s some reassurance for New Zealand in this too.

Through the crisis, Australia has maintained a kind of normality. When the storm came, our house was found to be built on rock, not sand. . .

In other countries, the global financial crisis left the financial system broken: not here. Why not?

There is a broad consensus on what went right. Insiders and onlookers agree that a range of factors lay behind this success story. Some of it was luck. Some of it was good management. Some of it was good regulation. And some was due to all of these interacting in an environment that sustained traditional banking and made it profitable.

The article is worth reading in full so I’ll leave it there and finish with three questions:

* Do most of the factors which have kept Australia’s financial system fairly stable apply here?

* If our largest trading partner is growing, albeit by a very small amount, is it good for us too?

*We don’t have Australia’s mineral resources but we do have water to grow grass to feed a hungry world which our neighbour doesn’t. What’s stopping us from being a lucky country too?


Irony by candle light

28/03/2009

Just as I suspected when I suggested earth hour is greenwash,   the attempts to reduce carbon emissions may in fact increase them.

Several comments left on that post are worth highlighting:

From Pointer 2:

From The Courier Timaru edition 26 March p5 “Woodbury event to mark Earth Hour” (not online)

“At 8.30 we will switch off the lights and gather around a bonfire. There will be time for discussion and reflection and maybe a bit of singing,” Mr Polman said.

“we’re asking people to bring a torch, storm lantern or a tealight in a glass jar, and to switch off the lights and appliances before they leave home.”

Totally bizarre isn’t it! Carbon emissions from bonfire? Industrial pollutants from batteries? I’m not even going to comment on the noise pollution from many verses of Kumbayah. None of this seems to count as much as the futile gesture of switching off relatively clean electrical incandescent bulbs and bathing in the glow of self-righteousness instead. No wonder the Green party keeps exceeding 5%.

From Stephen Stratford:

Where I live people throughout the region are being encouraged to support Earth Hour by attending Nightglow, an event at Waikato University. The promotional material says that the main carpark has 5000 spaces, and there are two other carparks for when it is full. What a great way to reduce emissions.

He carried the story from The Age  on Quote Unquote about businesses which supported earth hour last year increasing their carbon emissions since then.

From Mr Dennis:

Modern candles are made from parrafin wax – ie oil. It is quite laughable all these greenies giving up their clean hydro-electricity to burn oil to save the planet.

And they’re mainly made in China. What’s the bet the same people who would be right behind protectionist “Buy NZ Made” campaigns are the ones pushing for people to give up their NZ made electricity to burn Chinese candles tonight?

He has more on his blog.

Irony by candle light, assisted by battery powered torches and transported by cars.

If only the people promoting the greenwash could see the humour in this they’d smile enough to brighten their Saturday in an appropriately carbon neutral manner.


Earth hour smoke and mirrors

28/03/2009

The Fire Service has issued a warning about the dangers of candles during earth hour.

This makes me wonder:

 * What impact will all those candles have on carbon emissions?

* Does this mean that earth hour will literally generate more heat than light?

* Is earth hour, like many other sacrifices to the green gods, really just smoke and mirrors?

In support of the last question, I read somewhere yesterday (but can’t find the link anymore) that several businesses which supported earth hour actually increased their carbon emissions and their association with the cause was just greenwash. *

So the lights in my house will be on or off as normal tonight because I’m not interested in campaigns based on emotion rather than science and feel good efforts which at best do nothing and may even make the problem worse.

Apropos of this:

Not PC  has something to keep in mind during earth hour

Whaleoil spots the idiots

No Minister has some earth hour fun

UPDATE:

Keeping Stock is keeping his lights  on from which I learned about M& M  and their anti-earth hour.

Mickey Muses has hot news on hot tips on hot air.

UPDATE 2: * the bit about businesses increasing emissions was from The Age  via Quote Unquote:

An analysis of the key sponsors of Earth Hour (among them Fairfax Media, owner of The Sunday Age) reveals that most have reported increased emissions in their most recent figures.

Just as I said – it’s greenwash and it’s inciting PM of NZ to use even more fuel and electricity.


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