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Thursday, 24 March


Team Sustainables Win! 36–25, SLA’s 2016 Autumn Parade float in pictures Sustainable Living Armidale

[ Saturday, 19 Mar; 1:00 pm; ] It was a close game of earthball played hard on the streets of Armidale. A competitive, and at times chaotic game unfortunately overshadowed by scandalous off field bribes and cheating. Team Sustainables were clean winners —36 points defeating Team Fossil Fuels 25 points after a disciplinary 10 point deduction made at the end of the parade. The [...] full article »


Tax office ruling provide big boost for electric vehicles in Australia Renew Economy

Tax office ruling says EV drivers can claim business deductions at same rate as petrol cars. Given lower rates of fuel and maintenance, that represents potential saving of $2,200 a year for EV owners.


Five things we learned about Malcolm’s attempts not to be Tony Renew Economy

If the opportunities are so great, the technology so compelling, and the need to act so imperative, why has Malcolm Turnbull put clean energy innovation funds on ice until the mid 2020s? The reality is that Turnbull has to wear Abbott-era policies, but hopefully not Abbott-era swimmers.


Network trial shows consumers – and networks – benefit from battery storage Renew Economy

Three-year AusNet battery storage trial finds the technology could save solar households $1,500 over five years – and double that amount for networks, depending on the location of the solar plus storage system.


LG Chem ramps up Australian battery storage plans ahead of “critical solar decade” Renew Economy

LG Chem reveals plans to ramp up its battery storage business in Australia, predicting a five-fold increase in sales in 2016, and an even greater rate of growth in 2017, when solar FiTs are ratcheted down.


Solar power tower goes up in Australian desert, ready to grow tomatoes Renew Economy

Construction of 127m solar power tower completed in South Australia desert – destined to supply power, water and heat for commercial greenhouse operation.


Regulator sets rooftop solar target of 760MW for 2016 Renew Economy

The Clean Energy Regulator targets for small scale rooftop solar equates to around 760MW for 2016, an increase on the amount installed last year.


Drought hits Indian coal plants and expansion plans Renew Economy

Despite the Indian Government’s determination to double or even triple domestic coal production, a new report warning the crisis could get far, far worse.


Incumbent utilities and battery storage: They still don’t get it Renew Economy

Morgan Stanley says Australian energy market is still under-estimating the impact of battery storage. While some retailers and networks have been downplaying storage, Morgan Stanley is increasing its target to 3 million homes by 2035, up from 2.4 million.


A group of solar PV thieves arrested in Germany Renew Economy

A crime group arrested in Germany is suspected of at least 22 PV thefts at the solar facilities in Brandenburg, Bavaria and Hesse.


The right-wing counter attack – 1971 Bill Mitchell – billy blog

The early 1970s brought into relief the internal contradictions of the capitalist system of production and distribution. This was never more evident than in Britain at the time. The trade unions, previously illegal had become more powerful and integrated as they defended the rights of their members. The very existence of the union movement exposed the conflictual nature of capitalism. The trade unions caused havoc in Britain in the early 1970s. But before we consider the role of the trade unions, it is important to understand what was happening on the capital side at the time. After the Monetarist ideas of Milton Friedman and his colleagues at the University of Chicago and beyond had seeped out of the academy into the policy and lobbying circles, it became obvious that capital would mount a major action against the unions and governments that gave them succour. Corporations and big money were far from passive. They didn’t buy the line that the Left has been lured into believing that the state had become increasingly powerless as capitalism became more global. Far from it. They got more organised than ever! The British Labour Party became lambs for the …

The Powell Manifesto – 1971 – a major turning point

On August 23, 1971, a US lawyer Lewis F. Powell, Jr published the now famous Attack on American Free Enterprise System, which he had prepared for the US Chamber of Commerce.

He published the ‘Powell Memo’ (or Powell Manifesto) just two months before he assumed a position as US Supreme Court Judge, courtesy of the corrupt Richard Nixon. The contents of the ‘Memo’ were not made public prior to his elevation.

The Memo was a major turning point in the way the corporate sector approached the political system.

Prior to assumi...

Wednesday, 23 March


Chaos in Europe and the flawed monetary system Bill Mitchell – billy blog

I spend a fair bit of time in various airports each month and hate the onerous security checks, which at times seem petty in the extreme. It always amused (not the right word) me that a passenger could just walk straight on with a bag full of duty free whisky which would make a lethal weapon if smashed, yet characters like me with pins in my legs (old bike crashes) have to nearly strip each time we have to fly. Now I suppose they will have security screening outside the terminal entrance just to enter. The authorities would have been better ensuring that their youth had access to employment rather than allowing them to wallow in unemployment and the resulting social exclusion. It is too simplistic to attribute the growing dangers in Europe and elsewhere to concentrations of high unemployment. But if a society deliberately denies a particular generation of the chance to gain employment and, instead, vilifies them as lazy, wanton individuals then it is easy to see why those characters will conclude that society has nothing to offer. In Europe where these manifestations are becoming increasingly obvious, the flawed monetary system is at the heart of the problem. It has failed categorically and the fall out of that failure is multi-dimensional.

The suburbs of Molenbeek (inner west of Brussels) and Schaerbeek (inner North-East) are both poor areas with elevated levels of unemployment and people on income support. The former has a male unemployment rate of around 29 per cent and a female rate around 33 per cent. The latter has similarly elevated levels of joblessness.

If we look at unemployment rates at the NUTS2 level of disaggregation we see that the Brussels (Région de Bruxelles-Capitale/Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest) region currently has 39.5 per cent of its 15 to 24 year olds without work and 18.3 per cent of all those over 15 years of age, the latter has similarly elevated levels of joblessness.

The Euroz...

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