Q and A


Just post your question in the comments section below, and I look forward to replying.
~Dick

dick-smith-fair-go-divider

124 Comments

  • Hi Dick,

    We watched the interview this morning between you and David Koch and unfortunately found him lacking in respect for your opinion, over-talking you and just basic poor manners. We have now read your information on the overpopulation issue and agree totally with your findings. If you ever find a honest & trustworthy representative, willing to create a political party with this policy plan in mind, we would support it 100%, to the point of running in our local electorate. Sometime has got to change & I believe we should start now…

  • Hi Dick,

    I still remember receiving the first issue of Australian Geographic in 1986 when I was 10 years old.

    Whilst most children today spend much of their free time in front of iPad screens, my three children are busy restoring a forest in Gippsland. Our passion is biodiversity and a sustainable future for Australia.

    I’d be delighted if you would spare 8 minutes to watch the documentary we made, which screened at the Mount Best Short Film Event on Saturday.

    Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/xL54lpysPik

    Enjoy! And thank you for everything…

    Katie James and Family

  • Hi Dick , I definitely support your movement but you are wrong about a few things.
    You say that having more people wont help drought affected farmers- wrong, because that’s more taxpayers to pay for their agro- welfare that they need to survive.
    You say that every Australian family has a population plan, _ I don’t think people think that way- they are thinking of themselves. It costs a lot to have children in Australia , but people are happy to reap the financial benefit of population growth in other countries , i.e. The cheap labour that gets you a 30 dollar electric drill from Bunnings or a 2 dollar can of tomatoes from Italy ( most horticultural work in Italy is done by African migrants ).
    You say that we dont have to sacrifice anything to be sustainable – that’s wrong – the incredible cheapness of fossil fuels has made the modern world possible and all the things that go with it. I want to hear public figure say that we can and should accept a materially lower standard of living, but of course no politician will ever say that, and even you wont . But nevertheless you come the closest of any public figure I have seen, to telling this like it is – so I am on board!

    • Lloyd, a great letter, however I have never said, “that we don’t have to sacrifice anything to be sustainable”. In fact, I’m positive that our present rate of using 1.8 times the world’s resources can’t go on forever.

      Also, I think we’re going to have a lower material standard of living forced on us in the future, however, if I supported such a thing at the present time I would be immediately accused of being hypocritical because of my own personal wellbeing.

      I agree most parents are thinking of themselves in relation to the number of children they have. It would be great if we could get our politicians to think of themselves, their own families and their grandchildren and also have a population plan. After all, so many things are driven by self-interest it seems to be a human frailty.

    • Jason, I don’t know a lot about the Queensland election but I suggest you vote for a politician who has a population policy, otherwise there are going to be more and more young people in Queensland who will never have a proper career.

  • Dear Dick,
    Congratulations with your new website because I agree with your views and what you are striving to achieve. I have not read all of your articles but when browsing the Questions and Answers page I was very surprised to learn that you support nuclear power for electricity generation.
    I do not support nuclear power for many reasons which I will not detail here. It will make my point too lengthy.
    I urge you to read Gar Smith’s book (which is American) “Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth” which I hope, will change your mind about the nuclear industry.
    Did you know as a result of the Fukushima accident that the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency reported a “radiation cloud” over the country’s east coast with radiation levels eight times above normal ?
    Even uranium is a finite resource.
    Some web links for quick reading in case you decide not to read the book are:
    http://www.chelseagreen.com/nuclear-roulette
    http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/13443-we-are-being-nuked-with-false-information-on-atomic-energy
    While it is true that wind and sunlight are not continuous, (a nuclear power plant needs to shut down to replace spent fuel rods).
    Gas or LNG is useful for sudden electricity demands. but then that is exported for “peanuts” and we are “charged the earth” !!! A point for you to raise ?
    Have you considered other continuous energy forms like – wave power, hydro , geothermal etc. ?
    Kind Regards
    Frank

    • Frank, thanks very much for your question. Yes, I’ve certainly considered other energy forms like wave power, hydro and geothermal. They all appear to be enormously expensive or are not “continuous”. In relation to nuclear power, the reason I’m not turned off nuclear because of the Fukushima incident is the same reason I still fly internationally by airlines, despite the fact that lots of airlines have crashed. I believe after every accident safety is improved and I look at the resultant level of safety. You seem to be personally obsessed with Fukushima – where not one life was lost from radiation but fifteen thousand lives were lost because of the tsunami wave. The French seem to have 70% of their nuclear power humming away without any great problems. In my flights around the world France has always been the country with the least air pollution and greatest visibility levels. For base load power, I simply can’t see anything that is low carbon that competes with nuclear.

  • Just a simple question from a simple soul. You say you hate ALDI coming into Australia but they have been great for us! Our big supermarkets were making us so angry by ripping us off so much but now they are so scared and just look how much they have brought their prices down! Unbelievable! I say thanks to ALDI and it’s great they are a family company so don’t have to pander to the shareholders – just their customers which is the way all businesses should operate. Just look at the hatred for the big banks now! Massive profits for the shareholders but jobs being stripped. Can’t understand why people don’t use building societies instead as they are owned by their members and profits generally go towards charities. So thanks to ALDI and you don’t have to shop there if you’re still a loyal Woolworths shopper!!

    • I certainly don’t hate Aldi, in fact I admire them but I believe they are an example of “extreme capitalism” and they will completely change the way of life that we know in Australia today. I have always predicted they will be immensely successful because they have very low overheads – primarily from not employing many workers. They are incredibly smart and greedy capitalists. They are owned by a family trust in Germany, I think made up of the descendants of the original founders. Wouldn’t you think the billions they would be making in Germany would be enough? But no, or possibly they could have come to Australia because they feel sorry for Australians having to pay the higher prices from our Aussie owned supermarkets, primarily because they employ far more Australians and the overheads are higher.

      You say our big supermarkets are “ripping us off” however they are in a very competitive field making three or four cents in the dollar which is distributed to lots of Aussie shareholders, mainly superannuation funds and the like so it’s spread out amongst all Australians.

      Every cent of the Aldi profit will eventually go back to Germany, making that trust and family even wealthier. Wouldn’t you think they would already have enough?

      You are also correct they don’t have to pander to shareholders like the typical mums and dads who have their superannuation invested in Australia so they can have a decent retirement. I predicted that Aldi will eventually take over Coles or Woolies and then Walmart will come here and take over the other, we won’t own even our own supermarket chains and all of the profits and wealth will head off to the northern hemisphere.

      In the end Australians will be poorer with more and more people out of work. Never underestimate the incredible greed of modern “extreme capitalism”.

  • hi dick greg from Adelaide why the hell are you not in parliament clearly you have the brains and something that the majority of aussies are screaming out for and that is common sense, please take the plunge if not only for this generation but generations beyond and you will have endless support my friend, kind regards greg

    • The reason I am not in Parliament is that would be an incredibly frustrating place to be. I’m sure there are lots of good people there but the way our present democracy works and the way the media insists that our politicians follow a ritual and become actors would certainly not suit me.

  • Are you going to run your party in the next Federal election? If you do you have my vote! We need someone with your vision at the helm. I agree they are ruining our country and we cannot sustain these high levels of immigration.
    Thankyou for your hard work.
    Jacquie

    • You ask, “Are you going to run your party in the next Federal election”? Jackie, I don’t have a party, I’m hoping one of the major parties will bring in a population policy – if they don’t I believe they are doomed. My problem in getting into politics or starting a new party is getting enough competent people to surround myself with. My success has always come from getting lots of capable people to work with me and that takes years to develop competent and trustworthy people. At the age of 73 I don’t have that time, unfortunately.

  • Dear Mr Smith,

    I’m a young entrepreneur just starting out my first production based business from home and I’m looking to expand in the next few years enough to finally employ people.

    There’s very few jobs in S.A and production is down big time, my first job was packing weet-bix for Sanitarium at the Adelaide Hackney factory, it was also the first time I was made redundant as they closed the factory and a lot of good people lost their jobs then.
    Since I’ve had many many jobs from working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital as an orderly to working as a teaching assistant in an Indigenous community in the N.T. It seems apparent to me that production based industry has taken a huge dive and this has cost a lot of people their work and our economy as well.

    My main questions are;

    1. How big of an impact do you think the APRA policies that are on the table at the moment (have been in development since 2012) will have on the housing market and the jobs market? The policies suggest that the gov and banks will be able to bail themselves out with depositors money which is utterly ridiculous.

    2. The Citizens Electoral Council proposed instating a Glass Steagall act to protect depositors with a public banking system for the housing market, micro business loans etc. This will separate the housing market from the speculative market (which includes positions which can be used to bet against businesses and economies).
    Do you think that’d work to protect the peoples assets from the tumultuous speculative markets?

    3. When you were 26 how many jobs had you worked by that time?

    4. Do you think we need to help our farmers change to higher leverage crops with higher production like Hemp or Moringa Olifera? Moringa is a tree than can be intensively cultivated to produce several hundred tonne per hectare annually of nutrient dense leafy greens and seeds which can be used to purify water compared to a lucky annual double cropping of wheat which on average produces only 6 tonne per hectare.

    If you’re ever in Adelaide I would love to talk with you sometime. I greatly respect your work, efforts, transparency and candor which are rare commodities these days.

    I apologize for the long questions, but APRA is going to be voted on in 3 weeks and it seems like nobody knows anything about this but they know everything about the same sex marriage debate. It’s a legitimate economic threat of a policy.

    • My answers to your questions;
      1. I’m not an expert on this I’m hoping they will do something.
      2. I think it is a good idea to separate the housing market from the speculative market, but I don’t know if big business would allow that to happen. Remember, in a democracy where the funding of political parties comes from donations, the political parties normally have to keep big business on side. That’s why with my Fair Go Manifesto I would abolish funding of parties from donations.
      3. By the age of 26 I was running Dick Smith Electronics and I had two different jobs before then, one working for Findlay Communications fixing two-way radios and the other working for Weston Electronics fixing and then as a salesman selling two-way radios to the taxi industry.
      4. Yes, any assistance to farmers would be a good idea however we are wasting our time if we think it’s going to come from the government. Surely the farmers themselves must be looking at these crops to see if they can earn better money – I hope so.

      I’m sorry for such short answers unfortunately I have no plans to go to Adelaide at the present time.

  • dear mr smith, there is a lot of bullshit on face book but I would like to know how much are pensioners are paid fortnightly and how much illegal imigrants get and why

    • Andy, I’m pretty sure the pension is about $888 per fortnight and I don’t know how much illegal immigrants get paid – I don’t think there is a very high number of illegal immigrants in Australia and most of them are here because they have over stayed a visa after coming in by plane.

  • Heres a new argument to ponder…. If robotics and ai are on the increase and you increase the population in a particular region what happens to that population as they compete with all the legacy pressures as well as new pressures caused by technology

    • Mark, a good point to ponder. I have a feeling that in the end wages and salaries will be pushed down. That’s why Bill Gates believes there should be a tax placed on robotics – in effect as there is on human labour, something well worth pondering.

  • Dick can you tell me and the general public how much money has Julie Bishop given in donations and foreign aid of Australian money to other countries since she became Foreign minister ? I bet it will be hard to find out.

    • Bruce, no, I can’t tell you how much Julie Bishop on behalf of the Australian Tax Payers, which is what I think you mean, has given away to overseas countries. I have a feeling that a wealthy country like Australia has an obligation to assist developing countries. I would like to see quite a substantial amount of the money going towards assisting families in developing countries so they have control of their own fertility and can decide how many kids they can give a good life to.

    • Vicki, the only way I can see us solving the electricity price hikes if we want to reduce carbon, is to go nuclear for base load power, however this is almost impossible because 60% of Australians are opposed to nuclear.

      It is a nightmare to me that even the Greens are opposed to nuclear when it looks to me as if nuclear is the only way of ensuring lower cost base load power with low carbon emissions.

      Constantly we are told that renewable can compete, however this is quite often a total con. Yes, when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing renewables are competitive however on a winter’s night with no wind blowing people will not accept having no power.

      Also, fossil fuels are incredibly cheap because they are result of hundreds of millions of years of stored energy.

      One of the reasons the world has got nowhere in reducing carbon in the atmosphere is that the whole world economic system is based on cheap fossil fuel power.

      France is 70% nuclear and even provides power to Denmark and Germany at certain peak times -when the sun is not shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Many of my really Green friends love to go to France because of the wonderful food and wine and they don’t seem to be worried about the 70 nuclear power plants humming away with what seems to be very high levels of safety.

      I’m not saying nuclear is without risk – everything in life has risk, however I have a feeling that a modern nuclear power plant is a very safe way to go if you want to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and still have pensioners being able to afford to keep warm in winter.

  • Dick, Do you agree that there should an ICAC entity set up for all tiers of government? We’re horrified at the level of seemingly increased corruption over the past six years or so. Our local government elections were awash with pro development so called independent candidates being funded by developers and managed by the local LNP federal member. Never seen anything like it.

    • Mal and Barbara, I’m not that pro putting in even more government bureaucracies, which this would entail. I had a feeling if we use the Fair Go Manifesto idea of banning political party donations, we would solve a lot of these problems.

    • Lisa, I have absolutely no idea on that one. Of course, United Nations was set up with good intentions and let’s hope it has probably prevented a few World Wars, however I think it is most likely the fact that we now have nuclear weapons as the reason we haven’t had a third World War. Some would not agree with me, and in balance I hope being a member of the United Nations has advantages for Australia.

  • Hi Dick,
    I am not expert on economics, but I have a query if let say in a developed western nation a party along the lines of a pro-environment/end to inequality/social balance eg. sustainability orientated one were to win a national level election and take government. What would be the immediate and possible short term reactions economically at the domestic or international scale?

    • Luke, I think the difficulty would be for such a party to actually win a national election. In most cases the vested interests, primarily being the very wealthy, will do everything they can to keep the status quo, preventing a party like that being elected.

  • Hi Dick,

    I totally agree that over population will destroy our quality of life, just as it has in other countries such as India and China, where a lot of immigrants to Australia come from. And people come here because they want a quality of life for themselves and their children, which no longer exists in the countries they leave behind.

    The other issue that also threatens our quality of life is the offshoring of jobs from this country by corporations, both local and foreign that are more focused on share price and excessive senior executive salaries and bonuses, than they are about Australians. There continues to a constant drive by these corporations to move any jobs that can be performed offshore, in order to reduce their operating costs. The insane thing about this action is that these corporations are also reducing their consumer base as they increase the unemployment rate in the country. Who can afford to buy the products and services these companies sell if they don’t have a job? It’s not just manufacturing that is being offshored, we are losing jobs, such as human resources, customer service representatives and information technology workers, to name a few.

    These foreign multinationals not only provide offshored services to Australian companies, but also to State and Federal government departments. Our tax dollars are being paid to foreign companies that provide an offshored workforce. The other issue is a lot of these foreign multi-nationals are based out of countries like Singapore, because of their lower tax rates, meaning a lot of these companies are not paying tax here, or minimal tax. It’s ironic that US companies are providing I.T. to the Australian Taxation Office and pay almost zero tax.

    The middle class in the US is becoming extinct, as workers there have lost their jobs to low cost centers in poor countries. The same has happened here and it’s about time we stopped. If this continues, then we’ll have more people on unemployment, no longer paying tax, on top of the foreign corporations that are no longer paying their tax. Any wonder the government think that by increasing the population here, that they’ll have more tax paying citizens, when they could just simply curb the offshoring/cheap shoring of the workforce and make these companies pay their fair share of tax on profits that have been made here.

    • Ramon, thanks very much your well thought-out post. Of course, it’s all a consequence of our present economic system, which must have perpetual growth in profits otherwise share values will drop and we’re told the whole economic system will collapse. I see we need an adjustment in capitalism. I think it is only going to happen after some catastrophe occurs. We’re following the USA where our middle-class is becoming extinct, and that is very serious.

  • Dick, Hopefully you will understand my reason for asking this question. If a group of people with similar convictions and beliefs wished to start a new political party to advance their cause (if they only have the one), do you think that adding extra aims and ambitions (sweeteners like ‘cheaper housing’) would advance their prospects. Or do you think that with each extra platform they risk alienating the original flock.
    0419 386 899

    • Robert, a very good question. Yes, I think in many cases by adding a few sweeteners you’d get extra support for the political parties. We humans seem to be like this. But when it gets down to it, most of us realise that you have to pay you own way and eventually live in balance. That’s why with good leadership from the top, we can get our wealthy tax payers to pay a bit more tax and everyone to work a bit harder to ensure that our children have at least the standard of living that we’ve been able to have.

  • Hi Dick,is it possible for the Federal Government to stop or reduce imigration,or is Australia told by outside influences how many we must take each year,and if not what are our chances of ever reducing this rediculous amount of imigration.Cheers Nick.PS keep up the good work,Australia needs you.

    • Nick, it is absolutely possible for the Australian federal government to decide on the number of immigrants that are coming here. We are a sovereign country, and we can control our borders. Every country in the world does this. Just imagine if we had no immigration plan at all. There would be millions of people wanting to come here and very quickly the standard of life that they wanted to attain to could be destroyed. Gerry Harvey is wrong when he says that we’re going to go to 100 million people and we have no control over it. We’re a democracy and we have full control.

  • Hello Dick, firstly I would like to start by saying how much I admire you, you tirelessly continue to try and make Australia a better place to live.
    Being a mum I found when shopping I spent a lot of time reading the labels of the grocery items I wanted to buy to see if it’s made in Australia and if the contents were Australian produce. Sadly it’s becoming harder and harder to find Australian made Groceries. I wrote to Coles and IGA and suggested as there are isles that contain Asian, European or even Gluten Free Groceries could there not be an isle that contains Australian made Groceries? That would save customers so much time and would help Australian Manufacturer as well as creating more Awareness 😁

    • Antje, thank you very much for your positive comments. Thanks everyone for supporting Dick Smith Foods. We’ve now given a total of $9 million away to important causes, plus we’ve assisted Australian farmers and producers. So please go out of your way and look for our products – our peanut butter, breakfast cereal, and OzEmite etc.

  • How do you intend to make the government understant the Australia cannot take 200.000 immigrants a year!? If your party makes it into Parliament, I suppose there’s a good chance. I feel the blindness of the govt in this area almost frightening & it’ll be worst if we get a Labor govt.

    • Vivien, with 8 out of 10 Australians agreeing we need to have a population plan, I have deluded myself (hopefully not) into believing we can get one of the major parties to have a population policy. So that’s my plan. In the meantime, I’m certainly supporting Sustainable Australia.

  • Hello Dick,

    After having spent several weeks campaigning local Councillors regarding a 10 two-storey development in a low density residential zone, with double garages, the developer is taking the rejected application to VCAT, as is his right.

    I would welcome any thoughts and advice regarding how to present the best possible case to VCAT.

    Regards,

    Sandra

    • Sandra, my only advice would be for you to join Sustainable Australia. Or try to get one of the major political parties to abandon their endless growth plans. Just about every house is going to be bulldozed and replaced with high-rise if we’re going to have endless growth and end up with 100 million or even 1 billion in Australia. That’s the present non-plan. It’s one of endless growth and you won’t be able to solve it just in your local area unless we can get the federal government to have a policy.

    • Allie, I can understand why the government is pushing for fracking and gas production in farming areas. It’s because they have to have endless population growth and that will require endless increased energy usage. I’m amazed at those who are against fracking and gas production quite often do so little about linking it with our endless growth economic system. We have to solve the economic endless growth problem before we can solve the fracking problem in farming areas in my belief.

  • I believe in what your doing Mrs smith .I am finding it difficult to find work and being unemployed for so long. What the government is doing is wrong. I dont have a problem with immigration but to much over crowding in the city’s housing affordability poor infrastructure to accommodate all the extra people not enough jobs for everyone more strain and impact on the surrounding environment the list goes on

    • Good on you Brandon. Thanks for having the guts to write. I know there are lots of really genuine hard working people who can’t get jobs. And that’s going to be worse if we increase our population at the current rate. With automation and robotics, there’s likely to be less jobs not more. Of course it’s not just Australia, it’s the whole world that needs to reduce population growth. If anyone can help with some influence at the United Nations, that would be great.

  • Why can’t we bring in a debit’s tax system so it is fair on everyone. This would mean corporations pay their fair share of taxes instead of legitimately ‘manipulating’ the system the way it is now. This would be one of the richest countries on earth if we did this. I don’t care that this system would make the big guys not do business in Australia, the only business they do here is to take our money and bolt anyway, there is no business left in Australia that is creating jobs, we will soo have to close down or hand it over.

    • Debbie, one of the problems of fixing the tax system has already been covered by some of the questions in this section – that is that the big companies will immediately move overseas to a lower tax environment. Yes they are that incredibly selfish. No doubt they’d leave their kids here in high-quality private schools whilst they make all their money in some lower tax regime. Under my system, they’ll be outed because we’ll be publishing the tax that the wealthiest 1% pay.

      • Naming and shaming is something foreign to most Australians but it’s time that we dropped those old fashioned attitudes because the criminal element has just got worse and knows that they can get away with anything.
        Naming and shaming the people who don’t pay their fair share of taxes, those who rort the system and particularly our lawyers, judges and magistrates just might be enough to bring them back to common decency.

        • Greg, I have a bit of a problem with the naming and shaming, however simply having a law which states that the 1% highest tax payers have their tax published as everyone does in Norway sounds a reasonable way to go. Anyone who doesn’t want to be on the list can give away some of their money so they’re no longer in the wealthiest 1%! What could be fairer?

  • Hi Dick,
    What do you think about how the people running this great country are selling off all of its assets while running up a huge foreign debt ?

    • Andrew, it’s what our politicians have to do to balance the budget at the moment. It’s not good for future generations, which is why I’m trying to do something about it.

  • Hi Dick, have you had any conversations with Corrie Bernardi, he is also pushing for a common sense approach. I am just not convinced that partnering with Hanson will enhance the Fair Go movement as she is not intelligent or articulate enough to be seen as anything other than racist. Other than that, I have no other questions as your views are exactly the same as mine…Mankind’s single biggest problem is first & foremost, mankind itself.
    Keep it up Dick…..you are doing a fantastic job, bravo!

    • Thanks for your advice regarding Cory Bernardi. Wow – I’m sure I’d be attacked in the same way I’m attacked because I’ve spoken to Pauline Hanson. By the way, I’m not ‘partnering with Hanson’. Just stating the obvious – and that is that if one of the major parties doesn’t come up with a population policy (something that 8 out of 10 Australians want) they will end up losing votes to One Nation. It’s just common sense.

  • Hi Dick, I’m a supporter of your policies regarding sustainable population however it is widely rumoured that you have made financial contributions to One Nation. If that is true do you intend to contribute financially to that party in the future? Thanks, Regards Peter

    • Thanks for supporting my policies regarding a sustainable population. No, I’ve not contributed financially to One Nation. What I’ve said is that my plan at the present time is to find a publicity campaign at the time of the next election to ensure that candidates with a population policy get in. My plan (maybe dream-world) is that one of the major parties by the time of the next election will have a proper population policy. Why shouldn’t they? 8 out of 10 Australians want to have a population policy for Australia.

      PS. I’ve never been a member of a political party and over the years I’ve given some donations (primarily to Labor under Bob Hawke and a bit to the Libs – but not very much). I’ve recently joined my first political party – Sustainable Australia and I hope others will join with me in becoming a member of this party and giving William Bourke the maximum support. However, I’m still pushing for one of the major parties to have a population policy. I think we’re more likely to get change this way.

  • All Australians should be active in bringing about immediate change to the lack of royalties being paid by multinational companies who are ripping our resources out of the ground for next to no gain for Australians. Look to Norway for a decent model on how to benifit from gas and oil assets they have saved a trillion dollars in futures funds and have spread the wealth amongst their citizens. In Australia we have an over taxed under serviced population in massive debt. Wake up Australia lobby our useless government who are more interested in pandering to big companies than looking after the Australian people…Absolute disgrace that this situation has been allowed to happen! Federal politicians past and present from all persuasions should hang their heads in shame…you have failed the Australian people.
    What do you think we can do to rectify this situation?

    • Richard, I agree with you totally. Norway has an amazing sovereign wealth fund. We should be doing the same thing in Australia. We haven’t done that, so we’re basically selling off our children’s future. It is ‘an absolute disgrace’ but it will be hard to do something about it with our present economic system.

  • I fear that the The Housing Affordability Crisis, fueled by speculation, negative gearing, international buyers and low interest rates will cause a massive financial crisis in the near future. Your average home in Melbourne or Sydney can earn more capital in a 12 month period than your average worker can in the same period. This simply doesn’t make any sense. I think speculators forget that borrowed money needs to be paid back…

    It seems that no political party wants to even look at the topic fearing they’ll be caught red handed with a pin in their hands when the bubble bursts. What are your thoughts on this issue? I fear we’re at a point now where there are very few good outcomes for they everyday hard working Australian.

    Thanks for standing up for us Dick! I’d also like you to know that my Career in Electronic Engineering was very much influenced by a fun way into electronics kit I received for Christmas at the age of 7 some 30 years ago.

    • All good points. Yes it looks as if it is going to be some giant crash before we fix the problems. That’s when humans work best. But it’s sad that we have to get to that situation.

  • Where do you stand on nuclear energy I’ve read it is very safe now especially in a country like ours not prone to earthquake’s or other major disasters

    • Pat, it’s interesting to see the number of questions and positive views about nuclear energy. I am a supporter of nuclear energy for base-load power. However, I have a feeling it is going to be very difficult to get it in Australia. There is just so much emotive belief that links nuclear power stations with nuclear bombs. I feel sure that if the two bombs had not been dropped in Japan, that every small town would probably have a small nuclear generator today and the climate change problems would not be as great. Not that I was against dropping the bombs – I understand tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives were saved and there’s certainly some truth in the fact that nuclear weapons since the 1950s have prevented a third world war.

  • Hi Dick,

    What do you have to say to this fellow who while he agrees with your ideas on immigration and getting money out of politics, criticises your tax proposals on the basis that they would lead to capital flight from Australia? :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hMs7wv59tg

    I’m also not sure how raising corporate tax like you suggest could be made to work without some form of protectionism or economic nationalism (not necessarily a bad thing) is this what you have in mind?

    Also if you’re interested in getting your message out via alt media, he has 64k subscribers on youtube and might be interested in a direct discussion with if you contact him you seeing as he just did an interview with David Leyonhjelm.

    Not taking a dig with this question, your main ideas are fantastic and much needed, this is more intended to foster some constructive debate on the implementation details.

    Cheers

    • Oswald, I’ll look at the video and may contact him to get some advice. Yes many say that if we put up our tax rates, capital will zip out of Australia to lower tax countries. These are generally countries that don’t have the social services and other advantages we have in Australia. I’m amazed that the wealthy are so selfish that they would direct their money to where the tax was lowest, not to where you could give the benefit to most people. The reason our prime minister is saying the corporate tax rate must come down is so we can compete with countries like America – which have a minimum wage of less than half ours and which don’t even have a universal healthcare system. The next thing, we’ll be lowering our tax rates to that of the Cayman Islands and that would mean very little government services at all. It would be a catastrophe.

  • I have read that you want to cut immigration to 70,000 per year.

    Why?

    When I look at our current population, and particularly Victoria where I live, I see that we currently, this year are making 50 gigalitres with the desalination plant and our natural rainfall is just below average. With these figures our water storage levels are declining. We also have “permanent water saving rules”. To me, that indicates we have more than reached the sustainable population level and we should be stopping immigration and considering ways to limit population growth.

    How do you view that?

    • Bryce, you could be correct. But if I started a campaign to have zero immigration it would get absolutely nowhere. We probably need a ‘Hitler walking into Poland moment’ to do something about our present problems. Yes, some people say we’re already over our sustainable population level. Of course, with human ingenuity it’s amazing what we can do. I have a feeling we could possibly have 100 million in Australia. But that would probably mean tens of millions without a proper job and many others on a minimum wage of about $7 an hour like they are in America. That’s half our minimum wage.

  • Hi Dick,
    My Q is in regard to housing affordability.
    My idea is price fixing, which simply means then when a newly constructed house is sold then the sale price becomes its value. The house could never be sold for more than this amount in the future unless there are significant improvements like pools or sheds.
    What are your thoughts

    • Brad, it is an interesting proposal. Have you read my document ‘The Aussie Housing Affordability Crisis: An Honest Debate’? It would mean taking the housing industry out of our complete market place of the free enterprise system. I think someone would be very brave to try and do that. There’s possibly be very big down-sides.

  • Hi Dick I am wondering if you can help us, with some advice with regards to how to fight a development application. We live In Tarrawanna NSW 2518, in a beautiful residential area of an older style. We are blessed to have a reserve behind us where horses roam, we have an abundance of wildlife and beautiful views to the Illawarra escarpment. the area in question has a creek running through it and we have always been told that it would be unsuitable for development as it is a flood zone. we have now received a DA proposing construction of 30 x 2/3 br 2 storey units, with underground parking and that 2 bridges will also have to be built in order to access the site. This is all 6m from our fence. We are horrified that this could be proposed and see it as development for the sake of development, providing no real benefits to our community, using the and purely because it is there land, absolute greed. How do we fight this, we are just regular home owners

    • Michelle, this is a really difficult one as every major political party and most councils want endless growth. Lucy Turnbull, the wife of prime minister, is the chair of the Greater Sydney Commission and it talking about Sydney going to 8 million – then no doubt 80 million or even 800 million – I’m not sure. She won’t answer me on this issue. My suggestion is that you try to get people in your council and in government who will support Sustainable Australia. Perhaps you could get Sustainable Australia going in your area.

  • Good afternoon Dick. We are facing an election here in Queensland. There is no doubt that infrastructure is a huge issue, especially in the South East corner. We are told about the large expected growth but no plans for real infrastructure. Water, power and roads, closely followed by rail. The Labor government hasn’t addressed it in any shape or form and sadly the LNP has no real plan. It’s a current disaster and will get much worse. We have serious issues. Will there be any involvement from you or the new party you are associated with? Cheers. Doug

    • Doug, the problem is no politician in a major party is game to doubt the endless growth issue. They then have to claim that our only problems are keeping up with infrastructure. Of course, the problem is you can’t have endless growth in a finite system. That’s what we should be talking about. We have to somehow get our capitalistic free-enterprise system to work with a different form of growth. A growth in efficiencies, and removing waste. Not just in digging more and more out of the ground.

  • cashless welfare, cards, do you agree with the concept of the cashless welfare card ?and should this be rolled out as a whole?, not necessary to those who misuse welfare, but as a technology based of going away from cash and offering more traceability and accountability of tax payers money.

    • Tony, I don’t have any expertise on the cashless welfare card. I do understand that a special card has helped in some aboriginal communities and a number of aboriginal people I’ve spoken to are very positive about it.

  • We need to make big changes, and existing political parties will resist all the way.
    The big 4 are so out of touch. What would the chances be of a party that stood candidates that we actually trusted?
    Public figures of great integrity and wipe the floor with this useless lot of politicians we have.

    • Lew, as I’ve stated before, unfortunately to be a successful political candidate in Australia you have to be an actor. If you got up and said exactly what you thought, it would be beaten up by the media that you weren’t ‘party loyal’ and your preselection would be removed or the party would not endorse you. Yes, they tell me that our democratic system is better than many other systems but probably only just a little bit better.

  • Hi Dick, What do you think of what is happening to the areas of the MacArthur, in South West Sydney. Developers own 83 % of our small rural town of Appin, Mt. Gilead is another example of a prime cattle farm still in use, with Historical significance dating back to MacArthur, Lend Lease has got its hands on that property. Mass Development in this area at a unsustainable rate. How can we tame it.

    • Sue, I am very concerned about the development of land in South-West Sydney. I fly over it all the time and I see the most beautiful productive land being converted into homes- all squeezed together. But the only way we’ll solve this problem is bringing our population growth down so we can live in balance.

  • Mr Smith
    Sir your name and logo are still part of kogan, i was your employee for 3 years and loved it!! I was a casual only never a permanant staff member, my dream died the day the stores closed for good.
    My question is..
    Will you consider re opening your brand of stores with prices that fit your employees and customers making it easier for staff to get more training and become permanant members of DSE and grow within the company, we need our jobs back!! Will YOU re consider bringing back DSE for good?
    Thank you
    Christina

    • Thanks for your positive comments. It’s interesting, Dick Smith Electronics was destroyed because of the greed of modern capitalism. The Woolworths board had constant pressure from the superannuation funds to funds to have never ending profit increases. This pressure was put on the management of Dick Smith Electronics who ended up opening over 300 shops – a totally unsustainable number. This is what happens with endless growth in business – it end up in collapse. No I simply won’t be opening a new Dick Smith Electronics. As you know, Dick Smith’s mainly sold electronic components to enthusiasts. And my friend Gary Johnson – who worked with me at Dick Smith – has kept that tradition alive with Jaycar. That’s where I buy my parts!

      • I understand where you are coming from but you kmow jay car wont hire people like me, they are only a male orientated store, its a shame because i was honored to work for you sir!! Would you consider putting more jobs out there for people like me and my hubby who are struggling to find jobs.

        • I had no idea that Jaycar won’t hire people like you – implying that you are a female. Why don’t you send me your resume and the type of job you’re looking for and I will approach Jaycar and see if they are interested. Your resume can be sent to PO Box 418, Terrey Hills, NSW, 2084.

  • How would you help our farmers and outback people to cope with this horrendous drought , that so many City dwellers & Politicians , seem totally ignorant about 🙁 .

    • Pauline, a really important question. I’ve just come back from a trip in the outback. And there is certainly a drought in many places, and it looks as if it’s getting worse. There’s one thing I can say and that is by having more people, the problem will be harder to fix. In fact just about of all of our problems we have in the world today are going to be harder to fix with more people. That is why I want a sustainable population policy.

  • Hi Dick. Great supporter of you and your businesses and had experience with you as a pilot back in the CASA days.

    Can i ask why you chose to support the new start up political group? I would have thought to make a change in the right direction you would have supported an established one such as one nation?

    • Brent, really good question. You’re no doubt commenting on the fact that I’m supporting Sustainable Australia. And of course, if I supported as established party such as One Nation, I’d immediately be attacked by 90% of the media. They would make out – as most do- that anyone who supports One Nation must be a full-blown racist. Of course the facts are different. Many people who support One Nation do not have a racist bone in their bodies. Yes, they may be a bit ‘tribal’ as most of us are. We support our own tribe whether it be our family, our extended family, or our country before we go off supporting other groups. I think it possibly has evolved in us since we were hunter-gatherers on the plains of Africa. I’ve been greatly criticised because I support One Nation’s policy in relation to bringing the immigration level of the long-term average of 70,000. No, I don’t agree with a number of other policies from One Nation- particularly the ban on Muslim immigration. I really feel from the kids of Muslims who should not be stopped from coming here because of the religions decisions of their parents. I’m sure many would agree with me.

  • Should we quarantine spending on transport infrastructure, such as urban railways and rural highways, from any possible cuts needed to rein in our national budget deficit? I get angry when I hear debates about deficit versus surplus, because I remember how the Howard Government built up bloated surpluses of more than $20 billion but didn’t put them into infrastructure, while the NSW Government is currently building transport links which won’t make Sydney’s network function properly. What good is a budget surplus when people are stuck in their cars because of woeful public transport? What good is infrastructure if you don’t build it right?

  • Hey Dick if a smart man like you opened up a super market that sold Australian owend products I think it would benefit farmers local industry any true blue Aussies would shop their first it would create jobs keeping the people going. Then we could start buying our country back do you agree

    • Tony, the problem with an Aussie shop selling Australian owned products is its very difficult for it to be viable. I operated a shop for Dick Smith Foods at Belrose for about a year and we lost about $6000 per month. We just couldn’t get the turnover while selling at a reasonable price that would cover the high wages that we pay here in Australia.

  • Hello!
    What is your opinion on Australia’s lack of investment on future nuclear for energy?
    I’ve seen before you have stated that Nuclear should be a last resort, but with the developments over the last decade, there are much more options that are both proliferation resistant and safer.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, nuclear reactors could bridge the transition between non-renewables to an approaching 100% target. For instance, the Whyalla Steelworks require roughly 60MW to be generated on-site, with the excess power purchased from the grid. Unless an entire thermal-solar plant was supplied to them, or some unknown power storage system, there is no renewable source available to use.

    Thank you for the opportunity to peer into your thinking process,
    -Aaron

    • Aaron, in my view, so that our pensioners in future can afford power, if we want to go low-carbon I can’t see any other answer than nuclear. However, it’s going to be really hard. There is so much emotive pressure against using nuclear. It’s really sad. Imagine if we didn’t fly by airline because we judged the safety of airlines on the Russian Aeroflot company of the 70s. They crashed their airlines every few weeks and killed thousands of people. Yet, many people dismiss nuclear energy because of what happened at Chernobyl. By answer to them is: Well don’t get the old Soviet Union to build and operate your nuclear power station. Countries like the UK, France, and Germany have shown that nuclear power can be operated for many decades with very high levels of safety. Yes, everything has risk. However I have a fear the risk is greater from burning fossil fuels which looks as if is the way we’re going to go.

  • From our greatly privileged position in the world it may seem that your campaign is focusing on the negative side of the immigration issue. Of course we need to bring the population growth to sustainable levels for the sake of our environment by reducing the immigration rate but this can only happen with increased foreign aid, increased refugee intake and extrication from Australia’s collaboration in foreign military activities that contribute greatly to these mass migrations of population. Could you please outline your policies regarding these three issues.

    • Cam, you bring up some really good points. Lots of people say to me ‘Dick, with over 7 billion people in the world, why are you going on about whether we have 24 or 100 million in Australia. Surely it’s irrelevant.’ Have a look on my Fair Go Manifesto (www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/pdf/Dick-Smith-Fair-Go-Aug.pdf) – I believe it covers my views on the issues. Most importantly I want to concentrate our foreign aid to educating women. So the number of children brought into the world are all wanted and can be given a decent life in the future. Some people say to me that because the world problem is so great we may as well not worry about it in Australia. I don’t agree. If I had power to do something, it would be to make sure the United Nations developed a population policy. For some reason, possibly based on religion, they’re not game to have any policy on this important issue.

  • Hi Dick
    Another question. What do you think of welfare cards instead of welfare money being given out?
    Also, I think young people who have left school and two years later still not working should have mandatory enlistment in airforce, army or navy. What is your opinion on that?

    Thanks

    • Natalie, well I’m not that impressed. But I suppose they’re just reflecting what the opinion polls and their advisers tell them. Our democratic system has its flaws. And one of the flaws is that our politicians have to be actors. If you actually got a politician who said it as it was, say like John Hewson, they will end up not becoming prime minister. It’s us, the electors, that insist on having actors. And of course it’s the media who goes along with it. Also, in the situation with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, they are all members of a party. So they have to make compromises the whole time. It’s one reason I’m not interested in becoming prime minister until I’m called as dictator! – Just joking.

  • Hi Dick. Comment first, We are in this situation with electricity because of our State and Federal Governments, allowing the sell off of the electricity generation plants, no one else to blame there very simple. My question is. When is our elected governments going to stop masquerading around like a bunch of clowns and do something positive, to fix the problem ?? They keep shifting the blame, you cant keep selling assets, and not expect there to no problems down the line .

    • Paul, the problem is that our politicians will be thrown out if we don’t have perpetual growth in our economic system. That’s shown in our present system to be best gained by flogging everything off that you can. Can’t really blame the politicians – they’re reflecting what 51% – or at least 49% – of Australians vote for.

  • Hi Dick,

    Are you planning on building a political party? Do you have candidates?
    What’s you opinion on renewable energies for Australia?

    • No Travis, not planning to start a political party. Just far too hard and far too long a time to get enough capable people. In my business career it’s normally taken 2-3 years to get a capable person for each job. And that’s after trying 2-3 candidates that haven’t worked out. My plan is to try and get one of the major political parties to have a population policy in the meantime, I’m also supporting Sustainable Australia. In relation to renewable energy, I can see a real problem. In a given 12 months period, it’s easy to get up to 50% of the total energy from renewables. Germany has shown that. But it’s the other 50% that’s the problem. The only low-carbon way I can see of doing that is to go nuclear, but that seems to be a complete no-no in Australia. Everything else I’ve looked at is far more expensive than our present system of using fossil fuels for base-load power. Unfortunately, many of my friends who are pro-renewables fudge the figures all of the time to make the renewables from storage look ok. I’ve got an electric car which is completely powered from the sun and has a large battery back-up so I can charge it when I come back at night. That car costs about 4x per kilometer to drive compared to a petrol version of the same vehicle. That’s because the capital cost of the car and the solar equipment is quite high and has to be written off over a 10-15 year period.

  • Hi Dick i have been following your efforts since i was a kid i’m now 68.

    What is you opinion on building a nuclear power plant or two in the middle of the dessert. we could get the water for it from the north and then develop the area into a huge garden for our food security. sure it would cost us heaps but with todays pricing it wouldn’t take long to pay for it surely.

    Thankyou in antipication

    Neil Ludbey

    • Neil, over the past few years I’ve been positive about nuclear for base power, however, I just can’t see it happening here. This is because about 80% of people I talk to are against nuclear. Even the young kids will tell me that they’re told at school that nuclear is bad. This seems incredibly hypocritical considering we’re one of the largest exporters of uranium in the world. And some of that uranium goes to France where they have 70% nuclear power. Renewables are possible – especially in a place like Australia but I have a feeling that the costs will be far higher than using fossil fuels.

  • Do you have any ideas on how to stop this monster adani from its plan … we are running out of time .. we have protested ,written … found endless reasons it should not go ahead ….can’t get labour onside …
    This spells a final disaster for a world heritage site !!!
    What can we do ????

    • Jane, one of the problems re the Adani protest is very few are linking it to the fact we’re going to need more and more energy if we increase the population from 24 million to 100 million – that’s what it’s going to be at the end of this century at the present growth-rate of 1.6% per year. The politicians are concerned about the fact that energy prices will get higher and higher if we don’t open more cheap coal mines. And then the politicians will get voted out. The main reason we have such a high material standard of living in the Western world is that fossil fuels have given us incredibly cheap energy. It’s going to very hard to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. I would like to believe the claim that renewables can be as cheap. From all the research I’ve done renewables can certainly be cheap when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. However, after five mornings of cloud and no wind, the only renewable power is that available from storage and that so far is very expensive.

  • Gidday Dick…Why is our government importing so many immigrants that don’t work and is spiraling centrelink payments through the roof and what happens when they reach retirement age…??? And when we the real Australian is set retire get stuff all…???

    • Rob, the main reason is that politicians behind all this growth is the fact that we haven’t worked out how to operate capitalism without perpetual growth in the use of resources and energy.

  • Hi Dick,

    Can you clear up your position on one nation?

    I read an article saying you were supporting them.

    I’m back on board if that is untrue.

    Cheers
    Matt

    • Yes, delighted to. This one is simply media distortion of the facts – happens all the time. However, I do support One Nation’s immigration policy in regard to numbers, in which they state they wish to return to the sustainable average of about 70,000 per annum. I do not support One Nation’s policy of Muslim immigration. However, it must be said I don’t agree with the common opinion that all One Nation supporters are racists. A racist is a truly evil and terrible person. A racist is a person equivalent to Hitler who believed because of birth alone some people are superior or inferior to others. This is clearly rubbish. One of the prime reasons we’re getting nowhere with this population issue – considering 8 out of 10 Australians want a policy on it – is that there are those out there who quickly link it with racism or being anti-immigration. This stops all discussion. It’s so easy to label someone racist when you don’t agree with all of their views. From what I can make out, nearly all of us are quite ‘tribal’ in the way we support our particular group. My Green friends are certainly very tribal. Also Matt, be very carful about rubbishing and putting down anyone who supports One Nation. Most of the people I’ve met who support One Nation are reasonable Australians and are not evil – they’re Australians who don’t want change to happen too quickly. That seems pretty human to me.

  • Morning Dick,.

    I share your dismay at our lack of public policy re population, you’ve given all the reasons so I won’t repeat them, my question is about local development.
    I’ve moved to the mid north coast, and am on the local council. (Nambucca Shire) We are being driven by developer demand for more subdivisions and opportunities for them to make money and not by community sentiment.
    At a council level, its like watching a zombie movie as we take the community in a direction without them every having any input into the level or type of ‘growth’.
    The Nambucca has a charm that has lots to do with it not resembling the Gold Coast, my question is.
    Do you see, as an extension of our need for a National population policy, that we need stability around regional population patterns?
    P.S. are you aware of whether the ‘Sustainabiliy Party’ is interested the third tier of government.

    Regards

    David

    • Dear David – To answer your question, yes I definitely believe we should have a national population policy – and I think eight out of ten Aussies agree. As I’ve mentioned many times, every Aussie family has a population policy – they don’t have 20 children. Aussie families have the number of children they believe they can give a good life to. We should be doing the same thing for the country. Yes, I’m pretty sure the Sustainable Party, now called Sustainable Australia has an interest in the third tier of government and is already putting up some candidates. I suggest you contact them: http://www.sustainableaustralia.org.au

  • Hi Dick

    So nuclear power is the the best way to be producing electricity at the moment, just look at France who has the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe and also some of the cheapest power with some of the new SMR having hydrogen as a by product which again is much cleaner to use than any battery powered car. Why is there never a sensible debate on this and how do we go about implementing this is Australia.

    • Allan, you are correct about nuclear power in France, however it’s going to be really hard to get some reasonable debate about this. Everything involves risk. I have a feeling that the risk of a modern nuclear power station is probably less than the results of opening more coal mines.

  • What is the overall efficiency of mining coal, burning coal to make steam to turn turbines to turn alternators consideringall the friction and heat losses through the whole process, and why no one has let the politicians andthepublic so they can compare against renewable energy.

    • Hi Bryce.

      You’re correct, there are incredible inefficiencies in converting fossil fuels to useable energy in the home. However, the problem I see with renewables is the fact that when there’s no sunshine and no wind, there’s no energy being generated.

      In a place like Adelaide for example, you can days and days of basically no wind and virtually no sun. Renewables are competitive when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. But when this is not happening, the costs go way up because of the costs of storage. It appears the most efficient are either batteries or pumped hydro. Any calculations that I’ve been able to do show that going 100% renewables in Australia at the moment would cost something between twice and 4 times what typical Australians may now pay for power.

      That’s the prime reason that it hasn’t been done anywhere in the world. It’s not so much that renewables are expensive than the fact that fossil fuels are so incredibly cheap. The Tesla battery for SA, I understand, will run the system at peak load for about 4 minutes. And there are times when you need peak load for many hours.

      Our present world economic system has been built on incredibly cheap fossil fuels and its going to be very difficult to move away from this.

      ~ Dick

      • Yep, ERoEI (Energy return on energy invested). Nuthin’ comes close to fossil fuels yet. Australians are the worst of the worst regarding CO2 pollution per capita. It is not all the fault of the average person. Inefficient aluminium smelters are not the product of ordinary people. However, we must change and we must change drastically. That doesn’t mean we sacrifice any happiness. Life would just be different, simpler, with important things like family and friends being paramount.

        If we don’t change though, the prognosis is very bad. The IPCC has under-reported climate change. Limits to Growth, published inn 1973 and revisited 30 years later by the CSIRO has a convergence of catastrophic failure of resources to sustain us by around 2035. We are in a Climate Emergency but we are in an emergency on many fronts

        • Steve, I like your comment ‘that doesn’t mean we sacrifice any happiness. Life would just be different, simpler, with important things like family and friends being paramount’. You are correct, but there are also other issues and that is how do you have enough money to pay for pensions and people who can’t get jobs. These are all very important issues that means we need to have a viable economic system. No one would want a repeat of Great Depression of the early 1930s. Fortunately we get 5000 times more energy from the sun every day than we use in the world even at our most inefficient way we do at the moment. So we do have potential for using renewables – we just have to get the storage problem down to an economic cost.

      • Well put Dick. BTW love your work! Have you a thought on geothermal energy. I once invested in a company in northern SA and thought the idea was great but have not heard of any more advancements in this area. Ideally it can operate anytime for instant power generation. Seemed like a no brainer!

        • Yes Lance, I’ve certainly considered geothermal energy. I’ve even visited that plant in Innamincka in northern South Australia. Unfortunately I don’t think it was viable and I don’t think the test plant is even operating at the moment. The problem is that fossil fuels are unbelievably cheap. To compete with fossil fuels is going to be very difficult.

    • The friction etc. losses pale into insignificance compared to the thermodynamic inefficiency, which comes down to some inescapable laws of physics. The efficiency of coal stations and the delivery grid isn’t hard to find on a search of credible technical websites.
      The efficiency of renewables is a bit harder to measure. Quite often, and erroneously, the energy that goes into making a renewable source, and the energy required to remake it, are not factored in, on purpose, to make them stack up a little better than coal. I do agree that we need to go to a fully renewable energy system but we can’t go cold turkey on coal and expect the renewables to magically take up the slack tomorrow.
      But here’s the thing – what is THE PROBLEM here – is it that we’re burning too many fossil fuels, or is it too many people (and more on the way), or a bit of both? Politicians never want to talk about population!

      • Dear Linc – you are correct it’s very hard to measure the efficiencies of renewables because renewables don’t work when there’s no wind and no sun. In effect they have zero efficiency when there’s not wind and no sun. From my research, renewables are competitive when the wind is blowing and the sun is out, but at other times because you either have to use pumped hydro-storage or battery storage. The price goes way up and they become completely uncompetitive. This means our businesses would not be able to compete and our pensioners would not be able to afford to be warm in winter if we go completely to renewables. And as I’ve mentioned previously, there is so many opposed to nuclear, we seem to be in a bind.

  • CAN YOU HONESTLY TELL ME THAT PRIVATISATION OF OUR UTILITIES HAS NOT CAUSED THE PROBLEMS WE ARE NOW FACING WITH OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS ????????,

    • Hi David.

      I’m not an expert on this. But I do know that the Soviet system collapsed. That was where there was huge government ownership.

      I’m not sure if nationalising our energy supplies would have any huge effect on the price. The simple matter is that fossil fuels are sold at an incredibly low price – as if they’re everlasting. One glass of diesel has around $800 amount of energy of human work. And this low-cost energy and energy density is the prime reason we have 7 billion people on this earth.

      Fortunately there’s 5000 times more energy coming from the sun every day than we need, however we haven’t yet developed an inexpensive way of storing the energy when the sun is not shining.

      Also I have a feeling we’ll never get anything with the energy density and low cost of fossil fuels. So eventually we’ll have to make the change. Even for those who don’t believe in human generated carbon dioxide affecting the world, will also have to agree that one day the fossil fuels will either run out or become so expensive that they’re not viable.

      ~ Dick

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