Australia: The Stupid, Stupid Country
by David Archibald
7 April 2020
Recently on Catallaxy Files an anonymous author referred to Australia as “this stupid, stupid country.” In the words of one of the great figures in Australian cinema, the Humungus in Mad Max 2, “I understand your pain”, having come to the same conclusion in 2011. That was the year that Qantas grounded some aircraft in Australia because the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano had erupted in Chile and traces of ash in the upper atmosphere were visible on satellite photos. Qantas reacted like the hysterical schoolgirls that they are.
The previous year, the Europeans had gone hysterical over the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. I was at Prague airport when it closed under clear blue skies. At least the Europeans subsequently put limits on their own stupidity, by declaring a limit on flight operations of 2 mg of volcanic ash per cubic metre, subsequently raised to 4 mg per cubic metre. There are no limits on ash contents with respect to flight operations in Australia; the stupid people in charge don’t want to be limited in their idiocy.
That eruption in Chile was a little thing, and the ash had to come 20,000 km around the world to reach Melbourne. The furtherest a plane has been damaged from a volcano was during the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo in the Philippines. An aircraft 1,000 km away over the South China Sea had some damage. But that Mt Pinatubo eruption was the second largest eruption of the 20th century. Most of the time an aircraft has to fly through the plume directly over a volcano to be damaged.
What the Qantas reaction in 2011 proved is that idiots are running the country now. Our federal public servants in Canberra are now third generation arts graduates from ANU. Nobody would ever expect them to have a grip on reality; none of them have ever felt pain or suffering, or raised a sweat. But for a private company like Qantas to blow money and inconvenience its customers of its own volition, over nothing, means that it is run by very stupid people indeed.
Other iconic Australian companies have also gone over to the stupid side. Take BHP. In the lead up to WW2, Essington Lewis prepared BHP and the country for the coming war. Now BHP is undermining Australia’s economy by supporting the global warming lie, reaffirmed by the new CEO Mike Henry. The previous CEO, Andrew McKenzie had been a trustee of a Marxist think tank in the UK, Demos, from 2005 to 2008. McKenzie has left but his detritus remains on the board. Of the 11 BHP directors, five are of the English persuasion, including three of the four females. But the Australian female is Carolyn Hewson, and if she shares her husband’s leftwing politics, including the global warming lie, that is bad for BHP and Australia.
Why so few Australian females? In the choice of directorships, Andrew McKenzie would have been driven by considerations of his post-BHP social and business life back in the UK. There would have been no point in wasting directorships on people who couldn’t reciprocate in the UK.
On the stupidity front, BHP has lost the ability to reline shafts, it seems. BHP set out to reline the Whenan Shaft at Olympic Dam a few years ago at a cost of some $80 million. They gave up after spending some $400 million.
Stupid people running everything in turn means that a cathartic event is coming. It is a cathartic event if you survive it, the other alternative outcome is that an existential threat has a tragic outcome. The stupid people running the country are also lotus eaters. So I realised that the stupidity of global warming hysteria was symptomatic of a wider problem and that only a great deal of pain at the national level would rid us of the stupid, stupid people running it. I don’t want to suffer too much myself during the cathartic event that is coming for Australia, so I went survivalist in response to the 2011 Qantas groundings.
In the field as a geologist, I found that the best tinned food was tuna and beans in oil. There are two good brands: John West and Sol Mare. And I wanted about a tonne. Cleaning out the local Cash and Carry store yielded about 40 kg but they have a slow restocking cycle. It would take forever doing it retail. The John West rep. in Western Australia had no interest in supplying a private individual so I started working through the state reps for Sol Mare around the country. The rep. for South Australia said, “I think I understand you Mr Archibald” and I got my supply in 300 kg loads freighted over the Nullabor.
The stock is now 2,400 tins of 185 grams net, enough for 800 days at three tins per day. Plus half again of other tinned stuff. Antibiotics are kept in the freezer and I have a kilo of potassium iodide for the nuclear fallout. Just as there is no stock of face masks in Australia despite viral pandemics coming along at least each decade, I have probably the only bulk supply of potassium iodide in a city of two million people. One kilo is enough for 720 people to suppress the initiation of thyroid cancer in the first 14 days after fallout from a nuclear attack. The other 1.999 million people will have to miss out.
Australian reaction to distant foreign volcanoes became more stupid as the years passed. Farmers are supposed to be some of the most practical people we have in this country. But in 2014 the Federal Minister for Transport, Warren Truss – a wheat farmer from Queensland — closed Darwin Airport over a volcanic eruption 1,000 km away in Indonesia and started talking about closing Brisbane Airport which is 4,000 km from that volcano. What did the Indonesian do? They simply flew around the volcano. Most of the photos of the eruption that were run in Australian newspapers were taken from Indonesian passenger aircraft flying past it.
But Warren Truss was talking about closing Brisbane Airport? Something doesn’t compute. Perhaps Warren Truss was just ordinarily stupid. But this country can’t take too much more stupidity before real damage is done. In theory, parliamentarians with real life experience and a grip on reality would stop the stupid antics of the public servants, who know nothing and couldn’t care less. Our wheat farmer failed and proved that theory wrong. And the big one is coming.
Australia wasn’t badly affected by the first oil shock in 1973. We had seven oil refineries and we were self-sufficient in refined product — diesel, petrol and jet fuel. But more than that, Australian politicians of the 1960s, having remembered the pain and suffering of WW2, had made sure we were self-sufficient in oil. Oil exploration in Australia was subsidised by the Federal Government in the 1960s –- seismic and drilling, onshore and offshore. When Esso made the Bass Strait discoveries in the late 1960s, production from those fields couldn’t compete against cheap Middle Eastern oil, so Australian motorists paid a premium at the pump for the fields to be developed. We still pay a premium at the pump in the form of a $0.423 per litre fuel tax but that goes into general revenue. If we devoted that fuel tax to building up a strategic petroleum reserve, then the consumer wouldn’t notice it. We would just have to stop doing some things that are less useful, which is just about everything else.
Which brings us to one of the most stupid things the Federal Government has done so far this year. Australia is the only country that is delinquent with respect to the International Energy Agency treaty we signed in 1979, under which we are supposed to keep 90 days of imports as stocks. All the other 28 countries are compliant.
Our fuel supply situation is just about as bad as it was in the 1960s. Most of our production is now from offshore northwest WA and could easily be destroyed by Chinese torpedoes and cruise missiles. There is a little trickle of production from the Cooper/Eromanga Basin and that would have to be railed to Geelong to be refined. There is no refinery in the biggest market, NSW. The fuel companies live hand-to-mouth and keep no stocks in the system. There have been instances of jet fuel running out at Tullamarine because a shipment was late and diesel shortages in country WA because of contaminated shipments.
We probably have about 14 days. We could divert natural gas currently used for power generation to CNG for vehicles but that would take months. The whole country will grind to a halt in an instant.
Figure 1: Australian oil refineries. [From the Australian Institute of Petroleum.]
What the Federal Government did was to try to weasel its way around the IEA commitment by leasing part of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We are not told how many barrels are involved or the leasing rate. It doesn’t matter. It is all just sheer stupidity. Those barrels are in caverns dissolved in salt domes in Louisiana. To get to Australia they would have to travel the 16,000 km to Australia. The details don’t matter because all China has to do at the start of its war is to announce that it has a nuclear submarine stationed off Australia and all shipping will be sunk, whether it has a submarine here or not. There will be no tankers available; we don’t own any and foreign crews won’t man them. Tanker rates will go to Pluto.
The US, Japan, Taiwan and everyone else will be very busy at the time fighting China. The Philippines will have a hard time during the war with China and will be on the front line. As a land of stupid, self-indulgent freeloaders, Australia will get very little sympathy and nothing else. The US might take US dollars in payment but everyone else will insist on being paid in gold. Wait, we sold off the bulk of our gold reserves in 1997 at the bottom of the gold market in another act of stupidity.
We could have 10 million dead in this country because everything will grind to a halt. If you think that number is a bit high then wargame scenarios yourself and try to imagine where the fuel will come from. At the moment we get most of our refined product from Asian refineries, which will be in the war zone. You might think we have plenty of food, but none of it will be able to move. If the war comes at harvest then only a fraction of it will be taken off.
The run on toilet paper was a bit of a lark but what is coming is deadly serious. Be afraid, be very afraid.
David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.