Workplace

Why stop at kids just protesting climate change?

It’s election time. NSW opposition leader Michael Daley said he supports the climate strike by school kids as a democratic right. Given the kids are being brainwashed with only one side of the debate, perhaps the teachers might show them these two front covers from Time and debate why the scientists were wrong and could they be making the very same mistakes again?

Yet why stop at letting kids take a day off school to protest climate change? Why not strike over the rebuild of the Allianz Stadium? Perhaps demonstrate over the West Connex motorway? How about screaming inside Woolworths over milk prices paid to farmers? Why not protest The price of electricity? Anemic wage growth? Housing prices? Negative gearing? Offshore detention? Immigration?

Using kids as political pawns is disgraceful on every level. Parents and teachers who back this type of activism need to be schooled themselves in common sense. So weak must the arguments be to have to let kids do the bidding for them.

Perhaps teachers should look in the mirror and come up with answers to the sustained slump in our global PISA rankings for English, maths and science first before organizing excursions to support ideologies that don’t have any relation to the curriculum.

The reality is when kids from other nations blitz them in the real world in later life, those participation trophies will do little to assuage their anxiety much less make their lives happier in a climate that won’t have turned out anyway like they were force fed.

Slapping the FAA in the face

Since when did the POTUS become an expert on air safety? What is the point of the FAA if the occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue issues executive orders to ground planes the regulator has deemed airworthy?

The problem for the airlines is not so much the inconvenience of fleet reduction but the astronomical cost of storage. Planes are very brittle. It’s not like a car one puts on bricks in the garage when it won’t be used during the winter.

Planes require the fuel tanks to be full to prevent the risk of damage under the beating sun. The engines must be run everyday to prevent build up of foreign objects. The wheels must be rotated to prevent flat spotting the tyres. One plane sitting on a tarmac that an airline wants to return to service runs at $100,000/mth. Southwest has 31 and American 22. So between them $5m/mth will be wasted.

For Boeing, depending on how quickly this gets sorted, the supply chain which has lead times up to 9 months could create havoc with suppliers. With the 787 delays, things got so bad that some suppliers needed to be bailed out. It is unlikely to see a delay anywhere near the magnitude of the 787 but the disruption can have substantial side effects including lay offs.

Once again the planes are safe to fly without the AOA. It’s a 50 year old airframe with 1 billion hours under its belt. It’s a software issue. Adequate pilot training is all that is required to make it safe to fly.

Worst of all it’s a complete slap in the face for an organization with an exemplary record on air safety to be given a lesson by Trump. The FAA and NTSB take their roles incredibly seriously and the recommendations they have made after accidents has made flying today safer than ever. Bad call Mr President.

Boeing 737 MAX-8 piñatas

The loss of life through any accident is tragic. Make no mistake. Yet if aviation authorities (AA) across the world were truly worried about the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX-8 they’d have grounded it after accident #1 when they’d learnt about the faulty AOA sensor issue. They could have issued Boeing with an immediate action to fix it. They didn’t. Just let the FAA do its work and adopted its resolutions. Now it appears they’ve merely followed the followers. It is as if they’ve felt social media pressure to cover their behind so as not be the last AA do so. It’s irrational. Think of it as aviation piñatas. Bashing with a blindfold.

China was the first to ground the plane. The stunt was in part a trade related issue because the FAA airworthiness directive wasn’t just issued inside a cornflakes packet and as the strictest aviation authority should carry weight. The FAA has said the evidence is not broad enough to justify a ban.

Having been a former aerospace analyst, this is the first time in a very long time CM can remember that a virtual global ban was put on any aircraft type. When Qantas flight QF32 (an Airbus A380) had an uncontained engine failure which ruptured the wing tanks and severing hydraulics, the airlines grounded their own planes as a safety measure, not the authorities. Singapore Airlines suspended its A380 flights for one day before resuming operations.

When AA587 crashed in Queens after the tail and engines sheared off, Airbus A300s weren’t summarily grounded. When AF447 crashed into the ocean off Brazil, A330s weren’t grounded as a precaution.

The Boeing 737-400 series had inert fuel tank issues where near empty scenarios could cause the vapor to ignite in the centre tank and lead to a deadly explosion. Several did explode. Some in the air. Some on the tarmac. These planes weren’t grounded. World aviation authorities, like Australia, issued advisories on how to ensure it doesn’t happen. Not knee jerk copy thy neighbor responses.

The list of 787 airworthiness directives (from fire issues, wings, flight controls to landing gear) stands at 52. FIFTY TWO. Sure a 787 has not crashed yet but where have the authorities been trying to ground the type until it has no ailments at all? Do they need a crash to rally into action? Or do they look at the issue on its individual merits? The 737 can fly without this AOA safely, which is why the FAA still allows its operation.

This seems to be follow the pattern of board governance today. Aviation authorities reacting with emotion, not data. Seemingly acting for fear of a twitter backlash rather than applying common sense to a problem and shutting out noise. Are social media trolls experts on aviation matters? Yet another “it’s better to be morally right than factually so” argument it would seem.

Maybe the biggest qualification is whether airlines ground them because passenger refuse to board 737 MAX-8s where they’re allowed to operate. However most passengers don’t look at the “registration plate” affixed to the top of the front left hand door jam as they board to see what type of plane they’re on. They don’t look at the safety placard in the seat pocket. Most certainly don’t pay attention to the cabin attendants during the pre flight safety instruction.

By the way, flight AA293 from Miami to Washington DC is scheduled to land 11 minutes early today. It’s a MAX-8. Passengers in America are prepared to put their faith in the FAA not the whims of social media activism led policy to unnecessarily ban something to appear virtuous.

Tesla – Musk baits the regulator again?

Anton Wahlman on Seeking Alpha has reported that Tesla held a secret telephone conference call to a limited audience which apparently contradicted statements made earlier in the public domain. If true, from a pure compliance and governance perspective that would violate fair disclosure rules. It is surprising that given Elon Musk’s run ins with the SEC that shareholders would hope he’d look to avoid further investigation rather than taunt the regulator.

According to the call transcript, Tesla provided new profit/loss guidance to the select few on the call. Even more bizarre is that Deutsche Bank compliance apparently let its Tesla analyst publish a report on March 1 based on the contents of the call, including margin guidance on the $35,000 Model 3 which was not divulged to others.

CM has always held that Tesla is an amateur car maker. Luring owners to deposit a non refundable $2,500 for a $35,000 Model 3 smacks of a silent fund raising to keep the ship afloat.

The company recently admitted it would close much of its dealer network and move to mobile servicing. Cute in principal but unlikely to be sustainable. Mainstream makers know that dealer/service networks are vital to keeping customers connected. If large recalls need to be conducted, mobile units aren’t going to cut it.

None of the above really surprises. Owning Tesla is sort of like joining a cult. The preachings from the fearless leader are designed to keep the disciples fiercely loyal. However if the government gets enough evidence to gather the SWAT team it will swarm the compound. This company is not worth anything like $50bn. Grab your popcorn.

Democrats don’t show up to their own climate change hearing

There was a touch of irony to have three out of the five House Democrats not show up to their own scheduled hearing on the global warming topic “The Denial Handbook: How Industries manipulate science and policy from climate change to public health

Given we have only 12 years to do something before the world slips into the supposed abyss one would think these liberal doomsayers wouldn’t waste any time to save us from what they know best. In good spirit, four out of the four Republicans voted to adjourn the meeting against the two Democrats that showed up who voted not to postpone.

This once again exposes the “hot air” that surrounds the climate change debate. It’s hard to convince skeptics if words are not followed through with actions. Then again as AOC tells us, it’s more important to be morally right than factually correct.

The wrecking ball reckoning

CM has said for quite some time that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) could be the best weapon the Democrats have but the lack of willingness to bring her inside the tent is causing the opposite to occur. She is nothing more than an internal wrecking ball.

As a social media darling for millennials she has reach. She’s doubled following in recent months. However her Green New Deal (GND) has just been costed by the Congressional Budget Office to the order of $93 trillion with a T. That’s more than global GDP. Nancy Pelosi slammed it as a Green Dream. The Speaker of the House was right but the problem is the less she is brought to heel the more she fractures the party message. Unity is the one thing the Democrats must show. They can’t be the party that hates Trump and show such disorder. Voters want a stable platform with sensible policies.

The other day she openly stated “I’m the boss” when referring to her GND proposals, even though it was torn down from her site. She even did a video in her kitchen about how climate change is out of control (eg bushfires – sadly 90% are accidentally lit or caused by arson) and postulated the point of being kids into this new world.

There is little time left to save her. Left to her own devices she will drag the party further and further left and alienate the middle ground. The Democrats don’t need in fighting to overthrow Trump. It’s bad enough that Kamala Harris jumped on the Jussie Smollett smear without thinking (even if it was her press officer) and Elizabeth Warren put “Native American” on her application form all those decades ago. It is such good advertising fodder into an election of how quick to judgement they are.

AOC could be mobilized really effectively. It would have been better to place AOC on the Democrats climate change panel to force her to tow the party line. Instead her devout disciples followed her lesson of several months ago by barging into Dianne Feinstein’s office with kids as young as 7 to protest inaction on climate.

These are seeds of disunity. The septa/octogenarians running the Democrats are looking at her as just an unruly step grandchild who will eventually grow up. Sadly at the rate she is going she will create growing waves of discontent supported by her 3.2 million followers (and growing) which will only hurt the chances for a 2020 Democrat win.

All the while this circus goes on, Hillary Clinton holds back until she smells the rotting carcass of the too numerous to count primary candidates and throws her Epi pen laced candidacy in the ring to challenge Trump.

Stand for America

Former US Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has started up “Stand for America” to fight for American culture/values, border security, foreign policy, public safety, term limits and to tackle the scourge of “I’m the boss” AOC style socialism. It looks to be very much like why Advance Australia is trying to do down under.

It was always a question of what she would do in her next gig. CM doubts she’ll struggle to raise a lot of donations to support her cause. As an American Sikh woman she also, frustratingly for the Democrats, ticks the identity/diversity box.

Still think she would make a great candidate for POTUS in 2024.