A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Weekend Unthreaded


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Heads must roll at JCU or academics still have no free speech

After what Peter Ridd went through, and the flagrant waste of one million dollars, someone must be held accountable. Otherwise, no academic would want to risk two years of legal hell for pointing out systematic problems in academia. Who would dare drily write “for your amusement” in an email?

Its good to see other staff are speaking up.  Sandra Harding is vice-chancellor of James Cook University. She could have stopped the witchhunt at any time but pursued it all the way:

Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian

“The bottom line is Sandra Harding should go,” says a former member of the university’s 15-member governing council. “It’s in the interest of everybody that she retires.” Speaking to The Weekend Australian this week, the former council member says if Harding doesn’t retire, she should be sacked.

Still in close contact with JCU staff, including academics, the former council member says staff are upset and “whether or not they agree with Ridd is a separate matter. This court case probably cost the university a million bucks, which is money JCU cannot afford.”

“They know that there will be further redundancies coming.”

Ultimately some staff will lose  jobs because JCU tried to silence Ridd.

According to the ex-member, the other reason the governing council should be more involved is that “the sacking of Ridd is being watched around the world. It is damaging JCU’s reputation in an area where JCU leads the world. In marine science, JCU is the top dog. To have that reputation damaged is extraordinarily worrying.”

According to the former member of JCU’s governing council, Ridd has more support on campus than he realises…”

H/t Jim Simpson

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Backflip: Labor may adopt Tony Abbott “Direct Action Plan” but keep 45% brutal target?

A week is a long time in politics. Ideas that were stupid this time last Friday are suddenly mainstream.

Scratching to pick themselves up, the Labor Party may adopt Tony Abbott’s flagship program, but still cling to the idea that we can do a 45% reduction without major sacrifices. The Liberals must be praying the ALP keeps that target. What a gift for the 2022 election.

Even the Labor Party recognises that the anti-Abbott vote in Warringah doesn’t represent broader Australia:

Climate changes: Labor push to lighten green policies

 Ben Packham, The Australian

Labor is considering rejecting Scott Morrison’s mandate to ­deliver his full $158 billion in personal income tax cuts while flagging a dramatic shift on climate change policy and adopting a Tony Abbott-style “direct action” plan to cut carbon emissions.

Dear Labor Party — it’s not just the “market based mechanism” that stinks:

The warning came as Labor ­environment spokesman Tony Burke suggested the party needed to rethink its support for market-based mechanisms to cut carbon emissions, after its plan to use of international carbon credits to cut emissions was rejected by voters amid a row over the cost of the ­policy.

Suddenly the Labor Party is the spokesman for “the environmental movement”? Seriously?

“The Right and the environmental movement have shifted to a direct action model,” Mr Burke told the ABC.

Burke — sticks to double barrel denial: 1/ Denies there is “action” (while adopting the non-existent “inaction” plan as their own?) And 2/ pretends that “it’s less efficient” when Abbots plan cost 300 times less than the their carbon tax. Define “efficient”?

“Every other theory will tell you it is less efficient, and it is less efficient. But we are heading down the path now, once we get to the end of the next term, we will have had inaction for the past 15 years and that is not counting the 12 years the Howard government did nothing.

“We now need to be at the table of working through what are the other ways of reaching targets ­beyond simply saying we’ll have a market mechanism.”

Labor became bogged down in the election campaign over its ­“uncosted” plan to lower carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2030, while Mr Morrison had a $3.5bn direct action plan to cut emissions by 26 per cent.

Greg Brown, The Australian

Mr Burke said Labor should keep its 45 per cent emissions target but achieve it through direct action, which his party had previously ridiculed.

In other backflips: Amazing how fast the black-throated finch could be saved.

Adani mine: work on project could start in just three weeks

  • by Sarah Elks

Adani could start building its controversial coalmine in just three weeks, after besieged Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared she’d had a “gutful” of delays in her own government’s approvals of the project.

Ms Palaszczuk today said there had been a “breakthrough” in the impasse over Adani, declaring in Cairns that the deadline for a decision on Adani’s management plan for the endangered black-throated finch was May 31, while the decision on the company’s groundwater strategy would occur on June 13.

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Petition for Zali Steggall to build those wind farms for Warringah

I just signed the petition “Zali Steggall: Wind farms for Warringah” and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 15,000 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

h/t Steve, Owain

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Rank denial: Australia spends $5b but has “no climate plan”

When is five billion dollars equal to zero? When the climate cult is doing maths.

Australia spends at least five billion dollars a year trying to reduce emissions, yet it’s as if it doesn’t exist.

The angst continues, along with the denial that Australia has “a climate plan” :

“The fight is not over,” said  Greenpeace Australia.

Calling the results “horrifying,” NYU professor Kate Crawford said on Twitter: “We’re on the brink of climate catastrophe. Australia is one of the top carbon emitters per capita in the world. The new leader has no climate change policy, and walked into parliament waving a chunk of coal. Not even kidding.”

Australia has the most aggressive climate action plan per capita on Earth. Just ask the ANU. Blakers et al wrote the report called: Australia: the renewable energy superstar. It showed that, per capita, Australia is installing unreliable generators in a blitzkrieg pace, more than twice as fast as Germany is, and 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan and China.

Despair out of all proportion:

“A coalition of a small number of bad actors now threaten the survivability of our species,” Michael Mann, atmospheric science professor and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, told ThinkProgress.


This is not a tweet we thought we’d have to make. We’re looking into the eyes of our friends, families and colleagues and seeing them all searching for answers, but only able to ask the same questions: How? Why? Where do we go from here?

Obviously it doesn’t matter what Scott Morrison spends or does — they’ll still be “horrified”. It shows this has nothing to do with the climate, and nothing to do with emissions. It’s only about power. What matters is that Australia didn’t elect a grand socialist. Anything less is a disaster to the acolytes of Big Government.

It’s time sensible people stopped trying to appease innumerateglobal bullies.

h/t Pat


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Midweek Unthreaded

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Blockbuster: 178 years of Australian rain has nothing to do with CO2, worst extremes 1849, 1925, 1950

Remarkable! A new study by Ashcroft, Karoly and Dowdy pieces together an extraordinary 178 years of rainfall data from Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. This is a rare study that brings in much older data, looking at trends and extremes. This is pretty much the ultimate long term rainfall paper for South East Australia. Henceforth, there shalt be no more headlines about “unprecedented” rainfall or area’s drying out “due to climate change” unless an event rates against this data…

Australia – a land of floods and droughts:

  1. Rainfall goes up and down in long ongoing cycles or change, but no obvious trend that matches the sharp rise of CO2 in the last 30 years. It’s almost like CO2 has no detectable effect…
  2. The worst extremes were for the most part — long ago — particularly in the 1840s (assuming those records are reliable).
  3. Almost nothing in the last 30 years is unusual or unprecedented despite humans putting out 50% of all our CO2 since 1989.
  4. These charts show how misleading it is to use graphs that start in 1970 (or even in 1910) and declare that the recent changes are meaningful, or caused by CO2.

The researchers also use newspaper archives to describe these wild events. Some extracts below and the three key graphs. Normally this would be forgotten history, so it is excellent to see these old records being studied. — Jo


Sydney’s wettest year was 1950, driest year was 1849

 Sydney’s wettest year occurred in 1950, while the driest year was recorded in 1849. Two very wet events for Sydney are apparent in the early 1840s — one in April 1841 when 20.12 inches (511 mm) was recorded at Port Jackson, and another in October 1844 when 20.41 inches (518 mm) of rainfall was observed at South Head in one day and night on the 15th– 16th. The Government Gazetteabstract for April 1841 described the deluge as “a most violent storm of rain”, and The Sydney Gazette reported extensive damage to buildings and roads as a result of the downpour (The Sydney Gazette, 1 May 1841, page 2, and 4 May 1841, page 2, available at and

Rainfall trends, cycles, Australia, Sydney, Graph, 2019, 1840 - 2020

Rainfall trends, cycles, Australia, Sydney, Graph, 2019, 1840 – 2020. Official caption:  Fig. 3. a-c) Annual Rtot, Rx1day, RD and SDII values for Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, 1839–2017. Mean values for the whole period are marked in dotted horizontal lines, and 10-year moving averages of Rtot, RD and SDII are shown in light grey, plotted on the centre year of each 10-year period.

 Abbreviations: Rainday counts (RD), monthly rainfall totals (Rtot), and highest daily rainfall (Rx1day).

The Simple Daily Intensity Index (SDII): the amount of rainfall received divided by the number of raindays recorded over a month and year.

Melbourne – wettest year and day was 1849

The Millennium Drought stands out as the driest period in the complete record, as noted in other studies of climate change in the region (Hope et al., 2017). The driest year occurred in 1967, at the start of three-year period of dry conditions (Fig. 3b).

Periods of wet conditions, such as the 1950s, are also associated with rainday increases. The wettest year in Melbourne’s history seems to have occurred in 1849, and included the wettest day in the extended record, when 7 inches (177 mm) was recorded on the 27th of November. The Government Gazette table reported rain from the 25th to the 28th of that month, with gales on the 27th. Newspapers at the time wrote that the event caused “Appalling Destruction of Life and Property”, claiming that the Yarra River “attained an unprecedented height” on the 28th (The Courier, 8 December 1849, p 2, available from killed several residents and thousands of sheep, creating havoc for much of the settlement (The Courier, 8 December 1849).

Rainfall trends, cycles, Australia, Sydney, Graph, 2019, 1840 - 2020

Rainfall trends, cycles, Australia, Sydney, Graph, 2019, 1840 – 2020

Adelaide — wettest day was 1925

The wettest Adelaide day occurred on 6 February 1925, when 141.5 mm of rainfall was recorded in 24 h to 9am on 7 February due to a severe thunderstorm. Newspaper accounts at the time reported a “Tropical Downpour in Adelaide: A record fall of over five inches in two and a quarter hours” that had the “streets running like rivers”…

Keep reading  →

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Octopuses will go blind thanks to climate change

Octopuses survived the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, but look set to go blind thanks to coal fired power and your car.

Octopuses may go blind from climate change, study warns

Octopus, Photo.

Plastic pollution and climate change may be significantly altering the level of oxygen on our planet. Now, a new study dives into the impact it could have on marine life, including squids, crabs and octopuses – blindness.

The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, highlights how important oxygen is to sight and retinal activity for certain marine larvae. Tiny declines in oxygen levels result in significant vision impairment, including almost total blindness in certain species.

“Using in vivo electroretinogram recordings, we show that there is a decrease in retinal sensitivity to light in marine invertebrates when exposed to reduced oxygen availability,” the study’s abstract reads. “We found a 60-100 [percent] reduction in retinal responses in the larvae of cephalopods and crustaceans…

Or more specifically: Octopuses will go blind if they are suddenly dumped in tanks with reduced oxygen…

To test the theory, the animals were put in reduced oxygen environments for approximately 30 minutes.

Time to legislate against free range low-oxygen tanks.

Every day, octopuses survive swimming up and down through different oxygen levels of water, but a slow change over 200 years will blind them. Really.

The research highlights that it is likely there is a change in oxygen in the daily environment of these animals due to swimming at different depths, but it underscores the concern that a permanent decline could be destructive.

You can’t make this stuff up, but you can buy it with enough government grants.

Photo Mr. Mohammed Al Momany, Aqaba, Jordan

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How to lose the unloseable election: be anti-coal. The climate vote evaporated.

Scott Morrison, coal lump, Parliament. ABC News: Nick Haggarty

Scott Morrison in Parliament. Photo, ABC: Nick Haggarty

The Coalition can now form a majority government with no need to do deals with a GetUp candidate. They may win 78 seats. While this is being hailed as a “great” win it’s nothing like Tony Abbott’s 90 seat landslide in 2013. Of the last three elections, the most skeptical PM won hugely, and the biggest believer, Turnbull, almost lost. Morrison-in-the middle, couldn’t fight hard on climate change because his party supports major and expensive action, but at least he didn’t burn off the base like Turnbull did. Luckily for him, the Labor Party had wild ambition and was doomed by overconfidence. (Thank the ABC).

Every time Labor and GetUp reminded Australia that Morrison brought a lump of coal to Parliament, they were helping Morrison.

This was a “climate change” election and Australians voted No

Even ABC commentators admit the central role of climate change and are baffled. (If only they had shown some, any, interest in the opinions of 50% of Australia?). Watch the struggle:

Election 2019: What happened to the climate change vote we heard about?

Matt MacDonald, ABC

It was supposed to be the big issue of the 2019 Australian federal election: climate change.

A range of polls and surveys had left many analysts, myself included, with the sense that this would be a crucial issue at the ballot box. …  ABC’s Vote Compass survey those identifying climate change as the most important issue had risen from 9 per cent in 2016 to 29 per cent in 2019.

Advocacy groups and even media outlets also encouraged the view that 2019 was, and should be, Australia’s climate election.

Voters feared climate policy more than climate change

Andrew Probyn, the ABC’s favourite political “analyst” — who completely missed what was developing — puts personalities, not policies at the top of his list. As if Australians primarily just vote for the guy they like the look of.

Instead, this was unmistakeably a vote for a coal mine:

How Bob Brown and his anti-Adani convoy handed Queensland to the Coalition

Allyson Horn, ABC

“I never expected numbers like this,” admitted central Queensland MP Michelle Landry. [Lib-Nat Party]

“Thank you Bob Brown is all I can say. He came up here trying to tell Queenslanders what we should and shouldn’t be doing, and it actually drew together the agriculture and mining sectors — I’ve never seen anything like it.”

In Adani country, Michelle Landry, George Christensen and Ken O’Dowd recorded swings of up to 15 per cent to transform their ultra-marginal electorates into comfortably safe seats.

It’s likely only five of Queensland’s 30 electorates will be held by Labor when the pencil dust has settled.

This was a coal election in Queensland:

There’s little doubt among regional Queensland MPs that coal killed Labor’s chances.

“People up here in central Queensland aren’t stupid, they can work out that [Bill Shorten's] unsure what’s going to happen in the coal mining industry,” said returned LNP member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd.

Australians want the Adani coal mine built and running. They also aren’t willing to vote for climate change action, even in some of the wealthiest inner city seats (see Kerryn Phelps). All the badly designed polls supporting “climate action” mislead the pundits. If only they had read skeptical blogs, they’d have known that people can tick the believer box free of charge, but when it costs, climate action always ranks at the bottom, and no one wants to pay for it themselves, not even $10 a month. If people don’t even pay for carbon flight offsets or donate to environmental causes, they certainly won’t consciously vote to lose jobs and spend billions. Ultimately, even in 2019, more than half of all Australians don’t buy the UN climate scare. It was only 2017 when 60% of Australians said they were OK with dumping Paris if they could cut their electricity bills.

Kerryn Phelps put “climate change at the top of her agenda” says the ABC. And after only 7 months she’s out. Her primary vote was just 33%.  Mr Sharma (Liberal)  gained 48% of the vote. That’s not much of a honeymoon. Though the end result was extremely close on two-party preferred votes, which is a mark of the great political re-alignment as wealthy formerly Liberal blue-ribbon seats shift to the “inner city” Labor Party while the workers become Liberal conservative voters.

One Nation votes are unmistakeably votes against climate propaganda, and the swings were large. More fool the Liberals, who were so afraid of namecalling attacks by the ABC that they preferenced the Greens ahead of One Nation.

The LNP’s George Christensen kept his seat with a swing towards him of 11 percentage points. Labor lost votes to the One Nation candidate who polled 13 per cent. Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon in the coal mining area of the Hunter Valley may survive the big swing against him, but one Nation candidate Stuart Bonds polled 22 per cent of first-preference votes and clearly took votes from Labor. In Rockhampton the One Nation candidate won 17 per cent of the vote. That meant the swing away from Labor on two-party preferred was more than 10 percentage points.


PS: “Shares surge on return of Morrison Government”

Tell me again how business wants more action on climate change? Investors vote with their money.

Photo: Nick Haggarty, ABC News

This post is quoted in The WashingtonTimes by Valerie Richardson.

h/t Pat

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Weekend Unthreaded

OK, so some other things might have happened around the world this weekend.

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Australia votes 2019: Shock! Climate action bombs. Pollsters crash. Skeptics Win

Against all the polls, the money, advertising, and the non-stop media coverage, against all expectations and the betting agencies — the Extreme Climate Fix was a flop.  The Labor Plan to cut Australian emissions by 45% percent is now gone — per capita this would have been a world record sacrifice in a country already increasing their renewable energy faster than any other.

Major betting agency Sportsbet were so sure Labor would win they paid out $1.3 million on bets two days early.  Someone cleaned up with a $128,000 win for a party that lost. *

They called this a climate election and the people voted “No”

Activists thought it was safe to piggy back on a “sure thing”, and they went in hard. Volunteers even wore bright orange “I’m a climate voter” T-shirts.

“This will be a climate election“: Greenpeace

Make this a climate election:  GetUp

If Labor had won, they would be crowing right now about how it proved the people wanted action.

Political pollsters and bullied and badgered voters

Labor was tipped to win decisively in every poll. Even in the exit polls. So thousands of people told pollsters one thing, then they voted the other way, and hid that again on the way out the polling door.

This was not just the abject failure of climate change as a vote winner, it was also a crashing fail for the pollsters. Australians have been badgered and bullied into saying they believe in climate change and prefer the left-leaning parties. (They knew it was uncool to vote “right”.) But when the time came, they voted against them both.

Bullying works in public, but people vote alone.

To understand just how far they got it wrong, read Aaron Patrick yesterday:

The latest Ipsos poll predicted Labor would win 78 lower house seats on Saturday…  Betting on seven commercial marketspredicted Labor would win 83…   the chances of 12 polls getting it wrong is 0.024 per cent.

Even though recent opinion polls have put the two sides within the margin of error, 44 polls since Scott Morrison became prime minister have pointed in the same direction: a narrowing contest, but one which Labor has exclusively led.

A Coalition win would represent one of the great upsets of modern Australian polling…”It’s virtually impossible for them to win,” says Andy Marks, a political scientist at Western Sydney University.

So much for academics.

The only seat that went with the climate spin-masters was the massive battle at Warringah, where GetUp threw everything they had at ousting leading “climate denier”, Tony Abbott. They may have succeeded at throwing out one of the best men in Australian politics, but I wonder if the people of Warringah will feel a bit used when they wake up and realize that the rest of the nation didn’t come with them.

Imagine the sweeping phase change if people felt free to share their thoughts and ask curious questions without penalty about a science topic? Imagine if the polls and momentum rolled the same way?

This will be a brutal shake for the Labor Party. A tough pill. They believed the polls and pushed aggressive, risky policies, doomed by their overconfidence.

Also potentially Liberals like Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne were victims of the polls. They who left the party were probably assuming a big loss. Nice clean sweep for Scott Morrison. A few less Turnbull fans.

Australia missed a bullet today.

Let’s build another coal mine.


*Sportsbet are taking it well tweeting “Yep, we blew $1.3million. Could have been $80million though eh Clive?, referring to Clive Palmer, who spent that much trying to win a seat for himself.

Australian flag – Phillip Barrington.

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Election Day: Labor Green UAP Anthems by Speedy

Welcome to Election Day 2019 in Australia

LOOK OUT for die-hard skeptics David Archibald running for the Senate in WA (Fraser Anning), also for Malcolm Roberts in QLD (One Nation). For Australian Conservatives (Cory Bernardi’s Party) Jonathan Crabtree, WA.

For smaller government or skeptical policies, check out Liberal Democrats, Australian Conservatives, One Nation, Yellow Vests Australia (was ALA), Australian Christians.

Find your electorate at the AEC and see who is running.  Will the biggest pork barrel win?

– Jo

The brilliant Speedy (aka Mike Miller) lets rip

It’s been a while, but he’s back!  Speedy satirizes the satirists — he once wrote a Clarke and Dawe satire so good it went viral and people thought they wrote it and had “seen the light”. Click to see Speedy’s past posts.


The Greens National Anthem

(Music: P. McCormick. Lyrics: R. Di Natale)

The Greens, Australia.

I’ll save the whale,

I’ll save the trees,

My plastic bag will save the seas;

I’ll save the carbon from the air,

And save the cuddly polar bear –

Which, by the way, will save the reef;

(And it will work, I swear!)

But may involve a little grief -

The cupboard, will, be bare;

If I become the climate chief,

Australia, needs, a prayer.

And since we’re children of the stars,

I pledge to save all life on Mars.

In doing this, I’ll prove my worth,

And make some “useful” friends on earth,

Who make it plain, they’re sooo humane,

And ‘cos they know I “care”

I’ll ride upon the gravy train;

Australia pays the fare.

I’ll ride upon the gravy train;

Australia, pays, the fare.

(I need, a new, au pair…)



The Labor Party National Anthem

(Music: P. McCormick. Lyrics: W. Shorten)

ALP LogoAustralians all, please just forget

We’re floating in a sea of debt;

In spite of what it may appear,

It wasn’t us who got us here.

So, if we’re clumsy with your cash,

It’s ‘cos we love to share;

Watch franking credits cop a slash,

It’s something, you can, spare.

You want an economic crash?

We’ll drive, Australia, there.

We’re union born and union bred,

We’re strong in arm and weak in head,

And if you think that’s thuggery –

Then you can go to buggery.

A campaign “loan” means we condone

With mercy rich and rare;

Of course it’s not skulduggery -

We think, it’s only, fair.

And did I mention buggery?

We’ll tell you, what is, fair.


The UAP National Anthem

(Music: P. McCormick. Lyrics: C. Palmer)

Australians all, I think you see,

You really need a bloke like me.

A bloke who’s smart, and really wise,

And never, never telling lies.

Who truly fights for worker’s rights -

Of shysters be aware!

These, and others, are just shites,

But I’m, a, billionaire!

These and others are just shites,

But I’m, a, billionaire!

I’m good as good as good can be –

And jam-packed with integrity;

If sometimes people do complain,

I’m sure my nephew will explain;

He’s just ducked out, he will return,

He’s somewhere over there…

He will be back, there’s no concern,

He will come back, I swear,

He will be back, there’s no concern,

When I, advance, his fare…


The “Independent’s” National Anthem

(Music: P. McCormick.  Lyrics: Getup)

GetUPAustralians all, please heed our voice

We’re here to give you, Hobson’s choice,

Our policies, we swear on oath,

Are red or green, but mostly, both,

So if, perchance, you did elect

Us – by whatever means,

Whatever wishes you direct,

Is not, a hill, of beans,

Your wishes, we will not respect,

We’ll sell, you to, the Greens.

We look so very good you see –

Just watch us on our ABC;

Whose audience, we know for sure,

Is fed on steaming, green, manure.

And, in keeping with this trend,

Their questions will be “fair”;

It’s nice to have a public friend,

Who gives us lots of air…

Just give the truth a little bend,

The Charter’s, their, affair…


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Who knew? The fourth largest nation has threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement

Borneo forest destroy for biofuel crop

In Borneo, the Dypterocarp forest, one of the species-richest in the world (F), is being replaced by oil palm plantations (G). These changes are irreversible for all practical purposes (H).

Under the radar: In a trade dispute with the EU, about six weeks ago, Indonesia threatened to leave the Paris Agreement. Just like that. –

Where was the ABC News? Showing orangutan rescues…

Two hundred and seventy million people live in Indonesia. It’s the fourth largest population in the world – only 20% fewer than the USA. It’s also the second largest coal exporter in the world, and perversely, one of only 16 countries that are even trying to meet their Paris commitment.

Here’s the situation: Indonesia has been razing forests to make palm oil to sell to the EU for biofuel to make nice weather. Skeptics and Greenpeace pointed out the hypocrisy of destroying rainforests in pursuit of a better environment (way back, circa 2010).  Finally, in 2019 the EU commission changed its palm oil policy and declared that it should not be OK for biofuel anymore. The EU parliament is considering whether to make that law.

But Indonesia is the world’s biggest palm oil producer and around 16 – 20 million people rely on the sector, so the government sent a sharp message back to Europe:

 As the European Union proceeds with a plan to ban crude palm oil (CPO) from use in raw bio-fuel materials, the government of Indonesia is threatening to back out of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan referenced the United States and Brazil’s withdrawal from the accord saying, “if the United States and Brazil can exit from the climate deal, we will consider it as well, because it is linked with the interests of the Indonesian people.”

– March 28th, 2019. Indonesia threatens to withdraw from Paris Agreement, Telesur.

Not only are Indonesian negotiators aware that the US and Brazil are out, they also noticed that there was no downside:

“The U.S. was not sanctioned at all by the EU (after leaving the Paris accord),” said Peter Gontha, special staff at Indonesia’s foreign ministry.

He also said Indonesia faced EU pressure over palm oil despite the government declaring a moratorium on permits for new estates.

Indonesia claims palm is being discriminated against by the EU to protect the market of European oils such as sunflower and rapeseed oils. – March 27th, Reuters

Where’s the news?

Imagine an Australian politician negotiating like that? Or even the ABC mentioning it? It’s not like Australians would want to know how fragile this sacred agreement isn’t — how some countries are peeling away — or how other nations have leaders brave enough to talk back to the EU.

It’s not like Indonesia is a major competitor and trading partner, which is ten times our size and closer to Perth than Sydney. Shh!

Google “ABC News indonesia palm oil” — Find an Orangutang. Seriously,  ABC News has turned into a lifestyle magazine. Rejoice! Indonesian rescuers managed to save a mother orangutan.” “Zoos Victoria has announced it’s going to stop selling products that sell palm oil.” Add “Paris” and keep searching. Eventually I found a relevant story from Canada News on youtube.

Once upon a time we had “Foreign Affairs” now we have animal rescue.

What a deal

To cap off the unintended consequences of biofuel –  during 2015 massive fires rolled through land owned by 11 Indonesian Palm Oil and Paper Pulp corporations. This released some 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide. (About twice Australia’s annual emissions). The fires were so big the Indonesian government fined them a billion dollars, which they still haven’t paid.

So The EU can keep Indonesia in the Paris deal by paying them for products that destroy forests and risk fires, or it can keep Greenpeace happy and risk losing yet another major player. Dilemma, dilemma.

One more nation jumps and it might start a trend…

h/t Pat who notes that Xinhau noticed the Indonesian play.

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Brazil cancels climate conference, sacks militant Greenie, calls environmentalists an “industry”

Brazil, eighth largest economy in the world is unashamedly backing out of green schemes.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro is “dismantling” environmental agencies and missions. Brazil pulled out of hosting the 2019 U.N. climate summit, and has now canceled a United Nations climate change event that was to be held in August.

Environment Minister Ricardo Salles … said he was more interested in dealing with the problems that affect Brazilians who aren’t concerned about “climate change in Paris” or “meetings in Stockholm.”

“It’s an industry,” he said of the environmental movement. “It’s an industry of consultants, an industry of lectures, an industry of seminars.”

– Anna Jean Kaiser, Washington Post

A few days ago Bolsonaro also sacked the “militant” activist appointed by his predecessor as head of The Brazil Forum for Climate Change. I can’t think why…

[Former President] Temer appointed Alfredo Sirkis to lead the forum. Sirkis, who describes himself as a “militant environmentalist,” is a co-founder of the country’s Green Party and a former congressman, as well as a former guerilla fighter who fought against Brazil’s military dictatorship.

Sirkis told Reuters he was fired on Friday. He said the firing was probably related to the forum’s initiative to organize 12 Brazilian states to create a council on climate change that would act independently from the federal government.

– Jake Spring, Reuters, May 10

Sirkis was being paid by the government to organize a group to do exactly what the voters didn’t want.

Let’s remember how the climate skeptic won in a landslide election last October: 55 to 45

Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.1% of the votes after 99.9% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday.

“We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” he said.

Tom Phillips  and Dom Phillips --The Guardian

 As Australia hurtles headlong into the fastest renewables transition in the world. Bigger fish are moving out.


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WakeUp to GetUp: Shorten will be beholden to “global network of radical left wing activists”

This election has been run on the lowest base primal tactics in Australian history. National policy has become a cult-like hate campaign. Which moderate centrist politician do we despise the most? The Alinsky-ite targeted smear campaign doesn’t attack a party, it isolates individuals, reducing voting to Good person: Bad person. The marked men and sole woman are those who question any part of the permitted agenda, especially on climate change. GetUp trashes their reputations with raining hate, manufactured scorn and lies that get cynically get “retracted” but never undone. GetUp also target the young and uninformed — using children as political activists. It only works because most of the Australian media repeats the toxic lines, and edits out the most informed views of half the electorate to be aired and debated. To be sure the ABC will seek out the odd conservative truckie or farmer (and the odder the better), but they won’t ask Australians with doctorates who disagree with their own political ideals.

Perversely if GetUp succeeds in outing the strongest skeptics from Parliament, they may become the core of a real centre-right force after the election, and freed from the Establishment grip, they may find their feet uncensored. But candidates are human. They need to hear from supporters. They need help.

Prime Skeptic Targets in the Liberal-National coalition: NSW, Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly. QLD – Keith Pitt, George Christian and Ken O’Dowd (all Nationals)  VICTORIA – Kevin Andrews.  WA – Andrew Hastie.

Gerard Benedet and Advance Australia are taking GetUp on.

I’m sharing in the spirit of filling the hole that the billion dollar national broadcaster won’t:


GetUp recently released a “hit list” of 16 MPs they want out of Parliament at the coming federal election. These are MPs who support strong border protection laws, lower energy prices, and literacy testing for migrants. They are being targeted because GetUp don’t like their views.

GetUp claim to be independent but not a single Labor MP is on their hit list. Every one of them is a Coalition Member.

If GetUP hates an MP that’s a good reason to vote for them.

You can sign up to AdvanceAustralia if you haven’t already. Share info, help candidates. Get involved. If you feel disconsolate, unmotivated, cynical, that’s exactly what GetUp want.

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