JoNova

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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Good news: Australians not partying in Poland, chopping committees at home instead, axing the tax.

Not a bad Friday.

Tony Abbott will not be travelling to Warsaw with a hairdresser, photographers, and a chef in an entourage of 114. Nor even is Greg Hunt (the Environment Minister) going. They are too busy back home trying to cut expenses and repeal the carbon tax (though that looks like it will have to wait til the new Senate starts in July).

It breaks the chain of Ministers bowing to the IPCC, though last year the Labor Party only sent a Parliamentary secretary for Climate Change. This year we will be sending a junior (but why send anyone at all?).

Not a good look for the IPCC. Australia’s carbon tax was the main bright spot on their outlook, and now it’s being snatched away from them. Bravo, I say. But can we stop sending the money?

Soon we might be free to speak again

More good news — the Racial Discrimination Act (which was used against Andrew Bolt) is a high priority on the chopping list. It’s the first thing Attorney-General George Brandis will bring to Parliament. Not a day too soon.

If we have to have a human rights commission, then it ought to protect the right to speak. (I thought we had laws for that?)

“The Australian Human Rights Commission will also be given a broader mandate to protect all human rights instead of confining its activities to selected areas. At least one “freedom commissioner” will be appointed next year to protect traditional rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion that Senator Brandis said had suffered from past neglect. “The classic liberal democratic rights that in my view are the fundamental human rights have been almost pushed to the edge of the debate,” he said.”- See more at: The Australian

A shrinking bureaucracy?

Meanwhile, Abbott has taken the radical, extreme position of freezing spending on public servants. In a world where no line is flat, and no English word is fixed, that’s called “a cut”. The target is  …12,000 jobs cut by natural attrition. Apparently there are “14,273 non-ongoing employees in the public service.” Another casualty is CSIRO, “where an estimated 1400 people are on casual or term arrangements.”

As part of the productivity push, the government has promised to cut the cost of regulation on business and the community by $1 billion a year.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will announce on Friday the abolition or amalgamation of 21 ­non-statutory bodies whose roles have either “outlived their purpose or are not focused on the government’s policy priorities’’. They include the National Housing Supply Council, the Insurance Reform Advisory Group and High Speed Rail Authority, which investigates the feasibility of a high speed rail link along the east coasts.

“We certainly won’t be stopping here,” Mr Abbott said.

“What you see is a government that is taking significant early steps towards … reducing the size of the bureaucracy.”

We have a few more suggestions here: Is your snout in the trough? (Though the old Australian government links are broken now.)

But before Australian taxpayers party too hard at the slight lessening of the burden, Hockey tells us the deficit this financial year will be $45b or more. Which is 50% worse than we thought. *OR as Jaymez in comments points out 149% worse than Wayne Swan predicted in May this year.

The full public service is 166,000 according to the APS (250,000 if we include the military, and for the sake of the numbers, nearly 2 million if we include all three levels of government because the bulk belong to the state governments).

I suspect, thought, that doesn’t include the contractors…?

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200 comments to Good news: Australians not partying in Poland, chopping committees at home instead, axing the tax.

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Good news indeed!

    Can we clone Abbott and his crew and install them in DC instead of the bunch we have now?

    Just a thought, wishful thinking. Sure wish we could.


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      Eddy Aruda

      I wish we could clone them Roy!

      It always gets down to the money.

      Australian politicians walked the plank when they passed the carbon tax boondoggle. Voters vote their wallets. No other country had politicians who were as willing to put the taxpayers money where the politicians’ mouths were as Australia. Unfortunately for the proponents of the tax, Aussies were not about to support a policy and a tax which would harm their economy; especially considering the fact that the warming stopped a decade and a half ago.

      If Obama succeeds in circumventing congress through fiats and dictates from his lackeys at the EPA the Dems will pay dearly at the mid term elections next year, especially in the coal states.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        …the Dems will pay dearly at the mid term elections next year, especially in the coal states.

        I’ve been saying that too. Unfortunately in California where you and I live the message doesn’t seem to get across the gap between reality and la-la land.

        But the even more unfortunate turn of events is that Obama has, by executive fiat, given his union buddies relief from the hell that’s been descending on everyone else because of Obama care. And that’s a big block of his supporters. He’s a very cunning, calculating politician without the slightest trace of a conscience, which makes him ruthless. And that’s hard to get rid of once it’s in power, not to mention how dangerous he’s already proven to be.

        Now Hillary is lining up to take another shot at the White House and Republicans still don’t have their act together. If they don’t get a single concerted position, give up fighting battles they can’t win and find a leader who can speak that position to the public they’re soon going to be toast.

        I’m with those who fear civil unrest and violence at some point if things don’t change drastically. Charles Krauthammer**, the straightest thinker I know of, fears the same. And that plays right into the Democrat’s hands. Homeland Security is already demonizing anyone with a conservative point of view — and they have an army to back them up as has been pointed out elsewhere on this blog.

        The worst of it is that we all suffer for who knows how long while it finally rights itself — if it rights itself.

        Australia has been lucky, there was no 100+ year concerted effort to subvert their country. We haven’t that advantage when it comes to dealing with this nonsense in DC. The American public has been all too carefully led down the wrong path.

        **Krauthammer is a syndicated columnist and contributor on the Fox News Channel but I don’t know if he’s known to you in Australia.


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    • #
      Turnedoutnice

      Tony Abbott took an axe,
      Gave Tim Flannery 40 whacks,
      When he saw what he had done,
      He gave CSIRO 41.

      (Apologies to ‘The Red Barn’).


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  • #
    Kent b

    That’s good news for Aussie tax payers and it should put an end to the rumour-mongers now swamping the internet with rumours that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is NOT an Australian Citizen.

    Scientific examination of his immigration papers and naturalisation certificate CONCLUSIVELY proves him Australian by nationality and perfectly entitled to vote in this country and to stand for high office.

    [Moderated]

    Time to say loud and proud that he’s OUR Tony no matter where he was born

    [Very tongue in cheek we hope........Mod]


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  • #
    Perth Trader

    Jo..If there is a new senate election in West. Aust. why not put forward your name as a independent? Or for that matter why not David? You maybe surprised at the support you’d receive. Food for thought’.


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    • #
      Eliza Doodle

      Senator Jo Nova. Hmm…? It does have a certain gravitas, and other countries have been known to elect poets, dissidents and revolutionaries for President. It’s a dirty business but someone’s got to do it.


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      • #
        Michael P

        Maybe we should nominate Jo Nova for the Science Minister for Tony Abbott,as he’s getting criticized for not having one? Jo would give the Greens something to think about re there insistence to claim that the science supports them.


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        • #
          Yonniestone

          If Jo was made Science Minister the Greens & Co would go into a meltdown and after the barrage of ad homs, emotive pleas to anyone who cares to listen and copping a shellacking on the REAL science front they would disband with only the hard core left to form a cult, consisting of a self therapy group where they can vent spleen on the horrible population and flagellate each other with lentil bushes.
          Ok the last bit is far fetched but I can dream can’t I?


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          • #
            AndyG55

            “with only the hard core left to form a cult, consisting of a self therapy group where they can vent spleen on the horrible population and flagellate each other with lentil bushes”

            ummm..

            I got the impression that they have been at that stage for quite a while !!

            ABC, Fairfax, SkS, and the Crimate Authority


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          Apoxonbothyourhouses

          Sort of do a Flannery but using facts not religion. Think of the income Jo for a three day week.


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        • #
          BELFAST

          Fully support the motion.
          To have someone arguing in the Senate with science is a gift beyond price.
          And I am sure donations for the campaign would pour in.


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          • #
            Perth Trader

            Belfast. I’m genuine in that thinking too. To often policy has over ridden science and commonsense and the outcome for Aust. has been extra costs brought to bear on business and consumer.The scaremongering has to stop and sane voices need to be heard.


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            Brian H

            What is Aus policy re foreign campaign contributions? I’m in Canada, whose PM Harper, btw, is a natural Abbott ally.


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  • #
    Steamboat Jon

    A great start and very happy for Australia. I had always hoped to see the adoption of video teleconferencing (VTC) to events such as the one being held in Poland. I guess it is just too difficult for governments of the world to pass up a chance to live large on other peoples money.


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  • #
    Peter

    Well done, I really envy you.

    The UK Government demonstrates stupidity on a cosmic scale.


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    • #
      Manfred

      Apparently the cosmos is 250x larger than the visible Universe, otherwise referred to as the Hubble volume. It also appears (when modeled) that it is flat!

      Personally, I’ve always wondered what ‘space’ our Universe is expanding into and whether there is a word for this ‘space’. If there is, it is larger than ‘cosmic’ and is therefore a better adjective to use in the context of the British Government and its punitive energy policy.


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      • #
        WhaleHunt Fun

        The Universe is expanding, but it is not expanding “into” anything. Everything and anything is already inside the universe.


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        • #

          Since the universe is everything that exists, if there were anything that existed outside of the universe would it not necessarily be part of the universe?

          What if everything is shrinking rather than expanding?

          What if the universe is a black hole and we can’t get out?

          Along with countless other questions that are the result of stringing words together rather than asking anything meaningful about reality and based upon actual evidence.


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Along with countless other questions that are the result of stringing words together rather than asking anything meaningful about reality and based upon actual evidence.

            What if he universe is just imaginary, we’re all asleep and if we ever wake up it will disappear like a dream? And who really cares?

            Today I’m alive and I’ll be perfectly content to let today’s problems be sufficient for today’s set of worries. The universe has taken care of itself without regard for or attention from me and I see no reason to have any great concern over what the details are.

            Lionell, sometimes you get into the most awful pronouncements. Let people have a little fun while there’s still fun to be had. Life’s too short to always be so serious.


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      • #
        Eddie Sharpe

        Surely if its expanding into just a space there is no need for a word to describe it because there is nothing there, yet. When it gets there that space will them become part of the Universe, which by definition means everything there is.


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        • #

          If the universe it expanding in to space, how can it do that if the space does not exist? If the space exists, then it is part of the universe from the get go.

          Nothing has no properties, not even dimensions. It is simply the absence of everything. “Space” is not nothing because it has, at least, the dimensions of length, width, height, and time. Without those dimensions, it cannot be “gone into” no matter what you name it and even if you don’t name it. That is if “gone into” is an action that was done by things that exist.


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Supposedly the Higgs Field permeates all of space and is the medium that causes “things” to have mass, therefore momentum. Surely this “field” is an equivalent of the Aether theory that was shot down by the Michelson–Morley experiment. If there is such a field it would represent some kind of fixed reference for position and velocity (direction and speed) in the universe, something Einstein showed is not true, since the Michelson–Morley experiment failed to find any difference in the speed of light.

            Contradictions, contradictions, contradictions.

            But I agree with you on this point, Lionell: “NOTHING” HAS NO PROPERTIES. And yet we do send spacecraft out into space. They appear to travel farther and farther away from Earth as time goes by. Now what can we say about space having dimensions, as shown by our several deep space adventures, when the dimensions — speed and size — vary according to the relative speed of the observer and the observed according to Einstein? To me this says that dimensionality is solely a function of mass-energy, including not only position in space but position in time as well. So the “no properties” appears to extend to this extreme, space has no dimensions. Space is nothing. It’s full of stuff but the container itself appears to be nothing — truly a contradiction in my mind. I think we’re far from knowing the truth about the universe.

            I know I’ll get a thousand objections and I’ll come back and look at them. You may even convert me with a good argument. After all, I’m just an amateur at this stuff. :-)


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            • #
              Roy Hogue

              PS:

              I gave you a green thumb for that comment.


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            • #

              Roy said: “Michelson–Morley experiment failed to find any difference in the speed of light.”

              Not quite.

              Source: “The Michelson–Morley experiment was performed in 1887 by Albert Michelson and Edward Morley at what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.[1] It attempted to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary luminiferous aether (“aether wind”).”

              The failure to find aether wind implies the speed of light is constant over all frames of reference. That was a some what later inference upon which The Theory of Special Relativity was based.

              Roy said: “Space is nothing.” after agreeing with me that nothing has no properties.

              If space is only a container for “stuff”, then it has the property of being able to contain “stuff” and is therefor not nothing. If it didn’t have that property, there would be no place to put “stuff” and we wouldn’t be able to have this conversation.


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            • #
              OzWizard

              Roy,

              If you see contradictions in the present day ‘standard model’ of physics, rejoice. Your sanity is intact.

              The ‘standard model’ has gone so far down the ‘rabbit hole’ that it has become lost in an endless labyrinth. It is reduced to proposing new self-contradictory hypotheses to resolve previous contradictions.

              Not knowing when to ‘stop digging’ is a sure sign of madness.

              Just remember that the ‘constancy of the speed of light’ is a postulate of the Theory of Relativity. That means it is an assumption. It is treated as an axiom. It is accepted, a priori, as a self-evident truth on which the logical construction of the hypothesis relies.


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              • #
                Lennox

                E=MC2

                If the speed of light is definite, how is it possible for it to be squared except mathematically?


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              • #

                The speed of light is close enough to being constant for government work. Since government does not work all that well, you can see how close that must be.

                Consider that 90 million out of 360 million citizens of the US are scheduled to lose or have lost their health insurance and doctors. Things that our “leader” said we would be able to keep. That makes the speed of light constant to within 25%.

                That means you could shoot at a 24 yard wide target from 100 yards and miss by a yard and still be considered a good shot – by government standards.

                I suppose it depends upon what “keep” and “constant” means in government speak.


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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                If you see contradictions in the present day ‘standard model’ of physics, rejoice. Your sanity is intact.

                OzWizard,

                Thank you for that. But I try to keep a firm grip on what I ended with. “After all, I’m just an amateur at this stuff.”

                I’ve basically enough physics to have gotten on through the engineering degree that I started and then gave up in favor of computer science. So I’m not even close to being a theoretical physicist, no where near it. And I’ve no time to even try to keep up with it.

                Here’s the thing that bothers me. So much of advanced physics and cosmology exists only as a mathematical abstraction with one built on another, that it looks like a single experiment could bring it all down. And as much as Lionell may hint that it didn’t happen that way, I can read and it’s pretty clear that the Michelson–Morley experiment failed to confirm and support a rather fundamental belief about the nature of the universe and it threw the world of physics into a near panic. So we know it already did happen that way in the past.


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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Lionell,

                The speed of light is definitely not constant but depends on the medium through which the light is moving. Otherwise such useful things as the lenses in your eyes wouldn’t work.

                When light travels through an elected or appointed government official it slows down to near zero speed, hence the failure of government to see the light.

                Need I say more? ;-)


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              • #
                OzWizard

                Roy,

                1. You’re right about the “mathematical abstraction” bit. What can be calculated in maths doesn’t necessarily exist in the real world. Just look at the square root of -1. I think mathematics has grown a little too big for its boots in the area of Physics.

                2. The Michelson–Morley (and later Morley-Miller experiments) used crossed light beam interferometers in (repeated) attempts to ‘prove’ the existence of an aether – by detecting one of the ‘expected effects’ of earth’s rotation in a stationary aether ‘fluid’. When they failed to detect the ‘expected effect’, “important people” concluded that the Aether “did not exist”. In fact they only proved thet they could not detect what they expected to find.

                I can think of two possible explanations for that ‘null’ result:
                (a) There is no aether fluid;
                (b) There is an ‘aether fluid’, but close to the earth, it does not behave the way they thought it did; e.g. perhaps it is entrained by (and rotates with) the earth.

                Always be suspicious about a “fundamental belief”.

                I love it when fundamentalists are pushed to the point of “near panic”.


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              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Just look at the square root of -1.

                OzWizard,

                At least the square root of -1 can sometimes be useful because you can arrive at ((square root of -1) squared) and have something that solves a real world problem. I wish this global warming nonsense had as much chance of being useful.

                About the rest I can’t say. But I do find the subject interesting enough to follow it a little bit… …curiosity mostly. I just wish they wouldn’t say they’re so sure of things that pile one unproven theory on top of another.


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          • #
            Eddie Sharpe

            Think of it like Labour spending money that doesn’t exist. That doesn’t stop it expanding limitlessly.


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          • #
            OzWizard

            Lionell,

            Please refrain from listing ‘time’ together with length, width and height, as though time were, in fact, a fourth spatial dimension. Einstein did not make this mistake.

            Space can only be coherently defined with three orthogonal spatial dimensions. Check the meaning of these English words carefully. Check the geometrical property of a right angle. This is not complicated; it is simple algebra and geometry.

            You need to be very careful to distinguish between your idea of what the word ‘space’ means, to you, and what space actually is, physically. Once you use the word ‘space’ in a sentence, you have jumped from physical reality into a mental image of what you think about that real physical entity (if it exists) and it is often difficult to separate the idea from the reality.

            How could a scientist ever prove anything about what he calls ‘nothing’. If there is nothing to measure, then science has nothing to talk about. This is the realm of philosophy, not science.


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            • #
              MemoryVault

              If there is nothing to measure, then science has nothing to talk about.

              “Climate scientists” don’t seem to have any trouble measuring and ranting about nothing.


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              • #
                OzWizard

                MV:

                Your quotation marks are perfectly legitimate here. They do not so much measuring … more calculating using adjusted measurements, perhaps. Which makes them unreliable mathematicians, NOT scientists.


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              • #
                Backslider

                Which makes them unreliable mathematicians

                Statisticians more so. Job description: Make the numbers fit.


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            • #
              Ian H

              Modern physics often strays into the realm of mathematics. Mathematics is still a science albeit an unusual one.

              The philosophers of science often don’t know what to do about mathematics. Falsifications and paradigm shifts don’t work as descriptions of that subject, nor is it amenable to definitions which revolve around experiment or descriptions of scientific method.

              My personal preferred definition of science is that science is any realm of knowledge where, if two people disagree about a matter of substance, then one of them is wrong; and furthermore there is a way to figure out who. This definition has absolutely no problem accommodating mathematics.


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            • #

              You complain that I am using a compound intellectual construct and then do exactly the same thing to demonstrate I am wrong.

              If time did not exist, nothing could happen. If space did not have the property of volume, it could contain nothing. To expand takes both time and space. Hence they are conjoined properties when you are discussing dynamic events.

              Einstein proposed that time/space is distorted by something called mass and that mass times the velocity of light squared is equivalent to energy. Subsequently many experiments demonstrated his proposal is consistent with actual measurements to many significant figures.

              Meanwhile back at the ranch, we use Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics to design and build our buildings, bridges, roads, and machines. Only when we get to the very large, the very small, and the very fast do these things break down. Perhaps if we get to the small enough, the large enough, and the fast enough, Einstein’s proposal will break down too. Some theorists think we are already there.

              As for myself, I use Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics to build the things I make that work. I don’t work with the very large, the very small, or the very fast and don’t really care to.


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              • #
                Mark D.

                As for myself, I use Euclidean Geometry and Newtonian Mechanics to build the things I make that work. I don’t work with the very large, the very small, or the very fast and don’t really care to.

                Yes. I intend to live out my allotted time using the same (and with a healthy dose of time I hope).

                When If I get to old age, I might just seek to work with the very fast……: Sports cars, boats, aircraft, women, they might all appeal to me then.


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                Brian H

                Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening all at once.


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              • #
                OzWizard

                Lionel,

                I did not say that ‘time does not exist’; I said it is not a 4th spatial dimension. We need to treat time as a dimension which is independent of the three space dimensions, often labelled x, y and z.

                Time and space differ at such a fundamental level that they cannot be conflated. We have to treat them differently.

                Einstein’s followers have tried to construct a 4-dimensional ‘space-time continuum’ and given us ridiculous paradoxes as logical consequences of their folly. If a theory creates a logical paradox, you can be certain that there is a flaw in either its premises or in its logical deduction processes.

                Then again, I do believe it was smart of Einstein to examine the effects of high speed travel on the transmission of information back to a stationary observer. I know that has an effect which can be measured and actual measurements seem to confirm that aspect of the theory, but as for “time travel”, tell them they’re dreaming.


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        • #
          Mike Heath

          Who said that space is nothing? If there was no space then there would be nothing for the universe to expand into. If there actually is a space, then where did it come from and how far does it go? … and what is on the other side when the space ends?
          Questions to my long deceased Grandma when I was 5.


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      • #
        Eddie Sharpe

        The Universe may be presently expanding and even at an accelerating rate, but how do we know that it always has been. Isn’t that just another example of the extrapolative linear thinking that limits warmist thought ?


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        Time and space only came into existence at the instant of the “Big Bang”. They emerged from the singularity of “nothingness”, and are both expanding, within that, “nothingness”. There is an hypothesis that this is a cyclic phenomenon, and that at some point the expansion will slow, and the universe will start to contract into itself, resulting in a “big crunch”.

        There is a further hypothesis that, as the universe crunches back into the singularity, it emerges on the other side as another “Big Bang”, and hence it is an oscillation that has and will continue forever (not that, “forever”, has any meaning, in a system were time stops and starts anew at each singularity).

        Signed by an organic amalgam of atoms, currently sentient, and referred to as Rereke.


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          Roy Hogue

          And so if anyone wonders why I said we’re far from knowing the truth about the universe above, this is why?

          Rereke, you’ve outdone yourself with this one. ;-)


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          Lars P.

          “Signed by an organic amalgam of atoms” – otherwise said: Carbon based life form – and in this way we are closer to the thread theme – Carbon tax and its abolishment :)


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          OzWizard

          Rereke, at the beginning of this post you omitted the crucial words, “It is believed that …” .

          Why do so many people forget that every description of “The Universe” is a MODEL, and they all have the inevitable problems such creatures possess.

          As such, it is imperative that we remember the definitions of words used in these theoretically postulated descriptions.

          Placing quotation marks around such terms as, ‘nothingness’ and ‘Big Bang’ [and giving it Initial Capitals], does not excuse you from this necessity.

          Those quotation marks seem to suggest that you are avoiding the annoying necessity of having to define the undefinable. These terms are NOT axioms. They are NOT self-evidently true.

          There are so many unspoken assumptions hidden within the term ‘Big Bang’ that it must remain a Hollywood-style movie theme for many more years, where suspension of disbelief remains mandatory.


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    • #
      Sceptical Sam

      Identity check.

      This is me.

      Peter must be my long lost and unknown twin brother?


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    Jaymez

    You write our new Government’s Treasurer “Hockey tells us the deficit this financial year will be $45b or more. Which is 50% worse than we thought.”

    I would just like to remind readers that on 7 May 2013 the previous Labor Government’s Wayne Swan, once laughingly nominated as the world’s best finance minister, (a title he actually believed), announced in Parliament that the 2013.14 Federal Budget deficit would be $18.1 billion Dollars. A $30bn budget deficit estimate was given by treasury as the pre-election budget estimate in late August.

    This would mean a deficit result of $45bn would be 149% worse than the original budget forecast!

    Given all the complaining about the cuts the new Abbott Government is making in expenditure, the INCREASE in deficit can’t be blamed on them. [Though those cuts will certainly be more than balanced by the $8bn top of of the Reserve Bank]

    This gross underestimate of the deficit by Labor is yet another demonstration of their financial incompetence. We must also conclude that the Treasury Department and approximately 300 officials are equally incompetent, or that under Labor they were too heavily influenced by their political masters to give independent, fearless budgetary advice and projections.


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      Graeme No.3

      It’s worse than we thought.


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    • #

      We must also conclude that the Treasury Department and approximately 300 officials are equally incompetent, or that under Labor they were too heavily influenced by their political masters to give independent, fearless budgetary advice and projections.

      Jaymez, what happens is that the Treasurer provides the boffins at the treasury with HIS ASSUMPTIONS with which the treasury has to work with.
      They may well think these assumptions are bunkum, but are not at liberty to discuss them openly.
      In other words, they have to work with what they’ve got and what they’ve been given.

      The treasurer previous to Swan – Peter Costello – kept his assumptions conservative, hence most of his budget surplus forecasts turned out to be understated.

      Simply put, Wayne Swan adjusted his numbers at will to make his budgets look better (less worse) all the while hoping a mining miracle might get him out of trouble.


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        Sceptical Sam

        They may well think these assumptions are bunkum, but are not at liberty to discuss them openly.
        In other words, they have to work with what they’ve got and what they’ve been given.

        I must check that Baa. It was always my understanding that Treasury had the opportunity to make its view known at some point in the Budget papers. (It’s been a while since I last looked – so I’m, admittedly, a bit hazy!)

        Secondly, when you have the Labor incompetents politicising the appointment of the Head of the Treasury you can’t expect frank and fearless advice from the appointee. In this case Martin Parkinson was previously the Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and held that position from its establishment in December 2007. He also headed up the Climate Change Group in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet earlier in 2007. As a bureaucratic “yes man” it appears he had no equal during the disastrous Labor debacle.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          And that is the problem.

          All Parliamentary democracies have a group of “Central Agencies”, whose role it is to administer the mechanism of Government. This is in contrast to Ministries and Departments that administer the law, or provide Government services to the public.

          Making non-partisan appointments to senior positions in the Central Agencies is fundamental to the principle of a parliamentary democracy. Heads of Agencies need to be able to speak truth to power without fear or favour. Otherwise, the Politicians will have no clue as to what is really going on. This explains a great deal, about the way the ALP has behaved in the last few years. Perhaps they fell victim to their own cronyism?

          Whereas, the heads of agencies are not at liberty to publicly discuss political decisions, they do have the option of tendering their resignations en masse, if and when there is political interference in the appointment process, or the internal workings of an agency. This would send a clear message to the populace, and is the threat that is held over political heads. The interesting question then, is why that option was not taken?


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      DT

      When the $18 Billion budget deficit was announced there were a number of commentators who believed that the real deficit was closer to $28 Billion and could end up more. The scary part is that the mining boom commenced in 2004 and the Coalition governed for 3 more years with record high revenue or terms of trade. But since Rudd Labor took office terms of trade increased markedly to well exceed any previous years but Labor spent the lot and when they left office debt was hovering at $360 Billion plus hidden off budget NBNCo deb (government owned private company does not disclose financials). Labor also failed to fund budget since 30 June 2013.

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      Apoxonbothyourhouses

      Of course it is AbbottAbbottAbbott’s fault – I read it in the SMH and heard on the ABC.


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        Debbie

        I am simply stunned and gobsmacked at how amazingly influential Abbot must be?
        The coalition has only recently won the election yet somehow it’s Abbot’s fault that inside a month we had bushfires in NSW, that he is a certified climate criminal, that he can’t manage a budget deficit, that he has destroyed relations with Indonesia etc etc etc.
        I wish I had the power to be so influential in such a short space of time :-)
        /sarc!!! :-)


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        • #

          What I find really amusing in all this is that ….. evidently, Australia has only started spying on Indonesia since the Abbott Government came into power.

          Yeah! Right!

          When that renowned even handed, non political, non partisan, Lateline front person Emma Alberici lobbed a couple of (pre planned) softball questions to Tanya Plibersek the other night, Plibersek gave the umm, excuse that she could not comment on Intelligence matters.

          I’m wondering if all this posturing from Indonesia has less to do with Australia, and more to do with the Indonesian elections next year as some players position themselves.

          Tony.


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    AndyG55

    Good, but unfortunately just a small dent in what needs to be done.

    Let’s hope he keep swinging that axe, with a true aim.

    There are still a lot of pointless, useless, or even wilfully detrimental, Labor/Green propaganda units out there that need to be chopped hard.


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      Dave

      TA needs to clear up some past problems.

      I could do Tim Flannery, Lewandownsky etc but the biggest polluter and money gravy train seeking one is not Al Gore – it is Ross Garnaut.

      A brief on his rent seeking life in this world.

      1. School Captain of Perth Modern School, economics at ANU, PhD on liberalising Australian trade with South East Asia in 1972.
      2. Head of the Division of General Financial and Economic Policy, PNG Department of Finance (1975–76)
      3. Trade negotiator for Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in 1979
      4. Deputy Chair of the first Pacific Economic Conference in 1980 (the fore-runner to APEC).
      5. Bob Hawke’s most trusted economic advisors in 1983.
      6. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ed Visbord, said “Hawke never took my advice on a single economic issue unless it coincided with that of Ross Garnaut.”
      7. In 1985, Garnaut was posted as Ambassador to China.
      8. During this time he helped set up the first Chinese direct investments – an iron ore mine and an aluminium smelter in Australia.
      9. Appointed Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Western Australia (now BankWest) 1988 – 1995.
      10.Made a Professor at ANU in 1989.
      11.Wrote “Australia and the Northeast Asian Ascendancy” for Gareth Evans and Hawke in 1989.
      12.Same paper he predicted the Chinese boom but not the Japanese bust.
      13.In 1995, Garnaut offered Chairmanship of a PNG mining company, Lihir Gold Limited.
      14.Lihir Gold, was destroying the reefs of the Bismarck Archipelago.
      15.He had a report that stated “during the mine’s lifespan, at least 89 million tons of toxic tailings will be produced”.
      16.Lihir was financed by an Australian Government loan by the Export Finance and Insurance Company.
      17.US Government export credit agency, OPIC, rejected the Lihir project on environmental grounds.
      18.In 1995 Garnaut told the ABC’s Karen Snowdon that the environmental impacts had been “very carefully studied, and the studies have concluded that there won’t be detrimental effects on fish life. It’s highly technical stuff, and I myself have to rely on expert opinion on that. But the expert opinion is reassuring.”
      19.PNG’s environmental standards were way below those expected of an Australian mine.
      20.2000 he was advising global oil giant Exxon on “fiscal arrangements in the petroleum industry”.
      21.In 2000 Garnaut was chairman of the PNG Sustainable Development Program – the PNG Government body that ended up owning the Ok Tedi mine after BHP washed its hands of it after the massive environmental mess the mine caused.
      22.Kevin Rudd appointed Garnaut in 2007 to head up the Australian version of the Stern Report.
      23.Garnaut Climate Change Review was released on 30 September 2008.
      24.In 2010 the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency commissioned Professor Garnaut to update his 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review.
      25.Garnauts Climate Change Review Update 2011 was presented to the Government on 31 May 2011.
      26.Ross Garnaut commented after Cyclone Yasi affected Queensland in 2011 that the extensive body of climate science suggested that “cyclonic events will be more intense in a hotter world”.
      27.Garnaut said “you ain’t seen nothing yet” if nothing is done.

      So lets look at the pollution of the Lihir Mine.

      A. 65 square kilometers of ocean floor in Bismarck Archipelago is contaminated with cyanide.
      B. Approximately tons of rock per hour is dumped in the bay on Lihir.
      C. Mine tailings which contain traces of cyanide and heavy metals are loaded on barges and dumped on the nearby ocean floor.
      D. Post-processing waste is discharged by pipeline 1.5 kilometres out to sea.
      E. In June 2000 there was a cyanide spill at the mine.

      Garnaut at Lihir equals criminal environmental destruction.

      So lets look at the pollution of the OK Tedi Mine.

      As well from his $300,000 a year job as chairman of Lihir Gold, Ross Garnaut is also listed as a director of Ok Tedi Mining Limited of Papua New Guinea.

      A. Ok Tedi mess is considered the worst environmental disaster in the Southern Hemisphere.
      B. Over one billion tonnes of tailings and waste rock have been discharged from the Ok Tedi mine into the Fly River and its tributaries over the past 20 years.
      C. It is affecting the mouth of the Fly River, including Daru, which is badly affected, and extends to and includes the Torres Strait Islands and the Gulf Province to the East.
      D. Ok Tedi affects 50,000 people and 120 villages and will take an estimated half a century to clean up.
      E. When BHP bailed out, the Ok Tedi mine was taken over by Ok Tedi Mining Limited. Its major shareholder is apparently, guess who? The PNG Sustainable Development Limited (Singapore), the company of which Ross Garnaut, according to his CV, is the chairman.
      F. ECONOMIST Ross Garnaut has quit as chairman of Papua New Guinea’s biggest-earning company, Ok Tedi Mining, as a result of PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill imposing a travel ban.
      G. Professor Garnaut said the Ok Tedi board must address three pressing issues: proposals to extend the life of the mine; a performance review of senior managers; and potential co-operation with mining giant Xstrata and Brisbane-based Highlands Pacific to develop nearby ore bodies.
      H. In January 2013, Ross Garnaut a director of Highlands Pacific Limited announces his resignation.
      I. PNG lawyer Tiffany Nonggorr claimed on the 7.30 Report that it will take 300 years for the effects of the pollution from the mud-slurry that is pumped into the Ok Tedi and Fly rivers, to dissipate. Copper levels 800 meters from the mine are 3,000 times the safe level.

      Take a gander at Garnaut in this video sprooking the hazards of CO2 pollution.

      Pollution is not a word Garnaut understands, he is probably the biggest Australian polluter in our history, yet he has the gall to dictate his view we have to cut back on fossil fuels because of the emissions of plant food.

      This man has to be the biggest hypocrite of all time, and deserves to be charged with crimes against humanity for the killing of rivers and oceans, along with hundreds of Papuan New Guineans during his time running these massive polluting machines he ran.

      Thank goodness we have concerned citizens like Al Gore, Dr Pachauri and Ross Garnaut as guardians of the “Inconvenient Truth”, and our environment, who can guide us on moral issues – “like the greatest moral issue of our time.”

      QUOTE: From John Izzard September 12, 2010

      And now, this bloke has the hide to promote his new book, called “Dog Days: Australia After the Boom” and then he sums it up as:

      In Dog Days, Professor Garnaut explains how we got here, what we can
      expect next and the tough choices we need to make to survive the new
      economic conditions. Are we clever enough – and our leaders courageous
      enough – to change what needs to be changed and preserve a fair and
      prosperous Australia?

      This would have to be the biggest dishlicker I have ever come across, even the Universities, the ABC and Fairfax still love him. His son works for Fairfax now. Surprised?

      TA needs to start an investigation on this bloke, and work slowly through the rest of the dishlickers.


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        Dave

        Missed a figure here:

        Lihir dumping amendment.
        B. Approximately 2,285 tonnes of rock per hour is dumped in the bay on Lihir.


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        Streetcred

        That is absolutely appalling, Dave. I did some cursory study of Lihir for my Masters some years back and was shocked at the level of environmental destruction. I could not believe that Australians were behind the devastation being wrought upon PNG … and why was the environmental lobby so schtum about it ?


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    Alex W

    Freedom of religion without a definition of religion? Now, it seems that anybody can claim all sorts of rights with reference to some medieval barbarity.


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      Eddie Sharpe

      As long as they don’t include present day barbarities, such as the Green AGW religion.


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      Roy Hogue

      Freedom of religion without a definition of religion?

      Alex,

      That’s the same as it is in the U.S. In fact our constitution forbids defining religion in The First Amendment where it states,

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

      That was written both to prevent the Federal Government from establishing a state religion and restricting religious practice, as certain English kings had been so wont to do. If you try to define religion you’re establishing the approved religion(s), pure and simple. So would you really want your government defining religion? Think about the ramifications of that.

      Unfortunately the Internal Revenue Service has wide latitude to decide what is a religion and what isn’t. Tax policy always runs the kitchen and it always spoils the soup.

      It gets worse too because a whole body of unwritten “case law” built around that simple statement in the constitution has turned a simple prohibition laid on just one single entity, the congress, into a prohibition that invades every government entity down to the local city level. It’s even trying to invade privately run organizations having nothing to do with government. And it keeps the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in business, trashing several hundred years of traditions that no one ever questioned until the ACLU needed something to do to attract donors — ah, the smell of money corruption! It’s as though lawyers forget how to read their native language when they become a judge.

      Beware both extremes. They are a plague you will regret.


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    Peter Miller

    Excellent news for Australia.

    You have no idea how I envy you, while the rest of us in the Western World have to put up with goofball politicians obsessed with proving their green credentials to an increasingly disinterested electorate, who ask the very simple question: “OK, so where is all this warming and why are your stupid theories costing me so much?”

    As for your deficit, Labour governments know how to spend and waste ant not much else. It will take a while, but the problem should not take too long to resolve as long as you are prepared to ditch trendy left wing policies and put all the pointless bureaucrats out to pasture.


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    handjive

    I am on record here as not being fan of Abbott’s approach to climate and ‘direct action’. When Abbott became opposition leader, we didn’t need another politician like Gillard, who was obviously a liar.
    Especially if he said one thing, like ‘direct action’, only to do the opposite when in government, a’la Gillard.

    Yes, After previous policy dithering & backtracking from Rudd’s Labor, the carbon(sic) tax stunk like a dead fish just ‘lying’ there.
    Drought broken, floods everywhere. Water everywhere.
    In some ways, it is the antithesis of the ‘perfect storm’ that John Howard recently said he faced in 2006 to the 2007 election.

    At the time, I suggested Abbott was wrong, and could have been a world leader with integrity & honesty, and “drawn a line in the sand” on climate change.
    Deep down I wondered could it be that Abbott knew that being the world leader who stood up to the climate fraud could only be achieved once in government, not from opposition.

    Abbott has kept his word. Dismantling the Carbon(sic) tax bureaucracy. He has his climate policy, ‘direct action’, a dumb, useless piece of policy for an imaginary problem on par with any tax/price/trading system that now has it’s green critics contemplating ‘the good ole days’ before we had no action.

    Progressive heads are exploding all over the world, as ex-PM Howard opens another front where the ‘line in the sand’ is drawn.

    And so, Abbott/Howard will now be noted in History as the first leaders who stood up internationally to this climate madness.
    I stand corrected and could not be happier.

    Though, we still have years of clean-up and, accountability for the wasted billion$ stolen in climate fraud.
    It is the beginning of the end.
    Of that I am confident.


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      AndyG55

      “accountability”

      I want to see the likes of Gore, Mann, Flannery etc bought to accountability.

      Gore reduced to a 1 small house in the suburbs non-entity, rather than a hypocritical, scamming, lying multi-millionaire non-entity with a carbon footprint the size of Texas !


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      Andrew

      Lots of people criticise DA but nobody seems to know what it is. My guess is it will be a front for good expenditure that should have happened anyhow. A little prod to get stuff happening.

      e.g. $20m for “feasibility study” into upgrading our coal to USC. Yes, a project would probably be self-financing, but no owner would ever do it given the regulatory uncertainty unless it was clear that there was govt support. So this is a little dog whistle – go ahead and reduce your CO2 emissions by 35%. In return, less cost, more for export and cheaper power to the country. If the world ever happened to impose binding minimal CO2 targets, we would be there already.

      Likewise, I’m sure there’s some stuff that can be done with efficient LED street lighting, farming practices etc. Let’s say LED lights had a 3 year payback. Lend the money to LGAs at 3% “concessional Green loans.” The ROI might be 25%, so the LGA loves it, looks green to their constituents (which has the unintended consequence of attracting more green rubbish into the councils, but that can’t be helped). Meanwhile, govt borrows at 2.8% and it costs nothing, takes some strain off the transmission infrastructure, even generates some employment. That can be $1bn of the DA budget, and the money comes back with interest!

      I suspect we only assume DA is stupid because the DA done by the previous govt was stupid.


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        scaper...

        It depends from what position you look at the DA policy.

        If one looks from the warmist position there is not enough barbs on the flagellation whip to sate the disgust they feel for mankind.

        If one looks from a sceptical position it is useless as there is no real problem and if there was, nothing Australia can do anyway.

        Now, if you look at certain elements of the policy from an environmentalist position there is some merit.

        Also, DA needs not to be legislated as the expenditure can be tacked onto the budget.

        If global warming is proven to be false it can be dropped straight away. Looking at the long game plan.


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          Winston

          If one looks from the warmist position there is not enough barbs on the flagellation whip to sate the disgust they feel for mankind.

          I think you just torpedoed our warmist brethren amidships with that one. Bullseye! Love it, never a truer word spoken.


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      Yonniestone

      handjive I hope your correct, I was once diagnosed as a Naïve Realist by an Amateur psychologist and I know a little psychology is a dangerous thing but I hope there are more Naïve Realist’s out there than Gaia Theologists.


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    MadJak

    It is sooo good to have the adults in charge.

    It would not suprise me if other western countries follow suit as the current leaders get replaced as they normally would – it might be worth considering that Obama, Cameron and others were elected whilst the public at large were only really starting to come to grips with the environmental farce that is AGW.

    Keep cutting Abbott – with the resistance you will be facing, you can’t cut far enough. Make them deep and effective, because when this government gets replaced (hopefully a very long time from now), you can guarantee the ALP and the others will have a whole tranche of party faithfuls who will be looking for work in the public sector.

    Cut them like a blender please.


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    • #
      AndyG55

      RET next.. get those burdens off electricity prices.

      Let’s try to get Australia “doing stuff” again, rather than just trying to exist between Electricity Bills.


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        DT

        One huge problem Andy, the cost of employing a skilled person in Australia for one day is over $600 as compared to the same skills in the US of over $400 and in the developing world minus $200 a day. The cost of course includes more than wages, compliance costs, green and red tape are included. The future must be all new, forget manufacturing, the industrial age for Australia ended in the late 1990s. And as for vehicle manufacturing I read today that taxpayers subsidise every job in that industry with $300,000 a year and Australians buy 8 out of 10 vehicles from imported stock. I do believe that the Coalition’s agriculture belt across northern Australia west to east coast has lots of future national prosperity potential, but we need more projects to create new jobs.


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      PeterS

      Yes indeed. In fact I had a really nice feeling on election day. It was as though I was walking through a battle field for the past few years and then I suddenly entered a serene and beautiful garden. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all good from here. The reality is all sides of politics have their issues, some like the ALP are worse than others like the LNP. While the ALP tend to be economic terrorists, the LNP tend to be sluggish, which is the right thing to do only in some cases.


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    Mark D.

    This is really great news.

    Be careful though, my State has a long history of Left Right pendulum swings. The pendulum stays Left much longer than Right and only swings Right AFTER the Left has ruined the finances. The Right knows what to do and commences prudent cuts which of course works to balance budgets and even cause surpluses with tax reductions. Unfortunately a great number of government employees, bureaucrats and benefactors become rather unhappy with the tighter “belt” and thus the pendulum is pushed back to the left.

    I challenge you to do what ever you can to keep the pendulum Right for a while.


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    RoyFOMR

    OT but does anyone know if Bishophill has been hacked?
    Keep getting message that account does not exist!


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    Robert

    I don’t think the folk of Canberra, in general, support the Coalition, but they are pretty good at white-anting governments. What do you do with 114 (minus local embassy staff) that went to Copenhagen to help Mr. Rudd’s campaign?


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      DT

      That’s what Labor Green in power do, partisan appointments in the public service positions of influence and power and the position holders gather like minded lefties around them. The weeding out process is long and difficult.


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    pat

    up til this morning, all i was hearing was Abbott is cutting 1,400 scientists & researchers from CSIRO, yet it seems CSIRO themselves gave media interviews Friday statng such claims were “exaggerated”, by their own Union Rep no less, as reported by the Canberra Times:

    Towell’s update is illustrated by photo of Adam Bandt!

    9 Nov: Canberra Times: Noel Towell: CSIRO overhaul not coming from my office: PM
    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied ordering bosses at the nation’s peak science organisation to cut up to 20 per cent of its workforce.
    A political storm broke on Friday after The Canberra Times revealed that up to 1400 scientists and researchers at the CSIRO would lose their jobs under the terms of a government-imposed ban on the public service renewing temporary contracts.
    Labor and the Greens accused the Coalition of another attack on science while the organisation’s staff said it would damage life-saving research projects.
    But Mr Abbott said the CSIRO cuts were a matter for the organisation’s management.
    “We haven’t made any cutbacks to the CSIRO,” he said. “The management of the CSIRO and the employment of staff inside the CSIRO and the management of contractors for the CSIRO is a matter for the CSIRO itself.”
    ***Senior figures in the CSIRO gave media interviews on Friday suggesting the reports of up to 1400 jobs on the line were exaggerated and the real figure was closer to 300…
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/csiro-overhaul-not-coming-from-my-office-pm-20131108-2x7gb.html

    you would think the above would put paid to Towell’s beat-up, but not at all. on and on the story goes, with criticisms from Labor, Greens, & a repeat of all the Union’s disinfo, including the bragging about their accomplishments, but tellingly “Climate Change” not amongst them.

    here’s the original report, taken as gospel from CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski – no other voices allowed:

    8 Nov: Canberra Times: Noel Towell: CSIRO cuts will impact Australia’s ability to combat deadly bushfires: staff
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/csiro-cuts-will-impact-australias-ability-to-combat-deadly-bushfires-staff-20131108-2x5r0.html

    following story is linked from above as “Tony Abbott takes the razor to CSIRO”. watch the unbelievable video – Tim Lester with Risworth – “we’re joined EVERY friday by Labor’s Amanda Risworth” he says at the start:

    article begins & ends with nothing but assertions, & heavily concentrates on CAGW in the video & with Mark Butler to finish, even tho CSIRO has itself not even mentioned their CAGW “work”:

    8 Nov: Canberra Times: Razor taken to CSIRO
    Noel Towell, Mark Kenny, Bridie Smith
    VIDEO: Science cuts savaged
    Labor MP Amanda Rishworth says the Abbott government is behaving as though ‘they know it all’ with cuts to the CSIRO and the scrapping of advisory panels…
    Labor’s spokesman for the environment, climate change and water, Mark Butler, said he wasn’t surprised that scientists were being sacked by the government, say Mr Abbott does not respect scientists’ work, particulary on climate change.
    ”And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the experts being sacked by this government have previously pointed out the serious flaws in the Coalition’s direct action con,” Mr Butler said.
    ”If the government consulted independent scientists and researchers instead of Wikipedia, they would know their direct action policy will do nothing to tackle pollution and will end up costing households more.
    ”The government is sacking the experts and shutting out anyone who doesn’t agree with them. It’s a disgraceful act.”
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/razor-taken-to-csiro-20131107-2x4fu.html

    interestingly, Abbott’s denial is stuck in the middle of the above, but i doubt it was there when the article was first published. nothing before of after the Abbott bit is tempered by his denial, nor is there any hint anyone has been told of his denial.


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    Michael P

    Maybe I’m not seeing something,but I don’t understand why it looks like we’ll have to wait until the Senate change to repeal the co2 tax insanity. If labor and the Greens think they can dictate terms when they have been booted from office,they need to learn very quickly that this is not the case. The Coalition voted to repeal WorkChoice when labor won Government last time,you;d think they’d have the common-sense to do the same. Maybe it’s the costs involved with calling a DD election?


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      scaper...

      If the Senate blocks the repeal I expect a DD election. If Labor and the Greens block it in the Senate then it will put them out of power for a very long time.

      This global warming rubbish has put this nation in stasis and has to be killed, burnt, buried, dug up and put on a rocket and shot into the Sun.

      Take no prisoners otherwise the cult will reappear to push the next scare!


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        Michael P

        Which is why I don’t understand that Bill Shorten announced that his support for the repeal of the Carbon Tax will be “conditional on the introduction on a ETS”. They must know that this won’t happen and linking our economy to such a thing,when no market exists is stupid,to say the least. They seem to want a DD election to be called,with such stupid announcements,with the implications of being demolished. Furthermore going to the next election with such a thing,is asking for trouble. Do they enjoy committing electoral suicide,as if I was Tony Abbott I’d call a press conference and put them on notice,that if they block it,they can expect a DD election,as they are blocking the will of the majority of Australians.


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        MemoryVault

        .
        There will be no DD regardless of what the Labor/Greens do or don’t do.

        There simply isn’t time between now and July 1 next year to make the effort worthwhile, let alone justify the very real risk of losing even more Senate seats to minor parties.


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      • #

        Seeing that us poor sops in the West will have to suffer a Senate election again early next year, it will be an opportunity to make everyone have an election. Double dissolution, bring it on.


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      AndyG55

      I’m not sure we are looking at the “cost of an election” in the right way.

      It is one of the few government expenditures where most of the money goes somewhere into the Australian economy. And pretty evenly spread among many people.

      Maybe this is a GOOD thing. ??


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  • #

    What we will get (if I can put it that way) from this Abbott government between now and the budget in May 2014 is ALL THAT WE WILL GET UNTIL THE NEXT ELECTION.
    Much of what he wants will not pass the current senate, therefore will be reintroduced after the new senators are sworn in July 2014.
    So we are looking at the end of 2014 and into 2015 before much of what Abbott wants becomes a reality (surely some of it watered down somewhat by deals done with the new senators).

    Once we are into 2015, it will be TOO LATE TO INTRODUCE ANYTHING DRASTIC. Abbott will quietly cruise to the next election.
    Depending on the polls at the time, Abbott may or may not want to seek a mandate for drastic action on anything for his second term.
    (Google TYRANNY OF THE STATUS QUO by MILTON FRIEDMAN to see what I mean)

    So yes, we’re cheering what little that’s been done thus far, but it can all be undone in the blink of an eye when the socialists get back in.
    Necessary reforms such as cutting the size of government, freedom of speech and choice for individuals, wiping AGW from the agenda etc etc etc will take time, determination and a prime minister with a desire to achieve long lasting meaningful change.

    Whether Abbott is the man is yet to be determined. I hope he is.


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    pat

    interesting to recall how MSM covered CSIRO cuts during previous Labor Govt’S “efficiency measures” etc.

    first, headline says it’s CSIRO doing the axing, then it’s industry; then, more specifically, it’s the coal industy:

    17 April 2013: ABC: CSIRO set to axe jobs
    Unions say more than 200 people could be made redundant from scientific and support roles in CSIRO labs across the country. One of the reasons for the cuts is put down to a contraction in industry contributions…
    CSIRO’s chief executive Dr Megan Clark broke the news in an email.
    EXTRACT FROM EMAIL: “This budget is affected by a number of things, including a volatile external earnings environment, meeting maintenance of our properties and operating our national facilities, government efficiency measures and Enterprise Agreement salary increases.”
    WILL OCKENDEN: The CSIRO has an annual budget of about $1.3 billion, employing about 6,500 staff…
    WILL OCKENDEN: He says part of the reason is because industry is investing less money in CSIRO research.
    SAM POPOVSKI: Particularly in the mining sector, in industries like coal there’s been a change and a lag effect of the global financial crisis and the commodity price issue and this is now impacting on research and development funding.
    WILL OCKENDEN: Sam Popovski says more money is needed from government…
    (FINALLY GOVT GETS A MENTION, THO PM’S NAME NOT MENTIONED)
    SAM POPOVSKI: We think there needs to be a real assessment of the funding model for CSIRO going forward. It’s obviously not sustainable that year upon year there are job cuts coming through into significant research areas.
    WILL OCKENDEN: Federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie agrees. Mr Wilkie’s electorate of Denison in Hobart includes more than 300 CSIRO staff. He says 13 of them could lose their jobs.
    ANDREW WILKIE: And I would have thought that any government – and in particularly a Labor government – would see science, research and tertiary education in the universities as being among their most important priorities. There are other places to find savings but it shouldn’t be in education, science, research or health for that matter.
    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3738717.htm

    SIMILAR FARE, WITH ANY GOVT INVOLVEMENT LEFT TO THE FINAL SENTENCE:

    17 April 2013: SMH: Bridie Smith: CSIRO job cuts ‘unavoidable’
    The decision by the country’s top science agency to axe hundreds of staff as a result of budget cuts was unavoidable, according to CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark.
    Dr Clark said more than 2000 companies collaborated with CSIRO but that industries were reducing the amount spent on research…
    Economic conditions including the high Australian dollar have hit outside funding hard, most notably from the mining sector…
    (FINAL SENTENCE)
    The current quadrennial funding agreement for CSIRO was announced in the 2011 federal budget. It provides an average annual increase of 1.6 per cent over four years and accounts for 60 per cent of the agency’s budget.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/csiro-job-cuts-unavoidable-20130417-2hzy5.html


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    pat

    crazy or crazed?

    9 Nov: SMH: Tom Allard: Abbott’s climate change Achilles heel: the weather
    Hotter days could bring with them a potent political wildcard
    (1500) Then there were revelations of the culling of up to 1500 jobs at CSIRO, one of Australia’s pre-eminent climate change research institutions.
    And, perhaps most ominously, the Queensland government launched its plan to develop the Galilee Basin coal deposits, flagging royalty concessions to miners – including Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart – who will build the mega mines slated for central Queensland.
    Development could double Australia’s coal output, and add massively to global carbon pollutants…
    In the short-term, expect the government to milk the carbon tax issue further as it exploits Labor’s opposition to its repeal.
    (CREEPING UP??) Further out on the horizon though, the politics are far more tricky. The polling suggest that from a carbon tax-inspired nadir last year, concern about climate change is creeping up.
    International momentum is building for a global regime pricing carbon and then there is perhaps the most potent political wildcard: the weather itself…
    But two separate studies of polling show that people are more likely to be concerned about climate change if they have directly experienced hot, dry weather.
    (IS THIS “CREEPING UP”?) As the author of one of the studies Ye Li, from the Columbia Business School, observed: ”Global warming is so complex, it appears some people are ready to be persuaded by whether their own day is warmer or cooler than usual, rather than think about whether the entire world is becoming warmer or cooler.”…
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbotts-climate-change-achilles-heel-the-weather-20131108-2x6r8.html

    SECOND OF THE TWO STUDIES IS NOT NAMED.


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      Tim

      Pat, also in 9 Nov SMH: Wiff of grubby politics in Coalition’s Climate Plan

      No … not written by a journalist, but a Press Release from none other than ‘a climate change campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation.’


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    Sceptical Sam

    Tony Abbott leads a government of policy integrity. What a change that makes.

    He said he would remove the Carbon Dioxide tax and he will – in spite of the self-destructive actions of Electricity Bill and his green comrades. If it takes a double dissolution to get it done, so be it. And with it will go the unscientific and corrupt Climate Commission.

    However, in the interim the next steps need to include:

    1. a review of the scientific integrity of climate “science” research (especially that undertaken in Australian institutions);

    2. removal of Australia’s funding of the UN IPCC’s Green Climate Fund;

    3. an investigation into the provision of grants for climate “science” research from the ARC; and,

    4. an investigation into the BoM data adjustments that have been undertaken to adjust downwards Australian temperature records.

    Finally, he needs to remove item 6.1.1 subsection 30-55(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 which requires the maintenance of the Register that provides tax deductibility for donations to the public funds of those environmental organisations that have been included on the Register. In other words, get these environmental rent seeking lobby groups off the public drip feed.


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    DT

    So many government committees and agencies created by Labor Green government, jobs for the boys and girls of the party and unions. Andrew Bolt reports: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/andrewbolt/index.php/dailytelegraph/P15/


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      DT

      It reminded me that Oakeshott and Windsor were paid for their support by way of committee chair positions and related payments that combined and added to their parliamentary salary provided them with remuneration equivalent to a senior cabinet minister.


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    handjive

    O/T.
    Big Data Geek – Is it getting warmer in Virginia – NOAA Hourly Climate Data

    “Well Tammy Powlas asked me about Global Warming, and so I used SAP Lumira to find out whether temperatures have been increasing in Virginia, where she lives, since 1901. You will see in this video, just how fast SAP HANA is to ask complex questions.

    Here are the facts!

    - 500,000 uncompressed sensor files and 500GB
    - 335GB of CSV files, once processed
    - 2.5bn sensor readings since 1901
    - 82GB of Hana Data
    - 31,000 sensor locations in 288 countries

    Here are a few facts about the data model:

    - We aggregate all information on the fly.
    There are no caches, indexes, aggregates and there is no cheating.
    The video you see is all live data [edit: yes, all 2.5bn sensor readings are loaded!].
    - I haven’t done any data cleansing.
    You can see this early on because we have to do a bit of cleansing in Lumira.
    This is real-world, dirty data.
    .
    Did Virginia get warmer?
    Do yourself a favour and watch the 10 minute youtube video.


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    Oh dear! How embarrassing!

    The UNFCCC are holding their Yearly conference in Warsaw, Poland.

    Poland relies on more than 80% of its electrical power from coal fired sources, so this Conference can only be held thanks to coal fired power.

    However, that’s not the most embarrassing thing about this Climate Conference.

    At the same time as this conference is being held, The World Coal Association is holding its yearly conference as well.

    Nothing all that interesting there I suppose, except it’s being held at the same time ….. and in the same city, Warsaw.

    Here’s the link to their site advertising this Conference

    Okay then, here’s the program list for day one at the conference, and note the list of keynote speakers at the opening part of the conference.

    Hey, what do you know? I see Christina Figueres name there on the list. She’s the Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC)

    Say, wasn’t it lucky that she was already in town.

    Tony.


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      Sorry Tony but you’re kidding yourself if you think having the two conferences in parallel is an ‘oh dear’ moment.

      Have a look at who the chief of the World Coal Association is. A Aussie bloke named Milton Catelin. Look at his CV. The man is essentially a lobbyist. Used to be the chief of Partnerships and Public Affairs UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME. (Say no more)

      The many and various players involved can ALL BE CHARACTERIZED AS PIGS with their noses deep deep in the trough.
      So many EU Parliament members, UN employees and other rent seeking carpetbaggers.

      No, not an ‘oh dear’ moment, a ‘you beauty, more government handouts’ moment for this lot of despicable pigs.


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      I’m still hoping that the building engineer for the National Stadium will find a way of limiting the heating of the premises to that of the official global average temperature for this year. Maybe there will be consensus that a couple of degrees warmer isn’t such a bad idea.

      Still too warm for snow, though the Friday could see some (black) ice with night-time temps dipping to freezing with a max of 3⁰C during the day.


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    pat

    before i post some warsaw stuff, am wondering if the cuts at CSIRO being talked about in April are the same as the ones being spoken about now. does anyone know if the April 200 were fired?

    8 Nov: Guardian: AP: UN climate talks: Poland gives coal a voice
    Polish government to preside over coal industry event on sidelines of COP19 climate conference starting in Warsaw
    With coal-reliant Poland hosting UN climate talks, the fossil fuel industry will get a rare chance to play a more visible role in the global warming debate.
    But in a move that has infuriated climate activists, the Polish government will also preside over a high-level coal industry event on the sidelines of the two-week climate conference, which starts Monday.
    “It’s been seen as a real provocation and a statement from the Polish government that they have no intention to move away from coal,” said Wendel Trio, director of the Climate Action Network in Europe…
    But Polish officials say that coal, which accounts for more than 80% of Poland’s electricity generation, won’t go away anytime soon and needs to be a key part of the climate debate…
    In a statement to the Associated Press, the World Coal Association said the coal summit is meant as a contribution, not an alternative, to the UN talks. It noted that UN climate chief Christiana Figueres will be a keynote speaker at the event…
    “She could either completely ignore that it’s happening or go there and make a point, and I think she’s chosen the latter one,” said Liz Gallagher, of European environmental think tank E3G.
    The UN climate change secretariat declined to comment and Figueres did not respond to a Twitter query about the issue…
    The coal industry and affiliated sectors provide almost 600,000 jobs in Poland and traditionally enjoy government protection, especially now, when the jobless rate hovers around 13%…
    On Sunday, Polish labor unions and nationalists are planning a panel discussion against climate actions they say could harm Poland’s economy. The nationalists will also march the next day, the conference’s opening day, which coincides with Poland’s independence day. ***Their marches sometimes turn violent.
    “Rich European nations are imposing short-term goals on us which they took some 50 years to achieve,” said Krzysztof Bosak, a prominent member of the right-wing National Movement.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/08/un-climate-talks-poland-coal

    so typical of MSM. for once, Unions are doing their job on behalf of working class people, so they must be smeared with “nationalist” associations and violence!


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    pat

    9 Nov: AFP: Emmanuel Angleys: Coal-addicted Poland gears for key UN climate talks
    Poland’s dependence on cheap and plentiful black stuff means it ranks fifth for carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution in the European Union (EU), behind Germany, Britain, Italy and France, whose economies are far bigger.
    Coal accounts for about 90 percent of the electricity used by Poland’s 38 million people — and, say experts, there is enough of it to last for another century and a half.
    “We want to have renewable energy sources, but hard coal and lignite — and soon shale gas — will remain our principal energy sources. That’s where the future of the energy sector lies,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in September…
    Poland has raised hackles within the EU by torpedoing a drive to reduce CO2 emissions by removing the dirtiest fossil fuels from the 28-nation bloc’s energy mix.
    It has also vetoed plans to slash the EU’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent in 2030, 60 percent in 2040 and 80 percent in 2050, compared to 1990s levels.
    It insists such targets cannot be set without first doing an in-depth analysis of the costs***. (***HOW RADICAL IS THAT?)…
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iLxLanP5Vq6yzobrmba5a4QrXNQw?docId=f237b91e-115e-4a67-bb85-20107a919dbd

    INTERVIEW-Shale gas, new coal tech to help Poland cut CO2: minister
    WARSAW, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Coal-dependent Poland will continue to reduce carbon emissions by replacing outdated power plants with coal-fired units based on new technology and by exploiting shale gas resources, the environment minister said…
    http://www.pointcarbon.com/news/reutersnews/1.2876127?&ref=searchlist


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    Tim

    Will the cuts and freezes reach the rusted-on Public Servants at the inner-sanctums of ‘our’ ABC?


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      DT

      Malcolm Turnbull has informed various people who complained about the ALPBC that he is considering the options and will announce changes in due course. He also advised that complainants number in the thousands all expressing anger and concern that the left have taken control of ABC/SBS and use it for party political purposes contrary to the charters that require a bipartisan approach.


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        AndyG55

        This is a reply I received from him on 12/0ct 2013. Bolding is mine.

        Dear Andy,

        Australia’s media, like media environments all over the world, are experiencing great, disruptive change of unprecedented speed and scale. In these challenging times our national broadcasters are more important than ever and the Australian Government recognises the important role the ABC plays in Australia’s cultural, economic and democratic way of life.

        As Australia’s primary national broadcaster, the principal function of the ABC is to produce programs that inform, educate and entertain all Australians. The roles and functions of the ABC are set out in the ABC Charter under section 6 of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983.

        The Government provides an overall level of funding for the ABC, but has no power to direct the ABC in relation to operational matters. Parliament has guaranteed this independence to ensure that what is broadcast is free of political interference. Internal programming and editorial decisions are the responsibility of the ABC Board and Executive. One of the ABC’s statutory obligations is to be accurate and impartial in its news and current affairs programmes.

        The Government understand the significant relationship the ABC has with the Australian public and we are committed to maintain quality, performance and efficiency. Above all the Government will ensure the ABC fulfils its Charter.The government has no plans to privatise the ABC.

        The following options are available if you are dissatisfied about ABC content or services and would like to make a formal complaint…
        ………………………………………

        directs me to ABC complaints unit… as if that ever had any purpose except as a brick wall !!


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          Apoxonbothyourhouses

          “Above all the Government will ensure the ABC fulfils its Charter”. Easy and comforting words Andy but how can it be done? Because of the way the ABC is structured there is no mechanism to make certain there is political balance. The arrogant way complaints are handled merely confirms they know they are impregnable. Ditto BBC.


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          Lennox

          The ABC could try to abide by the Journalists Code of Ethics -

          Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

          http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

          Seek Truth and Report It

          Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

          Journalists should:

          — Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.

          — Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.

          — Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.

          — Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.

          — Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.

          — Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.

          — Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.

          — Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story

          — Never plagiarize.

          — Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.

          — Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.

          — Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

          — Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

          — Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

          — Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

          — Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.

          — Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.


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        AndyG55

        The more people who contact Mr Turnbull, the better.

        He must be made to realise that complaints to the ABC are pointless, the response aggravates the situation further because the complaints unit is very much part of the far-left ideology of ignoring all opinions except theirs.

        What is needed is a change in the person at the top.
        The guy there at the moment is a left-wing limp rag.

        The ex-Labor staffer, Andrew Bolt, perhaps ..
        wouldn’t that send the lefties into a tizzz :-)


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    Totally off topic, but grab a copy of this…

    The Age of Global Warming, by Rupert Darwall – ISBN 9780704372993, Quartet Books

    It’s a fantastic walk through how we got to where we are.


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    ROM

    I think a lot of the guesses and assumptions on the future course of Australian politics being discussed here might be misplaced.
    Misplaced in that they are based on a limited range of past political outcomes that appear to be of a similar political situation to the present situation .

    Much of politics today, from what I have gleaned over the last 20 or 3 decades is poll based politics, relying on polling by professional pollsters to ascertain where in the political spectrum the public are starting to turn to and just how vigorous or otherwise that turn might be.
    From that opinion base as derived by the polling and analysis by professional pollsters through phone and personal interviews, much of political policy is formulated to use or alternatively, to get around the blind side of public opinion to achieve the particular outcomes the political apparatchicks are seeking to implement.

    But there is a new very big and still rapidly growing big black bear on the block.
    That big bear may just be reacting in a fashion that is totally unfamiliar to the pollsters and appartchicks who like any long established industry have arguably become somewhat incestuous and set in it’s ways and is as a result, losing it’s ability to spot and analyse the major and minor changes in the public’s attitudes and psychology re the directions that the political apparatus is taking in policy formulation and implementation

    So what is this new factor, that new big new black bear on the block who might be starting to raid the long protected political garbage bins in canberra and the state capitals and putting the wind up the politicals and party aparatchicks?

    In a nutshell it is the steady rise of the blogs where the public are mostly free to express themselves about politics, policies of every sort and type as we witness here on Jo’s blog, although most are limited in a general way to commentary following along a certain political and policy direction as set by the blog owners and administrators .

    i suspect that the blogs are becoming far more influential than most realise as the opinions expressed by the few [ relatively ] commenters on the blogs is increasingly being read by the many.

    The information and particularly the openly expressed opinions that appear on the blogs are, in many cases regarding the public , quite eye opening and for a few / some may be quite shattering particularly if they can then check and corroborate the claims made on those blogs for themselves from other sources.

    We, I think, are already seeing just how many quite influential individuals in our society are regular readers if not commenters, of the various blogs as Jo listed only a few weeks ago.
    And thats only the ones we know of.
    The lists of lurkers would I suspect be very revealing as to the level of increasing influence the blogs may be having on the political situation and on political and bureaucratic policies and decisions.

    I am not familiar with the scope of the pollesters operations but I have yet to hear of any pollsters analysing the opinion trends in the various blogs.
    But I will lay money that within a short while the pollsters will be starting to watch and analyse the opinion trends and the heat of the commentary of those comments and the subjects across a range of the increasingly more influential blogs
    .
    The politicals will see to that as the blogs as a whole and from every stripe of opinion, increasingly become an outlet for political analysis and policy analysis at the public’s level and therefore a window to the direction of public opinion and changing public sentiments towards the whole of society’s complex range of interactions between the public, the political parties, the bureaucracies, the media and the economic drivers of our society in industry, science and law.


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    Bloke down the pub

    ‘This year we will be sending a junior (but why send anyone at all?).’

    To make sure you don’t get ‘volunteered’ for anything stupid while you’re not looking?


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    Robert

    Sceptical Sam is correct, we do need an unbiased review of the “science of climate change” upon which the AGW industry is based.

    But have a look at the Stern and Garnaut efforts which accepted IPCC science, nor do you want Drs. Karoly or Flannery either, nor any of Rudd’s army of 114 (minus embassy staff) that went to Copenhagen.

    Personally I’d nominate Bob Carter for chairman and a few unbiased like-minded folk, who haven’t cooked their books. A couple of scientists from USA and Canada would give it an international flavour like the IPCC.


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      Eddie Sharpe

      How would you make such a process seem unbiased to both sides ?
      You’d have to eliminate the troughers for a start,, including anyone from the Centres of Excessellence that have grown up around past funding.

      In the system that operates its never going to be free from charges of bias, so might as well just get on with it at is has already been sanctioned by the voters, as Tony Abbott sees fit to appoint.

      I non-professional scientist, with no stake in it funding their livelihood and yet clear instinct for scientific objectivity would be best to steer the process.

      I hope Jo had nothing else planned for the next few months.


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    We don’t seem to have enough government in WA. The local government association is advertising what it does on TV. Apparently it’s modus operandi include banning people from having their own swimming pools so that you have to use the public urinals that are provided for the purpose by your council.

    It also includes planting trees in the middle of local roads to make the roads “safer”.

    And obviously; taking in enough revenue to pay for TV “advertising”. Obviously people must have a choice of who they want to provide services like roads, waste management, etc..


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    Christoph Dollis

    I don’t believe in (and don’t practise) disliking anyone because of their race (I find that absurd in the same way that I’d find hating red vs. grey squirrels, or Shetland Ponies vs. Clydesdales: just because something is different and you recognize the fact doesn’t mean you dislike one or the other, nor does it prevent you from noticing there even greater similarities).

    On the contrary — I like and have liked people, often very much and very closely, of every race and I am mixed race myself.

    However, there are non-cosmetic differences (medical, other) between groups of people of different ancestries. If this wasn’t so, that itself would be a refutation of the theory of natural selection because it is, in fact, what natural selection would predict.

    No Australian or other law is going to change this fact of nature, nor is any majority of opinion. People should be free to (1) say the truth and (2) say their opinion, even if it ultimately isn’t true. That’s what free speech is about.

    People can present contrary data, by all means.


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      ROM

      Christoph Dollis
      We were all a black or dark skinned species when the first of our species walked out of Africa possibly across what is now Egypt’s Sinai desert and Israel’s Negev and into what is now Israel and Palestine some 200,000 years ago.

      http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/oldest-human-israel-101228.htm

      After the great human bottle neck of some 70,000 years ago which has been identified through genetic analysis and was possibly caused by the catastrophic Sumatran Toba volcanic explosion / eruption of the same period, by the end of that bottle neck there were possibly less than 10,000 breeding pairs of our species Homo sapiens in existence.
      [ For comparisons the endangered African Gorilla population is around 25,000 pairs ]

      We as a species came extraordinarily close to extinction.

      Then and only then after the bottleneck. our species started to increase and spread across the planet.
      And then and only then the different racial characteristics which have proved to be such a divisive factor in humanity’s recent history actually developed as regional characteristics such as in the higher latitudes less sunlight conditions, white skins developed to better asborb the lower availability of Solar UV for the body’s production of the essential vitamin D requirements.
      To this day black skinned people in northern climes are far more likely to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency than white skinned people.

      . And so in the local human populations there developed what we call racial characteristics which were specific to local and regional areas.

      “Race” as we know it is less than 70,000 years old.


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        I wouldn’t bet on the 70,000 figure as a certainty, but this is more or less true.


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        However, even though for humans it is relatively recent, the differences in geographic niches and resulting cultures is huge. Humans migrated to virtually every latitude on Earth, for example, in quite a short time. This caused changes, not all of which were to do with vitamin D production.

        Further, Homo neanderthalensis diverged from Homo sapiens much earlier. Most of, but not all, modern humans have neanderthal genes. Of those who do have neanderthal genes, they vary in amounts by as much as four-fold. It’s hard to imagine why this wouldn’t be a factor in significant diversity.


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          ROM

          I just used the vitamin D / white skin as an example of the numerous factors that created the various races of humanity..
          And yes you are quite right as to how there were a number of other factors in creating what we call “race” amongst humans

          That Neanderthal gene argument re our Homo sapiens species went on for a long time but it has only been since around 2010 that this gene swapping between Neanderthals and the Homo sapiens was confirmed’

          Now, as usual they are arguing over how this apparent gene swap if it was one, actually happened.

          MIT technology; Genetic Analysis Solves Human-Neanderthal Interbreeding Puzzle

          The story began in 2010 when anthropologists announced that they had sequenced the Neanderthal genome for the first time. The announcement came with the bombshell that humans and Neanderthal share small fraction of their genes, between 1 and 4 per cent.

          There was also a curious twist: not all humans have these Neanderthal genes. In fact, you can divide humanity in two by this measure. On the one hand there are humans from sub-Saharan Africa who have little Neanderthal DNA and on the other, there is the rest of us who do have it.

          Why the difference? Neanderthals arrived in Europe about 400,000 years ago and disappeared about 30,000 years ago. Modern humans came later, appearing in Africa some 200,000 years ago and expanding into Europe about 80,000 years ago.

          So one idea is that the modern humans who invaded Europe must have enjoyed a little hanky panky with the local Neanderthals who were already lived there. By contrast, the humans who stayed in Africa missed out on the party, hence the difference in DNA.

          But there is an alternative hypothesis. Humans and Neanderthals have a common ancestor who lived in Africa about 500,000 years ago. Some of these guys clearly went off and evolved into Neanderthals.

          The speed of human migration to all the even most remote parts of the planet by the human race following the bottleneck has always intrigued me. A lot of that migration followed the ocean coasts during a time when the sea levels as derived from coral proxies [ http://courses.washington.edu/proxies/Lec1_SeaLevelIceVolume2010.pdf ] were up to 50 metres lower than today so all the evidence of human migration along the ocean littorals is now probably some 50 metres or so below sea levels and well out to sea.

          With possibly only a few hundred thousand humans as a pool to draw from for this great human migration I often wonder what drove those great migrations.
          The migration of course took tens of thousands of years before mankind had reached the likes of Patagonia in the southern tip of South America and about as far as you can go while walking from Africa, by about 11,000 BC.
          Patagonia: first people of Patagonia
          Australia was settled some 50,000 years ago by it’s first aboriginal peoples but there were at least another wave of aboriginal peoples of a different racial characteristics some 22,000 years ago and quite possibly some other smaller migrations into Australia between the first and the last migration.
          The Tasmanian aboriginal peoples were quite a lot less developed in their technology [ and were so few in number they were losing or had already lost the knowledge of how to make fire having to carry coals from one place to another when white man arrived on the scene. Technology needs a certain base number of humans for it to survive and be practiced but the Tasmanian aborigines had fallen below that minimum number and had lost quite a lot of technology which they had brought down from the mainland ] and were more primitive than the northern Australian aboriginal peoples so it is assumed that they were the remnants of the first migratory peoples to reach australia having been pushed down into Tasmania’s harsh climate, harsh at least for a primitive peoples by the much later arriving and a more advanced aboriginal peoples.

          Not many realise there was even a pygmy tribe in Queensland and some of the old mission photos from the early 20th century show photos of these pygmies.

          One theory I have sort of thought about quite a lot is the “bad guy” theory of exploration and human expansion.

          The “bad guy” knocks off somebody in the tribe or vamooses with another guy’s woman and all hell breaks loose in the tribal group. So he takes the obvious option and together with his woman or his latest illegal female acquisition heads for those far hills. No point in going back as he might run into some other rellies who will have worked out or got wind of his caper so it’s into the wilderness ahead for safety .

          Of course to the humanity of those times this was child’s play to live off the land as that is what they had always done.

          The French Canadian fur trappers with their Indian women folk are an excellent example of mostly undocumented frontier exploration that was many years ahead of the supposed official historical discovery of new lands across the whole of the Canadian prairies and Northwest Territories and the northern Great Plains states of the USA

          And the bad guys of course rarely if ever kept maps or records of where they had been and what they saw and experienced,They didn’t have to being born bushmen nor they could keep records as there was only the spoken word as the only means of knowledge transmission.

          Nor did most bad guys and their women want anybody to know where and what they have been up to and preferably stayed out of sight and revenge well ahead of the tribal movements into ever newer territory as mankind spread across the planet.

          And as always eventually the bad guys met up with other equally bad individuals and groups and formed no doubt the equivalent of the bikie gangs of 50 or 60 thousand years ago who stayed one step ahead of the local law for what it was, which going by the present day’s more primitive peoples could be pretty draconian.
          And so a new tribal group way out ahead of the pack came into existence and new territory was” opened up” and eventually the new mob became respectable citizens.
          All for the process to be repeated all over again in the next generation

          And I strongly suspect that one heck of a lot of the Earth’s global land masses were known to a very few wild roaming adventurous individuals some being those “bad guys and gals” long before they ever appeared in the historical records as being “discovered” by the right and proper seamen and explorers.

          After all there were rumours of what appeared to be a Phoenician altar being found up in the hills behind one of Queensland’s coastal cities [ can't remember which one ] some half a century ago.
          And that altar, if it ever existed, would have been from some 2000 or more years ago when the Phoenicians roamed a good part of the then known planet on their great trading expeditions.

          Always a fascinating subject to follow the twists and turns of our species development and how we came to dominate of the planet. Or at least thats what we like to believe.
          Nature as usual will have the final say about that.


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            Very interesting comment, ROM.

            One thing I object to is people saying it’s OK to be curious and scientific about every species in the world, except the one which matters most to me — my own.


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            ROM

            As a [ final? ] addendum to my “bad guy” theory of exploration I will add this little unrecorded for obvious reasons anecdote from more than a century and a half ago in the hope that somebody will read it and remember it for the future.
            It is 50 or 60 years since I last heard this anecdote dating probably from the middle of the 18th century or a bit earlie, repeated .

            During my youth, the old guys of those times some 60 years ago who had heard this from their parents who had been close to the action told of the stories of Victorian horse thieves stealing horses here in the Victorian colony and droving those stolen horses through the “unexplored” country west of the Blue Mountains, country that had never been officially “explored” and documented by explorers, up to the Queensland colony for sale there.

            For very obvious reasons, the bad guys living on the edges of the then society involved, the routes taken, the number of times this happened and all other details have never been recorded and it is only recorded in anecdotes such as this. Most such small and apparently not very important bit of history will be and are being lost as the older generations pass away.
            But it is that complex and often untold fabric of the past that makes a nation what it is in it’s culture and it’s belief in itself and what it is and what stands for.


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    ROM

    Completely off topic but an example of the utterly twisted and warped, perhaps worse than that mentalities that now appear to be central to the whole teary eyed, hand wringing of the global warming. climate change / extreme weather / etc ideology

    Professor Peter Gleik of the Heartland document theft and fraudulent document fame for which he has escaped all legal repercussions so far [ but the great wheel of time and history keeps right on turning so we will watch and wait ] has his name once again in the headlines on the NoTricksZone blog

    I am having trouble in accepting that ANYBODY could be so utterly stupid and of such a warped, twisted, corrupted mentality to ever openly think let alone openly publish such twisted thinking for all to see.

    But I guess this is the type of arrogant, hubris laden psychology that now increasingly seems to be closely connected to and fundamental to the belief in the global warming cult and ideology; ie Lewendowsky as another example.

    Professor Gleick Most Offended Because 8-Year Old Kids Prefer Toys Over Tree Leaf Education! -

    [P. Gosselin's NTZ quote following ]
    I had to shake my head when I came across Peter Gleick’s Twitter comment about a Toys R Us spot. Incredibly he writes: ”My wife and I saw this ad and looked at each other speechless. And angry. Perhaps the most offensive we’ve ever seen.” -

    video’

    At first I thought Gleick was joking, but then I was horrified to discover he and his wife really mean it. Gleick and his ilk are freaking out because a teacher has 8-year olds playing with toys instead of collectively learning the names of tree leaves.

    Damn it! Those little brats have got to learn and love tree leaves!

    To me this confirms that Gleick is a…well, never mind – I’m not going to accomplish anything with insults, as deserved as they may be
    .[ end quote]


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    Lennox

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2488426/Global-warming-lead-snakes-long-BUSES-horses-shrinking-size-CATS-scientists-warn.html?ico=sciencetechheadlines
    .
    “…..Now scientists are warning massive reptiles and shrinking mammals could be found on our planet again if global warming takes hold.
    .
    Jonathan Bloch, a paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History, last week told a conference in Gainesville that there is a clear link between global warming and unusual animal fossils.
    .
    Dr Bloch has been looking at a period known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum which occurred around 55 million years ago.
    .
    At this time global temperatures rose by about 6 °C over a period of 200,000 years……..”
    ….

    So what is meant by a 6 degree C temperature rise?

    The ABC reported on the 8th Nov. that scientists are predicting a world temperature rise of between 4 to 6 degrees C.

    The worlds average temperature is 15 degrees, so that would represent a world temperature rise of 27 to 40% . If a local temperature is around 30 degrees now, temperatures could with a 33% rise be up around 53 degrees and higher with the occurence of a 6% rise in the worlds average temperature. But then again the driving force is the Sun, so what is happening with it?


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      Ian Hill

      The worlds average temperature is 15 degrees, so that would represent a world temperature rise of 27 to 40% . If a local temperature is around 30 degrees now, temperatures could with a 33% rise be up around 53 degrees and higher with the occurence of a 6% rise in the worlds average temperature. But then again the driving force is the Sun, so what is happening with it?

      Sorry Lennox, it doesn’t work like that. If you are talking percentages you need to use degrees Kelvin, which means adding 273 to the figure in degrees Celsius. Therefore they are talking about a 2% rise, which is still nonsense.


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      Yonniestone

      “so what is happening with it?” I don’t know if your asking or telling us Lennox, this site has a wealth of information to search and regular commenters here give great ideas and insights as well.
      BTW if you mention Richard Alley I’ll scream then laugh hysterically. :)


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    … global temperatures rose by about 6 °C over a period of 200,000 years

    Gosh … Everybody Panic.

    And 55 million years ago was slightly before I was born.

    In what sort of time frame, are the “scientists” predicting this “massive” temperature change might reoccur?

    I suggest you stop reading the Daily Mail – it can make you go blind.


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    Michael the Realist

    Nope, Australians not partying in Poland, they are busy fighting fires while our leaders fiddle and pretend that all is good in the world. Our hottest 12 months, summer, winter, day etc on record, but increased risks and an early and viscious start to our bushfire season is just a coincidence. The Philipines get battered again and again by increasingly worse storms are just a coincidence etc etc.

    http://www.sustainability.org.il/home/news-updates/philippines-delegator-tears-climate-change-1212

    I don’t know how you guys kiss your kids goodnight and then are able to sleep.


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      Yonniestone

      Yep you’re absolutely correct Michael and all based on the last 12 months, we’re all f@#$%d!
      BTW I sleep just fine by my whale oil lamp whilst resting my evil form on a baby fur seal bed and listening to a tape of dolphins being harpooned.
      I know it’s a wind up but just in case your serious GET HELP!


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      … they are busy fighting fires …

      When did these bush fires first start, Michael? How many fires have there been, since that time? You can’t just point to something and say, “Ooh, that is scary, we are all gonna die”. Well, I suppose you can, but then you are a bit challenged.

      Our hottest 12 months, summer, winter, day etc on record …

      Nope, slightly above average, but certainly not the hottest. Tell you what, you find me the second hottest, and then we might give you some credence.

      The Philippines get battered again and again by increasingly worse storms are just a coincidence etc etc.

      How many typhoons occur in the Western Pacific per year, on average? What is the average strength (in max wind speed) of these typhoons? Yes, the one that has just struck the Philippines was well above average, so it was serious, and nobody I know says otherwise. But the worst on record? Again, tell us how strong, the second strongest typhoon was, and when, since records began.

      I understand that the Philippines delegate in Doha was emotionally upset because he had lost a close family member in the typhoon. You can always trust the unfeeling conservationists to try and capitalise on the grief of others to further their agenda.


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      AndyG55

      “I don’t know how you guys kiss your kids goodnight and then are able to sleep.”

      Easy.. we don’t live our lives in totally irrational self-induced fear.


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      Roy Hogue

      I don’t know how you guys kiss your kids goodnight and then are able to sleep.

      I see you’re back.

      I’ve seen plenty of natural disaster all around me and I slept just fine. Why? Because I did not blame myself for any of it. If you don’t sleep at night I suggest adopting the same more realistic attitude about natural dangers. Life is a fatal disease, Michael. Get used to it.


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      Brian H

      viscious — is that half thick and half cruel? Like you?


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        John Knowles

        No need to be nasty to the dear chap (sorry if I sound patronising Michael) but we need differing opinions and cross-fire to generate healthy discussion.
        Sure, we had some buildings damaged in the October fires but the main reasons were nothing to do with changes of climate but resulted from human thinking. e.g. Dr W of Lithgow Hospital lost his well set-up house at Winmalee. His wife was over-seas and some-how he was else-where at the critical time. Next time the local fire brigade could have details of his fire plan on computer so they could activate his sprinkler system.
        Bilpin bush-fire brigade has a voluntary data-base map of the district on its computer which shows where all flammables are stored, location of water tanks, dams and gates, relevant health details of resident etc.
        Dr W, I hope you were well insured and I shall do all I can to prevent a repeat performance and Michael, please keep posting here.


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      John Knowles

      they are busy fighting fires while our leaders fiddle

      Credit to the Au PM for turning up at the Bilpin Fire-shed and helping out with the Blue Mtns fire situation. Looks like he might have his priorities right.

      viscious start to our bushfire season

      Actually it was a relatively mild fire situation in the Blue Mtns. My property is in an extremely fire prone position on a hill with 20km of bush to the west which hasn’t burned for 18 years. On two days deemed “extreme fire days” I went to other areas protecting houses yet I never once felt threatened and was happy to leave my wife to drive our comprehensive home sprinklers etc. The rest of the time we did moderately controlled back-burning operations which will see us in good stead for the next half dozen years.
      The only “viscous” things around Bilpin were the panicing cops who tried to get my wife to evacuate when there wasn’t a fire near us and the plonker who tried to stop her driving the kids home from school one day. Oh, and the paracites driving around trying to knock off stuff from the homes of sheeple who’d evacuated due to false alarm text messages from the Sydney fire authorities.
      No house in the Bilpin region has ever been lost to bush-fire. At Mt Victoria numerous houses burned down after the fire-front had passed because the police had evacuated the residents. A Mr Clark stayed home and put out reigniting spot-fires on his property so his house is fine.

      Dear Michael, thank-you for offering me the chance to talk about reality.


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        Roy Hogue

        John,

        An instructive and thoughtful response there. It always amazes me how authority tries to take away the individual’s right to decide for himself and justifies it with their responsibility to save you from yourself — a responsibility they don’t have and cannot carry out even if they did have it. And it’s now reaching into every aspect of our lives, even to the point of trying to control what we eat. Simply amazing… :-(


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      Lennox

      It is not a single temperature which cause climate.

      Re the recent bushfires -

      “A Cooling Sea Makes Heat-Waves, Droughts and Bushfires More Likely”

      With warm seas in the north and cool seas in the south the Southern section of the Australian continent will suffer hot dry northerly winds.

      Point and click sea surface temperatures [ 26.5C for a cyclone to develop] -

      http://www.marine.csiro.au/~lband/web_point/

      “Measuring land temperature is not a scientific way to measure average global temperature”.

      http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/climate2.htm

      Does global cooling cause heat-waves?

      Could it be that global cooling causes heat-waves? Surely not! Yet it does! So let’s investigate this further, but first a number of priciples that we’ve explained before.

      The usual temperature, climate and weather for any place on Earth, in any month of the year, is mainly dominated by the amount of sunshine and the amount of moisture.

      Latitude and season determine the amount of sunshine and thus warmth, whereas moisture has a moderating effect. Heat-waves are unusual spells of unusually warm days.

      All moisture comes from the sea. It is transported through the air onto the land and some returns through rivers to the sea. Thus places near the sea receive more moisture than places far inland, reason why all continents have deserts in their centres.

      Global temperature is dominated by the oceans because they have a much larger heat capacity than the land. Thus global temperature is best measured at sea.

      When the planet cools, seas are colder than usual. Thus there is less evaporation and less moisture for the land. But it becomes worse, because winds tend to go from warmer to colder places. So on average, there is less sea wind and more land wind than usual.

      Thus more moisture than usual from the land, ends up in the sea. Conversely less moisture from the sea ends up on land.. The result is that the land becomes drier, sooner than usual, which gives rise to heat-waves. Nights, however, remain colder than usual. Thus the weather and climate become more desert-like.

      Important points:

      climate often works contrary to intuition.

      Measuring land temperatures is not a good way of measuring global temperature.
      a cool(ing) sea makes heat-waves, droughts and bushfires more likely.

      Wherever cold seas flow past continents, they cause desert climates (California, Chile, Galapagos, etc.)

      Global cooling has an immediate effect on the land, and affects oceans much later due to their heat capacity.

      Global cooling makes heat-waves and droughts more likely, as well as bush fires.

      Global cooling diminishes agricultural production.


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        Roy Hogue

        All moisture comes from the sea. It is transported through the air onto the land and some returns through rivers to the sea. Thus places near the sea receive more moisture than places far inland, reason why all continents have deserts in their centres.

        Lennox,

        This seems a little over simplified to me. The mid-west states in the U.S. can get high humidity from the Gulf of Mexico clear up to Nebraska, Kansas and even as far as the Great Lakes. This condition is very conducive to tornadoes because it brings with it a layer of warm air that slips in under a colder layer above it. If the warm air breaks through the cold layer and starts to rise you have an instant tornado when the air all around the break rushes in to fill the lower pressure zone around the rising column of warm moist air. Tornadoes are many times accompanied by rain because of all the moisture.

        There is no desert in the center of North America. The deserts are all located in the southwestern states and Mexico. Baja California is all desert from the U.S. border on the north to Cabo San Lucas at the southernmost point and from the Pacific Ocean on the west to the Sea of Cortez on the east. So deserts are not so simply defined by their geographical location.

        Without water imported from hundreds of miles away, Los Angeles would be a desert full of jackrabbits, coyotes and sagebrush. It would perhaps not be as hot as some other deserts but it would be a desert.


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      Backslider

      How is it Michael that you only ever post in old threads? You should talk with your psychologist about that.

      they are busy fighting fires

      Yes, Tony Abbott was busy fighting fires. What was Shorten up to?

      our leaders fiddle and pretend that all is good in the world

      That is quite a meaningless statement. Would you care to elaborate?

      Our hottest 12 months, summer, winter, day etc on record

      Yes, if you trust ACORN data, which nobody in their right minds does. If you care to look you will find that vast tracts of crops were wiped out by FROSTS in OCTOBER. You will find that now its NOVEMBER its STILL SNOWING and Victoria have had their coldest period on record. Yes Michael. COLDEST.

      increasingly worse storms

      Everybody (except you) knows that storm intensity is governed by the difference in temperature between air masses. You cannot blame this on warming.

      I honestly don’t know how YOU can kiss your kids and are then able to sleep. You are intent on ruining their future.


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    Safetyguy66

    Greens are crying like kids with stolen lollies, but I cant understand why they arnt applauding the saving of carbon air miles.


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    Orang Putih

    I recently had a debate with my adult daughter about the right to free speech even if it offends others. She was horrified to think I felt I had a right to speak my mind in those circumstances.
    That’s the result of a Catholic schooling and a couple of university degrees for you.
    A total inability to see that individual rights to freedom of expression are more important than someone else’s hypersensitivities. I’m hoping this government will put the chainsaw through all the political correctness that has been foisted on us and we can then all breathe a sigh of relief… and say what we bloody well want to!


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      Roy Hogue

      I’m hoping this government will put the chainsaw through all the political correctness that has been foisted on us and we can then all breathe a sigh of relief… and say what we bloody well want to!

      One more thing I’d like to clone and import to America. And I don’t believe I should go around intentionally giving offense. But I’d like to use certain words in conversation without someone jumping down my throat about it.

      Words that begin with “N” and “Q” come to mind. Then there’s the hyper sensitivity to discussion of Islam and a new one just beginning, discussion of The Constitution concerning the rights it guarantees and prohibitions it does not make.

      If you figure out how to get back to that position please let me know.


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    David

    I am heartened to note that Barry Humphries has an upcoming UK tour – do you think someone could get him (or his plain-speaking diplomat friend, Sir Les Patterson – or his glamorous sidekick, Dame Edna) to drop in a few crumbs of comfort for us Brits, still lumbered with a government whose mantra is ‘the science is settled’…?


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    Kipling

    It may be worth having a read of the Australian constitution regarding our rights to free speech in this country…


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