Life is fragile

It was a pretty awful week last week, starting with various murders still in the courts, including the sentencing in terrible one where a man fuelled with alcohol and drugs raped and killed the young French student at Kurilpa on the southside, near the Gallery of Modern Art. There was another at Goondiwidi, where a woman was choked and strangled with her jeans.

dreamworld_7964024-16x9-220x124Then we had the four deaths at Dreamworld and the bumbling by Ardent Leisure CEO Deborah Thomas and the Dreamworld management. Continue reading Life is fragile

FBI bombshell, or storm in a teacup?

Or is it an entirely inappropriate intervention in the political process by a public official?


At the end of the working week we were cruising to a perhaps anticlimactic finish to the presidential campaign when a letter from FBI Director James B. Comey advised Congress that the agency would once again be examining emails related to Clinton’s time as secretary of state. Continue reading FBI bombshell, or storm in a teacup?

Saturday salon 29/10

1. Schools are filling in for dud parents (pay-walled)

    CHILD safety champions Bruce and Denise Morcombe have warned of an escalating trend of teachers taking up the slack for “diminished” parenting.

To find the article Google Peter Hall and the above sentence.

    Leading child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said many parents had “dropped the ball’’ with regard to rudimentary child-rearing.

    Dr Carr-Gregg said this was the result of being extremely time poor, hesitant to set limits and boundaries for fear of being perceived as a wicked parent and in some cases just not realising their responsibilities. Continue reading Saturday salon 29/10

Grid-scale battery storage: can it happen in Australia?

David Leitch’s article Battery storage: Bad advice about costs is fooling Australian governments reviews two American reports on grid-scale battery storage in the states of Texas and Massachusetts. He says the reports:

    are detailed, professionally modelled and far more forward looking and sophisticated than anything so far produced by traditional Australian electricity consultants such as Jacobs, Frontier, IES, Ernst & Young or ACIL Allen.

Leitch, the principal of ITK says in their view:

    Australia is being held back, in part, because consultants in Australia provide advice to federal and state governments based on expensive models that are basically out of date. The models don’t, and in fact can’t, take an integrated (whole of system) view.

Continue reading Grid-scale battery storage: can it happen in Australia?

Climate clippings 188

1. Electric car revolution may drive oil ‘investor death spiral’

Bloomberg is warning that the multi-trillion-dollar ‘big crash’ in oil investments could start as soon as 2023. However, the smart money is bound to move earlier. Here’s the progress of electric car sales:

1-hkypjilys0m1xolgpzmtag_600 Continue reading Climate clippings 188

Abbott and Turnbull in public shootout

turnbull_malcolm-turnbull-headshot_250A shootout that leaves both damaged, Abbott perhaps more than Turnbull. That’s largely because none of the scribes and commentators have taken account fully of Peta Credlin’s account of the events (paywalled, but Google ‘Peta Credlin IT IS ironic that after a whole week talking about the Adler shotgun’).

I think most people now think that Tony Abbott was lying when he said there was no secret deal between him and David Leyonhjelm in mid-August last year to put a sunset clause on the temporary ban on importing the Adler A110 lever-action shotgun. The sunset clause was said to have been inserted in exchange for votes on migration legislation in a deal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Not so, says Credlin, because the extension, with sunset clause, had been done weeks earlier, and the fact communicated in the national press. Continue reading Abbott and Turnbull in public shootout

Global temperature, the North Atlantic cold blob and the Gulf Stream

September’s global temperature confirmed that we are living in the hottest year on record. Here’s the map:


NASA tells us that the record-warm September means 11 of the past 12 consecutive months dating back to October 2015 have set new monthly high-temperature records. June has been down-graded to third hottest, because of late cold temperatures reported from the Antarctic. Also September was only a slither warmer than 2014. It’s the long-term trends that count. So let’s look at the 30-year moving average from Open Mind: Continue reading Global temperature, the North Atlantic cold blob and the Gulf Stream

Saturday salon 22/10

1. Trump’s Plan B, was it Plan A?

It’s generally agreed, I think, that the moderator won the third presidential debate, with Hillary Clinton coming second.

Trump may not have lost, however, because there is talk that Trump may launch himself into the TV business, where no doubt nothing but the truth will be told.

There has been talk about it at Vanity Fair back in June. There was talk at Huffington Post a few days ago. Now it’s in The Economist. Continue reading Saturday salon 22/10

Renewables under attack – again

wind-farm-hero_250The Coalition government and the Murdoch press were already mounting a full-scale attack on renewable energy when the AEMO report on the SA blackout presented information in such a way as to cast further doubt on renewable energy. AEMO stands for Australian Energy Market Operator. That is AEMO is an operator in the game, not an independent watchdog. In fact an operator that may not itself have acted prudently.

On top of this Chris Uhlmann of the ABC has been virulently critical of the rush to renewables, using what turns out to be techno-babble to sound convincing. His views have skewed the ABC network coverage across all platforms.

So what happened? Continue reading Renewables under attack – again

Trump an exemplar of American masculinity?

Donald Trump was born in June 1946, and would have turned 17 in 1963, the year Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique was published, which I gather fired up ‘second wave feminism’ in the US.

Back in early August, James Hamblin in The Atlantic identified Donald Trump as the climax of American masculinity.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

That referred to his aggressive style. Now Paul McGeough’s article ‘Formal’ vulgarian Donald Trump evokes Mad Men, Playboy and the Rat Pack looks at the origins of his attitude to women. Continue reading Trump an exemplar of American masculinity?

Climate clippings 187

1. Arctic sea ice volume collapse

The collapse of the Arctic sea ice volume has been even more dramatic than the extent, as shown in this graph:


It’s down from 16,855 cubic kilometres in 1979 to 4,401 in 2016, that’s an ice loss of about 74%. Continue reading Climate clippings 187

Trump isn’t teflon

trump_1-ne3maynv4cyddok0aii9oa_meltdown_250Three days ago Nate Silver published an analysis that broke up the polling along gender lines.

If only the men voted Trump would win 350 votes to 188. But if only women voted Clinton would win an astonishing 458 votes to 80.

That was before the second debate and the 2005 videotape had any impact. Clinton trailed Trump by 11 percentage points among men but led him by 33 points among women. Continue reading Trump isn’t teflon