1. Free speech has its limits
Yassmin Abdel-Magied found out that speech in Australia is not free if the political right do not agree with what you say, or when you choose to say it. She does some part-time work for the ABC, so it was front page on the Daily Tele and:
Conservative commentators Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson have both questioned whether Abdel-Magied has the qualifications to hold her job at the ABC.
Acting PM Barnaby Joyce said the ABC should take “further action” against Abdel-Magied. The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has labelled her a “disgrace”, Senator Eriz Abetz called her comments “reprehensible” while Liberal MP George Christensen called for her to be sacked, adding that “self-deportation should also be considered”.
What did she do to deserve this? Continue reading Saturday salon 29/4
The Climate Council issued a report on the future of gas-fired electricity just after Easter – Pollution and Price: The Cost of Investing in Gas.
Gas is often thought of as a ‘transition fuel’ from coal to renewables. Their advice is clear:
Do not provide policy support for new gas power plants or gas supply infrastructure.
Existing gas plants should be thought of as a short-term, expensive, emergency backup as renewable energy and storage is rapidly scaled up.
Moreover, we should leave most of our gas reserves in the ground. Continue reading Gas has got to go
I think I ignored Anzac Day last year, on the blog, that is. I think I grew up as patriotic as the rest of the community, despite being embedded in a community of ‘German’ farmers, who were mostly third generation Australians. Anyway their services were definitely not required even in the Second World War. Indeed I understand that my father may have been involved in some Dad’s Army type exercises in case of a Japanese invasion. But when the authorities discovered there were Germans involved, that was the end of that.
However, apart from those of German origin very few Australian families escaped losing relatives on the battlefields of northern France and Flanders, our extended family by marriage amongst them.
The Australian War Memorial frames Passchendaele as an almost universal experience where in a concentrated area in three and a half months around a million and a half men experienced war. Total casualties are estimated at about 275,000 British and Commonwealth and about 200,000 German. All for a gain of 8 kilometres in the line, which was later given up. Continue reading The Battle of Passchendaele
In the comments thread of the post Is methane hydrate out-gassing going to kill us all? BilB linked to an article The Global Impacts of Rapidly Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice by Peter Wadhams, who is professor emeritus of ocean physics at Cambridge University, a sea ice specialist with 46 years of research on sea ice and ocean processes in the Arctic and Antarctic with more than 50 expeditions to both polar regions under his belt.
He worries about what is happening in the Arctic, and after revisiting my post Reconciling estimates of climate sensitivity, I worry too. Not so much about the extinction of the human race, or about abrupt catastrophic climate change, rather how the earth system is going to end up in the long term after we extract much of carbon sediments deposited over hundreds of millions of years and inject them back into the atmosphere within the space of about a century. Continue reading Climate change and the Arctic: we should worry
1. Theresa May’s brave gambit
She didn’t need to, so why did she, especially after promising absolutely definitely that she wouldn’t?
Given a lead of about 20% in the polls, she possibly sees a chance of decimating Labour and governing virtually as a one-party state for the next five years.
However, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight warns that the British polls are basically not worth a cracker. Their abysmal performance translates into a margin of error of 13 to 15%. Continue reading Saturday salon 22/4
Recently we’ve linked to a couple of scary posts, ie. The Methane Threat and Warning of mass extinction of species, including humans, within one decade, both at the Arctic News blog.
This is alarming to say the least.
The first thing I did was look up the Climate Plus archives tag for Methane. Continue reading Is methane hydrate out-gassing going to kill us all?
Back on 17 March, 2017 Joshua Robertson’s article in the Guardian Stopping global warming is only way to save Great Barrier Reef, scientists warn reported four things happening simultaneously. First, a paper by 46 scientists published in Nature showed that bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef in 1998, 2002 and 2016 was determined by ocean surface temperature; water quality had nothing to do with it.
Secondly, Terry Hughes, the lead author of the paper was embarking on aerial surveys to chart the effects of the latest 2017 bleaching event, the first in consecutive years, and the first in a non-El Niño year.
Third, Queensland government officials were in Paris meeting with UNESCO officials to appeal for more time to make good on conservation efforts to ward off an “in-danger” listing for the reef. This conservation plan does not mention global warming, concentrating on such things as water quality.
Fourth, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk went to India to lobby Adani to proceed with its giant coal mine in the Galilee Basin. Continue reading Do we seriously want to save the Great Barrier Reef?
Exporters often seem to be able to pay less tax than other businesses. One of the key reasons for this is that exporters pay no GST on their exports despite benefiting from government expenditure on things things like education and various forms of assistance to industry including assistance that is specific to export industries.
This post asks whether it is about time to start charging the GST on at least some exports. Continue reading Should We Charge the GST on Exports?
The Commonwealth government has just gained support for a tax cut for business’s earning less that $50m per yr. The benefits of this change are debatable. The only things we can be sure of is that badly needed government revenue has been sacrificed and if anything, the administration of this tax will become more complex.
It might be smarter to get rid of this complex and difficult to administer tax altogether and replace the lost revenue by either increasing the take from already existing taxes and/or some new and simpler tax.
This post looks at the implications of getting rid of company tax. Continue reading Should We Get Rid of the Company Tax?
1. Older Coalition voters turning to One Nation
Newspoll finds that the demographic most supportive of One Nation is the 50-plus group and it appears that the LNP is the main loser in that sector.
Meanwhile, Pauline is calling for a boycott of easter eggs that are halal-certified, ie Cadbury, Matthias Cormann has stared down a demand that the ABC’s budget be cut by $600 million and the Young Nationals have supported carbon trading, having supported same-sex marriage in 2015. Continue reading Saturday salon 15/4
1. Antarctic ice melt may have tipped
David Spratt at Climate Code Red has a post surveying recent studies on Antarctic ice sheet melting. I’ll cut to the chase with his update of a recent report from NOAA:
a revised worst-case sea-level rise scenario of 2.5 metres by 2100, 5.5 metres by 2150 and 9.7 metres by 2200. It says sea level science has “advanced significantly over the last few years, especially (for) land-based ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica under global warming”, and hence the “correspondingly larger range of possible 21st century rise in sea level than previously thought”.
Continue reading Climate clippings 204
Ross Gittins says we have fake government rather than fake news, but it does appear that the political debate about company tax cuts has been inadequate and misleading, to say the least. In this post I take a look at what decent thinkers like Gittins, Craig Emerson, Ross Garnaut and others have had to say about the corporate tax cuts. Continue reading Fake news about company tax cuts