Weekly salon 28/7

1. ‘African gangs’

Here’s what started the whole business according to Margaret Simons’ report Looking for trouble in May:

    Victoria Police executive director of media and corporate communications, Merita Tabain, wrote a confidential email to the editors of Melbourne’s main media outlets expressing concern that aggressive behaviour by journalists might “exacerbate the current tensions.” She used the incident at the Tarneit shopping centre as an example.

    The incident, she said, had been provoked by the photographer’s decision to “move in to take close-up photos of a group of African teenagers socialising.” The teenagers, she went on, “had been doing nothing of public interest prior to the photographer’s decision to move in and take the photos and [the group] reacted to the photographer and what he was doing. This led to police being called in and a scuffle ensued in which police were spat on and arrests were made.”

    The photographer had apologised for provoking the incident, Tabain reported, but the published article makes no reference to this.

Continue reading Weekly salon 28/7

Super-Saturday here at last

Looking forward to it being over.

I’m tired of hearing that voters are turned off by politics, that politicians don’t listen to them, that the big parties are both the same, promise everything, even the Loch Ness monster and deliver nothing.

Antony Green has the lowdown on each of the seats. Click on the icons and all is revealed. Continue reading Super-Saturday here at last

BlueScope signs up with 500,000-panel solar farm

In the largest solar power purchasing deal ever by an industrial energy user in Australia BlueScope Steel will take the bulk of the electricity from the 133MW (AC) Finley Solar Farm to be built 100km west of Albury.

There’s more at RenewEconomy: Continue reading BlueScope signs up with 500,000-panel solar farm

Who turned the heat up?

“Emissions increased the chances of seeing a summer as hot as 2017’s by at least a factor of 10”.

According to the New Scientist (pay-walled), that is the kind of information we could soon be getting with our evening weather report.

Better climate models and faster computers will soon give timely information which once took years about the human influence on significant weather events. Climate scientists used to say that it was impossible to attribute any specific weather event to climate change in real time. However, the science of climate attribution has matured. The World Weather Attribution project was able to make the above statement about the weather from June to August in 2017 by the following month in September. Continue reading Who turned the heat up?

Saturday salon 21/7

1. Slavery lives on

The 2018 Global Slavery Index was released on Thursday. Some 40.3 million people were found to live in slavery, 70 per cent women and girls. The main division is 15.4 million in forced marriages and 24.9 million in forced labour.

North Korea is worst, with one in 10. The Guardian highlights over 400,000 in the USA. However, the Index:

    estimates China is by far the largest source of at-risk goods, with the United States importing $122bn of electronics and clothing from the country. Vietnam was the second largest source with $11.2bn, and India third with $3.8bn.

Continue reading Saturday salon 21/7

Arms and the man: what does the Second Amendment really mean?

FILE PHOTO: An exhibit booth for firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson is seen on display at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, Illinois, October 26, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo – RC11E7FED7A0

Many see the individual right to bear arms as a basic American human right secured by The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, from 1791 to 2008 the matter has been debated:

    by attorneys and senators, slave owners and freedmen, judges, Black Panthers, governors and lobbyists. For some, the militia was key; for others the right that shall not be infringed; for yet others, the question of states versus the federal government.

The case of District of Columbia v. Heller in the Supreme Court in 2008 appeared to settle the matter, although the decision was quite narrow and constrained. Now new information has come to light which demands a reconsideration. Continue reading Arms and the man: what does the Second Amendment really mean?

Adani will cost jobs

The development of Adani’s Carmichael mine has always been sold as a job-creating venture. In fact it will be a highly automated mine, creating jobs mostly in the cities. A new report has found that the development of Carmichael and the subsequent development of the Galilee basin will cost about 12,500 jobs in existing coal mining regions and replace only two in three workers. Continue reading Adani will cost jobs

Saturday salon 14/7

1. A ray of light

A highlight for me this week was listening to the many segments on ABC RN themed with NAIDOC Week, where the theme was Because of her, we can. Fellahs too, including Archie Roach: a life in song. I loved his cosmology in explaining The Dreaming. We all come from star dust, and to star dust we will return. Straight out of Brian Cox, but he feels it in every molecule of his body, fundamentally feels connected with all living things, and wants to share. Like Buddhism, really. Continue reading Saturday salon 14/7

Hansen got it right

In 1988 James Hansen gave his famous testimony to the US Senate. For the short story, go to Tamino at Open Mind. For the longer story, Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate, plus the commentary thread is best.

Hansen told the politicians that our production of greenhouse gases, principally CO2, N2O, CH4 and CFC, were warming the climate. He said temperatures would go up in the coming years: Continue reading Hansen got it right

EnergyAustralia targets niche created by Liddell closure

EnergyAustralia looks set to sink $400 million into a new peaking gas power station, but have warned that the investment case would collapse if Canberra’s Coalshevik politicians force AGL’s ageing Liddell plant to stay open or if a new coal plant is built.

Their new gas plant will not supply ‘baseload’ power. rater, it will be fast-start and run on demand, operating only at peak times or when other plants suffer outages. This indicates it will mainly operate on the spot market, but in doing so will help prevent spikes up to the maximum $14,000 a megawatt-hour limit. Continue reading EnergyAustralia targets niche created by Liddell closure