Weekly salon 16/4: general edition

1. A beautiful big black hole

The New Daily has the short story – Scientists share first ever image of black hole, a more complicated explanation at Astronomy, and a really informative one at the BBC.

The black hole is located inside the Messier 87 galaxy some 54 million light years from Earth, that’s a mere 500 million trillion km, so what you see is a snapshot of something that happened 54 million years ago. Described as “a monster” it measures 40 billion km across.

    The first ever close up an image of a black hole was captured by eight radio telescopes around the world spanning six cities on three continents, and involved the work of more than 200 scientists.

I heard on the radio that they were dealing with 9 million gigabytes of data. If you think that was floating around on the interwebs, you are wrong. Astromony says, for example, they flew a pallet packed with the hard drives from the South Pole to the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, Germany, and the MIT-Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts for analysis.

Astonishingly, the actual black hole, which is 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun, takes up no space at all (that does my head in). So what you see is a shadow of the black hole surrounded by an accretion disc. Feryal Özel is an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona explains:

    “When the light falls into the event horizon, that part is dark in the image. Whether or not shadow is the perfect word, it imprints this darkness on the surrounding emission.”

I guess that explains why it looks like a donut rather than a fiery ball. The bloke on the radio said it was a marvelous tribute to science that the image looked exactly like what they expected. No-one had managed to see one before. Their existence and size was inferred by the gravitational effect on their surrounds.

The image also shows that Einstein was right, again. Dr Ziri Younsi, of University College London, helpfully explains:

    “Although they are relatively simple objects, black holes raise some of the most complex questions about the nature of space and time, and ultimately of our existence,” he said.

But exactly what it says about our existence, origins and the nature of reality is still a mystery.

2. China has plans – for us

The Oz carried a story on Monday saying Chinese state-owned coal power stations putting out tenders for coal are openly preferring Indonesian coal. S&P Global Platts’ Asian thermal coal expert Michael Cooper said, “the traders say there is a political dimension to it”.

The AFR has a man in China, Michael Smith, who writes that China’s buyers are shifting from Australian coal. He’s attended a couple of coal conferences and spoke to a lot of people. Some are oblique, but try this:

    “The ban on Australian coal has created a lot of disturbance for coal traders, coal users and related industries. But it is more important for China to give Australia a good lesson,” Liang Chengbao, a coal trader for Quan Jun Da Industrial, said.

    “Australia has been following the United States closely and blindly while it reaps huge profit from Chinese resource buyers.

    “We must take some action to make Australia understand China’s stand and the serious consequences [it faces] by offending China.”

Here’s the official line:

    Officially, China is not targeting Australian coal with restrictions which are delaying shipments by up to 45 days. Both Canberra and Beijing have said the move is not politically-motivated.

So the ban is not a ban and there is nothing to see- except that everyone can see it. For example, Australian coal is being singled out for environmental tests compared to shipments from Indonesia, Russia or Mongolia.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that what is happening is related to Australia’s decision to ban China’s Huawei from selling 5G telecommunications equipment.

China has made an informal complaint to the World Trade Organisation. If China lodges a formal WTO challenge Australia may struggle to defend it:

    If China were to lodge a formal challenge, former WTO legal officer and Melbourne University lecturer Professor Tania Voon warned Australia would face significant challenges defending either of these positions, with the national security argument in particular “a stretch”.

However, Prof Voon said if the WTO were to rule in China’s favour, it could prompt the US to make good on it’s threat to withdraw from the WTO which couldn’t really function without the US.

3. NSW senate election

This article in the Oz highlighted the fact that the last seat in the NSW Legislative Council was won by vegan body builder Emma Hurst for the Animal Justice Party:

She defeated Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm and Keep Sydney Open’s Tyson Koh for the final spot. So:

    One Nation under Mark Latham has won two seats in the NSW upper house and will form a conservative coalition to hold the balance of power with the Christian Democrats and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

    Overall, after the final NSW Legislative Council preferences distribution this morning from the March 23 state election, the Coalition won eight seats (taking their number to 17), Labor won seven seats (taking their number to 14), the Greens one (three), the Shooters Fishers and Farmers one (two), One Nation’s Mark Latham two, Animal Justice Party one (two).

    The Christian Democrats have one seat, with Paul Green missing out. Justin Field moved from the Greens to sit as an independent after the election.

If the Oz story is pay-walled, there is an AAP report in The Guardian.

4. Will Israel Folau get the flick?

Almost certainly, yes.

Izzy stoked controversy again by posting a message on his Instagram account that said “hell awaits” “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” — adding they should “repent”.

Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs wasted no time in standing him down. Apart from Alan Jones, who defended Folau on free speech grounds, there was little support for Folau. However, reporter Andrew Webb said:

    “When Israel Folau posts something like that, I couldn’t care less. It doesn’t hurt me, because if I allow myself to be hurt by something like that, then I’ll go insane. I’ll have to live in a cave.

    “It would have hurt the 17-year-old me for sure and that’s why I agree with them (Rugby Australia) being so tough on him.

    “But when you’re on the end of real homophobia, really, really tough stuff, which I have been in the last few years since I’ve been out in my job … what Israel Folau says doesn’t hurt me.

    “What I get upset about is when I write about it, and when I wrote about it a year ago, when certain figures at Rugby Australia said, ‘You’re only writing about this because you’re gay’. Now that’s homophobia, and that pisses me off.”

Folau doubled down on his statement – see ‘I’m more than happy to do what He wants me to do’: unrepentant Folau in the SMH who went to church with him.

Apparently God wants him to speak up about what is right. Of course, Folau means no harm, he’s only trying to help people, and bear witness as God wants him to do.

The latest – Israel Folau issued with Rugby Australia code of conduct breach notice, given 48 hours to respond.

Rugby League don’t want him back. There may be opportunities to play rugby union in Japan or France, and former player Tim Horan suggested Izzy may have engineered his own sacking to do just that. I think that underestimated his sincerity.

It has been suggested that Folau has grounds for legal claim against religious discrimination, say experts.

Personally, I’d just ignore what he says, rather than put accelerant on it by making it into a huge issue. Ironically he’s acting out of love rather than hate, but in the current climate that gets lost. I don’t think what he’s done amounts to “bullying, harassment or discrimination”.

Behind it all, Qantas is a sponsor, headed by Alan Joyce, who is gay and has an opinion as well as purse strings. You may remember Joyce from this post from May 2017:

But really, I’d like to remember Folau for this try in State of Origin:

121 thoughts on “Weekly salon 16/4: general edition”

  1. Brian (Re: 2. China has plans – for us)

    …Chinese state-owned coal power stations putting out tenders for coal are openly preferring Indonesian coal.

    Contrast that with an article posted in the SMH yesterday by Cole Latimer & Kirsty Needham headlined Chinese firms lift Australian coal orders, as curbs tipped to end. I begins with:

    Chinese private power companies have started to buy contracts for Australian thermal coal, which could signal an end to China’s import restrictions that have sent prices plummeting.

    Earlier this year, China placed unofficial restrictions on Australian low-grade coal imports, forcing ships laden with thermal coal – which is used in power plants – to go through onerous customs procedures. Other nations such as Indonesia have not faced the same restrictions.

    Perhaps the recent thermal coal import restrictions are a ‘shot across Australia’s bows’ from China to say “don’t mess with us”?

  2. GM
    Face it, if Australia ceased production and use of all fossil fuels immediately, the difference would be tiny for about a month before the rest of the of the World makes up the difference.

    Spend your efforts where they may make a difference, or waste your time making no difference at all.
    Your choice.

  3. Jumpy, are we to take it you are arguing the Galilee Basin should be mined to exhaustion?
    A simple yes or no will suffice.
    For the record I, and I gather most of the commenters here, would answer no.

  4. Zoot
    I’m not responding to you any more.
    It’s too creepy.
    Every comment you make is directed to me, about me, disingenuous and combative.

    You being a self confessed racist is bad enough but I don’t think I’m helping your issues by what I’ve concluded as unintentionally encouraging by responding.

    You need to talk to a professional Dude.

  5. Joseph Pulitzer warning against the cancer that is Rupert Murdoch.

    Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together.
    An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and the courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery.
    A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself.
    The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.

  6. According to the Guardian Australia Judge Vasta has found the sacking of Prof Peter Ridd unlawful.

  7. Re China, I think there is a story about mice and elephants. We need to take them seriously. I think the problem started with Turnbull, when he started quoting their national hero in godawful Mandarin.

    Ambi, thanks for the heads up. Here’s the link:

    James Cook University professor Peter Ridd’s sacking ruled unlawful

    Here’s my earlier post:

    James Cook University sacks reef scientist with contrarian views

    I think I’ll wait to see whether there is any learned comment.

  8. Here is an unlearned comment: look to the tone of the modern Australian campus.

    There, the university is competing for students to enrol and earn income for the institution. This can lead to a focus by management on PR, such that “spin” is raised to a high if not predominant position in campus/society relations.

    Many institutions these days seem from the outside to have such a focus (not only universities); in addition to advertising for regular commercial firms, there are: State depts, quangos, charities etc forming a conga line of spin.

    “Australia Post” a few years ago proclaimed “we deliver “. Why? To what purpose? To what social benefit?

    Universities are not unique in placing reliance on marketing depts. Some academics resist. In an extreme case, an academic (even a professor) may be told to FIFO :

    Fit In or Go Away.

    I have seen this and discussed it with academics. Each of them had their own limit they maintained. In olden days it was described as their “conscience”. Each entered the field with a commitment to truth and free enquiry. Some Fitted In. Others Went Away.

  9. And while this shabby process continues, sometimes called “corporatisation of the university”, individuals and departments and support staff just get on with their vocations to educate, encourage, assist, and guide some of the brightest and most resilient young folk you could hope to work with.

    And to ignore as much as possible, in their everyday work, the BS merchants and fibbers.

  10. Ambi, there is no doubt that the culture of universities has changed beyond recognition. When I sallied forth to QU many decades ago, there was a quote etched in stone above the entrance of the main building – “Great is truth, and mighty above all things.”

    I thought, good I’m at the right place.

    The words are still there. Everything has been commodified, even ‘truth’.

  11. Last night I heard Peter Varghese talking to Tom Switzer about relations with China.

    Varghese is currently chancellor at QU, but has impressive quals and experience on Asian relations. He said the relationship with China was going to become more difficult in the future, and that we’ll be put in the situation where we have to make choices.

    Switzer reminded us the Julie Bishop said in a speech in Singapore, June 2017, I think, that China would never be a great power until it became a democracy.

    Varghese said such statements would have been noted by China, and were likely to produce adverse consequences. It was also historically wrong, because most powers achieving greatness had not been democracies.

    He did not say this, but China thinks their system of government is superior to that of Western democracies.

  12. Thanks for your links to earlier posts, Brian.

    To be a truth-seeker is a wonderful way to spend our allotted days on the Earth.

    I dips me lid to you and all other seekers.

    truth is beauty and beauty truth, that is all ye need to know. …..

    All the best.

  13. Jumpy (Re: APRIL 16, 2019 AT 6:13 PM)

    Face it, if Australia ceased production and use of all fossil fuels immediately, the difference would be tiny for about a month before the rest of the of the World makes up the difference.

    I repeat: Utter nonsense. See my earlier response in the earlier thread Final chapter on Adani? that you have (so far) not responded to. But it seems to me that’s your modus operandi when the facts and questions get inconvenient for you.

    Clearly, it seems to me, facts are irrelevant to you.

    Spend your efforts where they may make a difference, or waste your time making no difference at all.

    And what are you doing, Jumpy? Engaging in a ‘head in the sand’ attitude, perhaps?

  14. GM
    If I go with Dunlop’s figure of 1.3% of World emissions.
    How long will it take before Chinese and Indian emissions growth gobble that up ?

    And forget adding in exports, we’ve already established they’ll get it elsewhere.

    Ohh, and you can drop the nasty condescending school teacher talk, it’s never been effective on me.

  15. Jumpy (Re: APRIL 17, 2019 AT 4:14 PM)

    If I go with Dunlop’s figure of 1.3% of World emissions.

    And yet you said in your earlier comment (APRIL 16, 2019 AT 6:13 PM, bold text my emphasis):

    Face it, if Australia ceased production and use of all fossil fuels immediately, the difference would be tiny for about a month before the rest of the of the World makes up the difference.

    If “Australia ceased production … of all fossil fuels immediately” the difference would be substantial – that clearly includes exports.

    So it appears to me that Jumpy is now back-peddling on his earlier statement (as per usual).

    How long will it take before Chinese and Indian emissions growth gobble that up ?

    Ian Dunlop says:

    …Australia will shortly become the world’s fourth largest carbon polluter when exports are included…

    Please explain how you think “Chinese and Indian emissions growth gobble that up” anytime soon? Do you have growth figures at hand to support your argument, or are you just ‘hand waving’?

    Ohh, and you can drop the nasty condescending school teacher talk, it’s never been effective on me.

    Can’t handle the scrutiny and inconvenient questions, Jumpy?

  16. Dude, you highlighted I said” USE “ not production.
    Then go on to include Dunlop’s protections that include production.
    Then go on to try and pass off your silly condescending discussion style as “ scrutiny and inconvenient questions “

    How about go **** ******** and join my list of disingenuous people on the internet not worth wasting time with.

    See ya.

    [Jumpy, I’m not going to leave that language there – Brian]

  17. Jumpy: The last time I looked Australia plus the countries that emitted less than us were responsible for about 30% of world emissions. (Yep, small countries have to act too.) To make matters worse Australia was near the top of per capita emitters. Well ahead of the worlds big emitters.
    Your comments to Zoot and GM suggest that you are about to give up on this blog. Am I right?

  18. If everyone on the planet thought globally and acted locally we would be in better shape.

    Then there is the dictum do no harm derived from J S Mill’s harm principle.

    And then you might consider Kant’s categorical imperative:

    “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    He emphasises right rather than good as you would expect from a Prussian, but in short we should always act in the best interests of all humanity. Why would anyone argue differently?

  19. Long ago, I lost patience with the pompous, grovelling Australian businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians trying to relate to China and to the Chinese. They get absolutely no sympathy whatsoever from me. It is their own failure to plan, their own arrogance, their own wilful ignorance, their own cowardice and weakness and their own silly delusions that have brought all their troubles down on their own heads: the Chinese have merely taken advantage of an existing set of circumstances and given them a twist to suit themselves rather than have initiated any devious and novel circumstances.

    Even a Bush Kana…. er, …. Gentleman from a remote village way up in the Highlands knows that when you do go to the market, you don’t make yourself utterly dependant on a solitary single customer in that market. Come to think of it, if the board-rooms of Australia were graced by a few observant, clever and bootless gentlemen, wearing ar…-grass and orchid-vine necklaces, Australia’s international trading position might well advance in leaps and bounds. Hell, we couldn’t do any worse that we are doing now.

    So China wants to punish us. That’s easily solved: we do not allow ourselves to be punished. And we can start that process right now by sending the congenital idiots who got us into this mess “Down To The Countryside” for a bit of “rustication”; put them in touch with the life-experiences and wise opinions of Australia’s own peasants and workers; they can rectify their mistaken ideas through Struggle, (SELF-) Criticism and Transformation. Who knows but after a decade or two of agricultural aroma and honest sweat about themselves, the survivors may be fit for employment back in their old jobs.

  20. Back on Folau, the latest is that the matter is proceeding to a Code of Conduct hearing, as expected. Folau’s position is perhaps strengthened because he refused, successfully, to agree with explicit social media restrictions in his contract.

    Terry O’Gorman of the Civil Liberties Council has criticised sporting bodies who assume that can control the private lives of players. He was in part concerned about Jack de Belin, a Dragons RL player, would has been stood down while some sexual assault charges, which sounded on the face of it serious, are dealt with.

    There was a player, forgotten his name, who fought sexual assault charges for a bout four years, and in the end was acquitted. In those days the presumption of innocence was available to players. This seems no longer available.

    I found of interest a ABC Religion and Ethics segment Legal claims surrounding the Folau controversy with Iain Benson who is a law professor and religious freedom expert, at Notre Dame Uni, from memory, an expert on religious rights.

    He was essentially saying that Folau should be able to express his religious views openly in public without penalty.

    The position I’m coming around to is that Folau was not even doing that. His comment was made on Instagram, intended for his ‘friends’. Employers, and news media, should not be policing what people write on a private social media account. The argument is that vulnerable teenagers all over the place may be harmed. This is only the case because others who should have no business burrowing around on Folau’s social media account have brought it to their notice. Folau hasn’t done that.

    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see how it all turns out. The panel Folau will face comprises a nominee of Rugby Australia, one from the players association, plus a third ‘independent’ panelist and he will be represented by an lawyer experienced in these matters. I won’t be surprised if he wins.

  21. Brian: Also heard that ABC Radio Religion and Ethics program you mentioned, early this morning.. Very annoyed that the mainstream media did not put Folau’s comments in context at all; nowhere have I seen any mention of there being a quote from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians. Not only was that omission downright misleading, which is serious enough, but, with an election campaign going on, it makes me – and probably a lot of others – wonder what else we are not being allowed to know.

    b.t.w. that item on the same program, about a feminist being in agreement with the cloistered Pope, Benedict XVI , on all the downsides of the sexual revolution, certainly blew the slumber out of my eyes. We haven’t heard the last of that topic, that’s for sure.

  22. JD

    I remember once that Brian said something like he’d like the discussion on his blog being like discussion at a backyard BBQ.
    I can’t remember a BBQ I’ve ever been to where zoot and GM wouldn’t have been sat on their arse for the way they conduct themselves.
    Give that consequence is off the table I’ll go to another BBQ etiquette by ignoring them and chat to others.

    But with all BBQs, if too many get that way it’s time to go.

  23. John
    I will of course try to chat with you.
    I’ve looked at quite a few projections on Chinese and Indian emissions growth alone, but I’ll go with your trusted sources on what the best guess is.

    Given that number, if the reasonable folk agree, then we can progress with what I’m saying.

  24. I remember once that Brian said something like he’d like the discussion on his blog being like discussion at a backyard BBQ.

    Funny, Jumpy, I don’t remember that.

    By and large I thought the discussion we had on the old LP was pretty good, but there is no profit in pining for that.

  25. Jumpy: Have a look at this set of international emissions data It is a lot more up to date than the set I played around with years ago and Chinese contributions to emissions have risen above the US figure.
    Things to note:
    1. Australia had the second highest per capita emissions for the top 20 emitters.
    2. 21% of total emissions were produced by countries that did not make the top 20 emitters.
    Conclusion: Australia has no excuse for doing nothing much about emissions.

  26. Growth John is what I’m trying to get through.

    I thought I’d allow you to posit a trusted number on Chinese and Indian emissions growth so we wouldn’t get bogged down with that detail.
    But no, so I’ll put forward China has a 3.5% rate of emissions growth in just 2018.
    How many tonnes is that ?

    Now, how many tonnes in total did Australia emit in 2018 ?

    And we haven’t looked at India yet.

    I don’t know why this is such a difference process to discuss.

  27. Jumpy

    In the industrialising phase of a country, emissions tend to be higher. Look at accounts of the dirty, smoky plumes drifting over Europe especially Scandinavia in the first decades of Britain’s Industrial Revolution.

    China used to put out stories about its massive reafforestation projects in the mid 1970s, late Mao and early post-Mao periods.

    Appealing to Western romantics?

    These days their smog and their peoples’ bronchial and chest ailments and who knows what else, are notorious worldwide. Even if they drastically reduce the particulates and noxious fumes there will still be odourless, invisible CO2 pouring out.

    Some of that CO2 helps produce cheap solar panels so I can feel better about reducing my C output.

    Of course, they could use renewable power for their factories….

  28. Jumpy: We control what Aus does and we should get on with it without waiting for the rest of the world. We should also be getting active at looking to creating products like renewable liquid hydrogen that help other countries reduce their emissions.
    You also need to understand that a countries emissions are based on production, not consumption. The emissions created producing a countries imports don’t count when calculating a countries emissions. Part of the growth in Chinese emissions is due to the production of exports. Places like the EU look better by letting other countries have the dirty industries.
    Me I would like a countries emissions to be based on what is consumed within that country from both internal production and imports.

  29. So no numbers huh ?
    It must be either too difficult or youse don’t want to admit if Chinese and Indian emissions growth continues its, as I said, irrelevant what Australia does.
    Mr A

    In the industrialising phase of a country, emissions tend to be higher.

    Why ?
    I’ve been told industrialisation can occur and flourish with renewables.
    Why don’t they choose renewables to industrialise if it is in fact cheaper?

  30. Jumpy: Stick around. Sometimes, I feel like leaping through the screen to shake your hand – sometimes, to throttle you – but in any case, you are a sovereign remedy for blandness and a vaccine against group-think, (and, thank goodness, ClimatePlus suffers from neither).
    You said, “ …. the discussion we had on the old LP was pretty good, but there is no profit in pining for that.” Yes, then I lost the password, etc. for its ghost (along with a swag of other passwords) – but ClimatePlus is more specialized and focussed, (especially on the survival of humanity, a matter dear to my heart). Enjoy the ride, Jumpy. 🙂

  31. Jumpy

    Because near the start, methods and materials are less specialised.

    Local knowledge of local ores, fuels. Building up stocks of capital equipment. Building roads, rail and power pylons. It all takes energy too.

    Of course a more recent industrialiser can use global knowledge and new inventions. They do. But they’re still up against restraints determined by thermodynamics, properties of materials and engineering progress.

    We have to make a real effort in the world we inhabit. Utopia? Forget it!


  32. John D.: ” Australia has no excuse for doing nothing much about emissions.” Exactly. And the underlying cause of that is not in the realm of the physical sciences but in that of sociology. Despite all the rah-rah about our Anzac spirit, our sporting achievements and all the rest, Australians are, in general, timid, docile, lazy and gullible.
    For example: we allowed our public transport to be taken away from us, with barely a whimper, or, at least, run into the ground so that we were forced to buy private cars, which, despite their lovely compliance labels, do churn out more pollutants per head/distance than almost every other form of public transport – and so as to build more roads, parking stations, bridges and tunnels, huge amounts of cement and steel need to be manufactured. Even if we stuck to petrochemical fuel and lubricants, the good old (single occupant) “family” car, en masse, goes whole tanker-loads of fuel more than a single full unit of public transport. Singapore, far from perfect, did point the way a quarter-century ago but we were too stupid to think that they might have been onto something.

    I could go on for several pages more with examples of why and how we managed to win the super-boofhead gold medals for pollution, for waste and for speeding up climate change.

  33. Oops, sorry Brian, for attributing your words about LP to Jumpy. I “misspoke”. (No I didn’t; I glanced instead of reading properly).

  34. Note from Safety Office.
    To G. BELL

    Do not, repeat NOT attempt to leap through the screen.
    The Corporation cannot be held liable for any damage to your person or the screen which once belonged to the injured party, your Honour. His actions were inexplicable, your Honour. He was calling out “Grumpy” at that moment.
    Expert witnesses attested that “Grumpy” is a Disney Dwarf, and that Lewis Carroll wrote about a girl who passed through a looking glass (mirror). His Honour noted that no evidence had been presented to indicate that the injured party had ever seen that film or read that book.

    Damages in the amount $AUD1.00 were awarded against Lord Grumpy, who is almost certainly fictitious.

    All rise.

  35. Could someone, anyone, please acknowledge that if China and India don’t industrialise useing renewables then it’s rooted no matter what Australia does ?

    It’s quite frustrating that this is being so steadfastly avoided.

  36. What’s rooted? Please explain.

    The CO2 level?
    The climate?
    The human race?

    Specifics can be useful.

  37. Throw as many ???????? at me as you like to avoid the main point, it’s not going to change Mate.

    And I’m the one accused of head in sandism……

  38. Jumpy:

    Could someone, anyone, please acknowledge that if China and India don’t industrialize using renewables then it’s rooted no matter what Australia does ?

    Quite right Jumpy. And, even if China and India stopped using fossil carbon altogether will be rooted unless Australia and those counties emitting less don’t stop using fossil carbon as well AND ditto those in the middle.
    The world isn’t going to be saved if countries all stand around doing a Jumpy and demanding that everyone else does something before they act.

  39. zoot: Well, well, there might well have been a very interesting and unusual conversation among NRA personalities after a couple of Australian political figures headed back to Australia.. Wonder why the name, Enron, keeps drifting into my thoughts after reading that ” New Yorker” article?
    Thank you, zoot.

  40. Jumpy, it’s pretty simple, really. We’ve got 410 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, 500 ppm if you count the other GHG equivalents. That 500 needs to come down to 350 ppm around about 20 years ago. So what goes up has to come down. ASAP.

  41. Thanks, Jumpy

    I wasn’t demanding an answer from you. I hoped to understand your meaning of ‘rooted’. Do you think atmospheric CO2 levels have a big part to play in the future of the human race, and other living organisms?

    Or is attention to that measurement just a distraction from matters/issues (of which I have a list, and I reckon you would have your own list) which should have higher priority?

    I’ve seen ‘global warming’/rising CO2 levels variously described as:
    :not anthropogenic (might be cyclical)
    :not concerning
    :a scam
    :a kind of modern foolishness akin to worshipping volcano gods
    :a boon to plant life since CO2 can act as a nutrient
    :a type of pollution
    :an impetus to using renewable energy, which we should have been transferring to in any case
    : a financial fraud promoted by shysters
    : a political con

    What do you think?


  42. Court Cases
    Ridd, Pell

    Cardinal Pell has his appeal coming up in June. Anything could happen. Some think his conviction was “unsafe”.

    On Peter Ridd:
    His former Uni may yet appeal against Judge Vasta’s findings which all went in favour of Mr (Professor?) Ridd and against his former employer.

    Many supporters of Peter Ridd are urging the Uni to avoid the “further wasting of taxpayers’ money” which they say would occur if the Uni lodges an appeal. My view is that any party has the right to appeal if they wish. They should take legal advice on the likelihood of success and the effort/costs involved.

    Cardinal Pell has the right to appeal.
    Mr Ridd’s former employer also has that right.

    Silly to urge “no appeal” simply because the result came out as one hoped for.

    BTW, I googled Judge Sal Vasta, who presided in the Ridd matter. What should emerge but an AFR article headed, “Is This The Worst Judge in Australia? dated early 2019.

    Perhaps there may be procedural or legal grounds for appeal, apart from questions of “academic freedom”?

  43. Does anyone know ( probably JD ) when the AEC can show us the final Senate ballot paper ?

    Probably worth calling the AEC if you’re really desperate. But nominations don’t close until Tuesday (23 April).

  44. Brian: The common thread of both the Kidd and the Falou cases seems to be employers wanting to shut employees up to please potential sponsors even if there is no evidence that sponsor contributions would be affected.
    In the case of Falou my take is if he honestly believes that drunks etc. will go to hell unless they repent and change their way of life he has a moral responsibility to at least warn those who are on their way to hell.
    I might have a different view if Folou was actively vilifying people that didn’t conform with his personal code of conduct and do accept that, if I worked for Adani, it would be reasonable to sack me if in my other life I was an active and public anti Adani campaigner.

  45. If the Ridd case was decided strictly on the terms of employment, is that a guide which tells anyone interested to look at Folau’s employment contract, clause by clause?

    Does the Adani company require particular areas of public silence from its employees ?

    (I recall that such particular restrictions are often imposed on Australian public servants.)

    There are plenty of very particular restrictions on communication, e.g. “insider trading laws”, commercial secrets – not to be passed on, confidentiality in medical, legal contexts etc.

    But expression of religious, scientific opinions and beliefs???

  46. I recon Falou should sue the ARU for as much as possible.
    Teach them that every time they cave to SJW Twitter outrage it can cost them a motza.

    Also look into whether any media or sponsors may have 18Ced him and throw that back at them.

  47. Not whether I said it further up. but I believe Folau’s contract had a social media clause in it, which he declined, so I understand it was left out.

  48. Jumpy: Agree with what you say re Folua and his employee/contractor rights issue. Employers, sponsors etc. need to be pushed back a bit.

  49. Yes Brian

    On April 18th at 10.12am, you pointed out that Mr Folau’s draft contract had a clause restricting his use of social media, but he rejected that clause explicitly, when signing up.

    It appears he is free to opine.

    I agree with JohnD and Jumpy.

    It’s amusing in a sad way, when an organisation thumps it’s chest and proclaims that it is “inclusive” and uses this as a reason to exclude someone.


  50. Ambi:

    If the Ridd case was decided strictly on the terms of employment, is that a guide which tells anyone interested to look at Folau’s employment contract, clause by clause?

    It is not just about employment contracts but also about what restrictions can be placed in employment contracts.
    It is a tricky subject. In the Folou case there is a point where his well meaning warnings about going to hell morph into vilification or an urging of others to take unacceptable action against others.
    I started getting letters to the editor published in the sixties. Over the years I had to show some self discipline about what I wrote and what I said. (For example, I didn’t write about industrial relations when I had jobs that involved industrial relns because the brothers might have thought i was stating company positions rather than my personal views.
    Also very careful with data. Often the things that might help an astute competitor are not obviously so.
    Never worked for Adani but it is self discipline that would have made me careful about what I said and did outside of the workplace.

  51. I don’t know but Ridds contract would most likely be a generic one on a “ take it or leave it “ basis.

    I do recon that if I sacked either for the same reasons ( not that I would ) , and a case was brought against me, then I’d be in financial doodoo to the point of homelessness for my wife and I.

    I see a lot of media bullying begetting corporate bullying nowadays, it’s not good.

    Thankful both Falou and rid had a form of freedom of speech clause in their contracts.

  52. Yes, John.

    I meant to refer to restrictions that can be put in a contract.

    In Mr Ridd’s matter, it was the EBA governing employees and the Uni.

    (A side issue for Mr Ridd’s case, but what would happen if an employee objected to some clause in an EBA, which the union had negotiated, and which most or all of the other employees thought was fine? Can there vbe a “conscientious objector” to an EBA? Must tbat individual then arrange their own, individual contract?)

  53. Mr A, I’d think it was a “ take it or piss off “ type of contract.
    Nothing wrong with that for a free market enterprise but JCU is not that it’s a public servant, they don’t pay for their misdeeds or errors, taxpayers do.

  54. Probably correct Mr J.

    Once Mr Ridd or Dr Ridd or Prof Ridd had a full-time, permanent academic position, he, like most of his academic and non-academic fellow employees, would have to accept each new EBA (every three or so years?) or nick off.

    But if Judge Vasta has ruled correctly that the EBA allowed freedom of speech and writing, what did that Uni think it was doing in disciplining, then dismissing him?


  55. Jumpy:

    I do recon that if I sacked either for the same reasons ( not that I would ) , and a case was brought against me, then I’d be in financial doodoo to the point of homelessness for my wife and I.

    Your employee could be in a similar position if she lost and had to pay costs.
    Ironically if she won and the costs were awarded she would still be out of work because the business was shut down because of the costs.
    Unfortunately things like the unfair dismissal procedures were brought in to help reduce strikes involving big business and big unions and don’t take enough account of what the effects on small business would be. The biggest mine I worked for would lose over a million dollars from a one day strike. We could afford to do a lot of stuffing about to avoid a day’s strike.

  56. I don’t know anything about University hierarchical systems Mr A but the permanents seem to think they are just that.

    I hear there’s a type of academic that think their job has been made their property somehow and it can’t be taken away no matter how nonproductive or counterproductive they are.

  57. Jumpy: In the past university academics had permanence. Once considered important for universities because it protected people who had an opinion from forced to say that they supported something they didn’t support.
    Temporary positions, short term contracts and other symptoms of education as a business has meant that permanence is less common and the fidelity of universities undermined.

  58. John

    The biggest mine I worked for would lose over a million dollars from a one day strike. We could afford to do a lot of stuffing about to avoid a day’s strike.

    I remember working in Moranbah around 1979ish when my bosses ( scum contractor, local tradesman town maintenance ) sisters ( unemployed) boyfriend ( mine employee) punch his foreman in the face and the union went on a 3×1/2 day strike over 9 days to keep his job.
    He never misses a pay.
    The power drain from restarting those draglines must have been huge given even the TVs shut off for three hour every time.
    Lost production and money for the shareholders I couldn’t tell you.

  59. John

    Once considered important for universities because it protected people who had an opinion from forced to say that they supported something they didn’t support.

    All because Australia doesn’t have freedom of speech written into the Constitution.

    It’s possible we could change that.

  60. Are you referring to the bet where Julian Simon challenged Paul Ehrlich to choose any raw material he wanted and a date more than a year away, and he would wager on the inflation-adjusted prices decreasing as opposed to increasing. Ehrlich chose copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten.
    The bet was formalised on September 29, 1980, with September 29, 1990 as the payoff date. Ehrlich lost the bet, as all five commodities that were bet on declined in price from 1980 through 1990, the wager period.
    That bet?

  61. Brian: Thanks for that archive link for LP – shan’t be able to use it for the next fortnight though.

    Jumpy: Senate ballot paper? AEC can’t release it until challenges of unfair competition from Sorbent and Kleenex, concerning its length. are heard.
    b.t.w. Just imagine how the quality of our parliament would improve if voters had to fill in just one single square: That for their one and only favourite Senate candidate, and the counting was strictly First-Past-The-Post. The first 3 Senators would be a given – but wouldn’t filling the remaining Senate seats be a real barrel of laughs?

    Okay, so what is the essential difference between Shut Up clauses (actual or implied), together with the looming threat of Court Costs, in employment contracts Australia nowadays, on the one hand, and the bog-standard social controls of any old dictatorship on the other hand?
    A dear lady, who had been a young upper-class political activist during the Salazar regime in Portugal, made it crystal-clear that very little of the control over the populace was by the stereotypical gun, jackboot and truncheon. That did exist and it was used, of course, but only rarely. Most of the oppressive social control was more nebulous and pervasive, such as we see now with our Shut-Up clauses and the threat of ruin by Court Costs. Welcome to happy, glorious, democratic Australia.

    Shall be away for a fortnight or so. Hope everyone continues enjoying these stimulating and informative discussions. Cheers.

  62. Thanks for the info, Ghost zoot.

    That sounds like it was a bet between two male humans. Since 1980, with the further spread and corporatisation of gambling worldwide, we now have the spectacle of a global bet:

    Rising atmospheric CO2 vs. lower atmospheric CO2.

    No end date.
    We’re all signed up to the bet.

    + + + + +

    Reminds me of that old Cold War bet: global nuclear war and vapourisation or radioactive catastrophe afterwards vs non-nuclear wars and consequent bloodshed. Everyone signed up to the bet, including those humans sincerely opposed to gambling with their childrens’ lives.

  63. Ambi: Your wrong to talk about gambling kid’s lives when it comes to climate change. Gambling implies at least some chance of winning.

  64. John,

    No end date.
    Correct: nothing like Ehrlich vs Simon.

    Graham: elections as a “barrel of laughs”?
    Look you at Ukraine: the comedian seems to have won!
    Look you at the US: the Intemperate First Tweeter won.

    Any others?

  65. Jumpy (Re: APRIL 17, 2019 AT 6:44 PM)

    I didn’t have sufficient time to respond adequately online on Thursday and had no online access until now. Jumpy, IMO your comments are utter specious nonsense:

    Dude, you highlighted I said” USE “ not production.

    This is what you stated (in your comment APRIL 16, 2019 AT 6:13 PM, bold text my emphasis):

    Face it, if Australia ceased production and use of all fossil fuels immediately, the difference would be tiny for about a month before the rest of the of the World makes up the difference.

    It’s there in black and white, Jumpy. Are you now saying that you did not mean “if Australia ceased production”? Why include it then? Jumpy, do you tap away on the keyboard without thinking?

    Jumpy, the English language can be used to convey a precise meaning. It seems to me you are struggling to do that. Is English other than a first language for you?

    You then state:

    Then go on to include Dunlop’s protections [sic] that include production.

    Yep, because IMO Ian Dunlop makes the highly pertinent point that (bold text my emphasis):

    As LNG exports increase, Australia will shortly become the world’s fourth largest carbon polluter when exports are included, as they must be, given that climate change is a global problem. What Australia does matters.

    But you, Jumpy, appear to see that as inconvenient, so you apparently just ignore/dismiss it – only acknowledge the convenient snippet supplied by Ian Dunlop that Australia’s domestic emissions are 1.3% of global total – ignore the rest – apparently all ‘Trumpian fake news’/irrelevant to you.

    You state (in your comment at APRIL 17, 2019 AT 4:14 PM):

    And forget adding in exports, we’ve already established they’ll get it elsewhere.

    Really? Where have ‘we’ “already established they’ll get it elsewhere”, Jumpy? Again, utter nonsense! It seems to me you are regurgitating bogus propaganda from fossil fuel boosters.

    Australia is currently the world’s:
    • Third largest coal producer (in 2017 – BPSRoWE-2018), the world’s largest metallurgical coal exporter and the world’s second largest thermal coal exporter (R&EQ-Mar2019); and
    • Eighth largest natural gas producer (in 2017 – BPSRoWE-2018), and recently (i.e. Nov 2018) became the world’s largest LNG exporter (surpassing Qatar).

    If “Australia ceased production … of all fossil fuels immediately” (as you began your proposition), then I would suggest the rest of the world would be unable to fill the substantial supply gap anytime soon. Global steel-making would also be severely constrained – Australia has some of the best long-term supply metallurgical coal mines in the world. New coal mines, gas (and perhaps oil, at a stretch) wells, and distribution and transport infrastructure (to ramp-up adequate supplies replacing Australia’s current major role in world FF supply) would take huge amounts of capital and years (perhaps even up to a decade) to develop – in other words, it would certainly not be a “tiny” effect “for about a month”.

    Facts appear irrelevant to you unless they are convenient for your ideological narrative/mindset – IMO that’s delusional thinking.

  66. …continuing on from my previous comment:

    Jumpy also states:

    Then go on to try and pass off your silly condescending discussion style as “ scrutiny and inconvenient questions “

    Zoot has previously observed (in the comment APRIL 11, 2019 AT 11:21 PM in the thread One Election Coming Up):

    Pretty cheap cop out from the person who demands others provide E…Vid…Ence.

    Ah yes, Jumpy makes unsubstantiated, illogical (and apparently wilfully ill-informed) statements, and when challenged to back them up, can’t, yet consistently demands a different standard from everyone else – IMO that’s rank hypocrisy. And apparently denying what was clearly stated was not what was meant.

    And then you, Jumpy, falls back on the troll’s stock-in-trade riposte:

    How about go **** ******** and join my list of disingenuous people on the internet not worth wasting time with.

    Charming! Clearly you can’t argue your position effectively, so you then resort to profanity, personal abuse and mischaracterisation instead when it doesn’t go your way. How am I “disingenuous”, Jumpy? What, I don’t agree with your apparent delusional viewpoints, perhaps?

    Feel better now, Jumpy? Now grow up – stop being so precious!

    No skin off my nose, Jumpy – IMO it just shows in your recent comments on this issue (and others) you don’t have a defendable/valid viewpoint – full of BS, wilful ignorance and delusional thinking.

    Why are you here, Jumpy? It seems to me Brian’s extensive documentation/exploration of the many issues (and generally informative commentary from other contributors) in this blog are irrelevant to you unless it fits in with your apparent “libertarian” ideological mindset. Are you just here to troll, Jumpy?

    However, there’s the danger that there are a significant number of others like you with apparently similar delusional, illogical, ill-informed viewpoints that provide a license to politicians and business leaders for ongoing dangerous behaviour, risking ‘wreaking the joint’ in the longer-term for everyone (including your own lives and the people you care about).

  67. Geoff M, a few years ago, when my family did a group visit to Europe, I was contemplating with my elder brother what would happen if Australia dropped off the map. He grows beef, and I suspect most of it is exported.

    He reckoned he’d heard that the world would readjust in about 24 hours, and then carry on regardless.

    He could well be right. I think that roughly accords with Jumpy’s notion of our significance in the world.

    I once heard of a British, I think, investment house where they get regular country briefings. They spent 10 minutes a month on Australia, same as The Netherlands.

  68. Brian (Re: APRIL 23, 2019 AT 11:57 PM)

    …I was contemplating with my elder brother what would happen if Australia dropped off the map. He grows beef, and I suspect most of it is exported.

    He reckoned he’d heard that the world would readjust in about 24 hours, and then carry on regardless.

    He could well be right.

    I would suggest he would be wrong.

    A quick summary of the Resources and Energy Quarterly – March 2019 indicates Australia is currently (averaged in 2018):

    – the world’s largest iron ore exporter (53% global share);
    – the world’s largest metallurgical coal exporter (54% global share);
    – the world’s second largest thermal coal exporter (20% global share) after Indonesia (37%);
    – the world’s second largest LNG exporter (22% global share) after Qatar (25%);
    – the world’s third largest uranium producer and holds 31% of the world’s uranium resources;
    – the world’s second largest gold producer (9% global share);
    – the world’s largest alumina exporter, largest bauxite producer and second largest alumina producer;
    – the world’s third largest exporter of copper ores and concentrates, and seventh largest producer of copper;
    – the world’s fifth largest miner of nickel;
    – the world’s third largest producer of zinc; and
    – the world’s largest exporter of lithium, and Australia has 17% of global reserves;

    Brian, do you still think “if Australia dropped off the map … the world would readjust in about 24 hours, and then carry on regardless“?

  69. GM: Nice set of data. In terms of beef, most of the world could go marching on if all the worlds beef production came to a screaming halt. Could probably say the same for meat production in general.

  70. GM, I was thinking iron ore and some other minerals could be a problem, but I don’t know how easily other sources could fill the gap. Your information suggests, with some difficulty, and perhaps not at all, but certainly the disruption would be longer than 24 hours.

    I believe also that around half the mining technology used in the world is Australian. I used to work for a bloke who made mining weighbridges here in Oz and exported them to 22 countries. The value was in the smart computer stuff, not the metal bridge.

  71. Well I did say a month Brian in relation to CO2.

    But given Australia’s emissions are 1.3% of the World total and total World emissions went up by 2.7% ( best guess I could find ) then maybe 6 months if we wiped ourselves off the map for good.

    Who’s first, volunteers ?

    I have an unpalatable part solution that’s just crazy enough it may work.
    Wanna hear it ?
    I warn ya, it doesn’t involve socialism but keeps human nature at the forefront.

  72. Free beer every day I use no coal-fired electricity nor drive my car?

    (Emission free beer of course)

  73. Na, it’ll be pissed on from the highest tree around these parts.
    I erred in thinking a solution that was offered by a non-leftist could possibly be considered let alone discussed maturely.
    Especially in election frenzy mode stinking the entire Country up.

    Forget I said anything, I’m an idiot.

  74. You poor dear.
    Good thing you don’t live in a libertarian society, you’re too sensitive to last more than a couple of minutes.

  75. And my suggestion of free beer followed your hint that your proposal would keep “human nature at the forefront ” Jumpy.

    Basic human needs: food, shelter, warmth.
    Basic human desires: sex, friendship, fun, work, beer.

    Go on, surprise us.

  76. Interesting article republished by Nine/Fairfax, on how the US Congress should respond to the Mueller report, written by Ms H. Clinton.

    “Obviously this is personal for me, and some would say I’m not the best messenger.”

    Then lays out her vast experience, including being a NY Senator on 9/11 and sitting across the table from V. Putin in the early years of his ascent. (She astounds us by claiming that he wishes the US ill.)

    And did we mention she was a junior person in the Watergate investigations?

    Apparently the Republican-dominated Congress rushed to impeachment in 1998, which was “a mistake”. I don’t clearly remember that? What was it about? Who was the President???


  77. Hang on a minute, yes.

    The claims about “that woman, ….. Miss Lewinsky” were part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. The Congressional Republicans must have been co-conspirators.


  78. Ambi, I think the key thing about impeachment is that you need 70 of 100 senators to vote for it. That could never happen in 1998, and it probably won’t happen in 2019 either.

    I understand that Nixon was never impeached, but his Republican colleagues told him that if he wanted to avoid it he best nick off.

    I understand there are two key things in Mueller. First the Russians never expected Trump to get the nomination, nor did they expect him to win. Nor did Trump. So they were scrambling to make something of it, and there was a lot of contact going on.

    Secondly, from the sacking of James Comey on Mueller documents multiple acts by Trump to obstruct justice.

    However, charging a president in office is without precedent, and would have to be done by people Trump has appointed. So he just lays out the evidence.

    I think the only way it can happen is for trump to be hauled in front of the senate, acting like a court. But American political structures in not really my thing, so I’m not sure. It’s just what I’ve heard.

  79. Couldn’t get on either.

    I’m amazed the Mueller found so little on Trump given he’s Hittler or something. He was extremely thorough though I thought. ( love combining those 🙂 )

    I believe in a hearing just recently an FBI person involved in Hillary’s illegal sever emails admitted that Obama knew about it and hushed it up through Comey !
    Ugly stuff and I hope Trump puts a Special Councillor on it.

  80. We might whinge about our turnover of prime ministers who lost the support of their party room. However, it beats the US system which makes it very hard to get rid of a leader who clearly has lost it.

  81. John
    The US seems to be humming along quite nicely don’t ya think ?
    I put Obama as the worst President in US history in a practical sense, and he got 8 years.

  82. Jumpy:

    The US seems to be humming along quite nicely don’t ya think ?

    I suspect that the Russians think that things are going better than they expected in their wildest dreams.

  83. John

    I suspect that the Russians think that things are going better than they expected in their wildest dreams.

    Why, has their economy, employment rate, civil Liberties or standard of living improved ?
    Are we seeing a flood of American refugees trying to get into Russia ?

  84. Seriously John, that statement baffles me.
    Trump has been tougher on Russia than Obama ever was.

  85. Jumpy: I was thinking of the general disarray in the US, the weakening of the relationship with the US’s long term friends and the erratic nature of the US dealings with others..

  86. John

    I’m thinking the overwhelming negativity of US media, Hollywood and Dems have more to answer on the perception of reality in the US.

    I’m not allowing myself to be duped by those entities, I’d rather seek the truth of the matter.

    As far as I can see in real quantitative outcomes in general, the US is better under Trump than Obama.

    ( not that brilliant given Obama set the outcome bar below sea level )

  87. I’m not allowing myself to be duped by those entities, I’d rather seek the truth of the matter.

    But truth isn’t truth.
    (Sorry it’s the failing New York Times, but Google doesn’t appear to have a Fox News link for the story even though it was covered by every other news outlet.)

  88. I’ve had a strange day and a half. Yesterday morning I couldn’t get into the engine room of CP, which was frustrating, and I wasted time trying various strategies, which didn’t work. The thing has been getting increasingly clunky and I was thinking I’d have to give in to our host, Dreamhost in the USA, and upgrade to a more expensive service they keep offering me.

    When I came home last night there was an email from them soon after midday our time telling me that they had just upgraded the whole system, and hoped I would enjoy the improved functionality. It was timed 12.25 pm our time.

    So that’s why I couldn’t get on earlier. It would have been nice if they’d warned us beforehand.

    I’ve been doing a lit of weeding lately, and woke up this morning with a jammed sciatic nerve so that I couldn’t walk. This has happened a few times before, but it has always freed up after about 5 minutes. This time it was still there after two hours, with me only managing a hobble.

    Finally it’s settled down after doing some magic stretches taught to me by the massage therapist I’m going to see this afternoon. He does deep massage within an hour session, which does make a difference.

    It’s still going to be fragile for a few days, and I’m booked to see my physiotherapist on Monday.

    Sitting at the computer is worse than most things, apart from weeding, but we’ll see how we go with frequent breaks.

    I’ve got another one on religion, almost finished. Then I think I’ll do weekly salon, missed last weekend.

    Then back to the election, where I want to look at climate change, Adani and such, and the Clive Palmer phenomenon.

  89. Posted yesterday at Resilience.org is a re-post of an article by Julia Steinberger headlined A Postmortem for Survival: on Science, Failure and Action on Climate Change. It begins with:

    Failing to learn from past mistakes is the only truly unforgivable mistake in science. And on climate change, the scientific community (by and large) has been criminally negligent when it comes to observing — and especially learning from — its own track record. This blog post is a postmortem in 4 acts: an anatomy of failure, so that we can hopefully learn, act and change. Fast.

    Check it out.

  90. Thanks, GM, I will. I’ve been doing a bit of work on yet another doomster post, and your links are most helpful.

  91. Brian, with Earth Day just passed, perhaps add some of the false doomsday prophecies that have come out of that in past years.
    Some are still kicking around with just the tipping points continually moved forward.

  92. Could I just offer an apology for underestimating the effect Mr Palmer’s ad blitz would have on the electorate?

    Many buffoons in Victoria recognise him as a fellow buffoon. But we misread his effectiveness most grievously.

    Now I’m told that his Party is scoring 5% to 14% in opinion polls in a few electorates. Heavens to bl**dy Betsy!

    And has he got a deal with the PM??!! Heavens to Betsy squared!!

    This week I’ve seen a full page announcement [advertisement] in a newspaper to the effect that Mr Palmer will form the next Australian Government. In a confusing move, the announcement includes a photo of Mr Palmer in the Lower House, in front of his Minister, Ms Plibersek.

    Is she planning to defect???
    H to B cubed!!!

  93. Mr A
    I’m not sure preference deals have any effect on voters decisions on polling day any more.

    Seem to throw the media into a frenzy of conspiritorial accusations though.

  94. So you think most voters don’t bother to follow the ‘how to vote’ card?

    There’d be AEC data that could test that assertion, si?

    I’ve certainly observed plenty of voters who arrive at a polling place and refuse to take any how to vote cards. Sometimes showing some annoyance as they brush past the Party devotees.

  95. Mr A

    There’d be AEC data that could test that assertion, si?

    Doubtful, they’d have to know the intentions of voters before reading HTV cards and if they changed their preferences.
    If such a survey were to be near accurate it’d rely on the honesty of participants, at least 10% accuracy margin just there.

  96. Jumpy

    I was thinking of the voters whose interest in the election isn’t strong, but have decided which party to give their first preference to. The folk you see walk straight to the volunteer handing out HTV cards for Party A and brush off all the others. Occasionally saying “this is the one I want”.

    My guess is they have decided to support Party A but haven’t thought about second or third preferences, and possibly don’t know all the other Parties or independents standing in that seat.

    The folks who don’t follow a Party preference order are easily identified in a Senate election: voting “below the line”…… down there with all the political tragics, recording our nuanced judgements.

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