1. The cost of debt
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and PM Scott Morrison have been telling us that we need to contain debt, and that is why those on JobKeeper must return to poverty. Frydenberg in particular has been praising himself for his fiscal bravery, and the size of his COVID-19 rescue package.
Greg Jericho has identified how much the extra debt has cost. The answer is – nothing. See The government is stuck in the fallacy of debt and deficit while ignoring the climate crisis:
The PBO estimated that in the December quarter last year debt interest repayments were $4.1bn – the same amount it was in December 2016 when total debt was half the current level.
Continue reading Weekly salon 28/2
Samantha Maiden’s story about Brittany Higgins’ alleged rape on the couch in Minister Linda Reynolds’ office shortly before the 2019 election has undoubtedly been the story of the week.
Higgins was just 24 years old, was less than a month into her new job, and it was just weeks before PM Scott Morrison called the 2019 election. Continue reading Canberra bubble explodes
Well, hotter than normal.
That is the temperature for Wednesday 17 February, referenced to a 1979-2000 base, from John Englander’s blog.
Some parts of the planet’s surface are 15 – 20 degrees Celsius colder than we would expect, and other parts are 15 – 20 degrees Celsius warmer.
However, with climate change one of the big effects is destabilisation of the weather. Continue reading Texas is freezing, but the Arctic is hot
1. Trump acquitted??!!
Trump is back in town having been exonerated from impeachment by the Senate.
The ABC has a detailed account of what went down and why. It seems the Republican Party is cowed by Trump with only a few willing to show dissent. The article ends with this:
Finally, Mr Trump claimed exoneration from a “witch-hunt”, maintaining his reputation as the Teflon president.
“Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun,” Mr Trump said in a statement issued just moments after the Senate vote.
“In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people.” Continue reading Weekly salon 16/2
The planet has changed. This is Iceland’s Skaftafellsjokull glacier in 1989 and 2020:
As reported in Al Jazeera, Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, was stunned speechless when:
She was told by leading climate scientist Johan Rockström, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, that we have already gone beyond some key tipping points. Losing the resilience of the planet was the nightmare that is keeping scientists awake at night, Rockström said.
He was referring to (1) the Arctic summer sea ice (2) West Antarctic glaciers, and (3) tropical coral reef systems. Continue reading Climate tipping points: real and present
1. Chance meeting
This is Nine’s Dom Lorrimer’s pic of Tanya Plibersek’s chance meeting with Craig Kelly in the corridors of Parliament House. Continue reading Weekly salon 8/2
I’ve had a draft post on our China relationship in the works since 17 December 2020, with over 800 words and lots of links. I decided I had started in the wrong place.
Here I’ll highlight two links. First, Tom Switzer on his ABC RN show Between the Lines interviewed Peter Hartcher, political editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and Kishore Mahbubani, distinguished fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute in Can Australia and China learn to get along? Continue reading From besties to whipping boy: our China relationship
To set this up, the following is a graph of the temperature during the Holocene Era comes from a 2017 James Hansen publication, with explanatory enhancements by David Spratt:
It was thought that both the Holocene and the Eemian, 130 to 118,000 years ago, experienced an early thermal maximum reflected in the big hump in the graph.
Research done by Samantha Bova et al Seasonal origin of the thermal maxima at the Holocene and the last interglacial gives quite a different picture, one of steady warming. This has important implications for where we are at with global warming. Continue reading Holocene heat corrected
In recent times the biggest pivot in climate change action has undoubtedly been the election of Joe Biden and President of the United States, whose vision and plans have been described as ‘breathtaking’. More of that later.
However, here in Oz a number of things changed within a 24 hour period.
- There was a seeming capitulation by Labor to the demands of Joel Fitzgibbon to get rid of Mark Butler in the climate change portfolio,
- An ad hoc group including John Hewson and Will Steffen, the Climate Targets Panel, released a report that took a look at what Australia’s fair contribution to the Paris Agreement should be,
- The National Party issued a report arguing the necessity of building coal-fired power stations, inter alia,
- and Dr Andrew Forrest AO delivered the first Boyer Lecture 2020 on Rebooting Australia — How ethical entrepreneurs can help shape a better future.
Seriously, Forrest’s lecture was amazing, and the Dr is not honorary, he actually completed a PhD in marine ecology last year.
In this post I’ll look at the Climate Targets Panel report. Continue reading Pivotal moments in climate change: Part 1-Climate Targets Panel report