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
Unfortunately the business of opening international travel has been marred by the politics of the definition of ‘hotspots’.
PM Scott Morrison has announced that an agreement has been reached at National Cabinet and with New Zealand that New Zealanders can enter New South Wales and the Northern Territory without quarantine from 16 October, provided they have not come from an area designated as a Covid hotspot by the Australian Government. This announcement was made via media release from the PM and five other Commonwealth ministers.
It should be noted the New Zealand is not reciprocating. Said NZ persons upon returning to NZ would have to quarantine.
It’s more than curious that Tasmania on the same day announced that it plans to open up the low risk states which:
include South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, the ACT and possibly NSW.
I want to be clear, that if at any time the situation changes in these states and the advice is that the risk is too high – then I won’t hesitate to change this decision.
We will review the situation in New South Wales over the next week and border restrictions will remain in place for the foreseeable future with Victoria until we are satisfied that the risk has reduced to a lower level.
Continue reading COVID-19: Hotspots and opening borders
The big news overnight has been the discovery six new coronavirus cases linked to the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre at Wacol, which for people elsewhere, is between Brisbane and Ipswich to the west. It’s near where the three young women lived who lied and gamed the system returning from Melbourne making Premier Palaszczuk ‘absolutely furious’
Here’s what we know so far about Queensland’s coronavirus outbreak in the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre posted this afternoon by the ABC.
Initially we had 77-year-old prison supervisor who worked five shifts last week while infected, but asymptomatic until just a headache in the last two days. Now suddenly we have four more prison workers, and two associates infected. Continue reading Could Queensland outbreak have been avoided?
1. Fly me to the moon
It’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.
That was Buzz Aldrin [see correction as update below*], and here is the photo taken by Neil Armstrong: Continue reading Weekly salon 22/7
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. Continue reading Weekly salon 16/4: general edition
The first Brexit happened a very long time ago. According to Richard Webb in Brexit, 10,000 BC: The untold story of how Britain first left Europe (New Scientist), the white cliffs of Dover did not exist 450,000 years ago, just rolling hills. However, as usual, there was an ice age, and a glacial lake was formed in what is now the North Sea:
Continue reading The original Brexit
As PM Scott Morrison reels from the latest crisis, and polls show that he’s in trouble, two big events signal the election race is up and running.
In brief, we had the ALP National Conference, which ScoMo attempted to disrupt by announcing the next Governor General. Then the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2018‑19 showed the economy producing unexpected riches. However, the media were diverted by NP member and Assistant Finance Minister Andrew Broad’s ‘Sugar Daddy’ scandal, which, according to the Betoota Advocate, his leader Michael McCormack explained was a private family matter and hence none of our business. Meanwhile two opinion polls came out, which were not to ScoMo’s liking. Continue reading Federal election campaigning has started
1. How realistic is space travel?
As reported in the New Scientist, Frédéric Marin, an astronomer at the University of Strasbourg, France and Camille Beluffi, a physicist who works for Casc4de, a data firm in Strasbourg, have done a thought experiment on the feasibility of reaching the nearest Earth-like planet, which happens to be Proxima b, around 4.25 million light years away, a mere 40 trillion km. Continue reading Saturday salon 7/7
A bit longer than 250 million years is when we had the Great Dying, the Permian–Triassic extinction event, when up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species became extinct. A mere 65 million years ago saw the extinction of the dinosaurs and the dawn of the Cainozoic Era. From a screenshot of this YouTube, this is how the continents were placed around the globe:
Continue reading Where will we be in 250 million years time?
The New Scientist has predicted the 10 biggest and most important science stories for 2017 (pay-walled) in their bumper three weeks in one Christmas and New Year special issue. Here are some of them.
In March last year Google-owned firm DeepMind developed the AlphaGo system which defeated one of the world’s best Go players, Lee Sedol. Continue reading Science stories for 2017
The latest Morgan Stanley report is bullish about the growth of battery storage in the Australian market. They think we’ll have 6.6GWh of battery storage in Australia by 2020, which is what the Australian Energy Market Operator last week predicted for 2035. Continue reading Climate clippings 176
1. Garbage out, garbage in
Stuart Robert had to go. Ben Eltham goes through the detail and finds his defence “is somewhere between threadbare and farcical.” So Malcolm told him to resign, and he did.
So with Mal Brough and Jamie Briggs in the naughty corner, plus Warren Truss and Andrew Robb giving the game away, we now have five vacancies. Continue reading Saturday salon 13/2