1. Three first nations people in Queensland parliament
Lance McCallum, newly elected Labor MP for Bundamba now joins Cynthia Lui, Labor Member for Cook and Leeanne Enoch, Member for Algester and Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts in the Queensland parliament:
Continue reading Weekly salon 26/5
Leading scientists have expressed concern about the lack of focus on the climate crisis as bushfires rage across New South Wales and Queensland, saying it should be a “wake-up call” for the government.
Climate experts who spoke to Guardian Australia said they were “bewildered” the emergency had grabbed little attention during the final parliamentary sitting week for the year, which was instead taken up by the repeal of medevac laws, a restructure of the public service, and energy minister Angus Taylor’s run-in with the American author Naomi Wolf.
Continue reading Weekly salon 9/12
1. Scott Morrison perfects the art of hiding in plain sight
That’s according to Paula Matthewson at the New Daily. She says he’s doing fewer TV interviews and holding fewer media conferences than we’ve come to expect from a prime minister, but is bursting out all over on social media, where, she says, it will be almost impossible to enforce ‘truth’ online.
No matter how welcome and overdue, imposing truth in advertising restrictions on Facebook will do nothing to staunch the flood of misdirections, deflections, mistruths and porkies that can flow through the other direct-to-voter channels. Continue reading Weekly salon 26/11
1. Two views of Bojo
This is how some people see Boris Johnson:
Continue reading Weekly salon 16/9
1. Storms for Hansen’s grandchildren
(From Hurricane Dorian: devastation and destruction in the Bahamas – in pictures)
John Schwartz at the NYT (posted at Lethal Heating) asks How Has Climate Change Affected Hurricane Dorian?
Michael Mann and Andrew E Dessler respond in Global Heating Made Hurricane Dorian Bigger, Wetter – And More Deadly. With warm seas and more moisture in the atmosphere hurricanes can intensify faster, contain more moisture, more wind power and move slower. This means greater flooding and a increased possibility of coinciding with high tides. Continue reading Weekly salon 7/9
In the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) climate change is seen as an existential threat. ‘Existential’ in the sense that life for the Pacific islanders is embedded in community and place. Shifting to higher ground somewhere else is not a solution. (See Geoff Henderson’s excellent guest post Climate refugees in the Central Pacific -the Republic of Kiribati)
To put the best construction on what happened, Pacific leaders and Australia agreed to disagree about action on climate change.
PIF chair, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, said to Australian PM Scott Morrison:
“You are concerned about saving your economy in Australia … I am concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu.”
Continue reading Australia’s climate credibility shredded in Pacific ‘step up’ disaster
1. Race is not a thing
Race is a social construct, largely based on culture and language. In biological and genetic terms it simply does not exist. Looking at the genes, scientists simply cannot form racial categories. Angela Saini, of Indian heritage and living in England, has been investigating the issue in her recently published book Superior: The return of race science. See her New Scientist article and in The Guardian Why race science is on the rise again.
In the 19th century there was a common assumption that a hierarchy existed with the European male at the pinnacle. Yet modern science shows that:
There is no gene that exists in all the members of one racial group and not another. We are all a product of ancient and recent migration.
Continue reading Weekly salon 9/6
During the weekend before last Dennis Atkins In the Courier Mail said that while authenticity in leadership was important, both our main party leaders lacked authenticity, but Scott Morrison was better than Bill Shorten at faking it. Atkins is usually on the money, but that time he was wrong. One has it, and the other doesn’t. Continue reading Shorten, ScoMo and authenticity in leadership: Election 2019 follies 4
I can tell you who won the studio audience’s vote – Bill Shorten by a country mile. 48 undecided voters were selected by YouGov Galaxy who run Newspoll for The Australian. The West Australian reports:
Continue reading Election 2019 follies 2: Who won the first TV debate?
When I was really young there were no Easter bunnies around our place. The idea was introduced by the teacher of the small Lutheran Day School at Downfall Creak, near Guluguba, north of Miles, west of Toowoomba, when I was about seven or eight. We did have hens eggs coloured with dye, but no chocolate at all, let alone as eggs.
However, that’s not what Easter is about. It’s about the risen Christ, right? He conquered death and rose to heaven in a cloud, to sit at the right hand of God the Almighty, with a promise to return some day. So I was interested in an article What and where is heaven? The answers are at the heart of the Easter story. Continue reading Where is heaven?
The Grattan Institute found that providing tax cuts in the never-never while reducing government expenditure from 24.9% of GDP in 2018-19 to 23.6% during the next decade will necessitate cutting existing programs by more than A$40 billion a year in 2029-30. That should have been the story of the week, but somehow it wasn’t.
That’s Scott Morrison saying the claim is “absolute complete rubbish”. I’ll come back to that. Worse was to come. By the end of the week Bill Shorten was accusing the Liberal Party of running a “low-rent, American-style fake news” campaign on a “ridiculous death tax scare”. Continue reading Election 2019: follies 1
That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:
The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.
People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:
there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.
Continue reading Weekly salon 31/3