Tag Archives: Open Threads

Saturday salon 20/12

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Eight children dead

What can one say?!

Eight children from the same family are dead following a stabbing incident which has left the Cairns community in shock.

The 34-year-old mother of seven of the children is in hospital with chest and neck injuries and police say there is no safety threat to the public.

The victims are aged between 18 months and 15 years.

The injured woman is helping police with their inquiries.

Cairns children_2a9e6404-9727-4964-96d6-7b7f788e285e_500

There’s more at the BBC and The Guardian.

I heard initially that the woman called the ambulance, who alerted the police. There’s a story now that a 20 year-old sibling came to the house and called the police.

We are told that there are no suspects, but there is nothing to fear. It doesn’t make sense.

2. 132 children dead in Peshawar

And nine teachers.

The Pakistani city of Peshawar is burying its dead after a Taliban attack at a school killed at least 132 children and nine staff.

Seven Taliban attackers wearing bomb vests cut through a wire fence to gain entry to the school, before launching an attack on an auditorium where children were taking an exam.

Gunmen then went from room to room at the military-run school, shooting pupils and teachers where they found them in a siege that lasted eight hours, survivors say.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared three days of mourning over the massacre, which has sparked national outrage.

Mr Sharif pledged to avenge a “national tragedy unleashed by savages”.

Ken Fraser says that the attacks, while repellent and unforgivable, were not the work of mindless monsters. He explains the complex web of political interests and and cultural factors at play.

Samina Yasmeen warns against the danger of desensitisation. She says:

unless the resolve is sustained, with active participation from all political parties in supporting the moves by the military to eliminate terrorism, the situation will not change.

This requires an end to the oppositional politics being played out in Pakistan by PTI but also requires the government to take solid measures to train national law enforcement agencies, and strengthen counter-terrorism agencies.

But:

The religious fraternity needs to promote the message of peace, openly counter the reading of religious edicts as justifying offensive and indiscriminate killings of citizens and soldiers in Pakistan and elsewhere.

3. ‘Shirtfront’ is word of the year

The runner up, apparently, was “Team Australia”. Frankly, either we have been particularly unimaginative or the Australian National Dictionary Centre has lost the plot.

4. Early Christmas present for Bill Shorten

I think Newspoll didn’t bother, but Roy Morgan did and found that ALP support had surged to 57.5% (up 4%), well ahead of the L-NP 42.5% (down 4%) on a two-party preferred basis. This is what it looks like:

Morgan D 2014_cropped_600

5. Gillard cleared of criminality

Gillard was cleared of criminality by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption although they found some issues with her professional judgement and her evidence.

You might recall that this was a big issue late in 2012, when the Roy Morgan poll above shows that Labor under Gillard was competitive in the polls. Julie Bishop led a merciless campaign in Question Time on Gillard’s credibility with Abbott eventually making a direct accusation of criminality.

Gillard says she is owed an apology. She is right.

6. Crook’s a crook

OK, there is the presumption of innocence, but things look a bit crook for Andrew Crook:

Clive Palmer’s media adviser and confidant Andrew Crook has been granted bail after being charged over the alleged kidnapping of a National Australia Bank executive on an Indonesian island.

Palmer reckons it’s a plot to embarrass him politically.

We do these things in Queensland to keep the nation amused.

Saturday salon 13/12

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. CSIRO cuts


From ABC Rural
:

The CSIRO is set to lose one staff member in five over the next two years.

The effect of the Federal Government’s cut of $114 million is now becoming clearer, with at least four regional research sites under threat.

National organiser for the CSIRO Staff Association, part of the CPSU, Paul Girdler, says 878 staff are to be cut over two years, until June 2015.

“It’s over 100 more than originally forecast.

“Over two years, the CSIRO is losing 21.5 per cent of its workforce, or one in five jobs.

“This new analysis demonstrates the cuts are even worse than when they were announced.”

Given the cuts last year, the total tally is 1,400 jobs at the Science Organisation.

CSIRO Chairman Simon McKeon says the organisation has “cut into the bone”.

We should be redoubling if not doubling our science effort.

Julian Cribb, science writer and author of The Coming Famine, says every government since Labor under Bob Hawke has slashed the CSIRO.

I simply can’t understand Industry Minister Ian McFarlane saying year-on-year funding is increasing, unless you cut overall first and then increase the funding each year. In which case he is intentionally misleading.

There’s more on the 7.30 Report.

Stephen Luntz at Crikey explains that many scientists will have unfinished projects, which doesn’t help them establish a reputation to find a job elsewhere.

Those made redundant include Nobel prize contender San Thang.

2. Farewell Stella Young

Stella Young, comedian, journalist and disability advocate, has died aged 32. I gather her death was unexpected. She will be missed.

3. Gillard’s My Story

I finished Gillard’s My story a while ago and have been meaning to report on it. Generally speaking I agree with Natalie Mast’s review but have a query about her final summation:

My Story is a substantial piece of work, yet there are times where policy wonks will be wishing for greater detail on negotiations or even why certain policy decisions were taken. Still in a work this size, limits must be made. For the most part Gillard’s focus is on key issues and those close to her heart.

The lucid presentation of Gillard’s case ultimately provides a cogent defence of the reasons for the challenge to Rudd, the difficulties her government faced, both internal and external, and an insight into Gillard herself.

I thought her detail on individual policies was more than one would expect. As PM she was impressively across a wide range of briefs and her recall is astonishing.

Lucid, yes, also very reflective and self-critical.

The first 130 pages tell the story of how she came to power and governed. In the following 331 pages she takes policy areas one by one, explaining how and why decisions were taken and in some cases an assessment of what still needs to be done, but laced with back stories and relevant anecdotes. The book forms a valuable resource.

Natalie Mast is right in saying she supported Rudd to the hilt and praises him where she thinks he did good work. I too found it surprising that she virtually took over organising his office for him. Also in areas such as health she ended up running the policy internally because Rudd was incapable of doing so.

Surprises include her attitude to gay marriage, which has always been painted as conservative. She says her brand of feminism historically saw marriage in general as an oppressive institution, so it was marriage that she opposed, not the gay bit. She concedes that views have now moved on.

I’ve come the the conclusion that Rudd probably did cause the leaks during the 2010 election campaign. Probably. Gillard reckons it wasn’t to bring her down, Rudd wanted to be foreign minister in her government and she was intending to give him something else. She was told the leaks would continue until she changed her mind. When she conceded his wish the leaks stopped.

One thing is certain, she will never respect Rudd as a person, a view he probably reciprocates.

Finally, I’d love to say more about the misogyny speech. Spoken unscripted with such eloquence and passion, yet she wasn’t personally angry. There is a lesson in there, but it will have to wait for another time.

Climate clippings 117

1. Australia targeted as climate change obstacle

I pointed out that Australia is the dunce of the class on climate change according to the Climate Change Performance Index 2015.

Elsewhere the French are already considering how to cope with Australia’s and Canada’s negativity at the Paris conference next December.

2. Seeney in denial on sea level rise

That dipstick Jeff Seeney, Deputy Premier in Queensland, has directed the Moreton Council to remove all reference to sea level rise from, its planning documents:

“I direct council to amend its draft planning scheme to remove any assumption about a theoretical projected sea level rise from all and any provision of the scheme.”

The council had made provision for a possible 0.8-metre rise in sea level by the year 2100. Seeney says:

“I am prepared to protect the property rights of Queenslanders in other council areas should this issue arise again.”

Who is going to protect them from him? The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is seeking legal advice.

Seeney claims the issue has nothing to do with climate change! Denial doesn’t come clearer than that!

3. West Antarctic melt rate has tripled

A NASA study has done a thorough analysis of the land ice melting in the Amundsen Sea Embayment where the glaciers are melting faster than any other area of Antarctica.

SuppA-W-Ant-300x260

The rate of loss accelerated an average of 6.1 gigatons per year since 1992, but now the rate is increasing by 16.3 gigatons per year.

The total amount of loss averaged 83 gigatons each year over the whole period, that’s the equivalent of losing the weight of Mt Everest (not just the ice on it) every two years.

4. Warmer seas could cause faster melting of Antarctic ice

A separate study has found that the seas around Antarctica are warming, which could increase ice shelf melting.

Ice shelves float, so the melting does not cause sea level rise, but they buttress the land glaciers. Take away the ice shelves and the glaciers flow faster.

5. New large scale battery storage in Germany

Belectric and Vattenfall have opened new large-scale battery energy storage system at the Alt Daber solar power plant in Germany. The facility uses lead-acid batteries.

For the system to be economical without any financial support, costs will have to come down by around a third.

6. Solar and wind energy backed by huge majority of Australians

Solar and wind energy enjoy strong support from the Australian public, with 80% of people putting them both among their top three energy choices in a poll for the Australia Institute.

By contrast, coal and coal seam gas were chosen by 35% and 38% of those polled as being among the best three future energy sources.

A separate review of medical literature by the Australia Institute debunked the fear that wind power damaged people’s health, finding “no credible evidence” directly linking exposure to turbines with negative health effects.

Nine out of 10 people said they wanted more solar energy.

Six in 10 people said they were concerned about the impact of coal and coal seam gas on the landscape.

7. UNSW researchers set world record in solar energy efficiency

Solar researchers working at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) claim to have produced a system that converts over 40 percent of incoming sunlight into electricity, thereby taking the title of highest solar efficiency for a photovoltaic system ever reported.

“This is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity,” said UNSW Professor Professor Martin Green, Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP).

8. The end of coal as we know it

And oil for that matter.

Graham Readfearn in Lima at the climate Conference of Parties has found these items in the negotiating text:

Parties’ efforts to take the form of:

a. A long-term zero emissions sustainable development pathway:

Consistent with emissions peaking for developed countries in 2015, with an aim of zero net emissions by 2050; in the context of equitable access to sustainable development;…

Consistent with carbon neutrality/net zero emissions by 2050, or full decarbonization by 2050 and/or negative emissions by 2100;….

He understands they were put there by Norway, the Marshall Islands, Sweden and the AILAC grouping of countries consisting of Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru and Panama.

Andrew Robb Bishop have noticed and are complaining. It will be interesting to see whether the statements stay.

Readfearn finds that a move for a zero emissions target is growing and Malte Meinshausen explains that it is inevitable if we are serious about staying within two degrees.

Saturday salon 6/12

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Minister now has untrammelled power over asylum seekers

The event of the week must be the passage of the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 which “has given the immigration minister, while he holds that job, unprecedented, unchallengeable, and secret powers to control the lives of asylum seekers.”

In effect under the bill the minister can do anything he chooses, he can ignore the UN convention and avoid legal challenge – the courts have been sidelined.

I hope to do a separate post early next week but cross bench senators have been suckered by the promise that children will be released from detention, something the minister already had the power to do.

2. Lies, barnacles and headless chooks

As part of the service, here’s Labor’s little book of Abbott lies. Thanks to John D for the link.

I meant to link last week to Peter Hartcher’s commentary on barnacle scraping.

Back in Gillard’s time journalists would find some back-bench malcontent and then quote him or her as a “Labor source”. Now Hartcher quotes some LNP Howard era survivors. For example:

“It would be a luxury for Abbott to be able to knock off some barnacles. It supposes that he has a ship. This government has no purpose, no sense of direction. The prime minister’s office is so busy managing everything they manage nothing. It’s Rudd all over again.”

One complaint is that a series of slogans is not a narrative. Another is that Peta Credlin controls everything, including Abbott. Abbott, however, seems happy in his bondage, pointing out that Credlin’s strategies knocked off Rudd and eventually delivered them power.

Lenore Taylor takes a look at the Government’s morning memoranda, the song sheets issued to LNP pollies so that they can answer questions from the media.

Mark Textor says that

“Economic anxiety is number one, two and three on the issue agenda.”

Textor said the government needed to find “really greater clarity around what is the core to the economic strategy. Is it to diversify the economy? Is it to rekindle parts of the mining and resources community? Is it to release growth through greater productivity? … As I said, those questions, from an economic perspective, still have to be answered.”

Negotiating individual budget items through the cross-bench maze makes the Government look like headless chooks. Well, at least unstable and short-term.

3. Christopher Pyne’s deregulation crusade starts now

One barnacle still there is Pyne’s higher education ‘reform’ bill. The Government lost the senate vote, but immediately submitted a new bill to the lower hose, virtually the same but stripped of some of the nasties. As far as I can see allowing the universities to charge what they like will increase the cost of degrees, especially in the G08 sandstone universities, and lead to a greater variety in standards. Also 20% of government university funding will be stripped out.

Staff and students oppose it, VCs, especially of the G08, like it. One vice-chancellor compared the universities peak body to a flesh-eating disease!

To me, it’s pretty much the end of university education as a public good, and a complete marketisation of the sector. Pyne’s right, it probably will happen eventually, given the basic conservatism of the cross bench mob.

4. Tax payers to subsidise training priests and other religious workers

Taxpayers would subsidise the training of priests and other religious workers at private colleges for the first time under the Abbott government’s proposed higher education reforms.

As well as deregulating university fees and cutting university funding by 20 per cent, the government’s proposed higher education package extends federal funding to students at private universities, TAFES and associate degree programs.

5. Secular school ‘chaplains’ get the chop

The Government is moving to purify and cleanse the school chaplaincy program by excluding the class who are actually qualified to do the job – secular welfare workers.

This is an idealogical stance you’d expect from the Tea Party.

Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Divinity, says:

if the program continues, it must continue to fund secular as well as religious chaplains. It is blatant discrimination to require all school chaplains at state schools to be auspiced by religious organisations.

Climate clippings 116

1. Super high speed rail

train_japan_maglev_500

The Japanese have run an actual train with people in it at 500 km/h. The Chinese have built a train which can theoretically run at 1800 mph by encasing it in a vacuum tube.

It looks as though high speed rail could become a real alternative to air for intercity travel.

Thanks to John D for the headsup.

2. World’s first power-to-liquids production plant opens

The world’s first power-to-liquids (PtL) demonstration production plant was opened in Dresden on 14 November. The new rig uses PtL technology to transform water and CO2 to high-purity synthetic fuels (petrol, diesel, kerosene) with the aid of renewable electricity.

The article does not say how efficient the process is, but presumably less so than using the electricity directly.

3. World Bank focus on clean energy

The World Bank has traditionally been one of the world’s largest funders of fossil fuel projects. Now it:

will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need”…

No doubt this policy stems from the bank’s commissioned report Turning down the heat.

4. Why the Peru climate summit matters

Hope has been injected into the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, scheduled to run from 1 to 12 December by the recent US/China agreement. The optimism stems as much from the fact that the two largest emitters in the world are finally working together as the level of ambition. The EU has also recently pledged to cut emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

Countries will be working on the text of the draft agreement for Paris in 2015.

Countries are expected to put forward their contributions towards the 2015 agreement in the form of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) by the end of March [2015]. These will then be used to craft the Paris treaty. The Lima gathering will help provide guidelines and clarity for what these INDCs must entail, especially for developing countries still reliant on fossil fuels to meet fast-growing energy demand needed to achieve developmental goals. These options could range from sector-wide emissions cuts to energy intensity goals to renewable energy targets.

We’ll be represented during the second week by Julie Bishop and Andrew Robb, a climate change denier. Seems Bishop went bananas when she found out, and Robb doesn’t want to be there anyway.

Giles Parkinson reports that we’ve sent a delegation of 14, the smallest in 20 years and probably not enough to be actively obstructive as we were in Warsaw last year.

5. 2014 looks like hottest on record

This is how it’s shaping:

wmo-years-590x390

Record hot years are often El Niño years. This year is a neutral ENSO year so far.

That’s so far; there is at least a 70% chance that El Niño will be declared in the coming months, according to the BOM. Looks like a hot, dry summer.

6. Germany’s largest utility gets out of the fossil fuel business

On Sunday, Germany’s biggest utility E.ON announced plans to split into two companies and focus on renewables in a major shift that could be an indicator of broader changes to come across the utility sector. E.ON will spin off its nuclear, oil, coal, and gas operations in an effort to confront a drastically altered energy market, especially under the pressure of Germany’s Energiewende — the country’s move away from nuclear to renewables. The company told shareholders that it will place “a particular emphasis on expanding its wind business in Europe and in other selected target markets,” and that it will also “strengthen its solar business.”

E.ON will also focus on smart grids and distributed generation in an effort to improve energy efficiency and increase customer engagement and opportunity.

“With its decision, E.ON is the first company to take the necessary steps from the completely changed world of energy supply,” German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, said Monday.

7. The inconvenient truth of EU emissions

The Commission and European Environment Agency’s Progress Report on climate action says:

according to latest estimates, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 fell by 1.8% compared to 2012 and reached the lowest levels since 1990. So not only is the EU well on track to reach the 2020 target, it is also well on track to overachieve it.

Kevin Anderson is not impressed:

The consumption-based emissions (i.e. where emissions associated with imports and exports are considered) of the EU 28 were 2% higher in 2008 than in 1990[1]. By 2013 emissions had marginally reduced to 4% lower than 1990 – but not as a consequence of judicious climate change strategies, but rather the financial fallout of the bankers’ reckless greed – egged on by complicit governments and pliant regulation.

Then he really gets stuck in:

In the quarter of a century since the first IPCC report we have achieved nothing of any significant merit relative to the scale of the climate challenge. All we have to show for our ongoing oratory is a burgeoning industry of bureaucrats, well meaning NGOs, academics and naysayers who collectively have overseen a 60+% rise in global emissions.

Saturday salon 29/11

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Vale Phillip Hughes

Hughes_Phil_17_225From The World Today:

Cricket will go on, but when we’re ready.

That’s the message from the game’s leaders today as grief envelops the sport here and abroad.

Teams and individuals are paying tribute to Philip Hughes in their own ways and will continue to do so at games this weekend.

Some clubs will paint 63 on their ovals – marking that he was 63 not out when he was hit by that ball.

The outpouring has also been extended to bowler, Sean Abbott.

A test is due to get underway next week but at this stage cricket administrators say no one is in a position to make a decision as to if or how that will proceed.

Various sporting codes are honouring him in their own way. A state memorial service will be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with date and other details to be confirmed. The notion of putting out your bats has gone viral:

Hughes_5926770-3x2-500

Like Steve Waugh, I think he should have never been dropped. He was dropped five times in 26 tests. Waugh points out that he, Waugh, took 26 tests to score his first ton.

Our sympathies to his family and all who knew him. He obviously touched many hearts in a positive way.

2. Sturm und Drang in Brisbane

That’s “storm and stress” BTW.

A savage storm lashed Brisbane City on Thursday afternoon. Here it is as captured on social media. More images of the aftermath here.

storm_766838-storm_550

Storm_334189-7936209a-76b1-11e4-a7f2-87cba13b8c8b_550

I was 11 floors up in the T&G building when it struck. There was a roar as the hail, some say as big as oranges, bounced off the rooves below.

The cleanup bill of up to $150 million compares to the storm of 1985, which is said to have cost $300 million. Certainly it was not as severe as the tornado-like storm that hit The Gap in 2008.

I heard today that 208 Energex crews were out re-establishing power. We were just fine in Ashgrove. Wind and rain, but no hail.

See also Brisbane storm: why was it so bad?

3. Victoria’s election

Most pundits and the polls suggest Labor will win, but Morgan has the LNP in a late surge and it could come down to a handful of votes in a handful of seats.

There is also interest in the upper house with Labor and The Greens playing silly buggers with preferences:

Complex tactical preference deals struck by Labor and the Greens have angered some progressive minor parties, which feel votes should rightfully flow to them.

The Greens have preferenced the Palmer United party relatively highly in some regions, while Labor has preferenced Family First above a selection of left-wing candidates in some regions and has placed the pro-hunting Country Alliance above all other parties in eastern Victoria.

The Shooters and Fishers party could win a seat in Victoria’s eastern division, due to favourable preferences, while the Greens have preferenced the Sex party highly in the northern metropolitan division, despite the party’s stated support in the past for the controversial East West toll road, which the Greens oppose.

The final makeup of the upper house is likely to prove an interesting negotiating challenge for Labor if it does manage to oust the Coalition government.

4. Right wing warriors turn on Abbott

Andrew Elder had some interesting things to say about politics and the media with special reference to the ABC. The adults are definitely not in charge.

Now Janet Albrechtsen, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones have all turned on Abbott.

Abbott just can’t put a foot right. Laura Tingle on Thursday:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott finds himself defending the indefensible, or the already mortally-wounded, on three different fronts.

First, the government’s budget strategy is dead, a seriously ex-parrot, and we are left just going through the excruciating process of seeing how it is brought to account in next month’s mid-year budget review.

Yet the government persists – for now – with the fiction that it will all come good in the end.

Second, the prime minister’s credibility has been shattered, not just by a series of broken promises that have emerged through the year but by what one of his own backbenchers described as Abbott’s “verbal gymnastics” in trying to suggest that he had not broken any promises. The cut to ABC funding has crystallised voter disgust at such gymnastics.

Finally, the only thing that stopped an increasingly confident attack by the Opposition on the collapsing edifice of the budget bottom line and the Prime Minister’s trust deficit with voters was the spontaneous combustion of Defence Minister David Johnston when he declared on Tuesday that he would not trust the Australian Submarine Corporation to “build a canoe” . This opened up a whole new front of Labor attack on ministerial competence.

Since then the status of the $7 Medicare co-payment has depended on which minister you ask. What is definite is that they want sick people to go to the doctor less and they’ll try to find a way of making that happen!

When the photographers start piling in on you, you know you’re in trouble!

e246ef1e-7559-11e4-8166-fea23de4bee6_886003199--550

Climate clippings 115

1. Australia’s coal and gas exports are being left stranded

Just four countries account for 80% of Australia’s fossil fuel exports – China, Japan, Korea and India.

China is on the verge of “peak coal”, rebalancing the economy away from energy intensive industry and introducing a national emissions trading scheme.

Japan is on an energy efficiency drive to reduce its fuel import bill.

Korea has introduced a tax on coal of AU$18 per tonne and is finalising an emissions trading scheme.

India has doubled its tax on coal which funds renewable energy projects and has signalled its intention to stop importing coal within 2-3 years.

Official forecasts are in denial.

2. Are Australian and US climate targets the same?

Environment minister Greg Hunt, Radio National, November 17:

If you use the full Kyoto period — 1990 to 2020 — the US is minus 5% and Australia is almost exactly the same.

Joe Hockey made a similar statement that “If you compare apples with apples, the American position and our position on reductions are effectively the same.”

The comparisons are complex, because the starting and finishing dates are different, so are the population increases. Moreover Australia has forestry and tree clearing in the mix.

Malte Meinshausen and Anita Talberg make the necessary adjustments and find:

An apples-with-apples comparison shows that Australia lags far behind the United States in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its energy, transport and industrial sectors.

To match US efforts, Australia would have to increase its 2020 ambitions from the current 5% below 2000 to 21% or even 29%, depending on whether different population growth is taken into account, or not.

In short, they lie!

3. The genius of Tony Abbott’s stance on climate

Abbott-stetsonS_7

At New Matilda Tom Allen comments on Tom Switzer’s claim the Abbott is a climate change genius. Switzer is a climate change denialist, so we won’t bother with that! Allen finds Abbott has proved one thing – that a carbon tax works!

Abbott

will be remembered as the Prime Minister who proved that the carbon tax worked. After it was introduced, Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions fell, the economy continued to grow and the sky remained in place.

When Abbott repealed it and the country’s emissions began to rise again, using Australia as a vast laboratory, Abbott confirmed it: carbon taxes work.

4. Record growth in electricity sector emissions

Abbott’s genius is demonstrated by this graph of emissions change from electricity production:

bb5r55v4-1415038197_600

The reductions started well before the carbon ‘tax’, but whatever the reason Abbott seems to have made a difference.

WORST. PRIME MINISTER. EVER!!

As Tom Allen said, it’s nothing personal.

The worst things about him are his policies, and his stance on climate change is worst of all.

5. Record-breaking ocean temperatures

The world’s oceans are the hottest they’ve ever been in the modern record, especially in the northern Pacific.

In July this year, ocean surfaces were 0.55 °C above the average since 1890, just beating the previous record of 0.51 °C in 1998. In the North Pacific, the temperatures were about 0.8 °C above average, which is 0.25 °C warmer than the 1998 peak.

29954001_600

No explanation is given as to why this pattern has emerged. However, it does seem to be disrupting the development of an El Niño. Small mercy, because the northern Pacific warming has effects similar to an El Niño:

This includes more hurricanes in the Pacific, as well as more storms curling over into mainland US. Meanwhile, there have been fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic, just as happens during El Niño. Elsewhere, dry conditions have occurred across Australia, and the Indian monsoon was delayed – effects all arising from warm oceans, despite the lack of an El Nino event.

6. Turn down the heat : confronting the new climate normal

This is volume 2 of 2 of a report prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, and hence highly authoritative. The lead author was Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of the Potsdam Institute.

It’s a massive 320 page report. This is from the Foreword:

There is growing evidence that warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is locked-in to the Earth’s atmospheric system due to past and predicted emissions of greenhouse gases, and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable.

As the planet warms, climatic conditions, heat and other weather extremes which occur once in hundreds of years, if ever, and considered highly unusual or unprecedented today would become the “new climate normal” as we approach 4°C—a frightening world of increased risks and global instability.

The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources change, diseases move into new ranges, and sea levels rise. Ending poverty, increasing global prosperity and reducing global inequality, already difficult, will be much harder with 2°C warming, but at 4°C there is serious doubt whether these goals can be achieved at all.

That’s about as far as I could get tonight. Climate Progress has a post.

Saturday salon 22/11

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. PUP politics

Unless you were under a rock you’d know that PUP politics got worse.

After PUP expelled Jacqui Lambie’s chief of staff Rob Messenger from party Lambie and Ricky Muir broke ranks to join a ‘coalition of common sense’ against the financial advice laws.

Then Lambie was removed as deputy Senate leader and deputy whip of the party for failing to attend three party meetings.

The slanging match continued with Palmer calling Lambie a liar.

Now the ABC says Clive Palmer stormed out of an interview with Emma Alberici when she got onto the Chinese court matter. I watched the interview and would say Palmer terminated it rather that stormed out. As Palmer says, wait for the court judgement.

The bottom line is that it looks as though Jacqui Lambie is on her way out, but this still leaves PUP with the balance of power in the senate if the arrangement with Ricky Muir hold up.

2. Authorisms

‘Authorisms’ are neologisms coined by authors which have entered the wider language. Did you know that Billy Shakespeare invented words like bump, hurry, critical, and road? Now Paul Dickson chooses his top 10.

    1. Banana Republic invented by O. Henry (William Sidney Porter) in 1904.
    2. Beatnik – columnist Herb Caen in 1958.
    3. Bedazzled – Shakespeare in Taming of the shrew.
    4. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller 1961.
    5. Cyberspace – novelist William Gibson in 1982.
    6. Freelance – Sir Walter Scott in Ivanhoe.
    7. Hard-Boiled – Mark Twain in 1886.
    8. Malapropism – Richard Brinsley Sheridan in 1775.
    9. Serendipity – Horace Walpole in 1754.
    10. Whodunit – book critic Donald Gordon in 1930.

3. The LNP government shoots itself in the foot, and the ABC

Also SBS, of course. The cuts to the ABC amount to around 5% over four years. Barrie Cassidy points out that big C conservatives will be pleased, but they’ll thank Abbott rather than Turnbull.

Turnbull looks a goose on two counts. Firstly, he defends Abbott for saying very directly before the election that there would be no cuts to the ABC and SBS. So he’s defending the indefensible.

Secondly, he says the cuts won’t amount to anything that matters.

And in any case collectively, they only had in mind cuts that would not reduce services. Clean cuts. Nice cuts. Cuts that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

If you believe that I’ve got a bridge you might like to buy.

Mark at The Monthly writes that any leftie love of Turnbull will now be over.

It should have been when Turnbull dicovered Godwin Grech. I’ll say more when we have the ABC response.

Ben Eltham says it’s revenge, pure and simple.

4. Anthony Albanese said it in 1996

Courtesy of Mark’s Facebook:

Albanese_10409258_849199868447460_2136219768888249167_n_500

5. Remembering Wayne Goss

Hundreds of people have turned out to pay tribute to former ‘hero’ Queensland Labor premier Wayne Goss at a public memorial service in Brisbane.

Mr Goss was known as ‘Mr 70 Per Cent’ for his high public approval rating during his time as Queensland premier.

He died at the age of 63 at home in Brisbane in the early hours of November 10 from a recurrent brain tumour.

David Barbagallo pays tribute.

6. ALP competitive in two states

Galaxy poll has the ALP and the LNP at 50-50 in Queensland, 52-48 in Victoria.

Climate clippings 114

1. Ocean acidification charted

Apparently there has been no baseline data for ocean acidification, which varies around the world. Now a database of the current state of the ocean has been compiled. Here is a map showing the rough state of play:

11_18_14_Brian_OceanAcidificationBaseline_400_462_s_c1_c_c

The current rate of acidification for the ocean is the greatest seen in the past 300 million years. 25% of co2 emitted ends up in the ocean.

This article offers some hope that some species may adapt.

2. Warmest October

NASA has October as the warmest since 1880 along with 2005. The Japanese Meteorological Agency has it as the warmest ever:

11_14_14_Brian_JMAOctTemp_679_519_s_c1_c_c_550

No warming pause there!

So far an El Niño still has not developed, which would make things warmer.

3. Climate Council report fingers us

The Climate Council has published a new report Lagging Behind: Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change. The key findings are:

  • China and the US have firmly moved from laggards to global leaders on climate change.
  • In the last five years most countries around the world have accelerated action on climate change as the consequences have become more and more clear.
  • Australia, a crucial player in global climate action, moves from leader to laggard.
  • Global action must accelerate to protect Australia and the world from the consequences of a changing climate, sea level rise and more frequent and intense extreme weather.

Now, 39 countries and over 20 sub-national jurisdictions are putting a price on carbon. China has the world’s second largest carbon market with 250 million people covered. In the US 10 states have carbon markets, covering 79 million people.

Germany has decoupled growth from carbon pollution. Since 1990 GDP has increased 37% while emissions have fallen 25%.

According to the IEA and the OECD for every $1 spent to support renewable energy, another $6 is spent on fossil fuel subsidies, but investment in renewable energy at US$192 billion now exceeds that in fossil fuel energy at US$102 billion.

Australia is the 15th largest emitter out of 186 countries. We emit roughly the same as France, Italy and Turkey, each with three times the population.

Here’s the world wide solar growth:

Solar_cropped_600

Our record on large scale renewables:

Aust renewables_cropped 600

Time to get on our bike!

4. Climate Council on renewables

The Climate Council report finds that around the world important initiatives on renewables are often taken at the sub-national level. In Australia:

  • South Australia is striding forward leading the Australian States on renewable energy.
  • Victoria and NSW have moved from leaders to laggards in Australia’s renewable energy race.
  • Australia has substantial opportunities for renewable energy. A lack of clear federal policy has led to a drop in renewable energy investment.

Only SA and the ACT have renewable energy targets – SA 50% of electricity by 2025, the ACT 90% by 2020. The current state of play is:

Renewable energy generation_cropped_500

SA narrowly pips QLD in terms of percentage of dwellings with solar PV:

Solar PV_cropped_600

Both have roughly a quarter.

The potential for renewables in Australia is huge – some 500 times current electricity generation.

Australia produces per capita 23.96 tCO2e as against an OECD average of 12.47. As I said, time to get on our bike!

5. China caps coal use by 2020

From Climate Progress

The Chinese government announced Wednesday it would cap coal use by 2020. The Chinese State Council, or cabinet, said the peak would be 4.2 billion tonnes, a one-sixth increase over current consumption.

This is a staggering reversal of Chinese energy policy, which for two decades has been centered around building a coal plant or more a week. Now they’ll be building the equivalent in carbon-free power every week for decades, while the construction rate of new coal plants decelerates like a crash-test dummy.

The 2020 coal peak utterly refutes the GOP claim that China’s recent climate pledge “requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years.” Indeed, independent analyses make clear a 2020 coal peak announcement was the inevitable outcome of China’s game-changing climate deal deal with the U.S. last week, where China agreed to peak its total carbon pollution emissions in 2030 — or earlier.

6. Australia a pariah

Giles Parkinson thinks other nations are deliberately trying to embarrass Australia on climate change. Certainly Obama’s remarks can be interpreted that way. Then he (Giles) really gets stuck in:

We are, quite possibly, witnessing the most incompetent and ideologically blind government ever to hold power in Canberra. It’s effectively the Tea Party of Australia, pretending to be something else.

Saturday salon 15/11

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Abbott puts his foot in his mouth

Yesterday David Cameron made a speech in Parliament about freedom and democracy. At an international business breakfast attended by David Cameron Abbott said there was ‘nothing but bush’ in Australia before white settlement.

The self-appointed “Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs” Tony Abbott has reiterated the legal fiction of “terra nullius” stating that Australia was “nothing but bush” before British invasion and called pre-colonisation civilisation “extraordinarily basic and raw”.

Will someone please take this embarrassing man away and give us a real prime minister?

2. Palmer DisUnited Party

Clive Palmer and Jacqui Lambie have been engaging in a colourful slanging match. Lambie says she won’t resign unless she’s kicked out, but she might have to distance herself from the party. Palmer says she won’t answer the phone or return his calls and that she raises no issues when the party meets. It’s hard to see this fracture being patched up.

According to a vox pop conducted in Tasmania, she has a bit of support, but many are scathing and find her embarrassing. Her attitude may make things harder for the LNP to get legislation through the senate, but will reduce Palmer’s leverage.

3. Rundle on Palmer

Meanwhile Guy Rundle has been studying the mercurial Clive Palmer’s politics. He finds the politics of Clive Palmer:

a mildly centre-right politics, grounded in Australian Catholic traditions and social movement doctrine, and tracing their lineage back to the party whose name he wanted to adopt, the United Australia Party.

Rundle identifies a doctrine on which the Australian political and social settlement is based.

Because the arbitration system and the Harvester judgement that inaugurated it took their moral language from Rerum Novarum, the 1891 encyclical that sparked off the Catholic social movements, we can say that it is this doctrine, and its secular variants, that sits at the very centre of Australian political values, and major parties depart too far from it at their peril. It consists not merely of a set of social rules, but of an idea of what it is to be human, an idea of depth, and of selfhood as achieved in the exercise of mutual obligation.

Such a doctrine, drawing also from nineteenth-century social liberalism and classical and Christian notions of freedom as flourishing within communal life, is a world away from the atomised and content-less self of classical liberal doctrine, and the neoliberal political-economic movement that derives from it.

He locates Palmer’s politics within this tradition. Abbott promised to govern within this tradition, but he lied.

4. Wayne Goss in memoriam

Former Queensland premier Wayne Goss died during the week. Goss is noted for bringing the ALP back to power after 32 years of conservative rule and implementing the reforms recommended by Tony Fitzgerald in his inquiry into police corruption which flourished under Joh Bjelke Petersen. Fitzgerald described Goss as a man of “uncompromising integrity”.

The other Fitzgerald, Professor Ross Fitzgerald, described Goss as a “steady hand, but he really wasn’t a radical reformer”.

There was nothing steady about the way Goss’s government turned the public service inside out. In fact I left in 1991 in large measure because of the hypocrisy the Education Department displayed in ‘valuing people’. Ironically schooling in Queensland was modernised and humanised in the 1970s and 1980s under Joh, possibly because Joh himself took little direct interest in it and always handed education to a junior minister.

It’s astonishing to think that the magnificent Cultural Centre complex was built during the Joh years.

Still, the joint certainly needed cleaning up and Goss certainly did it.

5. Remembering the Berlin wall

“Die Mauer muss weg!” (“Away with the wall!”)

We also had the 25th anniversary of the destruction of the Berlin Wall during the week.

Originally it was assumed that the West would take over the East. Der Spiegel suggests that in fact there has been movement the other way and what has happened is that a genuinely new Germany has emerged.

6. WA plans to close Aboriginal communities

I couldn’t believe this when I heard it. The West Australian Government will close as many as 150 remote Aboriginal communities in the next three years.

Climate clippings 113

1. The Amazon is drying

AmazonRainforest_500_332_s_c1_c_c

Since 2000, rainfall has decreased by up to 25% across a vast swath of the southeastern Amazon, according to a new satellite analysis.

The area of concern is 12 times the size of California. The Amazon overall takes up 25% of the global carbon cycle that vegetation is responsible for, so it’s a significant carbon sink. With further drying the Amazon could become a carbon source rather than a sink.

Causes are not clear, but it’s possible that rainfall patterns have moved further north with global warming.

In related news, the re-election of Dilma Rousseff as president is seen as a significant negative for the environment in Brazil.

2. Great Barrier Reef protection plan ‘ignores the threat of climate change’

In its formal response to the Reef 2050 long-term sustainability plan, which was drawn up by the Australian and Queensland governments, the Australian Academy of Science states the strategy is “inadequate to achieve the goal of restoring or even maintaining the diminished outstanding universal value of the reef.”

There is “no adequate recognition” in the 2050 plan of the importance of curbing greenhouse gases.

Professor Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and an academy fellow, said the plan was focused on the sustainable development of four “mega ports” adjacent to the reef, rather than conservation of the reef itself.

The Great Barrier Reef has lost around half its coral cover in the past 30 years. The question now is whether UNESCO will list the GBR as endangered.

3. Limiting global warming to 2°C is unlikely to save most coral reefs

In this recent post I mentioned that “preserving more than 10 per cent of coral reefs worldwide would require limiting warming to below +1.5°C (atmosphere–ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) range: 1.3–1.8°C) relative to pre-industrial levels”. Following the links, the paper by K. Frieler at al is here.

It annoys me that the dangers to reefs from temperature change and ocean acidification are almost never mentioned, even by greenies. Opposition pollies should be speaking up too! That paper has been around since 2011.

4. Carbon capture and storage research budget slashed

The government has cut almost half a billion dollars from research into carbon capture and storage – which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deems crucial for continued use of coal – despite the prime minister insisting coal is the “foundation of our prosperity”.

In the budget the government cut $459.3m over three years from its carbon capture and storage flagship program, leaving $191.7m to continue existing projects for the next seven years. The program had already been cut by the previous Labor government and much of the funding remained unallocated.

John Connor, the chief executive of the Climate Institute, said CCS “has to be one of the clean energy options available because all the modelling says that to avoid temperature rises of more than two degrees, we have to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere”.

The first full-scale CCS power plant, the Boundary Dam Carbon Capture and Storage Project in Canada, opened last month.

5. Poland rejects zero coal by 2100

Poland and a bunch of eastern Europe countries “have categorically rejected the target put forward by the world’s top climate scientists to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2100 to avoid dangerous global warming…”

You might recall that when Poland hosted the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in 2013 it was positively promoting coal.

The EU has not yet apportioned the effort between countries in planning to meet recently announced emissions reduction targets. The fun is about to begin!

6. Roof top solar in San Francisco

New regulations in San Francisco will require new buildings to have roof top solar or gardens or both.

7. Tesla solar supercharging network

Tesla is rolling out a solar supercharging network for electric vehicles throughout the world eventually. Soon they will make a beginning in Australia.

The superchargers provide half a full charge in as little as 20 minutes, and are usually located near amenities like roadside restaurants, cafes, and shopping centers. Usually they have between 4 and 10 stalls.

The $5 billion “giagfactory” to be built in Nevada will generate more than 100% of its electricity needs with wind and solar.

The world is changing!

8. News of energy storage is a big, big deal

So says Sophie Vorrath at RenewEconomy:

The big announcements keep coming from the energy storage sector, with news this week that US behind-the-meter startup, Stem, has been tapped to provide 85MW of distributed energy storage to households in the West Los Angeles Basin.

The deal, a multi-year agreement awarded to Stem by Southern California Edison (SCE), marks America’s largest distributed energy storage project to date, and the first time energy storage has competed with traditional energy sources like natural gas at this scale.

For its part of the deal, Stem will deploy its advanced, behind-the-meter energy storage technology at customer locations in the Western LA Basin to act as dispatchable capacity to enhance the local reliability of the region.

In other words, using the combination of storage and its proprietary software platform, Stem will allow customers to monitor and manage energy use, which in turn will provide additional capacity to SCE.

9. Billboard banned

You may have heard that Brisbane Airport banned a billboard suggesting to incoming G20 delegates that climate change should be on their agenda. Apparently the billboard was “too political”.

image_6531_full_600

Getup and a bunch of other NGOs are campaigning to have the decision reversed.

The billboard was based on the experience of South Australian grape grower David Bruer, a farmer from South Australia who lost $25,000 worth of grapes in one day when temperatures soared to 45°C last year.

Saturday salon 8/11

voltaire_230

An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. Jacqui Lambie spins out

At the end of the week the star turn was Jacqui Lambie digging in over defense pay, lashing out at Abbott and taunting Clive palmer, daring him to sack her.

Glenn Lazarus has directly urged soldiers to ignore his colleague Jacqui Lambie and her call to protest at Remembrance Day ceremonies as Clive Palmer struggled to keep his disparate group of Senators together on Friday.

But a defiant Senator Lambie taunted leader Clive Palmer to prevent the party from splitting in the Senate and challenged her colleagues to help her block all Government legislation until the Defence Force is given a better pay rise.

Lazarus:

“Do not turn your back on any Remembrance Day activity or ceremony. Honour and respect those who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

“I married into a defence family and I understand firsthand the challenges defence personnel and their families deal with and the sacrifices they make for this country.

“Remembrance Day should be above politics,” he said.

It’s possible to feel sorry for Clive Palmer!

2. Whitlam remembered

Whitlam_large_c9ab0200

David Marr says there was lingering sadness along with cheers and soaring oratory. I heard parts of it. I particularly liked John Faulkner’s speech, also his son Tony. Everyone has been raving about Noel Pearson’s speech. From what I’ve read he said some good stuff, but sounded stagy, self-consciously the orator.

Abbott and Howard were booed on entry, as is proper, Julia Gillard was welcomed effusively, Kevin Rudd in silence.


Lenore Taylor warns
that right now Whitlam’s legacy in schools and universities is being dismantled.

3. Is the media biased, or not?

Bernard Keane at Crikey:

Let’s try a thought experiment: imagine the Rudd government had, within a few short months of being elected, fallen significantly behind Brendan Nelson’s opposition in the polls; imagine that it had produced a budget universally panned as unfair, one that it struggled to get through the Senate, that Cabinet was leaking like a sieve without any wire mesh, that treasurer Wayne Swan had made repeated gaffes and been forced to apologise and was widely regarded as a growing liability, that corruption in the NSW Labor Party had forced a Labor minister to stand aside within months of being sworn in, that Kevin Rudd had consistently negative personal ratings and at times fell behind Nelson as preferred PM, that Rudd was so unpopular, state Labor leaders preferred he kept away from them during their election campaigns, that Labor had announced it was doubling the budget deficit, and if it was reliant on a political freak show of independent and minor party senators to secure passage of its bills.

And imagine if the Rudd government had resorted to national security in an effort to take the focus off its domestic woes, and it had failed to restore its fortunes, leaving it still trailing the Coalition?

Now imagine how all that would have been reported — and not just by the Coalition cheerleaders at News Corp, but by the entire media? You wouldn’t have been able to click on a news website without seeing “debacle”, “crisis”, “fiasco” and “Whitlamesque” in every political story.

4. Stop the ABC!

At Loon Pond:

So here’s a reminder of why there’s ongoing bleating in the commercial media about the ABC:

1. Insiders (ABC 216,000 + 108,000 on News 24) — 324,000
2. Weekend Sunrise (Seven)  —  305,000
3. Landline (ABC) — 291,000
4. Weekend Today (Nine)  —  237,000
5. Offsiders (ABC) — 138,000
6. The Bolt Report (Ten) — 131,000
7. Financial Review Sunday (Nine) — 130,000
8. The Bolt Report repeat (Ten)  — 84,000

Poor Bolter. It’s a truth universally noted that once a program hits a level, it usually stays at that level.

Here’s the wonderful David Rowe cartoon at the head of the post:

Rowe_David_550

5. Business leaders lose confidence in Abbott Government

Only on the ABC:

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott likes to boast that Australia is open for business, but his government appears to be losing friends at the big end of town.

A survey from Institute of Company Directors has found the nation’s most powerful board rooms are not happy with the Coalition’s performance.

Their confidence in the Government has slumped to the lowest level seen since last year’s election.

company directors are saying that government decisions are hurting their businesses and hurting their customers, hurting consumer confidence as well.

6. A busy week

Last week was a busy week for me, the next one will be also. Moreover, I could be out three nights which will nearly halve the time I have for posting. We’ll see how it goes!