Australian Politics 2017-04-30 15:48:00
Another stupid Greenie prophecy: "The Reef will never be the same again"
This is just straight Greenie propaganda, with no regard to all the facts. The GBR has had some bleaching events lately but it is nothing compared to Bikini Atoll, which had a thermonuclear device exploded above it. And Bikini coral is thriving again. If coral on Bikini can survive that, why should not the GBR survive infinitely lesser stressors?
And attributing the isolated bleaching to global warming is just assertion. They offer no evidence for it. The best evidence is that it is due to sea-level changes, not ocean warming.
It does seem that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017). Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected.
And note that while they are busily attributing the bleaching to global warming -- they give not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature.
So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79). So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming. So the guys below are lying through their teeth. They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.
And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area. They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching
THE biggest jewel in Australia’s tourism crown will never look the same again — and to fix it, Australia needs a worldwide hand.
Made up of 3000 individual reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism. It is home to 300 species of coral and a vast array of fish, molluscs, starfish and other marine life.
The Reef also supports a $6 billion tourism industry that provides employment for 69,000 people — all of which is in strife if environmental degradation causes significant, widespread harm.
Already back-to-back coral bleaching episodes have taken their toll, wiping out nearly 600km of coral mostly in the far north.
Caused by rising ocean temperatures that kill food-generating algal organisms inside the coral, no one can say with any confidence that bleaching will not become an annual event.
Even more worrying, scientific data suggests a further two-degree increase in ocean temperatures would wipe-out most of the hard corals.
The man in charge of the Reef Recovery program at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Mark Read, concedes it will never look the same again.
Although some corals will build up a resilience to warmer temperatures, a number of species are facing extinction.
“I think it’s going to end being a real mosaic,” said Dr Read.
“Some parts of the Reef are going to look more classic — hard coral-dominated — that we’re familiar with while other parts will be less dominated by hard coral and more dominated by soft coral and algae.”
While natural habitats are destined to change over time, Dr Read says in the Reef’s case, mankind has contributed to the “current accelerated period of heating” causing coral bleaching.
“We are talking about a global phenomenon,” Dr Read said.
“(Coral bleaching) is happening all around the world where you have hard coral. The Great Barrier Reef has been hit particularly hard, so it’s front of mind.”
Among the strategies being used by his team to aid in the Reef’s recovery, are ensuring activities in the area do not adversely impact the delicate marine environment; tackling the insidious Crown of Thorns starfish; improving water quality and reducing the volume of debris that finds its way into the massive water park.
Together those initiatives will make a difference but Dr Read admits they won’t prevent more episodes of coral bleaching.
“In terms of dealing with the warming per se, that is something that needs to be tackled at that global level,” he said.
“What we do, and what we can do is reduce as many of the direct pressures on the Reef to enhance its capacity to bounce back.”
Those who make a living from the Reef are watching the situation with some trepidation.
Despite chalking up their best tourism season since 1997 in 2016, long-term operators know the back-to-back coral bleaching events that have received global coverage will eventually take their toll.
Which genius gave this Islam idiot a soapbox?
AS idiots come, they don’t get much bigger than the silly Muslim woman Yassmin Abdel-Magied, but as stupid as she so obviously is, those who have fallen over themselves to promote multiculturalism across the private and public sector are of far greater concern.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who hosted Abdel-Magied and the hate-preacher Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman, along with media hog Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland, last year at Kirribili last year must take note.
Abdel-Magied had already distinguished herself earlier this year when her principal backers at the ABC put her on a Q&A panel enabling her to proclaim to great hilarity that Islam was “the most feminist religion”.
She was always bound to utter greater inanities and she didn’t fail with her ridiculous (and extremely offensive) Facebook remarks about Anzac Day last Tuesday.
She’s so deficient in judgment that she didn’t even realise her remarks might have been disgustingly offensive until someone else explained the matter to her.
“It was brought to my attention that my last post was disrespectful, and for that I unreservedly apologise,” she later wrote.
The ABC displayed similarly absurd thinking when its media manager Sally Jackson released a statement standing by its part-time presenter and noting that Abdel-Magied’s post was “subsequently retracted, apologised for and deleted”.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is responsible for spending taxpayers’ money on the ABC and should do more than be merely critical of the fool but whether or not she is dismissed from her part-time job as an ABC presenter is ultimately up to the new CEO, Michelle Guthrie, and the new chairman of the ABC board, Justin Milne. It is they who now wear the asses’ ears and it is their gross lack of judgment that Australians should be protesting about.
The young hijab-wearing Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian Muslim is a non-entity despite her relentless self-promotion and would not have come to notice had it not been for the oafs within the Australian government who are determined to push the failed concept of multiculturalism despite the overwhelming weight of empirical evidence which shows that all cultures are not equal and that the fanatical adherents of Islam, some of whom Abdel-Magied has sought advice from, do not support Australia or Australian values.
Yet it was the geniuses within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who plucked this halfwit from obscurity and paid for her to visit Islamic nations across the Middle East and in North Africa to promote her book on her experiences as a Muslim hijab-wearing woman in Australia.
Throughout the three-week jaunt, Australian taxpayers were picking up her cheque as she was duchessed and waited upon by DFAT officers.
The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is now said to be pondering whether Abdel-Magied has a future on the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, one of the little perks run by DFAT. But the real question is why was she ever chosen to do anything by anyone of any intelligence in government (OK, the oxymoron trigger warning should have come before that last thought).
Of course, she is, as Senator Eric Abetz noted, “unfit and (she) lacked the judgment” for the DFAT role but that means the judgment and fitness of the individuals who initially selected her is what must be questioned and dealt with.
It is just over a year since the Australian navy’s hijab-wearing Muslim adviser Captain Mona Shindy exposed her ineptitude through a Twitter account described as the “Official Royal Australian Navy Islamic Advisor Twitter account”, to publish political views in tweets critical of Tony Abbott during and after his prime ministership.
Again, who were the numbskulls responsible for creating the position Shindy held and the account she operated?
Were they the same senior naval officers responsible for the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide which can be seen lashed to the wharves in Woolloomooloo this past month and more, unable to go to sea because of “propulsion problems”?
The most land lubberly of observers might well have thought that the prime function of the navy was to ensure that its ships, even those worth some $3 billion, could go to sea and that “propulsion” might be key to that ability but apparently not so.
Neither the naval brains trust nor the Defence Minister Marise Payne can tell the taxpayers what their mechanical problems are but they can tell us how inclusive and multicultural the immovable fleet is.
Given that the navy embarrassingly bought two rust buckets from the US navy in the early ’90s — commissioned them as HMAS Manoora and HMAS Kanimbla — and sold them for scrap in 2013 after getting about 10 real years of service out of them, the lesson is that the Defence Department is hopeless at negotiating a deal and more concerned with politically correct appearances than operating efficiently.
Too much weight has been given to the ridiculous identity politics of political correctness at the expense of real policies delivering real gains for the nation, whether it’s at the ABC, within the navy, or across private sector boards.
Don’t deny nonentities their right to freedom of speech but at least deprive them of having a hand in the public pocket while they’re on their silly soap boxes.
Turnbull’s ministry catches the flak as PM botches gas
Richo is an old ALP numbers man so it is interesting to see him in favour of coal below
The capacity of our Prime Minister to turn triumph into tragedy is on display far too often. It is hard to imagine how putting downward pressure on gas prices could be turned into a negative but Malcolm Turnbull is the champion of the political cock-up. Increasingly, the average punter has become aware that our liquefied gas is overwhelmingly for export and can be bought far more cheaply overseas than it can at home. People are aware that energy prices are rising at a phenomenal rate and can’t understand how the gas industry is able to flog its stuff to foreigners when gas supply is so short at home.
Philosophically, the Liberals, like any good conservative party, are opposed to interfering with markets. The free market ideology has held sway for what seems like forever. Even over the last 12 months, ministers such as Josh Frydenberg and Matthew Canavan have dismissed the notion of export controls on the gas industry. It is sometimes difficult for his ministry to keep up with the Prime Ministerial style. Whether bastardry was involved or not, Scott Morrison has had the ground taken from under him several times by Malcolm Turnbull and now the rest of the ministry is learning that it, too, is liable to run foul of a boss thrashing around trying to do something to regain his credibility let alone his ratings.
When a suitably attired and helmeted Prime Minister made his announcement on the export controls on gas, he must have known that suggesting the wholesale price of gas could be halved by this government intervention would mean the mob would assume that the price to them would reduce by a similar margin. Most Australians, and that definitely includes my good self, have no real idea on how gas is priced, let alone what the cost of liquefication might be. As soon as they hear anything that sounds like a 50 per cent reduction, then the automatic interpretation and expectation of price reductions become very, very real.
Josh Frydenberg was forced to go out, a la Sean Spicer, and explain that the government was not in a position to guarantee whether a decrease in the gas price would occur at all, let alone see the price come down by half. What made it so damaging was that the government’s inquisitor on this was not a Labor politician or a high-flying economist, it turned out to be a Melbourne pensioner name Greta who rang the open line on Neil Mitchell’s program on 3AW. Like so many pensioners, she was concerned about whether she could afford to turn the heating on this winter. This was a woman who stood up and was not denied her opportunity.
Sadly, in the current era, cost alone is not the only reason Greta and millions of others might be denied heating this winter. Electricity supplies don’t look nearly as reliable as they have for the last few decades. The government will undoubtedly be judged on that supply and yet, apart from some supportive statements about the need for Australia to continue to rely on coal-fired power for a few decades yet, nothing concrete has been done to make Adani happen or to bring about the construction of new coal-fired plants. As old plants close, we seem to be delaying too much the decision on how to replace them.
Our weak-kneed, cowardly big banks are shying away from financing anything to do with coal. The Turnbull government must find a way to make Adani happen.
Inevitably, this will require government guarantees. If it is good enough to intervene in the gas market, then coal is a natural to be next on the list.
Rich Baby Boomers clinging to their superannuation ripoff
We are entering an era likely to be defined by an intergenerational standoff. Baby boomers are retiring en masse, with the political power that comes from a demographic bubble. The remaining generations who are of working age face increasing pressures courtesy of an expanding government remit, which of course needs to be paid for through higher taxes.
Australians are living longer than ever, and the generation retiring now is the largest cohort in history. The financial costs of an ageing population are significant, even if living longer is a problem we all hope to confront.
There are more baby boomers than any other generation alive, despite their age, which gives them enormous political power — delivered to an activist generation who knows how to use it.
The battleground in focus is superannuation, and within the Victorian division of the Liberal Party it became open warfare this week when cabinet minister Kelly O’Dwyer was attacked repeatedly for having the temerity to reform superannuation — reforms, incidentally, that after the election last year (and admittedly after a little tinkering to get the settings right) were applauded by the partyroom. Those who claim dissatisfaction with the changes overstate their case.
We need to be clear when outlining just how insignificant the changes to super have been for most Australians. Ignorance is driving much of the fear in this debate.
While baby boomers are, as already mentioned, retiring en masse, most will continue to pay absolutely no tax on earnings in their superannuation accounts. That is the political reality. When I say most, we are talking about upward of nine of out 10 retirees living off their superannuation savings, and that’s before considering all those other over-60s living off the pension.
A small number of retirees will be required to pay a very small share of tax, courtesy of the reforms the government ushered through soon after the election last year.
The changes have left a rhetorically loud (if numerically small) grouping of elites very unhappy. They believe that years of earning huge salaries, and presumably often minimising their taxes when doing so, have earned them the right to pay no taxes whatsoever in retirement — notwithstanding the costs an ageing society imposes on the rest of us in policy areas such as health.
Let’s put what they are collectively moaning about into context. How dare O’Dwyer support reforms that would see a 15 per cent tax on superannuation investment earnings beyond the earnings on the first $3.2 million invested by couples (half that for individuals). That, according to O’Dwyer’s critics, is an unacceptable reform. I say it continues to be an unbelievably low rate of tax.
Assuming low investment returns of 5 per cent a year, $3.2m invested would return at least $160,000 each year. No tax is paid on that by retirees, not before the changes the government made and not after them. All that happens now (which did not happen before) is that 15 per cent tax is paid on any additional earnings. The principal ($3.2m or greater) is not taxed, which is important to be aware of.
So if you have super earnings of $200,000 each year, you now pay the whopping tax total of $6000.
Compare that with every generation X, Y or Z person paying marginal tax rates on their income earnings.
And if they are able to save money each year towards a home or investment loan, consider what they pay in tax on the earnings from those savings. Such taxes are levied at the marginal income tax rate their earnings fall into.
For example, if you earn $180,000 a year, you have just hit the top marginal tax rate (close to 50c in the dollar when levies are factored in).
If you manage to save $20,000 towards a home deposit, and invest it in a savings account earning you 5 per cent interest, you make $1000 after one year to help top up your deposit.
But because your interest earned is taxed at the top marginal rate, you effectively lose $500 of that $1000 interest earned — money that can go into government coffers to help fund the ageing of the population.
It doesn’t seem very fair, does it, when the baby boomer earning $200,000 on their super every year is paying only $6000?
Unbelievably, however, this debate isn’t about whether those baby boomers should pay more tax. Neither major party is suggesting that. The debate is about whether O’Dwyer should be challenged in her electorate of Higgins because she had the temerity to impose any taxes at all on superannuation earners.
This is how broken our political debate has become, and it’s also a sign of how powerful the baby boomer generation is politically. Not that the superannuation changes should exercise the minds of most baby boomers because, as already mentioned, the overwhelming majority of them simply are not affected by the government’s new taxes.
Critics of O’Dwyer are out of touch and driven by financial self-interest, yet they are scaring retirees unaffected by the minimal super tax changes into thinking the government is stealing from them — harming the financial viability of their retirement.
In irony of all ironies, there are polemic advocates from generations X, Y and Z who do the bidding of elite cohorts among the baby boomers, misunderstanding the changes or happy to attack political enemies such as O’Dwyer when they should know better as policy analysts. It’s so lowbrow.
As an addendum to the far more important policy ramifications of this whole debate canvassed above, I was criticised during the week by Peta Credlin (a colleague on Sky News) for not giving her the opportunity to comment within a comment piece I wrote for this paper. The piece criticised her for fuelling the story that O’Dwyer might be challenged for preselection.
I took the view, as a chair of journalism at a Go8 university, and aware of this newspaper’s editorial guidelines, that seeking comment for a comment piece isn’t necessary (news flash: it’s required for news stories, not comment pieces).
Peta and I can agree to disagree on the matter, but I do note that the following day she wrote her own comment piece on super, taking aim at O’Dwyer. So why wasn’t O’Dwyer given the opportunity to comment for that piece? Not that offering her such an opportunity is required, of course.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here