Australian Politics 2019-01-10 15:46:00

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Australian Warmists spin like a top

How do you spin a COOLING temperature?  You call it the third warmest!  Both statements are true but their implications differ greatly, though neither foretells the future. Below is the graph put out by Australia's great temple of Warmism, the BoM -- well-known "fiddlers" of temperature data



It shows a roughly one degree temperature increase since about 1960.  Australia is not the world, however, so a more informative graph is the global satellite record, the only truly global measure of temperature



The satellites show about a 0.2 degree rise on average since 1999.  That is one fifth of one degree Celsius. One fifth of one degree -- that tiny amount is enough to keep Warmists tumescent. But you may understand that skeptics vary between saying it is trivial to saying it is not significant at all.

But that's not all of the bad news for warmism.  The satellite graph shows clearly that the temperature has been DECLINING since 2016.  Are we entering a period of global cooling?  Could be.  The truth however is that nobody knows.  Temperatures on earth have been warmer and have been cooler.  Anything is possible.

Temperatures have risen in fits and starts over the last century or so but nobody knows why and nobody can tell whether or for how long that will continue.  The one certainty is that temperatures do not remotely track CO2 levels.  From 1945 to 1975 global temperatures stayed flat on average while CO2 levels rose sharply.  That is a total contradiction of Warmist theory



2018 was Australia’s third hottest year on record. You’re not imagining it, it really is hot out there. And, no, it’s not just summer as usual. The last 12 months have been abnormally hot.

If you thought it was hotter than usual last year, you weren’t wrong. Climate experts have confirmed it was Australia’s third-warmest year on record, with every state and territory recording above average temperatures in 2018.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) annual climate statement, the nation’s average temperature last year was 1.14C above the average for 1961-1990, making 2018 slightly warmer than 2017.

“When we look across all of Australia in 2018, we can see that every single state and territory had above average day and night-time temperatures,” the Bureau’s senior climatologist Lynette Bettio said in a statement on Thursday.

Only 2005 and 2013 were warmer.

Nine of the 10 warmest years on record in Australia have occurred since 2005. Dr Bettio said the only part of the country to buck the trend for above average temperatures was Western Australia’s Kimberley Region, which had cooler than average nights for the year.

The BOM also said rainfall totals in Australia in 2018 were the lowest since 2005.

The total was 11 per cent below the 1961-1990 average, but many areas experienced significantly lower average rainfalls, the bureau found. Dr Bettio said large areas of southeast Australia had rainfall totals in the lowest 10 per cent on record.

New South Wales had its sixth-driest year on record while the Murray-Darling Basin had its seventh driest.

However, some parts of northern Australia and southeast Western Australia received above-average rainfall totals.

The Bureau’s statement follows a run of exceptionally high temperatures around the nation late last month, along with a prolonged heatwave in Queensland in late November and early December.

Globally, 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service assessment, released on Tuesday. The last four years have seen the highest average temperatures globally since records began in the 19th century.


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One Nation candidate Mark Latham complains Sydney has turned into an 'unliveable' metropolis overflowing with immigrants and apartment towers

Biffo is right.  Living in Sydney gets more crowded and frustrating year by year and that will continue as long as we have a big immigrant-driven population rise.  All those immigrants have got to fit in somewhere and they will crowd others out while doing so

One Nation candidate Mark Latham has slammed the NSW Berejiklian government for turning Sydney into an 'unliveable' metropolis overflowing with immigrants.

The former federal Labor leader made the remarks during a visit to Sydney's outer west this week, which kicked off his campaign for the New South Wales election on March 23, The Australian reported.

He was attending a meet-and-greet at Oran Park shopping centre when he compared Sydney's proposed second airport to the poorly developed tram network.

The outer west location is to be the site for the purpose-built airport, with a projected population of 15 million, but Mr Latham doubted its overall success.

He said the Berejiklian government's vision of a 'high-tech Disneyland' for the second airport was another casualty in the state government's disastrous 'lack of planning'.

'If you can't build a couple of tram tracks on the main street in the CBD, you haven't got much hope of accommodating new ­cities on the outskirts of Sydney the size of Adelaide,' Mr Latham said.

The former Labor leader also commented on how the Berejiklian government is struggling and has failed to manage the city's migrant 'population explosion'.

He said there had been an over development of skyscrapers and apartment towers across the city, opposed to focusing on basic community services such as hospitals. The increase in residential properties and developments throughout Sydney has transformed the city into something 'unrecognisable', he said.   

Mr Latham said Sydney is absorbing 100,000 new migrants every year, but One Nation's policy to reduce the intake by two thirds would ease the burden. 'It just turns Sydney into something unliveable and dysfunctional,' he said.

Mr Latham said the over development of apartment towers and skyscrapers also resembled a huge construction site and felt totally 'alien' to most Sydneysiders.

The One Nation candidate also said he was also more than comfortable after having switched parties and working with his former nemesis Pauline Hanson.

Polling results from last year showed the percentage of NSW voters who support One Nation sits at about eight per cent. 

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Time for Australia to stop calling itself a 'middle power'

Now a major power?  We are the only nation with a continent to itself so that does enable a few things

We are regularly told by our foreign policy decision-makers that we're a middle power in the international system, but that we "punch above our weight".

Indeed, there's a unity ticket here: both major political parties use the middle power descriptor, not wishing to suggest that we're a major power or wanting Australia to be seen as some sort of hero with an inflated opinion of our own importance in global affairs. At the same time, the middle power moniker invokes a quiet pride in our citizens and greater support for our decision-makers.

But as countries jockey much more for international influence, a just-released audit of geopolitical capability has found Australia is one of the 10 most powerful nations in the world with a strong case for us to replace Russia and restore the G7 to the G8.

The Henry Jackson Society in the UK looked at 33 indicators and 1240 pieces of data to assess the geopolitical capability of the Group of 20 nations, plus Nigeria. The United States headed the rankings with the United Kingdom ahead of China, France and Germany. Japan was in sixth position followed by Canada and Australia. That put us just ahead of India and Russia. The study found that we're more politically powerful than Russia because we are a "hemispheric power" capable of projecting ourselves and defending our own interests within the southern hemisphere.

James Rogers, the study's chief analyst, noted that our burgeoning economy (we've completed 27 consecutive years of annual economic growth) and a strengthened military have helped secure our position as a major world player. He suggests that Australia has profited from our links to the Anglosphere and that further investment in the Five-Eyes intelligence sharing arrangement could help us rise even higher. Rogers points out that on cultural power– our ability to attract others to our cause, our narrative to shape and influence global discourse or ideas and ideology – we're ranked fourth in the world. Last year Australia was ranked 10th globally on the Soft Power study index by Portland Communications.

Breadth of influence

The Henry Jackson Society study's main finding is surely right: Australia is more than a middle power in international affairs. There are very few countries that can lay claim to having the depth and breadth of influence as Australia.

We're a top-tier player in the southern hemisphere, and in the South Pacific (a quarter of the Earth's surface) we're a superpower. We're a major player in the Indian Ocean (we have the largest area of maritime jurisdiction in the Indian Ocean region) and in south-east Asia.

When Australia's claim in Antarctica is included, Australia becomes the country with the largest jurisdictional claim in the world. Our undisputed claim covers around 27.2 million square kilometres, of which about half is over sea. We're 13th largest economy (in GDP terms, thus the 13th largest contributor to the United Nations), the 11th wealthiest nation (GDP per capita, current US dollars) and 51 (out of 214) in population. We've got the 12th largest defence budget and 10th largest defence expenditure as a percentage of GDP in the OECD. One of the major factors driving Australia up the geopolitical capability index is our $200 billion defence investment program over the next decade.

Crucial role

Australia is the number-one global exporter of iron ore, coal and unwrought lead and the second largest exporter of aluminium ores. We're the second largest exporter of beef, the third largest exporter of sugar and the largest global exporter of wool.

We're the 13th largest aid donor. In a world where economics and strategic issues rule, values and soft power still have a crucial role to play in international relations, especially for a country like Australia. The influence our aid program buys us in particular places and at particular times is very much under-rated.

Australia is a pivotal country. Pivotal powers are those countries that by virtue of their strategic location, size of population, economic potential, policy preferences and political weighting are destined to shape the contours of geopolitics in key regions of the world as well as constitute important nodes of global economic growth.

The Henry Jackson Society' s overall finding is spot on: we're one of the few countries in the world that's well positioned internationally by successfully bringing together our economic, diplomatic, military and cultural capabilities.

The trick will be to continue to work to ensure our significance is widely appreciated by leveraging those capabilities to remain an influential nation, and not just in the Indo-Pacific.

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Coalition under fire as Australia’s onshore fuel stockpiles reach worrying lows

The federal government is under fire over fears Australia’s low fuel stockpiles could leave the nation dangerously exposed.

Experts have criticised the Coalition for failing to publish an urgent review of Australia’s liquid fuel reserves, with the nation failing to hold the recommended amount.

International Energy Agency mandates that countries hold at least 90 days’ supply of liquid fuel reserves.

But according to the latest Department of Energy figures, Australia sits well below this, with 22 days’ worth of petrol, 17 days of diesel and 27 days of total petroleum products.

Australia depends largely on the Middle East for its transport fuel imports, but recent instability in the region — as well as tensions in the South China Sea and on the Korean peninsula — could threaten our fuel future, The Australian reports.

Coalition senator and retired major-general Jim Molan told the newspaper that rising geopolitical tensions mean a review of Australia’s liquid reserves is more important than ever.

“With increased uncertainty in the Middle East from where much of our oil and refined fuel comes, and the growing uncertainty in our own region due to great power tensions and the unpredictability of the US as a stab­ilising force, a review of Australia’s liquid fuel reserves is even more crucial now to Australia’s national security,” he said.

“It’s disappointing and potentially dangerous that the review has been delayed, given that the bureaucracy also has to complete an overall energy review in 2019.”

Experts have echoed these claims. Dr Paul Barnes, head of Risk and Resilience Program at Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told news.com.au he’s concerned by the lack of information regarding a federal government review into domestic fuel security.

“The fact that the review results are delayed is a concern … we have been teetering on the edge for some time,” he said.

“One issue today that is a concern for all Australians is that just because we haven’t had a problem with fuel security in the past, it doesn’t mean we will never have one in the future - it doesn’t make logical sense.

“We need to do our full due diligence, not just regarding fuel reserves but the broader issue of supply chains.”

Dr Barnes said Australia was at the end of the supply chain which meant we were vulnerable to geopolitical disturbances that could affect supply, such as tension in the South China Sea and on the Korean peninsula.

“The Australian people are not stupid and they can see through the illogical argument that we can predict the future just because we’ve never had a problem in the past.

“The world is changing, and where we get many of our imports from are from locations close to geopolitical distress.

“We need to get clear direction from the government in the form of a completed review that needs to be published and discussed.”

Last May, then-Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg ordered an urgent review of Australia’s liquid fuel reserves, after the country dipped below 50 days.

Mr Molan warned that Australia was one of the few places in the world without a government-mandated strategic reserve of fuel, and that if conflict broke out in our region and current stockpiles of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel ran dry, the military would effectively be grounded.

“I can’t imagine that armoured vehicles in the forces in the near future are going to work off renewables or off electricity or off whatever,” he told news.com.au last year.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment and Energy said: “The Government is continuing to engage stakeholders and expects to release the review in early 2019.”

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 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