Australian Politics 2019-02-23 15:42:00

Uncategorized

Sea levels in and around Sydney Harbour 1886 to 2018

Below is just the Abstract of a very extensive study

by Dr G M Derrick, Brisbane, Australia,  geoffd@powerup.com.au February 2019

Executive Summary

1. There has been NO significant sea level rise in the harbour for the past 120 years, and what little there has been is about the height of a matchbox over a century.

2. Along the northern beaches of Sydney, at Collaroy there has been no suggestion of any sea level rise there for the past 140 years. Casual observations from Bondi Beach 1875 to the present also suggest the same benign situation.

3. A rush to judgement by local councils and State Governments by legislating harsh laws and building covenants along our coastlines now seems misplaced.

4.The falsehoods and mendacity of the IPCC and climate alarmists should be rejected out of hand, and efforts be made to ensure that science, not propaganda, defines our school curricula in matters of climate and sea levels

More HERE 






Bill Shorten ally Bill Ludwig flays ‘lefties’ over coal

Bill Shorten’s mentor, former union leader Bill Ludwig, has blamed a “few lefties’’ within Queensland’s Labor government for politicising the Adani coalmine and backed the CFMEU’s threatened campaign against federal ALP candidates who refuse to support the project.

In sharply worded comments, Mr Ludwig said Deputy Premier and Left faction leader Jackie Trad “thinks she should be premier, but there’s not much chance of that ever happening”.

Mr Ludwig, former national president of Mr Shorten’s Australian Workers Union, said it was “fair enough’’ for the CFMEU to campaign against Labor candidates given the state government’s position on Adani.

The move, revealed in The Australian on Monday, could cost the federal opposition winnable Coalition-held seats in Queensland at the federal election due in May.

“I don’t blame the coalies for doing what they’re doing because there’s jobs involved, and there’s no argument about the profitability and the need for the mine,’’ Mr Ludwig said.

Labor is increasingly split over Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine in central Queensland. Mining unions are ramping up pressure for political support for the project, which would open up the massive Galilee coal basin.

The federal opposition’s hopes that the project would be off the political agenda before the election were blown, when the Palas­zczuk government stalled the proposed mine with an 11th-hour review of the company’s strategy to protect the endangered black-throated finch.

The review prompted Steven Smyth — state head of the mining division of the CFMEU, one of Labor’s biggest donors — to put Labor MPs and candidates on ­notice to sign a pledge supporting Adani and the coal industry or face a union campaign against them.

Labor is targeting at least eight Coalition seats in Queensland — held on margins of up to 4 per cent — including four regional seats, with high unemployment that could benefit from the $2 billion Adani project.

The project could also prove decisive in the ultra-marginal Labor-held seat of Herbert, in Townsville, where incumbent MP Cathy O’Toole is refusing to respond to the CFMEU ultimatum.

Mr Ludwig, who retired from the AWU after decades as the Labor kingmaker in Queensland, said the Adani project had “turned political’’ despite the ­Indian conglomerate overcoming every “environmental hurdle’’.

Asked for his response to the review of Adani’s finch plan and his message for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is an AWU member, Mr Ludwig said: “I don’t know where the government are. I mean there are a few lefties in this … government, you know, it’s probably a little bit difficult.

“You’ve got protesters talking about the black-throated finch … I mean, this is so ridiculous, you just can’t understand where they’re coming from. I think the (state) government has given them every opportunity, because the do-gooders have taken them to court and done everything (and) they’ve lost and lost and lost, but then they come up with another one.’’

Mr Ludwig said he believed the proposed mine, which was vastly scaled down last year after starting out as a $16.5bn project, would go ahead. “There’s thousands and thousands of Indians over there still with bloody oil lamps that want bloody coal,’’ he said.

Mr Ludwig said the government had given anti-Adani activists “every opportunity’’.

Katter’s Australian Party leader Bob Katter said yesterday he was already in talks with the CFMEU leadership about the “bubbling divisions” within the union’s ranks. The KAP, which won three regional seats at the 2017 Queensland state election, is targeting Herbert, won by Labor in 2016 by 37 votes.

“They’re intelligent people,” Mr Katter said of the unionists. “They’re switched on, not locked into Labor — most have never been brought up in Labor traditions — and they’re big earners.”

Ms Palaszczuk yesterday refused to support new thermal coalmines in her state, including the Carmichael project, saying the “market will dictate that” and they must “stack up financially and also environmentally”.  “That company is not being treated differently to any other company,” the Premier said.

At a luncheon, Ms Palaszczuk defended her government’s decision to refer Adani’s finch plan to an outside panel of experts. She likened it to the federal government commissioning CSIRO to review the company’s groundwater management plan.

The panel’s final report, delivered to Adani late on Tuesday, recommended sweeping new controls on the mine, including an automatic shutdown of coalmining if finch populations declined over five years.

SOURCE  







Out-of-touch Labor MP says it 'could be a GOOD thing' if Australia's $25billion coal industry collapsed leaving thousands of people unemployed

The Scott Morrison government has pounced on a Labor MP who suggested a decline in the $25billion coal market is a 'good thing'.

Labor frontbencher Richard Marles told Sky News on Wednesday the world market for thermal coal - Australia's top export industry - had collapsed.

'At one level that's a good thing because what that implies is the world is acting in relation to climate change,' Mr Marles said.

Mr Morrison and his Liberal colleagues slammed Mr Marles and accused him of suggesting a supposed decline was 'wonderful'.

'He might think it's wonderful... we don't think it's wonderful. In all of those places [people] who depend on those jobs don't think it's wonderful,' the prime minister told Parliament.

Queensland-based federal minister Steve Ciobo reiterated the 'wonderful' line, telling parliament thermal coal produced $25 billion in export income for Australia and thousands of jobs each year.

'The Australian Labor Party thinks it is a wonderful thing that they get to junk-pile 55,000 jobs in the resources sector,' he told parliament.

Mr Marles later clarified his position and said he didn't properly articulate his point.

Coal clearly has an important and enduring role to play, even as we transition to more renewables, and I should have made that clear,' he said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this month showed coal export sales rose nearly 16 per cent in 2018.

Mr Marles earlier reiterated Labor's position that no money should be spent on the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.

'There are lots of ways in which you can generate employment, but the important statement here is that no public money is going to be spent on it,' he told Sky.

SOURCE  






Tribal warfare saps our energy

Australia is being convulsed by its contradictory identity: a
fossil fuel-endowed nation enriched by its resources set against a middle-class moralism hooked on climate change action — an internal division that plagues the voting base of both Coalition and Labor.

Party values and voting loyalties are being trashed. As climate change activism turns into an anti-coal mantra buttressed by a finance sector unwilling to invest, the clash over competing economic interests and cultural values will provoke large-scale political disruption. Both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten are trapped in these dilemmas.

Labor’s fidelity to immensely popular renewables highlights its alienation from coal and the wider industry as the CFMEU mining division in Queensland joins with the state’s mining industry to ­assault the Palaszczuk government over de facto sabotage of the Adani mine.

Shorten’s ability to hold together his contradictory political coalition is stretched to breaking point. Labor is entrenched as the renewables party in its astute alignment to harness the climate change vote and protect its progressive flank. But what works in middle-class suburbs cannot work in regional Australia.

CFMEU mining division Queensland president Steve Smyth warns that the union will fight the anti-mining activists ­because their campaign extends far beyond Adani, and will campaign against MPs including Labor candidates unless they back the job-creating venture seen as the trigger to open up more mines in the Galilee basin.

With Queensland a pivotal state in the national election, Labor suffers a twin liability: its disastrous resurrection of the border security issue and a regional revolt against its anti-coalmining progressive mindset. As the CFMEU attacks Labor for its turn against coal, the Greens increase the bidding game on Labor’s Left with MP Adam Bandt introducing the “termination” steps — a bill to prohibit thermal coalmining in the Galilee basin, thereby outlawing the Adani mine and a bill to phase out thermal coal ­exports by 2030.

Australia’s split character and polarised politics is beyond ­bizarre.

This is a country where much of the public turns against coal, our main export, returning $67 billion this year and helping to fund health, education and the return to budget surplus. It is evidence of a truly complacent country where significant opinion rejects its main export industry.

It is folly to think the Morrison government is immune. The climate change/energy policy disputes that have created havoc within the Coalition for a decade are far from settled. The government has no energy policy after the demise of the national energy guarantee. This week it launched an assault on the economic costs of Labor’s renewables policy, yet the government faces a critical test: does it include coal in the list of energy projects prepared by ­Energy Minister Angus Taylor and designed to be underwritten by government?

Will Morrison intervene to promote coal or back-off?

It is a decisive moment for the Coalition and Liberal-Nationals relations as it struggles to reconcile its conservative pro-mining, pro-coal communities with the climate change awareness of its wealthy support base in the inner suburbs of the capital cities.

The climate change debate, supposed to be about science, is besieged by cults. Witness the messianic Green New Deal in America that has taken hold in the Left of the Democratic Party or the populist conservative push in Australia in recent years for the government to finance and build a coal-fired power station.

The quest for climate change action is a contradictory amalgam of rationality and quasi-­religious faith that denies ration­ality. It comes with an ­inevitable cost of climate change action that is usually denied or exaggerated. A cogent policy geared to energy transition need not provoke a permanent war between coal and climate change commitments, yet Australia has proved unable to find this path.

The policy chasm between the Coalition and Labor undermines the energy sector and feeds an ideological clash that shows no sign of expiry. Shorten and Morrison face near-irreconcilable internal tensions fuelled by global developments: witness this week’s decision by the nation’s biggest coal producer, Glencore, to cap coal production at 2019 levels, a smart move, yet a smashing victory for the anti-coal movement.

It is folly to think political leaders are dealing with forces they can control. Competing regional interests and values are making this year’s federal election into a ­series of regionally based mini-elections, all of which are vital but demand contradictory responses, depending on the ­region.

Regional disparities in this country — over incomes, industry, climate change and cultural outlook — are exploding. What works in Gladstone is different from what works in Melbourne. Pro-coal central and northern Queensland has a different ethos to the progressive paradise of pro-renewables upper-middle-class Melbourne.

The old climate change debate about a carbon price is long dead. The stage has changed but the music is the same. With Labor now committed to an ambitious 45 per cent emissions reduction and a 50 per cent renewable ­energy target, this week the government launched the next phase of its campaign to document the economic and household costs being imposed by Labor.

Its weapon was the modelling report by former Bureau of Agricultural and ­Resource Economics head Brian Fisher showing Labor’s policy will see a fall in real annual wages of about $9000 a year by 2030 compared with a fall of $2000 under Coalition policy.

Shorten will be unswayed. Taylor, as Energy Minister, says Labor cannot be allowed to run a campaign without confronting the consequences of its climate change activism and the impact for every worker, miner, farmer and tradie.

“Which industries will Bill Shorten close first?” Taylor asks. “Will it be agriculture or aluminium, mining or manufacturing?”

The Fisher analysis says the Coalition’s 26-28 per cent targets mean a loss in GDP of about $19 billion compared with Labor’s targets that equate to a $144bn loss by 2030. The former means the economy would grow at 2.8 per cent a year over the decade and the latter a growth rate of only 2.3 per cent, compared with a rate otherwise of 2.9 per cent.

Labor, unsurprisingly, rejects the analysis. So far the government has hammered Labor’s targets for two years with little discernible electoral impact. The public likes renewables despite blackouts and price hikes. They blame the energy companies for high prices; they think renewables are a plus for emissions cuts and price containment.

The government cannot attack renewables as an option and says instead it aspires to technological neutrality. The focus of its attack is price but the related trick is what the government actually does in the sphere of reliability and price containment. Morrison once took a lump of coal into parliament but with the falling cost of renewables and rising financial risks surrounding coal, this is a shifting platform that bedevils the Morrison government.

There is one certainty the government must avoid: being trapped into a renewables versus coal contest. That is a sure prescription for defeat.

Cabinet ministers are divided on whether to include coal in ­Taylor’s final list of projects to be underwritten by government. The aim is intervention to boost new generation and competition into the market. Gas projects are certain to be picked. What about coal? Is the government prepared to commit and underwrite coal, thereby making itself into an election target of attack from Labor and the Greens?

The more Labor’s anti-coal prejudice looms large, the more the government may be tempted. But with Victoria the most difficult state for the Liberal Party, hoisting up the pro-coal flag would threaten electoral suicide in some progressive-orientated Melbourne seats the Liberals now hold.

The further reality is that Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have sorted their campaign strategy. Energy is not the priority. That strategy was on daily display this week — attacking Labor over tax and border protection. The key to any Morrison clawback is controlling the news agenda.

That means franking credits and borders.

Morrison must run on energy. The truth, however, is that energy cannot deliver as the vote-­changing issue he needs to win the election. Casting the government as a champion of coal offers some regional dividends, yet it is a national risk. The pro-coal message must be quarantined to selected areas, but how feasible is this?

The lesson from Labor’s traumas this week offers the answer: not very feasible. Shorten’s efforts to walk both sides of the fence on Adani approached a dead end. Consider this saga. “I make no ­secret that I don’t like it very much,” Shorten said of Adani last year. “I don’t think the project is going to materialise. It doesn’t seem to stack up financially, commercially or environmentally.”

Yet a few days ago, opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen issued his own warning to the Labor Party: “I believe in protection against sovereign risk.”

Bowen said he had no intention of spending money in his first budget on compensating Adani ­because its project was overruled despite meeting the approvals.

For a year Labor has spoken with a forked tongue on Adani, ­depending on the audience. The Queensland Labor government seeks to undermine the project by rendering it untenable. Shorten Labor conceals its heart under its formal stance: Adani will get no money, it must stand on its own feet. Labor assumes it will fall over with Labor avoiding any blame for playing with sovereign risk.

But avoiding the political blame is another matter. There would be an anti-Adani majority in the country. The point, however, is the pro-Adani majority in regional Queensland has the ability to turn votes against Labor. The risk is Labor is seen as either betraying workers or being hypercritical, or both.

This week differences among Labor figures exposed a party conflicted not just about Adani but about coal and how to explain itself to the public. Defence spokesman Richard Marles got caught with the dangerous line that “the global market for thermal coal has collapsed and at one level that’s a good thing ­because what that implies is that the world is acting in relation to climate change”.

The sentiment, if not the detail, is typical in the Labor Party these days — bad for coal is good for climate change. It is damaging ­because it implies a disregard for the industry and its employees. Opposition finance spokesman Jim Chalmers, a Queenslander, said: “Coal has a very important role to play now and into the ­future even with the transition to a greater share of renewables. It’s a very important export out of my home state of Queensland.”

Employment spokesman Bren­dan O’Connor said: “There has been a series of coal projects that have commenced recently and, as I say, coal will be part of the energy mix under Labor. We are big supporters of mining. It’s a critical industry for this country.”

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said: “There is a simple economic fact that the world is moving away from coal-fired power generation. It’s becoming increasingly expensive.”

These statements from senior ALP figures are not necessarily contradictory. The reality, however, is that there are genuine differences over policy and thinking on coal spread throughout the Labor Party. This is typified, above all, by Shorten: he offers ­reassurance on coal but has previously spearheaded Labor hostility towards Adani. As leader, he has championed the ALP rush ­towards ambitious renewable targets with their guaranteed adverse consequences for coal and the historic shift this involves in the party thinking.

Shorten’s priority is climate change. This mirrors the heart of the Labor Party. It is based on hard-headed electoral calculation likely to be vindicated. But it is fatuous to think there is no ­downside or union blowback for Labor. Modern Labor is fixated on creating the electoral alliance ­between well-off progressives and traditional union concerns, jobs and wages. Shorten, so far, has managed this alliance with success — but the pre-election message is that the strains are far more obvious and dangerous.

Queensland is vital for Labor at the election. It is the state where the populist Right is strongest. This election will be no different. Bob Katter and Pauline Hanson will run the coal train to election day. Resources Minister Matt Canavan, pledged to bring the Galilee Basin into coal production, points out that global coal demand is strong, prices are buoyant and that resources contributed 72 per cent of Australia’s export of goods in the year.

Morrison knows he must champion coal in regional Queensland and NSW and that means exploiting Shorten’s equivocations. The Liberal-­Nationals position based on their 26-28 per cent targets by 2030 is that coal will remain fundamental to the economy for decades and climate change action, while ­essential, needs to be far more modest than what Labor is proposing.

That dictates a heavy negative government campaign against Shorten’s ambitions, with any Labor victory heralding sweeping changes in Australia’s energy mix, attitudes towards coal and climate change priorities.

SOURCE  

 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