Australian Politics 2020-02-29 15:15:00
When a poet is a better prophet than the prophets
It would be difficult to be a worse prophet than the Greenies. Starting from Paul Ehrlich, they repeatedly make these confident prophecies that in some number of years disasters will befall us unless we do something that they want. But it just doesn't happen. When the prophesied year rolls around, life just goes on as usual.
During Australia's recent summer bushfire season, all sorts of Greenie-influenced people screeched that the fires were the result of global warming and unless we shut down our our entire electricity generation industry the fires would get worse. They were so shrill about their claims that PM Morrison came under great pressure to "do more" about global warming.
And then came something that no Greenie had prophesied -- showing how little they understood of the events concerned. It rained. And DID it rain! Concerns about fire were rapidly replaced with concerns about flooding. The Greenie prophecies that the fires would go on until we did something about global warming were thoroughly falsified. The Greenies basically did not know anything about how Australia's climate worked.
But a poet did. In 1908 Dorothea MacKellar described Australia's climate with limpid simplicity, as being "Droughts and flooding rains". She knew how Australia's climate went even if the Greenies did not. It happened this year exactly how she said it always does: Drought followed by flood. She was a good observer.
The Greenies were no observers at all. We were constantly regaled with assurances that the recent fires were the worst ever when in fact the 1974/75 fires consumed a much bigger area. Lies on top of ideology were all the Greenies had to offer.
And there is no doubt that the drought contributed to the buildup of fuel in the forests and made the fires worse. Dry vegetation burns well. But what was the cause of the drought? Was it simply a recurrent feature of the Australian climate? No way! said the Greenies. It was caused by global warming.
For instance we have the opening sentence from a recent rather emptyheaded article in a prestigious medical journal (JAMA) which says: "There is increasing scientific consensus that climate change is the underlying cause of the prolonged dry and hot conditions that have increased the risk of extreme fire weather in Australia".
But that is magical thinking. Global warming would cause MORE rain, not less. Warmer oceans would evaporate off more water vapour which would come down as more rain. The temperature that causes drought is cooling, not warming. So again the global warming faith flies in the face of the facts
Most global warming activism is purely political with agitators such Thunberg and Occasio-Cortez knowing nothing of the detailed climate statistics. And it is mostly from them that the wild predictions come. Scientists -- such as Ezekiel -- who do know the facts are much more cautious in their predictions.
Anthony Albanese’s clean-energy pitch to win rural votes
He's pushing the old "green jobs" promise -- but such jobs are mostly mythical -- and certainly don't replace the jobs in mining towns. The people of the bush are unlikely to fall for it
Anthony Albanese will attack the Nationals over their “lazy cynicism” on climate change and launch a pitch to win back the trust of regional voters who abandoned Labor at last year’s election.
Delivering a speech in the NSW coalmining town of Singleton, in the heart of Labor’s Hunter Valley seats, the Opposition Leader will promote the benefits of a 21st-century “clean energy economy”.
Addressing a Country Labor conference on Saturday, Mr Albanese will push a “clean energy jobs boom” in regional Australia and talk up opportunities in the carbon farming, forestry, hydrogen and rare earths sectors
“Just as coal and iron ore fuelled the industrial economies of the 20th century, they will fuel the clean energy economies of the 21st,” Mr Albanese will say. “If we leave it to the Nationals, we will drift back towards the 19th century. They would rather cling to yesterday and run scare campaigns than embrace the opportunities of tomorrow. This lazy cynicism is shameful. They sell out their own communities and our full potential as a nation.”
The Labor leader will say the Nationals have “let down regional Australia” and “drifted from the people they are meant to represent”, flagging an increased effort by Labor to focus on regional policies ahead of the next election.
“They’ve fallen a long way. Black Jack McEwen would never have let himself be pushed around by the Liberals like this,” he will say. “The Nationals talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.
“As a party proudly born in the bush, Labor has the plans that deliver for regional Australia. And we can win back the trust of regional Australia.”
Talking up his target of zero net emissions by 2050, Mr Albanese accuses the Coalition of putting politics before science and “common sense”.
Speaking in front of regional Labor MPs, including Joel Fitzgibbon, Meryl Swanson and Justine Elliot, Mr Albanese will say there were “huge opportunities for regional areas to contribute via carbon farming” and expanded industries in aluminium, steel, silicon and ammonia.
“Australia has the potential to capture one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, generating a new source of income for our farmers in the process,” he will say.
“The forestry industry has a bright future as our economy changes. “We are also the second-largest producer of rare earth elements.”
Mr Albanese, a left-faction powerbroker, will say the demand for high-quality Australian coal will continue for “decades to come”. “Coal will remain an important part of the picture, but the Hunter doesn’t have all its eggs in the coal basket,” he will say.
“Contrary to Nationals’ rhetoric, regional Australia is more than resources alone.”
Promoting Labor as a centrist option, Mr Albanese will accuse the Nationals of saying “nothing needs to change ever” and the Greens of saying “everything has to change tomorrow”.
Mr Albanese will say his zero net emissions by 2050 target is not “radical” and that “newer and cleaner technologies” would “help keep the grid stable”.
“Big business including Qantas, Telstra, BP, the Commonwealth Bank and Santos, along with the influential Business Council of Australia, are aiming for it.
“Just this week, Rio Tinto announced it will invest $1.5bn in climate-related projects over the next five years as part of its 2050 pledge,” Mr Albanese will say.
Revealed: One in three Australians think immigration is too high while most blame expensive housing for ruining their dreams
The two things are related. All those immigrants have to be housed -- putting great pressure on the existing housing stocks
A third of Australians think the nation is too overcrowded while a majority blame unaffordable housing for killing their dreams, a survey has found.
Australia's net annual immigration rate with departures factored in stood at close to 300,000 last year - which included permanent arrivals and international students.
While it was below the record-high of 353,480 reached in the year to April 2009, it was still more than triple the 20th century average of 70,000.
The national population growth pace of 1.5 per cent is also almost double the rich-world average of 0.8 per cent.
With Sydney and Melbourne each home to more than 5million people, it seems overcrowding is an issue.
Almost a third, or 32.4 per cent of respondents, called for population control when asked about their wishes for Australia in the survey commissioned by Real Insurance.
The online survey of 5,000 people, by CoreData, also showed a majority to be concerned about expensive real estate, with 53.5 per cent describing affordability as the 'greatest barrier to them achieving their dreams'.
Sydney's median house price stood at $994,300 in January, CoreLogic data showed.
The Real Wishes Report, compiled late last year, showed 61 per cent of people were concerned about the effect of global uncertainty on Australia.
A similar proportion, or 60.7 per cent, wanted better employment opportunities.
The survey was taken in September, four months before Chinese authorities declared the first outbreak of coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Almost a third, or 31 per cent of respondents, believed Australia had worsened since the May election, which saw Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Coalition win a third consecutive term.
Education policy rolls dice
“Both today and 20 years from now, I want Australians to be in control of their future.” At the very least, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s vision for the nation is ambitious.
Two decades from now, the children starting school this year will be 25, and their future is massively dependent on how well they are educated. But the vision for education looks scarily like a roll of the dice.
The next 10 years will be guided by the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration, the fourth in a series of road maps signed off by the Federal Education Minister and all states and territories.
Some people will be happy with the Declaration’s recycled, globalist language and experimental proposals for improving student performance.
But statements like: “As the importance of a high quality education grows, so does the complexity of being an educator” offer little evidence of building on solid foundations.
Have quality and complexity only recently become the main game?
As Australian curriculum, assessment, teaching and other standards go steadily downhill, school education is now a $60 billion a year bet that pays off only for some.
Australian policymakers are embracing a 21st century learning agenda that paints the future as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA).
This VUCA world was part of the response by the US Army War College to the fall of the former Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The futurists love it, and various interpretations have been adopted enthusiastically by educators as they try to anticipate the needs of the children of the new millennium.
But it’s a dark and pessimistic outlook — fixated on jobs lost to artificial intelligence and other technological trends — and it permeates the work of organisations such as the OECD, whose Future of Education and Skills 2030 Project is influential.
What’s emerging is intellectually and pedagogically shallow, a wholesale shift towards a curriculum focusing on skills that — as per the Alice Springs document — “support imagination, discovery, innovation, empathy and developing creative solutions to complex problems”… these allegedly being “central to contributing to Australia’s knowledge based economy.”
The vision does at least include the occasional reference to “development of deep knowledge within a discipline … appropriate to students’ phases of development.”
The visionaries cannot have it both ways. A sovereign nation must have an effective, efficient educational agenda.
It is time for our leaders to ensure that all Australian students will benefit from a sophisticated, rigorous education delivered by highly-trained subject experts. That is what being in control looks like.
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