Australian Politics 2022-12-09 06:27:00


Chicken Little Propaganda Dressed As Science Permeates New Climate Report

The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have delivered their ­biennial dose of depression about the climate in their latest State of the Climate report.

The climate has warmed by 1.5C and there is barely a single benefit – it is all ­disaster.

It is often said, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is” and you are being conned. What about too bad to be true? Can a gently warming climate have no significant benefits at all?

The only marginally encouraging part of the report is about northern Australia. There might have been a slight reduction in cyclone numbers, and there has been a bit more rain in recent decades.

Apart from that, the report reads like the Book of Exodus – one disaster after another. Only the frogs and boils are missing.

But it is significant that the period when Egyptians were building pyramids, which was hotter than today’s climate, is often called the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

The word “optimum” was an indication that scientists working in the era before climate alarmism could see some advantage of a warmer climate.

A sure sign that the report tries too hard to find disaster is when it discusses coral bleaching and the Great Barrier Reef.

It stresses that there have been four bleaching events in the past six years, which it implies were devastating. But for some reason, the report fails to mention that this year the reef recorded its highest amount of coral since records began in 1985.

This proves that all the hype about coral loss from bleaching was greatly exaggerated. But the report writers were obviously ­untroubled by the contradictory evidence.

They ignored it.

And they also ignore the fact that corals grow about 15 percent faster for every degree temperature rise, and that almost all the corals on the reef also live in much warmer water near the equator.

We should expect better coral, and it should extend further south. That is not too bad, is it?

Why doesn’t the report mention that the extra CO2 in the atmosphere improves the water utilization efficiency of dryland plants, which occupy most of Australia, and that this has caused plants to thrive?

According to NASA satellites, there is a “greening” of Australia of at least 10 percent. Overall, the world has seen the area of green leaves expand by the equivalent of twice the area of the United States in just 35 years.

In a changing climate, there will be winners and losers, and it might be that the net effect is a major problem. But if the report writers will not even mention the good bits, how can we have any confidence in its findings?

The latest report should ring alarm bells – but not just about climate. Is this an excellent tool of propaganda, or is it a scientific statement?

We should all worry about whether groupthink has taken hold of the BOM and CSIRO.

We should worry when the BOM says it has recently adjusted all the temperature records, reducing the temperatures a century ago by up to a degree. Can we have any confidence they did this with good scientific reason?

And we should worry about the BOM’s claims that the fire seasons are now much worse than in 1950. Why is all the information on huge bushfires before 1950 ignored – like the devastating 1851 Victorian bushfire and the 1939 fires?

It is not like there is no data before 1950.

Did they ignore that data for a good reason? Is this similar to the US fire statistics, which are often reported by authorities as having a major increase in fire acreage burnt since the early 60s, but fail to mention that there was almost 10 times more acreage burnt in the “dust-bowl” period in the 1930s?

In the next decades, Australian governments plan to spend hundreds of billions attempting to prevent climate change. Before we do that, maybe we could spend a few million doing an audit of BOM and CSIRO reports.

Maybe we would find that adapting to a changing climate is by far the best way to proceed. We might even find that some of what we have been told is wrong.

Why will the conservative parties not commit to an audit? Who would argue against a bit of checking of the science, when the Great Barrier Reef statistics prove scientists got something badly wrong?

And the latest report is a sure sign that the BOM and CSIRO are drifting into political advocacy rather than science, observation, and objective prediction.


ESG superannuation funds are bad investments

This year Australian ESG superannuation funds lost over 10 per cent of their members’ wealth.

Business, where the profit motive is explicitly dominant and where the hundreds of millions of direct and indirect owners want to see it remain the crowned ruler, might be expected to reject spending that syphons off profits to political causes… And yet, nearly every firm funnels funding to politically acceptable causes, in the main involving those of a social and environmental nature.

Sometimes, pressured by governmental regulatory stances, like the soon-to-be mandatory reductions on the top Australian emitters, a growing number of firms also engage in expenditure that replace fossil fuel derived energy with more expensive wind and solar. Also important is the avoidance by superannuation fund managers of investments in firms deemed to be involved in globally harmful activities within the ‘Environment, Social and Governance’ (ESG) framework. Once targeted at avoiding gambling, tobacco, and alcohol, the hallmark of these causes is now environmentalism, particularly avoiding fossil fuel producers.

Stocks favoured by sentiment will see their values rise in relation to their underlying earnings. But can this persist indefinitely without it being matched by increased profits?

Canstar and Chant West are among the organisations that monitor superfunds’ performances. About half of the funds scrutinised adopt the contemporary ESG doctrine that involves seeking to exclude firms producing fossil fuels from within their portfolios.

For many years, firms following this approach could offer credible claims that they were also performing well in terms of their overall returns. This is no longer the case. The following table draws from the superannuation fund monitors to show the ten worst fund performers in 2022, alongside the funds’ average performances over the past five years and their ESG status.

The six funds having performed worst are all ESG oriented, avoiding investments in firms mining coal and other hydrocarbons. This year they lost over 10 per cent of their members’ wealth. Those ESG funds that previously had strong performances were heavily invested in tech and property stocks, which had experienced above average gains. Tech stocks have now seen falling prices; this may also be true of property but most property funds have extensive holdings of un-listed investments (Virgin Money is one property fund that exclusively invests in listed property and showed an 11 per cent fall in value this year). Added to this is another factor: the recent buoyancy of the coal, gas, and oil stocks that the boycotting of which leaves ESG funds disadvantaged compared to funds that are more purely focused on returns.

Most funds’ marketing material includes words that warn that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance, while extolling their past success. Thus Unisuper, which has divested from coal stocks, still has on its site that it led the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) pack in terms of returns as at August 2021. But during 2022, Unisuper has lost 4.4 per cent of its members’ wealth. Similarly, with remarkable chutzpah, having this year lost 15 per cent of its members’ funds, Australian Ethical is running a TV promotional campaign featuring outlandish characters extolling the fund’s virtues, ‘Because I want my environment like I want my stocks – THRIVING!’

As a consumer protector, APRA has the power to force chronic under-performing funds to merge with a better-performing fund; four were forced to do so this year. However, now that the ESG funds have become demonstrably vulnerable to this sanction, industry bodies are calling for its dilution – even to prevent the under-performers being named, ‘If linked to deliberate strategies for climate change or other ESG issues.’ To buttress this protection of ESG under-performers, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors is seeking to intensify ESG reporting requirements, the objective of which is to ensure few stand-outs. ESG reporting is already mandatory in the UK, EU, New Zealand, and Canada.

The share of wind and solar in global electricity supply has risen from zero at the turn of the 21st century to 10 per cent today (22 per cent in Australia with policies aiming at over 80 per cent). These are intrinsically high cost and low reliability energy sources. But private sector subsidy-seekers and institutional support on the back of the confected climate scare together with government subsidies have underpinned their growth. How will this be affected by newly evident financial realities in a competitive market for superannuants’ savings, where the savers’ prime concern is the returns they receive?


Courage is the cure when faced with medical censorship

Kara Thomas

The Australian Medical Professionals Society (AMPS) is on a mission to restore medical free speech in this country and ensure the loyalty of doctors and all health practitioners remains first and foremost with patients – not bureaucrats or politicians.

AMPS is currently touring the country, booking out venues, as we continue our fight to Stop Medical Censorship. This week we have our final events in South Australia and all are welcome to attend.

AMPS is refusing to silently comply with unscientific and unaccountable public health messaging. Our dedication is to advocate for our patients’ best interests as our primary concern as outlined by the Codes of Conduct. We take seriously our Code of Conduct, which is consistent with the Declaration of Geneva, and says:

I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity and the International code of medical ethics, where our duties as members of the medical profession instructs physicians to help prevent national or international ethical, legal, organisational, or regulatory requirements that undermine any of the duties set forth in this Code.

Both the declaration and ethical principles were issued by the World Medical Association after the second world war when systematic gross human rights abuses took place under national laws. History does not look kindly on Medical professionals who were found to be complicit in human rights violations. AMPS doctors across the country are risking careers that took decades to achieve to question government dictates supported by secret health advice as they seek answers. These practitioners have decided the price of silent compliance when things don’t seem right is a price they are not willing to pay.

The gagging of doctors in Australia for questioning government public health campaigns such as the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy and using threats to their careers and livelihood as a tool to enforce compliance, is a national disgrace.

Engagement, not censorship, with the health sector is what was recommended in our 2019 pandemic preparedness plans to understand the impact and effectiveness of the pandemic response measures reflecting the on-the-ground experience of the health sector and public concerns, and evidence of the effectiveness of approaches. Instead, our governments issued joint statements during 2021 outlining action can be taken against a practitioner that doesn’t provide health advice consistent with public health campaigns.

Questioning ‘the messaging’, even with scientific evidence, can result in investigation and disciplinary action including immediate suspension of registration.

This has culminated with what appears to be the legislating of these joint statements through the recent passage of the dangerous and dystopian Health Practitioner Regulation National Law that prioritises Public confidence over public health and safety. It appears censorship is how the Ministers of Truth (sorry, Health) in this country have decided they are going to achieve their goal of public confidence.

Having the public believe government policies are keeping them safe is apparently more important than convincing data or evidence to demonstrate safety.

The human, social and economic consequences of their policies may be demonstrating the greatest public health mistake in human history, but doctors have been and continue to be forbidden from questioning public health messaging to ensure you continue to think the government is ‘keeping you safe’.

Not only is this legislation a dangerous disgrace but likely a constitutional infringement on our right of political communication as outlined by Constitutional Law Professor Augusto Zimmermann at our recent WA symposium. Publishing his statements in an article in Quadrant titled the Menace of Medical Censorship in Australia, Professor Zimmerman concluded this law is unconstitutional.

‘Because it suppresses freedom of political communication by censoring and punishing dissenters through serious threats to careers and livelihood, as a means to undemocratically control public debate and general perception through enforced medical censorship.’

Our country is experiencing unprecedented rates of adverse reactions with excess all cause mortality now exceeding 17 per cent, a massive increase in anxiety and depression and massive impacts on our children with a recent study finding that children born during the pandemic have significantly lower IQs. Now what should doctors in Australia do after researching the available evidence and finding obvious scientific conflicts, outright absurdities and unanswered questions about our response to Covid? What would you want them to do?

The choices are: comply with government public health campaigns and keep silent; or fight for answers risking investigation and disciplinary action from AHPRA and national boards.

AMPS is taking the perspective of Dr Paul Oosterhuis, an honourable doctor who was suspended for sharing information that undermined confidence in the government Covid public health campaign. He states, ‘Censorship kills. My responsibility is to the Hippocratic Oath, as basic ethics compels me to share data that I believe is definitely in the public interest.’

Our National Tour fulfils the recommendation of our pandemic plans to discuss the impact and effectiveness of the pandemic response measures reflecting the on-the-ground experience of the health sector and public concerns. We all need our practitioners to question what doesn’t make sense for the health and safety of the public. Every practitioner that learns the truth as British Cardiologist Dr Aseem Mulhotra did, the more practitioners will use their right to refuse to comply with treatments to which they conscientiously object.

Dr Mulhotra said, ‘He slowly and reluctantly concluded contrary to his own initial dogmatic beliefs Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine is far from being as safe and effective as we first thought.’

Medical ethics and the codes we have sworn to uphold compel us to use our right of political communication to advocate for our patients as our primary concern. AMPS is seeking public health and safety based on the principles of transparent, accountable evidence-based medicine to replace the political-based medicine we are currently witnessing in this country.

Creating public confidence through enforced public ignorance is not science, it is propaganda.

Our Code that we have sworn to uphold can not be overridden by demands of adherence to National laws that have resulted in possibly the greatest miscarriage of medical science we will witness in our lifetime. We take seriously our ethical obligation to prevent national or regulatory requirements that undermine our duty to our patients and medical ethics. History only repeats if we have not learnt from it. We cannot be complicit, courage is the cure.


US Congress gives the green light to Australian submarine officers training on US nuclear boats

Australian submarine officers have been given the green light to train on American nuclear-powered boats in the first AUKUS law ticked off by the US Congress.

US politicians have also opened the door to leasing nuclear submarines to Australia – or even providing access to the Air Force’s futuristic B-21 stealth bomber – as part of a mammoth $1.2 trillion defence spending package.

The bipartisan 4408-page bill also includes $382m to upgrade Darwin’s RAAF Base, as the American and Australian governments finalise the details of an expanded US military presence down under.

The bill – which passed the House of Representatives and will soon be approved by the Senate – requires US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to order an independent assessment before the end of next year on the challenges of implementing the AUKUS pact.

This would cover issues including personnel and resourcing, information sharing, security protocols and export controls.

Politicians also called for the assessment of “alternatives that would significantly accelerate Australia’s national security”, such as leasing or handing over “legacy” US submarines, or “the conveyance of B-21 bombers”.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles, who was in Washington DC this week for talks with Mr Austin, described the B-21 as a “cool looking aircraft” but said acquiring it was not on the radar. “We should just remember that literally the Americans have just announced it themselves and are getting it operational, so there’s no conversations about B-21s,” he said.

The submarine training program was developed by the bipartisan AUKUS working group led by Democratic Congressman Joe Courtney, who said it would “help ensure that Royal Australian Navy officers are ready to pilot these world-beating submarines expertly upon arrival”.

News Corp revealed earlier this month that five Australian Navy officers had already joined the US Navy’s world-leading onshore nuclear propulsion training program in South Carolina.

Republican Congressman Blake Moore said: “This is just the beginning of a new era in global maritime defence co-operation. My colleagues and I look forward to continue fostering this critical alliance in defence of the rules based international order and freedom across our nations.”

President Joe Biden’s signature is required to lock in the $1.2 trillion package, which also scrapped the Covid vaccine mandate for the military and featured up to $14.7bn in security assistance and fast-tracked weapons for Taiwan.