Plastic pollution threat 'on par to global warming'
Most of what is said below is probably right. But there is an invisible elephant in the room: Nobody is saying where the plastic is coming from. Why? Because it mostly comes from poor countries. Developed countries are meticulous about what they do with their garbage. So the problem is NOT something that "we" have to deal with at all. And until someone gets the courage to point the finger to where the blame belongs, the problem will only grow worse
Seabirds are dying at an alarming rate from plastic in our oceans, while the pollution problem flies under the radar, a Senate inquiry has been told.
A seabird common to Australia is being killed by marine plastic pollution at the alarming rate of one in 10, a Senate inquiry has been told.
A study found 11 per cent of young flesh-footed shearwater birds - common visitors to Australian coasts - were dying from ingesting plastic or from plastic chemical contamination, the inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution heard.
"This would be happening in other species as well," the study's author, marine biologist Dr Jennifer Lavers, told a public hearing in Sydney on Thursday.
The inquiry, called for by Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is investigating the impacts of marine plastic pollution on animals and ecosystems, fisheries, small business and human health.
Dr Lavers' research partner Ian Hutton said one bird was found with 274 pieces of plastic in its stomach - 14 per cent of its body weight.
"That's the equivalent of a human carrying a pillowcase full of plastic in his stomach," he said.
Dr Lavers said although the scale of the marine pollution problem was on par with major challenges such as global warming and sea level rise, research was chronically underfunded.
"This is a very, very significant, ubiquitous threat that is rapidly increasing in pace, showing absolutely no signs of stopping," she said.
"Our understanding of the complex issues, including things like chemical pollution, is so incredibly poor, we're really just starting at the basic level."
Clean Up Australia executive chairman Ian Kiernan called for governments to introduce container refund schemes like the one used in South Australia.
He also suggested plastic bottle caps and lids be permanently attached to their containers to cut down on waste entering waterways.
"(Plastic) is a fantastic product ... but it is a horrific waste material," he said. "It is so durable, it is so cumulative.
"We have got to change our behaviour to address these problems."
Representatives from Oceanwatch and the Surfrider Foundation Australia are due to appear at the inquiry on Thursday afternoon.
A public hearing has been scheduled in Canberra next Friday, and another in Brisbane on March 10.
Another medical scientist who has got no clue
Despite it being her field, dear little Katie below has not a clue about peanut allergies. The only prophylaxis against peanut allergies is to expose the child to peanut products from weaning on. They do it in Israel and Israel has virtually no peanut allergies.
And East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines use a lot of peanuts and peanut oil. Peanut oil is the cooking oil to East Asia that olive oil is to Southern Europe. Peanuts are very oily little kernels. So children born there are less likely to have allergies. When their parents come to Australia, however, they usually develop a compromise diet, eating some cheap Western food such as McDonalds. I once even saw a waiter in a Chinese restaurant eating a bag of McDonalds fries. So their kids don't get the same exposure to peanuts. That is how the effects described below come about. It's just diet.
The academic journal article is: "Nut allergy prevalence and differences between Asian born children and Australian born children of Asian descent: a state-wide survey of children at primary school entry in Victoria, Australia"
Being born in Asia protects Australian schoolchildren from nut allergies triggered by the local environment, the first and largest population study of its kind finds.
The study of 57,000 Australian schoolchildren in Victoria comes as Australia struggles with a growing epidemic of food allergies.
The new research finds Australian-born children with Asian mothers have higher rates of peanut and nut allergies than Asian-born children who migrate to Australia.
Something in the environment is driving the allergic epidemic, researchers say.
Something in the environment is driving the allergic epidemic, researchers say.
The study by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the University of Melbourne found being born in Asia seemed to be protective because these children were exposed to a different diet, and bacterial and UV environment.
The findings were exciting because they provided solid evidence that "there's something in the environment that's driving this allergic epidemic", Murdoch Childrens Research Institute researcher Professor Katie Allen told ABC News.
Admissions to hospital in Australia due to anaphylactic shock have tripled over 13 years. They have increased more than sevenfold among children aged five to 14. Allergies to peanuts are the most persistent and dangerous allergies, with the highest lifetime risk for anaphylaxis.
The study also found children from urban areas - such as Melbourne, which has been dubbed the "allergy capital of the world" - are more likely to have a nut allergy than children from rural regions.
Nut allergies were also more common among children of mothers with higher education and socio-economic status. Some of this was attributed to higher reporting rates by parents who are more likely to seek help.
Researchers analysed the results of school entry health reports completed by the parents of 57,000 children, a report filled out by a parent or guardian about their child's health and wellbeing at the beginning of primary school in Victoria.
Of the 57,000 respondents, 2892 parents reported a food allergy (5 per cent) and 1761 reported a nut allergy (3.1 per cent). While Australian-born children of Asian descent were more likely to have nut allergy than non-Asian children, children born in Asia who migrated to Australia were at decreased risk.
Professor Allen said that migration from Asia after the early-infant period appeared to be a protective factor against the development of nut allergy.
"We know there are rising rates of migration from East Asia to Australia," she said.
"Our finding that migration from Asia to Australia after birth can protect against early onset allergic disease such as food allergy provides a potent clue for us to follow when trying to understand why food allergy is on the rise," she said.
Removing children from the Asian environment, or conversely exposing them to environmental risk factors in our Western environment - such as diet changes, microbial and UV exposure - uncovered a genetically determined risk of food allergy in children of Asian descent.
His eminence George Pell is the victim of a vicious witch hunt
CARDINAL George Pell is the victim of one of the most vicious witch hunts to disgrace this country. It is shameful. Disgusting. Frightening. People pretending to be moral have competed with each other to slime Pell as the defender of paedophiles, if not a paedophile himself.
There is no mercy and no attention to the facts. There is just the joy of hatred. Check the snarling glee on the face of comedian Tim Minchin as he sang a hymn of hatred to Pell on Channel 10's The Project on Tuesday.
"Scum," he called Pell, who is too ill to fly from Rome to give evidence (for the third time) to our royal commission into child sex abuse.
"Coward," he jeered, vilifying Pell for more than four minutes of prime-time television, falsely portraying him as a defender - even a friend - of paedophile priests.
(Note to Project host Waleed Aly: would you have screened four minutes of unbridled hatred for a Muslim cleric?)
Meanwhile, the ABC promoted a crowd-funding effort by Project presenters to raise the money to send former victims to Rome to "confront" the cardinal with "face-to-face contact".
To stoke up hatred of Pell, it also published a mocked-up picture of the cardinal driving a car of huge rock-spiders, code for paedophiles.
ABC News also falsely claimed "the commission has heard from child abuse victim David Ridsdale that Cardinal Pell tried to bribe him to keep quiet" about his abuse by his uncle - when Ridsdale in fact told the commission, "I never have said that he bribed me".
And many media outlets sternly reported Pell wouldn't "face the victims" in person at the royal commission, without adding he'd faced victims repeatedly.
Pell has met victims privately and twice given evidence with victims present - to the royal commission and a Victorian inquiry into child sex abuse.
Indeed, in 1996 he became the first senior person here, in church or in government, to confront the horror of sexual abuse of children.
Only three months after becoming archbishop of Melbourne, he created the Melbourne Response to help victims. No bishop of any other church had done anything like it.
Yet no insult of this man has been enough in a campaign of public denigration, even dehumanisation.
Channel 9's 60 Minutes interviewed an English abuse victim who'd never met Pell and seemed uninformed on crucial details yet still felt free to defame him as "a dangerous individual" and "almost sociopathic" with a "catalogue of denigrating people".
But this is the mob at its most vile: each person feeling licensed by the brutality of the rest to be brutal, too.
If "everybody else" hates someone, then that person must deserve hating. You can surrender your own judgment and conscience and give in to the pure pleasure of unbridled hatred, disguised as moral righteousness.
Viciousness dressed as morality: is there anything sweeter to the stupid, the resentful and the bully? Ask the "godly" who murdered the "witches" of Salem. Ask the jihadists who now behead "infidels". Pell's accusers are not violent but flirt with that same pitiless sanctimony.
"Die Pell," urged a headline on The Age's Facebook page and many of those now demanding he fly here don't seem to mind if he does.
The Sydney Morning Herald published snide items urging Pell to get on a plane, despite being told by cardiologists that Pell's medical advisers were right - it could kill the 74-year-old, given his heart problems.
No mercy in The Age, though. "Unwilling to trust his God," sneered one headline.
Former NSW Labor premier Kristina Keneally even taunted: "Jesus said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for another."
Nor did anyone seem to care that Pell will give exactly the same evidence from Rome he would give if he flew here. He is not fleeing justice like, say, Julian Assange, the hero of this same Left.
No, the mob is just hungry for a scapegoat and wants Pell close enough to humiliate.
It's the primitive moral calculus of the tribalist: that an injustice to one side can be made good with an injustice to the other.
It's enough that Pell is now our most senior member of the Catholic Church, which once betrayed so many children.
But what makes him an even better target for the Left is that's he's a conservative who has defended traditional marriage, attacked global warming alarmism and correctly seen the green faith as a competitor to his own.
He'll do, they cry.
How Pell has, as a human being, survived their onslaught astonishes me. Worst of all, he was falsely accused of having himself abused a boy when a young priest, although an inquiry that later looked into this highly dubious claim found no proof of any such thing.
It's continued. A former child victim of one Ballarat priest claimed in the royal commission that in 1969 Pell heard him pleading for help but did nothing - only for Pell to later produce his passport, showing he'd been in Rome that year.
But people such as Minchin still claim the young Pell must have known his then Ballarat housemate and fellow priest, Gerald Ridsdale, was abusing children - an allegation Pell denies. Yet none question the word of another young priest who shared a house with Ridsdale, Paul Bongiorno, a Leftist and now ABC commentator, who says he had no idea, either. "Ridsdale never came to the presbytery in Warrnambool and said, `Guess how many boys I've raped today?'," Bongiorno said. "They hide it."
And they hid it from Pell, who has repeatedly denied on oath protecting paedophiles or keeping crimes hidden.
Neither of the two inquiries so far has yet found proof that he's lying. Even Gerald Ridsdale, the worst of the paedophile priests, failed to incriminate Pell in the royal commission last year.
His evidence, suggesting Pell knew nothing, seemed to anger the royal commission. Justice Peter McClellan even warned Ridsdale the commission could find out who visited him in jail before he'd given evidence, which seemed to suggest McClellan had expected more damning stuff from Ridsdale and suspected he'd been nobbled.
In fact, the royal commission has throughout seemed only too ready to doubt Pell's word whenever his recollection conflicted with his accusers'.
It has also asked Pell to give evidence three times - more than any other witness - in what is now becoming a punishment by process.
Pell knows his church betrayed many children and protected the priests who preyed on them. He knows he could have handled the scandal better, but nothing I've seen so far shows he protected paedophiles.
If that changes, I will damn him then, but right now there is proof of only this: a witch hunt to destroy an innocent man for the sins of others.
Shame on every coward who joins this vicious mob. You claim you stand for good, yet you show such gloating evil.
Brandis defends Pell
Attorney-General George Brandis has cautioned members of the public against second-guessing the judgment of the royal commission's stance on Cardinal George Pell.
Mr Brandis said the commission chairman, Peter McClellan, was an eminent NSW judge and his decision should be respected.
Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence from Rome via an audiovisual link on health grounds, but abuse survivors groups believe he should come home and appear in person.
"Cardinal Pell is giving evidence by video conference - which is not at all unusual, by the way - as a result of orders and directions made by the Royal Commission itself. Those people who have gone into the public arena to criticise that, are in fact criticising the orders that have been made by the Royal Commissioner and calling them into question," Senator Brandis told ABC TV.
"I think frankly the Royal Commission, the Royal Commissioner, and the manner in which the Royal Commissioner chooses to arrange the Royal Commission, should be respected by everyone."
Cardinal Pell today responded to calls for him to return to Australia to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission by noting hearing arrangements are a matter for the inquiry.
"It is ultimately a matter for the Royal Commission to determine the precise arrangements for the provision of evidence by the Cardinal in Rome," his office said in a statement on Thursday.
"The cardinal will continue to co-operate with whatever arrangements the royal commission determines."
This week a crowd-funding effort raised more than $160,000 to help Ballarat clergy abuse victims travel to Rome for the cardinal's testimony due to be given on February 29. However, it remains uncertain whether they will be able to physically attended the hearing.
The commission is still determining what the arrangements will be.
The crowd-funding initiative got an enormous boost on Wednesday when comedian and singer/songwriter Tim Minchin released a single calling on Cardinal Pell to come back.
The cardinal's office says he's "anxious to present the facts without further delays".
"As Cardinal Pell has done after earlier hearings, he is prepared to meet with and listen to victims and express his ongoing support," the statement said.
Three days have been set aside for Cardinal Pell's third royal commission appearance.
It will focus on the Catholic Church's handling of widespread abuse over decades in the Ballarat diocese and Melbourne archdiocese.
Clergy abuse victims say they are humbled by the community response and fundraising effort to get them to Rome.
Member Stephen Woods said the group had been moved by the public's generosity and he personally felt humbled, particularly after reading pledges from people who had little money to spare. "A couple of them, when I read it the first time, I almost cried. It was just so beautiful to think that people would give so much when they really have little money."
Cardinal Pell's statement:
"The past few days has seen a great deal of incorrect information relating to Cardinal George Pell and his upcoming Royal Commission appearance.
"Cardinal Pell has always helped victims, listened to them and considered himself their ally. As an archbishop for almost twenty years he has led from the front to put an end to cover ups, to protect vulnerable people and to try to bring justice to victims.
"He has appeared before the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry and twice before the Royal Commission, including for several days in person at the Royal Commission public hearing in Sydney in 2014. The Cardinal is anxious to present the facts without further delays. It is ultimately a matter for the Royal Commission to determine the precise arrangements for the provision of evidence by the Cardinal in Rome. The Cardinal will continue to co-operate with whatever arrangements the Royal Commission determines, so that he can be heard on the days and at the times recently set by the Commissioner.
"As Cardinal Pell has done after earlier hearings, he is prepared to meet with and listen to victims and express his ongoing support.
Police sexual assault not investigated
Owner of 24 Hour Locksmiths Brisbane is siding with Tony Fitzgerald and Independent Commission Against Corruption, David Ipp, for the establishment of a federal anti-corruption agency with the powers of a standing royal commission after what he calls the most repugnant display of police abuse of powers against an employee of his 24 Hour locksmith business in Brisbane
On February 5 2015 one of our senior tradesmen locksmiths was doing a routine call to a customers home for a locksmith service. After completing the job in Keeling Street Coopers Plains, our locksmith was met by a police car screeching around the corner with lights flashing. Our locksmith was ordered to place his hands on his car and was searched.
His locksmith car was searched, but the officers on the scene were not happy at that! They called in more officers, and more officers and even more officers! They all came and searched the tradesman's car in search of something? Our locksmith asked over and over, what they were doing and what they were looking for and got no response from Tamryn Ellingworth, the officer who appeared to be in charge. More then 7 officers were called in to search our locksmiths car!
This went on for over two hours out the front of our clients home. Our locksmith asked the police if this had anything to do with the client, which the police answered no.
The police called in a police dog and put it through our locksmith car! Our locksmith asked them not to put the dog in the car, but they didn't listen.
The police took sensitive business records from the locksmiths car, still with no explanation. They then attempted to hack our locksmiths phone!
After this horrendous ordeal, they then called in another officer from the Mount Gravatt police station to sexually assault our locksmith! This happened in the middle of the street in suburban Coopers Plains.
After our locksmith had been raped, he was then privately photographed, by police and told he was put onto a list! Our locksmith believes this to be an unofficial list kept by police. Some sort of dark list of people the police are out to get.
At the end of this police threatened my locksmith and left. When returning to his locksmith car, he found all the electrics in the car not operating. The police had pulled out wiring from under the dash, making indicators and the dash board not work.
Outraged, of what happened to our employee, while on his day to day job, a complaint was made the very next day at the Mount Gravatt police station.
Now you would think that sexual assault in company by a group of armed police officers would be taken seriously. Alas, the police to our knowledge have never investigated this brutal attack by their own force. Even after making a complaint to the CMC, our employee has heard no response from the police.
It would seem the police take assault, sexual assault, deprivation of liberty, searching without reasonable suspicion,searching without a warrant, destruction of property by police, theft of business records, theft, no respect of dignity, causing maximum embarrassment, exposing our naked locksmith in a public street, not giving a reason for searching, detention on the street for over 2 hours as not serious. Whether it is that they don't take rape of a man serious? Or whether it is because it was by a pack of police officers, we do not know?
My employee has after many months of leave, finally returned to work, although still not able to work in the same capacity he is slowly recovering. He relates his attack by police as a gang attack like you would see in a war zone in parts of Africa. A gang of thugs raping helpless civilians. He can not be sent to any jobs where police may be present for fear of being assaulted again. He says he can now relate to rape victims who are not taken seriously by police.
By the way. This was all taking place at the time of a notorious car chase of a stolen car from Sunshine Coast to NSW, where the NSW police stopped the car as soon as it crossed the border. Why couldn't the QLD Police stop the stolen car? Well, I would not believe the official story. Most of the police on duty at the time were with our locksmith performing this illegal search and assault! Mount Gravatt was the best place on the Pacific Motorway to stop the stolen car. The lanes go from 4 to 2. Of course they had a more serious master criminal at large, yes a locksmith performing his work! Great work coppers!
This is why we are backing the establishment of a federal anti-corruption agency. The police are not capable of investigating, when their own officers are involved in a crime.
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