Friday, March 26, 2010


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is disgusted at the way the Rudd government panders to China

Australian Immigration Blamed For Huge Population Surge

Australia's growth rate is 2.1% p.a., compared to 0.7% for the UK and 0.9% for the US, making Australia one of the fastest growing countries in the world. Lucky old Australia! Thank the Leftist Rudd government for Australia's shortage of affordable housing, its packed commuter trains and its ever more congested roads!

Australian immigration is once again being blamed for a hefty rise in the population of Australia as figures rose above 22 million. The figures released today, show that the population topped 22 million in September of last year. The actual figure is 22,066,000. Many critics of the Australian migration program are blaming immigrants to Australia for the rise.

Overseas migration for the year ending 30 September 2009 was 297,400, more than half of the overall increase for that year. This keeps the growth rate at 2.1%, compared to 0.7% for the UK and 0.9% for the US, making Australia one of the fastest growing countries in the world.

Western Australia, currently experiencing a mining boom and are actively recruiting migrant workers to fill skilled shortages, recorded the largest percentage gain at 2.9% whereas Tasmania had the smallest gain at 1.0%.

Critics argue that such a fast growth spurt could have devastating consequences for the economy as it struggles to support such a population surge. Environmentalists too are concerned on the impact of Australia’s fragile ecosystem and have urged population growth to be listed in the federal environmental laws as a threat to biodiversity.

This is all in contrast to Kevin Rudd’s plans for a “big Australia” as outlined in October of last year when he announced plans to sustain such a huge population growth: “This Government is building for the future – we call it nation-building for the future. But let’s be optimistic about the fact this country’s growing, so many around the world are heading the other way.” “I actually believe in a big Australia I make no apologies for that. I actually think it’s good news that our population is growing.”

Back then Mr Rudd was criticised for not having any sustainable plans for water infrastructure, the protection of the environment and maintaining quality of life and prosperity.

Former Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr has urged the government to slash the Australia immigration program by half and Federal Labour MP Kelvin Thomson has said that the figures are “a recipe for environmental devastation.”

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship have already tightened the immigration program, putting a cap on general skilled visas, raising the criteria for English language skills and overhauling the skilled occupation list.


The Green Left want to fire the broadcasting boss who questions global warming

The usual Fascist intolerance of dissent and would-be thug tactics evident in the article from "GreenLeft" reproduced below

Journalists at the ABC have come under strong pressure from the organisation’s chairperson to give more weight to the views of climate change deniers.

In a speech to 250 programmers, journalists and executives at the ABC’s Sydney headquarters on March 10, chairperson Maurice Newman warned of “group-think” and “a collective censorious approach” in media reporting of climate change.

The issue, he said, was one where “contrary views have not been tolerated, and where those who express them have been labelled and mocked”, the March 12 Australian said. The previous day, the newspaper had said Newman “warned ABC staffers that he would not tolerate anyone suppressing information”.

Newman’s allegations were interpreted as an attack on the integrity and professional judgement of ABC news staff. Journalists at the Sydney meeting rose to their feet to express shock and anger.

A spokesperson for Friends of the ABC later described Newman’s criticisms as “extraordinary and inappropriate”, saying his comments looked to be “an attempt to influence ABC programming to be more favourable to global warming scepticism”.

The ABC, it is fair to say, has a one-person anti-environment pressure group in its top official. A former stockbroker and businessperson, Newman is a friend of former prime minister John Howard, who appointed him in 2007.

Newman claims to be “agnostic” on climate issues, but sources quoted in the Australian describe him as “a passionate climate-change denialist in private”.

His unsubtle message adds to crude pressures on the ABC to report climate questions in a vein that (in the view of mining executives, at least) befits the country that is the world’s number-one coal exporter.

The usual charge leveled against the ABC has been of flagrant green bias on climate issues. Writing in the March 16 Spectator, former Australian opinion editor Tom Switzer argued: “With honourable exceptions, such as Chris Uhlmann, [ABC journalists] actively campaign for an alarmist cause.”

Analysis of the ABC’s reporting, though, reveals a quite different pattern.

Early this year, the ABC followed the herd of the commercial media in failing to debunk the claims of British climate change denier Christopher Monckton during his Australian tour.

Climate writer Clive Hamilton, in a January 28 post, related the dismal story of Monckton’s interview with ABC journalist Fran Kelly: “He compared climate scientists…to the eugenicists of Nazi Germany and to the Soviet scientific fraud Trofim Lysenko….

“Fran Kelly allowed Monckton to present himself as a credible scientific voice, and … did not ask him what his qualifications were.

“She did not ask him why he lied about being a member of the House of Lords, or why he claims to be a Nobel laureate.

“She did not ask him about his preposterous claims to have won the Falklands war or to have invented a cure for Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, and HIV.”

On March 11, reported on a Media Monitors count of references to Monckton since the beginning of the year, comparing them with references to renowned US climatologist James Hansen, who at that point was close to the end of his own Australian tour.

Monckton, with training in classics, mathematics and journalism, had received 455 mentions across the media; Hansen, only 21.

For the ABC, the ratio was almost as lopsided. Monckton, the narcissistic crank and impostor, rated 161 references; Hansen, the doyen of US climate scientists, just nine.

If the ABC has any bias on climate change, it is not in the direction alleged. If its journalists are “alarmists”, they practice a rigorous self-censorship.

When Monckton out-references Hansen by 161 to nine in ABC coverage, it is plainly not climate deniers within the organisation who are having to watch where they tread.

The implication that a different “balance” is needed, meanwhile, begs the question: what is to be balanced against what?

Science is not about opinions, but findings that other researchers, through observation and experiment, can reproduce. If the “science” of the denialists can’t meet these criteria, it is not science but speculation and has no place in news reporting.

Where does demanding “balance” in the reporting of science lead? To requiring that evolution be balanced with creationism, modern medicine with leech therapy, and astronomy with the signs of the zodiac?

Newman’s speech and interview, meanwhile, provide insights into the thinking of senior business figures that rely for their “understanding” of climate change on diligent reading of the Murdoch press.

Again and again Newman’s “facts” are plain wrong, as when he maintains that “growing numbers of distinguished scientists [are] challenging the conventional wisdom with alternative theories and peer-reviewed research”.

The last serious effort to pose an alternative, “natural” cause for global warming, Henrik Svensmark’s theory of the effects of cosmic rays on cloud formation, was disproved years ago.

If Newman were merely an ignoramus on climate change, that would not matter, provided he worked to guarantee journalists the ability to gather information freely, and to relay it without pressures or harassment.

But that is not the situation. Instead of defending his staff, Newman is adding to their already substantial problems.

Journalists and the public in general should demand to be rid of him.


More Greenie deceit on Australia's major public broadcaster

Sydney’s Geoffrey Cousins, the former adman, tells the gullible 7.30 Report why Tasmanian cannot have Gunn’s planned pulp mill:
It isn’t world’s best technology at all. It doesn’t use totally chlorine-free technology - that’s world’s best practice. It is going to use native forests, not plantation timber, certainly in the first period. And it is going to put significant amounts of dioxins into Bass Strait. Now, if all of those things were cleared away, fine.

Let’s look at just one of those claims for starters - the one I’ve highlighted. Here’s the real amount of dioxin that Gunn’s says the mill will release:
The mill will therefore discharge a combined total of only 0.111 grams of dioxins and furans in liquid and gaseous emissions each year… The total yearly emissions of dioxins and furans to air and water from the mill will therefore be approximately equal to the volume of a single grain of rice…

The likely concentration of dioxins and furans in the pulp mill liquid effluent is estimated to be 3.4 pg dioxin equivalents per litre… The 3.4 pg per litre expected concentration in effluent is the equivalent to the concentration of salt after one salt grain has been put in a volume of water occupying 70 Olympic sized swimming pools…

As another example, the average concentration of dioxins and furans in human breast milk in Australia is approximately 340 pg TEQ of dioxins and furans per litre.

I think the adman tried to panic us about nothing.


Yet another official computer stuff-up

Vic Police halts criminal database overhaul. When will bureaucrats learn that the more "capable" (complex) they make their system, the more likely it is to fail? A simple legacy database program would probably do all they really need anyhow

A multi-million-dollar overhaul of the Victoria Police criminal database has been suspended over potential cost blow-outs and ongoing problems.

The state's Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database has been getting a major overhaul since a 2005 ombudsman report called for scrapping the system amid repeated allegations it was being misused.

The system has been slowly replaced since late last year with LINK, a Canadian-based computer program used by about 90 police agencies worldwide, in the state's $59 million database replacement program.

But Victoria Police announced in a statement on Friday that "after much consideration" the project was being suspended for six months over technical problems and potential budget concerns.

"A detailed analysis has indicated that, based on the current approach and utilising existing resources, integrating the 20-plus systems that need to be joined with LINK will be a more technically challenging and costly process than was envisioned in the original business case," Victoria Police IT director Michael Vanderheide said in a statement.

"The project will therefore be suspended for around six months while independent experts work through these complexities to determine the most cost effective way forward." Mr Vanderheide stressed that LEAP "remains adequate" and police administration will work quickly to resolve the problems.

"We are committed to finding a solution that allows us to move forward without needing to invest significant funds," he said. The exact funding amounts already spent on the LINK project are not known.

The move comes after another state computer system was rolled out despite continued problems.

Victoria's myki public transport ticketing system was due to be rolled out by March 2007 but is currently used only on trains and is at least $350m over budget.


Note that my QANTAS/Jetstar and Queensland Police blogs are still getting frequent updates

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