Monday, March 03, 2014

Brain-dead Perth meteorologist thinks that because his city is hot it must be hot everywhere

In parts of the USA there is record cold.   So which place do we go by?  It takes a Warmist to claim that local warming tells you about global warming.  Warmists mostly now don't do that nonsense because they have found to their pain that skeptics can turn the tables on them just about every winter.  So this guy is obviously just not bright

THE weather bureau says Perth’s record-smashing summer was “madness” and it has used temperature and rainfall data to lash out at climate change sceptics.

And the state’s top meteorologists are warning West Australians they face decades of rising temperatures – with hotter, drier and more extreme summers.

The 2011-12 summer was Perth’s hottest on record and this summer was the second hottest on record, tied with both the 2009-10 summer and the 2010-11 summer with an average maximum of 32C.

This summer was also the driest in five years for Perth, with just 2mm of rain, and the driest on record for Mandurah.

Perth had only three days where rain fell and not one drop fell last month – the first dry February since 2000.

It might have been the start of autumn but there was no respite yesterday, with temperatures nudging 37C in Perth.

The weather bureau is normally conservative, but Bureau of Meteorology climate expert Neil Bennett said the data was staring climate change sceptics “in the face”.

“It’s climate change. It’s warming. It’s staring you in the face,” he said.  “This is crazy. This is madness, what’s going on now.

“The climate doesn’t change like this. This is really remarkable. The last four summers have all either been the hottest or second hottest on rec­ord.  “It’s not just Perth – in Bunbury eight of the hottest summers have occurred since the turn of the century.

“What we are saying is when you look and see the trend is going up, it seems foolish to try to ignore that trend.  “This is really, really unusual. It’s a sign that the temps across Australia are warming. There is no getting away from it.”

Mr Bennett said the climate models for “30, 40 and 50 years ahead” were also all “pointing upwards”.


Illegal immigrants get a rough ride

Some of the charmers whom Australia will now not need to feed and house

The bulbous orange lifeboat wallowing in the shallows off the coast of Central Java is an unlikely looking weapon - but it's proving highly effective in Australia's military campaign against asylum seekers.

To the people forced to travel in them, though, it is a vomitous and terrifying experience.  "Inside the orange boat it was closed, hot and very dark," says Omar Ali, an Egyptian asylum seeker now in temporary detention in an old office building in Cilacap, Central Java.

"No light. Very hot. When the driver opens the door, the water comes inside. We're sick. Everybody sick; there was no air."

Earlier this week, Ali and 27 other young men from Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Nepal, Bangladesh and Egypt, became the seventh group of asylum seekers "turned back" from Australian waters to Indonesia since December, and the third to have been returned in a $46,000 disposable lifeboat.

Their boat, like the other two, was steered by the Indonesian crew who had been in charge of the wooden vessel provided by the people smugglers that was intercepted near Christmas Island. Also like the others, Indonesian authorities have no idea what to do with the ugly orange vessel that has landed uninvited on their shore.

The experience of the latest group of lifeboat returnees suggests the Australian authorities are refining their technique. In the first return in mid-January, the asylum seekers said they were tricked and lied to, then at the last minute given written information about what was happening to them as they were pushed off.

On the second return in early February, one asylum seeker used a phone camera to film the experience of being towed in an orange lifeboat behind an Australian Customs boat, Triton.

In this latest incident, there was no such opportunity. The interaction was kept to a minimum and mobile phones were taken away.

After intercepting the wooden asylum boat in the water near Christmas Island at 1am on Friday, February 21, Australian crews wearing Customs and Border Protection blue uniforms initially tried to recommission the old wooden boat to return them to Indonesia. The engine would not start. After several hours and several mechanics had come to try, the Australian officers abandoned the task.

The asylum seekers were transferred to the Customs vessel - perhaps MV Triton, though they do not know the name. As they were loaded on board, officers were "pushing one by one with hands behind our back", Ali says, showing on his friend how their arms were bent into a painful position.

Any objections or requests for food and water were shouted down, no discussion entered into.

"He says: 'Don't speak. Shut up. F--- you'," Ali says, the others nodding. One man, Khazim Mohammad, from Iraq, was lying sick on the boat: "The [Australian officer] said, 'You're joking. Liar, liar' … and grabbed him and pulled him."

The Indonesian crew have told Central Java police that the wooden boat was then "blown up". They cannot say how this happened, but speculate on a bomb.

On board the large Customs ship, interaction between crew and asylum seekers was minimal. Once their details were taken and entered on a computer, the men were given wristbands with numbers on them.

For about three days, they say they were kept below decks.

"Inside the big ship, no sun, no air. We don't know if it's night or day. We can't sleep; loud noises," says Ali.  They were fed once - cheese sandwiches - and given a cup and told to fill it up in the bathroom to drink. "For two days we went on hunger strike."

The Indonesian crew was kept in a separate part of the ship.

On the Customs patrol boat, Ashrof says someone searched their belongings, and all valuables - money, phone, SIM card - were taken. He does not know who took them. No phones means that, unlike on other ships, there is no video footage of their experience.

The next move, on Monday morning, was to the orange lifeboat. It was the first time they had seen it and the transfer was done in sight of land.

"The soldiers brought [us to] the orange boat … and closed the door and said to the driver of this boat … 'Go to that island'," Ali says.

Again the Australians would not answer questions. The Indonesians - who spoke almost no English - said it was Christmas Island. Ali did not believe them.

But there was no chance of turning back to the real Christmas Island. The crew, though experienced sailors, had never seen anything like the orange blob they now captained, and there was not enough fuel to go anywhere except to that island on the horizon.  The island, it turned out, was Java.

The lifeboats are small and inside they feel smaller. They are dark and airless with only a couple of small, high windows. Having 28 on board would have felt crowded - not everyone could have a seat, though the nameplate says it is rated for 55 people.

"No air inside and no airconditioning for the orange boat. We are very sick. We have no oxygen. We are very sick," says Ali. "It's like animals. Animals [cannot be treated] like this."

There was water on board and muesli bars.

The journey lasted only about three hours before the boat ran aground in huge seas on a rugged bay near the village of Kebumen. They were 30 metres from the beach and the surf was high, but there was little choice but to jump.

"We jumped from the boat. We are at the beach, ocean high. We arrive and drift, arrive and drift. We think we will die. We think we will die. We can't swim," Ali says.

Finally on the beach the exhausted men were confronted with a steep, slippery slope to climb before a local farmer found them and called the police.

The crew is now in custody being questioned by police under people smuggling laws for taking people out of the country illegally and then, at the insistence of the Australian Customs and Border Protection, back into it. The asylum seekers are bound for detention, although they don't know where.

The fate of the big orange lifeboat is just as uncertain. The recent arrival of these odd-looking vessels has puzzled Indonesian officialdom. The first to land, near a remote beach called Ujung Genteng, in mid-January, is in the custody of the Indonesian navy. The second landed in a tourist spot, Pangandaran, in early February and is now being looked after by water police at Ciamis. "My commander has not told us what to do," a local officer says.


Tony Abbott's green army enlisting now

Tony Abbott's federally funded "green army" will enlist 15,000 young people in environmental work, striking young workers from official dole queue figures as youth unemployment soared in the year to January to 12.4 per cent.

But young people who fill the green army's ranks will be paid as little as half the minimum wage, earning between $608.40 and $987.40 a fortnight.

The scheme - the cornerstone of the government's environmental policies - is modelled on John Howard's Green Corps, and will be an alternative to work-for-the-dole programs.

Under the legislation introduced by Environment Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday, green army participants - who will be aged 17-24 - will work up to 30 hours a week. They will be given the chance to undergo formal training as part of their duties, but will lose their Centrelink benefits for taking part in the scheme and fall off official joblessness figures.

The basic rate for a single person getting Newstart (the dole) is $501 a fortnight. But Mr Hunt said the scheme would pay young people "significantly" more than they would receive from Centrelink allowances, and he hoped the skills young people learnt on the job would encourage them to move into full-time work.

"It's giving every young person in Australia the chance to do something for the environment, and it's bizarre that anybody would oppose, at this time, a youth training program that helps the environment and increases, significantly, the youths' wages."

Mr Hunt's office stressed that the green army was "an environmental and training program, not an employment program", although the government has repeatedly described the army as Australia's largest ever "environmental workforce".

The government is aiming the scheme at indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, gap-year students, graduates and the unemployed. Enlistees will do manual labour, including clearing local creeks and waterways, fencing and tree planting.

Green army members will not be covered by Commonwealth workplace laws, including the Work, Health and Safety Act, the Fair Work Act and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.

Despite this, Mr Hunt said all green army members would be covered by workplace protections, including state and territory occupational health and safety laws, insurance provided by the government and by "service providers" paid by the government to recruit, establish and manage green army teams, and federal work, health and safety "compliance orders".

But ACTU president Ged Kearney said the workers should be covered by the appropriate federal workplace protections.

"This is about taking away well-paid, well-protected jobs from people and replacing them with low-paid, unsafe jobs," she said. "This is not about getting people on the margins of the workforce into work, this is about providing a low-paid workforce."

Greens MP Adam Bandt said: "Only Tony Abbott could create a 'workforce' where the workers aren't legally workers and have no workplace rights. If a green army supervisor and a worker under their command get injured while wielding a pick or building a lookout, the supervisor will have the same safety and compensation protections as ordinary employees but the worker won't."


Unions holding back job growth

The economic stories hogging the headlines lately are of financial losses, plant closures and job-shedding - think Holden and Toyota, the closure of Alcoa's Point Henry aluminium smelter, and yesterday's announcement that Qantas will shed 5,000 jobs.

It's as if Australian businesses forgot the creative part of capitalism's creative destruction. Australia's economy needs new jobs, and there are impediments in our industrial relations system that are increasing costs and preventing new jobs from being created.

One of the unfortunate consequences of Work Choices was the degree to which the union movement was to use popular opposition within the community to drive their own agenda. Through Labor's Fair Work Act the union movement was able to gain monopoly status on new businesses/projects.

Under the Fair Work Act, Greenfields agreements - which set out wages and conditions for new business/projects and are organised before employees are hired - can only be negotiated with a union. Work Choices allowed for both union and non-union Greenfields agreements.

Unions have used their monopoly position to delay the commencement of new projects. Unions know the longer negotiations drag on, project costs increase and start dates are threatened. Eventually employers cave in and agree to exorbitant, and often unsustainable, conditions.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association found in 2012 that one third of resource industry employers had tried to negotiate a Greenfields agreement in the previous three years and of those, 19% had experienced unions refusing to make an agreement with them.

This problem was also raised in Labor's in-house review of the Fair Work Act in 2012, yet the government made no changes. Providing new businesses with a choice would mean that unions cannot stall projects and run up costs.

Still haunted by the ghosts of Work Choices, the Coalition are weary of bringing back anything remotely resembling elements of Howard's reforms. Instead they've suggested that these long-running disputes on new projects be determined by the industrial umpire. Such a solution simply entrenches adversarial relationships.

In an economy where only 18% of all workers are union members (13% in the private
sector) having a non-union option should be a no-brainer.

The Coalition should be bold. There was never broad community opposition to non-union Greenfields agreements. Community opposition was based on the lower safety net and unfair dismissal exemptions for small- and medium-sized businesses.

The Coalition should make it easier for businesses to get started and create jobs by bringing back non-union Greenfields agreements.


1 comment:

Paul said...

The Indos can piss and moan publicly all they want, but even they know they have no real argument to make against this crime racket that they are equally part of and always have been.