Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Some excerpts from a diatribe by an Australian Green/Left law academic

He's certainly got a good imagination.  He implicitly implies that "climate disruption" is going on but seems unperturbed that the 2003 prophecy he quotes (in red) shows no sign of being fulfilled.  Mr Obama is in fact letting poor Hispanics flood into America these days.  Some fortress!  The usual Green/Left lack of reality contact. 

And where do we see these days "a dramatic growth in violent political and social unrest over dwindling resources"?  I know of none. 

And another loss of reality contact in saying that police forces are also adopting military ideas and tactics "to confront demonstrations about climate change".  Tactics of that sort are indeed growing in the USA but they are used to confront crime, especially black crime (check Ferguson, Missouri). If middle-class Greenies make a big enough nuisance of themselves they might experience such approaches but that is entirely their doing.

 And his last paragraph below is sheer fantasy -- and a good laugh. A definite ivory tower inhabitant

For over a decade, the Pentagon and other Western militaries such as Australia have put serious thought into the medium and long-term implications of climate change. For example, in 2003, the Pentagon released a paper titled “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implications for United States National Security.”

The report predicted massive flooding, storms, forced migration, food shortages, starvation and water crises. Moreover, as a result of diminishing carrying capacity, the report also foresaw a dramatic growth in violent political and social unrest over dwindling resources.

The authors of the Pentagon report also predicted “boom-times” for militarized security, as nations that have food, water, energy and other resources mobilize high-tech technology to separate themselves from the masses outside of their geographical borders. By 2025-2030, the authors predicted:

The United States and Australia are likely to build defensive fortress around their countries because they have the resources and reserves to achieve self-sufficiency… Borders will be strengthened to hold back unwanted starving immigrants.

Such an outcome would make current LNP immigration policy look like “an evil child's fumbling toys” to quote Hannah Arendt. And yet, the Australian government already uses the Navy to prevent asylum seekers from landing on Australian soil. Moreover, it has continued to build an “economic fortress” around itself by dramatically cutting its foreign-aid budget and refusing to commit to the United Nations Green Climate Fund.

Police forces are also adopting military ideas and tactics to confront demonstrations about climate change and other justice issues. Stephen Graham highlights in his book Cities Under Siege, the way that large defence and IT companies have created a multi-billion dollar market in civilian technologies directed at crowd control and civilian disturbances. Geographic mapping and drone technology are perhaps the best-known examples utilised by the Australian police.

This might sound like hyperbole, but I do not think it is a stretch to imagine a time when the US-Australian Great Green Fleet (complete with biofuel planes) is deployed in the name of national security to “hold back unwanted starving” climate refugees or masses of people suffering from climate related disease.


Greens protest visa ban on West Africans

Showing that they are really Leftists.  What part of the natural world is threatened by quarantining Ebola?

THE Greens say shutting the door on west African refugees is cruel and selfish.

THE Immigration Department is no longer processing any humanitarian visa applications from Ebola-affected countries, which include Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The government is also cancelling and refusing non-permanent or temporary visas held by people who haven't yet departed these countries for Australia.

Permanent visa holders who have yet to arrive in Australia are being required to submit to a 21-day quarantine period before departure.

Greens immigration spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young says it is a miserly, selfish and cruel announcement.

"Banning refugees from fleeing west Africa is like shuttering up the windows while a house burns down," Senator Hanson-Young said, calling for the decision to be reversed.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the systems are in place to protect Australians.


South Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young accused of hypocrisy over fossil fuel campaign targeting Santos

Mining and extractive industries are one of the few things S. Australia has going for it so having a South Australian senator attacking such industries is very grievous

GREENS Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is being accused of hypocrisy for targeting fossil fuel companies, yet relying on their products for taxpayer-funded flights and limousine travel.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said public criticism of the campaign urging Adelaide universities to divest shares in resources companies including Santos exposed the hypocrisy of the Greens’ stance.

He said arguments about such important matters should be based on science, not emotion, stressing natural gas produced by Santos was an important transition fuel.

“If you’re going to rely on science, you should rely on science all the time and if you believe that climate change is real then it’s an argument about science,” Mr Koutsantonis said in an interview with the Sunday Mail. “But then when you try to use emotive arguments to try to discredit scientists, you fall flat on your face.

“I think Senator Hanson Young’s hypocrisy by having a reliance on fossil fuels, whether it be through aeroplane flights or using a Comcar, like all of us do, just shows that her argument isn’t based on fact or science. It’s based on ideology.”

However, Senator Hanson-Young’s spokesman rejected the Treasurer’s argument as a petty and baseless distraction, saying all Greens had negated the environmental impact of their travel for years through self-funded carbon offset and abatement options.

Mr Koutsantonis, also the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, said he believed Australians wanted pragmatic politicians who searched for out-comes, rather than crusading on ideology without regard for the impacts. “If you’re serious about saving the planet, then practice what you preach,” Mr Koustantonis said.

Mr Koutsantonis and federal Liberal MP Jamie Briggs have been prominent critics of the divestment campaign, which resulted in Australian National University earlier this month deciding to sell stocks in seven companies, including those of Santos.

But the campaign has been resisted by Flinders and Adelaide universities.

The latter has close links to Santos, which in 1999 provided $25 million to establish a world-class School of Petroleum Engineering.

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne, also MP for Sturt, told the Sunday Mail Senator Hanson-Young’s call for organisations to divest support from companies like Santos would have a huge impact on the community.

“If this is genuinely Senator Hanson-Young’s position, it is clear why the Greens can never be trusted to put the best interests of the state ahead of their ideological beliefs,” he said.

But Senator Hanson-Young’s spokesman said Mr Koutsantonis’s petty behaviour showed the desperation of the fossil-fuels industry and the political parties that relied on their donations to survive.

“The fact is that South Australia stands to gain significantly from a pivot away from fossil fuels and towards the renewable energy industry of the future,” the spokesman said, in a written statement.

“It’s concerning for the state that the Treasurer is so openly and closely aligned to the mining lobby.”

The cost of taxpayer funded travel by MPs and senators is publicly available on the Finance Department website.

The latest in-formation for Senator Hanson-Young shows last year she took 114 domestic flights costing $60,990.75, a $4227.57 flight to PNG, three charter flights costing $8140.91 and Comcar limousine trips at $24,188.36.

Comcar’s fleet includes many six-litre V8 Holden Caprices, which are being replaced with LPG models and Ford Falcons with cleaner-burning liquid phase injection technology.

Qantas’s carbon offset calculator estimates the CO2 emissions share for one passenger from an Adelaide to Canberra flight is 131kg.

The figure for a single passenger on a Sydney-Port Moresby flight is 356kg of CO2 emissions. More than 95 per cent of flight emissions come directly from jet fuel combustion, Qantas says.


Report on reorganizing Australia's Federal system

Increasing State Government control of revenue, targeted specifically for schools, health, public transport and roads, along with running a series of conventions across Australia to engage the public in a national conversation on reforming Australia’s Federation, are key recommendations proposed in CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) research being released today.

CEDA Chief Executive, Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said the research report, A Federation for the 21st Century, has found Australia’s excessive vertical fiscal imbalance is one of the key issues undermining the positive aspects of our Federation.

“We need to move away from State Governments being held to ransom by the Federal Government and match service delivery responsibility with funding,” he said.

“Currently, for example, the Federal Government fails to deliver suitable levels of funding for transport infrastructure because while it collects the majority of revenue, it is not responsible for delivery.

“Distribution of Federal Government funding to the states in areas vital for the economic and social wellbeing of Australians, such as health and education, should not be swayed by politicking.” 

Professor Martin said a key focus of the Federal Government review of the Federation should include examining the distribution of government revenue and ensuring we have clearly defined levels of responsibility among the different tiers of government.

CEDA’s report suggests we need to consider a range of options to align revenue and expenditure requirements such as:

Assigning a fixed portion of income tax to states for funding schooling.

Allowing State Government’s to develop a comprehensive land tax or property charge with funds raised to be used specifically for public transport.

State Government’s extending road-use charging and receiving the fuel taxes collected by the Commonwealth, specifically to build and maintain roads.

Professor Martin said the report examines a range of different approaches for reform as it is likely the best outcomes will be achieved not by a single solution but by a combination of different approaches.

Another key recommendation is to further extend activity based funding reforms in education, health and welfare.

“The reforms to hospital funding in Victoria are a good example of how this can work well, with hospitals now funded on the individual activities undertaken rather than individual hospitals having to lobbying for an overall amount at the start of each year,” he said.

“This has resulted in a much more efficient delivery of services and it is very disappointing that the rollout of this approach to other states has been stalled due to the Federal Government removing funding promised by the previous government in the May Federal Budget.    

“Reforms need to focus on making government funding more citizen-focused and able to deliver the services and infrastructure Australians need.

“While the Australian Federation has largely worked well, delivering political stability and economic prosperity for over a century, it can do better.”

In addition to making recommendations around changes to revenue allocation and collection, Professor Martin said it important to ensure ownership of any changes by the Australian public. In this regard the report also recommends:

The creation of a Federation Reform Council to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of reforms to our Federation and make sure there are no unintended consequences; and

A series of Federation Conventions be held in conjunction with the white paper process to encourage the participation of as many people as possible in what must be a significant national conversation on this issue.

“Reforming the Federation has been a recurrent issue and is once again a priority on the national agenda with the Federal Government White Paper due next year,” he said.

“However, the federalism debate has had the best outcomes when it has engaged the imagination of the broader population, which is why it is vital that discussion around reform is much broader than in the halls of Federal and State Parliaments.”
The CEDA research report A Federation for the 21st Century can be downloaded from the CEDA website The report includes contributions from 19 experts from academics to former politicians such as the Hon. Fred Chaney AO, the Hon. John Brumby and Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO.


'Bring it on' - Newman welcomes PM federation reform talk

Qld. Premier Campbell Newman is picking up what Prime Minister Tony Abbott is putting down about reforming the federation.  Mr Abbott has issued a call to the premiers to have "a rational discussion about who does what" in a precursor to the federation white-paper process.

Mr Newman has long called for reform on how the Commonwealth funds the states, especially when it comes to education and health, which are run by the states but reliant on changing funding mechanisms from the federal government.

The latest budget, which announced an $80 billion cut in health and education funding in the forward estimates, has only inflamed the debate.

Giving the Sir Henry Parkes commemorative address on Saturday, Mr Abbott argued states that received a lower share of GST from the Commonwealth, which included New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, deserved a "fair go", but any changes should not leave smaller states worse off.

"It's basically about giving everyone a fair go – but it has to be fair to the states making the financial contributions as well as to those receiving them, to those who give as well as those who receive," he said in an advance copy of the speech obtained by Fairfax Media. "It should be possible to make these arrangements more equitable between the larger states with the smaller states no worse off."

Mr Newman said to bring it on.  "I welcome Prime Minister Abbott's commitment to working with state governments to review the federation," he said.  "We need to clearly define which levels of government should deliver education in schools and universities and health services in hospitals, as well as who should provide the roads, rail, ports, electricity and water supplies that are essential to our future prosperity.

"There are far too many areas where federal and state responsibilities overlap and create waste, duplication and confusion.

"We've reached a situation where funding for vital services – like health, education and housing – is provided only if the services are delivered as the federal government sees fit and only if states agree to complex, onerous and expensive administrative requirements.  "States must have untied access to a sustainable revenue base that is sufficient to deliver on their responsibilities.

"All Australians are the losers in this because billions of dollars are wasted on unnecessary bureaucracy.

"I also believe that getting out of each other's way will not only mean more efficient government, but more accountable government.

"Right now there's a window of opportunity to make real and positive change.  "The Queensland government is keen to grasp this chance and will work constructively with Canberra and the other states to develop a new partnership and secure a brighter future for all Australians."

The Prime Minister is expected to call all premiers together before the middle of next year to discuss federation reform, but not until the Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland elections have run.


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