Thursday, June 04, 2015

Australia May Need to take in many Pacific islanders as their islands sink under the waves?

More nonsense from "New Matilda".  They quote all sorts of "authorities" who say that many low-lying islands will be flooded as global warming melts polar ice. Their reliance on authorities is amusing.  Leftism has always been authoritarian.  Once freed from democratic restraint, we see just how authoritarian.  What were Soviet Russia, Mao's China and Pol Pot's Kampuchea if not authoritarian?.  And the Kim dynasty in North Korea is still providing us with a graphic example of Leftist authoritarianism.

To any reasonable person, however, it is the facts that are the ultimate authority and the facts are pesky for the alarmists.  For a start, global warming stopped 18 years ago.  Even Warmist scientists like Jim Hansen recognize that.  They call the last 18 years a "pause" -- which acknowledges the halt but adds a prophecy that warming will resume.  But prophecies are so far from facts that they are almost always wrong.  So no warming means no flooded islands and no humanitarian crisis.

And even if warming does resume, it probably will not be a problem.  While there are thousands of articles online shouting the theory of submerging islands, the reality is a little different. 

Lots of low lying islands and shorelines have in fact been GROWING.  Gradual rises in sea-levels have been going on for a couple of hundred years as a correction to the little ice age but accretion of island-building material has more than cancelled that out in many places.  And it's not only Pacific islands that have been GAINING land mass.  It has even been happening in Bangladesh, contradicting many prophecies.  See here and here and here and here and here and here

Countries like Australia and New Zealand may have to provide special humanitarian visas and put in place international evacuation plans as less developed nations in the region are hit by “disasters on steroids” occurring as a result of man-made climate change, the United Nations has been told.

In a submission to the UN’s World Humanitarian Summit, the UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law has warned the impacts of anthropogenic warming are already being felt in the region, and that governments must prepare for large population displacements as the intensity of natural disasters increases.

“The people most affected are generally the most vulnerable already – the poor, living in environmentally precarious parts of the country, without the social networks or resources to get out of harm’s way early,” a written submission by the Centre’s director Jane McAdam said.

“Humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of disasters is essential, but it is ultimately a band-aid solution and is not enough.

“The cost of inaction will be higher than the cost of implementing measures to reduce displacement now, both in financial and human terms.”

Simon Bradshaw, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator at Oxfam Australia, said it was not clear what ongoing support Australia was providing to Pacific nations to help them deal with the threat of climate change.


Australia turned back 65 people on boat, including a pregnant woman, police chief says

Australian customs turned back 65 people, including a pregnant woman, after their boat reached Australian waters last Tuesday, according to an Indonesian police chief.

The 65 people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who reportedly claimed to be asylum seekers, are in detention on the Indonesian island of Rote.

Fishermen spotted two boats floating near Landuti island in the West Rote district, 500 kilometres north-east of the Australian coast, on Sunday.

"They looked exhausted," Rote police chief Hidayat said. "One female passenger is pregnant – we took her immediately to the hospital but she is ok now."

Mr Hidayat said the migrants told him they had been caught by Australian customs on May 26, who sunk their boat. They were put in two blue and white boats, and sent back into Indonesian waters.

"The Australians provided them with food, drinks and sufficient fuel to reach Indonesian land," Mr Hidayat said.

He said the passengers included four women and three toddlers. Of the 65, 54 were from Sri Lanka, 10 from Bangladesh and one from Myanmar.

Mr Hidayat denied reports the migrants were headed for New Zealand, saying his network said they wanted to go to Australia.

"Based on information, they started off from Pelabuhan Ratu (in West Java) on May 5 and about two weeks ago I got information from our network that this boat was headed for Australia," Mr Hidayat said.

"My friends in the Australian Federal Police of course don't believe it. They said it wanted to go to New Zealand but what would these people do in New Zealand?"

Mr Hidayat said Indonesian police had arrested four of the six crew members. The captain, Yohanes, ran away. "He's part of the smuggler network in Jakarta, according to the boat crews," Mr Hidayat said. There was confusion over the whereabouts of the sixth crew member, with some suggesting he was with Australian customs, although it was unclear what that meant.

West Timor Care Foundation chairman Ferdi Tanoni said the migrants were expected to be transferred on Tuesday to Kupang, West Timor's largest town and the capital of Nusa Tenggara Timur province.

"According to the chief of immigration, the information they received was that these people wanted to go to Australia to ask for asylum," Mr Tanoni told Fairfax Media.

Although there is an immigration detention centre on Kupang, Mr Tanoni said it was full and the asylum seekers were likely to be accommodated in hotels.

A spokesman for Immigration spokesman Peter Dutton said: "The Australian does not comment on matters associated with on-water operations."

The Australian navy has repeatedly turned back boats with asylum seekers on board after Prime Minister Tony Abbott came to power in 2013 vowing to "stop the boats".

The hardline tactic was also initially employed by Malaysia and Indonesia during the recent humanitarian crisis in the Bay of Bengal after boatloads of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants were stranded at sea following a Thai crackdown on people trafficking.

The crackdown led to people smugglers abandoning the boats at sea, leading to deaths and starvation.

Malaysia and Indonesia later agreed to assist the migrants and asylum seekers and provide shelter for up to a year but insisted the international community had to help with their resettlement.


Australia GDP soars, but growth remains patchy

Growth usually is

Australia’s March quarter GDP report has just been released, and it’s come in well above expectations.

Over the quarter the economy grew by 0.9%, leaving the annual rate of growth at 2.3%. Analysts had been expecting a quarterly increase of 0.7% with annual growth of 2.0%.

While the headline figure topped expectations, the internals of the report were less convincing with the quarterly increase driven by a jump in inventories (+0.3ppts) and growth in export volumes (+0.5ppts). Surprisingly, final consumption expenditure, the biggest contributor to Australian economic growth, added just 0.4ppts to quarterly growth. Elsewhere general government expenditure added 0.1ppts while private fixed capital formation detracted 0.3ppts with weakness in non-dwelling construction, along machinery and equipment expenditure, overshadowing a 0.2ppts boost from private dwellings.

Although a reasonable quarterly result, ANZ economist Felicity Emmett believes the outlook for growth remains clouded.

“The outlook for business investment, both mining and non-mining remains weak. The drag from the wind back in mining investment still has a long way to run and is likely to be much sharper over coming quarters as large-scale LNG projects approach completion. Added to this is the recent weakness in non-mining investment intentions. And with growth in household consumption remaining soft, it’s difficult to see what will drive businesses to lift investment. While lower interest rates are helping with this transition at the margin, the missing ingredient seems to be confidence, both at the consumer and business level”.


Political fruit flies

So many politicians have evolved so quickly on same-sex marriage that it has become one of the greatest-ever experiments in Darwinian selection. US President Barack Obama took about four years to evolve. Three years later Hillary Clinton evolved within 72 hours of announcing her tilt at the presidency. It’s the political version of the ever-mutating virus in the film Contagion.

How is this possible? It took centuries, millennia, possibly millions of years for the evolution of a clear vision of marriage as a permanent, monogamous, loving, opposite-sex institution for raising the next generation of homo sapiens. And now, in a matter of weeks, Australian politicians are tumbling over themselves in their eagerness to pledge themselves to support a quantum leap in the evolution of human relationships.

The only adequate analogy for the pace of change is the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. From what I remember of high school biology, a fruit fly population can acquire new characteristics in a matter of weeks (although a penchant for same-sex unions is not yet one of them). One explanation is that their brains have only 100,000 neurons, compared to the 86 trillion possessed by the average human. Evolution is a snap if you are stupid.

Fruit flies also move in swarms, so it's not surprising that several Australian MPs have recently declared that they have seen the light, including the Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Ed Husic, the nation's first Muslim MP. But the paradigm case is the evolution of Tony Burke, a leading figure in the Australian Labor Party and a Member of Parliament from Watson, a middle-income Sydney electorate. Until his party lost the last election, he was Federal Minister for Immigration.

Last week he announced that he, too, had evolved on same-sex marriage.

Why? Because voters in Watson desperately want a change? No. A Morgan poll of 2010 found that “anti-gay sentiment” was focused in several areas, including traditional Labor seats in Sydney's west and southwest like Watson. In fact, 32.5 percent of those polled in Watson said that they agreed with the statement “I believe homosexuality is immoral”. Only 36 percent agreed that homosexuals should be allowed to adopt children, compared to 70 percent in inner-city Sydney.

In 2011 all Federal MPs were required to consult their electorates about same-sex marriage. There was only a lukewarm response from constituents across the nation, suggesting, The Australian said, “there is still majority support for preserving marriage between a man and a woman”.

And in Tony Burke’s electorate? He didn’t bother to release the figures. As he brazenly declared in the history of his evolution, “the last time the campaign for marriage equality published seat by seat polling, the views in my part of Sydney were, as I had expected, the exact opposite of the national vote.”

So why has Mr Burke ignored the clear wishes of his electorate?

Is it because they are cave-dwellers? Because they are homophobes? Because they are morons? Perhaps all three at once? In his disdain for his homophobic, moronic, cave-dwelling constituents, Mr Burke whisks aside their wishes and declares loftily that: “The time has now come for the conversation in communities like mine to move to the fact that this change will occur.”

Yes, a politician paid about $200,000 a year to represent the wishes of his electorate really said that. What the Marxist poet Bertold Brecht put in the mouths of the cabal of crooks who ran East Germany in 1953 has come true in Canberra in 2015:

Some party hack decreed that the people
had lost the government's confidence …
If that is the case, would it not be simpler,
If the government simply dissolved the people
And elected another?

To be fair to Mr Burke, he does venture a reason: debating same-sex marriage would be “divisive”. People might say nasty, nasty things. “As this debate drags on in Australia,” he writes, “it is becoming harsher and angrier rather than kinder and gentler.”

Mr Burke’s neurons are misfiring. As Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, he knows a thing or two about being divisive. Sticking it to the Government is his bread and butter. You can even watch him on YouTube comparing the new Speaker of the House, Bronwyn Bishop, to Dolores Umbridge, a character in the Harry Potter novels who looks like a large pale toad. 

Furthermore, a “kinder and gentler” Australia is a nice turn of phrase. But it’s not one that he invented. It comes from a speech by George H.W. Bush, the same speech in which he famously said, “Read my lips: no new taxes”. And guess what? Yup, there were new taxes. Unconscious plagiarism from a speech with the most famous political fib in American history inspires no confidence in Mr Burke’s honeyed words.

Naked political expediency, not conviction, explains the rapid evolution of Tony Burke and other politicians joining the conga-line of same-sex marriage supporters in Australia. He offers his constituents no other reason than “The best thing for community cohesion is for the debate to be settled and the law to be changed.”

Of the many obstacles to same-sex marriage he appears to be willfully ignorant: the welfare of children in same-sex unions, the denigration of motherhood, the probable commercialization of surrogacy, problems accommodating faith-based institutions, opening the door to polygamy (read about this in the New York Times), creating a generation of genetic orphans and on and on.

Can anyone really believe that the future of marriage is safe in the hands of MPs like Tony Burke? Politicians who despise the sentiments of their constituents and who treat traditional marriage as a chip in political poker are not fit to determine the future of such a momentous issue.

The only honourable political solution to the challenge of legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia is to put it to the voters, either through a plebiscite or by making it an issue in next year’s Federal election. Voters should have the last word on marriage, not politicians.


1 comment:

Paul said...

I fear that Gay Marriage is all Labor has at the moment. I wonder if Shorten's position is a lot less secure than it appears, given the need to flog this yet again.