Tuesday, September 08, 2015

NASA says sea levels will rise by a metre over the next century -- bringing flooding to Australia

And what is the basis of that prophecy?  It's not an academic journal article.  It's just a press release, which is here.  And the whole scare is based on one alleged fact: "Seas around the world have risen an average of nearly 3 inches since 1992".

One writer has looked carefully at the data concerned and concludes:

"There is nothing abnormal about sea level rising by 3 inches over a 23-yr period.  Nor is a 3 mm/yr sea level rise over a multi-decade period unusual.  There is simply no anomaly requiring an explanation.  The claim that the 3 inches if sea level rise from 1992-2015 is inline with 3 feet of sea level rise in the 21st century is patently false and demonstrably disprovable.  The accurate statement that sea level is rising faster now than it was 50 years ago is cherry-picking of the highest order."

EXPERTS fear an ice sheet the size of Queensland is melting so quickly it will cause massive storm surges capable of decimating Australia’s coastal cities within the next century.

Satellite images recently captured by NASA show large sections of Greenland and Antarctica are vanishing at a much faster rate than previously thought.

Because of this scientists now believe sea levels will rise by a metre over the next 100 to 200 years. And this is not good. Dr Steve Rintoul from the CSIRO told news.com.au if the NASA predictions prove true Australia could expect more devastating flash floods similar to the one suffered by Brisbane four years ago.  [The Brisbane floods were due to negligent use of Brisbane's big flood-control dam (Wivenhoe).  They were not a "flash flood"]

He said as the average sea level rose, so did the risk of destructive storm surges. “What that means is that the frequency and severity of coastal flooding increases and those floods are more serious as the average sea level rises,” he said. “Most Australians live along the coast, and this is where we are going to feel the impact of sea levels rises.

“There is also about 150 million people that live within one metre of present day sea level, and so if sea levels rise by one metre, those people will be displaced. Many of our major cities around the world are close to sea level and also much of our industry and infrastructure is also close to the coast.

The implications of rising sea levels are quite serious because a one metre rise would cause serious disruption not just to people on low level islands but to infrastructure and the economy in countries that have a coastline.” ... blah blah blah


Shorten wants more refugees

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called for a one-off increase to Australia's refugee intake of 10,000, on top of this year's planned humanitarian intake.

"We are proposing a significant increase because this is a significant crisis," he said.  "Mr Abbott's announcement yesterday was simply not good enough."

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia would take in more refugees fleeing war-torn Syria without increasing the overall annual intake of humanitarian refugees.

The existing number of 13,750 is already set to increase to 18,750 by 2019.

"Like every other Australian, I was moved by the horrific imagery of that little boy washed up on a beach in Turkey,” Mr Abbott said in a press conference in Canberra yesterday.  "We are proposing to take more people from this region as part of our very substantial commitment to the UNHCR".

Mr Abbott said the intake would concentrate on women and children.   "Our focus will be on families and women and children, especially of persecuted minorities, who have sought refuge in camps neighbouring Syria and Iraq," he said.

Mr Dutton departed last night and will meet with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva to ask how Australia can assist in the crisis, after images of a drowned Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi, on a Turkish beach launched the asylum seeker crisis into the international spotlight last week.


Lawyer complains about loss of work for lawyers

Though he doesn't quite put it that way

BRIAN Briggs, military compensation practice leader with Slater and Gordon, said changes to the appeal process in the Veteran's Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 will add up to two years to veterans' search for compensation.

"This bill, if passed, will strip vulnerable injured veterans of rights and make it virtually impossible for them to access the support they are entitled to because of the cost and added delays," Mr Briggs said.

The bill contains several other provisions about vocational rehabilitation and repatriation of Vietnam war dead from Malaysia.

Mr Briggs said the second schedule was deeply concerning because it stripped rights from vulnerable veterans.

In introducing the bill to the Senate last month, Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield - representing Veterans Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson - said the changes will simplify appeals.

Injured veterans seeking compensation can now appeal an adverse Department of Veterans Affairs decision through the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission or the Veterans' Review Board.

Under the new legislation, the appeal process will be limited to the review board. A second right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal remains.

Mr Briggs said removing the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission option left a single inferior appeal pathway that does not allow for legal representation and will add 18 to 24 months to the process in circumstances where the veteran might have little income.

"These are literally matters of survival versus bankruptcy, life versus death, for the veteran affected," he said.

"We trust that this bill will not be allowed to pass unless the stripping of appeal rights is removed."


'Our Candidates Are Freaks'


On behalf of the Liberal Democrats I must issue an apology. Unlike other political parties, we cannot guarantee that half of our candidates will be women. We understand that many of you like to see a 50/50 male/female split -- whether on the ballot for a politician or in the Yellow Pages when looking for a plumber. But, unfortunately, our hands are tied.

It's our members, you see. They're so annoyingly principled. They've got it stuck in their heads that individuals have rights that the collective cannot overrule. And to bind the party, they've ratified policies supporting civil liberties and equality before the law, and opposing affirmative action.

So if an individual in our party is the best person to promote the party's principles and policies in Parliament, that individual will get our nomination.

Not only can't I guarantee that 50 percent of Liberal Democrat candidates will be women, I can't guarantee that a quarter of them will be born overseas, that half of them will be under the median age of 38, or that half will have below-average intelligence. Merit is the only consideration. Race, age, sexual orientation and secret cross dressing tendencies don't matter either.

In fact, I have a huge admission to make -- our candidates are not at all representative of the general population. Each of them believes that you can run your own life and that you pay too much tax. With views like this, our candidates are freaks.

I can't even guarantee that each Liberal Democrat candidate will be local, either. At the last election our party had the temerity to nominate a Queenslander to run in Western Australia, simply because he was an intelligent and hard-working libertarian with experience in the West, a willingness to move back there, and a desire to implement policies that would make West Australians better off.

Our party does not accept that having lived in the same postcode and supported the same footy team for your entire life should be a qualification for political office. Our members believe it is what you think, what you know and what you'll do that matters.

The big parties have it so much easier. As the price of an affirmative action policy they can screw the hard‑working and talented individuals who would be the best candidates. But since the big parties require their new politicians to just repeat what the frontbenchers are saying, no‑one notices that the best candidates haven't been selected anyway.

So back to my apology. If the men in parliament like me are only there because we elbowed out women in our ranks, we should fix the problem ourselves rather than expect the blameless young men of our parties to sacrifice themselves. I therefore propose that Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten and I immediately resign, to be replaced by women.

I'll do it once they do. Promise.


Idiotic "Green" municipality

The Newcastle Council has officially entered an alternative reality. The city that was built on coal is now proposing to withdraw deposits from banks that fund coal.

Never mind that this won’t work. The Council’s investments are a minute proportion of total deposits with banks. If the banks stop lending to coal, plenty of other investors are available overseas and here (including the Future Fund). And if Australia cuts its coal exports, other countries would be happy to fill the gap in production.

It gets worse. In the unlikely event that Australian coal production declines, this will just shift harmful environmental impacts overseas, often to countries with lower environmental standards than Australia. And the Council’s decision implicitly tells developing countries to stop using coal which is incredibly patronising, imperialistic and anti-development.

But most importantly, the Council is sending incredibly contradictory messages about the city’s development. Coal is vital to Newcastle. It is one thing to argue for diversifying the city’s economy. It is another to decry such a core industry. This may cause businesses to think twice about investing in the city.

The contradictions in the Council’s Twilight Zone don’t end there. If the Council were wanting to completely cut off coal, they should return all the fees and local rates paid by coal companies. But of course they won’t. In the Council’s alternate reality, it is OK to take money from coal, just not invest in it.

The trip to the Twilight Zone isn’t over yet. The Councillor responsible for this decision has said that the Council shouldn’t invest in things that have involvement in the manufacturing of alcohol. So we could soon be seeing the Council divesting from the Hunter Wine Region.

What next in this brave new (and apparently insane) world? North Queensland to ban banana growing, New Zealand to mandate the wearing of synthetic fibres, and South Sydney to veto lattes?


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