Friday, December 02, 2016

Reversing Warmist spin

The latest article from shifty Peter Hannam, environmental writer of the Sydney Boring Herald has great but unintended humour potential. He has some boring statistics to convey but by biased language has made them seem to suggest global warming.  Let me use different language to describe the same stats.  I will suggest cooling:

"A long run of overcast days in Sydney has finally come to an end.  Sydney is at last back to where we were in 1990 but will it last?

Last month's temperature had three Novembers warmer than it in the past

"It's been persistently cool, particularly in the West," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, at last breaking a long run of cool days -- going back to 1894

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.  But there were similar conditions in 1885"

Contrast the above with what appears below.  Note that I have unspun only the statistics Hannam has chosen to mention.  They were undoubtedly the one best suited to his cause.  If they can be shown to suggest cooling, one wonders what all the unmentioned statistics show. 

Deception is the name of the game for Warmists.  Honest reporting is in general alien to them.  It has to be.  They cannot accept the plain truth of the climate record, which just shows normal ups and downs with no significant trend

Sydney has just capped its sunniest November since 1990, with the relatively warm and dry conditions set to extend well into the start of summer.

Last month was the city's equal-fourth warmest November for maximum temperatures in records going back to 1858, with average temperatures reaching 26.1 degrees, the Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest report. Sydney Airport had an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine during the month.

"It's been persistently warm, particularly in the east," Acacia Pepler, a climatologist at the bureau, said.

The month had 18 days above 25 degrees, the most since 1894 , and its coldest day was a mild 22.7 degrees. All previous Novembers had at least one day below 21 degrees in the city.

The lack of cool days extended across spring, with just six days failing the reach 20 degrees. That's the fewest on record and roughly one-fifth of the average of 31 such days, the bureau said.

The past six months have also been a standout for Sydney. A relatively wet winter - with rainfall about 250 millimetres above average - switched to sharply drier conditions, with rain tallies sinking 100 mm below average.

That's the biggest turn in the weather for the city in 53 years, and the third-most on record with 1885 the other rival year, Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.

"Since the start of October, it's been drying out" in coast regions, Mr Dutschke said, adding the western parts of the state had more recent rains and will take longer to cure.


Conservative radio host David Oldfield says Aborigines  'should just be Australians'

It is he who is the non-racist.  Most racial discrimination comes from the Left these days

Former One Nation politician David Oldfield says Aboriginal culture should have 'died out with the Stone Age'.

Oldfield, from Sydney, made the comments on SBS' First Contact program, which deals with race relations issues in Australia by taking well-known white people to experience Aboriginal life.

'Is there something celebratory they lived in the Stone Age longer than anybody else? I can't see it,' Oldfield said.

'It's not actually good for Aborigines to remain Aborigines. They should be Australians. And you just naturally let it die out. I mean frankly it should have died out. Like the Stone Age died out.

Oldfield has been slammed on social media for his comments.

In the first episode of First Contact, aired on Tuesday night the group it centres on - including singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia, television personality Ian 'Dicko' Dickson, former Miss Universe Renae Ayris, comedian Tom Ballard, and actor Nicki Wendt - were invited to join a family in a traditional fishing ceremony.

Oldfield refused to participate and during a conversation, Timmy 'Djawa' Burarrwanga told Oldfield: 'You know this country is so racist.' 

Burarrwanga had taken OIdfield's behaviour as a lack of respect for his culture.

'David can I ask you one question? Are you not actually accepting the oldest culture in this country? You're not accepting this. I need to know what's bothering you,' Burarrwanga said.

'I accept this dominant world. I accept your law - your system. And you know, this country is so racist. In the constitution it's so racist. We're not actually in the constitution. It doesn't recognise Aboriginal people,' an exasperated Burarrwanga replied.

Oldfield was not backing down though, and believed that the constitution didn't recognise any group of people or mention any races. [Which is true.  Australia actually had a successful referendum in 1967 to REMOVE mention of race from the constitution]

Comedian Ballard then got involved, making it clear to Oldfield that stating that the omission of Aboriginal people from the the constitution in the first place was 'in itself a racist act'.

However Ballard wasn't about to back down and argued that it was 'an all-encompassing document' for all Australian people whatever their background.

'I'm pretty sure they had white people in mind, David,' Ballard laughed.

When asked by Burarrwanga if he accepted that Aboriginal people were the first people of this country, Oldfield agreed but he stopped short of saying he respected that.

But as things became tense he went as far as saying that if Burarrwanga was unhappy with his presence there he would 'happily leave his land'. 


Is going to uni a waste of everyone’s time and money?

AUSTRALIANS are more qualified than ever. A record number of Australians now have a bachelor’s degree, masters or PhD. But a dangerous idea is out: Degrees might be a big fat waste of time and money.

Thirty years ago you didn’t need a degree to be a journalist, for example. Now? Most job ads demand a degree and plenty of the people applying have taken a masters degree, so they look even more qualified than the competition.

The same “degree inflation” applies in a huge range of fields.


The idea is this: you don’t actually learn much at university. Under this idea, university is a way of showing off that you’re good. It’s like the peacock’s tail — not useful in itself, just a big signal that you’re hot stuff.

Is university just signalling? If it is, it would explain why it doesn’t seem to matter that you forget a lot of what you learned — and perhaps why employers of graduates are always complaining their recruits don’t have any valuable skills

If the signalling theory is right, we would, as a society, be better off making people spend less time in uni. But the reality is the opposite — we are sending more and more people to uni.
More people are graduating with degrees, but do they really need them?

More people are graduating with degrees, but do they really need them?Source:Supplied


As people work harder and harder for qualifications, a backlash is brewing.

Some very powerful businesses have stopped requiring a degree. Professional services firm EY is one. In the UK it no longer looks at academic qualifications in its entry criteria.

Google is also expanding its ranks of the degree-less, according to its head of hiring. Those firms think they can get good value from people without degrees.

US entrepreneur Peter Thiel is famous for questioning the benefit of higher education. He pays scholarships of $100,000 — called Thiel Fellowhips — to brilliant young people in return for dropping out of uni and becoming entrepreneurs instead.


Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to university. Even if it is a waste of time in some ways, most jobs still require a degree. Going to uni is still very much worthwhile for most people.

The data is very clear — people with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $2.9 million over their lifetime compared to $2.07 million for people who finished year 12 without going to uni.

This can’t be used as proof that uni makes you more productive though.

If university is just signalling these people would have been just as useful in the workplace if they hadn’t gone to uni. (And maybe even more useful, because they’d have extra experience instead of a qualification.)

It also implies that plenty of people who didn’t go to uni would do even better at those jobs than the people with degrees. After all, going to university is still mostly for wealthier people, despite the way the HECS scheme has made access way more widely available. (People who are born to rich and well-educated parents are the ones who tend to end up at uni.)


But the problem remains this. We don’t know for sure if this big idea is right. Do people really learn at uni or not? I asked the man who invented the HECS/HELP system, Professor Bruce Chapman, what the evidence had to say.

“We just don’t know,” Chapman said. He has trawled through hundreds of studies to try to figure out if university is mostly learning or mostly just signalling. “We don’t have a good measure for it.”

Some degrees are more practical than others, Chapman said, for example, dentistry: “Would you want an accountant pulling out your teeth?”

Philosophy degrees, he said, are different. They may be more of a way of showing that you are able to think clearly and obey the rules and requirements of a university environment for three years.

Ultimately, Chapman reckons uni is most likely to be a mix of learning and signalling. “If I had to guess, I’d say 50:50.”

Other experts, like Professor John Quiggin of the University of Queensland, disagree, saying the proof is out there and university mostly builds skills.

Debate will continue on whether or not sending more and more Australians to university is a good investment. But one thing most experts agree on is that a very different kind of education is a guaranteed winner. The advantages of early childhood education are enormous, and can last for a lifetime.

One American study found the return on early childhood interventions is $10 for every $1 invested. And the benefits go to everyone, not just the people who are lucky enough to go to uni.

So, maybe, as a society we should worry more about whether Australians go to kindergarten, rather than whether they go to uni.


ABC and SBS to pay price for Senate ABCC victory

The ABC and SBS will be forced to hold special Q&A-style board meetings with members of the public after Liberal Democrat ­senator David Leyonhjelm horse-traded with the government over its key industrial relations bill to re-establish the construction ­industry watchdog.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield last night confirmed the government had agreed to a policy that would “provide opportunities for greater community engagement” with the public broadcasters as part of a deal that will see Senator Leyonhjelm vote for the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Under the policy, at least half of the ABC’s and SBS’s board meetings each year will be followed by “open community board forums”, with at least two to be held in regional areas, in a bid to make the government-owned broadcasters more “representative” and their processes more transparent. “These open community board forums will give the public greater opportunity to provide feedback directly to the boards responsible for running the ABC and SBS, and for the boards to engage directly with their audience,” Senator Fifield told The Australian.

“We expect the broadcasters will implement this policy as part of their broader approach to community engagement.”

The public broadcasters last night defended the amount of time they spent receiving community feedback.

“The ABC ­already engages with the community and its audiences through regular public events, forums and media appearances both in major cities and rural and regional Australia,” an ABC spokesman said.

But Senator Leyonhjelm said he received feedback “all the time” that the ABC — and to a lesser ­extent SBS — was unrepresentative, declaring the policy change would help alter a perception that those who run the broadcasters “live inside the goat cheese ­curtain”.

“There is a different point of view to be heard outside those areas and it would be good for the ABC’s diversity and its ability to reflect what taxpayers or shareholders are saying if the boards ­actually went out and listened to them,” he said.

“ABC CEO Michelle Guthrie herself has warned … of the perils of political parties failing to ­engage with disenfranchised voters. The same principle applies to the ABC and SBS.”

The ABC and SBS held six board meetings in the 2015-16 ­financial year.

The initiative, part of a series of side deals to secure passage of the ABCC legislation through the Senate, comes as the ABC’s news coverage is under fire from a range of high-profile Australians, including former prime ministers Paul Keating and Tony Abbott.

The government has no power to direct the ABC and SBS on programming but controls their funding and appoints board members.

SBS had not received a formal letter from the government alerting it to the plan. If necessary, the government can issue SBS a written direction to compel it to hold the community forums. That process can be replicated with legislation in the case of the ABC.

SBS said it was “committed” to engaging with the many diverse cultures and communities and fostering “vital connections and understanding” between the organisation and those who contributed to “social cohesion” and a multicultural Australia.

Senator Leyonhjelm said he wanted the ABC and SBS board sessions for the public as part of the price for his vote for the ABCC. He said he and the government came up with a list of possible “liberty offsets” or “freedom” changes.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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