Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Deep green climate evangelist resigns from Australia's Climate Change Authority over coal power
Should we be concerned? Hardly. He's about as dedicated a Greenie as they come. And, as such, he is a great prophet of doom. So much so that he shoots himself in the foot at times. He says, for instance, that "the world is on a path to a very unpleasant future and it is too late to stop it". If it is too late why bother? Why not just give up his Greenie warbling and kick the cat?
The Turnbull government's recent embrace of coal-fired power shows it has "abandoned all pretense of taking global warming seriously", Climate Change Authority member Clive Hamilton said, explaining why he resigned from the agency.
Professor Hamilton, who teaches public ethics at Charles Sturt University, sent his resignation letter to Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday, saying it was "perverse" that the government would be boosting coal when 2016 marked the hottest year on record.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used his National Press Club speech last week to call for support for so-called "clean coal-fired power plants" to provide "reliable baseload power" while meeting Australia's carbon emissions goals.
Professor Hamilton said the comments were "completely irresponsible and perhaps the sharpest indicator yet just how completely Malcolm Turnbull has capitulated to the hard right of the Liberal Party".
"If the new coal-fired power plants were built, it would make the government's already weak 2030 [carbon] reduction target unattainable," he said in his letter.
"Deeper cuts in the subsequent decades, essential to limit the worst impacts of warming, would be off the table.
"Professor Hamilton told Fairfax Media the authority "no longer has any role in the development of climate change policy in Australia".
Mr Frydenberg said the government was "unapologetic that our priority as we transition to a lower emissions future is energy security and affordability".
"We are smashing our 2020 target by 224 million tonnes and we have an ambitious 26 to 28 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 on 2005, which on a per capita basis is one of the highest in the G20," he said.
The Senate blocked repeated efforts by Abbott government to scrap the authority. In October 2015, then environment minister Greg Hunt appointed five new members including Wendy Craik as chairwoman in a move the Greens said amounted to a stacking of Coalition-leaning appointees.
"In its first years, the authority did great work," Professor Hamilton said, including recommending Australia should aim to cut 2000-level emissions by 40-60 per cent by 2030.
The current government target is for a cut of as much as 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, which amounts to about 20 per cent below 2000 levels.
The authority, though, "has become a shadow of its former self", particularly since the departure of former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser as its chairman, Professor Hamilton said.
Last September, Professor Hamilton and fellow authority member David Karoly, issued a dissenting report, accusing the authority of failing to give the government independent advice.
The two claimed its Special Review of Australia's climate goals and policies was based on "reading from a political crystal ball" rather than meeting its own terms of reference.
The outrage below is common African behaviour, well-known in both the UK and the USA. In Britain its is called "steaming". Why were they allowed into Australia?
A teenage boy was injured after dozens of Sudanese youths went on a stampede through a family festival in suburban Melbourne and stole mobile phones.
Video footage captured the moment up to 70 African youths, some as young as 10, ruined Summersault 2017 on Saturday night as the fireworks started at 10pm.
Jack McLaughlin, 16, a student at Lake View Senior College, was 'jumped on' as his mobile phone was stolen outside Caroline Springs police station, in Melbourne's northwest.
His mother Debbie Tesoriero said her son needed brain scans, after having no recollection of the stampede at the recreation reserve, but was able to go home on Sunday evening.
'We are on our way home, his tests were all clear,' she told Daily Mail Australia. 'We are so relieved right now.'
'Our understanding is that he was knocked out,' she told 7News from her son's hospital room earlier on Sunday. 'He didn't know where he was, didn't know what day it was.
'The police were there, they called an ambulances and the ambos said we should definitely take him to the hospital and check him out.'
Jack said he just wants his mobile phone back.
'We're very lucky, very fortunate it wasn't worse. As a parent this is terrifying,' she previously told the Herald Sun.
'Some of these kids are as young as ten years old, there were hundreds there … but not one parent. To me that is shocking.'
A witness, who didn't wish to be identified to protect her safety, said the youths stole mobile phones from people filming Melton City Council's fireworks display.
'They were only Sudanese, there were no other cultures in the pack,' the mother of two told the Herald Sun. 'It was intimidating, they have no fear.' The woman claimed a police station nearby did nothing to deter them.
Victoria Police confirmed an investigation was underway into a large youth of groups who ran through a crowd during a fireworks display, snatching smart phones from people who were filing the event.
'Six people have reported their mobile phone being stolen and two reports of assault has been made to police,' spokeswoman Leonie Johnson said.
Residents of Caroline Springs has slammed police for not deploying more officers to patrol the event. Only six officers were patrolling the event, which thousands attended, the Herald Sun said.
A boy named Tom said his friend was kicked in the head, but authorities did nothing. ‘There was hardly any police there and security just sat there and did nothing,’ said 16-year-old said.
Seventeen-year-old Shannon needed six stitches after suffering a gash on his chin when he was ‘hit out of nowhere.’
But Melton City Council’s acting chief Maurie Heaney told the Herald Sun that police and security had been on site until ‘large crowd numbers vacated’ the festival site.
‘Round them up and get them out’: Pauline Hanson calls for deportation of African gang members
PAULINE Hanson has called for African gang members to be deported following the latest incident of violence in Melbourne at the weekend.
A gang of up to 40 youths of African appearance stormed the family-friendly festival Summersault, in Melbourne’s west on Saturday night, kicking and punching some festival goers and stealing wallets, bags and phones.
It is the latest in a string of gang crime allegedly committed by African youths in Melbourne and Ms Hanson said she had a simple solution to curb it.
“I’ve got the best solution to this. Round them up and get them out!” the One Nation leader posted, attracting more than 300 comments largely supporting her view.
The Queensland senator’s radical views are attracting plenty of support across the country, with weekend polling showing her party may win up to 20 seats in the Queensland parliament at this year’s election.
In Western Australia, her party has also struck a preference deal with the Liberal Party, which will preference One Nation above the Nationals in the upper house.
The cessation of African migration has long been a key policy of Ms Hanson’s, however a spokesman confirmed she did was not calling for the deportation of “law abiding immigrants of any ethnicity” but those who commit crimes.
Back in 2009, she described refugees as “incompatible with our way of life and culture”. “They get around in gangs and there is escalating crime that is happening,” she said.
“If we want to do things for the Sudanese people, then let us send medical supplies, food, whatever they need over there — but let them stay in their own country.”
While her deportation stance unsurprisingly attracted the support of her followers, African leaders say parents in their communities are continually seeking help to control their children.
Late last year, ABC’s 7.30 program reported that some African parents had resorted to sending their children to boarding school in Uganda and Kenya to prevent them becoming involved in violent crime in Australia.
“There are a lot of African children now in jail. There are a lot of children now in the street, they drink, they do whatever,” South Sudanese woman Akec Mading told the program, after sending her son and daughter to Africa to school.
Adani coalmine project frozen by shock land rights ruling
Adani’s $16 billion coal project in central Queensland has ground to a halt after the freezing of a critical land-use agreement with traditional owners that was to pave the way for construction of the massive mine.
Cancellation of yesterday’s scheduled registration of the deal by the National Native Title Tribunal is the first consequence of a shock Federal Court decision last week that has invalidated native title deals across Australia.
More than 120 indigenous land use agreements have already been identified by the tribunal as under threat in an ongoing audit of the ramifications of the precedent-setting ruling over a native title deal in Western Australia.
Indigenous groups, the mining industry and the Queensland government this week demanded that federal Attorney-General George Brandis introduce amendments to the Native Title Act in response to the ruling.
The “McGlade’’ decision applies to agreements with indigenous groups which have made a native title application — and enjoy full legal rights over their land — but are still waiting for a Federal Court determination.
Under the decision, any agreement without the signed approval of every designated claimant in the clan’s native title claim is invalid, despite the many years that majority decisions were accepted.
Adani’s controversial Carmichael project — set to be Australia’s largest ever coalmine — is among at least 40 proposed or operating resource projects in Queensland alone that are hit by the decision.
The tribunal was yesterday set to formally register a lucrative land-use agreement between Adani and the Wangan and Jagalingou people that had taken years to negotiate.
Registration is required for the agreement to have legal effect, following an independent vetting, to allow Adani to mine on traditional land in exchange for jobs, training and business support for the indigenous clan.
Traditional owner Irene Simpson said the Turnbull government needed to take urgent legislative action to “fix the mess’’ and get the project moving after years of legal challenges, mostly by environmentalists.
Although the 12 formal native title applicants were split 7-5 over supporting Adani a formal “authorisation meeting’’ last year of clan members voted 294-1 to endorse the agreement.
“We followed the letter of the law in ensuring that this agreement was properly and legally supported by the mob,’’ Ms Simpson said.
“The deal we struck with Adani would allow the mine to go ahead, which is good for Australia, the region and our people.
“It stood to benefit our people for the next 60 years with jobs and small business.
“The government has to do something, or it will be lost.’’
In the past two years, The Weekend Australian has revealed evidence that a foreign-funded group of Australian environmentalists offered financial support to members of the Wangan and Jagalingou people — including native title applicants — to oppose the Adani mine.
A spokesman for Senator Brandis this week said the federal government was considering amendments to the Native Title Act in response to the ruling.
Until the McGlade decision — which related to a $1.3 billion deal struck between the Noongar clan and the West Australian government — the 2010 “Bygrave’’ decision in the Federal Court made clear a majority of applicants was sufficient for a legally binding indigenous land-use agreement.
The tribunal yesterday confirmed there was a freeze on registering land use agreements and that an audit of agreements affected by the decision was under way.
“To date, the audit has identified a possible 123 area ILUAs that relied on QGC v Bygrave (2010),’’ the tribunal said in a statement.
“The majority of these ILUAs are in Queensland.
“The McGlade decision raises a number of complex legal and procedural issues which the Acting Native Title Registrar (Robert Powrie) is currently examining.
“In the meantime, the Acting Native Title Registrar has declared a moratorium on the registration of all area ILUAs currently in the registration/notification stage that may be affected.’’
Adani yesterday declined to comment, but earlier in the week the Indian company issued a statement saying it was considering the decision.
“It is important that these laws operate to meet the aspirations of the majority of native title holders and can’t be used by minority elements to simply disrupt projects,’’ the company added in its statement.
Hanson not a one-issue wonder: Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull has defended working with One Nation, saying it's not a single issue or personality-based party.
The Liberal Party is facing questions over its West Australian division preferencing Pauline Hanson's party ahead of the Nationals, and the possibility of other states and the federal division doing the same.
In 2001, then prime minister John Howard insisted One Nation be preferenced last on Liberal how-to-vote cards in the wake of suggestions of racism.
However, Mr Turnbull told reporters on Monday the minor party - which has three seats in the Senate and is set to have four after a court-ordered recount in WA - deserved respect.
"It is a substantial crossbench party in the Senate and it is taking a policy position on a wide range of issues," he said.
"It is not a single issue party or a single personality party. We deal with it constructively and respectfully because we respect the fact that each of those One Nation senators has been democratically elected."
It was a far cry from May last year, when on the election campaign trail Mr Turnbull said Pauline Hanson was "not a welcome presence on the Australian political scene".
The Queensland Liberal-National Party is considering a deal with One Nation in the wake of a poll showing the minor party could win up to 23 per cent of the primary vote on the back of votes from traditional Liberal and Labor voters.
"That's a fair swag of voters ... we can't be dismissive of that," Queensland-based federal minister Steven Ciobo told ABC radio on Monday
That didn't mean the coalition should embrace or "cuddle up" to One Nation policies, just as Labor would argue it didn't adopt all the "kooky" polices of the Greens when it preferenced the minor party.
"What we've got to do is make decisions that put us in the best possible position to govern, ideally obviously with the support of the vast majority of people in Queensland," Mr Ciobo said.
Mr Turnbull said preference decisions were up to individual state Liberal divisions.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott said he would never support preferencing One Nation above the federal coalition partner, the Nationals.
"I'd certainly be putting One Nation ahead of Labor and I'd be putting the National Party ahead of everyone," he told 2GB radio.
Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger said the relationship between the Liberals and Nationals in WA was not as "watertight" as it was in other states.
He didn't believe the Nationals would be put below One Nation beyond WA.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said Labor should be under fire for preferencing the Greens, as the minor party represented a "clear and present danger" to Australia's security and prosperity.
Mr Morrison said his focus was on delivering "good government" which would inevitably attract voters' first preference.
Senator Hanson said her party wanted to work with others in the federal parliament. "We can actually negotiate on issues, we are not extremist," she said.
Labor has vowed not to preference One Nation, which among other things advocates a ban on Muslim immigration.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the government was ignoring the potential impact on tourists from overseas in its sidling up to One Nation.
"Back when Pauline Hanson and One Nation rose to prominence on the previous occasion, the coalition government had to engage in a full court press in our region ... as a direct result of people hearing the message that Australia wasn't a welcoming country," Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
It was wrong to describe One Nation as "sophisticated" when it advocated a ban on Muslim immigration, denied climate change and advocated higher trade barriers. "It's about time Malcolm Turnbull called this out," Mr Albanese said.
Australian conservative politicians cowed by political correctness too
The irony of Cory Bernardi's defection from the Liberal Party should be acknowledged.
The political shocks of 2016 have rocked the political establishment in Western democracies. Trump, Brexit, and the revival of One Nation have exposed the divide between significant numbers of ordinary voters, and the political class across all parties who subscribe to the prevailing left-progressive consensus on many social, cultural, and economic issues.
One would think a mainstream political party would be keen to keep conservatives -- who are clearly in tune with the current mood of public opinion -- 'inside the tent' in the interests of electoral self-preservation.
However, the reality is that while conservative ideas and traditional values appear to be on the right side of history, they are not culturally ascendent.
The commanding heights of the culture -- especially in the media -- remain firmly controlled by elites who endorse so-called 'progressive' ideas and values.
Hence the vast majority of politicians are risk-averse; they toe the politically correct line to avoid negative and embarrassing coverage for expressing 'controversial' or 'knuckle-dragging' views.
Giving in to political correctness is thus perceived to be a political 'win' ... (see, for example, the renewed push by some MPs to have parliament pass gay marriage to "get the question off the agenda"). This strategy helps maintain politician's elite status among their peers in the political class, but is achieved at the expense of faithfully representing the attitudes and interests of voters.
These political calculations are now producing diminishing electoral returns, given that increasing numbers of disenchanted citizens are voting for minor parties to express their dissent from the establishment consensus.
Bernardi's decision to create his own political party indicates that he believes the anti-establishment trend will continue. If so, the hard numerical realities of politics will ultimately force the political class to reconsider its risk-averse, 'surrender whilst declaring victory' approach to contentious issues.
In order reconnect with voters, political elites will have to stop bowing to political correctness and start fighting the culture war instead.
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