Thursday, February 25, 2016

Australia's Barrier Reef at greater risk than thought, study says

Warmist dishonesty never stops.  As I have often pointed out before, warmer oceans will OUTGAS CO2 so the result of global warming  will be LESS acidic oceans.  The only way you can make sense of the reasoning below is to assume that CO2 levels will continue to rise WITHOUT causing any global warming.  So that is certainly an interesting admission.  There is a popular version of the article below here

The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification

Mathieu Mongin et al.

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (Ωa). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling Ωa to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation–biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the Ωa experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on Ωa variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of Ωa of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in Ωa is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in Ωa is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report.

Nature Communications, 7, Article number: 10732. doi:10.1038/ncomms10732

Australia approves Chinese purchase of country’s biggest dairy

Rationality trumps paranoia.  The Chinese can't pick up the farm and take it back to China so what is the problem of them running it?  They'll use Australian managers anyway

Australia has approved the sale of the country’s largest dairy to a Chinese investor in a bid to end a controversy that risked souring Sino-Australian relations and dividing communities on the remote island of Tasmania.

The sale of Tasmanian Land Company, which has a 30,000 strong dairy herd across 25 farms, to a company controlled by Lu Xianfeng in the latest in a series of purchases by Chinese investors of agricultural land and assets — part of a wider move to secure food supplies in the Asia-Pacific region. This has prompted controversy in Australia and New Zealand, where regulators are toughening scrutiny of proposed deals while attempting to remain open to foreign investment that boosts agricultural output and rural jobs.

Scott Morrison, Australia’s Treasurer, said on Tuesday he had approved the TLC sale to Moon Lake Investments subject to tax transparency conditions — a reform to foreign investment rules introduced by Canberra this week amid simmering public concern about the rapid pace of Chinese inflows.

“A breach of these conditions could result in prosecution, fines and potentially divestment of the asset,” said Mr Morrison, adding that the review had considered the deal’s implications for national security, competition, the economy and the community.

Opponents labelled the approval of the A$280m (US$200m) deal a “sellout” for ignoring local bidders.

“This is Australasia’s biggest dairy with huge potential [if kept] in local hands to expand and provide premium dairy products to Australia and the world,” said Nick Xenophon, an independent senator. “This lost opportunity shows how the current ‘national interest’ test is as clear as mud and virtually meaningless.”

Last year Wellington rejected an NZ$88m ($US59m) bid by a subsidiary of Shanghai Pengxin for the 13,800-hectare Lochinver sheep and cattle station. A month later Mr Morrison blocked Chinese buyers, including Shanghai Pengxin, from acquiring S Kidman & Co, a company controlling land about three-quarters the size of England, on national security grounds and welcomed news a local bidder could emerge.

Australia began a review of its foreign investment rules last year when it was revealed the Northern Territory government had leased Darwin port to a Chinese company without a full examination by the Foreign Investment Review Board. This week Mr Morrison introduced new rules linking foreign investors’ tax compliance with their licence to operate.

TLC is owned by New Zealand’s New Plymouth District Council. Tasmanian company TasFoods launched a legal action against the transaction when it was narrowly outbid for the asset, which was later settled. Jan Cameron, founder of clothing company Kathmandu, then entered the fray with a lobbying campaign aimed at blocking the deal and returning the dairy to Australian ownership.

On Tuesday Ms Cameron said politicians from the main Australian parties were short-sighted as they did not see the importance of food security.

“The Chinese get it — that is why they are buying up as much farm land as they can,” she said. “There are different ways to structure these deals and Australia shouldn’t be selling the land.”

Lu Xianfeng controls Moon Lake Investments and is also founder and largest shareholder of Shenzhen-listed Ningbo Xianfeng New Material, which has a market capitalisation of $1.5bn. He recently wrote an article for a local newspaper in Tasmania explaining that Moon Lake Investment’s business strategy would mean “growth for all”.

Will Hodgman, Tasmania’s premier, also backed the deal, telling the Financial Times that if local objections blocked the deal it risked alienating future Chinese investors.

Mr Morrison cited pledges by Moon Lake to invest A$100m in the dairy, create an extra 95 jobs and maintain the same level of milk supply in Australia in his decision.

“Ongoing foreign investment remains a key part of growing Australia’s output and employment and, through this, our standard of living,” he added.


Turnbull calls snap review of Safe Schools LGBTI program

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi says the partyroom shares concerns of parents who want schools to teach their children ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’.

Malcolm Turnbull has ordered a snap review of the $8 million ­taxpayer-funded program aimed at teaching schoolkids about sexual orientation and transgender issues to avert a split in Coa­lition ranks erupting in parliament.

The independent review, which will report in March, was condemned by Labor, the Greens and the Australian Education Union as a “capitulation” to the Coalition’s conservative wing.

Several government MPs were yesterday mounting a campaign to kill off the Safe Schools program being run in 495 schools, but The Australian understands a Senate motion demanding the Prime Minister withdraw the ­remaining $2m in funding was pulled after agreement was reached between Education Minister Simon Birm­ingham and the Nationals Barry O’Sullivan.

Senator Birmingham, who has defended the program, said: “It is essential that all material is age appropriate and that parents have confidence in any resources used in a school to support the right of all students, staff and families to feel safe.”

He has written to education ministers asking them to confirm parents are being consulted prior to schools introducing the scheme.

Last night, no decision had been made on who would conduct the Turnbull review.

The controversial teaching manual, All of Us, includes a role-playing exercise in which children as young as 11 are encouraged to imagine how it would feel to live in a same-sex relationship.

In one lesson, on transgender experi­ences, children are asked to ­imagine losing their genitalia.

The AEU’s federal president, Correna Haythorpe, said the program was working well.

“A majority of young LGBTI people report bullying and 80 per cent of those say that it happens at school,” she said. “All young people should be able to feel safe and supported at school.”

The Greens spokesman on LGBTI and marriage equality, Robert Simms, said opposition to the program was based on the “absurd idea that simply by talking about differences in sexuality or gender identity you’re going to recruit people”.

Coalition sources told The Australian severalMPs expressed concern in the partyroom about the scheme, including senators O’Sullivan and Cory Bernardi as well as Andrew Nikolic, George Christensen, David Fawcett and Jo Lindgren.

The key Coalition champion for same-sex marriage, Warren Entsch, told The Australian there were problems with the program that should be addressed.

He backs extra support for gay and transgender schoolkids, however, “some of the terminology and the references there should be avoided. I can understand why people have raised concerns”.

Mr Nikolic said he believed parents needed to approve of the material before it was taught to their children.

“Young kids are being told their gender is not ­defined by their genitalia and only they will know if they are a boy or a girl,’’ he said.

Senator Bernardi said the Coa­lition partyroom shared concerns of parents who wanted schools to teach their children “reading, writing and arithmetic” rather than “indoctrinating them with a radi­cal political and social agenda”.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said while former prime minister Tony Abbott had sacked Senator Bernardi for “offensive comments” Mr Turnbull was now indulging him with a review.

Senator Bernardi presented a petition to the Senate with 9499 signatures calling on the government to remove funding for the program.


Students at Sydney performing arts school 'win right to wear the uniform of either sex'

Performing arts?  I can't say I am surprised at weirdness there

Students at a leading Sydney high school have won a claim to change their dress policy, allowing them to wear the uniform of either sex. The move has received widespread support, but has been criticised by Christian groups.

Pupils at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia, successfully lobbied the school to scrap gender restrictions on uniform after students began challenging the school's administration last week.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Wendy Francis, a spokeswoman for The Australian Christian Lobby, said: "To encourage a guy to wear a dress would just be setting him up for bullying." She also described the move as "retrograde" and "laughable", adding: "I don't get it. It is a retrograde idea in my mind, there is no need to say we are going to allow boys to wear a kilt or girls to wear trousers, I find it almost laughable."

However, Jo Dwyer, a year 11 student at the school, said that changes were needed to make the uniform inclusive: "Before the changes were implemented, students had to go through the school with parental permission and notes from psychologists before they were allowed to wear the cross-gender uniform, and that wasn't really a possibility for some students whose parents aren't supportive of their gender identity."

The Foundation for Young Australians, which runs the Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA), a group aiming to create "safe and inclusive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender-diverse students, staff and families", called the students "absolute heroes". SSCA is encouraging other schools to follow suit and adopt similar uniform policies.


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