Friday, March 11, 2016

Australia’s record-breaking heatwaves haven’t convinced its ruling party of climate change

Nor should they.  Below is just another exercise in cherrypicking by hack journalist Steve Mollman.  The BoM says 2015 was only Australia's 5th hottest year so it's unlikely that much has changed in two months. 

An average implies events both above and below the average so determined cherry pickers can always find some places that are above average.  It does seem that parts of Southern Australia have had a lot of unusually hot weather in recent months but some parts of Northern Australia have been unusually cool -- creating a balance that produced the BoM figure. 

And if it's only anthropogenic global warming that could have created the unusual highs in some places, how come it was so hot in Sydney in 1790 (yes: 1790; not 1970) that birds were falling out of the trees with heat exhaustion?  Watkin Tench recorded it all.  See here and also here for a confirmation of Tench's observations

The guff below is just another example of the famous but illogical Warmist dictum that hot weather proves global warming but cold weather does not prove global cooling

The guff appeared in an online business magazine called "Quartz".  They claim that they publish "bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview".  On the basis of the guff below I would say that they publish unintelligent hack journalism with no originality and a conventional worldview

It’s late summer/early autumn in Australia, and few can remember the weather being so persistently hot this time of year.

Mildura, a small town about six hours to the northwest of Melbourne, has suffered through eight straight days of extreme heat, with temperatures of around 40 °C (104 °F). Sydney, meanwhile, has had a record 30-plus straight days above 26 ℃ (79°F), breaking the previous record of 19 set in 2014. Melbourne, a famously drizzly city, yesterday (March 8) endured the hottest night on record for March, with temperatures lingering around 30 °C (86 °F) and residents tossing and turning in their beds.

Climate change has been politicized all around the world, but perhaps nowhere so intensely as Australia, where the previous prime minister, the Liberal party’s Tony Abbott, was adamant in his denial of it, and his successor, Malcolm Turnbull, is under pressure to hold hearings on it.

Scientists are seizing on the heatwaves now hitting southeastern Australia as proof that something is seriously amiss. They “have the fingerprints of climate change all over them,” Will Steffen, a climate science professor at Australian National University, told the Guardian.

Andrew King, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne, told the heatwave could be attributed to climate change. “The future is not looking good,” he said. “We’ll continue to get future record-breaking heat extremes, and there will be hotter summers with bigger impacts in Australia.”

In politics, however, there remains stiff resistance to the very idea of manmade climate change. Many in the ruling center-right Liberal party agreed when Abbott famously said in 2009, “The argument [on climate change] is absolute crap… however, the politics of this are tough for us… 80% of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

Although the current prime minister, Turnbull, was seen as a repudiator of Abbott’s position when he took office last September, conservative members of his Liberal party warned him not to abandon the party’s stance of questioning the reality of climate change. Turnbull favors cutting Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions—for which he has been heckled by members of his own party.

Today (March 9) conservative members of the Liberal party in the state of New South Wales formally called upon the Turnbull government to organize a series of public debates to test climate scientists’ claims about global warming.

The opposing Labor party has warned against the move. “If Mr. Turnbull now bends to the will of the NSW Liberals and conducts public debates about climate change,” said Mark Butler, a Labor MP, “he will solidify his party as one of climate change skeptics.”

Victoria, meanwhile, is suffering from both blistering heat and a drought. “It’s just hotter than normal,” one farmer and sheep rancher told the Age, “and that might be the way we’re going, given climate change.”


Ten-year-old Aboriginal girl kills herself in far north Western Australia

It's odds-on that she was abused by Aboriginal men in her community.  Child abuse is rife in such communities.  So I fail to see that this is the responsibility of whites.  To do anything real about it, you would have to change the responses of Aboriginal men -- and it would take very tough intervention to do that.  All the social workers in the world would achieve nothing.  Aborigines in the Kimberly are very close to their tribal ways so have little to restrain them from being rough on women and children

A 10-year-old Aboriginal girl has taken her own life in far north Western Australia, the youngest of 19 Indigenous people to kill themselves in remote areas of the state since December.

Guardian Australia understands the girl died on Sunday in the small community of Looma, 3,912km north of Perth.

It is one of the youngest reported suicides of an Aboriginal person in WA and follows the death of an 11-year-old Geraldton boy, Peter Little, on 19 October 2014, which prompted the state government to announce a $26m suicide prevention program.

A suicide researcher, Gerry Georgatos, will travel to Looma to support the community in his role as a coordinator for the Indigenous suicide critical response unit, a $1m federally funded trial program that aims to provide culturally appropriate assistance to curb the flow-on effects of suicide.

“This tragedy has affected not only her community but surrounding communities that she had been moved around within,” Georgatos told Guardian Australia. “Many families and communities need support.”

It’s the 16th such trip he has made since taking up the position. The first was to support a community in the Goldfields, near Kalgoorlie, where three people took their lives within a month. “We buried three kids in five days,” Georgatos told Guardian Australia. “The graves were alongside each other, three in a row.”

The youngest on that occasion was a 15-year-old girl.

WA’s mental health minister, Helen Morton, said it was “devastating that a child of 10 would even consider taking their own life”. She said: “Circumstances are not yet clear but I find it deeply concerning.”

Morton said the girl was not in the care of the department of child protection, but the department had been providing support to her extended family “and will continue to do so during this very difficult time”.

Scullion said the interim advice he had received was that existing suicide response services were often not well-coordinated or delivered in a culturally appropriate way, which led to the funding of the Indigenous suicide critical response unit.

“The minister is deeply saddened by the news of the latest Indigenous child suicide in the Kimberley and it has reinforced his resolve to do everything he can to prevent suicide and the enormous grief it causes families and communities,” a spokesman for Scullion told Guardian Australia.

Wes Morris is coordinator of the Kimberley Aboriginal Language and Culture Centre which runs the Yiriman Project, a culture-based program led by elders from four language groups that aims to reduce suicide by making young people resilient in their culture. He said suicide would be raised as an issue at regional meetings to discuss the state’s remote community reform plans this week.

“What we need to be investing in is culturally appropriate programs of resilience and healing, to show young people where they fit into their culture and possibilities for their future,” Morris said.



Backlash after Australian official's 'alleged' Nazi comment

A routine bit of legal caution has been blown up as meaning something

Australia's immigration minister Wednesday faced calls to apologise after his department chief used "allegedly" to describe experiences in Nazi Germany during a defence of the government's hardline asylum-seeker policies.

Canberra's tough measures against boatpeople - which involves detaining them in remote Pacific island camps indefinitely while their refugee applications are processed -- have attracted strong domestic and international criticism from rights groups.

Doctors and whistleblowers have also said the detention of asylum-seekers, particularly children, has left some struggling with mental health problems.

A statement by immigration department head Michael Pezzullo, meant to counter a Sydney psychiatrist's criticism of the policies in the Australasian Psychiatry journal, drew fire when he used the term "allegedly" to describe experiences under Nazi rule in Germany.

"Recent comparisons of immigration detention centres to 'gulags'; suggestions that detention involves a 'public numbing and indifference' similar to that allegedly experienced in Nazi Germany; and persistent suggestions that detention facilities are places of 'torture' are highly offensive, unwarranted and plainly wrong -- and yet they continue to be made in some quarters," said the statement released Tuesday.

After a backlash on social media, the immigration department issued a follow-up statement saying "any insinuation the department denies the atrocities committed in Nazi Germany are both ridiculous and baseless".

It also accused critics of distorting the text to "create controversy".


Richard Di Natale floats idea of eventual Liberal-Greens coalition government

Richard Di Natale’s pragmatism has been on show in the 10 months since he was elected unopposed to succeed Christine Milne. © AAP Image/Mick Tsikas Richard Di Natale’s pragmatism has been on show in the 10 months since he was elected unopposed to succeed Christine Milne. With margins in some inner-city seats as tight as a thick, close-fitting wool collar, the Greens leader Richard Di Natale has floated the idea of one day forming government with the Liberal party, but says “it’s much more likely the opportunity rests with Labor”.

The former physician, now senator, told an upcoming issue of GQ the prospect of a Greens-Liberal alliance was “unlikely” but his political mantra was to “never say never”.

Not a sandal or hemp shirt was in sight for the accompanying fashion photoshoot, for which Di Natale posed in clothing by designers Acne, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Hugo Boss.

One shot has already been released showing the Victorian senator in a sleek black turtleneck, drawing comparisons to Daniel Craig, Steve Jobs, Sinead O’Connor and former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Di Natale’s pragmatism has been on show in the 10 months since he was elected unopposed to succeed Christine Milne. The Greens have backed the government on pension cuts, corporate tax transparency measures and, last week, on changes to Senate voting rules.

“It’s true that there are some people who say we should never do anything with the Liberal party,” Di Natale told the magazine.

“But it’s my view and the view of my party room, that you have to put the policy first and then the politics looks after itself.”

In the interview, out 14 March, Di Natale also discusses his relationships with Turnbull and Tony Abbott, as well as taking on some in his party on the issue of genetically modified foods.

“It’s about changing the conversation,” he said about genetic modification. “With a position like GM foods, you’re boxed into a pro-science or anti-science camp. It’s actually more nuanced that that.”


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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