Sunday, October 22, 2017

Great Barrier Reef recovering from coral bleaching

The Greenie panic was for nothing, as usual.  Julian Tomlinson didn't go to journalism school so he tells it like it is below -- supported by extensive video evidence

NEWS of the Great Barrier Reef’s demise have indeed appeared to be premature – as predicted. Cairns-based environmental science body, Tropical Water Quality Hub, released exciting news this month in an email titled: Signs of recovery on bleached coral reefs.

This is no surprise to reef operators, climate change sceptics and scientists who urged everyone not to believe the hype about the Reef’s certain doom.

The TWQH said researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science went back to 14 reefs between Townsville and Cairns they surveyed at the height of this year’s bleaching event and saw “significant” recovery. “The majority of coral colonies on the inshore reefs have regained their colour and some even appear to have developing eggs in their tissues,” said project lead Dr Line Bay.

This evidence is directly in line with the views of James Cook University’s Professor Peter Ridd who said this year that corals were experts at adapting to changing environments and that they would recover – as they had done in the past.

But still, Prof Ridd was dismissed by reef doom merchants and has even been threatened with disciplinary action by JCU because of his contrary views. One hopes the university will now apologise unreservedly to Prof Ridd for its treatment of him.  All he did was urge his colleagues to not take such an absolute and alarmist view of Reef health.

Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, believes Ridd’s treatment was so bad that he raised it in state parliament this month and suggested JCU’s administrative procedures should be reviewed. “I have been offered some explanations for the actions taken by JCU against Peter Ridd, but they were most unsatisfactory to the point of being feeble,” said Mr Cripps.

Marine biologist Walter Starck has spent a lifetime studying marine ecosystems and made the same observations as Ridd in a Quadrant magazine article he wrote last year.

Starck is considered by naysayers as a scientific fringe dweller but anyone who challenges the alarmists is always going to be ridiculed and have their credibility questioned.

While the TWQH researchers say it’s still early days, news of coral recovery is fantastic for our tourism operators.

Cairns reef dive company, Spirit of Freedom, has also given activists reason to stand down. Just last month, the company released a video of Ribbon Reefs, Lizard Island and Osprey Reef.  Shot by Stuart Ireland of Calypso Reef Imagery, it reveals a truly spectacular undersea paradise.

Tourists also appear on the video saying they can’t believe how beautiful the Reef is after what they’d been told about its imminent demise.

Check it out for yourself at

I can’t wait for Midnight Oil to come back to spread the good news and for my Facebook feed to be cluttered with ecstatic posts from The Greens and GetUp!

Somehow, I think I’ll be waiting a long time. They’ll still say we must stop human-caused carbon emissions to ensure the recovery continues.

But environmental scientist Bjorn Lomborg has backed opponents of attempts to force us all to toe the man-made global warming line.

In The Australian this week he wrote that if every country honoured its emissions promises, 60 gigatonnes of carbon would be stopped from entering the atmosphere… whereas 6000 gigatonnes needs to be stopped to keep temperature rises below 2C.

Again, all the pain of high power prices and being lectured to and attacked by fanatics is for nought.

Another recent study has backed critics of laboratory tests claiming ocean acidification caused by CO2 emissions is a coral killer. The critics say the lab tests expose corals to increased CO2 too quickly for the organisms to adapt, therefore exaggerating the results.

Now, in the Nature Communications journal, researchers say they have shown this is the case, and that coral in the wild is able to adapt to changes in ocean composition when they happen gradually.

With all this evidence, we should all – especially politicians and the media – be taking the reef alarmists with a grain of salt and reject claims that we’re all environmental vandals.


Coalition MPs edgy over ‘cap’ on carbon

"Targets" are placed on retailers -- but the targets could be watered down

Malcolm Turnbull’s new energy policy is fuelling anxiety among government MPs, who are liken­ing it to a “cap and trade” carbon scheme and demanding that emissions reductions be delayed as long as possible to minimise costs.

The Prime Minister yesterday rejected Labor claims that his National Energy Guarantee resurrected a carbon tax by stealth, through the establishment of a set level of emissions that retailers would be required to meet each year.

One of the regulators who proposed the scheme, Australian Energy Market Commission chairman John Pierce, said it would be “very hard” to argue there was a carbon price in the policy. “There isn’t one,” he said.

Labor used question time to needle the government over the policy, arguing that the overhaul would force energy retailers to begin trading in “carbon abatement obligations” — effectively establishing an implicit carbon price. Concerned Coalition MPs questioned whether the scheme was too similar to a “cap and trade” or “cap and contract” system because retailers would be required to enter new power-purchasing contracts to shake up their energy mix if they exceeded the emissions cap.

Liberal National Party backbencher George Christensen, who is calling on the government to “kick start” a new coal-fired power station in Queens­land, told The Australian he believed it was similar to a cap-and-trade scheme. “And if anyone thinks that anyone’s being fooled simply because it’s not called a cap-and-trade scheme or not called a clean energy target or an emissions trading scheme or something like that, they are kidding themselves,” Mr Christensen said.

The proposed National Energy Guarantee puts an obligation on electricity retailers to buy power at a set level of emissions intensity each year, to meet a 2030 reduction target — set by government — for the power generation sector. It also forces retailers to meet a percentage of demand from reliable power generation.

Craig Kelly, chairman of the Coalition’s backbench energy committee, said the policy was effectively a cap-and-contract scheme, and his support was conditional on the cost of the emission cuts being largely deferred until closer to 2030.

“It’s essential the trajectory of the reduction in the emission intensity of the electricity sector is done in a hockey-stick shape, where the majority of the heavy lifting or major reductions are backloaded towards the end of the next decade,” Mr Kelly said. “That way it will ensure that it is done at least cost and potentially no additional cost subject to the technological improvements in low carbon-emission technology.”

Mr Turnbull said yesterday the Energy Security Board would be able to advise on the “least-cost path” or trajectory for achieving the emissions reductions to 2030.

“There’s plainly the opportunity to back-end more of that as costs come down,” he said. “Retailers have many options — they can invest in generation themselves or enter into contracts with other companies. They’ll manage this as part of the electricity generation they already buy and sell. They will not be creating a certificate or another trading system.”

Mr Turnbull used question time to argue that retailers would continue to trade in electricity to meet their new obligations under the revamped policy, saying Labor failed to “understand the way the energy market works”. “It is not trading of permits; there are no certificates,” he said. “It is trading of physical energy which ... happens all the time.”

Mr Pierce said the policy should not be considered a carbon price. “What we’re pricing is reliability and what we’re pricing is the ability to dispatch,” he told the National Press Club. “You can’t really separate it out and say ‘this is a carbon price’ — we’re not pricing carbon.”

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott argued that it was wrong to compare the NEG to an ETS, saying the new policy “used the same architecture” and market mechanisms already in place.

“There’s no new mechanism, there are no new certificates. It’s not the same thing,” Ms Westacott said.

Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood said “of course there is no explicit carbon price” in the new scheme. “My expectation is that derivative markets will inevitably emerge over time leading to implicit carbon pricing,” he said.

Labor’s assistant energy spokesman Pat Conroy said he believed the government’s policy was an emissions intensity scheme that assigned an “economic value” to emissions reductions, which he argued was a “price on carbon”.


Maximum $306,000 penalty imposed on ‘recidivist’ CFMEU

Thug union has no trouble paying fines.  They get a lot of "donations" from employers

A federal judge has branded the CFMEU “the most recidivist corporate offender in Australian history”, imposing maximum pen­alties of $306,000 over a heated clash between a former senior official and managers on a Brisbane building site.

Describing the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s history of law-breaking as “astounding”, Federal Circuit Court judge Salvatore Vasta said he would have imposed higher penalties on the union if the law allowed.

“This court has been asked to ensure that the industrial relations regime as created by parliament is observed and complied with,’’ the judge said. “The parliament has given the court only one weapon to ensure such compliance, and that is the ability to impose pecuniary penalties.”

He said that while this weapon had generally been of great value against employers, “this cannot be said of the CFMEU’’.

“The deterrent aspect of the pecuniary penalty system is not having the desired effect,’’ he said. “The CFMEU has not changed its attitude in any meaningful way. The court can only impose the maximum penalty in an attempt to fulfil its duty and deter the CFMEU from acting in the nefarious way in which it does.

“If the community at large are not satisfied with the actions of the court to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act, then the next step is a matter for the parliament.”

In May, Judge Vasta imposed the maximum possible $10,200 penalty on former Queensland CFMEU president David Hanna for breaching right-of-entry laws on a construction site at Fortitude Valley in 2015.

Mr Hanna admitted that when he was asked for his right-of-entry permit he raised his middle finger and said he didn’t need one.

When a site manager attempted to record the incident, Mr Hanna said: “Take that phone away or I’ll f..king bury it down your throat.” He squirted water at the manager which struck him in the face, shirt and mobile phone. When another manager asked Mr Hanna, “what are you doing here, you are here illegally, why didn’t you go through the right channels?” he replied: “I can do what I like.”

Mr Hanna resigned from the union in 2015 after an investigation found he obtained thousands of dollars from employers to pay for the IVF treatment of a union organiser and his partner.

Following evidence before the trade union royal commission, he and two former executives from construction giant Mirvac were charged with secret commission offences over the building of the unionist’s luxury home in 2013.

Judge Vasta noted submissions from the Australian Building and Construction Com­mission that the courts have sanctioned the CFMEU 120 times over the past 10 years for breaches of industrial law. The union had not tried to improve its behaviour. “It is no understatement to describe the CFMEU as the most recidivist corporate offender in Australian history,’’ he said.


VC hero Ben Roberts-Smith: I did nothing wrong in Afghanistan

Australia’s most decorated soldier, Ben Roberts-Smith, has  described a new Defence-facilitated history of special forces in ­Afghanistan that questions his battlefield role in the killing of a young Afghan as inaccurate, un-Australian and damaging to the legacy of a hero killed in action.

The book, No Front Line by celebrated journalist Chris Masters, revisits an incident in the perilous Chora Valley in 2006, during which then lance corporal Roberts-Smith and Sergeant Matthew Locke — a Medal for Gallantry ­recipient killed in action in 2007 — “neutralised” a young Afghan male who threatened to compromise their small and clandestine SAS patrol’s concealment.

Masters highlights contradictory accounts given by Mr Roberts-Smith years later about the killing, which occurred near an SAS observation post on a mountain overlooking Chora on June 2.

He cites an interview given to the Australian War Memorial in 2011 in which Mr Roberts-Smith described the incident as involving two men who walked up to within 30m of their position.

The Victoria Cross recipient, in the interview, said a decision had been made to eliminate the pair and he and Locke “hunted them down and got rid of them”.

Masters points to a subsequent interview with The Australian, also five years after the incident, in which Mr Roberts-Smith referred to a single enemy. The patrol ­report compiled immediately after the incident mentions a ­single ­individual, according to Masters.

Mr Roberts-Smith explained the inconsistency in correspondence to AWM director Brendan Nelson as stating he had confused the incident due to the fact he had done numerous tours of Afghanistan and it was five years after the fact. Dr Nelson, a former defence minister, said this week he had not read the book but expressed concern about it not being in the ­national interest in tearing down Australian heroes.

He also said the Defence ­Department had questions to ­answer over what previously ­secret material was provided for the book.

Mr Roberts-Smith has blamed the contradictory battlefield ­accounts in the book as being the recollections of a “bitter” former SAS member. He also raised concerns that Defence, which organised and screened the writing of the book, may have passed classified documents to Masters to ­assist the book.

“People are going to think and say what they like (about me),” Mr Roberts-Smith told The Weekend Australian.

“In regards to what the book means to other people, though, I’m a little bit disappointed. Particularly in a passage around myself and Matthew Locke in 2006, (Masters) is really affecting the legacy of an Australian hero killed in action … His son is in the army now. That’s not fair. He hasn’t spoken to anybody else who was in the patrol except for one guy who has obviously given a different version of events.”

“The person who has given their depiction of 2006 had nothing to do with me,” Mr Roberts-Smith said. “He was disciplined by the patrol commander and Matt Locke, and removed from our patrol, subsequently retested, and then removed from the SAS. And that was the person who is now making claims about what happened 11 years ago and I think that really says it all. There’s an agenda there against Matt Locke and, for whatever reason, because I’ve got the profile, it’s better to throw my name into the mix because you know it’s going to be a headline and that’s essentially why I’m being dragged into it. You can only go off the reporting at the time. It is critical to remember that, 11 years later, no two people will ever see the battle the same way. You just don’t.”


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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