Thursday, May 31, 2018

Chief of Army admits females recruited for infantry before men

It was Senate Estimates. And the topic was Defence. On one side was the Chief of Army, Angus Campbell. He was confident, cocky and condescending.

On the other side was Senator Fraser Anning, the grazier from Queensland. He was coughing and clearing his throat. No doubt, he is more comfortable at home with his cows than in a committee in Canberra.

And surrounding them was the sycophantic crowd praising the naked emperor’s clothing.

It takes courage to walk into that room and ask the questions that no one wants to hear. But Fraser Anning did just that. He looked at the Chief of Army and asked if Defence had ever commissioned a study to determine whether placing females in combat roles would increase Defence capability.

The answer: no.


And then, when the Chief of Army claimed that there were no quotas for women, Anning asked why the Chief of Army had previously informed the Senate that the recruiting targets for females had not been met.

The answer: there are no ‘quotas’ and instead the Army simply won’t recruit males unless no female is found within six weeks of the job opening up.

Boom! Boom!

These answers given to Senate Estimates last night should shock the nation. And they come just days after the Army also informed Senate Estimates that just 24 of the 154 females recruited for an infantry role have passed their basic training courses:

Question 6

Please provide a breakdown of Reserve/Full Time females who were recruited into the Army for a role as a Rifleman:

a. How many commenced via the Army Pre-Conditioning Program?
b. How many completed the Army Pre-Conditioning Program?
c. How many commenced the Recruit Training Course at Kapooka?
d. How many completed the Recruit Training Course at Kapooka?
e. How many commenced Infantry Initial Employment Training?
f. How many completed Infantry Initial Employment Training?


The Army Pre-Conditioning Program is designed to assist women to meet the general entry-level fitness standards and build resilience to successfully complete the Army Recruit Course.

The Army Recruit Course is designed to prepare and train recruits to be soldiers in the Australian Army and commence their respective Initial Employment Training. Initial Employment Training is designed to train soldiers in their Employment Category or trade.

For the last six years, the Army has embarked on a costly and politically-correct crusade to bring females into the infantry.

It has been done on an assumption and without any research. And to make it happen, blokes have been told to go away.

It takes, on average, almost eight months for a male to join the Army. And the Chief of Army has just let them know that they won’t get a look in if a female applies before them and punches out eight push ups at a recruiting centre.

If they can’t manage that, women can still take a position via the Army Pre-Conditioning Program, which will give them 49 days of paid training to help them reach that target. It’s almost one week of training per push up.

True, if no woman can be found, men will be contacted six weeks prior to the position opening up and offered a job. But after waiting for months, for many this will be pointless. They’ll have already found a job doing something else.

The Chief of Army claims that this system is helping Defence secure the best talent possible. The reality is that it is turning talent away. Our military is weaker for it.

Last night the clichés rolled. Angus Campbell told the Senate that half the nation’s talent was in its female population. Following that logic and the Army might as well recruit everyone and grab all the talent on offer.

No one denies that females are talented. But the infantry requires specific talents: strength, endurance and fitness. And Defence’s own statistics show that when it comes to these talents, females can’t compete.

Of the 154 women recruited for infantry since 2016, just 24 have passed basic infantry training. Already 25% of those have been medically downgraded.

And every single female recruited for an infantry role via the Army’s vaunted Pre-Conditioning Program has failed to qualify as an infantry soldier.

When asked if the Army concedes that this program has been a failure for the infantry, the Chief of Army said no.


In terms of success, this program has been an utter disaster. It is a barren wasteland with a 100% failure rate. Yet the Chief of Army claims it is working. He sounds like this guy (and you wouldn’t want him running our military):

Taxpayers are wearing the burden of this costly program.

Millions have been spent on advertising to make it happen. Millions more have been spent on squandered training days.

And the unit which is receiving these women is now in the process of sacking almost as many male soldiers due to  comments they have made about women on Facebook.

In the big picture, every single dollar spent has been wasted with absolutely zero increase to capability, while those who could increase it have been turned away.

That’s bad enough. On the financial figures alone, the program should be scrapped.

Making it worse is the fact that standards have been dropped. And that means capability has actually been diminished.

Comments from recruit instructors or those at the School of Infantry make it clear that assessments are no longer as rigorous as they once were, just to enable females to pass. Consequently, the quality of male soldiers will also decrease.

And worst of all is that this entire program has been based on a politically-correct assumption. No research has been done at all.

There is no data to back the Chief of Army’s claim that female infantry soldiers increase capability, unit cohesion or the ability to win on the battlefield.

And the Chief of Army has no idea whether those women who do get through will not suffer an increased risk of long-term health consequences over their male counterparts.

If any other organisation embarked on such a program without any due diligence it would be rightly described as negligence.

Unfortunately, the Army is not any other organisation. It is not a business that this nation can afford to fail because it embarks on some politically-correct flight of fancy.

Yet it is being eroded before our very eyes, while the crowd bays for the emperor to walk back down the cat walk.


Today's Sonia Kruger fails to have racism complaint dismissed two years after she said Muslims should be banned from Australia

Today Show and The Voice host Sonia Kruger has failed to have a racism complaint against her dismissed. Kruger sparked outrage after saying Australian borders should be closed to Muslims.

The Civil and Administrative Tribunal rejected Channel Nine's application to have the complaint dismissed without hearing, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Sam Ekermawi made the complaint saying Channel Nine had vilified 'ethnic Muslim Australians'.

Kruger said Australian borders should be closed to Muslims while discussing a column written by Andrew Bolt on the Today Show in July 2016.

'I mean, personally, I think Andrew Bolt has a point here, that there is a correlation between the number of people who are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks,' she said.

'Now I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics.

'Personally I would like to see it stopped now for Australia. Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.'

Mr Ekermawi wrote an email to the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales saying Kruger had dehumanised Muslims.

The Nine Network applied to have Mr Ekermawi's complaint dismissed, saying the segment discussed religion and not race.

They also said Mr Ekermawi's history of making vilification complaints meant it would be an abuse of the tribunal's processes to allow the complaint to proceed.

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal deputy president Nancy Hennessy refused Channel Nine's application.


Japan coal threat could cost Queensland ‘jobs and billions’

Japan’s biggest steelmaker has threatened to slash its demand for Queensland coal and find other suppliers amid an escalating ­industry brawl that could see “significant job losses” and billions of dollars wiped from the state’s budget.

On a trade mission to Tokyo, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will today meet Japanese steelmakers and Foreign Minister Taro Kono over the freight ­dispute between her state’s rail monopoly, Aurizon, and miners, including BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto.

The row follows the draft ­decision of the Queensland Competition Authority to cap Aurizon’s income at $3.8 billion over four years — about $1bn less than the company said it needed — and restrict maintenance costs that it passes on to its customers.

Aurizon’s subsequent cost-cutting, which includes fewer freight services with more maintenance shutdowns for trackwork, risks cutting exports from central Queensland coalfields by about 20 million tonnes each year. The hit to royalties is ­estimated at $2bn to the state’s budget over the next four years.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, which spent more than $2.5bn on Australian coal in 2016, last week wrote to Ms Palaszczuk expressing alarm at the looming shortfall.

“We are afraid that this might damage the reliability of the supply chain of Queensland coal, and as a result, we will inevitably have to consider buying coal from other regions,” managing executive officer Yasushi Aoki said in the letter, obtained by The Australian.

Ms Palaszczuk, whose state exports almost $5bn of coal to Japan each year, said she would “reassure the Japanese gov­ernment their coal exports are secure”.

“It is very important that Auri­zon and the QCA sit down and try to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency,” she said.

It comes as the Palaszczuk government is set to announce a boost in infrastructure spending in the June 12 budget on the back of rising coal royalty payments, which the industry estimated would hit $3.7bn this financial year.

Aurizon chief executive Andrew Harding has told staff there would be “significant job losses” if the QCA’s “fundamentally flawed” draft ruling was not changed. “If the draft decision stands, it will permanently change the way our network business operates, resulting in significant job losses in both network and support areas,” he said in a message to staff.

Mr Harding said ignoring the draft decision, delivered in December, and maintaining normal operating practices was not an option because the final ruling would be backdated to July 1 and leave Aurizon facing a “huge financial hit”.

“The QCA have recommended we drive our operational and maintenance practices to the lowest possible cost regardless of the impact on our customers.

“They have also recommended one of the lowest rates of return on any regulated asset in Australia.”

Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington urged the government to assertively “intervene” and make the QCA and Aurizon reach a solution.

However, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said Ms Palas­zczuk was “absolutely right” to respect the independence of the QCA. He said Aurizon was going to the big miners individually to broker side deals outside the regulator’s process.

“Aurizon is using thug tactics, being a monopoly, saying to the coal companies, ‘If we don’t resolve this issue, we are going to cut your exports’,” said Mr Macfarlane, a former federal resources minister under Tony Abbott and John Howard. “This is going to cost this state enough to pay the wages of 7000 teachers or nurses a year.”


University degrees costing up to $100,000 may get you NOWHERE

Young Australians are often told that the path to success is paved by a tertiary education.

But a new study by Ernst & Young may have debunked that apparent myth, with almost half of Australian university degrees now at serious risk of becoming obsolete in the next decade.

The company has called on universities to future-proof themselves given the current model leaves graduates with more debt and poor job prospects, the report said on Tuesday.

More than 50 university leaders and policymakers were interviewed and more than 3000 students and employers were surveyed.

Around 42 per cent of current and past graduates felt their degree needed to be overhauled.

Only 36 per cent of those studying humanities, culture and social sciences and just 41 per cent of science and mathematics students thought their degree was relevant to their job.

'Australian universities are under threat from changing learner preferences, new competitive models and international competition,' Ernest & Young Oceania Education Leader Catherine Friday said.

'They need to move now to ensure they meet the needs of a changing society and changing economy. To succeed, they will need to deconstruct the higher-education value chain, offering new formats such as unbundled degree programs, continuous subscription-based learning and just-in-time learning options.'

The report urges universities to collaborate more closely with industry in creating course content to produce more work-ready graduates after 50 per cent of employers claimed that management and commerce degrees are not worthwhile.

'Australian universities are ranked last in the OECD ranking for the ability to collaborate with business on innovation,' Ms Friday said.

'Fixing that has become an urgent priority - 51 percent of international students believe their degree needs to be transformed and the university leaders we spoke to estimate that 40 per cent of existing degrees will soon be obsolete. Those institutions that can crack the new, flexible teaching learning models required will reap the benefits, as they outpace competitors that persist in delivering three to four-year degree programs that employers simply do not value.'  


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

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Controversial 'alt-right' firebrand Lauren Southern set for Australia

Alt Right people are simply those who talk about what sort of people you want in your life.  Would you like a Jihadi next door, for instance?  Leftists think all men are equal.  Which do you think is saner?

Controversial Canadian blogger Lauren Southern is heading to Australia, with dates booked in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland.

The Canadian anti-Islamic immigration firebrand, who boasts more than a million social media followers, will be accompanied on speaking engagements in Australia by fellow countryman Stephan Molyneux, a podcaster who was described by the Washington Post as "one of the alt-right's biggest YouTube stars".

Described by some as a peddler of online hate, Ms Southern was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom in March after she distributed flyers near London in February which said, "Allah is a gay god".

UK border authorities determined her political activites were "a serious threat to the fundamental interests of society and are likely to incite tensions between local communities in the United Kingdom".

The pair said they would be bringing "essential information" to help Australians make better decisions about the nation's direction.

"It really seems that you guys [Australians] are at a cross-roads," Ms Southern said in a promotional video for the tour.
"Do you want to retain your culture, do you want to retain your borders, family, identity.

"Or will the boats keep coming, will the no-go zones keep growing and will you become another victim of multiculturalism."
Ms Southern has been a prominent in drawing attention to the plight of South African farmers and will be screening a documentary about post-Apartheid era farm violence.


No new subs until the 2030s?

Until then we have to rely on the useless Collins boats.  They are good when they are good but they are always breaking  down.  There's never any more than one at sea (out of 6 boats) at any one time  They appear to be unfixable

There's a $100 billion estimated price tag to build and maintain Australia's new fleet of submarines over the next 60 years.

French shipbuilder Naval Group has the $50 billion contract to design the 12 submarines which will be built in Adelaide.

Defence department officials told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday the maintenance costs are expected to be $50 billion over the next 60 years.

The first steel for the Australian submarines is expected to be cut by 2022, with the first vessels due to enter service in the early 2030s.


Bill Shorten defends shutdown of refugee debate at Victorian Labor conference

Keeping the lid on his pro-refugees members is essential for him but will be difficult.  Seeming weak on illegal immigration would cause him to lose the next election

Labor left MPs have expressed disappointment that the Victorian conference shut down a debate on imposing a 90-day time limit on offshore detention.

The procedural move to close the state conference early by the industrial left has been interpreted as protection of Bill Shorten’s position by the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, and indicates that any major change to the party’s platform on refugees at the national conference is unlikely.

The national conference will be rescheduled after the surprise announcement that five byelections are to be held on 28 July, with September and January now under consideration.

On Sunday the industrial left teamed up with the Labor right to close the Victorian state conference, shutting down urgency motions on live exports, gender inequality in superannuation, closure of offshore detention centres, the right to strike, the rate of Newstart and recognition of Palestine.

The same grouping also combined to vote against senators being preselected by an equal vote of rank and file members and affiliated union delegates to state conference.

In a statement on Facebook the Labor MP Andrew Giles, the shadow assistant minister for schools, said it was “beyond disappointing that some delegates chose to shut down debate on important issues”.

“In Labor we pride ourselves on our culture of debate – of working through tough questions respectfully and openly, not hiding from these or from scrutiny of our positions,” he said.

“We can’t take this for granted. This goes to the heart of our challenge, which isn’t just to to set out an alternative policy vision but to reject cynicism towards politics by building a movement in which all of us can have a say in shaping our future.”

A Labor MP told Guardian Australia that “clearly the industrial left and CFMEU in particular are very focused on supporting Bill Shorten, even at the expense of progressive causes”.

The MP said it was clear the industrial left was now a reliable source of numbers for the Victorian right when it came to opposing organisational changes to democratise the party in Victoria.

Since the CFMEU provided crucial votes to Shorten at the 2015 conference, Labor’s policy has been to support boat turnbacks and offshore detention of refugees, with the proposal for a 90-day time limit now the most progressive option under serious consideration.

At a doorstop on Monday in the marginal Tasmanian seat of Braddon, where Labor is fighting for the re-election of Justine Keay, Shorten said the party had a “very good conference over the weekend”.

“When it comes to offshore processing, I’ve made it clear that we will make sure the people smugglers don’t get back into business,” he said. “But I’ve also made it clear that I think this government hasn’t done enough to help resettle the people in these facilities and indefinite detention shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid regional resettlement.”

On Sunday the Victorian special minister of state, Gavin Jennings, compared the last-minute vote to defer the motions to Labor’s administrative committee to “student politics”.

“The disappointing thing is there was a strange alliance of people who actually decided rather than to deal with important issues ... they’d rather go home,” he told reporters.

Even Labor right powerbroker Adem Somyurek backed Jennings, labelling the intervention “courageous” and expressing his personal opposition to indefinite detention of asylum seekers.


Victorian crackdown aims to draw children back to local schools

Your kid will go to school where WE want, not where you want.  Typical Leftist authoritarianism

The Victorian education department is cracking down on schools that accept high numbers of enrolments from non-local students by refusing to provide portable classrooms.

The department told state schools this month that it would not deliver portable classrooms in 2019 to schools where more than 50% of students live outside the local catchment area.

The new rule will apply to about 15% of state schools, based on 2018 enrolment figures.

The aim is to funnel students back into under-capacity schools in preparation for an estimated 10% increase in the number of school-age children by 2021. The state needs to build an estimated 50 new schools to keep up with demand.

A department spokeswoman said the decision allowed the department to focus resources on schools facing enrolment pressures from local population growth.

“It’s important for all schools to take a common sense approach to managing enrolments from outside their local community so we don’t have schools lose vital play space,” she said.

But some parents have suggested it will take away choice.

Parents in Victoria are able to choose which public school to send their children to, provided the school prioritises local enrolments. It is a system that has seen some more popular schools overflow into portable classrooms to cope with out-of-area demand while other schools are under capacity, the Australian Education Union’s Victorian president, Meredith Peace, said.

According to a 2017 ombudsman’s report, more than half of all primary and secondary students at Victorian public schools in 2016 attended a school other than their local school.

Peace said it was a concerning trend that could increase inequality in the public school system.

“We risk ending up with a very stratified system, which is frankly not in anyone’s interests,” she told Guardian Australia.

“We don’t want to continue to see that [inequity] added to by this movement of what I think is a false notion of choice, because the reality is not everyone has a choice. The government has a responsibility to ensure that our state education system, regardless of where you live, provides your child with a properly resourced school that can offer high-quality education.”

Pearce said that the reputation of public schools was “fickle” and encouraged parents to visit their local schools during term to make their own assessment.

“Schools can get reputations for being good, bad, or otherwise often unfairly or with no basis,” she said. “It’s often based on hearsay from other people who may have their particular issues with that school.”


No room for differing views

“What happened to me has a massive chilling effect on debate,” says physics professor Peter Ridd, who was sacked by James Cook University last week after saying other scientists, including former colleagues, have exaggerated the dangers to the Great Barrier Reef.

“Any scientist who might agree with me on the reef will just keep their mouth shut, it’s just too risky.”

The well-published professor in coastal oceanography, reef systems and peer review, and a former head of JCU’s school of physics, allegedly has “engaged in serious misconduct, including denigrating the university and its employees, and not acting in the best interests of the university”, according to vice-chancellor Sandra Harding in the letter terminating his employment.

The sacking stems from comments the 29-year JCU veteran made on Sky News that “science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated” and those who claim problems with the reef are too “emotionally attached to their subject” — views already aired in his chapter in the book Climate Change: The Facts 2017, produced by the Institute of Public Affairs. Ridd’s academic freedom supposedly has fallen foul of the institution’s code of conduct. A disturbing pattern is emerging on Australia campuses. The JCU experience is typical of the breakdown of free intellectual inquiry at our universities; of debate replaced by dogma.

“I’m a lefty myself, but a monoculture is always a risk, whether you’re part of it or against it,” says Bill von Hippel, acting head of psychology at the University of Queensland. “I’m very worried that the left-leaning ideology of most members of our field might skew the nature of the questions we ask and the way we interpret our findings.”

Ridd has taken his fight to the Federal Circuit Court on the grounds that termination of his employment is a breach of his contractual right to academic freedom. “We need universities to actually encourage different viewpoints so that we get argument,” he says.

Inquirer has spoken to more than a dozen Australian academics across disciplines, universities, and the political spectrum who are concerned about the suffocating monoculture that is gripping our universities, jeopardising research and teaching.

These academics are members of Heterodox Academy, a network of 1865 professors from the US, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. They come from the political left and right but are united in promoting viewpoint diversity: a range of perspectives challenging each other in the pursuit of reason, truth and progress.

Heterodox is premised on the work of co-founder and chairman Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at New York University. Haidt’s moral foundations theory contends that progressives have a more narrow moral palette than conservatives. Progressives prioritise care and fairness; the moral palette of conservatives includes these concerns, in addition to group loyalty, submission to legitimate authority and disgust. Haidt has found that these moral intuitions drive progressives and conservatives to different world views.

This poses a danger for research. Academics, like everyone else, are not immune from confirmation bias (interpreting information to confirm pre-existing beliefs) and motivated reasoning (developing logic to support pre-existing beliefs). To combat these biases, individuals with different opinions need to be put together to “disconfirm the claims of others”, Haidt says.

It is necessary for conservative academics to challenge progressive academics, and vice versa. This is the essence of the Socratic method, of claim and counterclaim in pursuit of the truth, and it is what drives intellectual inquiry.

Universities, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, are dominated by progressives. A US study found less than 10 per cent of academics identify as conservative, while another study found 39 per cent of US campuses have no Republicans. The situation in Australia appears to be similar. Universities seek gender and racial diversity but they are missing the diversity that is crucial for their effective functioning: viewpoint diversity.

“When everyone shares the same politics and prejudices, the disconfirmation process breaks down,” Haidt says.

Academics interviewed by Inquirer tell of a variety of ways that the progressive monoculture limits free intellectual inquiry in Australia. Important projects do not receive funding. Challenging papers are not published. Important issues are not investigated. Studies are designed to reach predetermined outcomes. Erroneous research is misguiding society. Academics self-censor. Administrators censor heretics. Students are exposed to fewer ideas and are marked down or failed for expressing a different perspective.

“Essentially, I was reprimanded for discussing issues that could make students feel uneasy or uncomfortable,” an Australian academic tells Inquirer on condition of anonymity, fearing retaliation from the university and shunning by colleagues.

This same academic was condemned by university administrators for using challenging stories from Haidt’s moral foundations theory in his teaching. The stories, which include necrophilia, incest and cannibalism, are designed to teach students how instinctive emotional responses come before logical reasoning.

“Students are adults, not children, and within a university it should be possible to expose students to material that, even if it was distasteful and confronting, is of educational value,” the academic says.

Administrators demanded the stories be removed from a new online course on ethics, despite no complaints from on-campus students in the past. The academic reluctantly agreed to the censorship and thought this was the end of affair. However, word about the stories spread. Several months later the academic was reprimanded again at his annual performance review for teaching “culturally insensitive” stories. He believes he was punished with an increased workload. Cultural sensitivity is the progressive political belief of not offending those of non-Western backgrounds.

“Going down the path of ‘cultural appropriateness’ recommended by my supervisor is condemning universities to a future of pre-Enlightenment obscurantism. For example, most of my students come from countries where homosexuality is both illegal and subject to social censure. Does this mean that I should no longer discuss homosexuality in my teaching? In conversing with Saudi students I have discovered that some of them believe that women should not hold political office. Should I therefore avoid referring to female politicians in my lectures?”

Ideological monocultures create intolerance and hostility. When you never hear opposing perspectives and spend time only with people who reinforce your ideas, it breeds overconfidence. You come to think that the people expressing opposing perspectives are intellectually deficient or driven by sinister goals.

“If you are exposed to just one set of ideas, you’re not going to understand the other person’s perspective,” Matthew Blackwell, an economics and anthropology student at the University of Queensland, warns from his experience. “And even if they do begin to try to tell you their perspective, because you’re so used to an entirely different way of thinking you’re not going to be receptive at all.”

As a result, students and academics who challenge the zeitgeist are stigmatised by their colleagues and university administrations.

One academic tells of a marker recommending a fail grade to a student thesis critical of postmodernist interpretations of terrorism. “Having read parts of his thesis I am certain that it did not deserve a fail,” the academic says. “The only reason that I can think of for the examiner seeking to fail his thesis is ideologically based animus against his argument.”

An Australian psychology academic was investigated by his university for setting an assignment that surveyed students on gender differences with regards to jealously. “The underlying theory is evolutionary — jealousy is linked to biological sex and males and females respond differently,” the lecturer tells Inquirer.

A student accused the academic of “transphobia” in a pejorative Facebook post and com­plained to the university. The administrators spent months investigating, the lecturer was required to attend hours of meetings, and the dean of the school monitored lectures, ostensibly to make the student feel “safe”.

Social psychology literature has established that men respond more strongly to sexual infidelity, and women more strongly to emotional infidelity. The survey — which included “male”, “female” and “prefer not to say” options — was designed for students to test this theory and write up the results. The academic was never given a written complaint or formally cleared of wrongdoing and almost left his job because of the inquisition.

“I find myself having to be extremely careful, having a real anxiety about going into lectures and classes, and am very fearful of saying something that students find offensive,” the academic says. “That affects my teaching, it makes me feel uncomfortable, it makes it difficult to think and present freely and clearly.”

There have been many cases of censorship across Australian campuses. Last year, Monash University and the University of Sydney capitulated to demands for course content censorship — including a quiz and a map — by nationalistic Chinese international students. The University of Western Australia cancelled a contract to host “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Centre, and no Australian university was willing to host it.

The monoculture has institutional backing through university policies and censorship.

The IPA’s Free Speech on Campus Audit 2017, which analysed more than 165 policies and actions at Australia’s 42 universities, found that four in five universities had policies or had taken action that was hostile to free speech.

University policies prevent “insulting” and “unwelcome” comments, “offensive” language and, in some cases, “sarcasm” and “hurt feelings”. Some policies tell students and academics they are “expected” to value “social justice”, a progressive political notion. These misguided policies make it difficult to explore controversial ideas without fear of reprisal.

Florian Ploeckl, a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Adelaide, says many acad­emics bite their tongue on con­troversial topics. “If working on these topics is essentially futile, why should we make ourselves into targets for Twitter mobs and social media crusades?”

Ploeckl warns that academics instead are ceding the space to “activists with their fundamentalist convictions” who do not approach topics scientifically. “Funding is easier and more plentiful if you pick the right topic, publishing is easier if you don’t rock the boat and life in the department is easier if you see the world in the same way your colleagues do,” he says.

David Baker, a lecturer in history at Macquarie University, says while most academics are open to diverse viewpoints, “there is a small group of academics, whose behaviour can only be described as sinister, who are in the business of brainwashing their students and who will try to harm the careers of colleagues they deem heretical to their ideology … Grades can be devastated, careers can be cut short and there is very little one can do about it.”

The lack of viewpoint diversity ultimately has an effect on the quality of public discourse. “Universities and academics are uncritically accepting some theories, teaching them to students, and they are finding their way into society, influencing businesses and political debate,” says Hardy Hulley, a finance senior lecturer at University of Technology Sydney who identifies as “pretty liberal”.

The late Stephen Hawking once warned: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it’s the illusion of knowledge.” Our ability to expose errors and discover truths is hampered by lack of free and open discussion.

There are reasons to be optimistic. The existence of Heterodox Academy indicates a willingness by some to challenge the orthodoxy. “I joined Heterodox because I wanted to pull myself away from my echo chamber and consider more diverse viewpoints,” says Lydia Hayward, a psychology researcher at the University of NSW.

In the US, some institutions are staking their reputation on being open to debate.

The University of Chicago has declared that “it is not the proper role of the university to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable or even deeply offensive.” Thirty-five US universities have adopted this statement.

Federal Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham, in response to the concerns raised by Heterodox Academy members, has stressed the importance of views being challenged.

“Any university that limits constructive debate doesn’t just do themselves a huge disservice, they let down the Australian public and taxpayers who chip in most of their university revenue,” he tells Inquirer. “Univer­sity leaders who aren’t fostering debate on campus need to remember that the autonomy they are granted comes with the responsibility to understand the social lic­ence taxpayers give them to operate.”


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

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

NATIONAL SHAME: Unthinkable horrors in heart of Australia

Above is the lead-in to the story excerpted below. It is utter garbage.  The state of many Aborigines in outback Australia is incredibly degraded but they did it to themselves.  No-one else is responsible.  But Paul Toohey in Alice Springs does give a long overdue "warts and all" picture of what is happening.  It has been going on like that for a long time but a true picture of it is rare.  Many governments have tried to improve the situation but nothing works.  Only the missionaries were able to lift them up out of their behavioural sink and they are long gone. Just the opening blast of the article below.

ON THE south side of Alice Springs, a Thursday afternoon, five adults are gathered around a sedan at the entrance to the showgrounds. A man king-hits a woman and she goes down, hard. She is helped up, then carefully lined up and smashed again, in the face. She’s so drunk she has no hope of defending the punch. She goes down again.

Sitting on the window ledge of the car, watching, is a child. This is what she thinks is normal: incoherent adults enacting the brutal afternoon rituals of total alcohol dysfunction, as desensitised locals drive by with barely a glance.

Alice Springs is at Australia’s spiritual heart: the creation point in our landscape, where raw earth blends seamlessly with the cosmic, and even diehard atheists confess to sacred encounters with the almighty red rock. Now that heart is broken.

There’s deep trauma here. Some Aborigines blame white settlement and loss of culture; others see income support as the driver of destruction, because it buys alcohol and obliterates self-reliance.

The tragedy for the child is that she has already been traumatised, by her parents, for whom acts of ultra-violence carry no shame and rarely result in repercussions, other than visits to the ICU.

She has no opportunity to start life clean but is at the vanguard of another broken generation, same as the last. She doesn’t know it, but she is already caught up in a hopeless hunt for answers in which blame will always displace solutions.

Tired and self-interested politicians; overworked and numb cops; distraught and confused welfare workers; cries for more money from all directions. The spotlight never tracks on the parents causing the harm, because of a shielding instinct that says they have been injured by history.

The middle of Australia, from Tennant Creek down to Alice, is at the statistical epicentre of Australian child neglect and abuse. Each attempt to intervene becomes a forced retreat about saving culture, rather than saving kids.


A real mother

A mummy blogger with 18-month-old identical twin boys and a two-year-old daughter is 'unapologetically' refusing to bring up her children as 'gender neutral'.

Sydney mum Eliza Curby, 28, told Daily Mail Australia she won't 'create some unreasonable neutral gender playing field' for her children - because she isn't 'afraid of gender'.

Ms Curby made headlines after giving birth to her twin boys Jack and Wolfe in December 2016 - after conceiving just six weeks after the birth of her first child, Charlie in January.

The mum gave birth to three children in 2016 - Charlie, her daughter in January, and her sons in December    +9
The mum gave birth to three children in 2016 - Charlie, her daughter in January, and her sons in December

The busy mum noticed her young boys 'gravitating towards the few toy cars' in the house - and says they are 'obsessed' with the garbage truck.

'It got me thinking about boys and girls and why we are so afraid of the difference,' she said.

So she wrote a post about it on Facebook - challenging new-age ideals about gender.  'Why are we so scared of gender these days?' she asked.

'We are so concerned with equality, blurring the lines in such a way that we expect men and women be treated the same, act the same, be judged the same, 'be' the same,' she wrote.

'But here's the thing - we are not the same.'

She went on to say she is 'proud to be a woman' and that she expects to be treated as one.

'I'm honoured to have an incredible man who opens the door for me, pulls out my chair, who 'looks after me' - not in a sense that I cannot do these things myself, but to show me a certain respect and love in doing them.

'And I intend to raise my boys - unapologetically - in the same manner,' she wrote.

And it appeared to hit the mark with her 'Twingenuity' blog followers. 'Love this !! What's wrong with girls being 'girls' and boys being 'boys'!' wrote one mum.

'I am raising my son just as that - a boy. With respect, manners and chivalry for women. A gentleman. And there is nothing wrong with this!' said another.

'Hear, hear! Because a man treats (and respects) a woman differently to a man, like opening a door or giving up a seat, it in no way means men think of them as inferior. We are in all ways equal but just different. And the differences should be celebrated,' a father wrote.     

'If my kids decide they are the wrong gender I will support them, if they are boys boys or if my daughter is a girly girl I will support them - I just don't intend to overthink the matter,' she said.


Bill Shorten doubles down on opposition to ‘rotten’ company tax cuts at ALP conference

Labor will campaign in the Super Saturday by-elections on bolstering basic services such as schools and hospitals and accuse the Turnbull of government of an obsession with the big end of town.

Labor leader Bill Shorten today used his address to the Victorian ALP state conference to accentuate his class warfare rhetoric against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In a tight but targeted speech rich with pro-union rhetoric, Mr Shorten said the ALP would stand up for people who lacked a voice and would oppose the Coalition’s tax agenda.

He also this morning indicated that Labor would still attempt to hold a national conference before the next election.

“The choice is clear, Labor chooses hospitals and schools,’’ he said.

“Mr Turnbull and the government choose looking after big corporations and big banks.’’

Mr Shorten told hundreds of delegates Labor’s immediate business was to campaign to win the five by-elections on July 28, followed by the next national poll.

In a traditional stump speech that lasted less than 25 minutes, Mr Shorten focused heavily on opposing the Coalition’s “rotten” business tax cuts and warned that Australia was becoming increasingly economically divided. “We are seeing growing inequality in this country,’’ he said. “And that is the cost of five years of conservative government.’’

Mr Shorten promised to lift average wages, declaring that workers had been buckling under the pressure of how wages growth.

Mr Shorten said it was only a matter of time until the Turnbull government “gives up” on its proposed company tax cuts, and promised a Labor government would see that the overall package was “dead, buried and cremated.”

He said the plan was disproportionately favourable to big business, including banks, at the expense of public services.

“I am damn sure Australians do not want to give a $17bn tax cut to the big banks which have been proven, have been demonstrated to be ripping off consumers,” Mr Shorten said.

“I actually think the average Australian wants to see their scarce taxpayer dollars invested in hospitals, reinvested in schools.”

Federal Labor MPs in attendance included Richard Marles, Michael Danby, Tim Watts, Joanne Ryan and newly sworn in Batman MP Ged Kearney.

The party was left reeling last week following the Turnbull government‘s surprise announcement to schedule the “Super Saturday” by-elections on the same weekend as the long-planned national conference.

While party members were quick to condemn the government’s move as an act of political treachery, insiders are already weighing up delaying the conference for twelve months.

Privately, they will admit that suspending the event — which is a magnet for factional clashes and high profile, contentious police debates — could be favourable during a potential election year.


Newspoll: Voters snub Bill Shorten’s tax attack

Bill Shorten’s class-war attack on the big end of town has been blunted, with an overwhelming majority of voters supporting company tax cuts and more than one-third believing they should be ­implemented immediately rather than phased in over 10 years.

The strengthened support for corporate tax cuts in an exclusive Newspoll comes as the government slipped back in the two-party-preferred vote and Mr Shorten racked up the longest run of negative satisfaction ratings for any opposition leader since records were first taken in 1985.

The poll, conducted for The Australian, suggests Labor’s ­attempts to tie the government’s policy to recent banking scandals has been largely dismissed by voters, with 63 per cent backing tax cuts for corporate Australia.

The results also challenge the opposition’s claim the reforms are politically toxic for the Turnbull government, as Mr Shorten vowed yesterday to wage war over the issue in the lead-up to the “super Saturday” by-elections on July 28.

“I am damn sure Australians do not want to give a $17 billion tax cut to the big banks, which have been proven, have been demonstrated to be ripping off consumers,” he told Labor’s Victorian state conference.

Yet even among Labor and Greens voters polled by Newspoll, more people supported dropping the corporate rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent either immediately or in line with the government’s 10-year phase in.

In a warning to the crossbench that it was out of step with community sentiment, 60 per cent of One Nation voters also backed the company tax cuts, undermining Pauline Hanson’s justification for welshing on a deal to support them because they were unpopular with her supporters.

Contrary to suggestions that the government would walk away from the cuts, it is expected it will put them to a vote in the Senate before parliament rises at the end of next month for the winter break.

This would extend to all businesses the tax cuts that currently apply to those with turnovers of less than $50 million a year and bring the rate down to a globally competitive 25 per cent.

Newspoll also shows the ­Coalition slipping back a point to trail Labor 52-48 on a two-party-preferred basis, while losing a point in primary support to 38 per cent. One Nation picked up two primary points.

The result marks a halt to the gains the Coalition had been making over the past two months, ­having got as close 49-51 in the most recent two polls, including one directly after the May 8 ­budget.

Malcolm Turnbull further ­extended his advantage as the preferred prime minister, gaining a point to lead 47 per cent to 30 per cent over Mr Shorten, who dropped a further two points to reach one of his lowest levels since the 2016 election.

One Nation’s support rose from 6 per cent to 8 per cent. The resurgence comes from a low base for the conservative minor party, which had had a continuous slide in popular support since last year.

In what will be a frustrating result for the government, the poll revealed that 63 per cent of voters now backed its company tax plan despite the Senate crossbench having effectively killed it off last week when Senator Hanson withdrew her support after a previous pledge to back it.

Senator Hanson said one reason she had reneged on her deal to support the plan was she believed they should be implemented ­immediately, in line with US ­President Donald Trump’s move to cut the corporate tax rate to 22 per cent.

This view was reflected among One Nation voters, with 32 per cent agreeing compared with 28 per cent backing a stepped ­approach over the decade.

Among Greens voters, 34 per cent wanted them done now compared with 16 per cent preferring them to be delayed and 39 per cent opposing them entirely.

Among Labor voters the split was 28 per cent in favour of an ­immediate implementation, 20 per cent in support of a longer time­frame, a combined level of ­support of 48 per cent compared with 45 per cent not wanting them at all.

Addressing the Victorian state conference yesterday, Mr Shorten vowed to campaign against the company tax cuts in the lead-up to the five by-elections on July 28, claiming the cuts would come at the ­expense of more schools and hospital funding.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann last week dismissed sug­gestions the government would walk away from the company tax cuts following Senator Hansen’s decision to back out of a deal to vote with the government in ­exchange for a range of demands.

“Let me assure you, I will not leave any stone unturned to land this important economic reform for Australia through the Senate,” Senator Cormann told The ­Australian.

“If we don’t get there, it won’t be because of a lack of a genuine and good-faith effort to secure a consensus through the Senate.

“The future job security, future job opportunities, career prospects and wage increases of nine out of 10 working Australians working in a private sector business depend on the future success and prof­itability of businesses here in ­Australia.”

The Newspoll of 1591 people nationally was conducted between May 24 and yesterday, and across metropolitan and regional areas.


Final Report Into Security of Payment Laws   
Master Builders Australia welcomes the release of the report by Mr John Murray AM following a comprehensive review of various current Security of Payment regimes operating around Australia.

“Everybody who is entitled to be paid, should be paid. Security of Payment is a vital function as it protects all building industry participants and ensures that businesses, and therefore their workers, get paid,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“The 300+ page report is a comprehensive contribution to what is an important issue for many participants in the building and construction industry, right up and down the supply and contracting chain,” she said.  

“Mr Murray should be commended on the extensive work undertaken to complete the Report which is a welcome contribution to this policy debate,” Denita Wawn said.

“Security of Payment law assists in helping industry ensure businesses receive payment when due, however the various regimes have become more complex and divergent in recent years,” she said.

“Master Builders has long supported the goal of greater uniformity and consistency of Security of Payment law across the states and territories to increase industry understanding, clarify uncertainty, reduce complexity and boost payment compliance outcomes,” Denita Wawn said.

“The history of Security of Payment law shows that more regulation does not always mean better outcomes on the ground, particularly for small subcontractors, and urged all stakeholders to consider the reports 86 recommendations in a sensible and practical way,” she said. 

“We will carefully consider the report and its recommendations following extensive consultation with our 32,000 members across the country. Naturally there will be a range of views given the existing differences from one jurisdiction to the next, and we hope the focus can be on finding common ground,” Denita Wawn said.

Via email from Ben Carter, Ph. 0447 775 507

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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Secret trial for Cardinal Pell

The Star Chamber lives on in Australia. Wikipedia: "The term star chamber has come to mean any lawless and oppressive tribunal, especially one that meets in secret".

The Victorian Department of Public Prosecutions has narrowed its application for a complete ban on media reporting of the trials of Cardinal George Pell, but is still seeking an order that will have the effect of a ‘super injunction’.

Yesterday, New Matilda reported than the DPP was seeking a complete ban on any media reportage of Cardinal Pell’s upcoming trial related to a number of offences. The application was so broad that if granted, it would also have the affect of banning any reporting of the ban itself – known legally as a ‘super injunction’.

However late this afternoon, the DPP submitted an amended application, which narrowed the ban on media.

Cardinal Pell is facing two separate trials related to allegations of a number of historical sexual offences.

The DPP is currently only seeking to ban media coverage of the first trial, although if granted tomorrow morning, it will still have the effect of banning reporting of the trial and the injunction until the second trial concludes.

At this stage, media may be able to report some of the second trial as it proceeds, provided the DPP does not seek a fresh suppression order.

The application, to be heard in the Melbourne County Court tomorrow morning before Chief Judge Peter Kidd, requests that:

“Publication is prohibited of any report of the whole or any part of these proceedings and any information derived from this proceeding and any court documents associated with this proceeding.

“The order will expire upon commencement of the final trial save that publication of any report of the whole or any part of previous proceedings and any information derived from previous proceedings and any court documents associated with previous proceedings will be prohibited until verdict in the final trial.

“For the avoidance of doubt, publication is prohibited of the number of complainants, the number of charges, the nature of the charges and the fact of multiple trials.

The DPP will argue that the order is “necessary to prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice that cannot be prevented by other reasonably available means”.

Further it is “to ensure that jurors and potential jurors in the prosecution for alleged sexual offences against George Pell do not become aware of the matters the subject of these proceedings other than those in which they are directly involved”.

In other words, the DPP appears to be trying to ensure that potential jurors in each of the trials are not made aware of the trials in which they are not participating. Reporting of the details of the first trial during the course of the second trial would ordinarily be limited on account of contempt laws, regardless of any suppression order.

While ‘super injunctions’ have, traditionally, been a relatively uncommon mechanism in the courts, they’re becoming increasingly popular, particularly in Victoria.

If granted, this story and other New Matilda reporting from earlier in the week will have to be removed from publication.

Cardinal Pell, aged 76, is the most senior Catholic charged with sexual offences anywhere in the world. Cardinal Pell has strongly denied the allegations leveled against him, and has already formally pled ‘Not Guilty’.


Our delightfull Middle-Eastern "refugees"

A baby and four adults are lucky to be alive after a military hand grenade was thrown at a Melbourne home as part of a feud involving Middle Eastern organised crime figures.

Police said a Yugoslavian M52 hand grenade was hurled at the home in Yuonga Court, Lalor last November, causing significant shrapnel damage to the house, fence, and two parked cars.

"It could have been fatal. That's what a grenade is designed to do," Detective Sergeant Anthony Gasparini told reporters on Tuesday. "We are extremely fortunate no one was injured, only property damage."

Det Sgt Gasparini said police believe the incident is linked to a number of ongoing feuds between Middle Eastern organised crime groups. "It does not just happen randomly, that a hand grenade is being thrown at your front door," he said.

An image has been released of a man believed to have thrown the grenade and the car believed to be involved in the attack.

"We would like to obviously identify this individual so that we can link it back to a Middle Eastern organised crime syndicate and that'll fill in a little bit more in relation to the feud," Det Sgt Gasparini said. "In general terms, when we are talking about Middle Eastern organised crime figures, it is about drug trade. There are a number of non-fatal shootings that have occurred."

Det Sgt Gasparini said a man drove up to the house just before 2.30am on November 19, in a dark coloured Toyota Hilux before hurling the grenade and hiding behind a parked car to watch the explosion. Witnesses saw the man flee, but he returned later, only to do a u-turn and leave again.

Police said the attack was not random and assured locals the investigation is ongoing. "We are doing all we can to bring this person to justice," Det Sgt Gasparini said.

"It is quite concerning organised crime entities do have their hands on this type of weapon."

Det Sgt Gasparini said police are narrowing a long list of suspects and urged anyone - even those reluctant - to speak to police.


Senator slammed for saying Australia can't be racist because Aboriginal Johnathan Thurston has succeeded at football - as he encourages the NRL star to have a run at politics

The popularity of indigenous footy player Johnathan Thurston has been pointed to as evidence of the lack of racism in Australia.

Liberal senator Ian Macdonald questioned in Senate estimates on Thursday whether Australia needs a race discrimination commissioner to replace Tim Soutphommasane once his term ends.

'I might live in a bubble perhaps but I find it very difficult to find any but very rare cases of racism in Australia,' the senator for Queensland said.

'In my own society... the greatest hero, in fact the king of Queensland, is Johnathan Thurston. 'If only I could get him to run for a political party, he'd walk it in.'

Mr Macdonald argued Thurston's popularity as a star rugby league player for the North Queensland Cowboys and Queensland in State of Origin was an example of the lack of racism in the state.

'I just don't know - there are obviously isolated aspects of racism in Australia but I would think across the board they're very isolated.'

Mr Macdonald describes himself as a 'proud and passionate North Queenslander' who lives in Ayr, 80km south of Townsville.

In response to Mr Macdonald's comments, Michaelia Cash - standing in for Attorney General Christian Porter - said the government intends to appoint a new race discrimination commissioner.

Mr Macdonald, 72, has served in the Senate since July 1990 and is one of the oldest politicians in Australia.


Wait for the green WOMAN! Council plans to scrap male pedestrian crossing symbols and replace them with women

An Australian council has announced it plans to replace male pedestrian crossing symbols with female signs.

Brimbank Council in Melbourne has asked for female 'walk and don't walk' figures at crossings in a move to 'improve gender equality'.

Mayor Margaret Giudice told the Herald Sun the initiative would 'show women and girls that they are important and valued in our community'.

An Australian council has announced it plans to replace male pedestrian crossing symbols with female signs    +3
An Australian council has announced it plans to replace male pedestrian crossing symbols with female signs

'We know that improving gender equity leads to very positive outcomes for organisations and for our community… research shows societies with greater gender equity have lower rates of violence towards women and children,' she said.

The council has put forward Perth Ave and Ballarat Rd as the first crossing to get the new female lights.

The request will be submitted to VicRoads this week.

But Ratepayers Victoria vice president Frank Sullivan said the council was 'out of touch' and needs to address more pressing issues.

'Councillors have got to realise what they are elected to do... they are completely out of touch and they're moving into things that don't concern them,' he told the Herald Sun.

The push comes after the installation of 10 female pedestrian lights in Melbourne's city centre year.


Say you want a revolution — listen to the online freethinkers

The revolution has started. In the US a group of articulate free thinkers has stormed the barricades of political correctness, identity politics and anti-intellectualism to form the Intellectual Dark Web. They’re articulate, funny, respectful people, and their killer weapons are words, ideas and ­curious minds. If you’re listening to them, you’re part of the revolution, too.

If you haven’t heard of the ­Intellectual Dark Web, don’t worry. Neither had I until barely a week ago, preparing to speak to a room full of eager young students in Melbourne as part of the Institute of Public Affairs’ Generation Liberty program. They wanted to know what to do about rising and stifling anti-intellectualism in Aus­tralia. I pointed them to this loosely aligned group of cultural disrupters from left-liberals to libertarians to conservatives who have set up home on YouTube and podcasts.

Raked over the coals of orthodoxy, these online revolutionaries now routinely attract many millions of people each week. The IDW is the new, nimble and cheeky competitor to the mainstream media. No sound bites or 60-second videos, no talking points or catchphrases, these are long, meandering conversations about culture, science, politics, history, religion and more. You name it, they’re talking about it online because they can’t do it at universities or in the mainstream media.

Who are these subversives? Some you know. Jordan Peterson, for one, who rose to fame for ­rejecting forced speech rules that Canada has set down for trans­gender people. If you missed that ­intellectual melee, you, along with 9.8 million others, may have seen Peterson on BBC Channel 4 this year when host Cathy Newman exposed her ideological blinkers to his ideas, not to mention her cluelessness about free speech.

As Peterson said recently, his audience came for the scandal and stayed for the content. In his case, hours of religious-based conversations reminding us that our everyday decisions pivot the world towards heaven or hell.

These IDW thinkers have a flashpoint in common. Cast out by the left, labelled racists, Islamophobes, misogynists and more, merely for challenging orthodoxy about everything from Black Lives Matter to Islam to the gender pay gap, IDW members are rebelling against the anti-intellectualism of academe and mainstream media. There is no formal membership card or club house, just an assortment of free thinkers with different politics but a common cause.

Feminist Christina Hoff Sommers is a member of the IDW. Routinely howled down for introducing facts into feminism, she speaks freely online to millions of listeners who are searching for reason about feminist causes. Conservative Ben Shapiro is there, too, an anti-Trump Republican bringing conservative ideas to a younger generation of listeners. Shapiro attracts 15 million downloads to his podcast a month.

Joe Rogan, comedian and cage fight commentator, brings his special mix of genius interspersed with profanities to the IDW. The Joe Rogan Experience ambles ­between two and three hours of commentary about everything from martial arts to arts to transgender politics and classical liberalism — and has stratospheric audience numbers. His most ­recent 2 ½-hour YouTube conversation with Peterson has attracted more than 3.3 million views. In Australia, The Joe Rogan Experience is the fifth most popular podcast on iTunes.

Dave Rubin is on the IDW, too. A progressive until he noticed how retrograde the left had become, he is now a classical liberal who wants to build bridges in places where others would reflexively burn them down. Rubin has 720,000 subscribers to his live-streamed The Rubin Report and has attracted more than 150 million views.

Neuro­scientist, philosopher and bestselling author Sam Harris is another IDW member, a left-­liberal who supported Hillary Clinton with solid instincts for liberty, free speech, intellectual curiosity and civil debate: everything that is under attack at American colleges. His Waking Up podcasts attract more than a million downloads per episode.

The Young IPA Podcast

We diss millennials for their short concentration spans, but millions are listening to these conversations, and turning up to subversive live shows when the ­intellectual rebels go on tour.

Speaking to Inquirer yesterday just minutes before going on stage with Peterson in Los Angeles, Rubin is full of optimism: “I’m on this tour with Jordan Peterson and thousands of people are coming to these events, 3000 to 5000 people per show, all of them are sold out. And I would say the average age is probably mid to late 20s.

“I said to Jordan on stage last night, I actually have more hope now, just in the few weeks that we’ve been doing this (tour). I think we’re turning a corner here, something really incredible is ­happening.”

There is a thirst for learning, he says, and the mainstream media treats people as if they are dumb. “We treat people as smart and that they want to learn, and we’re learning right next to them. We don’t know everything but, wow, let’s find out what a biologist thinks about this, what a mathematician thinks about that, what a psychologist thinks about this, and, for me, I’m learning every day.”

Even though Rubin was ­shouted down at a university a few weeks ago, he is upbeat about the change he sees: “It’s changing ­because this group of social justice warriors, cultural Marxists, collectivists, progressives, the reason they’re screaming louder and louder is because less and less people are listening to them.

“I am a firm believer that most people in society, and most people in college, are good people who want to engage and learn, and this loud, hysteric group of people, they’re on their way out. I don’t know how you reach them specifically. But I think by being calm, measured and decent, and listening, you can reach the people on the fence.

Rubin tells Inquirer that if you take all the people on the fence and all the people open to learning, “you’ve got 80 per cent of people right there”. But he is adamant that the hysterical sliver needs to be exposed so it doesn’t grow ­bigger. You don’t need to mock the people. Just ­attack their ideas, he says.

What must infuriate left-­liberals most about these cultural rock stars is that their fame and fortune are the unwitting creations of the left. Shapiro has ­described their various confrontations with the left as gateway drugs to longer conversations about values.

Here’s an example. A year ago this month, professor of evolutionary biology Bret Weinstein was hounded from his tenured position at Evergreen State College, one of America’s more progressive colleges. Weinstein is so progressive he supported the Occupy Wall Street activists. He wanted Bernie Sanders to be president. He has been fighting racism his entire career. When he called a planned “Day of Absence” at Evergreen — when white students were told to stay home — a racist act, student crowds bayed, police couldn’t ­secure his safety and he no longer teaches at Evergreen. Say thanks, then, to the postmodernists and the moral relativists for devouring its own. Weinstein is now a prominent member of the IDW along with his brother Eric, who coined the phrase intellectual dark web in January.

At a deeper level, the rise of the IDW is explained by a fault line between liberty and justice. The liberal democratic project was premised on liberty of the individual, every human being of equal moral worth, regardless of colour, creed, sex or sexuality, with minimal intervention from government. Forty years ago, the left cast off classical liberal ideas of liberty in favour of subjective social justice agendas that put people into groups, creating minority groups defined by race, sex, sexuality and religion, demanding special fav­ours from government and others to deliver justice. Once identity politics took hold, the locus of concern became the group, not the ­individual, as Harris said recently on The Joe Rogan Experience.

“So they will sacrifice any number of individuals to make the political case,” Harris explained. “That’s why they are completely unrepentant even when they are shown to be wrong.” (That YouTube video has attracted 1.3 million views.)

The IDW has come under ­attack, especially by left-liberal critics who don’t know how to ­respond to articulate free thinkers with politics that span the spectrum from progressive to libertarian to classical liberal and traditional conservative. The creator of the slick IDW website that gathers all these online conversations, known only as @edustentialist, says these critics simply hit the default button: they scream and label the rebels as alt-right.

Other more thoughtful critics such as Bari Weiss in The New York Times have ruminated over whether these cultural rebels who have broken through the gates of orthodoxy may need a gatekeeper of their own, so people aren’t led down rabbit holes to rotten ideas.

Rubin responded to this last week, telling his YouTube audience that it’s not his job to guard people from ideas. “I, as an individual, make the choices which I think are intellectually honest, and then it’s on you, as an individual, to decide which people and ideas you like or dislike. There are plenty of people who wouldn’t want me to sit down with Jordan Peterson because they say he’s alt-right. This is the dangerous place we are all in when we all act like the gatekeepers of other’s capacity to make decisions for themselves.”

Rubin, who is planning a tour to Australia later this year, predicts 2018 will be the year of unusual ­alliances. Let’s hope so because this is not an American problem. Right across the West, the liberal democratic project is under attack from illiberal intellectuals, weak-kneed vice-chancellors, poorly ­educated students, political chief executives, misguided politicians and a whole bunch of people who have become what John Howard once called the self-appointed cultural dietitians.

Just ask Peter Ridd, a professor of physics and a greenie environmentalist who was sacked from James Cook University last week because he spoke out about science that is not properly checked, tested or replicated. He said that some people pushing our research funding are not very objective: “They’re emotionally attached to their subject and you know you can’t blame them, the reef is a beautiful thing.”

Ridd is headed to court, determined to expose JCU’s trumped-up charges of misconduct. The university says Ridd criticised and denigrated published work. If you’re an academic or a university vice-chancellor, surely your wheelhouse is a robust market place of ideas. As they say in the military, toughen up, Princess.

This scandal, or variations of it, have happened in Australia ­before. From professor Bob Carter to Bjorn Lomborg, and right back to March 1984 when that great gentleman of Australian history, Geoffrey Blainey, was forced to withdraw from talks at the University of Melbourne over his comments that the rate of Asian immi­gration was getting ahead of public support for immigration. At the end of the year, it was still deemed unsafe by the vice-chancellor for Blainey to speak.

There is a backlash to illiberalism in Australia. Ridd has raised more than the $260,000 from Australians on the GoFundMe website so he can pay for his legal travails with JCU. On Friday, ­Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg defended Ridd. The previous day Frydenberg delivered a withering rebuke in parliament to an uneducated branch member of the National Tertiary Education Union who said: “Western civilisation is often used as a rhetorical tool to continue the racist prioritisation of Western history over other cultures.”

The NTEU and some students want to stop a multi-million-dollar donation by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to the Australian National Univer­sity for a new course in Western civilisation. Alas, their ill-­inform­ed comments prove why it’s needed more than ever. More Australian academics also are signing up to the Heterodox Academy, a group of academics committed to intellectual freedom and open inquiry.

And in Melbourne last Friday night, questions came thick and fast from young students, some still at high school, eager to confront political correctness, identity politics and stifling illiberalism. Right there, packed into a room upstairs in Campari House, were the green shoots of a renewed liberalism in Australia. Our very own revolutionaries.


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

Sunday, May 27, 2018


An email from Bettina Arndt below.  I have been reading Tina for decades so am pleased that she is still energetically engaged in challenging the consensus. She has had her own travails but has risen above them. There are two things in her words below that had a personal resonance for me.

1).  Her claim that roughousing from a father figure is desirable would be greeted with pursed lips by many but I in fact did heaps of it with my stepchildren, much to their delight.  I would wear  out after a while, however, and I can never forget the childish voices urging me on:  "Come on, John.  More John".  They are all well established adults in their middle years now and I am still on excellent terms with them all.  We all remember lots of fun times together.

2).  I did once years ago have an interview with a counsellor from Relationships Australia and was amazed at their feminist bias.  For example they seemed to think that anger in a female was a good thing, whereas I as a psychologist would have said that all anger is a bad thing as it obstructs dialogue

I thought you might like to see something cheerful after all the very serious topics I have been covering recently. So my latest video is about Roughhousing, featuring a fascinating discussion between Jordan Peterson and Warren Farrell about how this classic play between fathers and their children contributes to child development.

I’ve indulged myself by including a couple of tiny home videos showing my own son, Jesse playing with my baby granddaughter, Matilda. I received these videos from the family – who are living in Texas at the moment - around the same time I was watching the Peterson/Farrell discussion. I couldn’t resist including them here because they so beautifully illustrate what it is about play with fathers that is unique and irreplaceable. I hope you will help me promote the video. 

Finally, we’re doing well with Rob Tiller’s crowd-funder – we just about to hit the initial goal of $10,000 but we decided to double that amount. I’m sure you all know about hefty legal fees -  his next Fair Work Commission hearing is in July. Also Rob is slowly building up his private practice. Do keep him in mind for skype or phone counselling – and he’s planning his first workshops. He’s scheduled one for next month on The Impossible Business of Keeping Women Happy. Keep an eye on his website for details of when and where. Rob’s delighted to have some financial support at the moment to help him back on his feet. He’s also been doing some great media interviews. Here he is with my friends Ross Cameron and Rowan Dean on Sky News’ The Outsiders.

We are being swamped with stories from across Australia about the anti-male climate at Relationships Australia and similar organisations. I have a number of people who are keen to follow up on this story so please contact me if you have more information. If you need to remain anonymous, that will be fine. We will protect your confidentiality. 

Bettina Arndt

Western civilisation course at the ANU sparks uproar

An unprecedented scholarship program to encourage the study of Western civilisation is facing a backlash from within the first university selected to participate, with staff and students accusing the philanthropic group behind it of pushing a “racist” and “radically conservative agenda”.

The National Tertiary Education Union and the Australian National University Student ­Association have intervened in negotiations between the university and the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation over a proposal to establish an undergraduate degree that could see up to 40 students offered scholarships in the first two years worth $25,000 a year each.

In a letter to vice-­chancellor Brian Schmidt this week, NTEU ANU branch president Matthew King expressed “grave concerns” and warned of a potential backlash if the finalised agreement were perceived to compromise the university’s core principles.

Mr King singled out a Quadrant article written by Ramsay Centre director and former prime minister Tony Abbott in which he “implies that the Ramsay Centre would wield considerable influence over staffing and curriculum decisions”.

“If this is true, we are very concerned that this would violate the core principles of academic freedom, integrity and independence, and reflects an ignorance of, or disregard for, the role of the academic board as final arbiter of academic standards,” Mr King wrote.

“If the Ramsay Centre agreement is perceived to compromise on these principles, it will be ­rejected by staff, students and other stakeholders and could lead to significant anger, protest and ­division.”

Mr King, who is employed as a technical officer, told The Australian academic staff and non-academic staff, and students, had raised concerns around the proposal. The union has been backed by the student association, which has also written to the vice-chancellor, while a separate student petition has been established ­opposing the deal.

ANUSA president Eleanor Kay told the campus newspaper, ANU Observer, that Western civilisation was often used as “a rhetorical tool to continue the racist prioritisation of Western history over other cultures”. She said there was “value to learning from Western civilisation” without prioritising it over others.

Ms Kay was not available for comment yesterday. ANUSA education officer Harry Needham said students had multiple concerns, including lack of consultation around what was “more than a philanthropic donation” involving an organisation with a “politically loaded board”.

The Ramsay Centre, based in Sydney, is chaired by former Liberal prime minister John Howard. As well as Mr Abbott, its directors include former Labor leader Kim Beazley, who is now governor of Western Australia.

The proposed Bachelor of Western Civilisation, due to commence next year, is understood to be the first course of its kind in Australia and is the brainchild of late healthcare mogul Paul Ramsay, who bequeathed part of his $3.3 billion fortune to revive the neglected study of the liberal arts.

After its launch March last year, the Ramsay Centre sought expressions of interest from universities seeking to establish undergraduate degrees in Western civilisation based on the great books courses taught at top liberal arts colleges in the US.

ANU was the first university invited to enter detailed negotiations after the centre opened in March last year. It is understood the centre is hoping to announce a conditional agreement with a second university within months. Up to 100 scholarships could be established under deals with two or three universities over time.

While Mr Abbott in his Quadrant article ­published last month stressed Ramsay was not “oblivious to the deficiencies” of Western civilisation, his comment about the Ramsay Centre being “not merely about Western civilisation but in favour of it”, has ruffled some feathers.

Ramsay Centre chief executive Simon Haines yesterday defended the process. “The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is completely committed to academic freedom, integrity and independence,” he said. “University autonomy itself is a bastion of Western civilisation.”

Professor Haines declined to comment on the ANU negotiations or internal university ­matters.

An ANU spokeswoman said the university was not in a position to make an announcement on the outcome of negotiations. “The university has a long history of managing donations and gifts from a range of private and public donors,” the spokeswoman said.


IPA boss scoffs at Race Discrimination Commissioner’s ‘so-called achievements’

In his last 12 months in his $346,000-a-year role, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has produced a report on cultural diversity in leadership roles, led a racism campaign supported by business and sport leaders, and held public forums on race relations.

Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam said it was a list of “so-called achievements” that demonstrated why the position should be scrapped.

“The so-called achievements of the commissioner are proof that the position is a waste of money and, worse, promotes divisive identity politics,” he said.

Fifty-three applicants have applied to replace Dr Soutphommasane, who was appointed in 2013 for a five-year term.

The IPA argued this week, in a parliamentary research brief sent to all federal MPs, the position should not be filled because it served “no substantive function” and is required to ­promote “divisive” ideas based on race.

Attorney-General Chris­tian Porter rejected calls to axe the position. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed next month, a Senate estimates hearing was told yesterday.

A spokesman for Dr Soutphommasane told The Australian his key achievements over the past year included the “Leading for Change” report, which highlighted the lack of cultural diversity in senior leadership roles, and leading the “Racism. It Stops with Me” campaign, which had more than 360 supporters from business, sport and other organisations.

He had also conducted regular forums on race relations and “opposed the growth of far-right nationalist extremism”.

Mr Roskam said the “Leading for Change” report encouraged “government-sanctioned ethnic apartheid”, while “far-right ­nationalist extremism” was an idea “confected” by Dr Soutphommasane.

The idea of a racial discrim­ination commissioner embedded the notion of difference, he said, rather than treating everyone equally, regardless of their race.

“The path­etic response of the Turnbull government to the idea (that) the position not be fulfilled reveals it is at best half-hearted about freedom of speech.”


EU to approve free-trade negotiations with Australia and NZ

After eight months of closed-door diplomacy, SBS News can reveal European Union leaders will tonight formally approve free-trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between Australia and New Zealand, paving the way for a multi-billion dollar deal before the United Kingdom leaves the EU in March.

Plans for “fast-tracked” FTA negotiations, revealed by SBS News, were announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in September.

President Juncker expressed a desire to complete negotiations and secure a deal before the next European elections, which will take place in May, two months after Brexit.

While the European Commission had expected the European Council to greenlight talks before the end of last year, SBS News understands talks stalled at the leaders’ level after France, Ireland and Belgium raised concerns about “the reciprocity” of any agreement.

French President Emmanuel Macron had urged his fellow European Union leaders not to rush free trade agreement negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, fearing a “free-trade stampede” would “wipe out” his country’s “struggling” agricultural sector.

Concerns were raised by other nations, because President Juncker’s fast-tracked plan would mean any final deal would not need the final approval of the European Union’s 38 separate national and regional parliaments.

Instead, the European Commission would be given the authority to agree the final terms of any deal.

The President – and his Commissioners – were said to be “incensed” after a multi-billion dollar free trade agreement with Canada was almost scuttled by regional parliamentarians in Belgium.

Earlier this month the French President visited Australia, where he was asked by a French journalist if it “was fair play” to delay FTA negotiations with Australia, given it had been awarded a $50 billion submarine deal – the largest defence procurement contract in Australian history.

“First of all, it is about protecting the French interests”, Mr Macron said on the lawn of Kirribilli House. “We’re not wasting any time, we're not lagging behind.  “France will be in favour of a negotiation mandate in the coming weeks, as soon as it is submitted to the (European) Council. They will have some very concrete discussions on agricultural issues.

“This is fully reassuring. This is also our vision of global trade, which has to be free and fair.

“I can say that both our countries do not consider trade war or tensions to be something in our interests or in the interests of our values so we very much want to comply with the spirit of multilateralism and free trade, to which we contributed to designing.”

Later today in Brussels the Foreign Affairs Council, chaired by Emil Karanikolov, the Bulgarian Minister of Economy, will formally adopt a decision “authorising the opening of negotiations on free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand” and agree “the respective negotiating directions for the Commission”.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told SBS News he "looked forward to seeing the results out of Brussels" and that "hopefully, we’ll be able to commence FTA negotiations very soon".

“There’s a high level of commitment from both the Australian Government and the European Union to try and commence these negotiations,” he said.

“Importantly, we’ve completed the scoping study and in the next 24 or 48 hours we should see the results in terms of the European Union hopefully securing a mandate to commence FTA negotiations."

The European Union is Australia’s second-largest trading partner, worth close to $100 billion, and officials have spent decades trying to increase our access to the single market.

The sectors likely to benefit most from a free trade agreement include agriculture, motor equipment, machinery, chemical, processed foods and services.

“I’m a firm believer in keeping the horse in front of the cart, so you’ll understand I’m not going to get into a sector by sector analysis, what I will say is that we want to drive more trade and more investment with Europe,” Mr Ciobo said.

“We know that we can do that through a high quality, comprehensive free-trade agreement between the two of us and that’s what I’m focused on doing.”

Shadow Trade Minister Jason Clare welcomed news of the impending talks. “It’s great news for Australia”, Mr Clare told SBS News.

“We were hoping it was going to start last year, but if it’s starting now, that’s great.”

The Opposition has pledged a bipartisan approach to negotiations, should there be a federal election or change of government before the negotiations were completed.

“Both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party support free trade and support fair trade,” Mr Clare said. “We want to export as many of our goods and services as possible to the rest of the world because that’s what creates jobs here in Australia.”


Doing the numbers on renewable energy

Wind and solar are still currently small in global terms. Which is why advocates never mention absolute size or even relative size, but focus on growth rates. They also never talk about the wildlife impacts.

In Australia, there is little research on such matters, but some figures are coming in from the US. The Gibson paper cites estimates that wind farms are killing 600,000 to 880,000 bats a year, which now makes them the second biggest risk to bats behind White Nose Syndrome. Birds are also getting killed in large numbers, but not large enough to rate next to motor vehicles and transmission lines; unless you are a bird.

But intermittent renewables like wind and solar need a much bigger transmission network than traditional grids, so they will also increase the avian transmission line death and injury toll. How much bigger does the transmission network need to be for wind and solar? 5-10 times. And those 600,000+ bats killed annually in the US are being killed for a power source that generates just 6.3 percent of US electricity.

The Jacobson plan (see Part I or critique here) calls to expand the 82 GW of wind turbine capacity in the US to 2449 GW; so we can expect this to also cost 18 to 26 million dead bats a year. We can also expect the current wind farm toll of half a million birds annually, including 83,000 raptors, to rise by perhaps a factor of 32.

But all these animal and environmental problems wouldn’t be so bad if the technology could both provide a reliable grid while also solving our climate problem… but it can’t.

In Germany, solar power is still only about 6 percent of electricity, but is already stuck.

The following figure shows that solar power growth is levelling off in all the key European countries who spent big on subsidising solar growth. The German data for solar output in 2017 is available and is much the same as for 2016.

Some of this is due to simply running out of money. But the much bigger problem is structural. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is if you can’t sell it. Solar power output in Germany will certainly rise a little more, but it’s unlikely to pass its predicted maximum of about 11 percent of German electricity.

Prediction? What prediction? I don’t know who spotted it first, but this article contains a description of why intermittent renewables will tend to level of at around what’s called the capacity factor… 11 percent for solar power in Germany, and 16 percent for solar power in sunny Australia.

Why? Put briefly, and using wind power, as an example, when you have enough wind turbines to meet 100 percent of the electricity demand on windy days, then the incentive to build more turbines starts to decline. Why? Think about what will happen on windy days after you double the amount of wind power? You’ll simply have to throw half of your electricity out; you can’t sell it.

How much electricity will you get from wind over a year if you satisfy 100 percent of the demand on windy days? This number is called the capacity factor. It’s just the annual average output divided by the theoretical maximum if every day was maximally windy at all turbine locations. It’s about 33 percent, give or take a bit.

So without large amounts of storage, profitability ceases and growth gradually stops, rather like what you can see in the graph.

The largest battery in the world was recently installed with great fanfare in South Australia, but can it store large amounts of energy? No. That was never the intention; as an energy storage device, it’s tiny.

SA typically uses 1,500 megawatt-hours of energy each hour, and the battery could store about 4 minutes worth of this. The battery was never intended to store energy; that’s just a side effect. Its purpose is to reduce frequency fluctuations during generator outages. Not that it will do that particularly well either. ACOLA reckoned it would need to be 6 times bigger to have prevented the September 2016 blackout.

So it won’t store much energy and won’t be much use to stop blackouts; so what’s it for? As a means of securing votes from renewable energy junkies, it’s priceless.

The only available technology which can store significant amounts of electricity to allow renewables to expand beyond their capacity factor is… can you guess? … flooded valleys; otherwise known as pumped-hydro.

So while renewable advocates cheered early exponential growth of solar and wind power, the rates were always destined to be logistic… meaning that they grow exponentially until hit by limiting factors which cause an equally fast levelling off.

If I had included China in the graph, you’d see a massive solar increase during the past few years, because she’s still on the exponential growth segment of the curve. But the limiting factors will eventually kick in, exactly as they have done in the EU countries. In fact, at a local level throwing out excess wind power in China is already a problem.

A few years back AEMO did a study on how to meet Australia’s electricity demand with 100 percent renewable sources. They put forward two plans, both involved putting a baseload sub-system underneath wind and solar; one plan was based on burning forests and the other on geonuclear.

Geonuclear is where you drill a hole in the earth’s crust deep enough to tap into the heat generated by radioactive decay in the earth’s mantle and crust. You might know it as geothermal, but it’s a power source based on radioactive decay so why not call a spade a spade? And did I mention the radioactive material being bought to the surface and spread over the landscape by this industry?

Is it a problem? Absolutely not. Meaning that it is a well understood micro-problem which people solve in many similar industries. But could I construct a true but totally misleading scare story about it?

For some people, I probably just did. Not everybody appreciates the irony of opposition to digging big holes to drop radioactive material down (nuclear waste repositories) while supporting digging big holes down to where extraordinary quantities of radioactive material is generating heat.

And what if you don’t want burning forests or geonuclear? A recent study of the US showed what happens when you try and power the US with just wind, solar and storage. It quantifies the lack of end game with these technologies. It’s like trying to build a 10-story building with inadequate materials and design. Things may go brilliantly until level 9 and then you suddenly realise you are screwed.

The US electricity grid is currently about 99.97 reliable, ours is generally even better. The study found that that you can get an 80 per cent reliable grid with wind and solar without too much trouble. And then it starts getting hard; really quickly. By without too much trouble, I mean lots of overbuilding and extra transmission lines.

Look at the bottom graph, which assumes 75 per cent wind and 25 per cent solar. The black line shows how big an overbuild you need if you want a grid of specified reliability. The reliability is given along the X axis and the overbuild factor on the right.

Draw a horizontal line with your eyes from the overbuild factor of 10 and see where it hits the black line. Somewhere about 99.8 percent reliability. So if you want a 99.8 percent reliable supply of 1 gigawatt, then you need to build 7.5 gigawatts of wind and 2.5 gigawatts of solar.

This is very much an optimistic estimate. There are plenty of unrealistic assumptions here, like a perfect transmission system and all your turbines in the best spots. It’s the best you can do; it’s just that the best isn’t really very good.

Now draw a horizontal line with your eyes from the overbuild factor of 5 to the 12 hour storage line. This shows that you can get a 96 per cent reliable supply of 1 gigawatt by building 3.75 GW of wind and 1.25 GW of solar if you have 12 gigwatt-hours of storage.

You’d have to repeat the study with Australian data to see what happens here, but it’s worth thinking about what 12 hours of storage looks like. In Australia, our average power use is about 28 gigawatts, so to store 12 hours worth of energy would require about 3,100 of those ‘biggest battery in the world’ devices in South Australia. There are plenty of other tiny storage systems that it’s fun to pretend might one day scale to the sizes required, but only flooded valleys have a proven track record.

As it happens, someone has done a very similar study using Australian data. The recently released ACF report A Plan to Repowe Australia lists the study (by Manfred Lenzen of UNSW and others) among its evidence base. It finds pretty much what the US study found; namely that you could power Australia, meaning supply our 28 gigawatts worth of demand) with wind, sun and storage and all you’d need to do is build 160 gigawatts worth of wind and solar farms, including 19 gigawatts worth of biomass burning backup.

A one gigawatt power plant is a large structure, whether it’s burning wood, coal or gas. The 19 biomass burners would be doing nothing for 90 percent of the time, but we’d need them just to plug the holes when there are low wind and sunshine periods. Oh, and they also postulate 15 hours of storage for the 61 gigawatts of solar farms.

How would this be provided? The main paper didn’t say, and I didn’t buy the Supplementary material. But you could do it with about 8,000 “biggest battery in the world” Li-ion batteries. Alternatively you could use fertiliser; otherwise known as molten salt. This is a mix of sodium and potassium nitrate. All you’d need would be about 26 million tonnes, which is over 8 years worth of the entire planet’s annual global production (see here and here); all of which is currently ear marked to grow food.

In South Australia, our wind energy supplies us with a little over the capacity factor percentage of energy; which means we are starting to throw away electricity when it’s windy, while relying on gas or coal power from Victoria when it isn’t.

Which is why the new Liberal Government wants to build another inter-connector. That’s fine as a short-term fix, but eventually the whole NEM will saturate with wind and solar. And then where do you build an inter-connector to?

The statewide blackout of 2016 was also a wakeup call that the automatic frequency control delivered by synchronous energy sources but not by wind and solar actually mattered; big time. Without it you are in trouble when events of any kind take out some of your generation capacity.

But ignoring the problems and assuming the US results apply, then we could surely plough on and build another 6.5 times more wind power plus considerably more solar and also buy another 180 of those Elon Musk special batteries and we could have a working, but sub-standard, grid.

This assumes we added all the rest of the required transmission infrastructure to connect all those wind and solar farms. That’s the thing with solar and wind. It may seem attractive when you kick the problems down the road and rave about the short-term successes. But the devil is in the detail and the total lack of end-game.

SOURCE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

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