Friday, July 06, 2018

Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef could happen every two years, report finds

Another Greenie prophecy that is bound to look absurd in the near future!  Greenies never tire of making scary prophecies even though they have yet to get one right.

We read: "The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation".  That should tell you that they will never find that all is well.  People who believe in climate change never do.  Couple that with dissenting scientists like Peter Ridd getting fired and you can be sure that the "report" below is just propaganda based on cherry-picking and exaggeration.

You can tell it is propaganda by their maniacal insistence that only global temperature control will be of any benefit to the reef. They are in the grip of a reality-denying cult

THE Great Barrier Reef could be hit with catastrophic bleaching every two years unless more is done to limit climate change.

A new report from the Climate Council reveals coral bleaching is now happening on average every six years, compared to once every 27 years back in the 1980s.

Based on current rising greenhouse gas levels, bleaching will happen every two years by 2034.

In the report released today Lethal Consequences: Climate Change Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, the Climate Council says the current rate of bleaching is not sustainable because it will continuously set back recovery of the reef.

At the same time, the reef will also need to deal with other threats caused by climate change — such as ocean acidification and tropical cyclones.

The report found average coral cover in the northern section of the reef is at its lowest point on record, and coral cover in the central section of the reef declined from 22 per cent in

2016 to 14 per cent in 2018, largely due to the 2017 bleaching event.

It said the damage to the reef may be irreversible and it has already resulted in a drop in the diversity of fish species and in the number of juvenile fish settling on the reef.

“Intensifying marine heatwaves around the world are now occurring more often, lasting longer and are more intense than ever before,” Climate Councillor and ecologist Professor Lesley Hughes said.

Professor Hughes said the bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 resulted in mass coral mortality, with the 2016 bleaching event at least 175 times more likely to occur due to intensifying climate change.

“Unless drastic action is taken, extreme coral bleaching will be the new normal by the 2030s. We will see extreme ocean temperatures, similar to those that led to these bleaching events possibly occurring every two years, which will effectively sign the death certificate for the world’s largest natural living wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

The report makes clear that doing things like improving water quality are not the solution.

It says that unless “deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are made as a matter of urgency — the reef stands little chance no matter what measures are taken to enhance its resilience”.

In particular, global warming must be limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“A 2C rise in average global temperature will almost certainly mean the collapse of warm water tropical reefs around the world,” the report states.

“The decisions and actions that we take today to reduce greenhouse pollution will have a critical effect on the long-term survival of the iconic Great Barrier Reef.”

Climate Council acting chief executive officer Dr Martin Rice said the future of coral reefs around the world depended on nations including Australia doing their part to tackle climate change.


Toy guns, superhero costumes and even LEGO could be banned from childcare centres as experts claim they encourage violent behaviour

Where is the evidence that such bans will have any benefit?  There is none

Children may be banned from playing with toy guns, fake plastic swords and even Lego due to fears they encourage violent behaviour.

Games such as 'cops and robbers' and mock bows and arrows could be barred at preschools as childcare centres try and stamp out what they believe is 'violent' behaviour.

Australian Childcare Alliance NSW president Lyn Connolly said children who want to make a gun from Lego blocks should be told 'how they can hurt people'. 

Ms Connolly told the Daily Telegraph that the potential effects of guns should be discussed with children.

The Australian Childcare Alliance will survey its 1,600 childcare centres for policies regarding toy weapons.

Ms Connolly said early childcare centres usually have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to fake weapons.

Child psychologist Dr Justin Coulson said there is no evidence playing with toy guns has an impact on behaviour.

'Even if we were to ban guns, kids will find other things to use if they want to play a 'goodies versus baddies' game.

'While I personally don't like it when kids play with replica guns and I have a personal and moral distaste, there is no evidence to suggest it causes any problems.'

Early Childhood Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the NSW state government was able to take action against childcare providers that used toys which could pose a safety threat.

Australian Childcare Alliance vice president Nesha Hutchinson said children in rural areas often used toy guns as a teaching tool.

They would often have seen their parents using real weapons on farms, she said.



Why parents, teachers overwhelmingly supported Sydney principal’s scathing newsletter

TEACHERS have revealed some of the abuse they cop from parents, including late night emails and demands for grades to be changed.

“F**K this,” screams a furious parent at a NSW primary school teacher. He wants his seven-year-old child’s grade pushed from a D up to a C.

“If you’re going to speak like that, this meeting is over,” snaps back the principal, who was sitting in on the meeting to support one of his teachers.

“If you’re not happy then there’s a school down the road that you can go to, we don’t need people like you here.”

Most people would struggle with being spoken to like that but for many Australian teachers it’s all in a day’s work, listening to parents making outrageous demands.

The NSW teacher, who spoke to on the condition of anonymity, said she’d been threatened by parents with affidavits and legal action and screamed at in front of her class of children — all in less than one school year.

The teacher said her meeting with the swearing dad had kicked off with an angry email in which he questioned her ability.

“Obviously there isn’t (sic) competent teachers at this school,” he wrote.

Things came to a head when the father walked into the meeting and let loose with a string of expletives — eventually explaining his fury came from not wanting his daughter’s life “to end up like mine”.

The truck driver dad is just one of the types of parents schoolteachers are being forced to deal with — all while trying to do their actual job of educating children.

The teacher comments come as the principal of an elite Sydney private school hit back at parents who crossed the line, warning them he’d expel their kids if they didn’t “chill”.

Beth Blackwood, CEO of the Association of Heads of ­Independent Schools of Australia, supported Dr Collier’s decision to take on the parents at St Andrew’s Cathedral School.

“It was courageous, he called it out,” Ms Blackwood said. “I’m delighted to see everyone is supporting his letter, including parents from the school.”

In his newsletter, Dr Collier warned parents he could ban them from entering school grounds if they continued to “verbally abuse, physically threaten or shout” at staff members.

The Sydney principal also reminded parents, who pay up to $30,000 to send their kids to the prestigious school, they weren’t entitled to making any demands.

“I am aware some parents, because they are paying fees, see the relationship with teachers as a master/servant relationship, such that they are entitled to make extravagant demands,” he wrote.

Ms Blackwood, who was a school principal in Perth for almost two decades, said she’d noticed a definite shift in the involvement parents wanted in their child’s school life.

“The reaction from parents is definitely more heightened than it has been in the past. There is a growing number of parents who aren’t respectful and they behave in a way that can only be described as harassment,” she said.

Ms Blackwood conceded parents — like the truck driver dad — were becoming increasingly worried their children would not find employment when they left school — and were shifting the stress onto their children and teachers.

“They want the best for their kids but there’s a raft of research that proves the overbearing doesn’t help, it’s not healthy,” she said.

“Helicopter parenting is not helping children. It doesn’t help them find their sense of self, improve their autonomy or resilience.”

The NSW teacher involved in the screaming match with the dad told she had recently received a phone call from a sobbing mother who had been told by her five-year-old he had no friends.

“I’ve had a lot of tears this year — from parents — about their kindergarten kids. They’re anxious about everything. One mum called me last week and said her kid has been coming home for the past two days saying they have no one to play with,” the teacher said.

“I tried to assure her the kid was in his first week of school — we were two days in — but she asked me, ‘I don’t know what to do, should we move schools?’”

“I told her, ‘they’re in kindergarten, we’re building their social skills, this is where they’re learning how to socialise with others’.

“They just take whatever their child says and think that’s exactly how it is. It probably didn’t even happen like that and it just puts extra work on us so now I’ve had to monitor that kid this week and I’ve had to go to the playground every lunch break — the only time I have to eat food myself — to see who this child is playing with so on Friday when I have a meeting with her, I can tell her if he looked happy,” she said.

This constant monitoring of children’s emotional states is another responsibility foisted on teachers, she said.

Ms Blackwood said parents’ ability to reach out to teachers directly through email had only made things worse.

“They’re so accessible now and it just adds to the social pressures and anxiety teachers face. Parents want access to teachers and they want it now,” Ms Blackwood said.

Her opinion was backed up by the NSW teacher who said an increasing number of schools were being forced to implement email policies so parent had to go through the school office first with teachers given 48 hours to respond.

“Last year I was emailed by a parent at 10pm as I was going to sleep. The next morning, at 8.15am when I was setting up things for the day, she came into my classroom and abused me and asked why I hadn’t answered straight away,” she said.

Another teacher, who works at a high school in the northern NSW, said she had received an email from the parent of a Year 10 student warning the school to stop studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Her reason? “It’s too violent and it’s making them become violent”.

The NSW primary school teacher was also recently accused of falsifying an eight-year-old’s attendance records because his mum wasn’t getting him to school on time.

After telling the boy to get yet another late note to account for his late arrival, the teacher was confronted by the child’s mother in front of her whole class.

“She ran into my classroom and in front of my whole class of seven-year-olds says: ‘Here’s your bloody late note’ and was screaming at me in front of all these kids and having a go at me for making him go and get legitimate late notes.”

Eventually the school’s lawyers had to get involved and the mother was informed she needed to get her child to school on time.

After Dr Collier’s scathing newsletter, some parents at St Andrews spoke to The Australian, wholeheartedly supporting the principal.

“People need to understand that they don’t own a teacher simply by paying fees,” one parent said. “It’s just rubbish.”

Dr Collier spoke on the Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Live last night where he again urged parents to “get some perspective”.

“These matters are often a small discipline issue or a bad grade but these parents represent that issue as the end of the world to their child,” Dr Collier said.

“What I urge them to do is get some perspective and to keep these things in proportion because the schooling journey is 13 years and it’s not good to, as one would say, sweat the small stuff rather than take the long view.”


Nanny state closes window on sense

Governments love to champion the virtues of deregulation. Then proceed to quietly change into their nanny uniforms to introduce pointless and costly regulation, in the name of public safety and maternal-like benevolence.

Nowhere is this more apparent than the recent implementation of the NSW government’s 2013 legislation on mandatory childproof safety locks on windows in all apartments above ground level.

We know that regulation creates costs and inefficiencies. This is why any regulation: should be proportionate to the size of the problem it is trying to solve; and the benefits of regulation should outweigh the costs.

But in practice, it is often impossible to satisfy these two criteria. Governments often have little clue about the size of a problem or able to prove that regulation will fix the problem.

What are the proven benefits of mandatory window locks? Simply put, there are none. The NSW government has not even attempted to prove that the law will reduce child injuries. After all, people are not being forced to use the locks – just to install them.

And the size of the problem? In fact, annual child injury rates are relatively low, according to figures cited by the NSW government. Each year, around 50 children are reported to fall from windows or balconies in Australia.

Obviously, any child injury is very sad and should never happen; but the problem should not be exaggerated. Put into context, there are over 3 million children aged under 10 in Australia. That translates to one injury for every 60,000 children.

Compare that to car accidents, which hospitalise over a thousand children each year. In effect, children travelling in cars involves 20 times the risk of open windows. Based on that logic, we would ban children from travelling in cars altogether.

Furthermore, the costs of mandatory window locks are substantial, with over half a million apartments in NSW and owners having to cough up the time, effort and costs of installation. Bizarrely, even households with no children must comply.

Unfortunately, these rules are just another manifestation of the nanny state, where personal responsibility is replaced by infantile dependence and adults are no longer trusted – even to close a window.


Political climate gets hot as global emissions targets face hard tests

Cutting emissions to the degree targeted is looking close to impossible

The climate-change elite jet in to a different city each year to keep alive a global commitment to moderating human impact on the environment. Mostly the UN ­Climate Change Conference is a ­bureaucratic, technical gathering. But every few years there is a meeting that matters.

The catastrophe in Copenhagen in 2009, when a global agreement everyone expected crashed and burned, was one. This was followed by the Durban conference in 2011, which agreed to keep the process alive. In Paris in 2015, aggressive politicking by then US president Barack Obama and secretary of state John Kerry brought China, India and the rest of the world into a hugely symbolic, though not binding, global compact.

This year is supposed to bring another watershed moment for the UN process in which the rules governing how nations will monitor and report on the implementation of their pledged carbon dioxide reductions under the Paris Agreement are set.

The fact that December’s meeting is to be held in Poland, a European coal centre ranked at the bottom of regional climate action, does not bode well.

Brinkmanship ensures that nothing happens until the last minute at UN climate conferences, but five months out the signs are not promising. The US, which brought the glue to Paris, has announced it will exit the Paris deal. President Donald Trump has left open the prospect of rejoining a revised agreement if greater obligations are put on China and India.

Developing nations, however, remain more interested in finalising details of a promised fund of $US100 billion ($136bn) a year, paid for by the developed world and industry.

They are equally determined to preserve a foundation principle of the UN process that developed and developing nations face different circumstances and therefore have different responsibilities.

Against this backdrop, global carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise. New coal-fired power stations may be off the agenda in developed nations but are springing up like mushrooms across Asia, mostly funded by China.

Coal and oil prices are rising and energy stocks have recently replaced tech giants as the darlings on Wall Street.

Australia, meanwhile, remains paralysed by debate about whether it is doing enough on the one hand, and concern about doing too much on the other. In a speech to the Australian Environment Foundation on Tuesday, Tony Abbott said without the US, Australia should leave the Paris Agreement.

“When the world’s leading country withdraws, it can hardly be business as usual,” the former Liberal prime minister said. “Our 2015 target, after all, was set on the basis that the agreement would be applicable to all … parties. Absent the US, my government would not have signed up to the Paris treaty, certainly not with the present target.

“Yet as long as we remain in the Paris Agreement — which is about reducing emissions, not building prosperity — all policy touching on emissions will be about their reduction, not our wellbeing.

“It’s the emissions obsession that’s at the heart of our power ­crisis and it’s this that has to end.”

Abbott added: “It would be the height of folly to suppress living standards, shrink industries and drive jobs offshore for a moral ­gesture.”

Nothing Australia did to reduce emissions would make the slightest difference to climate, he said. “Of global emissions, China is responsible for 28 per cent, the US 15 per cent, Europe 11 per cent, India 7 per cent and Australia 1.3 per cent,” Abbott said.

“A 26 per cent cut to 1.3 per cent is a statistical blip, so why not scale back our cut to 20 per cent, or to 15 per cent, or to zero; or to whatever would actually be achieved in 2030 through normal business cost-cutting and efficiencies plus whatever is delivered through the emissions-reduction fund?”

Abbott’s view may be dismissed as heresy by many but Newspoll surveys ahead of the Queensland election in October showed strong community support for getting out of Paris. The poll found 45 per cent of Australians would support abandoning the non-binding Paris target if it meant lower household electricity prices. It also found 40 per cent said they would oppose opting out of the agreement, with 15 per cent of people uncommitted.

More than a third of Labor voters backed ditching the Paris target when asked to consider whether the economic cost outweighed the likely benefit, while 54 per cent of Coalition voters backed withdrawing from the agreement if it did. The survey found 70 per cent of One Nation voters supported ditching the treaty if this action led to lower electricity prices.

Nonetheless, Abbott is regarded by many in the media as a lunatic on the issue.

Australia’s Paris target is to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. This target represents a 50-52 per cent reduction in emissions per capita and a 64-65 per cent reduction in the emissions intensity of the economy between 2005 and 2030.

In its seventh national report on climate change to the UN in December, Australia said its ­efforts were having a positive effect. National per capita emissions were declining as a result of ­government policies, “an overall decline in land clearing, and structural changes in Australia’s economy including a move away from manufacturing and heavy industrial activities for export’’.

The full cost of meeting Australia’s emissions obligations is difficult to quantify. It is generally accepted that high electricity prices are here to stay. Fears that Australia will continue to lose its heavy industry and manufacturing base have been a key feature of debate over the national energy guarantee. The NEG only represents cuts to stationary power sector emissions. Proportionate cuts to emissions from transport and agriculture are yet to come.

Against this is the potential for new economic activity in areas such as land care, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Environment ambassador Peter Suckling told the Climate Leadership Conference in Sydney in March: “For those that argue the costs should preclude action … there will be increasing costs from inaction. The cost of doing nothing is not nothing.

“Inaction could see potentially catastrophic costs of climate change, and the Paris Agreement says the world gets this.”

Many, including state governments, the federal opposition and the Greens, still argue that Australia is not going far enough.

But according to the Environment Department, Australia’s target will exceed those of the US, Japan, the EU, South Korea, and Canada on a ­reduction in per person and emissions-intensity basis.

“This is a significant achievement given that emissions are linked with population and economic growth, and Australia’s population and economy are growing faster than most other developed countries,” the department says.

A paper by Cory Bradshaw from the University of Adelaide, published in Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies last year, highlights the challenge posed by Australia’s growing population.

If the population grows at the average rate it reached between 1971 and 2014, it will hit 75.9 million in 2100.

If the population grows at the average rate it did between 2006 and 2014, the total in 2100 will be 104.2 million.

Migrants to Australia tend to increase their energy consumption and therefore carbon dioxide emissions. Bradshaw says Australia has no credible mechanisms in place to achieve its carbon reduction goals, which top out at 80 per cent by 2050.

More population growth driven by immigration will hamper Australia’s ability to meet its commitments and worsen its already stressed ecosystems, unless a massive technological transformation of Australia’s energy sector is immediately forthcoming, Bradshaw argues.

Nuclear energy is cited as the most promising solution.

But it says even a complete decarbonisation of the nation’s electricity production will not be enough to meet a 2050 target of an 80 per cent reduction.

The challenge is proving ­equally daunting in Europe. Recent analysis by CAN Europe, a collection of civil society climate groups, says all EU countries are failing to increase their climate action in line with the Paris Agreement goal.

“No single EU country is performing sufficiently in both ambition and progress in reducing carbon emissions,” the report says.

Most countries that advocate for more ambitious policies for the future are lagging behind in achieving targets for 2020, it adds. Conference host Poland scores the lowest on all measures.

In Germany, meanwhile, Energy Minister Peter Altmaier has cautioned the EU against setting overly ambitious targets.

“Citizens across Europe are losing faith in politics,” Altmaier said. “When they see that we are setting very ambitious targets and that a few years later we’re deferring this, we are way off their expectations.”

And in Canada, Ontario’s new Premier, Doug Ford, has taken an Abbott-like axe to his state’s ­climate actions.

“I made a promise to the people that we would take immediate ­action to scrap the cap-and-trade carbon tax and bring their gas ­prices down,” Ford said last month. “Today, I want to confirm that as a first step to lowering taxes in Ontario, the carbon tax’s days are numbered.”

Ford also announced that Ontario will be serving notice of its withdrawal from the joint agreement linking Ontario, Quebec and California’s cap-and-trade markets as well as the pro-carbon tax Western Climate Initiative.

Abbott’s argument is that a non-binding Paris deal is a flimsy basis on which to undertake reforms without taking strong heed of the economic costs.

But Suckling says there is support for a global agreement in which “everyone has to play their part”. He says countries like Australia, with less than 2 per cent of ­global annual emissions, together account for more than 40 per cent of total emissions.

“Every bit counts when added up,” he said in March, adding: “Like others, Australia is playing its part. We do so in recognition that it is in our national interest not only to take action to mitigate the risks, but to do it as part of a collective global effort because no one country can address this global challenge alone.

“We emphasise the importance of maintaining a strong global rules-based system for the collective good. The Paris Agreement is this principle in action.”

The US withdrawal is disappointing, he says, and a setback to the momentum around the ­agreement. But with the agreement still covering about 75 per cent of ­global GDP and 85 per cent of global emissions, US withdrawal will not derail it, Suckling says.

Australia has a record of taking its international agreements seriously. When world leaders arrive in Poland for this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, the challenge will be to demonstrate they too are prepared to back their words with actions.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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