Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hottest October day in 120 years: Queensland swelters as mercury tops 40C for the TENTH day in a row - and it's not over yet

One day is newsworthy? This is just nitpicking.  I have been enjoying springtime in Brisbane for a total of 40 years and the current season seems no different from any other.  We always get some warm days and some cool days and a temperture of 32 degrees C is no outlier for Brisbane.  34C is in fact about the usual summer afternoon temperature in Brisbane

At the time of writing in the afternoon of Monday 29th, it is in fact rather cool in Brisbane for the time of the year. I actually had to put a shirt on.  My thermometer says 22C.  We have just had rather a lot of rain too. It's been raining off and on for the last two days in fact.  No drought in Brisbane!

Monstrous heatwave, my foot

Australia's north is continuing to endure a monstrous heatwave, with no relief in sight.

Central Queensland registered 40C temperatures for the tenth consecutive day on Sunday, but the area will see extreme heat until Thursday. 

The soaring temperatures shattered October records that had been in place for the region for more than 120 years, with one regional town topping out at nearly 44C.

'In Brisbane we'll probably see a few showers develop late this evening, it will be pretty cloudy as well,' Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Chris Joseph told the Courier Mail.

'It will probably be a better chance for showers tomorrow and pretty cool as well.'

The stormy skies in the state capital will come after it too basked in sunshine on Friday and Saturday. Crowds gathered to escape the heat at Streets Beach in the the city's South Bank Parklands as they sweated through temperatures of 32C on Friday.

Australia's major cities also had a dry Sunday, with Hobart the only capital to register any rainfall at all.

'Some locations have had two to three times October's rainfall in a week, but others haven't seen any significant falls. Overall, the cropping season is looking like one of the 10 driest on record,' climatologist Felicity Gamble told Daily Mail Australia.

The record-breaking dry spell could be a sign of things to come.

The Bureau of Meterology has predicted higher than average temperatures throughout the summer months for nearly the entire country.

The heatwave brings with it particularly grim conditions for the country's farmers, who have been suffering through a major drought.


School bullying costing taxpayers millions in pay-outs to students and teachers who have suffered psychological injury and 'severe psychiatric disorders'

An inevitable result of the Leftist destruction of school discipline

Bullying in schools is costing taxpayers millions of dollars as both students and teachers seek compensation for psychological problems. Claims and out-of-court settlements surrounding bullying and harassment cost the NSW state government more than $7 million between 2014 and 2017. In many cases, the payouts were funded by taxpayers.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes conceded bullying has become one of the most challenging issues in primary and high schools.

Another growing concern is the issue not being addressed at home.  'Family structures are changing and becoming looser and in some cases weaker,' Mr Stokes said. 'We need to equip kids to help each other reject bullying because we can't rely on families as much as we have done in the past.'

According to figures from the Freedom of Information laws, compensation payments to 20 students and three teachers averaged more than $300,000 each.

'The consequences of bullying are lifelong and devastating, and also have huge impacts on the health of our society and the productivity of our economy,' Stokes said.

'Bullying has always been a problem but we've never quite understood how much damage it causes and once we have better ways of addressing it, we can build a happier and more confident society.'

Bullying cost the state government $4 million in payouts in 2014, $1.194m in 2015, $984,886 in 2016 and $860,257 last year.

Since axing 'Safe Schools'— a controversial anti-bullying program implemented in 2010, Stokes has been searching for a better remedy to tackle the social issue.

A new anti-bullying video starring kindergarten kids will be launched at an Australian-first anti-bullying strategy conference on Monday.

The conference will hear from leading figures in bullying, aggression and school adjustment from Australia, Canada and Finland. They will also travel to regional areas in Ballina, Dubbo, and Wagga Wagga for additional feedback on the issue.


'A very, very pleasant island': Tony Abbott claims Nauru is a 'tropical paradise' - as he urges Scott Morrison NOT to remove asylum seekers being held there

Tony Abbott has called Nauru a 'very, very pleasant island' as he urged prime minister Scott Morrison to not relax his government's asylum seeker policies to allow detainees on the island to leave.

His comments come after a Sunday Telegraph poll showed nearly 80 per cent of Australians want children and their families off the Pacific detention centre.

Mr Morrison's government is facing increasing pressure to accept a deal that will see migrants resettled in New Zealand.

Up to 50 children are still on the island and the government has been slowly removing those who need urgent medical attention. 

'Nauru is no hellhole by any means. I’ve been there. If you like living the tropics, it’s a very, very pleasant island,' Mr Abbott told 2GB's Ray Hadley.

He said moving the 'boat people' would be a bad move on policy.  'The people on Nauru and Manus now are nearly all would-be economic migrants. 'And if we give them what they want, we get more of them. That is to say the boats will start up again.'

Despite overwhelming references in the media to poor conditions on the island, Mr Abbot ventured as far to say the children are 'very well looked after.'

'Health services on Nauru for boat people are more extensive than the services a lot of regional towns get in Australia,' he said.

Labor has increased calls to amend legislation that stops those held in the offshore detention centres from coming to Australia. 

Mr Abbott made a call to arms and told the Liberal party to stand strong on its position. 'No government is absolutely perfect ... but the Morrison Government is an infinitely better bet than the Shorten Labor Party, which will be the most left-wing government in our history if we get it.'    


Climate policy is a wrecking ball claiming PM’s careers

IT’S the uncontrollable wrecking ball of Australian politics which so far has smashed the careers of four prime ministers.

And now it could be swinging Scott Morrison’s way, just as it had towards Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard from Labor, and his Liberal colleagues Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

This demolition beast is climate change policy and the inability of politicians to present coherent schemes of their own or to resist misrepresenting those of rivals.

To dodge the ball of policy destruction Prime Minister Morrison is attempting to please everyone.

He wants a system which will lower emissions, encourage coal-fired power stations, force private power companies to divest assets, promote new generating technologies, and cut household electricity bills.

It’s a political strategy more than a global warming response, constructed to appease the array of cemented positions on energy policy within the Liberal Party rather than the wishes of consumers, including business.

It has a touch of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s unsuccessful Direct Action scheme and a taste of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s National Energy Guarantee.

And one of its objectives is to blame the power industry, not government, for everything from electricity reliability, price, and technologies.

Scott Morrison is pushing around power companies, threatening them with his “big stick”, in a way he shrank from doing with banks when he was treasurer.

It’s a way of saying, “It’s not our fault you don’t like your electricity bills.”

Which is the gist of Mr Morrison’s comments on the Seven Network on Friday: “That is why we have to put more pressure on the big energy companies so they are doing the right thing by their customers and we are going to back that up with the laws which will give effect to that.

“As I said, we will take the big stick to the energy companies.”

And the timing is right for this blame shifting as the use of cheaper renewables is starting to lower prices.

The Morrison government will be delighted to take the credit. But it underlines the complexity of the power game here.

Australia alone of developed nations has this preoccupation with climate change as a political battleground.

In Australia we can’t even settle on what is at stake.

Is it what Kevin Rudd called the great moral challenge — which portrayed it as something which can’t be measured by a temperature gauge alone — or is it about using more coal?

The climate change debate here can take many identities as political leaders shuffle around priorities to suit their already-existing positions.

So at one moment it’s not about addressing a changing climate, it’s about the unreliability of renewable energy, or about lowering electricity prices, or about supporting coal resources, or about not being told what to do by the United Nations.

There have been times of confusion as to what was being addressed.

What has been clear is that the task is hugely difficult for two reasons Kevin Rudd recently underlined.

One is the daunting task of convincing a current generation to make sacrifices for a future one.

And because of the technical complexity of the climate change responses, which understandably baffle most people. That’s one reason why the Prime Minister uses the clunky term “fair dinkum power” instead of “dispatchable power”.

Desperation has driven some political leaders to absurd proposals. Remember Julia Gillard’s 2010 “citizens’ assembly”? It was in effect a surrender to the issue and a flick pass to populist opinion.

Stubborn refusal to accept there was a problem at all has clogged policy development. Tony Abbott once declared the science of climate change was “crap” and has only toughened his opinion since then.

And disgraceful political game playing has made it harder for voters to sift the facts from blatant dishonesty.

Barnaby Joyce set the pace by claiming Labor policies would send the price of the Sunday roast to $100. It was of course rubbish.

It’s that political legacy Scott Morrison is attempting to defy, and the real test is whether he can do so and still produce a viable policy.


Sydney Anglicans ban valorization of homosexuals

The Sydney Anglican clergy are just about the last of the real Anglicans.  Most of the rest are just dressup queens

The Sydney Anglican Diocese has provoked controversy by proposing a policy to ensure that all church property is used in ways consistent with Anglican church teaching.

The proposal vetoed activities such as same-sex marriage receptions, meditative yoga, and indigenous smoking ceremonies, and was intended to extend to some 900 church properties. Parts of the policy — those concerned with smoking ceremonies — were withdrawn following protests from indigenous leaders and school principals. But many were still angry at what the church had proposed.

Religious doctrines often seem bizarre to those who do not belong to the faith community. It can be hard, for example, to see what problem believers have with yoga or hosting wedding receptions.

The Sydney Anglican policy emerged from specific Christian beliefs about salvation, the human person, human sexuality, and freedom. To those who share these beliefs, the policy might well make sense. To those who don’t, the whole exercise can — and did — seem bizarre, and simply another example of the irrelevance of religion to mainstream everyday Australian life.

After a fortnight when religious schools have been accused of wanting to expel gay students and church landlords accused of wanting to do the same to gay tenants, religious freedom is still a hot topic. And the reason is that one of the features of being a citizen in an open and free society is having to figure out how to live with those whose worldviews and beliefs are far removed from our own.

Even if we think they are wrong and that their practices are offensive, we must be sure to allow religious people and communities the freedom to interpret the world and the universe as they see fit. And we must also afford them the freedom to order their affairs — including their property use — in ways that align with those beliefs, as long as they do nothing illegal or harmful to others.

Of course, if we don’t like it — and often there is a lot not to like — we are free to criticise it because we live in a society that tolerates freedom of speech and the frank exchange of opinions. But criticising a church for attempting to implement a policy that could have a substantial impact on non-church people is one thing; it is quite another to tell it how to deal with its own property.


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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