Sunday, November 04, 2018

Grim reef bleaching forecast

Prophecies, prophecies. They do this forecast most years.  I come from Australia's Far North, adjoining the reef, and I can in fact remember such earnest forecasts from when I was a kid --60 years ago.  But the reef is still there, much the same as ever.  It has ups and downs but it always bounces back.  It has bounced back recently in fact, something not mentioned below -- which is why they stick to prophecy

Predictions that the Great Barrier Reef could suffer severe coral bleaching by the end of summer is an urgent warning for the Federal Government to take immediate climate action, says the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) tentative forecast, out today, predicts the entire reef has a 60 percent chance of being subject to "bleaching alert level one"—meaning bleaching is likely— by March 2019, with possible coral mortality in some areas.

“How much more of the Great Barrier Reef has to die before the Federal Government acts on climate change?,” said AMCS spokesperson Imogen Zethoven.

“While our Reef is in danger, our politicians continue to ignore the issue of climate change with no credible plan to reduce pollution.

Parts of the southern half of the Reef are on higher alert with coral mortality likely in some areas, according to NOAA. An El NiƱo event could increase the odds of a severe bleaching event.

“The Reef is already suffering heat impacts. Add drought, bushfires and heatwaves into the mix and all Queenslanders, including our marine life, are in for a tough summer,” said Zethoven.

“The government’s claims that it is looking after the Reef—and the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on this—ultimately count for very little if it continues to ignore the greatest threat to the reef.

“By failing to protect the Reef, the Federal Government is also gambling with the 64,000 jobs that are dependent on the Reef, and the $6 billion that it generates every year for the Queensland economy.”

“The Government knows what the solutions to this are all too well: no new coal mines, including Adani’s monstrous Carmichael mine, a rapid transition to renewable energy, a phase out of all coal-fired power stations by 2030 and an immediate end to all fossil fuel subsidies.”

“But instead of acting on these recommendations, the government continues to pander to the demands of the fossil fuel industry instead of delivering a cleaner, safer future for Australia.

“The Government is on notice ahead of the next election. Australians want the Government to protect the Reef and its amazing wildlife. The time to act is now.”

Greenie Media release. Interviews available from Imogen Zethoven, a Greenie from way back. 0431 565 495

What heatwave?

At mid-afternoon in Brisbane on Saturday, my thermometer read 31C.  But a normal summer mid-afternoon temperature is 34C, so there is nothing out of the ordinary about the current temperature

Good news for weekend beach-goers as Friday's heatwave will spill over onto Super Saturday.

Records were smashed across New South Wales on Friday, as Green Cape in the state's far south-east broke its November record by six degrees and Wollongong's highs of 36C represented its highest ever early Spring mark.

While temperatures will not reach as high as Friday's scorcher, those in Australia's east coast can expect the above-average heat to continue.

Persistent warm north-westerly winds blowing in from central Australia will see Sydney hit 30C on Saturday, making it perfect weather to hit the beach.

According to Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) forecaster Rose Barr, temperatures in western parts of the state will stretch past 30C.

The western suburb of Penrith is expected to see highs of 36C.

Meanwhile in parts of Queensland, temperatures could push up to 40C over the weekend.

However those looking to top up their tan should bare in mind that the heatwave won't last much longer.

BOM meteorologist Rose Barr told Daily Mail Australia that the hot spell is likely to linger until Tuesday.


Seventy ‘desperate’ asylum seekers on Nauru REJECT chance to move to the US when they’re told they’ll have to work and won’t get free welfare

A total of 71 asylum seekers on Nauru have turned down the chance to move to the US after discovering they would need to work and wouldn't get free welfare. 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton claimed those who who rejected the move were not 'genuine' refugees.

Mr Dutton claimed their reluctance to take up the opportunity proved they were simply economic migrants trying to take advantage of generous welfare systems.

He told The Daily Telegraph: 'People who have refused to take a place in the US are not genuine. 'Millions of refugees have gone to the US and may have died trying because it's one of the greatest countries in the world. 'Reports have come back to people on Nauru it's all a bit financially tight there because you have to get a job and there's no welfare there.'

With Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing on Thursday he aimed to remove all children from Nauru by Christmas, pressure has been growing on the government to accept an offer from the New Zealand government to resettle refugees.

The prime minister has said he would accept such an offer if it meant those sent to New Zealand received lifetime bans on returning to Australia.

But the Home Affairs Minister said people-smugglers would likely keep trying to bring refugees back into Australia.

And that would mean more children could end up back on Nauru, defeating the purpose of the Liberal government pledge.

As of Monday, 40 children of asylum seekers remain on Nauru and an unofficial timeline has been set to have them brought to Australia. A total of 46 infants have been born to asylum seekers since Nauru was reopened for processing in 2012, an average of about eight a year.

Last week, more than 1,000 people stopped traffic in the heart of Sydney while about 500 protesters in Melbourne rallied against the federal government's offshore detention centres.


Sex vs gender: down the slippery linguistic slope

Public discourse is filled with euphemistic language that can make difficult topics more palatable. However, euphemisms can also create more confusion than clarity when the meanings of words become blurred. A clear example of this is in the discussion on gender and sex.

Next month, the Tasmanian parliament will debate the Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018. Several media reports have stated the proposed bill will, among other things, remove gender from birth certificates. The bill began as a push to remove an old law that required transgender people to divorce before changing their gender on legal documents; but amendments by the Greens have added in the potential for gender to be removed from birth certificates.

There is just one problem — Tasmanian birth certificates do not currently record the gender of a child. They record the sex. That is, they record the biologically immutable characteristics of males and females, developed at conception from the XY chromosomal determination system.

Prior to the mid 1950s, the term ‘gender’ pertained to language — where some nouns were masculine or feminine. Then psychologist Dr John Money decided that gender applied to human beings and coined the term ‘gender identity’ —  which refers to an individual’s personal view of their sex, without regard to their biological sex.

This is where things start to become a little tricky when we use gender and sex interchangeably. If gender is completely socially or personally constructed and does not bear any relationship to biological sex, what is recorded on a birth certificate should not matter because birth certificates record a biological fact — the sex of a child.

If sex and gender are interchangeable you can argue that gender is biologically determined and sex is social constructed or vice-versa — confusing, I know.

We would all be better served if people were strict in their use of the terms sex and gender and stopped using them interchangeably. This would at least help clarify debate around these issues, which are ill-served by muddying the dialogue.


Leftists twist the speech of a conservative

An attempt to be vivid backfired

Ross Cameron has been let go from Sky News after on-air comments many said were 'racist'. The Sydney Morning Herald smears likewise: Sky News host Ross Cameron sacked for racist comments.

Tellingly, the Herald damned Cameron as a racist without bothering to read the context:

On Tuesday night's Outsiders program, Cameron stated: "If you go to the Disneyland in Shanghai on any typical morning of the week you'll see 20,000 black-haired, slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned Chinese desperate to get into Disneyland."

The context of the comment was not immediately clear

The media by and large relied on that one out-of-context quote, provided by a small far-Left activist group, Sleeping Giants, which is dedicated to getting Sky News banned or boycotted by advertisers.

Sleeping Giants and the media have presented that (regrettable) quote as evidence of Ross being racist - anti-Chinese.

This is a foul deception. The opposite of the truth.

In fact, hear Ross's poorly-chosen words in context and you will find he was defending Chinese people, not mocking them. He was actually mocking racist stereotypes in defending the Chinese as people who may look very different but have a great civilisation and are open the West's as well.

Ironically, Ross's comments came when he was once again defending China probably more than I think prudent, and the outrage-takers have taken him down with deceit and selective quoting.

Here is what Ross actually said - and, note, I agree that he should not have expressed himself with language that was so likely to give offence, and so likely to be misinterpreted, accidently or (more probably) maliciously.

But anyone who thinks, after reading this context, that Ross was being "racist" is an idiot or a liar:

Ross Cameron:I want to begin with just the factual reference that we’ve had an announcement of policy from the Australian Labor Party as something actually worth discussing... :“The next Labor Government will not deal with China through the prism of worst case assumptions about its long term ambitions", Mr Shorten said. "Pre-emptively framing China as a strategic threat isn’t a sufficient response to its role and increasing influence in our region.”

So I wanted to ask my co-host Rowan, is China a strategic threat to Australia?

Rowan Dean: Of course it is.

Ross Cameron: What evidence do you rely upon?

Rowan Dean: Because it is not a democracy, it is a totalitarian dictatorship, therefore by definition, absolute power will corrupt somewhere down the line - maybe it already has -any democracy must approach a non-democracy with caution. You’d be silly not to...

Ross Cameron: I think you approach with caution - I don’t find us in disagreement... When we look at a country like China - and I would say the same thing of Russia - we have a choice... The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has just released a paper saying that there are 300 senior Chinese military scholars who have come to Australia to try and penetrate the wall of the 5 Eyes intelligence and trying to hoover up all of our secrets. I would say I find this to be characteristic of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which comes up with few strategic ideas but does manage to smear China every time it cuts and pastes something out of the CIA Handbook.

I’m just saying to you that the Chinese civilisation is the oldest continuous civilisation in the world. OK, It's not going anywhere. 1.4 billion people, it's got about a sixth of the world’s population. All of them are studying English. If you go to Disneyland in Shanghai on any typical morning of the week you will see 20,000 black haired, slanty eyed, yellow skinned Chinese desperate to get into Disneyland because they like and enjoy and are embracing many aspects of Western culture...

We find the Chinese to be Australia’s single most important trading partner. The Chinese provide the greatest number of purchasers of Australian education exports, the greatest number of foreign students. We find a million Chinese coming to Australia each year to visit. One out of four ships leaving an Australian port goes straight to China.

I am a ruthless realist in relation to Australian foreign policy. Henry Kissinger I don’t believe in indulging fantasies, or wishing the world was something other than what it is. My view of China’s conduct in the South China Sea, we have to remember that is the access to their ports. The Chinese could run out of fuel if they can’t get access to ships for more than a couple of weeks. You’ve got 1.6 billion people consuming energy, China simply cannot and will not risk inability to access their own sea lanes. I just say the Chinese have very little history of invading others or dropping bombs. The United States, NATO, Atlantic Alliance has dropped bombs in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, all over the joint. The Chinese have not dropped bombs on anybody else in recent decades.

The greatest humanitarian achievement in human history is the lifting out of poverty of seven or eight hundred million people since Deng Xiaoping came to power in 1980. He committed to lifting the standard of living of the average Chinese by a factor of four which he managed to achieve. So I am not uncritical of the China’s conduct.

Rowan Dean: Ross you are sounding like a PR firm. You’re sounding like a PR firm.

Ross Cameron: It's factual.

I am heart-sick that such a malicious spin of Ross's words could be so effective in panicking advertisers, ending Ross's career, and damaging Sky.

(And note, by the way, the hypocrisy. Where was Sleeping Giants when then ABC host Red Symons asked a Chinese guest if she was "yellow"?)


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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