Thursday, January 10, 2019

A jellyfish ‘epidemic’ has Australian scientists wondering if climate change is to be blamed

Why are they wondering?  We all know that EVERYTHING bad is caused by climate change!  It is however just a theory.  There is no proof.  Intermittent jellyfish infestations of Australia's Northern coastal waters have been happening for a long time -- definitely before global warming.  They were a big concern when I was a kid and I am now 75

Authorities in Queensland, Australia, were forced to close beaches across the region over the weekend, amid what local officials said was a jellyfish ‘‘epidemic.’’ More than 13,000 stings were recorded in Queensland alone last week, with more than 2,500 people seeking treatment over the weekend, according to rescue organizations.

While the vast majority of those stings are not life-threatening and were caused by so-called bluebottle colonies, researchers say that the number of more serious injuries from less common jellyfish is also at above-average levels.

Some researchers also say this jellyfish infestation could be one more thing to blame on climate change.

‘‘Unlike other species, jellyfish are stimulated by just about any change to the ecosystem. So, it’s reasonable to say that the jellyfish might potentially be responding to the warmer-than-usual weather,’’ said marine life researcher Lisa Gershwin, who works with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, which is Australia’s national science agency.

While researchers are still examining how much recent heat waves may have contributed to the current jellyfish bloom off Australia’s coasts, they can already say with certainty how they got to the beaches: strong and unusual winds pushing toward Queensland.

Gershwin and other scientists say that the surge in stings is unlikely to be coincidental. ‘‘Jellyfish are demanding our attention right now and we should be giving it to them. Those stings are an indication that something is wrong with our oceans — and we’re silly that we’re not listening,’’ said Gershwin.

While some scientists have been more careful about linking climate change and jellyfish blooms, given a lack of long-term data so far, most researchers agree that jellyfish populations respond positively to a number of human-induced changes, including pollution, overfishing, and warmer water. ‘‘All of this takes out their predators and competitors, so they’re the ‘last men standing,’ ’’ said Gershwin.

For some less common species, that’s also true for any contact with humans. While a so-called Irukandji variety of jellyfish can cause hours-long body pain and potential strokes, the number of actual deaths is relatively low. By 2017, there had only been two recorded fatalities in Queensland, according to the Department of Health there. Far more dangerous are box jellyfish, which have caused more than 70 fatalities across Australia.

Even though there is no definite way to predict future fatalities caused by jellyfish blooms, Australian researchers are concerned that the numbers could rise significantly.

Australian environmental activists say that their own government shares some of the blame, pointing at the lack of a coordinated effort to target plastic pollution in the waters around the Australian coastline, for example. In October, the conservative governing party faced additional criticism after it rejected calls to abandon coal power by 2050.

While Australia’s current government does not appear in a rush to tackle some of those factors, other nations like China have a far bigger carbon and plastic waste footprint and it’s unlikely that this will change any time soon. Combined, that makes for some pessimistic predictions.

‘‘[Jellyfish] are bad for the environment; they’re bad for humans. Having more jellyfish isn’t something good — but I’d say we’re on track to that,’’ said Gershwin.


Leftist bias at a university law school

The University of Sydney was last night forced to delete a Facebook post in which it pledged support for left-wing activist group GetUp’s new campaign to target 18 conservative MPs in the lead-up to the federal election.

In a post yesterday that drew angry responses before it was ­removed, the university’s law school publicised an article by The Guardian about GetUp’s push for the public to name the “worst” Coalition MPs so the group could finalise its targets for the election.

“New Year fun: GetUp asking you to nominate which conservative Coalition MP you would most like to see out of Parliament,” the University of Sydney Law School said on its Facebook page.

The article provided a link to GetUp’s website in which it asks supporters to each choose three MPs they believe should lose their seats based on their “hard-right” views on climate change, immigration policy and social ­justice issues.

Among the Coalition MPs that can be nominated are Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott, Josh Frydenberg, Christian Porter, Greg Hunt, Barnaby Joyce, Alan Tudge, George Christensen and Michael Sukkar.

Facebook users, some of them former University of Sydney law students, were highly critical of the post.

“I wouldn’t call myself a ­defender of the far Right, but it’s completely inappropriate for the law school, as a body, to engage in such flagrantly biased political advocacy,” one wrote.

Another responded: “At least the law school is open about its bias now.”

After being alerted by The Australian, the University of ­Sydney last night investigated how the post was published.

A spokeswoman said the university did not support GetUp’s campaign to remove some ­Coalition MPs from parliament.

“A junior staff member posted this in error and the post has been removed,” she said.

On its website, the union-backed GetUp said Mr Dutton, who holds his Queensland seat of Dickson on a margin of 1.7 per cent, would be targeted for leading last year’s leadership coup against Malcolm Turnbull, as well as overseeing immigration detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

Federal Attorney-General Mr Porter is blamed for the robo-debt scandal, authorising the prosecution of an ex-spy known as Witness K and for instructing Liberal MPs to vote for Pauline Hanson’s “OK to be white” ­motion in the Senate. Mr Porter is already under severe pressure to retain his West Australian seat of Pearce, which he holds on a margin of 3.6 per cent.

GetUp blamed Mr Abbott for his “destructive” campaign to reinstall himself as prime minister, along with his comments questioning climate change.

Mr Abbott, who holds the NSW seat of Warringah with a margin of 11.6 per cent, is under attack from some within the Liberal Party who want him replaced. He is also facing a challenge in the seat from ­independent candidate Susan ­Moylan-Coombs, an indigenous broadcaster.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott, who earned degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, said last night the former prime minister was unavailable to comment on his alma mater’s Facebook post.

The influential GetUp is fighting attempts to have its independent status revoked and to force its registration as an affiliated ­entity of Labor.


Australia job vacancies rise to fresh record

A tribute to good conservative economic management, despite management turnover at the top

Job vacancies in Australia rose to a fresh all-time peak in the three months ended November in a promising sign that demand for labour would remain healthy for some time yet.

Total job vacancies rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 per cent to 245,700 in the September to November quarter, from the previous quarter when they increased 1.1 per cent, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday.

That was the highest reading since the series began in 1979. Vacancies were up 13.9 per cent on a year earlier, although the pace of growth did slow from the previous quarter.

Vacancies in the private sector rose 1.1 per cent to 220,000, again the highest on record. That was up 13.5 per cent on the previous year.

The public sector saw vacancies increase 4 per cent to 21,600.

Analysts value the vacancies series as it has proved a reliable leading indicator of labour demand and turning points in employment growth.


South Australians waiting years for simple surgery

The wonders of government healthcare.  Is it any wonder that 40% of Australians have private health insurance?  I do and I get any service I require immediately or almost immediately

People in need of vital surgery are waiting years for an appointment due to the current healthcare system in South Australia.

Morphett Vale pensioner Vicki Solomon has been in constant pain since a grommet device in her left ear shifted out of place. When the 66-year-old saw a specialist at Flinders Street Medical Centre about the pain, she was told it would take at least three years before surgery would be available.

“To say that I’ve got to wait three years for somebody to take out a tiny little grommet is an absolute disgrace,” Ms Solomon told 9news.

Despite going elsewhere, Ms Solomon got the same response: it would be years before an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon would be available.

“I cry and I cry and I pray to god that he’ll take me because I’m so sick of the pain,” Ms Solomon said.

South Australia Health Minister Stephen Wade said he is committed to improving the issue and ensuring its funding is a priority.

“It’s unacceptable for South Australians to have to wait years for surgery. That’s why the government is acting,” Mr Wade told 9News.

At Lyell McEwin Hospital, patients have to wait more than eight years while at Royal Adelaide Hospital, the wait time is more than 10 years.

“To make me wait on something as trivial as that, the government has lost the plot,” Ms Solomon said .


 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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