Thursday, June 20, 2019

Universities shine in the contest of ideas (?)

Below is some complete and utter bullshit from Deborah Terry, chairwoman of Universities Australia.  She describes what universities should do as if they actually did it.  Far from shining in the contest of ideas, Australian universities avoid any contest of ideas.

If she really believes all that dribble, let her explain why the riot squad had to be called in order to disperse the student demonstrators who were blocking people who wanted to hear Bettina Arndt at the University of Sydney.  Let her explain the Australia-wide difficulties Bettina has had even getting to book rooms for her talks

And what about the difficulty the Ramsay centre has had in being allowed to sponsor courses in Western civilization?  There has been huge resistence to letting students hear anything about the history and ideas of Western civilization.  What went wrong with the "contest of ideas" there?  Censorship of ideas would be the accurate description.

I note that she gives no evidence that our Universities shine in the contest of ideas.  Offering assertions without evidence is the nadir of scholarship.  If she is the representative of Australian  universities she discredits them.  There is of course plenty of evidence that Australian Universities do NOT shine in the contest of ideas. I have just mentioned some. The woman has her head in a dark place.  She is suffering from a severe case of loss of reality contact 

Australia’s universities have been on the public record through the decades affirming our commitment to informed evidence-based discussion and vigorous debate.

As institutions, we nurture the skills of our students to debate ideas, develop their critical thinking skills and engage with a wide array of views — including those with which they agree and those with which they disagree.

The exercise of free speech applies to both proponents and opponents of controversial ideas.

You need only to look to democracy-defending protests around the world to see this in action. Surely the ideal is for a vigorous engagement and contest of ideas, passionately and peacefully expressed.

Under wider Australian law, freedom of speech is not without limitation or caveat. There are, for example, prohibitions on hate speech and discrimination, as well as laws on defamation.

University students and staff are, of course, subject to these wider laws, like the rest of the Australian population.

The skill of being able to engage in vigorous debate without suspending courtesy is one that our students will need if they are to succeed in the workplace and the world.

The French review reminds us that the mission of universities includes responsibility for the maintenance of scholarly standards in teaching, learning and research.

Hence universities teach students to seek out and weigh evidence, test and verify, and to form cogent arguments drawing on that evidence. At the same time, our university researchers keenly examine and respectfully debate ideas, new paradigms, evidence and conclusions.

Universities play a fundamental role in the health of open, democratic societies worldwide. Australia’s universities are ever vigilant in defence of our democratic freedoms.


'Don't listen to him': Controversial priest Father Rod Bower's message to Israel Folau after latest attack on gay people. Anglican priest Rod Bower hit out against former rugby union player Israel Folau

"Father" Bower  may be an Anglican priest but he is not a Christian.  You can believe anything and be an Anglican. As long as you can balance a cup of tea on your knee you are right. He is just a "social justice" warrior in a clerical collar.  He has form for ignoring the Bible teachings on homosexuality

An outspoken priest has hit out at sacked rugby union player Israel Folau following his latest attack against transgender and gay people.

Father Rod Bower shared his support for the LGBT community on the billboard at Gosford Anglican Church, on the New South Wales central coast, on Monday. 'LGBT friends. Folau is wrong. Don't listen to him,' the message read.

The gesture comes after Folau took aim at the LGBT community in his latest sermon at the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Kenthurst, Sydney, on Sunday.

Folau said allowing children to undergo a sex change was giving in to the 'devil' and kids were going through treatment despite 'not even knowing what they are doing'.


Preschool teachers demand $100K salaries and claim they are underpaid because 95 per cent are female

And who do they think is going to pay those salaries?  They would wipe out the sector if they got what they wanted.  Requiring university degrees for childcare is insane

Preschool teachers with university degrees are demanding $101,767 salaries, saying they're underpaid because they work in a female-dominated industry.

The Independent Education Union is pushing for pay rises of up to 49 per cent for their most experienced members.

The Union believes experienced preschool teachers should paid the same as primary school educators, who have the same university degrees.

But the Australian Childcare Alliance argues that if the case is successful, preschool teachers will be making the same as doctors and childcare costs will skyrocket.

'If we're successful it will be a very significant case legally, and it will also have a major impact on our early childhood teacher members,' IEU Assistant Secretary Carol Matthews told The Age.

The IEU argues that early childhood teachers have similar jobs to primary school teachers, but don't get paid as well because more than 95 per cent of daycare workers are women.

If the Independent Union wins its case for pay rises, other 'feminised' industries such as childcare and disability services are also expected to call for similar changes.

The case is being overseen by the United Voice union, which represents more than 100,000 workers in the childcare sector.

Labor's loss in last month's federal election meant childcare workers didn't get $10 billion in 20 per cent pay rises that then-Opposition leader Bill Shorten had pledged.

The Coalition's new industrial relations minister Christian Porter said he is keeping a close eye on the pay increase demand. 

Childcare workers on the Educational Services (Teachers) Award are on salaries of between $50,017 and $69,208 a year.

Mr Shorten had promised to make it easier for unions to be successful in pay equity cases, saying workers in those industries were paid less because they're female-dominated. 

The Independent Union advocate for gender-based pay fairness, and argue that preschool teachers aren't properly compensated for what they do.

United Voice, who represent childcare workers with diplomas, lost a fair pay case in 2018, but if the IEU wins their current case, United Voice would likely try again.

But the Australian Childcare Alliance, who represents privately owned childhood care and education services, is going up against the IEU.

The ACA wrote to the Fair Work Commission, arguing that if the union wins, the most experienced preschool teachers would be earning the same as doctors, academics and nursing directors.

'In any case, there are powerful discretionary reasons to refuse the claim, including that the grant of the claim would jeopardise the viability of many services and would substantially increase childcare costs,' the ACA submission said.


Poor timing for Al Gore’s climate panic poppycock

In politics, timing is crucial. And thus it was with the unfortunately timed participation of former US vice-president Al Gore in the Queensland government-sponsored Climate Week earlier this month.

According to the blurb, “Climate Week QLD 2019 will showcase how the state is transitioning to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy and building a community of action to address climate change.”

Occurring as it did after the unexpected victory of the Morrison government, Gore’s pronouncements during the week about the perils of climate change — let’s face it, he easily wins the gold medal in the boy-who-cried-wolf category when it comes to climate-induced apocalypses — were particularly jarring.

As for that photographed pose of Gore and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad cuddling up to each other, it’s probably best not to comment.

It would have been fun to be a fly on the wall when the planning for this gala week occurred. The expectation would have been that Labor would win the federal election, with the clear message that the public was demanding “real action on climate change” — so the motto goes. Reference would have been made to Bill Shorten’s plans to reduce emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and for 50 per cent of electricity to be generated by renewable energy sources.

The Queensland government would endorse these targets while arguing for more ambitious ones. Reference would be made to the Palaszczuk government’s pledge for the state to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Without doubt, Big Al would be supportive.

Of course, the Great Barrier Reef would need to be a central part of the story. And the potential for the final rejection of the Adani project would complete a very satisfactory week of positive, vote-winning news items for the Queensland government.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would give Gore the time of day. After all, he is not a trained scientist; he appears to make a living from concocting scary climate stories.

While he was in Queensland, he was offering up some more whoppers. Maybe he thought the appearance fee he received — estimated to be $320,000, paid for by Queensland taxpayers — necessitated the delivery of some sensational unsubstantiated claims.

To tell an audience that the choice is between Adani and the Great Barrier Reef is puerile and misinformed. To suggest that India is now sourcing 60 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources is just plain wrong — out by a factor of four to five. And these statements come on top of the many falsehoods Gore has peddled in the past. These include:

 * In 2006, he claimed that the planet would reach a “point of no return” in 10 years.

 * In the same year, he predicted that sea levels would rise by 20 feet (just over 6m) “in the near future”.

 * In 2008, he claimed that the north polar cap would be completely ice-free within five years.

 * In 2011, he claimed that polar bears would soon become close to extinction (their number has been ­rising).

Presumably, these faulty predictions were known to the organising committee as well as to the key politicians — Annastacia Palaszczuk, Trad and Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch — who supported the shindig. But Gore is a name and his discredited propaganda doesn’t prevent him from being a regular invitee to the annual conferences of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Recall that the last one was held in Poland during a particularly cold weather snap.

So now that Gore has left town on his private jet — no doubt some sort of carbon offsets were arranged — state governments and the renewable energy industry, in particular, are in the process of reconsider­ing their approach to climate change and their inter­action with the federal Coalition government.

There is no doubt that most of the renewable energy players were devastated by the May 18 election result. Their hopes, in descending order, were: Labor victory; defeat of Energy Minister Angus Taylor in his seat of Hume in NSW; and the appointment of anyone but Taylor as the next energy minister.

These hopes have been completely dashed.

A vitriolic, misleading and well-funded campaign was waged against Taylor, including the dredging up of snippets from his successful commercial past that were intended to cast doubt on his integrity — indeed, suitability for high office.

In the end, the self-serving, mean-spirited attempt to damage Taylor completely backfired and he was returned to parliament with a swing towards him. Not only does he remain the Energy Minister but his areas of responsibilities have been expanded to include emissions reduction.

One of the problems for the mendicant renewable energy players in dealing with Taylor is that he is just too smart and commercially experienced. He understands the industry like the back of his hand and is happy to query the sometimes faulty advice he receives from the bureaucracy.

He knows that claims that renewable energy-sourced electricity is now cheaper than coal-fired electricity are not correct and that Australia’s electricity generation mix will involve a range of technologies in the future.

He is committed to increasing supply and promoting greater competition to drive down prices. These measures are in line with the recommendations of the report of the Australian Competi­tion & Consumer Commission on retail electricity prices.

The renewable energy players will be forced to stand on their own two feet — for a change — and will need to adjust to the new reliability standards that come into play on July 1. Penalties are being imposed on far-flung installations and contributions are expected to fund the additional grid infrastructure required to hook up new wind and solar farms.

The salad days are over for the renewable energy industry, a situation ironically made worse in Queensland by the (temporarily stalled) requirement to use lic­ensed electricians for the instal­lations of large-scale solar farms.

The Palaszczuk government may be committed to a “low-carbon, green growth economy”, but that pales next to its devotion to trade unions.

As for the big energy companies, which also were hoping for a federal Labor win and had geared up accordingly, it’s time for a radical rethink.

Their campaign against the “big stick” legislation — the legislation contains a great deal more, with forced divestment the final option — is being quietly shelved. Co-operation with the Coalition government is now the name of the game.

Next year, Big Al should be able to stay at home. Indeed, next year there may not even be a Climate Week QLD — the state’s taxpayers deserve a break.

In the meantime the Adani project, unsurprisingly, has been given the go-ahead.


 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

1 comment:

Paul said...

I've always thought that "ownership" of the Climate hustle was Gore's payoff for not making too much noise about the Deep-State/Bush 2 stolen election of 2000.