Monday, September 09, 2019

Coral death knell on Great Barrier reef 'exaggerated'

The Greenie crooks photographed the few bad bits of coral and ignored large undamaged areas nearby.  And note this is about a close-in reef, which the Greenies squeal loudest about

The death of inshore corals near Bowen had been greatly exaggerated, according to the findings of a rebel quality assurance survey by reef-science outsiders Peter Ridd and Jennifer Marohasy.

The shallow reef flats of Stone Island have played a key role in divisions over the health of the inshore Great Barrier Reef and the impact of run-off from agriculture.

Dr Ridd was disciplined for attempting to blow the whistle on the widespread use of before and after pictures, taken a century apart, near Stone Island that suggested coral cover had disappeared.

A follow-up paper by Queensland University reef scientist Tara Clark, co-authored by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chief scientist David Wachenfeld, confirmed the coral loss.

Despite winning his unfair dismissal case against JCU and being yesterday awarded more than $1.2m by the Federal Court, D. Ridd has effectively dismissed as a crank. by the other scientists.

An expert panel last month accused him of spreading scientific misinformation like tobacco lobbyists and anti-vaccination campaigners.

But Dr Ridd and Dr Marohasy have spent the past two weeks documenting the corals around Stone Island, which they found were still very much alive. The in-the-water quality assurance snapshot of onshore corals near Bowen and the Whitsundays has been partly funded by the Institute of Public Affairs.

The hundreds of hours of aerial and aquatic footage will be archived and some of this made into a documentary. Dr Marohasy and Dr Ridd repeated the transects used in the Clark research which found there had been a serious deline in reef health from historical photographs in the late 19th century to the present.

Dr Marohasy said if the transects used in the Clark analysis had been extended by 30m to the south of Stone Island they would have found a different story.. "I saw and photographed large pink plate coral on August 25 — some more than lm in diameter — at the reef edge, where Tara Clark and colleagues ended their transect as published in Nature," Dr Marohasy said. Several hundred metres away, across the headland, in the northern-facing bay, was an area of 100 per cent coral cover stretching over 25ha.

Dr Ridd said the finding of the survey was that there was "good coral all over the place" around Stone Island. "What we saw was not consistent with the proposition that the inshore reefs have been destroyed by farm run-off," Dr Ridd said.

He said the findings were at odds to those of Dr Clark and her team. The survey results follow a report by GBRMPA last week that downgraded the long-term outlook for the reef from poor-to very poor with particular concern about run-off in onshore reef areas.

Dr Ridd said there were "lots of people around Bowen who get very angry when people say all their coral is wiped out". "How would people in Sydney feel if everybody was saying that the water in Sydney Harbour has turned brown from pollution, the bridge was rusting scrap and the Opera House was crumbling ruin," he said.

Dr Wachenfeid said it was always great to see evidence of healthy coral in inshore areas. "The body of published science tells us most of our inshore reefs are extensively degraded," he said. 'When we find healthy patches that's good news."

Dr Wachenfeld said a paper published in 2016 contained infor-mation about coral around Stone Island and nearby Middle Reef.


James Cook University should have paid a higher penalty for Peter Ridd’s dismissal

There is one aspect of Peter Ridd’s financial victory over James Cook University that looks questionable: the university should have been ordered to pay much more.

Most of Ridd’s payout is for lost wages, superannuation and future earnings that will no longer be possible because of the unlawful conduct of the university.

The university was always going to be required to put Ridd back in the position that would have existed before he fell victim of the university’s misconduct.

So while that component comes to just over $1 million, it is intended to repair the damage that the university inflicted without lawful cause. It has itself to blame.

The real problem is the relatively paltry penalty of just $125,000 - which is barely enough to cause a blip in the university’s accounts.

Those at the university who were responsible for this episode will be able to shrug off this penalty and continue on their misguided way, oblivious to the damage they have inflicted on the reputation of their own institution.

This university has conducted itself as if workplace decency and the law of the land simply did not apply. It attempted to stifle debate in an area where freedom to pursue inconvenient ideas - the cornerstone of the scientific method - demanded a different course.

Imposing a penalty of just $125,000 might not be enough to persuade James Cook University to abandon such conduct and embrace the need for forthright debate - particularly when that debate points to problems inside the university.

The abuse of Ridd’s workplace rights and the decision to ignore the true basis of the scientific method should have attracted a much larger penalty. The law-breakers at James Cook University got off lightly.


Gender-bred lessons for kids

Teens taught biology not tied to sexual identity


TEENS are being taught their gender is not tied to their biological sex, in a controversial "Genderbread Person" lecture funded by taxpayers. Queensland Health is sending a sexual health doctor to some Brisbane high schools to "expand the idea of sexuality beyond the narrow focus of sex and genitals".

The teen sex talk, the "Genderbread Person", is based on a concept by self-described "social justice comedian" Sam Killermann, who has declared that  boys who identify as male are "privileged". states that "gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation exist independent of one another". It says gender identity can be anywhere on a scale from "woman-ness" to "man-ness" and includes terms such as "two-spirit", "genderqueer', "amender", "bigender", "third-gender" and "transgender".

"If someone is born with male reproductive organs and genitalia, he is very likely to be raised as a boy, identify as a man, and express himself masculinely," the website states. "We call this identity "cis-gender" — when your biological sex aligns with how you identify and it grants a lot of privilege."

The lecture is presented by Queensland Health's Metro North co-ordinator of sexual health, HIV and hepatitis, Dr Joseph Debattista. In his note to schools, Dr Debattista says he will "pres-ent the concept of the Gender-bread Person as a model for understanding sexuality".

"Firstly, it will be important to expand the idea of sexuality beyond the narrow focus of `sex and genitals', and view it as the innate ability of all humans to share themselves and communicate who they are with others," he states. "To understand ourselves as individuals, we will be looking at the four layers of sexuality as presented in the Gender-bread Model: biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression, and exploring the nature and diversity of each layer."

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said two or three schools each year asked for the gender lesson, which "is not part of the Genderbread program". "It's important for young people to learn about sexual health and safe sexual behav-iour," she said. "Young people who identify as LGBTI+ are more likely to attempt suicide. "This education aims to promote understanding and respect for the dignity of all people."

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the Gender-bread program was banned in NSW schools three years ago. "Suicide prevention and awareness is important, but this discredited politically correct propaganda is not the answer," she said.

 An Education Department spokesman said school principals could request the gender lectures, and parents and students could opt out.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - 2019-09-08

Tax deal sees Tasmania’s federal housing debt wiped

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is prepared to listen to other state governments after Tasmania secured a deal with the Morrison government to waive $157 million in housing debt it owed to the commonwealth.

“If other state governments around Australia want to approach us with a view of reaching an overall agreement in relation to these matters that are important to them, we are, of course, open to discussing these matters with them,” Senator Cormann told the ABC on Sunday.

Tasmania will be able to provide up to 80 extra public housing units a year under a long-promised deal with the Morrison government to wipe its federal housing debt.

The deal, promised in July in return for independent Senator Jacqui Lambie’s support for the Coalition’s tax cuts, includes a requirement the funds freed up are spent on entirely on public and low-cost housing.

Senator Cormann said the Tasmanian state government also lobbied the federal government on the issue. “So on a bilateral basis between the federal government and the Tasmanian Government, we’ve been working through this issue over the last eight weeks or so,” he said.

The debt forgiveness, which will save the island state $230.2 million in total interest and principal repayments to 2041-42, acknowledged Tasmania’s unique housing problem, caused by rising property values and a swift loss of rental properties to short-stay tourism rentals.

It also delivers on a promise made to secure Senator Lambie’s vote for tax cuts and while long expected is a significant win for the outspoken independent.

“Waiving this loan will support the Tasmanian government’s efforts to reduce homelessness, increase access to social housing and improve housing supply across the state,” said federal Housing Minister Michael Sukkar, who will reveal details of the deal later on Sunday.

State Housing Minister Roger Jaensch hailed the agreement. “Wiping the debt will save up to $15m annually over coming years in debt and interest payments, which will be used instead to build more social housing for Tasmanians in need,” he said. “We estimate this could mean around 80 more houses for people on the social housing waiting list across Tasmania, each year.”

Housing and welfare agencies welcomed finalisation of the agreement, which was opposed by Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, who expressed concern it would lead other states to demand a similar deal.

Colony 47 chief executive Danny Sutton said his organisation wanted to see how the extra funds would assist young Tasmanians, who made up nearly a third of its social housing register.

“This is a great start, but the challenges confronting many Tasmanians are significant and we need to continue to find ways to help those in need,” Mr Sutton said.


Fury over plans to make Perth 'less Christmassy' to appeal to non-Christians

When people choose to migrate to Australia, the onus should surely be on them to adapt to Australia rather than vice versa

A proposal to water down Christmas festivities has been met with strong backlash.

The City of Perth's Cultural Development Plan promises to deliver a Christmas season that is 'representative and inclusive of city's multicultural community'.

Residents have taken to social media to express their outrage over the idea, with many claiming the council is going too far.

'This is just madness in my opinion. I'd love a Christmas as Christmassy as it can get,' one man wrote. 'PC gone mad,' wrote another.

'Absolutely what a great idea the world needs less joy throughout the year we have too much good news, community spirit love and happiness,' another wrote.

Chief Commissioner Andrew Hammond said the council's current holiday-season celebrations did not acknowledge or create a sense of belonging for non-Christians.

'We're not about to change Christmas celebrations. We're just taking a common sense approach that about 50 per cent of people are Christians and about 50 per cent are not,' he told 9news.

'While Christianity is an important part of Perth's cultural identity (46 per cent of Greater Perth demographic), the City of Perth's current holiday-season celebrations, which include a nativity scene at Council House, do not fully acknowledge or create a sense of belonging for the remaining 54 per cent, including 32 per cent who have no religion at all,' the plan states.  Why does that matter?  Christmas is optional. You are not forced to adopt it.  Many do anyway


 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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