Thursday, December 12, 2019

'We've had bushfires in Australia for 60,000 years': Mark Latham slams environment minister for breaking ranks and blaming fires on climate change

One Nation state leader Mark Latham has slammed the NSW Environment Minister for blaming extreme weather conditions, bushfires and smoke clouds on climate change.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has refused to be drawn into a climate debate for the length of the fire season, but her Environment Minister Matt Kean on Tuesday said 'no-one can deny' climate change is to blame. Mr Kean was a speaker at the Smart Energy Summit in Sydney on Tuesday, as the Sydney basin was choked by thick, grey smoke.

But Mr Latham told 2GB's Steve Price the comments were 'opportunistic' and didn't take into account Australia's long history with extreme weather. 'In Australia, we've had bushfires for 60,000 years,' he said.

'We've had fires in Sydney before... to be making a political argument relevant to the minister's portfolio defies the proper respect for firefighters themselves,' he said.

Mr Price agreed with the argument, telling listeners he 'couldn't believe' the comments when he heard them. 'What does climate change have to do with arsonists lighting fires?,' he asked.

'What does science say about governments who haven't built a dam in decades and have screwed up water policy to the point where there is no water policy?' 

The air quality in the harbour city was 11 times more than what is considered as a hazardous level. The state's health authorities warned the 'grotty' smoke pollution was a recipe for severe illness.

Particulate readings of 778 for PM2.5 in Mona Vale on the city's north-east coast meant the suburb had the highest reported pollution levels in the world on Tuesday morning. By comparison, Shanghai had a PM2.5 level of 188 while Hong Kong had a reading of just 135 at midday.

Mr Kean said the weather patterns were 'exactly what scientists warned would happen,' Sydney Morning Herald reported. 'We need to reduce our carbon emissions immediately, and we need to adapt our practices to deal with this kind of weather becoming the new normal,' Mr Kean said.

He commented on the low visibility in the harbour city on Tuesday, where it was so low that Sydney ferries were forced to stop running, while smoke infiltrated train stations and set off fire alarms, causing havoc for the public transport system.

Despite Mr Kean's comments, Premier Berejiklian again wouldn't draw any links between the weather and climate change.

'The smoke blanketing Sydney is simply shocking,' Ms Berejiklian said. 'I urge everyone to please follow the advice given by our health experts. Even if you are not directly affected, chances are someone close to you is.'


Most first-year university students can't do Year 5 maths - leading professors to drop the subject from business degrees

New research has found Australians are unable to do year five maths in their first year of university. Basic maths problems like rounding to decimal points or finding four per cent of a number were several problems which couldn't be solved by the students tested.

It was part of a research task among first year university students in Sydney who weren't studying maths but needed it for other courses.

The research was done by the Western Sydney University's Maths Department according to the Australian Financial Review.

The University's Leanne Rylands said the drop in education level is impacting university courses.

'We've been in a 30 year downward spiral. Universities are now teaching school level mathematics. Eventually it becomes too hard for people teaching classes like business studies so they leave out the maths part,' she said.

The state's education department announced it would be bringing maths back as a compulsory subject in October, after dropping it as a mandatory HSC requirement in 2001.

While the subject stopped being required for the people teaching our future generations of economists, accountants, and chemists back in 2014.

Key education ministers will meet in Alice Springs today to address another recent finding: Australian 15-year-olds are three years behind in maths compared with students in the highest performing OECD country Singapore.

The day long meeting will address why maths, science and reading skills are declining among Australian students. Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan is hoping it will give him the power to overhaul the national syllabus.

'Teachers and principals tell me the current curriculum is overcrowded,' he said. 'Central to improving student outcomes must involve refocusing on literacy and numeracy and de-cluttering the curriculum,' he told Australian Associated Press.


Retiring judge lifts the lid on the 'scandal' that sees some of Australia's worst paedophiles handed 'get out of jail free cards'

A retiring judge believes Queensland's criminal justice system is failing child victims and giving paedophiles a 'get out of jail free card'.

Under state laws, paedophiles with multiple victims are entitled to separate trials for each while their past offending is almost never revealed to a jury.

The high-profile trial of Daniel Morcombe's killer Brett Peter Cowan is arguably the most notable example of the latter.

In his farewell to the bench on Tuesday, Justice John McGill said most paedophiles did not confine themselves to one victim and it was 'a scandal' juries were not told the full story.

'This is the greatest get out of jail free card for paedophiles the courts have ever come up with,' he said.

'The worst part of my job was having to watch defendants acquitted because the jury did not know what I knew, that there were two or four or a dozen or more other victims waiting in the wings who could say, but were not allowed to say, 'he did it to me too'.

'It is a scandal that this rule remains despite the recommendation of the (federal child abuse) royal commission and the government should stop dragging its feet on this.'

Judge McGill was also critical of technical failings plaguing the system.

'The use of videotaped evidence of children .... would be wonderful if the jury could actually hear the child every time,' he said. 'But all too often, particularly with a young child, talking somewhat reluctantly to a stranger about something embarrassing, the child can barely be heard because the equipment used by the police is, frankly, hopeless.

'Money needs to be spent on this but the current system is letting down child victims.'


Global warning and Aboriginal history: Facts are facing extinction in both cases

Andrew Bolt

CHILD messiah Greta Thunberg was excited: "500,000 people marched in Madrid last night ... The world is slowly waking up to the climate and environmental crisis."

No, what the world should be waking up to this: Facts are now dead. Rarely have I seen newspapers report exaggerations on the scale I saw after the weekend rally by global warming hysterics, many of them young: "Organisers claimed 500,000 people turned out for the march, but authorities in Madrid put the number at 15,000."

The Washington Post, puzzled, added that there was "no immediate explanation for the disparity in the count". But there is. It's that facts no longer count. What counts is the myth. That's why Thunberg is today's great goddess, treated as an oracle by the United Nations.

She's just 16, refuses to go to school, claims her Asperger's is a "superpower", and is ascribed such mystical powers that her mother even claims "she can see carbon dioxide with the naked eye ... how it flows out of chimneys".

Here is a symbol of a new invincible ignorance — a refusal to even engage with facts and arguments. No wonder Thunberg particularly inspires children, the least educated and most dogmatic.

But this giddy disregard for facts now infects even the smartest adults. Take Therese Rein, who is not just the wife of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, but a very rich businesswoman. Even she joined in blaming Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the NSW bushfires, tweeting. "Parts of NSW on fire at least in part because your party has blocked, and also not initiated, effective climate change policies ... Time to repent"

Time to repent? That's the hot language of faith, not the cool of reason. The science is clear. Morrison can do nothing to change the world's climate and stop fires. Australia is just too small to make a difference.

Rein and other critics such as Malcolm Turnbull are plainly irrational to suggest Morrison could dial down some giant thermostat. Is there any point in also showing that the fires aren't caused by global warming, and that a recent NASA study shows fires are now burning less land, not more?

No, facts have lost their power ever since postmodernism conquered our universities and reassured the stupid they were mere social constructs. Even conspiracies.

To mention facts now is no longer to bring light into darkness, but to set fire to your reputation. Just look at the furious know-nothingness of the many ABC presenters now defending "Aboriginal" historian Bruce Pascoe. I've shown that there is overwhelming evidence that Pascoe is not Aboriginal. Aboriginal. groups say he's not and so do genealogical records.

Pascoe still claims Aboriginality, but has been ludicrously inconsistent. He used to say he was Aboriginal through one of his mother's grandmothers, but then admitted "the woman we thought was our Aboriginal ancestor was, in fact, born in England". Yet, undeterred, he's since claimed links to no fewer than six Aboriginal tribes, including the Aborigines of Lockhart River, despite having once said "the white side of my Pascoe family come from Lockhart River".

I've also shown that Pascoe grossly misquoted and misrepresented sources to claim that Aborigines were actually settled farmers. For instance, his prizewinning book Dark Emu, soon to be a TV series for the ABC, claims that explorers Charles Stint and Thomas Mitchell found Aborigines living in "towns" of "1000 people", when neither man noted any such thing. These are facts.

Yet the most well-educated ABC presenters refuse to even consider them. Virginia Trioli and Patricia Karvelas, for instance, instead suggested I was just a racist. The blindness was astonishingly wilful. ABC presenter Ellen Fanning falsely claimed that Pascoe "has already answered Bolt's claim", and Wendy Harmer, Linda Mottram and ABC Life boss Bhakthi Puvanenthiran falsely insisted, without checking, that Pascoe's untruths were true — "rock solid".

Annabel Astbury, the ABC's head of Education, responded not by proving me wrong, but by urging Twitter followers to watch all the pro-Pascoe propaganda the ABC had pumped into our schools.

What seemed to count with those senior ABC figures was not the facts but the myth -- that Pascoe was an Aboriginal man who'd proved wicked whites destroyed a sophisticated Aboriginal farming civilisation and then lied about it

Tar and feather anyone who contradicts such myths. Who wants their miserable facts?

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 9 December, 2019

Unions' base shrinking

CFMEU tops membership exodus count in state

UNIONS have taken a massive hit to their membership in Queensland in the past financial year, losing about seven members a day on average. The militant CFMEU suffered the biggest hit, losing almost 2000 members.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the new figures, which show the state's total union membership fell from 348,616 from June 30, 2018, to 345,944 a year later, with 15 of 26 Queensland unions posting a reduction.

The AMWU suffered a loss of 1106 members, while 1374 people left the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Queensland branch. The CFMEU's membership plummeted by 1923.

Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) general secretary Michael Clifford said construction employment was down by 1.1 per cent during that year. "There's a correlation with jobs in the industries generally," he said. "In those industries where there is growing employment and areas that are critically important, there has been growth in union membership."

The SPA grew by 789 mem-bers, Together jumped by 790, the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union grew by 1703, while the Queensland Teachers' Union increased by 1319. Mr Clifford said QCU-affili-ated unions reduced by 256 members during that year, which was 0.09 per cent of its total membership.

He said that where there was declining employment, a decline in membership usually followed. "While in some areas there have been declines in membership, we draw attention to the fact that unions still continue to do great work on behalf of their members," Mr Clifford said.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland spokesman Dan Petrie said union membership and members of industrial organisations had faced a challenging 12 months. "The general state of the Queensland economy" affected both employer groups and unions, Mr Petrie said.

"Businesses needing help to negotiate an increasingly complex compliance environment and a voice to government have underpinned the chamber's increased membership in the last 12 months," he said.

From the Brisbane "Courier mail" of 9 December, 2019

Hospitals to call in the cavalry

MAJOR Queensland public hospitals are poised to hire contractors to perform work normally carried out by Australian Workers' Union staff, as seven weeks of industrial bans take their toll on non-union health workers.

The Courier-Mail understands Queensland Health has been advised that some hospital and health services will start hiring contractors as early as next week. That's expected to be challenged by the AWU in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission as a breach of its enterprise bargaining agreement with Queensland Health, known as EB9.

The AWU and QH have reached a stalemate in negotiations for a new EBA, leading to the protected industrial action affecting public hospitals. The bans have included restrictions on moving equipment, prohibitions on collecting empty food trays, and indefinite bans on cleaning toilets in administration and management areas.

AWU health workers include cleaners: kitchen staff, security officers and orderlies. QH is understood to be planning a request for the AWU to lift its bans over Christmas if an agreement is not reached beforehand.

The bans have taken a toll on other hospital workers, who have had to perform tasks normally done by AWU members. The issue could reach boiling point next week when doctors and nurses receive the Palaszczuk Government's public sector bonus of $1250. AWU members won't be eligible until they finalise a new EBA.

QH and the AWU met yesterday to discuss the agreement, with a QH spokesman saying they were "working constructively". Health Minister Steven Miles said he had received assurances that the industrial action would not affect patients.

From the Brisbane "Courier mail of 7 December, 2019

 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...

Andrew Bolt has worked out that the legacy media tells lies?

If he didn't already know that then he has no claim to being a journalist.