Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Platypuses said to be on the 'brink of extinction'

This just about "fears" and what "could happen".  There is nothing factual below.  The journal article is "A stitch in time – Synergistic impacts to platypus metapopulation extinction risk".  It is pure armchair modelling based on extensive guesses.  There was no actual research involved. No feet were muddied.

And the assumptions are all one-sided.  What if some features of  modern environments are actually helpful to the platypus?  There are plenty of examples of modernity helping a species. The "bin chickens" (Ibises) are known to most Brisbane people

It seems to me that dams might actually be helpful to the platypus. They give it a big choice of what water level they want to feed and breed at.  But that would never have occurred to our modellers.

And the major scare the modelling was based on was global warming.  What if there is no global warming?  There has certainly been very little warming for the last century or so

This whole article is just a tawdry attempt to get something into the journals by using conventional scares.  The journal editors were negligent in publishing something so insubstantial

Australia's beloved platypus is now feared to be on the 'brink of extinction'. Researchers at the University of New South Wales say the number of platypuses in the wild could fall by 66 per cent by 2070 because of climate change and other threats.

Researchers said soaring temperatures across the country, the intense drought and land clearing are all contributing to the species' decline.

Richard Kingsford, director for UNSW's Centre for Ecosystem Science said the future for the animal was 'grim'.

'This is impacting their ability to survive during these extended dry periods and increased demand for water,' Mr Kingsford said in the journal article, Biological Conservation, The Age reported.

'If we lost the platypus from Australian rivers, you would say, 'What sort of government policies or care allow that to happen?''

Gilad Bino, the study's lead author said the threat of climate change could affect the platypus's ability to repopulate, noting they could face 'extinction'.

'We are not monitoring what we assume to be a common species. And then we may wake up and realise it's too late,' Dr Bino said.

The platypus is listed as 'near-threatened' under the IUCN Red List of threatened species but Dr Bino says the government needs to assess how much the animal is at risk.

The study's researchers said in order to prevent total extinction the platypus' habitat would need to be managed.

The Victorian Environment Department said they were working with the federal government over whether the platypus' status needed to be changed to 'threatened'.

NSW said they recognised issues such as the drought could be placing the platypus 'at risk'.

Platypuses live in freshwater areas and are found along the east coast and southeast coast of Australia.


Prevention as cure: Fuel load reduction way to take climate out of fire threat

Peta Credlin

RIGHT now, Scott Morrison is in the political fight of his career. I do not say that lightly; he has been in plenty of scraps over the years, but few have seen him so wounded, up against an opponent so full of might, and spleen. And hate too.

George Orwell wrote, "the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it".

This an understatement when it comes to the new "truth" of climate change? No longer do we have any fact-based assessments on Australia's 1.3 per cent contribution to global emissions — or what others are doing, or not doing as the case may be.

Instead, climate change orthodoxy has become the new religion for generations of young people (and the not so young) who often mock more traditional institutions of faith.

Indeed, I bet over the summer, if you have tried to have a rational discussion with anyone on this subject or the fires more broadly, it is quickly descended into regurgitated dogma, and quite likely hysteria, so cult-like it's all become.

Take the opportunistic Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese who last week again tried to turn bushfires into climate change with his now much-repeated line that "you can see it, smell it, and feel it".

By trying to use the soot and ash whipped up by fires to further his political fight against the Coalition, Albanese both insults our intelligence and does himself a disservice in his bid to one day lead the country.

The Left's demon in all of this is carbon dioxide and is also essential for life on this planet. Like news outlets that love to show images of water vapour spewing out of power plants or smog filled skies as evidence of climate change — conflating steam or pollution with greenhouse gas emissions is just yet another example of the lies and misinformation that masquerade as "fact" in this debate.

In a world now where the only history we know comes from what we might have personally experienced rather than any proper study of the past, these fires are the "worst ever" so "something extraordinary must have caused them" regardless of historical fact.

Right now, dismayed by these fires' devastation, people do not really want to know that the 2009 Black Saturday fires and the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires killed far more people; or that the 1974 fire season burnt out at least ten times the area of this one.

And while people want policy measures the Government can take that will avert similar devastation in the future, it would be a serious mistake to think the policy measures to combat these fires lie in agreements made overseas that most countries (unlike us) do not even follow, rather than what can be done here at home, in our state governments and Canberra, as well as national parks, right around the country.

Can someone tell me the point of a new royal commission into bushfires if we still are not doing what was recommended in the last one? Out of Victoria's tragedy in 2009, officials in that state were told by the royal commission to lift the rate of off-season hazard reduction burning — yet last year, just one-third of the burn target was met.

Fires cannot burn without fuel. Fuel is something Australians in the past — indigenous Australians for centuries and the rest of us, until recently — managed to get down to acceptable levels as we approached the summer fire season.

But that is now all changed. If we want to help prevent future fire seasons of this magnitude, then we have got to have an honest debate about how we got here, and what can be done in the future to better manage the risks.

Fighting this issue on the basis of climate change policy is where the Left want this debate. It lets state governments off the hook for what they have not done and it gives the Left their first real opportunity to tear down Morrison since he killed off their fairytale last May.

But for the Coalition, it is a zero sum game politically. You see, it does not matter how much Morrison does on climate change, it is never going to be enough for the green left; that does not so much want a reduction in emissions, but a statement of belief, and a redirection of society away from economic growth towards a new means of income redistribution.

This is why the government gets no credit for the fact that we are well and truly on track to meet our Paris targets.

Nothing exposes the Left on emissions more than their refusal to even debate nuclear power as an option for this country given its capacity to provide baseload power with zero emissions and our ready supply of uranium. Uranium I might add, that we send overseas but cannot use here; like our coal too, and increasingly our gas. If it all was not so serious, it would almost make you laugh.

The Coalition must stand firm because proper debate is needed now, more than ever. Fuel-load reduction is an area the PM can rely upon recommendation after recommendation in almost every bushfire inquiry to back him up. If he wanted to really change this debate and get it off an area he cannot win, on to an area where he can — and where most Australians would follow him — Morrison should demand a new national approach to fuel load reduction.

If the states are so keen to se the Commonwealth up-end the Constitution and take more responsibility for bushfires — then give them what they want. By making a new national fuel-load reduction plan a standing item on COAG, with reduction data pulished quarterly and states that do not do what the experts recommend named and shamed. As well as being the best way forward for the 2021 bushfire season, it is the PM's best way forward, polically too.

From the Brisbane "Sunday Mail" of 19/1/20

John Barilaro, Scott Morrison slam Matt Kean over cabinet climate claims

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has joined Scott Morrison in lashing Matt Kean’s claim federal frontbenchers want more action on climate change, saying his Environment Minister’s “unhelpful” comments didn’t represent the party.

“He seems to have taken this opportunity to go all out and spruik a whole heap of messages that I don’t believe is representing of the whole of government,” Mr Barilaro told Ray Hadley on 2GB.

“I’ve got a lot more to say about Matt and his comments but I’m not interested today, I’m focused on recovery,” he said.

As wild weather hits parts of Victoria and NSW after a catastrophic fire season, Mr Kean claimed on Sky News on Sunday that right-leaning cabinet ministers – as well as Liberal moderates – were concerned about the Morrison Government’s current suite of climate policies.

It comes after months of pressure on the Prime Minister to change tack on climate change and reported divisions between the federal and NSW government over the handling of the bushfires.

Mr Morrison on Monday said no cabinet ministers have approached him with concerns about the government’s stance on climate action and labelled the NSW Liberal MP’s comments a “beat up.”

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” he told the Nine Network. “I think Matt can focus on hazard reduction and I will focus on emissions reduction. “It’s all a beat up.”

Mr Barilaro, who has been appointed as the Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery, said he had spoken to Gladys Berejiklian about the rogue Environment Minister. “Will you be talking to his boss about his comments?” asked Hadley.

“Yeah, I’ve had conversations about it. There’s a time and place and right now it’s all unhelpful,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Morrison went on to give a more brutal assessment of Mr Kean and his public profile in a later interview.

“Matt Kean doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t know what’s going on in the federal cabinet. Most of the federal cabinet wouldn’t even know who Matt Kean was,” he told ABC radio.

On the Today program Mr Morrison also continued to defend his government’s climate stance, saying he would never take up environmental policies which would cost resource sector jobs.

“I won’t put up a carbon tax. I won’t put up people’s electricity prices and I will not wipe out a resources sector which millions of Australians depend on particularly regional Australians,” Mr Morrison said. “We will stay with a balanced policy that understands the economic interests and environmental interests.

“We know the summers are longer, hotter, dryer. We are addressing them. We acknowledge the link between these things and will have a balanced policy which doesn’t put people out of their jobs.”


'It's not even a debate': Scott Morrison shuts down Sam Armytage over Australia Day question

Scott Morrison has said he does not want to see the date of Australia Day moved. The PM was quizzed about the celebration in an interview on Sunrise on Monday morning after a new survey found 71 per cent want the day to remain on 26 January.

In recent years, the weeks before Australia Day have been fraught with debate about whether its is wrong to celebrate the day the First Fleet arrived to colonise Australia in 1788.

Indigenous activists say the date should be moved - but this year the debate has been stifled by the bushfire crisis.

'No one seems to be talking about it this year because there are other things to talk about,' said host Sam Armytage.

The PM said: 'We do have something is to talk about and that is people affected by bushfires.

'On Australia Day I will be saying thank you to every volunteer that has supported everyone through this terrible crisis. Not just this one but all the crises of weather and disaster in this country.'

Armytage pressed him, saying: 'So you think it should stay?'

Mr Morrison replied: 'Well of course I do. It's not even a debate we're having at the moment. 'I don't really want to be distracted by it at the moment.'

The survey by the Institute of Public Affairs found 71 per cent of Aussies want Australia Day celebrated on January 26, which was down four per cent on last year's figure.  


 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...

All the little wetland creeks on the Atherton Tablelands are full of platypus.