Monday, February 03, 2020

Melbourne will RUN OUT of fresh water by 2050 if nothing is done about global warming

Another prime example of how a total lack of thinking on the part of Greenies gets things backwards  Global warming would HELP Melbourne's water supply. 

I don't know how much longer I will have the heart to repeat it but we have known at least since the ancient Greeks that warming water gives off water vapour (steam). And two thirds of the "planet" (to use the Greenie term) is covered by water. So global warming would warm that water and increase its tendency to give off water vapour.  And what happens to that water once it is evaporated off?  It comes down again.  We call it "rain".  So a warmer world would be a rainier world.

Why do Warmists keep ignoring something they should have known since Grade school?  It shows that they are not thinking at all.  They just pump out propaganda according to a simple recipe: "Warming bad".  They are not honest debaters

Melbourne will be at risk of running dry by 2050 if no measures are taken to slow global warming and improve water security, a study has found.

The city ranked fifth in a list of global cities that will be most affected by climate change in 30 years' time. The list - which measures sea-level rising, water shortages and weather changes - was compiled by accommodation website Nestpick based on existing climate data.

Perth ranked 56th and Sydney was 66th but no other Australian cities were in the top 100.

Melbourne was ranked so high because its demand for water is predicted to vastly outweigh current supply as its population soars.

In 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicted that Melbourne will become the largest city in Australia by 2031 - and will have a population of 12.2million by 2066. 

Jono La Nauze, CEO of Environment Victoria, said Nestpick's results are roughly accurate - but that drought in Melbourne can be avoided by sensible policies.

'It certainly stacks up with what the climate science is showing will happen, if you don't do anything about it,' he told radio 3AW on Thursday.

'But the key messages is that these are risks we can manage - both in terms of stopping the planet getting any hotter but also by making sure we have secure drinking water supplies whatever happens.'

Melbourne's water is supplied from ten reservoirs which are topped up by rain and a desalination plant that removes salt from seawater.

The Victorian Desalination Plant at Dalyston on the Bass Coast in southern Victoria opened in 2012 after the Millennium Drought and now supplies one third of the city's water.

For the 2019-20 financial year, the Minister for Water ordered 125 billion litres from the Desalination Plant, the largest order that has been made to date.

At the moment, Melbourne is not in danger of drought.

The city's total storage capacity is at 62.6 per cent and its largest reservoir, the Thomson Dam which can hold 1,069 megalitres of water, is 55.8 per cent full. 

But experts are generally agreed that the city will need to shore up its water security as its population expands.

There are three main ways to do this: by building more dams, creating more desalination plants, and by recycling water for drinking purposes.

Recycling water for drinking is already done in Namibia, South Africa and the US but the only Australian city that currently follows suit is Perth. Melbourne has two recycling plants but the recycled water is not used for drinking.

State ministers could follow Brisbane's lead after the city in 2010 designed the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme to recycle almost all of its water.

The scheme has not been needed but if stores drop below 40 per cent it could be recommissioned.

In September federal Water Resources Minister David Littleproud said more dams should be built - but Victorian ministers rejected the idea.

He said the federal government has offered $1.3bn for new infrastructure projects but state governments are too reluctant to build dams due to cost and environmental issues.

'They're just not keeping up with their growing populations,' he told The Australian.

But Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville hit back, saying there was no point building new dams because there is very rarely enough rain to fill them.

'The dams we have already are in the best places to collect a high yield of water - any new dams would be unlikely to capture enough water to be worth it,' she told the newspaper.

'For Minister Littleproud to suggest otherwise demonstrates a complete lack of understanding when it comes to water and climate change, especially in Victoria.'

Ms Neville pointed out that Victoria's Thomson Dam has only filled three times since it was built in 1984, most recently in 1996.

She said a better alternative is to expand the state's desalination plant even though this would increase water bills by at least $10 per household because desalination uses lots of electricity.


Submitting to climate activists helps no-one

GROW a spine. Show some ticker. That's what many "quiet" Australians would be thinking right now after Greyhound buses decided to sever its ties with the Adani coal mine; the controversial mining project that has become the symbol .of evil for the woke brigade.

Greyhound Australia's decision follows German technology company Siemens not buckling to pressure and keeping its $30m relationship with Adani. So far.

The engineering firm GHD ended a l0-year association with Adani in December after that company was also targeted by campaigners. There are others who have quietly slunk away. Cowards who would rather take their riding instructions from eco-vandals who use extortion as their tool of trade.

What Greyhound is effectively telegraphing with this decision is that it supports ratbaggery over jobs. It supports aggressive climate change activism over Queensland prosperity. It supports mediocrity over aspiration.

Let's dissect those that are perpetually outraged over the belief that coal is bad. These are invariably professional agitators, many unemployed, with no purpose in life other than gluing themselves to roads, bridges and train tracks to get their message across.

Their selfish, arrogant behaviour impinges upon the lives of others. Many people are late to work because of CBD traffic jams. They cost corporations millions of dollars by whipping up impressionable young people into believing companies supporting coal are the anti-Christ.

They even protested yesterday at the offices of The Courier-Mail. One of my colleagues whispered to me, and he's a champion of Australia's commitment to the Paris Agreement and cutting greenhouse emissions: "Do they realise how pathetic they look?" he said.

The answer is no. Because they can't understand other people's views, or accept that their warped ideology will send Australia broke, they have no idea that their stupid, boorish behaviour in fact does nothing for their cause. It's the modern-day cult of the woke. Pass me that vegan burger, please.

The same can be said for Greyhound.The carrier company decided to cut its ties with Adani after climate change groups vowed that it would boycott Greyhound as a protest. Greyhound knew what it was getting itself into by taking the Adani contract. In fact, it had written to staff warning they could be caught "in the crossfire" of anti-Adani campaigners after the company took a three-month contract at the coal project, with an option to extend. But the comments yesterday by the protesters sum up why they've got this so hopelessly wrong.

A spokesperson for Galilee Blockade said: "Greyhound took a stupid risk but quickly saw sense. Most Australians don't want the Adani mine and every single company with a retail brand has listened to their customers and dumped Adani."

You did see the May18 election result? SCott Morrison won. He's that guy from the LNP, you know the one that supports Paris targets but not 50 per cent renewables by 2030, which you and your cronies are addicted to.  It was Bill Shorten's inability to come  clean with Central Queensland miners over the future of their jobs that cost Labor Queensland. When they lost Queensland they lost the election.

When the Green's titular swami, Bob Brown, rolled into Clermont with his anti-Adani blockade - telling locals to go get  another job — they became angry. The LNP won the Clermont booth — mostly miners voting — with an 80 per cent primary.It's usually the other way round with Labor winning that booth comfortably.

Throw in Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's comment that miners need to "re-skill" and you had the perfect anti-Labor storm. The fact is most Australians support coal because it is Australia's international passport to a better life and standard of living.

It beggars belief that these protesters offer up the stop coal mining ideology without any plan or discussion around how it will impact the economy. When Shorten was asked to explain the cost of shutting down mining, he couldn't or wouldn't go there. The voters punished him for it.

Corporate blackmail and extortion is the only tool of trade these eco-vandals now have after May18. They remain stung by the result. They remain in denial.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 30 January, 2020

Joe Hildebrand on Australia’s strengths

A week ago I was in Mexico City, a vast sprawling metropolis of crumbling concrete and silver skyscrapers that is home to some 22 million souls – almost the entire population of the Australian continent.

A few of these souls are sickeningly rich; the vast majority are sickeningly poor.

It is a place of staggering beauty and dynamism and staggering atrophy and decay. Culture, wealth, paucity and poverty sit cheek to jowl, separated only by invisible class barriers and ten-foot walls.

I was there to see an old friend, and accompany him and his two sons back home to Australia. For the few days I was there, as he packed up his life and said goodbye to his brotherhood, we were bombarded with wellwishers.

And they weren’t just wishing him well, but the whole of Australia. News of the ferocious flames that had consumed so much of our bushland had spread there like, well, wildfire. His many Mexican friends offered our country their deepest condolences.

And, frankly, it made him sick.

It was not that he was ungrateful to them or unworried by his fire-ravaged home. It was simply that he could not accept sympathy from people who lived in a poverty almost no Australian could imagine. For all the grief and loss and sorrow that the fires have caused, he knew that our country, our lives, were so much more fortunate than theirs.

I was contemplating this the morning after we arrived home. It happened to be Australia Day and, like most Australia Days, I had barely even noticed.

I am not exactly the flag-waving kind, nor do I need any encouragement from a calendar to get drunk and laugh with friends. But I am accidentally reminded on January 26, like most other days of the year, just how lucky we are to live in this country.

It certainly doesn’t mean that we are free from problems, nor that everyone in this country shares that luck.

But even among all the tragedy, violence and mistakes both well-meaning and malevolent, Australia remains, by almost any measure, the luckiest nation on earth.

This is not because of race or the patterns on a flag. There is no pride in being born in a certain place any more than there is being born in a certain skin. It is because of a series of stands taken by lawmakers and community leaders that have crosshatched into the most stable, generous and prosperous foundations of any liberal democracy.

The delicate balance of our political institutions protects us from the volatility of the UK’s first-past-the-post approach and the US’s incongruous electoral college vote. Our preferential voting system means we don’t always get the best government but we do get the least worst.

Within that framework we have woven into the national fabric social bulwarks like free education, free healthcare and a welfare safety net – many not entirely free but more free than most.

And we have strong workplace laws and a minimum wage, a justice system almost entirely untainted by corruption. And a political culture where elections are free and fair and come with a sausage at the end.

Plus we have an economy that even in its moments of weakness, has withstood the global turbulence of the last quarter century, forces which have plunged other nations into levels of recession and unemployment that our young Australians would scarcely recognise.

Again, none of these things is perfect – just as nothing in the world is perfect – but it is almost impossible to live in or even consider any other nation and not conclude that Australia is a remarkable triumph of good luck and good will.

Of course we must eternally strive to make it better. We must close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, we must work to stop wages flatlining and give people the dignity and security of having their own home, and we must do everything at all times to get people out of poverty – paradoxically both by jobs growth and a liveable dole.

But you have to wonder when you see some of the more hysterical laments of the commentariat if there is any real sense of just how lucky we are. Indeed, it often seems like the luckier they are the more they lament.

Australia, as it stands now, is a land beset by fire and flood and killer flu. You could be forgiven for thinking the end of days really is upon us.

And yet we are also a land beset by decency and kindness and common sense – in our laws, our culture and our nature. We are less perfect than imagined nirvanas but as good as any real nation on earth.

And I still believe that these strengths will overcome all disasters – be they natural or human – because our whole nation is built on the scandalous assumption that we are natural and human ourselves.


Democracy may be messy but the alternative is chaos

Bills of Rights can go badly wrong.  Much depends on who drafts them.  They can very easily express a Leftist agenda

Janet Albrechtsen

The rights activists could not be more wrong. The latest bid for an Australian charter or bill of rights launched this week by Amnesty International fails at the most fundamental hurdle: the one about who should make laws in a democracy.

Should it be the Australian people? Or a handful of judges empowered by a bill or a charter of rights and egged on by lawyers in search of work and other impatient activists?

The activists, including legal academic George Williams, are trying to harness new recruits in the media to an old cause. Riding the slipstream of the media’s Right to Know campaign, they claim the only way to truly protect the media’s ability to report matters of public interest is with a complete legal overhaul. Simple tinkering will not do, they say.

It’s all very curious. These people weren’t free-speech fans when it came to repealing section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Nor are they the least bit interested in a religious freedom law. But the Right to Know campaign? That, apparently, demands a new law to protect freedom.

Except it’s not new. They have been flogging this same old dead horse for years and it is deeply anti-democratic. Even a charter of rights passed by our federal parliament as a mere legislative instrument is a ruse, a way to warm us up for the finale, a real lawyers’ picnic: a constitutionally entrenched charter.

If that all sounds rather dramatic, while in Canada these past four weeks I saw the perfect proof of why Amnesty is wrong and why we should steer clear of any kind of charter of rights. It involves one of the most fundamental rights imaginable: a person’s right to decide when to end their life.

In Canada the courts call the shots about this issue. In Australia, we, the people, decide these laws. And you don’t need a legal degree, let alone a doctorate in constitutional law, to work out which is more democratic and which model carries more legitimacy with the people.

Recall the history of assisted dying laws in Australia. The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly passed the world’s first law to legalise euthanasia in May 1995. Then, in March 1997, the federal Senate passed another law, rendering that law invalid.

It was a highly contested issue. More than 20 years later two Australian states, Western Australia and Victoria, have passed assisted dying laws because our elected representatives have undertaken the messy, long and laborious process known as democracy.

It involves considering, investigating, discussing, calling for submissions from lay folk as well as medical experts, drafting, deliberating over changes and, finally, passing these laws.

As Western Australia’s Health Minister Roger Cook said after the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed in the state’s parliament last year: “We are at the end of a very long process, a momentous process for the West Australian parliament and West Australian public.”

Two years earlier Victoria’s parliament passed a similar law after an equally gruelling process.

Meanwhile, democracy led the NSW parliament to consider the same issue and reject it in 2017.

The ACT government has responded to, and largely agreed to, an end of life report, even though it lacks the power to enact such laws. Queensland’s parliament undertook an inquiry in 2018, extending it until March this year. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall also has committed that state’s parliament to an inquiry, with public submissions concluding last year.

Contrast our long, carefully considered and, yes, messy but very democratic path to assisted dying laws with Canada’s route.

There, a lovely sounding charter of rights and freedoms has turned a vibrant people’s democracy into a guided democracy with the Supreme Court of Canada playing the part of Lee Kuan Yew. In this and other major policy areas the real decision-maker in Canada is a judicial aristocracy, an unelected, unaccountable and unsackable body that treats elected parliaments with disdain, if not contempt.

It was not always thus. Canada, like Australian states and territories, historically followed a centuries-old legal principle embodied in section 241 of Canada’s Criminal Code. That law, enacted by parliament, provided that assisting someone to commit suicide was a crime. Indeed, even Canada’s Supreme Court, in a 1993 decision called Rodriguez, upheld that position despite the addition of the charter of rights and freedoms to the Canadian Constitution in 1982.

But then fashions changed. By 2015 the Supreme Court, in a case called Carter, decided the charter of rights and freedoms did, indeed, confer a right to assisted suicide for those with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition, including an illness, disease or disability, that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition”.

How did they decide? It was nothing short of a court assuming the role of philosopher king.

Somewhat condescendingly the Supreme Court gave the Canadian parliament 12 months to draft a law complying with the court’s ruling.

The government had to go to court to grovel for an extension but eventually parliament did what the court ordered it to do.

Or did it? Last September a single judge in a lower court, Justice Christine Baudouin of the Quebec Superior Court, marked parliament’s exam paper with F for fail. The judge decided that it breached Canada’s charter for the parliament to insert a limitation requiring that death be “reasonably foreseeable” before a patient was eligible for voluntary assisted death.

Activists cheered Bau­douin. And they are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of further judicial activism over two other aspects of the parliament’s law on assisted dying.

Parliament has prohibited minors from accessing assisted dying and also prohibited “advance directives”, preferring to demand that consent be given for assisted dying in the moments right before death.

If activists can find a few agreeable judges they can override the will of the people here, too.

Note that a single judge with no special expertise in relevant medical, social, or economic policy areas has widened the boundaries of a deeply complicated issue without access to all the analytic, expert and research resources of parliament, or the benefit of full, public consultation. And neither should courts have access to these resources. After all, they are not meant to be politicians.

Yet Canadian courts run the country in key areas because they can. And parliaments must dance to their tune.

Apologists for the Canadian charter will point to what is called the “notwithstanding” clause as rescuing parliamentary sovereignty. While it is true there is a theoretical ability for parliaments to override the courts, they can do so only for a limited period and some critical charter rights cannot be overridden, even temporarily. Proof that this is a useless fetter on the court’s ability to tell the parliament what to do is that the federal parliament has never once tried to use the “notwithstanding” clause.

Making all this worse, when the Supreme Court of Canada in the Carter case overruled its own Rodriguez decision it made stare decisis (the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to precedent) a dead letter and effectively invited lower courts to ignore legal precedents and get in on the lawmaking act.

Canada’s key social policies are hostage not merely to the latest fads sweeping the Supreme Court but also the policy fashions of judges in myriad lower courts.

And that is the other inherent flaw in the case for an Australian bill of rights to protect our basic freedoms. Like Williams, charter fans claim it is the only way to deal with issues that parliament squibs.

What the advocates and activists won’t mention is that they are simply impatient with old-fashioned democratic processes and often deeply scornful of its results.

A bill of rights is the undemocratic fast-track to laws they prefer. It gives judges a set of human rights laws that are vaguely drafted, inviting them to decide big policy issues and allowing them to inject their personal biases into judgments.

There is a reason the Americans call it an end-run around democracy. It’s how to run right past democratic processes without getting bogged down by the people or the politicians who represent them.

This battle between parliament and the courts is not confined to Canada. This week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern backed euthanasia laws. If passed by the parliament, it will be only a matter of time before a few judges in that country use the New Zealand bill of rights to meddle in this controversial issue.

A fortnight ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was concerned that judicial review had become a way of “conducting politics by another means”. While judicial review is, indeed, a vital cornerstone of our legal system and a fundamental protection for the citizen against an over-mighty government, there is a pretty strong argument it has gone too far.

Judicial review was intended to prevent abuses of process and patently untenable decisions. Today, spurred by like-minded activists who head to court, judges increasingly are using their unelected pulpits to implement their personal policy preferences over those of elected and accountable politicians.

In Australia, we should never take for granted that Australian laws are still made by parliaments elected by, and accountable to, Australian voters.


ABC’s 7.30 runs yet another Dismissal conspiracy story

Once upon a time the left in Australia alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) played a role in the decision of Governor-General Sir John Kerr to dismiss Gough Whitlam’s Labor government on 11 November 1975. Now the left is alleging that it was Buckingham Palace which was involved in some form of conspiracy to the same effect. Both views are baseless and not supported by evidence, nearly half a century after the event.

Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking seems to be the official historian of the Australian left – with biographies on Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam, Labor attorney-general and later High Court justice Lionel Murphy and one-time Communist Party operative Frank Hardy.

The evidence suggests that Dr Hocking has ready access to the ABC. So it came as no surprise that she got another run on the taxpayer funded broadcaster last night in a story presented by 7.30’s Ashlynne McGhee.

Currently Professor Hocking is involved in a legal action to compel the Australian Archives to release correspondence between Sir John and Queen Elizabeth II which took place in late 1975. It concerned the decision by the Coalition in opposition led by Malcolm Fraser to block supply – and the determination by the Labor government led by Gough Whitlam to govern without supply.

In the event, Kerr dismissed Whitlam and commissioned Fraser to form a caretaker government subsequent to the holding of a double dissolution election. The Coalition won the December 1975 election in a landslide.

Gerard Henderson reviewed a number of recent books on this issue – by Paul Kelly & Troy Bramston and Jenny Hocking along with a collection of essays edited by Sybil Nolan in The Sydney Institute Review Online, (Issue 2), 2 February, 2016.

Jenny Hocking’s application for special leave to appeal against a Federal Court decision not to release Sir John’s correspondence with The Palace will be heard by the High Court of Australia next week.

In the late 1980s, John Kerr showed Gerard Henderson some of his late 1975 correspondence with the Palace – but did not allow him to copy it. It appears that Kerr used this correspondence to write what he wrote about the Dismissal in his book Matters for Judgment (1978). Consequently it is most unlikely that there will be any discoveries about The Dismissal when – or rather if – the correspondence is released.

Henderson is of the view that it would be best if the entire correspondence were to be released – since this would put an end to Hocking’s conspiracy theory. But it is a difficult issue in view of Kerr’s rights with respect to what he regarded as personal correspondence and the rights claimed by Buckingham Palace.

Last night 7.30 interviewed Jenny Hocking about her case. Her views were contrasted with those of Philip Benwell, the British-born head of the quaint and old fashioned Australian Monarchist League.

7.30 chose not to speak to individuals with a similar knowledge of the subject as Hocking. For example the likes of Paul Kelly, Troy Bramston and Gerard Henderson. It was a familiar ABC tactic of interviewing a soft target who disagrees with a position favoured by ABC journalists and producers.

Benwell was interviewed sitting in a chair – behind him was old fashioned antique furniture. Whereas there was footage of Hocking walking actively around the State Library of Victoria – including footage of her seated in a high chair, alone in a large hall, viewing film about Whitlam and Kerr.

In a series of Twitter posts yesterday Troy Bramston documented a number of factual errors in Ashlynne McGhee’s report. The RMIT-ABC Fact Check Unit checks the facts of others – but does not fact-check ABC programs before they go to air.

There is no evidence that the Queen or the Palace intervened with respect to the Dismissal. Why would she or it? Ms McGhee made much of the fact that the Palace does not want the letters sent by Kerr to the Queen released and that it allegedly advised Kerr to omit key material about the Palace from his memoirs. But that’s a typical response by the Queen’s advisers. The historian Julia Baird had difficulty getting Buckingham Palace to release material relating to Queen Victoria who died in 1901.

What Jenny Hocking cannot accept is that Kerr resolved the stand-off between two determined and arrogant men at a time when supply was running out and the Commonwealth was finding it increasingly difficult to pay its bills, including public services salaries.

In the end, the conflict was resolved by a vote of the Australian electorate without any obvious input from either Buckingham Palace or the CIA. This fact was omitted from the 7.30 story last night.


 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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