Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Youth and age

Two generations of Leftism

image from

Monique Ryan on the Left and Sally Rugg on the right. Ryan hired Rugg to work for her but Rugg says she was worked too hard. Ryan is a "Teal" and Rugg is a very dedicated Leftist.

It's interesting to note how the young face differs from the older face -- smoother.

Yes: Several people have remarked that Ryan has had the Rugg pulled from under her


NT Police and attorney-general to argue Zachary Rolfe should be forced to front Kumanjayi Walker inquest, with protective certificate

Rolfe was found not guilty by a jury but that is not enough where Aborigines are concerned. He should never heve have been charged for his dealings with an aggressive black thug

Lawyers for the Northern Territory attorney-general and police force will urge the NT Court of Appeal to force Constable Zachary Rolfe to front the inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker, with a certificate protecting him against self-incrimination.

A jury last year found him not guilty of murder, manslaughter and engaging in a violent act causing death, after a five-week Supreme Court trial.

Northern Territory Coroner Elisabeth Armitage is presiding over a lengthy coronial inquest into the shooting, which heard three months of evidence in Alice Springs last year, and is scheduled to resume next month.

Constable Rolfe was called briefly to the stand in November last year, but refused to answer a series of questions about fourteen topics, including his text messages and the events of the night of the shooting.

The officer claimed penalty privilege, arguing police could not be forced to answer questions which could result in an internal "penalty", or disciplinary action, being taken against them at work.

Judge Armitage had earlier ruled police could be compelled to take the stand and be given an immunity certificate, that protects inquest witnesses from incriminating themselves with their evidence.

But Constable Rolfe and his lawyers appealed against the decision in the Supreme Court, where Justice Judith Kelly ultimately ruled his argument was "untenable".

Justice Kelly found penalty privilege did not exist in the context of a coronial inquest, not only ruling that Constable Rolfe could be forced to answer questions, but he was not entitled to a protective certificate at all.

The officer has since launched an appeal, claiming Justice Kelly "erred" in her judgement, and that the coroner "cannot direct or compel the appellant" to answer questions where answers "would tend to expose the appellant to a penalty".


Urgent call from CEDA to tackle different jobs for different genders

Why on earth does this matter? As long as there are no formal barriers, both men and women should be free to take any job for which they are qualified. Are men and women not allowed to be different?

Implementing more family-friendly policies should be among the initiatives taken to address worsening gender segregation in key industries including construction, technology, health and education, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia has found.

In a submission to the federal government’s Employment White Paper, CEDA says occupational gender segregation – where a job is done by either mostly male or female workers – remains at a high level in Australia, despite the growing proportion of women in the workforce.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 12 per cent of construction workers in 2018 were women compared to 14 per cent in 1998. The proportion of female workers in health care and social assistance was 79 per cent in 2018, up from 77 per cent in 1998.

CEDA chief executive Melinda Cilento said there remained a low proportion of women in traditionally male-dominated industries such as construction, mining, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and manufacturing.

“Conversely, there is a low share of men in female-dominated industries, such as health care and education, and some of these occupations have become even more segregated over time,” she said. Even in female-dominated industries, men still disproportionately held more leadership positions.

“While many social, historical and economic factors have driven this segregation, many of the remaining barriers to change are cultural – whether at the government, workplace or individual level,” Ms Cilento said. “We must tackle these entrenched cultural barriers wherever they exist.”

According to CEDA, a significant cultural barrier is access to flexible work. Rigid workplace structures and cultures that insist on fixed hours, locations and modes of attendance further entrench occupational segregation.

Since the Covid pandemic, flexible work arrangements have overtaken compensation as the highest priority for jobseekers.

CEDA says Australia has had one of the least generous and most unequal paid parental leave schemes in the OECD, with 99.5 per cent of parental leave taken by mothers.

The federal government expanded the scheme from 18 to 26 weeks in the October 2022 budget, starting in July. Changes include greater flexibility around the timing of leave taken by both parents.

Men are still 1.8 times more likely than women to be working in a STEM field five years after completing their qualification. The proportion of women studying and working in STEM has barely changed since 2015.

According to CEDA, the skilled migration system also adds to the problem, as female migrants are more likely to be secondary applicants to their partner’s visa, and to work in lower-paid occupations.

“We must break down entrenched barriers in the jobs market,” Ms Cilento said.


Carbon taxes are useless without a technological breakthrough

Raising the cost of using a particular fuel will shift consumption to another fuel, but only if all other things are equal. Unfortunately for climate change hysterics, when it comes to CO2 emissions, all other things aren’t equal.

This is a relevant issue now Australia effectively has a CO2 tax.

Under Australia’s ‘Safeguard Mechanism’, an invention of the previous Coalition government now being ‘refined’ by Labor, Australia’s 215 largest CO2 emitting facilities will face a virtual carbon tax.

They’ve been told they need to reduce their emissions on average by 4.9 per cent a year, and if they can’t manage this, they may buy carbon credits, but only if the credits cost less than an inflation-adjusted $75 a tonne.

This is effectively a tax that cuts in at the average mandated level of emissions per type of facility, and which is determined by the number of facilities that can’t meet those benchmarks and the amount of emissions they emit.

The more emissions, the higher the price, until $75 a tonne. And if the demand exceeds the supply? Well, perhaps some of those polluters will wish their industry organisations hadn’t lobbied for a price cap. They may already even be thinking that, looking at the mess a cap is making of the gas market. Those that can stay in business at those tax levels, that is.

To make this hang together in some way that keeps the Greens happy, the government needed to prove the carbon offsets market was effective. Carbon markets are susceptible to fraud, with double-dipping, poor governance, and imprecise science.

The answer to these problems, raised in an ANU critique about the Australian carbon credit market, was to appoint former Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb to do a review. Chubb gave the scheme the all-clear, subject to 16 recommendations.

Inquiries are only as good as their terms of reference and their personnel. At no stage was Chubb asked what the total carbon credit capacity of Australia is, which would determine the depth of the market and the price that should be charged. If he had, he may have discovered that Australia absorbs more than twice as much CO2 as it emits.

So, on a national basis, the cost of carbon credits ought to be zero – we are already NetZero, with surplus credits to sell to the world.

But this wouldn’t suit the narrative which is to see emissions management as a result purely of fuel-type, rather than also a function of volume. The size of the continent, which contributes to Australia’s high per capita emissions, is also the solution to them, as long as we don’t grow the population too much.

There is also another side to the use of carbon credits which points to the absurdity of carbon taxes. The fact that they need to be available at all, means the government tacitly acknowledges there are no substitutes for fossil fuels for particular uses.

Which is the whole weakness in the idea of carbon taxes. While superficially ‘efficient’ they cannot meet their aim of fuel substitution because the suitable fuels do not exist, or if they do, are banned from consideration by this government.

There are a number of results from this. One is that rather than substituting one fuel type for another they end up substituting one highly-taxed location for a lower-taxed one.

Much of Australia’s emissions under the various regimes in place under previous and current governments have merely been exported to China, South-East Asia more generally, and more recently South Asia, rather than reduced. Ditto for most of the rest of the hyperventilating carbonphobic world, like the EU and the balance of the Anglosphere.

Because only the 215 largest installations will have to adapt, this also represents a boost for smaller businesses. The 216th largest installation will be laughing all the way to the bank, at least in comparison to the 215th (which raises another issue, what happens if one of the 215 goes out of business?).

That’s why since 1990, when the IPCC at the Second World Conference called for a treaty on climate change, global emissions have risen over 53 per cent despite the expenditure of trillions trying to stop them rising.

There are no substitutes and carbon taxes are therefore, in effect, a subsidy to manufacturing in China and the developing world, not a mitigation strategy at all.

Carbon taxes do cause some substitution, such as from coal to gas. This has happened in a perverse way in Australia. As renewables continue to penetrate the power generation mix, there is an increased need for on-demand rapid deployment sources of power, like Open Cycle Gas Generators. In a state like South Australia they make up around 30 per cent of electricity supply.

Unfortunately for Australia the carbonphobics hate natural gas too and have made it difficult to prospect for new fields and bring them online, making gas more expensive than coal, unlike the US where it is generally cheaper. This results in a further ‘tax’ on consumers as gas, being the marginal producer, sets the price for the whole of the electricity network.

Yet even this substitution is to be banned as the governments of Australia declare that gas cannot be part of any ‘capacity mechanism’ (even though gas makes up a substantial part of AEMO’s Infrastructure Plan in 2050, the year we plan to be Net Zero).

Which is where the lack of substitutes will really cut in. Metal refineries need to operate 24/7 – you can’t ever let the metal cool in the pots. And some of them consume vast quantities of electricity. For example, Rio’s three smelters in Queensland consume about 17 per cent of state power generation, the Tomago smelter in NSW around 12 per cent.

The technologies don’t currently exist at all, or where they might exist, in the quantities required, to make these large installations viable using renewables (despite what management says). The tax squeeze is going to send them to the wall, but the world will still need their output, so it will come from somewhere else.

Bear in mind that the businesses we are talking about include power generators, steel and cement manufacturers, fertiliser and plastics manufacturers, oil refineries, and rail operators. The bulk of emissions from some of these has little to do with fuel supply, but is a by-product of their manufacturing process. For example, the coking coal used in steel manufacture cannot be replaced at the moment.

It turns out that carbon taxes are very efficient taxes, but only when it comes to putting industries out of business.

The tax wouldn’t be so dire if all existing technologies were on the table, but alongside gas, nuclear power has been ruled out by this government. Nuclear is the only viable 24/7 non-emitting source of electricity. If it were available the smelters might be safe even if the plastics, fertiliser, steel, and cement manufacturers still faced existential problems.

Bjorn Lomborg has long argued that we need to invest in researching and developing alternative technologies, rather than taxing existing technologies. To date, Australia has more or less avoided this trap, but under enthusiastic Labor, no longer. Their virtual carbon tax guarantees Australia will have an impoverishing collision with the physical limits of reality. And all for no return in global emissions.




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