Friday, March 24, 2023

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports reveals Great Barrier Reef could be destroyed

This is a thoroughly dishonest piece of reporting. It takes scenarios that the IPCC deems highly unlikely (3C+ warming) and treats it as if it were probable. It's just blatant propaganda from a fanatic below

The Great Barrier Reef could be destroyed and Queensland could endure extreme weather conditions if the planet warms more than 3C, a new report has revealed.

A United Nations report by the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change warned that time may be running out for the world to only warm by 1.5C, saying it was already at 1.1C.

The report details what changes a rising temperatures would bring to Australia.

If they increaee by 4C globally, Australi’s temperaturs could possibly surge by 6C, meaning the potential for 50C days.

Director of Griffith University Climate Action Beacon Professor Brendan Mackey said to make sure the dire effects of global warming won’t happen we need to transition away from fossil fuels and accelerate to clean energy.

“Each government has made a pledge of policies and programs to achieve mitigation which is what the current government propose,” Prof Mackey said.

“If you add all the commitments it would limit global warming.

“A global warming of three would mean the end of the Great Barrier Reef as we know it,” he said.

“Every increment of warming, that makes it hard for everyone. For Queensland it would mean much heavier impacts for agriculture, huge impacts for Great Barrier Reef.

“If you have a temperature of 40C, it’s life threatening and the doctor would send you to hospital, when we talk about levels of warming a healthy temperature would be 0 above pre-industrial levels.”

Prof Mackey said the Reef couldn’t handle the amount of choral bleaching that would occur.

Prof Mackey said things were heating up fast. “That means we are going to see a big increase in climate impact, an increase of severity of extreme weather events,” he said.

“For Queensland this is interesting, as it is highly exposed to extreme weather events.”

“It would mean more heavy flooding, we will have more of everything that’s bad when it comes to weather.

“Every increment of warming, that makes it hard for everyone.”

But Prof Mackey said the report also revealed there was still opportunity to cap the amount of climate change and limit it at 1.5C.

“It’s really Queensland’s interest to prevent further climate change, while Queensland has a lot of fossil fuels, it also has the minerals that it needed for clean energy, there’s a huge opportunity to become a clean energy powerhouse,” he said.

“What the report is saying for Queensland is that climate change is going to get worse than its better. That’s going to be more climate risk for Queensland.”


Big tech will back flawed Voice

In the push to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in Australia’s Constitution, censorship is the greatest weapon – and Big Tech has received the green light to use it.

The Albanese government has confirmed that there will be no changes to how digital platforms monitor freedom of expression and ‘disinformation’ relating to the upcoming referendum on the Voice. This has fuelled concerns over just how fair the debate will be, and rightly so. Given their record of political interference, unhinged bias, and censorship, platforms such as Facebook and Google do not deserve the trust of the Australian people. To ensure that foreign-owned media companies cannot hijack the conversation around one of Australia’s most sensitive domestic matters, the Albanese government should adopt the Institute of Public Affairs’ proposal to legislate against such platforms censoring political viewpoints regarding the referendum.

In explaining why no changes will be made, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland places great trust in Big Tech’s ability to self-regulate. She states that they have policies which ‘protect the integrity of democratic processes and facilitate freedom of expression while addressing misinformation/disinformation’.

Far from protecting democratic ideals, existing social media policies are consistently used to undermine free dialogue in the pursuit of one narrative. Whether it is relying on fact-checkers to flag so-called ‘misinformation’ or arbitrarily declaring that certain content ‘advertisements’ cannot be promoted, digital platforms overwhelmingly silence perspectives that remotely question the logistics or scope of the Voice proposal.

Since September 2022, Google and Facebook have censored three videos produced by the Institute of Public Affairs. In one of these videos, an IPA research fellow details reports regarding the nature of and desire for a traditional information pamphlet surrounding the Voice Proposal. In taking the clip down, Google painted the video as an ‘Australian election ad’ featuring politicians, thereby attracting some technical obligations with which the IPA did not comply. Facebook claimed that another video questioning the extent to which racial equality would be secured by the Voice was an ‘ad’ that violated Facebook’s social and political policies – offering no explanation as to how this was the case. Similarly, conservative lobby group Advance Australia ran advertisements urging Australians to oppose the Voice, claiming that it would create ‘special rights’ for Indigenous Australians. True to form, Facebook cited the increasingly meaningless term ‘misinformation’ to justify pulling the ads in January.

Regardless of whether the Voice affords Indigenous Australians advisory rights and privileges that are not available to any other race – or ‘special rights’ as some say – Facebook’s censorship is a gross intrusion into sensitive domestic affairs. With one of the most significant changes to Australia’s Constitution set to be decided on in coming months, it is vital that any and all interested parties be afforded freedom of speech and expression. To this end, the IPA proposes amending the Broadcasting Services Act to ensure a free and fair debate. By compelling broadcasters – including digital platforms – to offer all referendum participants the opportunity to broadcast referendum material, as IPA Executive Director Daniel Wild argues, the Act can give Australians ‘an equal say over the big issues facing our nation’s future’.

It is for Australians – not foreign-owned tech companies – to debate and decide the country’s constitutional future. Why should Big Tech retain the ability to control the dialogue of our nuanced, domestic affairs when they are not the ones who deal with the consequences? For them to do so is nothing short of foreign interference that attacks the heart of Australia’s democracy. It is odd that Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil denounces foreign interference as it ‘fundamentally undermines our democracy’, just as the Albanese government refuses to address it by way of legislative change.

By hindering the fully informed debate necessary for Australia’s referendum, Big Tech is impeding Australia’s democratic standards. With the referendum fast approaching, it is high time to reign in digital platforms, reminding them that Australia’s course should be steered by Australians.


Voice question ‘far worse’ than feared: constitutional law expert Greg Craven

Prominent constitutional law expert Greg Craven has warned that the proposed question on the Indigenous voice to parliament is “far worse than I had contemplated the worst position being”.

Professor Craven, a member of the government’s constitutional law working group, said the wording for the referendum released by Anthony Albanese “takes the problems that people have identified with the preceding drafting and multiplies it”.

“The criticism of the preceding draft was the all embracing proposition that the Indigenous voice could make representations to executive government. The question was whether that would simply wrap-up every decision of government in legal challenges by the voice or by people on behalf of the voice,” Professor Craven told 3AW.

“It was widely expected that would be wound back and Attorney-General (Mark) Dreyfus tried to do that, he was defeated. Those words are still there in all their glory. “That in a sense is a defeat of hopes for some sort of compromise.”

The former Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor, who has always been a supporter of the principle of a voice and backs the referendum, criticised the “incredibly vague ‘design principles’ that have been endorsed by Cabinet”.

“They will be the substitute for actual detail. So the position is significantly worse,” he said.

Professor Craven said the problem with including executive government is it captures the “whole of the decision making of the Commonwealth government” and could potentially impact decision-making on national security, defence and foreign affairs.

“If you get into a situation, for example the voice hasn’t yet made a representation on some important view and the Commonwealth hasn’t told the voice and given it that chance then legally it is entirely practical for someone to take a challenge to court to stop that action until the voice has made a representation.”

“In theory, you could actually challenge the substance of the decision by saying there hasn’t been natural justice or you haven’t taken into account the right considerations. Basically, what executive government does is it judicialises the whole of the voice. It invites the High Court to be active.”


Labor’s safeguard mechanism to cut emissions from big polluters

Australia’s largest greenhouse gas emitters could be forced to keep their net pollution below a set limit, if a controversial bill being debated by federal parliament gets up.

Known as the “safeguard mechanism”, proponents claim it would have the environmental effect of taking two thirds of the cars off Australia’s roads.

But that could mean higher prices for consumers, right in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

Here’s everything you need to know about the legislation and how it could affect you.

Why is parliament debating the ‘safeguard mechanism’ and what is it?

The “safeguard mechanism” was first proposed by the Abbott Liberal government in 2014, as a means to ensure Australia’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters did not go over certain pollution baselines. But the measure lacked teeth; since it was introduced in 2016, emissions have actually increased.

Labor wants to introduce a new arrangement whereby the emissions baselines will come down by 4.9 per cent each year between 2023 and 2030 – meaning polluters will have to continually develop new processes to reduce their emissions, or else buy carbon offsets if they fail to do so.

So will the safeguard mechanism increase prices?

According to Liberal leader Peter Dutton, yes. Businesses will have to invest more to reduce their emissions, or buy carbon credits – and either way, those costs will be passed on to the consumer, he has said.

The Business Council of Australia, which supports the government’s plan, has been a bit more circumspect, with CEO Jennifer Westacott telling a Senate committee the “fate of the Safeguard Mechanism has flow on consequences for the entire economy”.

Clean Energy Finance director Tim Buckley said any price increases arising from the safeguard mechanism would be “immaterial”.

“The impact of the safeguard mechanism on the Australian consumer is almost immaterial in terms of the overall impact of energy prices and the resulting wider inflation,” he said.

Extreme weather events had a much greater impact on an Australian business’s bottom line than any costs they would incur under the safeguard mechanism legislation, Mr Buckley said, citing the $8.5 billion in losses caused by flooding in 2022 alone as an example.

So what sorts of costs could go up as a result of the safeguard mechanism, and when?

Unless you buy your coal or iron ore by the ton, rest easy. The safeguard mechanism does not cover agricultural enterprises, transport, services or light manufacturing, so it’s not as though these everyday things will suddenly shoot up in price.

But as the Productivity Commission recently noted in its five-yearly productivity inquiry, abatement measures “increase the direct costs of production” and we can expect those costs to be passed on to the consumer.

But they also noted that “higher production costs can be viewed as the price of reducing the chance of even greater climate-related productivity costs in the future”. In other words: some higher costs now could prevent even higher costs down the track.

When those costs are incurred by big businesses (and then passed on to consumers) will vary from industry to industry, though it should be noted most facilities have already started the work of trying to reduce their emissions.

Interestingly, the Productivity Commission has called for the Safeguard Mechanism to be expanded into other sectors, including liquid fuel wholesalers, when the policy settings for the legislation are reviewed in 2026-27. That would certainly have a cost impact on motorists, but it should be stressed that’s a proposal only at this stage.

Who will the safeguard mechanism apply to?

The mechanism applies to 215 of Australia’s biggest emitting facilities – things like coal mines, natural gas plants, and heavy industrial factories.




No comments: