Saturday 11th of July 2020

the fable of the economist of doom and the fantasist...


If you have any doubt, there is a sarcastic synergy at The Australian. It permeates the air with foul smells. On one side you get an economist who is on the extreme-right of the spectrum of extreme-right and on the other props up a fantasist who is trying to push a fabulous agenda to which no-one pays attention to because it stinks, though HE IS AFTER YOUR CASH !

The latest instalment from Terry McCrann (behind paywall) is thus aimed at killing every thing from hope to political good will, like shooting dead ducks because. I know there is a big stick of manipulative policy-making in political dynamite but Terry hates Malcolm Turnbull like you would not believe. 

Here comes Terry, Designate Accountant of Doom (DAoD), with his clangers:


LET’S strip away all the fine rhetoric and outright bombast — the meetings in Paris and in Sydney last week had just one target and exactly the same target: your money...

IT is now, if not actually quite yet official, nevertheless absolutely crystal clear — Malcolm Turnbull’s “tax reform” really means “tax hikes”

AS if on cue, the organisation formerly associated with science and research, the CSIRO, demonstrated on Tuesday precisely why Malcolm Turnbull giving it an extra $200 million is an exercise in just pouring money straight down the drain.

OH good grief! I’m from the government and am here to help you innovate, bemoans Terry McCrann.

THE “good” economic growth figures for the September quarter capture a simple, brutal reality about today’s, and even more, tomorrow’s Australia: after the resources boom we are getting poorer.


Meanwhile the Grand Fabulist One (GFO) from Denmark is subtly trying to make more sense, while still "resenting that not enough is done to tackle global warming" in which he really does not believe in...

A strange pair if you will. So, why place McCann and Lomborg in the same toon? See comment below.

old rubbish from terry mccrann...


Terry McCrann makes the very strong point that according to the Climate Commission, the science is settled and therefore the world will inevitably get warmer (because China and India will be increasing their emissions over the next decade). So, the argument goes, if we know that as a certainty, why are we flushing billions of dollars down the lavatory in a hopeless attempt to stop it, when we should be spending that money on adaptation? Don’t wait up for an answer from the warming zealots.

IF the science is as settled as climate commissioner Will Steffen asserts, then the Gillard government has only one rational policy option. It is the Lomborg solution.

It should immediately abandon all attempts to impose costly and inefficient wind and solar energy generation and, more broadly, abandon the 2020 target of cutting our greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent; with the redirection of all those freed resources to dealing with the perceived consequences of a hotter world.

Because it will get hotter; indeed, much hotter. That is to say, according to Steffen’s “settled science”. Because, simply put, global emissions in 2020 – at the end of Steffen’s “(absolutely) Critical Decade” – will be higher than they are today. Perhaps much higher.

The die will have been cast. For, according to Steffen and his settled science, that would then require the world to agree to cut global emissions by 9 per cent a year, every year from 2020, all the way to zero. That is, to total global decarbonisation in 30 years. And even that would only get us to a still 2 degrees hotter world. According to Steffen and his settled science.

You would have to rate the chances of doing that as zero. That a world that had allowed emissions to grow each year to 2020 would both agree to start cutting them immediately by 9 per cent a year, every year, and actually have a pathway to do that. Such an agreement is beyond even the most wishful of thinking.

As Danish statistician and “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg has consistently and persistently argued, the best course (for the world) is to adapt to short-term temperature rises rather than engage in futile and costly attempts to stop them.


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There you have it: McCrann "loves" Lomborg... None of these two dudes believe in global warming. McCrann thinks it's a bunkum idea, because doing something about it, stops us from burning the planet down for profit — the only thing that matters, while Lomborg is like a stinking fly on the butt of a horse pinching pinch your cash while doing fantasies. 

Both of them are deluded. 


the hard work has not begun yet....

What is new is that the present mass extinction is directly caused by one species. No one species has ever before held in its hands the fate of so many, including its own.

Although dangerous changes in the biosphere are hard to detect in human time, there are some humans who are constantly confronted by them. In place of our ordinary senses, the scientists who study climate gather vast amounts of data and process it with mathematical models. This enables them to see what is happening from earth’s perspective. Numbers that, to the untrained eye, look harmless, may be alarming to someone who understands their implications.

If a lobbyist, politician, fossil fuel magnate or champion of global capitalism says we have nothing to worry about, it may be tempting to believe. Unless you live on an island with water lapping at your door, or on farmland devastated by persistent drought, you may not notice anything that reinforces what climate scientists have been telling us.

This is not simply a case of competing opinions. The motives behind these messages are entirely different. The carbon kings are protecting their assets and the ideology of extractivism, to quote Naomi Klein.

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record heat

In South Australiaauthorities are bracing for a fourth day of extreme heat with forecasters predicting temperatures well into the 40s for much of the state.
Adelaide has broken the record for its longest December heatwave on file, with temperatures expected to reach as high as 44C by mid-afternoon.

An extreme fire danger rating has been declared across the West Coast, Lower Eyre Peninsula, Mid North, Mount Lofty Ranges, Yorke Peninsula and Lower South East.

There is also a total fire ban across all of South Australia. 

The Country Fire Service has issued advice for a fire north of Penong, on South Australia's far west coast. Fires that were burning earlier at Waltowa and Balaklava, and Campoona have now been contained. Visit the Country Fire Service for the latest information.

the "economist", the banker and the cartoonist...


CBA chief Ian Narev's comments draw predictably hysterical reaction fe90d8e6159310f57f7abec348f0e28a
23 Apr 2016 ... Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev made a perfectly anodyne observation in his speech to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce mid-week — and unleashed a predictable firestorm of equally predictable asinine abuse...
etc Paywall whatever... But here is the next bit of froth at the mouth from McCrann back then when he was bagging Bill Shorten for demanding a Royal Commission into the banking system's abuse of customers:

Read from top... Note that McCrann like most (all) of the columnists at The Australian "do not believe" in global warming ... At least the cartoon from Peter Nicholson is more on the money... I wonder how he got passed the dogs at "The Australian". Ah I know... Three months later after this cartoon:
Peter Nicholson files his last cartoon for The Australian 46021048c53e4dd495e11c48a722fce9

4 Jul 2016 ... This week, Nicholson filed his last cartoon for his home of the past 23 years, this newspaper. His reach as an entertainer and commentator has been vast throughout his career, including a stint during an era of thriving political satire in this country in the 1980s and early 1990s when his Rubbery Figures ...



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small potatoes...

The dogs are barking at the ABC that its excellent disaster coverage over summer has blown the news budget.

That means more jobs will have to go.

Journalists are expecting a round of redundancies next month barring a financial miracle – pennies from heaven, or at least from Canberra.

You might think that with the great public service provided by the ABC fresh in people’s minds, it would be an excellent time for a savvy chair to be pounding government corridors seeking to at least reverse the announced cuts in the ABC’s budget.

Maybe that’s why a sworn enemy of the ABC, Senator James McGrath (LNP, Qld), decided the best contribution he could make to the nation this week, the best thing he could find about himself to self-promote on Twitter, was to attack the reduced amount the ABC already receives.

A senator since 2014, it seems from Google that James McGrath’s biggest claims to fame outside the Liberal Party machine are being sacked in 2008 from Boris Johnson’s campaign to become London Mayor and bragging about his car killing a cockatoo last year.

Senator McGrath comfortably fits the very model of a modern Queensland senator.

He has fed off the public/political/lobbyist teat since he was 25.

His maiden speech wanted the ABC sold off, company tax cut, the GST increased and the federal Departments of Health and Education abolished.

Some might find it ironic that his pay packet is topped up by being chair of the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee and deputy chair of the Education and Employment References Committee.

He is, of course, a supporter of the Institute of Public Affairs’ campaign against indigenous constitutional recognition, is a fossil-fuel friend, and makes Michael West’s Revolving Doors list for links between the mining industry and government.

Right now, private economists are publicly doing what Treasury and Reserve Bank economists are doing privately – downgrading Australia’s economic growth prospects and dissing thoughts of the budget surplus Josh Frydenberg claimed to deliver nine months ago.

But since Senator McGrath thinks the ABC’s $1.1 billion is a crucial sum, and prompted by a tweet about the cumulative cost of grant rorts, I wondered how the ABC’s budget compared with the way Senator McGrath’s government plays loose and fast with taxpayers’ funds.

As the disclosures keep ticking over, it’s unsurprising to be able to find around $1 billion worth of government rorting in the past financial year that does not concern Senator McGrath in the least.

Since the ‘Adventures of Bridget McKenzie’ debuted, they just keep coming.

There is the $102.5 million McKenzie special, the particularly egregious community sports infrastructure grants that conned local sports volunteers, closely followed by the $150 million coalition swimming pools.

Then there are the National Party specials of the $272 million Regional Growth Fund and the $841.6 million Building Better Regions Fund.

The BBRF is spread over four years, so let’s say the amount spent in the election year (94 per cent in coalition and marginal seats, including yet another million-dollar surf club) is a round $200 million.

That brings us to $724 million. But wait, there’s certainly more.

One of the biggest abuses of taxpayers’ funds thrown in the public’s face was the blown-out and blatantly political federal government advertising campaign – $200 million worth to spruik such things as the coalition’s tax policy and promised infrastructure spending before the election.

(In case you missed it, the government’s much-promoted “$100 billion infrastructure investment” is over 10 years, so in real terms, it is only a promise to bring annual spending back up to what Joe Hockey promised in 2014. The vast majority of infrastructure spending is being done by the states.)

The #ScottyfromMarketing advertising splash is especially wasteful, not that Senator McGrath cares, as some of the other projects did have worthwhile outcomes despite the poor governance.

So that’s $924 million.

For a really big-ticket waste of money that’s open to large-scale rorting and non-performance though, it’s hard to look past the coalition’s $2 billion climate direct non-action plan, whereby taxpayers hand over money to companies to undertake energy savings they probably would do anyway, and pay farmers, among other things, to “drought-proof” their farms, which they also would have to do anyway.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison rebranded Tony Abbott’s Emissions Reduction Fund as the Climate Solutions Fund – an exercise that, of itself, wasted money on stationery and name plates – instead of trying to develop a real climate policy.

The $2 billion is being spread over 10 years, so we’ll just add $200 million for a running total of $1.124 billion and stop counting there, as we’ve beaten Senator McGrath’s worrisome ABC budget figure without having to try hard at all.

That’s $1.124 billion primarily spent on shoring up the Coalition’s base, some of it doing some good along the way.

But given the government’s lack of ethics and basic governance failures, who can tell?

As written before, the level of deceit has destroyed trust in government.


For a totally unscientific example, I asked Twitter if Scott Morrison hiding the Philip Gaetjens sports rorts report was protecting or damaging Mr Gaetjens.


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But in an article for the Murdoch Press, Terry McCrann increase the rorts beyond 100 billions... One did not know if his intention was to belittle the present rorts or to bash our previous PM, Malcolm, for having organised an orgie of submarines in Adelaide (50 billions) and other government contracts that were more to do with feathering some Liberal (CONservative) egg-nests...or such —as Pauline would say when talking about pollies rorting the system... At least, Pauline has the courage to front up the cameras and tremble like an Autumn leaf about to be dropped by the wind in cahoot with a tree. One guess she is afraid of saying another stupidity which she'll do anyway...

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