Sunday 23rd of November 2014

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 15:14

“I don’t think others should be coming and lecturing us on climate change,” he said. “[The speech] gave no sense of the first world, high-class efforts that Australia is making successfully on that issue.”

Robb said the speech unfairly highlighted the issue of climate change, which wasn’t the focus of the G20 meeting.

“There had been 12 months of work gone into shifting the focus of the G20 to greater growth, sustainable growth.”

But he wouldn’t be drawn on whether he thought Obama had shown a deliberate disregard for the Abbott government, saying that the two governments had worked well together on a number of key issues over the last year.

Australia’s attempts to keep climate change off the G20 agenda were hijacked by the announcement of a climate deal between the US and China in the lead up to the high-profile leaders’ meeting.

final communique by the leaders included a call for all countries to contribute to the international green climate fund, a call previously rejected by Australian prime minister Tony Abbott.

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There cannot be any "economic" progress on the planet unless global warming is now included in the "economic" equation — as well as the aspect of protecting the planet from more degradation under exploitation for profit. Abbott, Bishop and now Robb are blind rats living in the dark sewers of grubby politics. Thye have no idea of the damage they are doing to the planet, though I think they actually know... but they don't care. They only want to sell more coal, make your life a misery and fill the pockets of their rich mates. When will they learn something scientific?

Global warming is a BIG PROBLEM that won't go away — especially when it's going to be the only real GROWTH to happen should Abbott wish for selling more coal resulting in MORE EMISSIONS OF CO2... Abbott, Bishop and Robb are all ignoramuses of science. The Australian people are fed up with these stupid clowns who don't know what they're talking about.

Should the waters of the great barrier reef warm up beyond a critical point under global warming, it will be good bye reef... Since the 1970s, it appears that the reef has degraded by about 40 per cent...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 13:46

Thousands of people have turned out at Melbourne's Federation Square to protest against the Federal Government's ABC funding cut.

It is one in a series of public demonstrations scheduled to take place across the country in response to the decision to cut $254 million from the broadcaster's funding over the next five years.

About 2,000 people took part in the Melbourne rally after thousands gathered in Sydney on Saturday.

ABC managing director Mark Scott has indicated the cuts will lead to significant job losses and he is expected to reveal the details to staff around the country on Monday.

But the Government said the ABC should be able to find savings by implementing back-office efficiencies that would not affect programming.

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The Abbott regime sells shit... "back-office efficiencies" might amount to a couple of 100 dollars bills over ten years, not to 250 millions over four... Turnbull and Abbott are deceiving wankers. It can be proven that they are talking crap. Programming will be cut. Programs already have and most ABC journos are not fools as they know the inside-workings of the organisation. 

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 12:59

eggs and tomatoes...

The Clive Palmer-inspired inquiry into the activities and finances of the Queensland government is far more than a celebrity face-off between a coal baron turned parliamentarian and premier Campbell Newman.

It’s the best chance we’ve had in years to shine a light into the dark chambers of “Queensland Incorporated”: the donations, questionable mine approvals and the revolving door of senior staff job-shifting between government and the mining industry.

The environmental regulation of resources industries in Queensland is broken. Not one coal mine has been rejected on environmental grounds after going through the approvals process in the state’s history.

Community concerns have been raised over large political donations from the mining industry and the environmental approvals that appear to follow these donations.

According to the AFR, one former coal-mining tycoon was allegedly granted an approval to amend his environmental authority for maintenance dredging near the Great Barrier Reef just one week after purportedly donating $150,000 to the Queensland LNP. The tycoon in question denies any link.

Campbell Newman has reneged on previous assurances that he wouldn’t support the expansion of the Acland coal mine in southern Queensland. The Queensland LNP and federal Liberal party together have received $700,000 in donations from the owners of the mine between 2010 and 2013.

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 12:17

After almost two decades, the Ngadju people from WA's Goldfields have had their native title claim formally recognised.

On Friday, the Federal Court of Australia convened in Norseman to officially recognise more than 100,000 square kilometres of land as Ngadju native title.

About 40 per cent of the area, east of Norseman, has been named as exclusive possession which is the highest form of native title.

Sonny Graham is one of the few remaining Ngadju elders who started the claim for native title 18 years ago.

He said the recognition had secured the Ngadju culture and traditions for years to come.

"It is exciting, it's been a long hard road but when you have something worthwhile, the challenges make it more precious to you," he said.

Mr Graham said the recognition had come too late for many Ngadju elders who had since passed on.

"One of the oldest ladies was granny Mable Wilson and the other one was uncle Arthur Dimer," he said.

"They were the two that originated the first claim and signed the papers, but sad to say they're not with us today, but they would be pleased that this has happened.

"There's a lot of country there and we know our country, we know there's food there, animals we can hunt.

"We can pass on our cultures, this is the important thing, to our children."

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 12:01

Next December, 196 nations will meet in Paris to agree a course of action to respond to climate change. They will do so under the auspices of the UN framework convention on climate change. This is an international treaty negotiated at the Earth summit in Rio in 1992 with the objective to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”.

The discussions in Paris in 2015 will be informed by the latest climate science. In our play 2071, which recently completed its inaugural run at the Royal Court theatre in London, directed by Katie Mitchell, we explore the science, its implications and the options before us. A key aim is to leave the audience better placed to participate in the public discourse, in which we all need to play a part.

Climate change is a controversial subject that can raise strong emotions. We are all susceptible to being less open-minded and rational about it than we may appreciate. The climate system is very complex, yet its discussion is often oversimplified. There are gaps in our knowledge, and many scientific uncertainties, some of which are fundamentally unknowable. This makes it extremely difficult to predict precisely what the future holds and to determine exactly what actions, if any, to take. In addition there are economic considerations, political implications and ethical questions that further complicate the way forward.

In 2071 we describe how satellites allow us to probe and map our planet’s key components – atmosphere, oceans, ice, and land – in unprecedented ways. By using computer models to bring together the space data with a myriad measurements made in situ, and by combining these with our understanding of underlying physical laws, it is possible to begin to make sense of what is observed. This provides a grand perspective of the Earth’s system as a whole, of its component parts and the interconnections between them.

The system behaves in complex and often counterintuitive ways. But the fundamental principles of it are quite simple: its component parts interact with each other such that, over time, the amount of energy leaving the planet is equal to the amount entering it from the Sun. The interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans, and the ice on land and sea drive the natural variability of the climate. The system is very responsive. Even a small change in one component can trigger a chain of consequences in the other parts. When such changes alter the energy balance, the effects are felt throughout the entire system, while it adjusts to reach a new balance.

Changing oceans

Since the majority of inbound solar energy is absorbed by the oceans, which cover 70% of the planet’s surface and are dark, any imbalance should be most readily observable there. Sea levels rise as water temperature increases, acting as a global thermometer. By combining data gleaned from beach structures and archaeological data, we know that during the latter part of the Holocene, the unusually stable climatic period the planet has undergone since the end of the last Ice Age, sea-level changes did not exceed 0.2mm per year. Information from tide gauges, and more recently, satellite radars, show that in the late 19th century, sea levels began to rise. Over the 20th century the rate of rise averaged 1.8mm per year. Over the last two decades, the rate has further increased to 3.3mm per year. This may not seem much, but it is geologically significant. The current rate is approaching the 10mm per year which occurred during the transition from the last Ice Age to the current warm interglacial, a major climatic shift. And it is occurring during the warm interglacial, at a time unrelated to the natural ice age cycle.

In 1978 John Mercer, a US glaciologist, described how, in a warming world, a successive collapse of ice shelves extending down the Antarctic Peninsula might occur. He suggested that this would be a warning sign of a more significant sequence of events to come. The Antarctic Peninsula connects to an area of the Antarctic called West Antarctica, where the massive ice sheet sits on bedrock that is up to 2km below sea level. Mercer’s concern was that if the successive collapse reached this far, the pressure of the warmer water at depth would lift the ice sheet, causing water to penetrate deeper and deeper below the ice, reducing friction between the ice and rock, leading to an unstoppable collapse. This would result in a rise in sea levels over time of many metres, as the total volume of ice in West Antarctica is equivalent to a six-metre rise.


Follow Gus' global warming rants on this site...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 11:51

From Annabel...

But the really fascinating thing is that inside this Number Three column was actually a Number One just bursting to get out. Latham's private story is a great one about the triumph of love. A man whose commitment to and enjoyment of his children is bigger than anything else in his life, he could be a passionate and fearless buster of the club mentality that still dissuades men from changing the way they work when they have children. For men, the unwritten expectation that being a good father to one's children necessarily involves being absent from them is far more oppressive than whatever stridencies an inner-city feminist might occasionally commit to the page.

But the tragedy is that this inspiring story somehow can't be told without the bloody exordium of a punch in the face for someone else. Latham closes his column with a slap at Pryor for being "cowardly: popping pills as an easy way out".

But addiction to a format can be cowardly too.

And it's pretty sad when the substance you can't kick is bile.

Well, as a bile-master myself, I like Latham's bilic rants to about 80 per cent... It's preferable to being 50/50 like an Annabel fence sitter or a 100 per cent complete liar like Tony Turdy... And to some extend, Annabel rarely touch those other bile-meisters such as Bolt, Jones and Janet... No, Annabel choose to leave them alone and often side with that other rididididiculous ignoramus Devine... 

Long live bile! Long LIVE BILE! as long as the points are sharp and correct. The Bolts and Jones bilers are always wrong.

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 11:26

from David Mitchell

Global capitalism, as a system, simply doesn’t work. Russell Brand’s new book provides the proof. As does my new book. And the hundreds of other new books that are just out. And the Sainsbury’s advert. And all the current adverts for booze and perfume, chocolates and jewels, supermarkets and computer games. The gaudy, twinkly proof is going up all around us as the last of the leaves come down. It’s called Christmas.

On the face of it, Christmas seems like the most naked celebration of capitalism – and by “naked”, I mean the opposite: wrapped, adorned, decorated and sparkling. It might be dressed sexy but, by God, it’s dressed. Or perhaps by Satan. Or Santa. Or Setanta. Which is doubtless doing a Christmas deal on festive football with the opportunity to treat someone special to a banquet of motor racing in the new year. This is capitalism warmly enveloped by fur and wool and silk and diamonds. It’s retail at its most meretricious. Shopping as goddess and whore, love expressed with money and love bought.

But the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy is not really the callous manifestation of the free market that it seems. At the core of our midwinter festival is something fundamentally irrational, an urge a robot would never understand: a need to make merry, to paint the town glittery, to lavish one another with food and gifts purely because it’s got so dark. The sun has gone away and our fears are bubbling to the surface, so we have to dispel them with a big slug of the hard stuff. We must celebrate even though there’s nothing to celebrate. Nothing auspicious has happened other than our continued survival. Yet every winter, since long before Jesus was even a supernova-sized glint in his Father’s ineffable eye, we have a mad party to keep ourselves sane.

This huge quantity of panic buying must be an even more troubling spectacle for those who believe in efficient markets than it is for pious Christians. To people who have faith that the world can heal itself through the unfettered interaction of economically rational individuals, and that, if capitalism were allowed to operate freely, there would be no more slumps and bubbles because the invisible hand of the market would guide everything to its rightful price, the seasonal rush must seem like an orgy of blasphemy.

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 11:15


A mining company faces possible action after illegally bulldozing a swathe of bushland in central Queensland to build a road through areas regarded as habitat of state significance.

The company, Goondicum Resources, admitted it did not have the required state approval. Its managing director told the ABC he now hopes to gain it retrospectively.

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 10:22

make your own

Cartoon created by Glen Lelievre and published in the Sun-Herald November 24 2014...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2014-11-23 09:58

The costly, elongated police siege around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state, writes John Pilger.


For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state.

Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

The persecution of Julian Assange must end.

Even the British Government clearly believes it must end.

On 28 October, the deputy foreign minister, Hugo Swire, told Parliament he would “actively welcome” the Swedish prosecutor in London and

“… we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that.”

The tone was impatient. 

The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has refused to come to London to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduct in Stockholm in 2010 — even though Swedish law allows for it and the procedure is routine for Sweden and the UK.

The documentary evidence of a threat to Assange’s life and freedom from the United States – should he leave the embassy – is overwhelming.

On May 14 this year, U.S. court files revealed that a ‘multi-subject investigation’ against Assange was ‘active and ongoing’.

Ny has never properly explained why she will not come to London, just as the Swedish authorities have never explained why they refuse to give Assange a guarantee that they will not extradite him on to the U.S. under a secret arrangement agreed between Stockholm and Washington. In December 2010, the Independent revealed that the two governments had discussed his onward extradition to the U.S. before the European Arrest Warrant was issued.

Perhaps an explanation is that, contrary to its reputation as a liberal bastion, Sweden has drawn so close to Washington that it has allowed secret CIA “renditions” — including the illegal deportation of refugees. The rendition and subsequent torture of two Egyptian political refugees in 2001 was condemned by the UN Committee against Torture, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch; the complicity and duplicity of the Swedish state are documented in successful civil litigation and WikiLeaks cables.

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