Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Gus Leonisky's blog

heavy metal leak...

kakadu uranium mine

kakadu uranium mine (picture by Gus)

Millions of litres of radioactive water from the Ranger uranium mine have flowed into world heritage-listed wetlands in Kakadu National Park.

Aboriginal traditional owners say they will oppose plans for a huge expansion of the 30-year-old mine by Energy Resources of Australia unless the company upgrades its environmental protection procedures.

and god created the oil...

the bad oil

Education officials in the US state of Texas have adopted new guidelines to the school curriculum which critics say will politicise teaching.

The changes include teaching that the United Nations could be a threat to American freedom, and that the Founding Fathers may not have intended a complete separation of church and state.

Critics say the changes are ideological and distort history, but proponents argue they are redressing a long-standing liberal bias in education.

Analysts say Texas, with five million schoolchildren, wields substantial influence on school curriculums across the US.



Australian customs officers have been given new powers to search incoming travellers' laptops and mobile phones for pornography, a spokeswoman for the Australian sex industry says.

Fiona Patten, president of the Australian Sex Party, is demanding an inquiry into why a new question appears on Incoming Passenger Cards asking people if they are carrying "pornography".

Patten said officials now had an unfettered right to examine travellers' electronic devices, marking the beginning of a new era of official investigation into people's private lives. She questioned whether it was appropriate to search people for legal R18+ and X18+ material.



The Federal Opposition is in damage control again after Joe Hockey's appearance at the Press Club descended into what even his own colleagues admit was a "shemozzle" yesterday.

Last week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told the House of Representatives that Mr Hockey would use yesterday's lunchtime speech to give details of the Coalition's proposed budget savings.

But Mr Hockey's speech did not contain any concrete detail on the savings, a task that was left to finance spokesman Andrew Robb, who briefed journalists on the cuts after Mr Hockey made his exit.

whistle blow...


sceptical about the doomsday...


Treasury secretary Ken Henry says there is reason to be sceptical about some of the doomsday predictions sparked by the proposed resources tax changes.

In his annual post-budget address to economists, Dr Henry has argued similar predictions have been made in the past by the mining industry and have not eventuated.

He says some of the commentary around the tax has been confused and incorrect, and he has taken aim at the mining industry's outcry.

"In the last four decades numerous predictions have been made of large scale unemployment and the death of manufacturing, decrying deregulation, decrying tariff cuts and decrying mineral booms," he said.

collecting wrongly...


Google has admitted that for the past three years it has wrongly collected information people have sent over unencrypted wi-fi networks.

The issue came to light after German authorities asked to audit the data the company's Street View cars gathered as they took photos viewed on Google maps.

Google said during a review it found it had "been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open networks".

The admission will increase concerns about potential privacy breaches.

These snippets could include parts of an email, text or photograph or even the website someone may be viewing.

weeds are greener on the other side of the fence...


"Well, obviously oppositions have to do two things. First of all, they have to mount an effective critique of the Government and I think we’ve been doing that. Second, they’ve got to present as a credible alternative, they’ve got to convince people that life would be different and better if there was a change and that’s what we’re doing, I hope"


plan C...


The US government has demanded immediate clarification from BP over its commitment to pay for costs caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Obama administration said it wanted to be sure BP would honour commitments not to limit payments for damages to a US statutory cap of $75m (£50m).

Meanwhile, BP says oil dispersants applied at the source of the leak on Friday have begun to take effect.

Mississippi has become the third US state to have oil wash up on its coast.


robbing hoods...



preventing an open wound...

Keneally scraps controversial coal mine

The New South Wales Government has announced it will block the proposed Bickham coal mine in the Upper Hunter Valley near Scone.

The mine has been strongly opposed by locals in the area, who say their farming activities and horse studs would be adversely affected for little gain.

Premier Kristina Keneally says the project was assessed on its merits and they did not stack up.

She says she will amend government policy to stop similar proposals in the future.

"The Government will not allow the Bickham coal mine proposal to proceed," she said.

in the sand pit...


The Federal Government has fended off accusations its plan to get the budget back into the black is banking too heavily on a continuing mining boom and big taxes.

Treasurer Wayne Swan unveiled his "no-frills" 2010-11 budget last night, his pre-election pitch to voters focusing on spending restraint and conservative economic management.

The forecasts paint a vastly different picture for Australia's economic prospects than what was predicted just a year ago and the Government says its strict fiscal controls are a major driver of the improvement.

heavenly science...


In his book, “Heaven + Earth. Global warming: the missing science”, Professor Ian Plimer from the University of Adelaide questions the science of human-induced climate change. A range of Australian scientists respond to the book.

But first a word from Gus.

I find it quite extraordinary that a serious scientist, atheist and sceptic, would use the word "heaven" in the title of his work. It's perverse. Being a miner as well as a professor, Ian Plimer would have massive conflict of interests should he subscribe to the "global warming" theory. Thus he does not.

tony the prophet...

tony the prophet
Abbott feels heat on Jesus claim

TONY Abbott is under pressure to justify a claim to primary school students that it was considerably warmer when Jesus was alive than it is today.

The Opposition Leader urged year 5 and 6 students at Trinity Gardens Primary School in Adelaide to be sceptical about the human contribution to climate change, saying it was an open question.

During a question-and-answer session on Friday, Mr Abbott said that it was warmer ''at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth'' than now.

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