Tuesday, April 05, 2011

News Items and comments

It is not too late to charge him with crimes against humanity.
BURMA strongman Than Shwe, who ruled for almost two decades, has retired as head of the military.

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Who did he criticize?
A WELL-KNOWN Arab Israeli actor, director and political activist was gunned down on Monday.

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Obama backs down.
KHALID Sheikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 conspirators will be tried at Guantanamo Bay.

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Of course if they piped it from the top and didn't waste money on desalination ..
PERTH'S equal-biggest dam is just 9 per cent full - its lowest level ever - sparking fears of a water shortage after months of record-breaking heat and drought.
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PM's plan to get booted from office is working.
THE political rollercoaster has taken another sharp turn with Tony Abbott's Coalition back in front of Labor according to the latest Newspoll.
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If only we weren't in so much debt. We must dump ALP
PRICES for fresh food, petrol, alcohol and tobacco are skyrocketing, according to the latest economic data.

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ALP mismanagement.
POLICE will be banned from accepting free or discounted burgers and doughnuts under new anti-corruption reforms threatening to cause divisions within the force.
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Sad
RUTH Crouch has a present all ready for her son, Declan, in case he comes home for his 14th birthday today.
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I will not teach again.
NEARLY two-thirds of Australian teachers are considering quitting their jobs for a new career.

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He is still wrong.
KEVIN Rudd has admitted he was wrong to shelve an emissions trading scheme last April just months before he himself was dumped as Prime Minister.
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Good move. Silly headline.
IN his biggest act since taking office Barry O'Farrell has scrapped one of the state's most contentious planning laws -- leaving $42 billion of developments in limbo.
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I look forward to getting that train ticket
PREMIER Barry O'Farrell has promised to cut payroll tax, repeal the land value tax, give empty nesters a transfer duty concession and set up project teams for the northwest rail link in his first 100 ...
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Wilkie will compromise.
INDEPENDENT Rob Oakeshott will only support "evidence-based" reforms to curb problem gambling, casting further doubt over Julia Gillard's ability to deliver on a key promise to form Government.
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Good idea worthy of support
THE nation's leading education authority Tony Vinson wants the new State Government to establish early-intervention preschools in its first term to save children from a lifetime of disadvantage.
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Travel nightmare
AFTER a month of trekking through the South American Andes, a simple cab ride to the airport for a flight back home should have been the easiest leg of the journey for Aussie tourist Elizabeth "Lilly"...
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It wasn't panic. It was a contract hit.
THE man who shot seven bullets into Des "Tuppence" Moran inside an Ascot Vale deli "panicked" when the victim turned to face him, the Supreme Court has been told today.
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He has a lot to offer. But, not as a stock trader. Lucky he isn't connected to organized crime.
A FORMER school captain has been jailed for defrauding family and friends of more than $4.2 million to dabble on the stock market, despite having no qualifications.
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Cars are not toys
CIGARETTE ash, not reckless driving, has been blamed for a crash near Mt Compass which killed three youths.
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Nightmare for parents too.
A BABYSITTER who caused brain damage to a five-month-old boy by squeezing his head as he screamed at him to "shut up" was yesterday jailed for up to 10 years, with a judge describing the man's actions...
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It will take years for ALP mismanagement to cycle through.
TED Baillieu has caved in to pressure to finish the Olivia Newton-John cancer centre after initially refusing to commit to the final $45m needed.
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It concerns me that such students miss extra curricular activity. I am sure they are good at what they do but it isn't community building.
TWICE a week Anthony Nedanoski and Ali Hosseini pack up their books and walk out the school gates, leaving their classmates to toil over their high school studies.
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ALP governance has been bad
FROM the outside it looks like every other spacious apartment in the prestigious Carnegie building. But behind the front door, this unit has been changed into a landlord's dream.
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The car did not survive.
A SEATBELT has been hailed as saving the life of a driver whose car plunged six storeys from a carpark yesterday.
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I wish I could ride a bike again.
FORGET Sydney's crippling road and rail gridlock. The RTA's solution to the city's transport woes is a bike path network for an unknown handful of cyclists.
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Division is overstated by media.
BARRY O'Farrell has moved to cut the legs off a future leadership rival by stripping his ambitious new Treasurer Mike Baird's department of half its powers.
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Rest well, man's best friend.
www.foxnews.com
A decorated sheriff’s dog was killed in the line of duty in Washington state early Saturday after he was stabbed trying to apprehend a suspect.
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You don't owe me any message, Dai. Maintaining yourself is part of keeping yourself an effective agent of change, and you are an effective one. Thank you. Be well. I look forward to your future too.
Cabramatta Now Very Marginal Dear friends and supporters, I thought I should update you as to where we are at the moment. Labor has managed to hold onto the seat of Cabramatta with a 2 per cent margin! First of all, my apologies for not being on F...
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If ALP stay in government we could all live like this.
www.news.com.au
THERE'S small and then there's this apartment - a US woman has spent three years living in a 8.3 square metre room in New York's Upper West Side - so tiny the ceiling is less than 60 centimetres from her face when she sleeps.
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THE EARTH IS A CHILD. WE ARE BLANKETS.

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (06:02 am)

Since 2006, Al Gore has held the title for the most infantile global warming metaphor composed by an adult male:

The Earth has a fever and just like when your child has a fever, maybe that’s a warning of something seriously wrong.

Poor wittle Earf. Gore’s line is hard to beat, but last night Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes – attempting to explain away Tim Flannery’s superb “1000 years” quote – uttered something so gruesomely kiddy-sweet that it should have been served in a Sophie Giraffe sippy cup:

Cutting emissions is like not piling more blankets on a child that’s too warm in bed. With luck, the child won’t get hotter still.

But to make the child cooler, you have to take blankets off. And when the blanket is excess greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere, that’s something humans can’t do.

Here’s something else I didn’t know humans could do, until I heard Holmes’s blankie-baby-warmy story: vomit though my mouth, nose and ears simultaneously. Holmes also endorsed this Flannery claim:

It highlights the importance of avoiding every kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions we can, for once in the atmosphere, they are extremely difficult to get out, and have long-term consequences.

Seriously, Jonathan? Every single kilogram? Why, that’s only about the weight of … a blanket. If you genuinely believe it’s important to avoid such tiny CO2 output, you’d best find employment in another field.

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RISERS CRASH

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (05:45 am)

A couple of weeks after a poll upswing, Labor falls:

Support for Labor has crashed again, collapsing to an eight-year, two-party-preferred low as Julia Gillard fights the Greens on “traditional values” and sticks by a carbon tax …

Federal Labor’s primary vote fell from 36 per cent to 32 per cent and the Coalition’s rose from 40 per cent to 45 per cent.

The Coalition’s two-party lead is currently out to a juicy 10 points. Then again, the next poll will probably have Labor leading …

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A BUTTERFLY IN THE AMAZON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (05:30 am)

Whenever I mention the absence of bicycles on Sydney bicycle lanes, it apparently adds to the dangers faced 900 kilometres away by Melbourne bicycle enthusiast and ABC online editor Jonathan Green:

Every time this prawn writes something like this the ride home (no bike lanes fwiw) gets that little bit riskier.

Yet still he rides, even after all these posts. Who knew that Evel Greenevel was such a two-wheeled fate-tempter? He should sell tickets. His daily commutes are bigger than Vegas.

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455 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S ALTITUDE TAX

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (12:47 am)

Up in the sky:

Qantas will pass on the cost of the carbon tax to its passengers, the airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce says.

Mr Joyce says a carbon price of between $20 and $30 a tonne would cost the company an estimated $100 million a year and passengers about $6 on domestic flights.

“We can’t digest the full cost ...” Mr Joyce told ABC Television today.

No other companies hit by the government’s planned carbon dioxide tax will be able to digest it, either, so multiply that increased cost for flights across everything else you buy. Speaking of flights:

600 of Australia’s top climate scientists met in Cairns on Monday.

Excuse me … we have 600 “top climate scientists”? Just in Australia? Six freakin’ hundred? That’s close to the total number of listed senior AFL players. What do these people do all day – train?

CSIRO chief Megan Clark, who was at the gathering, said climate change was one of the most challenging issues humanity had ever faced.

“It does need careful consideration and it does need debate. It also needs all of the players,” Dr Clark told ABC Radio.

“Clearly we need a price on carbon.”

I’m not sure why, unless the CSIRO wants more cyclones:

CSIRO research commissioned by the federal government suggests climate change coulddramatically reduce the number of tropical cyclones in the Australian region and decrease wave heights on the nation’s east coast.

The surprise findings, which appear to contradict some common predictions about the impact of climate change, are contained in scientific papers on “Projecting Future Climate and its Extremes” …

In other carbon news:

Kevin Rudd has admitted he got it wrong in abandoning the emissions trading scheme a year ago.

That’s not what Julia Gillard says.

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Alternative “medicine” and the hope that hurts

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (10:41 am)

Stephen Hough on how his beloved wife trusted “alternative” therapists to cure her breast cancer:

I’m conscious that feelings of grief and anger make it all too easy to allocate blame; and that metastatic cancer almost invariably proves fatal (eventually).

In Pauline’s case, though, I believe that her life was possibly shortened and her last years were certainly made more miserable by the false promises of “alternative” practitioners.

Read on and ask what more we should do, when people here, too, suffer so dreadfully for such false hope.

(Thanks to reader Gordon.)

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Who are Labor’s sceptics?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (10:32 am)

Let Kevin Rudd name the names of those who know this tax is at best useless and at worst a disaster:

FORMER prime minister Kevin Rudd last night admitted he made a mistake when he shelved his plans for an emissions trading scheme, a policy that had deeply divided cabinet, with some members wanting it ditched entirely…

In an extraordinary breach of cabinet confidentiality, the Foreign Minister said he had tried to find a compromise solution in the wake of a push from some members of the cabinet to “kill the ETS” after it was twice rejected by a hostile Senate.

You had some folk who wanted to get rid of it altogether . . . I couldn’t abide that,” Mr Rudd said. “There were others that said we should stick to the existing timetable, apart from the fact that the Senate couldn’t deliver it. I tried to find a way up the middle of all that, preserve the unity of the government.

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A crack in the collective’s warming front

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (10:20 am)

The 7pm Project gives a both-sides-speak report on global warming - rare on television. And when people finally get to hear both sides, they will realise the extent to which they have been deceived.

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Gillard’s dog whistle heard

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (10:17 am)

I thought Gillard’s attack on the Greens not loving “family” was a dog-whistle, and so - it seems - do others:

GREENS leader Bob Brown has labelled Julia Gillard’s claim his party is out of touch as ”obnoxious, quite insulting and unacceptable” and demanded a face-to-face meeting to settle the row.

Mr Brown slammed the Prime Minister’s claim in a speech last Thursday that the Greens would never embrace “Labor’s delight” at sharing the values of average Australians who led “purposeful and dignified lives, driven by love of family and nation”.

He said her comments, whilst delivering the Gough Whitlam Oration, had been a “huge mistake” and accused her of “very clearly turning both barrels on her supporters in government”.

“The tone of those words, carefully weighted, I would say, that 1.5 million Australian voters who backed the Greens at the last election weren’t people who would love their family or love their country or who would want to do the right thing was obnoxious, quite insulting and not acceptable,” Mr Brown told ABC’s Lateline…

His comments come as a liberal MP and gay rights advocate also rejected Ms Gillard’s as “desperate” and warned it could leave her open to the suspicion she was homophobic…

Coalition MP Warren Entsch ... said no politician had the right to make comment on another politician’s love of their family.

“If I was a Greens supporter, I would be highly offended by that,” said Mr Entsch, who campaigned hard in the Howard government for equal legal rights for same-sex couples. “I don’t agree with a lot of the stuff that he (Senator Brown) does, either, but I don’t say that he doesn’t love his mum or love his family or anyone else.”

On MTR 1377 this morning, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said Gillard’s attack was meant to draw attention to the Greens’ position on gay marriage “and other issues”. Unspecified.

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Hmm. Sounds interesting

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (07:44 am)

I read the Herald Sun for more information than I have myself:

ANDREW Bolt is in talks with Channel 10 to host his own weekly political talk show.

It is understood the Herald Sun columnist would go to air at 10am on Sunday mornings—repeated again at 4.30pm the same day.

The show would be a filmed version of Bolt’s popular Herald Sun blog—Australia’s biggest—with guests, interviews and the columnist’s trademark opinion.

Channel 10 acting chief executive Lachlan Murdoch is believed to have been heavily involved in discussions about the new show.

No deal has been signed and negotiations are continuing.

Bolt’s Herald Sun column and blog would not be affected if he signs the TV deal.

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Gillard finished, Rudd flexes

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (07:15 am)

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Julia Gillard is finished, OK? As I suggested at the time, Labor’s “recovery” a fortnight ago was just a rogue poll:


SUPPORT for Labor has crashed again, collapsing to an eight-year, two-party-preferred low as Julia Gillard fights the Greens on “traditional values” and sticks by a carbon tax…

Based on preference flows at the last federal election, the Coalition has a 10-point lead over Labor on a two-party-preferred basis of 55 to 45 per cent. This is the Coalition’s biggest lead after preferences and Labor’s lowest two-party-preferred vote since April 2003, when Kim Beazley declared he wanted to take the Labor leadership because Simon Crean was not making any impact on the Howard government in the polls.

Kevin Rudd announces on Q&A last night he wants the top job again:

In the wake of a recent poll showing him leading Ms Gillard as preferred leader of the Labor Party, Mr Rudd deflected a question about whether he would rule out another tilt at the leadership, declining to answer “yes” or “no”.

But Rudd also advertises how unfit he is to hold the job. He not only referred to the “Yanks” in front of the US Ambassador, blithely defended his incompetent and failing policy in Libya, but betrayed Cabinet solidarity to further undermine Gillard:


FORMER prime minister Kevin Rudd last night admitted he made a mistake when he shelved his plans for an emissions trading scheme, a policy that had deeply divided cabinet, with some members wanting it ditched entirely.

Quizzed extensively during an appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program about the decision that ultimately cost him the Labor leadership, Mr Rudd said: “We all make mistakes in public life That was a big one. I made it.”

In an extraordinary breach of cabinet confidentiality, the Foreign Minister said he had tried to find a compromise solution in the wake of a push from some members of the cabinet to “kill the ETS” after it was twice rejected by a hostile Senate.

“You had some folk who wanted to get rid of it altogether . . . I couldn’t abide that,” Mr Rudd said.

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Greens policy in action

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (06:59 am)

Fiona Byrne and the other NSW Greens demanding a boycott of Israeli products here should be pleased by the success of their policy in London:

The UK branch of Israeli cosmetics store, Ahava, is moving from its central London shop after years of pro-Palestinian demonstrations...

Pro-Palestinian protesters have been demonstrating fortnightly outside the shop, which opened in April 2007, for more than two years. A counter group of pro-Israeli supporters also demonstrate outside…

Last week, four demonstrators stood trial for aggravated trespass after they chained themselves to a concrete block inside the store last year.

Colin George, manager of clothes shop The Loft, next door to Ahava, said: “I’m pleased Ahava is leaving. It’s brought the street down. I’ve complained to the landlords, as has everyone here. Everyone would like them to leave. I wish they had left two years ago...”

It may help advocates of this policy - of boycotting the sale of anything made in Israel - if the guilty shops were marked appropriately for the convenience of the conscientious shopper. My friend Michael Danby believes this system of consumer education worked well in the past and could with profit be adopted by the Greens:

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(Thanks to reader Weir.)

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Odd coincidence

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (12:05 am)

It’s bizarre how a prudent politician could get assaulted twice in one year in bars:

SOUTH Australian Police Minister Kevin Foley broke down in tears today as he revealed he was attacked by a group of men in the toilets of an Adelaide bar on Saturday night. Mr Foley said the incident made him fear for his personal safety, especially after a separate assault on him late last year outside another Adelaide bar.

(I just couldn’t bear getting into more trouble just now, so no comments.)

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How Media Watch deceived its viewers to excuse Flannery

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 05, 11 (12:01 am)

I won’t thank Jonathan Holmes for his defence on Media Watch last night of my right to free speech. No serious journalist should do less, and Holmes salted his “defence” with enough gratuitous insults, errors and jeering to make his duty a rare pleasure. Duty done, yet spite indulged.

So no praise. Instead, I’ll criticise Holmes for his outrageous misrepresentation on the same show of my interview with Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery, whose evasions and misrepresentations he strenuously seeks to hide or excuse.

Here is how that MTR interview actually went:

Bolt: How much will it cost to cut our emissions by the Government’s target of 5 per cent by 2020 and how much will world temperatures fall by as a consequence?

Flannery : In terms of how much it will cut temperatures, that really very much depends upon how Australia’s position is seen overseas.

Bolt: No, no, we’ll get onto that, Tim .... On our own, cutting our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, what will that lower the world’s temperatures by?

Flannery: See, that’s a bogus question because nothing is in isolation.

Bolt: Everyone understands that that is the argument. But we’re just trying to get basic facts, without worrying about the consequences - about what those facts may lead people to think. On our own, by cutting our emissions ... what will the world’s temperatures fall by as a consequence?

Flannery: Look, it will be a very, very small increment.

Bolt: Can you give us a rough figure?

Flannery: Sorry, I can’t because it’s a very complex system and we’re dealing with probabilities here.

Bolt: Are you talking about a thousandth of a degree? A hundredth of a degree? What sort of rough figure?

Flannery: Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as 1000 years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed ...

Bolt: That doesn’t seem a good deal ... So you don’t know about Australia, (but) you wouldn’t dispute that it’s within about a thousandth of a degree, around that magnitude, right?

Flannery: It’s going to be slight.

Yes, the sexy headline that came out of this exchange was Flannery claiming the world would not cool for up to 1000 years, even if the whole world cut all emissions tomorrow.

But notice how I skipped over it?

Holmes now accuses me of being “slow” to pick up this story:

Andrew Bolt was a bit slow on the uptake, but Steve Price knows a headline when he hears one...

In fact, I was not “slow”. I knew immediately that that this “gotcha” was an ambiguous point, as I actually explained on the blog at the time:

The answer is less significant a concession than might appear. Flannery might argue that yes, it would take a thousand years for the temperature to fall again, but if we do nothing they rise far, far more catastrophically. A sauna would turn into a furnace. The critical issue is to get a precise answer on just what difference to the temperature our sacrifices would make.

This is why I focussed boringly on the real issue, as I explained in my column:


Notice? Flannery either does not know what we’ll gain from the pain, or does not dare say. But he does not question the truth - that even if Gillard’s plans work as she hopes, the difference they’ll make to the world’s temperature is measured in mere thousandths of a degree. If that.

And Flannery’s answer to that critical question?

He refused to say - because as Lord Monckton estimates, we are talking about a difference at most of about 0.00005 degrees between what the temperature would be without Gillard’s 5 per cent cut in emissions and what it would be with them. So little, in fact,that few people would think the gain worth the pain.

But let’s now see how Holmes misrepresented my interview last night - misrepresented it so blatantly that I fear he has again let his warmist evangelism overwhelm his judgment. (Again, we’ll have to wait for the transcript and video to be posted before I can fill in the quotes.)

First, he accuses me of being “slow” to pick up a story that both he and I agree was actually not much of a story at all. I’m attacked for not hypeing what Holmes then agrees should not be hyped.

Then he accuses me of having not understood precisely what I actually predicted - that Flannery would say the aim of cutting emissions was more to stop runaway warming than to lower temperatures below what they are now. Or as Holmes put it with a tortuous analogy:

Cutting emissions is like not piling more blankets on a child that’s too warm in bed. With luck, the child won’t get hotter still. But to make the child cooler, you have to take blankets off. And when the blanket is excess greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere, that’s something humans can’t do.

And, lastly, he completely misses or hides the real point that I put to Flannery: how little difference our cuts would make. Let me quote again from the article Holmes criticises where I make that so clear that I cannot believe Holmes missed it:


Notice? Flannery either does not know what we’ll gain from the pain, or does not dare say. But he does not question the truth - that even if Gillard’s plans work as she hopes, the difference they’ll make to the world’s temperature is measured in mere thousandths of a degree. If that.

Jonathan, I don’t consider the way you presented my argument to be ethical, frank or accurate.

Oh, and as you are such a strident warming warrior, can you tell me: by how much will the world temperature fall from the business-as-usual level if we cut our emissions by 5 per cent by 2020? Is 0.000005 degrees about right?

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Why weren’t we told?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 04, 11 (06:53 pm)

Tensions between two imported community groups are so high that we are not even allowed to know how bad they really are:

Australia’s oldest Hindu temple, the Sri Mandir in Auburn, is under siege and its devotees gripped by fear.

On March 19, two men in balaclavas stood at the intersection of a nearby road, spraying the front of the prayer hall with eight rounds of bullets. The building was unoccupied at the time.

The busy Hindu temple opened in 1977. It is surrounded by a predominantly Muslim population and it is no secret among locals that tensions have been simmering in recent years, caused by concerns about noise and parking problems at Sri Mandir.

‘’There is no excuse [for the gun attack],’’ the editor of Sydney newspaper The Indian, Rohit Revo, said.

‘’This was not the work of teenagers; neither was it a petty prank. This is part of a sustained and increasingly violent campaign to scare the temple devotees and drive them out. By definition, this latest attack was an act of terrorism.’’

The Sun-Herald is aware the ongoing feud has caused disquiet among some of the most senior police in western Sydney. In a rare move, details of the shooting were deliberately held back from the NSW police media unit through concern that publicity might inflame hostilities.

You are not told the truth - which means the few who do speak are demonised as racists. And the public policy settings which have left us with this dreadful problem are not altered as they should be.

(Thanks to reader Dean and many appalled others.)

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CSIRO’s warming gets a chill

Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 04, 11 (06:40 pm)

CSIRO in 2010:

The State of the Climate snapshot, drawn together by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology ... shows that Australia’s mean temperature has increased 0.7 degrees since 1960....

The report states that temperature observations, among others indicators, ‘’clearly demonstrate climate change is real’’...

CSIRO in 2011:

Maximum temperatures nationally were the coldest on record with a national anomaly of -2.19°C. Most of Australia recorded below average mean maxima with parts of the north and south of the country recording their coldest March on record....

Rainfall averaged over Australia was 117% above-normal and ranks as the wettest March on record with most of the country recording above average falls.

And why did this concession have to get chiselled out of the CSIRO with a freedom-of-infornation request?

CSIRO research commissioned by the federal government suggests climate change could dramatically reduce the number of tropical cyclones in the Australian region and decrease wave heights on the nation’s east coast.

The surprise findings, which appear to contradict some common predictions about the impact of climate change, are contained in scientific papers on “Projecting Future Climate and its Extremes”, obtained under Freedom of Information laws by The Australian Online.

One paper, by CSIRO researcher Debbie Abbs, found rising temperatures could halve the frequency of tropical cyclones.

“Climate change projections using this modelling system show a strong tendency for a decrease in TC numbers in the Australian region, especially in the region of current preferred occurrence,” Dr Abbs said.

“On average for the period 2051-2090 relative to 1971-2000, the simulations show an approximately 50 per cent decrease in occurrence for the Australian region, a small decrease (0.3 days) in the duration of a given TC and a southward movement of 100km in the genesis and decay regions.”

(Thanks to readers, Max, Arthur McArthur, Peter and others.)




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