Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 12, 11 (03:17 am)
The Age‘s Adam Morton reports:
The sea is like a soft drink. Put a glass of lemonade in the sun and it quickly becomes flat. Leave it in the fridge and the fizz – the carbon dioxide – bubbles for longer.
There is a similar effect when carbon dioxide is swallowed by the ocean. Each year, about a quarter of human carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the sea. Some is taken up by warmer water in the tropics, but more is retained in the cold water at the poles.
But when Mama Ocean doesn’t suck down enough carbon dioxide, well, you know what that means:
Too much CO2: Clown fish are losing the ability to navigate
Who would want to live in such a world, with clown fish – determined, destination-obsessed clown fish – not knowing where to go? Imagine all the scheduling problems.
Donna Roberts, leader of the ocean acidification project at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre in Hobart, said the potential ramifications of changes in krill development and distribution were startling.
Apparently “embryonic krill exposed to high carbon dioxide levels [are] developmentally impaired”, which is a great concern. You’d hate for krill to miss out on any scholarships. But back to the clown fish, bumbling around the CO2-infested oceans without a sat-nav:
‘’Finding Nemo is going to be a lot harder in a future ocean,’’ Dr Roberts said.
Not as hard as it’ll be for Nemo to find us.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 12, 11 (07:00 am)
Alexander Downer says Australia reputation and influence in Asia has dropped under Labor:
Part of the narrative of the Australian Left is that the Labor Party shows more enthusiasm for Asia than the Liberals. Events of the past three years suggest otherwise. There has been almost no new initiative in Asia from the Australian government in four years and that affects our standing in Europe and America.
That’s why happens when you have as Prime Minister and then Foreign Minister a man who has not Australia’s interests at heart, but his own - and particularly his own interests in a United Nations stage.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 12, 11 (06:55 am)
Niki Savva suggests a way for Julia Gillard to convince us she wasn’t just spinning yet again when dissing the Greens:
IF Julia Gillard is genuine when she says the Greens are extremists who don’t really love their families and their country as much as she does, then she should immediately do two things.
The first is that she should invite the cameras into the Prime Minister’s courtyard, light a fire and burn the partnership agreement she signed in a civil ceremony with Bob Brown that helped her secure government, and blame the breakdown in the relationship on irreconcilable differences. With the separation formalised she should then announce Labor will refuse to direct its preferences to the Greens at the next federal election.
Every day Gillard is caught between the Greens and a hard place. She insists they are not driving her policies, not even the carbon tax, but her actions so far have failed to support her words.
Chances of Gillard backing her words with action?
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 12, 11 (06:26 am)
A shaken Tim Blair reports the latest horrific consequence of global warming, as claimed by a local scientist:
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 12, 11 (06:11 am)
The Gillard Government demands women be allowed to serve in the front line, including with the SAS:
WOMEN will be allowed to serve in frontline combat roles after the Gillard government ordered the Australian Defence Force to bring forward the removal of bans that have stopped women from applying for the most dangerous and demanding military jobs.
The historic decision by Defence Minister Stephen Smith means women who meet the tough physical standards required of their male counterparts will now be able to serve in elite special forces units such as the SAS, work as naval clearance divers and join general infantry and armoured units…
Entry selection to the SAS requires at least one year served in an army unit, typically the commando regiment or combat engineers. What follows is a combination of some of the most gruelling physical and mental tests designed to weed out all but the most dedicated.
Tests vary, but can involve carrying an 80kg pack on endurance marches lasting several days. A test this year required entrants to each carry two 20-litre jerry cans of water in addition to their combat rucksacks.
Why does strength matter?
From the 2009 Victoria Cross citation for SAS Trooper Mark Donaldson (left in picture):
As the ambushed vehicles manoeuvred to withdraw, with the unwounded members of the patrol running alongside, a severely wounded Afghani interpreter was accidentally left behind. The citation continues: “Of his own volition and displaying complete disregard for his own safety, Trooper Donaldson moved alone, on foot, across approximately 80 metres of exposed ground to recover the wounded interpreter. His movement, once identified by the enemy, drew intense and accurate machine gun fire from entrenched positions. Upon reaching the wounded coalition force interpreter, Trooper Donaldson picked him up and carried him back to the relative safety of the vehicles then provided immediate first aid before returning to the fight.”
About our latest Victoria Cross winner, SAS Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith (right in picture):
The VC was awarded for a battle in June 2010, when RS and approximately 25 SASR soldiers assaulted from helicopters into the Shah Wali Kot region of Southern Afghanistan, a known Taliban stronghold. After immediately coming under heavy fire, RS and 2 others slowly worked their way up to 3 Taliban machine gun positions where they were pinned down. RS then stormed the Taliban positions head on over 40 metres of open ground and eliminated all 3 guns and their occupants. He then worked his way back, continuing to eliminate enemy positions in depth. He said of his actions “I looked over and saw my mates getting ripped up, and I wasn’t going to do nothing. So I thought I’d have a crack.’
He was previously awarded Australia’s 3rd highest honour, the Medal for Gallantry, in 2006, for holding off a size-able Taliban assault with just his sniper rifle. During this battle, one of his comrades recalls ”RS just tore a Taliban fighter off his back like an insect, stood on his throat, and shot him dead.” It was during this battle that RS and his teammate helped account for some 60 Taliban killed.
How many women will in fact now serve with the SAS, and will the physical standards be rewritten to serve an ideological objective - not a military one?
If I sound suspicious, it is because I am, having seen physical standards watered down in Victoria Police - with policing seeming compromised as a result:
The old tests that demanded recruits drag weighted tyres at speed, or scale 2m walls, have been relaxed or scrapped since the Labor Government came to power and started to preach gender politics.
How well that change worked. Soon the Auditor-General could note: “Since 1999, the proportion of female applicants who successfully completed the (fitness) test is 80 per cent, compared with approximately 30 per cent in the 1990s before the changes were made.”
This seems to be only good news to Nixon, who prefers police to back off rather than biff, even when confronting the rampaging lawless, and who now has officers in Frankston writing letters to repeat offenders asking them, pretty please, to stop.
But Nixon’s feminisation of the force has not just given us police who seem unwilling to stand up to a rabble—as we saw at last year’s G20 riots—but police who seem physically unable to.
Frustrated male officers have told me of having to work on patrol with women who couldn’t be counted on in a confrontation with hoons, needing as much police protection as the public.
Now, I read the incident fact sheet that poor constables Sharna and Nicole filed on Sunday to explain how Sharna came to scratch her hands...
More evidence that Defence Minister Stephen Smith has massively overreacted, and may cause more harm than good:
Air Chief Marshal Houston told Mr Smith on Saturday he would resign if the minister insisted he remove the head of the Australian Defence Force Academy over his handling of the incident.
Asked to respond last night, Mr Smith’s office issued a one-line statement saying “the response of the Minister for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force is that this claim is entirely basesless, without foundation, and not worthy of the speculation”.
At a joint announcement earlier yesterday, Mr Smith said ADFA commandant Bruce Kafer had been sent on leave while a series of reviews into the incident were completed. But Commodore Kafer was not removed from his position.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, April 12, 11 (05:53 am)
More witterings of the increasinlgly messianic Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery on global warming. First, he claims - against the case-closed evidence presented by interviewer Greg Cary - that China is tacking global warming, believing “climate change is a threat to the existence of the communist party”.
Then Flannery, a paleontologist, offers this bizarre reason for reason for ignoring sceptic Professor Richard Lindzen, whom he admits is a world-renown and reputable climate scientist:
The problem with Richard Lindzen is his politics is to the right of Andrew Bolt and Genghis Khan.
It’s hard to know where to start with this spectacularly stupid statement, even more wrong in principle than it is in facts.
(Thanks to reader Adam.)
University of Melbourne media release, June 8 2001:Australian scientists have found that humans were to blame for the extinction of Australia’s giant marsupials, reptiles and birds, the so-called ‘megafauna’. Dr Richard Roberts and Professor Tim Flannery have dated the extinction at around 46,000 years ago. “We believe that in the absence of humans, the giant marsupials would still be in Australia today.”
The Sydney Morning Herald June 5 2004:
The Dean of Science at the University of NSW, Professor Mike Archer, has closely followed the debate and says the new paper by the University of Sydney scientists Dr Steve Wroe and colleagues Judith Field, Richard Fullagar and Lars Jermiin is another nail in the coffin for Blitzkrieg. “Blitzkrieg was put forward in times when it was popular for people to be blamed for everything that was wrong in the world,” Archer says. “Blame cannot be laid at the feet of humans based on any evidence that has turned up to date.” Australia’s main proponent of Blitzkrieg, Dr Tim Flannery, disagrees. He cites other new research which says that when computer models are run Blitzkrieg is inevitable. “The [new] paper presents a far from convincing case,” Flannery says.
Rebecca Scott questions Tim Flannery on sciencealert.com.au September 17 2007:
Q: Are humans the next megafauna to become extinct?
A: I doubt it. I don’t think we will become extinct but I think we will be thinned out a bit particularly if we don’t do anything [about climate change.]
Direct hit. Dating megafaunal extinction on the Pleistocene Darling Downs, eastern Australia Quaternary Science Reviews April 2011:
The progressive loss of local megafauna was initiated well before the accepted period of human continental colonisation. Hence, the data suggest that humans were unlikely to have played any role in the extirpation of the affected local megafauna during that interval.
Dear Prof Flannery, Is your continued support of the Blitzkrieg theory for the extinction of Australia’s megafauna (an increasingly marginal theory lying outside the current consensus of mainstream science that claims humans were solely responsible for the extinction of Australia’s megafauna) and apparent ignorance of the overwhelming evidence supporting the long-term role played by changing climate in the decline of the megafauna, a sign that you are a climate change denier?
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (06:20 pm)
Julia Gillard last month claimed we had to back her carbon dioxide tax if we wanted to keep up with the rest of the world:
Already 32 countries have emissions trading schemes. 10 American states do as well. They haven’t waited for action at the national level, they are acting themselves.
Er, they are? In fact, those 10 states could soon be just seven:
The goal of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is to make polluters pay while raising millions of dollars for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects…
Legislation to repeal New Hampshire’s participation in RGGI recently passed the house, but has yet to pass the Senate…
Critics of the program point out that New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York diverted some of that RGGI revenue to fill their budget gaps…
In Maine, Republican Senator Tom Saviello is sponsoring a bill that would withdraw his state from RGGI.
“We need to ask this question, number one do we want to put the extra cost on our electricity, and number two if these energy efficient projects are that good, which everybody says they are, well then a business should be willing to put their own money into it, why should we be subsidizing that…
New Jersey’s Governor is also talking about withdrawing from RGGI… Anthony Leiserowitz, with the Yale University Project on Climate Change, says if New Jersey steps out it could deal a death blow to RGGI.
(Thanks to reader Cameron and others.)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (06:17 pm)
It’s easy to deplore this as a sign of the dumbing down of Australia - until you realise she would, if successful, have beaten out a candidate of the Israel-boycotting Greens:
FORMER One Nation politician Pauline Hanson has vowed to work hard for the country she loves and keep the government honest if she wins a seat in the NSW Upper House tomorrow.
Ms Hanson is 6000 votes ahead of her nearest rival, the Greens’ Jeremy Buckingham, with 91 per cent of primary votes counted, ABC election analyst Antony Green has revealed.
The full result is expected to be declared tomorrow, more than two weeks after the state election on March 26.
The result will be called after the distribution of preferences has been factored into the vote.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 11, 11 (04:50 pm)
As I’ve said before, the treatment of the 18-year-old woman at the centre of the “Skype Affair” seems appalling, if the facts are as we’re told.
So I don’t have a problem with Defence Minister Stephen Smith today announcing an inquiry into how the Australian Defence Forces Academy dealt with the woman’s complaint after she discovered that her sex with a fellow cadet was broadcast to a room next door where several other cadets were watching.
The problem is Smith didn’t announce one inquiry, but at least seven or eight - including inquiries, or actually predetermined outcomes, into issues only peripheral to the incident that sparked this furore.
Here’s some of Smith’s press release today:
Today I announce that Ms Elizabeth Broderick, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, will lead an examination of the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
She will also review the progress of existing strategies identified by the Chief of the Defence Force’s Women’s Advisory Group, including pathways for women into Australian Defence Force (ADF) leadership…
Ms Broderick’s work is the first step in the comprehensive review of the culture both within ADFA and the ADF to address ongoing areas of concern in relation to promoting appropriate conduct, including the treatment of women, alcohol use and use of social media and representational behaviour more generally…
There will be a separate review to improve pathways for women in the Australian Public Service (APS) in the Defence organisation.
As well, the CDF (Chief of the Defence Force) will bring forward for implementation by the Government the opening up of all roles in the ADF to women, including combat roles, on the basis that determination for suitability for roles in the ADF is to be based on physical and intellectual ability, not gender.
Additionally, a cultural stocktake and review of alcohol and binge drinking, the use of social media and personal conduct at ADFA and in the ADF more generally has been commissioned…
I have ... asked the independent Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force to conduct a review of the management of incidents and complaints in Defence with specific reference to the treatment of victims, transparency of processes and the jurisdictional interface between military and civil law, which may lead to untimely decision making processes…
This past week has also seen a large number of public or private allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse drawn to the attention of my office, as well as to the attention of the Department of Defence and the media… The Secretary of the Department of Defence will engage an independent legal firm to review each allegation raised to determine the most appropriate way for these complaints to be addressed and whether further independent action is required to deal with any such matters.
Finally, Defence and ADFA will engage with a panel of selected University Vice Chancellors and residential College heads to assess increased cooperation between ADFA and Australian Universities on the challenges facing higher educational institutions and residences in relation to student behaviour and cultures.
This is more than simply a massive overreaction and a massive distraction to an ADF engaged in a war in Afghanistan. It seems also an attempt to use the undoubted bungling of one woman’s well-founded complaint to smuggle in a much wider social agenda that needs much, much more discussion. Are we prepared to have women put in harms way in war? Will the ADF be more lethal or more vulnerable with women in the front lines? Isn’t there now a very real risk of appointments of women in the ADF being made through affirmative action, rather than considerations of talent alone? Will this put lives in danger?
Something about this announcement of a huge assault-by-inquiry into our military strikes me as driven more by ideology than by a desire to right a specific wrong to an individual. I’m not sure the ADF will emerge from this a better fighting unit.
If the issue has been debated for a decade, why is Smith using the Skype Affair to abruptly settle it now - against the apparent reservations of his commanders?
‘‘When it comes to women in the ADF, including in combat roles, an opportunity for women should be determined on the basis of physical and intellectual capacity not on gender.
‘‘So the chief of the defence force will bring forward that matter as a matter of priority.’’
Currently, women are excluded from such roles as clearance diving teams, infantry, armour, artillery, combat engineers and airfield defence guards.