If She Could, She Would

Volcano_2

From the document, Carbon Dioxide and the Politics of the Carbon Tax

Quote Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2) makes up about 0.0385% of the Earth’s Atmosphere or 385ppm.

CO2 is a tasteless, odourless, invisible and incombustible gas – all animals including humans exhale it.

97% of Earth's annual production of Carbon Dioxide is almost entirely produced by Nature. Human industry and transport produces the remaining 3% (Table 3 on page 6).

Australian industry contributes only 1.5% of that remaining 3% or 0.0000173% of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide or measly 0.173ppm.

Steve Hunter is a freelance cartoonist and illustrator and lives in Buderim Queensland

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

Progressive Conservatism

IMAG0020

Murray Gillin argues that the pragmatism of centre-right politics, and its belief in free enterprise, the rule of law, freedom of speech, and democracy, means that it is the only way forward: 

In science, thermodynamics represents the fundamental principles of a reaction in terms of energy. Two terms contribute to what is known as free energy, enthalpy and entropy. Entropy is a measure of ‘disorder’ and enthalpy the energy of ‘change’. Thermodynamics can be extended to explain politics. Like the United States, Australia is slowly being torn apart by the much commentated ‘culture wars’, strongly perpetuated by the Left. It can be considered that this increases disorder in our society, a lack of a strongly held national identity. Naturally, an increase in ‘disorder’ is offset by decreases in ‘change’, this works the other way around, known as the Entropy-Enthalpy compromise. Conservatives can temper ‘change’, with decreases in ‘disorder’; achieve progress without being held widely in contempt, and get a maximum return in free energy. This alludes to my point; conservatives are the true progressives of society, they deny change for the sake of change, but allow it to occur naturally.

As far back as Edmund Barton, the Left was fond of race politics. The support of the ALP in 1901 was contingent upon a discriminatory immigration policy, the White Australia Policy. It was supported by both sides at the time as a means of protecting our fledgling society from foreign cultural influences. John Curtin’s rhetoric post-WWII strengthened the message of British superiority “This country shall remain forever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race."

The 27 years of Liberal/Country coalition rule saw six changes made to the Immigration Act of 1901, ending with Holt’s practical dismantlement of the entire legislation by introducing the Migration Act of 1966, allowing refugees of the Vietnam War into Australia. Holt broke down the differentiation of European and non-European. Whitlam’s government tokenistically made racial discrimination in law, illegal, the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act. It wasn’t until Fraser’s turn that the entire matter was put to rest, removing any reference to race from law.

In the meantime, the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal Rights was instigated and carried out and by Holt’s conservative government. The affirmative passed with overwhelming support. For all their protesting and grandstanding, what actually have the Left achieved on the matter of racial equality?

In 1974, John Gorton, former PM and conservative man, moved a motion in the House of Representatives to decriminalise the act of sex between two consenting adults of the same gender. It passed following a conscience vote. It was beyond doubt incredibly gracious of Gorton to put aside ideology, and propose a widely accepted change. Is this ever publically acknowledged, or in recent times where the word homophobic is used ad hominem against conservatives?

For the many clarion calls of Feminists on gender equality, something they’d rather have us enforce then allow evident ability to promotion, our Conservative cousins in Britain elected Margaret Thatcher as their leader in 1975, following the defeat of the Heath Government in 1974. The first female to lead a political party in Britain, was a Tory. No wonder why, she was a brilliant orator who knew what she stood for, and restored Britain’s strength anew; free of the socialist rot of the 1970’s, steadfastly following a path of economic liberalism. Thatcher pushed for a property owning society, families were encouraged to buy their council homes, to invest in the markets, and enjoy the benefits to be reaped in a time of unrivalled prosperity. Thatcher’s 11 year reign is however never acknowledged by Feminists, she didn’t represent their cause, hypocrisy always at the heart of the Left.

History has shown gradual change to be the most successful; rather then to force progress only resulting in tyranny (see Eastern Europe during the times of the Iron Curtain). The Tamworth Manifesto set down by Sir John Peel in 1834 puts it best, we should ‘reform to survive’ and unnecessary change would lead to “a perpetual vortex of agitation”. Free energy achieved by conservative governments gives rise to a more united country, with a strong identity, a phenomenon notable during John Howard’s stewardship. Governance requires pragmatism not ideology. Thatcher said in 1978 “..in Government you know that it is not a question of right or wrong – it is often a question of shades of grey. This demonstrates the pragmatism of centre-right politics, as only we are capable of maintaining the tenets of free enterprise, the rule of law, freedom of speech and most importantly democracy.

Murray Gillin lives in Thornbury, Melbourne, and was publically educated at Pender’s Grove P.S and later at Thornbury High School. He is alumnus member of Thornbury High’s School Council, and is a third year medicinal chemistry student at Monash University. He also works in his local Myer.

 

 

 

 

Wendy’s Wonderland

Bunyipitude Strikes Back!

Quote ABC reporterette Wendy Carlisle informs visitors to her twitter page that she is “working on a new secret story”. Women are said to be particularly good at multi-tasking, according to the settled science one finds in dog-eared magazines available in hospital waiting rooms, but Ms Carlisle must be a genuine journalistic wonder. After broadcasting her Background Briefing assault on Viscount Monckton, she promised to address the many criticisms of that 60-minute, taxpayer-funded slander, and in sundry other posts has insisted she and the ABC “stand by our story”. Yet two weeks have passed and no defence, comprehensive or tweeted, has been forthcoming.

Perhaps she simply does not know where to start, there being so much on her plate and so much that was wrong – not just sloppy, but downright, irredeemably false — about the Monckton report. Now that she is also tweeting defences of a polar biologist who has been suspended over allegations of scientific misconduct, the poor thing may need a little help organising her thoughts. Indeed, she has not found time to note that the bounced boffin, Dr Charles Monnett, was one of her prime sources for her attack on Monckton.

Chivalry is not dead, at least not at the Billabong, where young, firm women can always expect gentlemanly courtesies. So to help the credulous Carlisle address those matters of gross inaccuracy, here are some of her assertions and the documentary evidence refuting them. All Carlisle’s quotes are taken from her broadcast. Each quoted source is lifted from the “supporting documents” she provides at the show's Background Briefing web page:

Continue reading Wendy’s Wonderland

Andy Semple

Follow him on twitter @Bulmkt

A lesson on press regulation for Australia.

Image: Front page of “El Universo,” (from, “Journalism in the Americas.)

This image is the front page published after the paper was fined $40 million for defaming the President. The columnist who wrote the article and three executives have been sentenced to three years in prison as ‘coauthor conspirators’. The translation reads:

Convicted

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed."

The quote is from Atlas Shrugged, (Francisco D’Anconia’s speech on “The Meaning of Money”)

Australians should take notice of Ecuador; even Brown would be happy with the sort of ‘proper regulation’ they have there.

Co- Prime Ministers of Australia, Julia Gillard and Bob Brown are likely to hold an inquiry into the media which will examine all issues from content to ownership using the News of the World scandal as an excuse. While Gillard maintains that privacy is the issue, Brown will crack the whip and get what he wants. The government is in such a desperate position, that every obsession of the quirky Andrew Wilkie, whose vote is essential to keep them in power, is becoming the law of the land.

via jimunro.blogspot.com

Click through to read exactly what Bob Brown is proposing…

O’Farrell To Scrap Leftist Propaganda Classes

The NSW government has been accused of pandering to a fringe Christian minority and breaking an election promise with a plan to scrap ethics classes.

The alternative to religious scripture lessons began in February, only a month before Labor lost office.

But the O'Farrell government has reportedly struck a deal with Christian Democrats leader Fred Nile, whereby the coalition's contentious industrial relations changes would be passed in the upper house if ethics classes were scrapped.

Labor's acting education spokesman Nathan Rees has accused NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell of breaking an election promise by negotiating with a fringe interest group to secure passage of dodgy legislation.

"Our school classrooms are not a social laboratory for fringe political interest groups," he said in a statement.

The Greens' education spokesman John Kaye said Mr O'Farrell had rolled his own Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, who promised in opposition to leave the classes untouched, as he pandered to a small minority group.

He added the influence of right-wing figures in the Liberal Party, like conservative upper house MP David Clarke, meant the coalition would vote to axe the classes, designed by the St James Ethics Centre.

via news.theage.com.au

Note the SMH spin and lack of any semblance of balanced reporting? It gets even worse if you click through.

Now, I have no objections to ethics classes, but the St. James Ethics Center is well known for peddling unabashed left-wing propaganda under the guise of "ethics" and the sooner we get such political indoctrination out of the classroom the better.

Reconciling a farmyard brawl

David Government intervention has created an unnecessary and costly miners-vs-farmers battle, writes David Leyonhjelm:

The tug of war between farming and mining is in danger of becoming a zero sum, winner-takes-all contest. One side argues that if mining prevails, Australia will run out of food. The other side says that if farming wins, Australia will go broke. Governments and the public are being asked to choose a side.

If the issue were subject to market forces it would sort itself out. Where land was more valuable for farming, mining would not occur. If mining generated more profit, it would take priority. If food production fell, prices would rise and encourage production in other areas. And in many cases a combination of farming and mining, with due consideration for each other, would yield the highest overall profits. 

The reason the market cannot operate freely is that around 150 years ago state governments passed legislation claiming mineral rights for themselves. Farmers and other landowners merely own the surface of their properties. 

Prior to that, under common law, landowners retained all rights beneath their land including mineral rights except for gold and silver. In the US that remains the situation, although it is now virtually unique. Most countries have taken the same approach as Australia. 

To farmers, the result sometimes looks like a zero sum game. Although there are rules for negotiating access, exploration and mining can occur on their property whether they like it or not. They are entitled to compensation for any loss of value of their farm or enterprise, but receive no benefit from anything extracted. They may be partially or completely put out of business for a long time or indefinitely. Moreover, while compensation is typically adequate, there is a risk it may be non-existent if a mining company goes broke or causes widespread disruption such as harm to a subterranean aquifer. 

Miners, not surprisingly, point to the economics. Mining dominates the economy in a way that agriculture did a century ago. It is mining, not agriculture, that pays for schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and numerous other government funded services. Mining is what saved Australia from the GFC and is the reason our economy is holding up compared to the rest of the world. Moreover, coal seam gas has the potential to free Australia from reliance on imported oil. Locking mining out of farm land would be economic suicide. 

The notion that some farm land is too precious or productive to allow mining under any circumstances is utter nonsense. Australia produces more than twice the food it requires for its own consumption. Furthermore, while some farming land is obviously more productive than others, most land can be used for farming, given water and fertiliser.

It is nonetheless understandable that farmers resort to such emotive arguments – they have little else to rely on. And unless governments come up with an acceptable method of reconciling the competing interests, they will continue to find themselves under assault from both sides. Ignoring the issue will not help. 

Despite what the law says, a system in which land owners are automatically entitled to a share of anything extracted would be a step in the right direction. In the US, landowners are able to weigh returns from farming against the potential of mining. There is simply no need to seek to quarantine highly productive land – it would not be worth sacrificing for mineral extraction unless it generated more in royalties. 

If lifestyle considerations were more important to the landowner than economics, extraction that was compatible with continued farming, such as coal seam gas, might generate lower expectations of royalties than an open cut mine. 

It is no accident that the US has half of all the world’s oil wells, and that its coal seam gas industry is considerably more advanced than ours. A key difference is that landowners have skin in the game – ownership of mineral rights is a primary motivator for exploration and extraction.

For governments, the solution is to create an environment in which a market based approach can emerge. It was government actions preventing such an approach that created the current problem. More government tweaking will not help. 

But for that to occur, a more rational approach to property rights is needed. Already there are separate titles for land, water and mineral rights relating to the same property. If and when the carbon farming initiative is implemented, there will also be titles for carbon credits. At the very least, the transparency of a single registry is essential if conflict and confusion are to be avoided. 

It also requires the right incentives so that it never becomes a zero sum game. Farmers need to have an interest in mineral rights, as in the US, but should also retain an interest in any water rights or carbon credits linked to their property. Miners may need a stake in the water rights and carbon credits associated with their area of activity, so there is an incentive to preserve them. In some cases an interest in the farming enterprise itself may be warranted, so there is an incentive to protect it. 

Owners of water rights might need a stake in mineral and carbon rights so they are never in conflict, while owners of carbon credits certainly need to have a stake in any water rights. 

Although these are issues of property rights with three out of of four created by government, that does not mean the government’s role cannot be limited. Intellectual property was also created by government, yet its market functions efficiently without intrusion by bureaucrats or politicians. 

A bit of smart thinking now could avoid any need to choose between mining and farming and could get an increasingly fractious monkey off the government’s back. 

David Leyonhjelm is the Treasurer of the Liberal Democratic Party. David works in the agribusiness and veterinary markets as principal of Baron Strategic Services and Baron Senior Placements. This article was originally published in Business Spectator and is reproduced with permissoin

Freedom of scientific expression in Australia

Image_1120523

Sean De Boo reminds us of the importance of freedom of expression when it comes ot scientific debate:

As John Stuart Mill noted in his 1859 work ‘On Liberty’, silencing the expression of a particular opinion can be deemed an evil to society as “If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth” and if wrong “they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” On these grounds he would contend that freedom of opinion is a fundamental right of the individual for any society that wishes to call itself free. On this issue of the science of AGW and the silencing of critics (with government help), many Australians have had a tough time in discerning truth from error. As a result, despite the calls for solidarity with scientific opinion, the Coalition and many Australians have remained somewhat divided over the issue; with a 2011 CSRIO survey indicating 49.6% believe it is not fully man-made even though overall 82.8% agree it is happening in some form.

To understand the dissent within the Coalition ranks perhaps a look at the history of its formation will prove insightful. As the party system developed during the early stages of federalism, there was at one stage three parties. The Fusion party (liberals who still held protectionist views on trade), the Free Trade Conservatives and the Protectionist Labour Unions. Deakin, leader of the Fusion party concluded that the Westminster system is a two party system and its fabric depends on ‘responsible government’, thus they should merge. Given previous issues with party solidarity, the Union party members were required to take a pledge to agree to all backroom decisions, and hence the ‘faceless men’ were born, those same unelected powerbrokers who removed a democratically elected PM not so long ago.  Deakin rejected the notion of being tied to a backroom and believed that each man should be guided by his own conscience when making decisions and chose to join with the Conservatives.

Despite what has been a fierce debate in Australia over the merits of a carbon tax, there has been a concurrent sideshow whereby scientists, despite their best endeavours to explain that the science of climate change is settled, have still failed to convince large sections of the community, whilst also offering limited public debate with others who are sceptical of the consensus view. As a result, many people of non-scientific background have been denied this opportunity that Deakin so cherished. The ability to make judgments for themselves based on the clear presentation of the facts. In the absence of this information the attempts of the media and scientists to challenge what they believe to be false arguments filling the talk back airwaves have been futile. An incorrect idea once planted must be replaced with a correct one for progress to take place. Despite this problem all along a potential remedy has been within our grasp.

As Mill noted, each person is given the ability of judgement, and each individual is responsible for finding the truest opinion of the world they can. Whilst a select few in most fields are gifted with a level of expertise which allows them certainty in their judgements, most people don’t possess such clear convictions and are much more aware of the fallibility of human reason. As such, they often recoil when one speaks of absolute certainty and often take time to consider alternatives, as well as the motives behind the conveyor of each position. The best method therefore in enlightening public debate is to allow unrestricted presentation of the facts and the methods by which they may be interpreted. This relies on the ability of all individuals to judge fact from error for themselves.

When hearing stories of boycotts by university academics when sceptics have been booked to address audiences, one wonders why scientific debate (science being conjectural) should be suppressed, and more importantly as to whether it is just to call an issue for society too important for time to be assigned to those who disagree. Experience would indicate that rationalising in this way breeds suspicion amongst those to whom scientists wish most to convince, the very suspicion that Monckton and others have seized upon. In a free society such as ours we must remain true to Mill’s insight. The freedom of opinion that has allowed science to flourish and question current ideas must never be sacrificed and remains a fundamental right in Australia. If only more scientists agreed.

Sean De Boo is a 25 year old South Australian with a degree in Engineering and Mathematics, and has an interest in Australian political history.