Green Energy is Part of the Past, not Fuel for the Future

Forbes

The growing failure of green energy in Europe should warn Australia to abandon bi-partisan policies dictating targets, mandates and subsidies for “green” energy.

I grew up at the end of the last green energy era – solar energy powered our growing crops and dried the washing, but it was weak in winter and ceased under clouds and at night; wind energy pumped water, but only when the wind blew; draft horses powered farm machinery, but they had to be fed whether they were working or not; wood gave us home heating and cooking, but it consumed energy to collect and chop it up; kids walked to school or rode bikes or ponies and ladies took the horse and sulky.

Our only help from carbon energy was kerosene for the kitchen lamp and coke used to smelt and forge the metals for farm tools and machinery.

We also practiced “sustainability” – we purchased little, and most of the farm produce was consumed on the farm by family, farm labourers and draft horses.

We were rescued from this life of sustained labour by carbon energy – a kerosene-powered tractor, a petrol-powered truck, and coal-powered electricity for lighting, heating, cooking, refrigeration, milking machines and pumps. The horses and farm labour were no longer needed and, for once, the farm produced a decent surplus of food for the growing cities.

Wind, solar, wood and muscle power are tools of the past and they work no better now than they did then. Forcing people to use these ancient technologies will just return us to laborious poverty on the farms and hunger in the cities.

Green energy should not be forced on consumers – those who want it should pay for it.

Green energy will eventually be abandoned, but the cost rises for each day’s delay.

Election day:

Something to remember:

It was Labor PM Kevin Rudd, supported by the Greens, who gleefully committed all Australians to the costly, unnecessary and now totally discredited Kyoto Agreement (Dec 2007). And it was Senator Penny Wong, a minister in both Rudd governments, who pushed her costly complex and now discredited Emissions Trading Scheme through the same parliament in 2009.

It was Labor PM Julia Gillard leading a Labor/Green coalition in July 2011 who introduced the now discredited carbon tax.

Therefore the first rule for anyone supporting a return to Carbon Sense is this:

Put every Labor/Green Candidate last.

Viv Forbes,

Rosewood    Qld   Australia
forbes@carbon-sense.com


THE CLIMATE CHANGE FURPHY

Time

Rarely in the history of nonsense politics can there have been a more useless, a more disingenuous, or a more wasteful government department than the Australian Department for Climate Change and Energy.
This department of Greg Combet has no fewer than eight divisions, staffed by sixteen senior civil servants and a nest of minor functionaries and clerks. For those who want to do the due diligence, look at the civil service pay scales, estimate the office resources, and do the sums; the numbers become quite impressive. The legitimate question then follows: WHY? What do they mean by “Climate Change?”
To ask someone if they believe in climate change is like asking if one believes in sunrise or the existence of the sky.

The first point to get out of the way is that climate has always changed, and would still change even if there were not a single human left on this planet. The fossil evidence, the carbon dating, the written history, the polar ice cores, and the geological strata are all real. The climate has changed, is changing, and will continue to change. So get used to it.

Be very clear about one thing: the constructed and entirely unnecessary fear of so-called “Climate Change” is nothing more than trickery used by the political Left to advance an agenda for increased societal control and more intrusive government. What has been amply demonstrated by Rudd and Gillard is the fact that their Orwellian narratives are used to subdue and then foster compliance on a population, so that we become more amenable to the idea of yet another tax. The Orwellian doublespeak from the political left seeks to pathologise any dissent by demonizing dissenters with the epithet “denier”. Sadly, this intimidatory name-calling has been extraordinarily effective, being taken up by the scientifically illiterate journalists of the left-wing press and the ABC.

In order to lend pseudo-legitimacy to their claims, Rudd, Gillard, Combet and Penny Wong have invoked the notion of “scientific consensus”. This is another nonexistent paradigm; science does not operate by consensus. There is nothing democratic about science; a fact of nature will remain trueeven if everyone on the planet believes it to be false, and vice versa. The history of science is littered with the corpses of scientific consensus; the geocentric universe, the luminiferous ether, cold fusion, global cooling and the list goes on… A recent example is Australia’s own Prof. Barry Marshall who was responsible for identifying the prime cause of stomach ulcers as a bacterium, treatable with a simple oral antibiotic. This fact he demonstrated by first infecting himself with the bacterium, and then successfully treating himself with the antibiotic – all in the face of high levels of skepticism and completely against the prevailing orthodoxy which held that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy food and excess acid. For his innovative insight, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Good on ya, Bazza!

Demonstrations like Marshall’s always strengthen science; a single experiment by an undergraduate can quite easily falsify a life’s work by a Nobel laureate, because in science we deal with reality. Unlike the law, science does not deal in philosophy or constructed narratives; the difference between truth and falsehood depends on physical evidence, testable hypotheses and continual revision and progress – it does not depend on the construction of a persuasive narrative by whoever has the most money to pay the slimiest lawyer to persuade some gullible jury. Law is about constructed narrative, even if it is false; the Parliament of Australia is infested with lawyers like Gillard, Rudd, and Wong. Science is about the truth.

Frankly, Rudd, Gillard, Combet and Wong between them would not be able to recognise a scientific principle if it crawled out of their collective knickers and sat on their heads. Nonsense does not become valid by imbuing it with a grave tone of voice and some serious head-nodding; that may do for the ABC, but it won’t do for the scientific community or for sensible, sceptical working people.

If the planetary climate were to get warmer at some future date, (and in the last 17 years this seems not to have been the case) then this would be quite unremarkable. Periodic warming (and cooling!) has happened in the past, and the evidence again lies in the physical world, not in some constructed narrative.

Any future Abbott Government can be confident that to kick this crock of nonsense and self-opinionated nobodies in the head would be a service to the community. It would also free up billions of dollars of money which could be usefully spent elsewhere. Mr Abbott is`quite right; the Department of Climate Change deals in the insubstatial; it tries to create money out of nothing, and frankly, as time will ineviably tell, it is going nowhere.

So, any future potential warming will have almost nothing to do with our actions; by 2050, there will be about 9 billion people on this planet. Potentially millions of square miles of tundra may hopefully become available for farming.

The Left sees disaster there. They always mistake opportunity for disaster.

Nico.

We’re no brainwashers, say the brainwashers

Quadrant's Tony Thomas exposed how our tax dollars were being spent by brainwashing immigrants about the treasures of Labor in his July article.

Don't miss Tony's follow up below on what is going on at the Yarraville Community Centre in Melbourne and how your money is being spent. GC.Ed.@L.

Yarraville Community Centre (YCC), in Melbourne’s inner west, has come up with various excuses for brainwashing its African and Vietnamese English-learners with Labor and Green electoral propaganda. The migrants were given loaded fact-sheets and quizzes about newly-restored PM Kevin Rudd and Greens leader Christine Milne.

YCC  has now even forwarded me on August 1 a nice teaching document featuring Tony Abbott, his biography and his policies. YCC manager Christine McCall says this document was presented to the migrant students in the lesson following the lesson featuring the Rudd and Milne propaganda. The classes are run by teacher Michelle Ryan.


However, Ms Ryan’s Abbott document is quite different in style and format to the Rudd/Milne documents, and is impeccably sourced to Abbott’s own websites.

A possibility is that the Abbott document was cooked up after QuadrantOnline’s expose on July 23 of the Rudd/Milne propaganda. At least three members of the migrant class – my original informant and two people she contacted – never saw the Abbott document.

Full story here: Via Quadrant online

Failure is good and the pay much better

New MH2

“Change
with the times” they say. I say a lot of us don’t like change,
especially considering the trendy “benefits”. Those benefits were
unthinkable a few years ago. What once seemed logical is no longer.
Manners and decency are now passé. This is progress—is it?

The
polls tell us Australians are embracing a swap from the all-time worst
prime minister in Australia’s political history back to the previously
worst PM in history—two dud Rudds and a Dullard—pardon my acquired
irreverence. This political reasoning says more about our lack of sanity
than it does about the sorcery of conjuring illusionists. Albert
Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Not
too long ago a most peculiar thing happened in the corporate sector.
Grossly incompetent executives started to get outrageous bonuses for
wrecking the value of the company they controlled. This is expected
today.

Are-you-sureHark
back to company bonuses for example, when a valued worker got a
Christmas bonus for exceeding management’s expectation. Everyone was
happy. That’s how good work, nor failure, was rewarded. That went by the
way when the PC brigade absolved everybody (except the employer) from
blame and responsibility.

Recall 2009 when Telstra boss, the
American Sol Trujillo (no Aussie could do the job) scarpered with a $20
million payout on top of his $13.4 million annual paycheque. Sol and his
cohorts dubbed the “Three Amigos” rode into town like famous
bullfighters to save the telco from failure. Sol and compadres knew what
to do—they said. Trujillo took us to the cleaners.

Those who
employed Sol touted him as the saviour to Australia’s telecommunication
woes—at first. Senator Nick Minchin, a cluey bloke in the Howard
government described him as “a visionary”. And, the media constructed
the circus in which the three amigos performed their pea-and-thimble
tricks. What merriment!

Sol was compared to Mexican revolutionary
hero Pancho Villa. That may have jinxed Trujillo from the outset.
Actually, Pancho Villa wasn’t folk hero’s real name. It was Doroteo
Arango. He switched names after murdering a bandit who was raping his
sister, so the legend goes. To escape the law he then joined a gang of
highway robbers and adopted the name Pancho Villa after his grandfather.
It’s not known if his grandfather was hanged for Doroteo’s offence.
Ironically, Villa was broke in 1910 and very rich when he was murdered
in 1923. Politics payed off!

Trujillo turned out to be a prairie
brawler who set upon the unions and chopped 10,000 jobs. He blued
publicly with the Federal Government, the ACCC, Telstra’s customers and
its employees—actually, he pissed everybody off! Most alarming was the
stock market reaction. “Mum’s and Pop’s” Telstra shares fell from $5 to
$3.68—a loss of more than 25 per cent.

Nevertheless, Trujillo was
rewarded with the princely sum of  $43 million in less than four years
for being a massive failure. Sol’s stable mate Greg Winn bolted with $21
million. Trujillo may be incompetent but not insane—we are the insane,
Einstein would suggest.

Then came a mania for massive corporate
profit regardless of social consequences. The “wolf dressed as lamb”
were “hallowed shareholders”—the majority are mostly foreign residents. A
few years ago bank profits averaged several millions and shareholders
were pleased. Today, our “Big Four” banks – Australia and New Zealand
Banking Group Ltd, National Australia Bank Ltd, Commonwealth Bank of
Australia and Westpac Banking Corp will record a first-half cash profits
of more than $13 billion, despite tough times globally.

Staggering
executive payouts dictated by an ouija board and boardroom hypnosis has
caught the attention of The Australian Shareholders’ Association. Their
survey found that over 99 per cent of respondents believed that payouts
to failed executives were too generous. In other words, they were
shocked by such grand figures.

However, largess is not the
exclusive domain of private corporations. Our government has a cosy
little rorts for pollies called “study trips”. These junkets are nothing
more than extravagant trips to exotic and European destinations on the
public purse. Twelve days high on the hog warrants a tab of about
$23,000, nearly $2,000 per day.

Although overseas study tours
were stopped last year following a review of pollie perks, MPs with
trips owing can still take them and ousted Labor Senator Trish Crossin
and her husband have jumped before the curtain falls. They were off to
Europe to inspect a nuclear radioactive waste plant in Paris and learn
about anti-discrimination laws. What—for a senator who will never sit in
parliament again before the election?

Another MP getting his
share of globetrotting is Simon Crean. Simon and wife Carole are doing
Italy. It’s summer there, much nicer that cold Canberra and the
gastronomic duo will be studying cooking classes in Rome, Florence, and
Venice—so he can cook Swan’s goose, no doubt.

Finally, Craig
Thomson. Caught out last year for his $24,000 study trip of the US and
Europe, the fool plagiarised a large proportion of his required report
to Parliament.

Now you have proof! Qualified failures take all
the prawns and smoked salmon at the public smorgasbord. "Pass the
Sevruga caviar please!"

Toby’s Sunday light

TobyZombies, Mermaids, and…

Within hours of Kevin Rudd’s reincarnation and affirmation of the Crown to that of PM—Kevin’s obvious birthright—Toby Jug was summoned to a top-level meeting with the recycled boss under the old Putney Sailing Club wharf on the Parramatta River.

Security and secrecy was beyond ASIO classification. Present were KRudd, Albertneezy, Toby and the 103-year-old sailing club Commodore who passed on in 1963. The PM’s directive was decisive, as he always is. Toby was to leave immediately for the US. His covert mission was to probe the veracity of a leaked Pentagon report claiming that Zombies were not real. GC.Ed.@L.

Toby’s report as decoded:

1Despite Labor’s assertions to the contrary, any authority not spruiking Global Warming Taxes more than intrigued me—a clue, no doubt. Therefore I spoke to Dr David Daigle, head of the Center for Disease Control, the CDC and asked a few questions.

Who are you, How the hell did you get in here? Daigle asked.

I’m Toby Jug from Menzies House, here’s my authority Dr. Daigle.

Stand up man; I can only see your head!

I am standing up.

Well. Take a chair and tell me what you want.

OK. Your media release says, and I quote, ‘The CDC does not know of any virus that would reanimate the dead and there is no cause to fear the walking dead.’ My government is concerned, do you stand by that?

Yes, of course I do, government grants, extensive research, old Boris Karloff movies… And, look at this, a photo of your Senator Bob Carr, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. Urk! You people down-under must be damned desperate! And here’s one of Mr. Robin Oakeshott, an Australian MP, Hmmm, he looks weird, too. And, here is a group photo of your government ministers—look closely.

Yes, I see what you mean.

With those unretouched, un-Photoshopped photographs before you, have you a comment for us?

Have you other evidence for me to go on?

Well, last week, Senator Carr met privately with Mr. Obama and gave him lengthy advice on how he could get an Australian passport and become a senator. What does that tell you? 

Obama is a Zombie too? But Mr. Rudd needs to know categorically if you still believe  there is no cause to fear the walking dead?

Mr. Jug, I am not going to commit my department, I won’t be drawn. Anyway, what is Carr’s background?

After he was given the flick as the Premier of NSW he spent all his time sitting in a darkened cellar writing long boring pointless blogs. Then PM Gillard, it is believed, got the CSIRO to work to find the virus that re-animates, gave it to him, and made him a Minister. That’s top-secret, mind you.

Long, boring, pointless blogs and speeches are not untypical of retired politicians, but we will look into it.

Thank you Doctor.

Do you know the US National Ocean Services Mr. Jug?

Yes, great guys for getting grants, I hear.

They have done research on mermaids and find that they don’t exist any more than zombies.

No kidding, they must have had a huge grant for that—scuba gear, dive boats, hanging around coral islands…  and, just a minute.  There’s no such thing as a mermaid, is there?!!

Of course not you bloody fool but it sure wins grants. We are also looking into tooth fairies; nobody will dare say they don’t exist. But there’s a problem with collecting body parts you know. Have you any advice on this, Mr. Jug?

Sure do, if you had linked your original grant query on Zombies with global warming you would be bringing out interim reports until you retire, and if you were living in Australia the Government would give you enough money to retire to the Bahamas, or a chalet in Switzerland so that you can be near your money—you can’t beat that!

Not easy linking Zombies and Mermaids with Climate Change.

Nonsense! A question for you—will rising temperatures increase the zombie menace? Question—will climate change affect Mermaid’s habitats?

I’m not sure about that Mr.Jug.

It’s simple Doc, just draw a straight line from an unwarranted assumption to a foregone conclusion and the money’s yours. That’s what others do.

Can’t thank you enough Mr. Jug.

And, you have a great follow through research line too. Ask yourself—with the decline in Unicorns predicted from climate change, where will unicorn farts come from to provide alternative energy?

You’re quite right Mr. Jug. Where indeed?

Now what about that Aussie passport Doc, sign here?

High flying Kevvie

by Odessa Koblenski

When the fiercely loyal Julia Gillard stabbed her Leader and PM Kevin Rudd in the back to take the top job, she famously issued the excuse that the government had “lost its way”.

Perhaps she was right. Rudd’s government was all over the place and since he was dumped as Foreign Minister after being dumped as PM he seems to be on a global quest to try and find out just where it went.

The disclosure that he has travelled the equivalent of more than half-way to the moon – 205,000 km and more than 45,000 km more than Julia herself – in the past year is not surprising. After all, very few people in Australia bother listening to him so he must, of necessity, journey afar to find an appreciative audience.

Back in September 2011 while he was still Foreign Minister, he created the enviable record of a new international benchmark for travel by Foreign Ministers – even more than the then US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton – and in his first nine months as Foreign Minister his travel bill was more than $1 million. It was then that Julia told him to “reign in” his travel expenses.

Just why anybody – Julia included – would think that the world is not a better place for all of Kev’s lectures, speeches and appearances is quite beyond me. I’m pea green with envy since I have not been afforded the opportunity to touch the hem of his garment. Perhaps I should get out more.

A spokesman for our world traveller said that he actually only accepts about ten per cent of all global invitations – well, there is a physical limit even for Kev who, regrettably, has to do boring things like sit in Parliament and help prop up Julia’s regime. 

And, it should be noted, his trips nowadays are paid for by others. 

However, just why the Business Council of British Columbia in Canada felt the need to fly him to China to address the People’s Liberation Army National Defence University in Beijing puzzles me. I wonder if he reminded the future communist troops of his observation as PM at the December 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference that, “Those Chinese f@#!ers are trying to rat-f@#! us.”  

At last count there were six former Canadian Prime Ministers alive and even possibly kicking including their first – and, so far only – female Prime Minister Kim Campbell’. I’m sure they would leap at the chance of promoting the British Columbia businesses courtesy of an all-expenses trip to Beijing.

Incidentally, Ms Campbell bravely led her government into the 1993 election with the confident prediction of victory and emerged with only two MPs. A staggering 154 government members, including Ms Campbell, lost their seats.

It is an example that we could do no better than emulate in September.

The Business Council of British Columbia probably don’t know that Kev wouldn’t have been promoting their case to the comrades one little bit at all because, according to his spokesperson, when Kev travels he “also promotes the export interests of businesses in his electorate of Griffith” which is very nice of him. 

The Australian Electoral Commission describes Griffith as “mostly residential with some food processing a light industry” kind of place and I have heard a rumour to the effect that a local florist – to cite but one example – has been overwhelmed with orders from all sorts exotic places his local MP has visited. I also understand that a local butcher can’t keep up with international demand for his special pork sausages – in fact, Kev is apparently so good at promoting this business, the butcher is flat out sending container loads of these sausages to Saudi Arabia.

One does hope that Kev’s behaviour on international airlines is somewhat better than it was on at least one occasion on a RAAF VIP flight when he was PM when he abused a hapless female cabin attendant so much for not delivering the meal he wanted that she burst into tears. Later, he made a rather grudging apology saying somewhat disingenuously, “I’m only human.”

When it comes to how a PM should treat female staff on VIP aircraft, I do prefer the story about PM John Gorton – a World War 11 fighter pilot – who climbed about a RAAF VIP aircraft tired and emotional after a particularly tiring and emotional day in Melbourne whereupon he promptly threw up.

Rightly ashamed of himself, the Hon John shamefacedly said to the female cabinet attendant, “I suppose it surprises you that an ex-RAAF man gets airsick.”

“Yes, Prime Minister,” replied the attendant, “Especially since we haven’t even taken off yet.”

Gorton told that story about himself; Rudd’s chief PR flack originally flatly denied the abuse episode.

It says quite a lot about those who like to think they are a man of the people.

Maurice newman explains Labor

ALP's entitlement society must be transformed under the Coalition

by Maurice Newman

The Australian March 25, 2013

IT is not being partisan to say that since 2007 successive Labor
governments have shifted Australia's economic and social compass sharply
to the Left. With surprising speed, taking full advantage of unforeseen
events, Labor has managed to give voice to those progressive elites and
rent-seekers the fiscally conservative John Howard had frustrated for
11 long years

Read more: Via The Australian 

Gillard’s ball and chain

New MH2

Opinion

“I was young and naïve,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard has often said about her choice of men. Comprehensive reporting of  her Labor paramours, whether married or not, combined with various advantages might suggest she is not naïve, novice, nor prudent.

Today’s acrimonious battle for the levers of power could be equated to a boxing bout where the referee choses to ignore eye-gouging, hitting below the belt, putting the boot in while the opponent is on the canvas and shrill, verbal abuse. But the most telling damage, as any boxer will tell you, are body blows. They accumulate like sacks of concrete upon the shoulders, bowing the legs and crossing the eyes, preparing the dazed sucker for that inevitable, knockout punch.

Unintended and uncalculated body blows upon Julia Gillard is landed by her present main squeeze, Australia’s “First Bloke,” Tim Mathieson. The ex barber has become a political ball and chain around Julia’s leg. Tim’s erratic behaviour has earned the disparaging title of, Australia’s “First Joke” or Julia’s “handbag.”

His cultural leap from tittle-tattle gossip in his cash-strapped Salon de Coiffures, to “a somebody” at The Lodge, a grand, four-acre spread at 5 Adelaide Avenue Deakin, and Kirribilli House while in Sydney, launched an inordinate sense of self-importance.

His stage debut evoked sniggers with his “royal wave” and a chummy thumbs-up from the doorway of  “RAAF One” when departing to wherever on official diplomatic missions. Some foreign heads of state thought Tim was the PM—Tim acted so.

Cloyingly patronised by a leftist media, the First Joke’s sense of national worth grew like fungus in a wet gumboot. When egos command, sensibilities are first casualties, especially when prudence, diplomacy, and smarts were never moderators.

Tim really put people offside when he spoke about his daily activities at the Lodge while his meal ticket sprayed venom at the Opposition in parliament. The Sun Herald interviewed Tim: “At home at The Lodge, he behaves like a very caring and solicitous partner, delivering the busy PM her morning paper and helping with an early morning blow wave for the television cameras.” And, when his freebies are limited: “Then I have to recover during the day and sit on the couch and watch Parliament, which usually puts you to sleep.” Poor Tim!

Diplomatic “clangers” became de rigueur, perplexing Gillard’s itinerary organisers. Her visit to Indonesia and Malaysia, both conservative Islamic nations, with boyfriend in tow showed disrespect for her host’s trenchancy on un-married domestic liaisons. “Khalwat” is the sexual misconduct criminal charge that carries two-years’ jail.

Tim was the “first spouse” in the UN’s 67-year history to attend a tea party hosted by the UN General-Secretary’s wife Ban Soon-Taek. Craving approbation Tim cracked a funny about prostate cancer. He recommended for the rectal examination a small, Asian female doctor. That gaff went global instantly. Coursing the UN’s halls of gossip during that visit was that Tim had somehow infected Julia with a stomach bug. Julia denied that.

Tim’s Okka trademark on the international stage caused Labor handlers to engage the services of a “diplomacy tutor” to help him with “…scheduling of his official events…” His irreverent “You again!” blurt, when meeting the Queen for a second time made news—the lessons didn’t work.

Tim’s “don’t you know who I am” attitude is exemplified when it comes to driving government cars, especially to his favourite, free sporting events of which there are many. Football, motor grand prix, cricket, horse racing, portrait galleries, cricket, and rock concerts. Red-light running, smashing into things and parking infractions are documented.

From this taxpayer’s perspective, Tim Mathieson is little better than a bludging liability upon the Office of the Prime Minister. His recent interference in the Richmond footy club about who they should not invite to their rooms is risible. His angry email to Tigers CEO Brendon Gale said. “Mate u need to speak with Ben Hubbard on why Abbott was taken down to the rooms…” What nerve!

The latest perk is for “Tim-the-bikey” to raise funds for the Catch-Up School in Cambodia. A noble pursuit, were there no similar poverty in Australia. The trip is expected to have about 50 riders and starts at Kirribilli House in Sydney, on to The Lodge in Canberra, via Wollongong and Kangaroo Valley. Tim’s mount is a new bike on loan from BMW.

Freebies lavished upon celebrities and influential people are common. But business needs “bang for their buck.” I predict September 15th will see “The First Joke” packing his portmanteau and returning his stable of on-loan “toys.” What I can’t predict is: whether Julia will still be around and if she is, will she give Tim the boot for being such a ball and chain?

Either way, without the hook of Gillard’s high office, Tim’s commercial and charitable value will be zip. Any bets that his extensive, official wardrobe of fineries will be auctioned on eBay?

 

Our “Research Dollars” hard at work

TimAndrews1 (2)Tim Andrews looks at taxpayer For What Artists Think of the NBN, Medieval Sexism Necessitating Christ Was A Man, The Cultural Impact of Iranian Pop Singers And More: 

Following up from my previous post about taxpayer funded radical leftist propaganda masquerading as “research” grants,  I decided to have a look at some of the other grants that were made in 2012 by the Australian Research Council and also in the Discover Category (for younger researchers)

This has got to be my favourite:

The cultural economy of Australian artist-run initiatives which develop an  understanding of a diverse range of artists’ practices, including in relation to the National Broadband Network which  will contribute to policy development for a more vibrant Australian arts landscape ($320,906.00).

Because, that’s right, the opinion of artists in relation to the NBN, is worth of funding.

Although this one comes a very close second:

Sexing scholasticism: gender in medieval thought 1150-1520. This is about… wait for it … “medieval theological debates about why it was necessary that Christ was born as a man” which grants “access to ideas about  masculinity and femininity held by the elite ruling cultures of western Europe” ($357,630.00)

Gender seems a bit of a theme:

How Gender Shapes The World: A Linguistic Perspective. This project will seek to understand and explain gender roles in Australian society, and in nearby nations. Emphasis is placed on training researchers with an immigrant or minority background, working towards the empowerment of women researchers. This will enhance our nation’s capacity to interpret and manage gender roles in multicultural contexts. TOTAL COST: $2,416,141.00

Other ones I noted included:

Mediating the Conversation‘ is an international study of how public participation is facilitated and regulated in online  news and opinion sites. It will evaluate approaches to managing comments and interaction, and will produce best  practice guidelines for news media on promoting inclusive, productive online conversations” ($364,950.00),

Revisiting the foundations of mainstream economics: a cooperative account of wellbeing and moral improvement” which “presents a major theoretical challenge to the individualistic definition of wellbeing that defines mainstream economics ($371,931.00 to promote Marxism, essentially)

A historical study of modern Iran and its diaspora through the music, career and cultural significance of pop star Googoosh: $373,391.00

Secularism in nineteenth-century America: a history $338,512.00 

He’s not heavy, he’s my brother: the acquisition of kinship terminology in a morphologically complex Australian language ($375,000.00)

Children’s active video games: family perceptions, uses and negotiations $365,314.00

Listening to country – Indigenous dance dramaturgy in remote Australia will identify a theory and practice of dramaturgy which ‘listens’ to place, history and  community($322,747.00)

Should I stay or should I go: the extent to which people’s willingness to risk their lives to save animals during natural disasters ($371,622.00)

The public face of the Public Service: whether the  trend towards greater public engagement by public servants fundamentally changes our traditional understandings of how a public service operates  $358,890.00

The Australian penal colonies and British print culture, 1786-1900:  an investigation of the literature surrounding convict transportation and the  Australian penal colonies, and its relationship to British print culture in the nineteenth century ($289,185.00)

Retail price promotions in Australia: are consumers really better off? retail price promotions can confuse consumers, leading to poor purchase decisions.($374,057.00)

Construction of the Bali Peace Park as counterterrorism  which will explore how individuals and communities engage with the Peace Park as a form of counter terrorism ($375,000.00)

Wellbeing, preferences, and basic goods  Since individual choice and public policy aim at promoting wellbeing, it is crucial to understand what wellbeing is. This project develops an account of wellbeing that is grounded in individual preferences, but acknowledges that  people sometimes desire what is harmful to them. ($337,940.00)

I also discovered that there was a special “Discovery Indigenous” category, which granted funding for projects such as: Enhancing the quality of academic supervision provided to Indigenous Australian doctoral students ($109,527.00), literary representations of Aboriginal Australians by non-Aboriginal authors in the post-Mabo period ($41,000), and Early collections of Warlpiri cultural heritage ($513,000.00)

I also started cataloging some of the climate change and environment related ones: 

(Management of Coral Reefs: $2,511,216.00, Coral reef metabolism in a rapidly changing climate: $3,032,447.00, A new paradigm for quantifying the resilience of marine calcifiers to ocean acidification and global warming: $3,229,566.00, Surrogate ecology: when and where can it work to improve environmental management? $2,849,770.00, Sea level change and climate sensitivity $3,079,069.00, Protonic materials for green chemical futures $2,879,582.00, Inter-ocean exchange around Australia and its relation to regional and global climate: 374,354.00, : does microbial priming of degraded seagrasses contribute to global warming?$375,000.00),  Developing predictions of extinction risk for tropical arthropods in the face of global environmental change ($364,015.00), Safe long-term storage of carbon dioxide in coal seams (374,905.00), The further back we look, the further forward we can see: 1,000 years of past climate to help predict future climate change in Australia ($351,805.00)…

But there were too many of them, so I gave up and stopped. 

And then people wonder why we have a budget deficit…  

Tim Andrews is Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance, and Publisher of Menzies House. 



Death again, by a thousand fools!

Jim

Jim reminds us yet again about political ineptitude via knee-jeck reaction. This one by Malcolm Turnbull may be forgotten by many, but not those who curse and cuss when they have to buy a light bulb at triple cost, half the light and shorter life span. Another Turnbull flub! GC.Ed.

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs – twirly bulbs – can provide the same amount of light as incandescent light bulbs, using one quarter of the energy. A belief, as strong as any religious one, is that they will make a difference to dreaded carbon emissions, and perhaps to the household budget.

Under the grip of worldwide mania, a wild-eyed messianic Malcolm Turnbull persuaded his brain challenged mates in the Liberal Party to make their use compulsory.

There was not the slightest evidence that their use would have an effect on Global Warming, or Son of Global Warming, or Climate Change but there was just a chance that it might – and that was what did it.

The Precautionary Principle.

The Precautionary Principle?

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

 Put it another way – it means ‘just in case’.

The principle is applied everywhere now, but it started as a Green mantra to chant in debate as a substitute for thinking.

Greens knew there was insufficient evidence to do many things – like building desalination plants – but by elevating the common sense ‘just in case’ to an ersatz philosophical position it gave them persuasiveness when dealing with soft headed politicians and journalists.

But, even applying the very same principle to CFL bulbs should there not have been tests to see whether or not they were dangerous to humans? True there might be a billion to one chance that they would save the world from becoming a smoking cinder; but what if they gave cancer?

Cfl-skull-bulb1-300x300

Dum, DE DUM Dum!

Well, time has passed and just now this little bit of research has been carried out: – The Effects of UV Emission from Compact Fluorescent Light Exposure on Human Dermal Fibroblasts and Keratinocytes In Vitro. Or to put it another way What Happens When Human Skin Cells Are Exposed To Twirly Bulbs?

The research was done, according to Scientific American, after reading an article in an Israeli newspaper that reported a spike in skin cancer on a communal farm when residents switched to fluorescent bulbs.

What the abstract says – and it can be read in full here is that, while exposure to twirly bulbs was known to exacerbate existing skin conditions; the effects of CFL exposure on healthy skin tissue have not been thoroughly investigated. So this was done.

And the finding? Ultra violet (UV) radiation was seeping through the cracks in the phosphor coating and causing damage to skin cells.

This UV radiation is what causes skin cancers and melanomas.

Many medical practitioners would advise that this research should be taken cum grano salis – with a grain of salt. Particularly if it is hyped in the media – as it is.

But before ending incandescent lights, which incidentally got a clean bill of health in the same study, and forcing the Australian population to buy the twirlies, shouldn’t this very study have been conducted?

On the wonderful precautionary principle?

And now that the research is in, applying that same principle, shouldn’t they be banned?

If there is a statistical growth in skin cancers in areas like Victoria and Tasmania, what will happen?

Of course, there will be talk of further studies, and close watch being kept, and all the usual flannel.

Then the lawyers will strike. And so they should. Whether or not there are any cases of cancer from the use of twirly bulbs – the fact is they should have been tested – on the very same principle that saw them shoved down Australian throats. No choice – just buy them.

And they were not tested – at all.

Jim McCrudden is a retired lawyer, a scholar of Dickens, Shakespeare and many others. He lives on the NSW South Coast and has keen interest in politics.