Friday, December 23, 2011

Three posts about our parlous planet

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Andrew Robb Takes Credit for School Halls

You can't underestimate Coalition Shadow Finance spokesperson Andrew Robb’s cunning. Our Goldstein Federal member stopped mentioning school projects for fear of endorsing stimulus funding under the Building Education Revolution (BER). For some time they had disappeared from his website.

But being a politician, he just can't help trying to take some of the credit. His latest ploy is to 'congratulate' recipients:
Federal Government funding highlights since 2004
I would like to congratulate everyone who has approached both the Coalition Government and the Labor Government over the last six years to secure this funding.
He lists BER projects by sub-program only e.g. National School Pride. So he is taking some credit for the “waste” he’s always harping about.

Incidentally, of the 35 NSP projects, only one mentions a school hall and it was an extension to create a gymnasium. So much for the so-called 'school halls' program!

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gen Y at Durban

In case you missed my report at AllVoices on Gen Y women doing it for the planet at Durban:

Durban: Gen Y women doing it for the planet:
This week in Durban young citizen journalists are challenging the popular stereotype of Generation Y. Gen Ys are supposed to be: self-obsessed; apathetic; disengaged; with limited attention spans; shallow online chatterers and gamers; little concerned for the future of the planet they’ll be inheriting. 
Move over baby boomers! The twentysomethings are at the gates, in particular a new generation of committed and skilled young women activists. Many of them are in South Africa to cover the current United Nations COP17 climate change conference. 
These web warriors are not just reporting the story. Increasingly they are the story, as they lobby to bring about climate action. Meet three of them.
Please click the link to meet Andrea, Kodili and Gemma in Durban.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

John Howard: Still a Dead Parrot


Since his head keeps popping up on TV lately, it seems an appropriate time to reprise John Howard's Dead Parrots Society. Enjoy!

 My apologies to all the copyright toes that may have been tread on.

No pythons were harmed during the making of this video.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Andrew Robbed of Our Say on Same Sex Marriage

Locals in Andrew Robb's House of Representatives seat of Goldstein should be asking what happened to his consultations about same sex marriage.

The latest 8 page glossy Robb Report that is distributed to every residence doesn't mention it. It does have room for 7 photos of Andrew. Now he wouldn't want to be a waste of space, would he. His website doesn't seem to have anything about it. In fact his online survey Have Your Say about 'what's important to you?' doesn't include it as one of the loaded issues.

 The Robb Report also has a law and order page 'Tough Action Needed on Graffiti'. It's a State issue but the Shadow Finance Minister "recently called on the Gillard Government to reinstate the National Community Crime Prevention Program and commit more funding...". This comes from the same Opposition that are supposedly combing the budget "line by line" to find $70 billion dollars in cuts if they are elected.

Will Andrew give us a guarantee that this program will be quarantined from the razor gang's work? It is part of The Plan For Hope that promises to "cut wasteful spending" and spend billions on new programs. Perhaps the shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey will be able to put rabbits back in the hat. It will certainly be a mad hatter's tea party.

Liberals don't tell lies they just make non-core promises.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cartoonists Capture Oz Politics

A couple of cartoons reflecting on Oz party politics this week: The first is from Laberal: Coalition plan to slash $70bn from budget

The second, from Fiona Katauskas, is posted at Eureka Street: A Lack of Opposition

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Perfect Timing: Tony & Julia Get Feedback

If you missed the TV news, this may brighten up your day:

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Climate Change: Vaccine for the dreaded bird-brain flu

A cross post from Red Bluff Climate: Taming the Unchained Goddess

The Murdoch media, the shock jocks and TV breakfast shows and much of the other mainstream media are obviously too scared to leave home at night as a result of the carbon tax fear and loathing they’ve been spreading. Perhaps it's the dreaded bird-brain flu.

Or ironically it may have just been Melbourne University’s cold winter evening that kept them away. One way or the other they missed out on lots of sensational footage when Professor Hans Joachin Schellnhuber gave his public address for the FOUR DEGREES OR MORE? Australia in a Hot World conference. The Age had a report on his worst-case scenarios from earlier in the day.


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Sunday, July 10, 2011

There's No Denying It Tony!

CMFEU ad: The Great Deniers in History

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Climate Action: Let’s Swap Fear for Facts

Thank goodness the carbon price phoney war is nearly over. Hopefully fear will be replaced with facts after the government’s Sunday announcement of their carbon emissions scheme.

The Federal Opposition has a lot to answer for. Tony Abbott’s partisan performance over carbon pricing reflects the quality of his leadership, rather than that of the economists he attacked recently. He has been busy bad mouthing them in a manner reminiscent of his calling climate science ‘crap’. He has been prepared to say and do whatever will help him to gain power.

Fortunately, the real work has continued. With perfect timing, Melbourne University hosts a major 3-day conference next week about the implications of global warming: Four Degrees or More? – Australia in a Hot World.

It is a great shame that Australia’s response to the climate change challenge has become centred on ideological positioning by opportunist Abbott and populists such as Barnaby Joyce and Alan Jones.

The same is not the case in the United Kingdom where both sides of politics accept that the science is in and urgent action is necessary. The Department of Energy and Climate Change website has an unequivocal warning about greenhouse gas emissions: ‘Unless action is taken to reduce GHG emissions, there is a high risk of global warming well beyond a 2°C increase since pre-industrial times. This would have significant impact and could lead to severe, and possibly irreversible, damage to ecosystems and natural processes’.

The world is in the process of choosing its climate future and all governments must be held accountable for real, substantial action not just rationalisations that can be sold to the voters. That includes our own governments, including the State level. The choices we make should not be based on misinformation, deliberate sowing of confusion or economic fear mongering.

Our current situation is beyond reasonable doubt: the world is warming, humans are major contributors through greenhouse gas emissions, the consequences will be serious and for some catastrophic, the international community is taking action. In addition a low carbon economy, rather than being a drag on Australia’s prosperity, promises a more healthy nation in many senses of the word.

Ross Garnaut, who recently attacked the mainstream media for their ‘crude’ and ‘distorting’ coverage, is one of the presenters. It will be interesting to see what coverage they give his and other contributions to the ongoing policy debate. Keynote speaker Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Chair of the German Government's Advisory Council on Global Change and other international contributors, should bring some very welcome sober and rational perspectives.

Let’s hope that Garnaut and his fellow presenters get the amount of coverage that the Lord Monckton generates with his attention-seeking travelling circus. It’s more hope than expectation based on the last couple of years of media mischief.

*           *          *          *         *           *          *          *

Please help to fund my Climate Change citizen journalism project - Climate Change: Facing the Fourth Degree

Click on the image for details:

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tony Abbott: Populism's Stunted Master

Let's get Australia back from Tony Abbott's claptrap.

Enter the trihardothon budgie/bumper sticker competition at  Café Whispers.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Climate Change: Facing the Fourth Degree

Please help to fund my Climate Change citizen journalism project - Climate Change: Facing the Fourth Degree

Click on the image for details:

I'll be reporting from the FOUR DEGREES OR MORE? Australia in a Hot World conference on 12-14 July at Melbourne University.

It takes place at the time the Australia government is planning to make public the details of its proposed carbon tax and emissions trading scheme. It's not just the climate that's getting hotter.

Speakers include Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Chair of the German Government's Advisory Council on Global Change, and Professor Ross Garnaut from The University of Melbourne.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joe Hockey feeding both sides of the spending fence

Joe Hockey is not intersted in consistency when he's spinning the daily chook droppings. From ABC Radio AM this morning:

JOE HOCKEY: Well we committed to welfare reform, but we also recognise that if you are going to move people from welfare into work you have to spend money on training, on job support. Most importantly you need to, especially in the case of disability pensioners, upgrade facilities at employers' premises.
Hockey: budget not credible without carbon tax numbers
On Sunday he rolled his hollow barrel about government expenditure:
THE Federal Government says it will deliver a tough budget, but all it has done during the past week is spend money, Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says.

Mr Hockey says if the Government wants to take upward pressure off interest rates it has to get the budget back to surplus, and the starting point is to stop spending money.
Want to budget? Just stop spending, says Joe Hockey

Neither are the media, going by the lack of rigour in testing Joe's contradcitory nonsense with the odd pertinent question.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tony Abbott's Revolting Pug Politics

I was spurred on by Bernard Keane's article in Crikey Placards not the only thing on display as the denialists gather to these thoughts on Tony Abbott and Tea Party politics:

(Photo: ABC)
It was hard not to be appalled by Abbott's performance yesterday. He chose his company deliberately. That included the other speakers. Barnaby Joyce was playing hysterical demagogue.

David Archibald, the ‘economist’ who spoke at the rally, was generally ignored by the media. In fact Melbourne's Herald Sun chose not to mention the event or the offensive signs at all. It was front page at their rival The Age: To-ny, To-ny: poster boy for a crowd of 'fine Australians'. Their photo is far more explicit:

Archibald is from the mining industry and close to the Lavoisier Group of deniers, founded by that well known friend of working people and the environment Hugh Morgan.

Closer to home, the owner of our local shoe shop was headed for the rally: Carbon tax cops kick in Bayside He’s a budding economist too: “He said a 10 per cent carbon tax would be “the final straw” for embattled small retailers.”

Doubtless many in the Canberra crowd were small business people with close links to the Liberal Party.

The evening of the revolting people’s day, Bayside Climate Change Action Group held a successful forum of 150 + with Prof David Karoly of Melbourne University:
Prof. Karoly said. "If climate change is happening, it's happening on top of - and as well as – all the natural climate variations."

"Better to ask", Prof. Karoly said, "is how much worse were the floods made by greenhouse climate change?" While much more research needs to be done, his 'best estimate' is that the floods were perhaps 20% worse than if carbon dioxide levels had remained at the levels of about 100 years ago.

While that may seem only a modest addition, Prof. Karoly said the shift to a warmer climate – signalled too in record seawater temperatures around much of Australia - means Australians had better prepare for a land of greater droughts during the dry spells and worse flooding rains in the wet ones.David Karoly + Simon McKeon @ Firbank Grammar.

The anti-carbon-tax lobby is well organised and presumably well financed. Menzies House provides many of the links to the people's revolt on their campaign website Stop Gillard's Climate Tax.

It was always going to be a dirty fight. Pug politics!

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Proud to be Labor

After months of listening to comments ridiculing the Australian Labor Party, I just want to say, "I'm proud to be Labor". The great leadership of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Prime Minister Julia Gillard during the current floods speaks for itself.

My thoughts have been better put by Greg Jericho at Grog's Gamut:

On Tuesday I commented that Anna Bligh had done a great job in her press conference in response to the Toowoomba floods when she stood strong as a leader should. Since then she has continued to impress everyone with how she has continued to provide leadership through the horror. Her press conferences have been must watches for sources of information, advice and inspiration.

Those who have been watching her media appearances over the past days would have been noticing the red eyes and obvious signs of time gone without sleep and a determination to not give in to the emotion of the events. This morning while delivering some stirring words to her fellow Queenslanders her voice cracked and the pent up emotion slightly crept through. It was her use of the phrase “as we weep…” that I think did it – the mere mention of that emotional response brought out that which she had been denying.

But by God it was brilliant to see.
Leadership is a wonderful thing to behold

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