• Pete Jonson

News on big issues

Updated: Apr 20

Global warming

The Climate Study Group fights to provide a fresh view to the standard approach to climate science that says ‘we’ll all be rooned, Hanrahan’. Their latest advertisement in The Australian has reached new heights, at least in my opinion. Here are the gems.

Ice Age Cycles Changing planetary orbits cause Earth’s distance from the Sun to vary over a period of about 100,000 years. Energy from the Sun reaching Earth fluctuates over this cycle. During an Ice Age the Sun is at a maximum distance from Earth and received energy is at a minimum causing an Ice Age “climate catastrophe”. The last Ice Age ended about 12,000 years ago after 30% of Earth’s surface had been covered with ice up to 2 kilometres thick.

The sea level fell 120 metres. During the following Interglacial Warm Period, Earth is moving closer to the Sun allowing the temperature and sea level to gradually recover. Bass Strait has since risen about 20 metres.


Sunspot Cycles A shorter and less severe climate cycle which interrupts the longer Ice Age cycle is indicated by sunspot activity. The Little Ice Age occurred when there was minimum sunspot activity. The NASA Ames Research Centre has forecast the present decline in sunspot activity will cause lower temperatures. Record low temperatures during the recent Northern Hemisphere winter and a 20 year satellite global temperature low in March are consistent with this forecast. Again, CO2 plays no part in the cycle. Recent research funded by NASA indicates solar activity may also influence El Niño and La Niña events.


Energy Policy Fossil fuel use does not create carbon in CO2. The carbon in CO2 emitted was first captured by plants which decayed and formed fossil fuels. The CO2 is returned to the atmosphere which at 0.04% is deficient for plant growth and well below past levels. The CO2 cycle is “carbon neutral”. Satellites have detected greening of the planet with improved CO2 levels. Despite significant capital outlay and subsidies, energy policies based on failed models have led to rising power costs, deindustrialisation including defence. manufacturing capability, and have cost jobs. Further, these policies have placed an avoidable burden on households and the climate predictions have created public fear. Across the world, 1,160 coal fired stations are planned or under construction mostly in Asian countries, including China building 120 stations bringing the Chinese total to 3,000 operating stations less any closure.


The full discussion is on Page 8 of The Weekend Australian’s edition for 17 April. Not to be missed.


Fateful Failure


Greg Sheridan starts by quoting Andrew Hastie: ‘It was a result of muddled thinking, a lack of clear purpose’.


He continues: ‘The US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan did not reflect American malice or an empire-building instinct. Rather, they reflected American overconfidence and, in a sense, an over-generosity – a desire in both cases to leave something behind for Iraqi and Afghan peoples that was much better than what they found.


‘The ambition proved comprehensively beyond the Americans, and their allies. Including Australia. …


‘The US operation to kick Saddam out of Kuwait way back in 1990 had shown the Chinese how vast was America’s technology. From then on , Beijing changed its own military doctrine – which, like many Asian militaries had previously been inward looking and focussed on securing its territory inwardly – to an outward focus and a determined effort to catch up with the US technologically. …


And in conclusion: ‘Meanwhile, for Washington to seriously focus and its resources, on the IndoPacific – as the Bidon administration shows every indication of doing – is very welcome.’


The Holgate Affair


Janet Albrechtsen begins: ‘Every crisis reveals something about people. The Holgate affair reveals that the Labor leader Anthony Albanese and MPs Kimberley Kitching and others are pathetic hypocrites. They fired the starters gun on this debacle and now cry crocodile tears for Christine Holgate. ,,,


Albrechtsen points out that the Prime Minister could have played the matter very differently. ‘Christine Holgate is an outstanding chief executive. She has lead Australia Post during an immensely difficult period. We will bring the result of that [necessary] inquiry to the Australian people as soon as it is finalised.


‘Instead, as Australia Post’s 100 per cent shareholder, Morrison chose to be the bully. …

‘He misjudged, misfired, attacked and then retreated into hiding, refusing to release the report, or apologised for his mistake that triggered the end of Holgate’s career.’ …

‘What we do know is that Morrison is wedded to permanent campaigning rather than serious policy reform.’


And in conclusion ‘while two people overreacted in this awful tale, Holgate has the better claim to innocence. Without Morrison’s vicious mauling, she would have still to be running Australia Post. She didn’t deserve to be a victim of his political incompetence. But Morrison does deserve to have this episode added to the list of his leadership failings.


No business would treat Holgate the way the PM did.


This is Katrina Grace Kelly’s turn. ‘It was an ugly sight last November when our Prime Minister brought down the might of his office on the boss of Australia Post. What occurred that day was a harsh, unjust and unreasonable termination of a person’s employment and a brutal wrecking of their reputation and standing. …


‘To many, Christine Holgate’s resignation, provides further evidence of a problem within Liberal Party culture and its ”problem with women”. [As someone else said: what a contrast with the PM’s treatment of Christian Porter’s problem.]


And in conclusion: ‘In time, Holgate’s treatment may well be viewed as a pivotal moment in the deterioration of this government’s fortunes.


The Economic Outlook.


At least in Australia and USA, economies are apparently recovering far faster that experts like Treasuries and Central banks predicted. But we must be careful. Northern hemisphere countries have been fighting winter and there are many new types of covid-19 viruses, some of which may beat current vaccines.


But in the USA and UK, jabs have been available and a discernible number have been put into people’s arms which will help greatly.


Soon Australia will be colder. Slow vaccine distribution has made some people frustrated and now reports of ‘colliwobbles’ in people’s brains or guts has made B1 and B2 people reluctant to take the jabs. So winter may make Australia’s so far stellar performance weaker.


The PM’s attempt to allow people that are fully vaccined to return to Australia or visit the place visit to spend 2 weeks quarantined in private houses sems to be vetoed by at least some state premiers. Perhaps individual states should be allowed to continue with hotel quarantine and bolder states be told the are able to invite fully quarantined people to stay in houses of relatives or friends.


It will be a great outcome if Australia gets through the winter without a wave of new illness and with continued economic recovery. And with some friendly news from China. As Gerard Henderson in the Weekend Australian says ‘Let’s not inflame China tensions with talk of war.’ (Amen Gerard.)

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