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Climate Change Impacts

The extensively-leaked IPCC WGII report on impacts was released on Good Friday. The draft full report (including the 61-pages of the full Australia/NZ chapter) was briefly available on the WGII website, but has now gone again - I  have the ANZ chapter if anyone wants a copy! (See attachment below)

The key conclusions for Australia and New Zealand are:

As a result of reduced precipitation and increased evaporation, water security problems are projected to intensify by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions. ** D [11.4]

 Significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur by 2020 in some ecologically-rich sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics. Other sites at risk include Kakadu wetlands, south-west Australia, sub-Antarctic islands and the alpine areas of both countries. *** D [11.4]

 Ongoing coastal development and population growth in areas such as Cairns and Southeast Queensland (Australia) and Northland to Bay of Plenty (New Zealand), are projected to exacerbate risks from sea-level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding by 2050. *** D [11.4, 11.6]

 Production from agriculture and forestry by 2030 is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits to agriculture and forestry are projected in western and southern areas and close to major rivers due to a longer growing season, less frost and increased rainfall. ** N [11.4]

 The region has substantial adaptive capacity due to well-developed economies and scientific and technical capabilities, but there are considerable constraints to implementation and major challenges from changes in extreme events. Natural systems have limited adaptive capacity. ** N [11.2, 11.5]

WGII Ch11 ANZ.pdf802.68 KB

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Howards lack of action is our greatest threat.

The Arctic ice cap is melting much faster than expected and is now about 30 years ahead of predictions made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a US ice expert says……."We just barely now, I think, have enough time and enough collective will to be able to get through this century in good shape, but it means we have to start acting now and in a big way.

[The Age: Arctic Ice Melting Faster Than Expected]

The clock is ticking faster than predicted. The first step is to elect politicians that take climate change seriously.

Howard’s lack of action is our greatest threat. We don’t have time to build 25 nuclear power stations.

"Slooowly he turned"! The three stooges act.

Does anyone remember the "The Three Stooges" and the strange man that kept "slooowly turning".  I recommend Howard, Costello and Ruddock as they too, "slooowly turn".

"Abbott and Costello", yes the two "flying fingers" in the "New Order" are so out of touch with the Australian people that of course, they too "don't know whose on first base".

This comparison has been well and truly earned by the disgraceful exhibition these circus performers of the Liberal Party continues to provide in their successful denial of democracy in any of its forms.

Last week Tony Jones gave Labor's Wayne Swan some very awkward questions and, to his credit, last night he did the same to the Mining Corporation's Minister Mr. MacFarlane.

In a nut-shell the questions revealed, by reason of avoidance and ambivalence, that the Howard government is determined to drag Australia into the Nuclear Reactor Industry no matter what the people want or whatever the cost.

The "New Order", already famous for this attitude, and the fact that they introduce unmandated policies, like the draconian Industrial Relations, WILL wrest the power to do so against the objections of  the States and Territories. 

Mr. MacFarlane insisted that he wanted the people to "debate" the issue so that they could make up their minds fairly.  Tony Jones asked did that mean the Liberals are making Nuclear Reactors an election issue.  Mr. MacFarlane avoided that by saying that they would wait for the debate.

Tony Jones asked if that is the case would the Howard government have a referendum.  Again Mr. MacFarlane ducked and weaved a straight forward question - very similar to the way the "New Order" behave in parliament.

Also on Lateline was a report from Dr. Chris Reidy, of the Institute of Sustainable Future,commissioned by Greenpeace, in which he revealed that the Howard government subsidises the Mining Industry Corporations (Coal and non-renewable energy companies) to the tune of 9 BILLION dollars.

I wonder why the Corporation's Unions are advertising like crazy against Kevin Rudd's chance of becoming Prime Minister?

The Corporation's are still "advertising by stealth" when giving the media excuses by continuing complaints.

Howard has already been given the High Court imprimatur to his interpretation of the "Corporations Act", and that means he will again avoid his responsibilities to the Australian Federalist Constitution. 

The Labor Premier of W.A. Mr. Carpenter, was shown being wary of the "tearing up of the AWA's" but, only one T/V station allowed that part of his speech where he said that AWA's exploit the workers.

Let's be realistic - firstly, as I understand it, the majority of workers in the mining industry of W.A. are on collective bargaining AWA's.  And it is reported that while the WAGES are currently high, the removal of benefits is the Employer's choice only.  This means that the INCOME is not guaranteed to remain static and, SHARED EMPLOYMENT will vary with any significant fall in commodity prices.

Well might they say - "changing the government will change our indisputable control of Australian workers" and that may allow Australians to more equally enjoy the benefits of our natural resources - before it is too late.

The good thing about this is that the policies of the major parties are diametrically opposed in all areas applying to the financial, security; and real JOBS along with Education Health and safety.

We should really thank whoever the whistle-blowers were who revealed Howard's mates had already registered their Nuclear Energy company.

There is no truth - except for Channels ABC and SBS.


Subsidising global warming

Greenpeace has released a report finding that Australian taxpayers provide roughly $10 billion (9.3-10.1) in subsidies to energy and transport. Of that, 96% is to greenhouse gas generating fossil fuels. Of that roughly $9 billion, about 10% is to measures likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

About half of the subsidy is the difference between the cost of providing the road network and the revenue recovered from road users.

It should be noted that the report does not include externalities as "subsidies'. It does find that, on Stern Report assumptions, the externalities would amount to between $12.3 and $41.8 billion.


Externalities are costs and benefits that are excluded from accounting frameworks and market prices. Negative externalities are costs that are not fully paid by the actors responsible for incurring the costs. The costs may be shifted to other specific actors, to the public, or to future generations. For example, the costs of climate change are not currently included in fossil fuel prices; they are borne by the global community and future generations. Since the actor producing or consuming the fossil fuels does not pay all costs, their level of activity is higher than it would be if all costs were included. That is, the failure to include all negative externalities in markets is a type of subsidy... (from the report: 2.2.3)

Howard's nuclear waste

Rather than building more power stations, nuclear or coal and wasting billions of dollars, better standards can reduce our consumption.

"These standards will provide major energy and cost savings to industrial and commercial motor users while helping to moderate the growth in electricity demand in this country," said ACEEE's motor expert Dr. Neal Elliott, Industrial Program director. "In the industrial sector, motors account for over two-thirds of the electricity consumed. These standards will save over 8 trillion kilowatt-hours by 2030, with a net cost savings to electric consumers of almost $500 million."

“Energy efficiency is the first fuel in the race for affordable and clean energy, because it is the cheapest and fastest to deploy,” said Elliott. “The recommendations we have outlined in this report can be adopted now, implemented now, and can immediately reduce the demand for energy.”

The study recommends nine policies as building blocks for this new energy future:

  1. Expand Texas’s existing Energy Efficiency Improvement Program (EEIP) from the current 10% of load growth to 50% of load growth
  2. Tighten building energy codes
  3. Increase demand response programs that can reduce electricity demand during peak load periods
  4. Set a target for expanded installation of combined heat and power (CHP) capacity in Texas
  5. Provide incentives for expanded installation of onsite renewable energy
  6. Set new state-level appliance and equipment standards
  7. Develop advanced energy-efficient building program
  8. Implement energy-efficient state and municipal buildings program
  9. Implement short-term public education and rate incentives

Prehistoric Climate Change

Live Earth the End of Howard

Live Earth could be the last nail in Howard's Coffin.

Live Earth will use the global reach of music to engage people on a mass scale to combat our climate crisis. Live Earth will bring together more than 150 of the world's top musicians for 24-hours of music from 7 concerts across all 7 continents. Live Earth will bring together an audience of more than 2 billion at the concerts and through television, radio, film, and the Internet. That audience, and the proceeds from the event, will create the foundation for a new, multi-year global effort to combat the climate crisis led by Vice President Al Gore. Kevin Wall, Worldwide Executive Producer of Live 8, is producing Live Earth.

Economic credentials Howard? Not likely.

While Howard says he is waiting on yet another "Committee Report" (which really means that he hasn't got direction from GWB yet) more "Climate Change religious fanatics" like the CSIRO - have also joined the Club.

Fairfax press reports by Liz Minchin and Farrah Tomazin today:

The nation's leading scientific body, the CSIRO, has undermined Prime Minister John Howard's position on climate change by advising that big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions appear to be both inevitable and affordable for Australia.

[Emphasis added]

As the Federal Government yesterday intensified its attacks on "crazy" pledges from Labor and the Greens to reduce Australia's emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050, it emerged that the CSIRO had told Mr Howard's emissions trading task group last month that most studies agreed developed countries needed to cut emissions by 60 to 90 per cent to avoid "dangerous" climate change.


"Having previously been dismissive of the need for greenhouse reduction targets, Mr Howard this week declared that "setting a long-term target" will be the most important economic decision Australia takes in the next decade".

On what  planet is Howard, Costello and the bankrupt Millionaire Turnbull?

Have we already forgotten that this "New Order" leader and self professed economic genius, has the Australian record for the  highest interest rates of 21% when he was Treasurer under Fraser? And all of his four (4) budgets were in deficit.

Have we forgotten that when confronted with the farmer's concerns about his negligence on the Murray-Dowling water loss - he immediately offered $10 billion to fix it!  No plans, no "target" and no consultation with the Treasurer; the Treasury or Finance departments - just put his hand in our pockets without a blush!

Among the many differences between Labor and the "New Order" Liberals, is the treatment of the Costello's out of control foreign debt.

Until the Howard/Costello mob won the 1996 election by an admission that it was "an act of grand theft" [Glen Milne The Australian]- all Australian governments of whatever persuasion, modelled their economies with careful consideration of being in debt to the world, i.e. Foreign Debt.

In 1995, Opposition Leader John Howard and Shadow Treasurer Peter Costello said the foreign debt was an indictment of economic mis-management and a key factor in higher interest rates.

Lord Haw-Haw Costello added:

"We're pleased to put foreign debt on the agenda in this country because we don't want Australians, bit by bit, to watch their productive assets and their productive capacity go into foreign hands. There's a question of national identity about this.  Do we as a country want to be in hock to the rest of the world?"

Emphasis added.

What supreme arrogance, hypocrisy and an example of the "Lies to succeed" system of which the "New Order" Liberals are so proud.

Wouldn't it be nice if Labor copied their act in 1995 of a beat-up old truck with massive signs about the now $520 billion foreign debt of the Howard government?

 The $180 billion foreign debt that Howard squealed about - it took Costello et al just 11 years to almost triple it. And it continues to rise at $50 billion a year.

No Costello, we don't want our country to be in YOUR RECORD hock to the rest of the world. And we don't want to continue to watch, bit by bit, while YOU SELL our productive assets and their productive capacity INTO FOREIGN HANDS.

So we must vote against these "New Order" Liberals before it is to late to do so.

Ther is no truth - just lies from the "New Order".


Aussie of the Year - join the Club.

Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery, has again criticised the Howard "New Order" for continuing their refusal to recognise Climate Change. Talk about Al Gore being a "peeved politician"!

The Professor joins "the Club" of all a-political and independent scientific reports from all over the world.

Howard tries to excuse his inaction over the significant  problem of the Murray-Dowling of which he was warned 10 years ago, by blaming it all on drought and NOT bad management. He dismissed the Labor "Let our rivers flow" policy 5 years ago with the arrogant assertion that "we have had these droughts before" - remember?

Now he is claiming that the debt ridden false economy is more important than the Murray-Dowling or even the Planet itself.  Fair dinkum.

By doing this, Howard and his minions repeat their often used "appeal to the worst in people", selfishness before the Nation and the world, so to speak.   A quick fix to get the votes and then should they win - back to the "New Order" drawing board of more and more nasties.

The Senate will remain in Liberal hands unfortunately, BUT if Labor is elected, that could be the checks and balances that are totally absent since Howard gained the Senate.  He has abused that situation to the embarrassment of Malcolm Fraser, who last held that power but used it democratically.

 Howard "dismisses" the Stern report as being "European" and this is Australia.  Did he really say that?

Doesn't he continue the false claims that "we lead the world in this and that"?  But not Climate Change or the Kyoto Treaty.

As Professor Flannery said:

"A couple of years ago there used to be four countries that hadn't ratified Kyoto.... There was Australia, the USA, Monaco and Liechtenstein.  I'm afraid to say that Monaco and Liechtenstein have seen the light, so there's only two of us left now --- the Bonnie and Clyde of climate change, as Al Gore calls us."

Aren't we sick to our stomachs of a Government, mired in the lies and negative politics on which it relies completely, because it simply follows the directions of the Bush Administration in everything of importance to THEIR government.

Personally, I am sick and tired of the American flag being over-exposed in every worthwhile T/V production.  It is after all, a flag of guilt having been made so when the children are constantly required to "take the Oath" to that flag - at an age when they are most susceptible.

"Serve it as you would any other religious symbol that, you have been trained and brainwashed to believe, is your only salvation". Guilt.

What the Howardists fear most is that if Labor wins government, the crimes and blunders of which the "New Order" has been guilty, would be revealed!  That is unless they shred everything embarrassing as the ex Victorian Liberal Premier Kennett did when he was ousted.


Join the club

Ernest William: "Personally, I am sick and tired of the American flag being over-exposed."

Have you forgotten when Latham posed in front of the flag in an attempt to elected? How long before Rudd does the same thing?

"New Order" says "be alert but not alarmed".

As unbelievable as it seems - against all warnings and statistical positives that the world IS facing a bigger and more menacing future, due to Climate Change -more even than the danger of  Nuclear Proliferation - Howard claims that Kevin Rudd's concern is misleading.  Fair dinkum!

Firstly, regardless of Howard's religion, Climate Change IS happening and the record loss of water in crucial areas of Australia, needs more than a "rain dance" from the American Indians to resolve.

Simon Crean's "Let our Rivers flow" policy of five (5) years ago, was ignored by this arrogant and "bully supported" little schoolboy.

And - as another "SIEVE X  style situation is allowed to sink" - he will hope that he and his criminally guilty Ministry will NEVER be brought before the International Crime Commission.

Still in denial, Howard and his "conga-line of muted party members" are lamb-like in their following  of his successful policy of ignorance and negligence with the sincere hope that THEIR attitude will continue to be accepted.

THEY don't serve the country - the country serves them.

That is, a foreign policy copied in toto from the Bush Administration - domestic policies decided and demanded by the mainly foreign Corporations, and the total "outsourcing" of governance responsibility by a record of Private Enterprise.

A perfect examplel of this depraved indifference, is the claim that the Immigration Dept. bungles regarding Cornelia Rau etc., was the responsibility of the "Private Enterprise" Concentration Camps. Struth!

In 1998, the Howard "New Order" was born.  Since then it has followed the Margaret Thatcher/Ronald Reagan style of fascism.

IMHO this spiteful little schoolboy has hitherto been successful because he merely echos the dictates of the world's first "democratic" Terrorists - the United States of America.

There is not truth - but, be their friend NOT their servant.


Be alarmed

Ernest William, fancy Little Kev having dinner with the venal media (Rupert Murdoch). Has he no shame? I just hope he remembers it?

How about this for misleading?

ACTU president Sharan Burrow predicted rogue bosses would sack those who refused to work on Anzac Day.

"People say if you won't work then you're breaching your contract, on your bike," she told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

Where does she get such rubbish from? You mark my words this idiot will cost Labor votes in the lead up to the election. She is flexing her muscles as if Labor is already in power.

Then there is this rubbish.

“Workers wanting to take Anzac Day off will have to hope they have "reasonable" grounds under the government's controversial Work Choices laws”, Labor and the unions say.

Ernest William,you really

Ernest William, you really are showing your true colours with little gem "the record loss of water in crucial areas of Australia, needs more than a "rain dance" from the American Indians to resolve". Just when did Howard call on the American Indians?

By the way, I trust you were happy with the Union Rock concert at the weekend. A $5 ticket will always fill the cricket ground. I thought Peter Garrett looked more comfortable on the stage, he obviously finds remembering the words of a Rock song easier than remembering Labor's policies.

Move to the North

Senator Bill Heffernan has called for financial incentives to encourage farmers to move north, rather than find new sources of water in the south of the country.

Senator Heffernan says farmers need to go where the water is.

"There's no question - climate change is a reality. We've got to take our farm to where the water is," he said.

Living in Cairns, I am looking at my garden which is lush and green. Even the road verges are green and need mowing nearly every week or so. Our local dam is the Copperload dam at the moment the dam is overflowing its spillway and has been for months.

The north of Australia north of a line Broome to Cairns is expected to get even more rain due the Global warming. Maybe Bill had it right; we should move our farmers north.

Instead of paying drought relief for farms that may never see good rain again. Use the money to encourage them to move north.

Pray for a diversion

I see that John Howard wants everyone to pray for rain.  This seems to be a very useful strategy for deflecting attention from his own failure to act, onto a third party, in this case God, and His failure to deliver.

The media elects governments.

I have repeated that phrase over and over during the past two elections.

Whatever may be said about Kevin Rudd's appointments in the US, one of those will be with Rupert Murdoch, the most powerful media mogul in the world.

I have no doubt that Kevin Rudd will ask for a "fair go" at election time - somewhat different to the current attacks, based on sensationalist figments of imagination, from the journalists providing the fiction stories in the Daily Smellygraph and The Australian.

Julie "I have an attitude problem" Bishop claims that Mr. Rudd has been given his riding instructions from the Unions while the "New Order" are getting theirs from the massive Corporation structure. 

Especially the head of the Chamber of Commerce Union, Peter Hendy.  You know - the bloke who used to be Peter Reith's top man!

Talk about having a meeting with Burke - Struth.

The Media Elects

Ernest William: "I have no doubt that Kevin Rudd will ask for a "fair go" at election time".

He may well do so, but I would imagine that Rupert Murdoch will tell him the following. Come up with proper policies not garbage like Noodle Nation and Medicare Gold, stop telling lies about Workchoices, and stop getting your riding instructions from the Unions. However Little Kev cannot do that, he is tied in with Unions and owes them for him getting his present job. I now await for the Labor Conference where we will witness the Labor Party tear themselves to pieces in public.

"Hindsight is perfect vision" John Howard. Mk.1.

So the "Climate Change" non-believer has recently put his "Andrew Peacock" duplicate in charge of the "Water Problem".  Struth! I wonder if Howard has a "Roman Fiddle"?

With his typical absence of accountability or commitment to Australia's future, the arrogant little schoolboy speaks from his imagined "Ivory Tower".

He declares that he has received advice (Fair dinkum) that the Murray-Dowling water scarcity, is a pending catastrophe. He advocates that the farmers he has allowed to drain the area, should pray for rain!  And they have six weeks for their prayers to be answered.

While the Howard/Bush  plan that "Each year I'll swap you 200 of my processed refugees for 200 of yours" surely, has to be a stupid diversion and another wedge in Australia's society - but now -with water failure - he is merely stating the advice he had received more than FOUR (4) YEARS ago.

I quote Margo Kingston's SMH article dated May 15 2003.

Let our rivers flow, Simon says

I don't believe it!  Simon Crean, back against the wall, announces an old-fashioned Labor nation building investment in our great Murray-Darling River.  Wow!

Howard's done nothing, despite his commitment to act after he received the Wentworth report in November [2002].  I wrote back then that Labor had lost a marvelous chance to get on the front foot - to assert a positive role for government on an issue of the utmost importance to our nation's future.  But Howard's subsequent inaction (the government has stood still for six months and there wasn't a cent in the budget to address the issue) gave Crean his chance.  And he's taken it, and at a time when, after terrible drought and bush fires, Australians are ready to listen and to applaud.  Granted the policy is not big bang, but it's a start.

It will put Howard on the back foot for a change and inject a bit of policy substance into Labor's leadership battle.  At last!

Here's what I wrote in Tuesday's budget night comment:

Remember the Wentworth report? In November last year Howard promised urgent action to save our greatest river system, the Murray Darling, from collapse.  The Wentworth group of scientists, in the midst of an awful drought, told him $675 million was required now to give the system a slight chance of recovery and double that to give it a high chance of recovery. [That's $1.35 billion - a little more than he gave to the Indonesian tsunami] The problem is so huge that unless something is done, Adelaide will have undrinkable water two out of every five days within two years.

Yet six months later, Howard has allocated no money at all in this Budget to get things moving.  Sorry, there's $10 million to fund a pilot study on "the use of financial incentives for better land and water management".  Sorry, there's also some words from environment minister David Kemp:  "Land and water degradation costs Australia more than $3.1 billion each year.  We also need to stop taking for granted the many free services the environment provides, such as water purification, soil fertility and pollination".

Get the picture?  There's lots of solid, basic investment we need to do to secure the future of our children, but not now, later.  How about an extra dollar a week in your pocket instead? Now THAT's "an investment", as Costello described the tax cut tonight.

The figures that David Kemp worried about; the figures that Howard believed "settled that problem" and the $10 billion he unilaterally decided to spend without his Treasurer, Treasury or Finance Depts. even knew about!

This is what was occurring four and a half years ago.  If Howard or any of his Ministers, and hangers-on, had half a brain among them all,  they would have started then with "big bucks".  But Howard/Costello would be more concerned about the "expense" approaching an election year that could effect their false "economic image".

Instead the "New Order" continue to boast about "surpluses" and "gifts" to other countries in THEIR name.  And even then they do not honour their promises as the spending figures show.

Can Australia afford to continue with a government of depraved indifference to the future of our children, their children and even their children?

Can Australia really afford to continue this false "cashless" economy any longer? 

Can we really afford to allow the "New Order" spending on advertising; unnecessary P.M. family trips overseas; financial gifts for political motives; enormous tax relief to foreign businesses et al,  to be at the expense of our taxpayers with the "principle" that, our Nation's assets will be sold for the purpose of "allowing Australians to have a Job"? Any job!

There is no truth - but the excuses of a depraved government.


Howard "dismissed" the Wentworth Report Mk. 2

Continuing "Let our Rivers Flow" with emphasis added.

Labor's new deal to save the Murray river.

A Crean Labor Government will save the Murray River by delivering desperately needed environmental flows and establishing a new Commonwealth corporation - The Murray Darling Riverbank - to invest in our rivers.

The Murray River is dying.  If we don't restore the health of the Murray, there will not be a river system capable of supporting farmers into the future.  It's time for action - not passing the buck.

A Crean Labor Government will:

  • Deliver 450 gigalitres of environmental flows within the first term of a Crean Labor Government - enough to keep the mouth of the Murray open;
  • Deliver 1500 gigalitres in environmental flows within 10 years - the minimum required to restore the health of the river;
  • Create Riverbank to fund the river's restoration and make an initial capital injection of $150 million; and
  • Establish the Environmental Flow Trust to manage environmental flows.
  • Riverbank will provide a secure source of funding for much-needed investment in better management of Australia's water resources and delivery of environmental flows.

    Riverbank will invest in innovative projects that will help set a new direction for water use in Australia, will help farmers achieve on-farm efficiency improvements and encourage increased water reuse and recycling.

    These Riverbank funds will be used to leverage additional investment through participation in joint ventures with the States and the private sector.

    A Crean Labor Government will make an initial capital injection of $150 million into Riverbank in the first year of a Crean Government as the first down payment to save our rivers.

    In order to meet our 10-year target of 1500 gigalitres of environmental flows, Labor will make future capital injections as needed.

    An Environmental flow trust will be established for the Murray Darling Basin to guarantee that water savings are used permanently for environmental flows.

    Water savings acquired by Riverbank - or donated on a voluntary basis - will go directly into this Trust and will only be used for environmental flows.

    Despite John Howard's repeated claims that water is one of his third term priorities, there was no new funding in the Budget to save the Murray River.

    Indeed, his own flagship program - the National Action Plan for Water Quality and Salinity (NAP) - was savagely cut.

    The Budget reveals that over the first six years of the National Action Plan, it will receive an overall cut of almost $290 million.

    John Howard is allowing the Murray to die a slow death.  Only Labor will commit to restoring our rivers.  Only Labor will save the Murray.

    Does the "New Order" really want to save the Murray-Darling?  Or would they rather maintain their irresponsible attitude to improverish the farmers?  That would give a cheap opening to Private Enterprise to gobble up the Water Licenses? (My thought entirely).

    The "pretty faced" incompetent Ministers he has recently promoted will definitely use Labor's plans in some manner or form but - what will be THEIR euphamisms to claim they are theirs?


    More rubbish

    Ernest William: "... unnecessary P.M. family trips overseas."

    Is this because Howard took his wife with him? Little Kev has gone to Washington and he probably will not remember he has been. How's that for a waste of money.

    Fancy mentioning Simon Crean, (another failed Labor leader in the mould of Whitlam, Keating, Latham and Beazley) the man was an idiot. 

    More important things Alan

    Alan, I would have thought this thread needed serious debate rather than this sort of rant.

    I have been, since last September, watching as 75% of the water in the Upper Murray storages was sent downstream to irrigators. With an El Nino setting in at the time and storages already at only 57% of capacity one would have thought your Mr Howard would have forseen the state of emergency that the whole Murray Darling Basin could face and acted to put in place national control of that water system to ensure rationing allowed the most vital industries such as dairy to survive.

    But no: Four million of the remaining 5 million in the Murray Goulburn upper Murray storages alone has since gone, with barely 1 million now left. That is to be reserved for the towns now it seems. The Snowy storages have fallen to critical lows with only about 14% left.

    National action should have been taken months ago. With the predicted El Nino setting in the remaining water should have been nationalised and rationed for the most vital industries. I have been making this point for over a year.  We need milk before we need red wine. We can import rice and cotton and those three industries could have been compensated for loss of allocation in order to conserve water for the vital food basket industries.

    Even fruit trees can survive with lowered water allocation, pruning and by force felling the fruit to conserve the tree. But with the water shut off those trees will now die. A compensation package to those farmers for lost income through lost allocations could have been introduced. As trees now die the fruit industry will be devastated for at least five years, or longer. No one is going to replant fruit trees until there is some guarantee of water coming down the river and who knows when that will be now.

    Over this eight months Howard has sat on his hands with Turnbull gallivanting around the country for photo shots. There has been a lot of talk while the water just kept draining away. And now they talk of a disaster staring us all in the face. Well it has been staring us all in the face for a long time. As with the Canberra fires I could see what was coming four hours before they hit, (any one with any brains and eyes in their head could) and I could see this coming too. The information was there on the web all the time, ie the weekly falling water levels with no let up in releases.

    It seems to me that few realise what is will mean for the economy if the whole Murray Darling system collapses in a cloud of dust as appears increasingly likely. Having lived on dairy farms for much of my life I know what this will mean for dairy producers alone. They will be forced to hand feed high protein grain and hay to keep cows in condition and producing milk.  With supplies of those inputs already stretched and at record prices due to the failure of the 2006 crops, then many will just have to close down. You cannot just feed for survival of dairy cattle as you can with beef.

    The price of milk is currently barely covering existing costs and it is appalling to see this week in The Land that this fact alone is forcing a sharp fall in dairy farmer numbers in the much better watered Clarence Valley .

    The greatest folly in my opinion has been the carving up of better watered highly productive coastal and coastal valley farmland, once supporting large numbers of family dairy , vegetable and fruit farms, for urban rural development. The Clarence seems like it is going the same way as is increasingly the Sydney Basin prime orchard and vegetable farmland.

    I hope you have well lined pockets as F Kendall implies Alan, because you are going to need them to fill the fridge in the very near future. Pity about those that are struggling and all those families in the Murray Darling system, and not just farmers, who are facing ruin if those rains Howard is praying for do not eventuate.

    He had better conserve that 10 billion for the needs of those people, because there is no point pouring money into a river system that has already collpased. It is far too late.

    This whole disaster reflects a total lack of national plannning by all Governments in what has been known for two centuries to be the driest continent in the world. And we continue to talk of development and population growth!  

    Time to talk about how this country is going to survive if the Murray Darling system does not recover and we have no guarantee that wet years are on the way to give us another chance.

    If we do not get those wet years then the whole Murray Darling food basket is doomed. And that can only mean one thing. A drastic economic effect the like of what we have never seen before in this country, and our own home grown economic refugee population from that vast rural hinterland and its dying towns.

    And then we have to import food and we know what that will mean for the balance of trade. 

    And as for UHT milk from NZ, well there goes a decent cup of tea.  

    As for your hero Alan, he is likely to go down in history as the PM who slept while the tap was left running, only to find when he woke up the tank had run dry.

    Richard Tonkin, thank you for your thoughts expressed on another thread.  Am getting there slowly.

    Alan Curran: Having

    Alan Curran:  Having been absent for a few days, I cannot find the thread on which I should be responding to you.

    In fact, I cannot remember much of what you said.  But, you defended 1st class air travel vs economy.  Who could disagree?  Certainly not me.  Air travel - 26 hours in a tin box - is a piece of hell, whatever your class.   It is a separation from almost everything worthwhile in life, and of personal value.

    Economy, of course, is impossible unless you're desperate or naive.  It will disappear. 

    Thank God I no longer have to do it.  My commiserations would be in order, except that you seem to -  can this be true? - actually choose it as a way of getting rich, or, presumably, richer.  I understand this only because you appeared to be bragging about it.

    In that case, you have what seems to me, to be a truly awful and sad life.

    Rich.  Rich is lovely.  I would never attack rich.  If I had "just a little more", I would be rich.  I have the impression that you are rich, Alan.

    But, "rich" is  a little insecure, is  it not?  I need to be just a bit richer than ... ...all the others, to feel ok about my richness. "Richer" carries a bit of a problem in that "richer" is a treadmill. I'm sure that you are rich, Alan, but when will you know when that you are rich enough?I

    Achievement is one of life's great satisfactions. In the past, too many men swapped this for a balanced life. I hope that you are not one of those, Ac.  

     Prue Goward has said that she encouraged her husband, when she was away, to frequent the local brothels. Would you think, AC,  that this was good advice to a spouse whose partner was often absent?    Would you advise your partner this way?

    Oh, and Great Barrier Reef vs oil.  No, not a good swap.  You need to do some study there.

    You need to get reacquainted with words such as "grandeur", "glorious", "awe", "splendour", "beauty" and  "gratitude". You don't give the impression that these are part of your lexicon .

    What do you have against shorter people, as exhibited in your "little kev" comments, Alan? Being a woman, I am used to many men being taller than me;  however, I have found that this doesn't stop many of them from being stupid.

    I understand that Howard is about 5'5", and Rudd close to 6'.

    This is precisely like judging women's fitness to parliament by their breast size.  How can you expect to be taken seriously when you use such nonsense?

    How tall are you, Alan?  By your posts, and your criteria,I would judge "squat".

    To F. Kendall and others.


    Liked your piece about "rich and richer".  It reminded me of this:....

    Life explained by a Greek

    A boat docked in a tiny Greek village.  An American tourist complimented the Greek fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

    "Not very long", answered the Greek.

    "But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.  The Greek explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

    The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

    "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my Wife.  In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, dance a little, play the bouzouki, and sing a few songs.  I have a full life".

    The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you.  You should start by fishing longer every day.  You can then sell the extra fish you catch.  With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.  With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.  Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open you own plant.

    You can then leave this little village and move to Athens, Los Angeles or even New York City!  From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

    "How long would that take?" asked the Greek.

    "Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

    "And after that? Afterwards?"

    "That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing.  When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

    "Millions"  Really? And after that?"

    "After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your Wife, and spend your evenings singing, dancing and playing the bouzouki with your friends."

    Climate change - First Howard "tinkering" for 2007.

    I am surprised that more people have not commented on this universal problem.

    The major fears in all western countries, as in Australia, is the time wasted by their governments for the fear of losing face; losing Corporation profits; the need to have ideas NOT provided by the U.S.; and the fear of losing government "before the JOB is done".

    With that dictatorial "Man of Steel" Howard, who still has not accepted that there IS climate change and who called Al Gore, the crusading American a "peeved politician" how can anyone believe in his "tinkering around the edges" policies?  Surely the man of steel image is really meant as a criticism because he is as "thick as a steel railing".

    Climate change must be a major issue at the next federal election, so let's take a look at the pros and cons.

    In the ultimate, IF we were to reduce every possible CO2 emission in Australia we would certainly help the Ozone Layer which has decreased progressively since 1979, according to an article I found in National Geographic Vol.178, No.4 - October 1990.

    Ozone under attack.

    A stinging pollutant at ground level, ozone diffused in the stratosphere filters out much of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation.  Over the past decade chemicals, particularly widely used industrial chlorofluoro-carbons (CFCs) have thinned this protective ozone around the globe. The loss is greatest over the South Pole, as seen in these color-enhanced images from the Nimbus 7 satellite.  Here -- when sunlight returns in the austral spring --swirling stratospheric winds and ice clouds speed ozone's destruction.   Concentrations within the hole, shown in black, have fallen by as much as 50 percent. (Photos unavailable)

    In the mid-1980s the world became suddenly aware that the protective ozone shield in the atmosphere was in danger -- was, in fact, greatly depleted in a huge "hole".

    The mysterious stuff called Ozone, which until then was known to the public chiefly as an acrid, lung-burning element of smog in over-crowded cities, was being destroyed in the stratosphere by chemicals made and released in the 20th century by humans.

    Ozone is a variant form of oxygen---the most life-sustaining gas of all. 

    Then, a very interesting part....a large photo of many hills dotted with wind mills like they have in Victoria. It has the following explanation:

    Propelled by energetic winds and one of the world's strongest economies, California produces 85 percent of the planet's wind-generated power.  The state's 17,000 wind turbines, like these in Altamont Pass, provide enough electricity--about one percent of the yearly total--to meet all the residential needs of a city the size of nearby San Francisco.

    What comment do you now have of Arnold Swarzenager, Mr. Turnbull? You're still wet behind the ears.

    Experts say wind power could eventually produce 10 percent of the United States energy supply.  Another 10 percent of the supply could come from solar energy, including photo-voltaic cells.  Today such cells power everything from calculators and demonstration cars to remote telecommunications stations and water pumps.

    Remembering that this article is 17 years old, and the Ozone layer effects Australia and more southern latitudes most of all, WHY couldn't we start NOW to begin the fight, instead of listening to Howard's cop-out that only if every country does it it won't work AT ALL! Fair dinkum.

    Whose P.M. of Australia?  George W. Bush? Peter Hendy? Or more likely Dick Cheney!  Struth.

    Stop tinkering around the edges Liberals - your "gift" of $200 million to plant trees in Asia, and the scam that "some of it will be used to increase monitoring of these areas", is only to cover an increase in U.S. ground level surveilance of those countries.

    IF you were fair dinkum there is millions of acres of available tree-less land in our own country.  And you could easily monitor them.


    Climate change

    Ernest William: "Climate change must be a major issue at the next federal election, so let's take a look at the pros and cons."

    You are quite right we will be conned by Little Kev and Garrett.

    In the recent Earth Hour in Sydney we switched our lights off for 1 hour, the experts said this was the same as getting 40,000 cars off the road.

    Now just think about it, if Little Kev wins the next election within a short period of time there will be 100,000 unemployed in the western suburbs of Sydney. That will get 40,000 cars off the road quick smart.

    Not to mention the mine closures after the preference deals with the Greens.

    Little Kev will tinker just like Sydney did during Earth Hour.

    Government Caught Sitting

    Mr. Turnbull says it's old hat in relation to the Climate Change Report just released; reporting the perceived impact on the Australian landscape.  If that is the case what has the Coalition Government done about it?

    It is quite significant that the Head of Treasury has given the Government a serve in relation to Climate Change and Water Policy. There are high costs in remediating environmental damage; yet, the Federal Government has bypassed Treasury in costing proposed programs. The question arises why would the Head of Treasury put himself in the hot seat if he did not sincerely believe what he is saying?

    Come the next election the Federal Government cannot with any credibility insist that Opposition has its policies costed by Treasury.

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