Tuesday, August 28, 2018

You CAN write at length and yet still tell only half the story



Under the heading "It’s OK To Be Right, But Careful What You Wish For Lauren Southern" there is an article in the far-left "New Matilda" by Dr Petra Bueskens, a Melbourne feminist, who offers several criticisms of Lauren Southern.  Her article is very long-winded, like most offerings in New Matilda, but I will try to pick out a few salient passages to reproduce below.

She has obviously been collecting for a long time examples of female assertiveness going well back into history and she spends a lot of time giving us those examples.  She uses those examples to claim that feminism is not a new thing and that it has always been influential in the development of Western civilization.

But there are two problems with that. The examples she gives are NOT representative examples of thinking in those times so any influence they had is purely conjectural.  The second problem is that she assumes that her feminine protesters in the past were similar to feminists today. I would argue that they are a totally different ilk.

Female protest througout history was protesting about formal rules and customs that limited the opportunities for women to show all their talents.  They protested discrimination against women.  Modern-day feminists are not like that.  They achieved equal opportunities long ago.  Testimony to that is the fact that there are now more female graduates than male coming out of our universities.

So modern day feminsts, having overcome discrimination, now discriminate against men.  They want equal numbers of males and females in all walks of life and are not at all slow to discriminate against men to achieve that.  If there is, for instance, a vacancy on a company board, feminists clamour for a female to be appointed, even if there is a male available who is better qualified for the post.  It is now males who are denied opportunities to show all their talents. Females are a privileged caste.

So modern-day feminists are hateful bigots.  And that is what Lauren protests about.  Dr Bueskens says Lauren cuts her nose off to spite her face when she criticizes feminists.  She does not.  She simply dissasociates herself from a gang of angry Harpies.  Females do perfectly well without the "assistance" of female haters.

And the follies go on.  Dr Bueskens says that the emergence of successful colonial societies such as Canada and Australia proves that multiculturalism is a good thing. It does not.  It proves that SOME immigrants can form an integrated society.  But that was never in question.  What disturbs many conservatives is that all immigrants are not equal and that some immigrants -- mainly Africans and Muslims -- just create problems for society while contributing little that is positive.  A big majority in the two groups mentioned are welfare dependent so do not even contribute their labour.

All men are NOT born equal nor are all immigrants . And all societies that I know of have criteria for who can be admitted and who cannot.  So Lauren is not going far in arguing that "indigestible" groups should be excluded where possible.

Dr Bueskens sees Lauren only though the lens of her conventional Leftist prejudices, blindnesses, and contestable assumptions and therefore misses the real person.  I could go on to challenge more of her assertions but I am  in no doubt that I will never be able to clean out the Augean stables. But I think I have shown that, despite her lengthy article, she leaves out a lot of the relevant arguments and considerations.




Southern arrived in Australia wearing an ‘It’s okay to be white’ t-shirt, designed purely to stir controversy and point out what she identifies as an asymmetrical discourse on race. Her core message on this tour is that “multiculturalism doesn’t work”, with little attention to the fact that colonial settler societies like Australia (like her home country of Canada) were built on immigration.

One of the key platforms of Southern’s videos is that the discourse of “political correctness” has become an orthodoxy shutting down free speech, and that the left should respond with ideas and debate rather than with protest, aggression, public take-downs and no-platforming. On this we can agree!

It is something the globally famous intellectual Jordan Peterson has forcefully put on the map in the last two years. However, I invoke Peterson not because of his position on free speech or because, like Southern, he is a “darling of the alt-right”, rather it is to point out something he often says about people at the very beginning of adulthood: you know nothing!  While I am not in full agreement with him on this (I have a daughter Southern’s age), it is clear, for all her defensive protestations, she knows nothing about the history of “western civilization” and nor, for that matter, do Peterson or Molyneux if they cannot see feminism as an integral part of it. 

From Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies to the Querelle de Femme, from Mary Astell’s A Serious Proposal to the Ladies to Mary Wollstoncraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, from the bluestockings to the fight for the Married Women’s Property Acts, from the Seneca Falls Convention to J.S. Mill and Harriet Taylor’s The Subjection of Women, from the suffrage movement and the New Woman to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex; from Betty Friedan’s ‘problem with no name’ to Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch we have the clear articulation of a feminist voice invested in reason and rights that is the very epitome of free speech marshalled against the prevailing orthodoxy.

In Southern’s infinite wisdom – though here she is following the ignorance that characterises the alt-right’s approach to feminism – she assumes that feminism had nothing to do with the creation of “the west”, by which she is mostly referring to the transformations in society and culture associated with the European Enlightenment. In fact feminism was an integral and defining voice! You weren’t anybody unless you were invited to Madame de StaĆ«l’s salon and all the well-known philosophes, with the notable exception of Rousseau, were “feminists” (though this of course was not a term in use at the time).

The other assumption – again commonplace on the right – is that feminism is anti-rationality and illiberal. This is patently absurd since it was the desire to have “Woman right” (as it was then called) and the vote enshrined in law that was central to early modern feminist campaigns, as was the desire to own property, including property in the person, and enjoy equal civil rights. 

It is interesting to me that Canada is producing so many of these social media stars: people who were once on the left or saw themselves as liberals and have now undergone a YouTube conversion and seen the alt-right light  – Jordan Peterson, Janice Fiamengo, Lindsay Shepherd and Karen Straughan, as well as more established stars such as Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux. In the US there is Sam, Harris, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro and, more recently, Candace Owens.  The so-called “intellectual dark web” of left-to-right converts (as well as left-to-critical left converts) is growing apace.

In any event, the twist in this narrative is that with the institutionalisation of progressive agendas, the new right emerge as the “radicals”, the one’s “shaking the joint up”.  Conversely, those shutting down free speech, the supposed progressives, become the face of the establishment, the arbiters of what is and what is not allowed to be said.  Hence the concerns – that I too share – about the left’s more recent propensity to shut down free speech on contentious issues.

<a href="https://newmatilda.com/2018/08/09/ok-right-careful-wish-lauren-southern/">SOURCE</a> 


Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Nuclear alternative is the greenest



Globally, nuclear power, in case you were wondering, generates just over 2,000 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, about 8 times more than solar and more than double wind power.

Now let’s run some basic numbers and compare the ecological impact of renewables with that of nuclear power.

First let’s deal with the inevitable cry from people who are anti-nuclear without ever having thought much about it: “Nuclear isn’t clean, think about the mining and the waste!!!”.

Mines? Nuclear power is miserly on mines. The amount of mining required for hydro, solar or wind is many times greater. The recent ACOLA report made this point, let me repeat the relevant graph from a previous article.



As you can see, nuclear requires minimal mining.

So why do so many people seem to think mining is some kind of nuclear achilles heel? That’s an interesting question. I’ll try to answer it later. But the graph massively underestimates the mining required for renewables on two fronts; it ignores mining for batteries and it ignores mining for all the extra transmission lines needed by wind and solar. I’ve dealt with the relative ease of nuclear waste handling many times in the past … most recently here.

But mining is a minor issue compared to the massive habitat destruction associated with renewables.

Hydro-electricity, as we’ve seen produces roughly 4,000 terawatt hours per year globally from reservoirs covering 343,000 square kilometres, so, using global averages, you need to flood about 82 square kilometres per annual terawatt-hour. Let’s compare that with the land used by nuclear power. The power station itself uses very little land, but what about the mines?

The Ranger Uranium mine is about 16 square kilometres of open cut mine (including the tailings dam) producing enough uranium on average each year during the past decade to generate 148 terawatt hours of electricity per year. To get that using hydro electricity, you’d need to flood, on average, about (148×82) 12,136 square kilometres.

And what about generating 148 terawatt hours with wood? Vaclav Smil is an expert’s expert on energy. He estimates that using wood to power a 1 gigawatt electric power plant with a 70 percent capacity factor requires about 3,300 square kilometres of fast growing tree plantations. That works out at about 538 square kilometres per annual terawatt-hour. Which means that matching the output of the 16 square kilometre Ranger mine, you’d need to be harvesting 79,647 square kilometres of tree plantations; and considerably more if you were harvesting non-plantation forests.

How much uranium do you need to power a 1 gigawatt reactor for a year? With current reactors, about 200 tonnes. With those of the future? About 2 tonnes.

We can summarise the relative land use impacts of nuclear and renewables in one simple image. When the Fukushima Daiichi reactors failed in 2011 the Japanese effectively lost 4.7 gigawatts of power from their grid. Should the Japanese rebuild with new reactors on or near the site? New reactors of the same power but modern reliability could deliver about 37 terawatt-hours of electricity annually. So how much land would renewables need to generate 37 terawatt-hours annually?

The following figure tells the story. If you wanted to use solar, then you’d need to level most of the 20 km “evacuation” zone to install panels. I’ve seriously underestimated the land required by assuming Japan had Australian levels of sunshine!

If you used hydro power, you’d be flooding a semicircle with a radius of 44 kms.

And what if you did what Germany and the UK are doing, and just started burning forests? Then the semicircle would have a radius of 114 kms.

Here’s a summary map. You can imagine the size of the biggest possible uranium mine (open cut) required to supply uranium to a plant like this. It’s about a square with sides of 2km.



Remember when the environment movement was about protecting forests and rivers? Remember when they cared about maximising habitat for wildlife? Not anymore.

The obvious alternative to hydro and biomass electricity is nuclear, but globally and locally the Green movement is either anti-science or counts far too many in that group among its voting base. Either way it bases its rejection of nuclear power on science formulated in the DNA dark ages; meaning well before the most basic of information on radiation, DNA and cancer was understood.

At the dawn of the anti-nuclear movement, nobody knew anything about the daily churn of normal DNA damage and repair; they didn’t even know that repair of DNA damage was possible; let alone an essential part of staying alive.

The best scientists back in the 1950s and 60s thought DNA damage was an incredibly rare chance event which was permanent and cumulative. But those who study such things now know that both damage and repair are ongoing during every second of your life; due to the entirely normal processes of energy metabolism, simply staying alive.

Let’s suppose you wanted to raise background radiation levels to the kinds of levels that would cause the level of serious DNA damage caused by normal energy metabolism. What do I mean by serious? Breaks across both strands of DNA. Those kinds of breaks are tough to fix and may go on to cause cancer. You get about 50 of these in every cell every day.

How much would you need to increase background radiation to cause this level of double strand breaks? About 219,000 times.

When Japanese Prime Minister Nato Kan ordered the evacuation of Fukushima, he was acting contrary to the best expert opinion, based on 30 years of science, as specified in the IAEA guidelines.

The result of Nato Kan’s fear, ignorance and defiance of the best available science, was cruel and deadly. Sick, frail and elderly people died after being shunted onto busses in the middle of the night in a crazy and totally unnecessary panic spawned by decades of anti-nuclear propaganda; some younger people committed suicide. One radiation expert called the Japanese handling of the Fukushima accident “stark staring mad”; which it was. And continues to be.

No radiotherapist, geneticist, oncologist or DNA biologist trained in the past 40 years believes the assumptions that were used back in 1959 by Linus Pauling to predict cancer and birth defects from weapons test radioactive fallout… except the anti-nuclear movement which those predictions spawned.

Look at any textbook on DNA or cell biology and you’ll find a chapter or two or three on DNA repair. There are whole textbooks on DNA repair. The IAEA guidelines didn’t spring out of the imagination of the nuclear industry, but from bog-standard science. But it’s only bog-standard science if you are paying attention and not stuck in the oral tradition of Green policy which involves passing down mantras about radiation that go back to the 1950s.

Environmentalist George Monbiot called the movement out for its misleading claims about radiation back in 2011, during the Fukushima meltdowns. He began what was a devastating critique of Helen Caldicott as follows:

"Over the past fortnight I’ve made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged and wildly wrong."

When he questioned Helen Caldicott over her many failed disaster predictions, she retreated to a grand conspiracy theory about a cover up by the United Nations.

In conclusion

Starting some time before Monbiot’s devastating critique, many environmental scientists had already rejected the fear-mongering and were shifting toward nuclear as simply the cleanest, greenest, safest energy on the planet, including some of the world’s leading climate scientists. Many, like me, had gone back to the basic science and found, like Monbiot, that the anti-nuclear position was built on, at best, misinformation and obsolete science.

What do you say of people that simply refuse to read any kind of information which may challenge their radiation slogans? Technically it isn’t lying if you believe it, but deliberate ignorance is arguably worse; particularly when it threatens so many horrid consequences.

The Green movement has been incredibly effective in using misinformation to make people frightened of nuclear power. Which has been an absolute godsend for those who love building dams, pelletising forests, fracking gas and, yes, even digging coal.

The climate needs fixing and wildlife habitat needs protecting. The latter has been shrinking for decades as wildlife is replaced by more and more animals for those who eat them. The global environment movement doesn’t get that either.

The consequences of basing policy on slogans and populist ignorance rather than evidence are dire for the planet. It’s time for the global Green movement to move to rational evidenced-based policies. Many luddite supporters may abandon it in the short term, but it has to lead and transform it’s support base rather than pander to dangerous ignorant populist bullshit.

We desperately need a strong global evidence-based environmental movement, given that both politics-as-usual and the Trump/Brexit alternative are both just minor variations on poll-based populism.

More <a href="https://newmatilda.com/2018/06/18/flooded-valleys-burning-forests-global-face-renewable-energy-part-iii/">HERE</a> 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Secret trial for Cardinal Pell



The Star Chamber lives on in Australia. Wikipedia: "The term star chamber has come to mean any lawless and oppressive tribunal, especially one that meets in secret".

The Victorian Department of Public Prosecutions has narrowed its application for a complete ban on media reporting of the trials of Cardinal George Pell, but is still seeking an order that will have the effect of a ‘super injunction’.

Yesterday, New Matilda reported than the DPP was seeking a complete ban on any media reportage of Cardinal Pell’s upcoming trial related to a number of offences. The application was so broad that if granted, it would also have the affect of banning any reporting of the ban itself – known legally as a ‘super injunction’.

However late this afternoon, the DPP submitted an amended application, which narrowed the ban on media.

Cardinal Pell is facing two separate trials related to allegations of a number of historical sexual offences.

The DPP is currently only seeking to ban media coverage of the first trial, although if granted tomorrow morning, it will still have the effect of banning reporting of the trial and the injunction until the second trial concludes.

At this stage, media may be able to report some of the second trial as it proceeds, provided the DPP does not seek a fresh suppression order.

The application, to be heard in the Melbourne County Court tomorrow morning before Chief Judge Peter Kidd, requests that:

“Publication is prohibited of any report of the whole or any part of these proceedings and any information derived from this proceeding and any court documents associated with this proceeding.

“The order will expire upon commencement of the final trial save that publication of any report of the whole or any part of previous proceedings and any information derived from previous proceedings and any court documents associated with previous proceedings will be prohibited until verdict in the final trial.

“For the avoidance of doubt, publication is prohibited of the number of complainants, the number of charges, the nature of the charges and the fact of multiple trials.

The DPP will argue that the order is “necessary to prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice that cannot be prevented by other reasonably available means”.

Further it is “to ensure that jurors and potential jurors in the prosecution for alleged sexual offences against George Pell do not become aware of the matters the subject of these proceedings other than those in which they are directly involved”.

In other words, the DPP appears to be trying to ensure that potential jurors in each of the trials are not made aware of the trials in which they are not participating. Reporting of the details of the first trial during the course of the second trial would ordinarily be limited on account of contempt laws, regardless of any suppression order.

While ‘super injunctions’ have, traditionally, been a relatively uncommon mechanism in the courts, they’re becoming increasingly popular, particularly in Victoria.

If granted, this story and other New Matilda reporting from earlier in the week will have to be removed from publication.

Cardinal Pell, aged 76, is the most senior Catholic charged with sexual offences anywhere in the world. Cardinal Pell has strongly denied the allegations leveled against him, and has already formally pled ‘Not Guilty’.

<a href="https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/15/prosecutors-narrow-application-media-ban-cardinal-george-pell-trial/">SOURCE</a> 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Doing the numbers on renewable energy



Wind and solar are still currently small in global terms. Which is why advocates never mention absolute size or even relative size, but focus on growth rates. They also never talk about the wildlife impacts.

In Australia, there is little research on such matters, but some figures are coming in from the US. The Gibson paper cites estimates that wind farms are killing 600,000 to 880,000 bats a year, which now makes them the second biggest risk to bats behind White Nose Syndrome. Birds are also getting killed in large numbers, but not large enough to rate next to motor vehicles and transmission lines; unless you are a bird.

But intermittent renewables like wind and solar need a much bigger transmission network than traditional grids, so they will also increase the avian transmission line death and injury toll. How much bigger does the transmission network need to be for wind and solar? 5-10 times. And those 600,000+ bats killed annually in the US are being killed for a power source that generates just 6.3 percent of US electricity.

The Jacobson plan (see Part I or critique here) calls to expand the 82 GW of wind turbine capacity in the US to 2449 GW; so we can expect this to also cost 18 to 26 million dead bats a year. We can also expect the current wind farm toll of half a million birds annually, including 83,000 raptors, to rise by perhaps a factor of 32.

But all these animal and environmental problems wouldn’t be so bad if the technology could both provide a reliable grid while also solving our climate problem… but it can’t.

In Germany, solar power is still only about 6 percent of electricity, but is already stuck.

The following figure shows that solar power growth is levelling off in all the key European countries who spent big on subsidising solar growth. The German data for solar output in 2017 is available and is much the same as for 2016.

Some of this is due to simply running out of money. But the much bigger problem is structural. It doesn’t matter how cheap it is if you can’t sell it. Solar power output in Germany will certainly rise a little more, but it’s unlikely to pass its predicted maximum of about 11 percent of German electricity.

Prediction? What prediction? I don’t know who spotted it first, but this article contains a description of why intermittent renewables will tend to level of at around what’s called the capacity factor… 11 percent for solar power in Germany, and 16 percent for solar power in sunny Australia.

Why? Put briefly, and using wind power, as an example, when you have enough wind turbines to meet 100 percent of the electricity demand on windy days, then the incentive to build more turbines starts to decline. Why? Think about what will happen on windy days after you double the amount of wind power? You’ll simply have to throw half of your electricity out; you can’t sell it.

How much electricity will you get from wind over a year if you satisfy 100 percent of the demand on windy days? This number is called the capacity factor. It’s just the annual average output divided by the theoretical maximum if every day was maximally windy at all turbine locations. It’s about 33 percent, give or take a bit.

So without large amounts of storage, profitability ceases and growth gradually stops, rather like what you can see in the graph.

The largest battery in the world was recently installed with great fanfare in South Australia, but can it store large amounts of energy? No. That was never the intention; as an energy storage device, it’s tiny.

SA typically uses 1,500 megawatt-hours of energy each hour, and the battery could store about 4 minutes worth of this. The battery was never intended to store energy; that’s just a side effect. Its purpose is to reduce frequency fluctuations during generator outages. Not that it will do that particularly well either. ACOLA reckoned it would need to be 6 times bigger to have prevented the September 2016 blackout.

So it won’t store much energy and won’t be much use to stop blackouts; so what’s it for? As a means of securing votes from renewable energy junkies, it’s priceless.

The only available technology which can store significant amounts of electricity to allow renewables to expand beyond their capacity factor is… can you guess? … flooded valleys; otherwise known as pumped-hydro.

So while renewable advocates cheered early exponential growth of solar and wind power, the rates were always destined to be logistic… meaning that they grow exponentially until hit by limiting factors which cause an equally fast levelling off.

If I had included China in the graph, you’d see a massive solar increase during the past few years, because she’s still on the exponential growth segment of the curve. But the limiting factors will eventually kick in, exactly as they have done in the EU countries. In fact, at a local level throwing out excess wind power in China is already a problem.

A few years back AEMO did a study on how to meet Australia’s electricity demand with 100 percent renewable sources. They put forward two plans, both involved putting a baseload sub-system underneath wind and solar; one plan was based on burning forests and the other on geonuclear.

Geonuclear is where you drill a hole in the earth’s crust deep enough to tap into the heat generated by radioactive decay in the earth’s mantle and crust. You might know it as geothermal, but it’s a power source based on radioactive decay so why not call a spade a spade? And did I mention the radioactive material being bought to the surface and spread over the landscape by this industry?

Is it a problem? Absolutely not. Meaning that it is a well understood micro-problem which people solve in many similar industries. But could I construct a true but totally misleading scare story about it?

For some people, I probably just did. Not everybody appreciates the irony of opposition to digging big holes to drop radioactive material down (nuclear waste repositories) while supporting digging big holes down to where extraordinary quantities of radioactive material is generating heat.

And what if you don’t want burning forests or geonuclear? A recent study of the US showed what happens when you try and power the US with just wind, solar and storage. It quantifies the lack of end game with these technologies. It’s like trying to build a 10-story building with inadequate materials and design. Things may go brilliantly until level 9 and then you suddenly realise you are screwed.

The US electricity grid is currently about 99.97 reliable, ours is generally even better. The study found that that you can get an 80 per cent reliable grid with wind and solar without too much trouble. And then it starts getting hard; really quickly. By without too much trouble, I mean lots of overbuilding and extra transmission lines.

Look at the bottom graph, which assumes 75 per cent wind and 25 per cent solar. The black line shows how big an overbuild you need if you want a grid of specified reliability. The reliability is given along the X axis and the overbuild factor on the right.

Draw a horizontal line with your eyes from the overbuild factor of 10 and see where it hits the black line. Somewhere about 99.8 percent reliability. So if you want a 99.8 percent reliable supply of 1 gigawatt, then you need to build 7.5 gigawatts of wind and 2.5 gigawatts of solar.

This is very much an optimistic estimate. There are plenty of unrealistic assumptions here, like a perfect transmission system and all your turbines in the best spots. It’s the best you can do; it’s just that the best isn’t really very good.

Now draw a horizontal line with your eyes from the overbuild factor of 5 to the 12 hour storage line. This shows that you can get a 96 per cent reliable supply of 1 gigawatt by building 3.75 GW of wind and 1.25 GW of solar if you have 12 gigwatt-hours of storage.

You’d have to repeat the study with Australian data to see what happens here, but it’s worth thinking about what 12 hours of storage looks like. In Australia, our average power use is about 28 gigawatts, so to store 12 hours worth of energy would require about 3,100 of those ‘biggest battery in the world’ devices in South Australia. There are plenty of other tiny storage systems that it’s fun to pretend might one day scale to the sizes required, but only flooded valleys have a proven track record.

As it happens, someone has done a very similar study using Australian data. The recently released ACF report A Plan to Repowe Australia lists the study (by Manfred Lenzen of UNSW and others) among its evidence base. It finds pretty much what the US study found; namely that you could power Australia, meaning supply our 28 gigawatts worth of demand) with wind, sun and storage and all you’d need to do is build 160 gigawatts worth of wind and solar farms, including 19 gigawatts worth of biomass burning backup.

A one gigawatt power plant is a large structure, whether it’s burning wood, coal or gas. The 19 biomass burners would be doing nothing for 90 percent of the time, but we’d need them just to plug the holes when there are low wind and sunshine periods. Oh, and they also postulate 15 hours of storage for the 61 gigawatts of solar farms.

How would this be provided? The main paper didn’t say, and I didn’t buy the Supplementary material. But you could do it with about 8,000 “biggest battery in the world” Li-ion batteries. Alternatively you could use fertiliser; otherwise known as molten salt. This is a mix of sodium and potassium nitrate. All you’d need would be about 26 million tonnes, which is over 8 years worth of the entire planet’s annual global production (see here and here); all of which is currently ear marked to grow food.

In South Australia, our wind energy supplies us with a little over the capacity factor percentage of energy; which means we are starting to throw away electricity when it’s windy, while relying on gas or coal power from Victoria when it isn’t.

Which is why the new Liberal Government wants to build another inter-connector. That’s fine as a short-term fix, but eventually the whole NEM will saturate with wind and solar. And then where do you build an inter-connector to?

The statewide blackout of 2016 was also a wakeup call that the automatic frequency control delivered by synchronous energy sources but not by wind and solar actually mattered; big time. Without it you are in trouble when events of any kind take out some of your generation capacity.

But ignoring the problems and assuming the US results apply, then we could surely plough on and build another 6.5 times more wind power plus considerably more solar and also buy another 180 of those Elon Musk special batteries and we could have a working, but sub-standard, grid.

This assumes we added all the rest of the required transmission infrastructure to connect all those wind and solar farms. That’s the thing with solar and wind. It may seem attractive when you kick the problems down the road and rave about the short-term successes. But the devil is in the detail and the total lack of end-game.

<a href="https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/23/flooded-valleys-burning-forests-global-face-renewable-energy-part-ii/">SOURCE</a>  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Leftist hatred of Anzac day



At least as far back as the early 60s, the Left have been trying to ridicule Anzac day to death.  That it is basically a time for us to mourn relatives who died in war seems lost on them. From the French revolution onwards death has never bothered Leftists

In 1958, homosexual playwright Alan Seymour wrote the play "The one day of the year.  It portrayed Anzac day as nothing more than drunken debauchery. It became something of a hit, so much so that it was on the high school English curriculum when I was there a few years later.

The contempt  has not worked, however.  The celebration of the day has gone from strength to strength with young people stepping up to inclusion.

But the contempt rumbles on.  Below is what the far-Leftist webzine "New Matilda" has contributed for this year's occasion -- an article which disrespects Anzac day.

The curious thing about Leftist attitudes to Anzac day is that the day is actually a celebration of a big military defeat suffered by allied troops. With the assistance of incompetent British generals, the Turks gave the Anzacs a drubbing.

Leftists normally love any downfall in their own society so one would think that Leftists would feel somewhat kindly towards Anzac day.  But it is not so.

Why? Just the usual shallowness of Leftist thinking.  They think it is about military men so it must be bad.  Leftist guerillas shooting at others from behind cover is fine and honorable but brave soldiers who voluntarily put themselves in the line of fire are contemptible



NEARLY one year since a controversial Anzac Day Facebook post which sparked a major backlash, Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied has once again weighed in to the debate.

The author and TV host came under fire last April for writing, “Lest. We. Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine ...)”. Despite deleting the post and apologising for being “disrespectful”, the resulting media firestorm and ultimately led to her leaving Australia, which she later compared to an “abusive boyfriend”.

“Only seven more days before another unsuspecting Australian gets run out of town for some mild criticism of the diggers,” New Matilda journalist Ben Eltham tweeted on Tuesday.

Ms Abdel-Magied replied, “Hot tip — you don’t even need to mention the diggers. You just need to ask for people to extend their empathy to others.”

“We hate asylum seekers and people on welfare and animal rights activists and those who seek a more just society. My dad fought in Vietnam and he would agree with you, Yassmin — and I agree with you.”

Last week, Ms Abdel-Magied was denied entry to the US where she was scheduled to speak at a New York event titled “No Country for Young Muslim Women”. US immigration officials said she was put on a plane back to the UK because she did not have the correct visa.

She later told Channel Ten’s The Project she was subjected to “aggressive” treatment, with the officer at one point saying she would “shoot” her. “When the officer got aggressive, my gut instinct to use humour kicked in,” she said. “I jokingly asked if she was going to shoot me. She said, ‘I will’.”

Earlier this year, Ms Abdel-Magied revealed a racism complaint about her tweets had been dismissed by the Australian Human Rights Commission. She recently made her acting debut in the SBS digital series Homecoming Queens, and will host Hijabistas!, a six-part series on Islamic fashion, airing on ABC iView on May 1.

<a href="http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/media/you-dont-even-need-to-mention-the-diggers-yassmin-abdelmagied-weighs-back-into-anzac-day-debate/news-story/e57e4756352378e6dae1806a542da87a">SOURCE</a> 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

How come feminists have forgotten this problem?



A wise man once said, ‘The world is your toilet’. He was referring specifically to men. I am a man, therefore it was about me, as much as it was about roughly 50 percent of the world’s other 7 billion people. But what about the other 50 per cent? I’ll come to them.

It’s a strange segue, but my point being, when I head to the BluesFest in Byron Bay every year – an event that attracts about 120,000 people over the course of five days – I always spring the extra cash for a VIP ticket.

Contrary to popular opinion, VIP doesn’t actually stand for ‘Very Important Person’. In my line of work, I’ve met many people who think they are, and it usually turns out they’re not. And so to me, at BluesFest at least, VIP stands for Very Important Piss… in both its forms – urine and alcohol.

Long story short, a VIP ticket at BluesFest reduces the wait for the ‘ins’ part (specifically, beer) and more importantly reduces the wait for the inevitable ‘outs’ part, which comes about as a result of too much ‘ins’.

Unless, that is, you’re a woman. In which case, year after year, I’ve watched a long queue of surprisingly upbeat women wait patiently – in both the VIP section and the general festival area – for their turn on the potty.

I say surprisingly upbeat because as a privileged white male, if I have to wait for a traffic light, I feel oppressed. And yet, women the nation over seem to have blithely accepted their lot in life when it comes to toileting at big events. They just have to wait. Meanwhile, next to the ladies’ queue, men bustle in and out, doing their business and swapping manly jokes about bodily functions.

‘Is this where all the big dicks hang out?’ Guffaw guffaw. Or ‘I’m marking my territory’, as a particularly drunk punter tries to spin in a circle, pissing on everything. Or ‘Stand back lads, shit’s about to get real’. That sort of stuff.

Also, “Mind my beer”. The guy next to me had rested his drink on the ground between his urinal and mine. “Aim before you shoot,” he joked… although it obviously wasn’t really a joke.

The most important part of my BluesFest toilet story is that there is no queue for the men’s loo. Given that, statistically speaking, there are roughly about as many women at the event as there are men, this would be perplexing were it not for the simple reality that men are much quicker in the toilet stakes than women. Which begs the very simple question… why don’t they put in more women’s toilets than men’s?

Does equality of the sexes really mean having the same number of men’s toilet’s as women’s? What about equality of outcome?

Of course, ladies, you could just do what I urged my BluesFest Friend (BFF) to do: Come with.

As men, and for the record, we honestly don’t mind a female invasion of the men’s lavatory at festive events. All are welcome. Robert Plant is about to play on the main stage, and we’re in a lubricated mood. Our smelly man-cave is your smelly man-cave.

If ‘shit really does get real’, and someone objects, your ready-made excuse should be something like, ‘We’re bombing Syria and we cheated in the cricket. There’s bigger things happening. Calm down. Move aside.’

I think this inequality of the bodily functions happens because, respectfully, BluesFest is owned by a man. His name is Peter Noble, and he is clearly no feminist. Nor are the rest of us, because as men, we’ve stood by year-after-year and watched this happen. If the roles were reversed – if men constantly had to ‘wait for the facilities’, cross-legged while their bladders rapidly expanded – something would have been done years ago. Something would have been invented to move things a long a little quicker. Like more f.... toilets.

<a href="https://newmatilda.com/2018/03/31/waiting-lauryn-loo-bluesfest-day-2/">SOURCE</a>


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

How important is Aboriginal culture?



The writers below agree that abuse of Aboriginal children is rife in Aboriginal communities and that protrecting the children concerned is difficult.  They write primarily to argue that  placing Aboriginal children in white foster homes is not the solution.  They give no reasoning for that however.  Instead their article is suffused with an assumption that Aboriginal children must be brought up amid Aboriginal culture.

But what is so good about Aboriginal culture? Is extensive alcohol abuse, brutal attacks by Aboriginal men on women and children and a widespread incapacity to be economically self-sufficient a good culture?  One would think not.

The plain truth is that Aboriginal culture is a failed culture.  It fails Aborigines by not giving them lessons they need to thrive in the modern world and instead gives them lessons in dependency and incompetence.

It is true that there are elements in Aboriginal culture which would be considered admirable by some whites:  Their emphasis on sharing with one another anything they have, for instance.  They are as near to a permanent Communist society as there is.

I think the main thing that talk of Aboriginal culture is about is the group feeling among Aborigines.  Aboriginals need to have other Aboriginals around all the time.  If you arrest an Aborigine and lock him in solitary confinement his distress will be so great that he will almost always use any means possible to commit suicide.

You see the same thing when an Aboriginal community concludes that one of their members has committed a grave offence.  They will"sing" the man to death.  It works every time because the "singing" tells the offender that he is rejected by that community and can no longer live among them.  He must go somewhere else alone. And he will rapidly die of despair at that prospect.

Let me add a personal anecdote to the two well-known generalizations above.  Some time ago, I was the proprietor of a large guest house in a lower socio-economic locality -- Ipswich.  Showing how "racist" I am, I used to accept accommodation requests from Aborigines and Maori.  In  many jurisdictions, acceptance of minority tenants has to be compelled by law but I did it voluntarily. Guest houses are not covered by landlord & tenant legislation in the State of Queensland.

One day a perfectly pleasant Aboriginal man came to the door and asked:  "Is Lenny home?".  Lenny was an older and much respected Aboriginal man who had lived there for some time.  Lenny was out so I told the visitor that.  The visitor then said:  "Are there any of my people there?".  He meant other Aborigines.  I told him no, as it happens.

So you see that ANY Aborigines would have met his need for company at that time. Aborigines CANNOT be alone for long.

So the "culture" concerned is the very strong "we" feeling among Aborigines.  That must not be disturbed.  Any attempt to disturb it threatens death.

So I think I see the Aboriginal side of the argument but I cannot agree that their culture is admirable or worth the cruelty that it includes.  If the children grow up in white families and miss out on that overwhelming "we" feeling, something may have been lost but the gain will be some of the individual independence that has enabled white people to be innovative, entrepreneurial and emotionally strong.  They will fit in better with a white environment and culture which has many faults but which will nonetheless serve them better.

I could say more about the unhappy state of Aborigines and why they have such problematic lifestyles but I think I should leave it there for today.  There are things to like in Aborigines but they are their own worst enemies



Recent comments by Federal Children’s Minister David Gillespie, that we need not hesitate to place ‘abused’ Aboriginal children into adoption arrangements with ‘white families’, have been widely reported in the media, prompting both outcry and support among Indigenous and non-Indigenous commentators.

Gillespie’s argument that we need not be concerned about creating another Stolen Generations is completely unsound. What has failed to rate a mention in the coverage of this issue is the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are already placed in care with non-Indigenous families in large numbers.

Australia’s child protection systems are among the most risk-averse in the world. The state intervenes often into the realm of family to ensure the protection of Australia’s children, investigating 119,173 cases of suspected child abuse or neglect last financial year (2016-17).

More than 36% of all Australian children living in care are Aboriginal, and a sizeable proportion are being looked after by non-Indigenous carers. As one example, in Victoria a 2016 report by the Commission for Children and Young People stated that almost 50% of all Indigenous Australian children in care are looked after by non-Indigenous carers, many of whom lack cultural awareness training.

While placement in care may be necessary for children’s immediate safety, separation from family, community, country and culture places Indigenous children at risk of unstable and culturally inappropriate childrearing, cultural disconnection and subsequent social and emotional problems.

Recent findings from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse also highlight the fact that children are not always safe in care. Of the 257 survivors who shared their painful histories, 66% stated that they had been abused in home-based care with either a foster or kinship carer, while 37% said they had been abused in residential care.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being removed from their families at inordinate rates; Indigenous Australian children are nearly 10 times more likely to be removed from their families and placed in care than non-Indigenous children. This disproportionality is nothing less than a crisis. In fact, the Secretariat for National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) expects that the population of Indigenous children in care will more than triple by 2036 if the increasing trend of overrepresentation is not stopped.

But Gillespie is right on one point; something must be done about Aboriginal children living in families where they have been harmed or where there are strong indications that they are likely to be harmed. We all feel the necessity and urgency of doing something transformative. But reductionist and simplistic solutions such as adoption by white families, no matter how well-intentioned, will not achieve the results we desire. Indeed, policies such as this are likely to make the situation worse.

Safeguarding Aboriginal children is full of complexity, uncertainty, dilemmas and tensions. The fact that people who care deeply about this issue cannot agree on a way forward demonstrates the difficulty of the challenge we face. Real and lasting change will only happen if change agents are willing to embrace and work in complexity.

Successful long-term strategies do not come from one individual, but emerge from the continuous, purposeful interaction among people. This means families, communities, professionals, researchers and policymakers must work together purposefully and with a clear vision of the future we want for Aboriginal families and communities in distress. This is to understand and change the deep causes of family and community dysfunction and the deficits in our systems for protecting children.

Three key principles need to guide us in this work. They are Aboriginal self-determination, prevention and early intervention (to avoid harm to children and prevent them from entering the child protection and care systems), and protection of the cultural rights of Aboriginal children already in care.

The latter can be achieved by upholding the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle (Aboriginal children placed with Aboriginal carers) and by:

ensuring that workers and carers are culturally competent;
that the fundamental importance of culture is better understood by workers placing children in care;

enhancing collaboration between Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and non-Indigenous agencies; and, ultimately, by acknowledging family as pertinent to the development of a strong cultural identity and connection to Indigenous heritage.

A national Commissioner for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People in care may provide appropriate monitoring, direction and oversight to improve culturally-responsive practice with Indigenous children in the future.

<a href="https://newmatilda.com/2018/03/20/need-concerned-creating-another-stolen-generations/">SOURCE</a>