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    Yesterday morning on RN Breaky, 5th of Feb 2020, Fran Kelly had an interview with the new Nats deputy, David Littleproud. I was actually feeling hopeful about his elevation to the Leadership team because he appeared to be a National’s pollie who had actually heard the term “climate change”, butclip_image002[4] as it turns out, that theory did not survive first contact with the real world.

    Now on the scale of difficulty, Fran is not exactly the pointy end of inquisitive journalism, so I knew not to expect a grilling, but even so, a lot of stuff passed through without an objection being raised. But having said that, she did do a couple of double takes at some of the more outrageous statements.

    imageDavid did the usual Gish Gallop of a series of fast paced incorrect claims that are presented in a way to avoid them being called out as wrong. Craig Kelly uses the same technique and sadly it works in ABC interviews.

    Here are the dot points in order and keep in mind it was only a 12 minute plus interview and most of the start was social chit chat.

     

  • We can invest in new coal mines using Clean Coal.

  • No, we can’t. Not unless we want seriously expensive energy.

  • The Market place has certainty under the Coalition.

  • Only if you can be certain they will continue to do nothing. This is not how businesses in the real world view it. They keep expecting the Coalition to return to sensible, predictable, economic policies that understand the real costs.

  • Their plans for Coal have passed the economic test and are going forward.

  • Not unless the taxpayer foots the bill. (I really wanted Fran to pull that one up as soon as he made such a foolish comment). I waited in vain.

  • We need base load

  • Renewables can easily provide base load

  • Energy needs to be cheap

  • Renewables are far and away the cheapest

  • Energy must be reliable

  • Renewables can and do provide reliability. Sensible governments encourage its deployment.

  • Back to, we can refit aging Coal plants with Clean Coal technology

  • Not if we want cheap energy

  • And again, we need to keep energy prices down

  • The word ‘keep’ seems to be assuming our high energy prices bought to us by Angus Taylor are somehow not the record prices consumers have been suffering

  • We are tackling emissions via investment in CSIRO and other bodies

  • No. We are trying to protect ourselves from the changing climate by developing crop and animal breeds that can handle the rising temperatures. That’s addressing the symptoms not the root cause. When it comes to actually listening to the CSIRO, they are completely deaf.

  • Then this old chestnut. Australia can’t act alone.

  • How Fran resisted this assault on her intelligence I will never know. Australia is working against international agreements not helping to fix the problems. At recent events on the world stage, Australia has been called out for trying to weaken action, not strengthen our global response. This was BS way back when Tony Abbott was using it. It’s even less true now.

  • We don’t have the energy storage available

  • Of course not. The whole point of taking climate action is to build a careful plan and execute that plan efficiently. For most of us, that’s where pollies are supposed to step up and take responsibility. Bitching about some part of the puzzle needing strengthening, instead of working to address the shortage is highly irresponsible. When was the last time you heard a Federal Coalition pollie say “we need more batteries, and we have a plan to get them in place”?

  • We need to keep the lights on

  • Borrowed from the inept Angus Taylor. There is no reason why Renewables can’t keep the lights on. Especially with energy storage improving all the time.

  • It’s the responsibility of the States and Territories.

  • Back to the blame game. Sure, the States provide emergency services. To fix the problems being CAUSED by limited federal action.

  • Finally, he went for blaming hazard reduction burning and using the techniques of indigenous Aussies to solve it.

  • That one comes from the fake news items promoted by The Australian and SKY News. Take a listen to the current Fire Chiefs and you discover that’s been blown out of all proportion. Hazard reduction burning still occurs. It’s the opportunity to do so that has been limited by climate change.

    First day on the job, and the hopes of Aussies that a smarter man had moved into the Deputy Leader position in the Nationals have been dashed completely. Looks like we are getting more of the same Coal fantasy. If we want change, we must send them to the naughty corner until the grownups arrive.

    Sources:

    Interview between Fran and David on RN Breaky

    Definition: Gish Gallop

    Clean Coal – RenewEconomy

    Coalition re-election win confusion for the energy market– The Australian newspaper

    Minerals Council backs Coalition’s plan to underwrite new power generation – Guardian Australia

    Renewable energy can provide baseload power – here’s how (from way back in 2011) – The Conversation

    Cost of Renewable Energy Vs. Non-Renewable Fossil Fuels – Pros and Cons

    Audit office slams Australia’s dud investments in “clean coal”

    Australia banned from speaking at UN climate change summit in ‘unprecedented’ rebuke

    Fire chiefs demand urgent action on climate change as states burn – The New Daily

    Queensland fire chief rejects criticism on shortfall in hazard reduction burns – ABC News

    News Corp’s fire fight  – ABC Media Watch

Excellent work from Mark. I really like the linkage to HP

The (un)Australian

dutton

Canberra’s Parliamentary groundskeeper has reportedly found a deceased Unicorn on the roof of Parliament house with those inside fearful that it indicates a return of the Dark Lord to Canberra.

“These are dire times if he who must not be named has returned to Canberra,” said a Parliamentary Spokesperson. “Last time he was here he launched a relentless attack on Prime Minister Turnbull that thankfully didn’t result in him winning power owing to the ineptness of his numbers man Matthias Cormann.”

“I do not know if the wizard known as ScoMo is strong enough to thwart an attack from the Minister for Home Affairs.”

When reached for comment on his return to Canberra and whether or not he planned to challenge Prime Minister Scomo, the Dark Lord said: “I will not tell you or anyone my plans. I think it’s fair to say that most Australians who know what is…

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There are serious concerns being raised in the US today over the mental health of President Donald J Trump after he allegedly discovered the YouTube internet service.


A source close to the President has claimed the problem was caused by an unfortunate button press on his remote. As the President was attempting to get to Fox and Friends to bathe in the glow of universal admiration befitting of his station, he accidentally accessed YouTube and searched under his own name.


“Initially it wasn’t a problem”, said the staffer, “He just [WATCH] Donald Trump: Lena Dunham Leaving Would Help Make America Great Again – Deadlineranted about the criticism being fake news. But then he suddenly realised the service might keep a record of all his performances, including the daily back flips, and started to get nervous.”

“Only rich people can afford this YouTube thing, right?” He asked cautiously.


“No Sir. Even poor people have access.”


“Yeah? But they don’t actually access the old material, do they?”


“Yes Sir. They do. You are rated very highly by commentators and comics alike. It’s become a National sport, actually an international sport, to watch your effortless backflips.”


Apparently the orange colour faded from his face andimage President Trump collapsed immediately after saying “I’m am so fucked.”


But all is not lost. Staff immediately called in Kellyanne Conway who cradled  Trump in her lap and stroked his fabulous wig for several hours crooning “You are better than Obama.”


“The President’s mental health is on a knife edge” proclaimed the staffer. Kellyanne is exhausted. But when Kellyanne Conway steps up bid to block possible Mitt Romney nomination - Chicago Tribunewe tried to bring another sycophant off the bench, he started screaming and drooling uncontrollably.” “We have only one more possible solution. We have booked Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson to double team for some intensive arse kissing. If that fails,image we will be removing the President to a high security twilight home.”


In other US news, the Stock market jumped 6,000 points after the daily leak from the White House claimed the President was unlikely to recover to his usual mental state.

Blame shifting

I can’t help noticing how governments at State and Federal levels seem to struggle with software these days. Robodebt, the Census, Solar rebate software in Victoria, the education department some years back.

All are outsourced these days and it seems to me the government departments Logo Design News This Week (3.44) | Logo Makerdon’t have the skills to test the software before it goes “live”. (Assuming there is any testing done at all)

Initially, the idea of outsourcing was supposed to offer better performance and costs, but I would argue that has not been delivered. All we have achieved is an outsourcing of blame. Now when a system crashes on launch, “It’s the Software”.

Not the department.

Not even the software writing company.

It’s the software. We don’t even get a hint of which company wrote the offending code.

The Education department item I mentioned above was a magnificent concept Ultranet (product) - Wikipediathat I came into contact with after it went “live” and promptly fell flat on it’s face. It turned out the hardware in schools was generally not good enough to run Ultranet. Even the testing after the crash was fatally flawed. The testing regime was altered halfway through the project which made comparison testing impossible. (Thank you Hewlett Packard)

I don’t know if that particular software is still in use but I hope so. The concept was brilliant, it just needed a more intelligent roll out process.

Eventually the end customers do the testing for government departments, but wouldn’t it be better if we “did it once and did it right”? It would certainly be cheaper for the taxpayer.

If think I’m sounding like a Grumpy Old Fart this morning, then you would be right on the money. I’ve just been dealing with Centerlink’s on-line system which is about as unfriendly a user interface as I have ever had to deal with. The system isn’t crashing, but one false click and you are dead in the water.

Granted it is trying to cobble together a number of different government departments all in one on-line system, but the use of different terminology, help links that aren’t specific to the box you want to fill, reputed help line phone numbers that offer you further help line phone numbers, and pretty soon you need a Bex and a good lie down. I’m attempting to apply for the Aged pension and the interface is making me feel my age.

The frustrating thing about it all is on-line systems, intelligently designed, should offer a cheap and efficient method of delivering government services. They should inspire confidence in their users and lessen the fear of technology that can often be present.

Unfortunately it doesn’t. It looks cobbled together, doesn’t warn you of expiry of emailed codes, and seems to delight in locking you out of their system.

  • Where would I start to fix the system? How about testing with folk who aren’t software writers?
  • How to measure improvement? Test how many dead accounts are being created and measure the improvement.

And how to improve software rollouts over all departments? Publish the names of the companies writing the code. Nothing like forcing companies to take Public responsibility to see their care factor improve.

Now where did I put that envelope? I’m going to mail this sucker in.

Rumours abound in Canberra today that failed Minister for keeping energy prices down, and failed Minister for reducing emissions, both roles filled by Angus Taylor, is being considered for an additional role of Global Population Reduction.

Rally – Angus Taylor – STOP THESE THINGS

In an effort to find a role that Taylor can actually succeed in, the PM is confident that Angus has the runs on the board to finally break his duck. “Angus really loves Coal”, said the PM. “Almost as much as I do,” he proclaimed as he lovingly stroked his pet rock. “With our successful terraforming campaign driven by promoting Coal, we fully expect rising sea levels to carry off about a cool one billion from Earth One, and we expect to knock off another 2 billion by upsetting crop yields as the temperature rises. That will seriously impact the size of our carbon footprint.”

“It’s perfect population control really,” said an excited PM. “Rich nations can afford to develop new strains of wheat and rice and at the same time the population in poor countries will be heavily reduced unless they start a massive training program to teach them how to tread water.”

“Finally we can get Angus into a role where doing nothing is exactly what is needed.”

When quizzed on how Minister Taylor will be able to cover the increased workload, the PM double tapped the side of his nose, smiled, and said “The key to success is to get Angus trained up on the highly successful Melissa Price Ministerial technique. Pop him in an office, lock the door, and don’t announce anything. Once the industries stop fretting about him being involved, market stability can be restored.”

Speculation is now rife on when the Ministerial responsibilities take effect. The smart money is on backdating the change to two Elections past. “We know Angus loves tweaking stats”, said a source familiar with Liberal Party tactics. “If we make the change retrospective, Minister Taylor can claim to have actually achieved something in his previous roles. That’s going to be much easier than trying to fake the rising Carbon emissions data he is currently struggling with.”

Attempts to confirm the rumour were unable to be confirmed with the Minister himself. His office door appears to have been locked. Reporters are trying to decide if the new arrangements have already been enacted, or it’s simply Taylor trying to work out how to have a COAG meeting without taking responsibility for Carbon Emissions.

Shocking Fake News out of Canberra today after PM Scott Morrison gleefully hugged a lump of Uranium to his chest as part of his new Energy campaign. Unfortunately for our befuddled PM, his poor grasp of Science meant he thought that a lacquered radio active rock would work the same way as lacquering the lump of Coal kept his hands clean in the last stunt.Green Scott

He is now recovering in the Black Lung Memorial wing at Canberra Hospital and expected to make a full recovery.

His ex-MCA Chief of Staff, John Kunkel, attempted to play down the seriousness of the incident claiming the PM will be back in harness well before the Half Life of 4.46 billion years. “It was simply a matter of over enthusiasm,” claimed the CoS. “Someone in the echo chamber of the PM’s office had a brain wave that we could push Nuclear instead of letting The Greens have a win with the more affordable Renewables. Scott became so excited that he seized the lump of Uranium before anyone realised what he was doing.”

“We had thought the radiation suit and special tongs might have given him pause, but he went into some sort of rapture and managed to evade the protective staff. Seizing the rock and managing to get up quite a glow before staff were able to release it from his steely grip.”

Sourcing of the offending rock is now in question. There has been some speculation that Angus Taylor may have been the genius behind the idea as an anti-Greens tactic, but sources familiar with power plays rather than power sources, a chap wishing to hide behind the anonymity of “Mathais”, believes Minister Dutton may have had a hand in the matter.

Attempts to confirm this theory with the Australian Federal Police were dismissed with the comment that all information related to the incident had been accidentally deleted by the Minister for Home Affairs. “It’s now a National Security issue.” said the AFP member.

Wonderful piss take of a deserving industry.

The (un)Australian

man-2

An absolute waste of atoms has heroically pushed his way through the crowd at the site of a horrific accident to administer some wellness to the seriously injured victim.

“Stand aside everyone, I’m a qualified wellness blogger,” said grade a knob Digby Milligan as he shoved his way past a lecturer in first aid and an off duty brain surgeon to lend his inexpertise to a man crushed by a falling grand piano in a Sydney street. “Space… I need space to administer life saving mind and body nourishment.”

“I was thinking maybe the poor guy needed someone to apply some pressure on his artery to stem the blood loss and a splint on his crushed legs,” said bystander and registered nurse Denise Bluthal. “But apparently his most urgent need was a cleansing detox and a better life balance between happiness and spirituality.”

Milligan, who claims to have cured himself…

View original post 107 more words

The grim future facing the Coal industry has had a surprising outcome in the “Jobs for the Boys” scenario, and I think it means a fundamental change in the usual process.

Up until now the deal was to secure the Coal industry while in politics, then imageretire to a comfy office in the Minerals Council of Australia when you come out into the real world. A healthy income stream plus benefits, backed up by your pollie pension. Joining an elite club untroubled by power or food prices.

But the rapidly collapsing market for Coal, and the ever increasing affordability of Renewable Energy is putting pressure on the MCA. So much so that it had to Keane: Minerals Council boss Brendan Pearson departs - Crikeyremove their CEO, Brendan Pearson, because BHP and Rio demanded a less aggressive stance over Carbon emissions. They had to make that change or risk losing their valuable contributions, but even so, those two major players will likely leave in any case. Quite possibility this year. You simply can’t back Coal and claim environmental responsibility. There aren’t enough spin doctors on Earth One to pull that off.

Now we did see Helen Coonan (a former Liberal Minister) follow the traditional Helen Coonanpath recently when she was appointed Chair at the MCA after the last election, but lately the movement has been in the opposite direction, and particularly into the Prime Minister’s Office. We now have John Kunkel as Scott’s Chief of Staff, and Brendan Pearson as a Senior Advisor. Others are floating back and forth between the two bodies.

If there is a better example of an echo chamber, I don’t know of it.

It’s all looking like bad news for the Aussie taxpayer. Morrison is so hell bent on not conceding Renewable Energy as a cost effective and flexible option, that he is now even considering the expensive Nuclear option. Sure it doesn’t have CO2 emissions when it finally becomes productive after 15 years, but at what cost? It currently costs about 3 times as much as Renewables and it’s cost keeps rising while the competition keeps falling.

Will this new trend into government continue? I think so. The MCA can’t help but shrink in size as they lose members, so hiding ex-pollies in back offices is harder to achieve with a shrinking income. That makes keeping a few “on the books” that much harder to achieve. Also the incentives have to be shorter term now the MCA’s long term future is in doubt, and that makes them harder to hide. Already we are seeing a steady procession of compromised pollies being dealt with in the courts overseas as the Coal companies suffer greater scrutiny. It’s unlikely that the Aussie producers are any more law abiding than their overseas associates.

Sources:

Helen Coonan appointed Minerals Council chair – ABC News

Former coal industry boss is Scott Morrison’s chief of staff – RenewEconomy

Lobbyist who provided Morrison’s lump of coal joins PM’s advisory team – RenewEconomy

Queensland Coalition MPs push for inquiry to lift Australia’s nuclear power ban
– The Guardian

Mt Everest

When Hilary Clinton was aiming to win the US Presidency, the world watched in fascination to see if American’s were able to vote for someone who wasn’t a rich white bloke twice in a row. After all, they had already voted for Barack Obama, so one challenge had been met, and we were interested to See the source imagesee if the gender challenge could also be overcome. History shows us it was a bridge too far, but the use of the term “deplorables” by the 67th Secretary of State, Clinton, secured the outcome for the now President Trump.

After the post mortems were done and dusted, it was generally considered, in Australia at least, that using the term “deplorables” was a rookie mistake. A harsh outcome, but the fact remains that a woman aspiring for high office has to be perfect where blokes can just muddle through.

Fast forward to Australia’s recent federal election, and we now have our own version of the “deplorables” in the well intentioned, but ultimately destructive, anti Adani caravan.

The most glaring error has to be a publicity stunt that didn’t bring a message of hope for those who currently make their living See the source imagefrom Coal. It personalised the problem, challenged the locals directly, and even worse than that, it was aimed at the wrong people. Those with the least amount of power to effect change.

With the luxury of hindsight, Bob’s caravan should have been directed at whichever Financial centre is most involved in providing a lifeline to the troubled Coal mine. Those with the power to end this environmentally damaging project. This should not be news to Bob and the Greens because there has already been great success in discouraging financial houses from supporting Adani with even the US’s Rothschild and Co walking away from the troubled miner recently.

Since the election, I have heard The Green’s Di Natali saying publicly that he is proud of the result because they held their existing seats, but that’s an extremely low bar for measuring success in my view. In an election with a reputed high level focus on the Environment, I would have thought their aspirations of winning 4 more seats would have been an easy target. Simply holding their own suggests that they are not viewed as a viable option to bring about change.

I can’t imagine Aussies no longer want to see the end of the Adani Coal mine, and I still think it’s chance of getting up and running are very thin, but it See the source imagelooks like The Greens are not going to be the powerhouse they believe themselves to be. The end of the Adani mine will come about due to economic reality, and the efforts of many different groups working together.

I guess there is always the possibility that The Greens will learn from this misadventure and realise they have to be offering a way forward, the way they used to operate when education used to be their focus, but if they really are as happy as Richard Di Natali claims, then we could be looking at a Senate that has already reached Peak Green.

Sources:

Rothschild withdraws from advising Adani on Australia coal project – Reuters

On the road with Bob Brown’s Stop Adani Convoy: Hobart to Clermont – in pictures – Guardian Australia

Mixed Greens’ result disappoints, but could deliver Senate balance of power – SMH

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