March 27, 2015

George Megalogenis

Green Army: Persons of Interest

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970):
[The] plutocracy in a democratic country … can prevent governments composed of Socialists from introducing Socialism, and if they are obstinate it can bring about their downfall If these means were to fail, it could stir up a civil war to prevent the establishment of Socialism.
(Power: A New Social Analysis, 1938, p 86)

Gough Whitlam (1916 – 2014):
[The market] forces which man is unleashing in the world must be the subject of public and not exclusively private control and decision …
Democratic socialism is a philosophy about the value of man.
It is an attitude towards one's fellow man.
Today, it is not concerned merely with rationing scarcity and eliminating exploitation.
It means planning for abundance and creating opportunities.
(Labor and the Future, The Australian, 18 February 1967)

Robert Manne (1947):
[In the late 90's Les Murray (1938) composed] a poem about Pauline Hanson …
I've seen her tremble
I've seen her whisper
I've felt her power
Burning before me …
(Sorry Business, The Monthly, March 2008)

Geoffrey Wright (1959):
This is not your country.
(Romper Stomper, 1992)

1930s Political Slogan:
Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein F├╝hrer!
[One People, One Empire, One Leader!]

Pauline Hanson's One Nation:
We will bring back federalism and restore Australia’s constitution so that our economy is run for the benefit of Australians instead of the UN and unaccountable foreign bodies that have interfered and have choked our economy since the federal government handed power to the International Monetary Fund in 1944. …
We need to exit the UN.
(Economics & Tax Policy, Accessed 26 June 2017)

(Please Explain, Four Corners, ABC Television, 3 April 2017)

Pauline Hanson (1954)

Pauline Hanson's One Nation Senator for Queensland (2014)

Our common oppressors are a class of raceless, placeless, cosmopolitan elites who are exercising almost absolute power over us: like black spiders above the wheels of industry, they are spinning the webs of our destiny.
(Pauline Hanson and George Merritt, Pauline Hanson — The Truth: On Asian Immigration, the Aboriginal Question, the Gun Debate and the Future of Australia, Saint George Publishing, 1997, p 155)

[I want] multiculturalism abolished. …
A truly multicultural country can never be strong or united. …
[To achieve national unity and strength,] we must have:
One People, One Nation, One Flag! …
[At] this stage that I do not consider those people from ethnic backgrounds currently living in Australia anything but first-class citizens, provided of course that they give this country their full, undivided loyalty. …

I am fed up to the back teeth with the inequalities that are being promoted by the government and paid for by the taxpayer under the assumption that Aboriginals are the most disadvantaged people in Australia. …

The Family Law Act … should be repealed. …

The government should cease all foreign aid immediately …

Between 1984 and 1995, 40% of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin.
I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. …
They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate.

(Maiden Speech, Australian House of Representatives, 10 September 1996)

Now we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own.

(Maiden Speech, Australian Senate, 14 September 2016)

John Howard (1939)

One of the great changes that has come over Australia in the last six months is that people do feel able to speak a little more freely and a little more openly about what they feel.
In a sense the pall of censorship on certain issues has been lifted …
I think there has been a change and I think that's a very good thing.
(Queensland Liberal State Council, 22 September 1996)

By the year 2000, I would like to see an Australian nation that feels comfortable and relaxed about three things:
  • I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about their history;
  • I would like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the present; and
  • I'd also like to see them comfortable and relaxed about the future.
(Four Corners 55th Anniversary - 1990s, ABC Television, 2016)

… I have to live with the consequences of [the positions I've taken as prime minister,] both now, and into the future.
And, if I ever develop reservations … I hope I would have the grace to keep them to keep them to myself …
(David Marr, His Master's Voice, Quarterly Essay, Issue 26, 2007, p 3)

David Marr (1947)

John Howard [attacked] "black armband" historians and resolutely refused to apologise to the Stolen Generations.
He would stage the Intervention in the Northern Territory as a curtain-raiser for the 2007 election.
This was race politics played by a master.
(The White Queen, Issue 65, March 2017, p 67)

… Howard's government has been the most unscrupulous corrupter of public debate in Australia since the Cold War's worst days back in the 1950s. …
He has a genius for ambiguity [that,] most of the time, keeps [him] just this side of deceit.
But he also lies without shame. …
[He] can admit error, but it is extremely rare.
Apologies are almost unknown.
(p 4)

[Under] Howard, the press has found itself misled, intimidated and starved of information.
On coming to power, Howard set about making sure the tactics he had used so brilliantly to claw down his rivals would not be turned against his government.
There would be minimal tolerance for dissent within the party, the government and the bureaucracy.
The great leaker would stop the leaks.
Senior bureaucrats who survived the purge of the first weeks were instructed to report all calls by journalists to die Prime Minister's press office.
(p 29)

Stories were doled out as rewards.
More than ever under Howard, the press would win access through favourable coverage.
The new communications minister, Richard Alston, was soon lashing the ABC over budgets and bias.
Journalists were locked out of stories - particularly those involving the military and refugees
(p 30)

Canberra has a taste for punishing dissent by cutting off funds.
The Voltaireans of the Cabinet may be willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of free speech in Australia, but they don't like paying for it. …
Clive Hamilton & Sarah Maddison:
In Australia, recent years have seen an unprecedented attack upon NGOs, most particularly upon those organisations that disagree with the current federal government's views and values.
The attacks have come both from government itself and from close allies such as the Institute of Public Affairs.
Questions have been raised about NGOs' representativeness, their accountability, their financing, their charitable status and their standing as policy advocates in a liberal democracy such as Australia.
(Silencing Dissent, Allen & Unwin, 2007, p 82)
(p 51)

(His Master's Voice, Quarterly Essay, Issue 26, Black Inc, 2007)

George Megalogenis (1964)

Pauline Hanson's timing was immaculately destructive.
(p 279)

[John] Howard couldn't bring himself to declare his outright opposition to Hanson because he felt he was being bullied by the media. …
[Indeed, he] shared the concerns of her supporters about the pace of cultural change.
He didn't see them as racists.
Yet by refusing to put Hanson in her place, Howard created a monster.
(p 280)

[Howard] was the last on his side to stand up to Pauline Hanson.
(p 300)
Paul Keating (1944):
In a nation of immigrants, John Howard let the racism genie out of the bottle. …
[Events like] the Cronulla riot has in its antecedents the notion that somewhere in officialdom at the top of the country it's all right to think poorly of people who come from a different background to yourself.
This is, I think, a dreadful letdown for the country after it had succeeded so greatly in settling so many people from abroad, in perhaps the most successful multicultural experiment in the Western world.
(p 237)

For years [John Howard] had argued against Australia moving before anyone else in the region [to address climate change.]
[Suddenly, in the lead up to the 2007 election,] he wanted to go first …
John Howard:
Australia will … lead internationally on climate change … in a way that builds support for global action to tackle this enormous global challenge. …
[Our's] will be a world-class emissions trading system, more comprehensive, more rigorously grounded in economics and with better governance than anything in Europe.
Implementing an emissions trading scheme and setting a long-term goal for reducing emissions will be the most momentous economic decisions Australia will take in the next decade.
This emissions trading system … needs to last the whole of the twenty-first century if Australia is to meet our global responsibilities and further build our economic prosperity. …
Significantly reducing emissions will mean higher costs for businesses and households, there is no escaping that and anyone who pretends to do otherwise is not a serious participant in this hugely important public policy debate. …
[If] we get this wrong it will do enormous damage to our economy, to jobs and to the economic wellbeing of ordinary Australians, especially low-income households.
(3 June 2007)
(p 319)

[In December 2009, Tony] Abbott repudiated the Coalition's own 2007 election platform …
In a way this was more brazen than the Senate obstruction in the 1970s.
Back then there was an element of principle involved — the Coalition didn't agree with the Whitlam Program.
Abbott was opposing for the sake of it.
No previous opposition had overturned a policy that both sides had agreed to at the previous election. …
Tony Abbott:
[The argument for action on climate change] is absolute crap.
However, the politics of this are tough for us.
80% of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.
(Pyrenees Advocate, October 2009)
(p 349)

Hawke and Howard are Australian triumphalists, who think there is nothing wrong with the nation as it is.
Keating and Fraser are Australian cosmopolitans, who see room for improvement.
(p 4)

The Australian Moment was thirty-five years in the making, starting with
  • the Whitlam government's tariff cut and the formal recognition of China in the early 70s;
  • the Fraser government's termination of the White Australia policy with the entry of the Vietnamese refugees in the second half of the 70s;
  • the Hawke-Keating government economic reforms between 1983 and 1996; and
  • the Howard government's consolidation of those reforms, and the super-charging of the immigration program after 2001.
(p 345)

(The Australian Moment, 2012)

Spreading the Pain

George Megalogenis (1964):
The Liberals are never good at opposition because they do not have a reason for being — other than to govern.
They do not assume, once they are in power, that they are going to be out of power any time soon.
Now, this makes it very difficult for them to function in opposition because they are always looking for the Messiah to bring them back into power. …
John Howard taught Australians to measure their relationship with the government based on what they got back from the government, based on the handout.
Budgets were used to make sure voters were kept on side.

Ross Gittins [Economics Editor, Sydney Morning Herald]:
The cuts in funding were not just economic judgements.
They were also about John Howard's prejudices as to who was deserving and who wasn't.
Which of the groups, that if I offend them, it's not going to cost me much in terms of lost votes? …
We've had a government that's been obsessed by cutting government debt and not about … making sure we've got a very well educated nation.

John Howard [Prime Minister of Australia, 1996-2007]:
It was a very tough assignment.
We had tried very hard to spread the pain around.
And … I think we succeeded.

(Nick Torrens, Liberal Rule, SBS, 2009)

March 6, 2015


Free Market of Ideas

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Green Army: Research and Development

Climate Change 2014

Severe, Pervasive, and Irreversible Impacts

Climate change will amplify existing risks and create new risks for natural and human systems.
Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development.
Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts for people, species and ecosystems.
Continued high emissions would lead to mostly negative impacts for biodiversity, ecosystem services, and economic development and amplify risks for livelihoods and for food and human security.
(p 24)

Observed Changes and Their Causes

Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history.
Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.
(p 5)

Observed Changes in the Climate System

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.
  • The atmosphere and ocean have warmed,
  • the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and
  • sea level has risen.
(p 6)

Past and recent drivers of climate change

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era driven largely by economic and population growth.
From 2000 to 2010 emissions were the highest in history.
Historical emissions have driven atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, to levels that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years, leading to an uptake of energy by the climate system.
(p 9)

[Since 2000, the increased] use of coal relative to other energy sources has reversed the long-standing trend in gradual decarbonisation … of the world’s energy supply.
(p 11, emphasis added)

Attribution of climate changes and impacts

The evidence for human influence on the climate system has grown since AR4.
Human influence has been detected
  • in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean,
  • in changes in the global water cycle,
  • in reductions in snow and ice, and
  • in global mean sea-level rise …
[Human activity] is extremely likely to have been [the cause of more than half] of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans.
Impacts are due to observed climate change, irrespective of its cause, indicating the sensitivity of natural and human systems to changing climate.
(p 12)

Extreme Events

Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950.
Some of these changes have been linked to human influences, including
  • a decrease in cold temperature extremes,
  • an increase in warm temperature extremes,
  • an increase in extreme high sea levels and
  • an increase in the number of heavy precipitation events in a number of regions.
(p 15)

Exposure and Vulnerability

The character and severity of impacts from climate change and extreme events emerge from risk that depends not only on climate-related hazards but also on exposure (people and assets at risk) and vulnerability (susceptibility to harm) of human and natural systems.
(p 16)

Human Responses To Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation

Adaptation and mitigation experience is accumulating across regions and scales, even while global anthropogenic GHG emissions have continued to increase.
(p 17)

(AR5 Synthesis Report — Longer Report, 1 November, 2014)