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Weekend reflections

November 28th, 2008

It’s time (on time for once) for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. As always, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. Michael of Summer Hill
    November 28th, 2008 at 13:06 | #1

    John, Turnbull’s decision to declare WorkChoices dead this week has not only stamped his authority within the Liberal party but shows that he is pragmatic.

  2. Donald Oats
    November 29th, 2008 at 09:20 | #2

    The Australian’s disingenuous campaign on “climate change” continues unabated. They are keeping up a steady stream of articles and letters-to-editor by the old favourites: Kinnimonth, Plimer, Carter, Gray, Singer, Evans, Preece, Henderson, JM, Des Moore, (Bellamy now too), and so on in an endless loop. I reckon they are trying to wear down the scientists who usually respond by writing their own articles.

    Yet, for all of the insults bandied about, when we get down to the content of their articles, they don’t have any scientific contribution to make.

    It’s rather sad that the scientists among the self-claimed sceptics, have chosen to avoid the scientific approach to questioning a theory (such as Anthropogenic Global Warming). Where they have doubts about AGW, they could pose the questions they have with the theory in a manner that is testable, relevant, and discriminating, and then to do the hard research to answer the questions. Publish it and see if it can withstand scientific scrutiny. Then they would have added something of value rather than the usual smoke and mirrors.

  3. carbonsink
    November 29th, 2008 at 13:23 | #3

    Can China engineer a recovery, and if not, what are the implications for Australia?

    Currently, all indicators are worse than expected:
    Setser: If you only read one thing on China this fall … World Bank China Quarterly
    WSJ: China’s steel industry slows down
    NY Times: A Global Downturn Puts the Brakes on China’s Industry
    Bloomberg: China Economic Indicators Showed ‘Faster Decline’ in November
    Newsweek: Why Beijing Is In A Risky Place

    Possibly the best indicator of Chinese economic activity is electricity consumption which was down 4% YOY last month.

    According to John Garnaut its all because heavy industry has slowed down dramatically:

    “The current drop in electricity demand is almost entirely an industry story,” said Trevor Houser, a principal at the Rhodium Group in Washington. “It’s a poor indicator of macroeconomic performance.”

    Last month’s electricity production figures confirm that Chinese heavy industry is in deep trouble. But electricity consumption by households and services sector enterpises has hardly faltered.

    The big five energy-consuming industries – steel, chemical, cement, aluminium and paper – account for 40 per cent of total Chinese power consumption but only employ 1 per cent of the Chinese population. The good news is that China is merely undergoing a traumatic shift away from high-polluting, low-employment heavy industry rather than a collapse of the overall economy (complicated by slowing growth in Chinese exports).

    The bad news is that the fate of Australian mining companies and perhaps the Australian economy is tied to Chinese heavy industry.

    So … is anyone buying BHP shares, and why?

  4. gerard
    November 29th, 2008 at 13:24 | #4

    The defeated American Right knows that it sucks at blogging and is desperately trying to emulate the success of the Left, as the Washington Post reports.

    Washington Monthly discusses why they are unlikely to succeed.

    For more than two years, I was the editor for Salon’ “Blog Report,” featuring posts from the left and right. It led me to read dozens of conservative blogs every day, and I quickly realized that when it came to depth and seriousness of thought, the two sides weren’t close.

    Interesting articles and comments.

  5. Michael of Summer Hill
    November 29th, 2008 at 13:57 | #5

    John, if I may reply to Gerard by saying you don’t need to look any further than the the Libs to realise the difference between Turnbull who has a fertile mind and the neo-conservatives who need fertiliser to function.

  6. Tony G
    November 30th, 2008 at 01:03 | #6

    Don,

    It is not just “the Australian” publishing articles about the many scientist sceptics that you mention, the Sydney Morning Herald is too.

    Pensioners are also getting upset;

    “The zealotry and one-sidedness of the debate alarmed an 81-year-old Seven Hills pensioner, Denys Clarke, so much that last month, at his own expense, he hired the ballroom at the Blacktown Workers Club for two public forums, titled The Truth About Climate Change. ”

    “Plimer’s message is that the idea humans cause climate change has become a fundamentalist religion which is corrupting science. It is embedded with a fear of nature and embraced principally by city people who have lost touch with nature.”

    It is not just a religion, it is a big government, big taxing plot.

  7. scott
    November 30th, 2008 at 17:18 | #7

    Does anyone else care that our interest rates are going down so fast?

    Ironic that I care now, as I used to scoff at Austrailans and their obsession with interest rates. But I’m trying to save and getting tempted every day by shares, which I really don’t want to have to worry about.

    Why does making a living have to be so bloody dangerous?

  8. gerard
    November 30th, 2008 at 22:35 | #8

    Am I the only one who finds it obnoxious that ABC Radio National is broadcasting a series of boring and predictably self-serving “lectures” by Rupert Murdoch every Sunday?

    This billionaire owns half the English speaking world’s media, there is literally nobody else on the planet who has more access to private platforms from which to promote their opinions, so I have to ask…

    why is our PUBLIC broadcaster promoting the opinions of the WORLD’S #1 MEDIA MOGUL at PUBLIC expense??

    Put your so-called “lectures” in one of your ample “news”-papers, and spare Radio National your crap!

  9. Donald Oats
    November 30th, 2008 at 22:38 | #9

    Re #8: Just another example of right-wing bias at the ABC, I’m afraid. There is plenty of it around, starting at the board level.

  10. Socrates
    December 1st, 2008 at 09:00 | #10

    Gerard

    You are not alone. Its not just the right wing bias – where is the relevance? Murdoch is not any sort of economic or political analyst – he runs newspapers and has businesss connections. But he is now a US citizen and hasn’t lived here in almost two decades. So how relevant to us are his experienecs and connections now?

  11. Alanna
    December 5th, 2008 at 22:13 | #11

    You are definitely not alone. Ruperts lectures are boring and uninspiring but he is only a media baron and like all successful media barons has nose for what is popular not what is inspiring. What did we expect? He makes the odd green statement here and there, the odd statement on the need for government investment here and there but doesnt really mean it. He only has Newscorp on his mind and his main complaint is bludging employees and unions as far as I can see. Not a good choice for the Boyer lectures.

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