6 thoughts on “Message Board

  1. John Quiggin as a contributor to the AFR, I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the article by Mark Lawson on the front page of the Fin’s Review section on friday

  2. then yesterday a couple of letters to the editor congratulating the Fin on this front-page climate denialist article. I am worried that new editor Stutch is bringing the Oz standards of science reporting with him.

  3. Speaking of climate change denialists, did anyone watch David Murray’s Lateline interview earlier in the week (Monday?). I was staggered at most of the answers and the incredibly ignorant and naïve reasoning he provided for such… and this is the person controlling our Future Fund [grimace]

  4. I’d be grateful for opinions on the mechanics of local government elections. Qld councils go to the polls on March 31. Premier Bligh has ruled out any delay proposed to avoid confusion with the state election.

    Some rural shires are going to have their election by post – enrolled electors receive their ballot papers in the mail and to be counted ballots have to be returned no later than 2 weeks after polling day – I think.

    In a shire that shall remain unnamed but which is probably not unique, this system of voting has potential problems:

    – a handful of remote homesteads get their mail delivered by mail plane, but all the small townships have no mail delivery at all – residents have to go to the Aust Post agency and ask for their mail;

    – this replaces electoral commission employees with Aust Post franchisees – not quite the same level of accountability, or qualification to assist voters;

    – to whom should a semi-literate voter turn for assistance?;

    – many indigenous residents will be effectively disenfranchised;

    – what would prevent a partisan AP franchisee holding back the posted ballots of voters he suspects support a candidate he doesn’t approve of?;

    – my experience is that ordinary mail can take up to a month to be delivered!;

    – some of these shires are undivided – no divisions, so if there are, say, 5 councillors to be elected, the top 5 win regardless of location, and voters are not required to number their preferences in order;

    – 5 ticks, 5 crosses, or any 5 numbers will do, I believe (the QEC is a bit vague about this), but if the voter marks fewer than 5, the vote is informal;

    – in Qld state polls preferences are optional, so why should indicating only 3 or 4 be informal?;

    – and if a voter numbers too many candidates, why wouldn’t they accept the first 5?;

    – again, in the absence of staff to assist a voter, this disenfranchises less literate voters;

    – the little towns in these shires have polling booths for State and Federal elections, so why the bloody hell not for the council?

    I would have put these questions to the ABC’s psephologist Antony Green but his blog doesn’t seem to have that facility.

  5. @Troy Prideaux

    Yes, I was stunned. Presumably the transcript will be available at the ABC website.

    As long as our capitalists run this anti-climate agenda, the environment is truly doomed.

    Even if we froze our carbon emissions at 1980 levels, this would be inadequate because China, India, and the rest of the less developed world will destroy the climate by just reaching this level (on a per capita basis).

    The only sustainable level of greenhouse emissions – for the world as a whole – is determined by the capacity of the ecosystem to recycle gases without changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere or oceans. I have not seen this amount quantified but is probably somewhere near pre-Victorian levels (on a per capita basis).

  6. Now 389 parts per million ….

    Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an analysis released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project, an international collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers. Scientists with the group said the increase, a half-billion extra tons of carbon pumped into the air, was almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution, and the largest percentage increase since 2003.

    This will lead to “severe climate change in coming decades”.

    More info at: nytimes.com/2011/12/05/science/earth/record-jump-in-emissions-in-2010-study-finds.html

    All because we have this stupid Keynesian capo-economy driven by the likes of Heather Ridout, Julia Gillard and nose-led bureaucrats in the public service.

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