44 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. @Jim Rose

    The latest climate conference is on in Warsaw. Did anyone important go?

    Yes. Just as tellingly, our own dissembling spiv, Australia’s Environment Minister stayed home, saving the country the embarrassment of having our rep cerrypicking wikipedia for tips on what to say.

  2. @Fran Barlow Obama sent his climate envoy. australia sent an official of similar rank.

    one third of participants did not send a minister. There are only two presidents and two PM attending.

  3. If anyone lives in Victoria, this symposium looks interesting:

    “Book Launch: Four Degrees of Global Warming

    Event date: Wednesday, 4 December 2013
    Event time: 6.00pm-8.00pm
    Event location: Carillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre (Bldg 158), 761 Swanston Street, University of Melbourne

    In 2011, a conference in Melbourne first provided an integrated overview of the likely consequences of rapid global warming for Australia and its region. This symposium and book launch updates what we know now about the key impacts of a Four Degree World on Australia.


    Dr Malte Meinshausen, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
    Prof David Karoly, Climate Science, University of Melbourne
    Prof Lesley Hughes, Ecology, Macquarie University
    Dr Mark Howden, Chief Research Scientist (Primary Industries), CSIRO
    Prof Emeritus Tony McMichael, Population Health, Australian National University
    Prof Robyn Eckersley, Political Science, University of Melbourne
    A/Prof Peter Christoff, Climate Policy, University of Melbourne
    To Register:

    This Symposium updates the expected consequences of this world for Australia and its region. Its contributors include many of Australia’s most eminent and internationally recognized climate scientists, climate policy makers and policy analysts. They provide an accessible, detailed, dramatic, and disturbing examination of the likely impacts of a Four Degree World on Australia’s social, economic and ecological systems.

    Peter Christoff (ed.). (2014). Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a Hot World, Routledge (EarthScan).
    To purchase the book:

    This special event is brought to you by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, the Melbourne Energy Institute, and the Monash Sustainability Institute.”

  4. Interesting economic views expressed by Ross Garnaut:

    “This is the damning view of aid agencies responding to comments last week by Maurice Newman, the chairman of Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council, who lamented that Australia’s minimum wage was far higher than that of Britain, the US and Canada, a position echoed by economist Ross Garnaut in his latest book, Dog Days: Australia after the Boom, which was launched on Friday.

    Mr Garnaut would freeze the wages of the low paid but soften the blow by introducing new tax measures.

    “When we’re $US33,500 and the US itself is only $US15,080 you can see there’s an enormous disparity,” Mr Newman said.

    He also criticised the Gillard government’s commitment to Gonski education reforms and DisabilityCare. Mr Newman characterised the initiatives as good causes the economy couldn’t afford.”

  5. the artic 30 have now spent 2 months on remand.

    I wonder what they were told before going on what the risks were of detention and a prison term. were they told to expect deportation?

  6. @Jim Rose

    Well, such protestors need to be a little realistic before taking on a Chekist State. No absolutist state of super power status accepts any outside criticism or interference. The Realpolitik is that we can do nothing about Russia. That is up to the Russian people.

  7. Hmmm … Seattle looks a nicer place all of a sudden …

    Seattle Elects Socialist Candidate to City Council

    Seattle voters have elected a socialist to city council for the first time in modern history.

    Kshama Sawant’s lead continued to grow on Friday, prompting 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin to concede.


    While city council races are technically non-partisan, Sawant made sure people knew she was running as a socialist — a label that would be politically poisonous in many parts of the country.

    Sawant, a 41-year-old college economics professor, first drew attention as part of local Occupy Wall Street protests that included taking over a downtown park and a junior college campus in late 2011. She then ran for legislative office in 2012, challenging the powerful speaker of the state House, a Democrat. She was easily defeated.

    This year, though, she pushed a platform that resonated with the city. She backed efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15; called for rent control in the city where rental prices keep climbing; and supports a tax on millionaires to help fund a public transit system and other services.

    “I will reach out to the people who supported Richard Conlin, working with everyone in Seattle to fight for a minimum wage of $15 (an) hour, affordable housing, and the needs of ordinary people,” Sawant said in a statement. {…}

  8. I hope some others participated in the climate day marches today, and will in those to come. We had a good turnout locally. Additionally three local women organised a screening of the film Trashed particularly for those involved in local businesses as part of their project to greatly reduce waste in the shire.

    Question Bryce’s editorial today.

    “Internationally, stories of suffering and oppression have made their way to world conferences on human rights. In recent years, we have returned as a respected and mature international voice in human rights; a thoughtful and constructive partner to other nations. Australia’s evolving role carries a responsibility to be cautious in dictating human rights principles to our neighbours. We need to continue our collaborative work in education, health and social justice programs. It’s a quieter, more-focused kind of diplomacy that is beginning to reverse systemic human rights breaches in our region.
    I know that many Australians feel a fondness, a closeness, towards our nearest neighbours. They are working as lawyers setting up democratic and judicial structures; as doctors and nurses addressing poor child nutrition and maternal health; as soldiers in peace-keeping and reconstruction forces; and as volunteers building schools and community facilities. We must commit more of our effort to building capacity in these places, and strengthening our regional neighbourhood.
    At home, we are seeing human rights issues re-entering the domain of civic responsibility and caring. After decades of private suffering and through their own exercise of courage, compassion and resilience, Australians who as children were taken from their mothers, who were forced to give up their babies for adoption, who were sexually abused in institutional care – their stories have finally been heard. Their government has listened, and conceded their grief and immeasurable loss.
    This is progress, for sure. We are awakening to the difficult and painful lessons of our history. We are learning how to say sorry and to seek to make amends, though we must do more than simply hope that past harm is not repeated.
    Fundamentally, there is no difference in the essential nature of good leadership and citizenship exercised by individuals and nations. If we are able to see and comprehend these things at a personal level, we must trust our capacity for broader influence and change for the better”

  9. @John Quiggin,

    Misinformation on the anthropologist Napoleons Chagnon is being published on Crooked Timber through comments which are chosen to be published, and comments pointing out that he is considered controversial and often disreputable by other more responsible anthropologists are not being chosen to be published. Anyone who knows anything about Napoleon Chagnon knows this is actually a serious matter.

  10. I would like to share another reflection on the Climate Day marches. There were very few teenagers or twenty-something’s involved locally – I don’t know if this was the same t other protests.

    I thought the wording our climate our future was somewhat badly put, although I hope this is simply because people are at the stage where they’d like to burn effigies of government and bankers rather than accept the sacrifices to come if they are committed to providing a future for their children, nieces, nephews, and others’ children, nieces and nephews

    As a reason of a certain vintage, the our climate our future expression necessarily reminded me of the Sex Pistols.

    When there’s no future how can there be sin
    We’re the flowers in the dustbin
    We’re the poison in your human machine
    We’re the future your future

    God save the queen we mean it man
    There is no future in england’s dreaming

    No future for you no future for me
    No future no future for you

  11. Interesting news from CHOGM

    “Colombo, Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected a proposal from the 53-nation Commonwealth to establish a new fund to help poor and island countries to combat climate change.
    As an extraordinary Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting concluded in Colombo, Mr Abbott joined with Canada in rejecting a decision by the summit to push for a Green Capital Fund to help vulnerable island states and poor African countries address the effects of rising sea levels, prolonged droughts, or catastrophic weather incidents, caused by climate change.
    The proposal is for Commonwealth countries to work within the UN climate change network to build the fund for small and poor countries to access.
    But the final agreement from the 53 members of the Anglosphere Commonwealth noted that “Australia and Canada… indicated they could not support a Green Capital Fund at this time”.”

  12. @John Quiggin

    The piece on Crooked Timber on refugees also edits out comments citing the numbers of refugees permanently settled in Australia as opposed to lower numbers in Europe, and edits out comments referring to the problem as a Wicked problem – especially in regard to the difficulties of Australua not being able to take 45 million refugees all at ince, that therefore for every be taken others are rejected, that those that arrive here va smuggling tend to be ones who have the means to pay for smuggling therefore rejecting poorer refugees, and tat they are lao predominantly men, rejecting women and children.

    I think these are important points for Crooked Timber and its readers to know, rather than rejecting comments for publication that refer to them.

  13. @ZM #39

    I attended the one in Ballarat, organised by the Greens which may be why there was a reasonable sprinkling of young people some of whom made prepared and impromptu speeches, including a young man from Brisbane with the AYCC Aust Youth Climate Coalition. No visible ALP presence or speakers, although I got a notice about it from them in another seat, where I live. Although K Rudd seemed positive about the role of Getup in his video interview with Sam McLean during the election campaign, it could be that the ALP does not support it, if the Greens are front and centre.

  14. As CT has no place to comment on this sort of thing, I will write it here. I have banned myself from commenting on Chris Bertram and Belle Waring’s posts dues to biased moderation practices. I will not complain about their misinformation again here in the future either, I will simply observe the posts and threads through gritted teeth.

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