34 thoughts on “Sandpit


    When it comes to immigration policy I seem to be at odds with much of the left wing. To oppose high immigration to Australia is to be immediately tarred (by some at least) as being racist or at least nativist or at least to be seen as consorting with racists and nativists. The first charge of racism is easy to avert if people actually listen to the proposal details. However, as soon as the slur of racism is raised against one, people stop listening to detail. The charges of nativism or of being seen to be apparently consorting with racists and nativists are NOT so easy to deal with.

    It is not functionally racist to advocate ZPG (zero population growth), with immigration plus refugees plus natural increase being equal to emigration, IFF (if and only if) the selection of immigrants and refugees occurs on a non-racist basis. The total number is capped but the mix under the cap need be given no racist selection criteria.

    Limiting voluntary immigration for ZPG environmental purposes or any other reason IS nativist. The only consistent non-nativist position would and should advocate completely open borders. Anything less than this is nativist. The questions then are two. Firstly, is an open borders policy realistic in an imperfect world? I would argue, no it is not realistic. Secondly, is “nativism” always and everywhere morally wrong? Again I would argue, no.

    A complete open borders policy always leaves any relatively small or weak entity open to being swamped by “invaders” if the entity is an attractive target. This is realpolitik. If the world consisted only of good and far-sighted actors (individuals and states) an open borders policy would be fine. In the real world with significant numbers of bad actors and short-sighted actors, a border policy is necessary unless you don’t intend to maintain the complex entity within the border (the democratic nation state of Australia in this case).

    This last point above follows from complex systems theory. A system is a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming an integrated whole. Every system is delineated by its spatial and temporal boundaries, surrounded and influenced by its environment, described by its structure and purpose and expressed in its functioning. The democratic Australian nation state is a system and one condition necessary to maintain a system of this type is a spatial boundary i.e. borders.

    A dissipative system is a thermodynamically open system which is operating out of, and often far from, thermodynamic equilibrium in an environment with which it exchanges energy and matter. What is the purpose of the boundary of a dissipative system, like a person or a national political economy? The purpose of the boundary is to help maintain the entity. How does the boundary do this? The boundary has to be semi-permeable in the sense that it controls some entries and some exits of some types of entities, things and forces. A fully porous boundary would not suffice. Flay a person and the person would die. An impermeable boundary would not work either. Paint a person head to foot making the skin unable to “breath” and sweat etc. and the person dies. In at least one historical case, children were painted gold as cherubs for a pageant or morality play and the children died the next day. I guess that is a morality tale (and dangers-of-ignorance tale) in itself. Completely open the border of a state and the state dies, as the kind of state it was. Many things guaranteed by that state would likely collapse. Completely seal a border and most states would also run into severe problems.

    It seems a level of nativism is realistic and necessary if we wish to retain the current benefits of being citizens of a state with parliamentary democracy, adequate resources, social services and so on. The question is one of degree. Absolute isolationism will not work. Absolute non-nativism will also not work. A considered degree of nativism to help preserve the environment via a zero population growth policy should work in most scenarios. There are scenarios where it would not work. The USA might abandon us as an ally and then Indonesia or China, for example, could demand we completely open our borders for migration invasion (of climate refugees perhaps) on pain of military invasion if we demur. In the coming possible collapse, such possibilities could arise although one hopes the global situation does not become that dire.

    To be a purist non-nativist, as an Australian, is simply to be completely unrealistic with respect to the real world and Realpolitik. The use of the term “nativism” as a slur is not helpful. Sometimes nativism is entirely justified. When native or original peoples assert that they should retain certain rights and at least some country, they are being quintessentially nativist and being so with very just cause. Nativism is a nuanced concept with a range of moral and practical applications.

    We all assert a degree of “natural nativism” as a natural right. “Natural nativism” is not to be confused with the concept of psychological nativism although aspects of the former may border on the latter. A right to your own body and its disposition and uses is a form of nativism. You inhabit your own body, as a conscious, feeling and reflective entity. You assert rights to your own body as your customary, indeed your only corporeal habitation, and only grant rights to its disposition, near access, intimate access etc. to others as you wish unless you are unfree or attacked. By extension we need property boundaries, private and public, to live well and safely in the modern world. How do you have a safe place in a modern city if you do not own or rent or are legally granted a domicile, for example? Every safe place is accounted for and policed with respect to property rules. Only unsafe places are left like sleeping under the bridge. Again, private property rights where they are not excessive, so that they do not impinge on others’ rights private and public, are to an extent natural or native rights. To assert those rights is also nativism. One is native to a system just as one is native to a land. To asserts rights by membership of a system (citizen of Australia as Australia as a nation is is a complex system) is in itself a form of nativism.

  2. “if and only if) the selection of immigrants and refugees occurs on a non-racist basis. ”

    This is all a big furphy. Our obligation is to treat all CITIZENS equally. There is no moral law to stop us putting any number of screens on people coming here. We don’t have any obligation to every last tribe on the planet. Our obligation is to the people once we have accepted them as an Australian.

  3. I will not con as the moral side of the immigration debate. That has been covered by others. From a purely economic point of view you may want to consider the ability to support new migrants. As Ikonoclast said this is not unlimited. An open door immigration policy can be seen to be economically naive. So how many migrants can Australia handle each year? This would depend on where these migrants were to settle. If they settled in overcrowded cities the economic costs may be greater. Geographic mobility of migrants must also be considered. If migrants gravitate to ethnic enclaves they may become unemployable. O curation all mobility is also an issue where qualified migrants are nonetheless excluded from their chosen profession. Then there is the matter of family reunions. Dependent children need schooling. But city schools are often already overcrowded. These issues need some form of political resolution before there is an target set for Australia’ s annual immigration intake.

  4. We don’t want to go with what we can ‘handle.’ Until we reform money and banking, more migrants means lower wages and higher living costs. The best idea is to build a high wage, full employment, society. One with habitual trade surpluses and low debt. Then when we succeed, others have an example, a “how-to” on how to end poverty everywhere.

  5. One thing about CO2 alarmists. They do have the bushfire thing almost right. There is the obvious fuel buildup vector. But where CO2 may have a warming effect, its where the air is dry. Now mostly where the air is dry, this is where the air is cold, so the effect isn’t going to amount to much. Which is most likely why the effect isn’t showing up in the unrigged data.

    But when that hot wind blows across the desert before hitting our Eastern woodlands. Thats quite another matter. Nonetheless the solution to this blow-torch effect, more scary and prominent in Australia than anywhere else, is not to be found in damaging our hydrocarbon industries or trying to pump CO2 into the sea. The solution is in water retention landscapes, year round fuel control, and soil development.

    By the way there is something being totally overlooked. A wall of trees of certain species can in itself constitute a fire break. You can pick the right species and set up strategic fire breaks in this way, and that means you don’t necessarily have to clear cut a lot of territory. You’d think trees would be just more fuel. But the right trees can be selected to block out the radiation and stop the fire-front.

  6. Ikonoclast says:

    “There are scenarios where it would not work. The USA might abandon us as an ally and then Indonesia or China, for example, could demand we completely open our borders for migration invasion (of climate refugees perhaps) on pain of military invasion if we demur. In the coming possible collapse, such possibilities could arise although one hopes the global situation does not become that dire.”

    In Our Future Climate Dystopia, This Is What the Pentagon Will Do (and China, Russia, etc.) – Truthdig Nov 14, 2019

  7. Graeme Bird says:
    “The solution is in water retention landscapes, year round fuel control, and soil development.”

    GB, alas for this and your several elsewhere related claims:

    The world is getting wetter, yet water may become less available for North America and Eurasia – ScienceDaily November 4, 2019

    “…As a result, for much of the mid-latitudes, plants will leave less water in soils and streams, even if there is additional rainfall and vegetation is more efficient with its water usage. The result also underscores the importance of improving how climate models represent ecosystems and their response to climate change.”

  8. Well then we have to get started. If some zone or other is going to get less water, or more water, or the same amount of water, the answer is the same for all three problems. Water retention landscapes and soil development is the answer to too much rain, not enough rain and everything in between.

  9. Obviously the science daily article is idiotic and self-contradictory. Once you start talking about “Climate Change” when you mean CO2-levels its pretty clear that you’ve probably got your pants on the wrong way, your eyes crossed and you cannot think straight. But this is a particularly stupid article that you’ve linked to. You think you can vouch for its claims? Really its gibbering lunacy using the word “science” as a brand name.

  10. “Researchers from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Richard Seager, Jason E. Smerdon, Benjamin I. Cook, who is also affiliated with NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and A. Park Williams, contributed to this study.”

    Well what do you know. The idiots and frauds from Broadway, New York, pretending to be scientists contributed to this immense idiocy. Even were they not frauds they know nothing about anything. Their claim is that plants dry out the land. Plants dry out the land. New York lifers pretending to be scientists are claiming that plants dry the land. Don’t you know frauds and morons when you see them Svante? And think if they can get something like that so fantastically wrong, and you believed them, imagine how badly you have been scammed these last 20 odd years.

  11. Its immoral to expect others to not climb their way out of poverty. And we need more job creation here as well. Job creation takes more producer goods. There’s no getting rid of hydrocarbons this century. We’ve just got to do our best to invest in energy efficiency, put some incentives in place for energy diversity (not too much or we create more energy sinks, and money pits. No direct subsidies), pump up coal royalties, and engage in agricultural reform of a sort that will bring all that carbon into our carbon poor agricultural ground. Skewing agriculture in a way that will lead to 3 metres of rich black soil everywhere is its own reward.

    No matter how we stomp our feet hydro-carbon usage will continue to grow for decades to come. If the grand bargain is to do with sky-high coal royalties then lets get started on some small projects involving molten salts and thorium right away. These things take decades. If we try and rush we’ll wind up with white elephants and cost blowouts everywhere. “Make haste slowly.”

    The only place where plant transpiration doesn’t lead to a clear and ambiguous air conditioning effect is in the tropics. The reason being that in the tropics the air is already infused with moisture and water vapour. Therefore a new parcel of water vapour rich air doesn’t necessarily rise up immediately. Everywhere else plant transpiration is the key to keeping the environment cool. I don’t stress over global warming as a whole because the unrigged data doesn’t show it. But these deserts are quite a different matter. These hot winds coming across the desert are often dry winds and so its reasonable to assume that the CO2 adds to catastrophes related to hot dry air. So we ought to consider deserts as a big threat. A serious problem to be fixed.

    Supposing the sun got 10% hotter for a few decades. If our water retention features were in place and our former deserts were greened we would pull through. But with the deserts sitting there we would be in deep trouble. The hot dry winds would wind up burning everything off that they reached. You can look at it that the CO2 isn’t the threat. But the deserts are the threat.

  12. Surprised this hasn’t been picked up in this forum yet.


    At the 11:30 minute mark Taylor makes the argument that the increase in Australia’s emissions is due to increased LNG export production and that’s okay because it contributes to lower emissions by our trading partners.

    The inference being that its okay to consider scope 3 emissions when it comes to LNG exports but these shouldn’t be relevant to new thermal coal basins.

  13. In addition to transforming the energy grid, transportation grid, and agricultural practices, the eductional systems of the USA, UK, and imagine Canada and Australia also need to be overhauled.
    My concrete proposal is that there be 10 years of free schooling divided in to a 5 year local primary school and a consolodated 5 year secondary school. Pupils will not be eligible to attend until they would be of an age that upon graduation they would have had their 17 birthday.
    Everyone who finishes the 10th grade can chose to then start working because the National Employment Agency (NEA) will guarantee a paid position for them althought they may have to move to take the position. The NEA will try to place people in positions has close to home as possbile. But it can not gurrantee that the position will be close by.
    17 year olds will not have to begin work though at this age if they do not want to. 3 more years of free schooling at a junior college (Gymnasium in German terms) will be guaranteed by the government for those that graduate from a secondary school. After the 3 years of extra schooling the graduates will start working at job. The government will be responsible for making sure that all graduates find a job.
    These jobs will often pay LESS than the jobs of those that started working after 10 years of education.
    But they could be seen as more fulfilling as they will require more intellectual input and less physical input. Jobs that pay more than those who started working after 10 years of education will often be accompanied by high levels of stress.
    Further schooling after the 13 years of free government schooling will be by invitation only. Essentially for jobs such as becoming a research scientist the government will invite high achieving students for further education. This education actually be seen as on the job training for the work that they will be expected to preform after they have learned what they need to know to be able to preform that work.
    Whether economic enterprises are run by the government or by private interests it will no longer be possible under such conditions to allow the people running firms to decide for themselves who they will higher and fire. Such freedom is not compatible with the need for a society to achieve full employment and to avoid hyper inflation. If there are managers (or owners) who do not want to do business under such conditions quit. Good, go on just quit. We can do your work with out you.
    The NEA will try to accomodate your wishes. When you tell the NEA that you have certian positions that need to be filled the NEA will send you a number of qualified candidates for you to interview. You can rank these candidates from highest to lowest and send the ranking back to the NEA. The NEA will examine how these canidates were ranked by other firms and try to keep everyone reasonably equally happy. No firm has a right to accumilate a higher number of high quality candidates to make it easier for them to drive competing firms out of business.
    This is not a radical employment policy proposal. It is a simple modification of the way that things are already done here in Germany.
    The only thing left to mention is what happens to those who lack the mental or emotional capacity to graduate from the 10th grade. The simple answer is a basic income from the government. This basic income could also be applied to those who lack the social ability to hold a job because of some kind of addiction or an inabilty to work with others, or to accept legitimate authority. Of course an addict will not be able to support an addiction on such an income. If that were the case to many people then might prefer not working to working because the basic income would have to be set to high.* Therefore, to be honest, what is likely to happen is that an addict will steal to support his or her habit and then eventually end up being the guest of a warden.°
    But is not dispair a frequent source for becomming an addict. If a society is operating at full employment one major source of anti social behavior would be wiped out.
    Now as far as firing an employee goes a firm will have to coordinate that with either a union or with the NEA.

    *of course a counter arguement to this would be if drugw were legalized the price would drop and maybe a low income person could support their habit with out stealing.

    ° The first sign of aging is when a person abandons their idealism. Idealism is not the opposite of realism. Idealism is about goals. Realism is about means.

  14. Point of clarification: Those that are selected for further levels of education beyond 13 years will actually be getting a (probably small)salary to study longer. But keep in mind there will be highly progressive income tax policy in place so those that chose to become a research scientist will be paying quite a large opportunity cost which will take quite a long time to make up do to the tax policy. For such people the knowledge of the benifits that they are providing for society will have to be a strong motivating factor because from a purely economic standpoint is will not make much sense.

  15. Of course all this will only happen it I can get the Australian version of the FBI, and military intellegence to answer my calls to organize the the police forces all over the country of Australia starting with internal affairs and the homicide squads to rip out the political institutions that currently rule Australia root and branch, or as we say in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, hook line and sinker, or is it stinker.
    A majortity of the people of any country would never vote to do what now needs to be done. Normal means of political activism is now completely useless. But the people who need to be the vanguard of a revolution are likely to be slightly more intellegent that your average person.
    I do not know about Australia but in the USA they have proven that when they want to they are willing to defy authority. Although I must say that in the past when they wanted to defy authority it was for really really bad reasons. They turned freedom riders over to the KKK so that the freedom riders could be murdered. They attempted to prevent the integration of schools. They took every opportunity to hamper attempts to end second class political citizenship for people of color.
    In short the police in many area have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they have been extreme right wing red necks. Such people will have to be convinced that eco socialism is the true nature of a conservative society.
    Can it be done? Probably not, but then what has politics as usual done for eco socialists?
    And if the political institutions of the Australia can not be ripped out of Australian soil maybe some small victories can be achieved that would enrage the leaders of the US military industrial complex in the mean time, by those who dare to poke a lion in the ass.

  16. Lets stick to education education education hey Curt? A cop is way too far down the food-chain to be denied their human rights. Only the top oligarchy and even then only the most culpable should we even be daydreaming about in this fashion.

    Education education education. People come around. I came around. I was wrong about the war on terrorism and I came around. Lets stick to just war theory. And remember what Stevie Wonder said … “Maybe not in time for you or for me. ” We need to work towards a better tomorrow even if we don’t get to see it ourselves.

  17. I think this Kurzweil nonsense was designed to distract us from the knowledge that the seed is the best nanotechnology we have. And the lowest maintenance nanotechnology that we are ever going to have. So that if you can delegate as much as possible to permaculture then you can thereafter focus on excellence in manufacturing and infrastructure. Mostly infrastructure that doesn’t fight gravity. Because at the base of the system is all this nanotechnology working around the clock to underscore the whole social arrangement.

    I don’t know where we get these nutball gurus like Kurzweil from. I call him a metal guru, because its as if he thinks that nano-technology without carbon is a winning formula. And then I sometimes go into long explanations about Metal Gnu. To try and show how important all this nanotechnology that we already have, from natures God, or evolution, is. I mean imagine a metal Gnu out in the field trying to do what the actual Gnu does? They would always be breaking down and you’d need a watchmaker to show up every 15 minutes to fix one of them. So how we supposed to get the grass broken down by bacteria in a damp environment? And why would we forego free meat in the process?

    It was unbelievably hard to shake down the nutty ideas of someone like Kurzweil but they’ll throw another metal guru at us some time or other.

  18. GB,
    Education is of course highly important. But it is not sufficient to achieve anything positive. To achieve something positive some people are going to have to break some things. There are not enough people in the FBI (or an equivelent to) and military intellegence services, to break the old mold and fashion a new mold. To do that they need the support of a nation’s police forces. That gives legitmate authority a chance to take root and become sustainable.
    To build a conspiracy of trust in the federal levels of a government is not as hard or as hair brained as you might think. People can prove that they have crossed the Rubicon by delivering classified information to the conspiracy. Yes some of course will try to fake it to have a chance to become double agents. That is why cooperation with a foreign government is important. All of the classfied information needs to be crossed checked to weed out potential infiltraitors (infidel traitors).
    But once we get down to the local police forces things become even murkier. The local police also have to break the law to prove that they have crossed the Rubicon. But this is more challenging problem.
    When classified information has been stolen and passed on to unauthorized people it may be many many years, if ever, before it becomes apparent that such information was comprimised. If local police break a law what law could it be that could go unnoticed and yet be serious enough to prove ones committment to a new world order.
    The answer is that they have to do invietsigations off the books. But, such investigations could be detected. A government vehicle that has been driven more than it should have been driven will need to have an explination to support this discrepency. Covering up such details requires team work. This team work gives even more people a chance to prove thier committment to the cause.

    Things could be working that way. The evidence it is of course miniscule. But it is greater than 0. Furthermore if the evidence was gräter than miniscule that would mean that the insurgents are doing a terrible job. They are doing a great job. They have to do a great job until the trap slams shut. A trap that hopefull will break the neck of rodents.
    After that we can all die in peace. But at least we will be in one piece. On the other hand, in my dreams at least the rodents will be……………What do we do to fowl on Christmas day?

  19. Here is an early morning conspiracy theory for you.

    I had always figured that if there was a foriegn power helping potential insurgents in the US military tell friend from foe that it would be the Cubans. They seemed to me to be the only government leaders smart enough to pull it off.

    But I now have a new idea. It could also be rogue elements in the Australian Military. The Government leaders of Australia do not have to be real smart if that were to be the case. In fact the stupider the better.

    I wonder if that one thought would make any one feel any better.

    I doubt it. Not until there is some unambiguous evidence that it is true. A potential conspiracy does not change facts on the ground or in the air or on or under the sea. Only an emergent conspiracy can do that.

  20. Measuring and amalgamating temperature. Its not being done as faithfully as many people may think.

  21. Saint Germain, stop spreading dangerous climate denialist and science denialist disinformation. The drivel from you is beyond the pale.

  22. What icon said… “Saint Germain, stop spreading dangerous climate denialist and science denialist disinformation. The drivel from you is beyond the pale.”

    SG are you a GB sock puppet?

  23. Is this troltrolling tho?

    Ice age…
    “A cool change will deliver some relief to Melbourne this evening, with an overnight low of 18C forecast.

    Tomorrow will be relatively cool in Melbourne, with a maximum of 23C expected.”

    Yes, the thermoeters are rigged!
    “But the relief will be short-lived, with a top of 41C forecast for Friday before another cool change arrives in the evening.”

  24. You seem to be recycling Tony Heller/Steve Goddard nonsense, birdy.

    He’s not a good role model.

  25. What global warming means is when extreme weather conditions such as in 1939 occur again the heatwaves will be worse. Past extremes are cause to be more concerned, not less.

  26. SG,

    I hope you belong to the flat earth society, the college of homeopathy and the international theosophical society… just for consistency you know. I am actually guessing that you belong to or at least support one of these. Oh and by the way, the fairies are fighting the aliens down at the bottom of your garden.

  27. “ And watch the Heller video that GB already posted. You didn’t watch it, you didn’t absorb it. You weren’t interested.”

    But you are Graeme Bird.

    Nothing to watch, nothing to see, nothing to absorb, just move along.

  28. Have you heard of Hitchen‘s Razor birdy?

    Let me guess – no; you do seem to be stuck in a dark web of conspiracy that is all consuming.

    So in a nutshell Hitch said that those who make claims are burdened with the job of supplying the evidence to support those claims.

    “ What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

    You make (many) unsubstantiated claims which, by their lack of integrity, require no further action. Your claims are inherently false, until you prove otherwise. Your claims are Trumpian in their delusion, until you prove otherwise.

  29. Had birdy chosen the scientific method…but he avoids that particular scrutiny like the plague and chooses to wallow in the dead sea of conspiracies.

  30. SG,

    To claim to understand science and then reject modern climate science just makes you look ridiculous. All you can do is repeat propaganda from delusional websites, wallow in conspiracy thinking as akarog pointed out, make Leninist slurs when nobody on this blog is a Leninist and spout pseudo-philosophy and the most bruitistic and fustian kind.

    And if you are advising someone with cancer, I shudder to think what quackery is involved.

  31. This is a slippery slope and continuing with it does no party any credit, Graeme Bird.

    Whatever it is that winds your clock, you can have it on your own.

  32. I have a question about Htchen’s razor. What I read is that he says that a person making a statement about truth has the burden of proving it. My question is what is the object standard that eveyone agrees on that has to be met to say that a question as to whether or not something is true is settled?

  33. with Ikon.

    Had steps been taken to ensure that the ecology, a crucial material basis for the nation and driver for much economic activity under healthy conditions been properly dealt, few would object to immigration; had “development” and “big pop” been undertaken AFTER phenomena like soils, river systems, urban planning and built environs, social infrastructures, unemployment and so forth deal with or secured, how much less stress.

    The government wanted a political gimmick so instead chose the asylum seeker demon to scare the public into accepting any sort of looting and bad practice from it and its clients parts.

    Now we have the Darling system in huge strife through inappropriate usage, also massive ( costly?) bushfires exacerbated by lack of spending on infrastructure and climate change, the tourist hub of the GBR under threat and a dumbed down population unable to reason effectively on day to day real world matters such as water conservation for communities against FTA imposed abuse of resources by big agribusiness.

    How desperately the experts shied away from the concept of “downstream costs/lfuture losses” as agricultural productivity, for example, deteriorates rapidly.

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