Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

24 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Sincere question: according to various bits of evidence, Scott Morrison apparently believes he was specially divinely chosen to lead the country (I guess his god was asleep at the wheel in 2010, 2007, 1993, etc.). But his govt’s achievements are, shall we say, thin on the ground. So what divine plan could he possibly think he is fulfilling? His god evidently chose him to lead the Coalition to re-election, but what *for*?

    I can think of a dozen smart-arse answers to the question, but barely a single serious one. The best I can come up is that he’s just there to fulfil the literal reason the Liberal party was founded, and the sole plank in his re-election platform last time, viz. to stop the Labor party. And maybe he thinks — with some justification, perhaps — that he was the only one who could do it in 2019.

    Any other (serious) ideas?

  2. John Sternman says “These beliefs- analogous to arguing a bathtub filled faster than it drains will never overflow- support wait-and-see policies but violate conservation of matter.”
    [consise & accutate Ikon?]

    “Understanding Public Complacency About Climate Change: Adults’ mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter”

    John D. Sterman
    Linda Booth Sweeney

    “Public attitudes about climate change reveal a contradiction. Surveys show most Americans believe climate change poses serious risks but also that reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions sufficient to stabilize atmospheric GHG concentrations or net radiative forcing can be deferred until there is greater evidence that climate change is harmful. US policymakers likewise argue it is prudent to wait and see whether climate change will cause substantial economic harm before undertaking policies to reduce emissions. Such wait-and-see policies erroneously presume climate change can be reversed quickly should harm become evident, underestimating substantial delays in the climate’s response to anthropogenic forcing. We report experiments with highly educated adults-graduate students at MIT-showing widespread misunderstanding of the fundamental stock and flow relationships, including mass balance principles, that lead to long response delays. GHG emissions are now about twice the rate of GHG removal from the atmosphere. GHG concentrations will therefore continue to rise even if emissions fall, stabilizing only when emissions equal removal. In contrast, results show most subjects believe atmospheric GHG concentrations can be stabilized while emissions into the atmosphere continuously exceed the removal of GHGs from it. These beliefs-analogous to arguing a bathtub filled faster than it drains will never overflow-support wait-and-see policies but violate conservation of matter. Low public support for mitigation policies may be based more on misconceptions of climate dynamics than high discount rates or uncertainty about the risks of harmful climate change.

    “You can download the full document in PDF format by clicking the link below.”

    Citation: Sterman, J. and L. Booth Sweeney (2007). Understanding Public Complacency About Climate Change: Adults’ Mental Models of Climate Change Violate Conservation of Matter, Climatic Change80(3-4): 213-238.

    “Getting stocks and flows into the conversation at COP26 
    Linda Sweeney 
    03 Nov 2021

    “I’m excited to share a short THINK LIKE A BATHTUB video which features a systems concept you all know well:  STOCKS AND FLOWS.  It was co-created with my colleague Eric Handler in celebration of the the UN Climate Change Conference(#COP26) in Glasgow this week.  

    “As some of you MIT professor John Sterman originally framed and developed the “carbon bathtub” analog as a way to explain climate change dynamics more broadly. I was inspired by the bathtub idea after co-authoring two papers with John:  “Bathtub Dynamics” and “Understanding Public Complacency About Climate Change.”

    Via “The Creative Learning Exchange – Mission
    “To develop Systems Citizens in K-12 education who use systems thinking, system dynamics, and an active, learner-centered approach to meet the interconnected challenges that face them at personal, community, and global levels.”

    Think Like A Bathtub COP26

    By John Sternman
    “Bathtub Dynamics”

    Click to access Bathtub.pdf

    “Understanding Public Complacency About Climate Change.”

    Click to access Sterman-2007-UnderstandingPublicComplacency.pdf

    “Prof. Sterman has twice been awarded the Jay W. Forrester Prize for the best published work in system dynamics, …”

  3. Allan Kohler with some COP26 puffery as he sees it:

    ..So the capitalists, not the politicians, will have to save the planet, and that is starting to happen.

    “Today, through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) over $US130 trillion of private capital is committed to transforming the economy for net zero. These commitments, from over 450 firms across 45 countries, can deliver the estimated $100 trillion of finance needed for net zero over the next three decades.”

    30 years they say! Stumped up soon? Trickled in early, or tricked out to 2050?

    ..But that is not money sitting in a fund ready to invest in clean energy.

    It refers to the total assets managed by members of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, which is a group of concerned banks and financial institutions.

    Banks account for roughly half the $US130 trillion ($174 trillion).

    Their assets are mostly loans to people and businesses, which can’t be used by the banks to invest in renewable energy. They can decide not to lend money for new coal mines, which they have already done, but they can’t tell their customers what to do.

    Also, banks count single assets several times through chains of loans, which are deposited and lent again.

    Investment management also involves double-counting by subcontracting other managers to look after some of the money, and both are counted.

    So the double-counting means it’s actually less than $US130 trillion ($174 trillion).


    Pure baloney.
    Trashing the planet and hiding the money isn’t a perversion of capitalism. It is capitalism
    George Monbiot

  4. “Trashing the planet and hiding the money isn’t a perversion of capitalism. It is capitalism.” – George Monbiot.

    Of course! It’s a feature not a bug! In the past, I pushed the theory that we needed some “salutary disasters” from nature to teach us a lesson. I now think I was wrong. COVID-19 is the first salutary lesson from nature (along with growing wild-fires of climate change) and this has not taught the bulk of humanity anything. Indeed, the system (meaning its leaders and most people in it) has simply descended deeper and deeper into ignorance, anti-science and denialism. As things get worse the witch-hunts will begin. Scientists, humanists, welfarists and other moral, realistic and reasonable people will be attacked and blamed for everything. That’s the way I see it going now. Let’s hope I am wrong again.

  5. Nuclear Zombie fundead (fun-ded) again. 

    “Rolls Royce claims a construction time of 4 years & costs (after 5 units) of £1.8bn (£3800/kW), which means electricity at £40-60/MWh.” … “Rolls Royce’s claims must therefore be taken with a very large pinch of salt.”

    And Jobs galore – maybe – by 2035.

    JQ says “”…Once a solar module has been installed, a zero rate of interest means that the electricity it generates is virtually free. … That cost would be indexed to the rate of inflation, but would probably never exceed 3c/kWh.” fn1

    “Britain’s unlikely-to-succeed bet on Rolls Royce small nuclear reactors

    Posted by Christina Macpherson

    “Professor Steve Thomas says the 3 AMRs are unlikely to be available before 2045 if ever – much too late to be any help in tackling the climate emergency. (7) 

    “The Rolls Royce (RR) SMR design is still at an early stage. It was only announced in 2016. It is slightly larger than the first unit at Fukushima (470MW vs 439MW) and much larger than the Trawsfynydd Magnox reactors, which were 250MW. Rolls Royce claims the first reactor could be operational by 2030, but it’s hard to see how this can be achieved. Even if achieved it is probably too late. By 2030 only Sizewell B and possibly Hinkley Point C will be operating and if the UK is to meet its targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2035, we should by then be well on the road to a low carbon economy with a limited nuclear capacity   

     ” Thomas says SMRs will only proceed if the risk to RR money is minimal. That means RR will only put serious effort into design development with government guarantees given now, before the design exists, and it has been reviewed by ONR, a demonstration plant has been completed, and costs are known. 

    “Rolls-Royce told the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee in 2016 that 7GW of power would “be of sufficient scale to provide a commercial return on investment from a UKdeveloped SMR, but it would not be sufficient to create a long-term, sustainable business for UK plc.” Therefore, any SMR manufacturer would have to look to export markets to make a return on their investment.

    ” Rolls Royce is making extraordinary demands on the UK Government that it must commit to before further significant development work takes place. Thomas says RR would need:   
    ” Exclusive access to UK market; 
    • Matched funding (minimum) up to end of Generic Design Assessment;   
        Sharing of costs for production line facilities (to produce 2 reactors per year); 
    • Guaranteed orders for 7GW (16 reactors).

     “UK taxpayers would have to provide a large proportion of the cost of design development, navigating the regulators design assessment and assist in the setting up of component production lines. It would also have to guarantee orders for a minimum of 16 reactors, which, even on Rolls Royce’s unrealistic cost estimate, would be a commitment to spend nearly £30bn before it has progressed beyond a conceptual design. The first plant must be made using production lines so all 16 reactors must be ordered now & by the time the first is completed, another 8 will be on their way. (8)   
    ” Rolls Royce claims a construction time of 4 years & costs (after 5 units) of £1.8bn (£3800/kW), which means electricity at £40-60/MWh. These claims are extraordinary but very similar to those made for Hinkley Point C. In 2000, it had been claimed the EPR would be built in four years or less and would cost $1000/kW (about £800/kW). In fact, all EPR’s that have been built have gone far over budget and all will take much more than 4 years to construct. The latest cost estimate for Hinkley Point C is about £27bn (2020 money) or about £8400/kW. Rolls Royce’s claims must therefore be taken with a very large pinch of salt.”

    “Rolls-Royce backed to develop nuclear reactors

    “Too cheap to meter
    “Once a solar module has been installed, a zero rate of interest means that the electricity it generates is virtually free. … That cost would be indexed to the rate of inflation, but would probably never exceed 3c/kWh.”

  6. Dr Saul Griffith’s YouTube presentation to the Royal Society of NSW titled Our Energy Future — Part 2: Crushed Rocks, was published Sep 15 by RoyalSocNSW, duration 1:06:20. I note it includes:

     From time interval 0:14:16, all Australia’s coal and LNG export earnings currently don’t quite pay for Australia’s petroleum oil/fuel imports;
     From time interval 0:35:29, only a small fraction of Australia’s iron ore currently mined that could be processed to steel using carbon emissions-free technologies with cheap renewable energy in Australia would make up all losses in phasing out of Australia’s fossil fuel exports;
     From time interval 0:35:52, Australia could be the world’s foundry, using cheap renewable energy to process ores rich in iron, aluminium, copper, manganese, zinc, nickel, cobalt, lithium, rare earths, silicon, etc., etc. to base metals; or value-add further to manufacture batteries, wind turbines, BEVs and heat pumps, etc.

    It seems that the vast opportunities are there if Australia has the vision and will to proceed.

  7. Paranoia about China is widespread. Is it justified? India is certainly paranoid about China and sees China in the worst light possible. This is if the following style of Gravitas reports are to be believed. (Not saying they are to be believed, necessarily).

    Gravitas may well be India’s variant of Sky or Fox News for all I know. I have not looked into that. There are certainly indicators that it is. Gravitas continually refers to the “Wuhan Virus” and accuses China of manufacturing it. Gravitas adduces evidence from “blasts” that there is a concerted political or terror bombing campaign going in China, while maybe not quite saying that. The insinuations and the pointed short meaningful silences between statements are part of the delivery style to imply a point.

    The intent of the style is to raise suspicion. There are certainly plenty of disturbing known facts about China to raise initial suspicions about its intentions. This is just as there plenty of disturbing known facts about the USA to raise intitial suspicion about its intentions. I write this as people usually think if I criticize China this means I think the USA is as pure as the driven snow.

    However, in the Gravitas style, initial concerns with basis in fact are then used as it were to adduce more evidence for suspicions without more than the most circumstantial evidence. These “blasts”, which becomes a kind of fetish word as the announcer proceeds, are adduced, as I say, as virtual proof positive of something sinister going on or that China is riven factionally and their system may be about to fall.

    In a country as vast as China, with 30% of the world’s manufacturing capacity (double that of the USA), an economy greater than the USA’s in PPP terms and a population almost 4 times greater than the USA’s, How many “blasts” happen by accident? How many gas mains, gas-using premises, industrial and lab premises and even fireworks factories (this is China after all) suffer “blasts”. We would need to see a study of “blast” frequency and distribution over time to decide if something unusual or something expected is going on, according to probability theory. Who knows, the US National Security Agency may have such data. Are they sharing it? Not that I know of.

    Gravitas seems more useful to me as a barometer of how the people of India think (or are being led to think?) by the kind of media Gravitas represents. Certainly, the suspicion of China is high and we need to pay attention to what India thinks about China. Demographically, they are the two greatest nations in the world. In PPP terms they are the first and third largest economies in the world. If these giants are at loggerheads it is very dangerous for the world. Some suspicion may be justified. Is too much suspicion unjustified and counter-productive? I don’t know.

    Gravitas comes under the head or aegis of WION. Media bia fact check tells us.

    “Launched in 2016, Wionews or WION is an Indian news website. WION stands for “World is One News.” Sudhir Chaudhary is the editor-in-chief of WION, covering topics ranging from South Asia news, world news, sports, live TV, entertainment, and more. They describe themselves as “seasoned and daring, young journalists of diverse nationalities.

    WION is owned by the Essel Group (Zee Media), an Indian conglomerate company presently headed by media tycoon Dr. Subhash Chandra. Revenue is derived through advertising.

    According to Reporters without Borders, the media, the environment in India is threatened by increasing nationalism. India’s 2019 world press freedom rank is 140th out of 180 countries.

    In review, WION publishes tabloid-style stories … and reports international news with minimally loaded words. They use various news agencies, some of which are not known by us, and some highly credible such as AFP. However, they usually poorly source their articles using quotations without linking to the source, …”

    Gravitas seems worse than that rating. WION is headed by media tycoon Dr. Subhash Chandra. It would be interesting to research him more.

    Notwithstanding the above, I will be interested to watch China’s trajectory. Is there any basis of fact to Gravitas’ reports? Again, I admit I don’t know. The bigger picture here is how world billionaires control an enormous amount of mainstream and social media and use it for propaganda purposes. A falsehood can run around the world before the truth puts its boots on.

  8. “If these giants are at loggerheads it is very dangerous for the world.”

    India and Pakistan are at loggerheads.

    As the Pakistan-China mutually beneficial relationship grows responding to intrinsic and extrinsic (ie., USA, India, USA-India bilateral, USA-Quad) forces, so antipathy and conflict with China grows in India.

    The division of India – it’s another of Churchill’s imperialist curses cast on past, present, and future.

  9. Keating was at National Press Club today. He had lots to say related to Ikon & Svante’s comments. I’m just the messanger. Could not find transcript. The Guardian has most snippets from Keating’s 26yr break from the NPC.

    But I’d rather him than Morrison / Dutton / Cash – Cash who has today gone back to court to ‘update’ security briefings. Just admit we shafted Timor L’Este.

    “Keating slams the G7 meetings, and the Glasgow conference for the absence of China and Russia, and reiterates his point that Australia is losing its way in seeking security through other parts of the world:

    “My point is that, China is now so big and it is going to grow so large, it will have no precedents in modern social economic history and is therefore our challenge is to have the United States remain as a balancing and conciliatory power in Asia which I’ve said over and over again but haven’t come to a point of accommodation where it acknowledges China’s preeminence in East Asia and the Asian mainland, in which case, we can start to move towards a sensible relationship again with China.

    “If they are in the root phase, they are in the adolescent phase of their diplomacy, they have testosterone running everywhere, the Chinese, but we have to deal with them because their power will be so profoundly in this part of the world. So, you know, here we are, running to Cornwall, to find our security in Asia. I mean, really.

    “We are at odds with our geography and we have lost our way.”

  10. Keynes trivia, IQ or ?

    “But also, Margaret Darwin (Charles’ granddaughter) married Geoffrey Keynes (John Maynard Keynes’ brother, and himself no slacker – he pioneered blood transfusion in Britain). And John Maynard and Geoffrey’s sister, Margaret Keynes, married Archibald Hill, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. And let’s not forget Marie Curie’s daughter marrying a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.”…

    “Let’s talk impressive families.

    “Aldous Huxley was an author most famous for Brave New World, though his other stuff is also great and underappreciated. His brother Julian Huxley founded UNESCO and the World Wildlife Fund, was secretary of the Zoological Society of London and president of the British Eugenics Society, and coined the terms “ethnic group”, “cline”, and “transhumanism”. Their half-brotherAndrew Huxley won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering how nerves work. Their grandfather was Thomas Huxley, one of the first and greatest advocates of evolution, and President of the Royal Society.

    “Henri Poincare was a great mathematician, credited with pioneering chaos theory and topology. The Poincare Institute, Poincare Prize, and the Poincare Crater on the moon are all named after him. His cousin, Raymond Poincare, was president of France from 1913 to 1920. Raymond’s brother, Lucien Poincare, was a distinguished physicist, and head of the University of Paris.

    “Charles Darwin discovered the theory… “…

    “The other obvious answer is “genetics!” I think this one is right, but there are some mysteries here that make it less of a slam dunk.

    “First, don’t genetics dilute quickly? You only share 6.25% of your genes with your great-great-grandfather. But Charles Galton Darwin was a brilliant and distinguished scientist, and his great-grandfather Erasmus Darwin was also a brilliant and distinguished scientist. Can 6.25% of the genome really do that much work?”…

  11. KT2 thanks. It’s hard to disagree with Keating over absolutely everything 😉 And Kissinger is like a stopped clock, sometimes right twice a day if you look, but as wrong as can be on controlling the world island from the outer archipelago.

    Already there’s lots of articles up about this and many video clips. The closest to a transcript return by googling ‘keating national press club’ is linked below. A 3 minute read at Sky News, but mainly worth a mention for the 4 video clips totaling over 14 minutes of Keating conversing with Laura Tingle at NPC today:

    Former PM Paul Keating says Australia has ‘lost its way’, claims China is ‘simply too big and too central to be ostracised’
    Former prime minister Paul Keating has told the National Press Club engaging with China would form a “better framework” for Australia and the US to work in as the economic and social superpower continues to grow. – Dominica Funnell, Sky News, November 10, 2021 – 2:16PM

    …Mr Keating quoted Henry Kissinger who he said strongly reflected his own view on the matter when the former US secretary of state said, “Being Chinese, the Chinese will develop a concept of co-existence.”

    Following on from Mr Kissinger’s remarks, Mr Keating said the Chinese are currently “getting what’s called in the trade ‘sea denial’ – pushing the American fleet off their coast”.

    “But the Chinese interests are not in the east, they are in the west”.

    The former prime minister further warned through the Belt and Road initiative and capital programs, China will be the “major influence” on everything between the city of Wuhan and Istanbul.

    “Partly to increase their strategic power, and secondly all of the old tech, which has been replaced by the new tech as they climb out of the middle-income trap – that is steal, glass, cement … they’re going to push it down the road.”

  12. All of these theorists talking about the next big development forget one thing. There can be no next big development. The world is running out of the climate resource and a lot of other resources. You can explain climate change and limits to growth to them and they nod and agree. Then they go right back to theorizing endless growth. I don’t know how they manage such double-think.

    China will reach its limits to growth and then crumble. Right now the USA is crumbling. The EU is crumbling. They are crumbling form high bases for sure but they are still crumbling. China will not complete its modernization before it starts crumbling too. Centralized power of that order takes a lot of complexity, a lot of energy and a lot of resources. And it depends on the earth not getting any hotter. But it is getting hotter. The hotter regions will become unlivable and all deserts will expand.

    “Top government scientists also predict an increase in droughts, heat waves and extreme rainfall across China that could threaten harvests and endanger reservoirs and dams, including Three Gorges Dam.” – ABC America.

    Grossly overpopulated China is in line for massive trouble from climate change.

    “China, the most populous country in the world, with 1.4 billion people, is now the planet’s largest contributor to climate change, responsible for around 28% of carbon dioxide emissions that warm the Earth, though the United States is the biggest polluter historically.” – ABC America.

    China (and India and others) think they can keep developing to 2060. The West thinks it can make token emissions reductions and save the world. They (and we) are all deluded. One thing about humans. Apparently, they are all equally foolish no matter what country they live in.

  13. Any military intervention with Taiwan, or declining global petroleum fuel supplies, would likely be catastrophic for Australia’s energy security.

    Crude Oil Peak tweeted yesterday (with graphs of Australian petrol and diesel fuel imports by country from Jan 2004 to Aug 2021):

    The whole of East and South-East Asia will be impacted by a military conflict around #Taiwan. #Australia highly vulnerable to fuel imports via this area. Self-reliance is only solution but energy transition was botched by Howard/Rudd

    Per the ABS, there were 20.1 million registered motor vehicles as at 31 January 2021. Diesel vehicles increased to 26.4% of the national fleet, up from 20.9% in 2016. There were 23,000 electric vehicle registrations. EV registrations increased by 62.3% from the previous year. The average age of vehicles across Australia increased to 10.6 years. Add in to the mix also unregistered farm and mining vehicles.

    For the full calendar year 2020, a total of 916,968 vehicles were sold, down 13.7 per cent on calendar year 2019 when 1,062,867 vehicles were sold.

    In simplistic terms, it would take roughly 22 years to replace the entire existing fleet of registered vehicles in Australia at the current rate of replacement with new vehicle sales. What if global petroleum fuel supplies fail to meet the operational demands of Australia’s future fleet of ICEVs within this decade? Are all our leaders and policy-makers in denial of the precariousness of Australia’s situation?

  14. 42. A monopoly breaking number?

    Google “takes up to 42 per cent of the cut from ad money that goes through it” and it is the bank, the exchange and rule manipulator all in one. Even vampire squids can’t be all three.

    “Google’s ‘Be Evil’ business transformation is complete: Time for the end game
    I’ve read this stuff, says one dev. ‘Either Google is screwed, or society is screwed’

    “There are other charges in the 173-page unredacted filing, which you can and should read here [PDF]. If the allegations are true, the breadth and depth and sheer focused intent of Google’s abuse of its position would be unique. The perversion of the ad market would be intense.

    “If you’re a publisher, your content is like a portfolio of shares you give to a financial institution to handle by judicious trading on the Stock Exchange, with advertisers choosing to buy through their own banks. Only with Google, the financial institutions and the stock exchanges are either owned by the same cartel, or they’re shut out of the market. This is hugely illegal in finance, for obvious reasons.

    “How much does this matter? “Online advertising promotes journalism,” except journalism is dying. The money’s gone. Where’s it gone? Does Google have all the money? It takes up to 42 per cent of the cut from ad money that goes through it, alleges the filing, 42 per cent that can’t be spent on content providers like journalists.

    “Without journalism, you get guaranteed corruption – fine for big companies that are keen to keep their dealings away from the public, and politicians and criminals who can entrench themselves in power and wealth, no questions asked. The big tech platforms don’t care about journalism, they care about traffic, so fake news tastes just as good and if the funding comes from dark money, so much the better – they get to keep more of the ad revenue.”…

    Court filing:

    Click to access gov.uscourts.nysd.564903.152.0_1.pdf

  15. Q. “What if global petroleum fuel supplies fail to meet the operational demands of Australia’s future fleet of ICEVs within this decade?”
    A. Then Australians will have to do a lot less driving. They will have to figure out how to live without cars. They can use shank’s pony and ride bicycles.

    Q, Are all our leaders and policy-makers in denial of the precariousness of Australia’s situation?
    A. Yes.

  16. Ikonoclast: – “A. Then Australians will have to do a lot less driving. They will have to figure out how to live without cars. They can use shank’s pony and ride bicycles.

    Depending on the scale/extent of disruption to Australia’s liquid fuel supplies, I’d suggest Australians may also have to figure out how to live with significantly less variety and quantities of food, or work out how to successfully grow adequate supplies of their own. And forgo most if not all pharmaceuticals, and a whole lot of other stuff.

  17. JQ tweeted yesterday afternoon:

    Talking of change, I’ve agreed to speak to a Young Changemakers program. My topic “How to stop climate change”.

    JQ, perhaps you could replace “stop” with “mitigate”?
    Climate change is already happening.
    It will inevitably get worse.
    It’s only a question of how much worse, and to mimimise worst consequences, it’s dependent on:

    1. Rapidly reducing all human-induced GHG emissions ASAP;
    2. Deploying atmospheric carbon drawdown technologies (that currently don’t exist) at large-scale ASAP;
    3. Preventing the summer artic sea ice extent melting further (with technologies that currently don’t exist).

  18. I hear that the US and China have stated overnight that they will both work harder together on reducing their ghg emissions significantly over the next ten years… there’s no way the US can deliver that now we see Biden’s big fake green spend legislation and how the funds are to be spent. There’s no way Biden was ever going to be able to deliver on such a commitment. Where the funds would go was writ plain for all to see in his (fake) green new deal environmental election platform…

    Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China?
    (Ep. 481) by Stephen J. Dubner Produced by Zack Lapinski November 3, 2021

    A new book by an unorthodox political scientist argues that the two rivals have more in common than we’d like to admit. It’s just that most American corruption is essentially legal.

    From the transcript:

    Yuen Yuen ANG: The best way to understand China’s political system is that it is a corrupt meritocracy.

    DUBNER: If I were to ask you to point to another corrupt meritocracy — maybe it’s even one where you and I are both located at the moment — what would you say?

    ANG: I think it’s more complicated in this country. Corruption in China is still of an illegal form. But corruption in this country has become so legalized and institutionalized, it’s hard to say that it’s “corrupt.” Some people would be really offended by the word.

  19. Any military intervention with Taiwan, or declining global petroleum fuel supplies, would likely be catastrophic for Australia’s energy security.

    Geoff, so why is the Australian government and opposition, the duopoly, egging it on in any way they can? Is it because they have a little oil reserved in some tank somewhere in the US mid west? Because they are idiots? Because the US would never risk it? Because it’s a great distraction from failing at everything else? ??

  20. Lots of warmongering being glorified today with now hardly any difference to the contemporary reworked revisionist guts and glory speechifying of April 25. Spooky.

    What of it? Remember, the majority of citizens always questioned and were opposed to the stupidity and propaganda of the warmongers.. Remember, on this day they remembered what they had lost.

    Remember also what on this day the, warmongers, old imperialists, spooks, deep state, propagandists, and a bunch of nasty rich parasites took from the people:

  21. “JQ, perhaps you could replace “stop” with “mitigate”?”
    Wouldn´t that sound like makeing plans for better air conditioning?

  22. I am surprised Canada beat us at 15x border security to climate action spend. Australia? 13x.

    “The border security industry is profiteering from climate change… 
    “This nexus of power, wealth and collusion between fossil fuel firms and the border security industry shows how climate inaction and militarised responses to its consequences increasingly work hand in hand. Both industries profit as ever more resources are diverted towards dealing with the consequences of climate change rather than tackling its root causes. This comes at a terrible human cost. “…

    “Global Climate Wall

    “How the world’s wealthiest nations prioritise borders over climate action

    “Rich countries spend more on militarising their borders than on providing climate finance to enable the poorest countries to help migrants

    > Seven of the biggest emitters of GHGs – the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia – collectively spent at least twice as much on border and immigration enforcement (more than $33.1 billion) as on climate finance ($14.4 billion) between 2013 and 2018.1

    > Canada spent 15 times more ($1.5 billion compared to around $100 million); Australia 13 times more ($2.7 billion compared to $200 million); the US almost 11 times more ($19.6 billion compared to $1.8 billion); and the UK nearly two times more ($2.7 billion compared to $1.4 billion).

    > Border spending by the seven biggest GHG emitters rose by 29% between 2013 and 2018. In the US, spending on border and immigration enforcement tripled between 2003 and 2021. In Europe, the budget for the European Union (EU) border agency, Frontex, has increased by a whopping 2763% since its founding in 2006 up to 2021.

    > This militarisation of borders is partly rooted in national climate security strategies that since the early 2000s have overwhelmingly painted migrants as ‘threats’ rather than victims of injustice. The border security industry has helped promote this process through well-oiled political lobbying, leading to ever more contracts for the border industry and increasingly hostile environments for refugees and migrants.

    > Climate finance could help mitigate the impacts of climate change and help countries adapt to this reality, including supporting people who need to relocate or to migrate abroad. Yet the richest countries have failed even to keep their pledges of meagre $100 billion a year in climate finance. The latest figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported $79.6 billion in total climate finance in 2019, but according to research published by Oxfam International, once over-reporting, and loans rather than grants are taken into account, the true volume of climate finance may be less than half of what is reported by developed countries.

    > Countries with the highest historic emissions are fortifying their borders, while those with lowest are the hardest hit by population displacement. Somalia, for example, is responsible for 0.00027% of total emissions since 1850 but had more than one million people (6% of the population) displaced by a climate-related disaster in 2020.

    “The border security industry is profiteering from climate change…

    Global Climate Wall: How the world’s wealthiest nations prioritise borders over climate action
    (pdf, 2.64 MB) Average time to read: 60 minutes

    Click to access global-climate-wall-report-tni-web-resolution.pdf

  23. Another Monday. On any Monday. Old but Gold down amongst the Dirt, Keating:

    New Daily, Nov 17, 2021

    Paul Keating: The SMH misrepresented my views on China. This is my reply

    Former prime minister Paul Keating submitted the following opinion piece to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in response to an article written by their international editor, Peter Hartcher.

    The publications had agreed to run the piece, but later refused to do so on the basis that it did not “substantively contribute to the debate”.

    The back-and-forth provoked considerable discussion, with many believing the former prime minister should be heard.

    The New Daily offered to publish Mr Keating’s views in the public interest and he consented. Here is the column The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age refused to publish….

    [1298 WORDS LATER…]

    …America can withdraw from Asia to the safety of its west coast on the other side of the Pacific. But Australia cannot withdraw – it has no place to withdraw to.

    This is where years of unprincipled and obsessive writing and misreporting by the Herald and the Age to its readership on China may, in the end, take us.

    Peter Hartcher and his mate Chris Uhlmann have a lot to answer for and may in future, have a great deal more to answer for.

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