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

71 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. “Why are people slow to recognise the obvious? Why not acknowledge that record low unemployment at present might have something to do with Covid restrictions on immigrant numbers for the past 2 years?”
    I agree with Harry Clarke but then again there are so many unsubstantiated “polices” that are used as a basis for “government” in this country. The “benefits of the mining industry”, the “deficits of renewable energy”, “taxes are bad”, the “APS are inefficient,” “Consultants are more efficient”,….endless. A new administration with guts would take them on one by one, in the public domain, educate the people, make this a better and successful country. People like Richard Dennis could lead the way. No more running the country on sugar hits, denial and corruption. The rise of independents may just make this possible?

  2. Uber, Lyft worse than Clive Palmer. Money wins propaganda and Prop 22. It took one year and $200m to reverse protections it seems. And make themselves out as good culture companies.

    “Gig Companies Are Disguising Exploitation as Social Justice

    “In December 2020, the people of California voted to pass Proposition 22, which classified workers for rideshare and delivery companies as independent contractors instead of employees. The ballot measure was a direct response to the California State Legislature passing Assembly Bill 5, which had classified app-based workers as employees, with all the legal protections that designation entails, just over a year earlier.

    “Companies like Lyft and Uber claimed benevolence. They argued that AB5 would force them to raise prices and cut their number of workers, if not withdraw completely from the state. They wanted to help their workers so much that they spent more than $200 million convincing voters that basic labor rights would harm drivers.

    “Labor experts, activists, and organizers collectively warned the public that Prop 22 would set a dangerous precedent for pay and working conditions, but their warnings were drowned out by the barrage of corporate propaganda. Big Tech even elicited support from some racial justice organizations, which proceeded to make the case that precarious gig work provides jobs to people of color and is therefore an anti-racist endeavor.

    “In the end, gig companies got the victory they paid for. “…
    Australia? – no need of hundreds of millions or culture -except black letter law culture.

    “‘A working world that has moved on’: A High Court ruling that sides with companies reflects an urgent need for new regulation for the gig economy, the transport union says”

  3. Svante (re your comments at FEBRUARY 23, 2022 AT 8:24 PM),
    There is no life without fresh water, and there is insulation and air conditioning for where it gets warm but not too deadly hot.

    You may be able to live through a heatwave with temperatures at 50+ °C by relying on effective insulation and air conditioning (with reliable power supply) in your home/office, but how do you protect crops from withering and livestock from dying in the fields in those conditions, that you rely upon to sustain you longer-term? How do you protect your long-term food supply?

    The global mean warming threshold of +1.5 °C will be inevitably breached, and that’s likely BEFORE 2030, per Hansen and some others. The risks of a global food famine rise exponentially above +1.5 °C warming level.
    See my Presentation Slides (#4, #6, #8 #9 & #10) at:

  4. James Wimberley,

    I refrained from commenting on the Ukraine crisis mainly because I felt I did not know enough about it. Certainly not enough to make predictions except maybe for one or two wild ones. I wonder if Putin wants all of Eastern and Southern Ukraine up to the Rivers Dneiper and Vorskla? Or at the very least he would want all of Luhans’ka, Donest’ka, plus Zaporisk’a and Kherons’ka. That would join the possessions from Luhans’ka to Krim (Crimea). Maybe he is just slicing off Luhans’ka and Donest’ka now (like Crimea was done a while back) and Zaporisk’a and Kherons’ka will be the next step.

    I don’t doubt the Russian Army is somewhat shambolic but they have plenty of fire power and tech. I wouldn’t underestimate them. The Ukraine Army will be shambolic too I guess but will likely have good morale and determination plus high tech weapons from the West.

    Can Russia sustain a long war? It’s economy does not look that great. Its populace doesn’t seem healthy and motivated to me. Poverty is high, COVID-19 infection rates are high, alcoholism and mental depression are rife, even in the Army it seems. Ukraine could very well become a quagmire for Russia. Putin seems desperate, dangerous and to be going right off the rails mentally. It’s certainly a dangerous time.

    The West’s sanctions are weak but what more can they do? We don’t want WW3. Maybe we just have to let Russia ruin itself in expeditionary war as the US did in the Middle East. In the modern world, it seems almost all invasions lead to quagmires. It’s interesting to ponder why. There are no vacant, worthwhile lands left. Native populations are often high with young demographics and seemingly endless recruits available. Impoverished nations can get hold of modern weaponry from sponsors and fight long guerilla wars. People fight ten times harder on their own soil when servitude and death are the only other options.

    But all this could blow up. If Putin slices all he way to the Dnieper in Ukraine what then?

  5. Ukraine will be a great testing ground for autonomous weapons polishing before production by Putin.
    (presaging Putin as Pompey turing into Caligula. See end for parallels to history and his ‘speech’ yesterday. He will rename Ukraine to Pukraine). 

    Ala “Gig Companies Are Disguising Exploitation as Social Justice”, weapons manufacturers suggest:
    “Autonomous weapon systems have triggered a similar debate: each side claims to be guided by humanitarian considerations. But the debate remains lopsided.”…

    Then! ASPI promotes “Defence should accelerate Australia’s adoption of autonomous systems”!

    Can’t wait. AUKUS. we will be dead on the land, not in the water.

    Australia uses lawfare to protect warfare.

    e … “victims of a violation of international law caused by drones should be provided with an effective remedy.[5]
    [ they must have cracked REANIMATION!!!]

    “5.6        One of the HRLC’s key recommendations was that the ‘Australian government not procure armed drones unless it has a system of transparency and accountability for their use that is consistent with Australia’s legal obligations, including under international human rights law and international humanitarian law’.[6]

    “5.7        However, others did not consider the expanded use of unmanned platforms (including armed UAVs) would have significant legal ramifications for Australia. Some argued the concerns raised by ‘drone strikes’ conducted by other countries were not applicable to the use of unmanned platforms by the ADF due to differing legal regimes for the use of force. …”…
    [Law Lies, Law Fare, Weapons Fare]

    AUKUS subs will be basically a node in the AI war machine. Have we invented time travel yet? Terminator and reanimator. No.

    “Lethal autonomous weapons and World War III: it’s not too late to stop the rise of ‘killer robots’

    By Toby Walsh
    August 12, 2021

    “Artificial intelligence researchers like me have been warning of the advent of such lethal autonomous weapons systems, which can make life-or-death decisions without human intervention, for years. Arecent episode of 4 Corners reviewed this and many other risks posed by developments in AI.”

    By author of Conversation article:
    “It’s Alive!: Artificial Intelligence from the Logic Piano to Killer Robots

    “Leading researcher Toby Walsh takes us on a surprising and inspiring journey through the story of Artificial Intelligence – revealing how it is already transforming our societies, our economies and even ourselves – and makes ten fascinating predictions about what it will have achieved by the year 2050.”

    Putin – from Pompey to Caligula. 
    “Pompey suppresses the rebellion with an army raised from Picenum and puts down the rebellion, killing the rebel Marcus Junius Brutus, father of Brutus, who would go on to assassinate Julius Caesar;”

    … [Caligula] he allegedly cried out the Homeric line:[79] “Let there be one lord, one king.”[56] In 40, Caligula began implementing very controversial policies that introduced religion into his political role. Caligula began appearing in public dressed as various gods and demigods such as Hercules, Mercury, Venus and Apollo.[80] Reportedly, he began referring to himself as a god when meeting with politicians and he was referred to as “Jupiter” on occasion in public documents”

  6. Need to find links but ubi grants test foiled!
    “After the randomization and grant, the winners compensated the losers and unraveled the field experiment.”… JQ?

    “Chris Blattman @cblatts
    @ethanbdm When we piloted a public lottery to evaluate cash transfers in Liberia, the potential recipients arranged beforehand to insure one another. After the randomization and grant, the winners compensated the losers and unraveled the field experiment.”

  7. If it was “just” Russia doing the invading of Ukraine, that would be one thing—not a good thing; however, given the video footage of Belarus border crossing into Ukraine, I think it is no stretch to say this is now a multi-country war of aggression against a sovereign country, i.e. Ukraine. Assume that the aggressor coalition wins; what is the reward for Belarus? I’ll wager it is they get a great big chunk of the northern part of Ukraine land, as part of a Russian satellite state, so dependent on Russia, and Russia will absorb the rest of the country. Where will the native population go? I doubt that the Aggressors care much about that, so long as they flood the NATO countries.

    NATO needs to allow its member nations to join a wider European alliance to fight back, for every stage that Putin has said he won’t do something, or that some western reaction is “hysterical,” it has turned out that Putin has gone right ahead and done what he claimed he wouldn’t do. Why, at this late stage, would NATO and European nations believe him on his next claim, i.e. that he won’t occupy Ukraine? He’ll set up a secret police infrastructure, use totalitarian measures to keep the remaining Ukraine population too afraid to speak, even in confidence with friends, about resisting Russian forces and/or their secret police. He isn’t going to stop with just Ukraine, is he.

    Economic sanctions fall far short of what is required to deal with this existential threat to Europe as it was, just a few years ago. Even the Europe of the present. If Ukraine falls, have a look at the gain in territory, and have a think about 45 million people, many of whom will be forced to run from the old Soviet Regime, which is what Putin is now a clear representative of, as it had them identified as enemies of the state, or political criminals from Russia’s political class’ perspective. Those people, and there will be a few million of them, don’t dare hang about. Women with children and babies, they’ll be trying to escape.

    Given the way that the Russian forces have behaved in other wars in recent years, they don’t feel restricted by humanitarian issues. NATO as an alliance is not capable of dealing with the multi-country aggressor military force; this isn’t one country against another, it is multiple countries, and Belarus has not been in any way threatened by Ukraine, so for it to join in the invasion of Ukraine is incredible. My reading of Putin is that he is a totalitarian, and he is employing totalitarian strategies; totalitarians do not care for nations, or the machinery of state, except if it further enables their endless totalitarian ambition.

    In his latest address, he as good as said that if any other countries intervene in what is Russia and disgracefully Belarus’s dismemberment of another neighbouring country, he’ll retaliate with nukes. The radical language he used in his threat makes it clear he was talking about extreme retaliation, not merely proportionate response. This whole bellicose aggressive posture, and the totalitarian behaviour and rhetoric, makes this moment in time like the one when Hitler and Chamberlain did their little dance; it was a major miscalculation by Chamberlain, and we saw what happened next.

    Sadly, if any Ukrainians escape from Ukraine and come to Australia by boat, we’ll *never* settle them, we’ll never acknowledge their refugee status, and we’ll disparage them as illegal boat arrivals, despite the UN Charter of Human Rights, of which Australia is a signatory nation. We mouth words, but we don’t like giving anything to anyone who we choose to see as the “lesser,” the ones we can boot with impunity. It’s sheer hypocrisy by Australia’s federal governments, stretching back to Howard, but also including Gillard and then Rudd’s sudden radical change to the rules, leaving perfectly legitimate asylum seekers stuck in permanent limbo. Some of them don’t even have countries they could be returned to, even if they wanted to leave indefinite detention by this means.

  8. Sweden and Finland, who are not NATO members, have been invited to an emergency NATO virtual summit. They are already part of the information exchange network, and I dare say are involved in a lot of joint planning. What they don’t have is the solidarity guarantee. Future full membership is clearly a possibility. So much for recreating the tsarist Russian empire.

    Query; is Belarus a belligerent?

  9. Resurrection by Tolstoy needs to be handed to every Russian, Belarusian etc & combatant by the sounds. Is current situation already written? Suggestions please.

    “The Novel by Tolstoy You Never Heard Of ‘’Resurrection’’ is the politically incendiary story the Russian regime tried to bury

    “For readers looking to understand what it was in his thinking that inspired the likes of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King to fight against racial oppression and take up the mantle of universal brotherhood, Resurrection is the go-to treatise.

    “Tolstoy succeeded in writing a story with great transformational potential by not shying away from the deeply personal.”

    James, “is Belarus a belligerent?”. Seems like most Belarusian’s not but the maniac in charge yes. One would hope (vien) they internally go to civil war. But like Nth Korea, years of internal propaganda make for a beligent power crazy war machine and military. While the plebs starve. Already opposition and peace rally organisers in Russia arrested. We don’t even hear about such in Belarus. Mama’s & babushka’s need to have a stern talking to their war kids. Asap.

  10. In the YouTube video titled Professor Jason Box | Greenland today & [not for] tomorrow #COP26Glasgow, published 12 Nov 2021, duration 0:18:19, glaciology Professor Jason Box gives an in-depth explanation of the processes that are not currently in climate models that are leading us towards a ‘Faster Than Forecast’ impacts from the collapse of the ice sheet. The Greenland Ice Sheet is beyond its threshold of viability and is highly responsive to anthropogenic warming.

  11. Geoff Miell (220223 4:41PM, 220224 10:37AM)
    Svante (re your comments at FEBRUARY 23, 2022 AT 8:24 PM),
    “There is no life without fresh water, and there is insulation and air conditioning for where it gets warm but not too deadly hot.”
    See my Presentation Slides (#4, #6, #8 #9 & #10) at:

    The region in Qld (or WA) indicated is a band of ~25% of the country in the central north, in future modelled to have high precipitation inland at either end, and lying further south of what modelling such as you earlier linked will be an intolerably hot humid and super cyclone prone band in the far north (eg., see Fig 4: ). It is sandwiched between that intolerable region to the north and what will be an intolerably dry region, ~50% of the country, to the south. A band stretching from WA below Exmouth Gulf more or less straddling the Tropic of Capricorn reaching east to Qld channel country before turning north-east more or less to Townsville. Soil maps show most of that band covers areas of *low* soil fertility except for Qld where that band covers scattered areas of *medium* soil fertility totalling to about the size of Germany or France. (The few small patches of north Australian undeveloped areas of naturally *high* soil fertility with good agricultural potential (also inclusive of rainfall and temperature) today are in that region set to be intolerably hot, humid, and super cyclone prone.

    Livestock? Cattle, for instance, would be tropical breeds and buffalo just as in tropical Australia today, not your southern heat sensitive breeds, but I think macropods better all round.

    Plants? Too many tropical types to list here. This is not the future drought stuck, heatwave struck mid-latitude zone that Sydney (and Brisbane, and Melbourne, and…) will sit in as referred to in your linked submission. If it had reliable water supply Sydney etc would have temperatures suitable for those same plants, but there just won’t be sufficient water.

    Plant protection? Pretty much the same as in wet and monsoonal tropical coastal lowlands of today. Don’t get me wrong though, my idea was not for tropical industrial monocultures (too many pest and disease problems increasing already) but for self sufficient mixed permaculture/agroforestry with maybe some occasional small tradeable excess.

    Long term food supply? Crikey, good old coconuts, for one just collected from where they drop, store for ages, and are almost a complete food.

    Other than that band described above the models indicate the Australian population not opting for a central northern location will somehow have to fend for themselves all compressed into the area consisting of Tas and the coastal fringes of Vic. That won’t be pretty.

  12. Svante: – “Long term food supply? Crikey, good old coconuts…

    I’d suggest you check for heat tolerance for plants and animals first before making claims about what’s suitable for food later this century in a dangerously warming world.

    One likely event is heat stress due to high temperature. When the canopy of a coconut palm is exposed to an air temperature of above 33°C, it starts minimizing further transpiration and closes the stomata in the leaflets. Although the palm reduces water losses, unfortunately leaves can no longer breathe in carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). As a result, photosynthesis in the leaves decreases and eventually stops.

    +2 °C global mean warming means Sydney will likely be regularly seeing 50+ °C summer days.
    See the transcript of former Australian Chief Scientist (from Nov 2008 to Mar 2011), Professor Penny Sackett’s Presentation to the IPCN on pages 7 through 14:
    Professor Sackett’s Presentation Slides:

    +4 °C global mean warming means western Sydney could experience up to 60 °C summer extremes. There’s nowhere on the planet during the last 300,000 years of modern human existence that has seen these extremes.

  13. Geoff, Sydney regularly has summer temps significantly higher than the tropics and sub tropics. Heat waves there are a huge annual issue, but not so much in the north. Water vapour pressure > humidity > does funny things to air. Coconuts will be fine where I indicated at +2 °C global mean warming, in fact they will even be fine in parts further north, and do read the rest of your article to get some idea of why, and do compare their recommended planting methods to those I mentioned earlier, and read up again on what global mean warming means, eg., more increase at Sydney latitudes than eg Longreach.

    +4 °C global mean warming means nothing to Sydney. Its goose will be cooked well before that. People will have probably fled as far south as they could, but won’t find it prettier. If the models pan out the borderline tropic zone in some certain regions should support humans in this country longer.

    Your links to Sackett have a problem.

  14. Svante: – “Heat waves there are a huge annual issue, but not so much in the north.

    It’s the violent weather that northern Australia has to contend with. It will get more intense as the planet warms up. Infrastructure, crops & livestock wiped out in an afternoon.

    If the models pan out the borderline tropic zone in some certain regions should support humans in this country longer.

    What – an extra decade, maybe two? Why bother? Fix the root cause:
    1) stop GHG emissions ASAP;
    2) atmospheric carbon drawdown back to below 350 ppm;
    3) maintain Arctic sea ice – lose the Arctic, humanity loses the planet

    “Losing the remaining Arctic sea ice and its ability to reflect incoming solar energy back to space would be equivalent to adding one trillion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, on top of the 2.4 trillion tons emitted since the Industrial Age, according to current and former researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.”

    Sorry, I mis-copied the URL. Below are copied from the source.
    IPCN Transcript for Feb 18:

    Professor Sackett’s Presentation Slides:

  15. “Svante: – “Heat waves there are a huge annual issue, but not so much in the north.”
    It’s the violent weather that northern Australia has to contend with. It will get more intense as the planet warms up. Infrastructure, crops & livestock wiped out in an afternoon.”

    Geoff, the quote again indicates you have misread/misunderstood what I wrote and what you yourself have written (btw thanks for the indirect link to the Climate Resilient Coconut Farm Management Training Curriculum. It is rather good and been planted in the library;)

    Also this is an ‘interesting’ comment:
    “What – an extra decade, maybe two? Why bother?”

    Coz where there’s life there’s hope and it aint to be in death wish Sydney &etc. If set up suitably that extra time may not be too unpleasant.

    As +1.5°C, your +2°C, and their current real world unreal settings of +2.7°C global mean warming markers are passed, if natural positive world ending feedback is not triggered at some point within that range then there will surely be sufficient climate changed impacts on humans 1) to crush the globalised industrialised economy, and its emission of GHGs, and human over population, or 2) to have globalised human society finally wake and radically address the issue with some chance of slowing, halting before excessive overshoot, and turning it around. It aint gunna be pretty for a long time, but with luck for many, and many of their descendants, it may be survivable if global mean warming doesn’t go higher. If it goes higher all bets are off

    As for “Fix the root cause…”, I can’t. You can’t. They/we won’t, effect a fix anywhere near adequately enough in time to avoid extensive or final adverse effects.

  16. Geoff & Svante. Best graohic Svante. Need same for sea level and and… and systematic.

    Good exhange +…
    – storm surge + sea level rise
    – fires

    Storm surge Sydney.
    “City – Sydney
    2050 RCP 4.5 – 0.26m
    2090 RCP 4.5 – 0.50m
    2090 RCP 8.5 – 0.84m”

    “Table 4: Projected allowances (in m) for 2050 under the intermediate (RCP4.5) concentration scenario, and for 2090 under the intermediate (RCP4.5) and high (RCP8.5) concentration scenarios for selected cities along the Australian coastline. Source: CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology 2015.”

    But! Say Larsen B goes… my kid will be dealing with less land habitable, hot ocean rising and internal refugees;

    “The projection used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States which revealed global sea levels could rise by 2 metres by 2100 if emissions remain at their current levels.

    “It is substantially higher than the 74-centimetre increase proposed in a 2013 Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

    “Professor John Church from the Climate Change Research at the University of New South Wales said while rising sea levels cannot be stopped, they could be slowed.

    “Climate change: Model predicts Australia to lose famous sites in new sea-level rise”

  17. KT2: – “Say Larsen B goes… my kid will be dealing with less land habitable, hot ocean rising and internal refugees;

    The Larsen B ice shelf collapsed in the summer of 2002. It had no direct affect on sea level rise, but it removes a barrier between “tidewater” glaciers and the ocean.

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is “beyond its viability threshold” – see the Jason Box video in my earlier comment. Also see David Spratt’s tweet on Jan 25:

    Have tipping points already been passed for critical climate systems? Part 3 in our Code Red series examines Greenland, the Arctic and abrupt change:

    Coastal risk Australia provides an interactive map of which coastal areas are at risk of flooding due to sea level rise.
    1) Select a location;
    2) Choose either ‘Predicted’ or ‘Manual’ mode;
    3a) In ‘Predicted’ mode: – toggle between ‘Current Day’ or ‘Highest Tide’ OR select ‘High’ (+0.84m in 2100) or ‘Very High” (+5m in 2150)
    3b) In ‘Manual’ mode: select sea level rise between 0 and 10m.

    Observed ice loss is accelerating, suggesting the predicted +0.84m in 2100 is likely to be an underestimate.

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