Roundup 27 Oct from the swamp in Washington DC

The admirable beaver h/t the Doomlord. More on their ingenious land management and engineering.

Chile explodes in a popular revolt against energy costs. Jo Nova on the continuing vandalism of the weather records by the BOM. Coal is booming in Asia.

China is expanding its coal power infrastructure despite pledges to curb carbon emissions. Analysis reveals that the amount allocated to large infrastructure projects by Beijing has doubled this year, with airports and high-speed rail lines among 21 schemes allocated a total of £83.9 billion. Included in the new allocations is funding for 17 new coal mines across China, despite Beijing’s pledges to reduce reliance on the power source. –The Times, 22 October 2019

Peter Ridd in London next month. The Great Barrier Reef and Our Untrustworthy Science Institutions

When: Monday 4th November 2019, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Where: Committee Room 4, House of Lords, London SW1

Many of the threats to the Great Barrier Reef, such as from sediments and nutrients from agricultural runoff, and from climate change (either natural or manmade), have been greatly exaggerated. Far from being in very poor condition, the GBR is actually one of the most pristine and unspoiled ecosystems on earth. The manifest discrepancy between alarmist claims and observational evidence is due to a systemic failure of Quality Assurance systems used for science and relied upon for public policy decisions.

From Quadrant online Australia’s Looming Submarine Disaster.

Over the years I have witnessed both good and bad decisions concerning the structure and equipment choices made for our defence forces. Some of the bad ones were made for reasons of expediency, due to budgetary considerations or by political direction.

Pell’s New Appeal and ‘This Hiatus, This Gap’. Following the rejection in August by the Victorian Appeal Court of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for historic sex abuse of two under-age choirboys after a Sunday Solemn Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in December 1996, his legal advisers have now sought leave to appeal to the High Court.

Independent Think Tank Strategic Policy Institute. Nuclear strategy in a changing world. The immense destructive power of nuclear weapons continues to shape the international strategic balance, not least Australia’s place as a close ally of the United States in an increasingly risky Indo-Pacific region. SPI going woke. SPI is delighted to announce that Catherine McGregor AM is joining the Institute as the inaugural Women in Defence and Security Adviser.

IPA. How the Enlightenment came to Australia.

As part of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program, the IPA has produced a series of practical classroom resources for Years 6- 9 students, written and designed to meet the specific requirement of compulsory areas of the National Curriculum, such as History, and Civics and Citizenship.

Most recently, the IPA has produced a classroom unit called ‘Is Western Civilisation part of your life today?’ which is suitable for Years 7-10 Civics and Citizenship and Years 7-10 History.

80-fold increase in Green Tape in since Whitlam.

“Environmental red tape is a significant barrier to economic opportunity and prosperity in Australia,” said Morgan Begg, research fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs.

“Environmental red tape has caused a haemorrhaging to business investment which currently sits at just 11.2 per cent of GDP. This is lower than the rate which prevailed during the economically-hostile Whitlam years.”

There is a power of ruin in a country but why would you want to find out how much?

CIS. Read all about it. Future generations will be let down if reforms are just the latest fad. On the education front. Few will argue with the NSW Curriculum Review’s overarching finding that change is needed. Far too many Australian students lack confidence and competence in reading, writing and mathematics — especially in comparison with their peers in Europe and Asia. And outcomes-based school funding easier said than done. There’s good reason to support government rhetoric about becoming more ‘outcomes-driven’. Who doesn’t want “an ongoing focus on value for money” as proposed by the NSW Government’s approach? Coddling of the worker’s mind. Businesses have “gone too far” in telling people how to live their lives, according to Attorney-General Christian Porter. His comments were sparked by the debate about religious freedom; but the problem of paternalistic employers goes much deeper. Get on with the tax cuts! Australia’s tax debate needs a reset. The government’s recent tax reform is to be commended but it was based on flawed Treasury modelling that ignored productivity and over-estimated the budget cost of tax cuts by $90bn.

Australian Taxpayers Alliance. The government owes farmers more than tax relief.
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy group representing taxpayers, today welcomed the coalition’s move to give drought stricken farmers a tax reprieve, but called on the government to fix the problem they started when they founded the Murray Darling Basin Authority in 2007 instead of relying on band aid solutions.

Tax scandals. How much the ATO takes. And blue collar workers get a big hit as well. “Australians face a top marginal tax rate of 54 percent when you add in income tax, payroll tax, and GST. While some may consider this fair, it hurts people at all levels of achievement,” says ATA Communications Manager, Emilie Dye.

Climate loonies in city hall. The ATA criticised Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s $60 million Green Energy Deal which is unlikely to deliver value for ratepayers and could make electricity more expensive in the long-term for businesses and homes in the city.

The Portal to a collection of fellow-travellers

In no particular order. Australian Institute for Progress, The Institute of Public Affairs IPA, the Centre for Independent Studies CIS, The Sydney Institute, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Quadrant On Line, The Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Tim Blair, Andrew Norton, the classical liberal in Carlton, Rite-ON admirable Queensland activists!, The Menzies Research Centre, Jim Rose Utopia You Are Standing in It. LibertyWorks. On Line Opinion.

Overseas. Spiked, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Dan Mitchell, The Last Refuge.

Education and Culture. Quillette. Heterodox Academy. Accuracy in Academia, Intellectual Takeout, Institute for Humane Studies.

For Nerds. Rafe’s website, Critical Rationalist Blog, My bookstore.

Looking for a book? Try here!

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5 Responses to Roundup 27 Oct from the swamp in Washington DC

  1. C.L. says:

    One of the all-time best RRUs.

    China is expanding its coal power infrastructure despite pledges to curb carbon emissions.

    Gee, nobody saw that coming. They seemed so sincere.
    Re Pell, I cannot remember a case where a conviction of such national importance was – for all intents and purposes – obliterated by a magazine. Quadrant (led by Windschuttle) has done just that. It is now established fact that Pell is innocent. I’m at a loss to understand why his defence didn’t prepare something so simple as a timeline. I suppose it came down to what could easily and efficaciously be presented to a jury. If Victoria had judge-only trials, Windschuttle’s graphic would have ended the entire rigged stitch-up in short order.

  2. Muddy says:

    Australia’s Looming Submarine Disaster.

    I’m not qualified to comment with any integrity on this subject, however I found the article somewhat odd regarding the referencing of German WWII U Boats. Perhaps this was part of the author’s suggestion that the role of future submarines will have substantially changed since 80-odd years ago. The author’s speculation about the various future technologies was of interest, but did not serve his (presumably) point well.

    I sometimes find the comments at the end of these articles to be of the most interest; one of these linked to a Defence Connect post on the future subs, via which I learned that the first French nuclear-powered Barracuda (the ‘parent’ sub which we will redesign) has only just been launched in July this year – a mere handful of months ago! The French vessel has cost around $2.1 Billion, while ours are estimated to cost (at the moment) between $4.2 billion and $6.0 billion per vessel.

    Secondly, the following seems most alarming:

    As it stands, this delivery time frame will see the last of the Attack Class submarines launched in the late-2040s, commissioned in the early-2050s and ready for operational tasking sometime in the mid-to-late 2050s, provided the design finalisation, construction, systems integration and trial phases of the early build vessels go according to plan.

    Our fleet of this new class will not be complete for another 30+ years? It seems to me that the media emphasis on the delivery of the first new submarine is misplaced, and it is more realistic for broader strategic reasons to focus on when the whole fleet will be operational. The Collins class will be upgraded in the meantime, of course, however it will structurally be an antique by the early-to-mid 2050s.

    For what my unqualified opinion is worth, it seems that the best option would have been to purchase an interim off-the-shelf model until the potential of future UUV (underwater unmanned vehicle) technologies, and any subsequent changes to the role and type of manned underwater vehicles, had become clearer.

    I’m not clear myself why no ‘son-of-Collins’ options were proposed or available? As a comment on the Defence Connect article noted: the Collins was supposed to be a first-of-type, so why no development to get more from our initial investment in the Collins Class?

  3. Muddy:
    The whole NBN Minitel Submarine fiasco requires a Royal Commission.
    Like the NDIS, its sole purpose appears to be to bankrupt the economy.

  4. Dr Faustus says:

    Big read this week.

    On Pell: John Finnis QC gives the clearest possible explanation as to why the Victorian Appeal Court judges reversed the burden of proof. Implied but unstated; this could hardly have been a mistake.

    On education:

    Far too many Australian students lack confidence and competence in reading, writing and mathematics — especially in comparison with their peers in Europe and Asia.

    Their ABC trills about the Big Picture Academy which allows high school students to design their own HSC program and match it against the curriculum – and a 17-year old who has matriculated, without the horror of exams, “by working on a Collaborative Environmental Youth Summit, which is an opportunity to educate and to learn about climate change,

    At least she won’t be designing and building real bridges.

    On Beavers: These hideous rodents are clearing carbon-consuming trees without proper permits, or offsets. Will no-one think of Greta?

  5. Craig Sargent says:

    Chile is not a populist revolt, but a Marxist one…

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