Weather telling a climate tale

The hurricane season in the United States goes from June to November. Prior to Hurricane Ian, the season had been “remarkably quiet.” Strange business when climate change is roaring about causing havoc to human populations; and goodness knows how our cousins the animals are faring. Dying out, like polar bears, I would guess.

Hurricane Ian was at category 4 when it hit the Florida coast. That’s powerful among hurricanes, which are measured on a scale of one to five. Undoubtedly climate change is reasserting itself, as true believers in anthropogenic global warming knew it would.

Counting Ian, the ten most powerful hurricanes to hit the US coastline, according to one source I found, started in 1893 with a category 4 hurricane, The Cheniere Caminada, which hit Louisiana. I don’t know, but maybe a powerful hurricane or two hit in the centuries before? Be that as it may, five out of the ten identified occurred before 1970 and five afterwards. The deadliest by far was the Galveston hurricane of 1900. Eight thousand people died.

Where does this leave us? Well, if you choose to believe in statistics, evidence and facts, it’s hard to show that climate change has had any effect at all on the frequency or intensity of hurricanes. For example, a comprehensive recent study by Italian scientists led by Gianluca Alimonti, from the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics and the University of Milan, found no evidence that extreme weather events, including flooding, droughts and hurricanes, were increasing in their frequency or intensity. This, of course, more or less echoes Shellenberger, Koonin, Lomborg among others.

Still, statistics, evidence and facts are one thing, feelings another. And, feelings must be respected. Most of the mainstream news media and many progressive politicians and commentators know instinctively, primevally, gut-wrenchingly, spiritually even, what the dire wages of burning fossil fuels looks like when they see it. Amen to that.

War without an end game, what do you think?

Liberals, using the U.S. nomenclature, are in favour of renewable energy, against fossil fuels, promote abortion on demand up to the time of birth, promote gay marriage, promote transgender rights (including the right of men in frocks to compete with women in sports and enter women’s change rooms), promote teaching critical race theory to schoolchildren and exposing them to drag shows and other sexual perversions, promote DEI and ESG, promote affirmative action (i.e., discrimination against those not in favoured groups), promote tearing down statues of giants of the past, promote reparations for perceived injustices committed centuries ago, promote DEI and ESG. I could go on with a whole retinue of their foul and destructive ways. But I want to add only one. That is their vengeful support of the Ukraine in its war with Russia. Russia, once extolled by the Left, is now despised. But, hold on, most conservatives are on board with this one. What does that mean? Is the Left right for once?

I don’t know but, generally, wherever the Left go I don’t want to go. Bad company. Thus, maybe, I over compensated. Found some justification for Russia in the overtures that Zelensky was making to NATO. Strangely too, I didn’t take to Zelensky as much as did the fawning world. That said, Russia invaded. It is the aggressor. No gainsaying that. So, I tried to keep objective. But it’s clear that objectivity on this matter is code for peddling Russian propaganda; at least, that is current Western mindset.

There’s a problem, I think, with the West having such a mindset. Saw an ex-military chap on the BBC just today saying that Russia could be defeated. This kind of pronouncement is commonplace. Russia is losing. Russian troops are demoralised. Liz Truss, the new British PM is especially jingoistic by proxy; as is Joe Biden.

No one in the media, so far as I’ve seen, asks a follow up question: exactly what would Russia beaten look like? Cowed, the Donbas region and Crimea abandoned? Apropos Nazi Germany: mea culpas, reparations, generals facing war-crime trials in the Hague or somewhere? Putin put on trial?

Some obvious facts should be acknowledged. Russia is a very big country and a very patriotic country. Not all Russians favour the war. All Russians favour Russia. They know that the longevity of the war has little to do with morale. It has to do with an endless supply of high-tech weapons and ammunitions supplied to the Ukraine by the US and Western European countries; without those countries ever contemplating boots on the ground. There has never been anything quite like it in the history of human conflict.

Pictured in this morning’s newspaper, a young woman with an anti-tank weapon with the caption that she’d taken out a Russian tank. Give me a bit of training and the latest US anti-tank missile launcher, and I bet even I could take out a Russian tank. (Maybe?) There seems to be a basic lack of understanding that an army marches on its supply of the latest weaponry. Churchill knew that fighting in the Sudan at the end of the nineteenth century (The River War). Weapons make the difference. That’s why this war has gone on for so long and why no end is in sight. That is, unless you suffer from the delusion that Russia will capitulate.

My ending is with the question; how will this all end up? And a second one: do the governments of the US, the UK and, say, France and Germany have a clear idea of how it will end up? I mean if you are supplying a country indefinitely with billions upon billions of dollars’ worth of armaments; surely you must have a clear objective in sight? Do you adjust that objective if Putin declares the Donbas Russia, as he has Crimea, on the basis of some plebiscites; however dodgy? Just suppose, for example, that a majority of people in the contested areas really want to be Russian? The UK was willing to let Scotland go on such a basis.

Sometimes the demarcation is clear. Good guys and bad guys. But then the idea is to completely defeat the bad guys. Usually, you have to go into their territory to do that.

What do you think? Cos I’m at sea.

Don’t judge our performance, we’re central bankers

I see Philip Lowe didn’t resign. Said he’d no intention of resigning. Claimed credit for low unemployment. I would have thought Morrison might claim credit for that? In any event, whatever the Reserve Bank’s total mission in life we all know that keeping inflation in check is its raison d’être. All else is embroidery. Could be the ‘note printing and payments agency’ if not for its role in ensuring price stability. No need for all those economists.

So, in reality, Lowe and his army of economists have one job for which they’re paid handsomely. That is to prevent inflation. They didn’t. Ergo, they failed in fulfilling their primary responsibility. Then, to boot, they’ve determinedly set out to compound the failure by implementing a policy of steep and rapid increases in interest rates. Go hang those who took out mortgages, or borrowed more generally, having been informed by the Reserve Bank near the end of last year that interest rates would not rise until beyond 2023.

Of course, panicking is afoot; not edifying for central bankers, but not surprising when they’ve royally messed up and there’s no hiding place. Having messed up and created inflation a better response (as advocated by Milton Friedman) would have been to rein in monetary growth slowly and gradually. As it is, the growth in the money supply could well collapse as bad debts grow and new bank lending falls off. Result: at the least, economic distress for many people and businesses; at the worst, recession.

Not bad if the Reserve Bank pulls off both inflation on the one side of things and unemployment on the other. Hopefully, we’ll get away with it. The lucky country. Exporting heaps of primary products, much coal and gas included. But if the economy does go into some kind of tailspin don’t expect resignations. There are no defining KPIs in government service.

An excuse. The Reserve Bank is at one with the Fed, the ECB and the BoE. They can’t be all wrong surely? They can’t have all stuffed up? Well, yes, they can. They all follow a Keynesian script. In this script, the money supply hardly rates a second thought. The Quantity Theory of Money, popularised by Freidman, is a footnote, if that. And what is the Quantity Theory? Simply put, it says that if you allow the money supply to grow faster than the real economy, then the excess money growth will find its way into prices. If excess money growth is material and persistent, as it was in Australia, in the US, in the UK and in Europe during 2020 and 2021, inflation will very likely occur.  As indeed it did.  (See here for my longer take on it.)

Too much money. Money falls in value.  Correspondingly, the prices of goods rise. Not hard to understand. Unless, that is, you’re the product of economics faculties run by lefties. Wait a minute. Isn’t that mostly all of them? There’s a depressing thought.

Think of the GDP

At the Jobs Summit, Minister for Finance, Women and Public Service Senator Katy Gallagher reportedly said, “as a country we simply can’t afford to leave women’s talent on the shelf. If women’s workforce participation matched men we would increase GDP by 8.7% or $353 billion by 2050?.

Talked to my eldest daughter today. She takes care of her three young children while working part time, during four days a week. If it were affordable, she’d like to cut her work hours down somewhat so that she could better support her husband who works long hours and spend more time with her three children. But hold on, what about GDP?

Just think if we could get all married women with children into the full-time workforce? Import paid carers from foreign parts to do the nurturing. What a double boon for the country’s GDP.

As to migration, we need more and yet more. Yes, schools, hospitals, public transport, roads will get more stressed and crowded; yes, urban sprawl will go on increasing; yes, crime will probably rise; yes, social and cultural cohesion will likely suffer. But think of the GDP.

So, married women, when you’re feeling exhausted, frazzled and bothered, as you’re driving through heavy traffic each evening to pick up your kids from extended childcare, thankful for micro-wave ovens for quick cooking, remember also to be thankful that you’re playing your part in boosting GDP by displaying your talent. Of course, not necessarily as a senator like Ms Gallagher or corporate high-flyer who’s broken through the glass ceiling but, say, as a clerical assistant or shop assistant or nurse. You too have your part to play in the grand unfolding of economic growth and national wellbeing, so definitively measured by GDP.

EV illusions and delusions

Saw Chris Bowen (minister for a contradiction in terms; namely, climate change and energy) some time back, with a crazy-eyes look, talking about emission standards being applied to conventional cars to encourage the take up of electric cars (EVs). He had the same look when inviting people to vote against Labor if they didn’t like him taxing super-fund franking credits. And they accepted his invitation. I think he might be the only hope the Libs have got (slim though it is) of bypassing the teals and getting back in.

Bowen won’t be able to come up with anything extreme enough to please Adam Bandt and the teals. All of the pressure will be to go too far. I suggest that to a man of Bowen’s temperament, it will be simply irresistible, as Robert Palmer sang in another context.  Disaster lies ahead. Thus, hope lies ahead, even for waste-of-space Liberals.

In its ‘Powering Australia Plan’, Labor projects that the proportion of light EVs on the road will increase from 0.2 percent now to 15 percent (i.e., to 3.8 million vehicles) by 2030. New EV sales, including hybrids) will make up close to 90 percent of car sales. Note the Greens have 100 percent zero-emission new car sales by 2030. Labor claim they will build 1800 new public fast-charging stations. The Green say 3000. Whatever Labor can promise to do, the Greens promise more. The fact that all of the promises are illusory and delusional is incidental.

Labor in its unhinged imaginings has 100,000 businesses and 3.8 million households with EV charging capacity by 2030. For the avoidance of doubt, all figures, pulled out of a hat. And the Greens and teals have even bigger hats remember.

A figure of 3.8 million households, represent about 35 percent of the projected number of around 11 million Australian households by 2030. It’s simply not a small thing to put 3.8 million 7.2 kW power points into houses and apartments. First, you have to generate the power, while busily closing down fossil-fuel power sources. Second, you need wiring and substations capable of handling the extra power. Third, you need to electrically refit houses and apartment buildings to handle the extra power. Fourth, you need thousands upon thousands of expert electricians to do the work. C’mon mate, she’ll be right. We did pink batts didn’t we.

And by the way, this is just EV’s. How about across-the-board emissions down by 43 percent by 2030. Renewables generating 82 percent of electricity. Really? And, all the time, Bandt whispering, nay shouting, in Bowen’s ear. It ain’t enough.

Life’s tough, pretending it can be otherwise helps no one

Meandering through my Sydney Sunday newspaper- The Sunday Telegraph – (poor fare, why do they bother) two things struck me. One concerned the sad suicide death of rugby league player and coach Paul Green. A terrible thing for his family to deal with. Enough said.

However, according to the writer of an article on the tragedy, a Phil Rothfield, “Green’s death has led to concerns around the welfare of former players and coaches across rugby league.” Where does this kind of thing come from these days?

Life is tough, there’s no doubt about that. But tougher still for rugby league players? A friend of Green is reported as saying that the NRL is like a machine that can just spit you out. Is it? I once worked for the State Bank Victoria. When it collapsed and was taken over by the CBA, the CBA spat a lot of us with dependent families out onto the street. Nothing special about it. Lots of people get spat out of their employment.

It’s the victim card again, of course, being played. It’s just plain silly in this case, as it is in most cases. I understand that professional rugby league players are well paid. Lucky them; not poor them. Though to be fair there is no hiding place in sport. Whereas plenty of bankers are incompetent without sticking out. If you’re a sportsman and your standards drop, you stick out. But that’s the well-remunerated game they’re in and the pitfalls are not kept secret.

A second thing that struck me was criticism of some reported comments by Sir Peter Cosgrove following the release of the interim report of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. Apparently, according to the newspaper, he suggested that new recruits to the ADF needed to be more tightly screened to ensure they are not predisposed to mental health problems.

No doubt he will feel pressured to roll back this reported comment; again, in these days of extolling victimhood, the truth, even the bleeding obvious, has to be handled with kid gloves, lest it enrage the mob. But surely operating in the ADF is one of the most stressful occupations; particularly in combat roles. Mental strength is a key requirement, isn’t it?

Now I know other factors besides the stress of combat might be at play in the ADF, which bear on the considerations of the Royal Commission. Nonetheless, it is still true that those bearing arms need to be mentally as well as physically tough. And part of the recruitment process must be to weed out those who fall short. No shame in it. Just a fact of life. If the process isn’t rigorous enough then some ADF personnel will suffer unnecessarily. Can’t that be said?

Gender dysphoria among famous women

I read this morning that some wokester academics working for Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, have cast doubt on the gender identity of Queen Elizabeth I. Apparently her claiming to have the stomach and heart of a man was plain-speak for I’m non-binary before my time gimme some testosterone. And Joan of Arc was much too butch to be a genuine gal. Women with swords? Come on.

So here we are. The great movement to wipe women out of sport is extended to wipe women out of history. Margaret Thatcher was clearly intersex. “The Lady’s not for turning.” Pull the other one, so to speak.

Queen Boadicea, Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto were clearly in the closet. Celts, Hindus and Muslims might not have taken kindly to them revealing their true mixed-up selves. Hilary Clinton and Kamala Harris? Surely there’s a clue in their pant-suitedness.

Anyway, we men have always known it. Women can’t hack it. When the going gets tough, they go to water. Hence, the wokesters have belled the famous cats, so to speak; they’re all toms in disguise. Liz Warren adds weight to this persuasive view by claiming that she would be president if she had a penis. (Linked to that one, in case you didn’t believe it.)

Pardon us Liz, but just say you’re a man, slip into a pair of jockeys, stuff a sausage down there, and, Bob’s your uncle, and you’re his nephew. It’s not like pretending to be Cherokee. That’s cultural appropriation; much harder. Feigning manhood is a bagatelle. Feted you’ll be. From Liz to Liam in a trice no need for drugs or cruel knife.

The 43 percent law spells the end of new fossil fuel developments

There was a case last year. Australian Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg sided with a group of eight female teenagers and their litigation guardian (an eight-six-year-old Catholic nun), intent on stopping a particular mining development in New South Wales. They brought a class action arguing that the federal minister for the environment had a common-law duty of care to young people by protecting them from climate change when considering the approval of new mines. Subsequently the full Federal Court threw out Bromberg’s bizarre ruling.

But what now? Now that a forty-three percent reduction in emissions by 2030 is in law. Some say that it is a toothless measure, without much purpose or point. It can be done without legislation, they say. They’re wrong.

In fact, the legislation spells the end of any new coal or gas developments. It gives the Greens and the Teals what they want without specifically giving them what they want. Something akin to Bromberg’s ruling will soon enough become part of common law. Does this or that fossil-fuel development threaten the achievement of the legislative target, will be the question? And, of course, it will. Activist lawyers will have a field day. Schoolchildren and aged nuns will be lining up. Developers won’t even attempt to fight through the lawfare.

Albo and his Labor mates have done the dirty on Australian voters. Stopping any new fossil fuel developments is their goal but they suspected it wouldn’t go down well in the polls. Thus, the sleight of hand. The duplicitous sleazy deal. Why else would the Greens and Teals be onboard? Anything that Adam Bandt goes along with is bound to be destructive of our way of life. He doesn’t like our way of life.

And then, to boot, there is the penalty in the legislation’s fine print. To wit, a severe public thrashing for Albo and Chris Bowen if the target isn’t met. I’m being fanciful. After all, by 2030 the Liberal Party will have got its act together, moved to the sensible right, won office, and abandoned the climate cult. Now that’s really fanciful.

Censorious ages of sex and sexuality

The Tavistock transgender clinic in London is to be shut down. Referrals had risen to over 5000 in 2021-22 compared with just 250 ten years earlier. There had also been a marked change in orientation, from men who wanted to be women to teenage girls wanting to be boys. We are talking here about chemical and physical mutilation of young bodies by medical professionals; charged, at the very least, with doing no harm.

We have the Victorian “Change or Suppression (conversion) Prohibition Act (2021) which, among other things, criminalises efforts to ‘supress’ a person’s gender identity. Similar legislative provisions are in place in Queensland and the ACT; and, such is the zeitgeist, that I guess they will find their way eventually into other states.

Quite separately we have seven Manly Sea Eagles players refusing to wear a jersey emblazoned with rainbow signage. Israel Folau being banned from earning his livelihood because he accurately paraphrased a passage in the bible, which condemned fornication and male-to-male sex, among other things. And, one of our greatest sporting icons, Margaret Court, is disgustingly insulted because she opposes gay marriage.

We live in a less censorious age than did our forebears when it comes to matters of sexual behaviour. That’s a very good thing for the most part. Hanging for the crime of buggery is a tad beyond the pale. It’s good that our Western societies are tolerant of different sexual orientations and are understanding and supportive of people who believe they would be more comfortable taking on the outward appearance and manners of those who don’t share their biological sex. At the same time, toleration and understanding are not the same thing as endorsement; and certainly not praise.

Homosexuality and gender dysphoria are aberrant. That sounds harsh, so let’s say they diverge from what is normal in human behaviour. Unless this is acknowledged things can go awry, as they have. Acknowledging that something diverges from the norm shouldn’t lead to condemnation but it should lead to probing questions and caution. Are you sure you feel that way, is reasonable and sensible to ask of any young person who believes he or she is gay or is in the wrong body? Instead, perversely, in a 180 degrees turnaround, our society tends to be censorious of those daring to ask such questions. Why, because homosexuality and gender dysphoria have been normalised; exalted even in some circles. All kinds of harm result.  There is a balance to be found, which hasn’t been found.

Just where will the Left go next? Be afraid

In June 2010 I had an article published in Quadrant magazine; “The Trumping Factor”. I went back to it because I remembered writing about how those on the left and the right divide more or less uniformly and predictably across numbers of seemingly unconnected issues. To wit:

One of the mysteries of life is that once you have established that someone is an economic socialist or an economic conservative you can then go on to predict with fair degree of accuracy their views across a range of contentious non-economic matters. Of course, you can also proceed by going from one or other non-economic matter and reach the same end.

Back in 2010, I mentioned, inter alia, that those on the left tend to be critical of their nation’s past, particularly when it comes to colonisation and to the treatment of indigenous people. That they tend to favour apologies and reparations for perceived past injustices; to favour open borders to refugees; to favour a less forceful posture on national defence; and, of course, to favour action, as it were, to heal the planet.

I didn’t try to be exhaustive. But it’s passing strange, is it not, that I made no mention of wokeness, of intersectionality, of transgender rights – to wit, the strange case of 78 gender pronouns or men in frocks beating the pants of women in sports, of hate speech, of CRT and DEI and ESG, of defunding the police, of cancel culture, and no doubt of more things that have blessedly slipped my mind for the moment. However, it isn’t strange at all.

These bizarre developments were still in their gestation stage or less formed than that. Waiting to be sprung on us with a vengeance. They’re the reason that the confirmed leftie Bill Maher thinks his side has gone mad. And I didn’t mention gay marriage, the campaign for which had started but hadn’t gathered real pace in 2010.

My worry is what they’ll think of next to assail our sanity. There isn’t anything left you might say. But that’s what you might have said in 2010. There is no limit to their fevered imaginations allied with their fanatical determination to undo our civilisation. There will be something else to affront our senses. They’re a long way from being finished. Demons are indefatigable.