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Dear Sydney Morning Herald, re March In March

MiM6

As he ran through the pages of yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Timothy Pembroke couldn’t help but notice that Sydney’s March in March – clearly one of the major events of the weekend – failed to attract much interest from the state’s second largest newspaper. This guest post from Tim is his response to the Sydney Morning Herald’s glaring failure:

Dear SMH,

Today my friends and I were flicking through your pages with a regular Monday morning happiness. As per Monday during footy season, we are fairly certain we navigated patiently through a double page spread describing an enthralling Dragons Vs Cowboys match in Wollongong with a quoted 8,345 attendees, but we may be confused with any week from the upcoming 26. Normally it’s quite tedious to scroll through the sports wrap, but we were happy to do so this morning as we reveled in the excitement of turning the pages and that beautiful moment when we would finally land in your heart to read about the mighty March In March. We searched and searched, turned and turned. We soon realized that there was NO mention of the march. Maybe we’d missed it? Was there a feature article insert that may have fallen out? It was a nationwide march, surely there was something? A political movement created by the people for the people that attracted more than 100,000 + attendees nationwide over 2 days with another massive day still to come in Canberra. This was not a poor mans competition to the annual St Patrick’s Day carnival parade as Tony Abbott more or less described it (St Pat’s we noted had some coverage on page 5) – this was a big moment for Sydney & Australia. March In March meant a lot of things to a lot of people, so much that #marchinmarch was trending nationally on social for more than 2 days – a movement of national consciousness created by an army of people, mums, dads, students, kids, ratbags and scallywags, socialists, greens, normals, hipsters, awakened corporates, teachers, community elders, Irishmen, tweeters, instagrammers, facebookers, hashtagees and hashtaggers. We figure your news team would search social media TRENDS for new content ideas? You must have noticed the fuss? We dressed up, spoke about truths, communicated compassion and frustrations. We sang with Billy Bragg and shared stories of why we want changes in Abbott government policy. It was more than the talk of the town. It was the talk across the pubs, clubs, dinner tables, beaches, parks, Saturday morning kids cricket carnivals and garage sales Australia wide.

We understand that it is footy season so your pages are already well and truly reserved for the “Tahs” who no doubt appreciated your usual 2 page critique of their backline ball movement and scrummaging, and the mighty swans whose accuracy in front of the goals is always worth a solid 500 words, especially after a shock loss to the Giants! – and in future circumstances, we would never want to be the ones responsible for you having to have “the talk” with Fitzy. Leave that man be. Don’t get us wrong, we understand all of your commitments to space. Likewise we noted your extensive coverage of the Tasmanian and South Australian state elections which pointed out the daunting amount of work Labor has ahead of it if they are to challenge Abbott at the next election – but was there really no room for the March In March? At all? Nothing? Not even a dribble in the socials pages? Actually there was some disguised mention of Billy Brag performing in Central – but you needed a diploma in braille to uncover the code: Billy, a hugely famous political activist with decades of history was performing in Belmore Park, Sydney – on a Sunday afternoon for the March In March. Is it that you guys are hard markers, or is that your paper is going through a crisis due to the decline in readership as the internet and quality online news content platforms look to eat you alive, that you couldn’t afford to send a reporter out on a Sunday pay rate? If that’s the case – our condolences. It’s a sigh of relief to know that the Internet is creating transparency for the people of Sydney and Australia, and you will no doubt come to adjust to the changing world where people want a rounded display of content filled with substance and truth on a Monday morning. Maybe your team were on the bandwagon of cynicism like so many others, adding further to the plight of progress. Billy Bragg spoke of our greatest enemy being not the capitalist world we so often complain about, but the cynical world. A world where hope is cut down at the knees. It’s not hard to see where the cynicism develops when a world class newspaper such as the SMH fails to report on a movement of the people. Your silence astounds us, similar to the way Adam Goodes was astounded in a recent piece in the SMH when describing white Australia’s attitudes towards Indigenous Australian history.

If you could do us one favour, please ask your chief what sort of information you are looking to cover in 2014, because it seems we need pointers. A couple of tips for you, your team and any aspiring writer for that matter looking to cut through in this age of constant content; write articles that people want to read and report on what matters to the people of Sydney. The SMH do this better than most, more often that not. But on March 16 and 17 – we say not. Not only was this day important for the folk who marched, it was the faces and reactions of the observers and the greater community that was a spectacle and the real story of the day. Thousands paused their Sunday shopping, tinder dates, jogs, TAB bets & ‘Sundey Arvo Beers’ to watch the 20,000 plus crowd – these people suddenly realised that they might have been “missing the boat” on Abbott’s’ policies of late. Their eyes were transfixed on EVERY sign. It was beautiful to watch onlookers de-code the signs – and suddenly feel connected to the issues and to consider the power that humans can have on each other. Suddenly a compassionate, considerate and conscious world seemed so much more important to every individual. We the marchers educated them, leaving them to go home with new knowledge, sense of self-empowerment, a new interest in Australian government activity, and most importantly hope.

SMH, we write with the best of intention. We seek truth. Yesterday was a big day and you blatantly ignored it. Even the ABC gave us some airtime despite obvious pressures on them. Without trying to sound like bitterly disappointed children, we wish you all the best in your slow descent to the thin air of online content and the minds and memories of paper loving Sydney journeymen such as ourselves. We have sincerely appreciated our relationship with you over the last 20 years – the unforgettable experience of being able to walk out to the front door step of our Grandma’s house, unwrap you, feel your soft smooth texture and that fresh smell of ink of a morning. You offer so much. You’ve taught us a healthy portion of the things we know about the world, arts, culture, politics, sport, crosswords and life. Your pages will never be forgotten by us, but we’re putting you in the sin bin for a little while. Like Abbott, if you work with us, the people, we will work with you. We are all in this together. We want everyone on the field at all times working together, as after all we are all one. We’re sure that you don’t need Nostradamus to point out the way the new generation are already consuming media with online content certainly being the way forward – and we noted your inclusion of Jacqueline Maley’s little piece – so your URL has been added to our favourites, but if you are going to go to the efforts of printing to the streets, at least pay attention to the real news. We needed you yesterday. More than anything it would have been a great symbol of respect – honouring the hard work done by thousands of people whose hands and feet moved purely with the intention to compassionately care for their treasured country.

In case you wanted to see what you missed – here is a beautiful video from the Melbourne march: http://vimeo.com/89244643

Sincerely

Timothy Pembroke
Annandale

This article was first published on Tim’s own blog at timothypembroke.wordpress.com.

 62 total views,  6 views today

51 comments

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  1. trishcorry

    Next Journalist that is on QandA this question needs to be asked. Why such a blackout on this coverage?

  2. john921fraser

    <

    Sad state of affairs when the American citizen cannot get anyone to write an "Opinion" debasing the MIM.

    Even the moron currently occupying The Lodge was able to lie about it.

  3. DC

    If Media Watch or Q and A don’t mention the lack of media coverage for MiM next Monday night then as far as I’m concerned the ABC has lost all remaining credibility as an independent news org for the entire one term of the Abbot government. I hope I’m wrong about this

  4. DC

    *not the one term part

  5. Gina

    Reblogged this on In my own opinion.

  6. hi2lea

    Reblogged this on hi2lea and commented:
    What a wonderful letter to the SMH and shaming it for not writing an article about the March in March. I feel like writing a similar article to all of the news channels. This morning they gave 10 whole minutes to criticising Kevin Rudd for the pink batt scheme but had no mention of people marching against our government all over Australia over the weekend.

  7. Steve Laing

    Unfortunately I think you are right. Since the threats from Abbott and his henchmen, the ABC have been cowering in their boots. They have adopted the attitudes and shrill headlines of the Murdoch press, and seem reluctant to report on anything that might be considered, what is the new term, unAustralian. Where have all the real journalists gone?

  8. Bob from Doonside

    This is an old tactic of the mainstream press. Just ignore someone completely. Yes, COMPLETELY.
    The first time it really hit me was when Bob Hawke was leader of the ACTU. The name ‘Bob Hake’ was never used. Instead, any news referred to ‘the leader of the ACTU’ without a name.
    Even when Bob Hawke became the prime minister, the tactic continued. I remember a full page article in a broadsheet that referred to The prime minister, to The Hon R J L Hawke, and so on. His most commonly used name, Bob Hawke, was never used.
    It may have been about that time that many radio news articles would say some thing like
    ”Today the PM said ………., and here is the leader of the opposition, John Howard, to explain things.”

    And people talk about strange countries overseas that airbrush people from history. Look around you.

  9. lawrencewinder

    Melbourne march had a few press people film and still, but only one I saw had a “press” tag. A Helicopter flew over and hovered above State Parliament late in the march when the crowd in Bourke St. had effectively been dispersed by police halting sections of it for traffic reasons… I rather think this media “brown-out” will backfire on those trying to ignore the truth.

  10. Stephen Tardrew

    Makes you think we are getting at them doesn’t it. Are they scared that facts can win out. The only reason to prejudice the news is because someone is afraid of the truth. If we can pull it off again in a couple of months and attract even more people by expanding the dragnet then things may move in the right direction. Consistency and persistence count. To me it’s looking good. Lots of positive thinking.

  11. monkiegirl

    Totally agree with you there Bob. It was always “Julia” from the media not the Prime Minister.

    And why does a sandwich thrown by a child get more media coverage than a March involving 100,000 people? Do we need to start throwing our food at Abbott?

    Actually I think the only answer is somehow to make the Libs unpalatable to Murdoch. How this can be achieved however escapes me.

  12. cornlegend

    I don’t think the the obvious Media Ban on stories of the March in March is all that bad a thing really.
    All it does is prove conclusively to the more than 100,000 participants in the March and to whomever they talked to regarding the March, and those who were out site seeing and observed the various Marches that this MSM is biased,is not a trustworthy purveyor of information, and is on it’s last desperate feeble legs.
    Lets hope the next March, with 200,000 or more committed participants gets ignored too

  13. ShaunJ

    G’day All,

    In all sincerity MG, I don’t think we have to worry about making Merdeoch hate the libs, he’ll do that himself as soon as he sees the Truth of One Term Tony, after all he is only interested in himself. The real problem is stopping him getting his claws into who ever replaces the idiot, and engineering payback for his aims.

  14. Ross Ward

    I wonder what might happen if the product advertisers who support people like Murdoch were to receive a petition with 100,000 sig’s advising them that the signee’s ( is that a word? ) are boycotting their products owing to the biased publications and other outlets they have chosen to advertise with? I seem to recall that a similar action had quite a profound effect on Alan Jones advertisers.

  15. whatismore

    Something is definitely going on with the MSM. I was surprised and most disappointed that this story was not covered by local ABC on the news at 7pm or WA’s only daily rag The West Australian. There was, however, a great story in the Guardian that inspired me to think that with the help of the organisers we can keep the momentum going through the new media:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/17/march-in-march-protest-australia#comment-33174365

  16. bobrafto

    I may have mentioned this before, one has to look back at the 70’s for inspiration.

    Sure there were Marches but there was always sit-ins as well.

    Back in those days, uni students were very active politically, these days they seem to be dumb downed.

    As for the SMH there was a mention of the march on the online edition.

  17. DanDark

    I watched a video posted on youtube taken by an American woman
    of the Melbourne march
    With her running commentary for approx 55 mins,
    It was the most in depth media coverage I have seen
    on the marches, and she wasn’t even media

    She was astounded how the people kept coming,she read out a lot of the placards
    She even went to have a look at the commotion up the road,
    when the car drivers became cranky,and were beeping car horns,

    I applaud this young woman whoever she is,
    and thank her very much for taking more interest
    in the march, and our country than our own media,

    The silence from the media was deafening,
    and the ABC has lost credibility that’s for sure,
    It was quite scary that such a huge protest country wide was ignored,
    by the people we trust to keep us informed
    an unbiased media,
    We all need to be very worried at this failing by our MEDIA
    and have to question their motives for their silence….

  18. Douglas Evans

    Followers of this blog need to get a grip. In Melbourne the MiM received reasonable coverage from Fairfax the Murdoch press and the ABC. Unless the media coverage was radically different elsewhere (where after all the numbers who turned out were far smaller) the event has been fairly covered. Stop hyperventilating and start to think about what next. The march by itself will change nothing as was repeatedly emphasized by various participants in the Melbourne march.

  19. DanDark

    Douglas Evans I don’t usually reply to posts,
    but you need to get a grip off it,
    Because its affecting your thinking

    Well of course we the people know
    it takes more than 100000 people protesting on the streets
    to rid our country of a dictator and his henchmen,
    History tells us that repeatedly

    But Phony is on the back foot now, and if that is the first step
    to rid this fraud of a man,and I use the word “man” lightly,
    and his old white blokes club.
    It is a win,yes a WIN Doug
    for the people Doug.

    So please don’t state the bleeding obvious to us
    WE KNOW DOUG
    What it will take to get rid of Phony Tony and Co
    March in March was just the start…..

  20. scotchmistery

    One poster says we need to get a grip and I sort of agree, but we also need to understand that this corner of the political story is but one small group in a country of 23 million.

    Nothing will change about MSM as long as they have the upper hand.

    Not buying their products (newspapers, advertising etc), since we are too small a group to make it effective, however, a full on social networking assault on their advertisers may well impact Murdoch’s “rivers of gold”.

    If every one of use got a twitter feed going, against their advertisers, that may have a somewhat different outcome. Just pick an advertiser, and start ripping into them for advertising against democracy as we understand that term.

    Unfortunately it means going and looking at a copy of their drivel, identify your target and start pumping out twitter feeds using a #tag like #CorruptMurdochracy

  21. Pingback: A lie by omission? | :: 1043mabovethesea ::

  22. Geoffrey England

    Nice spray Douglas Evans. What do you do for an encore?

  23. Donga

    Sad when folk get so worked up because a newspaper doesn’t cover their demonstration. I didn’t vote LNP but they won the election and many people back some of their main policies – e.g. boat people. My grandfather was a boatie and we’re a multi-racial family who’ve lived around the world including Africa and Asia. Some of young lefties need to get a grip, see how the world really works. March in March was an event whinging about everything instead of sticking to the basics – equal opportunity, especially in the form of education and fairness for the disadvantaged. Unfortunately fairness for disadvantaged can’t be extended to everyone who wants to leave their “god forsaken” country. That would be tens of millions. And what a rant from Timothy – with more than a little hubris. Wake up guys, we have a new government that in the scheme of things is not that much different from the last and we will survive until we need another good dose of Labor. One day the Greens may grow up but not in my lifetime even though I like some of their policies.

  24. Heather

    If the news and media does not want to cover the real stories of Aussies, then I think Aussies who keep these business running should BOYCOTT them! do not buy the Sydney Morning Herald since they do not report the truth. 🙂 I say hit them where it hurts!

  25. whatismore

    scotchmistery, I agree would like to keep the momentum. Let’s see how we can urge and help the organisers if they are interested in doing this.

  26. bobrafto

    What the organizers need is a slogan(s), it worked for one term tony and it can work against him as well.

    Get the thinking cap on guys.

    STOP ABBOT”S GOONS is my contribution.

  27. DC

    Donga, even if we stick to what you call “the basics”…

    equal opportunity, especially in the form of education and fairness for the disadvantaged

    Even if we limit ourselves to these issues alone, how can you honestly say that …

    we have a new government that in the scheme of things is not that much different from the last

    Do you know that the Libs did promise that no school would receive less funding under the Coalition than under ALP? And then did a complete backflip AFTER the election? and how much of the NDIS will be left in tack after the Commision of Audit?

    And then there is all those other issues which I assume don’t count as “the basics” in your book like;

    Investing in a sustainable future with cheap locally produced renewable energy;

    Investing in fast reliable Internet infrastructure that won’t leave us behind SE Asia in the 21st Century;

    Protection for old growth forests (as plantation forests can meet all demand for timber and wood chipping);

    Not signing away Australia’s sovereign rights by agreeing to the ISDS section of the TPP.

    Note also that the backward direction the new Government have taken on the above issues were not openly taken “to the people” at the election but were the result of changes announced after the election. The only exception was with their insane FTTN policy which was announced well before the election but there was a lot of smoke and mirrors about cost blowouts and the like when we now know the Colition’s fraudband will take even longer to complete, cost more in the long run and ensure a decline in Australia’s international competitiveness by being obsolete by the time it is finished.

    One day the Greens may grow up

    Define “grown up” because I’ve seen our current PM talking to some year 9 students and he didn’t look very grown up to me. Nor when he defined an international conflict in terms of “goodies and badies” or death stared a reporter for 30 seconds in silence after being asked a question relating to his own public comment on the death of a soldier. Not to mention Tony’s “action man” photo op stunts. Yes very grown up indeed. At least the Greens (and to a much lesser extent the ALP) are grown up enough to accept what 97% of climate scientists are saying.

  28. Anomander

    Why wait 12 months for another march>

    We should be holding them monthly until the message penetrates their thick skulls!

    – Abhorrence in April
    – Malice in May
    – Justice in June…

  29. Donga

    Grown up, DC, means understanding the importance of industry, being competitive in world commerce, knowing how much you can spend, being hard when you have to, but mostly the importance of having people in work and responsible policies to attain that goal. Greens have a good heart and some good policies (education, health, drugs) but they let themselves down with their over zealous Green policies which stops them being a serious contender in most people’s eyes. Until they get their arms around the realities of renewables (love them but know they are decades away from being able to provide 75% of base load energy, pls research), damage of coal (environmental and thousands of deaths each month, pls research), and fear of nuclear they are still babes. Not sure you understand how many people detest the Greens, especially in Tasmania.

    As for renewable forests, they have a role in providing timber for sensible housing. The section of the “wilderness” being so vilified was previously “renewable forestry” and half had been logged. Returning the 74,000 hectares would represent less than 5% of the heritage site. Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep the world in exactly the same condition, as the population doubles every couple of generations. We have so many Nat Parks which I use more than 95% of the population and am very comfortable in providing some extra revenue and jobs for hard pushed Tasmanians, knowing that we still have the amongst the highest % of nat parks and reserves in the world.

  30. Dissenter

    @Cornlegend: So right. If they want to TRIVIALISE mainstream NEWS EVENTS it is best to REMEMBER that failure to report an EVENT is a FAILURE OF CREDIBILITY.
    The public EXPECTS that news IS REPORTED.
    IF news IS not REPORTED IT IS NOT THE NEWS THAT HAS failed IT IS THE NEWSPAPER.

  31. DC

    Donga you are hilarious. The Liberals understand the importance of industry do they? Tell that to the workers at Holden and Toyota. Let alone anyone in the tourism industry which is suffering more under Tony Abbott than they ever did from Pauline Hansen’s comments in the 90s.

    Being Competitive in a world of Commerce

    Well what role would education and fast internet play there do you think?

    knowing how much you can spend

    You know, when you promise to pay $75K to every child bearing mother who already earns $150K a year you can’t really claim to be knowing how much you are spending.

    they (renewable energy sources) are decades away from being able to provide 75% of base load energy

    If you think that humans who have been capable of space travel for more than half a century can’t figure out another way to generate base-load power other than coal or nuclear to heat water and make steam, then you are either lying or have been lied to.
    Refer to the following link; http://www.ies.unsw.edu.au/sites/all/files/LowEmissionFossilScenariosSubmitted.pdf
    I will be very surprised if you actually read it and understand its implications but good on you if you do and if it changes your mind then please share what you have learned with others. If you don’t have time to read the report at least watch the following video;

  32. Donga

    Hey DC – The paper relies on CSS to overcome the economic and technical realities of renewables to power the world in the next few decades. The leader in renewable energy Germany has the target of 60% energy derived from renewables by 2050. In the meantime, they are using more coal than they have since 1990 and opening more mines: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/

    Coal kills thousands of people every month.

    http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/coal_kills_4000_times_more_peo in 2011 just after Fukushima tsunami (which killed around 20,000 people and no-one yet from radiation) and is one of hundreds of articles backed up by research including WHO on coal deaths per annum. CSS may address emissions but fossil fuels will always kill more people. I took below excerpt from the article:

    “But while European newspapers splashed the news onto their front pages, other energy-crisis related news largely went unreported. Last year, for example, coal mining accidents killed 4,233 in China alone, while coal pollutants killed an estimated 13,200 Americans. And while you may remember a few of the 25 worst energy-related disasters of 2010, most went unnoticed by Western media and the public.

    When you actually do the math, coal kills somewhere on the order of 4,000 times more people per unit of energy produced than nuclear power. Or to put it another way, outdoor air pollution, caused principally by the combustion of fossil fuels, kills as many people every 29 hours as will eventually die due to radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, according to World Health Organization figures (Source: nuclear; air pollution).

    Yet since coal-related deaths have a much lower profile than nuclear disasters, and because they largely occur in the conveniently far-away obscurity of the developing world, they tend to be severely underreported by the mainstream media in the West.

    So while all eyes turned to Fukushima, the grinding, every-day death and illness caused by the air pollution, toxic contamination, and mercury poisoning leaching from the world’s coal plants and oil refineries and the tailpipes of roughly a billion cars and trucks continued unabated — and continued to go largely unmentioned.

    For some reason, as the formerly anti-nuclear environmentalist George Monbiot has argued, greens seem to care a great deal about scientific consensus when it’s about climate change, but when it comes to nuclear energy far too many are very willing to dismiss factual evidence and spread dishonest information. The reality we will have to deal with is that fossil fuels, and coal in particular, kill many times more people than nuclear.”

    Hope you got to the bottom of the extract.

    We have a chance to use 4th generation nuclear plants to do so much good, see general info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor and note: China, India, Russia, Britain, South Africa and many other countries are preceding down the path of more nuclear. Delighted Ontario will become the first fossil free province in the world on a mix of renewables, hydro and nuclear.

    Please look at what many former anti-nukes are now saying and the scientific data available.

    And try to play the ball not the man eh. World becomes a lot more ugly when folk have little respect for people with differing opinions. I’m on the same side of the fence on many things, but not everything – the world is not that simple that the Left is always right and Right is always wrong 🙂

  33. DC

    Completely agree about the largely ignored externalised cost of coal you wont find me defending the thermal coal industry. But the age of 100% renewable is already here. Nuclear may its limited place perhaps for a select few nations with little or no renewable energy potential but the whole world cannot go nuclear for one simple logistical reason. The amount of easily accessible uranium would be depleted in a decade. No doubt a short term boom in uranium mining for Australia but no long term solution for future generations.

    On the other hand a world devoted to renewable energy investment would most likely create its own mining boom for Australia (think of all the iron ore and alumina and countless other raw materials a global renewable industry would demand during its investment phase).

    I don’t subscribe to a simple left / right paradigm either. I just don’t see sense in ignoring this most pressing issue any longer. This has gone on far too long and we are all the poorer for it. The financial economy is nothing more than a representation of claims on the real economy and the real economy is in decline in terms of its most valuable assets (sustainable agricultural land and water supplies, sustainable marine ecosystems, stable predictable climate). It is only by our own arbitrary measure of price inflation (i.e. the CPI – a survey to summarise what a typical family living in Canberra decide to purchase over a year) that we kid ourselves into thinking we are “growing”.

  34. DC

    I have to point out Donga, that link I showed you before http://www.ies.unsw.edu.au/sites/all/files/LowEmissionFossilScenariosSubmitted.pdf

    You have misunderstood the research by saying they relied on CCS (carbon capture and storage) that is not their conclusion at all. Their conclusion is that it is very unlikely coal with carbon capture storage could compete economically with 100% renewable energy based on existing renewable technology and not at all dependent on any fossil fuels or nuclear power.

  35. Donga

    Thanks DC and you may not be aware of the developing technology of extracting uranium from seaweed, which will make nuclear renewable 🙂 Still a way to go and cost will be a factor, though the small amount of uranium required to power reactors is minor in the scheme of things. Here’s one link on the technology: http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/12/scaling-up-uranium-from-seawater.html and admit it has a way to go, but then so do existing renewables…

  36. DC

    Well it looks like we are agreeing on a lot more now. Interesting link. I agree that all options should be on the table and researched accordingly. As a famous Rhodes Scholar once said “no one is the suppository of all wisdom”. Thorium is another possibility that is not quite yet developed but one problem with waiting for such developments is the time they take for development.

    On the other hand, the mix of renewable energy in the link I showed you was based on existing commercially available technology (Concentrated Solar Thermal with Heat Storage, PV Solar, Wind Turbine and a limited contribution from Hydro and Bio) not just prototypes or concepts. Most of out aging power plants will be up for replacement over the next decade and a half and we need to decide what to tell our government to invest in and we need to make it VERY LOUD for them to be able to here us over all the shouting from Fossil Fuel Lobbies who want to lock us into coal dependence for decades to come.

  37. Donga

    To be honest DC can’t see the 100% AEMO model getting up though it is a wonderful beacon, and hence why I take down CCS. My concern is some governments, like Germany, earnestly work towards renewables but at the same time increase coal usage, which is just terrible. They have idle reactors and are building more coal fired stations! This critique of AMEO model is biased (they do support nuclear), however they are also renewables advocates: http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/07/16/new-critique-aemo-100pc-renew/.

    Abbott is my local member and I see him around at running events. He does volunteering on a number of levels, has a big interest in aboriginal affairs and cutting red tape. On the other hand he is religious, which always worries me and I have totally different values when it comes to education, health and libertarian issues. But Australia is a resilient society and the difference between the major parties is quite small compared to most democracies. We tend to vote out govts when they start performing poorly and while I had an immense respect for Gillard, can’t say the same for many in the corridors of power she had to deal with.

    Lastly, we’ll have to differ on the Greens, they’re a handy minor (especially when you look to the right) – just don’t think they are ready for the hurly burly and remind me of Australian Democrats which my father was instrumental in establishing as the Australia Party in the 60’s. At least they helped get Gough elected in ’72. Now I’m showing my age. Best wishes…

  38. rossleighbrisbane

    Donga, the Democrats were established by Don Chipp in a fit of pique when he was left out of the Fraser Ministry. They have nothing to do with the Australia Party which was set up by Gordon Barton to encompass Liberals opposed to the Vietnam war.

  39. rossleighbrisbane

    That’s from memory so any facts you have to contradict that will be gratefully received…

  40. Kaye Lee

    ross – from Wikipedia

    Subsequently, the party allied itself with the New Liberal Movement in the formation of the Australian Democrats for the 1977 federal election. Significant figures in the Australia Party were Senator Reg Turnbull (elected as an independent but Australia Party leader from 1969–1970), and journalist Alan Fitzgerald, then a member of the elected Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council.

    Australia Party members who later entered federal parliament as Australian Democrats senators included Colin Mason (NSW), John Siddons (Vic), Sid Spindler (Vic)[2] and Jean Jenkins (WA).

  41. Donga

    Gordon Barton, and Ken Thomas (TNT) placed a full page ad in SMH lamenting the Vietnam War when Lyndon B Johnson visited in 1966 (Askin – “run over the bastards”). My Dad contacted them and suggested they form a party – initially termed Liberal Reform Movement. Dad set up half a dozen branches of the fledgling party in Sydney, country and Brisbane. He was campaign director of the Australia Party for a few years, Gordon Barton (IPEC, Angus & Robertson) was the leader and the two business leaders provided the money. Australia Party preferences outweighed the DLP in the 1972 return to Labor government. When Don Chipp left the Liberals in 1977, he had no branch infrastructure – that came from the merger with the Australia Party. So many of the subsequent politicians of the Australian Democrats came from the Australia Party branch network.

  42. Josie

    Nope. Sorry, the SMH ran an online piece about the MIM with lots of photos and twitter comments from the day. I also saw several mentions of it on both ABC1 and ABC news 24. Just because you didn’t see it and can’t be bothered finding it doesn’t mean there’s some conspiracy going on.

  43. Chris Dent

    I became extremely emotional when reading Timothy’s brilliant article – thanks Tim – and also while watching footage of the wonderful Melbourne march. Talk about ‘Mad as Hell’ because of the lack of press coverage!!! SURELY Shaun Micallef will mention the marches on his show tonight. I fear for us all – there is little more intimidating than to be ignored and, as a result, to feel totally impotent. How dare they do this to us.

  44. lulu2617

    I am cancelling my sub to SMH right now.

  45. Nikole

    Donga and DC, I found your conversation/healthy debate, article and report links fascinating. DC the video you posted regarding Concentrated Solar Thermal with Heat Storage energy was enlightening! I will be posting that on fb. Donga, I did not know there was any such thing as renewable nuclear power! I think for the most part, people like me are just ill-informed and unaware of where to source updated and reliable information. Many are time poor. Take for example, I’m only 36 hours young on Twitter and WOW! My kids are getting less attention than ever before so the last 24 hours has been twitter-free. Really makes no difference, whilst I’ve been reading through your discussion my 3 year old has used black permanent marker as lipstick and he’s cutting his own fingernails!…My twitter name is ‘keatane’ for all those interested! – For most of this week I have been quite upset about the lack of media coverage and Abbott’s attitude towards the people. This meant a great deal to all that marched and my family and we should not have been so smugly disregarded by the PM and stereotyped by most MSM. I am now humbled by all those journos that have spoken honestly and openly for those voices who deserved to be heard. My families reasons for marching were mainly due to the effects of the Abbot Pt coal expansion and its effects on global climate and the GBR. After researching I am hopeful now that the dredging and dumping will be closely monitored by the GBRMPA, my concern was the expansion itself and the long term effects of CO2 and methane emissions – rising ocean temps, rising sea levels and the effects of acidification on molluscs/marine life. I believe they will be burning much of the coal once it’s exported (not that it makes it any better, we’ll all be affected whether they burn it here or India). I believe the GBR will be and has been affected directly already. I think by the time they identify the full extent of acidification, too much damage would have been done and reversing it’s affects would be inconceivable. I do not support the thermal coal industry at all but if they mined necessary raw materials such as iron ore, alumuna etc.. at the investment stage to support an effective long term renewable energy source then that would obviously need to be done. As for the 74,000 hectares of forest for logging purpose – ah, again…climate change is my concern here, 5% may not seem alot but in the scope of global deforestation and mining/industrialisation, I’m all for protecting our forests and it’s biodiversity. As you can see, I’m clearly not an academic or scholar, I’m just a mother who wants a safe, clean future for my children and all children. Thanks again Donga and DC, I call this incidental education!!!

  46. Donga

    Thanks Nicole – You don’t have to be an academic to be inquisitive and use the computer to check things out objectively from time to time (I always worry when I see the fear monger headlines). And you clearly are inquisitive and willing to look around, which is great. Easier for me as I’m retired 🙂

    We will never agree on everything, but the hallmark of a progressive society is to be able to accommodate different opinions and most of all cherish the ballot box whatever the outcome. So sad to see societies crumbling as they can’t maintain these basics. Thanks again for your acknowledgement.

  47. Donga

    Thanks Nikole 🙂 I wonder if you have Russian background like me…

  48. DC

    Cheers Nicole. Good on you for sharing that link on FB, so many people are only a few minutes research away from enlightening their out-dated attitude to the potential of renewable energy. The efficiency of renewable energy increases every year while the long run price of oil and gas is set to rise due to simple demand and supply. There might be plenty of coal still in the ground but the mining and transportation of coal is still very dependent on oil which is less abundant. In any case we need to keep a good proportion of that remaining coal in the ground to avoid even faster and more extreme climatic disruption.

    Renewable energy and electric transport is thus absolutely necessary if we are to keep oil any where near as cheap as it is now for the next few decades. Keeping oil prices low by using less of it for transport will keep it affordable for the many other uses we have for oil like petrochemical fertilizers and countless other uses. We need to ration what is left if we want it to stay cheap.

    Often I find that if you point out what is wrong with continuing our current rates of coal and oil, many people expect you to be some sort of martyr who goes without electricity, lest you be called a hypocrite. For this reason I always try to focus on the fact that renewable energy can already provide base load power because it can.

    A good source of info is Bloomberg New Energy Finance; http://about.bnef.com/

    Globally progress is slow but speeding up. Last month California opened a 24 hour solar thermal plant large enough to power 140,000 homes;
    http://www.engadget.com/2014/02/13/biggest-ever-solar-thermal-power-plant-goes-online-in-california/?a_dgi=gravity

  49. bobrafto

    Thousands have gathered for ‘march in march’ events, protesting against the Federal Government.

    • Crowds in Treasury Gardens, Melbourne, d…
    • Protestors take aim at Abbott government
    THE most astonishing thing about the weekend’s March in March rallies was not the vicious hatred it promoted against Prime Minister Tony Abbott. No, the Left is the new home of the political feral, so who was surprised to see marchers carrying a banner declaring “F— Tony. F— Democracy”?
    Who was surprised to also see at these marches around Australia scores of protesters in T-shirts declaring “F— Tony Abbott’’?
    BLOG WITH ANDREW BOLT
    True, there is a new level of savagery in the Left, now drinking at the Twitter sewer, with signs also shouting “Kill Abbott”, “Kill the Politicians”, “I vote for retroaction abortion of Tony”, “Resign d–khead” and “You racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic fascist”, next to a picture of Abbott as Hitler.
    In fact, Newcastle Trades Hall Council secretary Gary Kennedy, in a speech at his city’s March in March, declared mining boss Gina Rinehart was a “filthy animal” and Qantas chief Alan Joyce “should be shot somewhere in the back of the head” — a line that got applause.
    But what was even more astonishing — and frightening — was the hypocrisy. Put it this way: if a Liberal official called ACTU president Ged Kearney a “filthy animal” and suggested we put a bullet “in the back of the head” of her colleague, Dave Oliver, the ACTU secretary, would we hear the end of it? Imagine the uproar over a “Kill Gillard” sign.
    Actually, we don’t need to talk hypotheticals. Remember the hysteria from Labor, the ABC and Fairfax newspapers over a “ditch the witch” sign at a rally against Julia Gillard? Where are those critics now, when we’re hearing not just insults but truly vicious and threatening language?
    Kennedy’s talk of shooting Joyce was ignored by the ABC and every Fairfax newspaper bar the Newcastle Herald, which merely noted it was “perhaps surprising”.
    The ABC published 43 of the rallies’ signs in one story, but omitted all savage or threatening ones that might discredit the protest.
    The Sydney Morning Herald’s deputy editor, marching in Sydney and tweeting support for refugees, did note in one tweet a “Kill the Politicians” banner, but fellow Herald writer Benjamin Law responded: “Gold!!!”
    This is what is truly astonishing: many journalists do not even register the viciousness before them, nor protest against brutality from the Left that they (and I) would denounce from the Right.
    When we’re no longer appalled by barbarity, we’re in deeper trouble than we even know.
    Comments

    A.R 6 hours ago
    The coaltiton must find out who organised this rally. The unacceptable behaviour and seriously out of place comments should not be permitted. The coalition is doing a good job and now has a few things it must act on. it must prevent this type of feral mob behaviour and it must make labor and The Greens more accountable for its comments and must act to restore unbiased reporting in the press especially the ABC. Andrew is doing a good job but not enough others are speaking out. The media such as this site should not be posting some of the extreme idiot views expressed here.

    The above comment stopped me in my tracks. LOL

  50. Pingback: The Ineffectual Transmogrification of the Public’s Beer | BCM310

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