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The systematic silencing of the people’s advocates

Politicians spend a lot of their time listening to lobbyists with vested interests.

The general population also have some representatives who try valiantly to make their collective voice heard but they are being undermined, ignored, silenced, and attacked from every direction.

Legal aid centres, NGOs and NFPs have had their funding cut with threats of further cuts if they engage in advocacy. Charities face similar threats to funding (those that still get any) and to their charitable status.

Lawyers who work pro bono for refugees are labelled “unAustralian” by the man some suggest as a future leader for the Liberal Party, the man who wants sole power to determine people’s fate with no recourse to legal appeal. Human rights advocates like Gillian Triggs and Yassmin Abdel-Magied are personally attacked and mercilessly hounded.

Apparently, it’s very Australian to subject traumatised people to indefinite incarceration, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, medical neglect, and then pass the buck, abandoning them entirely and cutting off food, water, sanitation and security.

Environmentalists are accused of lawfare when they use the courts for legitimate challenge and accused of being ecoterrorists if they take peaceful direct action. People spit words like socialists and greenies to dismiss their concerns – for some reason those are bad words just like feminist.

Unions, the only group strong enough to organise workers and to negotiate on their behalf, have been undermined and demonised and under ferocious attack. Strikes have become basically illegal. Those who withhold their labour suffer severe financial penalty and possible criminal charges. Because of comparatively minor wrongdoing by a handful of people, unions find themselves the most highly regulated organisations in Australia.

Politicians and big business are, of course, another story.

Climate scientists are routinely accused of lying to gain government funding by people being funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Adani, on the other hand, will help save the world if we will just give them lots of money to dig up coal that belongs to us, and don’t you worry about royalties any time soon. And they promise not to use foreign workers for their driverless trucks and trains and port loading machinery – well not many anyway, unless they are Chinese? Don’t be concerned about emissions because the coal will be burnt elsewhere. Not that that will help with our power prices but oh well.

Teachers try to make their voices heard in curriculum development and education policy but their thousands of submissions and years of frontline experience are no match for some woman from a conservative think tank who just so happens to have a phonics program to sell. Or for old white bureaucrats who want to bring back corporal punishment, who think Australian history started in 1788, and who blame teachers for student disadvantage.

We can’t regulate the gambling industry despite what any coroner tells us about suicide statistics, what domestic violence support groups and victims tell us, what health professionals tell us about associated depression and anxiety, what we know about lost productivity, what intelligence agencies tell us about organised crime and money laundering.

Drug addicts are dealt with by the legal system rather than the health system – unless their addiction is to “legal” drugs that provide a lot of government revenue like tobacco and alcohol. And it doesn’t matter how many experts or how many statistics show that education, prevention, support and rehabilitation are far more cost effective, “cracking down on crime” sells better.

We proudly announce, every year, an increase in defence spending over and above the budgeted amount and, beyond that, can easily find an extra $20 billion a year for the next two decades to spend on weapons of war.

We can easily find hundreds of millions to try to stop or delay marriage equality.

But we can’t regulate staff to resident ratios in nursing homes. We can’t afford more rehabilitation beds. Or refuges and emergency housing. We can’t fund universities and TAFEs. We can’t pay early childhood teachers a liveable wage.

We pay lip service to Aboriginal recognition and spend lots of money on talkfests and advisory groups but have absolutely no intention of actually listening to what our Indigenous brothers and sisters want and need.

It seems an insurmountable task but there are very dedicated people who keep plugging away regardless. It is up to the rest of us to support the experts by informing ourselves, spreading the word, and applying pressure on our politicians to remember who they are supposed to be representing.


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  1. helvityni

    We talk a lot about Australian values, and I have numerous times asked: what are they and how do differ from good values of any other country… No replies.

    Oz has as many good ordinary people as any other country I have lived in; maybe even more, but what possess us to elect people like Dutton into power, and put the most inhumane Minister in charge of asylum seekers…

    We must not ask about the possibility of dual citizenship of Frydenberg , yet at the same time we deem 600 men on Manus stateless…

  2. Kaye Lee

    Yassmin has had a big spray at the government over their treatment of the men on Manus.

    She questioned where the Australian values of “integrity, mateship, courage” were with regard to the detainees.

    “We CANNOT in good conscious say that we are living up to these ‘Australian values’ (sic).

    She will no doubt be attacked again for speaking up.

  3. Garry Bickley

    Thanks for the link Kaye. Appreciated.

  4. Abu Seme Alakat

    I will defend Yassmin’s right to free speech as I defend that of Pauline Hanson. Free to speak, free to be criticise, free to criticise the critics.

    Townsvilleblog seems to have gone to ground after making some “interesting” comments on immigration/racism last week:

    The ‘state’ of racism

  5. James Cook

    Thanks Kaye. I keep using your ideas, and those of John Lord et al, to support my feelings on the state of Australian politics when talking to friends. And I continually refer them to AIMN and similar websites. I can only hope, by “borrowing” your thoughts I may convince others to see the light.

  6. ozibody

    Thank you Kaye Lee for your ( as usual) interesting insights..

    May I suggest a little simplicity be introduced ? Produce Birth Certificates ! … just for openers, everyone’s B. C. details Parental derivation / country of birth ! … Section 44 is simple …. until a smart lawyer enters distortion mode !

    The Birth Cert. will eliminate the bulk of Parliamentarians, and the remainder can be scrutinised more closely where required.

    I’m a first generation Australian ( born in the early 1930’s ) of English decent, ( clearly recorded in my B.C.) and have been aware of my dual citizenship since late teenage … rocket science ? !

  7. Michael Taylor

    All those who endeavour to do good for Australians (and non-Australians) are considered “enemies” by our government.

    What a pathetic set of mongrels Turnbull has assembled.

  8. diannaart

    Telling it like it is, Kaye Lee – an action that is, no doubt, considered subversive by the usual far-right collection of numb-nuts.

  9. John Livesley

    It should be very simple. The current constitution disenfrancises every person of recent overseas origins. It is therefore racist and must be eventually changed. An immediate solution could be done by legislating that Australia does not recognise dual citizenship. It is quite farcical that another country can disqualify a person the right to sit in Australias parliament. The High Court acted against the interests of the country in their interpretation of the constitution and the ruling smacks of political interference.

  10. Presser#1

    Every word the truth, Kaye Lee. The distance between what we are and what we could have been makes me weep for my kids and grandchildren.

  11. Keith

    The notion of a fair go is going down the drain.
    Where deregulation has progressed into private Employment Agencies and private post secondary Education Centres the costs have increased and services have gone down the drain, not a fair go.

    In a way there is deregulation operating in relation to citizenship of politicians; they need to own up to whether they have an affiliation with another country. As with deregulation generally, it hasn’t worked.

    One positive for the LNP is that the citizenship of politicians provides a smoke screen for the leadership woes and poor performance of the LNP.

  12. Vikingduk

    The universe between what we are and what we could have been would make a brown dog weep. Whilst we wallow in a sea of deceit and denial, warm and cosy, chilled and cool, the climate changes, nature screams to wake us from our brain dead slumbers.

    Change is here, ready to rip this bullshit construct apart. The incompetence and buffoonery, the outright treachery of the ruling classes, lying and deceiving, obese with greed and hate, your time must end.

    Life demands it, our children demand it, the future demands it.

    Love demands it.

  13. Phil

    Very useful summary Kaye of how this toxic government is shutting down civil society – imprisoning ordinary people in a world of virtual razor wire. The conservatives are doing to Australian civics is essentially taking the same path that they have taken toward asylum seekers and refugees – othering. I have no doubt that the vile and sadistic Peter Dutton intends to make life as miserable and toxic for millions of those Australians he deems enemies of his ideology. He gets his rocks off on cruelty and punishment – in fact he has all the characteristics of a pathological sadist.

    There is no redeeming this government – it has to be totally wiped out before conservative sadist P Dutton gets any closer to his wet dream of becoming PM.

    The link is classic Murdoch writing. You can feel the writers contempt for Jasmin in the way it is written,and the incredibly brave and skilled Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani is simply described as a refugee.

  14. Shogan

    John Livesley – “It should be very simple.”

    It is John, there is nothing wrong with the constitution as anyone can stand for parliament as long as they are an Australian citizen and have denounced any other citizenship they may have been entitled to either from birth or by ancestry.

    What’s so hard about that?

  15. Maureen Butterworth

    Kaye Lee as usual your article is brilliant, but my challenge to you is to start examining Modern Monetary Theory. In my opinion this is how the LNP have been able to find 200 billion for Defence Materiel and for the fact that they have blown the deficit into oblivion because they know that as a fiat currency Australia can virtually create the money out of thin air, while they can continue their false ideological campaign against the poor, the sick and disabled and the Aged, etc. It would be great if journos like yourself, Rossleigh, John B. Kelly could take this on board as it would blow the age old idea that our taxes are actually paying for services out the window. Professor Bill Mitchell is one who is a proponent of this idea.

  16. Kaye Lee


    I have read at length about MMT and agree in principle but I always have questions that remain unanswered eg what is the effect on the exchange rate if we just inject a large amount of money into the economy even if we do spend it wisely on unused productive capacity – good for the domestic economy but what implications for imports/exports/tourism etc?

    The discussion always gets caught up in what, to me, are semantics. eg MMTers say taxes are destroyed whereas I contend they are credited to an account. I would agree that it takes money out of circulation but saying it gets destroyed makes me baulk. In my mind, that ignores the redistributive purpose of progressive taxation. I am uncomfortable with the idea that the purpose of taxation is to create demand for our currency when conversions can be done by the press of a button.

    I also get uncomfortable when they say this is how we operate now because it is certainly not how the RBA views it. I get uncomfortable when they say the RBA and the government are the same thing. I get uncomfortable when they say the RBA will never default on a payment without acknowledging that we issue bonds equivalent to any deficit spending. I agree we could do it another way but that’s not what MMters say – they say we are doing it now and the only reason to issue bonds is to control the overnight cash rate. That makes no sense to me – that could be achieved by the RBA offering interest on overnight deposits.

    They seem to dismiss accounting as an irrelevant triviality which offends my anal maths gene. I tentatively accept that we could just credit an account at the RBA (though that may require some legislative changes) but not that we just spend money into existence with no record other than what we have spent. The way I would phrase it is that our spending is not constrained by our taxation revenue.

    I am so close to agreeing but never quite get there. I am told that my questions have been answered but they never are, at least not to my satisfaction. Maybe I am missing something but I still hesitate.

  17. stephengb2014

    Kaye Lee
    If you really do want to find the answers to your questions about MMT, then you should research Professor Mitchells bogg ( billyblog).

    Your list of questions to Maureen are good questions which I believe Bill Mitchell would be happy to put in writing for you so that you can varify his explanation.

    Professor Mitchell is one of Australias leading proponents of MMT and how accounts work.
    He is very clear in his writings in whch he uses mostly lawmans terms.

    Oh and Bill Mitchell is very big on accounting.

    S G B

  18. Kaye Lee

    I have been reading bill’s blog for years. I find him very long-winded and not easy to understand. And no. he isn’t big on accounting except for his equation about sectoral balance.

  19. stephengb2014


    I admire your considerable research skill and your reasoning. I truely do think you should satisfy yourself over your thoughts about MMT, it makes a huge difference, m0ney is at the centre of government action inaction etc – its all about the money.

    Also Professor Steven Hail (Adelaide University) does a very good presentation which may provide some answers for you.

    Regards again

    S G B

  20. Kaye Lee

    I’ve watched the Stephen Hall video too. My questions come from having read and watched and listened to everything that everyone has suggested over a period of several years and further research of my own. I truly have tried for years to clear up my queries. They shouldn’t be hard questions to answer and many people have really tried to help me but I remain unconvinced. That is not to say I won’t have a lightbulb moment so I persevere but I still have unresolved issues.

  21. Vikingduk

    Climate change won’t give a rats arse for MMT or any other theory. All this monetary theory is superfluous, another way to destract, occupy minds that maybe aren’t seeing the reality of a planet that has had enough of our destructive behaviour, wether we use MMT or not. For f*ck sake.

  22. helvityni

    Who will stand up for those 600 men on Manus?

  23. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    You are wise to be skeptical of MMT. I only wish that you would expand your skepticism to include those areas where we disagree.

    If we really want to bring down the system, all that is needed is to stop borrowing fiat created currency from the banks.

    Just to digress a little, volunteers are proof positive to me that governments are failing in their communal responsibilities and obligations. More volunteer peoples’ advocates will be more proof of yet more failure.

    From my saved links and containing the word “fiat”:

    “Misinformation that Free Trade will reduce this hemorrhage is a total hoax. This pattern of policy has been developed over decades and designed to intensify the dependency society.
    Keeping the globalist game going rests upon fiat created money and central banking tyranny.”
    “Only the crony internationalists of the political policy class get the green light to cache their government subsidies and continue their rape and pillage of the true economy.”

    “The problem is (I’ll explain) it is exactly that. e.g., Many forget “con” stands for confidence in con-game. And now that the $Dollar along with just about every other currency is all fiat based: confidence is the only variable that supports it in a fiat system. Period. And once it’s lost just as with any “con” – it ends with blinding speed and consequences.”

    “In essence, Nixon’s decision ended gold redemption and placed the U.S. and the rest of the world on a purely fiat paper standard for the first time in recorded time. By doing so, the U.S., in effect, became a deadbeat nation which no longer honored its obligations and was set on the road to its current banana republic status.”
    “Despite what is taught in social science courses, a true gold standard is a greater protector of individuals’ economic well being and, ultimately, their political liberty than any legislation or “rights” document ever penned. Hard money limits state power!”

    “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy:” President Nixon’s Decision to Abandon the Gold Standard

    “An object widely considered as worthless would never become money in a free market.
    However, today, we all use irredeemable paper money. How did essentially worthless objects come to be widely accepted as money?”
    “Rome’s monetary history shows, governments have engaged in theft from the citizenry via monetary debasement from the very dawn of Western civilization.”
    “If the government had to actually raise taxes instead of borrowing the staggering sums of money it uses to keep its welfare/warfare programs running and keeping the vote buying mechanism well oiled, it would have to raise taxes by so much that it would face a rebellion. Instead government resorts to inflation. From the government’s perspective, money supply inflation is nothing but a cleverly disguised hidden tax.”
    “Few people stop to consider that this policy means ruin in the long run. Over time, the middle and lower classes will see their real incomes and living standards shrink ever more, while the true beneficiaries of inflation – those who get first dibs on newly created fiat money – amass more and more wealth in a kind of reverse redistribution from later receivers.”
    “Government mandated fiat currency simply does not work in the long run. We have empirical evidence galore – every fiat currency system in history has failed, except the current one, which has not failed yet.”

    “The nation state is the traditional home of the fiat currency, and indeed gives those currencies their primary raison d’etre – the compulsory requirement to pay your taxes in them.”

    The Future Monetary Ecosystem

    “Modern money, not backed by gold or other tangible assets, is particularly vulnerable to any loss of trust. The value of fiat money depends entirely on the “full faith and credit” of its sponsoring government. If that faith and creditworthiness are ever called into serious question, the ensuing panic can literally destroy the value of the currency. It’s happened very often in the past, and can certainly happen again.”

    #105: Anticipating the next crash

    “The world is full of so-called economists who in turn are full of schemes for getting something for nothing.” — Henry Hazlitt

  24. Rhonda

    Keep plugging away Kaye Lee. And thank you

  25. Kaye Lee

    I don’t want to “bring down the system” and I certainly don’t want to have yet another discussion about fiat currencies failing.

    What I would like is for the government to remember what their job is. They should be protecting us from the rapacious greed of corporations, not facilitating it. They should be protecting the vulnerable, not blaming them. They should be incorporating sustainability into every policy, not this short-term rush to make hay while the sun shines. They should be fostering our profitable assets, not selling them off for a quick sugar hit. They should maintain control of vital utilities, transport and communications infrastructure, not give them to foreign governments and companies. They should be taking responsibility in global affairs, not passing our problems onto others.

    How we pay for things should not be the start of a discussion. Decide what we need first and then work out how to do it. But our politicians are too busy playing politics to actually prioritise and solve problems.

  26. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    It’s the current system or the environment. Take your pick. Choose the system or do nothing and we will lose both.

    Do you really think that politicians who, have created our problems are going to solve them? I don’t. Events are playing out just like I and others have been saying they will and they will continue to. Loss of services like that which is the topic of this article and the silencing of dissent are just part of the course. I expect to see many more articles in addition to the many already written that are similar to yours and very few will have any idea of the underlying cause: Unrestrained growth.

    What we really need we ain’t gonna get. A cheap and abundant source of energy which, it has always been about and always will be. Fiat currencies are not and never will be a substitute. The current global state of affairs should be ample evidence of that. All currencies in use today, as far as I am aware, are fiat.

    Like I keep saying, it’s all related. Environment, economy and politics and all are in decline. Which will fail first? My hope is the economy. The other two will then at least have some chance of rescue or salvage.

    “I certainly don’t want to have yet another discussion about fiat currencies failing.”
    The global debt bubble is going to pop, sooner probably rather than later. If you are not ready, you will be in a very serious predicament. Predicaments do not have solutions, they have outcomes.

    “There is no point in saving the planet if we ruin the economy doing it.” — former NSW Premier Morris Iemma


  27. Kaye Lee

    “What we really need we ain’t gonna get. A cheap and abundant source of energy ”

    I completely disagree with this assertion. Sun, wind, waves, tides, geothermal….it’s all there.

    I know you love the idea of anarchy. I do not. Your constant doom and gloom is utterly pointless. You offer no practical solutions. You are just empty repetitive noise.

  28. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    Keep on asking those questions – they provide valuable insight into and help to coalesce my vague thoughts and misgivings about MMT into something more tangible. Like you I have read Mitchell and his cohorts and found part of their ideas very good, but much that is not fully thought through – particularly a system of regulation to protect us all from corruption. MMT is no more safer from corruption that our current system.

    Also, I agree about taxes – they are not destroyed – anyone with a basic knowledge of the bookkeepers balance sheet knows what is needed to keep track of a monetary system. Taxes can be recirculated and, therefore, reinvested into the community.

    Your questions and insight are very appreciated.

  29. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    “I completely disagree with this assertion. Sun, wind, waves, tides, geothermal….it’s all there.”
    Always has been, always will be. So what? They will never power our modern industrial civilization.

    1: Forget economics. It is “fatally” flawed. It has polluted the planet, poisoned us all, does not factor physics nor the environment and is what has got us into this mess in the first place.
    2: Implement national and encourage international population reduction strategies otherwise, one way or another, nature will drag us back to sustainable levels and it won’t be pretty.
    3: Properly manage our finite resources which, are currently being pillaged and wasted.
    4: Reduce consumption using rations and quotas and not with unfair taxation. We can not shop our way to sustainability and we can not borrow our way to prosperity.
    5: Plant lots and lots of trees. Massive scale reforestation will help the climate, rainfall and be a valuable renewable resource for future generations.
    6: Restore the liberties and freedoms stolen from us by corporate serving politicians.

    Politicians and most others are not prepared to accept any of these ideas nor any other that properly addresses our situation so, doom and gloom it is and you, by ignoring or disbelieving fundamentals, are playing your part in bringing it about. Thanks.

    My message has been consistent. We need to convince society to change the way our economy operates or it will kill us. The signs are ‘all there’ for those brave enough to look.

    I do not mean to offend you but, even with all of the information that I have provided, you still do not get it. Why is that? What is it that makes you think that renewable energy can facilitate our unsustainable energy hungry lifestyles? Surely not because politicians who, we have been complaining about say so. I hope not. Is it?
    Don’t bother answering. We are off topic again and I am sure we will soon clash over this again on a more appropriate page. I can debate this subject all day but, will wait and perhaps pick it up again another time. Only if you are willing of course. Considering your last comment, I am not sure that you will be.

  30. Kaye Lee

    Economics evolved from the study of how to most efficiently allocate and use finite resources. I am not sure how one “manages our finite resources” whilst “forgetting” economics since that is, by definition, exactly what it means.

    You say implement population reduction (ad nauseum) whilst never coming up with a practical suggestion on how to do that. You also continually ignore all the statistics that show that educating and empowering women and lifting them out of poverty naturally leads to a reduction in population growth, Look at the fertility rates in the following link. Only poor countries are breeding at above replacement rate.

    I agree we need to reduce consumption and I fervently disagree that this should be done through rations and quotas unless you are particularly keen on black markets and extortion. Once again, education is important. Make it easy and worthwhile to reuse and recycle. Cut down on packaging, Make manufacturers resposnsible for the life-cycle of their product.

    I agree about planting more trees but stopping cutting them down would be easier and quicker.

    And you might have to be a tad more specific about liberties and freedoms. What exactly do you mean? I don’t want everyone to be free to carry a gun for example.

    You think you provide information. I have yet to see anything even vaguely amounting to an action plan. Just empty noise.

    “What is it that makes you think that renewable energy can facilitate our unsustainable energy hungry lifestyles?”

    Oh I dunno…..perhaps the endless research?

    For one example….

    Stanford professor Mark Jacobson outlined a plan to power 139 nations of the world for all purposes—including electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, industry and agriculture/forestry/fishing—using a mix of approximately 37 percent wind, 58 percent solar, 4 percent hydropower, and 1 percent geothermal, wave and tidal power. He argued that his plan would:

    Replace 80 percent of business-as-usual power by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050.
    Reduce power consumption by 42.5 percent because of electricity’s better work:energy ratio, efficiency and lack of mining needed.
    Create 24.3 million more jobs than lost.
    Eliminate 3.5 million premature air pollution deaths per year and save $23 trillion (7.6 percent of GDP) in air pollution health costs per year by 2050 (for comparison: the World Bank estimated in 2016 that air pollution in 2013 killed 5.5 million people, with non-health care costs of more than $5 trillion).
    Save $28.5 trillion per year in avoided climate change costs by potentially keeping global warming below 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.
    Reduce war by creating energy-independent countries.
    Decentralize energy production, thereby reducing power outages, terrorism threats to energy installations and energy poverty.

  31. Sean Crawley

    Keep up the great work, Kaye.

  32. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    The bottom line is, with all that is facing us, the best that our ‘brightest’ can come up with is ‘renewable energy’, a delusion and ‘fiat currencies’, a fantasy so, we, including other bright sparks in here, had better come up with something else then and soon. The current system can not continue in anything like its current form. At least we both agree on that.

    Your solutions won’t work and you say mine won’t so, what other options are there?

    Note that I am the only one calling for job destruction, economic contraction and population reduction. Not many are prepared to participate in anything like this let alone contemplate these nor any other drastic measure that must be taken. Doing nothing which, is what we are in effect doing, will be a solution in itself resulting in exactly the things I just mentioned but, in an unforgiving and brutal way.

    I would elaborate more on the suggestions I posted but, each is worthy of a discussion in its own right and you might be surprised to hear me say that, after contemplating each for a long time now, once one delves down into the complexities of each, one alone can not come up with all the answers. I will though, elaborate if that is what you want. Like I keep saying, its all related and we could end anywhere.
    In regards to stopping the loss of liberties, not voting Labor would be number one.

    Endless research eh? A search through my saved links for jacobson produced this:

    Big Fight: 21 top scientists show why Jacobson and Delucchi’s renewable scheme is a delusional fantasy
    “To store just one day of U.S. electricity generation (and at least 6 to 8 weeks would be needed to cope with the seasonal nature of wind and solar), you would need a 923 square mile, 450 million ton, $40.77 trillion dollar NaS battery that needs replacement every 15 years”
    “The Achilles heel of civilization is our dependency on trucks that run on diesel”
    “But the average person believes in infinite human ingenuity that can overcome the laws of physics and doesn’t worry…”
    “since energy is the basis of growth, not money, it is questionable if our credit/debit system can survive, since once peak oil is acknowledged, creditors will know they can’t be repaid.”

    21 scientists explain why Jacobson’s renewable schemes are a delusional fantasy

    I really did not mean to derail your article which, wasn’t bad by the way. My apologies.

    “The short-term solution to our problems is the long-term cause of our problems: economic growth
    The long-term solution to our problems is the short-term cause of our problems: reduced consumption” — Rob Mielcarski (

  33. Kaye Lee

    Oh for heavens sake H. You REALLY need to stop wasting my time with sources like energyskeptic. You seem to have no filter about what is a credible source. I have pleaded with you to provide actual evidence rather than what some blogger says. You fail to do so every time.

    That last one is oh so typical of your confirmation bias. They say:

    “We’re running out of time. Conventional oil peaked in 2005. That’s where 90% of our oil comes from at a Niagra Falls rate. Tar sands and other non-conventional oil simply can’t be produced at such a high rate. So it doesn’t matter how much there is, Niagra Falls will slow to a trickle, far less than what we use today. And since energy is the basis of growth, not money, it is questionable if our credit/debit system can survive, since once peak oil is acknowledged, creditors will know they can’t be repaid.

    Also, oil is the master resource that makes all other resources available. We don’t have enough time to replace billions of diesel engines with something else. There is nothing else. And 12 years after peak the public is still buying gas guzzlers.”

    This is just someone who thinks like you. Show me some proof of any of that. On second thoughts…don’t bother. You don’t understand the diff. I don’t see the J&D paper as the definitive answer but it opens discussions about what could be done instead of shutting up shop saying nothing can be done unless we execute lots of people or refrain from sex for a decade or have mass sterilisations or all buy a horse.

    Write your own article where you “expand” on your points and let others show you what real evidence looks like….if you are game.

  34. Harquebus

    I know that I said that I would not complain about deleting my comments and I am not now but, what was wrong with the last? Just so I know and do not repeat the same mistake. Note that Kaye Lee’s criticisms of me are far more aggressive than mine were to her.
    Could you not have edited out or altered that which you found inappropriate? Not that anything was. More likely it was that you just did not like a dissenting opinion, especially coming from me.
    Very disappointing. It goes against everything that theAIMN has said about welcoming and accommodating contrary opinions.

    Kaye Lee
    I did respond to your last. It appears that I also am just wasting my time. It is one thing to refuse to learn, it is another for theAIMN to deny you the opportunity. For what it is worth and part of what I stated was, Alice Freidemann is credible and respected. References and corroborating papers are cited at the bottom of the link that I provided and support my opinion of her.

  35. Michael Taylor

    Harquebus, I don’t have time to edit your comments … sooooo … here’s a better idea: stop writing the continued rubbish like “it’s because of people like you we’ll all be roooned”. The comments are fine without the need for that.

    Now here’s another tip: we’re sick of that.

  36. Kronomex

    Harquebus, go and start your own blog then you can bang on and on and, ad nauseam, about what you keep annoying people with here. I also agree with Kaye, stop using energyskeptic as the be all and end all, it isn’t, not by by a long shot.

    Oh yes, the other benefit of having your own blog is that you can delete posts that don’t agree with your rather narrow outlook.

  37. Harquebus

    And do what theAIMN does, preach to the converted. It is in fora like this where minds and opinions need to be changed if, we are to properly address the root causes of our predicament.
    No one likes to hear that they are to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. One person that can not be blamed is me.

    Michael Taylor
    What I recall saying was something like, attitudes like Kaye Lee’s prevail and is why measures that need to be taken will not be. Me thinks that you are misinterpreting me again but, I can’t be sure because, the comment in question ain’t there anymore.
    What are the chances of making an exception this time, editing my comment to suit and in future, I will try to omit directly blaming those who bare some of the responsibility.
    On the off chance that you will comply, I thank you in advance.

  38. jimhaz

    [You also continually ignore all the statistics that show that educating and empowering women and lifting them out of poverty naturally leads to a reduction in population growth, Look at the fertility rates in the following link. Only poor countries are breeding at above replacement rate]

    And so it should be more or less ignored – as it does not signify what happens in reality in the broader picture. ie Western countries increase their populations via immigration, making the fertility rate of less importance than presented.

  39. Michael Taylor

    One person that can not be blamed is me.


  40. Kronomex

    “No one likes to hear that they are to blame for the situation we find ourselves in. One person that can not be blamed is me.” Back up your first statement with evidence regarding this site otherwise you are making an unfounded comment. So you consider yourself blameless, that’s wee bit narcissitic even by your standards.

    By the way, being a little pedantic here, it’s “methinks”. Your “me thinks” reminds me of something that Bizarro #1 would say.

  41. Jack Straw

    Harquebus The writers here are not gods. You behave like a naughty child who has been sent to the corner sometimes.Though some of them are protected species.Though you should pay attention to some of the same type of comments you are regularly getting from many people.

  42. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor.
    I can not be 100% sure but, I am fairly confident that my ecological footprint is a lot smaller than yours. Not including those resources consumed by theAIMN which, in the shared online world are relatively small anyway.
    The off chance of editing that comment is, I see, no chance. Oh well. What then about emailing it back to me so that I can edit it instead?
    Perhaps you could include this as part of your service. Automatically return comments to sender on deletion. Just a thought.

    I wasn’t referring to theAIMN. It was a general statement that I suspect, considering your response, includes you.

  43. Kaye Lee


    I didn’t remove any comments but I hope you can understand that your constant repetition of the same thing over and over and over for years is driving me nuts. You do it on every thread you comment on. Everyone here is already aware of the problems facing us. What we need are practical suggestions on how to move forward.

    Whilst you may consider Alice Freidemann a credible source, I do not. She, like you, has too much invested in her doom and gloom pronouncements and seems to ignore anything new. She has not, to my knowledge, written any peer-reviewed papers. She says we have reached peak oil and that trucks will grind to a halt and civilisation will then be doomed. All she is doing is promoting her book. She doesn’t want new knowledge any more than you do.

    eg Tesla’s electric semi and Australia’s emerging electric truck industry

    Ryder Systems is one of the largest commercial truck leasing and maintenance companies in America. It has just announced that it will take delivery of 125 all-electric medium-duty delivery vans from Chanje by the end of 2017.

    125 Chanje Electric Trucks To Ryder Systems By Year’s End

  44. diannaart


    Just to be sure I get your message.

    You want everyone, everywhere to stop everything and return to living off the land immediately or we’re doomed (everywhere).

    All people, everywhere, to stop breeding, preferably at once and maybe a massive holocaust would help.

    No more research, development and use in technology that provides alternate power sources to fossil fuels.

    Continue using fossil fuels? Am a bit unsure about this as that would mean using technology.

    Tell everyone who does not exactly share your opinion that they (we) are ignorant and probably stupid.

    That your ecological footprint is smaller than other people’s you do not even know.

    I am about to do an ‘Uma Thurman’ and not say anything more.

  45. Michael Taylor

    He drives me nuts too, Kaye. I think he drives most people here nuts.

    I really don’t need this repeated doomsday bullshit shoved down my throat day after day after every f#cking day.

  46. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    “She has not, to my knowledge, written any peer-reviewed papers.”
    To my knowledge, neither have you.

    Michael Taylor
    “repeated doomsday bullshit”
    It ain’t bullshit.

    Every day I read and hear about the constant deterioration in the environment, politics, the economy and social structure and every day I read here at theAIMN, most of you complaining about it and yet, hardly one of you has done anything to actually reverse it. A death blow is going to be delivered to your offspring and yet, you all feel superior enough complain about me and call me mad.
    There was some useful information in that comment that was deleted in regards to references that, some might have found useful or convincing enough to actually do something. Now however, another chance was lost. Hopefully, Michael Taylor, being the kindhearted soul that he is, has emailed it back to me for resubmission.
    The day will come sooner than you think when, each of you will say, “Shit, H was right.” Wotchagonnasay and wotchagonnado then?

    “If I had been paid attention to, we would not be where we are now. We would not have had the GFC, economic inequality would not be rampant, pollution would have been reduced, the environment protected, fisheries and forests preserved and we would not now be approaching the human cull that we are.
    Nope. It is the economist mouthpieces of those that are destroying what sustains us that took precedence and our politicians have blindly obeyed.” — Harquebus

    Here is some more information for your benefit that is commonly referred to as doom and gloom around here by those who do not know better. Please, for all of our sake, inform yourselves so that we, can start to realistically deal with our predicament instead of promoting fanciful dreams and false hope.

    “We aren’t doomed — we are choosing to be doomed by failing to respond adequately to the emergency.” —- Margaret Klein Salamon

  47. Kaye Lee

    ““If I had been paid attention to, we would not be where we are now. We would not have had the GFC, economic inequality would not be rampant, pollution would have been reduced, the environment protected, fisheries and forests preserved and we would not now be approaching the human cull that we are.”

    FFS You are seriously delusional. Please don’t comment here any longer. Write your own article.

  48. Kronomex

    “I wasn’t referring to theAIMN. It was a general statement that I suspect, considering your response, includes you.” You have made a value judgement about me based on comments made here and because you don’t know me at all your view is totally invalid.

    “It ain’t bullshit.” Of course it is because you simply can’t, or won’t, stop trying to drag the band to follow your personal discordant drumbeat.

    “The day will come sooner than you think when, each of you will say, “Shit, H was right.” Wotchagonnasay and wotchagonnado then?” Wow, what an ego! Can you not try and have the last word?

    Like I said earlier; go and create your own blog.

  49. Jack Straw

    Dear Harquecord Most people here are scared and care about the environment Global Warming etc.

    If you put your case more succinctly and less hpyerlinks people would pay more attention to you.Maybe you should get your own blog.

    The day will come sooner than you think when, each of you will say, “Shit, H was right.” Wotchagonnasay and wotchagonnado then?

    Arrogance 101

  50. guest

    Harquebus sounds like some command economy advocate, whereby everybody is on food rations, contraception, warm clothes knitting classes, care of horses and bicycles, abstaining from using electricity (even the making renewables creates CO2), a cashless society centred on the village market place, nationalisation of resources, armies of tree-planter roaming the country, and the banning of all corporations so that we are all free from their tyranny …and the requirement to reduce breathing by at least one third…

    which might produce problems of a different kind, of course.

    And will we have saved the planet?

  51. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, Kronomex, Dianna, Jack, MN and I have had enough. And that’s just for starters.

    Harquebus, I’m only going to say this once:

    A lot of people invest a lot of time – and some have invested a lot of money – into this site. It is a site that is visited (and hopefully enjoyed) by thousands of readers every day.

    We are not going to sit back and watch you ruin it. It is selfish and disrespectful that you even attempt to.

    Enough is enough. It. Stops. Now.

    Kaye has said that you are not to comment on this thread again. I will respect her wishes and the moderators will delete any comment of yours that appears here. If you carry this over to a different thread then those comments will be deleted too.

    Nobody who has ever commented on this site has been placed in moderation more than you. You’ve been given so many chances. There won’t be a next time. It will be a total ban instead.

    Your days of ruining this site – and the pleasure that it brings thousands of others – are over. You have a choice: you can pack your bags and leave, or you play by the rules. The choice is yours.

    Note to anybody who has editing/admin/moderating privelages: I will be tied up for a few hours so could you kindly delete said comments. Upon my return I’ll decide if Harquebus is permanently blocked. Like I said … it’s up to him.

  52. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor
    I hear you.
    I have tried to limit the number of comments and the number pages that I comment on and will try harder but, my message can not change. It is for our survival that I do this.
    I think some are confusing arrogance with passion and urgency because, it seems that very few realize the size and seriousness of the emergency and just how little time, if any, that we have to address it.

    I apologize to all whom I have distressed. My intentions are good, my delivery maybe not so.

    Kaye Lee
    What can I say. We are almost certainly going to clash again. There is nothing personal in it. You are a goodwun and I really do admire you.

  53. helvityni

    When I started reading and responding to authors and commenters here, I soon found my persistent adversary from another blog here (under different pseudo), I have stayed clear of responding to any of this person’s comments…( personal and hurtful)

    Can’t people, who dislike Harquebues, do the same.and do not engage… 🙂

  54. Kaye Lee

    I will say again, we should measure success in small steps along a road to a destination we will never reach. Perfection won’t happen and one day the sun will explode. In the mean time, let’s just do our best.

    If you want to affect change, encouragement of achievable goals works better than threats and endless doomsaying.

  55. Harquebus

    You have always been the voice of reason and have the uncanny knack of saying the right thing at the right time.

    Kaye Lee
    I don’t make threats, I issue warnings and what you call doomsaying is actually information that, most would rather not contemplate. Time which, is not on our side, will bring one of us to the side of the other.
    I’m okay with that, what about you?

  56. Michael Taylor

    Can’t people, who dislike Harquebues, do the same.and do not engage… ?

    helvityni, it’s a bit more complicated than that. I study the every minor detail of the stats for this site, and when Harquebus is on one of his rants one important thing stands out: people stay away from this site.

    So it comes down to deciding who is more important: Harquebus or everybody else?

    The clear answer is: everybody else.

    Btw, that other person you spoke of – the one who was trolling you – was blocked over a month ago. Good riddance to him, too.

  57. Karl Young

    It appears to me that Harquebus has already hijacked the debate.helvityni your not helping either!

  58. Kaye Lee

    Getting back to the topic of silencing advocacy…..

    I think I am beginning to understand other motives as well as homophobia for the opposition to the Safe Schools program which concentrates on healthy relationships.

    “Healthy relationships involve respect, trust, and consideration for the other person. Abusive relationships don’t have these qualities. Instead, they involve mistreatment, disrespect, intense jealousy, controlling behavior, or physical violence. Signs of abusive relationships include when someone tries to control different aspects of your life, frequently humiliates you or makes you feel unworthy, twists the truth to make you feel you are to blame, demands to know where you are at all times.”

    I feel like we are in an abusive relationship with our government.

  59. roma guerin

    Kaye, I found I had saved this last year, and it seems a very good time to re-read. So much is going on without our knowledge, but have the goalposts shifted – our way? The likes of Nigel Scullion, Stuart Robert, Peter Dutton, even Scott Morrison are being laid bare on social media so nobody has any excuse to vote for them, ever again. Advocacy on many fronts seems to be making a difference to the way we view the political playing field. Or is it only preaching to the converted? I hope so.

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