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Tag Archives: Climate Commission

What is the Minister for Women’s Affairs going to do for women in this country?

Since forming government we’ve heard a number of Coalition Ministers speak about, or take action on their portfolios. For example, Environment Minister Greg Hunt has shut down the Climate Commission, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has determined that asylum seekers were now to be referred to as ‘illegals’ and has done his utmost to demonise these poor people, Treasurer Joe Hockey keeps raising the debt ceiling (and his level of stupidity) whilst blaming it on the previous government and Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Education has threatened to overhaul the higher education system and turn public schools independent.

I, and most readers here as well as a large percentage of the wider community have been horrified by their announcements but at least we do know what they’re doing. Not so with the Minister for Women’s Affairs, Tony Abbott. He appears, on the surface, to be as distant from any of the the issues as he is from a probing question.

The Coalition’s September 2013 Policy for Women tells us a little more. Five whole issues fill its pages, being:

  1. Relocate the Office for Women
  2. A Real Paid Parental Leave Scheme
  3. Help Make Child Care More Accessible and Affordable
  4. Take Further Steps to Reduce Violence Against Women
  5. Increase the Annual Target for Women at Risk Visa Grants

It’s not a real lot, is it? And it is safe to assume that only a small percentage of the country’s women will benefit from any of these policies, if indeed they are initiated.

There is nothing for the majority of women, or more importantly the disadvantaged women in our society that don’t rate a mention in the above policy document, such as these:

Female workers

The pay packet is always smaller and the gap between what men and women are paid is still widening, according to the latest workplace survey figures. A study carried out by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) found a $266 a week overall difference between what men and women in full-time work earn. There are also proportionately fewer women in key positions in the Australian workforce.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?

Mental illness

Women are more likely than men to experience anxiety disorders (18% compared with 11%) and affective disorders (7.1% compared with 5.3%) and are more likely to have anxiety and affective disorders in combination.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?


Over 40% of homeless people in Australia are women.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?

Lesbian couples

Thousands of lesbian couples in Australia want the opportunity to marry their partner.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?

Underemployment rate

In August 2012, the extended labour force underutilisation rate was higher for females than males (15.2% and 11.3% respectively). Not to mention the 350,000 Australian women that are looking for work.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?

Indigenous women’s health

Aboriginal and Torres Strait women experience poorer health across all health areas compared with non-Indigenous women.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?


A 10-year study has found Australia’s most disadvantaged are more likely to be, among others, women.

What will the Minister for Women’s Affairs be doing about that?

All of these are issues that should be a priority for the Minister for Women’s Affairs … if he cares.

My views on the self appointment of Tony Abbott to the Women’s Affairs portfolio are well known, which are based on his out-dated attitudes to women and a complete disregard of their place in modern Australia. Here’s a recap of what I published earlier:

“I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.” Tony Abbott Four Corners 15/03/2010.

“While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework.” Tony Abbott Herald-Sun 06/08/2010.

“I won’t be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated [for cervical cancer], maybe that’s because I’m a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard but, look, I won’t be.” November 9th, 2006

“I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question . . . [their virginity] is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don’t give it to someone lightly, that’s what I would say.” January 27th “The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.” 2010

It has been revealed that after having being defeated by Barbara Ramjan for the SRC presidency, Tony Abbott approached Barbara Ramjan, and after moving to within an inch of her nose, punched the wall on both sides of her head. 09/09/2012

‘I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak’ cited 23/08/2012

Gaining momentum across everywhere but the mainstream media are allegations that Opposition leader Tony Abbott inappropriately touched Aboriginal author Ali Cobby Eckerman in an Adelaide cafe last March. First Nations Telegraph 20/06/2013.

Tony Abbott urges women to save their virginity for marriage and reveals mixed feelings about contraception in a new interview. The Australian 25/01/2010.

And who can forget his behavior: standing in front of people as they hold signs calling Julia Gillard a bitch or a slut; rubbing shoulders with people after they’ve said on air that Julia Gillard should be dumped at sea; supporting members of his party who suggested Julia Gillard should be kicked to death. He also failed to reprimand those in his party who said Julia Gillard needed a bullet.

He can’t even address a female by name; it’s either ‘her’, ‘she’, ‘it’ or someone with sex appeal.

I could best describe his elevated appointment as ‘token’. He may prove otherwise, but as the above problem areas suggest he has a lot of work to do to prove it. If not, 100,000s of women in this country will remain disadvantaged and quite frankly, I believe that’s the way it’s going to stay. Unless of course, Abbott’s Number One policy of relocating the Office for Women turns out to be the most social and economic reforming program ever enacted in this country.

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The facts versus Andrew Bolt

I don’t know how many times I’ve read Andrew Bolt’s claims that global warming stopped 16 years ago. Announcing the claim, on one of many occasions he recently asked:

How many more years of no warming before global warmists admit their theory is broken?

New data released two weeks ago shows the pause in global warming has now lasted 16 years.

Now, where did he get that information from? Maybe he read it in a newspaper. Maybe this one:

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released . . . and here is the chart to prove it.

Note the dates. Bolt’s article was published 18 October last year, the British article on 13 October: five days earlier. In between, on 16 October the MET Office* disputed the claim:

Met Office denies claims that latest data shows global warming slowdown.

Reports suggesting that global warming stopped 16 years ago are “misleading”, the Met Office said yesterday.

Why do Andrew Bolt and many right-wing commentators prefer to rely on misleading media reports to push their ideologies? I’m of the opinion that there is no crime in denying climate change – you can believe in it or not – but if you are going to publicly argue for or against it, it would be a good idea, for a start, to know what you’re talking about.

In my opinion, Andrew Bolt doesn’t. But it hardly deters him from attacking climate change believers with his poisoned pen whilst continuing to maintain his discredited argument that global warming had ceased. He was overjoyed at the sacking of Tim Flannery and the Climate Commission, writing:

New Environment Minster Greg Hunt made only one mistake yesterday when sacking Tim Flannery and junking his Climate Commission.

Hunt actually thanked the alarmist for his work.

Thank Flannery? Hunt should instead have asked Flannery how much of his $180,000 a year salary he’d refund after getting so many predictions wrong.

He should have told Flannery it was disgraceful to even now claim global warming was increasing, when atmospheric temperatures have failed to rise for 15 years.

No sooner had the ink dried on his article when world renown environmentalist David Suzuki appeared on the ABC’s Q&A and Bolt was at it again:

Oh. My. God.

David Suzuki on the very first question is revealed as a complete know-nothing. His questioner tells him that the main climate data sets show no real warming for some 15 years.

Suzuki asks for the references, which he should have known if he knew anything of the science.

His questioner then lists them: UAH, RSS, HadCrut and GISS – four of the most basic measurement systems of global temperature.

Suzuki asks what they are.

Anyone interested in global warming should know right there that Suzuki has absolutely no understanding of what he is talking about.

In my opinion he is a phoney.

Here, for Suzuki’s information, is the GISS measurement.

Bolt’s rant was backed up with a number of charts he had obtained from the link he provided to I took a look at the site. It was overflowing with charts contradicting Bolt’s argument. His claim that “atmospheric temperatures have failed to rise for 15 years” is rebuked on the very site he referred to. Here’s a typical chart showing global monthly average surface air temperature since 1979, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), USA:

It doesn’t look like Andrew is good at sourcing information, does it?

I think I can do a better job than him. Here’s something from the Los Angeles Times for a start: 2012 was among the 10 hottest years on record globally. Here’s what it says:

The average global temperature in 2012 was among the 10 hottest since official record keeping began in 1880, with most of the world — from North America to far northeastern Asia — experiencing higher-than-usual temperatures, according to related reports issued Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Speaking of NASA, they have this on their website:

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.

Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.

Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gasses produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.

According to the IPCC, the extent of climate change effects on individual regions will vary over time and with the ability of different societal and environmental systems to mitigate or adapt to change.

The IPCC predicts that increases in global mean temperature of less than 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) above 1990 levels will produce beneficial impacts in some regions and harmful ones in others. Net annual costs will increase over time as global temperatures increase.

“Taken as a whole,” the IPCC states, “the range of published evidence indicates that the net damage costs of climate change are likely to be significant and to increase over time.”

Below are some of the regional impacts of global change forecast by the IPCC:

  • North America: Decreasing snowpack in the western mountains; 5-20 percent increase in yields of rain-fed agriculture in some regions; increased frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in cities that currently experience them.
  • Latin America: Gradual replacement of tropical forest by savannah in eastern Amazonia; risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many tropical areas; significant changes in water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.
  • Europe: Increased risk of inland flash floods; more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion from storms and sea level rise; glacial retreat in mountainous areas; reduced snow cover and winter tourism; extensive species losses; reductions of crop productivity in southern Europe.
  • Africa: By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress; yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent in some regions by 2020; agricultural production, including access to food, may be severely compromised.
  • Asia: Freshwater availability projected to decrease in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia by the 2050s; coastal areas will be at risk due to increased flooding; death rate from disease associated with floods and droughts expected to rise in some regions.

Not a bad source to reference, in my opinion. Far better than referencing a journalist whose claim was almost immediately shot down in flames. And while I’m finding all these facts here’s one from our very own Bureau of Meteorology who arguably, know a little bit more about our weather than Andrew Bolt. From their article Australia’s warmest 12-month period on record, again: Australia’s warmest September on record comes these Bolt defying revelations:

Australia’s record for warmest 12-month period has been broken for a second consecutive month. This continues a remarkable sequence of warmer-than-average months for Australia since June 2012.

September 2013 was easily Australia’s warmest September on record. The national average temperature for September was +2.75 °C above the long-term (1961–1990) average, which also sets a record for Australia’s largest positive anomaly for any monthly mean temperature. The previous record of +2.66 °C was set in April 2005.

The mean temperature for Australia, averaged over the 12 months from October 2012 to September 2013, was 1.25 °C above the long-term average. This was also 0.17 °C warmer than any 12-month period prior to 2013.

The previous record, set over September 2012 to August 2013, was +1.11 °C above the long-term average, and the record preceding the current warm spell was +1.08 °C, set between February 2005 and January 2006.

Temperatures for the calendar year to date (January to September) have also been the warmest on record, at 1.31 °C above the long-term average, well above the figure set for January to September 2005 (+1.07 °C). 2005 currently holds the record for Australia’s warmest calendar year.

The past 18 months have been characterised by widespread heat across Australia. The mean temperature has been above average over the entire continent.

In the past 12-month period a large number of mean temperature records have fallen across Australia including:

  • Australia’s warmest month on record (January)
  • Australia’s warmest September on record
  • Australia’s largest positive monthly anomaly on record (September)
  • Australia’s warmest summer on record (December 2012 to February 2013)
  • Australia’s warmest January to September period on record
  • Australia’s warmest 12-month period on record (broken twice, for the periods ending August and September)
  • Indeed, Australia’s warmest period on record for all periods 1 to 18 months long ending September 2013

Two significant daily maximum temperature records were also set this year:

  • Australia’s hottest summer day on record (7 January)
  • Australia’s warmest winter day on record (31 August)

The periods inclusive of September 2013 have also resulted in numerous State and Territory mean temperature records including:

  • Warmest September on record for South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory
  • Largest positive monthly anomaly on record for South Australia and Queensland (September)
  • The warmest January to September period on record for South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, and also for Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide
  • The warmest 12-month period on record for South Australia, the Northern Territory, and southern Australia

In addition to these records, and those set during the heat events of January and autumn, many individual stations have set records for early season heat or September record highs.

Generally above-average temperatures have persisted with few breaks since September 2012. The period has been characterised by long periods of warmer-than-average days and a distinct lack of cold weather. Nights have also been warmer than average, but less so than daytime temperatures.

Every calendar month since September 2012 has recorded temperatures at least 0.5 °C above average, with eight of those thirteen months topping 1.0 °C above average including January, April, May, July, August and September of 2013. Widespread record warmth has also been recorded in the oceans around Australia.

I am sure that none of this will be of interest to Andrew Bolt. I’m also sure we’ll keep hearing that global warming stopped 16 years ago despite evidence to the contrary. But we have one thing to be thankful for Andrew Bolt for whilst he keeps writing articles denying credible evidence and supporting discredited sources, and continuing to promote a raft of fallacies which add a sweetener to his bitter hatred, this can only be good for the growth of independent media. When people stack the truth up against Andrew Bolt … they’ll see that the truth wins.

*The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service.

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From kayelee1: UPDATE from the Climate Council: “In just 13 hours we’ve had over 5,000 people become founding members of the Climate Council. Together they’ve chipped in a massive $160,000. The Climate Commission ran on a $1.6 million annual budget. We think we can do things a bit cheaper, we’re trying to raise $500,000 by…

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