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That’s One for Bill

Whatever the outcome of Bill Shorten’s surprise move this week, he has caught Tony Abbott on the hop and executed one very successful wedge. Nice one, Bill.

The Irish vote for marriage equality has turned the issue on its head in Australia and one can be confident there is no going back now. Abbott can no longer hold back the tide. Shorten might have been playing politics announcing that he would introduce a private member’s bill to legalise same sex marriage, but so what?

Those Liberal party members critical of Shorten’s move are, on the face of it, also playing politics. We know that Tony Abbott would never have made a move himself, even if his own party members wanted it and were moving towards it.

And now it appears that they were. Well, what took them so long? Whether it is Shorten’s bill (no pun intended), or a cross party consensus submission demonstrating a rare moment of unity, one can be confident that same sex marriage will be a reality in Australia by the end of this year.

One might well ask, what took them so long? A majority of the Australian public have supported the move for some years. New Zealand, the United Kingdom and several states in the USA have already done so. The answer is, religion.

church Religion and religious leaders have for too long been given a position well beyond their level of influence. The constant claim that marriage is between a man and a woman passed its use-by date long ago. It has only been their ability to lobby, to have the ear of too many parliamentarians unable to think for themselves, that they have stalled reform in this area for so long.

But not any longer. Ireland, the most Catholic of European countries and until recently so closely controlled by its clergy, has been the unlikely leader of the new enlightenment.

A country that once had its close association with the Catholic Church written into its constitution, has dumbfounded its critics and done a forward pike, double somersault with twist. Bravo!

Marriage is between two adult people who choose to be married. That is all it ever was and should ever have been. There will, of course, be the doomsayers, those warning that every pestilence, disease and war to come will be the hand of God coming down in anger. But we have been hearing their dire predictions for centuries.

us court Even in the United States, where that most prudish of Western nations has for so long been hamstrung by a Christian dominated mindset, the time has come. Next Tuesday the US Supreme Court will bring down a verdict on the constitutional rights of same sex couples that is expected to open the way for the federal government to legislate for marriage equality, nationally.

In today’s Australian newspaper a full page advertisement lists the names of Australian businesses who back the move to legalise same sex marriage. The prime minister’s sister, Christine Forster told the ABC she believed gay marriage would be legal in Australia by the end of the year.

In reference to her brother, she said, “At the end of the day I’m sure he will understand that this is good and fair for everybody and it will be great for Australia.”

And so, who do we acknowledge as the instigator for this long overdue move here? Why, none other than Bill Shorten. Bill, himself a Catholic but one mature enough to see the foolishness of Abbott’s stubbornness and the outdated views of the Church has gazumped his opposite number. Mind you, it took the Irish to create the spark that lit Bill’s fuse.

Finally, our ultra conservative parliament will be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, at least on this issue. This is a victory for common sense and one that we should celebrate with all the gusto of an Irish tea party (wink, wink) craic.

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  1. townsvilleblog

    Now, if only he could do something on behalf of the lowly paid workforce? Sadly he is far too right wing for that to grace his brain having come from a well financed family.

  2. Lyle Upson.

    as much as the village idiot opposes marriage equality, it will be the only legislation the Abbott will be remembered for

  3. Pingback: That’s One for Bill | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  4. Michael Taylor

    And just watch him run with it, Lyle.

  5. miriamenglish

    Marriage should have always been about love, not hate.
    Unfortunately religion seems utterly preoccupied with hate. Very sad.
    Thankfully narrow-minded religion is losing its power and we are starting to see each other as fellow human beings.

  6. miriamenglish

    @Jammy March – I guess you are not aware of the research that shows the children of same-sex parents do better and are happier than those of hetero couples. It stands to reason, since most same sex couples have an extended family, often of the two women who are in love and the man who enabled the conception, or the two men in love and the woman who bore the child with them. Often they have a supportive community of friends around them too.

    Studies of gay couples in nature (yes, every intelligent species on the planet has gay pairings) shows that their offspring do unusually well too. I read a while back (in one of the books by the famous biologist Konrad Lorenz) of two male geese who had mated for life (as geese do) and a female goose who had developed a deep bond with one of the males. When the two males went through the normal courtship she would push herself between them and receive the sperm. Their goslings survived much better than the other geese because they had three parents looking after them.

    So, you see Jammy? Your homophobia has no basis in sensible reality. You pretend to be concerned for the children, but in reality you are merely giving voice to thinly veiled hate and disgust. I’m sorry for you.

  7. stephentardrew

    It is interesting though that the only legislation forced on Aboott that he will be able to scream justice over has no real financial cost for the corptocracy, finance, wealthy and privileged and no benefit to the marginalised and poor.

    Heavens am I just little too cynical?

    Nah fits.

  8. stephentardrew

    As usual, like his/her mates, pajama child is endlessly ethically challenged.

    Off and read a bit of Peter Singer and maybe mature into a morally astute adult.

  9. ken Morgan

    Miriam English…I love you

  10. ken morgan

    Jammy March…Who or whatever you are, the one certainty is that you overestimate your importance….you are not worth judging, and barely worth a response to your skewed homophobic views

  11. Jexpat

    Federalism in the US, unlike Australia, allocates to each state the power to enact legislation and adjucate family laws. The federal government is only involved insofar as interstate matters (collection of child support, for example) or the availability federal of benefits or tax concessions are concerned.

    So what the court will look at here is whether a state can constitutionally ban same sex marriages. The analysis that they will use will fall under a constitutional rubric that’s applied to many different state statutes. It can take the form of what known as “heightened scrutiny” (under which most state laws fail to pass muster due to a conflict with a fundamental right or via discrimination against a “suspect class” under the equal protection clause).

    Or the court can apply the “rational relationship test” -which requires a nexus between the subject matter of the statute and a legitimate state purpose. State laws are almost alway upheld under this test. There is however a very notable exception: Lawrence v. Texas, which held that states could not outlaw sexual conduct among consenting adults, regardless of gender, because doing so furthers no legitmiate state interest.

    Lawrence is also interesting becuase it directly overruled their own recent 5-4 prededent that allowed states to prosecute gays for private sexual conduct- and the justice who changed his mind on that case (a staunch Catholic, btw) is also widely seen to be the swing vote in the case at hand.

    So, unlike the 1960’s case striking down bans on inter racial marriage, Loving v. Virginia, this court doesn’t need to find that a fundamental right is involved- or even invidious discrimination. All it needs to strike down the state law bans is the recognition there’s no rational basis for them that further a legitimate state purpose.

    In addition- and what’s more relevant to our circumstances here is that the US Supreme Court is notoriously corrupt and unethical- but more than that, it’s become a political entity whose overriding concern is to further the interests of the Republican party.

    And in recent years, opposition to marriage equality has become a huge loser of an issue for them. Taking it off the table would be a major boon to their electoral chances.

  12. miriamenglish

    Jammy, you are too quick to dismiss the studies as biased. You are wrong, and clearly biased

    So many of us are definitely dumb animals… take yourself for example. Your preconceptions are so powerful you can’t see the reality right before you. Seems pretty dumb to me. I know I have my blind spots too even though I try to work hard to expose them to rational understanding and genuine information.

    This innate right you speak of to have two parents of opposite genders… where does this come from? Why would there be such a right? Does that apply to children where one or both of the parents has died? Or did you somehow pluck this “right” out of thin air in order to give spurious strength to your homophobia.

    And, yes, you are homophobic. Why, the very language you use betrays you. The gay couple is not in love according to you, they “play house together”.

    Honestly I’m not judging you in the way you think I am. But I truly am sorry for you. I hope you wake up from your misery soon. It must not feel nice to hate people like that and have such a miserable view of the world. I hope you feel better soon.

  13. TurnLeft2016

    I have heard a lot of arguments, here is my response to some of them

    ‘won’t somebody think of the children’
    Do we going to ban post menopausal women from getting married, those who choose to not have children because of risk of inheritable diseases, men and women who are unable to have children – because it is only about children, no we don’t so the children argument is pointless.

    ‘but children raised by two mums or two dads isn’t normal’
    Yes, that is why we have banned divorce and remove children from widows/widowers…. We don’t?… then a “1 mum 1 dad and 2.5 kids” nuclear family is only true in bad 50s sitcoms.

    ‘if two men have kids, its unnatural, it means either adoption or surrogacy’
    Again with the kids, and won’t somebody invent a Godwin’s law for this straw man… meanwhile, we have IVF for straights who cant have kids…. and look at the case of baby Gammy, his straight but accused of child abuse dad rejected him

    ‘kids need two parents, one of each gender, to love them’
    Actually kids need to feel loved, they don’t much care about the gender of their parents, much like they don’t care about religion, colour, appearance or whether their two dads wear Hawaiian shirts and sing loudly to Barnsy, Farnsy and Cruel Sea songs while dropping them off at school, kids just want to feel loved, accepted, trusted and like they are the greatest thing in the world.

    ‘marriage has always been 1 man and 1 woman’
    It is we decide that “always” means since Howard redefined marriage in 2004 (11 years is a long way short of always), and if it took Howard to redefine it to specifically prevent anyone but straights from marriage, then this makes no sense.

    ‘but I believe marriage is men and women’
    guess what, after marriage equality, it still can be – straight marriage isn’t going to be banned.

    And people use to believe the earth was flat, and slavery was perfectly acceptable. Some beliefs are crap.

    ‘its against my religion’
    Er, who cares? Your religion should have no place in My civil contracts, as the saying goes: that’s like banning you from eating donuts because I’m on a diet.

    We don’t consult priests when signing a contract to buy a house, we don’t consult rabbis when signing a contract for a new phone and we don’t consult imams when joining a gym. Why does Your religion affect Their marriage.

    ‘but marriage is about religion, that’s why religions get a say’
    No its not, Yours might be, Their might not. It’s a legal civil contract, the ceremony is separate from the marriage.

    ‘but why should gays get special rights’
    If governments have to pass laws in order to prevent a part of society from accessing rights that another groups takes for granted, that is kind of not a ‘special right’, that would be discrimination.
    As Ricky Gervais said “Same sex marriage is not gay privilege, it’s equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying taxes. Like churches don’t.”

  14. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    We are all entitled to our opinions but we are not entitled to expect others to agree with us. Nor are we entitled to make those who disagree with us act as we wish unless it is dictated by law. If you do not agree with same sex marriage that is your choice. If two people of the same sex wish to marry, that is their choice. It is not our right to stand in their way. Too many children of heterosexual couples suffer abuse at the hands of their parents for me to have concern about the sexual orientation of the parents. Loving couples bring up children in a loving environment and that is all that could be desired.

  15. Jexpat

    “Nature. Nature wins, every time.”

    Same sex ralationships, sexual behaviours and raising offspring by a single gender sets are common throughout nature.


  16. Terry2

    Yesterday Peter Dutton – the worst health minister in Australia’s history : now immigration minister – called a press conference where he and his new offsider , Michaelia Cash, tried to explain why they were transferring asylum seekers from conventional detention centres to high security detention on Christmas Island. Evidently those who have been making a noise about lack of due process , illegal indefinite detention etc are considered hard cases and trouble makers and will be moved offshore where they can’t be seen or heard. No suggestion anymore of resettlement or returning to their homeland or anything else other than more detention.

    What was interesting was, just at the end of the press conference they were both asked about their view on marriage equality and both had no hesitation in saying that they were opposed to it.They didn’t explain why and as they don’t give the appearance of being particularly religious or compassionate in their attitude towards detainees, one has to wonder where their opposition springs from.

  17. John Lord

    The audacious statement by the PMs sister on Lateline that “it would be wonderful if the change to marriage laws came under a conservative, deeply religious Prime Minister” is conflicted by the fact that he has fought against it all his life. Trying to take the political moral high ground at this stage is deplorable.

  18. miriamenglish

    Jammy, I’m glad you agree. We should use nature to help us decide on what is natural. As I said, gay pairings are common throughout nature. All intelligent creatures — dolphins, dogs, cats, horses, lions, penguins, geese, giraffes, chimps, etc. — have same-sex love relationships and bring up young very successfully, often more successfully than hetero couples.

    What? You didn’t read my comment. Well, I guess I’m not surprised. You’ll do anything to avoid facing your errors and perpetuate your prejudices, I suppose. That’s sad.

  19. jimhaz

    i view a private members bill from the Opposition leader on this issue as playing politics. It does not make Shorten “better”, other than supposedly demonstrating a trivial amount of courage.

    Nonetheless, it is not a negative political play, as it helps to push the issue into the lap of those with the leglislative power.

  20. Roswell

    Jammy March. I’ve had enough of you. Your only reason for commenting is to snipe at other commenters. As one of the moderators I’m very close to blocking your comments. As the saying goes, shape up or ship out. It’s up to you.

  21. miriamenglish

    Jammy, I hate to burst your balloon here, but Tony Abbott doesn’t really have a mandate either. He wasn’t directly elected. He got in through preferences. Most people actually voted against the two major parties. We Australians tend to vote governments out of office, not vote them in, but this one was unusual in that the Australian people voted against both major parties. Yes, Tony Abbott is Prime Minister and can play the tune however he wants. His sister is perfectly welcome to stand up and have her say too. That’s free speech. Even that detestable creep Pell is welcome to have a say. And you are welcome to have your say too, no matter how ill-informed or embarrassing.

  22. jimhaz

    To me Peter Singer as a philosopher is like an infant. I would say like most morality specific philosophers, his arguments lack a knowledge of reality. This does not mean he is not often correct, just shallow.

  23. miriamenglish

    Roswell, I wouldn’t worry about Jammy March. He helps to remind us of the sickness we are working against. I know he is just a troll, and judging by his comments is probably only about 15 years old, but he’s pretty harmless. His comments actually bring a (sad) smile to my lips. It is worth remembering that there really are people who are this deluded out there in society. It stops us living in an echo chamber.

  24. miriamenglish

    jimhaz, that strikes me as an odd thing to say. While I haven’t read any of Peter Singer’s books yet, I have watched a number of his talks and his thoughts seem far from shallow to me. It seems to me that he thinks deeply about animal rights, in particular, and with a clarity many other people are unable to manage. It puzzles me that you’d see him that way. Not that it’s important. I was just surprised. 🙂

  25. Lyle Upson.

    and her close input is improper, not respecting proper protocol and process, and is an affront to democracy

    on what basis does she need to follow protocol? She is as free to speak as i am, without being concerned with the protocols the village idiot signed up to

  26. Graeme Henchel

    It Is good that Bill Shorten has moved on this issue but the leadership has come from Tanya Plibersek who wrote a letter to all Coalition MP’s in March last year seeking a bi partisan bill on marriage equality including a clause that would allow religious groups who did not wish to conduct same sex ceremonies the right to refuse. She got no response. Her pressure on Shorten in calling for a binding labor vote on the issue also predates the Irish outcome.

  27. mars08

    “Think of the children, the poor children…”

    But not the asylum seeker children locked up indefinitely in some hellhole, right? Because they’re not in as much physical and psychological peril as those with settled gay parents…. right?

    If Shorten wants the moral high ground…. he will have to learn to walk upright first.

  28. miriamenglish

    Well put, Mars08. The idea that loving gay parents could be worse than the putting innocent children refugees behind bars is astonishing and shows the extraordinary ability of Conservative minds to comfortably hold mutually contradictory ideas at the same time.

  29. jimhaz

    @ Miriamenglish

    Perhaps I’m too intolerant (as I certainly am), as in only the best will do. I find moral philosophers wishy washy and inconsistent. To me he is more akin to a bright journalist appealing to the left and I have not seen anything he has said that entices me to seek out further knowledge.

  30. TurnLeft2016


    refugees? omg, you are so right…. because people in this country cannot possibly care about more than one thing at a time, right now my kids are screaming for the dinner, i just tell them ‘there are kids in detention who dont have any dinner, so be grateful you had lunch’ and my grandmother is struggling to pay her electricity bill, i tell her ‘be grateful you have a house, there are women in detention who sleep in tents’ and my uncle is in hospital in a coma, if he could talk id tell him ‘be grateful, some people in detention cant even see a doctor, dont you know how good you have it’, my step sister who was thrown out of home at 15 after coming out as lesbian and has been homeless ever since i tell her ‘be grateful, there are refugees in detention who have lost their homes and are locked up for it, you’re homeless in Australia, you dont know how good you have it’.

    In fact, I dont know why the writers of this blog even write about any issue other than refugees, of course, after about the 50th article telling the people of Australia to stop being so selfish fighting for the environment, the end of live export, the elderly, the sick, the children, education, schools, hospitals, a decent media that allows us to learn about issues like refugees – it would get a bit repetitive – but at least we would not have to selfishly care about something other than refugees.

  31. Wun Farlung

    Don’t be too hard on Jammy.
    Every community has at least one village idiot.

  32. miriamenglish

    Poor broken Jammy. We see how quickly your concern for the children unravels.

  33. miriamenglish

    Oh, I forgot to address your comment about “stern policies”. You are, of course, referring to the inhumane practice of consigning innocent people to concentration camps with insufficient food, water, sanitation, and medicine, where people are sickening and dying, as well as rapes and beatings by those who are supposed to be guarding them.

    We all know what other group of stern Catholics did that just a bare several decades ago, don’t we. They thought the actions were necessary and a sensible final solution to removing unwanted people… they no doubt thought it praiseworthy of their leader for reducing their numbers too.

    Civilisation has judged otherwise. Tony Abbott will be judged similarly, along with the piss-weak Labor Party pandering to religious and xenophobic monsters.

  34. Annie B

    Jammy M….

    was wondering how many of your inclination is out there … in cyberspace just for a start. …. Too many ?

    I simply googled ” people against gays ” and this showed up ” About 24,900,000 results (0.32 seconds) “

    Now of course, we know that all those almost 25 million sites / links, will contain arguments for and against – people against, and people slamming those against ( homosexuals ) ….

    Thought you might get a bit more fuel to add to your unjust and biased anti-gay fire – or perhaps be able to void some more of your invective on whatever you come across that defends gay people and their rights.

    Please spend a lot of time googling all this. …. Weeks would be good.

    And do not come back here, spouting some form of support for ‘think of the children, the poor children’ … you show such disdain for others overall, in so many of your comments – I would think ‘children’ would be the last of souls you would EVER consider.

    Go for it …. please troll elsewhere.

    This is the last comment I will be bothered making towards you and your corrupt arguments.


  35. stephentardrew

    To lazy to read moral philosophy.

    Could name a lot more but Singer is a good start.

    No one said you have to agree with him however if you can’t provide rational critiques of his ideas then stick to your ignorance.

    Easy to criticise that of which you are apparently ignorant.

    Just go on with those good old opinions and let the planet burn and the poor and underprivileged live in poverty and hardship but, oh no, on no occasion try to educate yourselves.

  36. Harquebus

    Arctic methane is going to fry the planet and kill us all but, hey, whoopdeedoo, we will have introduced marriage equality. Damn we’re good. We can vanish from history proudly knowing that, at least we got our priorities right.
    Nothing like a good feel good to distract us, eh? Can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with for the next important issue to distract us with. After this extended marriage equality thingy, it’ll have to be a doozy.

  37. mars08

    Harquebus… stripping the citizenship rights of “death cult” recruits should make everything better…

  38. Annie B

    Perhaps the word ‘marriage’ has for far too long carried with it, an acceptance of religious connotations, a common and habitual standard … something that relates almost subconsciously to the words of the wedding ceremony as we have known it in churches, for centuries – even milleniums.

    It is a word outdated.

    Perhaps it should be replaced with the word ‘union’ … although to many, that too would be unpopular. … But the joining of two people ( any two people ) in committing to their earnest and honest attempt and desire to have a life together, is indeed a union, an alliance, a conjugal bond – [ even wedlock – an old old word ].

    A marriage taking place in a church is not complete unless the civil / legal side of it is also completed – often prepared by the celebrant / minister / rabbi or priest – and signed in front of witnesses by the couple. … At the signing of these documents, the matter moves from religious to civil – as a legal contract.

    It becomes then a record for the Government … the registration of a ceremony that joins two people in marriage ( church blessed ) a ‘wedding’ ceremony ( celebrant with often no mention of religion ), or in the Registry office, which is about as basic as it gets, and is conducted there ( speaking practically with no emotional connotations ) to inform only the government, in the presence of witnesses, that two people are to be united – in name, residence, and for future children ( if any ) to have a recognisable agreed upon surname, children for which one or both people are responsible, in case of future problems. …..

    The private considerations of a prime minister should not have any bearing on this, and I am pleased that Bill Shorten did what he did – forcing some form of conclusion and conscience vote from the government. ….

    Personally, I would prefer to see a referendum on the subject, taking it out of the governments’ hands where it does not belong, and into the hands of the people – where it does belong.

  39. miriamenglish

    Harquebus, I can kinda understand your cynicism. I sometimes feel a little like it is a diversion, but surely we don’t have to choose one or the other. Surely we can get some social justice while trying to save the planet from climate destabilisation. Though, if you’ll forgive me saying, it sounds a less like you’re attempting to save the world, and more like you’re running in circles in panic. 🙂

  40. miriamenglish

    Jammy, you are fooling yourself. You are definitely anti-gay. Your every statement on the topic drips with homophobia.

    In what way are the kids of gay parents “drawn into the gay lifestyle”? All the kids of gay parents I’ve met are straight. Just searching my memory, I can’t think of one offhand who is gay. They haven’t exactly been drawn in. Their parents, without exception encourage them to be who they really are. Gay people know, better than most, that you can’t change the sexuality of someone. And why would they want to, after having battled people trying to force nonsense upon them?

    As I said before (but you clearly don’t want to hear it) there is mounting evidence that the kids of gay couples are better balanced, happier, and better students than the children of hetero couples.

    You say “the children’s right to choose”… choose what? Choose their parents? Since when did any person in all of history ever get to choose their parents? How is this suddenly a right? Because you say so?

  41. miriamenglish

    Jammy, I can see why you don’t like Peter Singer. It must be painful to have someone push you to actually think instead of merely regurgitating prejudices. Man, I am so sorry for you. It must be horrible inside your head.

  42. Annie B

    stephentardrew ……… re ” Global climate on verge of multi-decadal change – May 28, 2015″

    The link you provided was very interesting, and hopefully we might have a small respite from some extremes of weather. ( or at least the Northern Hemisphere might ) …. the link led me onto other links, and I have found them all interesting reading. …. not being an oceanographer, there’s a lot I didn’t understand in the technical sense. but I get the general gist.

    Now all scientists have to do is continue to see what the Antarctic is up to !!! … my son returns there in October ( 2nd deployment ) … although he cannot discuss scientific findings with me or anyone not involved at the Base ( wherever he goes to this time ) …. It all comes under the Secrecy Act he has to sign for the government, before leaving.

  43. stephentardrew


    You may know however I will see if I can find the article on heat transportation from the pacific through the straits of Indonesia into the Indian Ocean because this is where the heat taken up by the oceans is being transported so oceanographers have finally found out what is happening to the heat absorbed by the ocean. Bit late right now but will have a look on the morrow.

  44. Graham Parton

    Although the ALP is claiming the high ground here lets remember that Bill Shorten’s sudden awakening to the idea of marriage equity came shortly after the Greens announced that they were going to introduce a bill to allow for it.

  45. TurnLeft2016

    Graham you are so right about Bill Shortens sudden awakening. When he voted YES for marriage equality in 2012, that is so sudden. And when he gave a pro marriage equality speech to the Aust Christian Lobby in 2014, thats because he knew the Greens would introduce their bill a year later. Also when he was part of the Rudd govt in 2009 and vote YES to remove over 80 laws that discriminated against LGBTIQ people, I know right, 6 years ago that is so sudden. I was shocked at Shortens sudden awakening – at least 6 years ago – of marriage equality and LGBTIQ discrimination, just to preempt the Greens.

  46. miriamenglish

    Jammy, from the way you speak about gays I don’t believe you ever genuinely gave gay people “the benefit of the doubt”. Gay people tend to pick up with people who hold nasty homophobic prejudices, including those individuals who try to hide it from themselves. They have to, in order to survive. You actually know many very smart, high-functioning gay people, but there is no way they will ever let on to you who they are.

    Many of the smartest people in history have been gay. Obviously you are allowing your prejudice to distort your view. A pity. A waste of a human potential.

  47. miriamenglish

    Annie, one of the things that worries me about the temporary delay in warming of the Northern Hemisphere (if it happens) is that it may make people complacent again, so that warming kicks in again it will do so with a vengeance.

    There is some worry that when the last rush of the ice melts from Greenland that sudden influx of cold, fresh water might stop the Atlantic current that takes warm tropical water up to the North Atlantic. If that happens much of Europe and North America could quickly become buried under many metres of snow. The temptation for them would be to think global warming had ended and suddenly ramp up fossil fuel use. In actual fact the globe would still be warming with us here in the South scorching, and when the Atlantic current re-established, the North Atlantic countries would begin to cook too.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Re the PM’s sister

    “She should stay well out of the media and the political process”

    She is a Liberal Councillor on the City of Sydney Council

    Re children in detention

    “How many kids stuck inside? Five or six?”

    The Government’s latest statistics, dated 30 April 2015, reveal that:
    • 127 children are held in immigration detention facilities within Australia;
    • 95 children are held in detention on Nauru;
    • 1,092 children are detained in the community under residence determinations, a system referrred to as community detention; and
    • 3,004 children are living in the community on bridging visas which mean their parents generally have no work rights and very limited access to any Government support.

    This comment has been brought to you by the AIMN fact check

  49. Peter F

    @Turnleft “If governments have to pass laws in order to prevent a part of society from accessing rights that another groups takes for granted, that is kind of not a ‘special right’, that would be discrimination”.

    ….. Just ask John Howard. (Thanks Turnleft)

  50. Annie B

    @stephentardrew ….. Thank you so much for your offer of finding more info. on heat transportation across the seas.

    Much appreciated. Some further stuff below re the Antarctic and it’s current ‘meltings’ which is also for you, but Miriam raised this particular comment and query.


    @ miriamenglish ….. …. yes, there is always the possibility of complacency about any ‘signs’ that we might be cooling instead of getting hotter. Can only hope the Prime m – does not catch on, as he will try and justify his “enormous” ( LOL ) insights and knowledge about ‘ the science of climate change’ … and continue to push fossil fuels. …. btw – there was an article on TV this past week, that showed the joy of some Chinese ppl, who have clear skies and no smog for once. Breathing nice clean air. Apparently attributed to the closing down of fossil fuel burning smoke stacks, dotted around a major city. Can’t recall which TV channel it was on.

    May sound odd, but the pack ice and ( during winter ) the sea ( or flat ) ice … which forms across the polynya is getting much thicker, more difficult and lasting longer. However, it is the glacial melts that have increased – they melt continually anyway, but it’s coming from beneath the glaciers, breaking off larger tracts of glacier to become huge icebergs, now than ever before. …. Fresh water which will ultimately raise the sea levels down south as well. …. this is one of many many sites reporting on the movement of ice / fresh water down there.

    Have had a few verbal stouches with people who say to the following “this is not possible” …. but – at either poles there is no north or south, understandably. And, particularly, what we might think would be ‘west’ ( e.g. south of Perth ) Indian Ocean – is East Antarctica, and to our own ‘east’, NZ, Pacific Ocean to Sth America – is West Antarctica. There are only two seasons there also – Summer and Winter.

    You could say I am fascinated with the region. !!! 😉

  51. Annie B

    Thank you stephen … I have read the link you provided, with much interest – and went on from there to further links.

    Excellent – at the same time, frightening.


    And to think there is a certain person in this country, who thinks the whole subject is ‘crap’ … and insists on leading us ever downwards with his warped ideas – against all odds – and is still relying on the sale of fossil fuels. …. Does he actually believe in his own stupidity ?

    p.s. I think there’s been a slight stray off topic here …. 😛

  52. miriamenglish

    Jammy, thank you. I laughed long and loud at your reply. I needed that injection of delusional comedy into my day. Excellent. 😀

  53. Annie B

    Following on miriamenglish … comment, which was spot on I reckon.

    Who has seen the wind,
    Neither you nor I,
    but when the leaves bow down their heads
    The wind is passing by.

    Who knows all there is,
    Jammy ‘reads the signs’,
    but when it comes to common sense
    Jamm-y – has passed it by.

    Who has seen the bias,
    Readers here – that’s who
    but when the chips are thrown down,
    it’s Jammy in the poo.

    Leave it all alone – ( JM )
    For once, think sensibly
    Addressing Jammy M right here –
    Your posts are sophistry. …

    …. and fallacious,

    …. and ridiculous

    …. and false ….

    All that and more. …..

    ….. Sheesh !!

  54. Harquebus

    No marriages on any kind on a dead planet. Let’s get our priorities right.

    “Mankind’s exothermic machine of industrial civilization recently blew past the 400ppm CO2 mile post, causing a few passengers to exclaim, “Homo sapiens have never existed at these levels of heat-trapping gases!””

    “Of course, the age of propaganda is now upon us; where perception trumps the truth, until that is, the house of cards burns and falls, which it always does.”

    “But here we are, 40 years after the Club of Rome and 7 years after the Great Financial Accident of 2008, collectively pretending that neither was a sign warning of the dangers we face — as a global society — if we continue our unsustainable policies and practices that assume perpetual growth.”

    “The near-simultaneous eruption of violent protest can seem random and chaotic; inevitable symptoms of an unstable world. But there’s at least one common thread between the disparate nations, cultures, and people in conflict, one element that has demonstrably proven to make these uprisings more likely: high global food prices.”

    Honeybee Collapse is the Result of Their Enslavement in Industrial Monocultures

  55. Annie B

    Harquebus ….

    I have read all the links you posted. They seem to focus on the Northern Hemisphere – almost 100%. … Not that it means we have nothing to worry about in the South. …. We most certainly do, but perhaps differently ? …

    The world has gone through tragedies and ghastlies for as long as it has been in existence. …. We are still here, and – ( unless we subscribe to the ‘end times’ cults / religious dooms-dayers ), we will continue to be here, because of our innate sense of survival ( the strongest of all instincts ), our resilience, our intelligence, and our hope. We live, we die. That’s life. …. No-one has a pre-paid passage to endless life.

    The quicker this addled government wakes up to it’s failures regarding fossil fuels etc., the better off the world ( and particularly us ) will be. …. We can but hope that the penny will drop, and it absolutely HAS to happen. It will – for our children and their children.

    Add to this the fearsome force of Mother Nature ( who is rumbling in increasing anger at this time ) …. and if nothing else will teach us anything – she WILL …. Nature adapts and is infinitely adaptable – but not without protest, and not without loss.

    Chin up, Harquebus. … and have some hope.

    ,,,,,,,,, [ again straying off topic of the article – apologies to John Kelly ] but I felt I’d like to reply.

  56. miriamenglish

    Annie and Harquebus, here is some good news for a change. Our nitwit prime minister is a fervent Catholic. The Pope, head of his faith, has declared that working to bring on climate change a sin. He says that creation is good and destroying it is bad, that we have been given custodianship of life on Earth and that we have to live up to our responsibility. He also points out that this is largely a result of the wealthy minority exploiting the poor. (I couldn’t help wondering if Pope Francis included himself in that, being the head of one of the wealthiest organisations on the planet.)

    Rabid religious fool that Tony Abbott is, his vandalistic ways are now in clear conflict with his church. Will he dismiss the leader of his religion as an aberration, or will he realise his (godless) billionaire friends are pulling the rug out from under him?

  57. miriamenglish

    Oh, and Jammy, I realised I owe you an apology. I had been estimating your age wrongly. I’d previously thought (and said to Roswell) that you were probably about 15 years old. I now realise that was probably off a fair bit and that judging by what you’ve written you must be a fair bit younger. I’d guess maybe 12. This is an honest attempt to understand your uncomplicated views and lack of self-awareness — both symptoms of a very young mind. I don’t say this to belittle you. Youth is a great thing (I wish I still had it). It means you can learn rapidly and with great energy, but it also means you will have unreasonable certainty in your own statements and an ability to hide things from yourself that will be truly embarrassing as you grow older and more worldly.

    Read, Jammy. Read as much as you can. The internet is a great assistance here. You have tens of thousands of free books in Project Gutenberg, almost boundless information in Wikipedia, WikiBooks, Wikiversity, the Internet Archive. There are thousands of informational channels on YouTube like SciShow, MinutePhysics, EEVBlog, KhanAcademy, BrightStorm, MITOpenCourseware, CrashCourse, TheBrainScoop, ViHart, StoryOfStuff. There are thousands more online talks such as TED Talks, Radiolab, ITConversations, AstronomyCast, Hardcore History, LittleAtoms, NASA’s enormous archives of free information, and much, much more. There is an amount of information at your fingertips previously unavailable even to royalty and billionaires. Use your youth to your advantage. Don’t simply take pre-digested views from your elders or peers without question. Grow and become better than most people ever could. Don’t become stuck in a cartoonish world like so many people do. Use the flexibility of your youth to make the most of your potential.

  58. stephentardrew


    Your insulting and childish responses, for example accusing Miriamenglish, who obviously has broad understanding of science, logic, critical thinking and academic credibility, of being captured by “current fashionable prejudices” without any supporting evidence is the classic case of ignorance attempting to demonstrate reason from a position of ignorance. This is the fare of right wing ideologues. You Jammy are an ideologue and your lack of knowledge of science and logic is glaring. You should take up MIriam’s suggestion and, as I have proposed before, try a course in logic, scientific methodology, reason, critical thinking, philosophy of science, evolution and ethics before you make yourself look even more immature and foolish. Then when you have done that take a look at the new physics, cosmology, and the deep and profound implications of infinity and time (especially block time and Minkowki space) then you can begin to be informed by facts not ignorant opinion. I am sure if you were to carry out in depth discussions with Miriam based upon knowledge and proof you will come to understand who you are dealing with.

    Good luck with that.

    Be aware that this blog is heavily weighted with those who have much academic and life experience beyond your years.

    It is not a place for the club of uneducated, fallacious, dogma-ridden, magical mythical thinkers.

  59. Annie B

    Thanks Miriam …. I had completely forgotten that Pope Francis is indeed all for climate consideration, and no doubt is for a lot of renewable energy. …. He’s a good bloke, methinks.

    Perhaps the p m had, during his heady seminarian days, an ambition to get to the top himself ? … Thank God he left the seminary.

    The prime m here, is 3 little monkeys in one. …. Hears nothing, speaks nothing ( that makes any sense ), sees nothing. … Especially he is deaf to all common sense. ….

    Apologies to the Japanese ( origins ) of the 3 wise monkeys – hearing, speaking and seeing no evil.

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