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Climate Change; Islamic Extremists & Anti-Terrorist Laws; More Exposure of Union Misbehaviour; Even Nobel Prize Winners Can Be Wrong

Today Greg Sheridan points out that “endless commentators – none of them ever properly challenged on the facts” – are able to unjustifiably  claim that foreign countries are doing far more than Australia in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (see below). Greg’s challenge is most helpful, as is some of the other material on climate change published in The Australian.  But why don’t that paper and other media challenge other “endless commentators” on the false claims they so frequently make about various  climate change facts?

One such claim is that temperatures increased over the past century by about 0.8 of a degree. But if published average temperatures were calculated by averaging daily temperatures during the whole day, instead of averaging just the maximum and minimum, that would reduce the increase over the past century by 0.3-0.4 of a degree. Even if such an increase occurred over the current century – so far there has been none – it would constitute no threat.

The meeting of Attorney General George Brandis in the halls of Parliament House (ie in public gaze) with leaders of the Australian Muslim community, and his public comments there in their presence, was presumably designed to warn the leaders (and others) of the government’s concern about terrorism in Iraq/Syria and that new anti-terror legislation is imminent here. That one of the leaders  criticised the caliphate claim made by ISIS (now titled Islamic State), and said leaders here would discourage Australians from joining terror groups, must be taken with  a grain of salt. The report (below) makes him out to be “a senior sharia official for the al-Qa’ida group”, which provides no comfort – except perhaps that that group is less violent than the caliphate one.

Andrew Bolt’s report below refers to  comments by two Muslims (one an ABC “presenter”), one of whom implies a connection between the deaths of three kidnapped Israeli children and the “settlement” of Jews in Israel  and the other acknowledging there are “some Muslims out there who have no loyalty to Australia”. Isn’t that treasonous?

The exposure of union misbehaviour by the Royal Commission appears now to be accompanied by separate misbehaviour revelations in the Fairfax press, including front page treatment in The Age. These clearly show why, under the existing regulatory arrangements (including the lack of police back-ups), employers are forced to make “concessions” to unions (the CFMEU in particular in these examples) in order to prevent workplace disruptions. It is reported that such misbehaviour, involving in effect the exercise of monopoly power, will probably come before the RC next week.

Meantime the Tasmanian Government has entered the “challenge-union-behaviour” fray and the Royal Cn itself heard how easy it is for some union officials (in this case the TWU) to benefit from involvement in running super funds.

Worth reading is an article by journalist Nikki Savva outlining the problems likely to face Abbott in handling the newly composed Senate about to start. Her argument that Palmer has in effect become Leader of the Opposition is of interest.

Finally, the The Age’s economic desk has given Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz  favourable treatment for his astonishingly anti-market comments, some of which I heard when attending his lecture at a function held jointly by the Productivity Commission, the Economic Society and the Crawford Economics Faculty at the ANU. I cannot imagine why the RC and the ES even thought of inviting Stiglitz. Amongst other ridiculous recent comments, when asked what Australia had done right that the US had not, Stiglitz apparently said: “unions”.