Pioneers, Builders, and Termites.

Guest essay by Viv Forbes

To compete in today’s world we need to score well on resource availability, capital assets, energy costs, tax burden and workforce/management. It also helps to have secure property rights and a sound currency. Today’s Australia scores poorly on all counts.

In 1901, the year of Federation, Australia was the richest country in the world per capita.
The Pioneer generations, with freedom to explore and invest, had developed valuable mineral assets – gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, coal, tin and iron. And they had bred up large numbers of sheep and cattle on our native grasslands.

Energy was abundant – wood, horse power, kerosene, gas, hydro and coal powered electricity – we were among world leaders in cheap energy. Sydney had gas lights in its streets as far back as 1820. 

The Pioneering innovators also invented game-changers such as the stump jump plough, the Ridley-Sunshine Harvester and froth flotation of minerals, and they developed better Australian versions of Leviathan coaches, Southern Cross windmills, Merino sheep, Shorthorn cattle, Federation wheat, Kelpies and Blue Heeler dogs.

The Builder generations who followed the pioneers invested heavily in productive capital assets like flour mills and wool sheds, mines and collieries, smelters and saw mills, power stations and electric trams, trans-continental railways and overland telegraph lines, orchards and plantations, stockyards and abattoirs, breweries and vineyards, dams and artesian bores, factories and universities, exploration and research, pipelines and harbours, railways and roads. There were no “Lock-the-Gate” signs.

Governments were decentralised with minimal taxes and red tape, creating new business was easy and union power was minimal and generally beneficial for workers.
But then the Termite generations took over, and for much of the last forty years taxes, handouts and green tape have been smothering new enterprise. We are sponging on the ageing assets created by past generations and building little to support future Australians. The monuments left by this generation are typified by casinos, sports arenas, wind-energy prayer wheels, sit-down money and debt.

The trendy war on carbon has already inflated our electricity costs – this will hasten the closure of more processing and manufacturing industries. Green tape is shutting-the-gate on new investments in exploration, grassland protection, dams, power stations, fishing, forestry and coastal development. Taxes are weakening existing industry and the savings that could build new industries are being wasted on bureaucracy, delays, legalism, subsidies, climate tomfoolery and green energy toys. Finally, union featherbedding is crippling any large survivors.

Australia’s future prosperity demands cheap energy, more investment in productive assets, reduced government costs, more productive labour and the freedom to explore and innovate.
We must change, or more jobs will follow Holden.

More at carbon-sense.com

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319 Responses to Pioneers, Builders, and Termites.

  1. BarryW says:

    I think it started well before that. The strikes during WWII where the unions refused to load the ships bound to fight the Japanese were a definite indication of a people who were losing their integrity and moral stature.

  2. Gail Combs says:

    Everything Viv said also applies to the USA and goes double for those in the EU.

    Only one quibble I have. Termites is too nice a term I prefers raiders and parasites like Haemonchus Contortus, a blood-sucking parasite that pierces the lining of the sheep’s fourth or “true” stomach, causing anemia often leading to death if untreated.

  3. Thanks Viv. Good article.
    I can only hope Australia will soon start removing the termites from government positions, we should do the same all over the world.

  4. markstoval says:

    Thanks to Viv Forbes for that essay, and to Anthony for posting it. It was very informative and a pleasure to read tonight.

    As a follower von Mises and the Austrian School of economics, all of this is all too predictable and understandable. Far too many people don’t understand that wealth comes from innovation, investment, forecasting and risk taking. The people themselves are the best at these things since they are the ones whose “boots are on the ground” whilst bureaucrats in some far away office can never do anything but get in the way of progress and destroy accumulated wealth.

    It is said that the greatest trick Satan ever pulled off was convincing mankind that he did not exist. Well, the greatest trick the State has pulled off is convincing people that it is necessary and that it does good things for the masses.

    The Nature of the State: http://mises.org/daily/4227/

  5. davesivyer says:

    Nicely put, Viv.
    As a 60+ 5th. iteration Australian I share your concerns. Hayek and others have called for an alternative, loud and consistent opposing voice if we are to stem the galloping growth of arbitrary authority pouring out of our bulging bureaucracies.
    I have a strong sense that Abbott places a high value on service and his opportunity to be a servant to Australia will bring on some reforms and revisions of the socialists plans.

    Cheers,

    Dave
    Narrogin WA

  6. climateace says:

    This article is truly bizarre.

    The thing is this: Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed UP the ladder of the world’s largest economies.

    According to Forbes this would simply not be impossible because Australia is not competitive in all the ways that count, including in energy costs.

    The other bizarre element is that there is not the slightest skerrick of an attempt at balance: how does Forbes account for our mass extinction event, the trashing of our soils, and the utter degradation of our largest river systems?

    They must not matter, right?

  7. Gail Combs says:

    BarryW says: @ December 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I think it started well before that….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    You can trace it back to the 1800s (Carroll Quigley was President Bill Clinton’s Mentor)
    The Anglo-American Establishment
    by Carroll Quigley

    p3
    One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole. For these men were organizing a secret society that was, for more than fifty years, to be one of the most important forces in the formulation and execution of British imperial and foreign policy….

    Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time
    by Carroll Quigley

    Pg. 62:
    In addition to their power over government based on government financing and personal influence, bankers could steer governments in ways they wished them to go by other pressures. Since most government officials felt ignorant of finance, they sought advice from bankers whom they considered to be experts in the field. The history of the last century shows, as we shall see later, that the advice given to governments by bankers, like the advice they gave to industrialists, was consistently good for bankers, but was often disastrous for governments, businessmen, and the people generally. Such advice could be enforced if necessary by manipulation of exchanges, gold flows, discount rates, and even levels of business activity….

    Now think of the 2008-2009 ‘Bank Bailouts’ and financial crisis….

  8. RS says:

    Apparently John Galt lived there too.

  9. Gail Combs says:

    BarryW says: @ December 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm…
    I should add, despite what the propogandists try to tell us, Capitalism does not work without law. There must be respect for and protection of property rights from the thugs, raiders and parasites, whether lawless or sanctioned by government. Fractional reserve banking is government sanctioned raids on everyones property (wealth)

    Sen. Daniel Webster, during the debate over the reauthorization of the Second National Bank of the U.S. in 1832, summed up my view on bank issued fiat currency and fractional reserve banking.

    “A disordered currency is one of the greatest of evils. It wars against industry, frugality, and economy. And it fosters the evil spirits of extravagance and speculation. Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effectual than that which deludes them with paper money. This is one of the most effectual of inventions to fertilize the rich man’s field by the sweat of the poor man’s brow. Ordinary tyranny, oppression, excessive taxation: These bear lightly the happiness of the mass of the community, compared with fraudulent currencies and robberies committed with depreciated paper.”
    link

    Woodrow Wilson is the president who signed the Federal Reserve act of 1913.
    The New Freedom
    a book by Woodrow Wilson, 1961

    Pg. 29-30:
    one of the most significant signs of the new social era is the degree to which government has become associated with business. I speak, for the moment, of the control over the government exercised by Big Business. Behind the whole subject, of course, is the truth that, in the new order, government and business must be associated closely. But that association is at present of a nature absolutely intolerable; the precedence is wrong, the association is upside down. Our government has been for the past few years under the control of heads of great allied corporations with special interests. It has not controlled these interests and assigned them a proper place in the whole system of business; it has submitted itself to their control. As a result, there have grown up vicious systems and schemes of governmental favoritism (the most obvious being the extravagant tariff), far reaching in effect upon the whole fabric of life, touching to his injury every inhabitant of the land.

    Pg. 20:
    In most parts of our country men work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in which they used to work, but generally as employees,–in a higher or lower grade,–of great corporations. There was a time when corporations played a very minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations.
    You know what happens when you are the servant of a corporation. You have in no instance access to the men who are really determining the policy of the corporation. If the corporation is doing the things that it ought not to do, you really have no voice in the matter and must obey the orders, and you have oftentimes with deep mortification to co-operate in the doing of things which you know are against the public interest. Your individuality is swallowed up in the individuality and purpose of a great organization.

    Pg. 24:
    Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

    They know that America is not a place of which it can be said, as it used to be, that a man may choose his own calling and pursue it just as far as his abilities enable him to pursue it; because to-day, if he enters certain fields, there are organizations which will use means against him that will prevent his building up a business which they do not want to have built up; organizations that will see to it that the ground is cut from under him and the markets shut against him.

    We are seeing the culmination of plans that were made generations ago. Yes it sounds like a “Conspiracy’ which is why I use so many direct quotes, but there is too darn much evidence from sources like president Wilson. Heck the former Director-General of the World Trade Organization came right out and stated it very bluntly.
    Pascal Lamy: Whither Globalization?

    The reality is that, so far, we have largely failed to articulate a clear and compelling vision of why a new global order matters — and where the world should be headed. Half a century ago, those who designed the post-war system — the United Nations, the Bretton Woods system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) — were deeply influenced by the shared lessons of history.

    All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty

    Democracy? What Democracy? We, the little people were shut out of the conversation before we were even born!

  10. Ron House says:

    climateace says:
    This article is truly bizarre.
    The thing is this: Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed UP the ladder of the world’s largest economies.
    According to Forbes this would simply not be impossible because Australia is not competitive in all the ways that count, including in energy costs.

    Most of the other large economies have also been committing suicide with fruitcake anti-plant food policies, and at a much faster rate than Australia.

    The other bizarre element is that there is not the slightest skerrick of an attempt at balance: how does Forbes account for our mass extinction event, the trashing of our soils, and the utter degradation of our largest river systems?

    What mass extinction event? Name 1,000 species that have gone extinct world-wide (or 100 in Australia, as you prefer) since 1901 – and then show how, if it did happen, it has any relevance to the article, or why Forbes, of all the people in the world, is beholden to provide an “account”. What has the trashing of the soils got to do with the article? Ditto for the “utter degradation” of our largest river systems. (Hint: to be relevant, you must show that they have a concrete relation to the matters under discussion, and, since the article is comparative, not absolute, that matters here differ materially and relevantly from matters in other countries.)

    Frankly, I think you’re a troll. Any fool can throw factoids into a discussion without explanation and then leave it up to the reader to thrash about trying to work out what the heck you mean. Get relevant, make your point, or leave the discussion to the big boys.

  11. Gail Combs says:

    climateace says: @ December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    This article is truly bizarre.

    The thing is this: Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed UP the ladder of the world’s largest economies….
    That is because the rot is world wide. Most if not all countries have fractional reserve banking. Fractional reserve banking as Webster so colorfully stated in my above quote siphons money out of your pocket and into the pockets of the bankers and his friends.

    For those who can not understand Webster here is “[s]ome of the most frank evidence on banking practices… given by Graham F. Towers, Governor of the Central Bank of Canada (from 1934 to 1955), before the Canadian Government’s Committee on Banking and Commerce, in 1939.”
    Money Is Created by Banks Evidence Given by Graham Towers

    Q. But there is no question about it that banks create the medium of exchange?

    Mr. Towers: That is right. That is what they are for… That is the Banking business, just in the same way that a steel plant makes steel. (p. 287)

    The manufacturing process consists of making a pen-and-ink or typewriter entry on a card in a book. That is all. (pp. 76 and 238)

    Each and every time a bank makes a loan (or purchases securities), new bank credit is created — new deposits — brand new money. (pp. 113 and 238)

    Broadly speaking, all new money comes out of a Bank in the form of loans.

    As loans are debts, then under the present system all money is debt. (p. 459)

    Q. When $1,000,000 worth of bonds is presented (by the government) to the bank, a million dollars of new money or the equivalent is created?

    Mr. Towers: Yes.

    Q. Is it a fact that a million dollars of new money is created?

    Mr. Towers: That is right.

    Q. Now, the same thing holds true when the municipality or the province goes to the bank?

    Mr. Towers: Or an individual borrower.

    Q. Or when a private person goes to a bank?

    Mr. Towers: Yes.

    Q. When I borrow $100 from the bank as a private citizen, the bank makes a bookkeeping entry, and there is a $100 increase in the deposits of that bank, in the total deposits of that bank?

    Mr. Towers: Yes. (p. 238)…

    Q. But if the issue of currency and money is a high prerogative of government, then that high prerogative has been transferred to the extent of 88 per cent from the Government to the merchant banking system?

    Mr. Towers: Yes. (p. 286)

    Q. Will you tell me why a government with power to create money, should give that power away to a private monopoly, and then borrow that which parliament can create itself, back at interest, to the point of national bankruptcy?

    Mr. Towers: If parliament wants to change the form of operating the banking system, then certainly that is within the power of parliament. (p. 394)….

    And yet despite this very frank evidence nothing changed and nations such as Greece, and Iceland are going bankrupt because of bankers…

    More on money and how the bankers transfer wealth to themselves and their buddies.

    Mises on Money
    Mises concluded that money is neither a consumption good nor a capital good. He argued that production and consumption are possible without money [Think Barter - G.C.] Money facilitates both production and consumption, but it is neither a production good nor a consumption good. Money is therefore a separate analytical category.

    “It is illegitimate to compare the part played by money in production with that played by ships and railways. Money is obviously not a ‘commercial tool’ in the same sense as account books, exchange lists, the Stock Exchange, or the credit system”

    Because money is not capital, he concluded that an increase of the money supply confers no identifiable social value. If you fail to understand this point, you will not be able to understand the rest of Mises’s theory of money. On this assessment of the value of money, his whole theory of money hinges.
    An increase in the quantity of money can no more increase the welfare of the members of a community, than a diminution of it can decrease their welfare…..

    If a producer benefits society by increasing the production of a non-monetary good, later finding a buyer, then society is benefitted because there are at least two winners and no losers….

    New money does not appear magically in equal percentages in all people’s bank accounts or under their mattresses. Money spreads unevenly, and this process has varying effects on individuals, depending on whether they receive early or late access to the new money

    It is these losses of the groups that are the last to be reached by the variation in the value of money which ultimately constitute the source of the profits made by the mine owners and the groups most closely connected with them.

    This indicates a fundamental aspect of Mises’s monetary theory that is rarely mentioned: the expansion or contraction of money is a zero-sum game. Mises did not use this terminology, but he used the zero-sum concept. Because the free market always maximizes the utility of the existing money supply, changes in the money supply inescapably have the characteristic features of a zero-sum game. Some individuals are made better off by an increase in the money supply; others are made worse off. The existing money is an example of a “fixed pie of social value.” Adding to the money supply does not add to its value.

  12. John Bell says:

    I think after the trendy war against carbon…in the future people will see the light, and all this green stuff will be pushed aside and we will return to carbon for all the good it does.

  13. LevelGaze says:

    @ climateace
    December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Oh, yes? What “mass extinction event” would that be?
    What “trashing of our soils”?
    And as for “the utter degradation of our largest river systems” – try that one on the many flood victims of the past few years.

  14. Eric Worrall says:

    Gail Combs, the social good that banks do is help individuals and companies manage risk.

    Say an exporter wants to export goods from America to Australia. The chances are their clients want to buy in Australian dollars, so the exporter carries the can for the currency risk – if the value of the Australian dollar drops substantially after the deal is signed, it can wipe out their profit – when they convert the Australian dollars back into American dollars, the number of American dollars they get will be less than they need to cover costs.

    Say an exporter in Australia wants to send goods to America. They are carrying the same risk, but in reverse – if the value of American dollar drops, their profit could be wiped out.

    Banks help both parties, by putting them together. They set up a fixed exchange rate deal, to eliminate the risk for both the American and the Australian exporter. The bank charges a fee, and the Australian and American exporters lock in their profit – everyone is happy.

    Without the bank, the Australian and American exporters would be at the mercy of the markets – they could go bust.

    This is why banks charge so much for what they do, and why clients are willing to pay their exorbitant fees.

    Of course, its unlikely that the Australian export will be an exact match in terms of value to the American export – if you could always match people exactly, nobody would need the bank. This is where the bank’s skill at managing risk counts – banking in this case is a continuous effort to track the imbalances and try to cancel them out against each other, to avoid taking on too much cumulative risk, to lock in risk free profit for the bank.

    The system is imperfect – if the bank scr*ws up their risk management, they go bust. But its better than nothing.

  15. markx says:

    Gail Combs says: December 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Dang, Gail hits the nail right on the head with this line she quoted:

    “…..the advice given to governments by bankers, like the advice they gave to industrialists, was consistently good for bankers, but was often disastrous for governments, businessmen, and the people generally….”

    Then in her next comment follows up with another great truth: Capitalism is a wonderful thing, but it only functions because of a myriad of laws and regulations.

    Countries and governments should be investing in infrastructure within their own shores. If you think government can’t run it (very likely the case) then set up a sovereign wealth fund (Singapore and China style), and let that buy the companies and their assets, and run them exactly like normal companies.

    Note that many power assets in Australia were privatized and sold off. Who bought them? Singaporean and Chinese companies owned by their sovereign wealth funds. Someone must be wrong and made an awful economic decision there, and I suspect it was not the foreigners.

  16. CRS, DrPH says:

    Thanks, Viv! The more I learn about Australians, the more this Yank likes them! You gave great insight into the remarkable inventiveness and entrepreneurship of the Aussies.

    Thanks also to Gail for her excellent contributions, as always.

    The tide seems to be turning against the hockey team, let’s hope for more ice-bound Antarctic tourist ships in 2014! Happy New Year if we don’t speak before then. Cheers, Charles the DrPH

  17. Owen in GA says:

    The way of things throughout the times of boom and bust!

    The founders build the empire with a spirit of creation and hard work, usually out of dire necessity. The next generation builds more extravagantly and creates great wealth. The generation after is where the decline begins, for they sit back and enjoy the fruits of their wiser forefathers and use up the wealth in decadence that is needed to sustain the empire. The fourth generation either rebuilds or endures the collapse. (The question is which generation are we?)

    This pattern is true almost universally from family businesses to major trading empires: and generally takes from 50 to 200 years throughout history. In the future, people will speak of the “golden age” when men dared touch the face of the moon and after that it will be merely fable.

    Ahh, but I shouldn’t wax maudlin at our decline.

  18. SAMURAI says:

    The world economy is being slowly being destroyed by statist governments’ EXCESSIVE: rules, regulation, mandates, greenmail, public sector union extortion, taxes, government debt and insane monetary policies necessary to feed the Leviathan and create economic bubbles.

    The malinvestments, economic distortions, debt and economic inefficiencies created by statist governments will eventually cause one of the worst worldwide economic collapses in human history. After the collapse, the world will have two choices: 1) do citizens run into the arms of the Leviathan for protection from the devastation ironically caused by the Levianthian itself, or 2) do people cage the Leviathan with the bars of limited Constitutional enumerated powers, balanced budget restrictions, government spending limits to just 10% of GDP, implementing massive deregulation, tax reform, abandonment of CAGW greenmail policies, etc.

    Australia is slowly moving in the right direction by repealing its destructive greenmail silliness and hopefully this return to sanity will be followed by other countries while there is still time.

  19. markx says:

    Coalition projects surge hits $400bn
    The Australian December 27, 2013 12:00AM

    RESOURCES, infrastructure and road projects worth a total of $400 billion have been given the green light as the Abbott government demolishes objections from the Greens and moves to reverse a predicted fall in mining investment that could drag down the economy for two years. Environment Minister Greg Hunt has taken decisions on 125 projects in the Coalition’s first three months in office, including approving 29 major projects, which the government estimates are worth $400bn.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/coalition-projects-surge-hits-400bn/story-fn59niix-1226790338185 (paywalled)

  20. Chad Wozniak says:

    Excellent article, Viv – hits many of the point concerning what is wrong with our world today.

    Observing all that has happened around the world these last few years, I have developed a very hard view of what needs to be done to prevent recurrences of the bad developments we’ve seen, not only in Australia and the US but in the EU and other advanced nations.

    First of all, there needs to be extremely tight controls over the conduct of officials. This consists on the following:
    * limited terms in office for all officialdom from presidents to the lowest-level government employee (6 years for elective office, shorter terms for appointed officials and employees);;
    * personal accountability (every act of government attributable to specific individual[s[) and broad criminal liability for misconduct, including making false statements to the public punishable as perjury; (all functionaries at all level shall be bound by oath to tell the truth),
    * strict and very low limits on the amount of money all levels of government can take in all types of taxes (I’d recommend a maximum of 10 percent of GDP on local, state/province, national combined); structure insurance and pensions through personal contributions (in the US, if the average person had contributed to a fund consisting of the Dow-Jones Index stocks, instead of paying Social security tax, over a 40-year period, he/she would be able to retire on an income comparable to what he/she was earning at his last job);
    * drastic reduction of government employment to fit the 10 percent tax limit, and government salaries limited to 75 percent of pay for comparable responsibility in the private sector;
    * Absolute prohibition of wealth redistribution schemes, however devised, including prohibition of progressive taxation, progressive insurance premiums, progressive college tuition and other such devices;
    * Absolute prohibition of government funding for scientific or other research except for medical advances;
    * Requiriing legislative approval of ALL laws, regulations, or other acts having the force of law, delegating NONE of this to the bureaucrats;
    * Requiring an impartial in-depth cost-benefit analysis and determination of necessity with assessment of possible unintended consequences, of any new law, regulation or act before it goes to the legislature;
    * Placing limits on the lengths of laws and regulations, and requiring them to be readily understandable by laypeople (I do NOT accept the argument that this is impossible in today’s complex society);
    * Replacing existing law codes with new, very short codes, eliminating duplicative and catch-22 provisions form the law ( rule might be that the entire law code of a governmental entity be limited to 1,000 6″ x 9″ pages in type no smaller than 10 point; again I REJECT the argument that this is impossible in today’s complex society);
    * licensing procedures should require approval by ONE agency only to be final, and documents required shall not exceed TWO pages in ” x 9″ 10-point type.
    * Draconian penalties for usurpation of legislative authority by the executive or judiciary, up to and including the death penalty;
    * Draconian penalties for rights violations by officials, up to and including the death penalty;

    - this may be a start to fix what ails us.

  21. dp says:

    Our current leadership tells us we didn’t build our businesses – we didn’t build our forges and mills and foundries, our great engineering marvels that placed us time and again at the top of the heap. We didn’t build our factories that turn out designs we surely didn’t create. We are told we had help and that help deserves, has a right to, a share of our hard work’s produce. We are not told who helped us so all comers expect their fair share of our pie. Our leadership doesn’t understand. Can’t or won’t, doesn’t matter. The understanding isn’t there. And our pie is no more – it has gone to China where it is out of reach of our leadership’s absurd self loathing, and it is thriving.

  22. Mariss Freimanis says:

    Climate ace is a sad reminder of what happens if the younger generations aren’t taught where and how the comforts of their lives are produced. what we get is a generation of parasites who vigorously consume and at the same time work to destroy the infrastructure that keeps them comfortable.

  23. Brian H says:

    Subordination of nations to self-selected experts is the wet dream of leftism. “A republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.” She is failing.

  24. Bill says:

    Ah Money, the most misunderstood of all things on this planet. Money is not a physical thing, you cannot have a money.
    Show me what a money is… No, that stuff in your pocket is currency, just a convenient form of money.
    There are infinite forms of money and types of money, but no such physical thing as a money.
    Money is a process, it can be best described as any thing used as the counterparty in any transaction. When one wishes to acquire a thing in a transaction, one offers a form of money to the owner of said thing, hoping to acquire the good or service.
    Any form of wealth may be used as money, precious metals, bonds, paper currencies, camels, sheep, poetry, singing, food etc. Any form of wealth will do, it is just that some forms are more convenient than others. Wealth may be described as anything physical or infomational that may be possesed.
    Any wealth that you may have in you possesion or that may be borrowed can be used as money to complete a tranaction, barter is a beautiful thing. Capitalism is free and honest trade, also a good thing. Currency is just a very handy form of easily recognized wealth, lightweight, denominated, accepted. The only thing not to like about currencies is that they are 100% counterfeit, The printer gains all the spoils and ownership of other’s sweat equity for free, ( or nearly so) and currencies are produced by the boatload.
    The problem is that we are so used to the ubiquity of paper and plastic we cannot see and will not see the problems with them. Our desire to see only what we want to see is comparable to the desire of scientists to confirm their personal beliefs and biases. Truth may be ugly.
    We are living in a mire of fiscal fraud, and since all living souls have never lived otherwise we cannot see the problem.
    All the issues I have seen on this site boil down to the exposure of different frauds, and the beautiful search through many slings and arrows for the truth.
    The truth is that the financial systems of this planet are all frauds, made legal by fraudulant laws.
    This is the reason for the failure of our economies.

  25. Anthony Watts says:

    “climateace” can’t really help himself, he’s just another govwonk in Canberra that likely never had to actually produce anything of substance. Other than reports I doubt he has anything tangible.

  26. Khwarizmi says:

    climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    This article is truly bizarre. The thing is this: Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed UP the ladder of the world’s largest economies.
    ============
    Norway has $ 71,870,000,000 in the bank, while Australia, in very distinct contrast, owes $57,140,000,000.
    The thing is, over the past couple of decades, The Commonwealth of Australia Corporation has climbed UP the status ladder to rank #6 on the list of the world’s largest debtors:
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2187rank.html
    And we flaunt our debt proudly, as if it were wealth.

  27. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    According to Forbes this would simply not be impossible because Australia is not competitive in all the ways that count, including in energy costs.”

    Can you remind non-Australian readers what was one of the reasons Ford stated in it’s decision to withdraw from Australia?

  28. john robertson says:

    We have not only sponged off of the capitol our ancestors built up, we have systematically looted the capitol our grandchildren have yet to create.
    National debt anyone?
    Chad Wozniak covers most of our government disorder.
    We pretend we are operating with democratic political systems, but it seems clear to me we are living in Kleptocracies.
    Who benefits from acts of government?
    Another way to look at the bureaus and politicians, is as actors who begged for the opportunity to play the roles of a very old morality play.
    Civilization requires rule of law, some order and equality before the law for all, simply put we need to be able to trust strangers, to be able to trade and cooperate to our mutual benefit.
    Govt is a gong show/morality play to help maintain the illusion, that civilization works, hence the actors who contribute nothing productive to society except this illusion, must perform their roles as written. Punishment of the ruling actors must be dramatic.
    Violent retribution for breaches of public trust are required, the moral authority of government must be enforced or civilization falls.
    Otherwise ask yourself, What do the functionaries of government contribute?
    They produce no food, no durable goods and take not make wealth.

  29. climateace says:

    Someone inquired about Australian extinctions. Below see links of extinctions of vertebrate fauna and vascular plants. You can safely assume suites of invertebrate and non-vascular plant extinctions to go with each higher order extinction:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_animals_of_Australia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_flora_of_Australia

    The true damage to Australian biodiversity has been within-species loss of genetic diversity.

    Forbes ignores each and every one of these which leads inevitably to the view that he does not give a rat’s about extinctions.

  30. climateace says:

    I notice that anyone who disagrees with anything that the anointed ones pontificate on in the blogs is almost automatically called a troll. If you can’t argue the issues, please desist from calling me a troll. It is rude.

  31. climateace says:

    Patrick

    [According to Forbes this would simply not be impossible because Australia is not competitive in all the ways that count, including in energy costs.”

    Can you remind non-Australian readers what was one of the reasons Ford stated in it’s decision to withdraw from Australia?]

    If this is supposed to be a defence of Forbes’ view, it simply does not work because it cheryypicks a tiny part of the economy and tries to extrapolate from that.

    The point is that Australia’s niche strengths are mineral exports, agricultural exports, services exports and its location close to that part of the world which is driving tremendous economic growth.

  32. climateace says:

    jr

    [We have not only sponged off of the capitol our ancestors built up, we have systematically looted the capitol our grandchildren have yet to create.
    National debt anyone?]

    In fiscal terms the Australian national government debt is small and manageable. But you are onto a reasonable approach when it comes to the environment: we have chewed up our forests, soils, river systems and biodiversity – all examples of eating the beneficence of future generations.

  33. Gerard says:

    Here in Victoria we have over 700 years of brown coal available* that we used to develop our state as a manufacturing centre because of the availability of cheap energy. Now the price of electricity is going through the roof because of green madness, manufacturers are leaving in droves and our competitive edge has gone because brown coal is dirty and should not be used. During the second world war gasification from coal was used to power vehicles.
    *easily accessible much more is available in a seam that runs from the Latrobe Valley through to Altona and Bacchus Marsh.

  34. climateace says:

    ‘[Khwarizmi says:
    December 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    This article is truly bizarre. The thing is this: Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed UP the ladder of the world’s largest economies.
    ============
    Norway has $ 71,870,000,000 in the bank, while Australia, in very distinct contrast, owes $57,140,000,000.]

    You are demonstrating that you know nothing about economics. Australia’s economy is far larger than Norway’s economy. According to Forbes, this is impossible because Australia is uncompetitive. Forbes is spouting economic rubbish on a climate science blog.

    I fail to see why Anthony allows this sort of specious rubbish to defile his science blog.

  35. Geoff Sherrington says:

    No argument from this Aussie, because Viv and I are part of that last generation that gave material help to national wealth through the discovery and development of new wealth that was sold to benefit citizens here.
    Unfortunately, affluence seems to generate a mindset of easy come, easy go, so that Viv and I are sources of his comment “But then the Termite generations took over, and for much of the last forty years taxes, handouts and green tape have been smothering new enterprise. We are sponging on the ageing assets created by past generations and building little to support future Australians.”
    We provided enough termite food to go around to the undeserving.
    There are no mass extinctions here, either seen by observers or recorded officially.
    There is no really detrimental change that is not an inherent pat of people living normally on the land and taking what is needed with a view to avoidance of permanent harm. There is a very inflated list of claims by ignorant greens who have alas, infiltrated the education system.
    The golden rule of conduct is to do as you wish without imposing your beliefs upon others. This is what is now being broken. We have become a Nation of people telling other people what they cannot do.

  36. A fine essay. You write the truth.
    or more jobs will follow Holden.
    Who or What or When was “Holden”?

  37. climateace says:

    Gerard

    [Here in Victoria we have over 700 years of brown coal available* that we used to develop our state as a manufacturing centre because of the availability of cheap energy. Now the price of electricity is going through the roof because of green madness, manufacturers are leaving in droves and our competitive edge has gone because brown coal is dirty and should not be used. During the second world war gasification from coal was used to power vehicles.
    *easily accessible much more is available in a seam that runs from the Latrobe Valley through to Altona and Bacchus Marsh.]

    You are in luck and you should be very happy.

    The Abbott Government has sent clear indications that it was lying repeatedly when it said that it would spend $3 billion of taxpayers’ money achieving the 5% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2020.

    That said, the little they will do, apart from destroying one of the few success stories in Australian technical innovation (in renewable energy) will be to destroy the brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley.

    Incidentally, you show almost no knowledge about where the real increases in energy prices have come from. I suggest in particular that you investigate the prices rises consequent to gold-plating the transmission infrastructure. But I bet you are not interested in knowing what is really going on.

    The test will be simple: will all price rises subsequent to the introduction of carbon tax disappear when the carbon tax disappears. According to your theory they will.

    I bet they will not.

  38. climateace says:

    SE

    [A fine essay. You write the truth.
    or more jobs will follow Holden.
    Who or What or When was “Holden”?]

    Holden was the local marque for locally-built cars by General Motors. Following a rant in parliament by our Treasurer, Holden decided to pull the plug on car manufacturing in Australia.

  39. Larry in Texas says:

    Gail Combs says:
    December 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    That was exactly my first reaction when I started reading Viv’s post. The term “parasites” states it more baldly, succinctly and directly.

  40. climateace says:

    [Watts

    “climateace” can’t really help himself, he’s just another govwonk in Canberra that likely never had to actually produce anything of substance. Other than reports I doubt he has anything tangible.]

    It is interesting that when people cannot argue the issues, the attack the person. It does not really matter whether I have produced anything of substance or not.

    Unlike metereologists, for example, I have produced concrete stuff. At one stage in my life, I grew food that people ate. It was quite satisfying if very hard physical work.

    But I didn’t like being the victim of farmgate prices contrived predatory international food corporations so I got out of there. I still, for old time’s sake, produce some beef.

  41. Steve B says:

    Climateace you are what we politely call a WANKER. Get over it. You obviously live in a Canberra bubble where you read your own crap and believe it. The only extinction which we would all enjoy is Canberra. Hang on Canberra is broke………… :)

  42. Patrick says:

    climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    The point is that Australia’s niche strengths are mineral exports, agricultural exports, services exports and its location close to that part of the world which is driving tremendous economic growth.”

    Services? What services? The “service” industry in Australia, like minerals, is being exported and that export industry is subsidised by the taxpayer. So too minerals. Australia no longer adds value to its natural resources. We simply, as we always have done, dig the stuff out of the ground, and ship it off somewhere else (China). I know for fact China is looking to extract resources from Africa because it simply is too expensive to source raw materials from Australia. Australia has always had a boom-bust economy solely based on mining.

  43. climateace says:

    Geoff Sherrington stays

    [We are sponging on the ageing assets created by past generations and building little to support future Australians.”]

    As we would say in the bush, bullsh*t.

    Australia has had over the past decade one of the greatest investment-led booms in its history – in the order of hundreds of billions of dollars. That investment has created a vast new mining and fossil fuel industry. Australia has become an economic powerhouse in terms of its exports of coal, iron and natural gas. All this has, in a remarkably short time, created a shift-change in our economic history.

    But you grinches fail to see the wood for the trees.

  44. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    At one stage in my life, I grew food that people ate. It was quite satisfying if very hard physical work.”

    Australian farmers; largest group of middle class welfare beneficiaries.

  45. climateace says:

    Patrick

    If you are right, the Australian economy would not have grown in size for something like 26 successive quarters – an amazing run for any economy at any time in any place. Npr would Australia be moving up the league of large economies.

    Australia has done both. You are ignoring the facts.

  46. climateace says:

    Patrick

    [Australian farmers; largest group of middle class welfare beneficiaries.]

    Someone ought to do something to re-design the welfare. Most farmers are heavily in debt and working for the banks.

  47. climateace says:

    SteveB

    [Climateace you are what we politely call a WANKER. Get over it. You obviously live in a Canberra bubble where you read your own crap and believe it. The only extinction which we would all enjoy is Canberra. Hang on Canberra is broke………… :)]

    Personal abuse reflects on you, unfortunately. I imagine that when Anthony catches up with it, he will delete it as being completely against the moderation rules.

  48. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm”

    It was not rant in Parliament, it as a press release where he, quite rightly so, told GM to take a hike when they came begging for a taxpayer handout for an industry that makes cars no-one wants to buy.

  49. climateace says:

    [Mariss Freimanis says:
    December 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Climate ace is a sad reminder of what happens if the younger generations aren’t taught where and how the comforts of their lives are produced. what we get is a generation of parasites who vigorously consume and at the same time work to destroy the infrastructure that keeps them comfortable.]

    Here is someone else making stuff up about me. I am not a younger generation. I worked very, very hard as a child on the farm and as a young man as a farm labourer. I know exactly where milk and potatoes come from.

    I find it disturbing that you simply rub out 12-13 million workforce in Australia as ‘parasites’. You must be assuming, since most of them by far are working in the private sector, that their bosses are stupid – which they are not, of course.

  50. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    The Abbott Government has sent clear indications that it was lying repeatedly when it said that it would spend $3 billion of taxpayers’ money achieving the 5% CO2 emissions reduction target by 2020.”

    WOW! Politicians telling porkies BEFORE an election and then BACK-FLIPPING afterwards? Surely you jest? BTW, the LNP direct action plan is a plan that has not been implemented. So the AU$3bil you keep moaning about as having been spent hasn’t been spent and won’t be spent on reducing Australian emissions of CO2 by 5% (5% of ~1.5% of ~3% of 400ppm/v – laughable).

    If Australia, and you, are serisous about “emission reductions” then you would halt, immediately, all exports of minerals in particular coal.

  51. climateace says:

    Patrick
    How do you reconcile that we are uncompetitive in every single way (see Forbes above) and have been growing for something like 26 quarters, and have been climbing up the international league in terms of size of our economy?

  52. Brian H says:

    Lessee, if debt is growing in absolute and relative terms faster than GDP, it means …

  53. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Someone ought to do something to re-design the welfare. Most farmers are heavily in debt and working for the banks.”

    While their Gov’nt allows imports from the EU zone (Olive oil, tomatoes and oranges for instance – I do try to buy Aussie owned/grown foods in any case). The ALP/Greens sold Australia out to the “carbon” banks in 2010. What will the UN do with our ~AU$800mil (10% of carbon tax revenue) annual carbon tax contribution?

  54. Tobias Smit says:

    @AW: re climateace You said: “Other than reports I doubt he has anything tangible” could that mean seeing he uses OPM, could those reports have been OPR’s?. BTW, Mr. Forbes essay is short to the point and as he pointed out has been happening all over the world sadly enough. I just hope as with your efforts to take on the Gore’s of this world others in different segments of our society will take the “termites” to task. Thanks and a Happy New Year.

  55. climateace says:

    Patrick
    I suggest you read my first response to the Forbes article. Nothing that anyone has stated in a subsequent post has been able to put the smallest dint in it.

  56. climateace says:

    Patrick

    [While their Gov’nt allows imports from the EU zone (Olive oil, tomatoes and oranges for instance – I do try to buy Aussie owned/grown foods in any case). The ALP/Greens sold Australia out to the “carbon” banks in 2010. What will the UN do with our ~AU$800mil (10% of carbon tax revenue) annual carbon tax contribution?]

    It is an abiding mystery to me why successive Australian governments of all persuasions bargain away free trade in primary produce. Let’s hope that the Abbott Government does not repeat the dose with the TPP.

  57. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Australia has done both. You are ignoring the facts.”

    Talking of facts, can you document any/all of Abbotts direct action plan projects that have been/are being implemented?

  58. climateace says:

    patrick
    [Talking of facts, can you document any/all of Abbotts direct action plan projects that have been/are being implemented?]

    It is true that the Abbott Government has been remarkably slow off the mark. As you would be aware, Minister Hunt, just before Christmas and after three months on the job, has issued a Discussion Paper.

  59. Leo Morgan says:

    I regret that this issue was raised.
    Yes, many of us, myself included, agree overall with Viv’s article. But so what?
    If we start mixing our politics with our science, we’ll end up as badly wrong as the extreme greens.

  60. climateace says:

    I regret that this issue was raised.
    LM

    [Yes, many of us, myself included, agree overall with Viv’s article. But so what?
    If we start mixing our politics with our science, we’ll end up as badly wrong as the extreme greens.]

    Science and politics should never be together seen.

  61. Gerard says:

    Climateace is obviously on holidays from public service job – sitting on his verandah of his hobby farm house using comments from this post for entertainment – what a sad life!

  62. bullocky says:

    climateace;
    Could you answer one question, please?

    Does your name “climateace” refer to more than one person?

  63. climateace says:

    bullocky says

    [climateace;
    Could you answer one question, please?

    Does your name “climateace” refer to more than one person?]

    Completely irrelevant to the issues raised by Forbes.

  64. climateace says:

    Gerard

    [Climateace is obviously on holidays from public service job – sitting on his verandah of his hobby farm house using comments from this post for entertainment – what a sad life!]

    I promote the truth as I see it. All the rest is irrelevant. (BTW, you could always discuss the issues raised by Forbes.)

  65. Peter Miller says:

    Economies grow and prosper in spite of government and bureaucrats, not because of them.

    Governments just get in the way – I am always amused when socialists/lefties announce “job creation is their top priority”, yet these are the people whose policies and incompetence frighten away real job creation. So the jobs created/promised are only for more bureaucrats, charged with obstructing new investment under the auspices of some supposed greater good.

    Australia is lucky enough to have huge natural resources, mostly found by entrepreneurs in small companies. As someone who has found and developed a large mine – not in Australia – I can tell you the mine permitting process has become an expensive nightmare. For one minor non-critical permit, we had to deliver 8,700 pieces of paper – I am certain it was just weighed and never read. I do not know what it is about left wing governments that always try and kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

    The corruption and power of Australia’s unions are legendary and undoubtedly a negative as far as inward investment is concerned.

    Australia is naturally wealthy, despite the best efforts of the bureaucrats, greenies, lefties and union leaders. Prosperity is a relative term, without the machinations of these four groups, Australia would be a lot better off.

  66. bullocky says:

    climateace,

    Unanswered, unresolved.

  67. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    It is true that the Abbott Government has been remarkably slow off the mark. As you would be aware, Minister Hunt, just before Christmas and after three months on the job, has issued a Discussion Paper.”

    Slow off the mark to react to a non-issue (CAGW), you are correct there. The current Govn’t has bigger issues (Like about AU$400bil of debt) to work through. However, all that has been done is, as you say, the incumbent Govn’t has issued a discussion paper (Relating to “climate change” and how to “tackle” it and their direct action plan) which is completely unlike the previous Govn’t which introduced a “proice ohn cahbon” (A “price” which Gillard could not explain in an interview on ABC other than to say it was, effectively, a tax) all on the word of Garnout and Flannery, y’know those well known climate scientists. Oh wait! They are not a climate scientists.

  68. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 27, 2013 at 12:57 am

    I promote the truth as I see it.”

    Truth (As you see it). LOL Given you have blatantly expressed (Paraphrasing) support for “some sort of action” on reducing emissions of CO2 to “tackle” climate change suggests to me you are far removed from any form of truth promotion.

  69. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    SE

    [A fine essay. You write the truth.
    or more jobs will follow Holden.
    Who or What or When was “Holden”?]

    ‘Holden was the local marque for locally-built cars by General Motors. Following a rant in parliament by our Treasurer, Holden decided to pull the plug on car manufacturing in Australia.’
    Hi Climateace.
    Now come on, you are being a bit wicked telling all these Americans that the reason GMH withdrew from Australia was because some politician attacked them, the noble US manufacturer. No other cause?
    Perhaps you may consider that Australia manufactures a total of 200000 cars a year split between three manufacturers. One, Ford, bailing out in in 2016, GMH, decided to bail months before the announcement to quit they gave the Australian public, their employees and suppliers.
    The Chinese have plants assembling 500000 cars a year, from your Ag Economics you know that the last ones are the profitable ones as all the fixed costs are paid and the variable costs are minimal.
    To quote Adam Creighton ‘Domestic production has slumped by more than half since 2004 as Australians spurn the bigger Falcons,Commodores for smaller more fuel efficient European and Asian cars.’ These are imported.
    The car industry is on a Darwinian extinction curve, presently on the endangered species list.
    Boardrooms in the US and Japan call the shots,we just doff our caps and thank them for taking out money to build unwanted vehicles.

  70. climateace says:

    Peter Miller

    [Economies grow and prosper in spite of government and bureaucrats, not because of them.]

    It always amuses me that the same people who say this sort of thing are often righteously apoplectic about sovereign risk in countries where governance is weak, the laws chaotic, the rule of law largely absent and the bureaucracy inefficient, ineffective and riddled with corruption. Such countries notoriously also have badly educated workforces prone to the sorts of disease absent in well-ordered countries. The infrastructure in such countries is absent or poorly maintained. Using the infrastructure by way of a car ride can be lethal. Ecosystem services in terms of clean water, clean air are often lacking. In the absence of effective regulation the food can be lethal. Managing currency risk in such countries can be a nightmare. Finally, in terms of law and order you might wake up one day and find that your mine workforce has been murdered and your mine taken over by a local warlord.

    The opposite of all these things is brought by good, strong democratic government and efficient and effective bureaucracies.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  71. climateace says:

    Lewis

    At last, an intelligent comment on the Forbes article! In terms of timing there can be little doubt that the GM execs listened (live) to what Hockey said in the House and that it was the last straw. But I was being a (bit) wicked in attributing the degree of causation implied.

    Beyond that there are systemic reasons why our vehicle manufacturing plants are closing down. The main reason is that we have a terribly strong currency because of our mining industry exports. It is the Australian version of the Dutch disease.

    Beyond that, there are lesser reasons having to do with government subsidies for car manufacturing overseas, a lack of capital investment in productivity (very low rates of robotics compared with o/s plants) and other factors, as you rightly point out, including economies of scale.

    Labor productivity was definitely a factor. That said, it is interesting to know that car workers in places like Germany earn more than car workers in Australian.

    Finally, it has long been a matter of considerable angst for me that Australian plants specialized in huge, heavy, gas guzzling Australian tanks at a time when petrol prices are heading north and we need to move to decarbonise the economy.

    The government subsidies that have propped up this archaic nonsense for decades would far better have been spent on improving mass transit in Australian cities.

  72. jmorpuss says:

    I wounded how long Telstra will last? John Howard tried his hardest to sell it off while he ruled.
    Here’s something to look at Australia’s government system is only 113 year old and was put in place by a system that took centuries to evolve. The British control seemed to change direction round the the time of Harold Holts death , Australia became more Americianised . In 1966 we threw out pounds shillings and pence for the all mighty dollar.

  73. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 27, 2013 at 2:18 am

    …and we need to move to decarbonise the economy.”

    Not only do you not understand what you are talking about with regards to “carbon” and climate (Climateace being a rather unfortunate handle), you have no idea about manufacturing, in particular, personal transport, vehicles. Truck making in Aus has no such problems.

    Mass transport in Australian cities? Really? What industries will be serviced by such mass transport systems? Next you’ll be calling for high-speed rail links between cities.

  74. Gerard says:

    I think I asked climateace once before – are you David Karoly? Your pompous arrogance is very similar.

  75. : Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed up the ladder of the world’s largest economies, because over the same period the EU and US have done even greater damage than Australia to their own economies..
    Important in this general economic damage are gratuitous penalties to energy costs and gratuitous damage to development prospects in the interests of the disinterested climate and disinterested animals and plants and the fictitious mass extinction events and water degradation which is not occuring.

  76. hunter says:

    climateace,
    Please document the ills you believe have taken place.

  77. Peter Miller says:

    Climateace

    “The opposite of all these things is brought by good, strong democratic government and efficient and effective bureaucracies.”

    So, you are a bureaucrat and a reasonably articulate one. You are required to believe that CAGW and imminent Thermageddon are the gospel truth, or there usually employment consequences.

    From your other comments, you seem to be a fan of lots and lots of government rules and regulations. I guess no comment is needed on that.

    The most corrupt bureaucracies in the world are usually to be found in Africa, South America and in some parts of Asia, usually in socialist leaning kleptocracies, posing as democracies.

    As for bureaucracies being efficient and effective, that I agree is the theory. In fact, it is a good theory and it is such a pity they are as rare as rocking horse poo. I need to reword this statement, some parts of government bureaucracy are efficient and effective, but they are all too often interlocked with those which are inept or corrupt.

    The man made global warming myth has spawned huge numbers of hugely expensive and utterly pointless bureaucracies throughout the Western World, these should be first on the list to be culled, as their cost to our economies is truly astronomic.

  78. Stacey says:

    The Australians may well be very trendy when it comes to CAGW however their treatment of the aboriginal population is an obscenity?

  79. TomR,Worc,MA,USA says:

    It always amuses me that the same people who say this sort of thing are often righteously apoplectic about sovereign risk in countries where governance is weak, the laws chaotic, the rule of law largely absent and the bureaucracy inefficient, ineffective and riddled with corruption. Such countries notoriously also have badly educated workforces prone to the sorts of disease absent in well-ordered countries. The infrastructure in such countries is absent or poorly maintained. Using the infrastructure by way of a car ride can be lethal. Ecosystem services in terms of clean water, clean air are often lacking. In the absence of effective regulation the food can be lethal. Managing currency risk in such countries can be a nightmare. Finally, in terms of law and order you might wake up one day and find that your mine workforce has been murdered and your mine taken over by a local warlord.

    ============================================================
    Who knew Elizabeth Warren was an Aussie?!?!?!?

  80. R. de Haan says:

    JUST STOP IMPLEMENTING UN AGENDA 21

  81. Patrick says:

    “TomR,Worc,MA,USA says:

    December 27, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Who knew Elizabeth Warren was an Aussie?!?!?!?”

    Was (Fundamentally) an import, just like all other non-aboriginal “Australians” (Place/rock of birth important or lineage?). Exactly like non-aboriginal “Americans”.

  82. Gordo says:

    What will doom Australia is the genetic harm being done since the end of the White Australia policy. That cannot be undone, most anything else can be fixed.

  83. ozspeaksup says:

    well from personal view.
    I could and would like to bake cakes/jams etc to sell at local markets
    to do that I now have to PAY council to come and approve/inspect my home
    the follow a pile of rules n regs designed for maximum annoyance and no real safety or use in the real world.
    of course once councils on the property theyd be looking for other things to enforce compliance over, to add to revenue n control.
    even to sell watermelon on the beach..an idea I had decades ago when it wasnt even as bad as now, involved such ridiculous demands for insurances /approval for every beach zone etc
    I also didnt bother then ,as now..
    entepreneurs are only welcome IF they do govvy course to employ govt seatwarmers n social security/outsourced job agencies etc- total waste of time and money limits us to approved and controlled again.
    as for Aus dollar being high?
    well if USA wasnt printing money to cover their ass n debt then maybe it would be better?
    and as for small crappy imported cars..well maybe for climateace..but out on country roads with roos n emus I want and drive a V6 and would go V8 or heavier diesel if I could afford one.
    pity aus govt doesnt reinstate a new version of Commonwealth BANK and the interest we pay goes back INTO! Australias development. ditch the fed reserve. private banksters.
    as for rivers n land n animals..theyre fine, the green water releases are damaging riverbanks more than the natural dry n flow cycles.
    do we really think NO animal or species ever died out unless man dun it?
    phht!
    and the no till, mega chemical mega machinery farming is NOT the boon its stated to be, old ways were better. hell this town had 2 dairies an abbatoir greengrocers 2 stores etc etc when the town had less big landowners and more people here who could find work! we have lost close to 500 families over the last 40 years, farmworkers with no work, etc etc.they leave shops etc close and down and down through the chain of supply and lesser demand.

  84. cedarhill says:

    Termiting is the best description of the process. There’s a Dutch article:
    http://www.dw.de/briten-w%C3%A4hlen-zwischen-essen-und-heizen/a-17305118
    that presents the results of the termiting of the UK – you can have food or heat but not both.
    Energy is life; cheap energy is prosperity.

  85. Ron House says:

    climateace again:

    Someone inquired about Australian extinctions. Below see links of extinctions of vertebrate fauna and vascular plants. You can safely assume suites of invertebrate and non-vascular plant extinctions to go with each higher order extinction:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_animals_of_Australia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_flora_of_Australia

    The true damage to Australian biodiversity has been within-species loss of genetic diversity.

    Forbes ignores each and every one of these which leads inevitably to the view that he does not give a rat’s about extinctions.

    He “ignores” them because his article has nothing to do with the subject. And in any case, how come YOU never said a word about AIDS in Africa!!!??? This leads inevitably to the view that you do not give a rat’s about sick Africans.

    The previous paragraph was just trying to wake up a stultified mind – other readers please ignore. Back to the point. You point us to a site listing 66 extinct fauna in over 200 years. I asked you to list 100 since 1901. And for very good reason. The background extinction rate on Earth since life began is about 3 extinctions per year. Modern humans have made it about 4 – i.e. 1 extinction per year due to human beings. (1) That’s not much of a mass extinction event. and (2) you haven’t shown the remotest reason why Viv Forbes has to answer anything about it. 1000 extinctions in a century plus, which I challenged you to find worldwide, would be 3 x the background rate, about the minimum you could call a mass extinction event. 100 in that time a rough guess of Australia’s contribution. And you can’t demonstrate it. The null hypothesis (no mass extincti0on event) stands unless YOU provide the evidence otherwise. Make your case. In trying you might learn something if your mind is not completely shut and welded solid.

    Oh, and then you said:

    I notice that anyone who disagrees with anything that the anointed ones pontificate on in the blogs is almost automatically called a troll. If you can’t argue the issues, please desist from calling me a troll. It is rude.

    You are a troll, I did argue the issues, unlike you. You are the one who came here insulting Viv Forbes with ranting nonsense about subjects he wasn’t writing about. Given what you clearly are and your own language quoted above, I couldn’t care less how rude I am to the likes of you. And these are all my own opinions, thank you, unlike yours which came direct from the alarmists’ mass production belief factory.

  86. winston101 says:

    Looking at the various comments of “climateace”, they bear a striking resemblance to the dissembling of a Labor government stooge, or career bureaucrat protecting his turf by defending the indefensible actions of the last 6 years of federal and state Labor governments in spending like drunken sailors on shore leave. To highlight just how deceptive and disingenuous “climateace” is being about Australia’s low debt, a few facts courtesy of David Murray, former Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive and inaugural Chairman of Australian Government Future Fund Board about the true nature of Australia’s debt and its fiscal health, bearing in mind that we began in 2007 with between $20-40 billion dollars in Australian government surplus, and have since had unprecedented rises in receipts which should have left Australia in far better fiscal position than it currently entertains:
    *” More than four million Australians currently living on some kind of welfare – age pension, disability pension, dole, student allowance. Then there’s also a surfeit of government handouts – baby bonus, school kids bonus, baby benefits,etc.

    *Total Government expenditure in Australia is now some 36% of GDP, which is at least 6 percentage points too high.

    *The Commonwealth’s expenditures on welfare-related items – health, education and welfare – in 40 years has gone from 20% to 58% of all outlays. And welfare is now $132 billion. So, what we have at the Commonwealth level now is a Budget that has all these fixed cost items, and though those remain fixed, irrespective of the fortunes of the economy on commodity prices, terms of trade, and all the things that will swing the revenues around. So, unfortunately, the task is to get those items down, and what money can be spent, be spent on more valuable things that promote investment.

    
*Defenders of the Government are saying that our current net debt is just 10% of 
GDP, compared to, say, 80% for the US, and UK. And we’re just one of seven countries with a AAA credit rating from all three big ratings agencies.

    *Firstly, net debt is not the right number, because bondholders don’t have a right of set-off against the other Government assets. So the correct number is gross debt – which is about $300 billion, or 20% of GDP. But along with that, that debt, Australia has a structural current account deficit. Even in 21 years of growth, and the best terms of trade boom in 150 years, the Government has still not got an economy that has a substantial trade surplus, and does not have a current account deficit.

    * Australia’s net foreign liabilities offshore are 57% of GDP, which is very high, and the private sector in Australia, unlike the UK or the United States, does not have net foreign assets.

    *Australia has high fixed costs in the Commonwealth budget, there’s a structural budget deficit, a structural current account deficit, and for these reasons, the Australian federal Budget has to remain close to neutral through the cycle. 


    *The AAA credit rating. Well, the AAA credit rating fundamentally has been put at risk. If you examine the other countries that have AAA ratings, there’s one important measure in which Australia does not stack up – and that is the relationship between net external debt and current account receipts. And the rating agencies don’t take off all assets from gross debt, they only take out very highly liquid assets. Thus suggesting that our AAA credit rating is under threat. 
And if the AAA rating at the Commonwealth level goes, then the ratings of the states fall, the ratings of the banks fall, and the ratings in industry fall. ”

    I think one can take the rest of what he says about species extinctions and dying river systems and loss of biodiversity with a similar grain of, dare I say it, skepticism.

  87. DirkH says:

    climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 2:18 am
    “Finally, it has long been a matter of considerable angst for me that Australian plants specialized in huge, heavy, gas guzzling Australian tanks at a time when petrol prices are heading north and we need to move to decarbonise the economy.”

    Why would you need to decarbonize the economy?
    Now, I know this is the centerpiece of your religion, but the necessity to decarbonize rests one hundred percent on the believe that climate models can forecast the future.
    Maybe you should look into that assumption a little closer. I take it you are not a mathematician or the likes. Let me tell you this: The climate modelers played you like a fiddle. Maybe you should ask them some questions.

    Believing Six Impossible Things before Breakfast, and Climate Models.

  88. DirkH says:

    climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 2:18 am
    “…at a time when petrol prices are heading north and we need to move to decarbonise the economy.”

    …and the other thing you could say would be, even if climate science forecasts are wrong, we still need to decarbonize because petrol prices are heading north.

    Hmmm…. But that’s a PRICE SIGNAL; and there is nothing more important than a price signal in a market economy. Do you really think you bureaucrats can transfrom an economy in a more efficient way than the economy reacts all by itself on that price signal? If you think you can, I have here a nearly good-as-new Great Leap Forward you might be interested in… comes with 70 million free coffins…

  89. Gail Combs says:

    Eric Worrall says:
    December 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Gail Combs, the social good that banks do is help individuals and companies manage risk.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Not with Fractional Reserve Banking. That is propaganda to get the masses to agree to allowing the bankers and their buddies to rob them. What banks do is print fiat money. The value of that money is stolen from the last people to have access to that money. It was YOUR wealth that bought the assets for the companies but YOU get cut out of the deal except as the patsy who pays for it.

    Another way to say that is the value of the money placed into the pockets of the elite comes from the inflation of the price of goods the poor and middle class must pay and the devaluation of their savings and wages. The dollar I earned and placed in savings in the 1960s could buy ten colas or ten candy bars or three gallons of gas. Today it does not even buy one.

    This is the actual situation in the world as a result:

    INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND World Economy
    Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence
    Finance & Development, September 2012, Vol. 49, No. 3

    …In many countries the distribution of income has become more unequal, and the top earners’ share of income in particular has risen dramatically. In the United States the share of the top 1 percent has close to tripled over the past three decades, now accounting for about 20 percent of total U.S. income (Alvaredo and others, 2012).

    What happened three decades ago in the USA to account for the wealth that was transfered?

    January 29, 1989 New York Times
    Of mergers and acquisitions each costing $1 million or more, there were just 10 in 1970; in 1980, there were 94; in 1986, there were 346. A third of such deals in the 1980′s were hostile. The 1980′s also saw a wave of giant leveraged buyouts. Mergers, acquisitions and L.B.O.’s, which had accounted for less than 5 percent of the profits of Wall Street brokerage houses in 1978, ballooned into an estimated 50 percent of profits by 1988…

    THROUGH ALL THIS, THE HISTORIC RELATIONSHIP between product and paper has been turned upside down. Investment bankers no longer think of themselves as working for the corporations with which they do business. These days, corporations seem to exist for the investment bankers….

    In fact, investment banks are replacing the publicly held industrial corporations as the largest and most powerful economic institutions in America…. THERE ARE SIGNS THAT A VICIOUS spiral has begun, as each corporate player seeks to improve its standard of living at the expense of another’s.
    Corporate raiders transfer to themselves, and other shareholders, part of the income of employees by forcing the latter to agree to lower wages.

    In a leveraged buyout the raider has the bank print up money and give it to him. The ‘collateral’ is the business he does not even own. Once the raider has control he often just sells the hard assets; the land, buildings and equipment taking the accumulated wealth and turning it into cash and then goes on to the next victim. This is how the USA lost many of her mid sized companies. I knew a guy whose business in Boston MA was packing up whole factories and shipping them overseas. The company I worked for, well run with no debt, was a victim. That company and those factories no longer exist here in the USA.

    This is the result:

    The Network of Global Corporate Control
    Abstract
    The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability…. We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers….

    Introduction
    A common intuition among scholars and in the media sees the global economy as being dominated by a handful of powerful transnational corporations (TNCs). However, this has not been confirmed or rejected with explicit numbers….

    Concentration of Control
    In principle, one could expect inequality of control to be comparable to inequality of income across households and firms, since shares of most corporations are publicly accessible in stock markets. In contrast, we find that only 737 top holders accumulate 80% of the control over the value of all TNCs [transnational corporations]

    Do you understand what this paper is saying? There are 737 people/families who control the economy of the entire world!

    Article relating to this paper:

    Speakers James B. Glattfelder: Complex systems theorist
    First a physicist and then a researcher at a Swiss hedge fund… The study looked at the architecture of ownership across the globe, and computed a level of control exerted by each international player. The study revealed that less than 1% of all the players in the global economy are part of a highly interconnected and powerful core which, because of the high levels of overlap, leaves the economy vulnerable.

    An earlier work by the same physicists.

    World’s Stocks Controlled by Select Few
    A pair of physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich did a physics-based analysis of the world economy as it looked in early 2007. Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder extracted the information from the tangled yarn that links 24,877 stocks and 106,141 shareholding entities in 48 countries, revealing what they called the “backbone” of each country’s financial market. These backbones represented the owners of 80 percent of a country’s market capital, yet consisted of remarkably few shareholders….

    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, This is what he has to say.

    I am amazed that the US government, in the midst of the worst financial crises ever, is content for short-selling to drive down the asset prices that the government is trying to support….The bald fact is that the combination of ignorance, negligence, and ideology that permitted the crisis to happen still prevails and is blocking any remedy. Either the people in power in Washington and the financial community are total dimwits or they are manipulating an opportunity to redistribute wealth from taxpayers, equity owners and pension funds to the financial sector. http://www.countercurrents.org/roberts250209.htm

    I vote for a redistribution of wealth from us to the elite using Fractional Reserve Banking.

  90. well over half the comments are either written by climateace or reference him, so he has successfully achieved his aim of disrupting this article that someone took a great deal of time and trouble to write.

    Why don’t we ask Climate Ace to write an article about whatever it is that bugs him and thereby leave articles such as this one to those that want to make useful comments?

    tonyb

  91. Quelgeek says:

    Until quite recently I had hoped that the cost of suffocating bureaucracy and handouts for all would be self-limiting as the economy would fail to generate the tax revenue to support it. Silly me. It is now clear we are borrowing from unborn generations without limit or scruple. Future taxpayers can’t restrain a present government. The competing parties are free to promise and to spend as lavishly as they wish, all to keep the Other Guys out of office. (Keeping the other guys out does seem to be the limit of their aspirations, at least in the UK.)

  92. Gail Combs says:

    Owen in GA says: @ December 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm ….
    Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations. My husband and I were just talking of that the other day.

    On civilizations there is the Tytler theory:

    THE RISE AND FALL OF GREAT CIVILIZATIONS – From Apathy to Dependence to Slavery

    Tytler reported that from his research he had determined the following:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith,
    From spiritual faith to great courage,
    From courage to liberty,
    From liberty to abundance,
    From abundance to selfishness,
    From selfishness to complacency,
    From complacency to apathy,
    From apathy to dependency,
    From dependency back again to bondage.”

    If Tytler’s conclusion is correct, this year America exceeded the average length for a democratic form of government by 33 years.

    It would be nice if we could beat the odds but I would put us at the last stages apathy ===> dependency ===> bondage.

    Anthony is certainly doing his best to wake us up. Thanks Anthony.

  93. pyromancer76 says:

    Banksters are capitalists. Give them an opportunity, and they capitalize. “Laws” are what might limit their behaviors and expansion into fraud. But there must be a large population that cares about laws that limit — whether the power of owner/managers of large corporations or of governmental elites. Where is that large population to come from?

    So much of the standard debate around “capitalism” is about pride of the builders/makers (yes deserved, and also often immense wealth to go along with the risk of capital and inventiveness) and envy from the workers (little wealth from the risk of one’s body/mind during a relatively short working life, therefore unions, etc.). Very few have worked on how to solve this conundrum of pride and envy.

    In brief, let the prideful builders/makers try to retire on savings from a life of honest labor. Therefore, the workers turn to union bosses who become like government elites with bloated salaries and no creative input into any economic/financial process. Another layer of termites.

    There is the tremendous fear of “democracy” from those of builder/maker abilities (this does take great intelligence and fortitude), but little imagination about how to expand (the possibility of)opportunity to all from their good effort. The “gambling spirit” is in most of us. Pride and joy from our achievements. The excitement of the win, and the possibilities before us as a result. Think of the banksters.

    Those on the “conservative” side of the debate might have had great numbers following them into battle against the elitist big-government types (no risk/no creativity/no hard personal work) if they had a dog in the fight, too. Some percentage of that immense wealth of the builders/makers should have been the birthright of the workers. And, when you count it, that wealth had been obscene compared to the returns from the labor of those who ALSO made it possible.

    There should be a common purpose of worker/builder/maker against the termites, who are evolving into fire ants. I see no love, no community of purpose, no willingness to bring the workers into the fold of “I built that”. Until that happens, democracy will bring wrong choices every time — government hand-outs permitting parasitic elites.

  94. wsbriggs says:

    The Zero Aggression Principle is the minimum requirement for civilized society. No individual may initiate force against another, nor may an individual contract with a third party to initiate force against another.

    In normal society, coercing someone to give you funds on the pretext of “protecting” them from some harm is called extortion. Claiming that Governments protect the individual (other than from external forces) is clearly fraudulent, as they only step in after a crime, or misdemeanor has been committed. This is not protection, it is at best, revenge.

    Climateace is regurgitating all the old, tired saws about how Government protects us – even against totally imaginary threats, but first they need to extort some more money from us…

  95. Count_to_10 says:

    “wind-energy prayer wheels”
    Nice.

  96. Robertvd says:

    ‘No Emission’ Tax

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/27/as-city-cycling-grows-so-does-bike-tax-temptation/

    Chicago is by no means the only place across the U.S. tempted to see bicyclists as a possible new source of revenue, only to run into questions of fairness and enforceability. That is testing the vision of city leaders who are transforming urban expanses with bike lanes and other amenities in a quest for relevance, vitality and livability — with never enough funds.

  97. Gail Combs says:

    SAMURAI says: @ December 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    The world economy is being slowly being destroyed by statist governments’ EXCESSIVE: rules, regulation, mandates, greenmail, public sector union extortion, taxes, government debt and insane monetary policies necessary to feed the Leviathan and create economic bubbles.

    The malinvestments, economic distortions, debt and economic inefficiencies created by statist governments will eventually cause one of the worst worldwide economic collapses in human history….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Unfortunately I am afraid that is the plan. Alexander Fraser Tytler published The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic in 1776. The Fabians became active more than a hundred years later. From my comment it is obvious there were men who were looking ahead with plans to shape the world as they saw fit. Carroll Quigley who documented the group was all in favor of them. (So was Clinton)

    One of Milner’s groups operating in the USA was the Council on Foreign Relations another was the Committee on Economic Development. This well researched article shows how a goal was arrived at just after WWII, ridding the USA of independent farmers, and pursued through the present day culminating in the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009.

    George Bernard Shaw was a founding member of the Fabians and gives us a glimpse of how these people think.

    “The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are drive to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?”
    Source: George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable and Co., 1934), p. 296.

    A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people’s time to look after them.
    Source: George Bernard Shaw, Lecture to the Eugenics
    Education Society, Reported in The Daily Express, March 4, 1910
    link

    I would love to believe this was just the rantings of a mad man but unfortunately we see the same mindset in Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren. From the books he co-authored:

    A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. . . . Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries. This effort must be largely political”

    - John Holdren, Anne Ehrlich, and Paul Ehrlich, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions (San Francisco; W.H. Freeman and Company, 1973), p. 279.

    Only one rational path is open to us—simultaneous de-development of the [overdeveloped countries] and semi-development of the underdeveloped countries (UDC’s), in order to approach a decent and ecologically sustainable standard of living for all in between. By de-development we mean lower per-capita energy consumption, fewer gadgets, and the abolition of planned obsolescence.”

    - John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich, “Introduction,” in Holdren and Ehrlich, eds., Global Ecology, 1971, p. 3.

    “organized evasive action: population control, limitation of material consumption, redistribution of wealth, transitions to technologies that are environmentally and socially less disruptive than today’s, and movement toward some kind of world government” (1977: p. 5).

    Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, and John Holdren, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1977), p. 954.
    link

    From another article

    Page 837: Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution…

    Page 787-8: Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today…

    Again it sounds like the ranting of mad men but if you bother to look you see it being implemented.

    UN Agenda 21 – Sustainability.

    Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings-and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole./b>… Source: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I)

    We are being told Apartments are the core of any sustainability strategy. They are more resource- and energy-efficient than other types of residential development because their concentrated infrastructure conserves materials and community services. California towns passes laws requiring new housing to be built at 20 or more to the acre, which is at least five times the traditional quarter acre per house. and cities are putting in Micro-mini’ 14 foot by 15 foot apartments that used to be too small to pass the old zoning laws.

    Worse we find in the UK and the USA the collection of the DNA of newborns. You can then add in the fact the Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA from persons who are arrested. This is arrested not convicted. It has gone even farther Federal contractors set up roadblocks in over 60 U.S. cities to harvest DNA samples

    The Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) installed the roadblock north of the city during daytime traffic. They flagged down some motorists at random and asked them to give breath, saliva, and blood samples. The FWPD claims the effort was “100 percent voluntary” and anonymous.

    It acknowledges that most of the drivers had broken no law, but it said the effort was valuable to federal contractors working to complete a 3 year, $7.9M USD survey on behalf of the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aimed at collecting medical data for use in combating drunk driving.

    The problem is, some drivers didn’t get the impression this DNA sampling was voluntary….
    link

    Next you can add in the fact that the USDA gave Epicyte bio-lab in San Diego grant money to develop a ‘’contraceptive corn’

    …after researchers discovered a rare class of human antibodies that attack sperm. By isolating the genes that regulate the manufacture of these antibodies, and by putting them in corn plants, the company has created tiny horticultural factories that make contraceptives.

    Announcing his success at a press conference, the president of Epicyte, Mitch Hein, pointing to his GMO corn plants and announced, “We have a hothouse filled with corn plants that make anti-sperm antibodies.”

    Shortly after the 2001 Epicyte press release, all discussion of the breakthrough vanished. The company itself was taken over in 2004 by Biolex and nothing more was heard in any media about the development of spermicidal corn…. link

    Are you starting to feel like cattle yet?

  98. Rob says:

    Chad Wozniak says:
    “Observing all that has happened around the world these last few years, I have developed a very hard view of what needs to be done to prevent recurrences of the bad developments we’ve seen, not only in Australia and the US but in the EU and other advanced nations.”

    VERY interesting list Chad, is that all your work or do you have a source/ multiple sources for that list. It frustrates me to continually whats people hand over their power/control to bureaucrats under the assumption that the Gov’t can do better when history has shown time and time again that it has not. It seems to me that lately only a few Scandinavian around the Baltic have nailed their governments to the wall as far as accountability goes. Recently an upcoming fiscally conservative party in Alberta jumped on the Climate Change band wagon to be more socially acceptable by the masses. Climate change is probably the most fiscally wasteful idea out there, bucket loads of money to fund bureaucratic jobs, that do absolutely nothing to the thing they claim to be changing, that is nothing more than natural weather fluctuations of a ever changing planet. Its perfect exsanguination of the blood that actually makes the world economy go. People fail to see that every dollar they let these vampires blood let kills them in lifestyle. We are not saving the world for our children as they sell it, we are ensuring our kids will be worse off and more owned than ever before.

  99. Gail Combs says:

    Chad Wozniak says: @ December 26, 2013 at 8:43 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>..
    Excellent list. I would add some sort of campaign funding laws.

    All moneys go into a slush fund and divided equally between all candidates. Heavy fines/jail sentences for smearing candidates with untruths especial those that can not be proven either way (I am thinking of Herman Cain and those paid to smear him.)

    Finally NO MONEY from foreign entities or persons.

    Also get rid of the Corporate/Government revolving door. Once you serve in office or in the bureaucracy you are barred from working for corporations in that field.

  100. Kevin Kilty says:

    Years ago a student of mine gave me a tape on which the speaker outlined a theory of history as being a cycle of four generations that ran in the sequence of entrepreneurs-> institution builders->people who undermine institutions in favor of goals like “fairness”->cynics/rebels and the process repeats. Forbes view is something similar. In fact one can find that each generation contains individuals from every group at any one time. One group or another may get the upper hand for a time, but not permanently–at least in the U.S. this seems true up to the present time.

  101. Gail Combs says:

    Bill says: @ December 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm
    …All the issues I have seen on this site boil down to the exposure of different frauds, and the beautiful search through many slings and arrows for the truth.
    The truth is that the financial systems of this planet are all frauds, made legal by fraudulant laws.
    This is the reason for the failure of our economies.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Very well said. What is interesting is all the strings attaching many of these frauds to each other.

    I originally thought that the problems in the USA were just from the accumulation of more and more laws over a period of 200 years. Then I started digging.

  102. Sun Spot says:

    Cheap abundant energy is the only strategy that will advance society and civilization. Expensive energy meant to mold society into some desirable behavior will doom us to a luddite un-civil poverty stricken society.

  103. James Cross says:

    This post seems about as well thought out and documented as something we might expect in a paper from a high schooler.

    Where are the facts and figures, the charts, the reference data?

    And how does the author explain this story from one year ago that says “AUSTRALIA has recorded its 21st consecutive year of economic growth, the only developed nation in the world that can make that boast.” One would have expected Australia to have had one of the worst growth records in the world with “green tape” and the so-called “Termite generation”.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/economists-expect-solid-gdp-growth/story-e6frfkur-1226465183237

  104. Steve Oregon says:

    Climateace
    “The opposite of all these things is brought by good, strong democratic government and efficient and effective bureaucracies.”

    Like elsewhere, here in Oregon efficient and effective bureaucracies were all but abolished in the ealry 80s as they slowly became saturated with entrenched left wing ideologues who’s public employee unions rewarded them with unfunded benefits in exchange for their funding the campaigns of left wing candidates.
    All of our government bureaucracies have evolved into self interested, agenda driven, conniving and lying centers of propaganda and manipulation.

    I know that sounds anti-government & ridiculous but the truth is that is what we have.
    The examples are long, wide and deep into every arena and issue.

    This problem if what allows the perpetration of illegitimate policies and programs that are not vetted or justified with any authentic evidence.
    Even as programs fail year after year the response is always more of the same to avoid admitting error.
    Staff are assigned not to develop remedies but to spin forward what has already failed.
    Climate Change policies riddle nearly every bureaucracy with busy work and costly interference into people’s lives and businesses’ affairs.

  105. Gail Combs says:

    Leo Morgan says: @ December 27, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I regret that this issue was raised.
    Yes, many of us, myself included, agree overall with Viv’s article. But so what?
    If we start mixing our politics with our science, we’ll end up as badly wrong as the extreme greens.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Since science is connected at the hip to government via grants, you CAN NOT take the politics out of science. That is why science has been so badly corrupted, it serves its paymaster.

    Without that insight you are just spining your wheels over in a corner while Big Money and Big Media and Big Government get on with the job of tightening our slave collars.

  106. Joseph Adam-Smith says:

    WINSTON 101

    Coming in late onthis but you had an interesting point on Baby Bonus, baby benefits etc. In the UK, under the “Man-of-the Manse” Gordon Pension-snatcher Browne. He brought in Tax Credits – Working Tax credits (WTC) to boost the low-paid, Child Tax Credits (CTC) to help low paid families. Good, in theory. But, re WTC, workers paid income tax – then filled out forms to get SOME of it back (as in Dickens – “Please Sir, can I have my money back?) Hate our Lib-Dems BUT they have increased tax threshold so that people are not paying tax until earning 10k. Thereby reducing some WTC requirement.

    But,WTCand CTC requires civil servants to administer. I was one for as period. And, becuase of the rushed way it was brought in, the amount of fraud was immense. It caused resentment of the recipients as well as the higher paid who insisted in claiming their share… In effect, it bought votes and would require a brave government to abolish it….

    But read the following on BIG GOVERNMENT:

    John Cowperthwaite, colonial O I/C Hong Kong form 1945, and colonial secretary 1961 – 1971:
    “… in the long run the aggregate decisions of individual business men, exercising individual judgement in a free economy, even if it often mistaken, is less likely to do harm than the centralised decisions of a government; and certainly the harm is likely to be counteracted faster.”

    Newsweek: While Britain continued to build a welfare state, Cowperthwaite was saying “no”: no export subsidies, no tariffs, no personal taxes higher than 15%, red tape so thin a one-page form could launch a company.”

    Milton Friedman: “It would be hard to over-estimate the debt Hong Kong owes to Cowperthwaite.”

  107. Steve Oregon says:

    I agree with Gail.
    It is nothing short of total capitulation and surrender to let a fear of over steering deter one from acting to stop the extreme green left. They would like nothing better than for you to have such fear leaving them a free range to impose anything they decide.
    Leo Morgan’s worry may as well be a decree that resistance is futile.

  108. Ian Wilson says:

    Climateace said:

    “In fiscal terms the Australian national government debt is small and manageable.”

    This is one of the great myths of the Left here in Australia.

    Our National Public (i.e. Government) Debt is only $ 300+ billion dollars. This is small and manageable when compared to most affluent countries, given that Australia has a 1.5 trillion dollar economy.

    Unfortunately, what Climateace fails to mention is that our National Private Debt is almost equivalent to our total GDP. Hence, the total National private plus public debt puts Australia in the same league as basket case economies like Greece.

    Fortunately. most of the Private debt is in the form of foreign investment and loans that are being used to purchase mining and industrial machinery, essential infrastructure for industry and mining and other productive enterprises. This means that there is good possibility that this debt will get paid back.

    However, As a mid-level economic power spanning a whole continent and have a population of only 23 million people, Australia cannot provide the funds needed for the necessary investment and loans that are required to maintain healthy levels of economic growth. This means that we must seek these funds overseas.

    Hence, if Australia is to maintain access to future foreign investment and loans, its Government must keep the National Public Debt as low as possible so that the Public debt structures does not suck up money that are needed to service the Private Debt Structure.

  109. Gail Combs says:

    What I find sad is the number of people who fall for the outside covering. Whether it is CAGW or “We are from the government and we are here to help you.”

    DEATH BY GOVERNMENT by R.J. Rummel should be required reading in every school around the world. The “termites’ seem to think life is a bowl of cherries and we live in an ‘enlightened’ era where the government is responsible for protecting and feeding and clothing them from cradle to grave without them lifting a finger. After all they are ENTITLED. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    It was the same George Bernard Shaw who wrote:

    “The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it … If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way.
    Source: George Bernard Shaw, Prefaces (London: Constable
    and Co., 1934), p. 296.

    Who also wrote “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” and designed the Fabian Window with its coat of arms of a wolf wrapped in a sheepskin. One wonders how soon that sheepskin is going to be removed.

    169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]

    Just to give perspective on this incredible murder by government, if all these bodies were laid head to toe, with the average height being 5′, then they would circle the earth ten times. Also, this democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century. Finally, given popular estimates of the dead in a major nuclear war, this total democide is as though such a war did occur, but with its dead spread over a century….

    After eight-years and almost daily reading and recording of men, women, and children by the tens of millions being tortured or beaten to death, hung, shot, and buried alive, burned or starved to death, stabbed or chopped into pieces, and murdered in all the other ways creative and imaginative human beings can devise, I have never been so happy to conclude a project. I have not found it easy to read time and time again about the horrors innocent people have been forced to suffer. What has kept me at this was the belief, as preliminary research seemed to suggest, that there was a positive solution to all this killing and a clear course of political action and policy to end it. And the results verify this. The problem is Power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.
    POWER KILLS

  110. john robertson says:

    Well I see Climate ace is back, having read the comments, as with another longwinded and certain visitor, a certain Warren, I notice a amusing tactic.
    Both when called, on their 3 monkey trolling, immediately complained to the moderators, whined about the blog rules.
    When losing on the facts, fight over the rules.
    Now I see both as Pointman describes them, so it easy to be amused.
    But this “law fare” will be used more as the debate is lost by them, the attacks on the moderators time, appeals to Anthony to silence harsh criticism will increase.
    This is a tactic of the politically correct progressives.
    Also a tactic of the bureaucracy, were your time is willfully wasted until you give up.
    It is quite possible all the fact free verbiage of both climate ace and warren, is simply cover for the intent of putting the site moderation to as much extra work as possible.

    I enjoyed the comments of both immensely, I am always charmed by absolute certainty.

  111. Bryan A says:

    @
    climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Regarding Mass Extinction
    It can hardly be stated that the minor species loss experienced in Australia over the last 225 years would qualify as “Mass Extinction” under any definition.

    “mass extinction
    The extinction of a large number of species within a relatively short period of geological time, thought to be due to factors such as a catastrophic global event or widespread environmental change that occurs too rapidly for most species to adapt.”

    Your linked WIKI articles indicates that over the last 225 years 67 animal species and 52 plant species have been confrimed as extinct. This equates to 1 animal species every 3 years and 1 plant species avery 4 years. There is no apparent “Mass” episode of vanishing species in any given Decade or 1/4 century period that can be determined as a Mass Extinction episode where any greater number of species has vanished over what could be expected from Natural Selection.
    Man has done more damage from the introduction of the Cane Toad than any possible Climate induced disruption that could be atributed to industrialization.
    Can you find any other possible supporting evidence of “Mass Extinction”?

  112. AJB says:

    climateace says: December 27, 2013 at 2:09 am

    … efficient and effective bureaucracies.

    Oxymoron alert.

  113. john robertson says:

    Decarbonize the economy?
    This is newspeak, perhaps the decarbonizers, such as Climate Ace, would show us the way, please decarbonize yourself.
    The insanity of ,a carbon based life form, demonizing carbon, is very hard to parody.

  114. climateace says:

    [nicholas tesdorf says:
    December 27, 2013 at 3:18 am

    : Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed up the ladder of the world’s largest economies, because over the same period the EU and US have done even greater damage than Australia to their own economies..]

    nicholas, Forbes article argued that Australia’s economy was uncompetitive because, inter alia, it has regulations and a carbon tax. My point was that this is a bizarre position when Australia is moving up the rung of world economies. Further, if these things are so damaging, why has the Australian economy – virtually alone among OECD countries, grown for 21 consecutive quarters?

    The argument simply does not hold water.

  115. climateace says:

    [climateace says: December 27, 2013 at 2:09 am

    … efficient and effective bureaucracies.
    AJB

    Oxymoron alert.]

    Some bureaucracies (whether in large multi-national corporates in the private sector, large religions, or in the public sector) are efficient and effective. Others are not.

    Clearly, the issue is not whether to have a bureaucracy because bureaucracies are indispensible.

    The issue is how to get and keep an effective and efficient bureaucracy. This is harder than most people think.

  116. Bryan A says:

    @ClimateAce

    Considering that nearly 10,000 new species are discovered each year, 1 loss every 3 or 4 years over a 225 year timespan in any given geographic area is bordering on the verge of being ecologically insignificant rather than Mass extinction indicative
    Animal group Number of species
    Vertebrates
    Amphibians……………6,199
    Birds…………………….9,956
    Fish…………………….30,000
    Mammals ………………5,416
    Reptiles ………………..8,240
    Subtotal ……………….59,811
    Invertebrates
    Insects …………………950,000
    Molluscs ………………..81,000
    Crustaceans …………..40,000
    Corals ……………………2,175
    Others …………………130,200
    Subtotal ……………..1,203,375
    Plants
    Mosses …………………15,000
    Ferns and allies ………13,025
    Gymnosperms ……………980
    Dicotyledons …………199,350
    Monocotyledons ………59,300
    Green Algae …………….3,715
    Red Algae ……………….5,956
    Subtotal ………………..297,326
    Others
    Lichens ………………….10,000
    Mushrooms ……………..16,000
    Brown Algae ………………2,849
    Subtotal …………………..28,849
    Total ………………….1,589,361

  117. Chris R. says:

    climateace puts forth a nice strawman agrument, doesn’t
    he? His statement was:

    It always amuses me that the same people who say this sort of thing are often righteously apoplectic about sovereign risk in countries where governance is weak, the laws chaotic, the rule of law largely absent and the bureaucracy inefficient, ineffective and riddled with corruption. Such countries notoriously also have badly educated workforces prone to the sorts of disease absent in well-ordered countries. The infrastructure in such countries is absent or poorly maintained. Using the infrastructure by way of a car ride can be lethal. Ecosystem services in terms of clean water, clean air are often lacking. In the absence of effective regulation the food can be lethal. Managing currency risk in such countries can be a nightmare. Finally, in terms of law and order you might wake up one day and find that your mine workforce has been murdered and your mine taken over by a local warlord.

    As if there is no choice between an overbearing, smothering government
    and a third-world hellhole. Governments are not a quantum entity, but
    a continuum entity. They are not necessarily either huge, smothering
    masses or incapable of enforcing their will beyond a day’s infantry march.
    It is possible to have a government that is sufficient to do its job but still
    small enough to be minimally intrusive. It has just become extremely
    difficult.

    The bureaucracy which climateace praises is the
    directly culpable party. Once a bureaucracy has come into existence, its
    stated mission inevitably becomes secondary to
    its real mission. The real mission becomes simply
    the preservation and expansion of the bureaucracy itself! Goals
    become evaluated not on the basis of, “Is our particular agency
    able to do its nominal job efficiently, or has it become too obese?”,
    but instead on the basis of, “How can we expand our budget, staffing,
    and reach?” This is simply due to human nature–people want to feel
    good about themselves, and their jobs. In a bureaucratic setting,
    that equates to a larger budget and a larger number of people
    controlled. This desire operates up and down the bureaucratic
    chain.

    I wish I could confidently recommend a set of solutions that would
    keep a government lean, mean, cost-effective and focused on
    delivering value to the people governed. Such a set of solutions
    may not exist, since it would have to effectively counter human
    nature. I would suggest that a citizenry that is sceptical about the
    ability of government to do “everything” is a small first step.

  118. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    Some bureaucracies (whether in large multi-national corporates in the private sector, large religions, or in the public sector) are efficient and effective. Others are not.

    That most dreadful non source gives me this:

    A bureaucracy is “a body of nonelective government officials” and/or “an administrative policy-making group.”[1] Historically, bureaucracy referred to government administration managed by departments staffed with nonelected officials.[2] In modern parlance, bureaucracy refers to the administrative system governing any large institution.

    So, yes, there are corporate bureaucracies. This said, I believe there is a fundamental difference between any sort of government and any sort of private activity. The difference is, if the private activity is too inefficient the company goes broke and ceases to operate, where the government does not operate under this constraint.
    I disagree that the Grail consists of finding an efficient bureaucracy, I think this misses the important distinction that government activities tend to be less efficient that private activities by virtue of the simple fact that they can be.

  119. Patrick said @ December 26, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Australian farmers; largest group of middle class welfare beneficiaries.

    Liar! That’s the kind of crap my brother came out with when he was a Canberra policy wonk!

    The OECD has released it’s annual survey of national agriculture subsidy levels by OECD members. While internationally, farm subsidy levels have been lower in 2010 due to the relatively high commodity prices, Australia and New Zealand farmers receive the lowest levels of subsidies of any farmers, and Australia is right at the bottom when it comes to total expenditure on agriculture as a proportion of national GDP.

    The OECD compiles national farm sector subsidy data on an annual basis, in order to provide an international comparison of farm subsidy levels, and to encourage OECD nations and others to reduce farm subsidies and distortions to agricultural trade. In its report just released for 2010, New Zealand farmers received the lowest levels of subsidies of any nations farmers (averaged over the 2008-2010 period), with an estimated 1% of their farm income being generated through subsidies, trade restrictions or other forms of government support. Australian was ranked second lowest, at 3.2% of farm income derived from government support measures averaged over this period. This compares to an OECD average of around 20%, and a high for Norway of 60%.

    When agriculture sector support (including subsidies to farmers, subsidies to consumers and government R&D contributions) is measured in terms of government outlays to the sector as a proportion of national GDP, Australia had the lowest level, with outlays to agriculture equivalent to just 0.12% of GDP. This compares with an OECD average of 0.85%.

    The data actually overstates current support levels in Australia, because it is reported as an average of the 2008 – 2010 years – during the earlier years of this period the drought subsidies being paid to farmers were higher than in the current year. For the 2010 year, subsidies and support for Australian farmers were equivalent to just 2.23% of farmers income.

    Next time someone tell[s] you Australian farmers are just whingers who are always on the Government teat, tell them they’re dreaming!

    http://farminstitute.org.au/_blog/Ag_Forum/post/Australia_still_at_the_bottom_when_it_comes_to_farm_subsidies/

    Here in Tasmania several business sectors had their costs of compliance assessed and farmers’ costs were far higher than any other business.

  120. Richard Ilfeld says:

    Good heavens, people.
    reference: “carbon”

    From time to time, we need to remind ourselves that there is one, and only one arguable causal point. Is the premise: “Increasing carbon dioxide levels cause increases in global temperature at a more rapid rate that the carbon dioxide itself is increasing, or not’? This is a theoretical question subject to experimental review.
    Government, organizational, or personal folly on either side of the argument based on a “religious” (ie belief-based) view of this question is likely to end up on the same trash heap of history as other mass delusions of rumor, fear, or the madness of crowds.
    The above of course references climate related prescriptive activities. One can, of course, research, document, and ponder lack (or growth) of species diversity or other topics, on their own merits. Presumptive causality should, however, be excluded for both clarity and civility. And there must be evidence. Would that the bugs that infest us were showing the same tendency to die off as the larger species are supposedly doing.

    The government arguments are equally clear: indebtedness seems wonderously salubrious to those who pay is debt funded, so so much fun for those tasked to pay. A government overspending its receipts has much to answer for and should probably be trimmed rather than expanded. We have understood the sources of wealth of nations since Adam Smith, who has not been contradicted.
    He, also, remained grounded in empirical observation.

  121. farmerbraun says:

    If we the people are ever going to freed from ourselves , as in -

    “the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship.” -

    then the government must consist of sufficient eligible individuals elected for a limited , once -only term , by lottery. There appears to be no other way to prevent vested-interest (elected politicians) from subverting a political process which involves the “will of the people” via “one man/one vote democracy”

  122. farmerbraun says:

    ” New Zealand farmers received the lowest levels of subsidies of any nations farmers (averaged over the 2008-2010 period), with an estimated 1% of their farm income being generated through subsidies, trade restrictions or other forms of government support.”

    Long may it continue to be that way. The main focus now is to somehow keep the costs of business compliance at minimal levels. Even those practising the most sustainable agriculture are being hit with rapacious demands , particularly from local government.

  123. climateace says:

    Several posters appear to be having difficulty with accepting that Australia is undergoing a mass extinction event.

    Australia has lost around .09% of its vertebrate species in 200 years. This is caculated using a figure of around 70 vertebrate species extinct out of a total of around 7,500 vertebrates.

    (The numbers change around a bit as new species are found, species are reclassified and so on and so forth).

    At this rate it will take around 10,000 years before ALL vertebrates are extinct in Australia.

    Complete extinctions of this nature are unlikely but it is unarguable that we have initiated a continent-wide mass extinction event.

    The pipeline of species threatened with extinction is extensive.

    Other people questioned why I raised the issue of the mass extinction event in the context of the Forbes article.

    The reason is quite simple: the only thing standing between our mass extinction event and the pioneers, the settlers, the builders, the developers, the farmers and the miners are government laws and regulations about environmental standards. OTOH, Forbes was arguing against green regulations.

    My view is that we need to have development but that the development has to be constrained in order to be sustainable.

    Where our mass extinction event goes from here is a matter of national choice. If the choice is to stop it, then green regulations will be required.

  124. climateace says:

    The Pompous Git

    Good post.

  125. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace.

    Seriously. You’re seriously arguing that?

  126. Mark Bofill says:

    obvious glaring problems.

    1 – we are extrapolating from .09% over 200 years a linear trend that will continue for 10K years?
    2 – it is unarguable that we have initiated a continent-wide mass extinction event.
    Is it? Who’s we? What’s the nature of this event? Specific mechanism? Evidence? As Willis says, can you show me the bodies?
    3- he only thing standing between our mass extinction event … are government laws and regulations about environmental standards.
    This has not been demonstrated or supported, merely asserted. For that matter, the extinction event has not been demonstrated or supported, merely asserted.

  127. farmerbraun said @ December 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Long may it continue to be that way.

    From the bureau of census and stats:

    Farming as a vocation tends to be characterised by a high degree of self-employment and long working hours. In 2011, half (50%) of farmers worked 49 hours or more a week. Only 17% of other workers put in such long hours.
    ….
    Despite working such long hours, the average weekly disposable income of farmers in 2009-10 ($568) was considerably lower than that of people working in other occupations ($921).

    So you believe these “middle class welfare beneficiaries” don’t deserve a fairer deal?

  128. climateace says:

    [ Mark Bofill says:
    December 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Climateace,

    Some bureaucracies (whether in large multi-national corporates in the private sector, large religions, or in the public sector) are efficient and effective. Others are not.

    That most dreadful non source gives me this:

    A bureaucracy is “a body of nonelective government officials” and/or “an administrative policy-making group.”[1] Historically, bureaucracy referred to government administration managed by departments staffed with nonelected officials.[2] In modern parlance, bureaucracy refers to the administrative system governing any large institution.

    So, yes, there are corporate bureaucracies. This said, I believe there is a fundamental difference between any sort of government and any sort of private activity. The difference is, if the private activity is too inefficient the company goes broke and ceases to operate, where the government does not operate under this constraint.]

    Good post, IMHO.

    We could debate the issues here almost endlessly but I would like to make a couple of points:

    (1) government bureaucracies tend to be more efficient and effective in natural monopolies. The reason is that private corporates will simply loot the economy if they control a natural monopoly. (Where there is not a natural monopoly, they will try to create one). Where a private corporate controls a natural or manufactured monopoly, they will be relatively indifferent to the inefficiences of their bureaucracies because it is not the quality of their bureacracies that determine their profits.

    (2) private corporates routinely use rent-seeker activities which generate all sorts of inefficiences in of themselves. Again this takes the pressure of both their bureaucracies (and incidentally, on the quality of their management staff and processes).

    (3) chrony capitalism is used by private sectors in certain countries both to suppress effectiveness and efficiency in bureaucracies and to suborn it.

    (4) where private and public sector managers are corrupt, their bureaucracies will tend to corruption. Inefficiency is a normal byproduct of corruption.

    (5) there are tendencies in all bureaucracies (private, public and religious) to develop a set of behaviours which cluster around self-propagation, self-protection and nest-feathering.

    (6) private sector bureaucracies have it easy, compared with public sector bureaucracies. The fundamental reason is that they have only one corporate bottom line which stays consistent: profit. Public sector bureaucracies have to cope with changed lots of politicians and frequent and abrupt changes in policies and programs as well as multiple bottom lines.

    Bureaucracies are indispensible. All large organisations have them. The solution to efficiency and effectiveness is to fantasize a world without bureaucracies: the solution is to vote for politicians who promise and deliver on efficient bureacracies, and to vote out those who fail this test.

    An open, transparent and accountable democracy, a well-regulated society, economy and environment need an efficient and effective bureacracy.

  129. climateace says:

    Blofill

    [obvious glaring problems.

    1 – we are extrapolating from .09% over 200 years a linear trend that will continue for 10K years?]

    This is a reasonable question. My understanding is that there are around ten times as many endangered as extinct species so a reasonable extrapolation is that if we don’t modify our behaviour the mass extinction event will continue. In fact, the list of endangered species continues to grow rather than to decline. If anything, the trend looks to be increasing.

    [2 – it is unarguable that we have initiated a continent-wide mass extinction event.
    Is it? Who’s we? What’s the nature of this event? Specific mechanism? Evidence? As Willis says, can you show me the bodies?]

    The documentation of Australian vertebrate extinctions is, zoologically, quite sound. In terms of bodies, most Australian natural history museums have collections of skeletons. In terms of endangered species, the process for allocating status is fully documented.

    [3- he only thing standing between our mass extinction event … are government laws and regulations about environmental standards.
    This has not been demonstrated or supported, merely asserted. For that matter, the extinction event has not been demonstrated or supported, merely asserted.]

    Extinction processes and causes for Australian vertebrates are generally well-documented in scientific terms. In nearly every case activities of the sorts positively supported by Forbes (above) are complicit. Green regulations and government activities such as the declaration of national parks respond to these processes and causes.

    So, there are no ‘obvious or glaring problems’: only the reality that we have choices about whether to proceed with our mass extinction event.

  130. @ Climateace

    The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.

    Eugene McCarthy, Time magazine, Feb. 12, 1979

  131. Gail Combs says:

    climateace says: @ December 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    …Clearly, the issue is not whether to have a bureaucracy because bureaucracies are indispensible…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Talk about serendippity, I just now finished read an article by Mark Stoval addressing that very issue. An article about a long lasting civilization WITHOUT BUREAUCRATS!

    Irish Brehon: a legal system
    ..There are examples of the private production of law and my favorite example is Brehon, or Early Irish law which arose during the Irish anarchy of old….

    Brehon, the Irish legal system lasted until the mid 1600s and was a fully developed system prior to any invasion by other peoples. Those invasions only weakened the system, and certainly did not improve it any. It is thought that the legal system dates back to perhaps 2,300 BC. The laws were concerned with property rights, contracts, inheritance, and so forth….

    This legal code survived, it is thought, for about three millennia and that is testament to the sense of honor of the people; after all, the law was the people’s law. The law’s authority came from the acceptance and moral strength of the people who were governed by the Brehon Code. In ancient Ireland an individual’s word was his bond….

    Some of the unique features of early Brehon Law, compared to our modern law, included recognition of personal responsibility scaled to ones position in society, the priority of individuals over property, equal rights between genders, environmental concern and lack of capital punishment. Most importantly, it was a system that required restitution for wrong rather than punishment. The effectiveness of the body of law is reflected in the great respect given it by its citizens. The law was so revered and honored by the people that there were neither courts needed nor police forces required to enforce it. ~ Michael Ragan

    …Since the law arose out of the people themselves through their experiences and real legal cases, the law could not be changed without public approval. It took a majority of “free people” in a public assembly of the people to change any portion of the code. This was a law supported by the people because it was their law. It was not ruler made law handed down from on top but rather it was people made law.
    link

    This was a real eye opening article for me because I alway considered anarcho-capitalists to be nice people but not living in reality. No nation-state? How could that possibly work? Stoval goes on to explain what is meant here: The State versus Governance“One of the problems that gets in the way of many people understanding our position is that they confuse the ‘State’ with ‘governance’ or with ‘government’. As I have mentioned many times in the past, there is no one that I know of that wants total chaos.”

    SO Climateace not only can a society exist without a bureaucracy, but it lasted a heck of a lot longer than the civilizations that DID have bureaucracies. Two hundred years vs ~ 3,000 years? That alone seems to prove bureaucracies strangle civilizations not prolong them.

    And in answer to Lord Monckton’s article on morality:

    …law enforcement was not a function of the king in the Irish tuath, rather it was dependent on each party in a suit to provide themselves with sureties who would guarantee that the monetary judgment of the Brehon’s court would be honored. There was an elaborate system of surety-ship which formed the basis of the entire legal system. Hence, a man’s character, reputation, and property were highly important in this society. Honor was highly valued since the honorable would follow the code. …

    Remember this dated back 2000 or more years before Christ.

  132. climateace says:

    Chris R

    [climateace puts forth a nice strawman agrument, doesn’t
    he? His statement was:

    It always amuses me that the same people who say this sort of thing are often righteously apoplectic about sovereign risk in countries where governance is weak, the laws chaotic, the rule of law largely absent and the bureaucracy inefficient, ineffective and riddled with corruption. Such countries notoriously also have badly educated workforces prone to the sorts of disease absent in well-ordered countries. The infrastructure in such countries is absent or poorly maintained. Using the infrastructure by way of a car ride can be lethal. Ecosystem services in terms of clean water, clean air are often lacking. In the absence of effective regulation the food can be lethal. Managing currency risk in such countries can be a nightmare. Finally, in terms of law and order you might wake up one day and find that your mine workforce has been murdered and your mine taken over by a local warlord.

    As if there is no choice between an overbearing, smothering government
    and a third-world hellhole.]

    A good point IMHO. The statement to which I was respond was something like ‘government and bureaucracies’ prevent economies from growing’. It was not a straw man. It was a statement of a position. I then provided a scenario in which it was quite obvious that the lack of democracy, governance and efficient and effective bureaucracies prevented economies from growing.

    I agree with your basic point here, which is that there is a happy medium in running efficient and effective bureaucracies and that the problem is to find it.

  133. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    You merely reiterate your assertions.

    Look, it shouldn’t be too hard to go find climate studies that suggest climate change will cause extinctions. I’d open fire on those if they were presented, but you’re not even meeting me halfway by doing that. Give me something to shoot at.

    Even given such studies, even if we accepted them as the simple truth, … well, we’ll blow up that bridge when we come to it.

  134. climateace says:

    Bryan A says

    ‘@ClimateAce

    Considering that nearly 10,000 new species are discovered each year, 1 loss every 3 or 4 years over a 225 year timespan in any given geographic area is bordering on the verge of being ecologically insignificant rather than Mass extinction indicative’

    Bryan you have probably inadvertantly shifted the goal posts. My specific reference was to a mass extinction event in Australia, given the context of Forbes’ original post. Someone then raised vertebrate extinction numbers in Australia so I followed that one up.

    Of course it is more than reasonable to extrapolate from well-documented vertebrate extinctions to invertebrate extinctions which would be proportionately far more numerous.

  135. climateace said @ December 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Green regulations and government activities such as the declaration of national parks respond to these processes and causes.

    So, there are no ‘obvious or glaring problems’: only the reality that we have choices about whether to proceed with our mass extinction event.

    One “obvious and glaring problem”: farmers and foresters being put out of business through green regulations. A local greenie was skiting about the success of destroying thye forestry industry to a friend the other day. My friend commiserated with the woman over the imminent loss of her orchard adjacent to bushland when the bush caught fire. “I’ll just call the fire brigade,” she said. Unfortunately, the “fire brigade” were volunteers from the forestry workforce. The foresters have sold their machinery including the large bulldozers used to cut firebreaks.

    So it goes…

    Also I note that your “mass extinction” doesn’t rate in the list of mass extinctions on the wiki-bloody-pedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event

  136. climateace says:

    [Mark Blofill

    Climateace,

    You merely reiterate your assertions.]

    I expanded on them. I could give you chapter and verse in the peer-reviewed literature on extinction processes. The accounts of explorers, settlers, and collectors of animals that they saw alive but which are now extinction are all publicly available. The acquisition numbers from Australian museum collection for items relating to species that have gone extinct are public available. The processes for determining conservation status are explicit and public and the documentation for determinations open to the public. The taxonomy for Australia’s vertebrates is all available in peer-reviewed literature.

    It is massive, if you feel like following it up, go ahead. I am not going to do it for you.

  137. @ Gail Combes

    Iceland had a working anarchy in the past. Sadly, it was destroyed by the church:

    Medieval Iceland and the Absence of Government

    Those who claim that government is the source of social order say that in its absence there would be violence, chaos, and a low standard of living. They cite civil wars in Africa, drug wars in South America, or even Gengis Khan in Mongolia. They claim that these things, which are actually examples of competing governments, are what life without government will produce.

    Another common objection to stateless legal enforcement systems is to ask for “just one example of where it has worked.”

    Medieval Iceland illustrates an actual and well-documented historical example of how a stateless legal order can work and it provides insights as to how we might create a more just and efficient society today.

    http://mises.org/daily/1121

  138. climateace says:

    The Pompous Git

    [One “obvious and glaring problem”: farmers and foresters being put out of business through green regulations.]

    In general, Australian farm commodity exports by quantity and value (depending on seasonal variations) are higher than they have ever been. Clearly, regulations aimed at preserving water quality, food quality and biodiversity are not stopping Australian agriculture from making a quid.

    As with every industry, there are individual failures spotted amongst the general success.

    According to you theory, this would be impossible.

    Forestry is a vexed and very complex issue.

    I would like to see more selective harvest logging over more native forests than is currently the case, rather than the resort to plantation forestry.

  139. Gail Combs says:

    The Pompous Git says: @ December 27, 2013 at 12:52 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Farmers also get squeezed because there is only one buyer who sets the price, at least here in the USA. If you look at the retail cost of food over time the farmer is getting a smaller and smaller chunk.

    …farmers and ranchers receive only 15.8* cents of every food dollar that consumers spend on food at home and away from home?

    According to USDA, off farm costs including marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing account for more than 80 cents of every food dollar spent in the United States.
    smaller chunk.
    link

    In fact, the farmer’s share of the retail food dollar has been on the decline for more than 60 years. In 1950, farmers received more than 40 cents for every food dollar that consumers spent in the grocery store. Today, they receive a paltry 19 cents.

    And that 19 cents isn’t even pure profit—instead it’s put towards the many expenses of running a farm, such as seeds, machinery, fuel, and fertilizer. The farmers simply have to hope and pray that their yields and market prices are high enough to cover the costs. If not, they hope for a better year next year in order to pay off the loss-or worse, hang it up.
    link

    Doreen expresses my sentiment towards those bashing farmers: LET THEM EAT GRASS

  140. Mark Bofill says:

    Climate Ace,

    I’m not going to looking for your evidence. If you don’t want to link any, that’s certainly your prerogative. Still, if you don’t link any, all we have is your unsupported assertion.

    Be reasonable. What if I made a preposterous claim and refused to offer anything to support it? Obviously you wouldn’t accept it as fact. Obviously, you wouldn’t go looking for evidence to support my claim, that’d be my job.

    So, you don’t want to support your claims, that’s fine, but let it be noted for posterity that I don’t accept them, and we can move on.

  141. Gail Combs says:

    The Pompous Git says: @ December 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Unfortunately I doubt the woman is capable of putting 2 + 2 together when her orchard and home burns to the ground thanks to ‘Green practices”. Unless of course she also earns a Darwin Award.

  142. climateace says:

    [Ian Wilson says:
    December 27, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Climateace said:

    “In fiscal terms the Australian national government debt is small and manageable.”

    This is one of the great myths of the Left here in Australia.

    Our National Public (i.e. Government) Debt is only $ 300+ billion dollars. This is small and manageable when compared to most affluent countries, given that Australia has a 1.5 trillion dollar economy.

    Unfortunately, what Climateace fails to mention is that our National Private Debt is almost equivalent to our total GDP. Hence, the total National private plus public debt puts Australia in the same league as basket case economies like Greece.

    Fortunately. most of the Private debt is in the form of foreign investment and loans that are being used to purchase mining and industrial machinery, essential infrastructure for industry and mining and other productive enterprises. This means that there is good possibility that this debt will get paid back.

    However, As a mid-level economic power spanning a whole continent and have a population of only 23 million people, Australia cannot provide the funds needed for the necessary investment and loans that are required to maintain healthy levels of economic growth. This means that we must seek these funds overseas.

    Hence, if Australia is to maintain access to future foreign investment and loans, its Government must keep the National Public Debt as low as possible so that the Public debt structures does not suck up money that are needed to service the Private Debt Structure.]

    A reasonable discussion, IMHO. The reason I raised Australian government debt was because Forbes raised Australian Government activity as if it was axiomatically destructive of the economy – bizarre.

    Some public debt is good. Too much public debt is bad. Some private sector debt is good. Too much private sector debt is bad.

    The issue is finding the appropriate balance. Give me a room full of economists and I will give you a room full of different expert opinions on the appropriate balance.

    Incidentally, you appear to be using gross rather than net debt figures which does rather skew the position.

  143. climateace says:

    Number of Australian vertebrates

    http://www.environment.gov.au/node/13866

    List of vertebrates rendered extinct over the past 200 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_animals_of_Australia

  144. @ Climateace

    Crunch time for Tassie apple exports
    No Tasmanian apples have been exported overseas this season [2012] for the first time in more than 130 years, prompting fears the state’s era as the Apple Isle is over.

    Fewer than 10 years ago, Tasmanian apples still made up more than half of Australia’s international shipments.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-17/tassie-apple-exports-end/4264910

    Indeed, when I purchased my farm in 1982, one of my orcharding neighbours told me he had only made a loss one year in thirty five.

    So how did Tasmania’s apple and pear growers fail? They set a goal of decreasing pesticide inputs by 95% in ten years and achieved that goal in five years. The Greens response: Not good enough. It should have been 100%

    I don’t really have much time to spend on this issue and finding detailed stats takes more time than I can momentarily spare.

    In Tasmania, 19% of farms had negative cash income in 2007-08, down sharply from 44% in 2006-07 due to improved receipts. The proportion of farms with negative cash income also declined in New South Wales, Queensland, and the Northern Territory, but rose in the other states.

    The situation has not improved and it seems that the last vegetable processor is contemplating shutting up shop here.

    As a conservationist, I can tell you that we campaigned vigorously and successfully for more plantation forestry in the 1970s and 80s. Having succeeded, the greenies want to reverse this! Yes, we should be selectively logging for high quality timber, but guess who opposes this! The greens took over the Triabunna mill and what did the manager Alec Marr (ex-Wilderness Society) say? They would not be processing any timber from private landowners.

    This is not a picture of “farm commodity exports by quantity and value (depending on seasonal variations) [being] higher than they have ever been”, but rather the reverse.

  145. climateace says:

    TPG

    I think we are more or less on the same page as regards forestry.

    In relation to apples, you raise the issue of pesticides. But the orchardists, quoted in the article you link, raise the high aussie dollar (note that Forbes refers to a ‘weak currency’ when the situation is actually the reverse) which knocks off as much as 30% of their revenue. They also cite a lack of infrastructure (transport) and finally they cite high labour costs.

    Australia has the Dutch disease – too much export revenue from mining is driving the Aussie dollar too high for farmers and manufacturers to compete.

  146. climateace says:

    http://collections.ala.org.au/public/show/co12

    Hundreds of thousands of accession records for plants including extinct plants.

  147. @ Climateace

    The list of extinct vertebrates you link to includes rather a lot of birds on islands: Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, Kangaroo Island, Macquarie Island… This is to be expected. Isand bird species go extinct frequently everywhere due to becoming overspecialised.

    I recall a biologist speaking on the ABC Science Show saying that Australia was the only place on earth she knew where you could find a new species almost every week. We would seem to have a long way to go towards “mass” extinction (and that is a good thing).

  148. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    Thank you. I’m reading your stuff now.

  149. climateace says:

    [The Pompous Git says:
    December 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    @ Climateace

    The list of extinct vertebrates you link to includes rather a lot of birds on islands: Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, Kangaroo Island, Macquarie Island… This is to be expected. Isand bird species go extinct frequently everywhere due to becoming overspecialised.

    I recall a biologist speaking on the ABC Science Show saying that Australia was the only place on earth she knew where you could find a new species almost every week. We would seem to have a long way to go towards “mass” extinction (and that is a good thing).]

    So, extinctions don’t matter because they are birds on islands?

    It reasonably rare to discover entirely new vertebrate species in Australia. They are certainly not being discovered at the rate of one a week.

  150. Reg Nelson says:

    climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    My point was that this is a bizarre position when Australia is moving up the rung of world economies. Further, if these things are so damaging, why has the Australian economy – virtually alone among OECD countries, grown for 21 consecutive quarters?
    —-

    The Aussie economy has grown because it has huge mineral resources — which are mostly in the middle of nowhere (no one else’s backyard).

    It has nothing to do with the Rudd\Gillard governments, which inherited a Howard surplus and pissed it away in record time.

  151. climateace said @ December 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    In relation to apples, you raise the issue of pesticides. But the orchardists, quoted in the article you link, raise the high aussie dollar (note that Forbes refers to a ‘weak currency’ when the situation is actually the reverse) which knocks off as much as 30% of their revenue. They also cite a lack of infrastructure (transport) and finally they cite high labour costs.

    Australia has the Dutch disease – too much export revenue from mining is driving the Aussie dollar too high for farmers and manufacturers to compete.

    There are many issues not mentioned for what is a fairly obvious reason: there are ever so many of them. Not mentioned:

    Greenpeace lying about Tasmanian apple growers using Alar. Alar was used on the mainland to colour Red Delicious in the absence of cold nights and sunny days that we enjoy in abundance.

    As well as reducing costs by more rational chemical use, the industry adopted management practices that resulted in pack-out rates of between 90 and 95%, well ahead of the 60% when those practices were mooted.

    A dramatic increase in the cost of agricultural lime when the greens lobbied successfully to shut down the Lune River lime quarry. Bob Brown suggested we should be importing lime from Japan. It was costly enough importing what is a very dense material from the North West of the state.

    The average Tasmanian farmer now has to spend at least one whole day a week filling in forms to satisfy green-tape.

    Dating back to the days of St Keating de Paul, the elimination of almost all farm subsidies (such as tax rebate on diesel fuel).

    President of the Australian Dairy Farmers, Noel Campbell, believes the carbon tax is pushing up costs for dairy farms by an average of $5,500-$7,000 per year through increased power prices and processing costs. Tasmanian dairy farmers also have the additional cost of the carbon tax on freighting product to the mainland and importing inputs.

    Australia’s disease is not caring about what they put in their mouths. China clearly has no compunction about selling produce here that is unfit for human consumption. The average person wants cheap food-like substances rather than real food and castigate farmers as “middle class welfare beneficiaries”.

    Now I’m off to mow a meadow…

  152. climateace says:

    MB

    Apart from the national lists there are lists for every state and territory in Australia. I link here the Victorian site. ‘Action statements’ refer to the activities thought to ensure that the species will not become extinct. It is reasonable to assume that in the absence of regulation and in the absence of activities related to improving populations and the perpetuation of current pressures many such species will go extinct.

    My point was, and is, that we have started a mass extinction event. What we do about it here on in is a matter of choice.

    http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/plants-and-animals/flora-and-fauna-guarantee-act-action-statements-index-of-approved-action-statements

  153. climateace says:

    The Pompous Git

    I agree that there are a range of reasons not canvassed upstring that impact on farming profitability. Nevertheless, seasons aside, Australian farm commodity exports are booming.

    How do you rationalise this discrepancy?

  154. climateace says:

    Reg Nelson

    [climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    My point was that this is a bizarre position when Australia is moving up the rung of world economies. Further, if these things are so damaging, why has the Australian economy – virtually alone among OECD countries, grown for 21 consecutive quarters?
    —-

    The Aussie economy has grown because it has huge mineral resources — which are mostly in the middle of nowhere (no one else’s backyard).

    It has nothing to do with the Rudd\Gillard governments, which inherited a Howard surplus and pissed it away in record time.]

    The original discussion was that green regulation and a weak currency (!) and expensive energy was rendering Australia uncompetitive.

    My response was that the Australian economy could hardly be uncompetitive if it was climbing up the rung by size of international economies.

    Huge external profit driven investments in fossil fuel and iron ore exports, including massive associated infrastructure, have generated this massive growth in the economy. If the foreign investors were put off by poor governance, over-regulation and a carbon tax, they would simply not have made the investments. As for Forbes’ ‘weak currency’ – from a manufacturing and farm export POV – if only!

  155. climateace says:

    I agree with the comment above that there is too much red tape.

    I would get rid of all that Costello-induced nonsense having to do with the introduction of the GST for a start…

  156. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    Rather than shooting from the hip, I’m taking a few hours tonight to do due diligence on your materials. Briefly though,

    So, extinctions don’t matter because they are birds on islands?

    No, but populations on islands behave differently than mainland species, they are much more prone to extinction in the first place, for example. It’s not safe to blindly generalize without differentiating island vrs mainland species.

    ‘Action statements’ refer to the activities thought to ensure that the species will not become extinct. It is reasonable to assume that in the absence of regulation and in the absence of activities related to improving populations and the perpetuation of current pressures many such species will go extinct.

    I will dispute this.

    An aside: I realize (now) that our discussion isn’t constrained to extinctions due to climate change as I originally assumed for no particularly good reason. I’m overtrained I guess. I haven’t yet thought through how this might affect my position. Off the top of my head, I don’t think it does.

    I’ll get back to you. Thanks for your patience and for the links.

  157. DaveW says:

    Whatever the merits of some of the points that climateace (the same as the earlier Climate Ace?) raises in amongst his streams of blustering rudeness, the extinction meme seems to be a furphy. As far as I can tell it has nothing to do with the original article. For example: almost all of the ‘Australian’ bird extinctions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_animals_of_Australia) were on islands (many, e.g. Norfolk, Lord Howe, Macquarie only politically Australian) and those with probable causes all have to do with very early hunting, fires and introduction of exotics (esp. black rats). The frog extinctions are most likely due to the introduction of the chytrid fungus. The mammal extinctions are also most likely primarily due to introduced exotics and only secondarily to direct human persecution or habitat destruction. Even the unfortunate Thylacine was done-in by disease after bounties had been lifted – the thriving colony in the Melbourne Zoo also was wiped out. Pathogen pollution has been and continues to be (Myrtle Rust is a current example) a major threat to Australia’s fauna and flora, but has nothing to do with the Forbes article.

    I don’t know enough to say much about the vascular plants that are alleged to be extinct (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_flora_of_Australia), but it isn’t much of a list and some are not very impressive. For example, Euphrasia ruptura – a grass-parasitic subshrub described in 1997 from 2 branches collected in 1904. Species in this genus are known to be profligate interspecific hybridizers and a ‘species’ based on two old branches seems very weak and probably only proposed because it appeared to be ‘extinct’. Acacia kingiana was probably destroyed by agriculture, but the wild banana Musa fitzalanii from the Daintree? I doubt it (known only from the type specimen and it is only presumed extinct).

    climateace’s sweeping statement “You can safely assume suites of invertebrate and non-vascular plant extinctions to go with each higher order extinction” is, in my opinion, garbage. There is no supporting data that I know of. Bryophytes have very good dispersal abilities and tend to have broad distributions. Many thrive on disturbance. I’m sure any host-specific invertebrate parasites or commensals of the extinct vertebrates went extinct too, and no doubt most of the large insects or those with long generation times or requiring specific hosts or microclimates on islands have taken a hit, but again introduced exotics are more likely primary causes of such extinctions than direct human disturbance.

    Red tape, bureaucracies, carbon taxes, ‘green’ energy (think windmills, vast solar arrays, strip mining for rare earths for batteries), and the like are not friends of wildlife or wild plants: any that get in the way will be chopped or plowed for the political opportunists that promote them and the profits they reap from government subsidy.

  158. markx says:

    climateace says: December 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    TPG… I think we are more or less on the same page as regards forestry.

    The handling of forestry by governments listening to green BS has been a disgrace. In Queensland they shut down forests which had been sustainably logged for 100 years and were managed by departments which had been internationally recognized for their excellence in forest management.

    Now it all just overgrows and burns, and then they sqwuark loudly about global warming.

    Idealism is one thing, but idiocy is closely related.

  159. climateace says:

    DaveW

    If you really want ‘blustering rudeness’ you should see some of the things that people upstring have been saying about me.

    I argued that the original article was bizarre in two ways:

    (1) it argued that Australia was an uncompetitive economy inter alia because of green regulations and expensive energy.
    (2) it implied that there was no benefit to green regulations.

    I put it that the first position was invalidated by the Australian economy growing for something like 21 quarters in a row and that the Australian economy by size was moving up the international table.

    In relation to (2) my position is that we have entered a mass extinction event and that we have a choice. We can have a mix of regulations and positive actions to stop the mass extinction event or we can allow it to continue.

    There seems to be some reluctance to face our mass extinction event or to address the statistics. Many of the species listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered are not island species, for example. Yet denialists always head for the islands.

    In relation to reasons for extinctions, you are quite right to point out that they arise from different processes and different variables. As far as I am aware, none of the relevant processes have been either halted or reversed. Pathogens, pests, predators, weeds continue to be introduced by settlers, farmers, miners and horticulturalists, for example. Clearing continues.

    In relation to invertebrates, BTW, your example is actually irrelevant. Individual vertebrates and vascular plants typically ‘carry’ a species-specific set of invertebrates. These might, for example, include highly specialized creatures like moths which depend on termite-mound nesting birds. Some of these have been documented.

  160. Philip Mulholland says:

    Anthony,
    You have here another fascinating thread full of insights and new information. I hope you don’t close this one down just yet. (I know it’s your blog and your prerogative to say what goes on, but I think you closed down the Apollo 8 thread too soon and for the wrong reason).

    Here’s why in my opinion:- In response to the argument about lunar rotation Reed Coray posted this comment Dec 25 @ 10:09 pm describing a superb mechanical model that, for me, indisputable proves the case for lunar rotation.

    The next gem was posted by Greg @ 10:46 pm.

    In response to the challenges of Gerald Kelleher , Greg moves his own understanding of climate data to a new level of comprehension when he incorporates the following insight into his analysis:-

    There are 365.242 cycles of luminosity in an Earth year. However the Earth rotates 366.242 times, so when working to that level of precision we must not confuse length of day with period of rotation, which is what I was carelessly doing.

    Then we come to the postings of Gerald Kelleher himself. As far as I can tell he is not a proponent of barycentrism, rather he opposes it and is pre-Newtonian in his ideas. His 24 hour earth day of 360 degrees of rotation appears to be Aristotelian in concept, (he certainly cannot have the earth in orbit around the sun with 24 hour terrestrial days) For me his writings seem almost as if we are in an episode of Dr Who having a conversation with a Sumerian astronomer.

    I hope that these examples go some way to demonstrating what a truly astonishing blog you have created here. They show science being conducted and broadcast in a way that demonstrates what a mockery of the true process of scientific inquiry other agenda driven climate blogs actually are.

  161. climateace says:

    MB
    In the last link check out specifically the biodiversity section.

  162. On extinction:

    the sixth mass extinction is in progress, now, with animals going extinct 100 to 1,000 times (possibly even 1,000 to 10,000 times) faster than at the normal background extinction rate, which is about 10 to 25 species per year.

    Presumably the background rate occurred before there were humans to count them. How they do that?

    The Hawai’I chaff flower, the golden coqui Puerto Rican tree frog, the Martinique Parrot, the Yuman box turtle, the Madagascan Pygmy hippo, and the Japanese sea lion are amongst the list that include the 784 species of plants and animals that have recently vanished from earth because of human activities.

    Yet:

    In October, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published a list of 441 new species that have been discovered in the Amazon in the last four years: 258 plants, 84 fish, 58 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 18 birds, and one mammal. That’s “an average of two new species identified every week for the past four years,” read a WWF press release, and “[t]his doesn’t even include the countless discoveries of insects and other invertebrates.”

    Emphasis mine.

    Note that this only the Amazon and it’s a mind-bogglingly big planet.

    Sources:

    http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/overview.html
    http://www.the-scientist.com//?articles.view/articleNo/38639/title/New-Species-Abound/

  163. Mark Bofill says:

    Okay, look. This is interesting material and I’m not done yet, but I’ve got a more general problem with this whole discussion. What definition of extinction event are we using? How do we differentiate between humans causing a few species to go extinct vrs say, an event that causes 75% or more species to go extinct?

    Are we just using the phrase ‘extinction event’ because it’s catchy, or is it technically correct? Can we agree on a definition for mass extinction?

    I find this from ‘The American Heritage Science Dictionary’:

    The extinction of a large number of species within a relatively short period of geological time, thought to be due to factors such as a catastrophic global event or widespread environmental change that occurs too rapidly for most species to adapt. At least five mass extinctions have been identified in the fossil record, coming at or toward the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous Periods. The Permian extinction, which took place 245 million years ago, is the largest known mass extinction in the Earth’s history, resulting in the extinction of an estimated 90 percent of marine species. In the Cretaceous extinction, 65 million years ago, an estimated 75 percent of species, including the dinosaurs, became extinct, possibly as the result of an asteroid colliding with the Earth.

    That most dreadful source doesn’t seem to indicate extinction events can be local to continents:

    An extinction event (also known as a mass extinction or biotic crisis) is a widespread and rapid decrease in the amount of life on earth.

    Anyway. Humans have caused some species to go extinct, obviously. I’m not trying to split hairs here, at least part of my initial outrage with your remarks stemmed from the term ‘extinction event’ and your projection of trends over 10,000 years. If by ‘extinction event’ you merely mean that some small number of species are going to die out, then I think we’re using the wrong term.

    I promised to dispute this:

    ‘Action statements’ refer to the activities thought to ensure that the species will not become extinct. It is reasonable to assume that in the absence of regulation and in the absence of activities related to improving populations and the perpetuation of current pressures many such species will go extinct.

    To cut to the chase, governments are ephemeral on geological timescales. Most governments have lifespans in the hundreds of years. Perhaps some few have persisted past a thousand years, the point remains that laws are not the answer to problems on such timescales because governments don’t last long enough to make a difference. If endangered species will go extinct without specific legislative protection, then they are doomed; the best one can reasonably hope to do is fight a delaying action for a few hundred years.

  164. climateace says:

    Pompous Git
    Plus, the soil micro-fauna has hardly been scratched.

  165. climateace says:

    MB

    There are a couple of issues here.

    (1) The beginning of the Australian mass extinction event is observable in a human time scale – we don’t even need a geological time scale. (I can name numerous species that I saw where I grew up which have disappeared from the local area since. I have seen species that were not extinct when I was a child but which are extinct now.)

    (2) I am not sure about what percentage of total species is required to go extinct before we have a ‘mass extinction event’. I would be happy to go with 10%. That would involve the disappearance of 7,000 vertebrates and several tens of thousands of invertebrate from Australia. Vascular and non-vascular plants would presumably be commensurate.

    (3) Most of the species which have gone extinct in the past 200 years in Australia have done so as a direct or indirect consequence of the actions of Forbes’ settlers and termites. (Interesting that Forbes uses the term ‘termites’ as a term of disapprobrium. Termites, with their capacity to digest cellulose, are indispensible to the productivity of many Australian landscapes.)

    (4) The relevant human-based extinction pressures all still exist. Some old ones are continuing (clearing, changes to fire regime, changes to nutrient regime, changes to hydrology, introduced fauna – predators and competitors, flora, pathogens and pests.) New pressures are being added all the time. The ranges of most (but not all) surviving Australian vertebrates are a fraction of what they were 200 years ago.

    (5) In the absence of regulations and positive actions taken to offset these pressures, including the protection of natural areas by way of national parks, there can be no doubt at all that the extinctions would continue and would probably increase, and that the mass extinction event we have started will continue.

    My basic point is that we face a choice about whether to halt our mass extinction event or to speed it up.

    [To cut to the chase, governments are ephemeral on geological timescales. Most governments have lifespans in the hundreds of years. Perhaps some few have persisted past a thousand years, the point remains that laws are not the answer to problems on such timescales because governments don’t last long enough to make a difference. If endangered species will go extinct without specific legislative protection, then they are doomed; the best one can reasonably hope to do is fight a delaying action for a few hundred years.]

    I agree that we are fighting a delaying action and that the light at the end of the tunnel is pretty dim.

    But I disagree that we should despair. IMHO, we can and should try to save Australia’s species.

  166. Geoff Sherrington says:

    climateace says: December 26, 2013 at 10:57 pm “As we would say in the bush, bullsh*t.”

    CAce, you seem to have elementary problems of comprehension. My valid point was that the coal, iron, gas reserved now being exploited are precisely those discovered by my generation, we who were kids post-war. There has been bugger all successful exploration in the past 30 years, certainly for basic commodities like copper and nickel and tungsten, even non-essentials like gold.
    As Viv and I both note, we are living off the success of a past generation. That’s dangerous for non-renewable resources, ones that need new discoveries to keep a good reserve of buffer.
    Now admit you got it wrong.

  167. DaveW says:

    climateace

    “If you really want ‘blustering rudeness’ you should see some of the things that people upstring have been saying about me.”

    True, I read through this string, but they are legion and seem to know you better than I. When you start off calling the Forbes article ‘bizarre’ and support your accusation with points that seem more disagreements based in political view than facts – and follow-up with repeated and mostly off-target attacks on the new Government and non sequiturs about mass extinctions – then it is actually your comments that seem ‘bizarre’. Your responses certainly undercut whatever points you may have been trying to make.

    “Yet denialists always head for the islands.”

    Anyone with an interest in extinction always goes to islands – they are machines of extinction (and also of speciation). Again, you demonstrate a lack of interest in understanding causes and fall back on bashing your perceived political opponents. You gave the links to wiki supporting your claim of an ongoing mass extinction and those links do not support the bloody shirt you wave.

    “In relation to invertebrates, BTW, your example is actually irrelevant. Individual vertebrates and vascular plants typically ‘carry’ a species-specific set of invertebrates. These might, for example, include highly specialized creatures like moths which depend on termite-mound nesting birds. Some of these have been documented.”

    Is this neo-Clemensian ecological theory or Gaia nonsense? Whatever, it sounds archaic to me and your position that ‘higher’ plants and animals are the building blocks of ecosystems sounds, well, bizarre. Vertebrates come and go, and some invertebrates go with them, but few other than parasites and commensals are ‘carried’ by vertebrates. Your termite mound nest-moth (and, BTW, neither bird nor moth would be around without the termites) fits exactly into my general example and yet you try to use it against me. Either you aren’t listening or you are simply arrogantly opinionated and not interested in the facts. If this is true for the biology, then I have to assume it is also true for your economic/political arguments.

  168. climateace says:

    daveW

    (1) If you can explain why an economy that is uncompetitive in divers ways can (a) grow absolutely and (b) catch up on the next larger economies, please do so.

    (2) I was using the vertebrates because someone raised them – as a proxy for the rest.

    (3) You obviously have no idea about coprophagous invertebrates which are obligate to specific hollow-nesting species of birds.

  169. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    (1) I agree with you. I didn’t mean to imply I don’t believe species can become extinct ‘in the blink of an eye’, I think I can find examples where that was exactly the case.
    (2) OK, so we are discussing the proposition that unregulated human activity will cause 10% of species in Australia to become extinct. I still don’t know that extinction event is the right term, but so long as I know what we mean in the context of this conversation it doesn’t really matter.
    (3) Probably.
    (4) OK.
    (5) But regulations don’t solve the problem. I’m not talking pathos here, I’m talking about solutions from the perspective of an engineer. The solution you propose doesn’t solve the problem. It’s not a solution. I’m not suggesting we despair or give up. I’m suggesting that we quit wasting our time trying to carry water uphill in a sieve and focus on finding a practical solution to the problem.

    Government is important, and it’s good for some things. It’s not the solution to everything. I don’t know the solution to this problem, but I don’t see how government is the answer here.

    Tell you what, I’ll go this far. Until I’ve got a better solution, I’ll accept that government conservation is the best we can do. Stalling is slightly better than nothing, in that as we’ve agreed, it doesn’t really take any time to speak of for species to go extinct. But what we really ought to be doing is studying realistic long term strategies that don’t require continuous human intervention or ‘good’ behavior to work.

  170. Mark Bofill said @ December 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Okay, look. This is interesting material and I’m not done yet, but I’ve got a more general problem with this whole discussion. What definition of extinction event are we using? How do we differentiate between humans causing a few species to go extinct vrs say, an event that causes 75% or more species to go extinct?

    Are we just using the phrase ‘extinction event’ because it’s catchy, or is it technically correct? Can we agree on a definition for mass extinction?

    According to one of the sources I quoted from above, we are already witnessing a mass extinction of up to 250,000 species per annum. Willis Eschenbach had already disparaged the possibility of such a figure elsewhere on this website. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/04/where-are-the-corpses/

    Figure 2 shows see the complete record of every known bird and mammal extinction. In general, the timing reflects the various phases of the expansion of a variety of European species, including humans. Starting from the Caribbean extinctions in the 1500′s, extinctions continue through the age of exploration in the 1700′s and the colonial period of the 1800s. This wave of “alien species” extinctions peaked around 1900 at 1.6 extinctions per year. Extinction rates have dropped since then, with the most recent value being 0.2 extinctions per year.

    Wilson’s claim that 27,000 extinctions per year have been occurring since at least 1980 means that there should be 26 bird extinctions and 13 mammal extinctions per year, a total of 39 bird and mammal extinctions per year.

    The historical extinction rate, however, has never been greater than 1.8 per year, far below the 39 extinctions per year claimed. In addition, the most recent rate is lower than it has been since about 1830. Looking at the entire bird and mammal extinction record, there is no sign of the hundreds of extinctions that Wilson says have already occurred.

    It’s a very interesting and enlightening essay.

  171. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    I’m expressing an opinion here, not making an argument I’m prepared to support. At least not at this time. :)

    We need to get off this rock.

    That’s the long term solution. It solves for humans driving species to extinction. It solves for catastrophic climate change. Solves for overpopulation, pandemics, asteroid strikes, megavolcano eruptions, destruction by superweapons, running out of resources, so on and so on. It has the potential for changing the dynamics that rule how we as a species interact with this world. That’s what we should be focusing on.

  172. Mark Bofill says:

    PG (can I call you that? I don’t want to call you Pompous Git, it seems rude),
    I’m sorry, I got sidetracked. I’ll go back and re-read. Thanks.

  173. Apropos government intervention in animal extinction

    Here in Tasmania we have an estimated 1-200 breeding pairs of wedgetail eagles. Some 40% of their diet consists of feral cats. Feral cats threaten to render several species of small birds extinct, for example the diamond bird. The government has encouraged and sanctioned the building of sufficient windmills to send the wedgetail eagles extinct within a very short period (a decade or two). It would appear that the Labor/Green government of the state is predisposed toward the extinction of minor species such as wedgetail eagles and diamond birds.

  174. @ Mark Bofill

    If I thought being called a Pompous Git was rude, then I would hardly have selected it as a pseudonym.

    I was once called the syphilitic offspring of a mongoloid whore’s melt. My response was “You make me feel homesick. My mummy used to talk to me like that!”

  175. Brian H says:

    More pomposity, please. >:p

  176. Mark Bofill says:

    PG,
    I understand. But I’m the one who has to defy his neuroses to say it.

    I was once called the syphilitic offspring of a mongoloid whore’s melt. My response was “You make me feel homesick. My mummy used to talk to me like that!”

    :>

  177. DaveW says:

    climateace – thanks for proving my points with your response:

    “(1) If you can explain why an economy that is uncompetitive in divers ways can (a) grow absolutely and (b) catch up on the next larger economies, please do so.”

    I have no interest in trying to explain this – I lack the expertise to do so. It seems you have a similar deficit.

    “(2) I was using the vertebrates because someone raised them – as a proxy for the rest.”

    It seems to me you slung vertebrates and vascular plants out all on your own – and what else would you use to support your specious claim of an ongoing mass extinction? Shellfish would be one – they have always been used as markers for mass extinction events (lots of species, good fossilization). Surprisingly, I don’t see a Wiki page on recent extinctions of Australian shellfish.

    In fact, outside of islands, vertebrate and vascular plant extinctions in the last 200 years are surprisingly rare, especially considering the stress that has been put on them by human expansion. The only mass extinction associated with humans is that of the Pleistocene large mammals, but that was associated with our ancestors when then supposedly lived in balance with nature.

    If you really cared about protecting existing populations, then you should be trying to stop wind, biomass and other poorly conceived ‘green’ solutions and supporting cheap natural gas, petroleum, and nuclear energy. Rich societies are far more likely to try and protect their ecosystems than poor ones.

    “(3) You obviously have no idea about coprophagous invertebrates which are obligate to specific hollow-nesting species of birds.”

    You make arrogant assumptions easily, but you are wrong again: I actually do have more than a basic knowledge about nest associates of mammals and birds. I also understand what ‘mass extinction’ means, as you do not.

  178. @ Mark Bofill

    PG is fine, just so long as you understand that it’s the abbreviation for 1,2-propanediol or propane-1,2-diol. That pompous enuf, Brian? :-)

  179. Brian H says:

    MarkW

    Rich societies are far more likely to try and protect their ecosystems than poor ones.

    Indeed. Rich societies look at their ecosystems and think, “Pretty!” Poor ones look at their ecosystems and think, “Food!”

  180. Mark Bofill says:

    I suck at chemistry. I honestly think I’ve got more aptitude for childbearing. And I’m male.

  181. DaveW said @ December 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    The only mass extinction associated with humans is that of the Pleistocene large mammals, but that was associated with our ancestors when then supposedly lived in balance with nature.

    And even if humans were causal, it’s unlikely they were the sole cause. The last stand of the mammoths appears to have been on some uninhabited island to the East of Siberia where they died out a mere 3,000 years ago.

  182. @ Brian H

    Not just food — fuel!

  183. @ Mark Bofill

    ROFL!

    PG is propylene glycol (an alcohol) that is used as a carrier for nicotine for them who don’t want to smoke, but don’t want nicotine craving either.

  184. JohnB says:

    Just a couple of points for “climateace”.

    The list at Wiki of “extinct” animals is flawed in two basic ways when considering an “Extinction Event”.

    Firstly, as has been mentioned, many of the species lived on small islands. Extinctions are far more common in small ecological areas. So these numbers should not be extrapolated to the Continent. One should also consider that they are part of “Australia” as a matter of chance and due to a line on a map. They could just have easily been part of “Holland” or “France”.

    Secondly, and more importantly, many of the vertebrates do not even have a drawing and may not have existed at all. “New” species were being claimed on the basis of two feathers and a lower jaw without the creature ever being actually sighted at all. Perhaps it is better that a species be proven to actually exist before claims of its extinction can be considered?

    Now one could argue that since it was described it must have existed, however as an Aussie I’ve never heard of a creature that matches these descriptions;
    “an animal as large as a grey hound, of a mouse coulour and very swift;”
    “The people who went over the River saw the animal again and describd him much in the same manner as yesterday.”
    “it was (says he) about as large and much like a one gallon cagg, as black as the Devil and had 2 horns on its head, it went but Slowly”
    “he was not only like a grey hound in size and running but had a long tail, as long as any grey hounds;”

    Those extracts are from the Journal of Sir Joseph Banks detailing the First voyage of Lt James Cook where in late July of 1770 the HMS Endeavour was careered after being holed on the Great Barrier Reef.

    Interestingly the entry for the 29th June says;
    “One of our Midshipmen an American who was out a shooting today saw a Wolf, perfectly he sayd like those he had seen in America…”

    As there are no wolves in Australia, or creatures “black as the Devil and had 2 horns on its head” then may I claim discovery of the two species “Canis Australis” and “Blackanhairythingyme Frightenus”? Since they appear to no longer wander the land can I also claim them as extinct?

    climateace, you have made some good points, but you lose credibility by reaching past what the data can prove.

    For the Bibliophiles out there who are drooling at reading such old texts the full directory of the works of Sir Joseph Banks that are digitised at the State Library of New South Wales is here;
    http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/
    The Journal of the First voyage is here;
    http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/series_03/03_view.cfm
    July 1770 is here;
    http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/banks/endeav/jul_70.cfm

    To put a final spike into the “It was described so it must be real” category I give you some of the works of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) who wrote some 400 volumes on Natural History but I suspect a number of the species described and illustrated did not exist ;) ;
    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/community/library/blog/2013/02/15/item-of-the-month-february-2013-monsters-in-the-library

  185. jorge c. says:

    Climateace: I understand your point about ” Dutch disease” and i agree with you and your critic of Ms.Forbes. I think that “mass extintions” is a bit exaggerate. And I think you must read more (or better) the great Max Weber: “While recognising bureaucracy as the most efficient form of organisation and even indispensable for the modern state, Weber also saw it as a threat to individual freedoms and the ongoing bureaucratisation as leading to a “polar night of icy darkness”, in which increasing rationalisation of human life traps individuals in the aforementioned “iron cage” of bureaucratic, rule-based, rational control.[95][99] In order to counteract bureaucrats, the system needs entrepreneurs and politicians.[95]
    Yes I know, it is wikipedia, but…

  186. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says December 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Democracy? What Democracy? We, the little people were shut out of the conversation before we were even born!

    Wrong; tell that to Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Michael Dell. (Well, you’ll have to wait on Jobs.)

    The difference is, you didn’t rise to YOUR full potential (or, maybe you did?)

    .

  187. DaveW says:

    Re mass extinctions and coprophagous moths:

    As an example of climateaces’ hyperbole, I give you the moth that eats the faeces of nestling parrots in termite mounds. According to his arguments ‘suites of invertebrates’ will go extinct with each vertebrate (reminds me of the feedbacks necessary in climate models to get CAGW):

    Family Oecophoridae – estimated 5000 species currently living in Australia (about 22,000 species of moths and butterflies are thought to live in Australia at the moment)
    Genus Trisyntopa – three described species
    T. euryspoda Lower, 1918 – a widespread species associated with several hole-nesting parrots
    T. scatophaga (White, 1922) from nests in termite mounds of the Golden-shouldered Parrot
    T. nessophila Edwards, 2007 – from nests in termite mounds of the Hooded Parrot
    The extinct Paradise Parrot may have had another moth associated with it, but this is speculative.

    I like moths and don’t like the idea of any non-pest species going extinct, and the two termite mound nesting parrot species are in strife, but I don’t see any mass extinction here. Even if all the termite-mound nesting parrots went, the genus would still be represented by its known generalist T. euryspoda and the Oecophoridae would still be hyper diverse. Specialization is always a risk over evolutionary time and it is no real surprise when highly specialized species go extinct. So while I find it interesting that climateace is obsessed with coprophagous moths, I don’t see how it adds to the debate about mass extinction through climate change.

  188. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says December 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Farmers also get squeezed because there is only one buyer who sets the price, at least here in the USA.

    Can you support that statement, so we don’t just take this as a wild assertion?

    In your answer, please include references to futures markets, farm ‘price support’ payments and the like …
    .

    How Markets Use Information To Set Prices -
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/AgriculturalPriceSupports.html

    Who Sets the Price? –
    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/who-sets-the-price#axzz2ojzGkJh2

    Dairy – http://www.ocregister.com/articles/farm-539730-bill-dairy.html

  189. jdgalt says:

    I agree with Chad Wozniak, but would fill in a few gaps in what he proposes.

    First, even more important than stricter penalties for misbehavior by government officials is accountability: meaning every victim must be allowed to sue and/or prosecute. As it is now, officials have both immunity to lawsuits and a monopoly on the right to prosecute; while those stand, any laws against official misbehavior will only ever be used against “out” groups.

    This individual right needs to extend to any cop, judge, or prosecutor who defies the Constitution.

    Second, ordinary people need to have a means to enforce this right. Thus, I would loosen weapons laws enough that the average person can once again be better armed than the police or the army, as was true in the Founders’ time. While I’m at it I would create a way for community groups to create, or become, their own police departments, thus dispersing to the neighborhood level control of how the police operate.

    And third, since even with the first two reforms there will still be ways power can be abused, I would replace the system of elections, at least for one house of Congress, by drawing names from the jury pool. If you’re selected, you’re appointed to Congress for one term after which you can never again serve.

    And fourth, I would hold a constitutional convention in the hope of creating a second Bill of Rights that will close a lot of the holes in the original (including those created by technology). I have a whole laundry list of ideas to put in it; #1 is a fundamental right for each adult to make his own risk/reward decisions (aka the John Stuart Mill clause).

  190. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says December 27, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Not with Fractional Reserve Banking. That is propaganda to get the masses to agree to allowing the bankers and their buddies to rob them. What banks do is print fiat money.

    What about commercial paper between businesses? What, you’ve never taken a business course?

    Sometimes, Gail, I wonder just what it is that you do know …

    .

  191. _Jim says:

    Eric Worrall says December 26, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Gail Combs, the social good that banks do is help individuals and companies manage risk.

    Eric, you might as well be talking to the wall …

  192. u.k.(us) says:

    _Jim says:

    December 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm
    =============
    I’ve never taken a business course.
    I dare you to explain “commercial paper” as it affects the world economy.
    Maybe it doesn’t ?

  193. _Jim says:

    Gail Combs says December 27, 2013 at 5:52 am

    I vote for a redistribution of wealth from us to the elite using Fractional Reserve Banking.

    No, you don’t; that won’t work either.

    Unless we, the states, open up energy production and manufacturing there WILL BE NO turn around. Energy production coupled with mining and manufacturing is the ONLY true pathway to any kind of ‘wealth’ (simplifying things greatly here in order to move on and make the point below).

    From an earlier post on this subject to DirkH:

    As the only true wealth is natural resources, which includes energy sources (as well as mineral resources); unless rail cars roll loaded with material or pipelines are busy moving liquids, your society is going to slowly ‘dissolve’ (literally: sent piece by piece/pound by pound to the scrap yards with a final destination ‘offshore’) from within … Keynesian spending would seem to be the ‘procedure’ or economic methodology to accomplish this. This can’t end well for any modern, technological society. (Witness the former economic/production powerhouse cities like Camden NJ or Detroit MI. NYC seems to have survived only on account of being/having been the financial center of the US.)

    .

  194. _Jim says:

    re: u.k.(us) says December 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    “fiat’ money. Between friends. Clear?

  195. jorge c. said @ December 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Climateace: I understand your point about ” Dutch disease” and i agree with you and your critic of Ms.Forbes.

    Do you always call blokes Ms? You wouldn’t want to try that on with some Australians I know ;-)

  196. Hey, Viv! Er, Miss… the link to your website’s borked in the headpost. It’s http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/26/pioneers-builders-and-termites/http://www.carbon-sense.com rather than http://www.carbon-sense.com.

    [Verify link properly corrected. Mod]

  197. Bummer. There’s a semicolon in there I missed. Try http://www.carbon-sense.com.

  198. _Jim said @ December 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    As the only true wealth is natural resources, which includes energy sources (as well as mineral resources)…

    Which would seem to imply that Gates, Jobs and Dell you cited earlier generated false wealth. How remiss of them…

  199. @ Mod

    Thanks. Yer blood’s worth bottlin’. :-)

  200. climateace says:

    DaveW

    [I like moths and don’t like the idea of any non-pest species going extinct, and the two termite mound nesting parrot species are in strife, but I don’t see any mass extinction here. Even if all the termite-mound nesting parrots went, the genus would still be represented by its known generalist T. euryspoda and the Oecophoridae would still be hyper diverse. Specialization is always a risk over evolutionary time and it is no real surprise when highly specialized species go extinct. So while I find it interesting that climateace is obsessed with coprophagous moths, I don’t see how it adds to the debate about mass extinction through climate change.]

    (1) Island species, specialized species, coprophagous species, obligate-dependent species are all species. An extinction is an extinction is an extinction.

    (2) I have not introduced climate change into this string. You have. MB did. I am not sure why.

    (3) Thank you for the details on the moths. The details reflect the point I was making: that for every vertebrate extinction there will be extinctions of invertebrates. (IMHO, many of these will not be obvious Insecta, like moths, but will be smaller. In most cases we will never know that they existed at all.)

    (4) My main point is that Australia is losing around .o45% of its vertebrate fauna per century. That gives it around 100 centuries worth of vertebrate species left. (MB’s point about this not being linear, is a good one, and stands).

    (5) Around 1% of the vertebrate fauna is regarded as being vulnerable, threatened, endangered or critically endangered with extinction. Without action, the next couple of centuries worth of extinctions is in the bag.

    (6) My original point, that Australia has started a mass extinction event, stands.

    (7) All the processes that generated the extinctions remain in place. To these can be added additional processes which are being added all the time: new predators, competitors, pathogens, propagules, nutrients and so on and so forth.

    (7) My second point stands. We have a choice about whether to continue with our mass extinction event. If we choose to halt the mass extinction event then we will have to have effective regulations, constraints on development, recovery actions and protected areas.

  201. climateace says:

    ‘JohnB says:
    December 27, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Just a couple of points for “climateace”.

    The list at Wiki of “extinct” animals is flawed in two basic ways when considering an “Extinction Event”.

    Firstly, as has been mentioned, many of the species lived on small islands. Extinctions are far more common in small ecological areas. So these numbers should not be extrapolated to the Continent. One should also consider that they are part of “Australia” as a matter of chance and due to a line on a map. They could just have easily been part of “Holland” or “France”.

    Secondly, and more importantly, many of the vertebrates do not even have a drawing and may not have existed at all. “New” species were being claimed on the basis of two feathers and a lower jaw without the creature ever being actually sighted at all. Perhaps it is better that a species be proven to actually exist before claims of its extinction can be considered?’

    John B

    (1) I am not extrapolating from islands to the continent. If we did that Australia would have thousands of vertebrate species go extinct over the past two centuries. I do agree that the islands act as a bellwhether for what is happening on the continent.

    (2) While it is true that the islands could have belonged to other countries, they don’t. They are part of Australia. We are responsible for them. We are accountable.

    (3) The vast majority of threatened, vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species are mainland species. The processes that got them there are still there. Without intervention they will likely go extinct. The lists under these headings are growing all the time.

    (4) While it is true that a few species have been described on the basis of a very limited amount of material this is not true for most of the Australian vertebrate species that have gone extinct over the past two centuries.

    (5) My two main points stand: we have initiated a mass extinction event. We have a choice about whether we are going to keep it going or to stop it.

  202. climateace says:

    Dave W

    “(2) I was using the vertebrates because someone raised them – as a proxy for the rest.”

    It seems to me you slung vertebrates and vascular plants out all on your own – and what else would you use to support your specious claim of an ongoing mass extinction? Shellfish would be one – they have always been used as markers for mass extinction events (lots of species, good fossilization). Surprisingly, I don’t see a Wiki page on recent extinctions of Australian shellfish.’

    If you check upstring you will see that someone else raised vertebrates… just as you have now raised vascular plants. The facts for plants are that they are becoming extinct at the rate of around 25 a century. With hundreds more in the pipeline, noting that the list of critically endangered and endangered Australian plants is very, very long:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_threatened_flora_of_Australia

    ‘In fact, outside of islands, vertebrate and vascular plant extinctions in the last 200 years are surprisingly rare, especially considering the stress that has been put on them by human expansion.’

    They are so ‘suprisingly rare’, whatever that means, that if we do nothing hundreds of species which have already reached vulnerable, threatened, endangered and critically endangered status on the mainland will also become extinct.

    ‘If you really cared about protecting existing populations, then you should be trying to stop wind, biomass and other poorly conceived ‘green’ solutions and supporting cheap natural gas, petroleum, and nuclear energy. Rich societies are far more likely to try and protect their ecosystems than poor ones.’

    Oh dear. Dragging climate change into the discussion.

    ‘(3) You obviously have no idea about coprophagous invertebrates which are obligate to specific hollow-nesting species of birds.”

    You make arrogant assumptions easily, but you are wrong again: I actually do have more than a basic knowledge about nest associates of mammals and birds. I also understand what ‘mass extinction’ means, as you do not.’

    Congratulations on knowing about nest associates of animals and birds. You would then know that if they are obligate species specific then if the vertebrate becomes extinct, so do the nest associates – which was my original point.

    My view is that losing .045% of your vertebrates per century is the start of a mass extinction event.

    What we do with the start might ensure that we get one.

    You appear to need for just about everything to be extinct before you agree that it just might be a mass extinction event which is too damn late, of course.

  203. 24 birds, 4 amphibians and 28 mammals in 225 years = 0.25 species per annum. Time to panic? No. Time for government to permit people “saving the planet” to send more species into extinction. Presumably they need to make up the numbers to make the predictions more credible. Oh dear…

  204. Gary says:

    “Wind-energy prayer wheels” I almost missed this post, glad I didn’t. Wow, what a wonderfully written piece. Who is this Viv Forbes? I wanna read more. Not just for the content but for the style.

  205. climateace says:

    TPG says

    ’24 birds, 4 amphibians and 28 mammals in 225 years = 0.25 species per annum. Time to panic? No. Time for government to permit people “saving the planet” to send more species into extinction. Presumably they need to make up the numbers to make the predictions more credible. Oh dear…’

    At around 25 vertebrate extinctions a year we will be completely out of vertebrates in less than 30,000 years.

  206. DaveW says:

    Re Pompous Git – and for many of these we have a good understanding for why they went extinct and what to do to try and prevent further extinctions. For example, science killed off the frogs – medical researchers with their exotic, chytrid-riddled frogs and well meaning field biologists tramping the spores around. Habitat destruction, introduced species and other factors are fairly well understood. Well, maybe – the case of the Woylie (Brush-tailed Bettong) is a bit disheartening. A seemingly successful effort at protection and an increasing population is now disappearing for unknown reasons (although possibly related to a trypanosome). Perhaps we (climateace excepted, of course) cannot play God very well.

    climate ace (isn’t that name slightly misspelled?) none of your points stand scrutiny and you really do protest too much. As you can see you raised mass extinction in your first spew and both vertebrates (in wiki, animal = vertebrate, flora = vascular plants and one alga) and vascular plants as examples later – in response to someone questioning your claim of mass extinction.

    “climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    This article is truly bizarre.

    The thing is this: Australia has, over the past couple of decades, climbed UP the ladder of the world’s largest economies.

    According to Forbes this would simply not be impossible because Australia is not competitive in all the ways that count, including in energy costs.

    The other bizarre element is that there is not the slightest skerrick of an attempt at balance: how does Forbes account for our mass extinction event, the trashing of our soils, and the utter degradation of our largest river systems?

    They must not matter, right?”

    “climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm
    Someone inquired about Australian extinctions. Below see links of extinctions of vertebrate fauna and vascular plants. You can safely assume suites of invertebrate and non-vascular plant extinctions to go with each higher order extinction:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_animals_of_Australia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_flora_of_Australia

    The true damage to Australian biodiversity has been within-species loss of genetic diversity.

    Forbes ignores each and every one of these which leads inevitably to the view that he does not give a rat’s about extinctions.”

  207. farmerbraun says:

    The Pompous Git wrote ;
    “So you believe these “middle class welfare beneficiaries” don’t deserve a fairer deal?”

    FB responds : have we got our wires crossed?
    I said I didn’t want subsidies , because I want as much freedom from government intervention as I can get. Subsidy always has strings attached.
    By the way I’m a farmer in my sixties , still working 80 hours a week, and have done for the last 35 years. I can stand on my own feet thanks.

  208. farmerbraun says:

    The Pompous Git wrote ;
    “So you believe these “middle class welfare beneficiaries” don’t deserve a fairer deal?”

    FB: I’m certainly in favour of a fairer deal . But it will never happen.

    I’m paying NZ$20,000/annum in rates, in return for which I receive no water , no sewage system , no footpath, lighting etc, no rubbish collection, but I do get a stopbank (which turns half of my farm into a ponding area) through my farm to protect the city-dwellers living in the flood plain. I wouldn’t call it a fair deal, but I can live with it.

  209. metro70 says:

    Climateace..

    The rise in the Australian economy began when the party of the Left, Labor, stole without attribution, the ideology of its conservative opponents—the free enterprise ideology Labor had reviled and demonized since Labor’s inception—and the ideology it was condemning and seeking to destroy via its unions [ in order to 'bring Australia to its knees' ] just five minutes before.

    Labor deregulated the economy as prescribed by the ‘dries’ amongst the conservatives in the Coalition, and as later PM John Howard had tried to do as Treasurer —and that boosted the Australian economy.

    Labor Treasurer Keating mismanaged the deregulation in several ways, not the least being refusal to deregulate the labour market —being hog-tied as he was by Labor’s union masters.

    So your party [ it appears from your point of view---or maybe you're Green] left as always a massive economic mess for the conservatives to clean up, and the Coalition turned a very high unemployment, high inflation, high interest rate, high debt, huge deficit economy into a spectacularly prosperous economy over the next eleven years.

    In the process, they turned a world’s worst practice, crime-ridden, strike-ridden waterfront into a model of efficiency , and wages across Australia rose by 22% whereas they had fallen under Labor’s thirteen years in power..

    Australia’s position vis-a-vis other economies is meaningless considering some of the negative impacts other countries have suffered while we were benefiting from a massive boom in commodities—the once in a century boom that Labor squandered to turn a no-debt, $22billion surplus economy into a $350billion plus debt, $50billion deficit economy—- in just six miserable years.

    This debacle the Left achieved while Australia’s revenues were of unprecedented proportions.

    The impact on energy costs came with Labor’s carbon tax , which turned our competitive advantage in coal-fired electricity production into a huge liability, driving up costs of manufacturing and closing down industry.

    You talk about ‘bizarre’, but how bizarre is it for a government to nobble and cut off at the knees its own manufacturing industry, and give a leg up to competitors who will supply the goods we would have supplied , but often at a greater cost in CO2 emissions—ie to increase the world’s CO2 emissions?

    That’s not only bizarre, but subversive—an act of vandalism and sabotage —-and massive sovereign risk.

    How could investors be confident enough to invest in a country whose government has shown it’s prepared to sell it out at any moment to keep faith not with its own citizens , but with some ideological global movement.

    Those environmental impacts you describe apply in every country in the world—and usually to a far greater extent than here—so you would like Australia’s economy alone to be trashed in order to mitigate those impacts?

    Where then is the money going to come from to mitigate all of that when Australia is the economic backwater the Left’s prescription ensures?

    You on the Left and in the Green movement don’t mind defiling the Australian landscape with horrible invasive windmills that don’t even produce renewable power anyway, do you?

    And many on the left were willing to bury billions of tonnes of CO2 near our precious aquifers, and pipe it across the landscape, and risk it escaping into the atmosphere down the track..

    Many on the Left maintain deathly silence over the black carbon from the burning of trees and other biomass in Asian countries and Brazil.

    Why are you not agitating about the fact that almost half of the arctic ice melt and that of glaciers and permafrost has been found by researchers to be caused not by CO2, but by black carbon—soot–deposited on the surface?

    This must not matter, right??

    Why are you not having a fit about the burning of biomass in the Scandinavian countries, and now the conversion of coal-fired UK power stations to burn biomass pellets imported from Canada and the US?

    According to Greenpeace, burning of biomass is not only not renewable, and is therefore adding to climate change and adding more CO2 than does coal to the atmosphere—– but is destroying those very soils you speak of.

    So I guess you’re in favor of Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy, are you??

  210. climateace says:

    DaveW

    ‘Re Pompous Git – and for many of these we have a good understanding for why they went extinct and what to do to try and prevent further extinctions. For example, science killed off the frogs – medical researchers with their exotic, chytrid-riddled frogs and well meaning field biologists tramping the spores around. Habitat destruction, introduced species and other factors are fairly well understood. Well, maybe – the case of the Woylie (Brush-tailed Bettong) is a bit disheartening. A seemingly successful effort at protection and an increasing population is now disappearing for unknown reasons (although possibly related to a trypanosome). Perhaps we (climateace excepted, of course) cannot play God very well.

    climate ace (isn’t that name slightly misspelled?) none of your points stand scrutiny and you really do protest too much. As you can see you raised mass extinction in your first spew and both vertebrates (in wiki, animal = vertebrate, flora = vascular plants and one alga) and vascular plants as examples later – in response to someone questioning your claim of mass extinction.’

    This post reinforces that diverse human activities have initiated the beginning of our mass extinction event. The (continuing) introduction of alien pathogens is something I raised earlier. As for ‘playing god’, how about introducing an ever-increasing list of pests, weeds, predators, competitors and pathogens. Is DaveW talking about god-like introductions of rabbits, foxes, goats, pigs, cane toads, mission grass, Patterson’s curse and Gambusia?

    DaveW, you appear to be suffering from short-term memory loss: you raised vascular plants. I responded.

    What puzzles me is why some individuals are so very, very keen to avoid our extinction stats.

  211. DaveW said @ December 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Re Pompous Git – and for many of these we have a good understanding for why they went extinct and what to do to try and prevent further extinctions.

    We do indeed which is why I find government intervention exacerbating the problem so bloody frustrating. Example: here in Tasmania we have a number of island species well-known to be particularly fragile populations. The wedgies are on a very small genetic base, for example.

    The kookaburra (aka laughing jackass) is not native to Tasmania; it is a “successful introduction” and present in ever increasing numbers. Nevertheless it is a “protected species” even though as a carnivore and egg-eater, it is driving several of our rarer birds into extinction. Some, such as the Diamond bird are useful insectivores from the farming/gardening POV.

  212. climateace says:

    metro70

    Why is an economy that is totally non-competitive (according to Forbes) have a triple AAA credit rating from ALL major international credit agencies for the first time ever, climbed up the ladder of economies by size, and had economic growth for around 80 months in a row?

    Forbes’ claim is bizarre.

    I would not have a clue what Abbott’s DAP actually means. Neither do the Liberals, apparently. After six years in Opposition and three months in Government all they have managed to produce is a consultation paper on the DAP.

    Good luck with that.

  213. climateace says:

    TPG

    I would be happy for Kookaburras to be eradicated from Tasmania. I am not sure what fool introduced them but a big, big mistake.

    However, what about the gun-lover, supposedly upset at Howard’s gun laws who deliberately introduced foxes to Tasmania?

    The idiot should be locked up and the key thrown away.

  214. DaveW says:

    Except in an emergency, I think expecting government to help with a problem is overly optimistic. Even when laws were passed with the best intentions, eventually all they serve is the bureaucracy that enforces them. In the US, you can’t even take care of a cat-mauled bird or pick up a shed feather without running the risk of being fined for being in possession of a migratory bird.

    Thanks for your blog series on broadband. I’ve been out of country, missed all the brouhaha, and all my friends are knee-jerk Laborites, so I didn’t have a clue what to expect. Nice to know that I’ll get screwed no matter what system is put in place.

  215. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    As for ‘playing god’, how about introducing an ever-increasing list of pests, weeds, predators, competitors and pathogens. Is DaveW talking about god-like introductions of rabbits, foxes, goats, pigs, cane toads, mission grass, Patterson’s curse and Gambusia?
    climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    WoW CA you have really got this thread buzzing about all sorts of things.
    May I try a [non Howard] shot in the dark.
    Could it be that you are a pastures protection officer, looking after some area of prime agriculture,or even in Parks and Wildlife, looking after all the National Parks,not Marine.
    If so what are you going to do about the Bilby and Quoll?
    Now its all very well declaring National Parks, but what about controlling the ferals within.
    Stopping the feral cat would be a good start.
    If you really believe that a Mass Extinction is upon us, then it is time to wipe out the feral cat.
    When one of the Government Bureaucracies actually formulate a plan and start,I will join you as a true believer that the bureaucracy is actually about doing something practical about conservation in the lands it controls.
    [hint, fencing off the natives lasts as long as the fence stays up so does not work.]

  216. DaveW says:

    “climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm
    … Below see links of extinctions of vertebrate fauna and vascular plants. …”

    DaveW says:
    December 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm – this is when I raised the vascular plants, in my first comment. Anyone who feels the need to check can scroll through. The comment was a direct response to your misrepresentations about mass extinctions of both vertebrates and vascular plants and invertebrates and non vascular plants.

    “climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    DaveW, you appear to be suffering from short-term memory loss: you raised vascular plants. I responded.”

    In my world, 3: 37 pm December 27th came after 10: 27 pm December 26th, actually much later since I responded on the 28th from Australia, but in your world where you know all, the clock goes whichever way you wish. You are a very confused person. Or a troll. Or both.

  217. climateace says:

    ‘ Lewis P Buckingham says:
    December 28, 2013 at 12:21 am

    As for ‘playing god’, how about introducing an ever-increasing list of pests, weeds, predators, competitors and pathogens. Is DaveW talking about god-like introductions of rabbits, foxes, goats, pigs, cane toads, mission grass, Patterson’s curse and Gambusia?
    climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    WoW CA you have really got this thread buzzing about all sorts of things.
    May I try a [non Howard] shot in the dark.
    Could it be that you are a pastures protection officer, looking after some area of prime agriculture,or even in Parks and Wildlife, looking after all the National Parks,not Marine.
    If so what are you going to do about the Bilby and Quoll?’
    Now its all very well declaring National Parks, but what about controlling the ferals within.
    Stopping the feral cat would be a good start.
    If you really believe that a Mass Extinction is upon us, then it is time to wipe out the feral cat.
    When one of the Government Bureaucracies actually formulate a plan and start,I will join you as a true believer that the bureaucracy is actually about doing something practical about conservation in the lands it controls.
    [hint, fencing off the natives lasts as long as the fence stays up so does not work.]

    Lewis, before we get down to the byways I would like to reiterate my original position: Forbe’s blog is bizarre because it does not make any sense to claim that the Australian economy is uncompetitive while it is climbing up the league ladder of big economies, while it has had 80 consecutive months of economic growth and while it has a triple AAA rating from ALL the international ratings agencies.

    In relation to your other points:

    (1) It does not matter whether I picked potatoes or not as a young man or anything else about me personally. Completely irrelevant. It is the concepts and the data that count in this discussion. BTW, would you happen to know the three ways in which potato workers in the sixties could lose blood? No? Tough stuff. I lost blood in two of the ways but not the third way but I did observe it.

    (2) As far as I know, there are no pasture protection officers left. This would be one of the reasons why dreadful pasture weeds are on the increase. St John’s Wort is going berserk, for example.

    (3) You are quite right to decry the declaration of national parks without commensurate allocation of resources to manage them.

    (4) We agree on the feral cat.

  218. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 27, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    The idiot should be locked up and the key thrown away.”

    I am glad you support the locking up and throwing away of keys for idiots introducing species into Australia. In 1935 the CSRO, as it was called then, and the kane toad would be the first on my list. The CSRO supported the Qld Govn’t and Brisbane sugar company to do so because the CSRO wanted to introduce the European toad into other parts of Australia. All endorced by politicians and scientists of the day. How did that work out for Australia?

    Fast forward to modern day CSRO, called CSIRO, which is the same organsation who is trying to convince Australians that we must de-carbonise our economy because a computer simulation says CO2, and only those emissions from human activity, is going to destroy the climate/barrier reef/ocean/scare du jour. I am sure you will be able to find a way to blame Howard or Abbott for this, you seem to blame them for everything else.

    The tripple “A” rating is about as meaningful as a global average temprature.

  219. climateace says:

    patrick

    ‘The tripple “A” rating is about as meaningful as a global average temprature.’

    Tsk, tsk. It ensures low cost of money.

  220. climateace says:

    daveW

    ‘climateace says:
    December 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm
    … Below see links of extinctions of vertebrate fauna and vascular plants. …”

    DaveW says:
    December 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm – this is when I raised the vascular plants, in my first comment. Anyone who feels the need to check can scroll through. The comment was a direct response to your misrepresentations about mass extinctions of both vertebrates and vascular plants and invertebrates and non vascular plants.

    “climateace says:
    December 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm
    DaveW, you appear to be suffering from short-term memory loss: you raised vascular plants. I responded.”

    In my world, 3: 37 pm December 27th came after 10: 27 pm December 26th, actually much later since I responded on the 28th from Australia, but in your world where you know all, the clock goes whichever way you wish. You are a very confused person. Or a troll. Or both.’

    Oh dear. That is really important stuff, right?

    You could always try to discuss the substantive issue which is that, at current rates, Australia will have no vertebrate species left within 30,000 years.

  221. OLD DATA says:

    Per Mister Climateace: “You are ignoring the facts.”
    Fifty years ago we, at least, understood fact meant truth.

  222. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Climate Ace,
    Before you buzz off, can I thank you for sidetracking an important essay by Viv Forbes with scarcely relevant side topics and some absurd claims like those of a mass extinction. You wonder why people are not concerned by your claims of mass extinction. Simple reason – the claims are unbelievable and such dross that they are not worth a comment except to not that they are not worth a comment.
    To your questions about Australia forging ahead with triple A ratings, compare not with other countries but set an absolute measure of where we might have been without the lead in the saddles of unions (that have seldom got anything right) and bureaucrats who are often so blatantly self-serving that even their best friends tell them. A hard working bureaucrat is working to improve her/his private position, not through altruism as a generalisation. I’ve met but a handful of altruist public servants in a seething mass of many in my career. Coming into the clutches of bureaucrats was one of the biggest fears of the free marketeers with whom I spent most of my career. They gave to our country far more than most people I know, certainly more than they could ever take out.
    So cheerio and have a good 2014. Do make it a New Year resolution to read and digest “Atlas Shrugged” as a start to creating a brain without a deluded value system.

  223. @ Climate ace

    I used to sit and plot the transformation of the world with Bill Mollison of Permaculture fame these many long years ago. In the 1980s his Permaculture minions decided that the nurseries in Tasmania selling pampas grass plants (female clone) was a rip-off and imported and sold pampas grass seed. Now there’s pampas grass everywhere, and it has become a declared weed, especially in that rainforest so beloved by the greenies. Sad that the only people controlling the pampas grasss (forestry workers) are now unemployed. Sad also that my farmer friends who had planted out many hectares of pampas grass for sheep forage had to burn and spray herbicide to destroy what had been encouraged by the agricultural extension officers.

    Good intentions are not sufficient.

  224. climateace says:

    ‘The Pompous Git says:
    December 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

    @ Climate ace

    I used to sit and plot the transformation of the world with Bill Mollison of Permaculture fame these many long years ago. In the 1980s his Permaculture minions decided that the nurseries in Tasmania selling pampas grass plants (female clone) was a rip-off and imported and sold pampas grass seed. Now there’s pampas grass everywhere, and it has become a declared weed, especially in that rainforest so beloved by the greenies. Sad that the only people controlling the pampas grasss (forestry workers) are now unemployed. Sad also that my farmer friends who had planted out many hectares of pampas grass for sheep forage had to burn and spray herbicide to destroy what had been encouraged by the agricultural extension officers.

    Good intentions are not sufficient.’

    Never a truer word.

  225. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 28, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Tsk, tsk. It ensures low cost of money.”

    No it desn’t.

  226. climateace says:

    ‘Geoff Sherrington says:
    December 28, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Climate Ace,
    Before you buzz off, can I thank you for sidetracking an important essay by Viv Forbes with scarcely relevant side topics and some absurd claims like those of a mass extinction.’

    I addressed directly Forbes’ bizarre contention that somehow or other the Australian economy was not competitive, despite the fact that the economy has grown for 80 consecutive months, despite the fact that it is the only time in history that we have AAA credit ratings with ALL the major international ratings agencies and despite the fact that Australia is climbing up the international ladder of largest economies.

    The contradictions here are obvious. You have failed to address them.

    ‘You wonder why people are not concerned by your claims of mass extinction. Simple reason – the claims are unbelievable and such dross that they are not worth a comment except to not that they are not worth a comment.’

    I have provided statistics and relevant links. All you have done is deny the facts, the stats and the trends because you don’t want to believe them.

    ‘So cheerio and have a good 2014. Do make it a New Year resolution to read and digest “Atlas Shrugged” as a start to creating a brain without a deluded value system.’

    ‘Atlas Shrugged’ would be by the same Ayn Rand who died virutally penniless and in receipt of social security and Medicare?

    Luckily for Rand there were governments and bureaucrats who had not read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – oherwise she might have died while sleeping rough under a bridge in a cardboard box, one of society’s ‘losers’. Oh, the irony!

  227. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 28, 2013 at 3:00 am

    I addressed directly Forbes’ bizarre contention that somehow or other the Australian economy was not competitive,…”

    Can you remind non-Australian residents/readers the two main reasons why Ford (Now GMH and soon Toyota?) chose to pull out of Australia in 2016 (This was while the ALP were in power so you can’t lay blame to the LNP for that)? Ford stated two main factors! 1; Labour costs. Ford has to compete with car makers who build cars in Asia and the EU zones at 4 and 2 times cheaper respectively (Even with subsidies) than in Aus. Why is that?. 2; Energy costs!

    The big issue here are the indirect industries that will be affected by the downturn (Look at Detroit, US). That’s 10′s of thousands of jobs, and of course, billions in tax revenue lost.

    BTW, I worked in the automotive industry in the UK back in the 1990′s and even back THEN there was over-capacity. Thousands of acres in the channel islands were parking lots for cars car makers made but were not selling. A “by-product” of Govn’t subsidy? Well, that is a possibility given the milk, olive oil lakes (It’s why we can buy cheaper olive oil grown and pressed in the EU than locally sourced in Aus), cheese, meat (Deep frozen for years!!!) mountains etc in the EU farming sectors.

  228. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    ‘economy is uncompetitive’
    climateace says:
    December 28, 2013 at 12:38 am
    Glad we agree on the feral cats.
    It does matter to me about who you are or more exactly the standpoint you write from, because if I don’t know that it is hard to have a conversation.
    Nowadays potatoes are harvested by machines after the leaf is burned off, so I hope the bleeding episodes that you suffered are not repeated in the modern world and that you are fully recovered.
    I know that you are bored by the article, but then he did want to contribute.
    Perhaps if we are to talk of the Australian economy we should discuss a productivity commission report into say the NBN or the Disability Insurance scheme, rather than throwing a few ideas about how our economy is growing so everyone should be happy.
    The article we have read is almost a lament as to what might have been, rather than what is.
    That is the way it is best read.
    All you have been doing is stirring up the Yanks on this site, but note that the Aussies don’t agree with you on some important things, particularly on your touching endorsement of Australian Red and Green tape, AKA bureaucracy.
    When you think those cats need to be placed under control to stop the destruction of our wildlife, remember it is the bureaucracies that tell us they are looking after the wilderness by not letting people into it, but preside over the destruction of quolls, bilbys,and birds by simply not caring enough to do their job properly by control of their predators.
    It is the same pen pushers that told us that ‘the science is in’ on global warming and the dams would dry.
    In Australia we have been comprehensively let down by the scientific advice given by the bureaucracies to our leadership.
    Its taken a long time to shake the advice off.
    Economically we are in about a five speed economy, so simplistic arguments aimed at macroeconomics don’t cut the mustard.
    I still remember the days of Gough when we were being told that they knew exactly what they were doing economically. Yet the people knew it was the same certainty that the captain of the Titanic had after the iceberg hit.
    This was the horrible feeling I had with the last incumbents.
    Even when they had a good idea they still managed to stuff it up.
    If you pull out the 6 percent of GDP created by the mining boom, Australia is going backwards in the real economy.
    That’s what people are feeling.Constantly they are telling me of outsourcing, rationalisation and being let go.
    So you may see that saying that its great, its not for a lot of people not involved in the mining boom or in the Government Bureaucracies or services.

  229. Patrick says:

    “Lewis P Buckingham says:

    December 28, 2013 at 3:58 am

    Constantly they are telling me of outsourcing,…”

    That started, with vigour, in the mid 1990′s (I was involved in one of the first IVR deployments in Aus at that time. I hated IVR’s with a vengence then, still do. I want to talk to a real person!). Outsourcing was the trend then but now “offshoring” or “bestshoring” are the new norms, and that has continued unabated (If not for someone screweing up bigtime on July 26th 2012, the job I had would be in another country). Many complain about the 457 visa system in Aus, but most companies that employ people in an indirect role will “off/bestshore” it now. Once a “job” can be defined on a single side of A4, it get’s offshored! Jack of all trades, master of none!

  230. jorge c. says:

    Mister The Pompous Git: I’m an spanish speaking person, and for us “Viv” sounds as the diminutive of “Vivian” or “Viviana”, females names. Please excuse me, Mister Forbes…

  231. OLD DATA says:

    @climateace Decades ago my brother, since brain injured, shared his epiphany. “Those who chose the moniker of perfection were the most disingenuous.” Lest you claim two: climate and ace.

  232. OLD DATA says:

    @climateace Fortunately, for you, somebody ‘fluffed’ up your trust fund.

  233. metro70 says:

    Climateace..

    Australia has a tripleA credit rating because the Howard government left the economy in such a healthy position, that not even GreenLabor could reduce it to rubble as happened with comparable countries—even though they did their very best to do just that.

    The ratings are relative and some country had to get the triple A—and Australia had that much-spruiked ‘pipeline’ of unprecedented revenue, that Swan bragged about.

    The Australian economy was competitive under the Howard government due to reform of the waterfront and other policy changes, despite the sabotage from Labor’s unions and the uncompetitive wages they’ve extorted for low productivity over many years from employers forced to sign up to sweetheart deals in order to stay in business.

    But Labor always squanders the gains made by the conservatives in cleaning up the inevitable terrible Labor messes.

    From Labor, Australia always gets wage extortion—low productivity —industrial trouble—workers robbed —literally— by Labor criminals , some of whom are on trial right now—taxpayers robbed—millions of dollars—by other Labor crooks, of which there are many—-and our children’s futures and options for further education destroyed by a Marxist ideological education system and curriculum run by ideological Left wing bureaucrats and academics, and implemented by Left wing teachers—a system that has expressly and deliberately denied four decades of Australian children the literacy and numeracy they require to be fully functional.

    That’s the cycle in Australia—-humungous Labor messes on every front, not just the economy, and a legacy of chaos and of massive debt and deficits, followed by a conservative government that cleans up the Labor mess and restores hope and aspiration to the Australian people.

    With only three months in government the Abbott team, have had to contend with the Labor Sussex Street thugs trying to sabotage the Abbott landslide election mandate at every turn.

    Are you one of those voters, Climateace, who pretends to believe Labor’s lies when they try to cast the Abbott government’s $8billion payment to the Reserve Bank as just profligate spending that indicates that they’re a big-spending government in the mould of the GreenLabor government that squandered the fruits of the once-in-a-century commodities boom on the deadly pink batts debacle—and wasted precious taxpayers’ funds on paying huge wages to union mates to build unwanted toilet blocks and school halls—leaving a >$300 billion government debt with huge interest rate payments attached, and a $50 billion deficit?

    Are you one of the true believers who pretend to believe that GreenLabor didn’t white-ant the Reserve Bank as they did everything else—hollow-logging institutions to try to make a better but fake budget bottom line to flog yet another lie to voters?

    Do you choose to pretend that it wasn’t necessary and in the interests of Australia for the Reserve Bank to have the funding reserves to be ready for any other GFC that might occur—that Hockey’s prudent payment to the Reserve is to be likened to Labor’s shameless handouts of taxpayers’ money to buy votes—handouts even to dead people, and overseas citizens.??

    Over these three months your party has shown its true colors as a party of thugs that harbors numerous criminals in its ranks—thumbing its nose at the Australian voters who gave the Abbott government a mandate to rescind the carbon tax, and trying to prevent it from making a start on cleaning up Labor’s unprecedented economic disaster—a cleanup that will take many years to complete.

    Not only did GreenLabor create the disaster, but they’re setting IEDs and booby traps to sabotage the cleanup.

  234. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    Look, you’ve got a good strategic position in this argument, mostly because you get to extend from ambiguity. Let me explain what I mean.

    1 – At the core, the proposition that more species will go extinct than otherwise due to human activity absent some sort of intervention is a solid one. On human timescales. There’s ample precedent where this has happened. So I’ll give you this, that you proceed from a valid, if limited, core idea.
    2 – The trouble is, how far do we go. If a little salt is good, a mound of salt will be great, and a sackful excellent, yes? No, not really. Government must serve many conflicting priorities. It’s difficult to nail down degrees out of thin air in on a blog though.
    3 – I’ve read through most of the material you’ve linked. I’ll admit my attention wandered towards the end a bit. :) But if you’ve linked something to support that 10% figure over 10,000 years, I missed it. It seems to me you could say 90% or 1% over 10,000 years or a million years with equal validity as far as the evidence goes. It would seem to depend on one’s assumptions, which again, is difficult to pin down on the fly.

    Now, I still think we’re making mistakes by scrambling the concepts of conservation on human timescales vrs extinction events. From what I can gather, the advent of human history is an extinction event. It’s measured in geological time and is global in nature. The puny legislative efforts of any nation are not going to reverse this. So if you want to talk about stopping ‘extinction events’, you’re barking up the wrong tree, talking about the laws in Australia. It’s not the correct scale. I think it gives good dramatic effect to talk that way, but it doesn’t really get us anywhere.

  235. Mariss Freimanis says:

    There are 237 comments on this thread. Of these, 170 are in reference to and comments by a single individual. It could just be a narcissist craving attention or a new CAGW script for how to disrupt reasoned discourse here.

  236. janama says:

    here’s my reply to Viv on Larry Pickering’s site where it was first posted.

    unfortunately there are now 3 generations who believe that if you are successful you are greedy (unless of course you are a pop star, movie actor, or leading sports personality). If you are a fisher you are destroying the ocean, a farmer you are destroying the land, a power supplier you are poisoning the atmosphere, a politician you are stupid and corrupt, a doctor you are in the pay of big pharma, a boss you are on a power trip, a miner you are a fat bastard/bitch, yet if you embezzle union funds, distort the truth on climate change or encourage illegal immigration you are the salt of the earth.

    Yet they sit in their al fresco restaurants under their wasteful gas heaters feasting on seafood, steak and wine spending their inflated public servant/academic salaries.

  237. Gail Combs says:

    The Pompous Git says: @ December 28, 2013 at 2:26 am

    …..Sad also that my farmer friends who had planted out many hectares of pampas grass for sheep forage had to burn and spray herbicide to destroy what had been encouraged by the agricultural extension officers.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    In the USA it is Johnson grass, Sorghum halepense, and herbicides really do not do a good job of killing it. (The darn stuff is taking over some of my pastures)

    1. Foliage that becomes wilted from frost or hot dry weather can contain sufficient amounts of hydrogen cyanide to kill cattle and horses if it is eaten in quantity.
    2. The foliage can cause ‘bloat’ in such herbivores from the accumulation of excessive nitrates; otherwise, it is edible.
    3. It grows and spreads so quickly that it can ‘choke out’ other cash crops that have been planted by farmers.
    WIKI

    Johnson grass was brought to the southeastern U.S. in the 1800′s as a forage crop. … named after Colonel William Johnson, who introduced this species to his fertile river bottom farm in Alabama around 1840… This species was the target of the first federal grant specifically for weed control in 1900.
    http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/singlerecord.asp?id=80

    The best method I have found to kill Johnson grass is to overwinter my horses on the infested area and let them stomp it into oblivion then let the goats at it as what is left tries to come up in the spring.

  238. Gail Combs says:

    janama says: @ December 28, 2013 at 8:41 am

    here’s my reply…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Excellent, Let Them Eat Grass

  239. DaveW said @ December 28, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Except in an emergency, I think expecting government to help with a problem is overly optimistic. Even when laws were passed with the best intentions, eventually all they serve is the bureaucracy that enforces them. In the US, you can’t even take care of a cat-mauled bird or pick up a shed feather without running the risk of being fined for being in possession of a migratory bird.

    Thanks for your blog series on broadband. I’ve been out of country, missed all the brouhaha, and all my friends are knee-jerk Laborites, so I didn’t have a clue what to expect. Nice to know that I’ll get screwed no matter what system is put in place.

    Yes, the NBN rollout has been a farce and an expensive one. Yes, both lots screw us over: Tweedle Dumb versus Tweedle Dumber. My current telephone ringtone is Gillard’s rant: “there will be no carbon tax…”. I am going to replace it with The Mad Monk’s lie that I will be compensated for the carbon taxes I have been forced to pay.

  240. metro70 said @ December 28, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Your attempt to whitewash the coalition won’t succeed with those of us who were put out of (small) business by John Howard’s GST that he promised he would never introduce. As a professional at the time, I went to a government-funded seminar at the time and was told that the GST, a tax to be collected for the government at the business’s expense, was designed to put 40% of us out of business. The only way to remain in business was to work closely with our accountant. If we did our own financials it was tough titty because all the accountants were fully booked and could not take on new clients.

    Traditionally, SMBs did better under Labor than the coalition. Since the days of St Keating de Paul both Labor and the coalition have screwed the SMBs. The excessive and punitive regulations we endure are not all due to the Labor/Green accord. Many were inherited from the Howard government, which even if it had not introduced them all, had ample opportunity to repeal as many as it chose to. The Howard government chose not to repeal them and indeed introduced several repressive measures of its own.

    Tweedle Dumb versus Tweedle Dumber…

  241. Gail Combs says:

    The Pompous Git says: @ December 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Tweedle Dumb versus Tweedle Dumber…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And neither bunch gives a hoot about us until they want our vote…. or our wealth.

    You might enjoy E. M. Smith’s explanation of why HERE and Dr. Evan’s (Jo Nova’s better 1/2) Regulating Class and this by Angelo M. Codevilla on America’s Ruling Class Also an illuminating Mother Jone’s article.

  242. Philip Mulholland says:

    Mark Bofill December 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm says:

    What definition of extinction event are we using?

    Good question Mark, with no formal definition there is too much flexibility for accurate discussion, so let’s try and define some boundaries.

    The term extinction event is best used to describe an instantaneous global catastrophe that produces environmental destruction of such immense scale that it literally erases complete biota from the face of the Earth. The best generally agreed example of an extinction event occurred 65 million years ago when the Yucatan was rearranged by an impactor that created the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event which wiped out the dinosaurs.

    So the current observed process of extinction in Australia over the last 200 years is clearly not in this class of event. Geology gives us another type of extinction process to study, that caused with the merging of two previously separated continental biota by the formation of a land bridge. The linking of the two Americas by the formation of the Isthmus of Panama that allowed the Great American Interchange to occur produced extinctions as a consequence of the mixing process.

    Mixing of biota can produce extinctions because previously isolated fauna that occupy the same ecological niche can now compete directly. The introduction of placental carnivores into Australia by the human created virtual land bridge of ships and aircraft has literally let the cat out of the bag. Pandora’s Box is open and cannot be closed. Australia will continue to suffer the effects of alien introduction until a new ecological balance is established with less species diversity and inevitable extinctions.

  243. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Gail Combs Dec 28 at 4.08 pm
    Yes, Gail, I suspect that many realist Aussies would fit Climate Ace into this description provided by David Evans last year -
    “The supporters of the theory of manmade global warming are mainly financial beneficiaries,[vi] believers in big government, or Greens. They are usually university educated. They generally prefer the methods of government, namely politics and coercion, rather than the voluntary transactions of the marketplace—especially when it comes to setting their own remuneration.
    They are an intellectual upper class of wordsmiths, who regulate and pontificate rather than produce real stuff. There is little demand in the economy for their skills, so they would command only modest rewards for their labor in the marketplace. Arguably they are a class of parasites enriching themselves at the expense of producers, because they are rewarded out of proportion to the value they create—value as determined not by themselves, but by voluntary transactions in the marketplace.
    “They don’t like the market place, basically because the marketplace doesn’t like them. [vii] The marketplace doesn’t reward them as much as they think it should. They prefer a system where people like them form the government and bureaucracy, where they take a large slice of everyone else’s income by threat of force, and then they pay themselves what they think they are worth out of those taxes. This stands in stark contrast to most people, who are generally paid only what the market will allow.
    “Their shared economic basis makes them a class. Let’s call them the “regulating class”.[viii] [ix] (It seems like a trivial thing, but this argument is bedevilled by the lack of a widely-accepted name for this class. Due to the modern context they are a new phenomenon, but they are similar to coalitions identified in the past—such as the “new class” of Milovan Djilas[x] which is described by George Orwell as “a new aristocracy”,[xi] or the classe politique in France,[xii] or the tradition of Legalism in Imperial China. We chose “regulating class” because regulation is their core action, their standard tactic to advance their interests.)”

    We will not change the mindset of such parasites. They believe in intellectual superiority. You won’t change them in a blog exchange. Best to spend ones precious times on more rewarding topics, like the core of Viv’s essay which I think will strike a chord with many people.

  244. @ Sherro

    William Cobbett called them tax-eaters in his book Rural Rides in the early 19th C. An excellent read if you have not come across it before. Some things don’t change much…

  245. Gail Combs says:

    “Tax-eaters” an excellent name for them since it include the grant-eaters, politicians, bureaucrats and the welfare ‘Pauls’ who are bought and paid for with our tax dollars.

    Too bad the “Tax-eaters” are getting close to 50% or more of the population of many of our countries, especially when you add in the useful idiots who vote based on what the MSM tells them.

  246. farmerbraun says:

    “Too bad the “Tax-eaters” are getting close to 50% or more of the population of many of our countries, especially when you add in the useful idiots who vote based on what the MSM tells them.”

    That seems kind of hopeful ; we must be close to the breaking-point. Bring it on!

  247. metro70 says:

    The Pompous Git @ December 28, 2013 at 3.20pm…

    Why don’t you try to refute any of my claims, PG? Because you can’t?

    It’s very droll, I know—and seen as so-o fashionable to just cry ‘they’re both the same’ or ‘ a pox on both their houses’, but it’s not reality—very far from it as you must know.

    It’s not the reality of most in the SMB sector or their spokespeople, who make no bones about which party they want in power.

    As you know, politics is the art of the possible, with no possibility of being all things to all people—and so there are always some disaffected people even within a largely supportive group.

    No doubt you are one of them who never got over it.

    On the GST, first of all, John Howard ‘s statement that he would not introduce a GST was made in the context of enormous wall to wall hostility and Left wing partisanship in the MSM, that would have seen to it that he wasn’t elected, if he had even intimated that there was any possibility that he would introduce a GST.

    No doubt at the time he believed that he would never be permitted to make such a move at any time in his Prime Ministership with the extreme bias against him—from left wing ‘journalists’, not proprietors —except for Labor’s ABC and SBS.

    When he came to the conclusion that it was the best thing for the Australian economy, he didn’t just break a promise and do it—as is Labor’s way—but took the proposal to the people and sought a mandate at an election—as is the Coalition way—quite different, despite your jaundiced and bogus assertion.

    If you were put out of business by the GST, then your business must have been on the brink anyway—or badly run.

    Your claims about what you were told at that ‘government-funded seminar’ is very hard to believe, unless some rogue Labor tax accountant with an axe to grind, got hold of some government money with the idea of running his own little sabotage racket.

    Did you ask him whether he had taken up his obvious gripes against it with the government?

    Did you take it up with the government?

    There was a heap of material and advice being provided at the time.

    The person providing your ‘information’ sounds as though he took the money under false pretences to me.

    Your claim that before Keating—that’s before 1983—SMB did better under Labor than the Coalition—is nothing but a fairytale.

    Before 1983, Labor had nothing but contempt for free enterprise, and its unions had all levels of business and institutions like education , the Defence Forces and transport and the postal service under constant threat of lightning strikes over ridiculous trivia and massive wage claims alike.
    So bad were Labor’s unions that Lee Kwan Yu said Australia was set to become the ‘white trash of Asia’,and all kinds of business farms, factories, all of them—–were hostage to the Labor/union thugs —the wharves were an industrial war zone run by violent ideological criminals in the Marxist unions.

    Many jobs were lost as businesses were either driven to the wall or had to shed staff because of the guerilla tactics of Labor’s unions.

    At the whim of Labor’s unions, perishables [ whether imports or exports] would languish on the wharves until they became worthless—Australia lost customers —businesses went out of business, and some went off-shore.

    Construction sites were shut down in the blink of an eye, in the middle of a huge concrete pours with all the implications of that, because some worker inadvertently opened a gate that was another’s job—and for infinitely more ridiculous reasons than that.

    The Howard government, with Chris Corrigan, changed all that , and changed the face of the Australian waterfront — an enormous assistance to all levels of business.

    Only someone with tunnel vision and a completely blinkered view of the history of both parties—or just plain malicious intent directed against the Coalition—could possibly claim with a straight face that both of these parties are the same—tweedle dum and tweedle dumber as you proclaim with such scintillating wit.

    You’re dead wrong.

    The Pompous Git @ December 28, 2013 at 3.20pm…

    Why don’t you try to refute any of my claims, PG? Because you can’t?

    It’s very droll, I know—and seen as so-o fashionable to just cry ‘they’re both the same’ or ‘ a pox on both their houses’, but it’s not reality—very far from it as you must know.

    It’s not the reality of most in the SMB sector or their spokespeople, who make no bones about which party they want in power.

    As you know, politics is the art of the possible, with no possibility of being all things to all people—and so there are always some disaffected people even within a largely supportive group.

    No doubt you are one of them who never got over it.

    On the GST, first of all, John Howard ‘s statement that he would not introduce a GST was made in the context of enormous wall to wall hostility and Left wing partisanship in the MSM, that would have seen to it that he wasn’t elected, if he had even intimated that there was any possibility that he would introduce a GST.

    No doubt at the time he believed that he would never be permitted to make such a move at any time in his Prime Ministership with the extreme bias against him—from left wing ‘journalists’, not proprietors —except for Labor’s ABC and SBS.

    When he came to the conclusion that it was the best thing for the Australian economy, he didn’t just break a promise and do it—as is Labor’s way—but took the proposal to the people and sought a mandate at an election—as is the Coalition way—quite different, despite your jaundiced and bogus assertion.

    If you were put out of business by the GST, then your business must have been on the brink anyway—or badly run.

    Your claims about what you were told at that ‘government-funded seminar’ is very hard to believe, unless some rogue Labor tax accountant with an axe to grind, got hold of some government money with the idea of running his own little sabotage racket.

    Did you ask him whether he had taken up his obvious gripes against it with the government?

    Did you take it up with the government?

    There was a heap of material and advice being provided at the time.

    The person providing your ‘information’ sounds as though he took the money under false pretences to me.

    Your claim that before Keating—that’s before 1983—SMB did better under Labor than the Coalition—is nothing but a fairytale.

    Before 1983, Labor had nothing but contempt for free enterprise, and its unions had all levels of business and institutions like education , the Defence Forces and transport and the postal service under constant threat of lightning strikes over ridiculous trivia and massive wage claims alike.
    So bad were Labor’s unions that Lee Kwan Yu said Australia was set to become the ‘white trash of Asia’,and all kinds of business farms, factories, all of them—–were hostage to the Labor/union thugs —the wharves were an industrial war zone run by violent ideological criminals in the Marxist unions.

    Many jobs were lost as businesses were either driven to the wall or had to shed staff because of the guerilla tactics of Labor’s unions.

    At the whim of Labor’s unions, perishables [ whether imports or exports] would languish on the wharves until they became worthless—Australia lost customers —businesses went out of business, and some went off-shore.

    Construction sites were shut down in the blink of an eye, in the middle of a huge concrete pours with all the implications of that, because some worker inadvertently opened a gate that was another’s job—and for infinitely more ridiculous reasons than that.

    The Howard government, with Chris Corrigan, changed all that , and changed the face of the Australian waterfront — an enormous assistance to all levels of business.

    Only someone with tunnel vision and a completely blinkered view of the history of both parties—or just plain malicious intent directed against the Coalition—could possibly claim with a straight face that both of these parties are the same—tweedle dum and tweedle dumber as you proclaim with such scintillating wit.

    You’re dead wrong.

    The Pompous Git @ December 28, 2013 at 3.20pm…

    Why don’t you try to refute any of my claims, PG? Because you can’t?

    It’s very droll, I know—and seen as so-o fashionable to just cry ‘they’re both the same’ or ‘ a pox on both their houses’, but it’s not reality—very far from it as you must know.

    It’s not the reality of most in the SMB sector or their spokespeople, who make no bones about which party they want in power.

    As you know, politics is the art of the possible, with no possibility of being all things to all people—and so there are always some disaffected people even within a largely supportive group.

    No doubt you are one of them who never got over it.

    On the GST, first of all, John Howard ‘s statement that he would not introduce a GST was made in the context of enormous wall to wall hostility and Left wing partisanship in the MSM, that would have seen to it that he wasn’t elected, if he had even intimated that there was any possibility that he would introduce a GST.

    No doubt at the time he believed that he would never be permitted to make such a move at any time in his Prime Ministership with the extreme bias against him—from left wing ‘journalists’, not proprietors —except for Labor’s ABC and SBS.

    When he came to the conclusion that it was the best thing for the Australian economy, he didn’t just break a promise and do it—as is Labor’s way—but took the proposal to the people and sought a mandate at an election—as is the Coalition way—quite different, despite your jaundiced and bogus assertion.

    If you were put out of business by the GST, then your business must have been on the brink anyway—or badly run.

    Your claims about what you were told at that ‘government-funded seminar’ is very hard to believe, unless some rogue Labor tax accountant with an axe to grind, got hold of some government money with the idea of running his own little sabotage racket.

    Did you ask him whether he had taken up his obvious gripes against it with the government?

    Did you take it up with the government?

    There was a heap of material and advice being provided at the time.

    The person providing your ‘information’ sounds as though he took the money under false pretences to me.

    Your claim that before Keating—that’s before 1983—SMB did better under Labor than the Coalition—is nothing but a fairytale.

    Before 1983, Labor had nothing but contempt for free enterprise, and its unions had all levels of business and institutions like education , the Defence Forces and transport and the postal service under constant threat of lightning strikes over ridiculous trivia and massive wage claims alike.
    So bad were Labor’s unions that Lee Kwan Yu said Australia was set to become the ‘white trash of Asia’,and all kinds of business farms, factories, all of them—–were hostage to the Labor/union thugs —the wharves were an industrial war zone run by violent ideological criminals in the Marxist unions.

    Many jobs were lost as businesses were either driven to the wall or had to shed staff because of the guerilla tactics of Labor’s unions.

    At the whim of Labor’s unions, perishables [ whether imports or exports] would languish on the wharves until they became worthless—Australia lost customers —businesses went out of business, and some went off-shore.

    Construction sites were shut down in the blink of an eye, in the middle of a huge concrete pours with all the implications of that, because some worker inadvertently opened a gate that was another’s job—and for infinitely more ridiculous reasons than that.

    The Howard government, with Chris Corrigan, changed all that , and changed the face of the Australian waterfront — an enormous assistance to all levels of business.

    Only someone with tunnel vision and a completely blinkered view of the history of both parties—or just plain malicious intent directed against the Coalition—could possibly claim with a straight face that both of these parties are the same—tweedle dum and tweedle dumber as you proclaim with such scintillating wit.

    You’re dead wrong.

  248. metro70 says:

    Gail Combs…@ December 28 at 4.08pm…

    PG is not correct about the two parties in Australia…the Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber reference…

    They could not be more different.

    One [ Labor] is the party of big government—the one that in the time ‘before Keating’ when he claims they were more business-friendly than their opponents, the truth was [ on the record] that they were full-on Socialists that had nothing but abhorrence for business and were actively seeking out ways to nationalize ‘the means of production and distribution’, and nationalize all of our banks.

    In their regular publication ‘The Socialist Objective’–the copy put out just before they completely switched to the long reviled and demonized ideology of their opponents, they obsessed about how they might get around the clause in our Constitution that requires government to pay ‘just terms compensation’ for any appropriation by government of private property.

    They felt that made it too expensive for them to grab private property if they had to pay the owners for it.

    The unions are the core of the Labor Party, and the record I laid out in my reply to PG is just the tiniest fraction of the nefarious anti-Australian behaviour that they wrought on these country for many years before they were made unelected partners in government—holding the whip hand—with Labor in the 80s and 90s—and until the Coalition government drove the Marxists and other criminals Labor harbored in their ranks out of the total control of Australia’s waterfronts.

    As I said in an earlier post, Labor Party and union criminals are on trial in Australia right now for egregious allegations of law-breaking.

    You place both of our major parties in the same category re wanting ‘our wealth’.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Labor dissipates the wealth of Australians in many ways—with carbon taxes, regular taxes, handouts to buy votes, favors to cronies in big business, trashing of industries not in their loop, government debt with its attendant huge loan repayments—-incredible incompetence——and in their social [ Socialist] engineering that has created that underclass of miseducated dependents on ‘big government’ largesse [ the 'taxeaters ' you speak of]— and the intergenerational unemployment and self-perpetuating dysfunction that sucks up all of the government money that could otherwise go to building and maintaining infrastructure and funding those Australians with terrible disabilities.

    The Coalition believes in small government that tries to design the economy so that it supports individuals and business in general , in being the best they can be under their own steam, with as little government interference as possible.
    It aims always to have prudent and judicious regulation only—the kind that saved Australia from the worst aspects of the GFC and the sub-prime loans debacle—and apart from that , to free business up from regulation and red and green tape wherever possible.

    It has none of the subversive ideology that Labor assaults Australia with—and in fact it is always under assault itself from the infestation of all of our institutions by the Left—under Gramsci’s plan for a gradual Socialist takeover of the democracies—’The Long March Of the Left through the Institutions’.

    Thank you for those references you provide—I’ll be very interested to have a look at them.

  249. Patrick says:

    “The Pompous Git says:

    December 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    As a professional at the time, I went to a government-funded seminar at the time and was told that the GST, a tax to be collected for the government at the business’s expense, was designed to put 40% of us out of business.”

    Rubbish! Having run my own businesses in New Zealand (GST), Australia (GST) and the UK (VAT) they were never at risk of failing due to a costs I applied/added to “goods and services” or “value add” to what was being supplied. It is true business owners who charge GST/VAT do become unpaid tax collectors. You use an acountant (A service) to see how much they can save you in the form of rebates and returns.

    In any case, Howard took the GST to an election. We cannot say that about Gillard, the ALP and the price on carbon.

  250. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Gail Combs and jdgalt -
    Thanks for the good words on my post. I assure you it’s a work in progress, only the tip of the iceberg I have in mind. Here’s a couple more tidbits: draconian controls over education and academic publishing to prevent the propagation of false “science” (I don’t believe that free speech extends to lying or propagandizing in the class room or in the professional journal; let the zealots find other outlets for their superstitions); I would have the mass news media be required to state their biases on every newscast; I would add to the Fifth Amendment to say not only don’t take property, don’t take the right to use or enjoy said property. I’m working on many more, inter alia in connection with a novel I’ve been writing (to use in the constitution of the leading country of an alien world) that basically succeeds where we are failing).
    The three things I think are the most important are: absolutely rigid, unbending, total control over the behavior of people in public office with draconian penalties for rights violations, dishonesty, corruption or other misconduct that injures people; and two, no lifetime careers in government for anyone (excepting only the military, emergency responders and peace officers and perhaps one or two other non-administrative functions); and three , NOTHING coming from unelected officials can have the force of law.

  251. Chad Wozniak says:

    I once coined a term for the sort of government I’ve had in mind: I called it “reverse totalitarianism,” where it’s the government, rather than the people, who are under totalitarian control over every detail of what they do.

  252. climateace says:

    MB

    ‘Climateace,

    Look, you’ve got a good strategic position in this argument, mostly because you get to extend from ambiguity. Let me explain what I mean.

    1 – At the core, the proposition that more species will go extinct than otherwise due to human activity absent some sort of intervention is a solid one. On human timescales. There’s ample precedent where this has happened. So I’ll give you this, that you proceed from a valid, if limited, core idea.
    2 – The trouble is, how far do we go. If a little salt is good, a mound of salt will be great, and a sackful excellent, yes? No, not really. Government must serve many conflicting priorities. It’s difficult to nail down degrees out of thin air in on a blog though.
    3 – I’ve read through most of the material you’ve linked. I’ll admit my attention wandered towards the end a bit. :) But if you’ve linked something to support that 10% figure over 10,000 years, I missed it. It seems to me you could say 90% or 1% over 10,000 years or a million years with equal validity as far as the evidence goes. It would seem to depend on one’s assumptions, which again, is difficult to pin down on the fly.

    Now, I still think we’re making mistakes by scrambling the concepts of conservation on human timescales vrs extinction events. From what I can gather, the advent of human history is an extinction event. It’s measured in geological time and is global in nature. The puny legislative efforts of any nation are not going to reverse this. So if you want to talk about stopping ‘extinction events’, you’re barking up the wrong tree, talking about the laws in Australia. It’s not the correct scale. I think it gives good dramatic effect to talk that way, but it doesn’t really get us anywhere.’

    Mark

    Thanks for this response.

    (1) Thanks for acknowledging that the basic are more or less OK.

    (2) As a human society, we have choice about what we are going to do about the mass extinction event we have initiated in Australia. (I should say that this comes partly from the stats but also partly from direct observation – in every single place I have ever lived in Australia there are taxa that are extinct – locally, regionally and globally.)

    (3) There is some angst upstring around the definition of a mass extinction event. The defintion is, IMHO, entirely an arbitrary decision. On the current rate of extinctions, and given that there are many more species in the extinction pipeline, and assuming no intervention from governments, Australia will be out of vertebrates within 30,000 years. I count that as a mass extinction event. (Noting that some vertebrate rapid-breeding generalists with a very wide current DNAs will almost certainly survive the mass exinction event.)

    (4) I have not entered AGW into the debate. Given that there is documented movement in the geographic distribution globally (as well as changes in phenology) of thousands of taxa in response to current shifts in climate, and given known changes to ocean chemistry, current and predicted, we know that some taxa are already being affected (both positively and negatively).

  253. climateace says:

    By the way, for all you bleeding heart desk jockeys, elites, easy-come-easy-go wordsmiths, faux experts on the hard life, so-called self-styled battlers and sundry victims of governments, bureaucrats, big business, plus all the genuine whingers who have never had to do a real hard day’s work for a living in their lives, the three ways you used to be able to bleed in relation to growing and harvesting spuds:

    (1) Cuttng yourself with the seedknife. It is quite easy to do when you cut ton after ton of spuds, a spud at a time, and your concentration wanders.
    (2) Sticking yourself with the potato bag needle. The important trick here is to make 100% sure that the tip of the needle does not end up in your eye. The forces involved were/are quite large.
    (3) picking spuds when the ground is dry, the clods are hard and harsh, and the constant brushing against the clods abrades the skin off your fingers (the bits adjacent to your fingernails) until your fingers bleed.

    I have done (1) and (3) and I was in a paddock once when a guy stuck himself with the needle… fortunately not into his eye.

    Of course these days no human hand touches a spud until it comes out of the plastic bag ready for cooking.

  254. climateace says:

    Some posters upstring seem to think that I don’t support free enterprise or the market.

    This is complete nonsense.

    I admire the tremendous energy that comes from free enterprise and I believe that, in the absence of natural monopolies, the market is a critical tool for generating efficient and effective outcomes. I am pleased that all of my offspring work in the private sector and that all of them either have their own enterprises or are working to develop their own enterprises.

    Of course all the rent seekers, corporate parasites, crony capitalists and crooks who try to cheat each other, their clients, the woodies and the environment for a free ride have to be regulated.

  255. Galane says:

    “It also helps to have secure property rights and a sound currency.” As long as you have to pay property tax, your “ownership” of the taxed property is fictional. The government you pay the property tax to owns the property, you’re just renting it – without the advantages renters have of the landlord doing the maintenance and upkeep.

    Property tax is the same as rent because if you fail to pay either one, you get kicked out and someone else gets to move in.

    There needs to be a global movement to abolish property taxes and restore property ownership.

  256. Galane says:

    @Chad Wozniak May I suggest the 2nd Amendment equivalent for your novel have something to the effect that there shall be no law restricting any individual’s right to own weaponry and that any elected or law enforcement official who so much as suggests any such restrictions shall be immediately removed from office and barred for life from ever holding any government job.

  257. Patrick says:

    “climateace says:

    December 28, 2013 at 11:51 pm”

    That’s a rather bold assumption. What makes you think no-one else posting here has grown and picked produce in the way you describe (As you mention it, I’ve used both manual and mechanised methods for spuds in the past. With Irish hertiage who’d a thought that eh)? Or worked in a butchers/abattoirs yard where beasts, machines or blades can injure or even kill you? You appear to assume you are the only one who has done any hard work along with any associated risks in those lines of work. Heck, I still have minute bits of an IBM 3745 in my eye. Thankfully, don’t cause any pain or problem but look nice according to the optician.

  258. four says:

    Some posters upstring seem to think that I don’t support free enterprise or the market.

    This is complete nonsense.

    I admire the tremendous energy that comes from free enterprise and I believe that, in the absence of natural monopolies, the market is a critical tool for generating efficient and effective outcomes. I am pleased that all of my offspring work in the private sector and that all of them either have their own enterprises or are working to develop their own enterprises.

    Of course all the rent seekers, corporate parasites, crony capitalists and crooks who try to cheat each other, their clients, the woodies and the environment for a free ride have to be regulated.

  259. Philip Mulholland says:

    I see we are deep into “Alice Through the Looking Glass” territory.

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

    6. Humpty Dumpty: Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

  260. metro70 says:

    Sorry about the repeats of the same post everyone—I don’t know how it happened.

  261. metro70 says:

    The Climate Council [ Tim Flannery's mob] is demanding that Australia’s fossil fuels be left in the ground, and still no ‘journalist’ ever asks the ‘experts’ which renewable energy will provide base load power for whatever Australian industry survives , and where will Australia’s export income come from—–the funding we need to pay for the safety nets for those who really need them —the genuinely disabled etc.

    This is dereliction from journalists that borders on deliberate subversion of the interests of their own country. These questions must be asked and answered before Australia has to endure one more day of Labor’s campaign to prevent the Abbott government from rescinding the carbon tax.

    IMO, the fact that none of these questions are even asked, and the fact that so much [ like the climategate emails and the corruption of peer review they revealed-----and the fact of the 'pause' and the effects of black carbon etc] —–is ignored and unreported, while every bit of weather is either loudly or slyly attributed to CAGW—– indicates that the CAGW proponents , including the MSM ‘journalists’ know that it’s dangerous for the ’cause’, to seek those answers and report on the objective facts, lest their whole thesis is undermined.

    They only survive on lies.

    So IMO it’s becoming increasingly obvious that there’s an unspoken pact that everything that’s said must support the ’cause’, and if it would likely undermine the ’cause’, then it will go unsaid and unquestioned and unreported.

    It’s time for the CSIRO and BoM and ANU scientists who are the ones providing cover and justification for governments and media [ the devils that made them do it]—-to start to protect themselves by coming forward with the truth, before it’s too late, and science and scientists in Australia and around the world take a hit from which they will never recover in the minds of the taxpayers who fund them.

    They could explain the gatekeeping and the sacking and sidelining of scientists whose work came to inconvenient conclusions—even when it was replicated in other countries.

    They could start by revealing exactly what adjustments are used between the raw data and the public announcements and statements intended to alarm.

    They could answer all the questions on the dodgy inquiries used to shut down questions on Climategate emails.

    On any other issue, the public would be outraged in the extreme at the idea that Dracula would be put in charge of the bloodbank, as was the case with some of the UK inquiries.

    Everything the warmists do, indicates that they know their house of cards is far too shaky to withstand even the most basic of questioning.

  262. Gail Combs says:

    metro70 says…
    May I suggest you read what E. M. Smith (an economist) has to say?

    In reality the goals of the “Socialists” and the large corporate “Capitalist” are the same, CONTROL. This is why it does not matter which of several parties is put in office Global Governance and complete control is the objective of the moneyed elite since the 1930s as Pascal Lamy,s Director of the World Trade Organization, made clear. All the rest is just a dog and pony show to divert the masses and give them the illusion they have a ‘Democracy’

    Because of the concentration of the worlds’ wealth in the hands of a very few, no politician who is against the goals of the elite has a chance in Hades.
    A peer-reviewed paper by two physicists, The Network of Global Corporate Control, traced control to just 737 top holders. “[w]e find that only top holders accumulate 80% of the control over the value of all TNCs” (TNCs = Transnational Corporations)

    Read what a former respected member of international banking, John Perkins, said in “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” and interviews:

    “The book was to be dedicated to the presidents of two countries, men who had been his clients whom I respected and thought of as kindred spirits — Jaime Roldos, president of Ecuador, and Omar Torrijos, president of Panama. Both had just died in fiery crashes. Their deaths were not accidental. They were assassinated because they opposed that fraternity of corporate, government, and banking heads whose goal is global empire. We Economic Hit Men failed to bring Roldos and Torrijos around, and the other type of hit men, the CIA- sanctioned jackals who were always right behind us, stepped in.” href=”http://www.precaution.org/lib/06/prn_economic_hit_man.041109.htm”>link

    Was Perkins just a disgruntled employee? I doubt if Mr. Budhoo thinks so.

    Mr. Budhoo, resigned from the staff of the International Monetary Fund, with these words in an open letter:

    “Today I resigned from the staff of the International Monetary Fund after over 12 years, and after 1000 days of official fund work in the field, hawking your medicine and your bag of tricks to governments and to peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. To me, resignation is a priceless liberation, for with it I have taken the first big step to that place where I may hope to wash my hands of what in my mind’s eye is the blood of millions of poor and starving peoples. Mr. Camdessus, the blood is so much, you know, it runs in rivers. It dries up too; it cakes all over me; sometimes I feel that there is not enough soap in the whole world to cleanse me from the things that I did do in your name and in the name of your predecessors, and under your official seal. “

    On to Mr. Smith’s explanation of why ‘Socialists’ and corporate ‘Capitalists’ have the same goals.

    “Why would corporations want to destroy the competitive nature of their own markets?”

    At the risk of having another “is so – is not” “Evil Socialism” vs “Evil Capitalism” thread break out on yet another unrelated topic…. to answer the implied question “why would capitalists destroy their own markets?”:

    Realize that the capitalist urge is not toward a competitive market. It’s the very LAST thing any profit maximizer wants. Even in Adam Smith’s “The Wealth Of Nations” he recognizes that ~’Rairly do men of means gather, even for merryment and {discourse?} but that the conversation turns to ways to {restrict competition and raise prices}’.

    What a profit maximizer wants is a monopoly where they can achieve the profit maximizing price point. Not competition. No “market” with many sellers.

    So watch what GE does, as an example. It is always on the hunt for a market it can “dominate”. It uses political leverage to get its products mandated and the competition banned. It doesn’t want a market, it wants a ‘company store’….

    Hope that helps you see why “corporations would want to destroy their own markets”… Just need to change it around a little and it makes a lot of sense…

    E. M. Smith

    In other words as Dwayne Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland Co. made very clear in that Mother Jones Article (see below) the large corporations are all for ‘Socialist’ programs and regulations because they give them a monopoly. Just one law with its created bureaucracy and regulations can break the back of the small and medium sized competition. If that doesn’t work the Government-Corporate revolving door puts in place the cartel’s puppets who target the little guy.

    You can read about how that worked in US agriculture in these four articles.
    Overview: History HACCP and the Food Safety Con-job

    The USDA put in place new international standards and then lied about it telling the public there had been no changes to food safety ‘Laws’ in years when the food borne illnesses doubled and the MSM screamed about it.. HACCP Disconnect From Public Health Concerns A second better article is in Food Safety news.

    An example of how the little guy is targetted: Five Minutes With John Munsell & A Trip To The Woodshed With The USDA

    An example of how the big guys are protected: Investigative Report: SHIELDING THE GIANT: USDA’s “Don’t Look, Don’t Know” Policy

    10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy – CHART

    This is The Mother Jones article showing an example of the interlock between government and a corporation:

    Dwayne Andreas has made a fortune with the help of politicians from Hubert Humphrey to Bob Dole. But, he says, their talk of “free markets” is just wind.

    ….Andreas announces that global capitalism is a delusion. “There isn’t one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country.”

    It might seem odd that a man with personal assets well into nine figures would be so quick to hoist the red flag of socialism over the American heartland. But Andreas is essentially right…

    …For no other U.S. company is so reliant on politicians and governments to butter its bread. From the postwar food-aid programs that opened new markets in the Third World to the subsidies for corn, sugar, and ethanol that are now under attack as “corporate welfare,” ADM’s bottom line has always been interwoven with public policy. To reinforce this relationship, Andreas has contributed impressively to the campaigns of politicians, from Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey to Bill Clinton and Bob Dole….
    Three subsidies that the company relies on are now being targeted by watchdogs ranging from Ralph Nader to the libertarian Cato Institute.

    The first subsidy is the Agriculture Department’s corn-price support program. Despite ADM’s close association with corn, this is the least important subsidy to the company…

    Of more benefit to ADM is the Agriculture Department’s sugar program. The program runs like a mini-OPEC: setting prices, limiting production, and forcing Americans to spend $1.4 billion per year more for sugar, according to the General Accounting Office… Its concern is to keep sugar prices high to prevent Coke and all the other ADM customers that replaced cane sugar with corn sweeteners from switching back. “The sugar program acts as an umbrella for them,” says Tom Hammer, president of the Sweetener Users Association. “It protects them from economic competition.”

    The third subsidy that ADM depends on is the 54-cent-per-gallon tax credit the federal government allows to refiners of the corn-derived ethanol used in auto fuel. For this subsidy, the federal government pays $3.5 billion over five years. Since ADM makes 60 percent of all the ethanol in the country, the government is essentially contributing $2.1 billion to ADM’s bottom line….

  263. Gail Combs says:

    climateace says: @ December 29, 2013 at 12:09 am
    ….Of course all the rent seekers, corporate parasites, crony capitalists and crooks who try to cheat each other, their clients, the woodies and the environment for a free ride have to be regulated.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Now there I agree with you. We need a government to keep the playing field level. To keep the Big Boys from creating monopolies, cheating people and trashing the environment.

    The problem is keeping the Big Boys with all their power and money from OWNING the government. Unfortunately the US Supreme Court has made it very very clear they are not on the side of the masses or interested in following our Constitution.

    …the commerce clause, which was intended to make a free-trade zone out of the United States…. At first, the clause was closely interpreted as referring to interference by the states with the flow of commerce.

    Enter Roscoe Filburn, an Ohio dairy and poultry farmer, who raised a small quantity of winter wheat — some to sell, some to feed his livestock, and some to consume. In 1940, under authority of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the central government told Mr. Filburn that for the next year he would be limited to planting 11 acres of wheat and harvesting 20 bushels per acre. He harvested 12 acres over his allotment for consumption on his own property. When the government fined him, Mr. Filburn refused to pay.

    Wickard v. Filburn got to the Supreme Court…
    The Court’s opinion must be quoted to be believed:

    [The wheat] supplies a need of the man who grew it which would otherwise be reflected by purchases in the open market. Home-grown wheat in this sense competes with wheat in commerce.

    As Epstein commented, “Could anyone say with a straight face that the consumption of home-grown wheat is ‘commerce among the several states?’”
    Link

    And on our right to a jury trial where the jury has the right to set aside laws that are harmful. (Jury nullification)

    …The Seventh Amendment, passed by the First Congress without debate, cured the omission by declaring that the right to a jury trial shall be preserved in common-law cases…

    The Supreme Court has, however, arrived at a more limited interpretation. It applies the amendment’s guarantee to the kinds of cases that “existed under the English common law when the amendment was adopted,”

    The right to trial by jury is not constitutionally guaranteed in certain classes of civil cases that are concededly “suits at common law,” particularly when “public” or governmental rights are at issue and if one cannot find eighteenth-century precedent for jury participation in those cases. Atlas Roofing Co. v. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (1977). Thus, Congress can lodge personal and property claims against the United States in non-Article III courts with no jury component.

    In addition, where practice as it existed in 1791 “provides no clear answer,” the rule is that “[o]nly those incidents which are regarded as fundamental, as inherent in and of the essence of the system of trial by jury, are placed beyond the reach of the legislature.” Markman v. Westview Instruments (1996). In those situations, too, the Seventh Amendment does not restrain congressional choice.

    In contrast to the near-universal support for the civil jury trial in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, modern jurists consider civil jury trial neither “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” Palko v. State of Connecticut (1937), nor “fundamental to the American scheme of justice,” Duncan v. Louisiana (1968). link

    There are of course many many more examples but those two are probably among the most harmful to the people of the USA.

  264. Gail Combs says:

    metro70 says: @ December 29, 2013 at 6:41 am
    …to start to protect themselves by coming forward with the truth, before it’s too late, and science and scientists in Australia and around the world take a hit from which they will never recover in the minds of the taxpayers who fund them….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    In my case it is already too late. Once your eyes are open and you look around and start adding things up you can never go back to sleep again.

    I regard most university scientists, universities, peer-reviewed journals and scientific societies as having sold out their countrymen for forty pieces of Eight.

  265. farmerbraun says:

    Climate ace , where are you going with this?
    Please , just briefly describe the Australia that you see in existence 30,000 years from now , and say what the problem is.

  266. @ Metro 70

    You’re a repetitive little bugger aren’t you? Why do I not refute you? Couldn’t be bothered. If you cannot understand that statism is the enemy of freedom then there’s not much more to say. You say:

    In their regular publication ‘The Socialist Objective’–the copy put out just before they completely switched to the long reviled and demonized ideology of their opponents,

    You seem to agree with me that the ALP adopted the ideology of the Coalition. If the ideology is the same, how can it be different? Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber.

    Apropos the accountant’s claim that there were no accountants available to take on new business in the transition; that was certainly true. It’s possible there were accountants available in other states, but what use was that to me? Even though I could have afforded the air fares, I didn’t have the luxury of sufficient time.

    I made what I thought a sensible business decision; wind up the business rather than spend an inordinate amount of time understanding the legislation and all its implications while still operating a one-man business that was already stretching my resources to the limit (60-80 hrs/week). I was not alone in making such a decision and maybe 40% of us did wind-up; for all I know it was 20% or 95%. You are correct that “there was a heap of advice available at the time” and that was the very problem. Much of it was contradictory and the volume was such that it would take many hours to assimilate; hours that few sole-operators have to spare. Businesses with many employees have the advantage of sole-operators in this regard. Everyone at the ATO GST seminar I attended was a sole-operator; the seminars were focussed on the GST as it applied to the type of business enterprise one was engaged in.

    Of course I could have “biggered” my business and engaged employees and all the rest of it. But that takes time and I was old enough and wise enough to know that it was time to slow down rather than speed up. I knew from my experiences in the 70s that the cost of employees was equal to the wage paid to them. I have never regretted the decision to retire from business. A good friend in the industry decided to bigger and ended up being ripped off by his partner. I recall thinking: “There but for the grace of Big G go I…” Biggering entails risking the loss of significant amounts of capital.

    I gained some sense of what the new regime would have been like for my business because the ATO pursued me for GST payments and income tax installments for a good ten years after I became an ordinary wage-earner. Actually the demands for GST statements and payments ceased after five years, but after ten years of being told I owed an outstanding amount of income tax, I received a cheque from the ATO for that amount plus 10 years’ interest. Given the inordinate amount of time consumed by an endless string of ATO employees who probably couldn’t tell whether it was raining or Tuesday, they were the hardest earned dollars I ever received. So it goes…

    BTW, the business generated enough money in a year to pay for the world-famous House of Steel. The year spent building it was the happiest and most enjoyable year of my life. Additionally, the money I saved by doing it myself meant I did not have to pay income tax or interest on a significant sum of money. I do know how to do sums…

  267. Patrick said @ December 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    In any case, Howard took the GST to an election. We cannot say that about Gillard, the ALP and the price on carbon.

    What you say is truthy. Howard nevertheless had done an an about-face on his GST promise claiming that there were core promises and non-core promises, or some such balderdash. Note that neoLiberal John Stone was the severest critic of any form of consumption tax.

    John Stone was Secretary to the Treasury during the reign of Coalition Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and finance spokesman for the Coalition when John Howard was leader in opposition. Hardly the Marxist one might infer from some comments above.

  268. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    Ok. I don’t see that we’re going to get much farther with this. If we decide that ‘extinction event’ is an arbitrary term, then obviously in that case nobody can object to you calling an extinction rate in man’s presence that is even slightly higher than would be otherwise an ‘extinction event’. This is semantics, but I’d still object to this because it’s not the common use of the term and serves no purpose other than to mislead and sensationalize.
    We also don’t look to be going anywhere with my point about human timescales. Perhaps I’ve been articulating this point poorly. Another attempt: I don’t think we can generalize about how our actions will affect things that will happen over the next 30,000 years when this is considerably longer than our recorded history.
    I originally thought we’d be arguing about climate change driving extinction events, although at this point I’ve lost interest. :) It’s been fun though.

  269. farmerbraun says:

    Metro 70 , you say above “One [ Labor] is the party of big government- ”

    and that “The Coalition believes in small government that tries to design the economy so that it supports individuals and business in general , in being the best they can be under their own steam, with as little government interference as possible.”

    I don’t think that anyone disagrees greatly with those two statements, but the thing is that Tony et al is not going to bring about small government is he? In fact there will likely be only the most minute changes around the periphery of unnecessary government interference in the the lives of private individuals.

    So essentially you are reduced to arguing about which one is tweedledumb and which one is tweedledumber.
    I think that all the references supplied by Gail Combs illustrate that point rather well.

  270. climateace says:

    MB

    My view is that if we lose all, or most, of our vertebrates within 30,000 years we will have a mass extinction event. That is not semantics.

    I agree that it is impossible for us here and now to influence future generations’ behaviours.

    My issue is that we have initiated the event, and that we are responsible for our actions now.

  271. climateace says:

    ‘farmerbraun says:
    December 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Climate ace , where are you going with this?
    Please , just briefly describe the Australia that you see in existence 30,000 years from now , and say what the problem is.’

    See previous post.

  272. climateace says:

    Patrick
    So, there are two of us who have bled in the course of our work?
    Excellent.

  273. farmerbraun says:

    Well luckily climateace , we , here in Godzone, will probably be in a position to re-stock the West Island with all the friggin’ bushy -tailed phalangers that you could ever want.
    I hope this fact makes you feel better. :-)

  274. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    Then the only problem I have left is your contention that we have ‘initiated’ an extinction event, or that we can stop one. We are an extinction event. We’ve agreed intervention prevents some species that would otherwise become extinct from being wiped out on human timescales, that’s a long leap from saying anything initiating or halting an extinction event.

    By analogy, you seem to be suggesting that whether or not we change the oil in the fry machine at the start of our shift as temporary low level McDonalds employees is going to dictate quality for our fast food franchise chain over the lifespan of our business. That’s silly.

  275. Mark Bofill says:

    Climateace,

    …we lose all, or most, of our vertebrates within 30,000 years…

    Once again, argument from ambiguity. Earlier you spoke of 10% of species. Now you’re talking about all or most vertebrates. Despite your links, hard numbers on how many species are going to die out in 30,000 years are wanting. Certainly, the impact of transient government policies on long term species survival is doubtful.
    You can’t simultaneously acknowledge that we have no control over what happens tomorrow and say that we’re going to stop an extinction event by passing some laws today – it’s just flat out not true that we can say that what we do today will stop something 30,000 years down the road. You ~can~ say that we are obligated to minimize extinctions within reason on our watch. It’s a different statement.
    Bottom line, the only definitive power we have today is to annihilate species or not to. We can elect not to, again, within reason and limits. This is not halting an extinction event. Failure to pass laws is not initiating an extinction event, the initiation of the event was the rise of our species and our dominance of the planet.

  276. metro70 says:

    Gail Combs…
    In your comment @December 29 at 7.04am…

    You have me mixed up with someone else .I didn’t mention E.M .Smith—not in any of my comments.

  277. Gail Combs says:

    metro70 says: @ December 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    You have me mixed up with someone else .I didn’t mention E.M .Smith—not in any of my comments.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    E.M. explains why Tweedle Dumb is the same as Tweedle Dumber.

  278. farmerbraun says:

    metro 70: Gail, in response to something that you said, is suggesting that you read what E.M. Smith has to say. She provided the links earlier.

  279. farmerbraun says:

    Mark Bofill says: ” the initiation of the event was the rise of our species and our dominance of the planet.”

    Can you expand on that? Yes , a few other species of hominids are no longer with us, along with most of the species that ever existed.
    Changing conditions on this planet would seem to dictate that the process of evolution will continue.
    I have my doubts about ” our dominance of the planet.” What makes you think that is permanent, if indeed it is even temporary?

  280. metro70 says:

    Pompous Git….@ December 29 2013 at 10.43am…

    Nothing in your comment supports your Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber assessment—and certainly not the fact that Labor adopted the ideology it had been trying to sink without trace—and pretended it was its own.

    You would only applaud that move by Labor if you would also applaud the arsonist for getting away with deliberately lighting a fire that caused enormous damage to people and property and the country itself—boasting and signalling that that was his malicious intent all along—- and then , with impunity, joining the fire service to take credit for the methods and efforts required and deployed to try to mitigate the damage.

    Of course, with Labor, much of the damage they always cause can never be mitigated—it’s irreversible, and its impact builds.

    And in any case , I believe your claim was that Labor pre-Keating was better for business than the Coalition—that’s pre-1983.

    That was when the unions, with their Marxist union bosses were in fully feral mode, vocalising their determination that Australia must become a Socialist country—-proclaiming their intention to ‘bring Australia to its knees’—some of them very cosy with and taking advice from Gaddafi—-some with allegiance to the Chinese Communists and taking that country and system as their model—feather-bedding every industry—intimidating workers—making massive ambit claims for wages they knew employers couldn’t possibly pay, and via these thuggish tactics, getting wage rises that even the Labor Minister said were costing other workers their jobs.

    Meanwhile , Labor ministers were making illegal deals with shadowy Middle Eastern figures with nefarious connections in an attempt to bypass the Constitution , and saddle Australia with massive illegal loans that would have been a drain on the economy for years to come—and other ministers were seeking ways to nationalize the banks and the means of production and distribution—a long-held Socialist dream of Labor.

    That Whitlam Labor government left a toxic legacy of high inflation, high unemployment and utter chaos for the Fraser government that followed.

    Fraser was weak and timid and too scared to deregulate as per the advice of the Campbell Report that he had commissioned.

    John Howard , as treasurer, along with Liberal Party dries like Peter Costello tried to persuade Fraser to to so, but to no avail.

    There is no way that Labor —before or after deregulation could be considered the same as the Coalition.

    You say…’If the adopted ideology was the same, how could (the parties) be different?’

    In the implementation—and the extent — and the intent—-many ways.

    Labor did as Communist China is now doing—-using their version of a free market because they know that no other system will bring the prosperity that is required to stave off unrest and revolution—but at the same time maintaining the elements of their ‘big state’ system that will preserve the tight control of the elite over the workers.

    Labor deregulated, and made the unelected union bosses a ruling part of the government —but left the worst of the union thuggery and intimidatory and industry-destroying powers and tactics in place.

    Labor also cultivated their pet business people to the detriment of those out of the inner circle—they wrote the book on crony capitalism.

    Labor’s intent was less control for the Australian people over their own lives—the Coalition’s intent was the opposite.

    Chalk and cheese.

    You seem to have allowed one jaundiced view of the expected early days of the GST implementation to drive you out of what appears to have been a good business —and to poison your view of a party and government that brought Australians unprecedented prosperity—-that’s a pity.

  281. Mark Bofill says:

    Farmerbraun,

    I’m glad for the opportunity to clarify, because this is not something I necessarily believe.
    Wikipedia differentiates between major and lesser extinction events, and lists the ‘Quaternary extinction event’ as starting fifty thousand years ago and continuing to this day. Reading about the ‘Quaternary extinction event’, it seems that some hold that this is due to humans.

    In an effort to meet ClimateAce partway, I adopted this position for the purpose of the discussion. I don’t know that I actually believe this, I haven’t given the matter all that much thought.

    Regarding permanence, that’s part of the point I keep trying to make. None of our institutions have the endurance to make a difference on these timescales. Indeed, our written records do not even span time on this measure. ClimateAce seems to simultaneously acknowledge this and abstract it away or ignore it, which is why I keep returning to it.

    Regarding dominance, I don’t know what I mean. Humans can (and have) wreaked havoc on other species at will. Maybe I mean this. With our brains, numbers, and resources, we’ve got the power to substantially influence ecosystems. I don’t know exactly. ‘Dominance’ wasn’t really central to my point, just the rise and spread of human civilization I guess.

    Thanks.

  282. @ metro70

    I have not applauded Labor and I find your ranting about communism bizarre. In Tasmania we had until recently exactly five card-carrying communists none of whom were affiliated with the ALP.

    That aside, you still have not understood that I was against the GST for many reasons — mainly because it was a regressive tax as John Stone frequently pointed out. Far from being a communist, or member of the ALP he was a member of the Coalition.

    For example, the industry I was part of, computer user training, was not taxed prior to GST. The GST increased invoices by 10%. While the ever-so-business-friendly coalition assumed that all of that cost would be passed on to clients that did not turn out to be the case. In the event, most professionals became tax-collectors of revenue from their own income. An additional income tax in effect. Billing rates were decreased to levy the same revenue as before except 9% went to the government.

    But it was actually worse than this. Income tax that had previously been levied annually became levied quarterly, so earning money for government rather than the business owner when the money had previously spent the whole year in the latter’s bank accounts.

    For all of your bluster that we welcomed all of this largesse with open arms, I cannot recall any such sentiment during that period.

    Here is how John Stone described Coalition Treasurer Peter Costello’s performance in 2007:

    FALSE AND MISLEADING

    The second budgetary period (2000-01 through 2002-03) centres around the Prime Minister’s unwise decision in 1997 to introduce a centrally controlled broad-based indirect tax (the GST). After having caused the government almost to lose office in October 1998, this decision took effect from 1 July 2000. Its disastrous electoral consequences apart, the GST produced a huge rise in Commonwealth spending, a significant one-off rise in prices, a sharp temporary decline in economic activity (notably dwelling construction), and a consequent marked budgetary deterioration, moving temporarily back into deficit.

    From a longer-run viewpoint, the government’s decision to deny that the GST is a Commonwealth tax, and to portray it instead as being merely a tax collected on behalf of the States by the Commonwealth acting as their agent, was an act of palpable dishonesty.(3) To have this dishonesty repeated, year by year, in statements not merely by the Treasurer but also by his department(4) (which I once had the honour to head) is, I readily admit, personally painful to me.

    A whole article could be written about this deceitful presentation of the Commonwealth’s accounts. The Commonwealth Statistician, having retained sufficient statutory independence to take a truthful view, correctly treats GST receipts as Commonwealth revenue, and their disbursement to the States (after deducting a charge for costs of collection and administration) as Commonwealth expenditure, namely payments to the States.(5) The Auditor-General, similarly, who also retains sufficient statutory independence to allow him to tell the truth about this accounting scam, regularly qualifies the government’s annual accounts in respect of it, beginning with the accounts for 2000-01.(6)

    If the Treasurer were running a major Australian company, and presenting false accounts qualified by its auditors in this manner, he would risk being charged in the civil courts by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for deceitful and misleading conduct. His company’s shares would be marked down accordingly in the market, and he would be forced to mend his ways. But because Mr Costello seems to feel that he can do as he likes, and that in this falsehood he is above the accepted community standards of truthful behaviour,(7) he persists in it.</blockquote. Emphasis mine.

    Story here: http://www.nationalobserver.net/2007_winter_stone_73.htm

  283. metro70 said @ December 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    You seem to have allowed one jaundiced view of the expected early days of the GST implementation to drive you out of what appears to have been a good business —and to poison your view of a party and government that brought Australians unprecedented prosperity—-that’s a pity.

    It is not “a jaundiced view” that there simply were not enough hours.

    CPD — mandatory in the computer software industry: 15-20 hrs/week
    Revenuing — mandatory if you want to make money: 20-30 hrs/week
    Bookkeeping — mandatory if you don’t want to end up in jail: 6 hrs/week
    Learning a whole new taxation system — mandatory if I wanted to stay in business: 12 hrs/week
    Managing the farm — mandatory if I wanted to stay sane: 20 hrs/week
    Total: 73–88 hrs/week. I might have managed this in my twenties and thirties, but the stress was affecting my health. So it goes… I chose the farm and health.

  284. Whoopsie! Hit send before my second point. If we are enjoying unprecedented prosperity now, then Viv’s excellent essay above has the story arse about. We must have been poorer in the past in order to be unprecedentally wealthy now. I don’t believe Viv has it wrong.

  285. farmerbraun says:

    climateace says: “My issue is that we have initiated the event, and that we are responsible for our actions now.”

  286. farmerbraun says:

    So climateace, you seem to accept that Homo sapiens is a “future-eater” (as Flannery would have it), and you believe that in the course of consuming the futures of generations of humans yet to be born, we are also destroying the futures of a significant number of other species , and that this is an issue of morality. Is this your position?

  287. farmerbraun says:

    The Pompous Git says:
    December 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm
    . We must have been poorer in the past in order to be unprecedentally wealthy now.

    FB responds: I think we are going to have to agree on a definition of wealth if we want to pursue that line of argument.

  288. farmerbraun says:

    From the headline article :

    “In 1901, the year of Federation, Australia was the richest country in the world per capita.”

    ” for much of the last forty years taxes, handouts and green tape have been smothering new enterprise. We are sponging on the ageing assets created by past generations and building little to support future Australians. The monuments left by this generation are typified by casinos, sports arenas, wind-energy prayer wheels, sit-down money and debt.”

    And “Australia’s future prosperity demands cheap energy, more investment in productive assets, reduced government costs, more productive labour and the freedom to explore and innovate.”

    That is the guts of Viv’s argument. I don’t know of what that 1901 measure of per capita wealth was comprised.

  289. @ farmerbraun

    How about?

    1848 Mill Pol. Econ. I. Prel. Rem. 8 Money, being the instrument of an important public and private purpose, is rightly regarded as wealth; but everything else which serves any human purpose, and which nature does not afford gratuitously, is wealth also.    Ibid. 9 To an individual, anything is wealth, which, though useless in itself, enables him to claim from others a part of their stock of things useful or pleasant. Take for instance, a mortgage of a thousand pounds on a landed estate. This is wealth to the person to whom it brings in a revenue.‥ But it is not wealth to the country; if the engagement were annulled, the country would be neither poorer nor richer.    Ibid. 10 Wealth, then, may be defined, all useful or agreeable things which possess exchangeable value; or in other words, all useful or agreeable things except those which can be obtained, in the quantity desired, without labour or sacrifice.    

  290. farmerbraun says:

    Hmm. Not too much labour or sacrifice involved in obtaining a welfare benefit is there?
    In Godzone at the present time approximately 50% of families are net tax beneficiaries. A lot of these people don’t own much either.
    I’m thinking that by this definition , there may not actually be that much wealth about at the moment.

  291. farmerbraun says:

    Or such wealth as does exist might be in the hands of very few. I’d have to include myself amongst the few I think.

  292. farmerbraun said @ December 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    That is the guts of Viv’s argument. I don’t know of what that 1901 measure of per capita wealth was comprised.

    Nothing to argue against there… ABS tell me that:

    Income figures were not collected in the 1901 Census but were estimated from various sources at the time. For 1901, the mean annual income per inhabitant (including children aged under 15 years) was £46.

    The median annual individual income for people aged 15 years and over in the 2001 Census, while not directly comparable with 1901, was $15,600 – $20,748.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3110124.nsf/24e5997b9bf2ef35ca2567fb00299c59/c4abd1fac53e3df5ca256bd8001883ec!OpenDocument

    Problem now is the difficulty of comparing incomes across the century. I often note that today’s working class appear to enjoy the prosperity of the middle class when I was a lad.

  293. farmerbraun said @ December 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Or such wealth as does exist might be in the hands of very few. I’d have to include myself amongst the few I think.

    Me, too. By the time I wound up my training business all of my clients paid in advance in return for a 10% discount. I banked over $14,000 one month. It would seem I was making almost 10× median income. I had no idea!

  294. £46 in 1901 is equivalent to $6,288.73 in 2012 according to the RBA. Given the median income a decade ago was triple that we would seem to have established that there is more wealth about now than then. But that doesn’t address the in-between times. A decade ago a whole mutton cost me $15-20. Today it’s well over a hundred dollars.

  295. Rising price of living in Australia

    The Deutsche report uses prices in New York as a baseline, and converts all prices to $US. It echoes the findings of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living survey, which ranked Sydney and Melbourne as the third- and equal-fourth most expensive cities in the world to live.

    Ten years ago, not a single Australian city was in the top 10.

    It’s a stark demonstration that – eight years since the mining boom took off, and more than two years since the Aussie dollar breached parity with the greenback – Australia has become one of the most expensive places in the world to live.
    Or, in the words of Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland, it ”shines a bright light on how much we are being fleeced”.

    Ask why Australians pay so much more and the answers vary depending on the item – and the person answering the question. For example, Australia’s high taxes on tobacco help explain why a cigarette in Australia costs more than in 27 other countries – $US17.22 for a pack of Marlboro compared with $US1.10 in Manila, Deutsche says.

    The cost of a pint of beer in Australia is the third-highest among 17 countries. According to the Australian Hotels Association, taxes make up about about 20 per cent of the cost of a beer served in a pub.

    But while alcohol and tobacco attract higher taxes, Australia has low import tariffs compared with Europe and the US, making it ”hard to know” why imported goods are so much more expensive, says economist Stephen Koukoulas.

    Read more @ http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/rising-price-of-living-in-australia-20130426-2ik16.html#ixzz2ovthslzu

    [sarc] Now who’da guessed it was caused by high taxation? [/sarc]

  296. farmerbraun says:

    Good info PG.I wish I could say that it is different here. The private debt of the residents of Godzone is at very high levels and we are at risk of an interest rate shock to the economy. Otherwise the story is the same ; green/red tape stifling investment in productive activity ; excessive taxation supporting a bloated self-serving bureaucracy ; and welfare handouts (call it what it is . . . vote-buying).
    And absolutely no political will to make the hard decisions , because that would mean electoral defeat.
    It will be interesting to see if Tony has the balls to do the job , knowing that the consequence could be a rout at the next election.
    In other words , does the guy have integrity.

  297. farmerbraun said @ December 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    It will be interesting to see if Tony has the balls to do the job , knowing that the consequence could be a rout at the next election.
    In other words , does the guy have integrity.

    Indeed! One has to wonder when he utters falsehoods whether he is aware of them. Politicians all seem to suffer from a disconnect from reality.

    Interesting read here: http://www.politifact.com.au/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/nov/14/maurice-newman/are-australian-wages-very-high-international-stand/
    Are Australian wages very high by international standards?

    Maurice Newman is correct to say that Australian wages are high by international standards, including our minimum wage. We’ll leave others to judge the merits or detriments of that.

    But drilling down into the data, we don’t think it’s enitrely fair to say they are “very high”. The gap is just not as large as Newman’s figures suggest, particularly when you look at what your money actually buys you in Australia.

    It would seem that we are indeed living high off the hog. I suspect we are however living on potentially unsustainable debt, i.e. beyond our means.

  298. ggf says:

    climateace says:
    “Holden was the local marque for locally-built cars by General Motors. Following a rant in parliament by our Treasurer, Holden decided to pull the plug on car manufacturing in Australia.”

    In February 2013 when GM anounced the VF Commodore it indicated that is was abondoning the Zeta platform at the end of the VF. This was the point the decision to kill off production in Australia was effectively made. The likelihood of a new platform being built in Australia was vanishingly low – obvious to anyone who understood the dynamics for the industry. To introduce a new platform in Australia was never going to be viable without massive (think billions of dollars) Government subsidies. The Government just called on GM to come clean – to GMs credit they did.

  299. metro70 says:

    Pompous Git…

    You once again dodge the issue.

    I was replying to your claim on Tweedle Dumb etc , and all you do is obsess about the GST, which seems to be the only thing that matters to you in assessing the two parties.

    There’s no bluster in my comments —just checkable facts, which you don’t even bother to address.

    Criminality, incompetence, indoctrination instead of education of our children—national security —national sovereignty——all meaningless to you—it’s only the GST that counts.

    And where did I say you and others in business all welcomed the GST with open arms?

    What I said was that small and medium business wanted the Coalition to win this election.

    They’ll throw the Abbott government under the bus again in a heartbeat, I’m sure though, exactly as business did with the Howard government in 2007, when they thought they had a bright and shiny new advocate in Kevin Rudd, who told them he would be just like John Howard.

    Out with the old —on with the new.

    That worked out well for them didn’t it [ although it sounds as though really think it did, so perhaps you're just one of Labor's true believers , case any argument on the basis of reason is futile].

    Re John Stone…I’d like to see him go head to head with Peter Costello.

    It’s easy to make lofty pronouncements and assessments about someone else’s performance from the safety of an essay or when enthusiastically given full rein to go for the throat of the Coalition in an ABC interview—but it’s something else to do it with the victim sitting opposite in a back and forth exchange.

    John Stone is very pedantic and his style isn’t suited to real time challenge, when the pedantry becomes amplified.

    He has personal gripes against Costello, whom he tried and failed to recruit to the Joh-for-Canberra circus.

    IMO, Costello’s handling of his portfolio was never going to meet with Stone’s approval thereafter—especially as in some of the matters they disagreed on, Costello turned out to be correct.

    Intelligent though he is, John Stone is horribly lacking in political judgment and commonsense.

    You misrepresent me when you claim I said we are enjoying unprecedented prosperity now.

    What I said was that the Howard government brought Australia unprecedented prosperity—in no contradiction whatsoever of Viv’s essay.

    You even labour the point and amplify the misrepresentation with….

    ‘ We must have been poorer in the past in order to be unprecedentedly wealthy now. I don’t believe Viv has it wrong.’

    The point I made was clear and unambiguous, so it’s hard to see your misrepresentation as being anything but intentional.

    Also, the ‘jaundiced view’ I referred to was that of the lecturer at the seminar.

    I know it’s very fashionable these days to pretend there are no Communists, but the pose doesn’t alter the fact— that China is a Communist dictatorship. You know that, don’t you—even while you pompously claim to find the reference ‘bizarre’.

    I don’t think you’re being real—especially in the suggestion that I might think John Stone is a Communist.

    You had a Communist or ‘former Communist’ premier in Tasmania, in the person of Jim Bacon.

    Kevin Rudd’s guru who drew up Rudd’s blueprint for defeating Howard, David McKnight, joined the Communist Party in the 70s, long after the extent of the atrocities and executions , the forced famine and the cultural revolutions were known about in full. He later found it judicious to be known as a Socialist, as many in Labor and the unions , have done.

    Would you say the Greens’ Senator Lee Rhiannon is not a Communist, when she was trained by the Soviet Union in Moscow, to be a footsoldier for communism back in Australia??

  300. Bill says:

    I disagree with the meaning of wealth as stated.
    The idea of wealth.
    Wealth does not have to be agreeable, it does not need to have a positive value, it does not have to have any value. It just needs to be possesable.
    The idea that the land owned by someone does not have wealth value to the state is silly. The state ownes the land the “owner” rents the land through taxes.

  301. Patrick says:

    “ggf says:

    December 30, 2013 at 5:27 am”

    Someone with inside info?

  302. Gail Combs says:

    _Jim says:
    December 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Gail Combs says December 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Farmers also get squeezed because there is only one buyer who sets the price, at least here in the USA.

    Can you support that statement, so we don’t just take this as a wild assertion?…
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    All you have to do _jim is search “monopsony farmer pew” Pew as in Pew Trust. or “monopsony farmer Purdue” Purdue as in Purdue University. I am not about to list those 200,000 + hits here.

    Just “monopsony farmer” gets 482,000 hits so I narrowed the search down to a bit for you. :>)

  303. metro70 said @ December 30, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Pompous Git…

    You once again dodge the issue.

    metro70, your rants are rather long and contain far too many different claims for me to be bothered responding to you in detail. I have neither the time, nor the will.

    I am not “obsessed” with GST. I said I believed (as do many, dare I say conservatives) that it was a regressive tax; that is it decreases both business activity and consumer consumption. I cited John Stone as being in general agreement with this thesis. His contretemps with Costello is irrelevant. You attempt to portray everyone who opposes Coalition (I hesitate to say policy since they vehemently opposed GST then were responsible for its introduction) actions as a Marxist.

    You refer to Jim Bacon (RIP) as a communist. Indeed, he was a Maoist when we were at university in the 60s. But then Keith Windschuttle was a Trotskyite in them days. Would you describe Keith as a communist today? I suspect the obsession is yours and it is with communism, or perhaps what you imagine communism to be. I note that at Latrobe University in the late 60s the Liberal Club was a secret society, membership by invitation only. The Labor Club was open to all.

    Most of the calumnies you make upon the Labor Party can equally be made on the Coalition. I take no pleasure in making this observation and would have preferred both sides to have maintained well-developed and distinct ideologies (touchstones for integrity?) I have firsthand knowledge of such having been an ALP branch secretary in the 1980s when both sides seemed to be losing their way. I have maintained cordial relationships with members of the Coalition rank and file and some of its leaders, though I note sadly that many of integrity felt the same need I did in that long ago decade; they too resigned, or were pushed. So it goes…

    Finally, “What I said was that the Howard government brought Australia unprecedented prosperity—in no contradiction whatsoever of Viv’s essay.”

    The Howard government did no such thing. That is the Big Lie. It was business activity that brought us prosperity. Business activity is either more, or less hindered by government regardless of flavour. Both the Coalition and the ALP have hindered the growth of prosperity whenever in power. Admittedly for different groups at different times, but that merely points to a system of favour. Frank Hardy pointed out long ago that it was easy to bribe politicians, Conservatives with power and Labor with money.

  304. Bill said @ December 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I disagree with the meaning of wealth as stated.
    The idea of wealth.
    Wealth does not have to be agreeable, it does not need to have a positive value, it does not have to have any value. It just needs to be possesable.
    The idea that the land owned by someone does not have wealth value to the state is silly. The state ownes the land the “owner” rents the land through taxes.

    If you find wealth disagreeable, perhaps you need to live in poverty for a while ;-)

    It is true that at this time we rent what we should own from the state. That is the core of our problems. Both Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber are determined to control (exercise the right of possession) of all we believe to be our own. A very great deal of politics in our Western civilisation consists in maintaining the illusion of private ownership.

  305. Gail Combs says:

    Bill says: @ December 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I disagree with the meaning of wealth as stated….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    How about:
    WEALTH:
    In The Wealth of Nations, Adam smith defined wealth as “the annual produce of the land and labor” Wealth creation is combining materials, labor, land, and technology so there is an excess for trade to others, that is “a profit” in excess of the cost of production. The theories of David Ricardo, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and Henry Thornton, in the last three centuries refined the views of wealth and became known as classical economics.

    MONEY:
    Is the term used for Coin, Currency (paper money), and Credit. Money is a medium used to facilitate barter or an economic exchange. If the paper money is not backed by gold, silver or other “wealth” it is a fiat currency and only as good as the people’s ignorance of its origin and trust in the banks and government and the restraint in using the printing press. Federal Reserve notes, and credit is “created” by banks and currently backed by nothing except the promise of the US government that its citizens will make it good via their labor.

    There is nothing wrong with fiat currency as a facilitator of trade except that it is so very very easy to just print up more. Gold is simply a lot less subject to counterfeiting

    This confusion between ‘wealth’ and ‘fiat money’ is why _Jim is always jumping down my throat on the subject of banking. I understand there is a critical difference thanks to Mises however _Jim dislikes Mises and his explanations for whatever reason.

    Banks typically have 3% of their assets in cash in order to meet customer needs. Since 1960, banks have been allowed to use this “vault cash” to satisfy their reserve requirements. Therefore banks are effectively running on zero reserve.

    So when I go to the bank and get a $100,000 loan to buy property, the banker spends a few hours doing checks, paperwork, the closing and then he does a computer entry creating the fiat money on the spot. In return for these few hours of work by a clerk I now owe the bank about 1/2 the output of my labor for the next 15 to 30 years. In addition the $100,000 of newly created fiat money just diluted the ‘market value’ of all the rest of the dollars floating around the economy. This is why a house cost $3,000 in 1945, $30,000 in 1965 and now costs $300,000. The actual value of the dollar nose-dived in comparison to real wealth (the house)

    _Jim accuses me of not understanding economics but he considers the exchange of 30 years of my working life for a piece of paper that cost a banker a couple of days total a fair exchange, I don’t.

    Now consider the fact that very few stay in the same home and pay it off. This translates to effective confiscation of a portion of your labor over your lifetime by the banks for mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, student loans… The reason we can not buy these things out right is because our wealth (labor) is being confiscated by taxes, inflation and wage devaluation so it becomes a vicious cycle. Why saveas a parent save a dollar towards a baby’s education when it will be worth less than a dime when he is ready for school? As one person suggested, buy ten to twenty acres and plant trees instead, it will be worth more to your heirs. link

  306. Gail Combs says:

    The Pompous Git says: @ December 30, 2013 at 10:39 am

    ….. A very great deal of politics in our Western civilisation consists in maintaining the illusion of private ownership.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I would add to that and disguising the fact we are free ranging chattel. All Agenda 21 wants to do is round us up and put us into enclosures the better to manage us and extract as much wealth as possible.

  307. Bill says:

    I have spent many years trying to work with those definitions, they are incomplete. I have scoured many economist’s work to get good definitions. The definitions that I use are the only ones that I find are complete. YMMV
    “The annual produce of the land and labour”, misses intellectual property, also misses unproductive land etc etc. Any holes in a definition means that the definition is faulty.
    “Wealth is any thing in existance that may be possessed”. Simple and complete.
    This does not mean that something has to be in possession to be wealth, only that it may be.
    The value of any wealth is subjective and changes. The value of any thing is determined at the instant of a transaction. and it is unknown and may be only estimated until the next transaction.
    Attend an auction where many identical items are sold, their value changes during the auction as each item transacts under the block.
    This is how stock markets work. There is bid and ask until they both meet for an instant.
    The value of a beer changes depending on how many have been drunk and how full one is.
    Wealth may have a positive, null or negative value. We might have to pay to get something taken to the dump. Sometimes a horse may be worth a whole kingdom.
    Money is another thing.
    Show me a money. You may show me many things that are used as money, you cannot find any thing that is a money.
    In the past salt, gold, silver, bronze, tobacco, fish, cattle, grain, in fact all things in heaven or earth have been used as money. Cigarettes or smoked herring are used in jails.
    Money is the process not the item.
    I had a difficult time getting my head around this, I am always told that paper currency is money and when asked for money my currency will satisfy the bill. It is a convienient form of money.
    The common usage of the word money is what is causing the confusion. It is the same as trade names for products where you ask for kleenex rather than a tissue. Money seems on the surface to be a third party to a transaction, the lubrication for the transaction. We use paper or debit money as the counterparty of the transaction.
    There is more than one transaction happening when we use currencies.
    If you carefully look at it, money is not a medium used to facillitate barter. It is not a third party to the transaction! Money, not currency, is ALWAYS the counterparty in a transaction!
    When I get paid wages I transact my “time, effort and intellectual wealth” (money) for some currency (the objet of interest).
    I use that “currency wealth” (money) to purchase a car (the object of interest).
    See two transactions! Currency may be the object of interest or the counterparty, depending on the transaction taking place.
    Confusing currency for money is very easy to do and is a universal belief. It is also not true.

  308. metro70 says:

    Pompous Git…

    You say…
    ‘ Most of the calumnies you make upon the Labor Party can equally be made on the Coalition.’
    That’s simply not true, but I can see now why you feel the need to pretend that’s so—why you resort to the ‘pox on both their houses’ in order to spread the blame that rests with Labor and the Left.
    And by the way, I know the word ‘Communist’ is one the Left would like to airbrush from history, since so many of them and their nefarious party were great supporters of that monstrous ideology in various forms, and it’s embarrassing for the word to be in the lexicon at all—-but I won’t be intimidated from using it—lest we forget.
    You are a Leftist true believer —or a disaffected true believer who can’t bring himself to support the conservatives, no matter how well they do—so you’re on that tunnel vision kick , blinkering out all of the objective truths—the heinous anti-Australian, anti-worker record of your party.
    The ‘they’re all the same’ option, is the resort those on the Left take when the the truth about Socialism in all its iterations is too painful —when to support the Left in all of its criminality and brutality on the local scene, and its record of mass murder of innocents in the scores of millions, gulags, forced famine, enslaved and imprisoned populations historically , internationally—-has become a bridge too far.
    You can delude yourself as much as you like, and label the truth a ‘Big Lie’, but the facts are on the record.
    The Howard government paid off Labor’s $96 billion government debt, rejuvenated the apprenticeship system, restored funding to the depleted armed forces, turned successive and increasing Labor deficits, into successive and building Coalition surpluses, reformed the waterfronts, which was an enormous help to all business, reduced unemployment enormously and left Labor in 2007, with a bountiful legacy which it squandered in no time flat.
    Are you claiming that Howard opposed the GST when Keating wanted to introduce it?
    If that’s what you’re claiming, then there’s your ‘Big Lie’.
    The Labor comrades opposed Keating’s push for a GST—his own mob whom he despised.
    John Howard supported Keating in his moves—-diametrically opposite to your claim.
    Maybe there were some in the Coalition who didn’t support it in principle in the 80s, but that’s irrelevant when you’re talking about government decisions to implement it.
    The Coalition introduced it only —only—after going to an election, putting it to the people and virtually asking their permission to implement it and thereby risking losing power on the issue, don’t forget.
    That’s a party that respects democracy and the people—something that is absolutely foreign to your erstwhile party.
    Jim Bacon was a Communist or Marxist or whatever most of his life, while many who flirted with the wildness and rebellion of university Leftist political mayhem , later grew up and recognised the full horror of the ideology they’d signed up to, and became conservative to varying degrees.
    Frank Hardy was a full-on , set-in-concrete Communist, and ironically, what he pointed out long ago, was the extent and methods of Labor’s corruption of the electoral system, where dead people and otherwise uncontactable people, inevitably vote Labor—at least once per election—-especially in the election of 1987.
    That revelation by Hardy is on the record.
    Your deep concern that business should be completely unencumbered by any pesky government rules at all, makes me think you must be the full unmodified ,laissez-faire , unfettered capitalism, Ayn Rand acolyte extraordinaire.
    Could that be?

  309. Al Black says:

    Some one asked who Holden was: it is General Motors’ Australian brand, with Holden being the same as Chevrolet in the USA, Vauxhall in the UK and Opel in Europe. The point Viv was making is that Mitsubishi, Ford and now Holden have closed their Australian manufacturing businesses. In spite of what “ClimateAce” says, this is not a tiny part of our economy, and is a proxy for the whole manufacturing sector. Wealth is created by growing things, making things or by mining things. The parlous state of agriculture and manufacturing in Australia has been masked to some extent by the mining boom, which appears to be coming to an end. ClimateAce would be happy if all mining stopped, as iron ore and coal are used to provide steel and cheap power, while generating helpful amounts of the CO2 he so fears. He would be happy if agriculture ended as apparently it is responsible for “degrading our soils” and for “23 birds, 4 frogs, and 27 mammal species strongly believed to have become extinct since European settlement of Australia”. Manufacturing uses electricity, gas or coal, right? So it’s got to go, too. Only subsistence farming, bureaucracy and living on a benefit are acceptable occupations in his brave new world.
    Someone else asked if Termite was the correct term for the parasites eating away at our economy: In Australia the White Ant termite is a fearsome scourge, eating out all the inside of a house frame, while the structure continues to appear strong (as on some measures Australia’s economy does), yet the underlying strength is eaten out, so the whole edifice will one day crash to the ground. Termite exactly explains the parasites white-anting our civilisation from within.
    One of the greatest evils of government is paying sit-down money to those who will not work. Ask Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain how this worked out for them.

  310. Al Black says:

    By helpful, I mean CO2 helps plants and crops grow faster.

  311. metro70 said @ December 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Pompous Git…
    You are a Leftist true believer … who can’t bring himself to support the conservatives, no matter how well they do

    Oh dear, now Bernadette Black’s a commie too. Eric Abetz and Mark Textor will be upset! Got any evidence?

    Are you claiming that Howard opposed the GST when Keating wanted to introduce it?

    No, I’m claiming that John Stone persuaded me it was a crock. I have said this several times now. Can’t you bloody well read?

    Well, I’m off out to a New Year’s party… Have fun with your fantasies metro70.

  312. Mike Williamsoin says:

    There are currently nine billion – and counting – members of the human species on Earth. All need food and somewhere to live. Our society has developed to provide more ample supplies of food and is attempting to address the problems of war arising from unequal benefiting from the development of resources and different concepts of law and order around the world, to say nothing of religious differences (I.e. strongly held beliefs that cannot be accepted universally and hence require submission and subjugation of those opposing). The ‘United Nations’ has an unenviable task ahead.
    The high and increasing level of the world population is a fact.
    The inability of humans to come to common, lasting agreement is a fact.
    Industry’s essential support of modern society is a fact – it is absolutely essential, society as we know it will collapse without it.
    Change wherever it is, and of whatever it is, causes disruption to the status quo. Maintaining an undisturbed environment is impossible. Flora and fauna will be the casualties.
    The answer is clear then…If we are to maintain our environment as-is we must immediately stop expanding our population and live within our current means.
    The chance of that happening is ……………… ‘Buckley’s’!
    The only practical answer is to use our ingenuity to sustain and develop our use on Earth’s resources and to use them with respect for the future. The bigger the population the more development must take place and if we do not use the cheapest sources of energy to achieve that we must expect the worst.
    Hungry people scavenge without respect for the environment and they fight very hard for survival!!!
    We cannot afford to cast out carbon until a competing resource is developed and for each competing energy source there must be a truthful energy and carbon audit. Currently those checks and balances are not being properly evaluated. Merely “predicting” (for which read guessing) the future based on ill-defined difficulties of continued industrial development, based on carbon, without proper substantiation is not acceptable.
    The human race has come a long way since emerging from the jungles of the world. If we are to continue our existence EVERYONE must cooperate in HONEST AUDITS and put greed, self interest, and power-mongering out of their minds. The consequences are otherwise daunting in the extreme.
    Well done, Viv, for airing the issue so succinctly

  313. mareeS says:

    People on the ice boat need to learn self-sufficiency, like the rest of us who are being priced out of reasonable energy.

    Where are their oars? Why aren’t they paddling for their lives? Why are they worrying about fresh coffee and dry rations and battery life, rather than imminent death? It’s a distinct possibility, but they still think they’re on twitterverse..
    I’d be fairly bothered in their situation, having already been at death’s door quite intimately.

  314. metro70 said @ December 30, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Frank Hardy was a full-on , set-in-concrete Communist, and ironically, what he pointed out long ago, was the extent and methods of Labor’s corruption of the electoral system, where dead people and otherwise uncontactable people, inevitably vote Labor—at least once per election—-especially in the election of 1987.
    That revelation by Hardy is on the record.

    Your deep concern that business should be completely unencumbered by any pesky government rules at all, makes me think you must be the full unmodified ,laissez-faire , unfettered capitalism, Ayn Rand acolyte extraordinaire.
    Could that be?

    metro70, you become increasingly hilarious. You tell us communists are all liars and then tell us Frank Hardy, a communist, must be believed. Which is it? Do you not understand contradiction?

    Yes, I am an economic libertarian, though certainly not an acolyte of Ayn Rand. There’s a bit more to it than smoking cigarettes with a dollar sign printed on them. True, when Keith was a Trot, and Jim was a Maoist, I was a… Randian; in more ways than one. However, I’m with Matt Ridley in that I believe in unfettered trade of goods and services and regulation of the financial sector. IOW I’m not a complete anarchist.

    BTW how do you reconcile calling me a communist and a free-marketeer?

  315. mareeS said @ December 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Where are their oars? Why aren’t they paddling for their lives? Why are they worrying about fresh coffee and dry rations and battery life, rather than imminent death?

    They are media oars and consequently useful for little other beyond complaining about the coffee ;-)

  316. Brian H says:

    mareeS says:
    December 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I’d be fairly bothered in their situation, having already been at death’s door quite intimately.

    Assume “Creating and keeping up appearances.” It’s what they do, it’s what they are. It predicts their actions to a T. Try it.

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