The stupidest thing the federal government does

From The Spectator-Australia

David Archibald



This is a tale of idiocy, full of facts and foreboding, signifying that the end times must be surely upon us. A bloke bought a sheep property of half a million acres in western Queensland for $2.0 million. Instead of running sheep on it, he now gets $350,000 per annum under the federal government’s Direct Action scheme for not using the grass on his property. The idea being that the grass locks up carbon and reduces Australia’s carbon emissions. A neighbouring property gets $600,000 per annum. Direct Action is a $1.7 billion per annum program funded from general taxation revenue.

Now people may be paid, from time to time, for not doing things and there may be a rational reason for that.  But being paid for allowing grass to stand undisturbed? That grass is going to rot or be burnt within three years anyway. Not allowing the fuel load from dead grass to build up is so important in rangeland management that in northern Australia it is done from aircraft using capsules containing potassium permanganate and glycerine.  Upon hitting the ground, the capsules shatter, mixing the components which spontaneously ignite. Burning grassland is important because otherwise the fuel load builds up and the resulting fire, which will come, kills everything. As Captain Cook and others have noted, when the Aborigines had the run of the country they would set fire to everything, all the time – because bad things happened if they didn’t.

Now the idiocy of Direct Action is founded on belief in global warming. Global warming in turn is a state-sponsored religion and those of us who do not follow that faith are forking out for those who do.  From that perspective, it is a just a case of trying to keep the total spend on such religious observance under control. And beyond the direct spend; belief in global warming is now being used to destroy our power supply. But does the federal government have to insult our intelligence so egregiously by paying people not to use grass? Seemingly no member of parliament cares – about the waste or the idiotic science.

Something similar happened in the Department of Transport in mid-2014.  The Minister for Transport at the time, Warren Truss, was a wheat farmer. Farmers are supposed to be practical, no-nonsense people. But the Department talked their minister into closing Darwin airport because a volcano 1,000 km away in Indonesia had erupted, releasing volcanic ash into the atmosphere. What do the Indonesians, the Filipinos, the Japanese do about their exploding volcanoes?  They simply fly around them. At the time, nobody thought it strange that the Indonesians kept flying up and down their archipelago while Australia closed airports far away from the danger zone.

Now it is one thing for Canberra public servants to respond to natural events by going into hysterical schoolgirl mode, but our members of parliament, and especially the best of these, the ones chosen to be ministers, should be level-headed and have knowledge of the real world. But none of our federal parliamentarians thought it was strange that Darwin airport could be closed under clear blue skies. And they didn’t care about the lives of Australians being needlessly disrupted by such an inane directive.

It seems though that, as a nation, we will only stop doing very stupid things when we run out of money to do so. Surely a cathartic event is coming?

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

Original Story Here.

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Thomas Homer
July 28, 2017 7:05 am

“potassium permanganate and glycerine” … that’s what my 7th grade science teacher put in my model volcano, a memorable class project

Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 28, 2017 7:54 am

I had terrible athlete’s foot as a kid. Potassium permanganate is what I soaked my feet in! If I remember correctly, it turned my feet a light purple-brown.

Reply to  Stu
July 28, 2017 8:00 am

Perhaps you should be grateful no one was splashing glycerine containing stuff around!
Or you’d have been rushing hot foot to the doctor…

Reply to  Stu
July 28, 2017 10:06 am

Yes, it does stain. But it works!

Nigel S
Reply to  Stu
July 28, 2017 10:12 am

Also good for washing fruit.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Stu
July 28, 2017 7:20 pm

I used air filtration through KMnO4 granules to remove lab fumes during my time as a facility operator.

Reply to  Stu
July 29, 2017 12:53 am

Also a treatment for ringworm.

Reply to  Stu
July 29, 2017 5:11 am

it was also used as full bath soak by a pommy GF i knew to “fake a tan” before such items were available.
nowdays you can NOT buy even a tiny 50grams of it to soak your infected nails etc
its “dangerous” and we could be tewwowists buying it for ???

Robin Hewitt
Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 28, 2017 12:13 pm

My father used it to kill fungi on his goldfish. We kids mixed it with magnesium powder and blew stuff up.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Robin Hewitt
July 28, 2017 2:32 pm

My parents use to raise their own chickens. My mother would put a small amount of potassium permanganate in the baby chicks water to prevent disease. It had a nice purple color, like grape Kool Aid. One day she left a jar of the solution on the counter. My dad thinking it was Kool Aid took a swig. It didn’t take long for him to spit it out!

Reply to  Robin Hewitt
July 29, 2017 5:45 am

It’s entertaining in fountains and artificial waterfalls as well [at least to 15 year olds]

Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 30, 2017 9:09 am

Me and my brother used to make Ammonium Tri-ide. Great little contact explosive. Put some on the feet of the toilet seat before our mothers coffee gang came over. Very amusing.
Also on door handles. The bang would make us laugh.
Yes, I know , we weren’t very nice but we grew up OK.

July 28, 2017 7:08 am

More amusement from QLD, an electric vehicle super-highway, for the 700 electric cars in the state, we are living through a period of high comedy/tragedy:

george e. smith
Reply to  climanrecon
July 28, 2017 10:30 am

If you happen upon a poor destitute politician walking barefoot down a stony road, with puncture vines sprouting everywhere, carrying a heavy gunny sack of all his worldly possessions, and you stop and pick him up with your horse drawn buggy; you may notice that he will keep that gunny sack hanging on his shoulders, instead of putting it on the buggy floor.
Don’t both telling him to put the damn sack down; he thinks he is giving your horse a bit of a rest !
G & g

Reply to  george e. smith
July 28, 2017 11:15 am

Hmm. I fear that I would be faced with the question of who is the bigger fool? The politician – or myself, for interfering with Darwinian selection by picking him up.

Reply to  george e. smith
July 28, 2017 11:19 am

george e. smith

R. Shearer
Reply to  george e. smith
July 28, 2017 12:08 pm

And if you wife is lactating, the politician might say he’s hungry and grab a little nip – Grapes of Wrath style.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  george e. smith
July 28, 2017 11:51 pm

Great story G & g. Thanks!
See if you can make a story of this someday.
From the article:
“Global warming in turn is a state-sponsored religion and those of us who do not follow that faith are forking out for those who do.”
I thought of suing the government to force separation of church and state.
Surely you can do better.
L & L

July 28, 2017 7:16 am

I calculate nearly a 17.5% return on investment for that land purchase. The question I have to ask, is “where can I get me some”?

Reply to  Les Johnson
July 28, 2017 7:41 am

Pays for the original land purchase in under six years. Great deal there.

Reply to  Gary
July 29, 2017 5:22 am

the other great payout for the farmers is the tree protection one
you either enclose some useless crap land with scrub n useless trees on it, or plant a native to the area section with free labour n subsidised or free seedlings
then its to be fenced off permanently no stock to graze the firehazards down
its ok to use chemicals though….hmm how UNecological is that!
and then enjoy the very high payoff for sacrificing your land
many thought it was a great deal and jumped in
however…the fine print?
its a 100yr agreement!
so future buyers or inheriting family are going to find it less than appealing as they have to maintain it BUT get nothing of the handout the original chap did.
and if i was a buyer hearing that id be looking elsewhere PDQ

Reply to  Gary
July 30, 2017 9:12 am

Port Jackson should do the trick. It grows here in the fynbos without any attention at all.

Reply to  Les Johnson
July 28, 2017 7:52 am

You have to be friendly with your local politicians to get a part of this kind of deal.

Reply to  MarkW
July 28, 2017 8:48 am

50,000 quid/yr in the pol’s pocket insures his “friendship”, and still leaves 15% ROI.

Mary Brown
Reply to  Les Johnson
July 28, 2017 9:11 am

I thought the same… how do I cash in on this crap.

Reply to  Mary Brown
July 28, 2017 9:15 am

It beats playing the govt lottery games and govt casinos.

Reply to  Les Johnson
July 28, 2017 12:47 pm

That land is worth much more than 2 million. Capital gain potential from selling it will be worth millions.

Reply to  Les Johnson
July 28, 2017 5:51 pm

Its not so much the government, (although they must be idiots in this case I agree), but what the electorate or voters want them to do.
The Greens no doubt have been brain washing the electorate and this is possibly a succesful result.
Want to see an example of brain washing from my government via the NZ Dept of Education?
Read more about it here.

Peter Cynical
Reply to  Les Johnson
July 28, 2017 6:14 pm

Remember, it’s only a rort if you’re not getting any.

July 28, 2017 7:19 am

Liberalism will one day be seen as the archetype of self-inflicted ecological – along with all manner of other sorts of – damage. That title is I believe held at this time in Australia by the cane toad ‘experiment’ but will easily be taken over by liberalism. In the unlikely event Western civilisation survives the onslaught of the liberals the new survivalist zeitgeist will contain as its central axiom the absolute imperative that any individual displaying even the merest trace of liberalism must be immediately spayed and placed in a secure isolation unit.

July 28, 2017 7:22 am

Sadly, the money won’t run out any time soon because cheap weapons grade stupid is abundant.

Reply to  decnine
July 28, 2017 7:36 am

“weapons grade stupid” – now that’s good!

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  Duncan
July 28, 2017 2:01 pm

“Weapons grade stupid.” That’s a good one!

Reply to  decnine
July 28, 2017 12:01 pm

Much better than the stock”can’t fix stupid”.

Reply to  decnine
July 28, 2017 10:24 pm

“…weapons grade stupid…” – brilliant.

Geoff Sherrington
July 28, 2017 7:23 am

For years now the Feds have been handing your taxpayer $$$ to some groups of Aborigines in the NT to burn grass. Quite a lot of money, started about 1993 IIRC. Again in the name of global warming.
They would have burned the grass anyhow. This way, though, some CSIRO folk are paid to tell them how to burn grass and some more folk are paid to administer it all and some polliesvare paid to read the reports and approve more funding. Strange times. Geoff.

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 28, 2017 7:29 am

So the Australian government is paying some to burn grass, and others not to? makes sense.

Alexander Vissers
July 28, 2017 7:26 am

Global warming is no religion, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is. I have enjoyed global warming for decades; in Iceland they say ” better enjoy it while it lasts”.

DC Cowboy
July 28, 2017 7:28 am

Turns out that the American Indians also practiced ‘burn management’ prior to the arrival of the Europeans. They would burn large swaths of prairie, just like the Australian Aborigines did.

Pat Frank
Reply to  DC Cowboy
July 28, 2017 8:21 am

They also burned out the Eastern forests, to encourage the populations of bear and deer.
Early European settlers described open parkland forests all along Eastern North America, wherein one could ride a horse freely under the trees..

Smart Rock
Reply to  DC Cowboy
July 28, 2017 8:42 am

And in the boreal forest of Canada, native peoples would set fires, because in burned areas, fresh young deciduous trees would spring up, and that’s favourite food for the moose, deer or caribou. Managing the meat supply, and keeping future fires away from communities.
Now, “we” spend a lot of time and money on putting fires out, so the forests tend to get over-mature, filled with dead wood, and when lightning sets off a fire in that stuff, it gets really big and hot and takes a lot more time and money to try and put it out.
Nothing to do with AGW or carbon capture/release, it’s been going on for long than that. It’s just us european settlers showing how much smarter we are than people who had no choice but to live off the land.
“we” also manage clear-cut areas by waiting a year or two for birch and poplar to start growing, then we spray them with a close relative of Agent Orange, so they won’t overshadow the jack pine that we plant. Keeping the forests safe for future logging. I could go on. Idiocy isn’t new, but AGW does take it to new heights of creative stupidity.

Reply to  Smart Rock
July 28, 2017 10:32 am

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
―Albert Einstein

Reply to  Smart Rock
July 28, 2017 1:24 pm

So true. True forest management would be to burn the forests in the fall after the first rains. The wet trees won’t burn but the dry underbrush will, removing the fireload. But instead we waste millions fighting fires which ensures each successive fire is bigger than the last until whole towns are destroyed.

Reply to  DC Cowboy
July 28, 2017 10:27 pm

And California, which has been suffering worse fires ever since the settlers and government suppressed burning. There are ironic bits of old diaries and journals that describe the “park-like” conditions experienced as travelers came down the west slope. By the end of the 19th century these had vanished.

July 28, 2017 7:40 am

And the sheep do not store carbon when they eat grass?

Reply to  goldminor
July 28, 2017 7:50 am

Carbon is a lethal pollutant and was fortunately banned in Australia long ago. Jumbucks are now a silicon-based hybrid offshoot of Artiodactyla.

Reply to  cephus0
July 28, 2017 1:29 pm

Our local grocery store sells fruits and veggies certified “carbon free”.

K. Kilty
Reply to  goldminor
July 28, 2017 10:17 am

Only a very inferior sort of carbon.

old construction worker
Reply to  goldminor
July 28, 2017 4:33 pm

“And the sheep do not store carbon…..” Then you eat sheep, store carbon, past gas and the beat goes on.

Reply to  goldminor
July 29, 2017 5:25 am

they belch
theyre banned

July 28, 2017 7:43 am

Oh, wow, so many comments to make, so little time!
“The Stupidest Thing Federal Government Does”- are all Federal governments this stupid?
“The Stupidest Thing Federal Government Does”- is there a competition? Is it international? Is it like the Nobel Peace Prize?
“when the Aborigines had the run of the country they would set fire to everything, all the time – because bad things happened if they didn’t.”- our liberal friends would rather try to change reality than learn from it.
“Global warming in turn is a state-sponsored religion”- Ain’t that the truth, brother!

July 28, 2017 7:47 am

One of the richest people in the world, the emir of one of Persian gulf ‘so called’ states has a much smaller farm in the UK, for breeding racing horses (with the ultimate product gambling) subsidised by the taxpayers to the tune of about $US million/annum.

Tom in Florida
July 28, 2017 7:51 am

“But none of our federal parliamentarians thought it was strange that Darwin airport could be closed under clear blue skies. And they didn’t care about the lives of Australians being needlessly disrupted by such an inane directive.”
I wonder how many federal parliamentarians actually knew the airport was closed.

Gayle Ginnane
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 29, 2017 7:14 am

Almost certainly none as it would require them to pay attention to something other than their perks.

Phillip Bratby
July 28, 2017 7:57 am

Here is a letter to David Miliband, who was the climate change minister who introduced the UK Climate Change Act.
You wouldn’t think you could make it up (government policy).

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
July 28, 2017 12:25 pm

I wonder if you can not raise pigs and sheep over the internet ?

Ed I
July 28, 2017 8:01 am

Having the ultimate responsibility for tens to thousand of environmental lands I learned in early days that control burns were vital to maintain the ecosystem. I sent all my managers to fire school, not to stop fires (which they were also taught) but how to do control burns safely. Much of Australia like Florida is a fire driven ecosystem. “Joke” is that if you do not use control burning the fuel builds to a point that when it does burn you put out way, way more pollutants (e.g., dioxin) and carbon dioxide then if you burn on a regular schedule. Most of the states that have uncontrolled annual wildfires fail to properly use control burning. Why don’t states and land managers not properly use control burning? Because in most places they are required to hold public hearings and face the public. It also requires relatively detailed planning, not something most technocrats like to do.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Ed I
July 28, 2017 8:30 am

I’m neither an Australian, nor engaged in agronomy, just interested in both.
It seems that a practice of frequent controlled burns selects for only those species which thrive in such conditions.
Wouldn’t proper grazing techniques reduce the necessity for such frequent burns? Thoughtful and controlled grazing not only helps enrich the soil, but also disturbs the soil, helping to bring hidden seeds out of dormancy.

Another Ian
Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 28, 2017 3:05 pm

Alan R
Find yourself a copy of Bill Gamage’s book “The Biggest Estate on Earth: how aboriginals made Australia”

Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 29, 2017 5:56 am

Mosaic burning, burning in scattered patches, produces a mixture of forested areas and open areas of fresh [tasty?] pasture that attracts grazing animals. If your hunting tools are pointed sticks this is to your advantage as it concentrates your prey,
Aboriginal people in Australia have used this technique for tens of thousands of years.
In Africa perhaps near 100’s of thousands of years ?

Russ Wood
Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 29, 2017 6:36 am

In South Africa, the large Kruger National Park used to (and may still do) use controlled burning to encourage movement of the animals, so that parts of the park don’t get overgrazed. I don’t know if they still do, but our local ‘bunny-huggers’ are strongly against elephant culling (which is essential to prevent destruction of feed vegetation) and may very well have stopped the burn procedures.

Reply to  Ed I
July 28, 2017 10:11 am

At one point in the past, these burns were called “prescribed burns” because so many got out of control, the term “controlled” make the agency doing the burning look bad. I think California may still use that term.

Reply to  Ed I
July 29, 2017 5:32 am

whats worse?
they have now got prescribed volumes of area to burnoff
some of its a long way from the depot and hard to access
theyve been reburning in as little as 3 to 5 yrs
which is pretty much killing trees that take min 5 and often 10yrs to revover n start flowering again
so the point here
a huge amount of burns are being done on beekeepers paid for leases in govt/crown land bush/parks
theyre now required to pay increased fees 10yrs in advance!
but cant make a single cent OFF the leases as the burn reburn makes any flowering a total NON event.
they also reduced areas by smart trick on the lines of from area to radius round hive
pay more get less.
no wonder with this utter stupidity(weapons grade indeed;-)
and some bad seasons honey is now scarce and premium prices
and wax is also skyhigh prices.

Reply to  Ed I
July 30, 2017 1:30 pm

“Small fire now, small fire later. No fire now, big fire later!”

Alan Robertson
July 28, 2017 8:09 am

The Government and farmers* of Queensland could study the techniques of American farmer, Joel Salatin. There’s some real carbon sequestration.
*Doubtful if the farmers mentioned in this article could care less, with the profits they are making.

Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 8:13 am

You idiots. What’s wrong with you?
It’s obvious there is more intrinsic humanity value in progressive notions and intentions than there is in measuring financial considerations.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 8:16 am

It’s the thought- the good intention, that counts, not the accounting.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 28, 2017 8:22 am

Ps It’s the self- allocation of virtue, which measures the “good” of intentions

Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 28, 2017 9:26 am

Intrinsic humanity value? Like? “Saving” the world at all cost, no matter how many people it kills though impoverishment.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
July 28, 2017 10:12 am

Wasn’t that Bernie Madoff’s mantra?

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 8:55 am

Steve Oregon : “It’s obvious there is more intrinsic humanity value in progressive notions and intentions than there is in measuring financial considerations.”
To remedy the potential of losing tax dollars (financial considerations) and/or discouraging citizens from drinking mineral spirits during prohibition, the U.S. government ‘denatures’ mineral spirits. This renders it poisonous to consume. Citizens died or were blinded (intrinsic humanity value) because of this practice, it continues to this day.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Thomas Homer
July 28, 2017 10:58 am

You are describing denatured alcohol, not mineral spirits. Mineral spirits are a petroleum-based turpentine substitute.

July 28, 2017 8:45 am

I have watched raptors here in the US sit on idle drilling rigs hunt and kill prairie chickens which we are supposedly trying to protect to the extent that their habitat was being considered for off limits status by the US feds. The reason the rigs were idle was to protect the raptors nesting time. We have lots of raptors and few prairie chickens left. Hunting prairie chickens is still allowed, shooting raptors is not. Shutting down drilling in this situation qualifies, as the comment above states, is “weapons grade stupid”.

Reply to  JimG1
July 28, 2017 10:15 am

Don’t worry. The wind turbines will take out the raptors and if the prairie chickens can stand the tall towers and vibration, they will bounce back. If not, well……
(I always did think allowing hunting of prairie chickens was silly, but Game and Fish swears it doesn’t affect population. The grouse are usually some distance from town and the limits per day are very low. I’m still skeptical.)

Johnny Cuyana
Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 10:52 am

Sheri, there “grouse” about which you write, these are the employees of the Fish Wildlife Services, yes? … or, am I missing something? I know many of them work at distances from town, but, I did not know there was a limit on them. Maybe that’s just in the coastal states.
[I remember my dad — too often — while working on the farm, yelling at me and siblings to stop “grousing about … and to get to work!”]

Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 10:55 am

You and a dog can walk right past a prairie chicken and not know it, and they don’t taste very good, hence, very few people actually hunt them.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 1:01 pm

Very few people hunt them, because there are very few Prairie Chickens remaining and exceedingly limited hunting seasons.
They taste just fine. I know that, because the annual Prairie Chicken hunt when I was a boy, was a great big deal and everyone got in on the hunt.
Now, the gov’t has subsidized wind turbines, right where the Prairie Chickens used to live (they will not tolerate tall structures, nor much of anything man made.) There is no more hunting season and darn few Prairie Chickens, (or us old hunters) remain.
On the brighter side, the wind generators can kill 30 some Eagles a year and it’s open season on hawks (for the turbine operators,) thanks to Obama’s edicts. Won’t help the Prairie Chickens much, though and it ain’t workin’ out too well for the Red Tails, either.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 1:09 pm

RWTURNER I disagree both that your dog and you could walk past a prairie chicken (Sharp-tailed grouse) and that they don’t taste good. I used to hunt them (afternoons when ducks and geese from the Netley marsh in Manitoba weren’t flying). First, my friends didn’t believe I could smell them at a good distance when I was downwind (my explanation for why I got triple the number they did every time), second, these birds were easily spooked and you had to be able to knock them down at 60+yards. Thirdly, they tended to be grain fed and were tasty at least to me. Hungarian partridge I believe were introduced and these lovely round fatties with their pretty orange-tipped tail feathers were also a treat.
Mind you this was 60years ago before buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese dip, or duck-a-l’orange followed by tiramisu and caramel-chocolate latte with crispy crinkles. There is an old saying which doesn’t mean much today: “If you think a carrot is sweet, then you never taste one of them pinyapples.”

July 28, 2017 8:50 am

There are payments other than ‘not to use your grass’.
How about: hire your grassy areas out to windmill corporates. There’s money out there in your grass, folks and you can tap into it. Get with the ‘Free Taxpayer Grass Utilisation Profit Program’ coming to a farm near you.

Reply to  Tim
July 28, 2017 10:08 am

It would be a good idea to read this: before”hiring your grassy areas out to windmill corporates.”

Reply to  Sommer
July 28, 2017 10:17 am

There might be a down side, but hey, what’s important—as bunch of cash every year from the Feds or having a nice, quiet place to live but having to eek out a living?
(/sarc, in case anyone could not tell)

Reply to  Tim
July 28, 2017 10:16 am

So true. Government handouts at their best.

July 28, 2017 9:14 am

The Great Tulip Market Crash is now replaced with grass
Market Crashes: The Tulip and Bulb Craze

Mary Brown
July 28, 2017 9:17 am

Reminds me of the Charles Schwab California rice fiasco from about 15 years ago…
Turns out California would pay billionaire Schwab subsidies to plant rice. No requirement that he harvest or sell it. Schwab used the money and turned it into a duck hunting paradise complete with flooded fields in a state desperate for water.
The gov’t mismanagement was epic. People were furious with Schwab but I think that was totally misplaced. He just followed the rules.

July 28, 2017 9:20 am

If only the Warmists understood the grade school science concept of decomposition. Have they heard of this important process in nature? Apparently not, according to their pseudo-scientific understanding of the carbon cycle, all ruminants disobey the 1st law of thermodynamics and literally create carbon.

Reply to  RWturner
July 28, 2017 10:18 am

They only understand this in the framework of CSI type programs. Bodies decompose until one finds them, hauls them into the morgue and later buries them. If you meant in the real world, that would be no.

Mary Brown
July 28, 2017 9:22 am
Eustace Cranch
Reply to  Mary Brown
July 28, 2017 9:33 am

I would not allow one of those abominations on my land if they offered 10 times that. Seriously.

Reply to  Mary Brown
July 28, 2017 10:21 am

Yeah, and there are those here and elsewhere trying to convince us it’s about saving the planet, not money. Sure—IT’S ABOUT MONEY. Pure and simple.
(I once told a person I’d move immediately if those things got too close. I may have to leave my cabin yet—China and Venezuala are reporting taking over the area with hundreds of the monstrosities. I planned on retiring in Wyoming, but maybe not.)

July 28, 2017 9:30 am

I’m holding this sharp weapon up to a blade of grass. The price to back off is $10,000. Pay me. Now sucker!

Reply to  Resourceguy
July 28, 2017 10:21 am


Michael Jankowski
July 28, 2017 9:48 am

Can I get paid to not drive a car? Not fly on a plane?

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
July 28, 2017 10:22 am

Yes—I would love to get paid to not fly on a plane, since I’m not doing that anyway!

Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 1:05 pm

I would love to get paid for not cutting my grass.

July 28, 2017 10:13 am

Just wondered, what is the subsidy payment for not moving to Australia? Deal? This is of course separate from the hundreds of millions spent on ad placements to get us to visit Australia.

Clyde Spencer
July 28, 2017 10:14 am

So his $2M investment is paid off in a little over 6 years and then he starts earning about 6% per year on his original investment. Sweet deal!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 28, 2017 1:07 pm

Or sell for 5 million.

July 28, 2017 10:16 am

Reducing Australia’s carbon emissions is even more ludicrous since the OCO2 satellite data indicate that Australia is net negative. Absorbs more CO2 than it produces. The bushfire season doesn’t seem to make much difference and is barely detectable. This non-footprint will of course be getting larger now that industry is being killed off by insane power pricing.

July 28, 2017 10:26 am

Reminds me of the ethanol debacle in the USA. Farmers were paid for conservation easements—areas they did not plow up. Then ethanol became the darling of the Feds and the price for corn went way up. It went high enough to make the conservation easement payment look paltry. So out came the tractors and poof, no more conservation area. Enviros were shocked. They didn’t see it coming. Of course, any rational person would realize if you pay more to tear up the land than preserve it, no one preserves.

Reply to  Sheri
July 28, 2017 11:18 am

The US obsession with ethanol was a strategic move towards energy independence, in the days before shale oil
It had and has nothing to do with anything ‘green’ or reducing CO2.
It has since become a standard US federal pork barrel thing.

Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 12:30 pm

No it was a short term solution to one of the last energy crises before energy became a just-in-time commodity sector no longer dependent on 10-year projects offshore. As the Clintons spun it with PR strategy, it was started by George Bush. What they did not own up to was the extension and expansion of it during their years and its political centroid in Iowa. That’s not even getting to Obama extensions and expansions of it.

Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 5:01 pm

I have to agree with Griff on this one Resourceguy.
The Government mandated Ethanol silliness started way back in the Carter years of the 1970’s.
“5. Biofuels and the Global Energy Crisis 1970s – 2000s
In the 25 years after World War II, global oil consumption grew by five- and- a- half times, and the world became dependent on cheap oil from the Middle East. Discussions about raising prices preoccupied meetings of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for years, but in 1973, a Middle Eastern war conflated tight oil supplies into an international energy crisis. It began on October 6, 1973, when Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries launched an attack on Israel in an attempt to regain land lost in the 1967 war. By October 17, 1973, as the attack faltered and U.S. military aid flowed to the Israelis, Arab oil ministers gathered in Kuwait agreed to institute a total oil embargo against the United States and other countries friendly to Israel (Salameh, 2004). They would drop production by five percent per month until their demands were met. The price of oil quadrupled, from $4.50 to $22.60 per barrel. The shortages created long gas lines and sparked panic buying the US and Europe. Although the embargo ended in March 1974, the U.S. gross national product (GNP) plunged 6% and unemployment doubled to 9% by 1975.
The first energy crisis also spurred a widespread search for alternative energy sources, especially the “Pro-Alcool” National Alcohol Program in Brazil in 1975, involving mandatory blending of about 20 percent ethanol in gasoline. Around the same time, states in the American Midwest, particularly Nebraska, began researching the potential of ethanol from corn (maize) in a blend with gasoline.
The second energy crisis took place when Iranian dissent grew into an October, 1978 strike in the nation’s oil refineries, shutting down five percent of world oil exports. This in turn grew into a violent revolution that overthrew the pro-western government of the Shah in January 1979. Once again, panicked buying led to price increases, this time up to $34.50 a barrel.
The Brazilian ethanol program began growing quickly but a proposed US ethanol program became mired in controversy and opposition from the oil industry. The Brazilian program was seen as an outgrowth of sugarcane growing traditions and was part of the economic movement towards import substitution and industrialization. It was also able to enlist the full support of Brazil’s automotive industry.
In the United States, the oil industry insisted that ethanol was an inferior fuel and that it caused insurmountable technical problems when blended with gasoline. Support for biofuels came mostly from a farm movement which saw ethanol in the light of farm prosperity and independence from the oil industry. Although the US auto industry was more inclined to back the oil industry, early proof that ethanol blending caused only minor engine problems that were easily solved came from both the Brazilian Pro-Alcool program and the Nebraska state Corn Products Utilization Committee, later known as the Gasohol Committee, which initiated a million miles of road tests on ethanol blends.
“Automotive companies were denouncing the idea of promoting biofuels on the grounds that they couldn’t be taken seriously,” said Scott Sklar, then an aide to Sen. Jacob Javits and today a renewable energy expert with the Stella Group. “Brazil’s move to subsidize their vast sugar industry and work with automotive engineers to make ethanol tolerant cars created immense tension in Washington,” Sklar said. “Biofuels advocates were able to point to the ‘Brazilian experience’ every time the US oil and auto industry said that it couldn’t be done or that it would never be successful” (Kovarik, 2006).
In 1980, in the waning months of his administration, President Jimmy Carter created a fledgling US ethanol program by signing a bill giving a 54 cent per gallon ethanol tax incentive and, at the same time, excluding Latin American ethanol from the U.S. market. These two pieces of legislation protected the U.S. ethanol industry through its infancy and up to the mid-1990s, when it grew to over one billion gallons per year of capacity.”

Ill Tempered Klavier
Reply to  Griff
July 28, 2017 8:08 pm

The only good thing I see in this ethanol business is the humor of running the country on corn likker. ‘Course we’ve long done that anyway: “My daddy he made whiskey, my gran daddy did too. We ain’t paid nah whiskey tax since seventeenninetytwo.” 😉 😉

Johnny Cuyana
July 28, 2017 10:42 am

There are FOUR MAJOR PRIMARY threats to a FREE Constitutional [Western-type] society … threats which one can see manifest clearly in the example provided via this article:
[1] entrenched politicians which play hand-in-hand with an ever-growing entrenched govt bureaucracy;
[2] large scale PROFITEERING corporations — not to be confused with capitalistic concerns … which, by definition, operate in a free and fair competitive environment — where, in order to establish and perpetuate a NON-competitive economy, PROFITEERS, indeed, work hand-in-hand with the entrenched politicians and bureaucracies;
[3] an UNINFORMED citizenry, which has no well-developed sense of classically liberal critical thinking — where, in fact, political brainwashing is part-and-parcel of the plan as advocated by the above culprits — by which the citizenry is educationally incapable of distinguishing between truth and lie; and,
[4] a citizenry with a broken moral compass by which this citizenry is NOT capable of understanding nor appreciating the need to respect the “inalienable rights” of each and every individual citizen; where the broken-moral-compass citizenry are duped easily by the politicians-bureaucracies-profiteers cabal and who, thereby, as a result, is rife with frustration and despair. [Note: it matters little the amount of education one has if the moral compass is broken. This is seen, time and again, in so many of history’s recognized dictators and tyrants … who were so “well educated”.]
Until these threats are recognized, seen as such and counteracted upon, there is little longer-term hope for substantial improvement in the human condition; whether in individual nations or on a global basis. Insanity = continuing to advocate and support centralized command and control oppressive govt yet expecting a different result.
This is NOT a pipe dream for UTOPIA. Utopia does NOT exist, and, where pursuing such is a fool’s errand, OTOH, the pursuit of human excellence does exist, where, the above is the generalized logic for justifying collectively — nationally and globally — MOVING AWAY, piece by piece, from a centralized command and control oppressive govt and MOVING TOWARD a more truly individual-freedom-based govt of, by and for the people. Certainly, very little of this will happen overnight, and, most likely, it will not happen in the time span of several or even many generations; however, I am of the group which, above all, advocates aggressively to voting out the bullies and tyrants, who control all too much of our respective countries, and begin moving more, step by step, toward govt systems which are founded upon the recognition respect of the rights of each and every freeborn individual.
[JFK, paraphrased: supported him or otherwise, and, regardless of whether these were simply words he was “mouthing” for political “points” or otherwise … “ask not what your country can do for you … rather ask what you can do for your family, community, and country.” HOWEVER, be aware, this approach will have positive results if and only if such a govt is founded upon laws of, by and for the people … in full recognition of the fact that we, across the globe, even in the Western cultures, are a far distance from this type of govt excellence. OTOH, laws based on IMMORAL AND CORRUPT POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRACIES and their CRONY PROFITEERS do NOT deserve the support of the citizenry; and, must be changed if WE want to improve our overall condition. The struggle continues … and will continue.]

July 28, 2017 10:56 am

I’m not sure about the picture. It sure looks like tilled land rather than pasture. It also looks like someone is begging for a big wind to come up and blow all the fertility away … but I’m not a farmer.

Reply to  commieBob
July 28, 2017 1:24 pm

It’s plowed and planted, but I’m not a farmer either. I guess there aren’t a lot of stock photos of Australian fields of sheep grass.

Bruce Cobb
July 28, 2017 11:09 am

Wait. That bloke is getting screwed. Sure, he’s getting paid to not use the grass, but what about the not raising sheep part? Sheep, as everyone knows, expel prodigious amounts of planet-destroying methane. They saw him coming!

July 28, 2017 11:09 am

The trouble comes in all forms for you and your family when you point out the Emperor has no clothes. At work, at school, in society…there are now state sanctioned methods of forcing compliance via ostracization , blacklisting at work, even humiliating your children. Where will this end? With absolute statism, globally.

Joe Lais
July 28, 2017 11:11 am

How to fight desertification and reverse climate change
Maybe they should subsidize cattle or bison.

Nick Stokes
July 28, 2017 11:17 am

“This is a tale of idiocy”
No links, no sources, nowhere we can go to get a more rational account.

Steve Oregon
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 28, 2017 12:26 pm

Let me guess. Your gut feeling that there must be a rational justification for this idiocy is so strong that you are certain it need not even be explained or justified.
It’s just right because?

Nick Stokes
Reply to  Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 12:29 pm

I’d like some facts.

Reply to  Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 5:09 pm

Stokes is correct, there is no source to support this statement David wrote:
“This is a tale of idiocy, full of facts and foreboding, signifying that the end times must be surely upon us. A bloke bought a sheep property of half a million acres in western Queensland for $2.0 million. Instead of running sheep on it, he now gets $350,000 per annum under the federal government’s Direct Action scheme for not using the grass on his property. The idea being that the grass locks up carbon and reduces Australia’s carbon emissions. A neighbouring property gets $600,000 per annum. Direct Action is a $1.7 billion per annum program funded from general taxation revenue.”
No link is posted to it.

Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 11:21 am

The confounding nature of people who display absolute confidence in notions without any persuasive evidence of any merit is an indication of some mixture of perception and judgement defects.
Progressives are foolishly and recklessly certain they are not only right about their feelings of concern being a sufficient test of need but they are equally certain that it is they (and only they) who MUST intervene, be in permanent control and act as they see fit to make all of the ongoing corrections.
Their delusion of being humanity’s parents and grandeur of insistent authority has grown to be what may be the most destructive infection in the history of the human race.
While they feel they know best and act on our behalf their collective intrusion is an ugly parasite that can produces net detriment at every level in every corner of the planet.
Other than that they are fine people. 🙂

Reply to  Steve Oregon
July 28, 2017 12:27 pm

RE “some mixture of perception and judgement defects”:
As George Carlin said:
“You know how stupid the average person is, right? Well, half of them are stupider than that!”
About 30% (or more) of humanity are imbeciles who vote for raving “progressives” like Gerry Brown, who continues to Californicate the Golden State. The left is full of them.
That is the problem with democracy. I dislike programs to “Get Out the Vote”. I want more programs like this:
Skill testing question: “If your car says Dodge on the front, do you really need a horn?” If you fail the question, “Stay home – you are ‘way too stupid to vote.”

Reply to  Allan M.R. MacRae
July 28, 2017 1:20 pm

IIRC, there is no constitutional right to vote in Federal elections in the US.

James Francisco
Reply to  Steve Oregon
July 29, 2017 8:06 am

Steve. Regarding your comment “The confounding nature of people who display absolute confidence in notions without any persuasive evidence of any merit is an indication of some mixture of perception and judgement defects.”
My father told me (in the early seventies) that the people you speak of have always been around but in the past they weren’t allowed to control anything.

H. D. Hoese
July 28, 2017 11:45 am

Australia may have been outdone in Tennessee. Grant was called massive. Someone good in higher math can figure out how much per person this is to study 600 workers (?).
“The results should help measure work performance, the university said. The mPerf project is sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s Multimodal Objective Sensing to Assess Individuals with Context program.” Translation?

July 28, 2017 11:49 am

On this side of the pond some of us avidly follow all the twists and turns of American politics and the presidency. It is becoming apparent that in Donald J. Trump the USA got themselves, like it not, for the better or worse, an independent president.

July 28, 2017 12:15 pm

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July 28, 2017 12:27 pm

Will the Australian government pay me for every minute that I can hold my breath.
I’ll even sign a contract with wording something like this:
I, Robert Kernodle, hereby affirm that I will hold my breath for a minimum of five minutes per day, accumulated in five separate daily sessions of one minute each, for the remainder of my life, in consideration of payment of one USA dollar per minute, to be paid to me by the Australian government in monthly installments. This amounts to a sum of roughly $ 365 USA per year, and I am willing to commit to a long-term contract of ten years for the sum of $ 3,650 USA.
Of course, we would have to work out methods of proof and penalties for breaking the contract, but no problem, because I feel very confident that I could easily commit to this.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 28, 2017 12:37 pm

Well, I really blew that mental math, shortchanging myself immensely. Word of advice, don’t skip the back-of-envelope calculation, thinking that you can do it fast in your head.
My daily take would be $ 5 USA, or $ 35 USA per week, or $ 1820 USA per year, or $ 18,200 for ten years.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 29, 2017 8:23 am

The contract could extend even when you are dead and gone providing for your family. In the US you could even vote early and often!

Gary Pearse
July 28, 2017 12:29 pm

Surely letting sheep eat grass sequesters most of the carbon as droppings some sequestering in sheep bodies and likely the bloke would have been even expanding his sheep flock. The grass just keeps growing anyway! Of course these nimrods don’t want you to eat meat which is already a biomass by product and biomass is considered a carbon neutral material when you burn it!!
Unless we start teaching K to Uni logic and encouraging them to think, ever growing numbers of functional idiots will be taking over the world and there will be no way back. Millennials have been choked off from their heritage, history, traditions, free thought, free enterprise, a productive political economy… by teachings that treat these as shameful things for which we must feel guilty. A little thought reveals this political correctness product as a most insidious new form of гас¡зм by шнуте progressives.

July 28, 2017 12:33 pm

I need an app to find all of the green ATM machines dispensing cash. I also need the political code to enter the system and complete the deal.

July 28, 2017 1:18 pm

Pay people to do nothing . What ? That’s what we have government for .
Make $350,000 per year to watch grass grow ? No college degree required either .
The fundamental problem is that governments have our credit cards and are
determined to max out the limit . Stupid policies abound till we hit the wall .
The USA government topped that . To by pass the requirement for Senate approval of a “Treaty ” they
knew would never pass they called it the Paris ..”Accord ” then slipped half a $$Billion dollars out the door as Obama cleaned out his office . Someone steals a quart of milk goes to jail but the politicians with the aid of a few bureaucrats rob tax payers of billions … not a word .
Cut the credit card up and this bullshit ends .

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Amber
July 29, 2017 4:21 am

We’ve been paying people to d nothing for years. They are called politicians.

July 28, 2017 1:32 pm

Dr. Archibald usually writes about sun and its effects on the climate change but his arguments are not readily accepted by some.
There is another commentator who started contributing a year or two ago (here and Climate.etc) and appears to be very well versed in the solar matters but often strays into area which borders on so called ‘cyclomania’. He wrote number of well researched and documented essays under the title Nature Unbound and goes by name Javier but his identity has been protected.
I believe that I have come across his professional work, if so he is the world’s foremost expert in his very narrow field of (solar related) activity, unless I’m grossly mistaken. There is a good reason for his desire to remain anonymous.

Ellie Mae
July 28, 2017 3:05 pm

Sounds like CA and Gov. Jerry Brown has rubbed off on the Aussies!

Science or Fiction
July 28, 2017 3:39 pm

Reality is stranger than fiction. Joseph Heller was pretty close though:
“His specialty was alfalfa, and he made a good thing out of not growing any. The government paid him well for every bushel of alfalfa he did not grow. The more alfalfa he did not grow, the more money the government gave him, and he spent every penny he didn’t earn on new land to increase the amount of alfalfa he did not produce. Major Major’s father worked without rest at not growing alfalfa. On long winter evenings he remained indoors and did not mend harness, and he sprang out of bed at the crack of noon every day just to make certain that the chores would not be done. He invested in land wisely and soon was not growing more alfalfa than any other man in the county. Neighbours sought him out for advice on all subjects, for he had made much money and was therefore wise. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” he counselled one and all, and everyone said “Amen.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

July 28, 2017 4:07 pm

David, despite the witty and pithy comments, I find the likelihood of this post being accurate similar to GCM’s. Here in Canada, that would even rate in the top 100 stupid things the federal government does, I simply cannot believe our brethren in the southern commonwealth are so much better governed.

July 28, 2017 4:47 pm

There is no way this article is long enough to even begin addressing this topic.

Snarling Dolphin
July 28, 2017 6:03 pm

I salute you sir! It’s my dream to take advantage of the same type of opportunity here stateside. Congratulations! I’ve often though of going into solar panel or wind turbine sales but my sense of decency and righteousness so far outweighs my desire to screw environmentalists at their own game. It’s getting closer though.

July 28, 2017 6:29 pm

To get paid for not building a coal mine, do I first have to have enough money to build a coal mine? If I skip the entire planning stage, doesn’t that also save on energy consumption and help the earth? For a million dollars a year I promise to not even think about building a coal mine.

Dr. Strangelove
July 28, 2017 8:14 pm

They don’t want sheep to eat grass to stop them from farting methane, which is more potent than CO2. It’s a way to regulate sheep fart. Or just starve them to death or put airbag in their ass

Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
July 29, 2017 3:00 am

Please tell me that’s not real…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Vald
July 29, 2017 4:19 am

Probably is. I know in New Zealand “farmers”, “scientists” and politicians were “exploring” ways to trap methane emissions from livestock with contraptions like that and/or changes in feed. I guess you can’t change much in open fields of grass. But you can sure make a living out of virtue signalling and rent seeking.
I wonder how many politicians are “connected” to these “farms”. I would suggest it’s a lot.
Mind you, Aussie pollies are now rushing to prove they do not hold dual citizenships as their position as an MP would be invalid under Parliamentary rules. Clearly, there are no checks and measures for politicians in Australia.

Reply to  Vald
July 30, 2017 5:30 am

Let’s see how far they try and push the fart tax in NZ.

July 29, 2017 1:36 am

good article

July 29, 2017 12:12 pm

Y;know, the tribes of the Great Plains in North America used to set fires in the tall and short grass prairies, partly to prevent wildfires, partly to provide better pasturage for the wild livestock they hunted, and partly because they saw Mother Nature doing it. Burning grasses provides nutrients that get pushed into the ground by rain and hail and seasonal snows.
I don’t know or pretend to understand what kind of disconnection from the real world is going on in Australia, but the more I see of the things mentioned in this article, the more I think they are completely nuts.
I do think that these politicians in Oz need to be dropped off some place (not here!!!) where they have to grow their own food, dig a well for water, and build a sod hut to live in. Then you’ll see how long their green agenda really lasts. They are truly crazy buggers.
I’ll just go on letting the cut grass in my yard stay where it falls under the mower. It’s building a nice, thick mat that holds in moisture, makes the grass thicker and greener, and attracts nitrogen-fixing plants like clover so that my lawn is less likely to die off or get bare spots during dry weather. I think I’ve had to water the lawn maybe twice in the last five years.
Bunch of nutballs down there in Oz….

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