Friday 31 December 2021

The Morrison Wave (Updated).

Courtesy of ABC Online, this is how the COVID pandemic has evolved in Australia since March 2020:

A view of the same data starting now on Dec 1st:

Happy New Year, folks!

Wednesday 29 December 2021

The COALition’s Latest Stuff-Up.


It may be less virulent, but Omicron seems poised to deliver a KO punch to the Australian health service. People are queuing for hours to get the PCR tests; it takes up to five and six days to receive the bloody result and when it comes it’s often mistaken.

Pathology services and hospitals, facing a surge in COVID cases, are running understaffed. This is no doubt a surprise to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Scotty from Marketing, but it turns out that lab technicians, data entry operators, contact tracers, nurses, and doctors also get sick and yet are forced to deal with an avalanche of COVID. That’s when mistakes are made.

Sunday 12 December 2021

Workers’ Mail.

Sam, from the Megaphone Team (Victoria Trades Hall Council), writes that


GPI just acquired “AR Packaging in the EU for over $1.4 billion”, Sam adds. But now they claim they cannot afford to increase their workers’ wages, forcing their workers to strike. This is particular cruel as Christmas approaches.

Thursday 9 December 2021

The Trap of “Net Zero”?

That chart, from The Conversation article appended below, speaks for itself. It may sound like hyperbole, but that may well be the most important chart I have ever seen.

It takes, however, some explaining to understand what it  says. It is not a comfortable story.

Monday 6 December 2021

Workers of the World …

Boring intellectuals may recite their inane “ideas make reality” mantra until they are blue in the face. For a while it may – indeed probably will – fool some, but it won’t change much in the long run. It’s reality that drives action, which leads in turn to ideas.


And so, while a few Aussie hens are still fooled into making common cause with the foxes, workers are re-learning the painful lessons their elders knew well: there is no way around, they need to act. So organise yourselves, and, as the chant says, stand up and fight back.

Friday 3 December 2021

Bits and Pieces: The Joke’s on Us All.


I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that with repetition, even the best joke loses its ability to make us laugh. It becomes unfunny.

Or maybe it’s just me. I’m growing older and grumpier.

Either way, for me, jokes like that, clever as they might be, no longer make me smile, let alone laugh.

The unchanging truth such jokes reflect has gone well past the point of being funny.

Saturday 27 November 2021

Climate Misinformation at COP26

Santos-paid Australian pavilion at COP26 (source)

Remember that? Considering its sheer shamelessness that may have been in a category of its own, but in other ways it may have been small potatoes.

You see, according to Global Witness, lobbyists on behalf of over 100 fossil fuels companies together outnumbered even the biggest official national delegations:


On Twitter, fossil fuel companies’ climate misinformation is subtle – here’s what I’m seeing during COP26

Young activists used ‘blah, blah, blah’ as their refrain for criticizing governments’ and industries’ slow actions on climate change. AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
Jill Hopke, DePaul University

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Sorry, Guys, but Your Drought is Our Rain (Updated).

Our world is interconnected.


It’s official, the Bureau of Meteorology has declared a La Niña event. It’s the second La Niña in a row, which is relatively unusual. Perhaps because of that it’s expected to be less intense and less prolonged than is common with such events (it’s expected to last until next January, but it could last the whole summer).

Okay, but what is La Niña and why does it matter?

Saturday 20 November 2021

Coal and India.

An idealised, naive appreciation of poor nations, I believe, has become prevalent or at least very common among rich-nations’ modern socialists. It’s part of a broader phenomenon, thus it would be too long to explain how we’ve got to this point, but suffice it to say here that such infatuation is largely based on moral and ethical judgements and in a falling out of love with the domestic working class of rich nations.


On Thursday November 4th, just four days into COP26, Leigh Sales, the ABC’s 7.30 presenter, interviewed Bill McKibben, founder of

Among other things, Sales asked: “India makes the point that it’s a developing nation and so it needs extra time to level the playing field and catch up. Is that a reasonable argument?”

It proved to be a prescient question, for less than two weeks later, hours before the draft resolution was due to be declared approved, India’s Minister for the Environment and lead climate negotiator Bhupender Yadav argued his last-minute proposal to further amend the draft (phasing down instead of phasing out):

“How can anyone expect that developing countries can make promises about phasing out coal and fossil fuel subsidies? Developing countries have still to deal with their development agendas and poverty eradication.”
I think McKibben’s answer to Sales’ question indicates why Yadav’s motion was self-defeating and suggests why so much of modern socialist thought is painfully wrongheaded:
“It would be a reasonable argument, except for two things. One, physics is uninterested in it, and it is going to cause havoc for India and everybody else if the planet keeps warming, probably more havoc for India than most places.”
The full transcript

Are you kidding, India? Your last-minute Glasgow intervention won’t relieve pressure to ditch coal

Bill Hare, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Good COP? Bad COP?

Was COP26 a success, a failure, or something in between?

Notwithstanding old American bloviating academics intent on giving a positive spin to COP26 on behalf of the US President, assessments seem to vary over the bad side of the spectrum. 

 An attempt to present the achievements:


But one should consider more elaborate assessments. Without further ado:

The ultimate guide to why the COP26 summit ended in failure and disappointment (despite a few bright spots)

Robert Hales, Griffith University and Brendan Mackey, Griffith University

Monday 15 November 2021

Australia’s Backstabbing Diplomacy (3)



Scotty from Marketing, Prime Minister of Australia, attended COP26. Federal Minister for Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor was with him. After a few days, both departed. However, they left behind James Isbister, a high-ranking and presumably well-paid bureaucrat (apparently a disabled one, unable to speak, too) as the Commonwealth’s representative. Or, at least, that’s how Isbister describes himself: “Australia's Ambassador for the Environment, Mr Jamie Isbister - promoting Australia's interests on international environment issues. DFAT Mental Health Champion”.


The Australian delegation attended the negotiations with the same rights and responsibilities of all other delegations. Once the draft of what became the so-called Glasgow Agreement was approved, the Australian delegation signed it.

Saturday 13 November 2021

COP26: The Curtain Falls (2X Updated).

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is a death
sentence for us.” If all the pledges are fulfilled,
the world is heading to 2.4ºC. (source)

One doesn’t need to be environmentally conscious or a proud Commie worker – like yours truly – to empathise with the Maldivian Environment Minister Aminath Shauna.

As COP26 was drawing to a close early this Sunday morning (AEDT), Shauna said:

Thursday 4 November 2021

Scotty from Santos’ Marketing. (Updated)

The Australian pavilion at Glasgow:


Santos may need to capture lots of CO2, too.


Judging by Chevron’s Gorgon facility in Western Australia, Santos is facing a hard job.



Monday 1 November 2021

Schadenfreude. (Updated)


So, it happens … again.

Hours after Scotty from Marketing came out explaining how his infallible personal charm had mended diplomatic relations with France (“I said g’day, I said g’day”), Emmanuel Macron said in front of the cameras, for all to hear and see, that he knows Scotty lied to him.

Saturday 30 October 2021

Climate Wars: Episode 3095 – Attack of the Clowns.

Katharine Murphy (right) makes some observations after Angus Taylor (left) ended his Power Point presentation of “The Plan to Deliver Net Zero, The Australian Way”.


But, where are the studies behind the “The Plan to Deliver Net Zero, The Australian Way”? Who conducted those studies?

This is what the Plan says:

Friday 29 October 2021

COP26: What to Watch For.

The 2009 edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Copenhagen (aka COP15), was an unmitigated disappointment. Six years later, COP15 resulted in the Paris Accord, widely considering an important achievement.

How will COP26 be judged?

4 key issues to watch as world leaders prepare for the Glasgow climate summit

A mural near the site of COP26, the 26th Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Rachel Kyte, Tufts University

Thursday 28 October 2021

Climate Change: Where are We Headed?

I think much of the commentary one finds in the media, too focused on the minutiae of politics, is not overly helpful. A couple of articles from The Conversation should provide a good basis for the interested.

If all 2030 climate targets are met, the planet will heat by 2.7℃ this century. That’s not OK

Andrew King, The University of Melbourne and Malte Meinshausen, The University of Melbourne

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Is Shtraya Aiming to Wreck COP26?

I think so. In fact, I fear so.


I go one step further: Australia may try to sabotage COP26. Let me explain.

Sunday 24 October 2021

BREAKING: Nationals Agree to … Something!!


With 8 days left to COP28 and after a week of intense discussions over the National Party support for Scotty from Marketing’s plan to establish a net zero GHG emissions target for 2050, this Sunday the party leader and Deputy Prime Minister announced to the expectant press gallery awaiting:

“We are in support of a process going forward that would go towards a 2050 emissions target.”
I understand if my learned readers differ, but as a humble worker I found it hard to understand that.

Friday 15 October 2021

Bits and Pieces: Images. (Updated)

Lately, the media has shown images of many people posing as workers.


Anyone, however, can wear a hi-viz vest and a hard hat for a photo opportunity. That doesn’t make of them a worker, much less a working class hero.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Will Wonders Never Cease!

Or WTF!?

Who knew! Much to the disgust of Matt “Taliban of Coal” Canavan and the COALition deniers, it seems like Scotty from Marketing may actually set a date for net zero emissions. He might even go to Glasgow, after all: Prince Charles asked.

Don’t believe me?

Friday 8 October 2021

The Phoney War.

Matt Canavan, unlikely fashion trend-setter,
cosplaying here as a worker. Rioters who
vandalised the CFMEU Melbourne offices and
clashed with cops a few weeks back eventually
adopted the same look. Très chic! Source

The Liberal-National civil war on climate change action among the two COALition parties ruling Down Under is on. Overseas readers – and maybe less-attentive Aussie ones – might benefit from a brief summary.

Saturday 2 October 2021

Morrison: No-Show at COP26? (Updated)

Scotty from Marketing likes to jet set, particularly with the Commonwealth footing the bill.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of his travels, off the top of my head.

Thursday 30 September 2021

Environmentally Conscious Workers’ Mail.

Credit: ACTU

I’ve just donated to the ACTU’s Secure Jobs campaign – can you join me?

Big business is profiting big-time by making jobs less secure – and workers are paying the costs. And the Morrison Government is actively scheming with corporate lobbyists to remove more job security, reduce pay, and undermine work conditions.

With the next Federal Election looming, we’re campaigning to make sure insecure work is a problem that no voter or party can ignore.

Please consider a donation to the ACTU today to help reach more voters. We can make a difference together!

Sunday 26 September 2021

Bits and Pieces: The Big Apple.

It’s often said that “if you can make it there, you’re gonna make it anywhere” and Scotty from Marketing is virtually there, baby, New York City. And he is trying to make it there, but equivocating here.

Often forgotten, however, is that old advice – “fake it, till you make it”. That seems to have worked a treat for Scotty when dealing with Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker. The 81-yo Pelosi, impressed by his “meeting and beating” climate targets bullshit, said that Australia is “leading the way” on climate change action.


That’s how Australia will save the world, Nancy: leading from the rear.

Friday 17 September 2021

Australia’s Back-Stabbing Diplomacy. (2)

Or how a bunch of irresponsible, ignorant, double-dealing simpletons with delusions of grandeur screwed things up big time.


Just yesterday the French ambassador made it clear that the Morrison gang had kept him in the dark about the whole submarine deal.


As I write this Jason Falinski, a rookie COALition MP and member of the less lunatic COALition faction, is on the Weekend Breakfast show, with Fauziah Ibrahim and Kirsten Aiken.

Thursday 16 September 2021

Australia’s Back-Stabbing Diplomacy. (Updated)


“It’s really a stab in the back. We had built
a relationship of trust with Australia, this
trust is betrayed”, Jean-Yves Le Drian,
Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Scotty from Marketing announced yesterday as a fait accompli that he decided to breach the $90 billion contract signed with France’s Naval Group for the construction of 12 conventional submarines and instead purchase an unspecified number of nuclear subs from an as yet unspecified Anglo-American consortium, at an equally as yet unspecified cost … to be delivered God only knows when (because the bloody delivery dates are, you guessed, unspecified: this just keeps getting better and better).

And, if you believe Andrew Probyn, in a nominally democratic nation, he and his henchmen and -women may have been cooking up that deal in secret for months, while pretending to be in a partnership with France. You know what double-crossing means, don’t you?

Monday 13 September 2021

In Their Own Words.


“We are not lunatic fringe, we are pretty conservative, deeply thinking people,” said the founder of a Fitzroy North school (Melbourne) where a COVID19 outbreak started.

As of yesterday, the resulting outbreak had already affected 31 persons (including four parents and three school staff), 20 of them children. The school encouraged parents sent their kids to school, apparently against official guidelines. See here.

That is a belief plenty people seems to subscribe to: conservatism = deep thought. It is just a step removed from the “sensible middle-ground” commonplace.

You have to love the self-flattering irony.

Friday 10 September 2021

Be Careful What You Wish For … (Updated)



White, male, old, educated, upwardly mobile, relatively affluent Americans of a progressive, identitarian and Liberal-Leftish persuasion are excited: the racial composition of the American population is changing in a direction they hope will make the Democratic Party politically hegemonic in their country. Propelled by demography, over there the march of progress seems inexorable.

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Wear your War Paint and Fight for Gender Equality!


As a good male identitarian Leftist you are intent on promoting gender equality, breaking stereotypes, combating toxic masculinity. You may – or may not, who knows – read learned journals on that subject, but you certainly read columnists in the left-leaning press promoting third wave feminism; and you certainly watch and agree wholeheartedly and applaud that kind of highly-educated, upper-middle-class feminists’ interventions on TV debate shows and then support them in subsequent Twitter battles to the death.

In other words, as good ally of women, you do your bit for the revolution, but want to do more. And you are searching for other means to contribute.

Friday 27 August 2021

Why Work Sucks? Could it be Better?

Monday morning. [A]

“These really clever people used their brains only to work out how to squeeze as much blood from the workers as possible within the boundaries of the law,” says the mother of 27-year-old Jang Deokjoon, a Coupang worker who died of a heart attack, caused by overwork – Dead on Arrival.

Capitalist societies require a division of labour, in which

[E]ach man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape. He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood.
And if you work for a living, you know deep inside not only that that is almost trivially true but that such state of affairs is often deeply frustrating. 

I am not talking only about people like South Korean delivery driver Lee Seong-Wook slaving away in poorly-paid, dead-end, killer jobs, although for them that frustration has literally tragic connotations. I am also talking about people in better-paid but pointless, unfulfilling, soul-crushing Graeberian bullshit jobs: people who wish they could slip into an unconscious, automatic pilot, zombie-like mode early on Monday morning, to wake up back into consciousness late in the afternoon on Friday, just in time for the weekend.

Saturday 21 August 2021

Workers’ Mail: Australian Workers’ Wages are Going Backwards.


ACTU media release:

Workers’ wages in Australia are more than remaining dismally stagnant – they are in fact going backwards in real terms.
The latest Wage Price Index data released today shows that real wages have fallen by 2.1% over the last 12 months. In this quarter, wages growth has been only 0.4%, while inflation in Australia has increased to 3.8%.
In addition to those shocking figures, the public sector recorded wages growth of only 1.3% this year - its lowest annual rate of wages growth since the ABS started tracking this in 1997.

Prof. Bill Mitchell gives a panoramic view of the Australian labour market: wages, employment.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Judgement Day?

The news may have left American readers – at least those less absorbed by the fall of Afghanistan or the “pandemic of the unvaxxed” – reeling:


Yep, that’s right. For the first time since its creation in 1930 (that’s 91 years, people!), the US Bureau of Reclamation declared a Tier 1 water shortage in the US’s largest fresh water reservoir. Come January the great states of Arizona and Nevada, plus their southern – and perhaps less great – neighbours of “old” Mexico will have their Colorado River water allocations reduced (Arizona, currently worst affected, will lose about one fifth of it). Further cuts affecting other equally great states are scheduled.

But wait, there’s more. When the water level is high, the Hoover Dam (which created Lake Mead) generates up to 2,000 megawatts of hydroelectric power. Currently it’s only 327.66 m above sea level or 1,075 ft (which triggered the Tier 1 restriction declaration). If it were to fall to 289.56 m (950 ft) the Dam would not be able to generate any electric power.

Sunday 15 August 2021

“This is not Saigon” – US Secretary of State Blinken. (Updated)



No comments.


22-08-2021. Over the years, the US supplied Afghanistan with lots of military hardware, including “Blackhawk helicopters, scout attack helicopters, and ScanEagle military drones, light attack aircraft, and military transport planes”. Now that the Taliban is in charge the fear -- understandably -- is that the Taliban might turn those weapons against their makers.

That concern may be overblown, explains Tracey Shelton, because “the fact that our equipment breaks down so often is a life-saver here”.

The best sales pitch ever.


The Australian Government could not be any more inept if they tried:


That’s the letter a group of Afghan asylum seekers, former security staff at the Australian Embassy in Kabul, received from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The author suggests the letter was sent on behalf of the Minister, Marise Payne, and with her knowledge.

After informing the recipients that they are not eligible for certification under visa policy, the letter explains that the Australian Government has allocated 3,000 places for Afghan nationals, among them those who “have links to Australia”.

It politely suggests the recipient to investigate their options fully or contact a migration agent.

More sensitive readers may not appreciate its darkness, but as a cruel joke, it’s genius. No wonder the Taliban won.

Thursday 12 August 2021

Q&A: the 2021 IPCC Report.

The Orroral Valley Fire (Australian Capital Territory)
on January 29th, 2020 (20:51:04). [A]

By now most everybody has heard or read the news about the 6th IPCC Assessment Report released this week.

From my perspective, a relatively good news is that, although permafrost is indeed thawing, so far this thawing has not reached catastrophic proportions and is expected to remain that way for a while.

As regular readers might be aware, I am particularly concerned with permafrost (and the methane hydrates of the Arctic Ocean, both of which are considered potential tipping points). I have been researching that subject and in the near future I’ll write more on this.

Saturday 7 August 2021

The Sea of Fire.

We’ve all seen the news about wildfires in the western US and Canada. In Australia SBS and ABC have also reported the fires in Greece and Turkey and occasionally those in the Russian Federation.


Unfortunately, reporting those stories separately is slightly misleading. Deutsche Welle provides a more comprehensive picture. This map – courtesy of DW – shows the locations of wildfires in the eastern Mediterranean (plus the Black Sea), current as of 05/08/2021:


Tuesday 3 August 2021

The Victoria Street Green Ban and Juanita Nielsen.


Fifty years ago, Australian unions pioneered the modern conservation and environmental movement in Australia. The first half of the 1970s was the time of the green bans.

Monday 19 July 2021

Amazon Basin and CO2 Flows.

Last Friday I closed with a reference to the paper “Amazonia as a Carbon Source Linked to Deforestation and Climate Change”, by Luciana V. Gatti (from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research) and co-authors.

The research team divided the 7.25 million km² Amazon basin (containing between 100 billion and 146 billion metric tons of carbon) into four regions: TAB_TEF (northwest), SAN (northeast), ALF (southeast), and RBA (southwest).

Using aircraft to collect air samples at different altitudes over 5 sampling sites (two of them, TAB and TEF, on the northwest region; of the remaining 3 sampling sites, one for each region), it was found that:

Friday 16 July 2021

Is the Artic Permafrost Thawing?



Down Under is enjoying a comfortably cool winter. Because of La Niña, this year has been relatively rainy too, which means that crops were abundant. The bad news is that plenty water and food also means mice galore.

But the really terrible thing is that rain over the Murray-Darling Basin makes the rats go berserk.

Friday 9 July 2021

Nothing New Under the Sun (Updated).


Maybe things are different elsewhere, but in Australia you can hardly read the news or watch TV news reports without hearing about how hard it is for local businesses to recruit staff. And you hear those tales of woe whether unemployment is high or low, in good or in bad times.

After a while, if one pays attention, one realises that kind of story seems to follow a template or a script.