tip off

Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: screw politics, focus on the cricket

Doing your own dirty work is not a good idea for a politician and Julie Bishop should have known better than to meet with union bagman Ralph Blewitt last week as part of her search for documents relating to Julia Gillard’s work history.

Confirming most people’s views. A giant turn-off for most people is the likely verdict on yesterday’s parliamentary shenanigans. Those who don’t fancy the Prime Minister one little bit will now perhaps have extra reason for their view. Those that admire her feminine toughness have seen their heroine confirm it. And most of us were far more interested in the gripping finish to test match cricket while wishing that the parliamentary year would soon end with politicians vanishing off the face of Canberra.

Not a good look. Doing your own dirty work is not a good idea for a politician and Julie Bishop should have known better than to meet with union bagman Ralph Blewitt last week as part of her search for documents relating to Julia Gillard’s work history. Surely that was a task for an underling and not the would-be deputy prime minister. She emerges looking grubby and more than a little desperate in her search for some fact or other than might really trouble people about their PM.

What is it about Queensland? I don’t know how the conservatives manage to do it up north. They make the factional warriors of the ALP’s left and right look like amateurs. They finally reap the benefit of a Liberal and National merger with an enormous state election victory and immediately the splitting apart begins all over again

Bad and getting worse. The advice of the editorial in New Scientist was succinct and to the point. The advice to President Barack Obama was this:

What’s needed is very clear: emissions cuts, and soon. The best way to do that is to change our economic systems to reflect the true long-term cost of fossil fuels. That means ending the $1 trillion of annual subsidies for fossil fuels and imposing carbon taxes instead.”

The distinguished science news weekly devoted a special issue to the climate change earlier this month and had articles on seven subjects to justify its gloom.

  1. The thick sea ice in the Arctic Ocean was not expected to melt until the end of the century. If current trends continue, summer ice could be gone in a decade or two. Read more
  2. We knew global warming was going to make the weather more extreme. But it’s becoming even more extreme than anyone predicted.  Read more
  3. Global warming was expected to boost food production. Instead, food prices are soaring as the effects of extreme weather kick in. Read more
  4. Greenland’s rapid loss of ice mean we’re in for a rise of at least one metre by 2100, and possibly much more. Read more
  5. The planet currently absorbs half our CO2emissions. All the signs are it won’t for much longer.Read more
  6. If we stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, we might be able to avoid climate disaster. In fact we are still increasing emissions. Read more
  7. If the worst climate predictions are realised, vast swathes of the globe could become too hot for humans to survive. Read more
Most of the detail is behind a paywall but the extracts linked above will give you the flavour.

Until the next time. So the eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund have “clinched agreement” on a new debt target for Greece in what Reuters calls “a breakthrough towards releasing an urgently needed tranche of loans to the near-bankrupt economy”. I suppose that’s news but I’ve read something similar so many times in recent years that it’s hard to get excited. Maybe a respite from speculative stories about Greece being forced off the euro but you need to be a real optimist to think that the problem has been anything other than postponed once again.

Now you know why. No need for snippets readers to search any further for an explanation — researchers at King’s College London have found smoking “rots” the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning.

News and views noted along the way.

1
  • 1
    zut alors
    Posted Tuesday, 27 November 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Re Bishop meeting with Blewitt: I’m having a chuckle picturing the former place an imaginary peg on her nose before entering the same room. There appears to be no limit to what she’ll do for the party.

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