Greg Rudd:

Greg Rudd writes: Re. “No room for refugees in Greg Rudd’s Port Hedland facility” (Friday, item 1). Bernard Keane, I agree with you there would be a conflict of interest if I was an owner of Auzcorp. But I can confirm I am not and have never been an owner of Auzcorp. My consulting work for Auzcorp, which began during the last term of the Howard Government was primarily focused on expanding business opportunities in other parts of Australia outside WA and looking for growth joint/venture opportunities offshore.

I decided to close down my Australian consulting company prior to the end of the last financial year to avoid these claims of conflict of interest as it has become clear to me that it is impossible for me to run any business in Australia while my brother is Prime Minister. Hence I now live in Beijing and other parts of Asia with my son Lachlan as we build a new life and business. The only mistake I made, which you correctly picked up, was not to update my website to say I no longer have a business relationship with Auzcorp.

The part you quoted in your story should have been deleted many months ago. But, as my daughter would say who is just finishing her journalism degree in Queensland, “Catchy Headline!” I only wish I did own the ex Port Hedland Detention Centre because I would probably be emailing this from the south of France or Sorrento in Italy rather than my office in Beijing.

Climate change:

Matt Andrews writes: Ken Lambert (Friday, comments) appears to be somewhat confused over sulphate aerosols and their role in global temperature. Aerosols did not just disappear after 1970 or so, when increasing greenhouse gases became the dominant factor in global temperature change. In fact, aerosols and their cooling influence have increased — but that’s been more than counteracted by the warming effect of increased greenhouse gases (mainly CO2 and methane).

Perhaps this graph (from this article) will help put it into perspective. The light blue line has continued to head downwards (that’s the aerosols and their cooling effect); but the light green line is heading upwards even more strongly (that’s the greenhouse gases, and their warming effect).

In the same edition, Tamas Calderwood (Friday, comments) gives us another recitation from the climate denial songbook. Friday’s hymns include: “The World Has Cooled Since 2001” (ahem), “1998 Remains The Warmest Year” (cough), “…Apart From The Medieval Warm Period” (yawn), “We Have Record Human CO2 Production And Yet The Temperature Has Refused To Increase For Over A Decade” (sneeze), and “The Argo Buoy Program Has Recorded Ocean Cooling Since 2003” (snore).

Could have sworn I heard the same hymns in last week’s service…

Kieren Diment writes: Tamas’ assertion that the world cooled in the early 21st century is false. Using proper statistical methods, it is impossible to demonstrate a cooling trend using any of the global climate temperature datasets (I can show my working on request). So either Tamas is lying, or he doesn’t really understand what he’s saying. I’m not sure what contribution publishing such inaccuracies makes to the climate change “debate”.

Peter Burnett writes: My “Oh shit” moment on climate change? When I read my 43rd Tamas Calderwood comment about global warming on Crikey. I realised that underneath all that verbiage, Tamas has a growing feeling in his guts that he’s wrong. Does he wake up at night, wondering if the planet really is fucked? The more times he says that everyone except him misunderstands the science, the more I worry about his health and the health of the planet. (Where are all the grumpy old female climate sceptics? It seems to be just angry young/old men)

Wayne Robinson writes: I give up Tamas Calderwood. Where is the “cheap and plentiful” energy that is going to lift billions out of poverty? If global warming isn’t sufficient reason for reducing our consumption of petroleum products (which is too valuable to be just burned), then the certainty that there is only a finite supply, and we have already tapped the cheapest sources already, should be a compelling reason.

Wayne Smith writes: Your refusal to cover alternative views to the round-earth hysteria are a joke, Crikey. Here are some scientific FACTS to add balance to your biased coverage:

  • When I hold my protractor up to the horizon, I measure only 0.0004 degrees of curvature. This is far too slight to account for a spherical Earth which is (as we are told by the round-earthers) a mere 12000 km in diameter;
  • I have taken to carrying a spirit level with me at all times. No matter how far I travel from my home (which is occasionally several blocks), it never indicates that the ground I am on is tilted (other than hills and other inclines and gradients, which are NATURAL formations which occur only in a localised area. These do NOT disprove planar theory);
  • Aside from international space programmes, which cost billions and always include allowances in their budgets for photo doctoring, etc, there have been several amateur weather balloon flights reported in recent months. The apparent curvature of the Earth as seen in the photos from these projects is an illusion produced when using consumer grade digital cameras in such low temperatures.

But, facts mean nothing when everyone refuses to see it my way and the media agenda is to promote the plane-wide conspiracy that the Earth is a spheroid!

One day now (and we’ve set a date) when humanity awakens from the 600 year slumber of the “enlightenment”, people will look back on the scam that is round-earth science and laugh. If only I didn’t have compassion for those obviously stupider than me, I might be able to stop trolling long enough to laugh too.

Queensland:

Denise Marcos writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (15 October, item 13)Richard Farmer wrote:

Queensland. It has slowly seeped into my consciousness just how big Queenslanders are about using the word Queensland. Most mornings when I do my little summary of what’s in the papers for Crikey, half the stories I list start with it. Quite peculiar as there is no corresponding state patriotism evident in the newspapers from the other capital cities. Why is it so?

My theory: excessive use of the name Queensland springs from the humble origins of the Brisbane penal colony. Be aware these settlers were not normal convicts — many were intractable re-offenders who were banished to the sub-tropics where they established a rough and ready society.

Southerners looked askance at this northern rabble who, resentful, honed a permanent chip on their collective shoulder in readiness for Queensland taking its name and independence in 1859. With prosperity came a compulsion to declare themselves as Queenslanders — from Queensland! — a defiant boast parroting the name as often as practicable.

The unstated point being they were once viewed as pariahs but triumphed nevertheless. They’re quite unaware they parrot because, over generations, it’s now endemic. It’s a habit other Australians judge as quaint, more often inexplicable… and frequently insufferable.

Alison Cotes writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (Friday, item 12). Richard Farmer wrote:

Our Crikey election indicator has Labor well and truly favoured to be returned at the election due in March. Federally the probability of a Labor win keeps improving with the Crikey Indicator now assessing it as a 78% chance.

Remember Queensland? It’s still a member of the Australian Commonwealth. It’s the big pointy bit in the top right-hand corner where the Great Barrier Reef lives. And the Daintree rainforest. And no matter how bad a cook our Premier is, there are still lots of people here who vote either Labor or LNP.

We haven’t seceded yet — although, after your omission of Queensland in today’s list of the country’s voting intentions, I can see why people still might think it’s a good idea..

Get with the pogrom:

Crikey’s pedant-in-residence Charles Richardson writes: Re. “Golly, the Hun should be black, white and red (faced) all over” (Friday, item 16). Jeff Sparrow wrote: “… with whooping locals re-enacting a program against hook-nosed puppets.” Pogrom, perhaps?

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