On Bernard Gaynor
Helen Gaynor writes: Re. “Reservist wins ADF place back, with homophobic comments protected speech” (yesterday). As Bernie Gaynor’s aunt, I think it’s worth also pointing out that he has a large extended family that includes openly and proudly gay members, who were not impressed by his comments about their unsuitability to teach his children. Given that he was raised by his parents as part of the Tridentine Catholic movement, whose leader Archbishop Lefebvre was ex-communicated by the conservative Pope John Paul II, Bernie’s claim to Catholicism may raise eyebrows in some quarters of Rome. To quote from an article by Stephen Greenhouse of The New York Times:
“The Archbishop spent the last two decades battling changes in the doctrines of the church. For him, it was anathema that the church decided to open a dialogue with Protestants, Muslims and Jews, a move that he said mistakenly lent credibility to other religions. He rejected Vatican II’s acceptance of “religious freedom,” which he asserted was misguided because it put Catholicism on an equal footing with other faiths.”
On the Paris climate talks
John Bushell writes: Re. “Now comes the diplomatic bastardry: Paris climate delegates find 939 things to fight about” (yesterday). We are now 34 years from the seminal report on global warming by Dr James Hansen and his team from the NASA Goddard Space Institute that warned of the catastrophic results that would result from unconstrained global warming. In 2009 The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research advised that maximum greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 must not exceed 2 tonnes CO2 equivalent per person in 2050 (based on an assumed global population of 9 billion). Present annual emissions are 26 tonnes per person per annum for Australians and Americans and average 8 tonnes per person per annum across Europe.
Diplomats in Paris are struggling to reach agreement to limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Celsius, way above the level at which significant irreversible climatic, chemical and physical damage will have occurred on planet Earth.
The current greenhouse gas reduction process clearly isn’t working and a radical solution is required. I have noticed in my (too many) years that starting wars seems to be a pretty easy thing to do: you don’t even need provable facts! If the diplomats in Paris want a fight I suggest they start a “War on Warming”, but instead of individuals and nations fighting each other they would fight a common and seriously deadly enemy. No shortage of money — just issue “War Bonds” and watch the moribund global economy take off.
On The Dismissal
Don Wormald writes: Re. “Rundle: Kelly and Bramston ignore evidence that the CIA undid Gough” (yesterday). Guy Rundle’s views on The Dismissal are naturally coloured by his political past which explains his fixation with the CIA. Unfortunately we will probably never know the full story as all the government documents that could be found were destroyed under the orders of Fraser’s first Attorney-General, Ivor Greenwood, during his brief stint before his untimely death in December 1975. The reason given for the destruction of documents was that public knowledge of all the facts would be injurious to democracy in Australia.
Yes, there was CIA destabilisation. We know that from the evidence adduced in “The Falcon and The Snowman” espionage trial in the US coupled with President Jimmy Carter’s promise to Big Mal the US would “never again interfere in Australia’s domestic politics”. Guy should, however, turn more attention to interference by the UK establishment in conjunction with the US. Those two nations have the “special relationship” and, after all, the Australian Constitution is an act of the British Parliament. I suspect Guy would find a more fruitful line of enquiry were he to investigate the British angle more fully , but, then again, the British SIS seems to be able to cover their tracks a bit more effectively than the somewhat ham-fisted Yanks.
Above all there must have been a smoking gun. There simply had to be an issue so serious as to justify extreme measures including troops and armoured vehicles “on manoeuvres” just outside Canberra. Intelligence fears don’t support the actions taken at the time, and those fears showed signs of settling down prior to The Dismissal. Supply had to have been a smokescreen to cover something else, but we’ll never know the answer with certainty during any of our lifetimes. Everything written to date is simply conjecture with very few real facts in support.