(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

BURNING ISSUES

Today could be written in history as a turning point in the climate change crisis. The world’s leading authority on climate change will release a landmark report which warns that fire, floods, and extreme weather are just a hint of what’s to come in what has been called “an imminent and dire risk” to the global climate, The Guardian reports. Findings will be a key document for global leaders when they meet in November to determine the future of the planet.

The report is the culmination of a five-year assessment from 234 leading scientists from more than 60 countries, The Conversation says. Scientists have rigorously evaluated more than 14,000 of the world’s climate change research papers to complete the stark picture. Today’s report will likely detail significant changes to the world’s oceans, ice caps, and land in the coming decades, the BBC reports.

It was produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and comes just three months before talks at the UN Climate Change Conference, which will help shape climate policy worldwide, as Reuters reports. The IPCC’s periodic reports have never before held the gravity that this one has, released as a time where we could be approaching a point of no return. Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, told The Guardian this would be the last IPCC assessment that can make a real difference in policy terms — before we exceed 1.5 degree of warming.

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OPEN AND SHUT

On the lockdown wheel of misfortune this weekend, we’ve seen millions in Greater Brisbane emerge from restrictions but the community of Cairns in Queensland’s far north become locked down. CHO Jeannette Young authored a story in the Brisbane Times thanking the 11 metropolitan LGAs for “staying home … wearing masks … and getting tested” while urging their far north counterparts in Cairns to stay strong. In NSW, 12 extra suburbs in the Penrith area were placed under harsher restrictions in Greater Sydney’s lockdown yesterday — residents in the Penrith area can only go within 5km of their home for essential reasons. Masks are now mandatory in the Penrith region too — even outdoors, as Guardian Australia reports.

About 45% of NSW residents over 16 have received at least one vaccination — up from 40.9% a week ago, The Guardian adds. That’s good news for the state, which needs to give 6 million doses by late August for Premier Gladys Berejiklian to announce eased restrictions. She said yesterday a return to school and workplaces would be among the first things to change, if that target is met. It comes as the Moderna vaccine is set to be approved within a fortnight, with doses rolling out in mid-September, ABC reports.

PAYBACK TIME?

A bill that would have named profitable big businesses who received JobKeeper money has been watered down, ABC reports. The name-and-shame amendment was hitched to the latest financial support legislation by Senator Rex Patrick. Patrick’s addition would have revealed which companies received the JobKeeper wage subsidy despite earning more than $10 million (and exposed the dollar value of what they received). The point of the JobKeeper scheme, now defunct, was to help companies who were crippled by at least a 30% drop in turnover, not to help them boost profits.

Patrick’s amendment passed the Senate with Labor’s support, but the Coalition said no in the House of Reps. That means the legislation goes before the Senate again. It comes as Labor MP Andrew Leigh continues to call for big businesses to return their JobKeeper payments; like Best & Less (who got $42 million in JobKeeper as the SMH reported), and Nick Scali (who got $7.2 million as The New Daily reported). The problem, Patrick says, is that publicly listed companies have to reveal their books, allowing for scrutiny. Private companies don’t.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

A village in Sardinia may have cracked the secret to a long and happy life. The village of Perdasdefogu is home to a lot of people aged in their 100s, known as centenarians. In fact, the tiny spot has 13 times the national average of centenarians, and 10 more citizens could turn 100 within the next couple of years. So what’s the secret?

“There is of course the fresh air and the good food, but I believe one of the reasons for their longevity is their approach to stress,” says Luisa Salaris, a demographics professor at the University of Cagliari. Local Adolfo Melis, 98, agrees, saying there were rarely arguments at the dinner table between him and his brothers and sisters growing up (scusi?).

But Salaris expounds on the good food theory too — “everything we ate came from the garden,” said Adolfo. “What you put into your stomach is so important — if you abuse the stomach, it doesn’t resist [illness]”. Another local, Bonino Lai, 102, says it’s down to the little things, too: “Reading, walking, playing cards … the simple things are the best things”. But, Giacomo Mameli, 80, adds, being part of a community is the most important ingredient. “Sociality is so important because if you have good social contacts, you remember, talk, and evaluate … you live well”.

Hope you enjoy the simple things today, folks.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

If anybody hasn’t actually read the principles of Satanism, they’re fantastic. They’re very sensible. They’re very secular, they’re liberal, progressive, all sorts of nice things. So, go Satanists.

Meredith Doig

The Rationalist Society of Australia’s president is urging people to mark “no religion” on their 2021 census, arguing the question is misleading — and that Australia’s religious adherence is overblown as a result. But she did have some kind words to extend to the Satanists among us while chatting about her campaign. Doig clarified that she was not advocating Satan, but merely commenting on the reasonability of the religion.

CRIKEY RECAP

What do we know, and what can we say, about the charges against Scott Morrison’s spiritual mentor?

“The news broke [Thursday] that Brian Houston, senior pastor of the Hillsong church and CEO of its global corporate empire, currently preaching in North America courtesy of an exemption to the overseas travel ban — oh, and also personal spiritual mentor and friend of Prime Minister Scott Morrison — had been charged by NSW Police with a serious criminal offence.

“Turns out the PM needn’t have chucked Christian Porter on the table with a dead cat bounce; this sensational story will suck all the oxygen out of the room. The charge is that Houston ‘knowingly concealed information relating to child sexual offences’. According to the police statement, they will allege that he ‘knew information relating to the sexual abuse of a young male in the 1970s and failed to bring that information to the attention of police’.”


The inside story: how homegrown ‘true patriots’ sharing conspiracies on a Zoom call sparked police raids across three states

“What started with a callout for ‘true patriots’ to join a Zoom call with a former One Nation candidate has resulted in someone being arrested on charges of impersonating a government official, raids happening across the country, and a viral video promising a police coup of the Australian government.

“These turn of events show how conspiracy theories and pipe dreams shared in small, fringe communities festering in unmoderated parts of the internet can lead to people planning — and allegedly attempting — to take real-world action.”


The stench of corruption from Morrison is becoming all-pervasive in Canberra

“Scott Morrison and Alan Tudge might have been hoping that they would have left the year’s biggest corruption scandal — car park rorts — behind them in the winter break, but then press gallery began doing its job — something that the government seemed entirely unprepared for.

“When Tudge crept out from under a rock to hold a media conference on Wednesday, Nine’s Jonathan Kearsley was waiting for him and chased him back to the ministerial wing demanding answers about his role in formulating a list of marginal seats where the car parks were to be allocated, in consultation with Scott Morrison. If the footage looked like a dodgy tradie being pursued by an A Current Affair reporter, that was entirely appropriate, except that Tudge had rorted far more money than any tabloid TV crook ever has.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Afghan cities fall to rapid Taliban advance (BBC)

Olympics end as they began: strangely  (The New York Times)

Diving into the subconscious of the Cuomosexual (The New Yorker)

Dark matter: one last push to crack the biggest secret in the universe (The Guardian)

Bolsonaro’s election fraud claims spark ‘unprecedented crisis’ (Al Jazeera)

How do you solve a problem like Kamala Harris? Don’t cry ‘victim’ (The Australian) ($)

APRA launches investigation into Xinja’s capital raising tactics (The Age)

Buyers still ‘being conned’ by [house price] underquoting (The Herald Sun) ($)

‘We didn’t expect a monster like this’: Wildfires devastate California (The SMH)

French against President Emmanuel Macron’s push for vaccination, COVID-19 health pass (ABC)

Messi in tears at farewell Barcelona press conference (Al Jazeera)

THE COMMENTARIAT

India the sensible substitute for belligerent BeijingTony Abbott (The Australian) ($): “Australia and India are natural partners. Our troops fought together at Gallipoli, in Malaya and at El Alamein. There are now close to a million Australians of Indian background who have integrated readily into Team Australia. We are big and sophisticated enough to be useful but not so big as to be intimidating. Unlike others with India, we don’t have to live down a fraught history. Our challenge is to overcome India’s traditional protectionism, and the tendency to see trade talks as a zero-sum game, in order to seal a deal that will make the world safer for democracy.

“India is currently our seventh-biggest trade partner with annual two-way trade of about $30b, despite being hampered by tariffs and mutual perceptions that neither country is always a good place to do business. After 10 years of green obstruction and lawfare, the Adani mine is finally about to export its first coal from Queensland to India, yet that will attract a 2.5% tariff, despite being Indian-owned and operated.”

Wangan and Jagalingou community calls to action to protect sacred countryEelemarni Bundarn Close-Brown (IndigenousX): “The Queensland Government so far have failed to listen to the W&J mob’s call to action. The community have raised their plea warning for help only for them to fall onto deaf ears. It now falls to the Wangan and Jagalingou community led by Uncle Adrian who will continue to protect and defend their country until Adani has packed their packed bags and vacated their sacred country. Uncle Adrian and the Wangan and Jagalingou community call on Adani to immediately withdraw from their country as per their eviction notice to the conglomerate giant.

“This call to action is significant not just for the mob in Central-Western Queensland but all mob around this country as we are all in a continuous fight to protect our country from the ongoing effects of settler-colonialism. Settler-colonialists like Adani and Rio Tinto will never be able to fully understand that our Country is an extension of who we are as the First Peoples of this land. They will always walk on this land as ‘visitors’ and ‘explorers’ but we as First Nations Peoples will always have our connection to her, for she is our mother and we are her children.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Australia

  • Leigh Meyrick and Matthew Hagias chat about their new book, Footy Banners: A Complete Run-Through, a collection of historical images, stories, and moments that pay homage to the game, via webinar.

  • Vice Chancellor of QUT Margaret Sheil will be in conversation with writer John Byron about his debut novel The Tribute.

Adelaide

  • SA Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan will speak at a CEDA lunch about opportunities in hydrogen for industries.

Hobart

  • Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) will meet with fellow objectors to the development on kunanyi/Mt Wellington to discuss an appeal.

Canberra

  • ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr makes his annual State of the Territory address at the Heritage Hyatt Hotel.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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