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Some thoughts about mooted changes to Media ownership law in Australia
People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.
Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles. My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly. With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.
“Okay, this hurts, but it must hurt in order to make things more secure, more robust. Evolution through crisis.”
If you area Climate Change sceptic like I am you just have to love the collapse of the European carbon trading scheme because it so clearly demonstrates that it is little more than a glorified ponzi scheme where traders make a quid buying and selling something that does not have any relationship to any real commodity.
The European commission‘s emergency suspension last week of trading in carbon allowances to put a halt to rampant theft of credits by hackers has been extended indefinitely until countries can prove their systems are protected from further fraud.
While the suspension had been expected to end last night, Brussels now says that the freeze in trades had been imposed to give the commission executive some breathing space to figure out what to do.
“The suspension last week was only a transitional measure to give the commission and member states the time to assess the situation and decide the way forward,” the commission’s climate spokeswoman, Maria Kokkonen, said.
“Okay, this hurts, but it must hurt in order to make things more secure, more robust. Evolution through crisis.”
A total of 30 countries that participate in the Emissions Trading Scheme, Europe’s flagship climate change policy, must now send assessments of the situation performed by independent monitors.
Its amazingly like the AGW argument: “all sound and fury signifying nothing ”
So here is a challenge for or resident Warministas like JM or PKD:
Please explain just how such schemes are supposed to affect the climate again because this one seems to have failed…
Guest post by Dr. Hans Labohm nicked from Anthony Watts
This Post is unashamedly nicked from Anthony Watts because I liked it and I’d like to consider what it is saying about the Warminista faith. I some how don’t think that either Anthony or the Dr Hans Labohm will mind if I help spread the good word by putting it up in the Sandpit.
The upcoming climate change (and wealth redistribution) summit in Cancun – coupled with Bjorn Lomborg’s ongoing publicity campaign for his new film – makes one thing painfully obvious. The fight against the delusion of dangerous man-made global warming remains an uphill struggle.
For decades the climate debate has been obfuscated by cherry-picking, spin-doctoring and scare-mongering by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate alarmists, including the environmental movement and mainstream media. Their massive effort to overstate the threat of man-made warming has left its imprint on public opinion.
But the tide seems to be turning. The Climate Conference fiasco in Copenhagen, Climategate scandal and stabilization of worldwide temperatures since 1995 have given rise to growing doubts about the putative threat of “dangerous global warming” or “global climate disruption.” Indeed, even Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and one of the main players in Climategate, now acknowledges that there has been no measurable warming since 1995, despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.
People are paying attention, and opinion polls in many countries show a dramatic fall in the ranking of climate change among people’s major concerns. They are also beginning to understand that major rain and snow storms, hurricanes and other weather extremes are caused by solar-driven changes in global jet streams and warm-cold fronts, not by CO2, and that claims about recent years being the “warmest ever” are based on false or falsified temperature data.
In various parts of the world, the climate debate displays different features. The US and other parts of the non-European Anglo-Saxon world feature highly polarized and politicized debates along the left/right divide. In Europe, all major political parties are still toeing the “official” IPCC line. In both arenas, with a few notable exceptions, skeptical views – even from well-known scientists with impeccable credentials – tend to be ignored and/or actively suppressed by governments, academia and the media.
However, skepticism about manmade climate disasters is gradually gaining ground nevertheless.
In my own country, The Netherlands, for instance, it has even received some official recognition, thus dissolving the information monopoly of climate alarmists. The Standing Committee on Environment of the Lower House even organized a one-day hearing, where both climate chaos adherents and disaster skeptics could freely discuss their different views before key parliamentarians who decide climate policy.
This hearing was followed by a special seminar organized by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, using the same format but focusing on scientific topics. The Academy will soon publish a report about this seminar.
Europe often brags about its emission trading scheme (ETS), regarding itself as the vanguard of an international climate policy. In the European view, the Copenhagen climate summit should have produced a worldwide extension and sharpening of its ETS. But the vast majority of countries in the world refused to follow Europe’s example, so the meeting turned into a fiasco. Its follow-up in Cancun at year’s end will surely produce a similar result. And for good reason.
Contrary to official claims, Europe’s experience with ETS is dismally bad. The system is expensive and prone to massive fraud. More importantly, it serves no useful purpose.
The European Environmental Agency tracks Europe’s performance regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions. Its latest report states: “The European Union’s greenhouse gas inventory report … shows that emissions have not only continued their downward trend in 2008, but have also picked up pace. The EU-27’s emissions stood 11.3% below their 1990 levels, while EU-15 achieved a reduction of 6.9% compared to Kyoto base-year levels.”
On the face of it, the scheme seems to be pretty successful. However, much of the downward trend was due to the global economic recession, not to the ETS. Moreover, both climate chaos proponents and climate disaster skeptics agree that the scheme will have no detectable impact whatsoever on worldwide temperatures – perhaps 0.1 degrees – though this crucial piece of information has been carefully and deliberately shielded from the public eye.
What about renewable energy as an alternative? Consider these EU costs for various sources of electricity in cents per kilowatt-hour: nuclear 4, coal 4, natural gas 5, onshore wind 13, biomass 16 … solar 56!
Obviously, the price tag for renewables is extremely high, compared to hydrocarbons. The additional costs can be justified either by imminent fossil fuel scarcity (the “oil peak”), which would send petroleum and coal prices through the roof, or by the threat of man-made global warming. But on closer inspection neither argument is tenable.
The authoritative International Energy Agency does not foresee any substantial scarcity of oil and gas in the near to medium future, and coal reserves remain sufficient for centuries to come. As to global warming, the absence of a statistically significant increase in average worldwide temperatures since 1995 obliterates that assertion.
Meanwhile, recent peer-reviewed studies indicate that increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere (natural or man-made) have minimal effects on climate change – while others demonstrate that, on balance, this plant-fertilizing gas is beneficial, rather than harmful, for mankind and the biosphere.
All this argues for a closer look at the cost/benefit relationship of investing in renewable energy projects, to prevent a massive waste of financial and natural resources on unreliable and thus uncompetitive forms of energy. Since every cloud has a silver lining, the ongoing economic crisis might give extra impetus toward that end.
Hans Labohm is a former professor at the Dutch Institute of International Relations and guest teacher at the Netherlands Institute for Defense Studies. He has been an IPCC reviewer and has written extensively on global warming, petroleum economics and other topics.
(there you go JM now we can get back to arguing about our favourite topic 😉 )
Wort, rotational velocity and magic puddings
Well here was me waking up and thinking that I would have to dig through the most dreary news from our most dreary Treasurer and try to distill some truth from the wort of Labor spin and misdirection that is the budget and what should I find in today’s news but a lovely nugget of goodness; Labour is out of No 10 and the Conservatives will form the next British government. A far more cheery prospect on this fine autumn morning.
CONSERVATIVE leader David Cameron has become Britain’s youngest prime minister in almost 200 years, after Gordon Brown stepped down and ended 13 years of Labour government.
In a carefully choreographed dance, Cameron visited Buckingham Palace and was asked to form a government by Queen Elizabeth II less than an hour after Brown himself tendered his resignation to the monarch.
Cameron, whose party won the most House of Commons seats in last week’s election but fell just short of a majority, is, at 43, the youngest British leader since Lord Liverpool in 1812.
The high political drama came as the Conservatives and the third-place Liberal Democrats hammered out the details of a coalition deal after the country’s inconclusive election.
Standing outside 10 Downing St. alongside his wife Sarah, Brown announced he would travel to see the monarch to resign – allowing Cameron to take office, possibly as part of deal with Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats.
Of course I am yet to find out the details and I have some reservations about the terms that he has had to pay for a deal with the Lib Dems but an end to Labour rule is a good thing and I really hope that the land of my forebears can now have a chance to recover from the PC madness that has made it the epitome of officious stupidity, now what was that about a grand repeal bill???
Next cab of the rank is our Dear Brother Number One… assuming that there is not a coup from Labor’s red army faction that is…
The Aussie way is the best way, UK election outcome TBA
Regular readers will no doubt realise that I am hoping that David Cameron gets over the line with a workable majority when the poll result of the election is known sometime later today. As I write the polls are yet to close in the UK and unlike here in the antipodes the UK count will not be broadcast. Brits have to wait until the count is done and the winners in each seat is declared.
DAVID Cameron was on the verge of becoming Britain’s prime minister this morning as he battled to convert a final opinion poll lead into a governing majority after the most remarkable British election campaign in decades.
Votes were cast overnight (AEST) following a round of election-day polls that suggested Mr Cameron’s Conservatives would replace Labour as the largest party, while falling short of a majority.
Conservatives claimed their big-spending campaign in marginal seats would push them over the top and avoid the need to form a formal or informal coalition with the Liberal Democrats, the star performers of the campaign.
Thanks to the new popularity of leader Nick Clegg, the Lib Dems seemed certain to record the strongest third-party performance in Britain for more than 80 years.
The stakes of the election were unusually high because Mr Clegg promised that if he won the balance of power, he would push for electoral reforms, which could bring an end to the era of single-party governments in Britain.
Mr Clegg has demanded proportional representation, which would allow each party’s support among voters to be more accurately reflected in the number of seats it wins in parliament, making it impossible for a single party to win a mandate in an increasingly fractured multi-party contest.
That would usher in a new era of European-style coalition governments, with the centrist Lib Dems well placed to rule in coalition with either the Labour or Conservative parties.
Mr Cameron faces a daunting challenge if he has to rule with a slim majority or even a minority in parliament because the next government will have to impose huge spending cuts and tax rises to bring the budget deficit under control.
While I think that preferential voting has some clear merit I have become much less supportive of proportional representation for the primary chamber of a parliament, and I think that Neck Clegg’s desire for that will be a disaster, and you only have to look to the democratic meltdown in Greece to see the ultimate fate of that kind of electoral system. We have the right idea here, a house of Reps elected by single member electorates and a house of review elected by proportional representation.
The Aussie way is the best way, even for the old country.
Tinfoil hats and the Precautionary Principle, a witty take on alarmism
Writing is a medium where wit and a good sense of humour can make reading a pleasure and one of the pleasures that I have recently found is James Delingpole. In nautical terms I would say that I like the cut of his jib which is why readers will now find a link to his regular column added to my side bar. His latest missive takes a most amusing slant on the travel woes of Britain Europe and the world and I commend it to my readers.
Has anyone else noticed that since the eruption of the Ejyerkslllbjorkscreeylllkkrctarslyllgrgleglugglug volcano not a single plane over Europe has crashed, been involved in a terrorist incident or caused any of passengers on board an aircraft any discomfort whatsoever?
I feel a Big Idea coming on. It’s a Big Idea right up there with David Cameron’s new Big Idea to corral all Britain’s old people into repainting youth centres, clearing up needles on drug estates, setting up new Green Job enterprises, and so forth.
I suggest we ground all passenger aircraft forever. On the Precautionary Principle.
Its all about activating the guilt chip in the heads of the latte sippers
Warministas love to counter the citation of extreme winter conditions (as proof that the world is not warming) with the suggestion that it is only “weather” and that “weather is not Climate“. Personally i have always thought that such a distinction is rather spurious. Spurious in the same way that saying that the millimetre marks on a tape measure are not a measurement in the same way that the metre marks are. It is all a matter of scale. Despite the Warministas denouncing any citation of any weather event that contradicts their argument they are still rather fond of citing weather events that fit with their own prognostications
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny – and ignored warnings from scientific advisers. The report’s author later withdrew the claim because the evidence was too weak.
The link was central to demands at last month’s Copenhagen climate summit by African nations for compensation of $US100 billion from the rich nations.
However, the IPCC knew in 2008 that the link could not be proved but did not alert world leaders, who have used weather extremes to bolster the case for action on climate change.
Kevin Rudd last November linked weather extremes to the debate over the government’s emissions trading scheme.
“We will feel the effects of climate change fastest and hardest, and therefore we must act this week, and the government will be doing everything possible to make sure that can occur,” the Prime Minister said at the time.
British Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband has suggested floods – such as those in Bangladesh in 2007 – could be linked to global warming.
US President Barack Obama said last year: “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.”
Last month British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told parliament that the financial agreement at Copenhagen “must address the great injustice that . . . those hit first and hardest by climate change are those that have done least harm”.
The IPCC has now been forced to reassess its report linking extreme weather to climate change.
There is a clear dissonance here between the “weather is not climate” mantra and the “weather events prove Global Warming is happening” rhetoric that we are getting from The likes Of Obama and Brother Number One and it is obvious to me that the rhetoric is intended to activate the guilt chips in the heads of the worlds progressives this enables the aforementioned leaders to bring about fundamental changes to our society by stealth. Changes to the energy economy and changes to the world’s political institutions. But then hasn’t that been the desire of religion since men began to draw pictures on the stone walls of their caves? Like the measuring tape I mentioned earlier it is all a matter of scale and finding the marks on the tape that fit the liturgy.
Oh yeah its also another reason to think that the UN in general and the IPCC in particular is as useless as titties on a bull.