Lordy lordy lah di dah, will this meeting never end.
Personal point of order, Mr. Chair.
The pond is deeply apologetic and profoundly mortified that the Minister for utterly useless reports is now the (temporary) deputy prime minister of Australia.
Let it be noted that the pond did not vote for Albo, or for a second Sydney airport in Woop Woop (pending further detailed reports) by the year 2050, and a VFT to somewhere (pending further detailed reports and property deals) by 2100. The pond promises to do all in its power to give Albo his due cinematic reward, but lacking a horse's head and access to his his bed, this will have to take the form of not voting for him again.
As for treachery, the shortish Bill Shorten should surely take the cake. The delusional Rudd really thinks he can pull off the great escape - there's no denying the delusional their delusions - but keep an eye on Shorten. If former, now current chairman Rudd, falls off the perch, Shorten will be there to pick up the pieces.
That this will be a role roughly equivalent to that of the current leader of the opposition in NSW, a union hack by the name of John Robertson, will not deter Shorten in his long game. Robertson, a man largely unknown outside NSW, and largely unknown within it, got himself ahold of a poisoned chalice, but hope springs eternal, and Shorten - like big Mal - will be contemplating the sight of Tony Abbott making a goose of himself when confronted with the actual task of actually devising workable, acceptable policies ...
Meanwhile, settle back in the lounge chair, and crank up the Dolbyised 7.1 volume, as all the guns that were trained on Gillard will now turn on Rudd, and the people who proposed that Rudd return will somehow rediscover all the flaws forgotten over time. The hacks at Fairfax, the ABC and Crikey should make for particularly revolting, if spectacular sights ...
Now Mr Chair, can we please bring the meeting to a close, leave the chatter to the paid professional chattering classes - the Akker Dakkers, the Bolters, the reptiles at the lizard Oz - and move on to other things, not least the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the matter of gay rights.
Oh yes, and all the sweeter for reading Scalia Slams 'Legalistic Argie-Bargie,' Re-Argues 'Homosexual Sodomy' in Dissenting DOMA rant.
That Scalia has long been a disgrace to the court, and a first class loon to boot, has been established over the years, but it's also his complete lack of grace and style that's beguiling. As a judge, he's a classic example of a steel-toed boofhead, and it turns out, something of a Cory Bernardi:
...the Constitution neither requires nor forbids our society to approve of same-sex marriage, much as it neither requires nor forbids us to approve of no-fault divorce, polygamy, or the consumption of alcohol.
Yes, because being gay is much like being as pissed as a parrot.
Scalia is deeply disturbed by the notion of sodomy, though what he makes of rum and the lash is outside the pond's ken. What he makes of heterosexual sodomy or heterosexual oral sex is also outside the pond's ken.
And then there was the singular pleasure to be had reading Mike Huckabee's twittering tweets, as you can too in Mike Huckabee Takes Bible Verse Way Out of Context. And there were all the other haters venting their hate (Supreme Court Rulings ... Irk Haters), and having been trained in the art of hating by Murdoch hacks, how the pond chortled with glee and delight.
Gillard missed an opportunity here by aligning herself with Tony Abbott, and hopefully without her cover, Abbott's role as a maintainer of the hate will become a little clearer ...
Meanwhile, the pond recently wondered how long it would take for the climate science haters at the lizard Oz to lash out at Obama.
Bear in mind that this would be done within the context of a report this morning proposing:
Australia's record-breaking heat last summer was at least five times more likely to have occurred in a world subject to to greenhouse gas emissions from human activities than one without, a study has found.
"These results support a clear conclusion that anthropogenic climate change had a substantial influence on the extreme summer heat over Australia and that natural climate variations alone are unlikely to explain the recent record summer temperature," the researchers say in a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The Bureau of Meteorology says temperatures throughout the country last summer were 1.11 degrees above the long-term average, making it the hottest since records began. (Human activity linked to hottest summer on record).
The hottest summer on record?
So what do the reptiles at the lizard Oz run with today?
And who is this " " ", aka Alan Moran, repeating dubious factoids in his denunciation of Obama?
Why he's the Alan Moran who is the director, deregulation, at the Institute of Public Affairs...
And what expertise does Alan Moran have in the matter of actual climate science?
Why he trained as an economist, and the practitioners of the dismal art know everything about everything (yes, it was doing a unit in economics history that led the pond to know everything).
You can read about Dr Moran here - why they even have a picture of him - and what a splendid job he does going about the dissembling, distorting business of the IPA.
Barack Obama's long-awaited address on climate change has thrown the spotlight back on to an issue that was receding in policy priorities. The US President repeated some of the dubious factoids about the warming in recent decades and receding Arctic ice without noting countervailing points, including that there has been no warming for 16 years and ice in the Antarctic is increasing.
Which, since we're talking factoids, are two classic examples of the art.
For a start this idle chatter about ice in the Antarctic doesn't take the time to distinguish between land ice and sea ice, as you can do by reading a site less interested in factoids, and more interested in actual science, here.
As for that other handy factoid that there's been no warming for 16 years, let's ignore the parochial experience of the hottest summer on record down under, to note that the hottest twelve month period ever recorded was from June 2009 to May 2010. (here)
What's interesting about this is the way that people who've actually experienced changes in the environment are aware that the IPA - and the reptiles at the lizard Oz - routinely play loose with scientific records, observations, theories and insights.
After recent events, including invasion by sea, New Yorkers are no longer quite so cocky about climate science, or the plasticity of oceans, which allows differing and changing heights in different locations, and there was a recent poignant story by Anna Somers Cocks in the New York Review of Books, titled The Coming Death of Venice? (outside the paywall).
The question mark almost seems redundant as Cocks discusses the difficulties of dealing with buildings falling apart, eaten by damp, as the result of the sea rising above the impermeable stone bases of most buildings, with dire consequences:
... by far the most shocking gap in the management plan is its failure to consider the rise in sea level. Of course the flooding gets discussed, as does Mose, due to be completed in 2016, but the chronically rising water level—a global problem—only gets mentioned to say that research is needed to determine the implications of the rising damp for Venetian buildings, and climate change “may increase the hydraulic risk to the entire territory due to heavier rainfall and rising water levels.” Compare that ludicrously understated comment with the words of the report published by UNESCO in 2010 and entitled “From Global to Regional: Local Sea Level Rise Scenarios, Focus on the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea”:
There should be no doubt that the sea level will eventually rise to a value that will not be sustainable for the lagoon and its old city. The planned mobile barriers might be able to avoid flooding for the next decades, but the sea will eventually rise to a level where even continuous closures will not be able to protect the city from flooding. The question is not if this will happen, but only when it will happen.
That was the conclusion of the meeting convoked in 2010 by UNESCO in its Venice office with scientists of the Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR) and the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). The scientific consensus is that the level of the Mediterranean will lag by only a few months behind that of the Atlantic.
The report says: The average water level [in the lagoon] is now closer to 30 cm [11.8 inches] above datum [established 1897]. This indicates that a sea level rise of 80 cm [31.5 inches] would bring the mean water level to the critical threshold of 110 cm [43.3 inches, the level at which Venice begins to flood]. In this case, Venice would experience regular flooding twice a day, due to the tidal oscillation (tidal amplitude 40 cm [15.75 inches] during spring tide). That is twice a day, every day, not to mention the much higher tides when there are the exceptional climatic conditions that cause flooding today.
Of course from a cosy chair in the IPA all sorts of observations can be dismissed as factoids.
And naturally the Moran factoids are led as the basis for yet another attack on the carbon tax, but the real question here is why the lizard Oz routinely publishes this sort of IPA blather, while routinely distorting climate science, and routinely publishing dissenting voices, some of the wildest kind.
Sure there's room for vigorous discussion, but why does it so often seem in reading the Murdoch press, that the reports are roughly equivalent to reading Wilhelm Reich explaining the mysteries of orgone accumulators?
Never mind, the pond is currently in the grip of a bout of queasy nausea, explained by the parade of Labor party hacks turning up this morning on RN to explain away their change of hearts, and their words, some only days old before turning putrid and fetid in the compost bin - most notably Penny Wong and Gary Gray.
Proceedings took on the air of hapless souls recanting their crimes and sins as if at a Stalinist show trial. Rats recanting and explaining the deeper mysteries of ratdom and every rat for him or herself ...
Dear sweet absent lord, what a grubby game politics is. Why only working for Murdoch, the IPA or as a second hand car salesman could top it ...
Well the pond won't have Stephen "Mr Filter" Conroy or Peter "Fame is the Spur" Garrett to kick around anymore, nor sadly Tony Windsor to celebrate. Let's just say that he did Tamworth, centre of the known universe, Werris Creek and Quirindi proud ...
Second thoughts, perhaps an art department could whip up a horse's head for use by the pond?
No need for equine suffering, not when so many now have to suffer the (temporary) return of the Ruddster ...
(Below: so it always was)