June 21st 2014

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Articles from this issue:

New Senate ends Labor-Greens log-jam

ECONOMIC AGENDA: Ireland to establish a development bank

EDITORIAL: Hillary Clinton launches her 2016 White House bid

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Canada: political campaign to outlaw Christian lawyers

HUMAN RIGHTS: The 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre remembered

UNITED STATES: Servicemen, small businesses targeted for 'homophobia'

EUROPE: Nazi veterans created secret army in postwar Germany

EUROPE: Euthanasia for infants: Europe's shame

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Growing inequality in an era of economic stagnation

SOCIETY: How booze buses changed Australia's leisure culture

SOCIETY: Latest research on family and society


CULTURE: Sophisticated cartoon draws upon primal truths

BOOK REVIEW: From mendicant state to economic powerhouse

BOOK REVIEW: The Greens' destructive policies exposed

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News Weekly, June 21, 2014

Impact of sun and cosmic rays on climate


Just how concerned should the average citizen be about humanity’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions? Two books published in the last few years have challenged the notion that climate change is being primarily driven by humanity.

Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning, in their book, The Neglected Sun: How the Sun Precludes Climate Catastrophe (London: Stacey International, 2013), along with Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder’s The Chilling Stars: A Cosmic View of Climate Change (London: Icon Books, 2nd edition, 2008), point to the sun and cosmic forces as the main shapers of Earth’s climate. The same goes for all planets in the solar system.

Professor Vahrenholt was once a believer in global warming theory, but, after having examined the science, came to a different conclusion. Both Professor Vahrenholt and Dr Lüning are distinguished German scientists. They argue that the effect of the sun’s activity on climate change has been either overlooked or scarcely known.

They demonstrate that the critical cause of global temperature change has been, and continues to be, the sun’s activity. The reality is that man’s CO2 emissions bear little impact on climate change.

Dr Svensmark’s book is in similar vein. His findings are based on research he has conducted at the Danish National Space Institute (DTU Space). His basic thesis is that an interplay of the sun and cosmic rays — sub-atomic particles from exploded stars — seem to have more effect on the climate than does man-made carbon dioxide.

Despite the rapid increase in atmospheric carbon emissions over the past 17 years, temperatures have gone sideways. Current data would suggest that the warming trend has stopped.

Records show that our planet goes through regular warming and cooling cycles. Even if a warming trend were to recommence, the positives would outweigh the negatives — this was the view of the father of greenhouse gas theory, the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius.

Alan Barron,
Grovedale, Vic.


Money creation


This is just an interested addendum, from one quite unversed in economic theory, to Colin Teese’s two recent articles on the global financial crisis (News Weekly, February 15 and April 12, 2014).

Top economists failed to predict the 2007/8 meltdown, but I can report two cases of modest workers in finance who saw it coming.

The first concerns my daughter’s sister-in-law, who is employed in a bank in the Republic of Ireland. About a year before the GFC, she went to her doctor because her hair was falling out. He said it could be because of worry. What was she worried about? Her reply: “The economy.”

The second concerns the finance department of my local council. In advance of the GFC, the department’s staff became worried about the state of the international economy and withdrew all the council’s overseas investments and put them into Australian shares. They then became further worried about the Australian economy, and transferred them from shares to bonds. As a result, the council lost no money in the GFC.

Regarding the Bank of England’s research article on money creation (News Weekly, May 24), I recall how, well over a decade ago, I bought a book (advertised in News Weekly) called Money Creation: The Great Confidence Trick (1994), by Ed L. Burgi, which set out the process exactly as Teese reports the Bank of England’s paper.

Mr Burgi’s book was self-published, and I bought it direct from the author. It is very clearly written and is its own best recommendation as no information about the author was supplied. A resident of Victoria at the time, who is E.L. Burgi that he pre-empted the Bank of England?

And a comment of my own: Advocates of an unregulated market declare that the market is self-regulating and will right itself, and that there is no need for deliberate and contrived intervention.

Well, yes, but that is what the GFC was — the market self-regulating and righting itself! If we endorse this theory, it was a “normal” event; but is that what we want?

Surely, having regulatory mechanisms to moderate the peaks and excesses, and not just the troughs and chasms, would be better.

Dr Lucy Sullivan,
Windsor, NSW


Come back to earth, Tony!


The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has an almost insurmountable task to rein in the enormous debt that was created by free-spending Labor governments over the last seven years.

But alienating the many women who want to have children and care for them at home is not the way to go.

Do Liberals stand for freedom and initiative? I wonder, when they promote an expensive paid parental leave (PPL) scheme that belongs in the socialist camp.

Mothers who leave the paid workforce to raise their own children forfeit the PPL, on top of no longer earning a wage. This puts undue financial pressure on them to return to paid work. It is a modern variant of conscription by press gang.

Recant, Tony! Come back to earth and start addressing the concerns of mothers who want to raise their own children at home.

Put into place a proper family benefit scheme to help mothers with children, and you may find that it will be cheaper than your PPL.

Make friends with all mothers. Don’t reject them!

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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