June 1st 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Scomo routs Labor, the Green, GetUp and the left-wing media by Patrick J. Byrne and Peter Westmore

CANBERRA OBSERVED Surprise! Polls aren't what they used to be

GENDER POLITICS The true cost of childhood gender reassignment

OBITUARY Bob Hawke, R.I.P.: astute politician, flawed policies

POETRY AND SOCIETY T.S. Eliot and the modern condition

WATER POLICY The time is ripe to revisit the Bradfield scheme

ASIAN AFFAIRS Taiwan upgrades U.S. links, asserts sovereignty

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Recapping the trial as Cardinal Pell's appeal approaches

THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY Working to bring down the Sexual Revolution

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki Part 2: Science and ancient cultures

HUMOUR A tidy planet is a happy planet

MUSIC Charles Ives: Modern elements aimed at sounding good

CINEMA John Wick 1: The lighting of the fuse

BOOK REVIEW Novelised true crime a true thriller

BOOK REVIEW The experiences of Phoebe Raye



FEDERAL ELECTION Queensland voted for jobs, life and country

NATIONAL AFFAIRS The trial of Cardinal Pell ... an injustice

EUTHANASIA D Day - June 19, 2019 - Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 begins operation

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News Weekly, June 1, 2019

Thanks for Trump roundup

My grateful thank you to Dwight and Sheila Randall for Parts I and II of the story, “President Trump: Unlikely promise keeper” (News Weekly, March 23, April 6, 2019).

As an avid supporter of President Trump, despite initial misgivings, it is truly most helpful for me to have this concise presentation of some of his promised achievements.

Margaret Airoldo,
Andergrove, Qld.


Making steel without coal? Good luck!

So, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson believes coal is not essential to human progress –but steel is.

But he must be aware that there would be no mass production of steel without coke from coking coal to remove oxygen from iron ore. You could replace coal with cut trees in forests for charcoal to produce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be exhausted. Coal saves the forests from this fate.

Making wind turbines and solar panels would also be impossible without fossil fuels. A wind turbine needs lots of steel plus concrete, carbon fibre and glass polymers, as well as many other refined metals – copper, aluminium, rare earths, zinc and molybdenum.

Solar panels and batteries need high-purity ingredients – silicon, lead, lithium, nickel, cadmium, zinc, silver, manganese and graphite – all hard to make in backyard charcoal-fired furnaces. Many pieces of diesel-powered machinery are needed to transport, erect and maintain wind and solar farms, plus their roads and transmission lines.

Every machine needs hydrocarbons for engine oil, gear oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, hydraulic oil and grease. We could use substitutes like oils from seals, beeswax and whales for lubrication – the discovery of petroleum saved the whales from this fate.

Is carbon dioxide really that bad we have to decarbonise the economy? Arrhenius, the father of greenhouse theory, postulated that, if temperatures did rise by up to eight degrees, this would be highly beneficial for the planet as food production would increase.

When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, carbon-dioxide levels were at 2,000 parts per million (ppm) and plants and trees grew much larger and life prospered. However, when carbon-dioxide levels are today at a modest 413 ppm, instead of being petrified about a modest increase in warming, we should realise that the positives would far outweigh the negatives.

Unless Australia starts to build at least two High-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power plants immediately, there will be critical shortages of base-load power five years down the track.

It’s time to stop demonising coal.

Alan Barron,
Geelong Climate Sense Coalition,
Grovedale, Vic.

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm