It is Friday, my blog lay day, so no real blog. I am editing my Europe book and up in the North of Australia today dealing with various projects I have been working on. But here is an example of what happens when climate change denialists merge with fiscal austerians. Mindless and damaging confusion! Here is my non-blog for today!
The Australian edition of the Guardian newspaper carried a story today (July 4, 2014) – Department of Environment makes 250 leading specialists reapply for their jobs.
We learn that:
1. “The federal Department of the Environment will make 250 of its leading specialists reapply for their jobs and make 30 of them redundant in the latest round of cost-cutting measures.”
2. The targetted staff “are some of Australia’s top scientists, many of whom are internationally recognised for the crucial work they do in, for example, tracking the melting of glacial ice, or coming up with new ways to protect aquatic ecosystems”.
3. The Government fiscal cutting review in April “concluded that the environment department’s budget should be slashed from $460m in 2013-14 to $361m in 2017-18, requiring the loss of 670 jobs over this period – a quarter of the department’s workforce.” There was no coherent reason provided other than spending had to be cut.
So that is the mindless fiscal austerity part of the story in the context.
But then we learn from a report published by the Australian National Audit Office – Managing Compliance with Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Conditions of Approval, published on June 18, 2014 that:
1. “The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) was introduced to protect Australia’s environment and conserve its biodiversity.”
2. “The Department of the Environment (Environment) is responsible for regulating controlled actions approved under” the Act.
3. “However, nearly 14 years after the enactment of the EPBC Act, Environment is yet to establish mature administrative arrangements to effectively discharge its regulatory responsibilities in relation to approved controlled actions. As a consequence, the assurance that the department has regarding proponents’ compliance with action approval conditions, which are designed to address the risks posed to MNES, is limited.”
4. “In particular, Environment is not well placed to demonstrate that it is effectively targeting its compliance monitoring activities to the areas of greatest risk.”
5. “The increasing workload on compliance monitoring staff over time” has meant it cannot do its job properly and “does not instil confidence that the environmental protection measures considered necessary as part of the approval of controlled actions have received sufficient oversight over an extended period of time.”
So that is the climate change denial part. There is an Act, which presumably was a serious development to meet an impending issue considered to be significant.
Then – starve it off funds over time so that the Department cannot do its job properly. But then the denialists wouldn’t want it to do the job because then projects they support, which are not environmentally sustainable would have come under so-called control orders and even banned.
Win-Win, for the idiots.
In an earlier story (June 30, 2014) – Liberal push to strip environmental groups of charitable tax status – we learned that the:
The government is being pressed to alter the charitable status of environmental groups …
One of the conservative government’s own Parliamentarians wants donations to green groups to lose their tax-deductible status as a means of starving them of funds.
Apparently green groups are “political activists” unlike groups like the St Vincent de Paul charity, which regularly admonish governments for their harsh approaches to welfare.
All in a day’s work for the climate change denialists.
Soothing … needed
To get over all that, here is Song for My Father, recorded live in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 1968 by the Horace Silver Quintet. The original was on a Blue Notealbum of the same name released in October 1964.
The Saturday Quiz will be back again tomorrow. It will be of an appropriate order of difficulty (-:
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2014 Bill Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.