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Australia Lowers Rate to Historic Low of 1%

Australia Lowers Rate to Historic Low of 1% 

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the official cash rate for the second month in a row to 1%. As we head into the turning point of the Economic Confidence Model come January 2020, the unemployment rate increased to 5.2% in April. GDP growth remains very low at 0.4%, wage growth is sluggish, inflation is well below target, and retail sales are struggling. None of this will change until after the ECM turns as people begin to see that central banks are incapable of managing the economy.

Lawlessness

Lawlessness

Pablo Picasso Rest (Marie-Thérèse Walter) 1932

With the news that Julian Assange is “wasting away” in Belmarsh prison hospital, and with UN rapporteur Professor Nils Melzer’s report detailing how this happens, I’m once again drawn towards the lawlessness that all “authorities” involved in his case have been displaying, and with impunity. They all apparently think they are literally above the law. Their own laws.

But they can’t be, nowhere, not above their respective national laws nor the international ones their countries have signed up to. They can’t, because that would instantly make any and all laws meaningless. So you tell me where we find ourselves today.

There’s this paragraph in an article by Jonathan Cook entitled Abuses Show Assange Case Was Never About Law, which lists “17 glaring anomalies in Assange’s legal troubles”, that sums it all up pretty perfectly:

Australia not only refused Assange, a citizen, any help during his long ordeal, but prime minister Julia Gillard even threatened to strip Assange of his citizenship, until it was pointed out that it would be illegal for Australia to do so.

See, Cook is already skipping a step there. Gillard didn’t take Assange’s citizenship away, because that is against Australian law, but it’s just as much against Australian law for a government to let one of its citizens rot in some kind of hell. Still, they did let him rot, but as an Australian citizen. At that point, what difference does anything make anymore?

This is a pattern that runs through the entire Assange “file”, and it does so to pretty astonishing levels. Where you’re forced to think that the countries involved effectively have no laws, and no courts, because if they did, the actions by their governments would surely be whistled back by parliaments or judges or someone, anyone. They’re all essentially lawless.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

More Police Raids As War On Journalism Escalates Worldwide

More Police Raids As War On Journalism Escalates Worldwide

The Australian Federal Police have conducted two raids on journalists and seized documents in purportedly unrelated incidents in the span of just two days.

Yesterday the AFP raided the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst, seeking information related to her investigative report last year which exposed the fact that the Australian government has been discussing the possibility of giving itself unprecedented powers to spy on its own citizens. Today they raided the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corp, seizing information related to a 2017 investigative report on possible war crimes committed by Australian forces in Afghanistan.

In a third, also ostensibly unrelated incident, another Australian reporter disclosed yesterday that the Department of Home Affairs has initiated an investigation of his reporting on a story about asylum seeker boats which could lead to an AFP criminal case, saying he’s being pressured to disclose his source.

AFP: I’m still staggered by the power of this warrant. It allows the AFP to “add, copy, delete or alter” material in the ABC’s computers. All Australians, please think about that: as of this moment, the AFP has the power to delete material in the ABC’s computers. Australia 2019.

“Why has AFP suddenly decided to carry out these two raids after the election?” tweeted Australian Sky News political editor David Speers during the Sydney raid. “Did new evidence really just emerge in both the Annika Smethurst and ABC stories?!”

Why indeed?

“If these raids unconnected, as AFP reportedly said, it’s an extraordinary coincidence,” tweeted The Conversation chief political correspondent Michelle Grattan. “AFP needs to explain ASAP the timing so long after the stories. It can’t be that inefficient! Must be some explanation – which makes the ‘unconnected’ claim even more odd.”

Odd indeed.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Australian Police Raid National Broadcaster Over Leaked Afghan War Crime Stories

Australian Police Raid National Broadcaster Over Leaked Afghan War Crime Stories

Australian federal police officers raided the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) over a series of 2017 reports known as The Afghan Files, which exposed crimes committed by special forces in Afghanistan based on hundreds of pages of leaked defense documents marked AUSTEO (Australian Eyes Only). 

The AFP officers arriving at the ABC on Wednesday. CREDIT:KATE GERAGHTY (via Sydney Morning Herald)

The incident marks Australia’s second such move against journalists in just two days, after police raided the home of a News Corp editor over an April, 2018 Exposé on government spying. 

According to the police, the raid was “in relation to allegations of publishing classified material, contrary to provisions of the Crimes Act 1914,” while the warrant names the authors of the report, Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, along with ABC news director Gaven Morris. 

“It is highly unusual for the national broadcaster to be raided in this way,” said ABC Managing Director David Anderson in a statement, adding: “This is a serious development and raises legitimate concerns over freedom of the press and proper public scrutiny of national security and defense matters.” 

During the raid, ABC staff members were rounded up and asked to assist in examining their email server to look for “a series of key words.” Others searched a hard drive, according to ABC executive director John Lyons – who live-tweeted the raid. 

After four hours, authorities had collected more than 9,200 files and were deciding which ones were allowed to be seized under the warrant, according to RT

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Floods And Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet – Could A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?

Floods And Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet – Could A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?

It looks like global food production could be well below expectations in 2019, and that could spell big trouble in the months ahead.  In recent weeks, I have written extensively about the problems that we have been experiencing here in the United States.  As many as a million calves were lost to the flooding that hit the state of Nebraska in March, farmers have planted less than half of the corn that is normally in the ground by this time of the year, and a lot of the crops that have been planted in the middle of the country are really struggling due to extremely wet soil.  But it isn’t just the United States that is facing a very troubling year.  Earlier today, one of my readers sent me an article entitled “Global food crisis ahead as extreme weather events devastate crops and fields around the world”which I would encourage everyone to read.  In that article, we are told that after the worst drought in 116 years Australia has actually been forced to import wheat.  And according to the Guardian, this is the first time in 12 years that this has happened…

Australia is planning to import wheat for the first time in 12 years after drought across the eastern states saw grain production fall 20% last year.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources confirmed this week it had issued a bulk import permit to allow wheat to be brought in from Canada to be processed for the domestic market.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Australian Fuel Security Review ignores peak oil in China 2015 (part 3)

Australian Fuel Security Review ignores peak oil in China 2015 (part 3)

Australia increased its internal oil dependency & vulnerability

Let’s summarize what we covered in part 1 and 2

  • Australian oil production peaked in the year 2000 while oil consumption is going up relentlessly
  • 3 Australian refineries closed, resulting in fuel imports dramatically increasing, mainly from South Korea and Japan. This is a big problem if there is a military conflict in the South China Sea
  • Australia’s emergency oil stock is only 60% of IEA requirements since 2014. The government has no firm plans to improve this situation
  • Asian oil production started to peak in 2010 while consumption is still going up
  • China’s oil production started to decline after 2015. Oil imports are now around 10 mb/d. No one really knows where China will import its oil from in the next 5-10 years, not to mention in the next decades
  • China’s maritime silk road project is to be seen as securing China’s oil import routes
  • Asia imports around 16 mb/d from the Middle East, making it highly vulnerable to the next ME war
  • US shale oil will peak in a yet unknown year, but it will peak due to extraordinarily high decline rates
  • The Fuel Security Review argues that the global oil industry will always solve problems of supply disruptions and return to business as usual. This is an untested assumption because there will be fierce competition as Asia has entered the era of peak oil.

So what should Australia have done to prepare for this change? It should have REDUCED its oil use by

  1. developing alternative transport fuels and building up associated infrastructure
  2. introducing bio-fuels for sole use in agricultural production and for transport of food to the cities
  3. electrifying rail: intercity, freight and urban rail including expanding and modernising manufacturing capacities for rolling stock and other rail equipment
  4. NOT planning and building additional oil dependent infrastructure like freeways, road tunnels and airports

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Australian Fuel Security Review ignores peak oil in China 2015 (part 2)

Australian Fuel Security Review ignores peak oil in China 2015 (part 2)

Coming back to the 2019 Liquid Security Review
https://www.environment.gov.au/energy/liquid-fuel-security-review-consultation

Figures 9-11 in part 1 show how dependent Australia has become on fuel imports from South Korea and Japan, even China. The Review is aware of this, as shown on this map:

Australia_oil_supply_routes_2019
Fig 18: Australia’s oil supply routes

Note that any military confrontation in the South China Sea would necessitate the re-routing of crude supplies from the Middle East to South Korea and Japan via the Strait of Lombok (East of Bali) or – in the worst case – the Bass Strait as shown on this sketch map of the Centre of Strategic and International Studies (Washington):

SLOC-map
Fig 19: Alternative shipping routes for the Sunda and Malacca Straits
https://chinapower.csis.org/much-trade-transits-south-china-sea/

Similar detours will be necessary if there is a military confrontation in the Taiwan Strait or around the Korean peninsula. Although tensions have eased, the North Korean problem has not been solved. Particularly vulnerable is the refining complex in Ulsan because of its size.

Conflicts are more likely because Asian oil production has peaked and oil demand is growing:

Asia_oil_production_consumption_2005-2017_fill_in-2037
Fig 20: Homework for all State and Federal governments

More details are in following posts:

15/8/2018   Peak oil in the Asia Pacific (part 3)
http://crudeoilpeak.info/peak-oil-in-the-asia-pacific-part-3

12/8/2018   Peak oil in China and the Asia Pacific (part 2)
http://crudeoilpeak.info/peak-oil-in-china-and-the-asia-pacific-part-2

18/6/2018   Peak oil in Asia Pacific (part 1)
http://crudeoilpeak.info/peak-oil-in-asia-pacific-part-1

Asia imports around 16 mb/d from the Middle East, not sufficient for its growing demand. Increasing imports now also come from Africa, South and Central America and the Former Soviet Union (FSU)

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

On Health of the Great Barrier Reef and Case of Sacked Scientist Peter Ridd, Sky News Creates Alternate Reality

On Health of the Great Barrier Reef and Case of Sacked Scientist Peter Ridd, Sky News Creates Alternate Reality

Peter Ridd

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is in some serious trouble, with the latest research in the journal Nature showing the number of new corals has dropped by 89 percent.

In 2016 and 2017, the reef was smashed by back-to-back mass bleaching events and heat stress caused by global warming that killed about half the corals.

“Dead corals don’t make babies,” said James Cook University’s Professor Terry Hughes, the paper’s lead author.

“We used to think that the Great Barrier Reef was too big to fail — until now,” added colleague Professor Morgan Pratchett.

The paper was just the latest in a steady and, many would agree, depressing parade of findings for the World Heritage icon. And if the scientific papers don’t do it for you, then there are always the pictures.

But the release of the study served as a remarkable contrast to the way the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News, furnished with material from climate science denial think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, has been “reporting” on reef science in the past week.

On at least five occasions the channel has interviewed the IPA’s policy director Gideon Rozner, who has been updating the channel on the case of Dr. Peter Ridd, a marine scientist specializing in sediments who was fired in March 2018 from James Cook University.

According to the various interviews, the reef is in great shape, the science is probably wrong, and Ridd is a “world renowned” reef expert in a historic fight for freedom. None of this is true, yet the claims have been allowed to stand unchecked.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why We Should Not Be Surprised That Murdoch Tabloid’s Favorite Sydney School Pupil Didn’t Join Climate Strike

Why We Should Not Be Surprised That Murdoch Tabloid’s Favorite Sydney School Pupil Didn’t Join Climate Strike

Student holding sign at school climate strike

Somewhere in the order of 150,000 students went absent from classes in Australia on Friday afternoon for the global “School Strike 4 Climate” marches.

In what might be seen as an afternoon practical lesson in democracy, free speech, and civic engagement, students from cities and towns across the country and the world marched, chanted, and held placards aloft.

One of the biggest marches in Australia saw 25,000 students on the streets of Sydney, the home of the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Daily Telegraph.

But one student in particular caught eye of The Daily Telegraph — a 17-year-old, Year 12 pupil called Joanne Tran, who wrote an article for the newspaper explaining why she would not be marching.

Real Motives?

Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan described the march as “appalling political manipulation” and said parents needed to know “who is influencing their kids, what are their real motives and who is paying for it.”

Good advice, no doubt.

In an articulate column, Tran argued her fellow pupils were “perfect political pawns for activists and their agendas” and that the website for the School Strike 4 Climate campaign was being run by “adults who came from partisan backgrounds.”

Tran said she had learned in economics class that coal, iron ore, and gas were essential for the country’s prosperity and her mates would be better off staying in school to learn about “the importance of the mining sector to Australian life and its contribution to the world.” Clearly, her economics class hasn’t covered this study in the scientific journal Nature finding that global warming of 2.5°C to 3°C by the end of the century would likely see a drop in per capita economic output of between 15 and 20 percent globally. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

David Holmgren: A Baby Boomers’ Apology

David Holmgren: A Baby Boomers’ Apology

Raphael The miraculous draught of fishes 1515

There are days, though all too scarce, when very nice surprises come my way. Case in point: yesterday I received a mail from David Holmgren after a long period of radio silence. Australia’s David is one of the fathers of permaculture, along with Bill Mollison, for those few who don’t know him. They first started writing about the concept in the 1970s and never stopped.

Dave calls himself “permaculture co-originator” these days. Hmm. Someone says: “one of the pioneers of modern ecological thinking”. That’s better. No doubt there. These guys taught many many thousands of people how to be self-sufficient. Permaculture is a simple but intricate approach to making sure that the life in your garden or backyard, and thereby your own life, moves towards balance.

My face to face history with David is limited, we spent some time together on two occasions only, I think, in 2012 a day at his home (farm) in Australia and in 2015 -a week- in Penguin, Tasmania at a permaculture conference where the Automatic Earth’s Nicole Foss was one of the key speakers along with Dave. Still, despite the limited time together I see him as a good and dear friend, simply because he’s such a kind and gracious and wise man. 

In his mail, David asked if I would publish this article, which he originally posted on his own site just yesterday under the name “The Apology: From Baby Boomers To The Handicapped Generations”. I went for a shorter title (it’s just our format), but of course I will.

Dave has been an avid reader of the Automatic Earth for the past 11 years, we sort of keep his feet on the ground when they’re not planted and soaking in that same ground: “Reading TAE has helped me keep up to date..”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Midwest Freezes, Aussie Heatwave Reaches Record Highs

As Midwest Freezes, Aussie Heatwave Reaches Record Highs

While Midwest America hunkers down for the coldest temperatures in a generation, temperature records have also tumbled across South Australia, with the city of Adelaide experiencing its hottest day on record.

Life-threatening cold is sweeping across Chicago…

As Australians face animal culls, mass fish deaths across the nation,  roads melting, and bats falling from trees…

Adelaide hit 46.6C, the hottest temperature recording in any Australian state capital city since records began 80 years ago, sending homelessness shelters into a “code red”, and sparking fears of another mass fish death in the Menindee Lakes in the neighbouring state of New South Wales.

In central and western Australia, local authorities were forced to carry out an emergency animal cull, shooting 2,500 camels – and potentially a further hundred feral horses – who were dying of thirst.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If The World Understood Sovereignty, It Could End All Our Problems

If The World Understood Sovereignty, It Could End All Our Problems

My own Australia has of course joined the chorus of US lackeys who are refusing to recognize Venezuela’s only legitimate and elected government, recognizing instead the presidency of some guy named Juan who decided to name himself Venezuela’s president with the blessing of the United States government. A statement from our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, reads as follows:

Australia recognises and supports the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, in assuming the position of interim president, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution and until elections are held. Australia calls for a transition to democracy in Venezuela as soon as possible.

Australia supported the Lima Group’s early call for Nicolas Maduro to refrain from assuming the presidency on 10 January, relayed through our non-resident Ambassador to Venezuela.

We now urge all parties to work constructively towards a peaceful resolution of the situation, including a return to democracy, respect for the rule of law and upholding of human rights of the Venezuelan people.

It was only a matter of time before such a statement was issued. Australia has long served as Washington’s basement gimp, marching to the beat of US foreign policy on all issues no matter how idiotic or dangerous for as far back as I can remember. My country has seamlessly transitioned from British colony to US military/intelligence asset without ever once raising its head toward anything resembling national sovereignty except once briefly in the mid-seventies, which saw a CIA/MI6 coup oust our elected leadership here. This coup was preceded by our then-Prime Minister’s discovery that Australian intelligence officers had been operating as proxies of the CIA to overthrow the Allende government in Chile in yet another sovereignty-violating coup, one which has often been compared to what we’re seeing in Venezuela today.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Collapse Is Already Here

Collapse Is Already Here

It’s a process, not an event.

Many people are expecting some degree of approaching collapse — be it economic, environmental and/or societal — thinking that they’ll recognize the danger signs in time. 

As if it will be completely obvious, like a Hollywood blockbuster. Complete with clear warnings from scientists, politicians and the media.  And everyone can then get busy either panicking or becoming the plucky heroes. 

That’s not how collapse works.

Collapse is a process, not an event.

And it’s already underway, all around us. 

Collapse is already here.

However, unlike Hollywood’s vision, the early stages of collapse cause people to cling even tighter to the status quo. Instead of panic in the streets, we simply see more of the same — as those in power do all they can to remain so, while the majority of the public attempts to ignore the growing problems for as long as it possibly can.

For both the elite and the majority, their entire world view and their personal sense of self depends on things not crumbling all around them, so they remain willfully blind to any evidence to the contrary.

When faced with the predicaments we warn about here at PeakProsperity.com, getting an early start on prudently shifting your own personal situation is of vital strategic and tactical importance. Tens of thousands of our readers already have taken wise steps in their lives to position themselves resiliently.

But most of the majority won’t get started until it’s entirely too late to make any difference at all. Which is sad but perhaps unavoidable, given human nature.

If everybody around you is saying “Everything is awesome!”, it can take a long time to determine for yourself that things in fact aren’t:

Real collapse happens slowly, and often without any sort of acknowledgement by the so-called political and economic elites until its abrupt terminal end.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Yellow Vest Movement Spreads to Australia & Poland

We are witnessing the Yellow Vest Movement now also spreading to Australia. We are seeing the rise there and in Canada also against Fake News that the media is desperately fighting Trump on who now label him an idiot in headlines. We are also witnessing a backlash against taking in the Muslim claimed refugees from Syria in Australia as well. It is not a matter of race, but culture. People who traveled to Paris from the USA this summer have often returned with horror stories of being robbed on the street, cell phones, jewelry, purses being stolen by people on motorcycles. Muslim women begging on every corner of the Champs-Élysées. The culture clash is the problem. These people cannot speak the language and lack skills for employment for the most part. Immigrants historically seek economic opportunity – not handouts. Last November, Merkel was offering cash to the refugees to leave Germany it was getting that bad. Now she is willing to pay one year’s rent back home to leave Germany.

The Green groups that have taken over the UN are frantic fearing that they want to avoid the violent clashes that have rocked France from becoming a “je suis Trump” (I’m Trump) moment for against climate change. It was the higher global warming fuel taxes and other environmental efforts that sparked the “yellow-vests” protests that have forced Pres­ident Emmanuel Macron into ­retreat. In Canada, the Yellow Vests are also growing over environmental sanctions that block pipelines and creating employment in the energy industry which is also lurking behind a growing separatist movement in Alberta.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Diary of an extreme heatwave across Australia and climate heat impacts

Climate Diary of an extreme heatwave across Australia and climate heat impacts

The Bureau of Meteorology in the lead up to christmas in 2018 showed a heatwave building through the week. The forecast was for severe and extreme heatwave impacts particularly Thursday 27 December to Saturday 29 December.

A blocking high in the Tasman and strong heat from the Pilbara in Western Australia and right through Central Australia, will periodically extend tendrils of sweltering heat to encompass the major population centres of Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

While these cities may get occasional relief from weak cold fronts and coastal sea breezes, inland towns will swelter in the scorthing heat with temperatures in the mid to high 30s and low 40s.

Graphing the Tmax trend in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and some regional towns

Heatwave climate diary

  • December 22 – Initial Warning
  • December 23 – UK Met Office takes note, VicHealth issues heathealth alerts
  • December 24 – No report as travelling
  • December 25 – Hot christmas for Sydney, Climate scientists says this is the face of climate change
  • December 26 – Marble Bar feeling the heat, SBS story on Heat health, South African heatwave, Was it hot on Boxing Day?
  • December 27 – Heatwave spans 5 states with 49C forecast, Climate Council heatwave and Heathealth reports, hot in Sydney, bloody hot in Adelaide, 5 years of climate inaction, Melbourne Temps hit 40C, Tennant Creek smashes record, Emus seek heat respite in sea
  • December 28 – Catastrophic fire warning in South Australia, Surface temperatures soar, heat records fall in several SA towns, South African heatwave finishes
  • December 29 – Slow roasting Australia, Cruel increase in night time temps in Albury, warning about taking fur buddies for a walk, Thongs and roads melting in Sydney while NSW inland records fall, Heat in Canberra, Alice Springs sets all time heat record, historical heat deaths stats, New extreme heat policy by Tennis Australia, AMA on heathealth Safety, climate scientist warning

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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