Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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President Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

Barack Obama has been ceremonially sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States.

Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden were officially sworn in yesterday, in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution. In today’s public ceremony, Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor again swore in Biden and Chief Justice John Roberts again swore in Obama.

Political attention today focussed on Obama’s Second Inaugural Speech.

With frequent invocations of ‘We, The People’, the speech was Obama’s most progressive as president. Amongst other things, he called for action on climate change and equality for gay people. [Read more…]


Details Of The Proposed Carbon Pricing Mechanism

The Multi-Party Climate Change Committee has proposed a carbon price leading to an emissions trading scheme.

The carbon price is to take effect from July 1, 2012. A fixed price will operate for 3-5 years, after which a full cap and trade emissions trading scheme will take its place.

Details of the Carbon Price Mechanism are shown below.

Statement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet.

Climate change framework announced

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard today outlined the Government’s plan to cut pollution, tackle climate change and deliver the economic reform Australia needs to move to a clean energy future.

This is an essential economic reform, and it is the right thing to do.

The two-stage plan for a carbon price mechanism will start with a fixed price period for three to five years before transitioning to an emissions trading scheme. [Read more…]


Gillard, Greens And Independents Agree On Carbon Price And Future ETS

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee has agreed on a carbon mechanism which involves a fixed price on carbon for three to five years followed by a full cap and trade emissions trading scheme.

Gillard and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet spoke at a press conference today with the Greens Senator Bob Brown and Senator Christine Milne. They were accompanied by the independent members Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.

The carbon pricing mechanism is to be introduced on July 1, 2012. The details of the scheme will be developed over the next few months. [Read more…]


Coal Barons Should Help Pay For Catastrophes: Greens

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown has attracted criticism across the political spectrum for his call for the mining industry to be taxed to pay for natural disaster relief.

This is the press release issued by Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens.

COAL BARONS SHOULD HELP PAY FOR CATASTROPHES – BROWN

Senator Bob BrownThe full tax on excess profits by the coal mining industry, as recommended by Treasury, should be imposed with half set aside for future natural catastrophes in Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

“It is unfair that the cost is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits,” Senator Brown said.

“Burning coal is a major cause of global warming. This industry, which is 75% owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in coming decades. As well, 700,000 seaside properties in Australia face rising sea levels.”

“A Goldman Sachs study found that the reduction in the mining super tax agreed by the current Labor government (the coalition opposes the mining tax) would cost Australians $35 billion in forgone revenue to 2019-20.”

“Scientists agree that current floods come from record-high temperatures of Australian oceans this season.”

“We also ask insurers to show some compassion to Queensland’s flood victims, and to others who face loss as wild weather besets the country. Many people believe they have flood cover and, if not, the fine print should have been disclosed to them.”


2CC Commentary: Liberal Leadership & Climate Change

I appeared on Mark Parton’s breakfast show on Canberra Radio 2CC this morning.

Mark Parton, Radio 2CC Canberra

We touched on the state of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership of the Liberal Party, especially in the light of today’s opinion polls which show a significant collapse in coalition support and approval of Turnbull.

  • Listen to the discussion (8m)



Rudd Congratulates Obama On Election Win

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has congratulated Barack Obama on his election as the 44th President of the United States, praising his “campaign .. about hope”.

Rudd spoke at a Community Cabinet meeting in Tasmania.

  • Listen to Rudd (79s)

Transcript of Kevin Rudd’s press conference.

RUDD:

The great democracy that is the United States of America has once again demonstrated to the world the greatness of the democratic idea at work.

45 Years ago Martin Luther King dreamed of an America where men and women will be judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character.

Today what America has done is turn that dream into a reality. [Read more…]


Queensland Labor MP Defects To Greens

Ronan Lee, the ALP member for Indooroopilly in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, has quit the ALP and joined the Australian Greens.

Lee"Lee has been a Parliamentary Secretary in the Bligh government since last April.

Born in Ireland, Lee was first elected in 2001. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd Addresses the United Nations General Assembly

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. This is the text of his speech.

  • Listen to Rudd’s concluding remarks (3m)

Transcript of Kevin Rudd’s Address to the U.N. General Assembly.

We gather together at a time of great challenge to the international system.

A challenge that reminds us afresh that we live in a world where our interdependence is now greater than at any time before. [Read more…]


Bush Delivers 2008 State Of The Union Address

President George W. Bush has delivered his seventh and final State of the Union Address to a joint session of the United States Congress.

President George W. Bush

  • Listen to President Bush’s final State of the Union Address:

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We have faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve answered that call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd’s Address To UN Bali Conference On Climate Change

Australia now stands ready to assume its responsibility in responding to the challenge of climate change, according to the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Addressing the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Rudd said his first act as Prime Minister had been to sign the formal instrument for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This was because “we believe that climate change represents one of the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenges of our age”.

Rudd reiterated his government’s decision to await the Garnaut Review in mid-2008 before deciding on short and medium term targets for reducing greenhouse emissions.

  • Listen to Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Bali Conference (11m)

This is the full text of Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Conference on Climate Change, in Bali.

His Excellency, the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, His Excellency, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, fellow national Leaders, Ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, and all people of goodwill committed to the future of our planet.

I join with the Secretary-General and with the President of the Indonesian Republic in expressing our combined condemnation of this obscene terrorist attack in Algiers. An attack on innocent civilians, an attack on the agents of peace, those working for the United Nations, and therefore, an attack on us all. And I join with them in extending our thoughts and our prayers to those directly affected by this obscene attack. [Read more…]