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Hypocrisy on sea ice

The evidence is now overwhelming that the concentrated impacts of climate change on the polar regions of our planet are causing the Arctic sea ice to melt. It is a frightening scenario. While countries such as Russia, the US, Canada and China dither over taking measures to address the climate change issue, oil and gas […]

On carbon taxes & the mining sector

Henry Ergas sees the Australian carbon tax as a self-inflicted wound on our mineral export sector. I guess he must be referring to the fugitive emissions associated with mining coal since it is difficult to understand what else he could mean. The carbon tax does not fall on Australian coal exports but on Australian coal […]

Mike Smith’s stupidity

The CEO of ANZ Mike Smith urged the government to cut unemployment benefits to induce labour shifts to Western Australia. This proposal would make sense if unemployment benefits permitted a luxurious lifestyle that inhibited work incentives but that is not the case. The argument is well analysed by Adele Horin in the SMH. Unemployment benefits […]

Time to permanently extinguish fags

One of my less universally popular posts was the suggestion to only supply addictive cigarette products via pharmacies on the basis of medical prescriptions that depended on patients having significant cotinine levels in their urine. This proposal would eliminate cigarette consumption by the time the current generation of smokers expires since only nicotine addicts would […]

Plain packaging case success

I am travelling in Asia but was delighted to read here that the legal carcinogen producers have lost their bid to show that the plain packaging legislation breaches the Australian constitution – these included carcinogen producers supplying the Australian market and one targeting Japanese citizens. It is big news even in the country I am […]

Southern and central Italy: In convent & castle

I am holidaying in southern-central Italy. My main lasting impression from this visit will be of the good-natured and gracious people of Italy – for example, strangers greet you in the street, are helpful and decent. Of course Italy has many natural/cultural and artistic assets – and a deep sense of history – that similarly […]