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John Passant

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January 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

Jenny Macklin has apologised for her ‘insensitive’ remarks asserting she could she could live on the dole of $35 a day. I have some news for this $900 a day Minister. You can’t live on an apology.

There is talk that the Labor caucus or Cabinet is considering a $50 a week increase in the Newstart Allowance. That will put recipients only about $50 below the 2010 poverty line.

Effectively Labor is going to slightly reduce the poverty of those living in poverty, and those 90,000 or so single mums it dumped onto Newstart to save a few hundred million a year and to create a wider pool of desperate job seekers, putting further downward pressure on wages.

As fires ravaged much of Australia, Warren Truss, the acting leader of the Opposition and evidently a climate change expert, said

Indeed I guess there’ll be more CO2 emissions from these fires than there will be from coal-fired power stations for decades.

Real experts described Truss’s statement as ‘utter rubbish’ and ‘ridiculous’. But maybe Truss’s comments play out well to big business or in the back blocks of his rural electorate. Then again, as the temperature continues to increase and the severity and scope of fires increases in rural seats like his across Australia, maybe not.

Here is what another group of experts said about the current bushfires and climate change in a paper released recently. The Climate Commission’s key messages were blunt and stark:

  • The length, extent and severity of the current heatwave are unprecedented in the measurement record.
  • Although Australia has always had heatwaves, hot days and bushfires, climate change is increasing the risk of more frequent and longer heatwaves and more extreme hot days, as well as exacerbating bushfire conditions.
  • Climate change has contributed to making the current extreme heat conditions and bushfires worse.
  • Good community understanding of climate change risks is critical to ensure we take
    appropriate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to put measures in place to prepare for, and respond to, extreme weather.

Here is what Professor David Karoly, the Climate Commission scientific adviser told ABC’s AM this morning:

What we have been able to see is clear evidence of an increasing trend in hot extremes, reductions in cold extremes and with the increases in hot extremes more frequent extreme fire danger day.

What it means for the Australian summer is an increased frequency of hot extremes, more hot days, more heatwaves and more extreme bushfire days and that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing typically over the last decade and we will see even more frequently in the future.

The problem is that ‘taking appropriate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’,  as one of the Climate Commission’s key messages put it, directly contradicts the major driver of capitalist society – to make profit to reinvest to make more profit. That has to be done on the cheap, cheaper than your local and international competitors. Effective action on climate change by Australia would worsen the position in the competitive marketplace for a number of Australian based capitalists.

Addressing climate change is costly – the environment is merely an externality for capital – and any real changes would challenge entrenched interests and impose additional costs on, as it always turns out to be under capitalism when workers are quiet and aren’t fighting back, the working class.

Far better to plod along with the irrelevant discourse, as Earth and paleoclimate scientist Andrew Glikson puts it, from Labor, the Liberals and the Greens, an irrelevant discourse matched in much of developed and imperialist capitalism and its talk fests. Far better to adopt cosmetic changes which give the impression of action without challenging the entrenched interests or imposing the cost of climate change on the big polluters.

A two degree increase is locked in; so to is between 4 and 6 degrees by the end of the century, according to the respected Global Carbon Project.

In Syria the butcher Al-Assad, a man responsible for bombing his own cities and killing upwards of 60,000 people, talked of reform but refused to talk to the rebels. As the revolutionaries gain more control of more areas of Syria, the time for him to be swinging from a lamp post and for Syrians to piss on him approaches.

In the US the next fiscal cliff approaches with discussions about the debt ceiling due in the next months. The agreed solution is likely to be more attacks on social welfare.
And there were more shootings. The bankruptcy of a nation that kills others with impunity is being repaid with massacres of its own citizens by its on citizens.

Comments (see the link under the heading) close after 7 days.



Comment from Ross
Time January 12, 2013 at 3:02 pm

According to Webster Tarpley the rebels in Syria are backed by USA/NATO proxies. The West wants Syria because they are an ally of Iran and Russia has a naval base there.Tarpley went to Syria some months ago. Since when was the USA been concerned about the freedom and well being of any country? The people of Vietnam are still suffering from agent orange.

As for Global Warming caused by CO2 ,don’t take it as the absolute truth.Some scientists are no saying are headed for an ice age which will be far worse than warming.Extreme weather does not equal warming.

Comment from John
Time January 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Of course the US wants an in; it has been taken by surprise by the revolutions against ‘its’ dictators in the Middle east and North Africa, including I would argue Assad and Gaddafi, the fake anti-imperialists. They have been scrambling ever since to find a way to re-establish control and influence. That doesn’t make a genuine popular uprising against the dictator a creature of the US. I talk about climate change because although the temperature is warming the consequences aren’t as easily characterised.

Comment from Kay
Time January 13, 2013 at 6:52 am


Along with Ross, I caution against any approach to a topic such as climate change that is premised on the statement that ‘the science is irrefutable’ etc.. It amazes me that ‘scientists’ are prepared to make such statements when it is a given in ANY OTHER field of science or topic in science that the current theory is only as good as the supporting evidence. This normally includes an understanding that as further evidence becomes available, the current theory will be further refined or maybe, overturned. The entire history of science has developed in this way. So the only conclusion one can come to is that, in this particular topic, politics has intervened! This then makes me very suspicious of ANY pronouncements on the topic!

While the theory of anthropogenic climate change MAY be correct, only time will tell! I accept that by that time it may be too late to act. But what are we doing today in any case? The action being taken is only the politically acceptable actions. The real lungs of the earth (the great forests and rainforests) are still being decimated at an increasing rate. Countries pay ‘lip service’ to reducing CO2 emissions while at the same time increasing pollution and threatening other resources (eg CSG mining which is escalating everywhere despite all evidence to date raising grave concerns).

I agree that we should be doing what we can to reduce fossil fuel use – it is a finite resource after all. I have solar panels on my garage (5Kw) and I believe it is silly NOT to use the Sun’s abundant energy (it will take me about 5 years or more to recover those costs). And we CAN build very safe nuclear reactors – but they are very expensive – and politically unacceptable. There are a wide range of energy sources that we can tap over time to reduce fossil fuel use.

But the history of the Earth’s climate contains many, many instances of rapid and dramatic climate change (both hotter and colder) that even today cannot be fully explained. Yet some scientists are trying to tell us their climate projections (much harder to make than explanations of past events) are ‘irrefutable’! Just not logical! But very political – especially if you want to impose a wealth-redistribution tax. These climate projections are based on a huge range of often unsupportable assumptions that can easily be modified to produce a politically desired outcome.

So I believe we should factor in climate change to our future plans – eg limiting building on lower-lying land, reducing pollution as much as possible, stop further destruction of forests, building more heat-efficient houses, protecting food producing land, etc. In other words, be adaptable to change whilst we continue to try to understand change.

Vilifying those who don’t ‘sign up’ to the views of the likes of Tim Flannery to me indicates these so-called ‘climate experts’ are insecure in their beliefs and are intent on bullying those who have doubts into not looking too far into the underlying ‘science’. An example of this bullying is the recent Robyn Williams ABC Science Show statement in which he began his program on “climate change denial” (an offensive term) with the words “What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma, or that smoking crack is a normal part, and healthy one, of teenage life, and to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, again and again in recent times distorting the science.” Despite a formal protest by former ABC Chairman Maurice Newman, the ABC defended this outrageous statement that was intended to humiliate and bully into submission ANYONE who questioned the current thinking! Gosh, this reminds me of how the Catholic Church dealt with anyone who questioned their world view – like Galileo!

As I said, the more the bullying, the more I doubt!

Comment from John
Time January 13, 2013 at 7:50 am

Kay, funny comparison with Galileo, since he stood against the earthly powers – the Catholic Church – and for the scientific method and its results, just as the vast majority of climate scientists find themselves having to do in putting the truth of climate change to a reluctant political clique and capital more generally. It is already probably too late and mitigation strategies won’t address the catastrophe awaiting. Eppur si muove.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time January 13, 2013 at 10:10 am

Oh these fools, these f@@@’n fools…..

But this is the state of capitalist theory.

Comment from John
Time January 13, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thanks Chris, I laughed and then realised it sort of makes sense for cpaitalism and for Obama. Isn’t there a whole stream of economics that might support this, some form of Chartalism, or modern monetary theory?

Comment from Kay
Time January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm


I wouldn’t think it is a “reluctant political clique” who are embracing the climate change business – it seems the current Australian government at least is pushing ahead with its form of climate change tax-collection and propaganda regime! And Galileo stood for scientific method against the church/state view – same thing – the climate change sceptics are standing for proven scientific method against a yet-to-be-proven and very shaky computer modelling climate projection story. You don’t appear to understand that to a true scientist, the facts are never ‘irrefutable’ – they are just as good as the latest experiment/modelling. You sound just as bullying in your approach as Flannery. And your scientific knowledge does appear to be very limited.

Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with the past couple of thousand years at least of climate history. Climate scientists are at a loss to explain that, let alone start predicting future changes. Based on past history, the climate always has and always will continue to change – but exactly what have been the mechanisms involved? No one is certain. The past 100 years or so has been an exceptionally stable and benign period. So why suddenly imagine you can PREDICT future climate change specifics? It is so illogical, it is amazing that so many believe the current propaganda. Man has always had to adapt to climate change, so why not plan to continue to adapt? Nobody is arguing about a need to broaden our energy sources, and change our destructive practices.

I think you choose to believe the anthropogenic climate change theory because it fits your idea of the terrible capitalists destroying the world. And, as a academic, you should know that government funding such as ARC grants, CSIRO funding etc go to the latest ‘in’ topic. My husband used to be on the ARC Committee. At certain times. certain lines of research are favoured. Recently it has been climate change. So it PAYS to get on the bandwagon! I’m very surprised you don’t see that as a complicating factor – the ‘political’ versus ‘scientific’ input to climate change theory. But you aren’t a scientist, I guess.

Comment from Ross
Time January 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Kay an excellent post and very relevant to this site. http//

I’ve been to 6 carbon tax protests now ,3 in Canberra and 3 in Sydney.Malcom Roberts is an engineer who leads the Galileo Movement and he has some real science that will make the most ardent AGW believers think twice about the conventional thinking if they take the time to look at another view point.

There are a many factors which influence climate.Take for example on not mentioned.Our poles have been shifting at record rates of 40 km per year.This is signaling the swapping of the poles which may take hundreds of years.During this time our magnetic fields which help repel the suns radiation become weaker ,thus allowing more energy to reach Earth.

We are also overdue for an ice age.Our high temps at the moment are not the norm.While it is true times in the past have been hotter,but the norm has been much colder.

The complexity if climate cannot be replicated by computer climate models of the IPCC.

There is a hidden agenda and that is another derivative that empowers a Global Elite in the West.They will tax us into abject poverty for their New World Order promoted by the United Nations.Just google Agenda 21 and see how this totalitariarn movement thinks.

The world presently lacks the imagination to raise our consciousness to a higher level.We have become a culture of can’t do, for fear offending some politically correct ideology thinks.

At least John to his credit allows alternative view points but there are two on this OLO blog that refuse to post anything about the NWO or their totalitariarn intentions of a one world Govt.

Comment from John
Time January 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Oh dear, Kay and Ross, deniers to the left of me deniers to the right. I bow before your superior scientific knowledge. Too bad about the 99% of scientists who are obviously wrong. Gee, I dunno, seems like cigarette companies all over again. I don’t accept the mass of scientific evidence because I am a socialist. I accept it because it is proven; unlike the theories of crackpot scientists and their mouthpieces like Monckton, Alan Jones and Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott as the undersander of the scence in this? Oh dear give me a break. I am not going to publish this shit from deniers any more. Find a lunatic blog to sprout your nonsense to the other loons.

And Ross can sprout his conspiriacy theories elsewhere. No doubt Prince Philip has some role in all of this too. Maybe he was behind 9/11.

Comment from JN
Time January 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm


What we have here is not scientific knowledge:

“It amazes me that ‘scientists’ are prepared to make such statements when it is a given in ANY OTHER field of science or topic in science that the current theory is only as good as the supporting evidence.”

It is a load of pseudo-scientific horse shit, reminiscent of the propaganda of the religious nuts and obscurantists who, with some success unfortunately, attempt to dispute the scientifically established and indisputable FACT of species evolution on the grounds that Darwin’s is merely another theory among many possible explanations for the origins of life on Earth.

Your correspondents’ obscurantism notwithstanding, scientific studies of natural phenomena have indeed established numerous indisputable FACTS. These include for, example the FACT that the Earth is not the centre of the universe, or the FACT that atoms and molecules interact with electromagnetic radiation according to rules described by quantum mechanics. In particular, it is an established FACT that CO2 absorbs radiation at the frequencies at which heat is normally radiated into space by the Earth. The energy absorbed by the CO2 as then re-emitted by the CO2, and a proportion of this re-emitted energy returns to the Earth, resulting in higher temperatures here.

While it’s undoubtedly a waste of time giving any determinedly obscurantist nut job (such as you two correspondents here seem to be) references to the scientific literature, your other readers may wish to pursue this further. For them:

Comment from Kay
Time January 14, 2013 at 7:10 am


You clearly don’t read scientific journals! I do. There is a wide range of views across the disciplines. How can a prediction be “proven”? Impossible without allowing time to prove it one way or another! Many of the past predictions by Flannery and Co have so far fallen flat, and have had to be drastically modified. Yet you believe.

A denier? If you read my comment you would see that there is NO DENIAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE! It is the poor understanding of the mechanisms involved that makes predictions so fraught with danger – as Flannery has found in the past.

Your bullying is so typical of the Left! Why are you so afraid of an alternative, well-argued view? Yours certainly isn’t!

Comment from Ross
Time January 14, 2013 at 8:28 am

John ,Henry Kissenger, George Bush senior and Jr,Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and Barack Obama have all mentioned their New World Order.Are the nut jobs too?

The USA/NATO have now sent troops to 35 Africian countries.Obama snubbed Israel and their urge to attack Iran but the West now sees the containment of China in Africa as being more urgent at the moment.

China does not want war since it is winning the peace through productivity.China in 2008 was supposed to roll over and and totally allow the Western Banking Cartels take contol of their economies like ours.China produces 80% of it’s new money via Govt banks, that’s why it has no real debt problems. Just watch as Hillary and Obama ratchet up the hate propaganda towards China/Russia in the coming months.What ever happened to the War on Terror ?

Anyone who cannot see the Imperialism presently being demonstrated by the West is deluding themselves.

Comment from Rigby Taylor
Time January 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

I’m with you, John. Concerned scientists have made the decision to declare human induced climate change a fact, in an effort to spur governments on to some action because it is already too late to stop 2 degrees warming. If they were traditionally cautious, then nothing would be done. Now, thanks to the sceptics nothing is done anyway, so they’f risked their reputations for nothing. Prevention is better than cure is a saying too many people have forgotten.

Comment from John
Time January 14, 2013 at 10:30 am

Kay, calling bullshit on bullshit isn’t bullying. There are lots of flat earth societies out there you can join and makes similar unscientific contributions on. Find them.

Ian Lowe in todays Age – It’s happening – just like climate scientists said it would

As Australia recovers from the events of last week, we face a future of increasing average temperatures and more severe extreme events: heatwaves, bushfires, cyclones, floods. It is getting harder to accept the obfuscation and delaying tactics of the fossil fuel interests and their supporters. Some are still saying they doubt the science, even though it has been correctly predicting what would happen for 25 years.–just-like-climate-scientists-said-it-would-20130113-2cnej.html

Comment from John
Time January 14, 2013 at 10:34 am

Ah Ross, imperialism isn’t the NWO, and by the way the war criminals you mention don’t claim there is a NWO. But hang on, you believe George W orchestrated 9/11, so why would you believe him on NWO? Just another of your long list of conspiracies. That Prince Philip sure is a powerful dude eh? Or is it Liz? Or is is ‘international finance’ or some other nefarious very powerful group. Oh God, now I am actually giving this conspiracy nonsense my attention. I guess that is the problem when my blog is too small to engage the real left or working class. Yet, I hope.

Comment from Mary
Time January 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

how easily you have all been sidetracked from the issue of single mothers. The token $50 is an insult to these women. The real issue the true value of women in the home as mothers and carers often of elderly folk and as volunteers in their community have been ignored. None of this has been considered by politicians, bureacrats and policy makers. The assumption is that women at home do no work. They work 24/7 unpaid work and see themelves as mothers a roll that is very important but greatly undervalued by our policy makers. The equation between unemployment and and idleness does not apply to most single mothers. The only thing single mothers share with the unemployed jobless is they are not in paid employment. But these women are gainfully employed unpaid in their communities.

Comment from Ross
Time January 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

John,Bob Brown on several occasions said that he believed in “Global Governance” So what’s the differnence between that and the NWO.Are we going to have a democratic say in this World Government promoted by the Green movement and our banking cartels? Do you John agree with the concept of Global Governance?

The US Federal Reserve is a private cartel of banks who create from nothing most of the money for the US Govt to function.He who pays the piper calls the tune.This reality makes Congress and Obama servants to this system.This also gives these cartels control of the most powerful military on the planet.

Is was Dwight Eisenhower in the early 1960’s that warned us about the Military Industrial Complex.This Cartel of Banking,Arms producers,oil maggots, big pharma,chemical Co’s etc have us by the balls.

JFK in 1963 had executive order 11110 in place that was going to usurp the power of the US Federal Reserve.He had $ half a billion of new notes printed in the name of Congress.A few months later he was assassinated.

If China in 2008 had agreed to roll over and accept their debt based money system that would enslave them,we would not be facing the prospect of another world war.

Comment from Kay
Time January 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm

John, JN

To you two non-scientists who are obviously unable to READ and understand my comments, I shall summarise what I said:

1. Climate change is happening and we need to do everything we can to reduce fossil fuel use (have you spent over $12K of your hard-earned dollars on solar power? – I have – hardly the action of a “denier”!);
2. Governments around the world are doing little of any real value to reduce CO2 emissions;
3. There is a political imperative to make something happen to reduce emissions, but that unfortunately can cast doubt on the scientific integrity of government statements (eg Flannery, Steffen);
4. Science is developed by people coming up with theories, experimentation/data being obtained, the theory revised, more data ad infinitum. Thus are theories refined. But CERTAINTY is hard to achieve;
5. Scientists readily admit they are still not certain what caused the many rapid climate change events that have happened in our recent recorded history – including ‘The Little Ice Age’ (approx. 1350 to 1850) which followed ‘The Medieval Warm Period’ (approx. 1000 to 1350), especially as the changes were quite different between the Northern and Southern hemispheres;
6. A ‘prediction’ is just that – a hopefully well-informed extrapolation of current data and current theory – it can only be PROVEN CORRECT by the passing of time;
7. Hence to say Anthropogenic Climate Change is “PROVEN” is clearly ridiculous, although as a greater understanding of climate change is developed, the theory MAY well prove to be correct.

So far, so good?

And guess what, I haven’t mentioned flat earth societies, evolution theory, Abbott, Truss, Monckton, or Alan Jones. That’s your obsession.

So why can’t you two insulting bullies read and understand a perfectly sensible discussion which actually doesn’t refute climate change theory, but just says a ‘prediction’ is not a fact. I thought that was obvious, but maybe not to non-scientists like you two?

Perhaps, John, you really only want sycophants contributing to your blog? Hence your immoderate, and completely unwarranted insults?

Comment from John
Time January 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Oh Kay haven’t you changed your tune? From denier to a supporter of AGW. Oh well, one small victory I guess. But given your incapacity to express yourself clearly and the way you shift from being a denier to supporter of AGW, it’s obvious you’ve never studied English expression and truthfulness. I suggest Orwell as a good start. Sycophants – no? Those who understand AGW is real – yes. As Ian Lowe argues, current events verify the predictions of 25 years ago.

I am glad JN picked you up on your non-scientific approach. And all you can say is we aren’t scientists. Oh dear, what a meagre, pathetic anti-intellectual elitist response. but given your complete misunderstanding of the scientific method I’d suggest you clearly aren’t a scientist, even if you have a degree in one of its many branches. But the guard is tired. This arguing with the brain dead isn’t worth my nervous energy.

Comment from John
Time January 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Enough with the conspiracy theories Ross. Have you ever read a single thing I have written? Because obviously you haven’t understood a single thing and what my views are. Please spread your JFK, 9/11, New World Order and finance conspiracies elsewhere.

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