Sunday, 22 January 2017

Trump Administration attempt to rewrite climate change history was a frankly silly move as Obama had already archived his plans


It has been reported that Donald Trump and his merry band of luddites have been attempting to eradicate evidence that the Obama White House ever had actual climate change policies and what these policies contained, by removing pre-20 January 2017 climate change web pages from the content of www.whitehouse.gov without supplying links to where these previous administration policies might still exist on the Internet.

However, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/president-obama-climate-action-plan will still lead the reader to webpages such as this:

"THE CLEAN POWER PLAN

The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By setting these goals and enabling states to create tailored plans to meet them, the Plan will:

PROTECT THE HEALTH OF AMERICAN FAMILIES. IN 2030, IT WILL:
Prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths
Prevent 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks
Prevent 90,000 asthma attacks in children
Prevent 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays
BOOST OUR ECONOMY BY:
Leading to 30 percent more renewable energy generation
in 2030
Creating tens of thousands of jobs
Continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy

SAVE THE AVERAGE AMERICAN FAMILY:
Nearly $85 a year on their energy bills in 2030
Save enough energy to power 30 million homes
in 2030
Save consumers $155 billion from 2020-2030


And https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.whitehouse.gov will lead readers to pages such as this:

"A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Reversing Climate Change

President Obama believes that no challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change — and that no other country on Earth is better equipped to lead the world towards a solution.
That's why under President Obama's leadership, the United States has done more to combat climate change than ever before.

WATCH

President Obama on America's Clean Power Plan

RELATED CONTENT

Cut Carbon Pollution

Established the first-ever national carbon pollution standards for power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution in our country. The Clean Power Plan gives states flexible, cost-effective tools to cut carbon pollution from these plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030 while preventing thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks by reducing other power plant emissions

Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants

Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li1aHjjqh3w

Set standards to double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 2025 and established the first-ever fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks

"We want trucks that use less oil, save more money, cut pollution." —Obama on efficiency standards for large trucks: http://go.wh.gov/27R6Zg

Launched the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, with major American companies voicing support for a strong international climate agreement in Paris and making major new commitments to cut carbon pollution, boost clean energy, and increase low-carbon investment. As of the latest round of pledges in October, 81 businesses — representing all 50 states, 9 million people, and a combined market capitalization of more than $5 trillion — committed to support the Paris climate process

The measures taken by the public and private sectors enabled President Obama to set an ambitious but achievable goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 26-28% by 2025 last November. And in the eleven months since, we've seen unprecedented global momentum in the fight against climate change.
To date, more than 180 countries representing nearly 95% of global carbon emissions have reported post-2020 climate policies to the United Nations. This includes the major economies like the U.S., China, the European Union and India and it includes a large number of smaller economies, developing nations, island states and tropical countries — some of whom are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Developed and are implementing a strategy to reduce methane emissions, including new standards to cut emissions from oil and gas development as well as support for new technologies to detect and measure methane emissions

The EPA announced proposed standards to directly reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to help address climate change:

Announced independent private-sector commitments and executive actions to drive down cumulative global consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of highly potent climate pollutants

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Partners with Private Sector on New Commitments to Slash Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gases

Reduced the Federal Government's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent and set a new aggressive goal of reducing federal emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels by 2025

FACT SHEET: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Federal Government and Across the Supply Chain

Partnered with agricultural producers to cut emissions and increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural and forestry sectors through voluntary and incentive-based measures

Recognizing the role that forests and agricultural activities place in GHG emissions, in April 2015, USDA announced its Building Blocks for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry - an approach to reduce GHG emissions from agricultural production, increase carbon storage in our forests and soils, and generate clean renewable energy. These actions will foster resilient economies and food systems while also reducing emissions and improving environmental conditions.

Improved monitoring and measurement of land-sector greenhouse gas emissions

Climate Change and the Land Sector: Improving Measurement, Mitigation and Resilience of our Natural Resources​

Announced support for strong international climate action by more than 300 colleges and universities, who signed the American Campus Act on Climate Pledge"

And property developers try to say that Iluka in the Clarence Valley NSW has no koala population


Clarence Valley Council, media release, 18 January 2017:

Koala avoids nasty shock


On the way to work one morning in early January, Iluka resident Mark Starkey was shocked to see a koala high up an electricity pole. Koalas usually prefer good quality habitat with plenty of their favourite food trees.

Thanks to Mark, the koala avoided serious injury. ‘I rang the energy company who temporarily disconnected the power and relocated the animal to nearby bushland’, he said.

Mark was just one of the residents in the areas of Iluka, Woombah and Ashby to receive a brochure from Council detailing ways to help koalas by protecting native bushland, containing dogs, and ways to recognise koala food trees. The brochure also asked residents to ring and report koala sightings. Mark then contacted Council with the details of the koala.

The biggest threats to koalas in our area are loss of food and shelter trees, vehicle strike and dog attacks. Even though there are 100’s of different types of Eucalypts, koalas tend to only eat one or a few species. So even a single tree in your backyard can be important to koalas and other wildlife.

There’s more information about koalas in the Clarence on our website www.clarence.nsw.gov.au (search ‘koala’).

If you’d like a copy of the brochure or if you’ve seen koalas in your area, please ring Council on 66430200.

Release ends.


Koala in bushland at Frazer's Reef, Iluka, in May 2016 at 

When Twitter becomes a lethal weapon


A U.S. District Court’s response to Twitter being used to deliver a strobe effect video to a known epileptic…..

Rule 202 Order_signed 12.19.16_copy by Kurt Eichenwald on Scribd


Saturday, 21 January 2017

A Collector's Item: "@POTUS hasn't tweeted yet"


A genuine rarity at 4:33 am Sydney Time - a Trump Twitter account with no tweets 😉


UPDATE

The crowd in that Twiitter account banner? 

Not from Trump's 20 January 2017 inauguration - not even from any of the rallies he held during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

No, it happens to be a Getty image from Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, taken down from Trump's @POTUS once social media had noticed.

Just because it is beautiful........(21)


Neon Cuckoo Bee Thyreus nitidulu 
Australian native bee
gardeningwithangus.com.au

Mark Your Calendar: 40th Grafton Truck Show on 10 June 2017


Clarence Valley Council, media release, 11 January 2017:



Big rigs for big 40th show in 2017

The Grafton Truck Drivers Social Club has been going strong since 1977 and therefore this year will be the 40th Grafton Truck Show.

Club president Adrienne Dentler said, "the club was very happy to receive funding from Clarence Valley Council's Community Initiatives Program at the end of 2016."

"The funds will be used to help pay for the annual parade at the Grafton Truck Show on June 10, 2017 and this year will be a big one. The day will include the usual free kids activities and judging with some exciting changes this year including entertainment by country music legend, Adam Eckersley", Adrienne said.

For information about the Grafton Truck Drivers Social Club, please contact Adrienne Dentler via email graftontruckclub@gmail.com or phone 0407 815 026.

Any not-for-profit organisations or individuals wanting more information on funding opportunities through the Community Initiatives Program are welcome to contact the Community Projects Officer by email sammy.lovejoy@clarence.nsw.gov.au or phone 6642 0957.

The next funding round opens on February 13, 2017 for projects/initiatives from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

Release ends.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Centrelink's monumental clusterf*ck continues


As the Turnbull Government response grows more heavy-handed, community resistance grows......
Crikey, 19 January 2017:
Just as Australians were ringing in the new year and the public campaign against Centrelink's massively scaled-up debt recovery program was beginning to pick up steam, a legislative change removed a time limit that meant a certain number of welfare debts used to expire.
Previously, unlike other debts to the government, notably those owed to the Australian Taxation Office, welfare debts would lapse if no action was taken to recover them in six years.
Agencies like Centrelink could fairly easily restart the six-year limit, by taking a basic action like opening the client's record and doing a basic review, but nonetheless it resulted in some debts expiring because the agency did not have enough resources to pursue them all.
From January 1 it was removed entirely by the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Act, shortly after the government asked Centrelink to identify and recover hundreds of thousands more debts than it ever has before by significantly decreasing the amount of administrative effort spent on each one.
The various pieces of legislation amended by the act now say welfare debt recovery actions can take place "at any time" and according to the act's explanatory memorandum:
"This will align social welfare debt recovery with the arrangements applied by other government agencies involved in the recovery of Commonwealth debts, where there is no such limitation.
" … Removing this limitation will prevent debts from 'ageing' out of recovery, and will improve the ability to recover old debts. Debt recovery will be able to commence at any time."
The Mandarin has heard a significant number of relatively senior Department of Human Services staff are under the impression that the removal of the six-year limit has opened up a very large number of potential debts to recovery action that were previously off-limits.
There's apparently a view in the agency that now there is nothing stopping the automated compliance program from going back through tax and welfare records "indefinitely" to find new debts to raise.
But an independent expert in social security law said this was not quite right; the six-year limit only ever applied to debts after they were raised. The clock started when the agency became aware of the debt (or when it reasonably should have — for example, if it was notified of an overpayment but failed to actually raise a debt for six years or more).
The legal interpretation was that Centrelink could always chase a debt from any time in the past — provided it could argue there was no reasonable way to have found out more than six years prior — but in practice it always raised more debts than it could recover, so it prioritised the biggest ones and did not go looking for new ones especially hard.
The Mandarin also understands that debts that expired after no action was taken for more than six years before the change on January 1 cannot be resurrected.
The further back Centrelink goes looking for past discrepancies between taxable income and support payments, the less chance there is that the people advised of potential debts will be able to produce payslips or other records to prove they were not overpaid.
The National Social Security Rights Network (previously the Welfare Rights Network) opposed the removal of the six-year expiry date. In a recent statement, it says a lot of people are contacting it in distress because they do not realise "the system does not necessarily require people to have documentation from many years ago" and think that "without it they cannot provide the information being sought" by Centrelink. The body recommends:
"If it continues, the system should be applied to the most recent financial years first. Many people would be able to readily check information against their recent records, reducing their distress and anxiety about the process. This would also give more time for Centrelink and other stakeholders to assess how the system is working and make a considered decision whether it is fair and reasonable to roll out for earlier years."
In any case, DHS spokesperson Hank Jongen told The Mandarin there are no plans to check the records any further back than six years ago:
"As part of the compliance measures announced in the 2015-16 budget, 2015-16 MYEFO and in the 2016-2017 MYEFO, compliance reviews will not be undertaken prior to 2010-11 financial year."

The Canberra Times, 19 January 2017:
Centrelink is deliberately ripping-off thousands of Australians caught up in its data matching "robo-debt" program, with managers telling public servants at the agency to enforce debts they know are bogus, according to explosive new claims…..
Pensioners and other struggling members of the community are being hounded for "recovery fees" unfairly added on top of their debts by Centrelink, according to the whistleblower's statement, published on Thursday by left leaning advocacy group Get-Up and Centrelink's main workplace union the CPSU.
The union says it has independently verified some, but not all, of the whistleblower's allegations.
The insider, who has defied public service bosses' threats on leaking against the program, also alleges that Centrelink managers are well aware that bogus debts are being pursued and are ignoring pleas from compliance staff to take a fair approach to the debt recovery process.
"We are struggling with our consciences and pushing back against our leaders daily," the whistleblower wrote.
"We are telling the...helpdesk that what we are doing is wrong.
"I see these reviews every day and I am horrified at what I am being directed to do."
Centrelink has been contacted for comment on Thursday morning.
The insiders alleges that the rip-offs operate in five main ways:
Doubling income​, where a person's entire income from the same employer is counted twice, creating an "overpayment".
Non-assessable Income, where​ money that should not be counted as assessable income by Centrelink is counted and overpayments raised against the victim.
Fictitious payments​; where system generates debts based on payments that Centrelink never made. The whistleblower alleges it is even possible to have a debt claim larger than a person's total Centrelink payment.
False recovery fees; recovery fees are being regularly applied when they shouldn't and can be much larger than the set fee of 10 per cent.  
Corrupted review​; compliance officers are directed not to fix these errors, even when there is evidence, and their work is rejected when they do.
But Centrelink media spokesman Hank Jongen denied the accusations in a statement posted online on Thursday, saying the claims about doubling income, non-assessable income, fictitious payments, false recovery fees and corrupted reviews were all incorrect.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 January 2017:
Public servants at Centrelink have been threatened with disciplinary action or even criminal prosecution as their bosses at the welfare agency try to stem the flow of internal leaks about the agency's "robo-debt" campaign.

Several workers have gone public about the debt recovery debacle since the controversy emerged last month and now Centrelink's parent department, Human Services, has issued a stark warning to its 36,000 staff about the consequences of leaking.

The department, which has gone to extraordinary lengths and expense in the past to track down and crush internal dissent, issued its latest warning on Tuesday after several media stories featuring insider accounts of the data matching program's failings.

Excerpt from whistleblower letter released by GetUp! on 19 January 2017:


The letter can be found at:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7cszry1mjjjsndj/2029-img-113185553-0001.pdf?dl=0

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