Australia Seeks Chief Engineer

By Canberra, Australia correspondent Erica Quarterbee

A draft advertisement for the position of Chief Engineer is circulating through the corridors of power in Canberra.

Bureau of the Chief Engineer AustraliaThe Chief Engineer is to run an independent Bureau to advise on policies relating to technologies and to audit spending on infrastructure and deployment of technologies within all of government. The Bureau of the Chief Engineer will operate as an independent, professional, “corporate consultancy and inspectorate” to the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Australia has lacked a Science Minister since the installation of the current government. It’s understood that the Prime Minister’s Office wants to install a permanent mechanism by employing independent professionals who are able to interpret the science and technology for relevance and effectiveness.

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PM Abbott Announces Team Aussie-COP21 for Paris

By Australian correspondents Erica Quarterbee and Jennie Drimmof.

Greg Hunt

Greg Hunt

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott MP BEc LLB MA has instructed the Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt MP BA LLB MA to form the best possible team to represent Australia at the IPCC Olympics later this year, culminating in the COP21 Games in Paris.

A total budget allocation of $412,786.24 means that the Minister has had to cut some corners in terms of team numbers, travel and accommodation arrangements. The budget has to stretch to 2 sets of games, the 4-day UN-FCCC ADP preliminaries in Bonn, Germany in mid-October and then the 14-day finals in Paris, France starting at the end of November. Continue reading

Potsdam Climate Institute Installs World’s Most-Sophisticated Heating System

By Potsdam, Germany correspondent André Visuel-Credable

Just zis guy, you know. The esteemed head of the much-lauded PIK – Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Hans Joachim (“Call me John”) Schellnhuber is very pleased with the mid-summer installation of the Institute’s new heating system. “Warm Hans” Schellnhuber is perhaps best known for his inspirational contribution as advisor to Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences; as vocal, trusted advisor to Germany’s Chancelloress, Angela Merkel and as a long-term, full member of the Club of Rome (aka The Latter Day Church of Thomas Malthus) Continue reading

Flash: No Federal Budget Allocation for The Consternation

By Canberra, Australia correspondent Erica Quarterbee

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has flagged that the Abbott government will not provide funding for The Consternation in the budget.

“We are deeply disappointed at the total lack of federal budget allocation for this invaluable project” said the publishers and editors in a joint statement on Friday. “We cannot express the depth of our disappointment in the Minister’s decision, especially after the favourable publicity given to his other budgeted changes.  We will try to continue with funding from other sources but will have to divert more of our energies to fund-raising activities such as the Sustainability Regatta in August this year.”

Budget Shuffles Guns from Defence into Schools

By Canberra, Australia correspondent Erica Quarterbee

From WikipediaThe Australian Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne today announced that the forthcoming budget will tie Federal school funding to weapons training in schools, retargeting half a billion dollars from the defence budget every year. The objective is to address the huge market of more than 250,000 illicit weapons in Australia.

KAL1Students in years 10 to 12 will be required to take part in weapons training starting with small-calibre rifles, shotguns and hand guns, graduating through sub-machine guns, up to 50 calibre machine guns in the final year. Continue reading

Homework now Illegal in Germany

By Hanover, Germany correspondent Dirk Heede

The Oberlandesgericht Niedersachsen (Supreme Court of Saxony) has ruled school homework illegal following a complaint by the secondary school student body Oberschülerhausaufgabenausschuß Niedersachsen (OberNieder).

According to the complaint; homework was only necessary because teachers were unable to achieve the required learning targets during school hours and that homeworks were only covering up the teachers’ incompetence.
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Turnbull Turns on Aunty

By Sydney, Australia correspondent Jennie Drimmof

Lissajous-Figur_1_zu_3_(Oszilloskop)

Image from Wikipedia

Less juice for thin Lissie.
The now former Friend of the ABC, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last night announced a halving of the ABC’s budget over 3 years. Mr Turnbull said community feedback has strongly shown that the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was delivering much more than what the taxpayers should be paying for and using taxes to compete against private operators in radio, TV and online. Continue reading