What makes a bully?
And, more importantly, what can be done about them?
We know bullying is a huge problem. Even the Prime Minister has admitted to having been a target as a boy, and Price Waterhouse Coopers research suggests the problem costs society $2.4 billion per annual school cohort.
The first step in addressing bullying is to realize that we as a society have been unwittingly promoting the view that people are fragile, are in need of constant reassurance, and must be protected against criticisms and so-called microaggressions.
Consider a report on the BBC website which states “A head teacher of a leading primary school has said young children should not have best friends because it could leave others feeling ostracized and hurt.”
Seriously? Children are being taught that their feelings are easily hurt and that they are easily offended and powerless to not be offended. Such thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This needs to stop.
Malcolm Turnbull might be all smiles on school visits now, but he admits he was bullied during his own school days.
The second step in stamping out verbal bullying is to understand that bullies engage in bullying because of their own feelings of inadequacy and insecurities, despite the outward mask of confidence they wear.
People relate with others in accordance with how they relate to themselves.
Those who genuinely like themselves, not in a narcissistic way, but who can appreciate their own self-worth, genuinely like others and have no need to torment, attack, or harass them. They neither see themselves as inferior nor superior to others.
But this is not true for bullies, whose bullying behaviours are better seen as calls for help.
This is not to excuse any bully’s behaviour, but an understanding of the bully’s primary motivations provides clues on how to reduce their bullying behaviour.
Bullies typically continue their bullying behaviour when they are psychologically rewarded by seeing the fear and anguish in their victims. When these rewards stop, often so does the bullying.
Bullies feed off the targets’ defensive responses. If the bully throws verbal ‘mud’ and it does not stick, they generally move on to an easier target.
The third step is that, in addition to dealing with the bullies’ behaviour, there is also great benefit in helping targets of bullies understand what they can do to prevent themselves from being victims.
Immediately after reading that last sentence, some will protest: “You are blaming the victim” or “But targets shouldn’t have to do anything; it’s the responsibility of the bully to change his or her behaviour.”
The reality is, however, that bullies are generally not responsible people, and due to their own insecurities, are on the lookout for targets to tease and torment, even when there are laws that say they should not.
I am not blaming the targets of bullies.
I merely wish to empower them so that they no longer need to be fearful in the face of verbal attacks and taunts.
It would help kids if they better understood what motivates bullying behaviour and the best way to respond.
What I am suggesting is teaching children some psychological defence skills that will make them psychologically ‘Teflon coated’ and immune to the kind of verbal abuse that often leads on to physical abuse by the bully or even suicide for the bullied.
There are many non-defensive responses that the bully will certainly not find reinforcing. For example, when being teased, a simple and calm response such as, “Oh, why are you telling me that?” or, my personal favorite counter to an insult intended to upset me, “Thanks for that feedback, I’ll give it some thought” can turn the attention back to the bully.
These responses are much like the classic response of, “Is that all you’ve got?” to a flasher: He is quickly deflated.
I must emphasize that my assertion that children can benefit from learning effective skills to prevent themselves from being targets of bullying is in no way meant to replace the much-needed adult interventions aimed at stopping bullies through social and legal avenues or to lessen the culpability of the bully.
The reality is, however, that there are times when adults are not there, or their interventions are not effective.
As such it is an educational imperative to strengthen the inner resources of potential victims.
Of course, the strategies I’ve described don’t come easy to children who have grown up with the mistaken belief that other people’s opinions of them are more important to them than their own opinion of themselves.
A crucial part of any psychosocial self-defence education program will need to focus on helping children find ways to value their opinions of themselves more than the bully’s opinion of them and others’ opinions in general.
Children are more likely to do this when they see the significant adults in their lives model this. Adults, please remember this.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Arrows of hate have been shot at me too, but they never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever.”
This article was originally published in The Daily Telegraph, 19th March 2018.
More like a puff of hot air, the AGL ‘fail’!
The AGL Coopers Gap Wind Farm shows just how gullible we all are! We are being systematically and financially attacked by unsustainable and unaffordable electricity costs from energy producers, facilitated by state and federal governments. Many of us cannot afford basic electricity in a nation blessed with abundant natural resources!
The RET (renewable energy targets) funded by taxpayers to the tune of $3billion per annum, is causing an ‘energy-crisis’ in this nation. But who is standing up and speaking up about this crisis and offering a solution for affordable energy? While we increase exports of coal and gas to China and India- some of the world’s most prolific polluters- to produce competitively priced goods – we slug our industries and citizens with higher energy prices to fund the ‘renewable energy monster’. Industries become uncompetitive, people lose jobs and an essential service becomes a luxury for many everyday Aussies. To be sustainable, renewables such as wind, solar and hydro must stand on their own two- feet economically!
Here are some comments on the latest ‘AGL Coopers Gap Wind Farm’ development
The PARF Fund (Powering Australian Renewables Fund) seems to be a commercial vehicle set up to capture Queensland’s Labor State Government renewable subsidy funds, to deliver their 50% renewable energy target. To date we have not seen any details of Labors proposed 50% RET, and what impact this will have on taxpayers. Prior to the Queensland state election, voters were not given details, before going to the ballot box. Neither has the Queensland Labor Government given any financial justification, based on facts and economic necessity, for pursuing a 50% renewable energy target. A similar renewable energy target has demonstrated its ability to wreak havoc on the South Australian economy, and now the newly elected Queensland Labor Government seems determined to replicate the South Australian disaster.
It is interesting to note the ‘justifications’ on the AGL web page for the Coopers Gap Wind Farm, demonstrate an interesting mix of pure fantasy and unadulterated misinformation.
The Coopers Gap Wind Farm output at maximum capacity (i.e. when the wind is blowing at about 35 – 45 Km/hr) is 453 MW, or enough to power 260,000 average domestic homes. However, what if your consumer mix is not all average homes, but a mix of light, medium and heavy industry, and homes? When the wind velocity falls off, another generating plant (coal or gas) is required to generate the drop-off and keep the power on. The benefit claimed by AGL (i.e. number of average residences powered by wind) is a fallacy, but an impressive number nonetheless, but a number which is totally irrelevant when considering the requirements of baseload electricity for industry.
123 wind turbines produce 453 MW power at maximum design wind velocity, which gives a unit wind turbine capacity of 3.68 MW (453 / 123) each. Yearly generating capacity of the Coopers Gap facility is given as 1,510,000 MW hrs. If the wind turbines were to operate 100% of the time, the theoretical maximum output would be 3, 965,126 MW hrs. (123 turbines x 3.68 MW x 24 hrs / day x 365 days). Utilisation factor is therefore (1,510,000 / 3,965,126) or 38%. This means that alternative coal or gas fuel generation is required for 62% of the time to keep the lights on, air conditioners operating, refrigeration operating in homes and supermarkets, smelting plants operational, commercial buildings illuminated, computers and security systems operational, hospitals fully functioning, traffic lights and street lights working etc. The question, therefore, needs to be asked; Would any commercially responsible company (i.e. not government subsidized) put in a plant that only produced a return 38% of the time??
ABC news and other local news outlets report the ‘benefits’ of The Coopers Gap Wind Farm as helping economically depressed rural farming areas, and the wind turbine royalty to each of the 12 farms greatly benefiting the economic viability of the area. No mention of the increase in consumer costs, and the resultant ‘ripple effect’ to businesses, farms and livelihoods. No mention of the geographic suitability of the site. Surely not a rational financial reason for placing a wind farm in an area?? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-08/struggling-farmers-looking-to-wind-farms-for-financial-security/9406376
Now for some additional information I believe is relevant to the efficient running of a power generation industry. In previous decades, various state governments had a power generation authority (ECNSW, QEGB, ETSA, SECV etc) who were tasked with owning and operating power generation utilities. These authorities, although slightly unwieldy and feather- bedded to a degree, had a core group of qualified professional engineers who could advise various state governments of industry needs with respect to electrical power generation and load demand. These generation authorities have long since been disbanded in the rush for imaginary cost savings and government efficiencies. There are now no qualified professionals regulating power generation and demand! Their function has now been usurped by under-educated, and virtue-signalling politicians supported by vocal special interest groups, who get the ‘green light’ to install renewable energy generating plants throughout the states and territories without regard to good electrical engineering practice – hence South Australia now has state-wide power outages and runaway power costs – some of the most expensive electricity in the developed world.
This high cost of renewables is a result of subsidies for the RET (renewable energy target) on the threat of climate catastrophism. Subsidies to one sector of energy generation skew the market and remove a level playing field for other electricity generators. Opportunistic companies then take advantage of easy-money subsidies and close viable and competitive energy producing plants and replace them with higher-cost renewables energy. It is a lazy ‘get-rich-quick’ business strategy!
This then results in a lack of investment in traditional power generation using our nation’s resource-rich supplies of coal and gas. Generating options such as HELO (high energy, low omissions) coal and natural gas-fired power stations which could deliver the cheapest market rate power to all Australians are being shelved in preference of subsidized unreliable, and unaffordable renewable energy production, while exporting our competitive natural resource advantage, overseas.
I have travelled extensively around Tasmania and viewed some of their wind turbine sites. In Tasmania, the highest wind speeds are typically in the southern coastal latitudes, known as the roaring 40’s in the days of sailing ships.
Area for new Coopers Gap Wind Farm
Sub-tropical areas are not usually known for year-round high-velocity prevailing winds. A typical wind turbine site in Tasmania is characterised by being a coastal area exposed to the prevailing westerly winds year-round. Two fine examples are Cape Grim and Cape Portland which have wind farms. Neither of the above 2 conditions is evident at the Coopers Gap Wind Farm, so one wonders if it is suitable for the purpose, or is it just a political expediency and virtue signalling to the climate change myth? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-08/struggling-farmers-looking-to-wind-farms-for-financial-security/9406376
My experience along the Queensland coast is that for 75% of the time, this area is subject to SE trade winds ridging up the coastal strip, with the remaining 20% of the time wind coming from the NE off the Coral Sea. The remaining 5% of the time winds are cold and dry from the west, particularly during the month of August.
Wind Farms could be short-term expediency for cash-strapped technically– deficient and nervous politicians who succumb to the shrill cries of Greens protestors, every time an environmental impact study must be tabled. Not being discussed at any point, is the environmental and economic cost of producing wind turbines, which will be discussed in another article.
I am of the opinion the financial backers of Wind Farms rely on guaranteed power supply contracts, over a 20 yr wind farm lifespan. At the end of the term, the keys are handed over to others to maintain the infrastructure. What happens, therefore, when the average wind turbine lifespan is just 12 years? Is the shelf life sufficiently long enough to justify its huge economic and environmental cost? Who takes responsibility for removing these decommissioned monoliths?
The Outsider interviewed CEO of AGL, Andy Vesey, living in West Virginia, US powers his house with coal-fired electricity. http://more.skynews.com.au/podcasts/outsiders-podcast/
Meanwhile, he has declared coal ………………………………………………….and destroys this nation’s ability to have affordable and reliable power from coal. Could this be seen as the ultimate hypocrisy?
Will the Coopers Gap Wind Farm deliver sustainable, affordable and reliable power, and produce a significant ROI (return on investment) or be another economic and environmental dinosaur?