Sunday, August 23, 2009

Libertarians and the Jungle Crow

Speaking of libertarians, while I would never have a link to Andrew Bolt's blog on mine, I do admire their fresh approach. You won't readily see this kind of intelligent analysis in the media. You'll see other kinds but not this kind.

I am with them on the corruptive nature of government, I just have different social conclusions. But that doesn't mean I don't get something from reading (what I see as cockeyed) viewpoints. Provided they are well argued and properly defended.

To the extent libertarians and their binary opposite, anarchists, do this without flinching, I find them useful.


We had crows on the farm. They had a mean reputation. Pecked the eyes out of sick sheep and baby lambs, cunning, with a harsh call signifying a dry heat.

I have only ever shot one and it meant staking out silently and with my gun barrel positioned just so.

The birds that live in Sydney are very different. They seem unperturbed by humans, who are always only walking by, and they go about their carrion eating/gatekeeper of death duties almost unnoticed.

Jungle crows are different. I was reading about the jungle crows in Japan that damage internet cable. The real kicker though was - remembering how formidable a crow is to begin with - the article went on to say that the jungle crow could form its claw into a fist and "punch you in the head"

Faaaaark indeed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hockey won

[Now I can't use that pun if Joe Hockey rolls Turnbull as leader but I'll be so bummed, I won't want to.
If you read the article I link to here you'll guess that I refer to the 'hockey stick' formation in the Mann charts on global warming. I thought it important to include a dissenting voice that wasn't just foolish and, in this libertarian blog, I've found one]

"A Skeptic's Primer for 'An Inconvenient Truth'"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sceptic tank

There is virtue in being sceptical but one can take things too far. Climate change sceptics appear to fit the mold of fiddling while Rome Earth burns.

I was going to dive into the melted ice floe myself but was much relieved to discover I don't need to.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Holdren promise

Deal to warm the hearts of jaded observers
Geoffrey Lean in London
July 11, 2009

WHAT is the opposite of deja vu? Whatever it is, I experienced it this week in a dingy meeting room beneath London's US embassy talking to Barack Obama's principal adviser about the chance of international agreement to combat climate change.

I had last been in that room, 18 months ago, to discuss the same issue with one of George Bush's top advisers. For an hour we fenced, as I suggested different approaches towards a deal. The response was consistent: nothing doing. On Wednesday the room was the same, the subject was the same. But the conversation could not have been more different. For I was given the most bullish assessment of the prospects for an effective agreement that I have heard in years.

This was all the more surprising because Professor John Holdren, assistant to the President for science and technology, is no spin doctor, but an award-laden scientist who has long been one of the United States' foremost authorities on global warming. Yet he was saying that he would "bet" that the US would legislate to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by the beginning of December, making it possible to get "a degree of agreement that will surprise people" at a crucial international negotiation in Copenhagen.

Professor Holdren shares Prince Charles's sense of urgency. He says it is already too late for the world to stop "dangerous" climate change and it can now only hope to avoid "catastrophic, unmanageable change" where global warming runs out of control.

Average temperatures worldwide have so far warmed by about 0.7 degrees above the levels of pre-industrial times, causing much more rapid changes than scientists expected.

So if we are committed to an increase of 1.2 degrees and more, what is the maximum before the world is condemned to become Prince Charles's "living hell"? The scientists' best estimate is 2 degrees.

The US remains central to any agreement. But its system of checks and balances makes it hard to do anything quickly.

Professor Holdren says Mr Obama is so committed that he will twist enough arms to get the bill finalised by December. But, at best, it will only aim for emission cuts a few percentage points below 1990 levels. This would, in fact, be quite an achievement as its emissions have grown massively over the past two decades, but it might not be enough to provoke the big developing countries to act.

In the end, everything depends on economics, on whether nations feel a climate deal will help them out of the recession. Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, says a serious deal would be "the biggest stimulus package of them all".

It's also about future generations. Eighteen months ago, I eventually asked Mr Bush's representative whether he ever lay awake at night worrying about what he would tell his grandchildren if he proved to be wrong. "I have no children," he shot back, "therefore I will have no grandchildren."

Professor Holdren, I'm glad to reveal, has five.

Telegraph, London

Sunday, August 09, 2009

You, you, uranium

Given how dangerous U is (are?), I am implacably opposed to more mining. I know it has its uses, but humanity hasn't had the success it could have had with dangerous substances in the past. And I'm not talking about my chalk outline pasting past either.

Midnight Oil were right to want to ward off the threat of uranium mining and resultant nuclear fallout; it wasn't just songwriter rhetoric.

If there is any irony in being under the Gunn environmentally, the former head of the Australian Conservation Foundation and spokesman for Nuclear Disarmament, must surely find it in the approval of a fourth uranium mine

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Stuck inner Garrett


From: Kevin Rudd

To: Peter Garrett

Subject: It's logical

Dear Peter,
PM Kevin here. How are you? I am fine.
Look, well done on making the tough decision re the uranium mine. I know you'll probably get flak for it, especially as you used to sing anti-uranium songs. But the truth is, we all change our opinion - it's human nature!
Why, I used to like caramel ice cream; now I like strawberry. This really is no different: you used to dislike uranium mining; now you like it! And applying that logic, you could change the lyrics to 'Dead Heart'.
Here's my suggestion:
ORIGINAL: Mining companies, pastoral companies, uranium companies, collected companies. Got more right than people. Got more say than people.
CHANGE TO: Mining companies, pastoral companies, uranium companies, collected companies. Good for working families. Moving forward, all the aforementioned company types will gather positive results in terms of detailed programmatic specificity.
And you thought I couldn't rock!
Anyway, don't lose your hair over it.

['Inbox One' by Patrick Witton, Ointment, The Big Issue no. 334]