Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

US default can be good value

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-30

I admit hoping the impasse in the US continues until a US default – as it would do much good worldwide, not the least, help the US citenzery a great deal, although in the long term

For one, the US dollar needs to be treated on its merits, devalued by the market rather than priced at a premium on the basis of nostalgia.

A default, then backdown of the Republicans so employees are paid, would through a low greenback and deserved loss of consumer confidence, might help muzzle consumerism first in the US and then across the world.

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Posted in Economics and Business, Environment, International, Politics, Society | Comments Off

Malcolm, PM with party of one?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-23

I’m in silly mode here, but the silliness has some weird delicious sense for all the nonsense.

Here’s the best way for the ALP to keep Tony Abbott and the Liberal Backroom Bastards out of the lodge – offer to support Malcolm Turnbull as PM on the floor of the house.

… Malcolm as PM, not in the ALP, but supported by a coalition of ALP, Independents and Green … and maybe a few decent moderate Liberals if there are any others left in that party.

In theory at least, the PM merely has to have majority support in the House… and there is no constitutional requirement for the PM to be in the major party among supporters.

In theory, with ALP, Green and Indy support on the floor, Turnbull could be offered the Lodge without joining the ALP – without him resigning from the Libs even – or at most, being a party of one.

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Posted in Australia, Environment, Politics | 1 Comment »

Are you smarter than a chocolate ad?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-21

Tony Abbott should probably loosen his celice … from around his neck – it’s cutting off the blood supply to his brain.

Tony Abbott’s 2011-07-07 interview transcript on the Liberal Party website proves a half-way decent 3rd grader knows more science.

See, one of the things that people haven’t quite twigged to is that carbon dioxide is invisible, it’s weightless and it’s odourless.

By saying carbon dioxide is weightless, it shows Mr Rabbit never paid attention to Julius Sumner Miller on chocolate advertisements, or Deane and Rob on The Curiosity Show.

Even Dan Quayle, the US VP who was filmed at a school spelling bee telling a kid to mis-spell "potato" had a better excuse than Abbott.

But the Australian public (apart from the latte left and latte right) won’t laugh, they won’t notice the error.

Pauline Hanson, even Humphrey B. Bear is an intellectual giant by comparison.

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Posted in Australia, Environment, Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

House a possum, not a cat

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-05-01

It is good to see the use of possum-boxes advocated in "The Possum Wars" (The Sunday Age, 2011-05-01), but it didn’t push the point that there should be a war on the far more noisy and destructive mammal in our cities – the cat.

Cats, for their massacre of native fauna, could be called "furry cane toads" – but that would be unkind to cane toads which at least don’t impose a significant cost to human health (see "Kill cats – save humans and the health budget" – 2009-06-09).

Possums might be a little annoying with their kxkxxxx noises during the mating season, but they don’t make noises all damn year, and don’t mimic the sound of a human baby crying.  That sound gets deep down, reaches into even my sleep, and wakes me up, having grabbed at my basic human instincts to attend to a distressed infant.

Possums?  They make good "wild buddies" for the famil – while you cannot establish the reciprocal affection you can with a magpie family, it’s pretty easy to develop some trust from them.

Personally, I think kids can learn as much, if not more, from a wild buddy than a pet.

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Posted in Australia, Biology and Health, Environment | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Libs and The Oz do not want government

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-04-12

I’m beginning to suspect that the Liberal party machine does not want a federal Liberal government soon, and neither do the major backers of the Liberal party – including the partisan mouthpiece, Murdoch’s The Australian.

The Libs could easily gain control of parliament before the year is out, simply by re-instating Turnbull as parliamentary leader – for Turnbull is the preferred leader of voters (even attractive to Labor and Greens voters), and could woo the independents to support a Liberal government in a month or two.

Why wouldn’t the Libs and their backers want government, want control of the country’s economic and social direction?

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Environment, Media, Politics | 6 Comments »

Internet runs out of addresses – a model for climate policy inaction

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-04

I cannot imagine a better model of the political response to climate change than the way IPv4 internet addresses have just run out.

Domain experts warning for years about a crisis: but politicians doing nothing, powerful businesses charging big bucks for resources running dry… Sound familiar?

The only difference between the political inaction making the shift to IPv6 is that the perfect solution was already in place years ago, pretty soon after the geeks started worrying.

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Posted in Economics and Business, Environment, Information Management, International, Politics, Science and Tech | 7 Comments »

Funding repairs for floods versus financial meltdowns

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-01-27

Compare and contrast the impact and policy responses of the floods and the latest Global Financial Crisis:

  • How do governments fund the necessary spending?
  • What does the funding mechanism say about the genesis of the crises as an actuary would view them?

Personally, I think whether funding comes from a one-off tax levy, or out of general coffers, the funding mechanism in response to significant crises should be the same, if both are as regular (or not) as each other.

Consider the following principle: one-off levies are appropriate for one-off events, while treatment from general revenue is appropriate for events that are considered likely to occur on a regular basis.

So, the policy response seems to indicate the government thinks that massive financial crises aren’t really that big a deal, or have a reasonably predictable frequency.

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Environment, Governance, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

They dig it both ways

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-01-20

Those on peak mining bodies (and I suppose Minister for Miners Ferguson) must be very intelligent indeed if Douglas Adams was correct, that intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing views in your head at the same.

The miners can both assert and refute the urgency of climate change and need for mitigating action.

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Environment, International, Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Backroom and visible policy at odds

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-01-05

The Wikileak about Australia taking Japanese whalers to court being nothing but a to placate the public, not the actual thrust of action by government, raises two points unrelated to whaling:

  1. The publication sequence of wikileaks might be planned, the more damning still to be released;
  2. More importantly, we must wonder what other actions of government are designed to distract, while more forceful occult policy pushes the opposite way.

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Environment, Governance, Politics | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Reaganomics, Bogan Xtianity and Climate

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-12-30

US environment policy statements from 30 years ago might explain much of climate policy today.

Even back in the Reagan years, at the start of the rise of the political influence of the xtian right, policies and statements of senior politicians explicitly supported the idea that environmental destruction is ordained by god and even a desirable policy outcome.

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Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Environment, International, Politics, Society, Theology and Religion, USA | Leave a Comment »

Aqua Ribbon Electorates by 2020

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-08-22

I’ve been watching Higgins and Kooyong over the last 20 years, and will make a prediction: those LNP "blue ribbon" seats will be leading a new phenomenon: "aqua ribbon" – going by 2020 through LNP requiring Green preferences, to Green with LNP preferences.

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Posted in Australia, Environment, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Polis for our time

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-05-02

There must be a photograph or video clip of Kevin Rudd taken in the last few days that will become as much a symbol of failure and stupidity in Australian history as the English have with Neville Chamberlain coming out of a plane, waving a piece of paper that was the result of meetings with Hitler, and proclaiming "Peace for our time" later at Downing Street.

Perhaps the only thing stopping such a striking photo or clip is that KRudd’s can’t make such clear remarks when announcing policy, only when speechwriters put words like "greatest moral challenge of our generation".

I wonder how long it will take for some Oz comic to put together a clip of KRudd similar to the John Cleese and Peter Cook spoof of Chamberlain with his spin doctor.

The analysis of Cleese is brilliant – "I hold in my hand a piece of … sh*t", as Cleese loses it.  Rudd has lost his grip too… and the policy is sh*t.

However, we must remember not just Chamberlain and Rudd proclaiming failure as victory, we must remember the cheering crowds in 1938 Downing Street, we must remember all those in 2010 who cheered or even ho-hummed Rudd’s appeasement of planet-destroyers.  Doubtless there are few, if any, of the 1938 crowd who would confess their cheers a few months later.  Doubtless there are few, if any, of the 2010 population who will confess their cheers and ho-hums a few years hence.

This all points to what could be called the greatest moral and intellectual challenge of human history – how a population of a country or planet can choose wise, honest, and steadfast leaders, then how that population can let such leaders do what needs to be done in the long-term interest of all.

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Posted in Australia, Environment, International, Politics, Society | Leave a Comment »

Perspective – Bitchy climatologists v Pederast priests

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-02-21

Climate-action denialists try to pull down the edifice of climatology because of a few bitchy emails between competitive scientists, and a single error (but hardly a fundamental one that invalidates all other data) in a huge report.

It is a pity that the even more damning, more evil, universally recognized, and self-admitted phenomenon of pederast priests, which belies the claims that Xtianity leads to improved behaviour of individuals, doesn’t cause those climate-action denialists to demand that those organizations who have protected pederasts, or at least, despite supposedly intensive training been unable to make them decent people, be pulled down, be given no special protected status within civilized societies.

Why is that?

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Posted in Environment, Science and Tech, Society, Theology and Religion | Leave a Comment »

Why most of us look at evidence and action arse-about

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-02-10

A very thought provoking paper on why people do not want to, and therefore reject, overwhelming scientific concensus, has just been released on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN): "Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus" (2010-02-07) with the lead author from Yale Law School.

It posits and tests the idea that your worldview will make you, near-instinctively, reject evidence based on whether the actions guided that evidence would conflict with your worldview.

Putting it a bit simplistically, libertarians hate the science of climate change because it demands action involving regulation, and supranational concerted action, while lefties, viewing big business as intrinsically untrustworthy, will not credit any evidence that nuclear waste can be managed.

We are all screwed, unless there are enough people who have the intellectual discipline and inclination to make evidence-based decisions.  The number of "people-of-faith" (e.g. base their lives on the idea that evidence is less important than other drivers) in the world means that evidence will hardly get a look-in, so evidence-based politics and consequence evidence-based policy will remain a pipe dream (unless we convince those with imaginary sky friends to be internally consistent and pray rather than seek medical help).

An agonizing crash of human civilization and population is inevitable unless we get rid of both theists and libertarians (hopefully by educating them properly rather than a pogrom).

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Posted in Australia, Education, Environment, International, Philosophy, Politics, Science and Tech, Society, Theology and Religion | 2 Comments »

The Scandinavian Play

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-12-16

Ashamed to be Australian when Howard encouraged warmongering across the world, now it’s time for Australians to be ashamed as KRudd effectively encourages warming.  And the citizens allowed both PMs to get away with such immoral actions!

With the Lost-Hope-nhagen conference, the politicians merely acting for audiences, it’s worth reminding everyone of another Scandinavian play "(An|The) Enemy of the People", more than 120 years old, written by Henrik Ibsen, perhaps looking at an old post of mine about the play, or look at Wikipedia.

When you read, simply replace "Doctor Stockmann" with "Scientific Community", and "tannery polluting the local spas that are the town’s cash cow", with "Big Carbon interests destroying the planet for illusory economic benefit", and you’ll think it was a current affairs re-enactment of what is going on today.

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Posted in Arts, Environment, Politics | Leave a Comment »

 
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