Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A voice of reason and authority

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  • Jeremy Eade,

    More Peter Gluckman on the front pages of newspapers now forever.

    It's just science. We have vast holes of science illiteracy across all sectors and we have a government who are currently taking science lessons on the trot.

    It's hilarious and tragic.

    and Bronowski, a sad prophet, amazing stuff.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    The kind of crap they *were* engaged in is an amalgam of fundamentalist christianity & 'anti-satanism'- it has NO legitimacy within Maori cosmology or former religious practise

    Good point, still the sentence was confusing. Is satan a defence?....

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Is Satan a defence? - No.
    I have no idea for the rationale behind the judge's sentencing - I agree with people with legal experience & expertise who described the sentences as 'too lenient."

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    yeh, so do I.

    and yeh, what they were doing was old school christian witch burning.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    it has NO legitimacy within Maori cosmology or former religious practise

    Is there a book on this? I've always wanted to understand maori philosophy, it seems ignorant not to know, being here and everything , i think this country needs some philosophy.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • conseismal,

    (you amalgamated "fundamentalist christianity" with "anti-satanism" ..something in there expects satan to rock right up and defend himself from such denigration, does it not?)


    experimentally as always

    Since Jul 2009 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jeremy E - try Elsdon Best "Maori Religion & Mythology" vols. 1 & 2*
    - very Tuhoe, but there is a lot of other iwi input also - philosophy per se - meh, cant be detached from practice/practises. And there were and are, great tribal differences...
    *I think these - or some of these compilations maybe available online-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    experimentally as always

    Data: Forsaking the accusatory tone could be worth trying. Really, it makes for a better discussion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    As a working research scientist, I have so far been more alarmed than cheered by the utterances of the the Chief Science Advisor so far.

    The piece on global warming that he has written or commissioned is appropriate, but I don't think it tells us anything new, and it's not clear how much influence it has had on the pragmatic stance taken by the NZ Government in the pre-Copenhagen horse-trading.

    I found his performance on the folate supplementation issue pretty weak. Foetal nutrition is his area of expertise, but it seems on this one he totally failed to 'put science at the heart of Government decision making' as I believe John Key promised when he made the appointment. Instead, we have had a perpetration of 'public health malpractice' by some of the Government's old mates in the food industry. I think the science advisor (and the PM for that matter) should be ashamed of this outcome.

    On a professional level, I find many of his voiced opinions deeply worrying for science in New Zealand. He has stated that he will not be an 'advocate for scientists', and in the article in the weekend Herald tells the chronically underfunded research community of NZ to 'stop playing Oliver Twist' over research funding. Comments like that seem to me to be aimed at cosying up to a cost-cutting Government, rather than actually making a case for an increased science investment to move us out of the recession, as we are now seeing in the US.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Interesting perspective, Shaun Lott- as an interested taxpaying bystander, might I ask, in a general sort of way, what is your area of research?

    I have friends who are working scientists (and a few of them academics) in the disciplines of geology/seismology, archaeology,icthyology, and entymology : most of them are delighted that the current government - whom I do not support- has actually had the nous to appoint a Scientific Adviser.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    yeh shaun - good points and I agree he's not a great advocate, but we are so starved of science reporting that it seemed like a breath of fresh air to have a scientist being listened to to by a journalist.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Surely then Doctor Lott , you would have to agree with some of that article where he said that some of you up at the Uni have often found him controversial and a bit of a sell out when he formed the Liggins Institute?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Speaking of Reason and Authority, when did Trevor Mallard lose his?

    How else to explain this?

    If I was a betting man, I'd call it trying to have a bob each way and losing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's true that he didn't deny there was a problem, and that it was of our making. But he did consistently advance the view that it wasn't important enough to be prioritised over various other goals.

    With all due and sincere respect, Russell, perhaps Lomborg has a point when he suggests that there are many many people in the world for whom access to safe water, basic sanitation and health care and three meals a day are more important priorities than climate change, and are at least debatably worth being prioritised by the global community.

    It is useful to bear in mind that not only is Lomborg not a climate scientist, he does no original research.

    Neither do you, Russell. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Craig - if we dont start doing something about human-induced glabal warming *as well as making sure all humans have access to potable water, basic sanitation & sufficient food, shelter & health care* the planet will be unihabitable -for us.

    Regrettably, we are not an entirely sane species.
    I'm sure the cockroaches (or the rats) will make a better job of things...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    With all due and sincere respect, Russell, perhaps Lomborg has a point when he suggests that there are many many people in the world for whom access to safe water, basic sanitation and health care and three meals a day are more important priorities than climate change, and are at least debatably worth being prioritised by the global community.

    Of course, that's a false dichotomy & a rather naive assumption of a particularly zero-sum world. We can do both, believe it or not.

    (Further, while i daren't say that Lomborg's a bit of a concern troll, well, yeah, his arguments look suspiciously similar.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Of course, that's a false dichotomy & a rather naive assumption of a particularly zero-sum world. We can do both, believe it or not.

    Or I'm not naive enough to assume everything gets done at once, and (gasp!) there are circumstances and parts of the world where climate change really really isn't top of the list.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    With all due and sincere respect, Russell, perhaps Lomborg has a point when he suggests that there are many many people in the world for whom access to safe water, basic sanitation and health care and three meals a day are more important priorities than climate change, and are at least debatably worth being prioritised by the global community.

    Though I'm quite sure that Russell doesn't need anyone to fight for him I'm gonna call this as cheap troll talk. All due respect aside - somone confronted by death due to lack of primary resources is almost certainly able to appreciate actions that promote and conserve them for future generations. Lomborg is not having a debate with the third world and I should regard you and he as poorly described spokepersons on their behalf.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Islander and Jeremy: It appears to be going through one of its apparently semi-regular meltdowns, but The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre has some of Elsdon Best's work. Not, unfortunately, Maori Religion & Mythology but a few of his minor ones on related subjects.

    Not available on Google Books either, sadly.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    perhaps Lomborg has a point when he suggests that there are many many people in the world for whom access to safe water, basic sanitation and health care and three meals a day are more important priorities than climate change, and are at least debatably worth being prioritised by the global community

    Which would be to assume it's a zero-sum game.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Which would be to assume it's a zero-sum game.

    Really? In our house, replacing the windows that turn into a water feature every time there's heavy rain is being prioritised over refurbishing the spare bathroom, that doesn't mean it's a "zero sum game" or that the latter isn't important. (Having a mould farm in your house isn't exactly a guarantee of health and comfort.) People, organisations and governments prioritise spending (and allocation of resources) every day, in matters great and small.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Really? In our house, replacing the windows that turn into a water feature every time there's heavy rain is being prioritised over refurbishing the spare bathroom,

    Move the bathroom, call it a wetroom, win, win situation. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    access to safe water, basic sanitation and health care and three meals a day

    Funnily enough those are inextricably linked to climate change, in the grand scheme of things.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Funnily enough those are inextricably linked to climate change, in the grand scheme of things.

    Admittedly Paula Pennett is trying to reprioritise 3 squares a day with her "Bash a bene" scheme, but haven't we already got safe water, basic sanitation and healthcare?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    but haven't we already got safe water, basic sanitation and healthcare?

    I suspect the Greens would say "up to a point, Lord Copper" to that. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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