Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A voice of reason and authority

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  • Angus Robertson,

    Regrettably, we are not an entirely sane species.

    As witnessed by the fashionable solution whereby the EU has increased its carbon footprint and increased global pollution.

    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.

    That part of the world would be the Europe where the most important thing is to move all the dirty industries to the developing world and plant pretty trees. Then import all kinds of consumerable luxury back and expose the planet to 15 - 20% increased pollution. This is done to minimise cost under the Kyoto Protocols irregardless of the enviromental consequences.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

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

    Whose we?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

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

    Whose we?

    Sofie's we.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    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

    If you look at the ever decreasing water table in India, where farmers are boring ever deeper to find scarce irrigation sources, access to water IS a climate change issue.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell, do you mean:

    Yep, I missed the pagination when I looked at it. Ian clearly regards this as the ultimate indictment of my failure as a journalist and a human being ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    It seems to me that even if there was not a man-made climate warming, there is a really good case to clean up and do those good things with water and resources and over-population. If not, why not? Does Mr Wishart and ilk resist such intentions? Will God fix it all?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    And I see that Sir Peter Gluckman on the task of being the PM's chief science advisor, is on Nine to Noon 10am Tuesday.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    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-

    With the caveat that some of Best's work can be regarded as a little dubious, especially his uncritical acceptance of Io-matua-kore as a authentic pre-Pakeha tradition. His writing is also teeth-grindingly patronising, but that's the nineteenth century for you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Ian clearly regards this as the ultimate indictment of my failure as a journalist and a human being ;-)

    Should we expect to see your face on the next cover of Investigate Magazine?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I don't think that the climate change sceptics have a case any more. The wierdest anomaly was that the rate of measured pan evaporation was falling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_evaporation
    Because of global warming water should have been evaporating faster but for 50 years now we've had Global Dimming. Without this dimming we'd be fried by now I reckon. It's the effect of our pollution blocking the sun from getting through. The scientists reckon that the dimming effect is lessening because we have produced less aerosols since the 90's, but the evidence talks a lot about "predictions" http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/global-dimming-may-have-a-brighter-future/
    I really enjoyed their view on the future (talk about taking a bob each way) "as before we cautioned against over-interpreting the importance of the dimming, we offer similar cautions for the brightening." Producing less aerosols may be making the planet hotter... how bizarre!

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ian clearly regards this as the ultimate indictment of my failure as a journalist and a human being ;-)

    While some of us may regard Ian's esteem as the untimate indictment etc. :)

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

  • James Bremner,

    Climate Change Measure Should Be Set Aside, U.S. Senators Say

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ah3CTKEw4HQc

    Looks like cap and trade is dead in the US Senate. It was always very marginal as so many mid west states with Dem senators would get royally screwed by c&t. The current political climate in the US is very hostile to anything that smacks of more govt involvement, spending or taxing (reference the current furore over healthcare), and next year is election year. Very hard to see c&t passing in an election year.

    India and China have already said "forget it" with regard to any kind of caps on CO2 emissions and now cap and trade is dead in the US, so that makes it 0 from 3 in terms of the major emitters. The rest of the world could cease to exist and it would make barely a dent in CO2 emissions.

    It is a tough situation for a country like NZ. Nothing NZ could ever do will make even a speck of difference, no matter how badly NZ damaged its own economy, but there is the global pr aspect. Glad it is not my decision.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 353 posts Report Reply

  • Ron Wilson,

    Interesting that if one follows your link to the pseudoephedrine article it comes back with a 404 error. Is your link wrong or are the powers that be reacting by removing article??

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    This is an important contribution to the exorcism thing, with a few other precedents described.

    I'm not sure whether the "is it a genuine cultural practice or not" line of enquiry is a useful one. At what point does the circle of people who believe in supernatural effect X become so small that the criminal law can take precedence? Any line would have to be arbitrary, given that exorcism isn't subject to rational inquiry.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Interesting that if one follows your link to the pseudoephedrine article it comes back with a 404 error. Is your link wrong or are the powers that be reacting by removing article??

    I suspect that they changed their URL scheme over the weekend -- I had the same problem with the climate change piece when I went back to it. I'll fix that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    I hesitate to help spread the word, but here's an overly detailed account from the Gisborne Herald of Wishart's presentation in Gisborne last month. The meeting was at farmer request, and seems to have been an odd one-off. Wishart presented in confident campaigning mode, with the cosmetics of science-content in respect of global climate but with minimal understanding of the substance or the science process underneath.

    His mission is certainly not in quest for truth and a deeper understanding of the world's climate system. He ascribes to all others the same dubious selective manipulation of any snippet of information that might be used in debating fashion. As for the Emissions Trading Scheme and carbon taxes – a cunning plan hatched to fund the UN towards socialist world government. Nuff said.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I'm not sure whether the "is it a genuine cultural practice or not" line of enquiry is a useful one. At what point does the circle of people who believe in supernatural effect X become so small that the criminal law can take precedence? Any line would have to be arbitrary, given that exorcism isn't subject to rational inquiry.

    Well, it isn't, ultimately; belief that God told you to do something, sincere or otherwise, is not an excuse for breaking the law. From a historical perspective I find the synthesis of such beliefs and the relation to colonialism and inter-cultural contact fascinating, and worth discussing, but it doesn't change what was done. IIRC, we've imprisoned people for praying for their sick kids instead of taking them to hospital, causing death - and that could be argued to have been done out of love too, right?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sorry for the jack but when it comes to voices of reason and authority, I think we can grade Auckland Grammar and Kelston principals John Morris and Steve Watt F for epic fail. I really hope these two are going to be ripped new ones by their respective boards.

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

  • Carol Stewart,

    Nor do the players or the spectators, or presumably the ref, come out of this with much credit.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 828 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    From a historical perspective I find the synthesis of such beliefs and the relation to colonialism and inter-cultural contact fascinating, and worth discussing, but it doesn't change what was done.

    There's been plenty of deliberate muddying of the waters in that area, and perhaps coincidentally, in that particular neck of the woods. A group of deluded unfortunates who'd mistake a concrete garden ornament for a "taonga" is reminiscent of the toxic rubbish peddled by the late unlamented Andy Narain.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Sorry for the jack but when it comes to voices of reason and authority, I think we can grade Auckland Grammar and Kelston principals John Morris and Steve Watt F for epic fail. I really hope these two are going to be ripped new ones by their respective boards.

    And their beliefs that school violence only happens in low-decile schools ring rather a lot hollow now.

    There was a similar kind of buck-passing with Christ's Col & CBHS in ChCh - at least from what I observed as a student of the former (albeit an unwilling one) in 1996.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nor do the players or the spectators, or presumably the ref, come out of this with much credit.

    Certainly not, Carol, but Morris and Watt aren't fresh out of T-Col. They're not only supposed to be grown-ups, but experienced professional educators and leaders in their communities. Would it have been that difficult to just say "There is an disciplinary process in train, and it wouldn't be appropriate to comment further"?

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

  • Steve Parks,

    and THAT is an overview??? Saying that "it's irrefutable" because "most scientists" believe it?

    Do you mean the report of the advisory committee? If so (based on Russell's summary) they didn't conclude it was irrefutable. They concluded there was no absolute certainty, but that a precautionary approach should be taken based on the balance of probabilities.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    I'm very happy no-one was imprisoned in that manslaughter case and hope non-custodial sentencing become the norm where there is no risk to the wider community.

    It is clear they are ignorant but well meaning and this had tragic results. They need help and with that are no risk to the community.

    Rather than punishment we should used prisons only to reduce risk to the community IMO.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and here's a memo for Phil Goff: When the vile Garth McVicar is blowing kisses to Trevor Mallard on the mid-day news, you might want to text Helen and ask her where that fraking taser is. Does Mallard actually believe the ballocks he posted on Red Alert, or is there some cynical dog-whsitling going on?

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

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