Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

Cool cartoon site – Calamaties of Nature

Have just found this rather cool site, Calamaties of Nature.

Here is a recent cartoon of theirs.

And cue denialists being sententious about argumentum ad popularem or whatever.

August 30, 2011

Volcanoes and Denialists: The Ominous Parallels

And those parallels are…
*They’re usually quite old, with molten rage seeping through their cracks
*They’re quite unpredictable, even if you’re watching what you are doing
*They throw off far more heat than light
*You could crack a toe or worse on their solidified sludge
*In the short-term, they should only be fatal to the very unlucky or the very slow-witted
*However, they can bring what could be a relatively straightforward journey to a juddering halt.
*The media have a major lavafair with them.

August 29, 2011

Youtube: Volcanoes and denialists

The latest video…

August 20, 2011

Youtube: Gish Gallop in 72 seconds

A gallop through the ‘Gish Gallop’, without any suggestions about how to tackle it. It’s a debating technique involving, well, spouting so much bollocks that your opponent can’t ever tear down each bit. It’s kind of a distributed denial of service attack on the audience’s brains…

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August 19, 2011

Sept 29 event on climate change with Penny Wong and Prof Mike Young

This is a cut and paste from The Environment Institute.

We are pleased to announce that Minister Penny Wong and Professor Mike Young – along with a panel of three more South Australian leaders – are participating in a free public forum on the complex and ‘wicked’ problem of climate change.

Currently, we struggle to get our climate change discussion past immediate hip-pocket lines. In our public debates it is difficult to talk about the sort of future we want for ourselves, our families, our communities, Australia and globally.

This forum will tackle the issue head on. What type of leadership is required? What does it take to create and manage significant and complex change? And could it be that we’re actually seeing a lot of this leadership but missing the wood for the trees?

The forum is not a debate on the science of climate change. We have more than enough knowledge about human impact to act. However, given most people in our community accept the science but the debate about how best to act can seem viciously polarised and stuck, what should our leaders do?

Book now! This will be a very popular event and there are limited places despite the selected venue.

We hope to see you Thursday, 29 September, 6-7:30pm at the Masonic Hall, 254 North Terrace, Adelaide.
This event is being held as a partnership between the Environment Institute and the Leaders Institute of South Australia.

August 18, 2011

Sept 24 “Moving Planet” protests/advocacy

In an exciting development on the South Australian climate action scene, a range of groups have united to campaign for Australia’s first concentrated solar thermal power plants in Port Augusta, about four hours north of Adelaide….

The Moving Planet working group in Adelaide aims to put concentrated solar thermal at the forefront of the discussion with a series of banner drops, stalls, displays, doorknocks and speak outs in Adelaide and Port Augusta.

There will also be a Reclaim the Grid street parade through Adelaide on September 24, featuring a moving solar thermal tower and mirror array.

[For more information or to get involved in the Moving Planet campaign in South Australia phone Daniel on 0423 865 632.]

As reported in Green Left Weekly (cue tedious trolling from tedious trolls about ‘watermelons.’)

August 14, 2011

The Science of Why We Don’t Believe the Science

Chris Mooney, and American journo, starts his article “The science of why we don’t believe the science” thus

“A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.” So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger, in a passage that might have been referring to climate change denial—the persistent rejection, on the part of so many Americans today, of what we know about global warming and its human causes. But it was too early for that—this was the 1950s—and Festinger was actually describing a famous case study in psychology.

lots of interesting stuff in between that beginning and this last para from the first page –

we all understand these mechanisms when it comes to interpersonal relationships. If I don’t want to believe that my spouse is being unfaithful, or that my child is a bully, I can go to great lengths to explain away behavior that seems obvious to everybody else—everybody who isn’t too emotionally invested to accept it, anyway. That’s not to suggest that we aren’t also motivated to perceive the world accurately—we are. Or that we never change our minds—we do. It’s just that we have other important goals besides accuracy—including identity affirmation and protecting one’s sense of self—and often those make us highly resistant to changing our beliefs when the facts say we should.

August 13, 2011

Those communists at GE on climate change…

Part of the secret communistic and anti-science world government conspiracy, GE is quoted in the Friday 12 August Australian Financial Review (p 11)…

“The reality is most of our trading partners – China, Japan, South Korea, and the UK – are taking action and in fact Australia is a laggard… despite our challenges, the Australian economy is in far better shape than most other economies around the globe… now is the time to take action not continue to defer to inertia.”

August 7, 2011

Youtube: Carbon Dioxide is natural, therefore nothing to worry about…

Because natural things (taipans, cyanide etc) are NEVER harmful, are they? And the fact that humans can breath air with more than 390ppm of C02 means that there is NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. Right? Includes some classic Doctor Who stills, if that persuades you to waste 150 seconds you will never get back…

August 6, 2011

From Australian Financial Review – Slow Start Tipped for Clean Enery

Australian Financial Review
5 August 2011
Slow start tipped for clean energy
Marcus Priest
A price on carbon will not drive significant investment in renewable energy until 2027 and is unlikely to affect regional economies such as the Latrobe and Hunter valleys, according to new research.
Despite the government’s claim that the scheme will drive investment in clean energy, reports by SKM-MMA and ROAM Consulting, which underpin Treasury modelling, highlight that it will produce relatively little reduction in emissions by 220 from the electricity industry.
This is because the low carbon price of $23 a tonne is not high enough to force closure of the major emitting coal-fired power stations, nor drive investment in baseload gas power plants because of high gas prices…