Monthly Archives: February 2012

Eureka! Andrew Bolt explained. :-)

One of my favourite blogs is a Crikey blog called Pure Poison. With it’s name taken from a quote, “Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison…”, and with a stated purpose of exposing ‘the intellectual dishonesty, the flimsy arguments and the distorted data wherever they appear in the mainstream media….’ it is probably little wonder that I visit it quite a bit, what with me being such a fan of the quality of our media n all. 🙂 Anyway, I was reading a post today which showed another example of how Andrew Bolt chooses to either mis-represent, cherry pick, or just totally ignore, facts in making an argument and it go me to wondering how and why he does this.  And, not only that, but how he manages to attract so many followers with arguments that anyone with a modicom of sense could see the holes in.

For a while I was working on a theory that he was doing it deliberately and cynically to build a media career. Glen Beck is a US example of this kind of right-wing media personality but he seemes a little unhinged, even to the point where I think he might have a mental illness. I can understand why his arguments are both irrational and poorly supported. But Andrew Bolt appears sane enough and, I would have thought, intelligent enough to know that he is peddling nonsense. This is why I was leaning toward the idea of him doing it as part of a long-term strategy.

But George Monbiot at the Guardian in the UK may have provided the answer on his blog. I don’t want to spoil it for you but it gets really interesting in the second and third paragraphs. It appears I have over-estimated both Andrew and his faithful followers. 🙂

Some good news…for a change. :-)

I know that at times I have tended to focus the negative aspects of the climate change debate so today I thought I would give you all heart that some postive things are happening out there as well.

For starters, this article confirms that insurance companies are factoring the impact of climate change into our premiums. Now this may not, at first glance, appear to be a positive thing. But I think it is. I’m of the opinion that many people will not start to get serious about climate change until it hits them in the hip pocket. At the moment it is the solutions to climate change that are costing us money and, understandably I think, impacting on the support for action. I remember a discussion I had once with my business partner in the UK. He believes in climate change but said that it would be so much easier to not believe. If you believe in it then you need to accept that you are going to have to make changes in your life, mainly sacrifices, and that our world is going to change significantly, which is a pretty scary proposition. But if you don’t believe in climate change, then it’s just business as usual. So while climate change solutions are costing us, people are likely to rationalise and diminish the impact of the issue and the need for action. However, when inaction is costing us money, and for most of us our insurance premiums will cost us more than the Carbon Tax will, then people are more likely to call for action I think. So, a conditional thank you to the insurance companies. 🙂

Then there is this article, which, with a headline like “A good news year for climate campaigners” seems to fit pretty pretty well in this post, and which is written by someone who appears to know a lot more about what he is talking about then I do. Enough said, I’ll just leave you to read it.

This article I find particularly interesting. Although the basic theme is that we don’t have a single fuel that could act as a bridging fuel while we crank up renewables, the message over-all is that we are not only facing a need to change our fuel sources to combat global warming but also because we don’t have as much of the tradtional fuels left as some would have us believe. Comments like ‘The first thing you should know about oil is that worldwide production has been on a plateau since 2005. This is despite record high prices and furious exploration and drilling efforts.’ and ‘That means that each year just to stay even, the industry must develop new oil production capacity equivalent to the current capacity of the North Sea, one of the world’s largest fields.’ might not sound like the best of news but again this is a good news story I think. What the article suggests is that we have extracted all the easy to get to oil, gas, coal etc over the last 150 years. What is left is increasingly difficult to extract, refine etc. and is of increasingly lower grade. To cut a very long story short :-), it costs a lot more per unit of energy gained. And, with every increase in cost per unit of traditional fuel sources, alternate source become increasingly more viable. So yes, good news I think.

And finally the piece de resistance. Bolivia is set to pass the ‘Law of Mother Earth‘. I’ll let you read it yourself but the law ‘redefines natural resources as blessings and confers the same rights to nature as to human beings, including: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.’ What a beautiful piece of legislation hey! And why not? In many countries of the world a souless entity like a corpration has been conferred the same rights as a person. So why not a living entity like nature?