Friday 10th of July 2020

our environmental nero .....

from the ABC ….

PM to announce $60m for clean energy projects

Prime Minister John Howard will announce more Government funding for clean energy projects, valued at $60 million.

The Federal Government has been facing a barrage of questions this week about climate change, amid the dire prediction about global warming in a British report by economist Sir Nicholas Stern.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says the timing of Government's funding boost this morning is just a coincidence.

This morning in Canberra, he and Mr Howard will unveil the funding for 42 projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says one project is a mobile carbon catcher to help make coal-fired power stations less polluting. 

"That is technology that is already on the back of a truck and ready to be rolled out and trialled in various power stations around Australia and ultimately overseas," he said.

Greens Senator Bob Brown has condemned the project and says the Government's priorities are wrong.

"It's pathetic when you see what ought to have been done," he said.

"The fact that the Government has taken much more money than that out of the solar industry, which is world's best technology, which can be implemented now - you see how lost the priorities of the Government are."

No panic...

From our unfunny ABC

PM warns against climate change 'panic'
Prime Minister John Howard denies the Government is out of step with public opinion on the issue of climate change.

Mr Howard says it is only natural for people to want more action to combat climate change, but he will not be "panicked" into harming industry.

Guilty by ignorance?

A letter by Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald (04/11/06)

Not guilty

I do not mind being criticised on the Letters page. However, I resent being verballed on the Letters page. I have never written about climate change in my Herald column or elsewhere. And I have never used the term which Mr Clarke attributes to me, that is, "global warming scaremongers" (Letters, November 3). Those who read my columns will know that I do not write about science or medicine. The fact is that I do not write about areas where I have no relevant training.
Gerard Henderson Sydney
Gus: Very cleverly chosen words: "I've never written about climate change ... The fact is that I do not write about areas where I have no relevant training."
For whatever reason, Gerard seems not to comprehend that his support for our PM's economic format is but a support for a quickening of global climate change... Nor does he seem to know that economic or political writings DEMAND studying ALL aspects of the effect of politics and economic decisions on science, medicine and the weather. But of all things Gerard is the Director of the Sydney Institute and a former Director of the IPA (institute of Public Affairs);

I quote from a web-link:
In their attempts to be balanced on a scientific story, journalists may use any opposing view even when it has little scientific credibility in the wider scientific community. This can be very misleading. In the case of global warming, the fossil fuel industry has taken advantage of this convention by funding a handful of dissidents and demanding that they are given equal media coverage despite their poor standing in the scientific community. This strategy of exaggerating the uncertainties and confusing the public has ensured that governments like the Howard government have been able to avoid doing anything to prevent global warming, despite the overwhelming evidence that significant global warming is likely without government intervention.
It is only recently, after many precious years have been lost, that the most intransigent governments have been forced to admit that action must be taken to avoid global warming. Some ask why this has not occurred earlier. Clearly part of the problem has been the ability of vested interests to manipulate the media by holding up the rod of balance and impartiality.
It is notable that the new ABC policy was announced at a meeting of the Sydney Institute, a corporate-funded right wing think tank, which has been one of the ABC's strongest critics on the grounds of bias. Here is a case where bias really is in the eyes of the beholder. The Sydney Institute is a break away group from the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), [|headed by Gerard Henderson], formerly director of IPA NSW and chief of staff for John Howard (now prime minister).
The IPA also claims the ABC is biased. Aaran Oakley attacked ABC journalists in the IPA Review for making "the assumption that global warming is real, some even making assertions to that end." On this basis he has concluded that ABC reporting "represents a pernicious mixture of science and environmentalism."

Thus if Gerard does not write about "Global Warming" because he knows nothing about it, he is guilty by default, by ignorance of an important parameter of the grand economic equation. He is also guilty for his unreserved support for the PM's economic polices that are driving us at high speed towards global warming in a 1956 Buick Roadmaster convertible, doing 15 miles per gallon (US)...

Guilty of not understanding a large component of economic management: the impact of unbridled consumerist policies on the environment. But I suspect he could also be guilty, behind closed doors, of balancing anything "green" in favour of brown.

5 degrees in 30 years?

Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man
Researchers Aboard Icebreaker Say [|Shipping Could Add to Risks for Ecosystem]
By Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 5, 2006; A01

ICEBREAKER CHANNEL, Northwest Passage -- The Amundsen's engines growl low, as if in warning. The ship steals ahead; its powerful spotlights stab at fog thick with the lore of crushed ships and frozen voyagers. Ice floes gleam from the void like the eyes of animals in the night.
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen weaves in graceful slow motion through the ice pack, advancing through the legendary Northwest Passage well after the Arctic should be iced over and shuttered to ships for the winter.
The fearsome ice is weakened and failing, sapped by climate change. Ultimately, this night's ghostly procession through Icebreaker Channel will be the worst the ship faces on its late-season voyage. Much of the trip, crossing North America from west to east through the Northwest Passage, will be in open water, with no ice in sight.
The Amundsen is here to challenge the ice that has long guarded the legendary Northwest Passage across the roof of the Earth, and to plumb the scientific mysteries of an Arctic thawing from global warming.
A relentless climb of temperature -- 5 degrees in 30 years -- is shrinking the Arctic ice...
Gus: Just to let you know when the ice in your whisky has melted, the temperature of your drink is going to go up fast... Cold weather along the East coat of Australia at the moment is under the influence of a similar melt in the Antarctic, although quite less dramatic... about 2 degrees in 60 years but climbing.

Intellectual philistines? no can be...

Outgunned in the culture wars

November 21, 2006

[|Intellectual life] in Australia is dominated by the left wing, writes Gerard Henderson.

JOHN Howard is spending big on what have been termed the culture wars. Last week Howard said that his Government would support the establishment of a US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney "with $25 million of taxpayers' money". That's real money, especially since the centre, created with the involvement of the American Australian Association, will also be supported financially by the NSW Government as well as businesses and individuals in Australia and the US.
Gus: Oh Gerard, you make me laugh... The one thing you may not have understood is that "intellectual life" in the world cannot and will never be on the right side of politics. Sure there are many thinkers on the right but they all are on trying to con people and modify our perception of reality rather than try to understand reality.  Gerard, the Murdochs of this world and the Johnnees of this planet ARE NOT INTELLECTUALS. They are savvy business men and political beasts but intellectuals? zilch...

"Intellectualism" is hard to define away from an understanding of humanity and the universe, if hovers with a range of issues that are not valued in dollars, even if comfort is. 

 Only intellectuals can know the devastation that unbridled consumerism is doing to this little planet. The rest of the wheelers and dealers are just clever philistines making a buck...

Filistine philistines

From the Guardian

Why public spaces must allow private thoughts

Museums and their staff must resist commercialised groupthink, in the name of contemplation, imagination and difference.

We now live in the era of [|fake consensus, or phoney populism], a condition in which galleries and homes are seen to succeed best where they manage feelings of non-difference. The use of public space (which is never separable these days, in the mind of the media, from the use of public funds) is too often promoted, even if only subconsciously, as an occasion for the erasure of private passions and a usurping of the concerns of discrete individuals, almost always to be replaced by a banalised, compromised, de-personalised, corporatised and logoised vision of groupthink - a pattern of work and space which is not about private wonder or even about personal interpretation but about the fulfillment of a consensual brief. We can walk from room to room, walking as a person, and discover language, humanity, uncertainty, form, anxiety, but often now we can walk as a ghost - a ghost in the machine - with a phantom-identity - a kind of holograph of a sentient person - just wishing one could be more present in the midst of all this blockbusting collective energy. One can't see the art, one can only see oneself on the outer edge of it, and that rings out the new kind of mystery to be experienced by people in the public art space. Five words: What Am I Doing Here?


Gus: Not so strangely this "banalised, compromised, de-personalised, corporatised and logoised vision of groupthink" sadly applies to the politics of consumerism, that pseudo-intellectualism of the right, that breeds clever philistines by the bucket-loads...  as long as there is a buck in it...