Tuesday

Ginger in the front garden -- burst out on Sunday.

There are so many varieties of ‘Ginger’ that I can’t find any botanical details on this one.

Climate Change

Dan Harrison And Ben Cubby, “Hunger strike drives further wedge into Coalition”, SMH, 5 January 2010, http://www.smh.com.au/national/hunger-strike-drives-further-wedge-into-coalition-20100104-lq7j.html

This article is an indication of how the ‘Climate-Change Debate’ is widening. Preserving vegetation is a climate change issue but it is now setting the scene for our first Australian martyr. If he dies Rudd will lose considerable support and Joyce could be elevated to our rural Messiah (particularly in Queensland).

Mentioned in the article is, “A former ABC radio science presenter, Joanne Nova, also known as Joanne Codling…. She runs a Perth-based climate skeptics website.” I followed this up; it has a smattering of data but more interesting is the skeptics’ rhetoric in the comments to her blog, http://joannenova.com.au/

And then there is this, “An imperative read for a successful future.” Leonardo Dicaprio promoting  “Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science”, at http://www.desmogblog.com/skeptics-handbook-carbon-dioxide-climate-change which in critiquing Nova’s The Skeptics Handbook, left me wondering why I wasn’t able to read a succinct  ‘clearance of the “PR Pollution”’ instead of screens of  the usual attack English.

Note: Reading text on screens takes effort and interface designers have long recommended short text sequences interspersed with graphics. Nova has this skill; Jeremy Jacquot has missed this point. And I wonder about Leonardo Dicaprio’s climate change credentials.

Conclusion: Understandable data and clarity of analysis is still not forthcoming. Whoever draws this information together with unemotional language and understandable results will win much gratitude.

And here are some gobbledygook figures to further confuse the debate.

Kate Clark, “Old houses are environmentally-friendly”, SMH, 4 January 2010, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/old-houses-are-environmentallyfriendly-20100103-ln83.html

The Bureau of Statistics tells us that one in seven houses built in Australia simply replaces an existing house (which is only 14 per cent). … Think of all the energy that goes into those new buildings replacing the old. The building industry is a significant contributor to global resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, along with household energy use. Building construction consumes 32 per cent of the world’s resources, including 12 per cent of its water and 40 per cent of its energy. Buildings also produce 40 per cent of the waste that goes to landfill dumps and 40 per cent of air emissions. Household energy use contributes about 9.5 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse emissions.

Today’s Podcast

“The Romantic Movement and rock music”, The Philosopher’s Zone, 2 January 2010,  http://www.abc.net.au/rn/philosopherszone/stories/2010/2759561.htm

Romantic ideas and philosophy live on in certain strains of modern rock music, according to this week’s guest, Craig Schuftan, author of Hey Nietzsche – Leave them kids alone. David Bowie, The Cure, The Smiths, Queen, and more contemporary bands like My Chemical Romance and Weezer share some seriously Romantic tendencies with people like Byron, Schopenhauer, Wagner and even Nietzsche – and it’s not just because they all viewed the world through the same gloomy prism.