Thursday, July 20, 2006

NZ Institute Report

Another excellent piece by David Skilling and the NZI. This one discusses the NZ diaspora and a grim picture it is. Several hundred thousand kiwis have emigrated (fled?) the islands and some 25% of them have a degree. Heck of an export to excel in.
It doesn't really pull any punches on the lost opportunities of the last decade (and Labour, you can't blame anyone else for not noticing the internet, it exploded onto the scene during your watch) and how we have failed to make any serious investment. I mean, for crying out loud, it's not rocket science to think that maybe NZ could profit from instantaneous, free bit-schlepping so maybe we should plow a £"$"£ load of cash into a backbone that puts shame to the rest of the world... but no. We ended up with Telecom for 10 years.
Way to go David, but I was there for the Knowledge Wave. Until I see some cash, I'm just not gonna bother getting excited.

Climate coalition's response to an RSNZ editorial

from issue 432 July 2006
Once again i reiterate that with such a complicated issue, the wisest course of action is to do no harm and listen for the consensus view developing among those qualified to have the argument. This would mean sensible actions on reducing fossil fuel use and increasing efficiency of the way we use it. There are many emminently sensible things we can do to stop wasting our precious resources that make sense even in the absence of the climate change perspective.

9. LETTER FROM CLIMATE SCIENCE COALITION IN RESPONSE TO LAST WEEK'S EDITORIALDr Jez Weston's response to our call for a Royal Commission misrepresentsthe Coalition and fails to provide any hard facts to support his contentions.The Coalition's fundamental stance is not that we "simply don't believethere is a problem" it is: "The science is not settled".We do not know with any certainty how Earth's climate may be changing, howmuch change at the global scale is due to human activities versus naturalcycles and change, or whether these changes in global climate would bemostly harmful or mostly beneficial for the Earth as a whole. There is nohard scientific evidence to suggest that catastrophic change is underway orthat its onset is forthcoming.Sound science thrives on open and honest debate. But in the area of changesin the climate, this debate has been marred by selection, distortion, andeven suppression of evidence, and by political interference with scientificdiscussion. There are false claims of consensus among scientists, implyingthat one or another group of scientists holds the high ground anddenigration of those who disagree as paid hacks of big business. Goodscience is not about votes or consensus. Good science thrives on debate andskepticism. It is about propositions that are capable of being verified, orrefuted, regardless of the beliefs of the observer.Our views are broadly consistent with page 97 of the 2001 IPCC report thatstates: "The fact that the global mean temperature has increased since thelate 19th century and that other trends have been observed does notnecessarily mean that an anthropogenic effect on the climate system hasbeen identified.. Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so theobserved change may be natural. A more detailed analysis is required toprovide evidence of a human impact." In other words, the science is notsettled.Recent and very convincing support for our beliefs comes from theconclusions of the National Academy of Sciences Report available at the release of the Barton Committee's report to the Energy and CommerceCommittee of the US House of Representatives on 14 July (available at adds even more weight to the NAS report (for the nub, go to pages 48-52 of thepdf for findings, conclusions and recommendations).We hope the Society will consider the above carefully and seriouslyconsider supporting our call for a Royal Commission. If it cannot do that,I hope it will be able to provide us with hard evidence that:*climate models have accurately predicted future climate;*it is now warmer than it has been in the last 1000 years;and why the Society now appears to believe that, in scientific arguments,consensus carries more weight than the scientific method.(signed)Rear Admiral (ret) Jack Welch CBEChairmanco-signed byProfessor Bob Carter, PhD, Hon Fellow RSNZAssociate Prof Chris de Freitas BA (Hons), MA (Toronto), PhD (Q'ld), MRSNZBryan Leyland, MSc, FIEE, FIMechE, FIPENZ, MRSNZDr Gerrit J. van der LingenProfessor Augie Auer

Friday, July 14, 2006

Rod Oram op-ed on NZ climate/energy policy

I'm starting to like this guy more and more. His message is consistent and emminently focused on what we should do now, not after a couple more years of talking.
I feel as though he's barking into the wind, but i really hope he gets somewhere.
BTW, how do you start a national debate? do you just try and whip up a vote-winning number of the proletariat and hope the pollies end up doing what they said they would when they wanted you votes?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hiatus on the posting for a while

believe it or not, i can now claim an Oxford University email address, who'd a thought little ol' me would be working at Oxford? The only downside is the number of FRS's walking around, i'm not sure if i should genuflect, hide my inferiority or try and absorb some smarts by osmosis... ;-)

posting will be absent for at least the next couple of weeks until i get some broadband at home, not that i think anyone actually reads them...