Thursday, December 27, 2007

10 Green New Year Resolutions

Cut down on water use

How much? Sydney Water will do everything you need for just $22.

How hard? One phone call.

Links WaterFix

Sign up for GreenPower

How much? Between $4 and $8.50 extra a week for the average family.

How hard? A couple of phone calls.

Links GreenPower scheme

Green Electricity Watch

How much? A 23W Megaman CFL bulb that replaces a standard 125W light costs $19.25 from Todae ( It is claimed to last 10 times longer than a conventional bulb.

How hard? Get the stepladder out and do the whole house in a couple of hours.

Links Phasing out of incandescents

How much? Saves money.

How hard? Stand up. Put one leg in front of the other. Repeat. Easy.

Links National Physical Activity Guidelines

10,000 Steps

Think before you buy

How much? You could potentially save a lot.

How hard? Just don't do it!

Links Affluenza

Eat locally
Install solar hot water
Learn to compost
Plant some food
Get active
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007 — when global warming finally cut through

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Hark, The Herald (And Lots of Other Papers) Finally Sing About The Climate

24 Dec 07

Big wake-up to global warming

To illustrate, the Philadelphia Inquirer tracked the number of times the term "global warming" was mentioned in their paper over the years. In 2007 "global warming" was mentioned over 400 times, more than double any previous year.

An attitude shift as inexorable as global warming itself this year brought world groups together to debate risks.

"This was the year that global warming hit the mass radar screen, driven by a drumbeat of catastrophic predictions from top scientists, a jaw-dropping acceleration in polar ice melt..."

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GWW 2007 Highlight — The UN Bali Climate Change Conference

I didn't have to look far back over 2007 for the year's climate change highlight — I didn't get past the exciting outcome from the UN Bali Climate Change for two weeks starting in early December. Trawling the Internet, I find I have been getting a much better sense of the nail-biting excitement from the Bali Conference bloggers, than from msm reports. And I have a gratifying sense that we have an active, informed, healthy blogosphere around the issue. The Climate Institute blog, for example, provides the blow-by-blow that lead to the culminations of the negotiations, "Science based targets had survived the process and made their way into a key part of the process towards Copenhagen in 2009."

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What's traditional about an explosive grenade harpoon?

Dr Kumi Kato, a lecturer in the school of languages and comparative cultural studies at the University of Queensland, dispassionately looks at the claims of the Japanese whalers to hunting rights based on cultural identity.

Articulately arguing for a sustainable way forward that recognises the claims of some Japanese to a whaling tradition, while exploding the 'research' myth, it bears republishing in full:

The whale hunt that knows no tradition

December 24, 2007

At the southern end of the Japanese island of Honshu is a small fishing village where community-based coastal whaling took place from the late 1600s to the early 1900s. Today, more than 100 years since the whaling ended there, the island is scattered with monuments dedicated to the spirits of whales caught in the region. Associated rituals and festivities continue, including daily prayers for the spirits of whales and dolphins by two elderly nuns.

It is true that whale meat, or more generally cetacean meat, had been - and in some regions still is - part of the Japanese diet. In some regions it is valued as celebratory food as it was closely linked with community unity based on collaborative labour, sharing of food, celebration and thanksgiving rituals, in which remorse was also expressed.

It is also true that whale meat was introduced as part of General MacArthur's regime to increase the protein intake of the starving nation after World War II. Older generations therefore associate whale with postwar food shortages. The meat was also used for school lunches, a practice reintroduced in recent years in some prefectures.

But small-scale coastal whaling largely diminished due to the transition to large-scale industrial whaling and the 1986 moratorium and subsequent ban on minke hunts for the coastal communities. Small-scale hunts for dolphins continue for a range of purposes, including sales to aquariums.

The claim by the Japanese Government that whale meat is part of Japanese culture is true in that it existed in this small-scale, community-based coastal whaling similar to the hunts of indigenous groups such as the Makah and Inuit, but this is, in my opinion, clearly separate from the large-scale industrial whaling conducted on the high seas.

If the Government is seriously committed to the maintenance of cultural tradition, the priority would be on the sustainable livelihood practices of coastal community fisheries, which may include a very limited number of whale hunts. It is human arrogance to assume harvest of any natural resource as a right but, if an inherent cultural right is to be granted to anyone, it would be the coastal communities.

This situation is comparable with mass clear-fell logging versus small-scale selected logging by specialised timber workers sustained by their knowledge, ethics and spirituality. A "wood culture" exists in the latter, the small-scale loggers who, with their knowledge, can make a positive contribution to today's environmental thinking. This would be the case with small-scale whalers and hunters. They have valuable knowledge that can inform us about sustainability.

Another argument Japan makes in favour of whaling is that it is for scientific research. Simply, if research destroys a species it should not be carried out, and if research is necessary to improve the ecological wellbeing of a species every effort must be made to minimise the impact of the research.

This is the fundamental consideration in any research. If the research was genuinely concerned with conservation of the humpback it would not be abandoned for a better bilateral relationship, or the hunt would not even have been considered in the first place. Humans are in no position to "cull" wild species, except in cases in which our past mistakes have skewed the natural balance and thus need to be corrected, such as with the cane toad.

Another issue requires urgent consideration: the reported high level of mercury in cetaceans like whales and dolphins. Two councillors from a coastal village, a birthplace of traditional whaling in Japan, recently spoke out about the dangerous level of mercury found in the locally harvested dolphin meat, some of which may have been used for school lunches. Reports and warnings have been issued about consumption of fish and cetacean products by the Ministry of the Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Japan Consumer Co-operative Union. This obviously has serious implications for consumers, as well as the wellbeing of the animals, which would benefit from urgent research.

The extent of the impact of humans on the planet is undeniable. This must be compensated for in every way possible, and we must keep changing unsustainable practices. Clearly it is time to move on.

Stop Japan's Whale Hunt: Sign the Daily Telegraph Petition

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Japan please stop your whalers killing for 'research'

We have a great relationship between our two countries, so I am sure we can resolve the whaling issue and move onto bigger an better things.
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Our petition, created in consultation with environmental campaigners Greenpeace, aims to show Japanese people the intensity of feeling in Australia about the annual slaughter.

Read the Japanese versionRead the full petitionSign our petition now
Stop the humpback whale hunt

The petition’s words have been chosen carefully, with input from Greenpeace’s Japanese campaigners, in understanding of Japanese sensibilities.

The hunting will stop only when the Japanese people and politicians realise what is really going on in the cold waters of the Antarctic.

So put your name to our petition - and tell your friends and family to do thse same - and help stop the whale hunt.

Click here to sign our petition
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Rudd government more different by the day

The real 'me-too' nature of the one-month old Australian Federal Labor is becoming more apparent with each passing day.

Day One. Kevin Rudd made good his election promise by triggering the instrument that sets in process the Australian Government ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, as his first act of government. It was signed hours after the new Labor cabinet was sworn in by the Governor-General, Sir Michael Jeffrey.

Although climate change policy was a clear point of difference for Labor, Rudd's immediate ratification of Kyoto yielded maximum symbolic impact. For the Australian electorate the surprise was not the signing, but the timing. Kev was telling us, "Ok, I'm onto it".

For the outside world, Rudd's first act of a few hours old government clearly signalled a dramatic departure from Howard's active, overt and covert opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. The significance was not lost on China Daily...

CANBERRA - Australia's new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, took the oath of office on Monday and immediately signed documents to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, ending his country's long-held opposition to the global climate agreement.

...not the Beeb...

Australian Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd has been sworn in as prime minister, following a landslide victory in parliamentary elections last week. Immediately after the ceremony, he signed documents to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, reversing the previous administration's policy. "This is the first official act of the new Australian government," he said.

...neither on the NYTimes...

CANBERRA, Australia — Kevin Rudd, the new prime minister of Australia, said on Monday that he had signed the paperwork to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, making good on an election promise that overturns a decade of opposition to the international global warming pact.

...and nor the rest of the world...

And the UN Climate Conference delegates assembling in Bali now loved it, giving Australia a rousing applause that would make an AA convention blush.

Everyone noted the significance... "Australia's new stance on Kyoto will isolate the US as the only developed nation not to have ratified the treaty." read the BBC.

Another dramatic departure from the Liberal's core policy of slavishly following Washington everywhere.

Day Ten. Australia, PNG to 'restore' relationship

Instead of acting the regional bully, the Rudd government has signalled our intentions to move past blunderbuss and fishnet stockings diplomacy.

Australia and Papua New Guinea will work on restoring their relationship after a frosty period under the previous Howard government. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his PNG counterpart Michael Somare agreed to restore contact after a bilateral meeting in Bali on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference. The relationship soured over PNG's involvement in helping disgraced former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti evade an Australian extradition attempt. But Mr Rudd said both countries were determined to repair the damage after a "good and long" conversation. "I said to Sir Michael, and he agreed, that it was time to turn a new page in Australia's relationship with Papua New Guinea," Mr Rudd told reporters at the Australian consulate. "This relationship has been through a very difficult period in recent times. There has, in effect, been a freeze on ministerial contact between the two governments. I do not believe that's an appropriate way forward for the future. "We have to get on with the business of reviewing the totality of our relationship and taking that relationship forward." Ministerial relations between the two nations will resume and a top-level delegation of ministers will visit PNG early next year for an Australian-PNG Ministerial Forum. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith will head the Australian delegation, which will also include Climate Change Minister Penny Wong and economist Ross Garnaut, who is conducting the Rudd government's climate change review. "This is a critical relationship for Australia. We've got to get this relationship right," he said. The two leaders discussed climate change and deforestation. Australian officials will visit Port Moresby in January to discuss ways to stop the cutting down of PNG's rainforests.

Day Fifteen. Parliament to sit for 15 days longer under Rudd

Under the Howard Government it was unusual for the Upper or Lower House to sit on a Friday but now the House of Representatives will regularly sit five days a week.

Apart from allowing greater accountability and scrutiny, and greater access for the backbench, hopefully Australia is getting 25% greater productivity per ton of carbon emissions spent schlepping the parliamentarians in and out of Canberra.

Day Nineteen. Australia leads 31 countries in formal whaling protest to the Japanese Government

Er... Howard would not have done that. He never lifted a finger to stop the Japanese whalers conducting their 'research' in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary that Australia has responsibility for protecting. To be fair, we always had strong leadership in the International Whaling Commissions under Howard. But he would never have risked ruffling diplomatic feathers with our biggest trading partner.

The Federal Government and anti-whaling groups today welcomed as a small victory Japan's decision to suspend the planned kill of 50 humpbacks. But they have pledged to maintain pressure on Tokyo to end the so-called scientific whaling program. Japan said its decision not to catch humpbacks for "one year or two" came after consultation with the International Whaling Commission (IWC), although it noted the strength of the Australian opposition to the annual hunt.

There is a bit of wow factor here. How will this affect the relationship between our two countries, where the whaling issue being is the only note of discord in an otherwise harmonious relationship? Not a jot, I reckon, but who knows? The whaling lobby in Japan must be powerful to persist with their pursuit in the face of diminishing demand for whale meat.

Day Twenty.
Federal Government Paves Way for Haneef To Work In Australia

Former terrorism suspect Mohamed Haneef is keen to reapply for his position at the Gold Coast Hospital after the federal government yesterday paved the way for his return. New Labor Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the Indian national was entitled to return to work after the full bench of the Federal Court upheld a judge's earlier decision to reinstate his work visa. The doctor's visa was withdrawn by the former Howard government on character grounds despite terrorism charges against him being dropped. Dr Haneef's Brisbane-based lawyer Peter Russo today informed the devout Muslim, who is currently in Mecca with his wife and mother, of Mr Evans' decision not to appeal the court's ruling.

Rudd's Government is signalling that it is not going to run the War on Terror as one of Howard's famous Culture Wars. I so hope this is born out. I am bored to death of 'em. Not only did this culture-skirmish make for bumpy relations with India and discredit us in their eyes, the Queensland hospital system copped collateral damage by losing a good doctor and the generation of bad PR for future overseas recruitments.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Revolving Doors' reaction to Bali breakthrough



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Calvin Jones' Bali breakdown

Calvin Jones of Climate Change Action offers his Bali Overview:

  1. It's complex! (and that's becoming problematic)
  2. Linking national cap and trade with international climate funds
  3. Deforestation progress on funding and structure (with unwelcome guest)
  4. Australia ratifies but fails to take the lead
  5. Two degree consensus approaching: just adopt c&c you fools!
  6. CDM Review
  7. Adaptation Fund
  8. Technology Transfer

Click. He's been doing the hard work following the progress of the conference.

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Bali agreement on a 2009 climate pact

Bloody hell, how hard is it for the US to accept the science? What an other-world reality they have about global warming. Complete denial is head-shaking stuff, but, hey, we were there not a month ago living under John Howard's special brand of 25 stations, nuclear-powered delusion.

Reality bumped Howard out of the way, and put Kyoto Kevin on the winner's dais.

And reality is crudely bumping a recalcitrant, intransigent US along in the direction that the progressive front-runners are heading in.

Overall it's better than I expected, but less than I hoped for. And I am pleased that the Washington wrecking crew did not manage to spoil further.

My prediction is that come the start of the 2009 climate pact meeting the first black, female, or climate-friendly, white, male Republican US President will receive the same rousing standing-ovation that greeted Kevin Rudd when he set in train the Kyoto Protocol ratification.

It is highly symbolic that he chose Kyoto ratification for his first act as Australian Prime Minister. Rudd has set a precedent; he has set-up a stage for a correctly thinking, new US President to step onto and send a powerful signal of, not just an engagement with the rest of the world on climate change solutions, but a highly symbolic collaborative re-engagement. It would improve their global image problem, overnight. As it has Australia's under Rudd's ratification.

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Bali talks set 2009 for new climate pact

A drama-filled 190-nation conference set a 2009 deadline for a landmark pact to fight global warming after an isolated United States backed down on last-ditch objections.

The United States, the only major industrial nation to reject Kyoto, reached a compromise with the European Union (EU) to avoid mentioning any figures as a target for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement instead only makes an indirect reference to scientists' warnings that the world must sharply cut back emissions to prevent a rise in temperatures that would put millions of people at risk.

But on an unscheduled 13th day of talks, the United States said it would not accept the statement as it wanted developing countries such as fast-growing China to make tougher commitments.

Senior US negotiator Paula Dobriansky said she had heard "many strong statements from many major developing country leaders on a greater role in helping to address urgently this global problem".

It "doesn't seem it's going to be reflected in our outcome here in the declaration," she said, telling the conference that the United States would reject the draft.

Dobriansky was loudly booed by other delegations. A US environmental activist representing Papua New Guinea said on the floor to rousing cheers: "If you're not willing to lead, please get out of the way."

After repeated verbal lashings, Dobriansky again took the microphone and said that Washington would "go forward and join consensus," to the cheers of the conference.

Indian Science Minister Kapil Sibal, who had been vocally critical of the US position, offered his thanks to the United States for not blocking the consensus.

"We believe that they too are as equally committed as the rest of the world to combat climate change. So thank you very much to the delegation of the United States for coming on board," Sibal said.

The agreement came only after the head of the United Nations jetted in, the UN climate chief nearly broke down in tears and chairman Indonesia apologised abjectly for a disastrous procedural mix-up.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew in to make an unscheduled last-minute appeal for a deal.

"Seize the moment, this moment, for the good of all humanity," Ban pleaded.

"The world is watching," said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

"The worst thing that can happen is for our great project, for the human race and our planet Earth to crumble because we cannot find the right wording."

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Bali deal deadline over, talks continue

Come on guys, get it together.
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The UN climate summit in Bali is "on the brink" of a deal, according to the UN's senior climate official, as talks look set to extend into an extra day.

The EU has been pressing for a final text committing industrialised nations to specified emissions cuts, but the US, Canada and Japan are opposed.

Some developing countries said they were being pressurised to accept cuts in their own emissions.

"(We are) on the brink of agreement, I think," he said.

"Absolutely not deadlocked; people are working very hard to resolve outstanding issues."

Screen grab of the Bali conference in Second Life

Neither EU nor US has accepted the text; but as talks continued beyond the scheduled close, delegates from both blocs said agreement was possible.
"I think the situation is good, and the climate in the climate conference is good, and we will have success in the end," Germany's Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters.
Britain's early industrialisation means it has probably produced more greenhouse gases than any other
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rudd the Ratifier clarifys Australia's Kyoto intentions another round of applause at Bali. This time to the high-level Heads of State meeting.

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told world leaders in Bali that climate change is the
defining challenge of this generation, and says Australia stands
ready to respond to the problem.
The community of nations must reach agreement. There is no plan B. There is no other planet any of us can escape to. We only have this one.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addresses the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addresses the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Photo: Glen McCurtayne

He told delegates at the United Nations climate change
conference in Bali today that Australia would commit to "real" and
"robust" short and medium term targets to slash greenhouse gases,
after the Garnaut review is finished next year.

Mr Rudd received enthusiastic applause as he was introduced at
the high-level segment of the Bali talks, after earlier formally
handing over the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol
to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

"It will require tough choices, and some of these will come at a
political price," he said.
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Singapore PM has a go at Howard's climate policies

There must be a great depth of feeling for the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, normally circumspect, to take a passing shot at the ex-Prime Minister, John Howard for his climate change recalcitrance.

He also gave the US a poke in the ribs.

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong - who will meet Mr Rudd
later today for bilateral talks - took a veiled swipe at former
prime minister John Howard, as he described the challenge of
dealing with global warming as a "long and difficult process".

"It will need political support from the populations of our
countries, for we will face tough choices," Lee told the

"In Europe, climate change policy is already a major political

"In Australia, public pressure forced former prime minister John
Howard to change his government's stand after a severe decade-long

"Even in the US, attitudes are shifting."

The island nation of Palau had praise for Australia's move to
ratify Kyoto.

"I congratulate the new Australian Government and Prime Minister
Rudd for seeing the light," President Tommy Remengesau jnr

"Let us hope that the United States will not be far behind."

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Open email to Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer

To: Wayne Swan, Federal Treasurer
Cc: Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph
Bcc: Global Warming Watch

Re: Gettin' me some of that Global Warming Religion

Dear Mr Swan,

Firstly, thank you for organising with Tim to answer the questions raised by his thought-provoking article in Saturday's Daily Telegraph.

Any questions about this column should be addressed to

I wondered about the wisdom of your accepting the hospital-pass, and tacking the weighty climate change issues Tim aired for his knowledge-starved readership — you must be busy delivering my tax-cuts. But it soon becomes apparent how clever Tim is. You are the Treasurer after all (btw, congratulation your new job, and good luck).

As you know, Tim is considering switching his belief system — Capitalism, it seems — to "Join the Green revolution!", and his article is about his due diligence.

My questions, which I now raise to you, are:

1) What part of that bloody year long electoral assault did I sleep though to miss the news that global warming awareness is now a religion?

"Ditch your old ways of thinking," emailers urge. "Join the Green revolution!"

Very well. I'm game.

But first, some due diligence is required. Before signing any contracts, a fellow needs to know his new belief system is in sound working order, unburdened by internal contradictions and free of technical glitches that may end up causing frustrating warranty claims.

Now, I had always thought that climate science, like any science, was more about establishing the the absence of belief. But hey, if living green is somehow a new religion, so be it; You are the new Government. And Tim's a good journo.

So... I re-use, reclaim and recycle.

I offset. I vegetate with drought-tolerant natives. I pay extra for green electricity. I invest in energy-efficient lighting. Catch public transport, or I fill up on E10 at an indy petrol station, getting between 8-12 litres to the 100kms. I wear out more shoe leather than before. Often I don't travel, I Skype instead. I eat locally produced, and less meat now. I consume conscientiously. It's all going rather well, and it's a welcome change from the frenetic pace of before. My doctor is happier with me, and food tastes better. Well, I do some of these things.

So you can imagine my joy at the startling news that now Greed is Good Green is God, Tim's endorsement of you as Australia's first Treasure-Priest. He clearly understands that the acid test for any religion is not evidence of a creation myth, or ancient sacred-texts, or holy men and religious leaders, rituals, festivals, houses of worship, and land.

All that stuff is nice to have for your religion taxonomist, but Tim knows that a tax-free status is what's definitive. Which is why he referred me to you, no doubt: My second question is:

2) Where's my tax deduction for expenses occurred in all of the above?

It doesn't stop there. I don't want to go as far as Cate Blanchett's $1.5 million greenovation of her Hunter's Hill mansion, but I do want to throw a few squid on the solar panels BBQ.

Unless I see a fat little rebate in my tax-return, I'm forced to conclude that climate science is exactly that, science, not faith. And to look twice at the rest of Tim's claims.

Like his problem with your new prime minister appointing a petrol commissioner to monitor price-fixing among petrol companies.

But he also vowed to appoint a petrol price commissioner to monitor big oil companies, with the aim of keeping fuel prices down. Now, the purpose of ratifying Kyoto is to cut our carbon emissions; but the result of cheaper fuel will be to increase carbon emissions.

Tim's not really making a clear conversion from his Capitalism here, which clearly is Orthodox Cartel Capitalism, as distinct from Free-Market Capitalism. He's arguing against ratifying Kyoto, yet wants to limit emissions by ignoring the week-to-week evidence of oil-industry price-collusion.

But I like his argument that Green is the New Religion. I want a tax advantage for my carbon cuts since I am doing my bit.

Yours, in speaking truth to green power,


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7 Thinking Errors You Probably Make

Common thinking errors explained, each backed by a scientific study. Food for thought!
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The brain isn’t a flawless piece of machinery. Although it is powerful and comes in an easy to carry container, it has it’s weaknesses. A field in psychology which studies these errors, known as biases. Although you can’t upgrade your mental hardware, noticing these biases can clue you into possible mistakes
The entire domain of the scientific method has largely been an effort to overcome the natural inclination towards bias in reasoning.
Common thinking errors
1) Confirmation Bias
Tendency to seek information to prove, rather than disprove our theories
2) Hindsight Bias
See past results as appearing more probable than they did initially
3) Clustering Illusion
See patterns where none actually exist
4) Recency Effect
Give more weight to recent data
5) Anchoring Bias
A well-known problem with negotiations
6) Overconfidence Effect
People tend to grossly overestimate their abilities
7) Fundamental Attribution Error
Mistaking personality and character traits for differences caused by situations
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Bush systematically mislead US on climate change

The White House has systematically manipulated climate science for years to play down the dangers of global warming, a US congressional report says.
Monday's report, prepared by Democrats after a 16-month investigation, came as the Bush administration pressed a UN climate meeting to drop targets for big cuts in greenhouse gases by rich nations.
"The Bush administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming," the report said.
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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Howard years saw 42% increase in carbon emissions

That will be his legacy.

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AUSTRALIA has been named as one of the top three world greenhouse gas "sinners" by a European environmental report, ranking it with the United States and Saudi Arabia for failing its responsibilities towards the global environment.

"The worst climate sinners are Saudi Arabia, the US and Australia, which not only have extremely high and mounting emission levels, but also employ insufficient and inadequate climate policies," the director of the Climate Action Network, Matthias Duwe, said at a press conference at the United Nations talks in Bali.

Australia ranked behind China, Russia and India because of its policies during the Howard years, the report says.

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Global warming denier's get no hearing in Bali

Andrew Bolt is apoplectic.

Since the Bali Conference began, he has devoted six posts to bagging it. Here is his latest.
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With 15,000 global warming believers already choking the UN’s conference on how to cut the gases they emitted just getting there, it’s natural a few had to excluded.

And how convenient those exclusions were:

The United Nations has rejected all attempts by a group of dissenting scientists seeking to present information at the climate change conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia.

The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has been denied the opportunity to present at panel discussions, side events, and exhibits; its members were denied press credentials. The group consists of distinguished scientists from Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The scientists, citing pivotal evidence on climate change published in peer-reviewed journals, have expressed their opposition to the UN’s alarmist theory of anthropogenic global warming.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Having Sex without Gravity

Only four positions?

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US and Russian astronauts have had sex in space for separate research programmes on how human beings might survive years in orbit, according to a book published yesterday.

Pierre Kohler, a respected French scientific writer, says in The Final Mission: Mir, The Human Adventure that the subject is taboo both at Nasa and at mission control in Moscow, but that cosmic couplings have taken place.

"The issue of sex in space is a serious one," he says. "The experiments carried out so far relate to missions planned for married couples on the future International Space Station, the successor to Mir. Scientists need to know how far sexual relations are possible without gravity."

He cites a confidential Nasa report on a space shuttle mission in 1996. A project codenamed STS-XX was to explore sexual positions possible in a weightless atmosphere.

four positions were found possible without "mechanical assistance"
six needed a special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel, like an open-ended sleeping bag
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Labor's climate change policies will 'boost Aust credibility'

The previous govt was mainly interested in developing ways that the uranium industry could take over from the oil industry.
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The head of a climate change review commissioned by state and territory leaders earlier this year says Labor's policies will go a long way to boosting Australia's credibility at the climate change meeting in Bali next month.

Professor Ross Garnaut is canvassing a range of options including emissions trading schemes.

He says to be effective such a program would need to be overseen by an independent commission.

Professor Garnaut says Australia's original decision to join the US and not sign the Kyoto agreement was discouraging for the rest of the international community, something which could be turned around in Bali.

"Us going back, signing Kyoto, will be encouraging for the same reasons and it will mean that our voice will be a bit more credible in the discussions in Bali," he said.

Professor Garnaut says progress towards reducing emissions will need to be led by developed countries.

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Rudd backs deep 2020 emissions cuts

During the election campaign, Kevin Rudd has repeatedly said that Australia would not set its own 2020 target until he received a report from economist Ross Garnaut next year. But when he arrives in Bali next week he will face international expectations from Europe, China and Indonesia to make Australia's position clear whether, having ratified the Kyoto Protocol, it is committed to its own deep cuts:
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THE Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, signalled his support for
developed countries, including Australia, agreeing to making deep
cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions in the next 12 years.

In a significant move last night the Australian delegation to
the UN climate talks stated it "fully supports" the proposal that
developed countries need to cut their greenhouse gas emission by 25
to 40 per cent by 2020.

The public statement came after China and Indonesia demanded at
the UN climate change talks in Bali yesterday that developed
nations who have ratified the Kyoto Protocol stick to this
understanding reached earlier this year.

Last night Australia publicly aligned itself with the nations
under the Kyoto Protocol that have agreed to consider these cuts,
distancing the new Rudd Government further from the US position.
Saying Australia "fully supports" the position, the delegation said
Australia was, "happy to proceed on this basis".

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