Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: No Friends of Science

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  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    While we're talking about hilarious climate change denouncers...has anyone had the pleasure of hearing Leighton Smith 'tackle' this issue on Newstalk ZB? He gets really worked up about it, in his usual bigoted, 'I'm always right and everyone who disagrees with me MUST be wrong but I've got no proof to back me up' kind of way.

    And yes, I do listen to Leighton...stupid Japanese car radio that needs a band expander!

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    no, dear garth no longer compiles the letters page, he retired at least a year ago & now only does the weekly column. given there's no retirement age now, we're stuck with that until people stop reading his column, or he finally decides he doesn't want to do it anymore. sigh.

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 129 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    a conservative has this need to vindicate their past behaviour by digging their heels

    it's called neophobia, just one of the many fears conservatism and fundyism are based on

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Couple of things:

    I have been quite interested to see how Labour and the Tories in the UK seem to have ended up on a bidding war over this. That is to say they appear to be trying to “out green” each other. From this I would speculate that someone in shareholder land has decided that climate change really is bad for business (possibly insurance – note similar goings on here - this may be a feature of business not dominated by oil production). Whether this actually leads to hard policy is another matter. I’m quietly hoping that a similar bidding war might break out here.

    As far as psychology goes I guess that if you have grown up believing that hard work is good and hard work equals the right and means to conspicuously consume; then to have the goodness of this relationship challenged will be quite confusing and alarming.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • Eric Dutton,

    Of course the land is moving - vertically. Napier rose more than 2 metres in the last century and may do the same again. Greymouth is in trouble whether the sea rises or not. Will Wellington slide into the sea, or will its harbour drain away? Will anyone care? Over much of our coastline, land movement will trump rising sea level.

    A real concern is the crappy use of oversimplifications like food miles and fart taxes. A moment's thought should be sufficient to realize that all the carbon emitted by the cow was captured by the grass as it photosythesized. Sure some of the carbon has ended up as Methane rather than Carbon Dioxide, but the methane is oxidized by natural atmospheric processes, so long as we don't overload the system. Since we are a small remote country miles from anywhere, we are unlikely to do this. How much of other countries' emmissions land on New Zealand as acid rain? Are farmers nett emmitters at all?
    And why no consideration given to building topsoil? You plant a forest, and the carbon sequestration is a one off. Building topsoil can be continued indefinitely, and has many other benefits.

    Air travel emmissions, ignored by Kyoto, are now being seen as significant. Some opinions rate fuel burned at 35000 feet as three times as damaging as fuel burned at ground level. Bearing in mind that the annual increase in air travel is now equal to the total world air travel in 1967, there could be a major problem here. But its much easier to point at the rural sector because that allows everyone to exactly as they please.

    Oh - and Garth George drowns kittens.

    Whangarei • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Garth no longer vets the letters? Great. I sent one in to the paper just now, reproduced below for what it is (barely) worth:

    "I see that Garth George has decided to write about global warming again in the wake of the IPCC report. However, I can remember another of his columns from November 2nd last year, also on climate change. Much of the same spirit is still there: Mr George will keep on driving his 4-litre Falcon, burning wood in winter, and telling future generations 'I told you so'.

    However, the latest column relies on 'expert' academic deniers of climate change. These academics are not the ivory-tower pointy-heads Mr George hates, because here they happen to agree with him. But in November, Mr George had a different ally: he knew climate change was a non-issue because 'every time I see a rainbow I have it confirmed for me. It tells me that God is keeping the promise he made to Noah after the world-drowning flood thousands of years ago recorded in Genesis.' And this same man now compares climate change science to flat-earth beliefs?

    I don't know why Mr George bothered changing to modern 'evidence' for his latest column. Clearly his lifestyle is not going to change, and he’ll stick with an uncritical belief in anything that doesn’t challenge his own selfish behaviour."

    On the Your Views topic, did anyone else notice that when you go to comment on Garth's story the subject line is "Climate change not all doom and gloom" - thus presuming you agree with the senile old fool?

    Somehow I doubt my comments will make the 'selection of your latest views' if Mr George has anything to do with it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1566 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i think the climate is also a useful political bogeyman now the commies are neutralized and the 'terrorists' are proving a bit tricky.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Does climate change kill kittens ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    81stcolumn: the UK already has hard policy - they participate inthe ETS, have a low-level carbon tax, various efficiency programs, and a renewables obligation for electricity companies. And they've achieved fantastic results, mainly by switching from old coal generation to newer and more efficient (and cleaner) gas. What they're arguing about is whether to get harder, by making airlines pay for emissions, increase carbon taxes, or tighten regulation on efficiency.

    There's a peception here (promoted by the deniers) that if NZ acted on climate change, we would be leading the world. We wouldn't. Much of Europe left us in the dust ten years ago, the first time the government backed down on a carbon tax.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1661 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Warning, psychology mumbo jumbo from failed first year psyche student (actually I passed some but bolted)...
    Conservatives, those with a conservative bent, tend to have been raised by conservatives. Gaining power and making money, then holding on to it require a particular type of family environment...(over 90% of US fortune 500 company's are family businesses). The home front, if you like, is heavily regulated and designed to perpetuaute the cash and powerflows. The children are rewarded for behaviours that objectify things in a worshipful way, i.e. that Hummer is one helluva car! Instead of subjectifying things, like, boy those Hummers are bullet magnets! Extroversion is rewarded, introversion not. And then there is being trained to consider "feeling" as an inferior function. I can recommend,
    Psychological Types
    Civilisation In Transition
    Aeon
    All by Carl Jung, not because I am a Jungian, because Jung really did deep research on the Judeo-Christian western mind and it's history.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Savant - Yeah good call - but I do buy in to Riddley's bogeyman point. If European energy policy ends up as a drive towards nuclear energy at all costs I can't help feeling that an opportunity will have been lost.

    Now where's that damn cat......

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Our Garth is way ahead of you...

    ...oh. Probably I should read the reference material before answering the exam questions.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Merc - Easy boy, mixture of Freud, Behaviourism and sociology here too rich for my cognitive behaviour head.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 728 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Nah, I said it's mumbo jumbo and I mean it, just food for thought, I'd much prefer not to have read some of the things I have, or had some of the experiences, but hell, at the risk of being called glib, life's a gamble (or is tha gambol).
    As I have passed the meridian (and the final taxi visited our nieghbour last Tuesday, number 9) I suspect old Garth is nearing that time when you ask yourself two questions,
    What have I done? And, is that all there is?
    Points for me, I got 3 song titles in there...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Do kittens cause global warming and continental drift? I say we sacrifice garth to his god in the hope of averting the coming of the kittens and rising waters.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Never speak of The God Of Kittens again damn you!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On the other hand a close friend who's a palynologist (with impeccable left wing credentials) and researches past climate change was a climate change skeptic for quite a while. I'm not sure of his position now. It's not hard to see how people who have studied the history of the earth, like geologists, could be skeptical.

    Yes, it seems that some of the scientists with informed objections are paleoclimatologists and geologists, but there seem to be valid rebuttals to their arguments. I'm clearly in no position to adjudicate there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Does climate change kill kittens ?

    I thought god killed a kitten every time you pleasure yourself.
    The sick f**k.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I thought god killed a kitten every time you pleasure yourself.
    The sick f**k.

    Certain people have actually used that as the basis of an anti-masturbation campaign. Personally, I think that encouraging people to think about kittens being killed while playing with themselves can only end bady.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I thought god killed a kitten every time you pleasure yourself.

    Only when He's watching. Which is all the time ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    When Leighton Smith is watching? that's even sicker than the Christian XXX site

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Only when He's watching. Which is all the time ...

    So he is a sadist and a peeping tom?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    If European energy policy ends up as a drive towards nuclear energy at all costs I can't help feeling that an opportunity will have been lost.

    Frankly, I'd rather the Europeans (and Americans, and Australians, and Chinese) burned uranium than coal. Meanwhile I'm also glad that we have no need to.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1661 posts Report Reply

  • Matty Smith,

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking. I mean: I. Am. Breathless. For Garth George or Leighton Smith, or even Augie Auer, to stand up and make so many loud specious arguments that the public accepts unscientific skepticism is plain wrong. Leighton's favourite explanation for the "Global Warming Swindle" is the line about solar heat pushing Earthly temperatures up, and he still champions that crock of a documentary whenever he can despite the thorough discrediting it has received.

    What is it in these bull-headed old men that prevents them from absorbing knowledge?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Yes, but with nuclear power aren't we just substituting one problem with another (nuclear waste)?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

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