Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: No Friends of Science

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    (And before anyone gets on their high horse about how valuable farming is, this isn't the nineteenth century anymore. Agriculture contributes only 5% of total GDP and 3.3% of total employment (and that includes first-stage processing). Those claims of special status may have been true in the past, but not anymore).

    While not disagreeing that something should be done about the contribution of farm animals, economics is not the only way to look at the importance of farming. The various forms of farming provide the vast majority of meat in our diets, and it would be a massive economic and cultural change if the price of meat suddenly greatly increased. There would also be a big impact upon dairy products, including milk. While there are other sources, those are our primary sources of calcium and iron which are both important for good health.

    Given that the economic health of the country has often being built on the back of the agricultural industry, I suspect farmers might get a bit huffy if all of a sudden they're all at fault for global warming. There wouldn't be as many cows if we all ate a lot less cow after all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    You don't want to eat dairy cows, high butter/ fat. You do want to eat beef, which are usually steers.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    mmmm, steers

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Yes but what does mmmm steer you towards?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    jonkey steers, dave. you know that

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    PS Is it a sign of old age that I'm less comfortable with the F word now?

    Bart,
    I don't throw it around. In this case, I decided that given the context, strong language seemed justified. I promise to usually refrain from such usage in future, except where the entire future of humanity is at stake. ;) (Also, the rythym of the sentence demanded something punchy at that point.)

    The most likely answer to your other questions is: "Because it might cost me money, or prevent me from making more money".

    And, as someone else noted this week in a letter to the NZ Herald: if climatologists are so confident in predicting negative climate change in 50 years time, how come they couldn't get the forecast right for Easter Weekend?

    NI, This is hardly the stunning observation that you imply. Ask youself this - Which is more likely: that thousands of the world's most brilliant scientists, have failed to spot this stunningly fundamental error in their methodology? Or that you don't understand very much about statistical analysis?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Which is more likely: that thousands of the world's most brilliant scientists, have failed to spot this stunningly fundamental error in their methodology? Or that you don't understand very much about statistical analysis?

    oh 3410 now you're just resorting to that other really offensive f word, fact. i think your detractors would prefer if you just stuck to the emotive, ignorant and uniformed modes.
    you'll never get on Mora's Panel at this rate.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    For those arguing against the economics of changing our behaviour

    The Stern review cloncludes that economically we should change our behaviour.

    3140 wrote

    The most likely answer to your other questions is: "Because it might cost me money, or prevent me from making more money".

    But that's the point almost all those things cost you less money and make it easier to make money both personally and as a country. shrug

    BTW I'm not really that fussed about your use of the F word I just seem to notice it more nowadays, particularlary when written. I don't really understand why I just am less comfortable with it than I used to be. I certainly am not suggesting you can't use it just that I seem to recat more to it nowadays.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    arrg need spellchecker

    concludes
    react

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    They did get it right for Easter, the wind and swell predictions were nearly dead on, and you know often when it's raining in town it's fine where we are. Reducing weather to what Toni said is silly.
    Check this out, you do however need to study a little bit, but there's an FAQ's.
    http://www.marineweather.co.nz/reports/index.php?regionid=19

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Mother, i think a lot of people's gripes with weather forceasting accuracy can be attributed to Confirmation Bias, which funnily enough is the very reason why we need the inferential statistics forecasting is based on.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I don't really understand why I just am less comfortable with it than I used to be.

    Probably the same reason that you listen to Jazz these days, and not so much Rock 'n' Roll. ;)

    But that's the point almost all those things cost you less money and make it easier to make money both personally and as a country.

    I don't know. What you say is true for society as a whole / the world as a whole, but individually? I don't think so. To me the whole climate-change-denial thing isn't really based on science, morality, logic, or anything like that. Rather, it's about avioding any financial or lifestlye limitations that dealing with the problem might impose (with a bit of the ol' taking-pothots-at-the-ivory-tower-eggheads thrown in). Those of us who value science, morality, logic, etc. sometimes find it hard to comprehend (or easy to forget) that many people don't give a damn (if you'll excuse my language) and will corrupt these things willfully in order to maximise personal rewards.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Yes Agent RW, I agree. A depressing thought is that people disagree without considering what it is they are disagreeing with, and when confronted with this, they get all disagreeable, I hate that, it makes me disagreeable.
    I have noted sea pattern changes over the last 30 years and used to keep a surf diary, you know, where surfed, what the conditions were, the date...I'm keeping mum though.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    Just to return to the NatRad afternoons for a mo -- I shut it off shortly after Mora (can't stand the voice) took over from Wayne (OK, he's a bit fuddy duddy but knows his music). Correct me if I'm wrong, but this isn't just the dumbing down of some of the country's finest media. The Listener has been taken over by Pamela Stirling and Joanna Black pushing their conservative barrows (hence the make money/lose weight scenario alternate weeks). The Herald is virtually unreadable without a defibrilator handy. TVNZ is committing harikari before our very eyes. All this can't be blamed on the overseas corporates. The management dross (in hospitals too) has floated to the top positions -- we're witnessing sheer bloody incompetence on a national scale. I've always felt the hirers and firers wouldn't recognise talent if it bit them on the arse. Hence the fact that the likes of Holmes, Woods, Columbus, Hoskings, the odious Laws, et al, have had charmed careers. Oooh, I'm feeling better now.

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 101 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    - we're witnessing sheer bloody incompetence on a national scale.

    There was a fine article in Unlimited three or four years back that noted an international study (OECD, perhaps?) which found that while New Zealand managers rated themselves as the thord or second best managers in the world, all the measurements applied in areas like financial management, strategic management, and so on, saw them rated 30 - 40 out of 45. Communist Vietnam had better management that New Zealand.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    ...by Pamela Stirling and Joanna Black...

    God, yes! Mind you, everyone I know is cancelling their subscriptions, so maybe it won't last.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • mark p baker,

    You are all correct on a number of points.

    1 The world according to Garth...Personally, when I see Garth George wade into an issue I KNOW the opposing faction is on the right track.
    How that bird flies with only its right wing I just don't know, but it's an indication of how entranched the canker is at granny H that he has roles like gatekeeper of the letters - if the themes expressed don't support his weird antiquarian world view, they don't get in there. Hmmm...white, middle class, old...he must HATE the fact that Asians (Lincoln Tan) and females can now have their say in columns in the paper. Our only hope is that he's one of those with their necks on the block as granny tries to winkle its subs out of their roles...
    2 I've been thinking of, and referring to, the likes of Augie Auer at "deniers" for some time, and just WAITING for PA to start in on this stuff, so it's lovely to see others share the same point of reference. It's unfortunate that the state media machine at TVNZ has sought to make rock stars out of the likes of Auer and Jim "can I infect you with my clap clap religion" Hickey - gives them far too much awareness of self and a skewed impression of their own importance/relevance.
    3 Final point: when the Labour Government makes a 180 degree turn at full throttle and embraces climate change to the point that they even consider driving around in slightly smaller planet destroyers then it's true, the environment IS trendy. O hell, it's even reached Hollywood. Nice to see the Govt moving to "greener" cars at a rate slightly slower than the glaciers are melting...I do need afew constants in my world, and bureaucratic Sir Humphreyism is the most reassuring of all.

    ParpyKoura • Since Dec 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    it is quite amazing though how Joanne Black's redneck opinions mirror perfectly the policies and positions of her husband who is principal advisor to John Key. come to think of it David Young's pov hasn't changed much since he was PR man for theBRT either.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Warning off thread. Alanis is totally redeemed for me and the person who directed me to her version of My Hump rules!

    It was a vast right wing conspiracy because she dropped Kiddes RHCP and did the iIronic song, I'm down wid it now, yas I am.
    Righto! As RB used to say back in the day, I got a riff going awn and I'm not drinkin chardon...
    Also, techie's please help me to post link wid my chosen title instead of the cut and paste hack I do now...ref. above, should have read, My Hump.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Oh gawd, I did that, is that OK?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Looks like she's finally worked out what "ironic" means.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    that is quite funny.
    how do you post a vid clip directly like that?

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just got this in my inbox from someone called Catherine:

    Bjorn Lomberg , Augie Auer, Leighton Smith et al are not deluded by U.N. propaganda like so many of the tragic and gullible followers of spin.

    Many of the arguments of the pro-lobby would get a fail mark in Science 101.

    It's hard to argue against this kind of blithe unreason.

    Oh, and that'll be Mr Lom__borg__, who, if the author bothered to check, readily acknowledges anthropogenic global warming as both a fact and a problem. But let's not get that get in the way of blind, unthinking prejudice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That is quite funny.
    how do you post a vid clip directly like that?

    Just paste in the URL from YouTube (not the embed code). It's special geek magic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Also, techie's please help me to post link wid my chosen title instead of the cut and paste hack I do now...ref. above, should have read, My Hump.

    Dude, see the instructions next to the 'Post a reply' text box.
    Type 'The title you wish to display'
    | is on the key just about the enter key on your key board.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

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