It's interesting to watch Krudd so shamelessly rewrite history whenever it suits his polemical purposes.
He's now trying to suggest that Labor came into office in the midst of an economic crisis, and that the Coalition was responsible.
Labor came into office inheriting from John Howard and Peter Costello a booming economy and a budget that was in surplus.
Yes, the global financial crisis that came later was not Labor's fault. But one of the reasons we are getting through it better than most other countries is because Howard's government ran the economy so well, and reformed the banking sector such that we have some of the strongest and most secure banks in the world.
And as an update to Krudd's green job fraud, hear how he nervously now admits that Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib was right.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Environment before people, says Australia's Wilderness SocietyArticle by Sara HudsonThe misanthropic attitude of conservationists was revealed on Tuesday night when a group of Aboriginal protestors from Cape York gate-crashed a Wilderness Society and green fundraiser.Dressed in chains and in two giant koala suits, the Cape York Aborigines crashed the party to protest against Queensland’s Wild Rivers legislation, which bans development within two kilometres of the Lockhart, Stewart and Archer rivers.The protestors blame the Wilderness Society for instigating the legislation, which they argue denies them the ability to build businesses and enterprises on their traditional land – so that more of their people can move out of welfare into the real economy. Tania Major, the spokesperson for the Cape York Aborigines, said they weren’t against conservation but they were protesting because the Wilderness Society had not consulted with them or given them a choice on how to manage their land.These arguments left the Wilderness Society members unmoved, with spokesperson Anna Christie saying on ABC Radio that environmental sustainability should come before people.Only those comfortably off are able to so quickly disregard the importance of economic development. They forget that the only reason they can afford to shop at Macro and buy organic food is because they live in an industrialised society. Try living in the outback and getting an organic soy latte.The fact that the greenies and the Aborigines have fallen out over this issue is a first. Historically, the green movement has tended to support Aboriginal causes. Protesting against the Intervention and the Howard government was a trendy pastime for many greenies.However, the green movement has failed to address the causes of Aboriginal disadvantage, tending to rely on detached commentary rather than tackling real issues.The green way of looking at sustainable development is typical of the affluent world that sees sustainability as being environmentally friendly—recycling, living in eco houses, and driving fuel-efficient cars. But for the poor and disadvantaged, sustainability is about having essential services such as housing, water, sewerage, and transport.It is deeply hypocritical for the green movement to deny Aboriginal development on the premise that this will preserve the environment when they owe their own comfortable existence to Australia’s developed economy.The above is a press release from the Centre for Independent Studies, dated July 31st. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590. Telephone ph: +61 2 9438 4377 or fax: +61 2 9439 7310
From Greenie Watch
This comes from Greenie Watch:
The official Met office predicted a "BBQ summer" but July in Britain has in fact been wet and miserable -- which doesn't say much for the usefulness of the models they rely on, particularly since they have got it wrong 3 years in a row. Private forecaster and climate skeptic Piers Corbyn works from different assumptions, enabling much more accurate predictionIn response to the question 'Does the technology exist?' to do the 'seasonal forecasting' the Met office find so hard. Piers said: "It is not a matter of technology but of the application of Physics and equations. Just as computer models of the economy fail so does the Met office approach to long range forecasting. We can predict in detail months ahead how solar particle and magnetic effects modulated by the moon cause the Jet stream - the tracks of lows - to shift. That is the key to weather type change prediction in Britain & Ireland."He read out his WeatherAction summer forecast headline (see below) issued on 22 February which well describes the summer so far - and said it also gave more detail in 13 weather periods through the summer which were developed into 27 weather periods in the monthly forecasts. This contrasted dramatically with the Met Office 'barbecue summer' forecast issued in April - which made no attempt to identify sub-periods - and their recent meandering admissions of failure.Piers said key points about his Solar Weather Technique (SWT) of long range forecasting are available on the web and more would come but some investors were countenancing against that. Philip Avery of BBC/Met Office then commented "Yes, because they make money". In response to this admission by the Met Office that there is merit in WeatherAction forecasts Piers said: "Yes, more will be published but you and governments will not welcome it because it will pull the rug from under your belief in man-made global warming. The world is now cooling and we can explain why."Afterwards Piers said:"Our summer forecast under SWT25d has gone excellently. We are especially pleased with the DETAIL in July (see below). Our month ahead forecast graph issued at end of June specifically predicted that Tuesday 28th July would be the best day in the S/E for a while, which it was. We said the period 29th-31st would be a 'TOP Extra Activity' Red Weather Warning period with High Whirlwind/tornado risk and that during this period a month's worth of rain was likely in a few hours in places. "These extremes have been realised. Some western parts were hit by 60mm of rain on 29th and whirlwind / tornado events hit Scotland and Western parts with floods in places. We issue weather warnings over forty days ahead while the Met Office often finds it hard to make them four hours ahead. "It's a pity that Climate campers don't feel able to use our forecasts and are getting drenched once again because their dogmatic belief in the unbelievable provided by their mates in the Met Office means they cannot make weather-wise plans. I hope soon that real climate Karma will run over their Dogma!"More HERE
A pet cat in Britain has caught the same bus every day for four years.
Casper rides the 10.55am service in Plymouth, southwest England, for its entire 17km journey before returning home about an hour later.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
More of the dishonesty and spin that so characterises this man.
This is clearly the product of another one of his thought bubbles. No real plan, just an announcement made as soon as the idea popped into his head.
Great politics of course.
Large sections of the public will be suckered by this talk about lovely and huggy green jobs that don't exist yet and which probably never will.
How many years now have sundry greenies and other carpetbaggers been promising us a green future full of green collar jobs, even as the promised jobs just never seemed to quite happen?
So the proposition is that to make a small cut in Australia's small greenhouse gas footprint, (and yes, less than 1.5% of total global emissions is small Virginia), we are going to destroy tens of thousands of real jobs held by real people right now for vague promises about green jobs in the future doing, well, doing something or other. Nobody's really all that sure what.
Never mind that every one of any of these jobs that actually does come into existence will do so only because the government has diverted your tax dollars away from education and health and the like, because none of them can happen in the real world without massive government subsidies.
Never mind that a recent Spanish study showed that the creation of every one so-called green job resulted in the loss of over two real jobs elsewhere in the economy, and at a cost of over $1 million per green job.
Julia Gillard says today that Arbib made a mistake yesterday. Yes, he made the political mistake of telling the truth.
Andrew Bolt breaks down this number of 50,000 while trying to find any real new jobs in it:
So, there's the green future for your kids. Planting trees and clearing walk ways in a glorified work for the dole scheme.
Your education tax dollars at work.
Not even a pretence at fairness or objectivity, just typical left-wing boilerplate.
This is one of the reasons why i don't agree that our university sector is under-funded.
Clearly it is over-funded if it has money to waste on this kind of thing.
Ian Plimer has outraged the ayatollahs of purist environmentalism, the Torquemadas of the doctrine of global warming, and he seems to relish the damnation they heap on him. Plimer is a geologist, professor of mining geology at Adelaide University, and he may well be Australia's best-known and most notorious academic. Plimer, you see, is an unremitting critic of "anthropogenic global warming" -- man-made climate change to you and me -- and the current environmental orthodoxy that if we change our polluting ways, global warming can be reversed.It is, of course, not new to have a highly qualified scientist saying that global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon with many precedents in history. Many have made the argument, too, that it is rubbish to contend human behaviour is causing the current climate change. And it has often been well argued that it is totally ridiculous to suppose that changes in human behaviour -- cleaning up our act through expensive slight-of-hand taxation tricks -- can reverse the trend.But most of these scientific and academic voices have fallen silent in the face of environmental Jacobinism. Purging humankind of its supposed sins of environmental degradation has become a religion with a fanatical and often intolerant priesthood, especially among the First World urban elites.
The rest here
via Greenie Watch, which apparently had been flagged with Google/Blogger by climate hysterics for its "objectionable" content. Prevented Dr Ray from updating for less than 24 hours before the "interdict" was lifted.
The results of the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll are a major warning sign for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. On some key issues, the gains that Democrats had made on Republicans in the last couple of years have disappeared, and the GOP has begun to reassert itself. In other policy areas, traditional Democratic leads are diminishing.
Are the Aussies losing their winning mentality? First they stop the sledging. Then they start losing cricket matches. Then they start whinging. When we think of sporting winners, we invariably think of our friends Down Under. But now, God forbid, are the Aussies becoming more like the English?
THE Rudd government's $1.3billion green car innovation fund will not deliver a more environmentally friendly automotive industry and is little more than shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, industry veterans say.
Calling for funding to be tied to major reform of the industry, as in the US, former car company executives say money dished out by the government under the green car fund is industry assistance under a new name.
Their criticism comes after Industry Minister Kim Carr announced the federal government would provide $42 million from the green car fund to help Ford develop a new four-cylinder engine for the Falcon and Territory.
The funding came as Ford said it would dump plans to build the four-cylinder Ford Focus at its Broadmeadows plant in Melbourne.
Former Mitsubishi Australia managing director Graham Spurling said the green car fund, intended to help companies develop low-emission, fuel-efficient cars, was simply an industry handout with a new banner.
"It's the same old ship with the same old deck chairs," Mr Spurling said. "The industry has undergone huge changes overseas and I think Australia needs to understand that there is a need for a substantial paradigm shift. The current automotive regime is becoming outdated."
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Karon Snowdon, reporting for the ABC’s Rear Vision, presents a potted history of China:
“Mixed results”? Is that the ABC’s shorthand for the brutal imposition of the mad whims of a Communist psychopath which lead to the deaths of millions? Jasper Becker’s book on this obscentity puts it rather better:
A catastrophe so large that the Communist Party sidelined Mao and reduced him to a figurehead, which is why he then unleashed the Cultural Revolution as a means of circumventing the party and reestablishing his control and power.
A militant Islamic group called the “Nigerian Taliban” has killed dozens of people with coordinated attacks in the northern part of Nigeria, with the goal of overthrowing the government, imposing strict sharia law, and abolishing “Western-style education.”
Especially that whole “rain” concept. They don’t accept that rain is evaporated water.
But the creationists at the Discovery Institute do have some common ground with the Nigerian Taliban:
Well, der. I mean, how many studies have to produce exactly the same results before the message gets through to the idiot hippies who still believe otherwise?
British researchers reach a predictable conclusion:
Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.
Organic farmers are unimpressed.
An invisible line divides Europe in two. North of it, people tend to be allergic to the uncooked flesh of apples. South of it, it is the skin of apples that they react to. This is just one of many discoveries that are changing how we think about food allergies, and how we protect people from them...MORE
At the link above you can also see Fairfax's Ross Gittins start to fall out of love.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The Bolter is absolutely right in my opinion. This radio "entertainment" was wrong even before it went wrong.
I'm just going to reproduce his entire post. Read and wonder:
Please, is there some way of holding not just the mother and the (alleged) rapist to account, but Kyle Sandilands as well?
Vile, vile, vile. If the police aren’t speaking to the mother already, what’s keeping them? As for Sandilands and his sidekick, sack them, ban them, whatever. The station is aying the stunt went wrong, but in what possible way could it have gone right?
And for God’s sake let the authorities get the help to the girl that she so badly needs.
Listen to the audio (first link) to hear just how gross - how utterly barbaric - the segment was even before it went “wrong”. First, the girl’s mother, sounding excited, says she has brought in her daughter for the lie detector test to check if she’s telling the truth about “drugs and sex”. She “might have had sex before”, mum tells the world, and she’s “smoked marijuana”. Already the segment has gone way, way over the line.
But the girl is hooked up to the detector, monitored by a man called Charles. Then this:
And so Greenpeace sent a ship off to the Arctic to protest against the melting ice and the fossil fuels that are to blame. From the ship’s log:
Russian military analysts say that the principal reason for India's decision to develop defense cooperation with the USA lies in Russia's numerous violations in execution of contract terms with India. India was outraged when Russia delayed the modernization of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, as Russia did previously with the delivery of warships and submarines.
A new scandal arose several days before Clinton's visit to Delhi. It proved that Russia had sold India defective air-to-air rockets. Up to 50 percent of the rockets were reportedly defective.
Interesting that the article says that the next to go maybe the biggest, that is, China. Was reported in today's paper that there was now some doubt about the sale of Russian Su-33 carrier-borne fighters to China, (though it may be the Russians who have gone cold on this deal).
What was the result in the event? UKIP won 11.8 per cent of the vote - comfortably ahead of the Greens and remarkably close to the LibDems (or “worryingly close” as I just heard a Radio 5 Live presenter put it).
Did our state broadcaster apologise for its mistake? No, alright, that would have been expecting too much; but was it, at least, a little abashed in its tone? Nope. It simply edited UKIP out of its coverage. On the one o’clock news, a little bar chart came up to represent the results: blue for the Conservatives, red for Labour, yellow for the LibDems and, er, green for the fifth-placed Greens. The party that had come fourth, and been just 800 votes behind the LibDems, wasn’t represented. Nor was UKIP mentioned on the contemporaneous radio news.
Via Tim Blair
Monday, July 27, 2009
Hey, don't laugh, they gave one to Al Gore for making a science fiction film made to look like a documentary!
Apparently this work of fiction, (as it was substantially revealed to be in a British court when it was found that it wasn't suitable for showing in schools without a warning that it contained serious factual errors), singlehandedly ended a whole series of wars that hadn't even happened yet, fought over things that may or may not happen caused by something that may or may not happen, sometime in the future. Maybe.
So, if that's all it takes to win a Nobel Peace Prize, Michael Jackson has as equally strong a case.
And really, in these enlightened times we live in, the fact that he was a pederast is neither here nor there is it?
This goes to the heart of my concerns about grand government schemes, whether to rapidly stimulate the economy or take over the hospital system.
Or indeed in designing what could be the greatest boondoggle in human history, the emissions trading scheme (which financial institutions and insurance companies are just rubbing their hands in anticipatory glee over, with Lehman Brothers busily positioning itself to make an expecting killing on such schemes before it went down the gurgler, as was Enron.)
One question I always ask people is "when was the last time you saw the government do something efficiently and well, on time and on budget, and which achieved its aims without unforeseen and unfortunate unintended consequences?"
Not only are the houses not yet built, each costs the price of the grandest mansion:
At $2 million a house, and with huge delays, we must conclude:
1. Building welfare ghettoes in the far outback is a money-eating extravagence, even ignoring the often toxic results.
2. Government money is involved.
FILE THIS UNDER “THINGS I’D LIKE TO BE TRUE:” Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth? “The oil and gas that fuels our homes and cars started out as living organisms that died, were compressed, and heated under heavy layers of sediments in the Earth’s crust. Scientists have debated for years whether some of these hydrocarbons could also have been created deeper in the Earth and formed without organic matter. Now for the first time, scientists have found that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle —the layer of Earth under the crust and on top of the core. The research was conducted by scientists at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues from Russia and Sweden, and is published in the July 26, advanced on-line issue of Nature Geoscience.” Abiotic hydrocarbons is an old theory; it would be nice if it were true.
I suppose the other thing here is that even without this turning out to be true, the reserves of non-conventional hydrocarbons already known, including marine methane hydrates, are vast.
Though they often present great challenges in getting to them.
Check it out.
Latest entry is by Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Another example of how Labor gets given a free pass by the media, academics and special interest groups for saying things that they condemned a conservative for saying previously.
Andrew Bolt lists some reactions from this cast of usual suspects when Tony Abbott said eight years ago exactly what Labor is saying now:
But now The Sydney Morning Herald opines: "His message today might be unpalatable but that does not mean he is wrong. This is a time for a strong work ethic and cheerfulness in the face of adversity."
This woman must at least be in the running for the prize of the most egotistical and self-obsessed job snob:
Oh, and she has made a terribly important, (if largely unwatched ), documentary on the evil oil business in Ecuador.
"I just can't take the routine of getting up and doing the same thing every day." Typically, she lasts no more than seven days in a job. She is only 25 and yet has had 70 different jobs.
But great. We get to pay for her "hobby."
Downer has some amusing anecdotes about people's unreasonable and ungrateful reactions to being caught in foreign places at the wrong time, often despite the government warning them to either not go or to get out if they were already there.
Such as the people evacuated from Lebanon during Israel's action against the terrorist group Hezbollah wanted to know if they'd get frequent flyer pointsfrom the free flights! And of course the reason it took some time to get it all arranged wasn't because they were on the other side of the world, but because of racism.
Mark Steyn asks:
Today's Rasmussen survey is the first one in which all polling was done after President Obama's prime-time press conference on health care. That press conference, and Obama's blundering into the Gates arrest controversy, have driven the President's "approval index"--the difference between those who strongly approve of his performance and those who strongly disapprove--to an all-time low of -11:
I've always said Clarkson is a very sound fellow.
THE BBC has been plunged into a new controversy after Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson used the most offensive swear word in the English language to describe British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in front of a studio audience.
Clarkson described Mr Brown as "a c--t" during the show's recording on Wednesday night.
Although some in the audience reportedly burst out laughing at his comments, BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow later gave Clarkson a "dressing down" in front of crew, the Daily Mail reports.
He is also understood to have made similarly offensive remarks about Mr Brown to an audience during the show's filming earlier this month.
HARRY Patch, the last soldier to fight in the trenches of Europe during World War I, has died at the age of 111.
Claude Choules, 108, who lives in Perth, Australia, and served with the Royal Navy, now becomes the last surviving veteran of the 1914-18 conflict from the British side.
Patch, who fought at the notorious Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, was also Britain's oldest man following the death of fellow veteran Henry Allingham, the oldest man in the world, one week ago.
May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
The passing of these men always makes me cry.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Yes, this bill’s goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 is nowhere near what science tells us we need to mitigate climate change. But it also contains significant provisions to prevent new buildings from becoming energy hogs...
But we're stuck now with that egomaniac and fantasist Kevin Rudd!
And a happy 70th birthday to John Howard, the successful Prime Minister who sure wasn’t born yesterday. I suspect he’s more missed now than many suspected he would be even just 18 months ago.
Double Breakthrough: Nature publishes Letter by 6 climate skeptics which tells of another breakthrough: A major scientific society has agreed to reconsider its alarmist Statement on Climate Change
Petitioning for a revised statement on climate change
By S. Fred Singer, Hal Lewis, Will Happer, Larry Gould, Roger Cohen & Robert H. Austin
We write in response to your issue discussing "the coming climate crunch", including the Editorial 'Time to act' (Nature 458, 10771078; 2009). We feel it is alarmist.
We are among more than 50 current and former members of the American Physical Society (APS) who have signed an open letter to the APS Council this month, calling for a reconsideration of its November 2007 policy statement on climate change (see open letter at http://tinyurl.com/lg266u; APS statement at http://tinyurl.com/56zqxr). The letter proposes an alternative statement, which the signatories believe to be a more accurate representation of the current scientific evidence. It requests that an objective scientific process be established, devoid of political or financial agendas, to help prevent subversion of the scientific process and the intolerance towards scientific disagreement that pervades the climate issue.
On 1 May 2009, the APS Council decided to review its current statement via a high-level subcommittee of respected senior scientists. We applaud this decision. It is the first such reappraisal by a major scientific professional society that we are aware of, and we hope it will lead to meaningful change that reflects a more balanced view of climate-change issues.
From Greenie Watch
Friday, July 24, 2009
INDIA ATTACKS WESTERN CLIMATE ALARMISM
Financial Times, 24 July 2009
By James Lamont in New Delhi, Joshua Chaffin in Are and Fiona Harvey in London
Himalayas a key area of contention.
A split between rich and poor nations in the run-up to climate-change talks widened on Thursday.
India rejected key scientific findings on global warming, while the European Union called for more action by developing states on greenhouse gas emissions.
Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers.
He dismissed scientists’ predictions that Himalayan glaciers might disappear within 40 years as a result of global warming.
“We have to get out of the preconceived notion, which is based on western media, and invest our scientific research and other capacities to study Himalayan atmosphere,” he said.
“Science has its limitation. You cannot substitute the knowledge that has been gained by the people living in cold deserts through everyday experience.”
Mr Ramesh was also clear that India would not take on targets to cut its emissions, even though developed countries are asking only for curbs in the growth of emissions, rather than absolute cuts.
More at Watts Up With That?
How these hypocrites get away with it I'll never know.
At a recent dinner at the University of Oxford, a senior researcher in atmospheric physics was telling me about his coming holiday in Thailand. I asked him whether he was concerned that his trip would make a contribution to climate change - we had, after all, just sat through a two-hour presentation on the topic. "Of course," he said blithely. "And I'm sure the government will make long-haul flights illegal at some point."
I had deliberately steered our conversation this way as part of an informal research project that I am conducting - one you are welcome to join. My participants so far include a senior adviser to a leading UK climate policy expert who flies regularly to South Africa ("my offsets help set a price in the carbon market"), a member of the British Antarctic Survey who makes several long-haul skiing trips a year ("my job is stressful"), a national media environment correspondent who took his family to Sri Lanka ("I can't see much hope") and a Greenpeace climate campaigner just back from scuba diving in the Pacific ("it was a great trip!").
This is the first part of a three-part article on Mehdi Hasan, senior editor (politics) of the New Statesman, by Harry’s Place guest writer Channel 4 Insider.
Since its foundation in 1913, the New Statesman’s journalism been marked by its rationalism, a consistent concern for the underdog and a healthy scepticism for all forms of authority – not least towards organised religion. This is not surprising. Many of the magazine’s founders were among the most prominent atheists and socialists of their era. At the same time, however, despite their strong ideas and beliefs, these men and women wrote with humour and with great respect for those whose ideas differed from their own.
For example, George Bernard Shaw, one of the New Statesman’s co-founders, frequently attacked religion and yet wrote of his desire to believe in God...
Full post at Harry's Place
“Academics, like teenagers, sometimes don’t have any sense regarding the degree to which they are conformists.”
So says Thomas Bouchard, the Minnesota psychologist known for his study of twins raised apart, in a retirement interview with Constance Holden in the journal Science.
Journalists, of course, are conformists too. So are most other professions. There’s a powerful human urge to belong inside the group, to think like the majority, to lick the boss’s shoes, and to win the group’s approval by trashing dissenters.
The strength of this urge to conform can silence even those who have good reason to think the majority is wrong.
Full article at The New York Times
Via the Instapundit
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Andrew BoltFriday, July 24, 2009 at 11:46am
A publicly funded exhibition is encouraging people to deface the Bible in the name of art — and visitors have responded with abuse and obscenity. The show includes a video of a woman ripping pages from the Bible and stuffing them into her bra, knickers and mouth.The open Bible is a central part of Made in God’s Image, an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) in Glasgow. By the book is a container of pens and a notice saying: “If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it.” ... The exhibition has been created by the artists Anthony Schrag and David Malone, in association with organisations representing gay Christians and Muslims.
For centuries, scientists have puzzled over why the toucan's bill is so remarkably large - but now one team thinks it might have an answer.
Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say that the toucan uses its enormous beak to stay cool.
They used infrared cameras to show the bird dumping heat from its body into its bill, helping it to regulate its body temperature.
The toucan has the largest bill of any bird, relative to body size.
It makes up about one-third of its total body length.
The claim that we face an epidemic of obesity is based on the changing distribution of body mass index (BMI) in society. BMI is a fairly crude way of assessing fatness first proposed by a Belgian mathematician, Adolphe Quetelet, in 1832. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres, squared (kg/m2). As a recent piece in Slate magazine notes, BMI only gained popularity after the well-known American researcher, Ancel Keys, proposed it as the best way of quickly assessing fatness in an article in 1972.
The other major development was the establishment of cut-off points for weight and health, based on BMI, by the US National Institutes for Health (NIH) in 1985. Now BMI had the force of official backing. As a means of giving health authorities a rough idea of how our bodies are changing, BMI is crude but has the merit of simplicity. However, when applied to individuals, it has the potential to be downright distorting. Firstly, it makes no distinction between fat and muscle mass. Secondly, it is blind to where fat is stored on the body, which some researchers and doctors believe may be crucial to whether it is a health problem or not. Thirdly, it gives a pseudo-scientific precision to the notion that carrying a bit of extra weight is going to kill you.
BMI is actually a poor indicator of future health prospects. There is little difference in mortality rates between people who are of ‘normal’ weight (BMIs of 20-25), ‘overweight’ (BMIs greater than 25 but under 30) and ‘obese’ (greater than 30 but less than 40). Only those who are ‘morbidly obese’ (BMI over 40) and those who are underweight (BMI below 18) have markedly worse health outcomes than those in the middle. Yet on this shaky foundation, a whole industry of weight-watching, health-obsessing, parent-berating government intervention has been built.
Full article at Spiked Online
From Reason Online
Opponents of the bill worried that deep, rapid cuts in emissions would hurt the state's economy. But never fear: In 2008, the California Air Resources Board issued a study reassuring Californians that they can make money hand over fist selling each other wind turbines and electric cars. Implementation of the cap "creates more jobs and saves individual households more money than if California stood by and pursued an unacceptable course of doing nothing at all to address our unbridled reliance on fossil fuels," the study cheerfully declared. Because by 2020 the mandates will increase economic production by $27 billion, boost personal incomes by $14 billion, raise per capita incomes by $200, and produce an additional 100,000 jobs. According to the study, "the bulk of the economic benefits are the result of investments in energy efficiency that more than pay for themselves over time."
The study projects that Californians will offset higher electricity and gasoline bills by driving more fuel efficient cars, by adjusting their thermostats to 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer, and by using energy efficient appliances at home. The idea is that while electricity will cost more, Californians will do things like switching from incandescent bulbs to energy thrifty compact fluorescent bulbs to reduce their energy usage.
But are these projections accurate? The study's economic peer reviewers don't think so.
Via the Instapundit
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
|Though, if Eddie McGuire is a proponent of the idea that Australians are unusually racist, what could be wrong with the idea? |
Interesting that both of the examples he gives involve a white guy getting bashed up by...well read on.
And yet the entire narrative of these and other recent assaults and murders has been cast as a simplistic "evil white Australians doing beastly things to oppressed but saintly non-Anglos" morality play by those keen to prove their own moral superiority over ordinary people.
Interesting though that one of the people charged with the bashing of Indian student Sourabh Sharma is himself of Indian descent.
But, as a member of a minority that has had its own share of trouble from parts of the wider society myself, I still reckon Australian society is overwhelmingly characterised by its openness and tolerance.
I live in an area with high numbers of recently arrived and still establishing immigrants, especially from the Middle East and Africa. Arab and African Muslim women veiled in half a dozen different ways rub shoulders with Christians from the Sudan.
There's an African church that meets every Sunday in the community centre, and I heard the choir practising outside one morning. Singing in English, but with that unmistakable African sound. And what a wonderful sound it was too.
The men's hairdressing shop was bought by some Iraqi Shi'ites several years ago and they have turned it into a thriving business. Everybody, including Africans and Anglos, goes there.
It's not perfect where I live. What or where is? But most people seem to get along quite nicely and I think that is what is normal in this country, despite what those who make a living from trying to sell fear, (at either end of the spectrum), say.
FEMALE CALLER (31:50): He (Michael Jackson) is truly the soundtrack of my life. I also have a theory about Sarah Palin as well and I’m going to put it out there on radio, hopefully someone can investigate.But, I think maybe she did something to Michael Jackson. Maybe there’s a scandal there. Maybe she’s stepping down because something’s about to come out. I don’t know, but I’m gonna just put it out there on your show so we’ll see.SHARPTON: All right, thank you for your call, Ashley. That’s interesting. I’ll put it out, we’ll see. I don’t know.From Andrew Bolt
But a few weeks later, the company reversed course. GM now says it will retool Orion to make compact, gas-sipping cars. The change of heart says a lot about how GM’s new owners – the federal government owns 60% of the company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) owns 17% – are making considerations other than profitability a top priority for the auto maker.
As Ford looks to reinvent itself with smaller, energy efficient vehicles they are faced with the stark reality that as of late May their Ford F-150 series continues to outsell the Toyota Camry.Let that sink in for a moment. The best-selling truck in the U.S. still outsells the best-selling car …
GM has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people.How do you make that math add up? Not by selling cars: Honda and Nissan make a pre-tax operating profit per vehicle of around 1600 bucks; Ford, Chrysler and GM make a loss of between $500 and $1,500. That’s to say, they lose money on every vehicle they sell.
Obama – a Hemi man himself, when allowed his choice – is headed in the opposite direction: too small to fail.
Engaged to Be ‘Married’
The Jerusalem Post has an interview with a member of the Basij, the teen militia that enforces the Iranian regime’s will. Even with what we knew about the Basij’s brutality, this is shocking:
>He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so “impressed my superiors” that, at 18, “I was given the ‘honor’ to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death.”
>In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a “wedding” ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard--essentially raped by her “husband.”
>“I regret that, even though the marriages were legal,” he said.
>Why the regret, if the marriages were “legal?”
>”Because,” he went on, “I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their ‘wedding’ night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die.
>”I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over,” he said. “I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her.”
Monday, July 20, 2009
So I think where we’re going is to begin to see a Gaian earth in its ecological, cybernetic way, infused with some notion of mind or soul or chi, which will transform our attitudes to it away from an instrumentalist one, towards an attitude of greater reverence. I mean, the truth is, unless we do that, I mean we seriously are in trouble, because we know that Gaia is revolting against the impact of human beings on it.
More than 50 food products and supplements have been exposed by a Europe-wide investigation for making unproven claims about their health benefits.Ocean Spray cranberry juice, Lipton black tea and some probiotic supplements are among the items whose claimed health benefits are scientifically unproven, according to an investigation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).Fish oil supplements which purport to improve brain growth in babies and children have come under particular scrutiny, with the agency rejecting most of the benefits claimed by manufacturers.The initial results of the inquiry suggest that consumers could be wasting millions of pounds each year on products they think will improve their diet and lifestyle.