1. Stephen Hawking: a legacy of paradox
That’s how the New Scientist summed up the impact of Stephen Hawking, who died last Wednesday aged 76. An amazing life and an amazing intellect. That link is no doubt pay-walled so here’s Gizmodo.
1962 was a big year for Hawking. He turned up at Cambridge University hoping to land Fred Hoyle as a supervisor. He missed out on that, but landed Dennis Sciama, who he’d never heard of. Turned out that was a lucky break: Continue reading Saturday salon 17/3
When this is published SA voters will be lining up to select a new government. That is the hope. I understand the betting market favours a hung parliament. No pundit I’ve heard is willing to pick a winner. Kevin Bonham talks about the difficulty of modelling the outcome, with the entry of SA Best and the redistribution. The ABC has guidance on how we can follow the election and an Online Election Page.
On climate change the election matters. There is coverage at:
. Continue reading The South Australian election matters for climate change
Adani Australia’s chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj – known in the industry as “JJ” – has done an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review saying that their team at Adani has not wavered in their vision to build the Carmichael mine, rail and port project in Central Queensland. They’ve been working on it for seven years, have spent $3.3 billion to date, have 800 people working right now and have put up arguments to answer their critics.
Hear him out and see what you think. Continue reading Don’t write Adani off
1. Getting better all the time
On the whole, that’s how it is on just about everything, according the Gregg Easterbrook in his book It’s Better than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear.
Readers here will be happy to know that there is more burnable oil and gas available now than ever before, gun homicide has been declining in the US, the masses in American have been getting richer in terms of purchasing power by a steady 3 per cent each year, plus life expectancy is increasing everywhere. Our good fortune began with the industrial revolution and there is no good reason why it should end. Continue reading Saturday Salon 10/3
The Four Corners episode Weather Alert sets out its intent from the beginning:
How Australia’s warming climate is changing the way we live and work.
“This is very ‘now’. This isn’t a future problem which is 10 or 20 or 30 years (away).” Climate Risk Expert
Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now.
Continue reading Four Corners: Weather Alert
will there be a trade war? We’ve already had one for the last four decades. And guess what? China has already won.
Continue reading Saturday salon 3/3
In this guest post by Geoff Henderson takes us to the heart of how climate change poses a real and present danger to some of our Pacific neighbours.
Kiribati – pron. Keer-i-bas – is perhaps the world’s most immediate victim of climate change. One hundred and ten thousand Kiribatians will likely be the first climate change refugees. It is happening right now, and they will be the first of millions over the next decades. This is a two-part post. Part one explains the people and livelihood of Kiribatians and explains their plight. Continue reading Climate refugees in the Central Pacific -the Republic of Kiribati
New Deputy PM Michael McCormack (Mick Mack) is a garden variety climate denier according to Paddy Manning at The Monthly:
Given he is our new deputy prime minister, it is not surprising that “who is Michael McCormack?” pieces are now popping up everywhere. And yet, they glide over his worst offence: he appears to be just another National Party climate change denier.
Continue reading New Deputy PM is a climate denier
Barnaby Joyce as National Party warrior and Deputy PM has flamed out, and to mix metaphors is politically washed up for now, perhaps forever. The one certainty is that his pay will be sliced by about $200k. However, there is no easy agreement as to what has really happened and what it all means.
Phillip Coorey in the AFR said it was the end of the Barnaby Joyce experiment and his exit shows politics has changed:
Politics has changed. People used to survive much worse. Not any more.
Continue reading Barnaby Joyce flames out
Most of us would like to be able to travel when, where and how we want to and for the transport system to be managed in such a way that there will always be enough capacity to allow us all these choices. The problem with this “capacity management” approach is that a lot of money would have to be spent providing capacity that is only used for a very limited time of the day. Without this extra spending we still have to continue putting up with congested roads and overloaded public transport during peak hours.
Required capacity could be reduced by managing the “when”, “how” and “where” choices. This post looks at some “demand management” strategies that might be used to reduce peak capacity requirements These strategies offer rapid, low cost ways of getting more from the transport infrastructure we already have. It was concluded that a rapid, low cost doubling of capacity is not an impossible dream.
Continue reading Boosting Transport Capacity by Managing Demand
1. Growth in inequality is a real and present danger
ABC RN excellent Rear Vision program took a look at the growth of economic inequality in modern times.
Actually they gave us the full history. Inequality started with settled societies and property ownership. It reached a peak during the Roman Empire, but suffered a remarkable setback during the Black Death in the 14th century. In simple terms capital and property survived but the workers died in large numbers making labour scarce and expensive. Continue reading Saturday salon 24/2