On the 4th of July in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence the thirteen American colonies then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain—New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia— announced that they would now regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states no longer under British rule.
It was a very brave thing to do, because there were very few guns in the colonies and they had no significant gun industry. Yet the American War of Independence (1775-1783) was won and with it the American gun industry was born. ABC RN’s Rear Vision program recently took a look at the origins of the American gun industry (transcript available) with some erudite published authors and scholars. Continue reading The rise and rise of American gun culture
Trump has ordered tariffs of up to 25% on about $60 billion worth of goods imported from China annually.
China has responded with tariffs on around $3 billion worth of goods, selected to cause maximum political pain for Trump. So what does it all mean? Reverberations have echoed around the world, so $34 billion was wiped off the value of Australian ASX listed companies in one day. Continue reading Saturday salon 24/3
Phillip Coorey, one of the better Canberra journalists, has laid out in plain terms how Labor won Batman. This post is based on his article but is not confined to it.
One reason, says Coorey, is that her campaign targetted voters who had been turned off Labor by her two predecessors, Labor machine men David Feeney and Martin Ferguson. Continue reading How Labor won Batman
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