1. Adani poised to start, but…
If you don’t think Adani is serious about starting work on the Carmichael Mine in the Galilee basin, take a look at this:
Serious heavy equipment is being move to the site:
The Palaszczuk Labor government has commissioned an independent review into the company’s environmental management plans – a process which is expected to take at least two months.
- Adani – which announced in late November it would self-fund the thermal coal mine and rail project – has been told the Department of Environment has now commissioned an independent scientific plan review into the company’s management plan for the black-throated finch – a process which is expected to take another two months.
The new review, by the National Environmental Science Program’s threatened species recovery hub, could delay the beginning of construction on the mine until early next year, if not longer.
It seems to me highly likely that the Queensland government has decided to kill the project. The review comes on top of the CSIRO’s finding that Adani’s key water management plan is flawed and used some unverified data in a review commissioned by the Commonwealth government.
I couldn’t resist the photograph. It may reflect Theresa May’s state of mind, but hardly what she thinks of the Queen!
The author, Garvan Walshe, thinks the political system in Britain has become broken since the emergence of the Scottish National Party made working majorities a thing of the past:
- Without a working majority, party leaders must pay attention to their hard-liners, or, as some Conservative Party members have been known to call them, “swivel-eyed loons.”
In practice, though, Britain now has a situation where nothing can be agreed in parliament, and that probably includes a second referendum. So the chances a really quite high that Britain will tumble out with no deal. Walshe reminds people:
- The Bank of England estimated that such a “disorderly” Brexit would cause unemployment to almost double, inflation to rise to more than 6 percent, house prices to fall by 30 percent, and the pound to fall below parity with the euro.
Update: I meant to add that civil unrest on the part of the Brexiteers has already begun. See British yellow vest protests spread as pro-Brexit campaigners block traffic by occupying Tower, Westminster and Waterloo bridges in central London:
This could get ugly.
3. Artificial intelligence in predictive policing
Somewhere among the 113 unfinished posts that now clutter the innards of Climate Plus (they are not all mine!) there is a draft post on Cambridge Analytica. The bottom line is that they developed an algorithm which, after analysing 150 likes an individual makes on Facebook, knows more about you than you do yourself. Hence it knows before you do that you are going to buy a new car, for example.
The power of AI is now being harnessed in policing. In Britain according to the New Scientist:
- Police in the UK want to predict serious violent crime using artificial intelligence, New Scientist can reveal. The idea is that individuals flagged by the system will be offered interventions, such as counselling, to avert potential criminal behaviour.
However, one of the world’s leading data science institutes has expressed serious concerns about the project after seeing a redacted version of the proposals.
The system, called the National Data Analytics Solution (NDAS), uses a combination of AI and statistics to try to assess the risk of someone committing or becoming a victim of gun or knife crime, as well as the likelihood of someone falling victim to modern slavery.
Ethical concerns have been expressed, even more so about the application of AI for policing elsewhere:
- Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch criticised the Chinese authorities for allegedly using predictive policing to pre-emptively detain people in the province of Xinjiang.
On TV last night we saw that Palestinians were being locked up in Israel on the basis of views expressed on social media. That could make those people very angry.
New Scientist has another article Biased policing is made worse by errors in pre-crime algorithms.
If the main story is pay-walled, Gizmodo has a story about the NS story at British Cops Are Building An AI That Flags People For Crimes That Haven’t Happened Yet.