Category Archives: Sundries

Posts on sundry matters of life the universe and everything: Culture, Environment, Life, Politics & Government, Science, Social Science and Society, Technology etc.

Weekly salon 7/9

1. Storms for Hansen’s grandchildren

(From Hurricane Dorian: devastation and destruction in the Bahamas – in pictures)

John Schwartz at the NYT (posted at Lethal Heating) asks How Has Climate Change Affected Hurricane Dorian?

Michael Mann and Andrew E Dessler respond in Global Heating Made Hurricane Dorian Bigger, Wetter – And More Deadly. With warm seas and more moisture in the atmosphere hurricanes can intensify faster, contain more moisture, more wind power and move slower. This means greater flooding and a increased possibility of coinciding with high tides. Continue reading Weekly salon 7/9

The price of protest in fashion waste

When I was young, we wore clothes until the wore out. I had an elder brother, and got to wear hand-me-downs.

This all changed, possibly in the 1970s and 1980s. Now we have the phenomenon of single-use clothing, ironically often T-shirts worn by people crusading to save the planet. Richard di Natale is, I think, the Australian politician most often seen in T-shirts. During the last election he often looked like this:

Continue reading The price of protest in fashion waste

Weekly salon 1/9

1. Waiting for Godot

Part of my delay in completing this week’s edition was waiting for something that wasn’t ridiculous to happen. There is plenty like Boris Johnson suspending parliament, and Trump attacking Fox News, and Fox News hitting back.

To be honest, I’ve been knocked a bit askew by the David Spratt’s question At 4°C of warming, would a billion people survive? The answer according to some respected scientists is, in brief, probably not, something less than a billion, and 4°C seems to be where we are heading.

That would mean on average more than a million deaths from global warming each week for the next 90 years. Continue reading Weekly salon 1/9

Weekly salon 21/8

1. Adani’s problems mount

The IEEFA has issued a warning that Contracting with Adani Australia entails counterparty risks.

They say self funding is basically impossible, because Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) does not have the capacity to fund it. Adani Mining is already carrying $1.8 billion of debt in Australia. The project would require the coal market to stay robust for decades. Tim Buckley:

    “In IEEFA’s view, Adani’s Carmichael thermal coal proposal is unviable and unbankable on any normal commercial evaluation, absent massive government subsidy support in both India and Australia,” says Buckley.

    “Adani’s suggestion it will self-fund this proposal is a clear acknowledgement of this.”

Continue reading Weekly salon 21/8

Weekly salon 11/8

1. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, PM

Martin Fletcher in the New Statesman says that Brits have given a con man the keys to the kingdom:

    Boris Johnson’s arrival in Downing Street as prime minister signals the end of the UK as a serious country.

Continue reading Weekly salon 11/8

Weekly salon 6/8

1. Tears in the rain

I don’t often note the passing of famous people, because there are so many. Recently I was touched by news of the passing of Rutger Hauer, who played the replicant Roy Batty who was meant to be hunted down and killed Harrison Ford’s character Rick Deckard in Bladerunner. See the final part of the scene in “I Saw the Future”: Rutger Hauer (RIP) Remembers His Most Memorable Role in Blade Runner. Continue reading Weekly salon 6/8

How to lose an election

Typically the media describe Labor’s loss as a drubbing, which it wasn’t. Leaving Qld aside, Labor won 62 of 121 seats, the LNP 54, and the crossbench 5. Qld was the shocker, losing 4.34% TPP to land on 58-42 to the LNP, which is nearly wipe-out territory.

So there was a story about what happened in Queensland, yet as Anthony Albanese told Katharine Murphy in a podcast, Labor’s primary vote was an all time low. Labor now has to convince about 1.2 million people to change their vote. So he for one understands that Labor needs to appeal to a wide variety of people. Continue reading How to lose an election

Weekly salon 1/8

1. Will they ever learn?

ABC’s 7.30 Report on Monday looked at Centrelink still operating it’s robo debt scam, where taxation records are matched with Centrelink payments. The program starts with an example where a citizen in Hobart received a demand from a debt collector for $7,000 to be paid immediately. Her wages would be garnisheed if she didn’t pay, they said.

The process then is that the victim has to prove her innocence by showing pay slips etc, bank records etc. In this case more than 7 years had passed, so the bank no longer kept records. Continue reading Weekly salon 1/8

Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day occurred on Monday 29 July this year.  It  is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.

We went to a local church to ring the church bell in alarm and sorrow that this day had occurred so early this year.

The ringing of the bell made me wonder how long it will take before there is no sickness or sorrow because there is no-one left to be sick or sorrowful.

The ringing made me wonder how long it will take before there is no joy because there is no-one left who can feel joy.

In my darkest moment I wondered whether the last human to die has already been born.