Sunday, June 11, 2017

Australian climate skeptics use Socrates to question global warming

AN ad published in a major newspaper purports to prove climate change isn’t real using a hypothetical conversation with Socrates. The Climate Study Group says it researches ‘climate truths’. I have deleted some opinionated adjectives below.

I can see no substance in the criticisms below.  The argument is straightforward:  High CO2 in the past was not bad so why is it bad now?  Life thrived mightily in an era when CO2 levels were much higher than now so why is life threatened now, amid much lower levels of CO2?  Is not raised CO2 good for life rather than threatening to life?  Is not a small rise in CO2 likely to be beneficial on balance?

It is true that there were no humans in the Carboniferous but there were plenty of dinosaurs with respiratory systems very similar to ours.  And our metabolism is in fact more flexible than theirs so we are better at adapting.  So we should thrive amid raised CO2 as well

A GROUP that claims to study “climate truths” is behind a newspaper ad that uses ancient philosopher Socrates to try and prove climate change isn’t real.

The paid advertisement ran in The Australian newspaper, published by NewsCorp, which also publishes, on Friday has shocked both scientists and philosophers as it tries to link the two disciplines to prove CO2 and fossil fuels have nothing to do with global warming.

The quarter-page advertisement features a large image of Socrates and showcases a “hypothetical conversation” between the philosopher and a fictional “strong believer in climate change”, dubbed Mr Smith.

The conversation sees Socrates question Mr Smith’s unwavering belief about emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels which were formed before and during the carboniferous period.

In the imaginary exchange, Socrates questions whether there was evidence of global warming prior to this period, and makes some other “philosophical inquiries”, which are then claimed to “reveal the truth with compelling logic and facts which refute longheld belief”. Mr Smith is led to finally “understand the truth” and ultimately reject climate change.

Social media users have slammed the add, and Reddit commentators have called it just plain weird. Actual experts are outraged too.

Deakin University senior philosophy lecturer Patrick Stokes said aside from scientific conjecture, the philosophical side of the group’s argument was dangerously flawed.

“The reason that climate change denialists like Socrates is they are wedding to a brave individual exposing the corrupt elite,” he said. “The problem is of course that science doesn’t work the way Socratic questioning works. The idea that you come along and lob a couple of Socratic questions and explode it all just doesn’t hold water.”

Mr Stokes said there were “glaring fallacies” in the argument, and argued that Socrates would have been “quite affronted” by the ad. He said on Twitter: “Whoever wrote this: Socrates would have kicked your arse, and rightly so.”

Melbourne University climate scientist Andrew King said the advert put forward “a nonsensical ill-founded argument”.

“Essentially their argument is the CO2 was higher in the past and that the carbon is from a natural source,” Dr King said. “One obvious criticism is that the Carboniferous Period (being 300 million years ago) is a poor analog for the climate of today. It was warmer but lifeforms were also very different with nothing similar to humans.

“Human life is adapted to the climate we have today. If the climate was much warmer, as in the Carboniferous period, we’d be in a lot of trouble! Really?  Our present tropics are many degrees warmer than Europe but people still thrive there, including high birthrates.  And warming up Siberia would be very congenial.  The man is talking rubbish

“They also talk about the lack of “dangerous global warming” in the Carboniferous period, but, in a large part, the problems that result from global warming are caused by the absolute temperature as opposed to the rate of change of temperature.” But that is what the skeptics are arguing

Dr King also argued it was unfair to invoke Socrates. He said that having been dead for a long time he wasn’t around to give his own opinion. spoke to the convener of The Climate Study Group, who described the organisation as “a group that studies the climate truths”.

The man asked to remain anonymous for fear of hate mail, but has previously publicly identified himself as the leader of the organisation in government submissions and articles.

He said he did not wish to discuss the advertisement or the research behind it any further.

The same organisation came under fire for another unusual advertisement that took a similar format and was published in the same paper in August 2015.

In an advertorial entitled “Psychology and the new climate alarm”, the climate-denial collective sought to use psychological research to prove there was no evidence that CO2 had affected climate.

See here for details of the 2015 advert

The Australian Psychology Society attacked the group, saying it was “disturbed to see psychology being used to mislead the public” and claimed the publisher had ignored a “huge body of scientific evidence”. Like what?

The same band of climate deniers has also been behind bizarre research papers and submissions to the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Minister for the Environment, using its own research to back up allegations that economists were being alarmist due to their psychological makeup and that an ice age is the most urgent environmental threat.


Pauline Hanson slams Islamic Council's push for taxpayer-funded 'safe spaces' for young Muslims to make 'frank' comments

Pauline Hanson has rubbished suggestions from the Islamic Council of Victoria that Muslim youths should be provided with taxpayer-funded 'safe spaces' to make 'inflammatory' and 'frank' comments out of the public eye.

The One Nation leader said she was 'totally against' the proposal, which is an effort by Muslim leaders to tackle the growing problem of radicalised youth in Australia.

'What a load of rubbish! How much more money have we got to put in to this to make them feel good about themselves?,' she told Samantha Armytage on Sunrise.

Ms Hanson went on to say the federal government needed to ban Muslims from 'certain extremist countries' coming into Australia.

'The ones who are coming back from overseas fighting shouldn't be allowed back in the country. I don't want these people in this country,' she said. 'They are spreading their hate and their evil towards others that are possibly turning to radicalisation.'

In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion, Islamic leaders have demanded government funding for anti-terrorism and anti-extremism should be used to create the religious sanctuaries.

'To create safe spaces urgently needed by Muslim youth to meet and talk about a range of issues in emotional terms, where they can be frank and even use words, which in a public space would sound inflammatory,' the submission reads.

'That they cannot express irony, humour, anger or joy in words and facial expressions that would make them a target for 'surveillance' is a cause for despondency leading to mental health issues among many.'

The Council also points out the inability for Muslim adherents to safely practice their religion without feeling subject to surveillance is a 'human rights issue'.

'There are human rights issues which restrict Muslim's in Victoria and nationally to enjoy the same human right to freedom of religion or belief that other Australians currently enjoy,' it said.

The submission calls on the government to advocate higher research and programs to address the rise of other non-Muslim extremism in Australia such as far-right groups.

Ms Hanson rejected claims from the Islamic Council that Melbourne siege gunman Yacqub Khayres could have been influenced by drugs and mental health problems rather than extremist Muslim ideologies.

'Let's deal with the whole facts. A lot of people in our society have mental issues and are on drugs,' she said. 'In towns like this, I am travelling out to the bush again, they have a big problem with ice and drugs and depression throughout our country. People do not talk to violence and murder other people.

Following Melbourne's deadly siege on Monday which killed one innocent man, Victoria's state government will discuss radical new anti-terrorism measures, the Herald Sun reports.

The ice-addicted gunman was shot dead along with innocent receptionist Kai Hao, 36, in a bloody siege for which the militant group claimed responsibility.

Despite police labelling it a suspected terror attack, the state's peak Muslim body warned against inflaming tensions and branded the gunman 'confused.' The council said while there are debates over the gunman's motive, it was clear had a long criminal record and a trail of violence.

'We understand that the police are investigating this as a potential terrorist attack but note that the perpetrator himself appeared to be confused as to who he was acting on behalf, claiming allegiance to both ISIS and AlQaeda, known enemies.'

'Whether this act was inspired by an evil warped ideology or was in fact the actions of a deranged violent individual, this does not change the reality that a horrendous crime was committed in which an innocent person was killed, a woman was held hostage, and police officers' lives were put at risk.'

They warned against provoking tensions with the Muslim and Somali communities, which could promote further attacks.

'What we must avoid is sensationalising or somehow attributing unwarranted significance to these criminals because it exacerbates prevailing fears and tensions and potentially encourages copycat behaviour.'

'We would also like to express our support to the Somali community who will be unfairly vilified because of the actions of this one man. They have made, and continue to make, an invaluable contribution to Victorian society.'

A review into Khayre's prison and parole management has been ordered as the government revealed up to 22 Victorians a year are undergoing anti-radicalisation programs.

The state's Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney repeatedly refused to answer questions in parliament about Khayre because she has ordered the review.

But she did reveal the Islamic Council of Victoria is currently working with up to 22 people undertaking anti-radicalisation programs.

'In the last state budget there was an allocation of $6.385 million over four years for anti-radicalisation programs, ' Ms Tierney told the Legislative Council on Tuesday.

'The Islamic Council of Victoria is contracted to deliver the program and is currently working with up to 22 prisoners and people in the community each year.'


Police left powerless to stop speeding offenders exploiting no-pursuit laws with more than 110 evading arrest every week - as cops call for an end to the 'failed policy'

Another stupid policy maintained by a Leftist government

Union chiefs have called for Queensland's no pursuit policy to be scrapped after the latest police statistics revealed a sharp increase in drivers evading officers.

In the last year Queensland Police statistics obtained between March 2016 and April 2017 indicated that 5,871 police evasion offences were recorded, breaking down to nearly 113 offences weekly.

Those figures show a staggering 29 percent increase on the previous year's figure of 4,554 and has prompted Queensland Police Union boss Ian Leavers to urge the Palaszczuk Government to abolish the no pursuit policy giving cops the freedom to chase.

Police chiefs have defended the law suggesting public safety must come first and have highlighted the lack of fatalities from pursuits as a key factor for the policy to stand    +3
Police chiefs have defended the law suggesting public safety must come first and have highlighted the lack of fatalities from pursuits as a key factor for the policy to stand

Mr Leavers ripped into the policy, suggesting it was the wrong course of action to take with the current situation impractical.

'These stats which have risen more than threefold over the last year clearly show the current 'no pursuits policy' for police is a dismal failure and should be consigned to the wastepaper bin,' Mr Leavers told The Courier Mail.

Mr Leaver believes that public knowledge of the policy gives an element of freedom to drivers who can flee from officers at will, knowing they won't be chased.

He also pointed to the trust placed in police officers to use firearms at their discretion, suggesting the same legislation should be in place for pursuits.

The current pursuit policy was introduced in 2012 after a coroner suggested a restricted rule following a series of fatal crashes in Queensland.

The legislation states that pursuits are 'inherently dangerous' and are only permitted on the strict basis that those fleeing are an 'imminent threat to life' or have been involved in or threatened a murder.

If caught evading officers on two separate occasions, the police have the authority to confiscate any vehicle with it being forfeited to the state.

Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating confirmed the raise yet indicated it was down to, and most importantly, the public's safety coming first.

'It's an increase but it's an increase where we are managing the risks to the general public which is our responsibility,' he revealed.

A concerning statistic is that only 1,573 charges were laid of the 5,871 police evasions recorded.

Mr Keating suggested however that factors such as drivers offending multiple times were to blame for wavering statistics.

Amidst the growing concern with the policy, Police Minister Mark Ryan pointed out that one key positive to take from the rule was the lack of fatalities connected to police pursuits.

'Since the introduction of the current policy six years ago there have been no deaths associated with police pursuits,' Mr Ryan noted.


‘The Southern Cross is becoming the new Swastika’: New documentary examines ‘hijacking’ of national icon

In the form of the Eureka flag, the Southern cross has mostly in the past been a symbol used by the far Left -- so maybe we should not get very bothered by who uses it

WARWICK Thornton was basking in the success of his award-winning feature film Samson and Delilah in 2010, when one simple remark prompted widespread national outrage. “I’m concerned the Southern Cross is becoming the new Swastika,” he said.

Like many Australians, the Alice Springs-raised Mr Thornton could see parallels between the hijacking of the two symbols for the extreme nationalist cause.

The Swastika, a Sanskrit symbol for good fortune, is now synonymous with death in the west, after being adopted as the symbol of Germany’s murderous Nazi Party in the 1930s.

Similarly, the Southern Cross has been adopted in Australia by the extreme right-wing as a symbol of bigotry, hatred and nationalist pride, though obviously not to the same, murderous extreme.

The Southern Cross, along with the Australian flag, is the favoured symbol of groups such the anti-Muslim Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front movements. Simply put, Mr Thornton said, the Southern Cross has been “hijacked by dickheads”.

Seven years on, the 2010 Australian of the Year nominee has made the symbolism of the Southern Cross the subject of a new documentary, We Don’t Need a Map, screening as part of the Sydney Film Festival.

Mr Thornton told ABC Radio National’s Awaye program the vehement reaction to his 2010 comparison of the Southern Cross and the Swastika took him by surprise. “People got very upset, and that scared the hell out of me,” he told the program. “I went and hid in the cupboard for a little while, and then over a couple of years, I got angry.”

The result was We Don’t Need a Map, a kind of Australian road trip that examines the spiritual importance of the five constellations to the country’s indigenous people and how, among nationalist groups, the Southern Cross morphed into a symbol bearing such potent power.

“This is the story of the hijacking of an Australian icon,” goes the promotional slogan.

Mr Thornton is hoping to prompt a national discussion about the symbol, though perhaps one a little more measured than the one that followed his comments seven years ago.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

ISIS would take credit for a turd that required two flushes if they heard about it in time.