UN – the penis snatcher…

25 02 2008

Sweden’s chief heraldists is not happy with the decision by the Nordic Battlegroup to remove a lion’s penis depicted on its coat of arms.

Commander of the Nordic Battlegroup, Karl Engelbrektsson, decided to remove lion’s genitals to prevent any possible offence of female soldiers after he read UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Here are the images of poor lion before and after the injury:

Swedish Lion

via Brussels Journal 





80%… tell em they’re dreaming…

22 02 2008

There is a great game of one-upmanship sweeping the “Free World” politicians. They are all trying to outdo each other in how much carbon they are going to cut and how quickly. “You say 60%?, I can do 70%!” Or 80, or whatever the latest report thingy says. Strangely they are always round figures dividable by 10. It’s never 67.5%, is it?

Many countries are now on the 80% bandwagon including most of the EU.  Ever wondered which of the world’s countries already have per capita emissions level consistent with an 80 percent reduction from the world’s current total emissions? Roger Pielke, Jr. puts together a nice graph demonstrating the answer:

80%Cut

The answer, as can be seen above in an image that I use in lectures (data from US EIA), is Haiti and Somalia. If everyone in the world lived as they do in these two countries, we’d have the emissions challenge licked.

What about the eco-sensitive UK? Sorry, if everyone lived as they do in the UK global carbon emissions would be more than twice the current world total. What about everyone lived as they do in eco-friendly Sweden? Sorry, emissions would be about one and a half times the current world total. United States? Don’t even ask. China? just slightly below the current world total (and growing fast).

Bottom line? No country, save Haiti and Somalia, is currently producing emissions at a level even remotely consistent with levels consistent with an 80% reduction in the world’s totals. Hence, all of the finger pointing and debates in political negotiations are based on relative hypocrisy (“We’re doing relatively less bad that you are!”) or faith-based assumptions in the efficacy of future policies (“Our targets are more aggressive than yours!”).

There remains huge hurdles to achieving emissions reductions of the sort called for in current political debate. Until we see evidence of it actually occurring, somewhere, we should be very cautious about picking what policies will ultimately achieve results. Instead, we should try a diversity of approaches and see what works.

Indeed…





January 2008 – start of the new Ice Age?

22 02 2008

Anthony Watts has some fascinating graphs of global temperatures posted on his excellent blog. According to the four major temperature metrics HadCRUT, NASA Giss, UAH and RSS, the global temperatures have plunged in January 2008. The temperature drop has been severe somewhere in the region of -0.588C and -0.75C. In other words almost 20 years of global warming was wiped out since January 2007!

See them for yourself.

Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCRUT):

HadCRUT

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS):

GISS

University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH):

UAH

Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa (RSS):

RSS





Sorry Day Logic. If only the Holocaust victims were so compliant…

19 02 2008

Anbrew Bolt’s blog reader John Comnenus puts forward a very well argued case about why apology to Stolen Generations is either insincere or grossly inadequate for the crime.

If one accepts the ‘stolen generation’ then the sorriest element of the apology is surely its logic. Stealing children to destroy a culture is genocide as the ‘Bringing them Home’ Report stated. The apologist’s implicitly accept the genocide argument but fail to respond adequately.

The logic of the apology is that our forebears were either party to, or beneficiaries of, genocide. We therefore owe the victims real justice. The minimum standard of justice required is:

1. Identify who perpetrated this genocide? Given that some instances were comparatively recent a criminal investigation should identify and charge any living perpetrators?

2. All political parties, public services and public organisations need to expunge any positive commemoration of the historic figures responsible for genocide. An inquiry should determine which historical figures were responsible for genocide. For example, Windshuttle argues, that Premier McKell was responsible for the Stolen Generation enabling legislation in NSW. The ‘McKell’ building in McKell Place is a significant NSW Govt building. If he is responsible for genocide these places should be renamed. It is cruel to the victims to honour a perpetrator of their genocide. No self respecting person wants to work in a building named after such evil. All positive commemorations of every perpetrator of genocide must be removed from any public place, building, electorate name, lecture hall, or anywhere else.

3. The victims deserve commemoration and significant compensation. You can’t genuinely apologise for the worst possible crime with ‘sorry’ and ‘lets move on’. The crime is too significant. A proper apology entitles victims to criminal compensation by successfully prosecuting the perpetrators.

4. Once the first three steps are complete we can understand how this genocide came about and learn how to ensure it never happens again.

I am not aware of any genocide victim group that has so readily ‘moved on’ after a statement of sorrow. Nor do I know of any self acknowledging genocide perpetrator that has offered such paltry and cynical remorse. These steps seem to be the minimum to atone for the genocide we apologised for. An apology can’t help reconcile culprits and victims unless the former is willing to help repair the damage done to the latter. If I accidentally break my neighbour’s window I apologise, help clean up and buy a replacement. However an apology for a deliberate act demands more, it needs justice, punishment and compensation to be genuine. A murderer can’t be let off because he apologises. Genocide is worse than murder so an apology can’t possibly equate with justice. Justice must be done and be seen to done.

Aboriginals appear willing to accept either an apology or an apology with compensation? Surely some Aboriginals are so upset that their whole race and culture was subjected to attempted extermination that they want the perpetrators punished by the courts – that is to see justice done. The moral inconsistencies in the logic of the apology lead to a number of possible conclusions:

a. the apology isn’t genuine;

b. the apologisers knows there is no real basis for the apology;

c. the victims are incapable of seeking justice through proper courts; and

d. the victims know that they can’t prove a case beyond reasonable doubt in court.

The sorriest element of this whole saga is that there are genuine reasons to apologise and compensate. For example, not counting aboriginals in the census or giving them the vote until the 1967 (Liberal Party initiated) referendum implicitly denied both their full humanity and citizenship. These were disgusting policies, however they aren’t attempted genocide. Because the apology doesn’t follow through to its logical conclusion it isn’t genuine and, as this becomes obvious to all, it will lead to deeper community division…





Labor man can’t hadle the power

19 02 2008

Labor’s new Immigration Minister Chris Evans complains that he has too much power. What sort of politician is he? Imagine is he was the Prime Minister, what sort of whining would we have to put up with?

ABC reports Evans saying:

“I have formed the view that I have too much power, in terms of the power given to the minister to make decisions about individual cases,” he said.

“I’m uncomfortable with that, not just because of concern about playing God, but also because of the lack of transparency and accountability for those decisions.”

Isn’t this what politicians supposed to crave? Ultimate power!

Seriously though, as Howard’s handling of Immigration matters showed, Evans is probably right. Just think of stuff-ups and sheer incompetency on display during Mohamed Haneef’s and Cornelia Rau’s cases.





Bottled water is immoral!? We offer solution to the crisis!!!

19 02 2008

Drinking bottled water should be made as unfashionable as smoking, according to a [UK] government adviser.

“We have to make people think that it’s unfashionable just as we have with smoking. We need a similar campaign to convince people that this is wrong,” said Tim Lang, the Government’s naural resources commissioner.

Phil Woolas, the environment minister, added that the amount of money spent on mineral water “borders on being morally unacceptable”.

Their comments come as new research shows that drinking a bottle of water has the same impact on the environment as driving a car for a kilometre. Conservation groups and water providers have started a campaign against the £2 billion industry.

Why bother? Drink beer. Case solved!

I am especially partial to a good dose of Coopers. Mmmm…





Petrodollar Primitives

15 02 2008

Saudis, our Rolls Royce loving friends and allies in the Middle East, have finally progressed into the middle ages and are set to execute a witch. One of her accusers was a man who claimed that she made him impotent. The decision to execute was upheld on appeal, as it was argued it would be in the public interest.