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Monday Message Board

December 22nd, 2008

It’s time once again for the Monday Message Board. As usual civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. nanks
    December 22nd, 2008 at 17:10 | #1

    for the libertarians here – and anyone interested in freedom – if this story is correct the new improved Conroy plan is to spy on all internet traffic including peer-to-peer.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,28348,24833959-5014239,00.html

    I guess he heard the protests on the filter stamped his foot and thought – “I’ll show you for not agreeing with me”

    Dark times ahead perhaps.

  2. GreekAmongRomans
    December 22nd, 2008 at 18:35 | #2

    nanks,

    for those who are I.T. savvy, this is a joke, there a many ways to subvert these filtering processes; creating a vpn as one very simple example.

  3. nanks
    December 22nd, 2008 at 19:08 | #3

    GreekAmongstRomans – yes I am aware of these things as well. Many are not.
    I think Conroy’s move indicates sinister intent because clearly he and the rest of the government know that their plan will have no effect on the distribution of child pornography or terrorist information and the like.
    I don’t think circumventing via Tor or some such is the answer though. A government that is less oppressive in its intentions is a better solution.

  4. GreekAmongRomans
    December 22nd, 2008 at 19:51 | #4

    Mencius: ( Mêng Tz?, Mêng K’o, 371-289 B.C.) A native of Tsao (in present Shantung), studied under pupils of Tz? Ss?, grandson of Confucius, became the greatest Confucian in Chinese history. Like Confucius, he travelled for many years, to many states, trying to persuade kings and princes to practice benevolent government instead of government by force, but failed, tie retired to teach and write. ( Mêng Tz?, Eng. tr. by James Legge : The Works of Mencius.)–W.T.C.

  5. Ian Gould
    December 22nd, 2008 at 20:44 | #5

    A quick question for the AGW skeptics, Sen. Imhofe assures us there’s 650 (well 605) scientists who reject the scientific consensus on AGW but Wikipedia lists only 34 scientists in its article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    I wonder why that is?

  6. Tony G
    December 22nd, 2008 at 23:05 | #6
  7. TerjeP
    December 23rd, 2008 at 02:39 | #7

    Nanks – Conroy and the ALP are being idiots over this issue. There is a facebook protest group if you’re into such things.

    http://apps.facebook.com/causes/130495?m=8c3a5226&recruiter_id=6758475

    If you want liberty vote LDP. If you want statism vote for the rest. ;-)

    p.s. The LDP won it’s battle with the AEC and now has the right to use it’s original name next election. ie Liberal Democratic Party.

  8. carbonsink
    December 23rd, 2008 at 06:54 | #8

    TerjeP,

    I’m all for liberty, but unfortunately the (generally sane) social policy of the LDP comes with nutty laissez-faire fundamentalism.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on compulsory seat belts, bike helmets etc.

  9. Tony G
    December 23rd, 2008 at 08:44 | #9

    It is a positive securing the name Liberal Democratic Party, but as carbonsink alludes too, changes need to be made if the LDP wants to be relevant in Australian politics.

    In Japan the LDP has ruled for most of the years since its founding in 1955. Centre right conservatism has the runs on the board. Maybe LDP (Aus) should adopt some of their basic principles and jettison the nutty fundamentalism.

  10. Ian Gould
    December 23rd, 2008 at 19:50 | #10

    Tony – you know Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia right?

    If you think there are people who should be added go ahead and add them.

    Of course, being open-source people can take their names off – unlike Imhofe’s list where he includes people without their consent and keeps them on even if they ask for their names to be removed.

  11. Ian Gould
    December 23rd, 2008 at 20:00 | #11

    Oh and Tony David Bellamy’s last TV show went to air about five years before he suddenly announced himself as a AGW skeptic, so its pretty hard to see how his outspoken views led to him being black-listed – especially seeing as in the interim he made several statements urging governments to take urgent action to address the imminent threat of … global warming.

    Interestingly back in 2002 he blamed his supposed black-listed on having run against Tony Blair as a representative for the anti-European Referendum Party. This was before he made a laughing-stock of himself with wildly inaccurate claims about glaciers growing and suggests he simply has a martyr’s complex and can’t accept that he can’t get on TV any more because he is Very Very Boring and almost incomprehensible when he speaks.

  12. Ian Gould
    December 23rd, 2008 at 20:02 | #12

    More on Bellamy:

    In his foreword to the 1989 book The Greenhouse Effect[3] Bellamy wrote:

    “The profligate demands of humankind are causing far reaching changes to the atmosphere of planet Earth, of this there is no doubt. Earth’s temperature is showing an upward swing, the so-called greenhouse effect, now a subject of international concern. The greenhouse effect may melt the glaciers and ice caps of the world causing the sea to rise and flood many of our great cities and much of our best farmland.”

    Dr Bellamy’s later statements on global warming indicate that he subsequently changed his views completely. In 2004, he wrote an article in the Daily Mail in which he described the theory of man-made global warming as “poppycock”.[citation needed] A letter he published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large percentage (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating. George Monbiot of The Guardian tracked down Bellamy’s original source for this information and found that it was Fred Singer’s website. Singer claimed to have obtained these figures from a 1989 article in the journal Science, but to date this article has not been found.[4] Bellamy has since stated that his figures on glaciers were wrong, and announced in a letter to The Sunday Times that he had “decided to draw back from the debate on global warming”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bellamy

  13. Tony G
    December 23rd, 2008 at 22:55 | #13

    Ian,

    You are doing it again. Attacking the person. Bellamy is a full on professor of greenie environmentalism, but he won’t be a part of your fraud.

    You were proposing there are only 35 skeptical scientists and then you asked “why that is?”

    There are millions of scientists like Bellamy that you have missed, who know that AGW is a fraud, but for good reason are scared of being blackballed if they speak out.

  14. Tony G
  15. Donald Oats
    December 23rd, 2008 at 23:20 | #15

    Without getting into arguments about whether AGW is right, wrong, or otherwise, I am curious as to what changed Bellamy’s mind. Did Bellamy just wake up one day thinking AGW was poppycock, or did he go through a period of change? Has he ever said what factors eventually influenced him to change his mind?

  16. Ian Gould
    December 24th, 2008 at 08:55 | #16

    Y”ou are doing it again. Attacking the person. …”

    No I’m responding directly to your attempt to use Bellamy as an example of someone who has been persecuted for being a climate skeptic.

    “There are millions of scientists like Bellamy that you have missed, who know that AGW is a fraud, but for good reason are scared of being blackballed if they speak out.”

    Millions?

    Remember that little talk we had about your habit of making wild exaggerations?

    So, Imhofe’s list of 650 (sorry 605) scientists represents less than 0.01% of the skeptics?

    Oh and you might want to take a look at the peopel on that list – can youshow that ANY of them have suffered in any way from their position?

    Lomborg went from an obscure teaching assistant to a series of cushy public sector jobs obtained for him by right-wing governments. Funny that none of those “millions” of suppressed voices feel inclined to try and copy that career trajectory.

  17. Ian Gould
    December 24th, 2008 at 08:58 | #17

    Again, tony, anyone can add to Wikipedia articles.

    Feel free to add Bellamy and any other names you think should be included.

    Let me know how many you get.

  18. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 24th, 2008 at 10:44 | #18

    John, today Russian prosecutors investigating the August war claim to have found evidence of ‘genocide’ committed by Georgian forces against the South Ossetian people. With that I wish everyone all the best for the festive season.

  19. MH
    December 24th, 2008 at 11:29 | #19

    To John Quiggin and your family have a safe and happy Xmas and New Year.

    Thank you for many and varied contributions to economic and political discussion your blog has provided.

    To all the rest, have a good one!

  20. carbonsink
    December 27th, 2008 at 13:13 | #20

    Ian Gould:

    Please don’t engage the denialists. It only gives them oxygen.

    Oh, just wondering, do the Japanese celebrate the Chinese New Year as well? Has the weather in Japan been unseasonably good recently? Are the Japanese also suffering an “Olympics hangover”?

    Japan recession deepens as factory output plummets
    I’ll be fascinated to hear your reasons why our largest export market is in deep recession, and why this will have no effect on Australia.

  21. December 27th, 2008 at 18:58 | #21

    It seems like the IMF is doing a good job using “conditionality” in the Ukraine to make the global financial crisis worse:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/112308-as-its-politicians-battle-ukraine-s-economy-tunnels-south

  22. Alanna
    December 27th, 2008 at 19:53 | #22

    Peter

    The IMF is doing what it does so well – actually making things worse in the middle of a recession It insists on the following (notwithstanding the circumstances of the macroeconomy there).

    “Under the terms of its agreement with the IMF, Ukraine is expected to have a balanced budget next year”.

    You would think they would learn from the Asian crisis and their mismanagment of that but apparently not.

    The IMF needs a serious internal overhaul.

  23. Ian Gould
    December 28th, 2008 at 13:37 | #23

    “Oh, just wondering, do the Japanese celebrate the Chinese New Year as well? ”

    Yes, they do as a matter of fact.

    Surprised you didn’t pick that up in your five minute scouring of Google News to turn yourself into a world class authority on economics.

  24. Ian Gould
    December 28th, 2008 at 13:52 | #24

    Ans since you either can;t or won;t reply in your own words, during your next fishing trip you might want to keep an eye out for an article explaining why you expect the impact of the current crisis to be far more severe in China than in the US.

  25. carbonsink
    December 28th, 2008 at 14:00 | #25

    Yes, they do as a matter of fact.

    Phew! That’s a relief. That explains the slowdown in Japan then. There I was thinking it might be something more serious :)

    Meanwhile, Craig James in the SMH today says we’ll have a housing-led recovery in Australia by mid-2009. House prices will be up 5 percent apparently. All this while the rest of the world is in deep recession.

    Craig James must be smoking what Bill Evans is smoking.

  26. Ian Gould
    December 28th, 2008 at 16:36 | #26

    I don;t know whether it’s a relief or not but it does illustrate that you have no reluctance in pontificating on issues about which you’re profoundly ignorant.

    And I’m still waiting ti hear why the Chinese economy is going to experience a more severe contraction than the US.

  27. SimonJM
    December 30th, 2008 at 19:23 | #27

    Has this been discussed mat all?

    The McKinsey Global Institute has done some of the most comprehensive and credible recent analyses on energy efficiency potential and carbon mitigation cost curves (see here). They have summarized their work in “2008 Research in Review,” so this is a good opportunity to create one universal link for their work.

    One core MGI factoid you can use: Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. emissions reduction potential by 2030 is from energy efficiency.

    MGI is best known for its comprehensive cost curve for global greenhouse-gas reduction measures (click to enlarge), which concluded measures needed to stabilize emissions at 450 ppm have a net cost near zero — the same conclusion as the International Energy Agency and IPCC.

    http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/12/29/10231/920

  28. Ian Gould
    December 30th, 2008 at 22:40 | #28

    So if a cold snap in the US disproves global warming, what are we to make of this:

    “The Weather Channel reports on the air that at least 75 high temperature records were set Saturday and Sunday, December 27-28. In Washington, persistent clouds kept the high of 70° from reaching the 1946 record of 75°, but the record high minimum temperature of 50° for the 28th (dating back to 1881) was tied.”

    http://capitalclimate.blogspot.com/2008/12/record-high-temperatures-in-eastern-and.html

  29. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 31st, 2008 at 11:46 | #29

    John, according to the latest reports Ukraine has buckled under Russian pressure and paid its outstanding $US1.5 billion gas debt on time. No mucking around with the bear anymore.

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