Monday Message Board

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Mastodon here

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.

27 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. China’s thermal coal imports are in decline, per graph tweeted @crudeoilpeak on Nov 20:

    Per an ANU article headlined Bleak outlook for Australian coal exports to China, posted 21 Apr 2022:

    China’s demand for coal imports, including from Australia, will drop significantly by 2025, according to new modelling led by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

    The researchers examined China’s plans for decarbonisation as well as investment in domestic railroads in order to reduce dependence on seaborne coal imports and increase the country’s energy security.

    Their purpose-built model shows China’s thermal imports could fall by at least 26 per cent, from 210 megaton to 155 megaton per year, between 2019 and 2025. If China follows through on ambitious climate policies, thermal coal imports could fall as low as 115 megaton per year in 2025 – a decline of 45 per cent.

    Per BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2022, in 2021, top-4 country trade imports of coal:
    #1 China: _ _ _ _ _ 6.54 EJ (19.5% global share)
    #2 India: _ _ _ _ _ _4.90 EJ (14.6%)
    #3 Japan: _ _ _ _ _ 4.86 EJ (14.5%)
    #4 South Korea: _ 3.41 EJ (10.2%)

    It seems to me the thermal coal export market is heading towards a long-term decline.

  2. Thermal exports to pay for diesel & gas! Firewood.

    I can’t recall anything crazier, except maybe Russia invading Ukraine. Cost recovery madness emergent effect. Dead wood for firewood for power. 

    To pay for electricity Yalta, on the edge of the Nullabor Plain has started a “Yalata firewood business creates jobs, reduces power bills and makes community proud”

    “Yalata Anangu Aboriginal Lands head ranger Andrew Alderson said it was a very slow-growing tree, and could live up to 500 years.

    “The trees we’re cutting down might have been standing dead up to 80 to 100 years,” Mr Alderson said.”

    “Remote residents begin paying electricity bills for the first time — just as food prices soar”
    24 Oct 2022

    “Mr Lewis said; “People don’t have the money to pay for electricity or go to the shop and spend their money,” he said.

    “If you’re buying things like thongs it’s $35, and in other places like Kmart and all that you can buy it for maybe $7 or $5.”

    “Last week, Liberal senator Kerrynne Liddle travelled to remote communities including Pukatja, where she met with locals who told her about their cost-of-living concerns.

    “Ms Liddle told ABC Radio Adelaide she was shocked by the prices of some food items — including two litres of milk costing more than $8 on the Lands.”

    I’d cry if I were not so incensed!

    When I was on a sabbatical (read: mid life crisis) picking tree seeds around the NT, I witnessed to locals “business ventrue” to make furniture. They used local hakea trees. 

    To make a table. Trees matured to 400 years. Bent trees no good. 1 straight tree per hectare. Replacement approx minimum 70 -120 years. Extremely hard wood. Table was approx 6-8 seater. It took 4 hefty blokes to lift, it was so heavy. Estimated sale price around 1994 $20,000. A one off really. Took all local straight mature trees around Tennant Creek. Sad to see. Like the last Tasmania Tiger imo.

    We used to use SA mulga roots to roast chickens in Australia, until banned early 2000’s maybe. Excellent taste. Exceptionally hot clean charcoal & burning wood.

    Yalta firewood to pay for private electricity supply.
    Best population I can find for the communities is around 3,000.

    And the cost recovery is $6m per year for electricity.

    So around $2,000 per resident to ‘enjoy’ -what?
    Light? Solar.
    Hot water? Solar
    Refrigeration. Solar.
    Tourism. Bloody tourists. Where are ya.

    Delivered by a private for profit retailer!
    Endorsed and legislated by ECOSA.

    ECOSA “Electricity generation licence variation – Cowell Electric Supply Pty Ltd” we find Yalta’s electricity supply mix to Yalta:”

    Yalta power. 
    Desiel / Gas – 1,250k/w
    Solar – 750k/w
    Barttery – 750k/w
    ECOSA link at end.

    You have to squint to see Yalta on this BoM map:

    Avg. Rainfall – 252mm
    gov au/ climate/averages/tables/cw_018106.shtml

    It is in the edge of some of the biggest deserts on the planet.

    “Yalata is an Aboriginal community located 200 kilometres (120 mi) west of Ceduna and 140 km (87 mi) south of Ooldea on the edge of the Nullarbor Plain in South Australia.

    “Yalata Land is held in trust under theAboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966 and covers an area of 456,300 ha (1,128,000 acres)”

    18 kilometres to each human @ popn 256. Up to 500.

    Popn density is 0.05435 /sq km
    wikipedia /wiki/Yalata,_South_Australia

    The avg. # floral  spieces per site is 22. (Biological Survey of the Yalata Indigenous Protected Area, South Australia below )

    From “Biological Survey of the Yalata Indigenous Protected Area, South Australia”

    “Yalata Environmental Association The Yalata Environmental Association is a sandy plain with deep sand and low parabolic dunes. Within the portion of this EA that lies within the Yalata IPA the vegetation is principally Eucalyptus
    similar to the Yalata EA, primarily E. oleosa (Red Mallee) Open Mallee/Low
    Woodland and A.
    papyrocarpa (Western Myall) +/- M. platycarpum (False Sandalwood) Very Low Woodland, though with more extensive areas of chenopod grasslands and herblands.
    shrublands, The low shrublands are
    variously dominated by A. vesicaria, Tecticornia sp., M. sedifolia and/or C. conocephala, the grasslands by Lomandra effusa (Scented Mat-rush), Austrostipa sp. (Spear-grass) and Austrodanthonia caespitosa (Common
    Wallaby-grass), and the herblands
    Trichanthodium skirrophorum (Woolly Yellow Heads).

    Austrodanthonia caespitosa and Austrostipa sp. prevalent in the understorey. ● Acacia papyrocarpa ● is an occasional emergent.
    No. of sites in group: Total taxa in group:
    Average no. of taxa per site: Range:
    No. of introduced taxa in group:
    Soils: loamy sand Landforms: plain and hill slope
    Species of conservation significance: none
    Sites: VMSDT16901, VMSDT18501, VMSSK09001, HOB00801, YAL00601
    Neagle, N. (Ed.) (2009). A Biological Survey of the Yalata Indigenous Protected Area, South Australia, 2007-2008. (Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia).

    Yalta retail electricity supplier Cowell.
    “Electricity licence variations – Cowell Electric Supply”

    “The Commission varied Cowell Electric Supply Pty Ltd’s electricity generation licence, authorising changes in the type and output of generation operations authorised by the licence.

    “The Commission undertook a round of public consultation in relation to the application and received no submissions from stakeholders.”

    From ” Electricity generation licence variation – Cowell Electric Supply Pty Ltd
    escosa sa gov au/ArticleDocuments/21596/20201119-Electricity-RetailDistributionGenerationLicence-CowellElectricSupply.pdf.aspx?Embed=Y

  3. Carbon overshoot

    Our friends at Pascal Lamy’s Overshoot Commission (see previous comment) have been busy. They held a meting in New York timed with a UN session, and another at COP-27. The have released their first paper, a boring catalogue of technical options, the sort of groundwork needed to establish trade cred: (scroll down, the download link is messy).

    No action plans yet, but don’t worry, Lamy is not in this for the honorary degrees. The complete failure of the COP to do anything on fossil fuels is making Plan B – megascale carbon removal – a nearly certain necessity.

    The paper leaves out my favourite Cunning Plan, seaweed farming and dumping in the ocean depths. Too wacky? Nobody knows what happens to the dumped seaweed over long periods? Apart from planting trees, all the options are dodgy black boxes. Seaweed has several selling points:
    1. Kelp is the fastest growing plant by far, up to 50cm per day.
    2. There is plenty of sea to grow it in.
    3. (Very long shot indeed) Phycology is the only known science in which if you play your cards right, you can become a lesser god. See Kathleen Drew-Baker, Mother of the Sea.

    I wrote to them pointing these out. Lamy is not short of ego.

  4. Thanks JQ, for;
    “John Quiggin’s Blogstack cross-posted a post from The Permanent Problem

    “Brink Lindsey on the overgrown parasite that is the global financial system”

    In his post, Brink Lindsey says;
    “Finance acts as a parasite by draining off some of the most talented people in the country who, instead of working on AI or fusion or at least building a better mousetrap, fritter away their productive energies on building castles in the air.”

    A missing parisite, drainng our solution efforts, and imo a driver and correlation – (I almost want to say cause) – of talented people who “fritter away their productive energies on building castles in the air.” is dwarfed by the military industrial complex and most importantly the bread and circus markets MI+BCM.

    And the Bread and Circus feedback of, as Brink Lindsey hints … “I see the impact of “bouncy castle epistemology” in the deepening unseriousness of contemporary society in the face of deep and daunting problems.”

    “bouncy castle epistemology”, or my Bread and Cicuses Markets, rhymes with as James Der Derian says in Ref#45 below, the “Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment-Network”.

    Media and entertainment for me map directly to bread and circuses hence the MI+BCMarkets.

    MI+BCM are driving, a driver and and constant feedback, produce cognitive amnesia via media, and recently, tribalism… (see “fn_Post-Truth) …via promotion of propagandised news and information, “leading to larger military expenditure in total, but with relatively smaller share in GDP.”, a quote from “Financialization and Militarization: An Empirical Investigation” 2021,
    Adem Y. Elveren of Fitchburg State University who states;
    …we found a significant relationship between financialization and militarization in the US for 1949-2019. The findings show that the decline in the profit rates lead to a decline in military expenditure. The overall results suggest that the rise in financialization is parallel to the decline in the profit rates, leading to larger military expenditure in total, but with relatively smaller share in GDP.”

    And my conterntion re the MI+BCM is stated from the Wikipedia article on the Military-Industial Complex:
    “…The concept of the military–industrial complex has been expanded to include the entertainment and creative industries as well. For an example in practice, Matthew Brummer describes Japan’s Manga Military and how the Ministry of Defense uses popular culture and the moe that it engenders to shape domestic and international perceptions.[44]

    “An alternative term to describe the interdependence between the military-industrial complex and the entertainment industry is coined by James Der Derian as “Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment-Network”.[45]
    [ Ref.#45:
     “Virtuous War
    Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment-Network
    By James Der Derian ]
    wikipedia /wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex


    And a further excellent elucidation of how we fall for “Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It”, listen to Evan Davis from about 30 minute mark. It was rebraodcast last night on Big Ideas at ABC radio RN.

    Even though Evan Davis books may lean the ‘other’ way; “… Public Spending, was published in 1998. In it he argued for the privatisation of public services as a means of increasing efficiency. 

    Davis’ second book, Made in Britain: How the Nation Earns Its Living, was published in May 2011. 

    His third book, Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It was published in May 2017.”

    … he delivers a stinging and accurate description of how we all fall for our own biases and coagulate toward tribalism.

    “Big Ideas looks at why we lie and why deception is so widespread in modern public discourse.

    “The evolution of truth presented by theRoyal Institution of Great Britain. November 8, 2018

    Richard Byrne – Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of St Andrews

    Evan Davis – economist, broadcaster, author

  5. Seaweed per flop?
    Data centees still “hot & windy”.

    “And we thought that cryptomining calculations were going to ruin the planet…” yet …”data center energy use has remained relatively constant for the past decade.”

    “AI computations want 250kW densities per rack”
    Henry Baker

    “Number crunching AI’s carbon costs

    “Getting to the bottom of the environmental burdens of training vast, but valuable, datasets is driving discussions on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of AI.

    6 September 2022

    “While global internet traffic has surged, by 40% in 2020 alone, data center energy use has remained relatively constant for the past decade. “Strong growth in demand for data center services continues to be mostly offset by ongoing efficiency improvements for servers, storage devices, network switches, and data center infrastructure, as well as the high and growing share of services met by highly efficient cloud and hyperscale data centers,” writes the IEA.”

    “Data Centres and Data Transmission Networks”
    “More efforts needed

    Tracking report — September 2022

    “Data centres and data transmission networks are responsible for nearly 1% of energy-related GHG emissions”

  6. Nuclear apocalypse or bio-weapon /terrorism?

    Due to mRNA tech (minus patents & coordiation problems) I’d say nuclear now.

    But it seems like the difference between a tsunami and sea level rise.

    Bioweapons + may make a nuclear attack unrecoverable. And soon many will be capable of viirus construction. 

    Upgrade pandemic /bioweapons to nuclear status? Restrict knowledge & development? Kevin Esvelt in interview below suggests this too.

    John Quiggin says:
    11.15.22 at 7:23 am
    …” As you say, the fact lots of EA people have decided the AI apocalypse is the big risk is logically unrelated. I’d say nuclear war is a more likely path, myself.”

    “How to Prevent the Next Pandemic
    Kevin Esvelt

    “Modern technology makes bioterrorism seem increasingly likely. If we can get our act together, there are smart ways to prevent it.

    “Asterisk: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your lab and the work that you do there?

    “Kevin: I am an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, which is a place for people whose work does not fit in any single discipline. At my lab, called the Sculpting Evolution Group, we are interested in advancing biotech safely. We study the evolution of molecular systems over time and ways of applying selective pressure to make them do what we want and keep doing what we want.

    “I also have a bit of a security mindset. In cybersecurity there’s a saying: any system vulnerable to accidents is helpless against deliberate attack. Wherever it came from, SARS-CoV-2 was an accident. It was either a natural or accidental release, but it was not deliberate, because anything deliberate would be more severe. That suggests that if and when we learn how to build harmful things with pandemic-class capabilities, we’re going to be in trouble. Lots of people are going to be able to cause pandemic-class events, and the rest of us are not going to be able to do much to defend against them.

    “A: So one approach is to make dangerous research more expensive. What’s the second?

    “K: The other form is more radical. The international community has agreed that nuclear weapons must never fall into the hands of non-state actors or terrorist groups. Pandemic viruses can kill more people than any nuclear weapon. Therefore, the same logic demands that we keep them out of the hands of terrorists.

    “If anyone credibly identifies a pandemic-capable agent, then they just handed it to tens of thousands of people. That’s far worse than any degree of nuclear proliferation. Therefore, we can’t allow that. We could enact a pandemic test ban treaty that specifically bans the laboratory experiments required to increase our confidence a given virus could cause a pandemic.”

    Via: Scott Alexander.

    “Modeling The End Of Monkeypox:

    “The Illogic Of Nuclear Escalation: 
    By Pulitzer-winning nuclear analyst Fred Kaplan. The US has almost 4,000 nuclear weapons. Wouldn’t a few hundred be enough to send the message “don’t mess with us”? Why did we build the others?

    And more…

  7. A graph of OPEC’s crude oil production 1960-2021 tweeted today @crudeoilpeak indicates production peaked in 2016, at least three years before COVID-19 emerged.

    Where’s the additional kb/d of oil & petroleum fuel production coming from to offset Russia’s oil/petroleum fuel supply decline?

  8. James, I am deeply dubious of carbon capture schemes, whether based on soil carbon/biomass growth schemes or capture and storage. The former seem unlikely to reliably sequester a lot more carbon than came from prior deforestations, even if land use emissions can be zeroed, even if climate change itself doesn’t mess with the biological systems they are built with. There has been overall biomass increase attributed to global warming, from Arctic greening exceeding biomass losses elsewhere but it isn’t clear that will persist. Or will be any kind of good outcome if it does.

    Pumping CO2 deep underground or binding it chemically seems to me to present an overwhelming problem of scale. Given that each ton of fossil fuels produces 2 – 3 tons of CO2 and we make more of it than just about everything else we make put together it needs to be bigger than the entire fossil fuel production industry and operate for a very long time to allow fossil fuel burning and have zero emissions. Even if FF burning can be zeroed the Air Capture and Storage has to be done at huge scale for a long time to bring down atmospheric concentrations significantly – but it has no intrinsic way to pay it’s way; it has to be subsidised by taxpayers or industry levies… which is a recipe for failure. It might appear to be a necessity but we can’t rely on carbon removal at large scale, especially not the promise of it to defer and delay lowering emissions.

    The gas and oil industry is offering to do it for us – so nice of them – but only if they get paid to do it… or else can use the CO2 to force more oil and gas out of nearby wells or (like Gorgon) take CO2 out of low quality gas (that has too much CO2) so it is better to sell.

    But doing those things AND getting paid to do it out of emissions reductions funding must seem hilarious to them, but strictly in private.

  9. Ken Fabian: so what is your plan? Granted, carbon removal is very much a second best, and will be both risky and expensive. We could have avoided the need for it if we’d all got serious in 1990, but now it’s too late. +1.2 degrees C is already causing major damage. +1.5 degrees will be far worse – and it is now out of reach. Objecting to carbon removal on the grounds that it is being promoted in bad faith as a delaying tactic by fossil-fuel corporations and producing countries is a nice squeamishness we can no longer afford. We have to start the removal project now, while fighting off delayist attempts to control it.

    Lamy and Tubiana are not fools and I expect they understand the political dangers very well. See also my earlier letter to the Overshoot Commission:

  10. PS to Ken Fabian: “.. Air Capture and Storage has to be done at huge scale for a long time to bring down atmospheric concentrations significantly..” Yes. But there are a few pluses. Energy has to be be available at the places people live, and at the times they want. That does not hold for carbon removal: it can be done wherever is most convenient. such as on the high seas or in empty deserts. Breakdowns won’t matter much, and automation will keep the need for labour low.

    The fact that removal is an inherently public project is not much of an objection. The Ukraine war has reminded us that governments can get a lot done, and fast, when the public really demands it. In the last century they built comprehensive public education and health services, fought two major wars, invented nuclear weapons, built moon rockets, and started the Internet. Let’s get started. “There is no try”.

  11. Greed feed, Dave Chappelle & Satyajit Das 
    ● “And that is the problem.●
    ● Honest Liars ●

    ● Greed feed
    Political influence returns 20:1. So says a 2021 Study:
    “Generally, a dollar spent on political influence by 2,758 unique firms on COMPUSTAT is associated with $20.67 of higher annual earnings in the future. This return is orders of magnitude larger than the payoff to R&D or advertising. Our work highlights how lucrative political influence can be for firm value.”

    “Returns to Seeking Political Influence: Early Evidence from the COVID-19 Stimulus”

    ● Honest Liars – eg Trump – saying almost word for word as I linked above “The evolution of truth presented by the Royal Institution of Great Britain. November 8, 2018”

    “Dave Chappelle I know Why People Love Donald Trump! Snl Video CLip

    Realignment and Legitimacy
    “Where democracy goes to the highest bidder” [Financial Times]. “Corporations spend billions buying influence, and there are any number of academic studies to show that this pays off (one from 2021 found that a dollar spent on political influence is associated with $20.67 in higher future annual earnings; I could list a dozen others with similar findings). Foreign governments do the same. A few days ago, the National Intelligence Council released a report showing that the United Arab Emirates used corporate donations, political lobbying, grants to universities and other types of spending ($164mn since 2016) to influence US foreign policy over several years. This isn’t a nefarious attempt to leverage disinformation by illegal means. This is a friendly government buying power by legal means.
    ● And that is the problem.●”

    And this paragraph “corporate donations, political lobbying, grants to universities and other types of spending ($164mn since 2016) to influence US foreign policy over several years. This isn’t a nefarious attempt to leverage disinformation by illegal means. This is a friendly government buying power by legal means.”…

    … leads worringly to to Satyajit Das yesterday saying;
    “Which led Mr Das to his final thoughts on broader issues confronting the global financial markets that he thinks even fewer people are considering.

    “I think there’s two runaway trains, which have been running away for a while,” he said.

    “One is geopolitics. And the other one is de-globalisation, particularly in the form of sanctions and trade restrictions, which are accelerating around the world.

    “And that has a tendency historically to de-stabilise growth and economic prosperity fairly radically.”

    ● Any ideas as to a fix for above so we may start planting seaweed, or trees, or renewables, or … any ideas?, as this seem be as old as money & politics.

    No amount of JQ’s sensible suggestions, nor my nano efforts, cease above.


  12. We may soon fix “Menstrual and menopause leave”… yet
    … to fix as Satyajit Das above points out, my belief is for lobbying, honest liars and gobal heating AGW etc rectification to be solidified into the zeitgeist & governance, a JG / UBI or similar will need 2 x cycles of ‘generations’ – after JG / UBI or similar instigated, as the backsliding of Honest lying Politicians, and policy gains tussle will be only realised in legislation only by the second generation of recipients. Medicare in Australia was bitched about, sniped and undermined by the Coalition for 20 + years for example.

    I’d like to believe change set in stone will happen earlier.

    I do not believe so.

    An example of my 2 x 20 years in my mind anyway:

    “John Quiggin 11.17.22 at 6:04 pm
    “I’ve been reading The Chile Project, Sebastian Edwards which looks, from a fairly sympathetic viewpoint, at the downfall of neoliberalism in Chile. Edwards points to the fact that, the Chilean neoliberals assumed that as long as they could reduce poverty, inequality didn’t matter. In the end, Chileans weren’t willing to accept that.”

    “Menstrual and menopause leave would be a win not just for women, but for all of Australia
    By Jane Caro

    “Australia ranks 70th in the world for women’s economic participation. Any measure that helps remedy that can only be a good thing

    “Helping women to participate fully in the workplace is a no-brainer. It would not only help prevent more generations of women having to face poverty and homelessness as they age, but our economy would grow by an estimated $25bn”. …

  13. James, I can’t claim to have sure answers apart from my conviction that our efforts to shift to clean energy need to be intensified and that when all our primary energy is zero emissions and we do improve the ways we do agriculture we will have a good chance of stabilising global temperatures. Soil carbon will likely feature in the latter but I don’t see how it can scale up sufficiently to be a major CO2 drawdown. Ocean CO2 drawdown, without interventions, should induce some longer term slow cooling. So long as we don’t delay so much we pass carbon feedback tipping points, ie where warming causes releases of carbon from the natural sinks we rely on to persist. If low cost ways to induce more drawdown can be done and are supported, sure, it will help. But I remain doubtful.

    I am very optimistic about our clean energy options and see the building of an abundance of it – something that potentially will reduce overall energy costs, not raise them – but I remain pessimistic about any efforts to force that cooling through CCS or DAC or soil carbon or biomass.

    I see clean energy as something that pays it’s own way, that can draw investment and grow without subsidy or even great foresight and commitment to emissions reductions – just not fast enough without those or without some direct disincentives (rather than the ongoing government support and incentives including PAYING companies to do greenwash like CCS) applied to fossil fuel use. The alternatives had to exist and be reasonably priced for that to happen – and the early empty gestures and give em enough rope funding given to renewables may have been the best mistakes mainstream politics have done – and I cynically think wind and solar would never have gotten even that much if it thought they would actually work.

    The current conflict enabled rampant profiteering by the FF industry will be working to some extent as a carbon price to reinforce the shift we are already seeing in Australia – a shift where the only not-renewables new energy being built has been reduced to a single small gas plant, by Morrison government decree. It is a direct, market based influence on future investment choices of electricity companies as well as changing perceptions of gas (especially) from the ultra-dependable and always cheap alternative to investing in the things that make renewables constantly available to something with high and unpredictable costs that can’t be relied on.

  14. “Risk creation is outstripping risk reduction.”

    2022 – 6th United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction

    “Investment in understanding risk is the foundation for sustainable development. However, this needs to link to a reworking of financial and governance systems to account for the real costs of current inaction to address risks like climate change. Without this, financial balance sheets and governance decision-making will remain fragmented and be rendered increasingly inaccurate and ineffective.”

    2022 – 6th “United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction – Our World at Risk: Transforming Governance for a Resilient Future 

    “GAR2022 explores how, around the world, structures are evolving to better address systemic risk.

    “The report shows how governance systems can evolve to reflect the interconnected value of people, the planet and prosperity

    “Faculty for a Future has distilled research at the intersection of social and ecological crisis into six key points describing the world ahead. This ‘diagnosis’ outlines our understanding of the emerging world and informs the objectives and development of all of our projects.”

    Faculty for a Future founder Wolfgang Knorr;
    “Many academic researchers wish to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation in relevant ways, but do not know how. Wolfgang Knorr, cofounder of ‘Faculty for a Future’, talks to Nature Human Behaviour about how academic researchers can create meaningful impact and can help to address the climate” crisis

  15. I have given up on humanity’s capacity to make a jot of difference to climate change, given the onslaught of neoliberalism. I have some hope, but that’s purely a feeling, not an analytical assessment. Trouble is, certain large landmass countries have leaders who have (without any real understanding) figured that their countries will benefit from massive climate change. They see it in terms of geopolitical advantage. A whole lot of other leaders don’t even accept that climate scientists—a generally very conservative bunch—have mapped out the future scenarios with any fidelity.

    So, I think the climate train is heading down the steep decline, no brakes and no driver.

    When it comes to other matters, there are horror stories we need to address now! Despite the state of our other failures (such as climate change policy). One of the big issues at a societal level is the way in which the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is treated as something to keep people from accessing, rather than as a means of support at such a bsic level, it might mean those people can find their own ways into contributing to what we call society. Even if some of them don’t, the matter of keeping them out of deleterious poverty means the cost of support actually goes down. Even if it didn’t, there are moral reasons for considering better support of people.

    Finally, the craziness of not granting DSP to mental health disorders, such as from drug use, is fucking insane. Drug use can be the primary event that leads to a catastrosphe, or it can be a reaction to an already immense catastrophe. Or, a bit of both. Trying to ascertain the how and the why is to ignore the basic issue, i.e. that somebody needs help. and if you help them in an appropriate manner, they won’t be a problem for others to deal with. Come on, man. Can’t the Labor mob figure out to show more compassion? They shouldn’t need the big stick of the Teals/Greens to come to an ethical position on the DSP.

    As somebody who has had to consider the DSP and other measures, let me tell you this: you can write—as I do—a good line or three, but be unable do your original job, despite the similarities. You might be able to—occasionally—have a good night out with some old mates—but that doesn’t mean you can catch up every time with them, or that you feel you can talk with them, or not drink to numb yourself to the emotions that it all evokes. None of these things are normal human behaviour: they are extreme edges, and they are nearly always indicative of trauma, rather than being the cause of the trauma.

    The Labor notion of denying the DSP to people experiencing alcohol abuse or drug abuse is no different in kind to attacking people for being unemployed due to “laziness.” It’s a total misunderstanding of the psychosocial forces pulling on those people.

    I just hope one of the Labor ministers thinks hard about this, and concludes that penalising people for how they came to be in the poo is precisely the wrong metric to use, if you want to improve societal function as a whole. While I realise that the LNP were total arseholes in this regard, I don’t see why even the most right-wing Labor minister should feel this is okay.

  16. Count me as another vote for carbon removal – and for any additional, weird-but-harmless ideas we can think of. (All to be tested first, yes.) Big white reflectors to float in the ocean? Or in space? Everyone wear a white hat? Let’s try some things.

    I feel quite strongly that we absolutely must put the climate back where it should have been. I don’t even want to talk compensation yet. We must fix this.

    Meanwhile, should I try to learn to like seaweed snacks? Would that be helpful? Or, could I compost it? What happens with the seaweed? (Don’t worry I’ll go goggle it …)

  17. Don, I hear you and hope you look after yourself.

    Don: “One of the big issues at a societal level is the way in which the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is treated as something to keep people from accessing, rather than as a means of support at such a bsic level,”

    I am submitting “Accommodation Discrimination” re “treated as something to keep people from accessing” to the Disability Royal Commision – DRC. A submission is as simple as a phone call or as detailed as you need. The DRC provides Legal Aid support also to tell “Your Story” and provides free counselling as well.
    Accommodation as in accommodating needs;

    “Accommodation Discrimination

    72 American University Law Review (Forthcoming 2023)
    36 Pages
    Posted: 20 Aug 2022
    Katherine Macfarlane
    Southern University Law Center
    Date Written: August 15, 2022

    “Reasonable accommodations should be tools of equality yet can feel more like punishment than remedy. To receive accommodations, people with disabilities must disclose intimate details about their health. The accommodation process that follows disclosure is arduous, dissuading many people with disabilities who need accommodations from requesting them. Even if accommodations are granted, institutional enforcement is not guaranteed. Instead, the labor of implementing reasonable accommodations often falls to disabled people themselves. Accommodated people with disabilities also endure remarks about receiving “special” treatment for disabilities that are allegedly exaggerated or faked.

    “Though people with disabilities may bring failure to accommodate claims when reasonable accommodations are denied, the law does not adequately protect them against the discrimination that occurs when accommodations are granted. This Article identifies experiences deeply familiar to people with disabilities to explore how rules intended to perpetuate equality foster discrimination. It focuses on reasonable accommodations in the workplace and higher education to highlight the mistreatment of accommodated people with disabilities.”

    Keywords: Disability, ADA, higher education, reasonable accommodation

    I urge you and everyone to put in a submission.

    I have a relation who has been an ice addict since 20’s, robbed service stations, been to gaol, and now, after 20+ years, never once has had a medical / psych test nor intervention nor councelling. And recently graduated to gambling and minor theft within the family again. Even died once taking GHB and still continues. Revived by fellow addicts until ambos arrived. The GHB users know CPR as they die regularly. Currently awaiting bail on minor drug charges due to history. In Portugal support would be provided. NO support whatsoever.

    As to the “… big issues at a societal level is the way in which the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is treated as something to keep people from accessing, rather than as a means of support at such a bsic level, “…

    Julia Gillard and most of the current government enshirned the word “permanent” as a criteria for getting  a DSP. The irony being such a definition makes for persons as my relation above to become permanently disabled. And we – society!- get the damage and bills unseen and used as a punching bag by dogmatic conservative dinosaurs. God botherers not far behind, who we fund to hide the problem with bandaids, perpetuating problems.

    “Reinventing the NDIS
    By Ian Webster
    Nov 17, 2022

    “Introducing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill in 2012, Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said the scheme would stand alongside the minimum wage, the age pension, Medicare, and universal superannuation as one of Labor’s pillars of social justice and opportunity for all Australians.

    “The lynchpin of the NDIS is the amount and nature of care and support to which each disabled person is entitled. The rub being that these requirements are to beobjectively assessed based on permanent impairments affecting daily living, social and economic participation.

    As with just about everything early intervention saves money.

    Back to climate action and late intervention!

    I urge you and everyone with even a passing story of anyone not treated or treated poorly by “the system” to put in a submission to the Disability Royal Commision.

    “Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

    “Share your story

    “Ways to share your experience

    “You can share your experience with us:
    – in writing, over the phone, in a video or audio recording by making a submissionin a private session with a Commissioner (registrations closed 30 June 2022) in your preferred language – including Indigenous languages and Auslan. We will provide interpreters and translators.

    “Hearing from people with disability, families, support people, organisations and the broader community helps the Royal Commission understand the extent and the impact of violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation against people with disability. This will help us to make recommendations to prevent it from happening again.”

    By December 31st 2022.

    Please economic experts – papers showing medical intervention early and elucidating economic theories to back up. I’ll submit them. JQ, Harry et al?

  18. Don, a long reply to you in moderation.

    Pesticides & transport a greater driver of evolution in last 100 years of Super Insects than climate change it seems.

    “The Invasion of the Super Insects
    “New generations of insects are devouring Earth’s forests. Humans helped breed them—can we help stop them?

    “Ultimately, we might also be super-charging the bugs even more directly. With the pesticides, insecticides, and other toxic chemicals we use to exterminate unwanted creatures that either destroy our crops or otherwise annoy us, we kill off the weaklings. The survivors are the super-creatures with super appetites. It is a phenomenon similar tosuperbugs of the germ world—the more antibiotics we use, the more tough and resistant microbes we breed. “Pesticides make me very nervous because they put selective pressures, making very, very ravenous insects,” Azevedo-Schmidt says. While we don’t know if or how pesticides could influence insects’ hunger, the survivors may have outsized appetites, the researchers hypothesize. And these bugs don’t stop at the periphery of agriculture. They often eat right on, into the forests.

    “Does this mean we are looking into a bleak, leafless future? Right now, we need our trees more than ever—to sequester carbon and to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen to fight climate change. Scientists say they are somewhat optimistic that we still can mend things through fairly obvious remedies, such as curbing chemical use.

    “But Azevedo-Schmidt hopes we might also get backup from Mother Nature, who sometimes deploys unexpected, eleventh-hour self-regulating mechanisms.

    “Insect herbivory within modern forests is greater than fossil localities

    Lauren Azevedo-Schmidt et al
    “…This research suggests that the strength of human influence on plant–insect interactions is not controlled by climate change alone but rather, the way in which humans interact with terrestrial landscape.”

  19. N: “Should I try to learn to like seaweed snacks?” Coming soon to a health food store near you.

    Seaweed farming is already a megatonne industry. A Chinese farm in the Yellow Sea:

    Dr. Drew-Baker got her shrine by cracking the complicated sex life of an edible seaweed prized in Japan. Before her, the poor villagers who scraped a living gathering it in the wild were at the mercy of unpredictable swings in availability. Once she’d identified what looked like a different species as the male form, Japanese researchers were able quickly to create the straightforward technology for breeding the seedlings in tanks, and the villagers became prosperous sustainable farmers. The shrine makes us smile, but the villagers were not joking about the difference she made to their lives.

  20. Geoof Miell: China’s coal consumption has wider effects than on Australian coal exports. IEA: “In Coal 2021 in December, we forecast an increase in Chinese coal demand for 2022 as a whole, but we now expect it to remain stable around 4 230 Mt. However, this assumes the Chinese economy recovers in the third and fourth quarters from the substantial slowdown in the second quarter.”

    China did recover to a 3.9% growth rate in Q3, but the covid tea-leaves are not positive for Q4. Since China keeps installing wind and solar at volume, col takes the hit from sluggish overall demand for electricity. China may reach peak coal early – though this depends on a longer-term rebalancing of he economy away from construction and investment towards consumption and services. Is an old-age pension (Bismarck and the Kaiser, 1889) really too radical an idea for the Chinese Politburo to entertain?

  21. Hmm. Maybe we can feed that stuff to the animals? Bc I am not sure I like the sound of it. I will think about it more though. So, fermenting doesn’t produce gas? (DontworryI’llgoggleit …) Oh, maybe we can burn that stuff? Not sure I want to eat it.

  22. Most important book imo. Google etc needs a serious tune up.

    This passage from “Writing the Revolution” article in The Conversation today triggered my missive;

    “…  Wikipedia is still the authority for facts about the event. If you ask Google, Bing or Yahoo what happened in Egypt in 2011, they will present facts extracted from the English Wikipedia article.

    “But Google and other platforms extract them automatically and without understanding or debate. The result is a representation of capitalist logic embedded in the machines that have been programmed not to serve public meaning-making but rather to feed revenue sources.”

    “Shaping history – why I spent ten years studying one Wikipedia article”
    [wow! Dedication.]

    “Writing the Revolution: Wikipedia and the Survival of Facts in the Digital Age

    by Heather Ford
    MIT. Nov. 2022.
    ISBN 9780262046299.

    “Ford’s (digital and social media studies, Univ. of Technology Sydney) book offers an eye-opening look at how Wikipedia curates content that is used as factual data by millions of people and organizations worldwide.”…
    “VERDICT Ford pushes readers to more deeply understand how pieces of information become accepted, often unquestioned facts online and issues a call to promote data literacy. Highly recommended.”
    Reviewed by Karen Bordonaro ,
    Nov 01, 2022

    P.S. donate to Wikipedia anyway.

  23. Precision fermentation will change everything. Within 15 years most meat will be ‘brewed’. An Israeli company recently started producing real milk via this process and the FDA has just approved cultured chicken for sale in US. There will soon be an absolute explosion in cultured meat products – seafood, cheese, the lot. Almost every type of meat product now has a startup producing small quantities – probably even things like mastodon and other exotic species. Costs in terms of resources of land, water and energy decline about 80 – 90%. The product is also way better – clean, no additives, antibiotics etc. Lots of new food types also coming and it will eventually be cheap as chips. Farmers won’t know what hit them.

  24. I know nobody here reads my links because they are to far out there – bitcoin as reserve currency etc. but if you are interested in the ‘future of food’ via precision fermentation, a good source is FoodHack. RethinkX (Tony Seba) has also been covering this for years.

  25. Bubushka media manipulation.

    I thought the mothers (‘?) of Rusians fighting in Ukraine would have revolted by now. The parental tension is underneath and will at some point be revealed. And the media and information blanket must be very well tucked in and controlled.

    “Mr Putin said he understood the anxiety and concern of soldiers’ mothers — and the pain of those who had lost sons in Ukraine.

    “I would like you to know that, that I personally, and the whole leadership of the country — we share your pain,” Mr Putin said”

  26. Harry you said
    “Harry Clarke says:
    November 25, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    “Why the worry? Markets will sort out the …”

    Here is an example of your statement “Markets will sort out” yet in their favour! You forgot the other side of the coin Harry.

    “Here’s what happened. The industry’s lobby group, the Australian Banking Association (ABA), wrote a new code of practice to govern how it treats customers and inserted references to it in the long contracts for products like loans and credit cards.

    “Compliance was entrusted to the Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC), which would investigate breaches and sanction bad banks — to try and lift standards across the entire industry.

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