Why temperatures never go up in straight lines

Beautifully presented, yet tragic GIFs that show what’s happening to our oceans

TED has a great page with a number of animated images. These paint a picture of what is happening to our oceans.

It’s easy to overlook such a massive tragedy from our vantage point.

image

See the rest here.

Welcome to the new (er) New Anthropocene

I’m staggered to learn that, in my absence, the traffic has remained. For months on end.

That my efforts on here for the past four years continues to be of value is the very best compliment I could ask for.

I had a spike last week (three times my running daily average), with about a third of that traffic directed towards my fluoridation work. I honestly don’t get the controversy. Capital cities in most states and territories of Australia have had fluoridated water since the 1960’s or 70’s.

Compare such places to Brisbane (not fluoridated) for signs of the supposed adverse reactions of fluoridation and be astounded in the boredom… We don’t see the drop in IQ or increases in cancers or whatever boogeymen you wish to imagine. We do, however, see a reduction in cavities in fluoridated areas.

In reality, that should be the end of it. But that’s the problem with any anti-science movements.

The ABYSS

I’ve learnt a lot in the past year. Unfortunately, I’ve become a little more cynical as well. My writing, I was informed by a potential employer (which they came across in a standard background check), is a liability. This is especially so with the political writing – the only stuff that professional outlets seem to want from me (unpaid, of course). To a lesser extent, the same is true with my rebuttals to anti-science (apparently, I show up on climate denial and anti-vax websites), which sully my name in association.

Moreover, to take a quote I’ve used before; you shouldn’t debate with idiots. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

As such, I will no longer smash my writing efforts against the wall of cognitive dissonance required to hold on to any ideology, be it religious, political or anti-science. It’s sad that many find the unknown so daunting that they need to prop up idealistic models of reality at any cost rather than to trust solid evidence.

If I’m going to writing, it may as well be useful.

Still, I am back!

I have a new job (outside of environmental science) and I am getting close to regaining enough free time to spend on NewAnthro (the past year was spent in a very insecure role where all my free time went to family or, more often, relentless job searching).

NewAnthro will finally get back on track with what it was intended to do; provide an outlet for discussion concentrated on the overwhelming fact that we are now in the Anthropocene and thus a force of nature. What we do about yielding this influence must be targeted towards prosperous outcomes over degradation.

For my kids sake, I’m not interested in a low / no impact life, because that is honestly a pipe-dream suitable for Qi fanciers. The only answer is medium to high impact; like a farmer who increasing the production of a landscape, human activity must aspire to promote biodiversity, thus biological services, thus prosperity for all.

My own efforts will be shared, as a video journal as well as writing, as I try to achieve wins within my fence line. The Sustainable Cities Collective remains one of my favourite gems on the internet.

Right now, I’m working on a home-made, off-grid, weather station which will also water my garden (you can take me out of environmental science, but can’t take the field out of me!) and plan to develop videos along the way. I might share snippets and trial segments on the NewAnthro FB page. If you would like to provide feedback to these test runs, please follow.

I hope the shift will be one that interests you!

Movie Wish List for #auspol – What they missed out on as children

For a whole host of reasons, I’ve been unable, even reluctant, to write.

Firstly, the survey flopped. I managed to get around 40 people to sign it within the first couple days. However there wasn’t enough interest to obtain 2nd and 3rd generation participation. All up only 50 people signed it which simply wasn’t enough to comment on.

Secondly, the job front has been stressful and disheartening. That it has been relentless has meant that it has required more and more of my time and energy. I’ve even wishfully mused over monetising NewAnthro through minimal advertisements and looking into Patreon so that I can dedicate my entire efforts to it. This would allow me to move into different media (eg. video production, podcasting, etc) and genuine reporting.

Of course, I’m enough of a realist to see that I don’t have weight enough for this bud to fruit.

Thirdly, the last year in politics has left me speechless. I don’t know if I’m more surprised that my predictions have largely been proven right or that enough of the population (46% is not a mandate, mind you) didn’t see it coming. From Pyne’s attempted wordplay of ‘schools’ or school’s’ regarding funding, to Morrison’s mute reply to every horrendous truth that we eventually learn of on his watch…

Moreover, that many members in the general public honestly think any refugee could be considered a “queue jumper” and that sending their children alone half way around the world is anything but traumatic (only achievable in that it is less traumatic than leaving them at risk of death in a war zone) or that our disadvantaged are “bludgers” is a disgraceful badge on the Aussie culture.

Perhaps I’m the odd one.

I’m not sure what might follow with my writing. However there is one thing I want to say for now.

I suspect our political class collectively suffered a deprived childhood that could have helped to make them better people. Here are a few movies / TV series they could have seen that may have helped them to learn valuable moral lessons. It’s by no means a complete list; please feel free to suggest others.

Movie Life lesson
The Emperor’s new groove Compromise and cooperation (indeed even building regulations) can lead to greater positive outcomes for all parties than pure selfish, individualistic, pursuits.
Aladdin While our political class might have the lesson “bee yourself” sorted, this only applies if ‘yourself’ is someone willing to share with those less fortunate.
The Little Mermaid Be wary of making deals with powerful magnates. They are where they are only because their deals favour themselves more than anyone else.
The Lion King Without genuine, fair and empathetic leadership, scoundrels take over and erode the quality of life for all.
Full House / The Brady Bunch / The Smurfs Pretty much every moral question imaginable over their many seasons.
Bob the Builder / Thomas the tank engine Hard work and consideration for those around you builds lasting personal and professional relationships.
Gremlins Prevention is more cost effective than a cure. This is directly concerned with nutrition and the advice of experts, but applicable elsewhere.
The Dark Crystal Draining the vital resources from the vulnerable is only a short-term move which will lead to escalating social problems.
The Labyrinth Imprisoning children to get your way will ultimately outrage those you seek to impress.
Spiderman With great power comes great responsibility
Snow White Obsessing over popular opinion leads to poor decision-making.
Pinocchio Telling lies only leaves you looking like an ass.
Ghost busters Adequate funding of science, even if you don’t personally understand the field in question, is essential in mitigating larger problems in the long run.

 

 

The voice of Australia

I had an excellent survey rate on Friday, but since then, very little.

So far less than 50 Aussies have filled out this tiny survey. No-one from “right of centre” has filled it out.

For it to have any value, readers will need to nudge others to add their voice. If I can get about 2000 people, we will have numbers akin to the news polls.

My hope is to follow this with a second survey; 1) age, 2) last federal vote, 3) more or less likely to vote for the coalition had the GP co-payments been mentioned prior to the election, 4)  more or less likely to vote for the coalition had the increase fuel excise been mentioned prior to the election.

Before I pursue that, I hope to get the numbers for this survey.

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?

Sunday Reads #8: All things climate, environmental and politics

Firstly, I need to plug my survey again. I had a great response on Friday, but yesterday saw little movement. If the question and the answer matters to you, please try to get at least three friends or family members to spare 60 seconds to fill it in and a couple additional minutes to get three more to follow on.

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?

Coalition’s Green Army passes the Senate

Having worked as a retail “trainee” when I was 19-20 in what was clearly a way to get around minimum wage restrictions, I am concerned by this, but not surprised at the bi-partisan support, sadly.

Carpark run-off cheaper to drink than desal water

Thinking for the 21st century!

Changing what we eat [relating to sustainability climate change]

Great to bookmark and refer to the future.

This Is What Your Grocery Store Looks Like Without Bees (PHOTOS)

Expect this message to become a bigger issue over the coming decades.

Fiji accuses global community of abandoning the Pacific on climate change, singles out ‘selfish’ Australia

Unfortunately, our leaders are not listening.

The jobs of yesterday: Abbott’s roads rear-vision

Sorry, second plug. This is my latest article on the Climate Spectator.

Power bills to drop 8pc in Tasmania if Senate approves carbon tax abolition

When the Gillard government introduced the carbon price, Abbott said people would pay thousands more a year in energy costs. He then said he would save people on average $550 a year in energy costs. Tasmanians’ are set to save $164 a year from the latest estimates.

For me, this is a clear indicator that reality is likely to be about 20% the estimate offered by our current PM.

Coal’s share of world energy demand at highest since 1970

And this is a genuine tragedy for the coal rich country down under, regardless what the short-term economics might say.

 

Government funded Chaplains in public schools: The public voice

As my previous post highlighted, I’ve opened a survey to gauge what the Australian public actually thinks about federal funding of Chaplain’s in public schools.

The survey is a mere two pages and will take less than a minute to complete. It is also entirely anonymous.

It will automatically close at 10pm EST (Aust) on Friday the 27th of June.

Already there has been a good response, but entirely from centre to left and non-religious members of the community. The value of this is entirely dependent upon the voluntary contribution of the Australian public across the various ideological spectrums.

If each person who fills in the survey convinced four friends to follow and this happened once each day for the coming week, we would have more than 20,000 people adding to the public voice. That would be an incredible achievement by all!

Below are many sharing options. It is only through this that we could get a genuine representation of the public sentiment… part from when we next vote and if the issue is a party commitment.

My views may be in the minority and I will be happy should that be the case. I simple hope to know what Australia actually thinks.

Click the following link to fill in the very short survey and please share this page.

Survey: Does the Aust Gov have a mandate on Chaplains in Public Schools?