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Archive for August, 2009

Combat Operations BPSDB Like all tragedies, the most terrible thing about the Afghan War is the utter futility of the suffering. Our determination to do nothing meaningful about anthropogenic climate change means that none of the sacrifices by any of those involved in Afghanistan are going to accomplish anything, not unless we honour those sacrifices by doing our part.

We all know about the war in Afghanistan, or think we do. Those who follow the news will know that the “trouble” is predominantly in the south and southwest, particularly the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar. Do we wonder why that is? If “the problem” is government corruption, or religious extremism, or nationalism, or tribalism, or … why those areas in particular? why not all over the country?

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Soviet incarnation of evil - StalinBPSDBOthers are comparing this story to the famous Tennessee Scopes trial on the teaching of evolution. There are very good reasons to suggest that it has far more in common with the Soviet show trials of dissident scientists.

The bare bones of the story is that the U.S Chamber of Commerce (hereafter CoC) would like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (hereafter EPA) to hold public hearings on climate science.

Incredibly, the CoC wants “‘Scopes’-like hearing on the evidence that climate change is man-made.” For those who are not familiar with it, the “Scopes” reference is to the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” where school teacher John Scopes was put on trial in Tennessee for illegally teaching Evolution science .

The EPA is dismissive of the petition, particularly as the basis for it are the usual collection of climate change Denier idiocies such as “climate change has stopped.” For more on those details and further analysis see here and the links at bottom. (more…)

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SkepticsBPSDBTo some that might seem to be self-loathing, but contrary to the climate change Denier claims, the fact is that real skeptics are not climate change deniers, and vice versa.

In this post I hope to convince you of that, then discuss the perspective real skeptics have on climate change science, and finally issue a question, with an edge of challenge, to the skeptic community.

Now generally climate realists make the ‘Deniers are not skeptics’ point by critically examining the Deniers and demonstrating that they are not actually skeptics based on what a real skeptic is. I propose to look at the skeptics and show that they are not climate Deniers (yeah, I’ve always been somewhat backwards ;) ).

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HMS Pinafore (10)

BPSDB The Plimer / Monbiot debate saga continues.  In brief, climate change Denier Ian Plimer challenged prominent (climate) journalist George Monbiot to a debate. Monbiot accepted but with the condition of the submission of written questions prior to the debate. Monbiot submitted a rational and reasonable set of questions directly related to Plimer’s book. Plimer responded with juvenile and irrelevant bafflegab.

What does the Plimer Monbiot debate tell us about how we approach educating the public about climate change / global warming? Is there anything more of interest to learn from the Plimer farce? can his recent infamy inform our efforts to better educate the public? are there any take away lessons?

Drops the wind and stops the mill

As reported earlier Deep Climate submitted a complaint to the Australian Broadcasting Company about giving Plimer a soapbox when they know full well he is distorting and misrepresenting the facts. Predictably the outcome is not satisfactory.

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BPSDBGrab the popcorn, it’s another videos blog

Denial was a River in Africa

I am so glad to see that Sinclair’s Climate Denial Crock of the Week series has taken on the climate change Denier attempt to co-opt the poor and marginalized, particularly from the Developing World. I have blogged on this before and most certainly will again as it has to be the most callous of all of the self-serving Denier lies they use to justify their dishonesty.

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Glamour is not for me...

BPSDBExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer,” said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Director of Strategy & Policy. “A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years.”

Scientists’ Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science

Quiz: which of these two is actual tobacco industry denial, and which is climate change denial with “tobacco” and related terms substituted:

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daigaku oryoki

BPSDB

When I was first exposed to real Zen practice I was initially struck, and eventually awed at the deep ecological wisdom that is central to life within a Zen monastic community. Not merely taught, but lived.

The supposedly simple act of taking a meal is done in a way that grounds the practitioner in awareness of ecological fundamentals three times a day, every day. I’d like to walk through parts of the Zen practice of oryoki to review those ecological lessons.

The meal begins with a chant done as group in the meal hall, or during monthly sessions of intensive practice, in the Zen hall. The first three lines of one version of the chant is as follows:

First, seventy-two labours brought us this food;

These meal chants are ancient. They date from a time when monasteries grew most of their own food, or at most got it directly from the person who grew it. The “seventy-two labours” did not refer to the clerks and truckers that are now part of our food chain. They referred to the sun, the rain, the insect pollinators, the earthworms, the entire web of living and non-living elements that make up the biosphere.

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