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Picking on Bernardi unbecoming (or perhaps he’s an arsehat)

Crikey readers talk the pros and cons of picking on Cory Bernardi and an exciting Tasmanian data project that has great potential.

Stop picking on Cory, or Cory is an arsehat

Steven Haby writes: Re: “Crikey says: new resolutions for a new year” (yesterday). In view of your editorial on New Year’s resolutions for 2014 can we nominate Cory Bernardi for a special Arsehat of the Year already? Perhaps the Crikey bunker might want to consider having an Arsehat of the Month or an award named in honour of the Senator’s illuminating and “inspiring” maxims — perhaps the “Bernadis” in honour of those who utter the most inane, stupid, inconsequential (and other relevant adjectives) drivel.

Tamas Calderwood writes: A couple of Crikey’s new year’s resolutions concern me.  First, calling Senator Cory Bernardi a “vile, desperately inconsequential twerp” is unbecoming for a mainstream publication. Disagree with him or ignore him all you like, but keep it civil, please.

Second, resolving to “reference people who know what they talk about … scientists, economists, etc” sounds like a lame deference to “experts”. Experts often disagree and besides, credentials shouldn’t be mistaken for a clear argument. Everyone has a contribution to make, and their opinions should be considered — the wider the debate, the better. Other than that — happy New Year!

Tassie data project still worthwhile 

Lachlan Barnes writes: Re. “The so-called world food shortage” (yesterday). Just to make John Richardson despair some more, I was interested, maybe even excited, by the Tassie data project.

I am sorry I did not see it as being born out of “profound ignorance”. I was smart enough to work out the “Saving the world headline” might have over cooked it a bit, but I thought absolute truth in headlines would not get many eye balls on articles, e.g. “World Bank invests in micro climate data collection project”.

I couldn’t see how the technology was going to hasten the destruction of productive areas. In fact, I thought the information the technology would provide  might allow producers to avoid unwittingly mining their properties’ potential by over-production or conversely impacting the environment (and bank balance) through over application of inputs. I also didn’t see a situation where developing this technology would add to current system costs — I though it would either pay for itself or wouldn’t be adopted.

I must have missed the claim in the original article where it said we currently have a global food deficiency. I thought the problem being explored was the pressures of climate change, arable land going out of production and population growth combining to cause food shortage problems in the future. Even if that were not the case I thought exploring more efficient ways to do business was rarely a bad investment.

I thought we could supply food to any point on the globe now, but the problem was finding the right motivational drivers to make it happen. I thought it was producers making more money growing fodder for animals and the poor not being able to afford to compete in the marketplace for what we are willing pay to waste that meant food sources did not end up where they were needed.

I thought the project might not save the world, but it was a positive project; however, apparently improving supply chains is the only valid world-saving idea.

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  • 1
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Tuesday, 7 January 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought that a person who publicly states that it is unacceptable for women to use abortion as a form of contraception would at the very least outline what form of contraception they personally use.
    And if they are sexually active and don’t personally use any contraceptives - preferring for example that their wives/girlfriends take care of that stuff - then their observations about the choices of others are pretty worthless.

  • 2
    Posted Tuesday, 7 January 2014 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Bernardi’s views are uncivil, thus an uncivil response is appropriate in describing them.

    As for experts - although it is often true that gathering ten experts nets you 11 opinions, it’s important to consider the balance. If nine experts say one thing and one expert dissents, it would be misleading and unrepresentative to report their positions equally.

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