No sign of a revival yet. As federal Parliament dawdles towards its close there is still no sign yet of a Labor revival.
And no sign yet of a change in campaign strategy by the Prime Minister. It is still largely education, education and more education with its regular dose of children as the backdrop for the photo opportunities.
Move the ABC to Newcastle? An interesting read at the weekend in London’s Financial Times — “Northern exposure: the BBC in Salford. “The BBC’s move to Salford has benefited both as they advance into a post-internet age”. Makes you think about our Sydney-centric broadcaster, doesn’t it?
The rooster who believes the sun rises because he crows. That classic fable of the rooster well illustrates that because two things may happen at the same time does not mean one causes the other. A failure to make the leap from correlation to causation by establishing a “physical mechanism” by which the two events are connected is, an article on Climate Progress points out, “one of the most basic and most common scientific failings”. And it is just such a failure that is behind the critical reaction from climate scientists to a new paper by Qing-Bin Lu in the International Journal of Modern Physics B that was given a very prominent and uncritical coverage in The Australian this morning.
Lu’s claims are not new — he has been promoting for several years his theories that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), not CO2, is causing global warming without finding much support for them. Climate Progress gives this summary:
“The claim: Lu argues that CFCs are responsible for causing global warming. He uses a complicated chain of logic starting with the premise that it is cosmic rays, not UV rays as most scientists think, that break down CFCs, and ending with the finding that after his calculations, the estimated warming impact of CFCs matches up closely with actual measured surface temperatures. He concludes that it must be CFCs, not CO2, that are causing surface temperatures to rise.
“The facts: This theory has been considered and dismissed before. A 2010 report by the National Academies of Science was commissioned by Congress to examine all the evidence surrounding global warming including the theory that cosmic rays might influence Earth’s climate. It concluded that “a plausible physical mechanism … has not been demonstrated” and “cosmic rays are not regarded as an important climate forcing.” In 2011, a peer-reviewed paper found that Lu’s conclusions “are based solely on correlation … do not have a physical basis… and the findings of the IPCC … remain unchallenged.”
His ship has sailed. The outgoing Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King said goodbye to the British public with music at the weekend as he appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
You just have to like a public figure who vowed there would be no memoirs to come. “I don’t want to join the chorus of people who write books with the subtitle: Why I was right and everyone else was wrong,” he told his listeners before ending his musical selection with the beautifully appropriate My Ship from Lady in the Dark, performed by Anne-Sofie von Otter.
News and views noted along the way.
- Will the Twitter Police make Twitter boring?
- Lord suggests best way to ‘bribe’ colleagues — “The latest cash-for-questions scandal began in the House of Commons — and then spread to the House of Lords as an Ulster Unionist peer became embroiled in the lobbying row.”
- Presidency beckons for Jakarta’s rags-to-riches governor — “Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, the governor of Jakarta, might well be the future of Indonesian democracy.”
- Haters gonna hate, as shown on a map — Geotagged hateful tweets in the United Sates.
- If a medical cure looks too good to be true, it probably is — “For all the advances in medicine, effective cures are rare, yet we are bombarded with sensational claims based on little evidence.”
- Who needs reporters? — “With our cynicism, superficiality, susceptibility to carnival barkers and tendency to see all politics in terms of the contest rather than the content, we’ve earned a level of public esteem not much higher than the one that members of Congress bask in. The repugnant hounding the reviled: that’s the Beltway media situation in a rancid nutshell.”