Monthly Archives: March 2007

Climate change — too important for conventional politics

What do you think? Kevin Rudd rightly says of today’s National Climate Change Summit organised by the Labor Party:

Climate change does not simply threaten the Australian environment – it also threatens Australian jobs and Australia’s long term economic prosperity. Invitations have been extended to the Prime Minister and his Ministers, and State Premiers and Chief Ministers.

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges that Australia and the world will face in the 21st Century. To face this challenge we must come together as a country, a region and a planet to take real practical action on climate change.

Participants include:
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Posted by on March 31, 2007 in Aussie interest, climate change, Current affairs, Jim Belshaw, Kevin Rudd, News and Current Affairs, Politics


Great pic from The Poet in Victoria

triathletes come ashore

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Posted by on March 30, 2007 in Aussie interest, Personal


On a more personal note

Yesterday morning I spent time with Lord Malcolm, going with him to physiotherapy at the hospice and witnessing how he has virtually no muscles on his legs, and seeing both the determination and the pain as he did some gentle exercises. We then had coffee in the hospice coffee shop, wheeled out to look at Green Park for a while, and then back so he could be sent for another x-ray — some problem with the feeding tube.
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Posted by on March 30, 2007 in Aussie interest, gay life/issues, Marcel, Personal


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Climate change and our “practical” government

The past 24 hours and more have seen whole forests felled in the production of stories about climate change, with much on the electronic media as well. Perhaps the most sensible person I saw/heard was Dr Tony Haymet, former Chief of Marine and Atmospheric Science at CSIRO, now director of the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor of Marine Sciences at the University of California on last night’s 7.30 Report:

KERRY O’BRIEN: As a close observer of how the science and the politics are finally coming together on climate change, how optimistic are you that the politicians now, that governments, are going to come up with a satisfactory end game?

TONY HAYMET: I’m very optimistic at the moment. I’m very encouraged by what’s happened in the last 18 months in Australia, in the United States, particularly in Europe. Recently we’ve been trying to think through, what is the climate end game? I think most observers would say it’s got to be the biggest emitter, the United States, and the fastest-growing emitter, China, coming together and making a compact that they can feel both comfortable with. I think we feel that if that happened then Europe and India would easily be accommodated into that framework. I think that then invites the question, what’s Australia’s role? We’re two per cent of the problem, we’re two per cent of the innovation system. I think there’s a chance that Australia could be the honest broker in that dialogue. I think both the US and China have great respect for Australia’s leaders and I hope that we can play a positive role there.
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Posted by on March 30, 2007 in Aussie interest, Current affairs, Kevin Rudd, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Pontification and raving



Religion: Who Needs It? — The Heathlander

Good heavens: this is the second reference to Jamie Stern-Weiner’s blog in two days! He has written there an entertaining account of a debate at Westminster on “‘We’d be better off without religion.” Jamie agrees we would be, and admired participants in the debate such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and A.C. Grayling rather than their opposition, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Prof. Nigel Spivey and the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton. I am not a Scruton fan either.

It is all very hypothetical though. Religion isn’t about to go away, not in my lifetime or probably in yours. Me, I am a believer in God who does not believe in magic books. So I agree entirely about the dubious morality of much of the Bible, but not of all of the Bible, and ditto for the Quran, though here is an interesting conundrum for the world as Muslims tend to be wedded to the magic book principle even more than Christians or Jews. Rather than go into all that here, I refer you to entries on my archive page under the tag “Bible”.
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Hicks pleads guilty — and another matter

tele0328.jpgThe Daily Telegraph here in Sydney has no doubts as you will see on the right and in its editorial today:

IMMEDIATELY after the news broke yesterday that Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks had pleaded guilty to the charge of providing material support to terrorism, his deluded supporters sprang into action.

Just because Hicks had pleaded guilty did not mean he was guilty – far from it.

He’d pleaded to the charge, they insisted, because he’d been forced to do so by his captors.

After five years in captivity, the Hicks cheer squad insisted, he would have been prepared to plead guilty to anything, just to be free of the endless torment to which he has been subjected.

All that time in close confinement could do strange things to a man.

And no less an authority than Hicks’ Camp X-Ray buddy Mamdouh Habib was called on to give corroborative verity to that version of events. And Habib, of course, was not loathe to assist. Hicks would have been forced to plead guilty, Habib insisted, to be allowed access to legal counsel. He – Habib – knew how the system worked. Hicks would have had no choice…

Many will share the views expressed there, or those views will become their views…
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Lord Malcolm and the bureaucrats 3

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Posted by on March 27, 2007 in Aussie interest, gay life/issues, Marcel, Personal