Hmmm I think this story is more media driven than anything else.

But I think it's pretty obvious that you're more likely to get a grant if you do research suggesting global warming especially if it's allegedly caused by man than you would for research that indicates the opposite.


On 28 Nov 2009, at 21:53, russell_c wrote:

And just when you thought is was safe to believe the simple story: 

"Hacked climate change email furor" -- Hacked climate change emails - a tempest in a teapot or a real storm? Paul Jay talks to Michael Brklacic, November 28, 2009.

Again, at the end, "... don't latch on to one or two pieces of [$2.50] evidence ...", hmmmm?


On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 10:30 PM, Doug McDavid <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
This thread alone is worth the price of admission!  Great stuff!

On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 4:28 AM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Ha ha, love the "marginal seat theory!" Where on earth did we get the idea
> that we humans are rational beings!
> Yeh, we're extremely rational in the context of greed and power and the
> notion of power extends to the "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude. That
> is why your carefully balanced approach is the way to go.
> Regards
> Frank
> On 28 Nov 2009, at 12:12, russell_c wrote:
> Thanks Frank,
> ... and yes, there is that zeal is creeping in, and unfortunately, many
> opportunists can smell a "win" ... and that will surely attract the "lovers
> of winning" ... and so, off we go on another round of tail chasing. It's not
> that they are completely wrong, just not completely right, and the
> simplicity of over self confidence is always a concern. One step closer to
> blind fundamentalism?
> Oh, and thanks for the agricultural angle. Guess what: not only is Australia
> not responsible for the coal based greenhouse gasses that China produces
> from burning the stuff we export to them; but also the farming lobby here
> has successfully managed to get exclusions from the emissions trading system
> being proposed! It is called "marginal seat theory" I think! (see:
>,23739,26350929-953,00.html )
> Now we know there are a lot of sheep (and cattle) down here, and some even
> have learned to walk on two legs, and vote, but this type of partial
> partisan response will just distort the whole by over weighting the load on
> those other parts that cannot afford the right lobbyists.
> You have nailed it here imo -- "... develop sustainable societies that
> effectively respond". Unfortunately, while economics theory and praxis
> cannot operate outside/beyond the "Growth" paradigm, we will just have to
> communicate in that weird language that growing small is not shrinking!
> Pulling out is not surrendering, stopping is not failing, etc...
> Mind numbing! So, surely, one of the functions of groups like this is
> ensuring that we can see more clearly through what is happening and
> communicate with others as Margaret Mead implied:
> I specifically want to consider the significance of the set of
> cross-disciplinary ideas which we first called 'feed-back' and then called
> 'teleological mechanisms' and then called 'cybernetics' -- a form of
> cross-disciplinary thought which made it possible for members of many
> disciplines to communicate with each other easily in a language which all
> could understand. (cited in
> )
> Unfortunately reasonable climate science speculation (e.g. Lovelock et al)
> is being used for partisan corporate politics and unsustainable policy
> implementation! BAU I'm afraid.
> Cheers
> Russell
> p.s.  Oh, BTW, the other $2.50 cause is the 80% of CO2 human activity
> systems living on less than $2.50 per day! And as mobile phone penetration
> heads into the exponential in developing economies (e.g. see various World
> Bank reports) we will see more awareness of the differentials between rich
> and poor ... and we may start to hear echos of those famous 17th C French
> words "Let them eat cake!".
> On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 7:19 PM, Frank Wood <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Great piece of writing Russell. The biting irony is that it is the
>> environmentalists that are the reductionists with their $2.50 relay
>> attitude.
>> There are so many vested interests on both sides of the debate that any
>> genuine enquiry into what should be done gets lost.
>> To add to the complexity, I saw part of a TV programme a few days ago (it
>> was to do with Obama's carbon reduction campaign) which said that most of
>> the "greenhouse gas" was caused by food production.
>> Here is an article that lends support to this assertion.
>> Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report
>> warns
>> and another article on the proposed remedy.
>> 'Burpless' Grass Cuts Methane Gas From Cattle, May Help Reduce Global
>> Warming
>> but here again dear old complexity rears its head again. And of course
>> there is the issue of gene modification. Oh dear.
>> We expect in our campaign to cut down CO2, that third world countries to
>> cut down or cease logging. Of course these countries see through our
>> hypocrisy. Consider that the UK used to be almost covered in forests and
>> now....
>> I still think that we must develop sustainable societies that effectively
>> respond to climate change (whether it be warming or cooling) and worry less
>> about Gaia as that old girl is going to do her own sweet thing anyway.
>> Frank
>> On 28 Nov 2009, at 00:55, russell_c wrote:
>> Hi Nick,
>> Re: $2.50 causes
>> Yes, I still don't know whether I fully 'get it' in respect to this
>> example either. I came to a similar conclusion as yourself about the
>> multiple causes -- with one additional aspect: it was also a comment about
>> reductionist ways of thinking in respect to complex problems.
>> I think the author was pointing to the phenomena of a whole organisational
>> system straining to get the simple answer as a cause. It (ie those in it)
>> fears the looming circularity of deep systemic investigation.
>> The $2.50 climate change cause 'issue' is said to be CO2, or 'carbon',
>> reflecting the escaping output sun rays/energy and thus bouncing them back
>> to earth.
>> And of course, as in all these things, the underlying assumptions are not
>> often questioned. We assume that this heating phenomena is not the Gaia
>> system (of which we, by definition, must be a significant thinking part)
>> working in its own time scale to extend our happy modern existence between
>> the next pending 10,000 year interglacial cold cycle.
>> One can take that 1974 Time article and replace a few key words and we
>> have the same media-message being run today -- the sky will fall, the crops
>> won't grow, the hens won't lay ... touching almost every deeply held often
>> neurotic fear we have as a society, culture and empire. So how do we know
>> the truth? We cannot, and so acting on the precautionary principle is the
>> best defense. But again, what to do, or not do?
>> What I'm really pointing to is the same phenomena that says bin Laden
>> caused the Twin Towers attack and not the red flag of US foreign policy etc.
>> It is the cultural/systemic blindness to the bigger systemic picture.(*) I
>> saw it as a comment on the way 'the system' works -- i.e. who are the 'they'
>> that will find the cause? IMO, they are the believers in their own
>> confidences -- whatever side they take in a situation of concern. As Frank
>> said: we need more humility by scientists.
>> But the rush is on. And so now it is not science and its quest for truth
>> and answers: it is politics and its power games. But what else can be done?
>> Adaptation is the secondary theme in the climate change debate but it is not
>> much focused on by the media. Why? Because it means operating system change
>> (to use the computing analogy), not just program change. And can we trust
>> systems programmers? Who are they working for? I think the elites are not
>> yet certain of where they can stand safely in the wash up, and so things are
>> more complex than they need to be.
>> Instead of CO2, why don't we start with population, blame the medical
>> sciences for stopping malaria, polio, plague, etc without also implementing
>> birth control and sustainable socio-economic reform? What about the other
>> 'club of rome' that will not support birth control etc? We will willingly
>> look at plant food (CO2) as the enemy, but not the local doctor who is
>> working beyond his/her wellbeing limits, usually on a healthy state subsidy,
>> to save CO2 producing humans (you & I) who should perhaps cease this
>> function permanently. Where do we stop? A $2.50 cause is all we need to stop
>> the process of systemic change occurring naturally.
>> One opportunity all this offers is a wide window on science studies.
>> Russell
>> (*) BTW, on my way out the door yesterday (c.o.b. Friday) a young lady
>> came running past straight from a 1-day management guru seminar by some
>> professor x, and showed me a slide that said tomorrows leaders will need,
>> guess what, yes, "systems thinking". Oh, dear, here we go again! I responded
>> that it will drive them mad if they try, and that imo leadership is so
>> 'yesterday', as is management -- and that we are entering a heroic stage.
>> G-d help us!
>> On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 11:39 PM, Nick Green <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>> Thanks Russell.
>>> Re your previous on the $2.50 relay.
>>> Both Stafford and Gordon emphasised multiple causes. So why did the relay
>>> fail etc.  I have to say I didn't really "get it" at first because like any
>>> other operational Joe I would go to stores and replace the relay job done.
>>> But Pask and Beer wanted to look at how the relay was designed, managed etc
>>> I eventually concluded. One can be very thick sometimes.  Pask preferred
>>> "produces" rather than "causes". It's that circular causality problem again,
>>> Does the spark cause the explosion or the presence of petrol vapour. We know
>>> the product of spark, petrol vapour and oxygen is an explosion but there is
>>> no single cause. Connect a bulb to a battery. Go away. Come back, The bulb
>>> is out. Why? There's no way of telling until each component is tested in
>>> another trusted circular system: the bulb, the 4 connections, the 2 leads,
>>> the battery. All this means something for Climate change etc- not sure quite
>>> what-yet.
>>> From: russell_c
>>> Sent: Friday, November 27, 2009 10:25 AM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: The Next 100 Years (CSIRAC)
>>> If anyone is interested in this CSIRO 'report card' released today (27th)
>>> then see:
>>> and
>>> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 8:00 PM, russell_c <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> Nick
>>>> I'm not sure this is on topic, but this CSIRAC story (below) came
>>>> through today and caused me to reflect on a comment (by Staford I think?)
>>>> that "they will find the cause" to a major US power outage (a $2.50 relay?).
>>>> Why are we blaming climate change causes on CO2 when the energy
>>>> increases have a lot to do with the complexities related to power station
>>>> upgrades needed for PC proliferation, building air-conditioning capacity
>>>> increases, flat plasma screens and additional housing demand due to family
>>>> break down etc.
>>>> In respect to heat and power production -- are there any estimates of
>>>> the energy generation involved in the growth of ICT and Internet over the 60
>>>> years from when this machine came to be? (there is a picture with the story)
>>>> Is this technology phenomena equally the cause of climate change and can
>>>> it be somehow statistically correlated to CO2 increases?
>>>> Russell
>>>> Australia's first 'iPod' marks 60th birthday
>>>> "The CSIRAC - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
>>>> organisation Automatic Computer - is housed in the state's museum and has
>>>> today been granted heritage listing as part of its birthday celebrations.
>>>> It is the first computer ever to be made in Australia; the fourth
>>>> computer ever to be made in the world; and the only first generation
>>>> computer that remains intact. . . ."
>>>> [snip]
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Doug McDavid
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