Sounds good: Worse targets than Kyoto

Submitted by naught101 on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 15:31

Of the three announced national carbon targets I've heard of lately, two are arithmetically worse than Kyoto targets, and one is technically worse. The latter is Australia's target, already discussed here.

The others are the recent US announcement, and the recent China announcement.

The US announcement was for a 17% cut, which sounds a bit better than the Kyoto US commitment (or non-commitment, as it turned out) of 7%. But it's not really better, because it's on 2005 levels, where as Kyoto was based on 1990.

Population and climate

Submitted by naught101 on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 14:40

This is in response to a discussion about population control and climate change on an e-list I'm on. In particular, it's in response to a line by a mate, Jono:

it's not the number of people that is important, but rather the power of the argument. Population control arguments need to be challenged wherever they occur, because they turn the climate movement into a war against human rights rather than for human rights.

Population control doesn't have to infringe human rights.

Discussion about the semantic web

Submitted by naught101 on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 20:49

The following is a discussion from #swig on - the Semantic Web Interest Group. It's logged here if you don't believe me: Edited slightly for clarity.

I think the semantic web is an extremely useful tool, but as I mention down the bottom, I probably would have agreed with Francis Bacon that cutting up animals in the name of science was a good thing at the time.

Dear Mr. Quinn

Submitted by naught101 on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 21:35


You argue that the major defining factor of population size is food limits. Australia (to give an example), currently has a birthrate less than 2 births per woman. We have an overall annual immigration, so our population is growing, but if we had no immigration, our population would be decreasing. Australia is a fairly affluent country: plenty of food, people are educated, well supported with social services, and generally feel secure. They don't need the added security of a large family (I don't claim that this is causal, but believe it may have some impact).

Greens pro-cops, anti-Green

Submitted by naught101 on Thu, 07/19/2007 - 22:55

We didn't hear much about it on the east coast, but the Greens just became the New Labour. No, they haven't sold out on Uranium yet, but they're on their way! One of WA Senator Rachel Siewert's staffer's went to a protest at Julie Bishop (Lib/Nat Minister for Science), and the protest got violent. That is, the cops whacked people with battons, and pepper sprayed them, and a protester threw a rock.

We need value changes, not technofixes: the Aswan Dam as a metaphor for climate change.

Submitted by naught101 on Thu, 03/15/2007 - 16:28

I had a very interesting lecture today, on thermodynamics, ecosystems, and human values relating to technology (lecture 4, Technology and Human Values, PHIL3910 at the University of Newcastle. I recommend it). It didn't give me a lot of information that I hadn't heard before, but Yin Gao's presentation definitely cemented a lot of that information in place for me.

One thing that did strike me, was Yin's case study: the Aswan Dam. I've heard of it before of course, but never paid a lot of attention. Almost as soon as she mentioned it, I saw the link with climate change. As she went on, the similarities blew me away. let me explain:

Rising sea levels: Brought to you by mining

Submitted by naught101 on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 09:55

it's true, this website told me so:

not that I didn't take part in making that website. but that's not the best bit. The best bit is that this website is actually a parody of a site set up by the NSW Minerals Council, as part of their "Life: brought to you by mining" re-education campaign (

an economic policy

Submitted by naught101 on Tue, 02/06/2007 - 20:09

I think I've finally realised a complete ethical foundation on which I can base all my economic decisions. It's been a while in the making, and although I like it in its current state, it's possible it will change in the future. we'll see.

basically, it consists of two rules (guideline), in order of importance:

1. Do not Waste.

2. Do not Steal.

considering that they are in order of importance, what the second rule really means is "do not Steal unless not to do so would cause Waste".

I think that covers everything. the rational is below.