Archive for March, 2013

Earth Hour vanity teaches all the wrong lessons

March 24, 2013

An exercise in futility and vanity

Earth Hour, in spite of government sponsored encouragement, seems to have been a failure.

The head of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Victoria, no less, circulated an edict to all schools to participate in Earth Hour.

We have bureaucracies happily supporting an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund to symbolise “the collective power of individuals, businesses and governments to reduce our impact on the planet”, yet they refuse to learn the real lessons from this latest exercise in vanity and moral preening.

The results in Victoria and NSW are in. It appears, predictably, that even with those few who did turn off their lights, there has been no saving of electricity in Victoria.

I wonder how many students were directed to the excellent article by Bjorn Lomborg about the futility of Earth Hour. He explains that not only does Earth Hour teach the wrong lessons, it actually increases CO2 emmissions, as the Australian experience confirms.

Just for starters;

the cozy candles that many participants will light, which seem so natural and environmentally friendly, are still fossil fuels—and almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs.

Lomborg points out the obvious; that we have all been urged to turn off our lights, whilst the important, inconvenient things like the frig, air con, heating or computers are not mentioned. In the meantime, over 1.3 billion humans experience darkness and poverty every night.



ABC balance on Insiders — Shock, horror !!

March 23, 2013

Hard to believe, but an interesting change …

What a surprise this morning. On Insiders we had both Gerard Henderson and Niki Savva along with Laura Tingle and Barry Cassidy.

Could it possibly be that Barry has heard the suggestion going around that the only way to restore balance on the ABC is to have one conservative for every pro ALP commentator, each and every time. Nah! He wouldn’t understand.

Or is it maybe a ruse he has devised to lure back viewers who have abandoned him for the Bolt Report. Nup! He probably doesn’t care.

Or perhaps he realises that Gillard and her party are so on the nose that he should start adjusting to a post election reality and, like Caucus, is worrying about his job. Nah !  He probably feels the election is still too far away to worry about.

In any case, he clearly believes that, if he keeps rooting for the Red Head the way he has been doing with his comrades on Insiders for the past three years, she must surely win anyway.

Let’s see what he does next week. I for one won’t be holding my breath.

Media bias and the ALP

March 20, 2013

Without the Murdoch press, Australia would enter the world of Chavez

For those of you who may have missed it, I wrote a piece just before Christmas on bias in the ABC for The Australian and setting out how this bias is dangerous for an informed democracy.

We know that Conroy’s desire to control the press is simply to suppress critics of the ALP, but the real danger of bias in many ways is that it is almost invisible.

It also would explain why so many educated, generally mildly apolitical, well thinking middle class people with a regular diet of the ABC and Fairfax, simply are not aware that, for instance, the world has stopped warming for the past 16 years, that hurricanes and extreme weather events have declined and are not related to global warming, that Doha was a dismal failure, that the NBN has never had a cost benefit analysis, that Green jobs cost money … and jobs, that growing the economic pie is not the same as redistributing tax revenue.

When counting both the national broadcaster and the Fairfax press, it leads many people to simply sigh and thank God for The Australian, without which we would already be entering a Chavez style nightmare with virtually no holding of the present government to account. As Brendan O’Neill has pointed out:

What they don’t get is that attacks on press freedom are not only, or even primarily, attacks on those who write and publish. They’re attacks on those who read – on the public, the masses, consumers of the written word.