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Warming and the Search for Climate Justice for the Poor

A slight temperature rise is THE big problem for the poor?  It might hurt the Filipino farmer below somewhat, who looks like he is harvesting sugar-cane, but how come he is not sitting in the air-conditioned cabin of a big mechanical harvester?  THAT is the real issue.



There are many things the poor need before they need to worry about the climate.  Such as cheap electricity, cheap petroleum products and a government that is repealing laws and regulations rather than adding to them.  That canecutter could be sitting in an airconditioned cabin and harvesting 100 times more cane than he is now if only his government had long ago decided to sit on its hands.  China did it with resounding success so the way ahead for the poor of the 3rd world is clear.  And it has nothing to do with climate


A far-reaching report being drafted by the United Nations' authoritative climate science panel explores in comprehensive detail the environmental justice, poverty and other human rights challenges facing the world as it pursues the urgent and daunting goals of the Paris Agreement.

"In a 1.5 degree Celsius warmer world"—a world we're likely to see by mid-century without a global transformation in the next decade, the latest version of the draft report says—"those most at risk will be individuals and communities experiencing multidimensional poverty, persistent vulnerabilities and various forms of deprivation and disadvantage."

To help protect them, it calls for policies "guided by concerns for equity and fairness and enhanced support for eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities."

In scope, scale and detail—but also in its careful attention to questions of ethics and justice—this report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a landmark work in progress.

The emerging report is more than 800 pages long, heavily footnoted and packed with graphics and sidebars. It lays out as never before "an assessment of current knowledge of the extent and interlinkages of the global environmental, economic, financial, social and technical conditions that a 1.5 degree Celsius warmer world represents." It takes on "complex ethics questions" that demand "interdisciplinary research and reflection."

How, it asks, will a 1.5 degree warmer world impact the human rights of the dispossessed, "including their rights to water, shelter, food, health and life? How will it affect the rights of the urban and rural poor, indigenous communities, women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities?"

The draft report gauges how the half-degree gap from 1.5 to 2 degrees of warming "amounts to a greater likelihood of drought, flooding, resource depletion, conflict and forced migration."

It notes that even if all the nations achieve their Paris pledges, the result will be worldwide emissions in 2030 that already lock in 1.5 degrees of warming by the end of this century. The temperature barrier would likely be broken by mid-century, as Reuters noted in first reporting on the draft study. Even the 2 degree target eventually would fall unless emissions are brought to zero, the IPCC and other agencies have repeatedly warned.

Either way, the outlook is dire, especially for the poor.

"The risks to human societies through impacts on health, livelihood, food and water security, human security and infrastructure are higher with 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming compared to today, and higher still with 2 degrees Celsius global warming compared with 1.5 degrees," the draft concludes.

"These risks are greatest for people facing multiple forms of poverty, inequality and marginalization; people in coastal communities and those dependent on agriculture; poor urban residents; and communities displaced from their homes."

Suitable pathways forward, the report said, must square the circle of energy use and sustainable development—not an easy task, but one that would pay off with a cleaner environment, better health, prospering ecosystems and other benefits. There would be risks for poverty, hunger and access to energy; those must be "alleviated by redistributive measures."
How to Move Forward?

The focus on justice and fairness is enlisted to press for substantial transformations of the energy landscape as emissions from fossil fuels are eliminated and changes in land management, among other steps, are pressed hard.

On the one hand, these remedies "are put at risk by high population growth, low economic development, and limited efforts to reduce energy demand," the report says. On the other hand, the solutions cannot be allowed to burden the poor.

SOURCE


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Cold Facts on the Globe’s Hottest Years

Annenberg fact checking is often recognizably biased so the presentation below has to be taken with a  grain of salt.  So let me supply some salt

But first let me congratulate author Vanessa Schipani on a scholarly piece of work.  It's nice to have a detailed discussion of the numbers for a change.  And she does concede in the end  that the "hottest year" talk so beloved of Warmists is pretty meaningless, which is pleasing.

So she says that it is the long-term trend whch we have to focus on.  So far, so good.

But a trend by itself tells you very little. The interesting question is what causes the trend.  On (rubbery) NOAA figures there has been a slight trend over the last 150 years but are the details of that trend favourable to the global warming theory?  They are not.  So we have to move on to matters that Vanessa does not consider. In particular, was the trend in temperature matched by a trend in CO2 levels?  That the two trends do coincide is the essence of the global warming theory.

To examine the question, we have to ask what are our start and finish points of any trend we want to examine.  It is an old truth of chartmanship that you can prove almost anything by a judicious selection of start and finish points.  Every such decision will have a degree of arbitrariness but some are less arbitrary than othrers.

During my research career I did a lot of factor analysis, generally principal components analysis. I even remember centroid analysis! And you can generally get quite a few factors out of  a modern analysis.  But how do you decide which factors are likely to be important?  A very common procedure is to look for the "natural break" in an ordered series of eigenvalues -- sometimes called a "scree test".  And looking at any series of numbers can involve a decision of that nature.

So, in the case of the terrestrial temperature series we can see on a number of occasions such "natural breaks".  One of them is, quite simply, the 21st century.  The 21st century temperatures bob up and down but display no overall trend.  There is NO global warming in the 21st century so the trend up to that time appears to have run its course.  It is certainly true that El Nino pushed up temperatures in 2015 and 2016 but El Nino is not a product of anthropogenic global warming and its influence has by now just about petered out, leaving the 2017 temperature very close to the pre El Nino average, which gives us temperature stasis back.

And note that CO2 levels did NOT rise during the El Nino warming event.  I monitored the CO2 figures from both Cape Grim and Mauna Loa right from the onset of the warming -- beginning roughly in August 2015.  And I noted that the 400ppm peak had been reached BEFORE that warming event and then plateaued during the warming event.  There was no rise in CO2 levels accompanying the rise in temperature.  So the temperature rise COULD NOT have been caused by a CO2 rise -- because there was no CO2 rise. And it's now in the journals that CO2 levels plateaued in 2015 and 2016.

So El Nino did not merely contribute "part" of the 2015/2016 warming event, it contributed the WHOLE of it.  So if we remove the influence of El Nino, we can see that there has been NO anthropogenic global warming for the whole of this century.  The levels of CO2 have influenced nothing.  Warmist theory is wrong


Sen. James Inhofe misleadingly claimed that the statistics behind the globe’s likely hottest years on record — 2014, 2015 and 2016 — were “meaningless” because the temperature increases were “well within the margin of error.” Taking into account the margins of error, there’s still a long-term warming trend.

Inhofe, a longtime skeptic of human-caused climate change, made his claim Jan. 3 on the Senate floor.

Inhofe, Jan. 3: The Obama administration touted 2014, 2015, and 2016 as the hottest years on record. But the increases are well within the margin of error. In 2016, NOAA said the Earth warmed by 0.04 degrees Celsius, and the British Government pegged it at 0.01 Celsius. However, the margin of error is 0.1 degree, not 0.01. So it is all statistically meaningless and below the doom-and-gloom temperature predictions from all the various models from consensus scientists.

Since Inhofe cites data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British government, we’ll concentrate on their analyses.

According to NOAA, 2016 was the warmest year on record for the globe since record keeping began in 1880; 2015 ranked the second warmest year and 2014 the third warmest. There are uncertainties in those rankings, however.

As we explained in 2015 when then-President Obama proclaimed 2014 “the planet’s warmest year on record,” such a definitive claim is problematic. For instance, while NOAA found then that 2014 had the highest probability of being the warmest, there remained statistical odds that other years could have held that distinction. But as we explained, scientists are more concerned with long-term trends than any given year.

And 2017 is on track to be another warm year. On Dec. 18, NOAA said 2017 could end up being the third warmest on record, based on data for January to November. NOAA spokesman Brady Philips told us the agency will release information on the year as a whole on Jan. 18.

NOAA ranks years by looking at how much their average temperatures differ from the 20th century average — what scientists call a temperature anomaly.

Based on the agency’s analysis, the average temperature for 2016 was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 13.9 C (56.9 F). The margin of error for 2016 was plus-or-minus 0.15 C (0.27 F).

NOAA explains that a margin of error takes into account the “inherent level of uncertainty” that comes with “[e]valuating the temperature of the entire planet.”

The agency adds that the reported temperature anomaly — 0.94 C in the case of 2016 — “is not an exact measurement; instead it is the central — and most likely — value within a range of possible values.”

For example, that range, or margin of error, would be 0.79 C (1.42 F) to 1.09 C (1.96 F) for 2016. Scientists at NOAA are 95 percent certain the temperature anomaly for 2016, or for any given year, will fall within the margin of error.

As Inhofe notes, NOAA scientists found that the average temperature for 2015 was 0.04 C less than 2016’s at 0.90 C (1.62 F) above the 20th century norm. The margin of error for 2015 was plus-or-minus 0.08 C (0.14 F), which means the range for 2015 is between 0.82 C (1.48 F) and 0.98 C (1.76 F).

The difference between 2015 and 2014, however, was wider. The average temperature for 2014 was 0.74 C (1.33 F) above the 20th century mean, or 0.16 C (0.29 F) less than 2015. The range for 2014 is between 0.59 C (1.06 F) and 0.89 C (1.60 F).

So the margins of error for these three years do overlap. When we requested evidence from Inhofe’s office, spokeswoman Leacy Burke sent us links to articles that reiterate the senator’s claim that the temperature increase in 2016 was within a margin of error – meaning, again, that while 2016 is most likely the warmest on record, other years that fall within that margin, including 2015 and 2014, could be the warmest. Still that doesn’t mean the statistics are “meaningless.” Over the long haul, data show an increasing trend, as the chart below shows.

“Overall, the global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.07°C (0.13°F) per decade since 1880 and at an average rate of 0.17°C (0.31°F) per decade since 1970,” says NOAA.

Similar to NOAA, the U.K.’s Met Office, the country’s national weather service, reported that 2016 “was one of the warmest two years on record, nominally exceeding the record temperature of 2015.” The agency also found that 2014 likely ranked the third warmest year.

Both NOAA and the Met Office note that human-caused global warming isn’t the only force behind the record temperatures.

Peter Stott, then the acting director of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “A particularly strong El Niño event contributed about 0.2C to the annual average for 2016, which was about 1.1C above the long term average from 1850 to 1900.” El Niño is a naturally occurring interaction between the atmosphere and ocean that is linked to periodic warming.

Stott added, “However, the main contributor to warming over the last 150 years is human influence on climate from increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The Met Office’s numbers differ slightly from NOAA’s, in part, because the agency uses a different reference point.

NOAA ranks years based on how much their average temperatures differ from the 20th century norm. The Met Office uses the temperature average between 1850 and 1900 or between 1961 and 1990.

Using that latter reference point, the Met Office found 2016’s temperature anomaly to be 0.77 C, plus-or-minus 0.1 C, which was only 0.01 more than 2015’s temperature anomaly.

So Inhofe is right that the British government’s margins of error for 2016 and 2015 overlap.

But Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Met Office, explained in an email to us why it’s important to look at the long-term trend — not just the difference between two years, as Inhofe did.

Madge, Jan. 6: When looking at global temperature rise it helps to look at the way the stats and figures are framed. For example, 2016 was the warmest year since pre-industrial times. However, it was only marginally warmer than the previous year, which was also a record. When viewed as parallel years, however, they really stand out in the long-term record. … We try to focus on the long term when presenting information. You can make a desert seem like a lush wetland if you only show the oasis.

NOAA also explains the difference between looking at single years versus the long-term trend: “As more and more data builds a long-term series, there is less and less influence of single ‘outliers’ on the overall trend, making the long-term trend even more certain than the individual points along it.”

In other words, if scientists found that the globe had just one year with an exceptionally high temperature average, they may not be convinced that global warming is occurring. But if data show that the planet has experienced a number of record warm years in a row, it suggests the warming trend is real.

In fact, NOAA says there’s only a 0.0125 percent chance of seeing three outliers in a row — and the Earth has seen many more record warm years than three.

NOAA writes that 2016 “marks the fifth time in the 21st century a new record high annual temperature has been set (along with 2005, 2010, 2014, and 2015) and also marks the 40th consecutive year (since 1977) that the annual temperature has been above the 20th century average.”

So while Inhofe was right that the margins of error for temperature measurements in recent years overlap, that doesn’t negate a long-term warming trend or render the temperature anomalies “meaningless.”

SOURCE

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The Bottom of the Ocean Is Sinking

The work noted below got its results by comparing an approximation to an estimate so is doubly guesswork. And since the decline found consisted of only eight hundredths of one inch we must allow for it being no more than an error of measurement

So I don't think I really have to mention it but the article is a crock in other ways too.  Where are the "melting ice sheets and glaciers" that they refer to?  96% of the earth's glacial ice is in Antarctica and that is  GAINING mass overall, not melting.

And if the earth's oceans are "swelling", we should be seeing big sea level rises.  But in lots of places worldwide sea levels are FALLING (e.g. here). It is only very dubious "corrections" for isostatic movements in Northern Europe that turn the falls into apparent rises

And that the isostatic adjustments are a crock is shown by the fact that there are substantial sea level falls even in isostatically stable parts of the world

Below is the raw sea level record from Stockholm, Sweden, showing a steady fall.  No wonder they called on isostatic assumptions to "correct" it!



The ice age ended long ago.  Assuming isostatic rebound from it still in the 21st century is totally implausible.

The whole article simply depends on conventional assumptions which are not supported by the evidence


The bottom of the ocean is more of a "sunken place" than it used to be.

In recent decades, melting ice sheets and glaciers driven by climate change are swelling Earth's oceans. And along with all that water comes an unexpected consequence — the weight of the additional liquid is pressing down on the seafloor, causing it to sink.

Consequently, measurements and predictions of sea-level rise may have been incorrect since 1993, underestimating the growing volume of water in the oceans due to the receding bottom, according to a new study.

Scientists have long known that Earth's crust, or outer layer, is elastic: Earlier research revealed how Earth's surface warps in response to tidal movements that redistribute masses of water; and 2017's Hurricane Harvey dumped so much water on Texas that the ground dropped 0.8 inches (2 centimeters), the Atlantic reported.

In the new investigation, researchers looked at more long-term impacts to the seafloor. They evaluated how much the shape of the ocean bottom may have changed between 1993 and 2014, taking into account the amount of water added to the ocean from liquid formerly locked up on land as ice. Previous research into seafloor stretching had omitted that extra water, the scientists wrote in the study.

To do that, they reviewed approximations of mass loss on land, as ice melted and drained into the oceans, and compared that to estimates of sea volume changes. They found that around the world for two decades, ocean basins deformed an average of 0.004 inches (0.1 millimeter) per year, with a total deformation of 0.08 inches (2 mm).

However, there were distinct regional patterns to the seafloor's bending and stretching, and the amount of sag in certain parts of the ocean bottom could be significantly higher — as much as 0.04 inches (1 mm) per year in the Arctic Ocean, for a total of 0.8 inches (20 mm), the study authors reported.

As a result, satellite assessments of sea-level change — which don't account for a sinking ocean bottom — could be underestimating the amount that seas are rising by 8 percent, according to the study.

The accuracy of future sea-level estimates could be notably improved if the sinking of the ocean floor were incorporated into the calculations, "either based on modeled estimates of ocean mass change, as was done in this study, or using more direct observations," the scientists concluded.

SOURCE

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The truly alarming scale of the global ocean plastic crisis laid bare by Storm Eleanor

A big moan from Britain about floating plastic below.  Inevitably, they want "us" to do something about it.  I am going to be most unpopular and mention what DOES need to be done about it:  We need to dissuade Africans from using their rivers as a dump.  Rivers are the basic African waste disposal facility.  And what goes in the rivers ends up in the oceans.  Western countries by contrast are very fussy about proper disposal of their rubbish.  Floating plastic waste in the Atlantic is an AFRICAN problem, not "our" problem

The only thing "we" could do is to set up barriers at the mouths of the African rivers which would catch the rubbish before it went out to sea.  Nothing as realistic as that is likely to happen, however.  It would undoubtedly be "racist", of course



The masses of plastic dumped on the beaches of Cornwall by Storm Eleanor throws into stark relief the global crisis being caused by human rubbish in the world’s oceans.

As the storm passed, pictures emerged of the picturesque Cornish coast left strewn with waste and its rockpools clogged with plastic.

In recent years rising demand for single-use items such as food wrapping and bottled water has helped lead to us producing more plastic in the last decade than in the previous century.

Fleeting conveniences such as disposable coffee cups can outlive their use in minutes, but take up to 450 years to degrade once discarded. The result is the world’s oceans are now choking with billions of tonnes of plastic.

Public awareness of the impact of plastic waste has been growing in recent years, helped in particular by the graphic portrayal of its effect on the marine environment

SOURCE

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Feminism is leading to democide

Democide is when a nation or other group wipes itself out.  People of European descent are busily doing that right now.  Most European countries and their derivative populations in the USA, Australia etc. are not having nearly enough babies to replace those who are dying.  There can be only one end to that.  Will people one day see the last European baby?

So why?  Why the baby drought? Feminism is a large part of it.  They keep telling women that for some unfathomable reason, they need to have a "career" and that relationships with men are "sleeping with the enemy".  They even refer contemptuously to women with children as "breeders".

Once that would not have mattered. Nature ensured that the babies came anyway, ready or not.  But the contraceptive pill has subverted that.  So America and Europe are keeping their populations up by importing third world immigrants at a great rate.  Recent American statistics say that International Migration Accounted for 48% of the Population Growth.

So America will in the long run become another poor Spanish speaking country.  The small brown men who cross into the USA from South are America's future.  They have IQs averaging at about 85 so will not be able to support a high level of civilization.  You can see the sort of countries they create anywhere South of the Rio Grande.

So feminism is far and away the most successful form of Leftism.  Leftism aims at destroying the society around it.  Feminism is doing that daily. Normal families are the bedrock of society so minimizing them is the ultimate tool of destruction.  Karl Marx saw that clearly.  He was very hostile to families.  So we have had plenty of warning.

Is there a way out?  There is an authoritarian way out.  Russia has a severe problem with population decline so I would not be surprised to see Vladimir Vladimirovich taking strong measures, replacing feminist propaganda with pro-natalist propaganda and denying welfare support in old age to those who have not had children, for instance.  I think all countries should do the latter.  Why should people who have not had children be supported by other people's children?

There is a sort of last-ditch hope.  There are some Western women who do have three or more children, largely because they want to.  They are maternal women.  And being maternal is highly likely to be hereditary.  So their daughters will have multiple children too.  So as the others die out there should remain a core group who keep European civilization alive.  They will exist amid a swamp of less intelligent people so their sons will have to be heroes to avoid oppression -- but Europeans are a warrior race so that may come to the fore.

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Men Resist Green Behavior as Unmanly

Probably because it is.  It is emotional rather than logical.

Feminists routinely claim that the environment is a feminist issue.  There's a whole Wikipedia article on it.  So for the authors below to have shown anything new, they would have to have established that there was no prior polarization between the sexes on environmental issues.  They did not do that, probably because they could not.

So their research was just more of the superficial and biased rubbish that we routinely get from Leftist psychologists.  I have commented on a lot of it over the years.

And I am amused that the article appeared in the "Unscientific American" -- as conservatives often call it.  How appropriate!

A surprising reason for resistance to environmental goods and habits

Women have long surpassed men in the arena of environmental action; across age groups and countries, females tend to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Compared to men, women litter less, recycle more, and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Some researchers have suggested that personality differences, such as women’s prioritization of altruism, may help to explain this gender gap in green behavior.

Our own research suggests an additional possibility: men may shun eco-friendly behavior because of what it conveys about their masculinity. It’s not that men don’t care about the environment. But they also tend to want to feel macho, and they worry that eco-friendly behaviors might brand them as feminine.

The research, conducted with three other colleagues, consisted of seven experiments involving more than 2,000 American and Chinese participants. We showed that there is a psychological link between eco-friendliness and perceptions of femininity. Due to this “green-feminine stereotype,” both men and women judged eco-friendly products, behaviors, and consumers as more feminine than their non-green counterparts.  In one experiment, participants of both sexes described an individual who brought a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store as more feminine than someone who used a plastic bag—regardless of whether the shopper was a male or female.  In another experiment, participants perceived themselves to be more feminine after recalling a time when they did something good versus bad for the environment.

Men may eschew green products and behaviors to avoid feeling feminine.  In one study, we threatened the masculinity of male participants by showing them a pink gift card with a floral design and asking them to imagine using the card to purchase three products (lamp, backpack, and batteries).  Compared to men shown a standard gift card, threatened men were more likely to choose the non-green rather than green version of each item.  The idea that emasculated men try to reassert their masculinity through non-environmentally-friendly choices suggests that in addition to littering, wasting water, or using too much electricity, one could harm the environment merely by making men feel feminine.

Ironically, although men are often considered to be less sensitive than women, they seem to be particularly sensitive when it comes to perceptions of their gender identity. In fact, a previous study suggests that men find it to be more difficult than women to choose between masculine and feminine versions of everyday food and household items and will usually change their preferences to be more manly when allowed time to think about their decisions. Something as simple as holding a purse, ordering a colorful drink, or talking in a high voice can lead to social harm, so men tend to keep a sharp eye out for any of these potential snares.

So what can pro-environmental marketers do to buffer against the threat posed to men by the green-feminine stereotype? First, eco-friendly marketing messages and materials can be designed to affirm men’s masculinity and give them the confidence to overcome their fear of being judged as feminine when engaging in green behaviors.  For example, in one experiment, men who received feedback affirming their masculinity were more interested in purchasing an eco-friendly version of a cleaning product. Men who feel secure in their manhood are more comfortable going green.

Second, green products and organizations can be marketed as more “Men”-vironmentally-friendly, with more masculine fonts, colors, words, and images used in the branding. To illustrate, men in one experiment were more likely to donate to a green non-profit with a masculine logo (black and dark blue colors featuring a howling wolf, with the name “Wilderness Rangers” in a bold font) than one with a traditional logo (green and light tan colors featuring a tree, with the name “Friends of Nature” in a frilly font).  And in a field study conducted at a BMW dealership in China, male customers were more interested in a hybrid vehicle after viewing a print ad featuring a masculine term in the model’s description than when viewing the traditional print ad.

Together, these findings highlight how the green-feminine stereotype inhibits men from taking eco-friendly actions, and suggest that masculine affirmation and masculine branding may be effective in narrowing the gender gap in environmentalism. Make the man feel manly, and he’s more likely to go green.

SOURCE

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Let's look inside a Leftist emptyhead

Alon Ben-Meir is Senior Fellow, Center for Global Affairs, NYU.  He is an elderly Jewish "expert" on peace in the Middle East.  It must be hard to be an expert on something that does not exist and shows no signs of coming to be but Ben-meir has allegedly attained it.  On his deathbed he will perhaps be wondering why he spent so much of his life on something so ephemeral.  But he has been heaped with honours and recognition from Leftists so  he might reflect that he has actually done rather well. Seeking praise and recognition is a major Leftist aim, after all.  Too bad if you accomplish nothing good.

He has recently put up an article under the heading: "A Party That Has Lost Its Soul".  And that heading typifies the article.  "Soul" is not defined nor is there any discussion of when and where and how the loss occurred.  The party concerned is of course the Republican party. So we have a meaningless but emotional outpouring.

We also learn that the GOP has failed to "safeguard America’s national interest".  How?  He does not say.

We also hear that the GOP has "no scruples and no moral compass".  So it must be the GOP that says "there is no such thing as right and wrong"?  I would have sworn that was a Leftist docrtine.

And Trump is a "president who has nothing to offer the country but disgrace".  Again no elaboration on that. I thought he offered America renewed greatness. What have I missed?

I have so far referred to his first paragraph only but the rest of his article  is similar so I think I have said enough to show that this Leftist eminence seems to have managed the remarkable feat of having emotions but no brains.  Sadly, a lot of the Left seem like that.

I note that proud RINO, Rick Moran, also accuses the GOP of having lost its soul.  But at least he says why.  It is because judge Moore was "credibly accused" of something.  No presumption of innocence?  Souls seem to fly out the window very readily these days.  As an atheist, I don't have one so I'm OK.

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Michael Mann says bitter cold is consistent with global warming

It probably is and the reasoning he gives in the article excerpted below is plausible.  The professional Warmists at NOAA, however, predicted a WARM winter:  Another failure of their theory and its appurtenant models.

Mann is however not abashed by yet another failed prediction. He "explains" it.  His explanation is however what in science is known as an "ad hoc" explanation and just about any data can be explained "ad hoc".  In plain language it is known as "being wise after the event".

In science, however, the need for an a hoc explanation is seen as damaging to the theory and requiring revision of the theory. And it normally takes only a few failures of theory predictions  for the theory to be discarded altogether.  With global warming, however, NOTHING is ever taken as damaging to the theory. And in the philosophy of science an unfalsifiable theory is regarded as not being an empirical statement.  It can only be a statement of faith.


The US East Coast is experiencing an “old-fashioned” winter, with plenty of cold weather and some heavy snowfall in certain places. Listening to climate contrarians like President Donald Trump, you might think this constitutes the death knell for concern over human-caused climate change.

Yet, what we were witnessing play out is in fact very much consistent with our expectations of the response of weather dynamics to human-caused climate change.

Dr. Michael Mann on Extreme Weather: “We Predicted This Long Ago”

Let’s start with the record five-plus feet of snowfall accumulation in Erie, Pennsylvania, in late December. Does this disprove global warming? “Exactly the opposite,” explains my colleague, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.

Global warming is leading to later freeze-up of the Great Lakes and warmer lake temperatures. It is the collision of cold Arctic air with relatively warm unfrozen lake water in early winter that causes lake effect snows in the first place. The warmer those lake temperatures, the more moisture in the air, and the greater potential for lake effect snows. Not surprisingly, we see a long-term increase in lake effect snowfalls as temperatures have warmed during the last century

 SOURCE

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Sexual harassment in Hollywood

Perhaps because I am old and remember different ways of doing things in the past, I draw conclusions about the sexual harassment furore in Hollywood which are diametrically opposite to the current beliefs

No figures have been mentioned for how many women gave in to approaches by Weinstein and others but many clearly did.

In days of not so long ago, a man who got "fresh" with a woman would get a slap across the face from her and that would be the end of the matter. So how come that didn't happen to Harvey Weinstein as far as we know?  Weinstein himself tells us the answer to that and no-one has been able to gainsay him:  It was because the women consented to his approaches.  And the police have got nothing on him because there is no evidence that the women did not consent.

Aha!  Someone will say: But it was coerced consent.  But there is no evidence that the coercion was heavily physical.  The women would just have had to let out a big scream and Weinstein would have rapidly detumesced.

So it is undoubted that the women consented because they wanted something from Weinstein.  That was the coercion.  There is almost a physical hunger to be "in the movies" in Hollywood.  People come to that suburb of Los Angeles from all over the world in hopes of being "noticed".  And most women have had at some time the experience of having sex when they did not really want it. So what Weinstein offered was a price they were willing to pay.

In short, Weinstein BOUGHT them.  And they didn't complain at the time because they went willingly into the transaction and had good hopes of it.  They prostituted themselves to his ugliness -- to be paid not in money but in fame.

So they have nothing to complain about.  By complaining at this juncture they reveal themselves for what they are:  Prostitutes.

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2018 Will Be the Year Feminists Target Little Boys

Little boys have a way of training their mothers -- mainly by being joyously boyish -- but pity any kid who fell into the hands of the hard-hearted bitch quoted below. I tell my son that real women like real men -- but he has parents who love him so has always been allowed to be himself -- a normal male.

Our permissiveness even extended to allowing him to spend vast amounts of his childhood playing computer games.  Many wiseheads would criticize that.  But now that he is an adult he has a first class honours degree in mathematics, a pretty girlfriend who adores him and a highly paid job as an IT consultant.  A very successful outcome, I think.  He even talks to his old father almost daily


According to Time, all men are inevitably “angry.” The only way to stem this drastic tide of “angry” men is to raise them as follows: "At a young age, this should be done explicitly, in organized forums for discussions at school," Faith Salie writes. "It must be done relentlessly and organically, in our family homes. Parents must invite their sons to be sad, afraid, hurt, silly and affectionate, and must embrace them as often as they snuggle their daughters. Sweet boys learn early on that they can defend themselves against loneliness by reaching out and asking for support rather than turning into people who, literally, grab for power. Sweet boys evolve into open-hearted men who aren’t confused about consent and sexual boundaries, because they experience women as equals."

This, of course, implies that parents of boys naturally tend to push them away and train them to act more like Spartans preparing for perpetual warfare than, well, the children they are. Girls, on the other hand, can be as “fierce” as they like. And if “fierce” requires Spartan parenting skills, I guess that means girls should be, what? Hugged less? Shown Beyonce videos on a repeating track beginning at birth?

Salie exhibits the kind of feminism that held women back in 2017. This was the year in which what was once a powerful cultural movement against gross gender-based inequalities fully pandered to the outrage of its rulers, a minority class of rich, white women with no real problems and plenty of time to kill. Although 2017 is ending with the image of an Iranian woman boldly removing her hijab in a public square, it will forever be defined by the image of American WASPs marching on D.C. in pussyhats. Such is the legacy of a movement defined by women too rich to do any real work and too sheltered to ever experience true suffering.

Hence, the biggest battle in the mind of the American feminist is the one being waged against “angry men.” Forget the fact that for every Harvey Weinstein there is a Chip Gaines or a Linda Sarsour for that matter. In the mind of the American feminist the true battle is being waged, as Salie suggests, in kids’ clothing stores across America:

Walk into any baby store, and you’re greeted immediately in the boys’ department by brown and neon green layettes festooned with sharks, trucks, and footballs. Onesies for newborns declare, “TOUGH LIKE DADDY.” The boy taught from infancy to be tough is emotionally doomed... The clothes marketed to my daughter feature  unicorns, rainbows, rockets, dinosaurs, and sequins in every color imaginable. They are whimsical and sparkly.

Permit me to get truly feminist for a moment and suggest that even the mythical powers of the unicorn are phallic, as is the fencing foil Salie’s daughter crafts out of a kite. But, if a girl is in charge of the pointed object in question it’s perfectly okay. Salie isn’t arguing in favor of gender equality; she’s arguing in favor of stripping all men of their sense of an autonomous self. According to Salie, it isn’t the man himself, but the man who holds a position – any position -- of authority that is truly evil.

Don’t let Salie’s thinly veiled call for (male) empathy fool you. There is no room in her movement for empathy for girls who are forced to defend themselves against the persecution of Islamic clerics, forced genital mutilation, or sex slavery. American feminists don’t talk about having empathy for those women. They simply hashtag them and move on to fight the real battles taking place in select Carter’s and Children’s Place stores all over the country: the battle over whose logo t-shirt is truly the toughest.

2017 isn’t just the year feminism failed women. It is the year feminism failed men. Even more sadly, it is the year feminism encouraged mothers to fail their boys. Raising a child should never involve stripping him of his independence, let alone holding him up to a standard rooted in stereotypes. But, I suppose that’s what happens when you bind yourself to a movement so limited in scope and function that your pussyhat blinds you from looking past the end of your silver spoon—or Target receipt.

SOURCE

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Feminist Push to make childcare unaffordable

The Leftist IEU (Independent Education Union) have issued the call below.  Government "quality" mandates, including high staff numbers and sweeping  educational requirements for child-minders, have already pushed up the costs of child-minding to the point where most working mothers spend a large slice of their earnings on child care. The union wants a leap in pay for child minders that could push many working mothers out of the workforce altogether.  So I support the call. Young children need their mothers at home, as the research by Erica Komisar has shown.

The claim that a university education is an important qualification for becoming a child minder is absurd and I would like to see the evidence for the claim.  Some education could no doubt help but why university?


The IEU lodged evidence and submissions to support its pay equity claim for early childhood teachers just before Christmas.

This is the latest step in the IEU pay equity case that has been running before the Fair Work Commission since 2013.  The Union is seeking pay rises for university qualified teachers in preschools and child care centres.

"The claim is based on comparisons with male employees  male teachers in primary schools and male engineers.  At present, teachers in early childhood, who are almost all female, can earn tens of thousands of dollars less than teachers in schools. For example the top award rate for a teacher in a child care centre is less than $70,000 whereas a teacher in a primary school earns close to $100,000" says Carol Matthews, Assistant Secretary of the NSW/ACT Branch of the IEU.

"We are certainly not seeking rates of $156,000 as some media outlets have claimed," she added. "The top rate for a teacher in a child care centre under our claim would be just over $100,00".

The claim only affects a small proportion of the overall number of staff in services and the Union calculates the impact on costs would be relatively small.

"Parents would not necessarily bear the brunt of these increases. The sector is already funded by state and federal governments to the tune of billions of dollars.  Governments should also fund fair pay rates for university qualified teachers as they are so important to children's
development".

The Union states the importance of university qualified teachers to improved learning and social outcomes has been known for decades and is a central plank of the federal government strategy for early childhood education and care.

Via email

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Black Baltimore breaks city record for killings per capita in 2017

The AP writer below pretends it is a mystery why Baltimore is so violent.  But he knows why.  He even mentions it.  The city's black officials immediately blamed the police when a black man died in police custody.  The officers were rapidly charged with only minimal prior enquiry.  This enraged blacks who took the charges as proof of guilt.  So they immediately escalated their hostility to the police -- so that many black areas became "no go" areas for the police.

So the police have largely sat on their hands since.  They are not willing to risk their lives only to risk being charged as wrongdoers.  And with no police to inhibit it, crime thrives and black Baltimore residents are paying a high price for their community's antagonism to the police.  And the fact that all the police initially charged were eventually exonerated has just fed the hostility.  Police must be supported to be effective but that now has to be a distant vision for Baltimore.  The impetuous actions of Baltimore's black leadership have poisoned Baltimore for a long time


Baltimore has set a new per-capita homicide record as gunmen killed for drugs, cash, payback - or no apparent reason at all.

A surge of homicides in the starkly divided city resulted in 343 killings in 2017, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever - roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore, which has shrunk over decades, currently has about 615,000 inhabitants.

"Not only is it disheartening, it's painful," Mayor Catherine Pugh told The Associated Press during the final days of 2017, her first year in office.

The main reasons are the subject of endless interpretation. Some attribute the increase to more illegal guns, the fallout of the opioid epidemic, or systemic failures like unequal justice and a scarcity of decent opportunities for many citizens. The tourism-focused Inner Harbor and prosperous neighborhoods such as Canton and Mount Vernon are a world away from large sections of the city hobbled by generational poverty.

Others blame police, accusing them of taking a hands-off approach to fighting crime since six officers were charged in connection with the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose fatal spinal cord injury in police custody triggered massive protests that year and the city's worst riots in decades.

"The conventional wisdom, or widely agreed upon speculation, suggests that?the great increase in murders is happening partly because the police have withdrawn from aggressively addressing crime in the city's many poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods," said Donald Norris, professor emeritus of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Even as arrests have declined to their lowest level in years, police say their officers are working hard in a tough environment. They note the overwhelming majority of Baltimore's crime has long been linked to gangs, drugs and illegal guns.

"The vast majority of our kids and residents of this city aren't into criminal activity like this. It's that same revolving group of bad guys that are wreaking havoc for people's families," said T.J. Smith, the chief police spokesman whose own younger brother was the city's 173rd homicide victim in 2017.

Baltimore's homicide rate started to surge after Gray's death in 2015, a year when the city saw over 340 slayings. There's been a depressingly steady march of killings since.

Violent crime rates in Baltimore have been notoriously high for decades and some locals sardonically refer to their city as "Bodymore" due to the annual body count. But prior to 2015, Baltimore's killings had generally been on the decline. Before rates in recent years eclipsed it, Baltimore's homicide rate had peaked with 353 killings in 1993, or some 49 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore had over 700,000 inhabitants back then, making the per-capita rate lower than in 2017.

Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, described Baltimore as a place "where there is an urgent need to make sure that neighborhoods do not continue to fall apart and the population doesn't give up on the city."

Pugh, who took office?as mayor in December 2016, said her year-old administration is focused on reducing crime, boosting police recruits, and improving long-neglected neighborhoods. She told attendees at a candlelight vigil she hosted for victims of violence that "this will become the safest city in America."

Attending the vigil were Norman and Yvonne Armstrong, who struggled for words to describe their heartache since losing their son, Shawn, to gun violence. The working family man, a 31-year-old father of three, was fatally shot at a Baltimore carwash in September. His murder is unsolved.

"The kids out there with guns don't care about anything," said Norman Armstrong, the pain of grief etched on his face.

Among the names behind the 2017 numbers is Jonathan Tobash, a 19-year-old college student who embodied the best hopes of his Baltimore community. Police say the sophomore at Morgan State University was shot to death Dec. 18 after stumbling onto a robbery in progress outside a convenience store near his family's home.

Ericka Alston-Buck, who founded the Kids Safe Zone community center in the rough Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, said concentrated poverty must be addressed and a measure of healing has to take place in order to truly tackle high rates of violence in Baltimore.

"Hurt people hurt people. No one's doing anything to close those holes in their souls," she said. "As long as no one does that, nothing is going to change."



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High tide at Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour

You can see that if the sea is rising, it's not rising very much.  More evidence that the alarmist figures put out by the climate bigots are a crock.  Al Gore prophecies rises of several metres



There has in fact been some rise over the 128-year-long tide gauge record. Since 1886 it indicates a long-term rate of sea-level rise of two and a half inches (6.5cm) a century. That's hardly enough to knock anybody off their horse.

But wait! There's more! Here is a plot of the rise:



You can see that the sea level has been plateaued since 1950 -- exactly the time that the climate bigots say global warming began. So NONE of the rise was due to global warming. The small amount of global warming we appear to have had in recent decades did not shift the sea level one iota. Fun!

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Will we run out of CHOCOLATE? Experts predict treat will disappear in 30 years because cacao plants are perishing in the warm climate

Ya gotta  laugh.  The climate bigots trot this scare out once a year, roughly.  And they always leave out half the story, such as the fertilizing effect of more CO2 and more rain in a warmer world

Cacao beans are grown in many parts of the world -- Peru, Equador, Bolivia, Brazil, Bali, Fiji etc.  So it is obviously not hard to plant more of it elsewhere if one particular country falls short.  There has in fact been a recent big success in growing cacao in my home State of Queensland

And the guff below is just another Warmist prophecy anyway.  The supply of cacao beans at present is in glut -- so much so that prices have dropped by a third


Experts predict the world could run out of chocolate within 40 years because cacao plants are struggling to survive in warmer climates.

The trees can only grow within approximately 20 degrees north and south of the Equator - and they thrive under specific conditions such as high humidity and abundant rain.

But a temperature rise of just 2.1C over the next 30 years caused by global warming is set to wreak havoc for the plants - and in turn the worldwide chocolate industry, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As the mercury rises and squeezes more water out of soil and plants, scientists believe it is unlikely that rainfall will increase enough to offset the moisture loss.

That means cacao production areas are set to be pushed thousands of feet uphill into mountainous terrain which is carefully preserved for wildlife by 2050.

Officials in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana - which produce more than half of the world's chocolate - will face an agonising dilemma over whether to maintain the world's supply of chocolate or to save their dying ecosystems.

Last year experts predicted that the world was heading for a 'chocolate deficit' as shoppers in developing countries snapped up more of the sweet treat.

The typical Western consumer eats an average of 286 chocolate bars a year - more if they are from Belgium, the research titled Destruction by Chocolate found.

For 286 bars, producers need to plant 10 cacao trees to make the cocoa and the butter - the key ingredients in the production of chocolate.

Since the 1990s, more than a billion people from China, Indonesia, India, Brazil and the former Soviet Union have entered the market for cocoa.

Despite the increased demand, supply has not kept up and stockpiles of cocoa are said to be falling.

Doug Hawkins, from London-based research firm Hardman Agribusiness, said production of cocoa is under strain as farming methods have not changed for hundreds of years.

He said: 'Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90 per cent of the global cocoa crop is produced by smallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material.'

Some reports suggest cocoa growers in the world's top producer country, Ivory Coast, have resorted to illegally farming protected forests to meet demand - what Mr Hawkins calls 'destruction by chocolate'.

He said: 'All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.'

SOURCE

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Pollution hysteria in a medical journal

Authors of articles in medical journals are just as excitable about tiny differences as are Warmists.  Warmists get excited about temperature differences of as little as a few hundredths of one degree Celsius and effects roughly as weak as that are often presented with great excitement in medical journals too.  We read below, for instance, that an influence affecting around one person in a million is of importance.

There are circumstances when a tiny difference might mean something but that would be where the measurements concerned are exceedingly precise, free from confounding and well-attested.  But that circumstance never prevails in medical or climate studies.

Just look at the dataset below.  They did NOT in fact measure anybody's exposure to pollution of any sort.  What they did was assess the pollution in an AREA and check who died in that area. That different people in the same area might for various reasons have different levels of exposure to pollution, they blissfully ignored. People who commute from the exurbs to a major city would, for instance, have different pollution exposure to people who worked locally.  So their data has some meaning but is nowhere near precise.

And even the pollution level in each area was not precisely measured. In many cases it was estimated.  So we are looking at imprecise estimates taken in an imprecisely described area.  You would have to find very strong effects indeed to take findings as imprecise as that seriously.  But the effects in the study below are in fact vanishingly small. At best, the findings could support a conclusion that "more research is needed".  They tell us nothing that is even remotely certain. That the pollution studied has no affect at all on anything would be the only cautious conclusion.  So what we actually have is an ideological conclusion: ALL pollution is BAD!

The editor of the journal might reasonably have been expected to inject a note of caution into an evaluation of the findings but he is in fact even more enthusiastic about them.  He sees major public policy implications for the findings.  Sigh!  JAMA could sometimes pass as a book of fairy stories


Association of Short-term Exposure to Air Pollution With Mortality in Older Adults

Qian Di et al.

Abstract

Importance:  The US Environmental Protection Agency is required to reexamine its National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) every 5 years, but evidence of mortality risk is lacking at air pollution levels below the current daily NAAQS in unmonitored areas and for sensitive subgroups.

Objective:  To estimate the association between short-term exposures to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, and at levels below the current daily NAAQS, and mortality in the continental United States.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Case-crossover design and conditional logistic regression to estimate the association between short-term exposures to PM2.5 and ozone (mean of daily exposure on the same day of death and 1 day prior) and mortality in 2-pollutant models. The study included the entire Medicare population from January 1, 2000, to December 31, 2012, residing in 39 182 zip codes.

Exposures:  Daily PM2.5 and ozone levels in a 1-km × 1-km grid were estimated using published and validated air pollution prediction models based on land use, chemical transport modeling, and satellite remote sensing data. From these gridded exposures, daily exposures were calculated for every zip code in the United States. Warm-season ozone was defined as ozone levels for the months April to September of each year.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  All-cause mortality in the entire Medicare population from 2000 to 2012.

Results:  During the study period, there were 22 433 862 million case days and 76 143 209 control days. Of all case and control days, 93.6% had PM2.5 levels below 25 μg/m3, during which 95.2% of deaths occurred (21 353 817 of 22 433 862), and 91.1% of days had ozone levels below 60 parts per billion, during which 93.4% of deaths occurred (20 955 387 of 22 433 862). The baseline daily mortality rates were 137.33 and 129.44 (per 1 million persons at risk per day) for the entire year and for the warm season, respectively. Each short-term increase of 10 μg/m3 in PM2.5 (adjusted by ozone) and 10 parts per billion (10−9) in warm-season ozone (adjusted by PM2.5) were statistically significantly associated with a relative increase of 1.05% (95% CI, 0.95%-1.15%) and 0.51% (95% CI, 0.41%-0.61%) in daily mortality rate, respectively. Absolute risk differences in daily mortality rate were 1.42 (95% CI, 1.29-1.56) and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.53-0.78) per 1 million persons at risk per day. There was no evidence of a threshold in the exposure-response relationship.

Conclusions and Relevance:  In the US Medicare population from 2000 to 2012, short-term exposures to PM2.5 and warm-season ozone were significantly associated with increased risk of mortality. This risk occurred at levels below current national air quality standards, suggesting that these standards may need to be reevaluated.

JAMA. 2017;318(24):2446-2456. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17923


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Trans fats:  A failure of logic?

Trans fats in food have long been a whipping boy for food faddists, Greenies and assorted attention-seekers. So the study below has been widely greeted with gladsome hearts.  It has been much-cited in the six months since it first appeared and seems to have won universal approval.

And for once I don't think there is any obvious problems with the statistics.  It does however have the logical problem that seems to bedevil most epidemiological research.  Despite all the warnings from logicians, it decides that correlation is causation.  It assumes that because the data was segregated according to its exposure to trans fats that thereore the effects observed reflected exposure to trans fats.  What else could you conclude? I can hear some angry epidemiologist ask.  Well, I will answer that.

You need some history.  Why did dietary trans-fats come into use in the first place?  Answer:  To replace saturated fats, which, courtesy of Ancel Keys, were for decades demonized as bad for your heart.  But a couple of years ago there was one of those big backflips that occur far too often in medical "wisdom". Saturated fats are now good for you!  So did the ban on transfats cause a mass reversion to saturated fats?    It is certainly possible but a more likely outcome is that transfats were replaced by some combination of [good] saturated fats and palm oil.  So it's perfectly possible that the decline heart attacks described below was not due to transfats being bad for you but rather because what replaced them is good for you.  The authors of the article have not pinpointed the cause of what they observed at all.


Hospital Admissions for Myocardial Infarction and Stroke Before and After the Trans-Fatty Acid Restrictions in New York

Abstract

Importance:  Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) have deleterious cardiovascular effects. Restrictions on their use were initiated in 11 New York State (NYS) counties between 2007 and 2011. The US Food and Drug Administration plans a nationwide restriction in 2018. Public health implications of TFA restrictions are not well understood.

Objective:  To determine whether TFA restrictions in NYS counties were associated with fewer hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke compared with NYS counties without restrictions.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  We conducted a retrospective observational pre-post study of residents in counties with TFA restrictions vs counties without restrictions from 2002 to 2013 using NYS Department of Health’s Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System and census population estimates. In this natural experiment, we included those residents who were hospitalized for MI or stroke. The data analysis was conducted from December 2014 through July 2016.

Exposure:  Residing in a county where TFAs were restricted.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  The primary outcome was a composite of MI and stroke events based on primary discharge diagnostic codes from hospital admissions in NYS. Admission rates were calculated by year, age, sex, and county of residence. A difference-in-differences regression design was used to compare admission rates in populations with and without TFA restrictions. Restrictions were only implemented in highly urban counties, based on US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Urban Influence Codes. Nonrestriction counties of similar urbanicity were chosen to make a comparison population. Temporal trends and county characteristics were accounted for using fixed effects by county and year, as well as linear time trends by county. We adjusted for age, sex, and commuting between restriction and nonrestriction counties.

Results:  In 2006, the year before the first restrictions were implemented, there were 8.4 million adults (53.6% female) in highly urban counties with TFA restrictions and 3.3 million adults (52.3% female) in highly urban counties without restrictions. Twenty-five counties were included in the nonrestriction population and 11 in the restriction population.

Three or more years after restriction implementation, the population with TFA restrictions experienced significant additional decline beyond temporal trends in MI and stroke events combined (−6.2%; 95% CI, −9.2% to −3.2%; P < .001) and MI (−7.8%; 95% CI, −12.7% to −2.8%; P = .002) and a nonsignificant decline in stroke (−3.6%; 95% CI, −7.6% to 0.4%; P = .08) compared with the nonrestriction populations.

Conclusions and Relevance:  The NYS populations with TFA restrictions experienced fewer cardiovascular events, beyond temporal trends, compared with those without restrictions.

JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(6):627-634. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0491

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We have an issue with Sudanese gangs – here’s how we can tackle it

By Nelly Yoa, a Sudanese footballer of refugee origins.  His solutions to the gang problem are mainline but unlikely to achieve much.  Africans worldwide are very violent. A more effective solution would be to return whole Sudanese families to their point of embarcation once one of them becomes involved with crime. That would be a strong motivation for Sudanese themselves to monitor their wayward youth and make efforts to rein them in.  And an exception from deporting the whole family could be given if any member of the family were first to incriminate a criminal member

As a South Sudanese man who personally knows and mentors members of youth gangs in and out of prison, I firmly believe we have a major issue among young South Sudanese people in Melbourne.

After watching the horrendous and appalling behaviour committed by my fellow South Sudanese youth in the past few weeks, I am furious – and in total disbelief – to hear our top cop and government officials say there are no Sudanese gangs in Melbourne.

Nobody should ever try and cover up or defend this unacceptable behaviour – to do so is immoral and inexplicable. It is upsetting and completely false.

Keep in mind that some parents of offenders are not aware that their teens are in custody. The reason is because many Sudanese families have more than eight children and many of them are raised by a single parent.

Undeniably, yes, these gangs do exist and neither the police nor the government should say otherwise.

It is a fact that South Sudanese are over­represented in crime statistics and are causing great harm and fear across communities in Melbourne.

I firmly believe young Sudanese people need to adapt and contribute to the Australian way of life immediately.

Yet nothing has been done by the government, Victoria Police or Sudanese community leaders. There's been a lot of talk, but no action.

I call on the government to act swiftly in assisting Sudanese teens to integrate into society.  Melburnians are sick and tired of excuses. We've got to make sure people are held accountable.

Some of these kids have gone too far now. They're a disgrace to themselves, to their families and to their community.

This behaviour has been ongoing for nearly two years. Enough is enough. It makes me ashamed and embarrassed to call myself a Sudanese. It should not be tolerated moving forward into 2018.

I know what these kids are going through – but I also know what it's like to be on the wrong end of their aggression.

I migrated to Melbourne from war-torn South Sudan in 2003, in hope of a better life. Coming to Australia, it was a little bit difficult to integrate due to the culture shock and language barrier. But, eventually, you teach yourself to adapt to the Australian way of living. Not only does it became a lot easier over time, you also learn to contribute and be thankful for this enormous opportunity given to you.

In 2011, I became the victim of a high-profile machete attack in Melbourne after coming to the aid of a stranger. As a good Samaritan, I ended up being a victim and nearly bled to death.

It didn't stop me. After my unsuccessful trial in England with Chelsea Football Club and Queens Park Rangers Football, earlier this year I switched codes to pursue an AFL career. I'm currently training with an AFL team.

I've always remained positive throughout everything I've been through. I've always been determined and driven to succeed.

As a professional athlete and as a person who overcame a lot of adversity throughout my life, I'm using this principle as a torch to guide these troubled youths to a positive, successful life. So let's create a solution that will prevent this from escalating further.

I regularly volunteer at the Melbourne Remand Centre, Melbourne Assessment Prison and Parkville Youth Justice Centre, where I meet with offenders of Sudanese descent. I try to direct them into a positive pathway while they're in custody, and when they get released.

Here are five of my core, constructive solutions that could be implemented to help tackle issues with youth in general, but especially Sudanese youth.

1. Create spaces for young people to express their opinions – and listen to them

Rather than simply acknowledging them as victims or perpetrators of violence, it’s vital to engage youths as social actors, with their own views and their own contributions to make.

2. Enhance the peace-building, knowledge and skills of young people

It’s important to provide young people with the tools they need to become more effective change-makers.

In concrete terms, this means giving them access to the teachers, facilitators, educational programs and networks who can hone their conflict resolution and leadership skills.

Sudanese youth have caused so much havoc across other communities in Melbourne in the past 18 months that other ethics communities have disengaged with them due to fear, harassment and violence.

Peace-building with other communities is paramount to restore trust and faith.

That means reassuring other ethics communities that Sudanese are a great community and will eventually change in years ahead, preventing the recurrence of violence by addressing root causes and effects of conflict through reconciliation, institution building and political, as well as economic, transformation.

Some of the most successful interventions find ways to leverage the things young people are interested in — arts, sports, media, informal learning and personal relationships — to teach peace-building skills.

For instance, youths are more likely to remember conflict management lessons they’ve learned through sports.

3. Build trust between youths, governments and community

Young people tend to view governments as beset by corruption.

Conversely, governments often fail to take into account the views of youths in policymaking, and may have different priorities for peace.

Youth mobilisation in peace-building efforts is more likely to be successful if young people are given the capabilities and opportunities to work with local and national governments.

Activities that promote the legitimisation of youths and foster their representation in local and national policymaking processes are crucial.

4. Promote intergenerational exchange

Youths are deeply influenced by the attitudes of their peers.

But rather than working with youths in isolation, peace-building projects that seek to engage youths should also include parents and elders.

We need to seek more inclusive means for young people to express themselves and interact with the wider-population.

5. Strengthen monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation activities need to be undertaken, improved and made routine across all peace-building initiatives which seek to engage youth.

We need to use qualitative evidence and participative approaches in particular to evaluate the impact of youth engagement in conflict resolution.

SOURCE


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Trump coins show that Trump widens the range of the possible



The news about the Trump presentation coins was a good laugh. They are twice as thick as ones by previous Presidents and instead of being nickel-silver are -- OF COURSE -- in gold, presumably gold-plated.  Trump has always liked gold.  It is his trademark color.

And the media went wild about how crass and vulgar it all is.  The man has no taste, no restaint!

And the lack of restraint is the key.  Nothing conventional or accepted restrains him.  He does what he thinks is a good thing, regardless of any convention.  He is extraordinarily independent. He has clearly had a life in which he didn't need to seek approval from others.  He gained all the acceptance he needed just by being himself.

And American society in general and the Presidency in particular had become  heavily tied up in conventional expectations about what you could and could not do.  And, unfortunately, many of those constraints have come from the Left and have been genuinely oppressive.

But Trump has burst the barriers wide open. The Leftist constraints are going at a great rate and other ways of doing things are now possible.  His coins are a graphic symbol of that. Who can doubt, for instance, that future Presidents will tweet?  They will undoubtedly do it more cautiously but they will do it.  It will even be expected now as evidence of frankness and openness.

So expect more and more shrieks from the media as Trump steadily normalizes more and more of what was once forbidden or at least heavily decried -- JR

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The very real climate crisis at the North Pole(?)

Leftists never learn.  The editorial from the Boston globe below draws on a NOAA "report" of a few weeks back.  Since then there have been various critiques of that report, including one by me. But the editor acts as if no criticisms of the report had ever been made -- including the obvious point that the climate changes discussed were more likely to be caused by ElNino than by anthropogenic global warming.  No attempt at all was in fact made to demonstrate any  attribution for the changes.

But it is always fun to look at what the Green/Left DON'T say.  The vast sea level rise that we were once threatened with is now nowhere mentioned. And you can see why.  The Arctic is mostly floating ice so no matter how much of that that melted it would not affect the sea level by one iota.  And the only large land-based chunk of the Arctic is Greenland and Greenland is not melting -- as you can see in the excerpt from the report below:



So if we are no longer at risk of flooding, what is the problem?  None apparently.  The only problems mentioned are dangers to fisheries and crops if warming continues.  But fisheries and crops are more likely to thrive with more warming so the whole thing is a storm in a teacup


Arctic ice is melting, a radical disruption that is already wreaking havoc with tourism, fisheries, and the frozen ecosystem needed to sustain wildlife like the polar bear. The damage is well documented in the latest report card on Arctic health, issued annually by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. At first, it might be easy to mistake the data for good news: After an unduly warm fall in 2016, air temperatures in the Arctic were near average in spring and summer of this year. Unfortunately, over the long term, that amounts to a blip in an unprecedented warming streak.

And climate change, unlike weather, is most appropriately measured over the long term. What researchers at NOAA see is nothing short of alarming. As the NOAA report card puts it, the Arctic “shows no sign of returning to [the] reliably frozen region” of the recent past. In fact, the rate of Arctic sea ice decline and warming temperatures is higher than at any other time in 1,500 years — since around the time of the fall of Rome. Water in the Barents and Chukchi seas was 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than just a few decades ago, according to the report.

That’s a sign that the chilly ice cap at the North Pole, which helps cool the entire planet, is inexorably eroding, scientists say. That, in turn, could alter weather patterns in distant places. An atmospheric researcher told NPR that air circulation over the eastern Pacific could easily be affected, causing a drier climate by the end of this century in California. That should concern the Trump administration, which recently authorized federal disaster funds to fight at least four voracious fires raging near Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

There’s another previously unforeseen consequence of a warmer North Pole: An international team of scientists writing in the journal Nature Geoscience found that unusually warm spring temperatures in the Arctic Ocean can lead to colder temperatures across North America, hurting the growth of vegetation that absorbs carbon and cutting into farmers’ crop yields.

It’s clear that the planet’s climate is like a complex operating system, a networked web that is influenced by a variety of factors — including humankind’s activity

SOURCE. "Report" here


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Exhaustive study exonerates Roundup weedkiller

A couple of weeks ago, the EPA released their final version of an exhaustive examination of all the pieces of research that looked at the toxicity of Glyphosate (Roundup).  Roundup is the bete noir of many environmentalists.  Extensive attempts have been made to have it banned.  To Greenies there is no such thing as a good pesticide or a good weedicide. They just know that.  No evidence needed.

To those who have even a nodding acquaintance with the eviidence, it was no surprise what the EPA scientists found. Their report is a book-length document but below is their final summary paragraph:

"Conclusion for Glyphosate

The overall weight of evidence indicates that there is no convincing evidence that glyphosate induces mutations in vivo via the oral route. When administered by i.p. injection, the micronucleus studies were predominantly negative. In the two cases where an increase in micronuclei were reported via this route, the effects occurred above the reported i.p. LD50 for mice and were not observed in other i.p. injection studies at similar or higher doses. While there is limited evidence genotoxic for effects in some in vitro experiments, in vivo effects were given more weight than in vitro effects particularly when the same genetic endpoint was measured, which is consistent with current OECD guidance. The only positive findings reported in vivo were seen at relatively high doses that are not relevant for human health risk assessment"

SOURCE

Note:  "In vitro" means an experiment in laboratory glassware.  "In vivo" means "in rats and mice".

So news about such a controversial subject would have been splashed all over the media, right?  No. Crickets. We had censorship via omission. The title of the report was "Revised Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential".  Google that and see if you can find any mention of it in major media.