-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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More sugar crusade nonsense
Ever since the demonization of salt and fat went into a 180 degree turn, sugar has been the favoured dietary nemesis, despite a lot of evidence that sugar is generally harmless. We eat so much sugar that we would all be dead if it really were harmful. But the idea that there is no such thing as "healthy" food just seems to be beyond a lot of brains to accept.
The campaigners below however have found a study which showed sugar as harmful in rats. Sadly however, the study was never completed or published. The authors below draw most adverse inferences from that -- blaming "big sugar".
But if big sugar was reponsisible for cancelling the study, they had good reason to do so. The study was a example of the now discredited strategy of feeding rats huge amounts of something and seeing what happened. As soon as the paymasters saw that that was what the researchers were doing, they had every right to withdaw funding. You can show that almost anything -- including water -- can be harmful if you feed some subject huge amounts of it. The quantities used these days have to bear some relationship to normal consumption.
And none of that is new. It has long been a basic principle of toxicology that the toxicity is in the dose. It is no loss that a study which ignored that faded from view
More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer, the paper trail investigation reports.
The results of that study were never made public.
Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz. He is a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer.
"This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry," Glantz said. "It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn't want that."
In response to the investigation, The Sugar Association issued a statement calling it "a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry."
The new paper focuses on an industry-sponsored study referred to as Project 259 in documents generated by the Sugar Research Foundation and its successor, the International Sugar Research Foundation, and dug up decades later by Glantz and his colleagues.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate.
Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol.
Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.
Months after receiving these results, the International Sugar Research Foundation failed to approve an additional 12 weeks of funding that the Birmingham researchers needed to complete their work, according to the authors behind the new investigation.
SOURCE. Journal article here
As we know well, Leftists work hard to suppress information that disrupts their theories and claims. And in areas where they just about monopolize knowledge, such as psychology and sociology, they often achieve near blackout. My academic career consisted very largely of asking awkward questions and providing answers that no Leftist had considered in writing. So I thought I knew where all the skeletons were buried.
Some information has just come to me however which took me entirely by surprise. I heard of something happening of which I had no inkling. Despite my many years of experience with academic psychology. I heard of something that had been completely blacked out.
The information came in an email from X, a volunteer social worker who had been at the workface of disruptive child behaviour for many years. He is a very sympathetic person so gained the confidence of many people involved with child misbehaviour. And what he heard was like nothing in the books. I pass on now his words:
What is rarely acknowledged is that there exist many mothers who deliberately manipulate their children to misbehave so that the mother (single or married, but mostly single or defacto) can act stressed and give vent to her own irritation/anger and appear as if she is trying very hard like a martyr with a child that is badly behaved and wearing her down. I believe this manipulation by mothers is more widespread than most people can imagine. These sorts of mothers actually want their child to be badly behaved.
Now I will make an even more extreme claim, and that is that feminist/leftist mothers deliberately manipulate their children to be hateful, to be bullies, and to be socially maladjusted. In my role I had several mothers openly admit their tactics and motives to me for how and why they made their children so bad, and I observed many other mothers in obvious denial about doing much the same. I actually admire the ones who were open about it. At least they acknowledged it and so might change. Those in denial can’t.
There was one little boy I worked with who was a horrid bully, frequently punching other boys on the nose, taking what he wanted from other children, and all the usual bully stuff. A few years later I met his mother. She was an absolute horror. Being fascinated by human personalities I spent several weeks chatting with her. She admitted to encouraging her boy to be a bully, to take what he wanted, to disrespect his teachers, and not to study at school, because society is bad and should be destroyed and one day it will be.
She told me she expected one day to shoot her brother and bury him in the forest because he comes and sponges off her. After telling me all about her horrid nature she started getting awkward, kindly holding my dustcoat out the way so it would not drag on what I was doing while also brushing my dick with her hand at the same time.
Not the sort of woman I wanted to get involved with, and one I expected would not hesitate to cause me problems if I upset her with rejection, so I acted completely dumb and talked about the job I was doing and other things like I was very focused on them and didn’t notice what she was doing. Its not usually too hard to make women like that not like me and leave me alone in that way. I act dumb and let other men look better.
Another mother told me how she was training her 11 year old boy to be violent, to smash a neighbour’s car windows and pile rocks on the driver’s seat to make him late for work and annoy him because he’s an idiot, and because she thinks its good to have violent sons.
She also told me she is preparing her 18 year old son to one day beat up her defacto husband and throw him out of the house all beaten up because he is a weak and useless man. She said the defacto was not a real man like her previous husband who would beat her up if she gave him trouble. She said the current one just sits on the couch and trembles and cries when she insults him and tells him he is a useless man. She said one day he will crack and get violent with her and then her son will bash him and throw him out.
Those were two cases of rather gross behaviour by mothers. I have many more cases of more subtle tactics that take longer to describe what they do. I think the subtle tactics are worse for many reasons.
Other extreme cases in which I did not meet the mothers, only the sons, were some criminals in the prison when I was doing volunterering. Most crims are raised by single mothers.
Of course crims are commonly liars but I think I got pretty good at telling what was true and false of what crooks said. To assist my counselling I had access to their criminal records, prior psych assessments, prior psych notes, judges summaries of their court cases, etc. So it was easy to get a pretty full picture.
I wanted to in the correction system. The psychs I worked with kept to only doing the minimal ordinary part of their work, but I have always explored the outer reaches and peripheries of all my jobs. One crim, a serial sex offender against underage girls, was kept away from school for half of most of his primary school years by his mother and was kept stoned on cannabis and LSD, and of course she had sex with him too.
His mother was a welfare worker. She ran the first needle exchange program for junkies in one of our state capital cities. Last I heard she was still working in welfare, but in another state capital.
These details were in various reports and even the judges summary but as far as I know his mother was not investigated or charged.
Many of the crooks report all sorts of abuse from their mothers. My fellow workers were always reluctant to put that in the crims counselling notes though, but they didn’t mind noting when crims were abused by males as children. The stats have to be incorrect because the feminist psychs don’t want to face and report abuses by mothers.
Ratko Mladić convicted of war crimes and genocide at UN tribunal
The massacre of innocents can of course never be condoned and it seems clear that Mladic is a thug but I wonder if it could have been taken into consideration during his sentencing that it was Muslims he was fighting and killing? His Republika Srpska was essentially the frontline of Serbs against the Muslims of Bosnia.
Both in the former Yugoslavia and worldwide Muslims have shown scant regard for the lives of others and retribution is very much a part of Yugoslav culture generally. As the report below notes, he is seen as a hero by his countrymen. He is adored, his portrait adorns bars and office walls in Bosnia and Serbia, his name sung at football matches. Was he just a typical Yugoslav? His men appear to have followed him unhesitatingly.
Had my people been the victim of centuries of Muslim oppression, I imagine that I might feel similarly. Scots still remember Edward Longshanks (King of England from 1272 to 1307) with bitterness. Serbs have to remember back only to 1812. And are we allowed to mention the large number of Serbs killed by the Muslim KLA?
Finally: What Mladic did seems to have been no worse than what Muslims do frequently. Yet has anyone in the KLA or the Middle East been prosecuted for their deeds? Were Mladic a Muslim, would he have been prosecuted at all?
The one-time fugitive from international justice faced 11 charges, two of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and four of violations of the laws or customs of war. He was cleared of one count of genocide, but found guilty of all other charges. The separate counts related to “ethnic cleansing” operations in Bosnia, sniping and shelling attacks on besieged civilians in Sarajevo, the massacre of Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and taking UN personnel hostage in an attempt to deter Nato airstrikes.
The trial in The Hague, which took 530 days across more than four years, is arguably the most significant war crimes case in Europe since the Nuremberg trials, in part because of the scale of the atrocities involved. Almost 600 people gave evidence for the prosecution and defence, including survivors of the conflict.
Delivering the verdicts, judge Alphons Orie said Mladić’s crimes “rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination”.
In evaluating Mladić’s culpability for genocide, the court pointed to his command and control of the Bosnian Serb army and interior ministry forces, which carried out almost all of the executions, his presence in the area, and his frequent remarks about how the country’s Muslims could “disappear”.
Once Mladic has exhausted any appeals, he could, theoretically, be sent to the UK to serve out the rest of his life behind bars. Britain is one of the countries that has signed up to the tribunal’s agreement on the enforcement of sentences.
The hearing, broadcast live, was followed closely in Bosnia. The Bosnian prime minister, Denis Zvizdić, said the verdict “confirmed that war criminals cannot escape justice regardless of how long they hide”.
In Lazarevo, the Serbian village where Mladić was arrested in 2011, residents dismissed the guilty verdicts as biased. One, Igor Topolic, said: “All this is a farce for me. He [Mladić] is a Serbian national hero.”
Mladić’s home village of Bozinovici retains a street named after the former general, where he is praised as a symbol of defiance and national pride.
Mladić’s defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, announced that he would appeal against the convictions.
That pesky Antarctic
A careful new reconstruction of the Antarctic climate record confirms much of what skeptics have been saying. They found evidence of a medieval warm period ("between 300 and 1000 CE") and the Little Ice Age ("1200 to 1900 CE") and show some recent warming as a rebound off the LIA. They also show that the Antarctic peninsula -- the Warmist's favorite bit of Antarctica -- is anomalous. I have often pointed to subsurface vulcanism as an influence on peninsula temperatures. I have truncated the Abstract below at the point where they leave the facts and drift into speculation
Antarctic climate variability on regional and continental scales over the last 2000 years
Barbara Stenni plus Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all
Climate trends in the Antarctic region remain poorly characterized, owing to the brevity and scarcity of direct climate observations and the large magnitude of interannual to decadal-scale climate variability. Here, within the framework of the PAGES Antarctica2k working group, we build an enlarged database of ice core water stable isotope records from Antarctica, consisting of 112 records. We produce both unweighted and weighted isotopic (? 18O) composites and temperature reconstructions since 0 CE, binned at 5- and 10-year resolution, for seven climatically distinct regions covering the Antarctic continent. Following earlier work of the Antarctica2k working group, we also produce composites and reconstructions for the broader regions of East Antarctica, West Antarctica and the whole continent. We use three methods for our temperature reconstructions: (i) a temperature scaling based on the ? 18O–temperature relationship output from an ECHAM5-wiso model simulation nudged to ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalyses from 1979 to 2013, and adjusted for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet region to borehole temperature data, (ii) a temperature scaling of the isotopic normalized anomalies to the variance of the regional reanalysis temperature and (iii) a composite-plus scaling approach used in a previous continent-scale reconstruction of Antarctic temperature since 1 CE but applied to the new Antarctic ice core database.
Our new reconstructions confirm a significant cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE across all Antarctic regions where records extend back into the 1st millennium, with the exception of the Wilkes Land coast and Weddell Sea coast regions.
Within this long-term cooling trend from 0 to 1900 CE, we find that the warmest period occurs between 300 and 1000 CE, and the coldest interval occurs from 1200 to 1900 CE.
Since 1900 CE, significant warming trends are identified for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the Dronning Maud Land coast and the Antarctic Peninsula regions, and these trends are robust across the distribution of records that contribute to the unweighted isotopic composites and also significant in the weighted temperature reconstructions.
Only for the Antarctic Peninsula is this most recent century-scale trend unusual in the context of natural variability over the last 2000 years.
An attempt to prop up an EPA obsession. Does fine dust kill you?
Because motor vehicles put out a lot of fine particles from their exhausts, the EPA has long tried to show that such pollution kills you. But the EPA are not alone in that. With great regularity studies from all sources emerge which show that living near a major road has adverse health consequences. I have critiqued many of those studies over the years and ALL of them fail to allow for confounding. For instance, it is mainly the poor who live beside major roads and the poor are unhealthier anyway. So the association between roads and health is actually an association between poverty and health -- an association we knew all along.
The study below seems to be similarly inconclusive. The poor probably live in more polluted areas. As far as I can tell they failed to account for poverty and other social class variables that could have mediated the findings. And they have no actual data on anyone's cause of death. Because a person who died lived near a polluted area they simply assume that pollution was the cause of his death. That seems to me to be assuming what you have to prove.
Futhermore all the associations reported were in the form of very low relative risks clustered around 1.0, which is most parsimoniously interpreted as "no association". There is much more that could be said about this study and Steve Milloy has said it. Like many studies before it, this study too is junk
Long-Term PM 2.5 Exposure and Respiratory, Cancer, and Cardiovascular Mortality in Older US Adults
Vivian C Pun, Fatemeh Kazemiparkouhi, Justin Manjourides, Helen H Suh
The impact of chronic exposure to fine particulate matter (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 μm (PM2.5)) on respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality is poorly understood. In a cohort of 18.9 million Medicare beneficiaries (4.2 million deaths) living across the conterminous United States between 2000 and 2008, we examined the association between chronic PM2.5 exposure and cause-specific mortality. We evaluated confounding through adjustment for neighborhood behavioral covariates and decomposition of PM2.5 into 2 spatiotemporal scales. We found significantly positive associations of 12-month moving average PM2.5 exposures (per 10-μg/m3 increase) with respiratory, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia mortality, with risk ratios ranging from 1.10 to 1.24. We also found significant PM2.5-associated elevated risks for cardiovascular and lung cancer mortality. Risk ratios generally increased with longer moving averages; for example, an elevation in 60-month moving average PM2.5 exposures was linked to 1.33 times the lung cancer mortality risk (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 1.40), as compared with 1.13 (95% confidence interval: 1.11, 1.15) for 12-month moving average exposures. Observed associations were robust in multivariable models, although evidence of unmeasured confounding remained. In this large cohort of US elderly, we provide important new evidence that long-term PM2.5 exposure is significantly related to increased mortality from respiratory disease, lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 180, Issue 12, 15 December 2014, Pages 1159–1167
Karl Marx had his Donald Trump
In my monograph on the subject, I claimed that Leftism versus Conservatism is largely a product of genetic influences that manifest themselves as differences in personality. Conservatives are born ass generally contented people where Leftists are heavily discontented people. It follows from that that there will be a recognizable polarity between Left and Right throughout history. And in my monograph I did a quick tour of history to show that that was so. So there is in one way a tendency for history to repeat itself
I am in a very small way a student of Karl Marx. I even have a blog devoted to his words. He was in no way a great thinker but his unrelenting hate for just about everyone -- including his own mother -- has always made him very attractive to the Left and that has made him very influential in world affairs.
And perhaps Marx's most famous saying is that "history repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce" (Exact quote here).
The quote is from Marx's book "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte". and he was comparing the original Napoleon with his nephew, Napoleon III (Napoleon II was the son of Napoleon I and ruled as the King of the Netherlands). Napoleon III started out as a popular democratic politician but later made himself a popular emperor with a big message of French patriotism.
And Napoleon III was very frustrating to Marx. Marx was hoping for some sort of revolution of the workers -- given the many discontents of the workers at that time. But along came Napoleon III as a very popular ruler who took advantage of worker discontents by making big promises. So in the preface to the second edition of "The Eighteenth Brumaire", Marx stated that the purpose of his essay was to "demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity to play a hero's part."
It amused me that Marx saw Napoleon III in exactly the same way as contemporary American Leftists see Donald Trump. I would not be surprised to find that some Leftist has described Trump too as a "grotesque mediocrity". It may be no consolation to the Left that Napoleon III ended up ruling for 18 years.
Aside from his popularity with the workers and his aim to make France great again, there are few other parallels between Napoleon III and Trump, though Napoleon did carry out extensive public works. Trump has similar aspirations but has been thwarted by RINO traitors in the GOP.
It is interesting to see, however, that the Leftist response to patriotic leaders has remained the same for over 150 years -- and got the facts completely wrong on both occasions.
One step closer for Kidston solar and pumped hydro generator
Pumped Hydro electricity is intrinsically an enormously expensive way to generate electricity. You need two dams for a start. So it will never be anything but the tiniest contribution to baseload. No wonder the project below is "world first"!
The folk below, however, seem to have found two conveniently located existing dams so might have a workable project with taxpayer support
The world’s first integrated solar and pumped hydro hybrid project in Kidston is one step closer to being built as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced up to $5 million in funding to Genex Power Limited (Genex) to help bring the landmark project to financial close in 2018.
This morning, Genex Power Limited made an ASX announcement that ARENA, on behalf of the Australian Government, would provide up to $5 million to support pre-financial close activities.
The Kidston Stage Two is a hybrid solar and hydro project is expected to comprise a hybrid 250MW pumped hydro electricity storage (PHES) facility and 270MW solar PV, generating around 783GWh of renewable electricity per year and powering over 140,000 Australian homes.
The Kidston site is located 270km north west of Townsville and will utilise two existing gold mining pits as the reservoirs for the project to minimise construction time and costs.
The solar PV and PHES hybrid enables Genex to create a reliable, dispatchable and affordable energy generator that is entirely renewable. PHES will also be also be able to provide stability and support to the grid, including ancillary services.
During peak power demand periods water will be released from the upper to the lower reservoir, passing through reversible turbines. During off peak periods and when sun is abundant, water will be pumped back from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir using electricity primarily from the solar farm.
“Stage Two of the Kidston hydro and solar project is an important step in achieving a secure and reliable grid for Australia and increasing the value delivered by renewable energy,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said.
“Kidston will be the only grid connected solar project located in Australia’s solar red zone, providing consistent strong sun throughout the year, and combining it with pumped hydro will provide Queensland access to an entirely renewable flexible energy option,” he said.
ARENA’s funding will help the project reach financial close by mid-2018, with up to $4.5 million of the grant to be convertible at the Minister’s discretion.
ARENA has previously provided $4 million to Genex towards the technical feasibility study of the PHES portion of the project, and a further $8.9 million towards Kidston Stage One solar PV project as part of the $92 million large scale solar PV competitive round.
Genex Managing Director Michael Addison said: “Genex is grateful to the Australian Government for its continuing support of the Kidston Stage 2 project, and the help of ARENA in bringing this to fruition in the near future.
The continued support from ARENA is testament to the innovative nature of the project, and the growing importance of large scale energy storage in Australia’s energy system as it transitions,” he said.
Two words that may not be spoken in the same breath
Leftists hate everything that is normal in their own society -- which leads to them championing everything that is abnormal in their own society -- such as homosexuals and Muslims. They want to be on the side of both those groups. But what if Muslims despise homosexuals? A problem? Not for a Leftist. You have lots of Freudian defence mechanisms to use. A good one is compartmentalization. You just never mention or even think about the two in the same breath. Tim Blair mocks that below in his commentary on the people who voted "No" to homosexual marriage in the recent plebiscite. You would never guess who they were: Excerpts only below:
“Why did western Sydney overwhelmingly vote no?” asks academic Andy Marks, who subsequently spends several hundred words avoiding the obvious answer.
The assistant vice-chancellor at Western Sydney University continues:
Here's the breakdown on the across western Sydney's 10 federal electorates. On the "no" side of the ledger: Blaxland 73.9 per cent, Chifley 58.7, Fowler 63.7, Greenway 53.6, McMahon 64.9, Mitchell 50.9 and Werriwa 63.7 per cent.
Barring Mitchell, "no" dominated in all Labor held seats. Longstanding MPs, Jason Clare, Ed Husic, Chris Hayes, Michelle Rowland and Chris Bowen might well be considering the implications with respect to the social dimension of the party's broader policies. Or not ....
Instead of "engaging with an incredibly complex debate on cultural values with the sophistication it deserves", we ask "who will think of the cake makers". It's time to recognise the consequences, political and otherwise, of the shifting epicentre of Australian conservative values.
Marks is right that Western Sydney, as a region, is no longer “a homogenous whole”. But he declines to join a “complex debate on cultural values” that recognises the massive Islamic homogeneity within certain Western Sydney suburbs.
Instead, ridiculously, he apparently includes the opinions of non-English speaking Muslims within the broader category of “Australian conservative values”. Similarly evasive is the ABC
Safe spaces for Leftists only
We are starting to see just how ideological the so-called ‘Safe Space’ is. This is an era in which it’s considered progressive to provide Safe Spaces for 20-year-old students who don’t want to hear certain ideas, but it’s ‘transphobic’, if not demonic, to expect a Safe Space for 13-year-old girls who want to try on clothes in Topshop without some bloke with stubble and chest hair breezing in.
Feminists demand Safe Spaces against controversial speakers, but will laugh at the fact that ‘there’s no hiding place’ for men accused – only accused – of sexual harassment.
Students with the ‘right’ views get a Safe Space, but students who like Israel or Brexit or reading tabloid newspapers can expect their spaces to be invaded and policed.
It’s clear now: the Safe Space is ideological prejudice in action, granting ‘safety’ to those who subscribe to the new illiberal-liberal orthodoxies, and denying it to those who do not. If you dissent from PC, there’s no safety for you. And there might even be violence.
Brendan might have added that there are no safe spaces for men either. Clubs and bars that excluded women to provide safe spaces for men -- as with the Harvard "Final clubs" have been relentlessly attacked, until there are now very few of them left.
For over a hundred years all Australian towns had a men's space -- the public bar of a local hotel. Women were not allowed there. There was a separate "Ladies' lounge" where women drank. Feminists have completely destroyed that. Women are now allowed in all bars, sometimes by force of law.
Many universities do however have permanent "safe spaces" for women -- from which men are rigorously excluded. My son reports that when he was recently on the campus of the University of Queensland -- of which he and I are both graduates -- he was approached by some young women who were handing out small gifts to anyone who signed a petition demanding a women's space on that campus.
He agreed to sign their petition, saying, "I think any group should have the right to exclude people they don't like". This utterance was greeted with horror, his signature was rejected and he did not get his gift. He was describing plainly what they wanted but they could not admit that
Australia's lush street trees face grave threat if emissions keep rising (?)
How strange that a group called the "Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub" found a problem! Could they have done otherwise? It's all arrant nonsense anyway. Plants generally like warmth. A popular street tree in Brisbane is the colourful Croton. But it only grows to shrub height here. In Darwin, where the climate is much hotter, it grows to tree height. And even in Sydney cumquat trees are planted as an ornamental shrub. But in far North Queensland they grow to tree height. Warmth is more likely to make the trees BIGGER.
And they have overlooked something that flows from their own Greenie theories. What they are warning against is a CO2-caused temperature rise. But elevated levels of CO2 have a fertilizing effect, and can cause plants to colonize places where they were not previously found -- as has happened in the Sahel. So in the unlikely possibility that a couple of degrees of warmth were bad for some tree, the higher levels of CO2 could well counteract that. But they have completely ignored that factor. So the assumption below that present distribution is also a distribution limit is very shaky. It's a typically one-sided Green/Left document below
Much-loved leafy streets and shady parks in Sydney and Melbourne are in jeopardy, according to new research that found climate change severely threatens the health of more than one-third of tree species in Australia's cities.
The federally funded study of 1.5 million trees in 29 council areas across Australia found that higher temperatures and urban heat means new tree species may be introduced, existing trees must be given special care and some trees may disappear in certain locations.
More than four in 10 houses in Australia's capital cities have a street tree.
Trees can greatly affect people's experience of a city - providing shade, places for recreation and a sense of place and heritage. They also cool the city, capture rain, slow stormwater and provide habitat for birds and other animals.
But the study found 24 per cent of all public trees, or 35 per cent of tree species, were at high risk from increased temperatures under a business-as-usual scenario in which emissions continue to increase to 2070.
Some 14 per cent of all public trees, or 22 per cent of tree species, were at high risk of increased temperatures if emissions were limited, in line with international commitments, in the years to 2040.
Trees were deemed at high risk when predicted temperatures were warmer than 97.5 per cent of locations where the species is found – making them particularly susceptible to drought, physiological stress and pest and disease outbreaks.
In the City of Sydney, 50 per cent of trees were at high risk under a business-as-usual scenario. They included brush box, rose gums, grey oaks and several eucalypt species.
In the Sydney council area formerly known as Marrickville, now part of the Inner West Council, a business-as-usual scenario put 40 per cent of trees at high risk, including casuarina she-oaks, black locusts and several eucalyptus species.
Some 32 per cent of trees were at high risk under business-as-usual in the City of Melbourne. They included rose apples and several species of elms, oaks and eucalypts.
Melbourne's inner north City of Moreland would see 26 per cent of trees at high risk under a business-as-usual scenario, such as purple-leafed plums, prairie crabapples and the narrow-leaved ash.
Darwin had the highest proportion of trees – 85 per cent - most at high risk if emission levels rose to 2070, while Ballarat had just 1 per cent at high risk.
Risks to trees were posed by both rising global temperatures and the urban "heat island" effect, where localised warming occurs due to dark-coloured and paved surfaces, buildings and the emission of heat from human activities.
The study was conducted by the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, a consortium of four universities funded by the Department of Environment and Energy.
It said "changes to the composition and the traits of the urban forest will lead to changes in the sense of place and identity of cities."
"Many cities in south-eastern Australia have a strong European colonial heritage expressed in their many broad-leaved deciduous trees that is likely to change under future climates," it said.
Conversely, local native trees helped create unique city identities and connections to natural heritage and traditional Indigenous ownership.
Catastrophic warning about the fate of humanity is given by 15,000 scientists who claim human destruction of the natural world will lead to 'misery' and an 'irretrievably mutilated' planet
Utter nonsense, as we expect from Greenies. Nothing significant happened in response to their earlier prophecy of doom. So what did they do? Apologize? No way! They just issued a new and more lurid warning. When they get ANY prophecy right will be the time to take notice of them. There have been many warnings of doom over the last thousand years but, despite them all, life has steadily got better for mankind
That various species have decreased in numbers may be true, though species counts are notoriously unreliable. But that is what you expect from species competition. Introduced species either eat or outcompete native species in what is essentially accelerated evolution.
And the most invasive species of all -- mankind -- also outcompetes other species for land and other resources. Greenies see that as deplorable but that very success is the foundation of the better lives we live today. You can't pretend it is bad for us.
And not all species are equally affected. Species that can coexist with mankind are having a rare old time. Never have rodents had it so good! And trees are included in that. The alarmists deplore the number of trees being cut down but "forget" to mention the expansion of woodlands in the USA and other technologically advanced countries
And many of their other claims are also tendentious. Global warming has been trivial over the last century and there is still no good evidence that mankind is responsible it. And the increase in CO2 has been beneficial rather than detrimental. It has greatly greened the planet, with desert areas like the Sahel shrinking
And the population trend is up only in poor countries. In advanced countries it is down. If Greenies would stop obstructing development, much of the third world could advance to Western standards of living and the consequent birthrates.
I could go on and fisk the whole thing but I have no inclination to clean out the Augean stables.
In sum, the "warning" below is just an assemblage of all the old and ill-founded Greenie scares. As such, it is totally worthless
A prophetic 'warning to humanity' giving notice of perils facing the Earth has been issued by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world.
Climate change, deforestation, loss of access to fresh water, species extinctions and uncontrolled human population growth are all threatening mankind's and the Earth's future.
The letter, originally written in 1992 argued human impacts on the natural world were likely to lead to 'vast human misery' and a planet that was 'irretrievably mutilated'.
But a quarter of a century since a majority of the world's living Nobel Laureates united to sign a warning letter about the Earth, scientists argued too little was being done.
They pointed out that in the past 25 years:
- The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26 per cent.
- The number of ocean 'dead zones' - places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation - has increased by 75 per cent.
- Nearly 300 million acres of forest have been lost, mostly to make way for agricultural land.
- Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued significant increases.
- Human population has risen by 35 per cent.
- Collectively the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29 per cent.
The message, posted online, updates an original Warning from the Union of Concerned Scientists and around 1,700 signatories delivered in 1992.
In the second warning letter to the globe, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries said humans had 'unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century'.
People should eat less meat, have fewer kids, consume less and use green energy to save the planet, the world's leading scientists urged.
'We are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats', it said.
'By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivise renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.'
But now it required the public to pressure their political leaders to take more decisive action.
This could include more nature and marine reserves, tougher laws to stamp out poaching and trade in wildlife, better family planning and educational programmes, more vegetarianism and less food waste, and massively adopting renewable energy and other 'green' technologies.
Professor William Ripple at Oregon State University said: 'Some people might be tempted to dismiss this evidence and think we are just being alarmist.
'Scientists are in the business of analysing data and looking at the long-term consequences.
He said that those who signed this second warning aren't just raising a false alarm.
'They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path', Dr Ripple said.
'We are hoping that our paper will ignite a wide-spread public debate about the global environment and climate.'
The article 'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice' notes 25 negative global trends.
NASA satellite spots cause of unprecedented spike in atmospheric CO2
Nice try but no cigar. El Nino just shifts rainfall around. Warmer oceans would in fact have increased it overall. Yet the article below seems to posit an overall increase in drought.
And in 2017, well after El Nino, CO2 levels have never been higher. So blaming higher CO2 levels on El Nino just will not fly. They are independent phenomena.
But it's nice to see NASA blaming ANYTHING on El Nino. They mostly try to ignore it -- as with the 2015 temperature spike. At least they now admit that it happened
Since the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have been steadily increasing, but 2015 and 2016 saw an unprecedented spike. A NASA study has now analyzed data gathered by the atmosphere-monitoring satellite, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), over more than two years and pinpointed the cause: the El Nino weather effect caused certain tropical regions to release far more CO2 than they normally would.
Although there's been some huge efforts to reduce the amount of CO2 produced through human activity, the amount of the gas pumped into the atmosphere has still increased by an average of 2 parts per million (about 4 gigatons of carbon) annually, in recent years. But 2015 and 2016 broke the trend with the largest spikes on record: up to 3 parts per million, amounting to 6.3 gigatons of carbon. Emissions from human activity stayed roughly the same in those years, so where was it all coming from?
The climate cycle El Nino was a prime suspect, but it wasn't clear exactly how. This phenomenon occurs over the Pacific Ocean every few years, when warmer water from near the Phillipines and Indonesia drifts east towards South America, and the effects can be strong enough to alter weather across the entire planet. Warmer waters at the surface of the ocean drag the rains with it, lowering precipitation and causing droughts in areas like Australia, India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, northeastern South America, while increasing rainfall in places like Peru, Chile and Ecuador.
The El Nino event in 2015 was one of the strongest since the 1950s, so it's no coincidence that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded. To study what effects the event may have had on atmospheric CO2 concentrations, NASA researchers analyzed 28 months of data gathered by the OCO-2 satellite, which can take thousands of readings of carbon dioxide levels per day in a given area, as well as measure how well vegetation is processing the gas via photosynthesis.
The team compared that data to 2011 as a reference year, when weather and carbon cycle processes were normal. Their conclusion? The increase was due to warmer-than-average temperatures and drought in tropical parts of South America, Africa and Indonesia, which in turn were caused by El Nino.
The effects of the 2015 El Nino event in different tropical regions, which in turn caused...
"These three tropical regions released 2.5 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere than they did in 2011," says Junjie Liu, lead author of the study. "Our analysis shows this extra carbon dioxide explains the difference in atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rates between 2011 and the peak years of 2015-16. OCO-2 data allowed us to quantify how the net exchange of carbon between land and atmosphere in individual regions is affected during El Nino years."
The researchers combined the OCO-2 data with that gathered by other satellites, to figure out the specific processes in each of those regions that were contributing to the extreme increase in CO2. Drought ravaged eastern and southeastern tropical areas of South America, bringing about the driest year in the last three decades. Coupled with higher than average temperatures, vegetation in these regions were stressed and as such, photosynthesis slowed, meaning the plants plucked less carbon from the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, tropical Asia suffered through its second-driest year in 30 years, which increased the severity of forest fires that in turn pumped more carbon into the air. During the same time, tropical Africa endured hotter temperatures but no drought, which sped up the rate of decomposition of dead trees and plants, resulting in more CO2 emissions.
"We knew El Ninos were one factor in these variations, but until now we didn't understand, at the scale of these regions, what the most important processes were," says Annemarie Eldering, Deputy Project Scientist on the OCO-2 mission. "Understanding how the carbon cycle in these regions responded to El Nino will enable scientists to improve carbon cycle models, which should lead to improved predictions of how our planet may respond to similar conditions in the future. The team's findings imply that if future climate brings more or longer droughts, as the last El Nino did, more carbon dioxide may remain in the atmosphere, leading to a tendency to further warm Earth."
What I learned as a guest house proprietor
I learned about poverty. The house had 22 rooms and was located in a lower socio-economic area. The inhabitants were all poor. But they weren't "down on their luck". They made their luck. They were generally pleasant people to talk to and were quite prone to conservative views on social issues. None of them had any time for "poofters" (homosexuals), for instance. They were however much prone to larceny. They stole from one another with considerable regularity. I got on quite well with them in general. I would not have been able to run the place otherwise. My own working class background undoubtedly helped. I could use their own language and idioms in talking to them.
But because I got on well with them, I got to know a fair bit about them. None of them had a job so lived on welfare payments. And by the time the next payment came around there was nothing left of the previous payment. Their pockets were empty. They didn't save a cent. There was just one exception, a very black TI man (a Melanesian) by the name of Apu. As he handed me his rent one day he remarked that he had got into a fight last night and lost his money. He then went on to say: "So I went to the bank and got some out".
So why was it only a black man who was able to save? Christianity is strong on TI so I guess Apu learnt some good habits from that. There was no religion among my white tenants.
So it was amusing to see what happened on "payday". A steady stream of "goon" (sweet white wine, mostly "Fruity Lexia") in cardboard boxes would arrive. I don't begrudge them that but it is part of where their money went. Goon gives you the biggest hit for your buck but even goon is not cheap.
And the other money habit I observed was that my tenants were hopeless shoppers. They would buy rubbish food -- like bags of potato crisps -- and buy it off a nearby service station where prices were generally at least a third higher than at a supermarket, And there was a good supermaket only about 10 minutes walk away. Had they made a point of price-conscious shopping they would have had substantial money left over by the end of the week.
So they made their own poverty.
There are of course some people whom the Victorians called "the deserving poor" -- people who are poor due to some sort of misadventure rather than due to fecklessness -- but I saw none of those. I have to conclude that they are a small minority of the poor -- albeit a minority who do deserve compassion and help.
So what policy lessons do I draw from what I saw? For a start, most of the ones I saw would be only marginally employable. Their skills, habits and attitudes were not really consistent with a job. Training would probably lift some of them into employability but whether they would actually take a job would be an issue. Some of them were clearly quite happy to live fancy-free on welfare payments.
The only way I see forward is something the Australian Federal government is already trying in some localities -- giving welfare payments in the form of a debit card that can be used only to buy essentials but not such things as alcohol and tobacco products: similar to the American SNAP system ("food stamps"). But we know that such a system has its limits. The card holder buys goods that SOMEONE ELSE wants and exchanges those goods for money. But such a system should in some cases make the getting of a job more attractive
The Victorian attitude of DISAPPROVAL of poverty would probably also help but any return of that is most unlikely. Society has come to accept its parasites
The case for colonialism
I reproduce below just the abstract and a bit of the Introduction of a most "incorrect" academic article. It provoked a huge outcry from the usual suspects and was promptly withdrawn by the journal that originally published it. At least as far as Britain's African colonies are concerned, there is little doubt that they have steadily gone downhill in all sorts of ways since independence -- so it is long overdue for a systematic survey of that
Note, for instance, a recent report that Zimbabwe is again on the point of collapse, with a worthless currency and food shortages creeping in again. As Rhodesia under British rule, Zimbabwe was a prosperous and well-run country that was a major exporter of grains and other agricultural produce --JR
For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.
For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. Colonialism has virtually disappeared from international affairs, and there is no easier way to discredit a political idea or opponent than to raise the cry of ‘colonialism’. When South African opposition politician Helen Zille tweeted in 2017 that Singapore’s success was in part attributable to its ability to ‘build on valuable aspects of colonial heritage’, she was vilified by the press, disciplined by her party, and put under investigation by the country’s human rights commission. It is high time to reevaluate this pejorative meaning. The notion that colonialism is always and everywhere a bad thing needs to be rethought in light of the grave human toll of a century of anti-colonial regimes and policies.
Homosexual community won’t forgive those who voted "no" to homosexual marriage
The homosexual writing below makes large and unwarranted assumptions about other people's motives so it is no surprise that he is filled with hate. He says, for instance, that the plebiscite on homosexual marriage was a deliberate delaying tactic. It was not. It was a buck-passing exercise. The Liberal party was disunited over the matter so they did the democratic thing and handed the decision to the people.
He also says that "no" voters were motivated by a feeling that homosexuals are inferior. That may have been true in a few cases but he is totally ignoring that the case for the "No" vote was almost entirely put by Christian organizations. Nobody could be in any doubt that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible and there are still many people who respect Bible teachings as at least wise. I do myself, despite being an atheist. The "No" vote was almost certainly a vote in favour of Christian teachings in most cases.
So he ignores both the virtue of democracy and the teachings of Christianity. No wonder he is bitter and twisted and full of vindictiveness. Ignoring reality is never wise.
What about the "hurt" that homosexuals have experienced when they heard their practices condemned? They can only have felt that if they were previously unaware that people disapproved of them. Being hauled into an awareness of reality must be regarded as a generally good thing. Political correctness normally inhibits people from speaking negatively of homosexuality so this was an occasion where the truth could come out. Surely that must be on balance a good thing
FEW things have united the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters in the divisive, drawn-out campaign for same-sex marriage.
Mathias Cormann’s suggestion back in August that the postal ballot would be a “unifying moment” for the country now seems utterly laughable.
But if one thing unifies, it’s surely the relief that this postal ballot plebiscite finally ends today. People in both camps have felt injured or insulted over these six long weeks. Many of the public feel fatigued. They just want it to be over.
Make no mistake: this is what anti-equality MPs wanted. The optional, non-binding, expensive, unnecessary postal vote was a delaying tactic to prohibit or at least postpone marriage equality — and certainly to exhaust existing public appetite for it.
Turnbull’s continued insistence that this has been a “respectful debate” isn’t just a lie — it’s offensively ignorant. Trains were defaced with ‘Vote no to fags.’ Two lesbians in Redfern woke up in October to discover that dog excrement had been thrown on their doorstep. Graffiti instructed people to ‘Bash a gay today’. Respectful? This is incitement to homophobic violence.
A ‘No’ voter was sacked from her job for being public about how she’d vote. At Sydney University, food was thrown and threats made to “stomp on the face” of ‘No’ voters, which resulted in the police being called.
This is what happens when you put people’s human rights, basic dignity and simple equality up for debate. People get passionate. It gets ugly. And it was always going to.
Of course, passion makes the headlines. Many, myself included, tried to have the polite, respectful debate Turnbull wanted. I volunteered for the ‘Yes’ campaign, making calls to voters and asking if they’ll, pretty please, consider treating me equally. It was a demeaning exercise — but one I did on behalf of the anxious, upcoming generation of LGBTQI people who deserve to share in the happily-ever-after optimism that every young person does.
A typical response to asking a caller if they’d consider voting ‘Yes’ was offered by one particularly aggravated woman: “I don’t actually think that’s any of your fucking business, do you?”
What I wanted to say was: “Neither is the validity of my relationship with my boyfriend actually any of your fucking business, but you’ve still been invited to have your say on its legitimacy, haven’t you?”
What I actually said was: “No worries madam, sorry for interrupting your evening!” It’s a conversation, through gritted teeth, I had dozens, possibly hundreds of times.
But where did that politeness get me? Even if we win the postal ballot, we lose. A Sky News ReachTEL poll found 64 per cent voted ‘Yes’. But if that’s the case, I still find it devastating to know that over a third of the country have been encouraged to post a letter saying they don’t want to treat me equally.
That 36 per cent have been influenced by a ‘No’ campaign to solidify their gut feeling that I’m inferior to them. They could be my future employers. They could be people whose livelihoods I help fund by buying goods or services from them. And that makes me very uncomfortable.
Something unforgivable has occurred here. MPs were widely warned a plebiscite would unleash a Pandora’s box of harm. Gay people warned it’d give licence to homophobia and further ostracism. We pleaded with MPs to think of the suicide risk to vulnerable young LGBTQI people. Rainbow families travelled to Canberra to warn of the harm this’d do to their young kids. Bill Shorten listened, and reversed his initial support for the plebiscite.
Not only did Coalition MPs ignore and dismiss these warnings, they fought them at the High Court — and won. Look what happened. As Tanya Plibersek said on last night’s Q & A, gay people were distraught to discover members of their own family would be voting ‘No’.
I’ve seen gay people asking anyone on Facebook voting ‘No’ to de-friend them: from cousins and acquaintances to those they thought were their friends. Employers have been encouraged to turn against their staff for voting a different way. I’ve even seen divisions within the gay community itself emerge as a debate rages about how much tolerance or acceptance we should offer those who don’t want us to have equality.
With all this grimly predictable polarisation, I can think of one unifying moment for the LGBTQI community. It’s a reclaiming of power too often denied us, and one of the greatest powers of all: the withholding of forgiveness.
If gay people are angry that they’ve been pitted against each other and against their friends, family and colleagues, they have the power to punish at the ballot box — not just at the next election, but for a lifetime.
I’m hoping it galvanises LGBTQI people not just to vote for any other party than the LNP, but to join one, and campaign for one.
Why should we trust or forgive MPs who’ve ignored us, dismissed our legitimate concerns, made us beg for equality?
The real unifying moment is that the gay community now knows who has our backs. If you’re gay, and now consider voting LNP in your lifetime, shame on you.
Plain truth can be hate-speech on Quora
I responded to the following question on Quora.com:
"Why has the free movement of people between Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the UK not been implemented? There are similar population sizes, common language, & social, political, economic, & educational systems are all based on the British model"
"Australia and NZ don’t want the blacks — too crime-prone"
Quora deleted my reply on the grounds that it violated their Be Nice, Be Respectful policy
I wrote in response to them:
"Since when is the truth simply expressed disrespectful? The alternative is BS"
On behalf of Quora, Amelia then replied:
"Thanks for your email. We'll be more than happy to clarify our moderation decision here.
Your content was in violation of our Be Nice, Be Respectful policy. This core Quora principle requires that people treat other people on the site with civility, respect, and consideration.
More specifically, your content contained what we consider to be hate speech:
Users are not allowed to post content or adopt a tone that would be interpreted by a reasonable observer as a form of hate speech, particularly toward a race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, political group, sexual orientation or another similar characteristic. Questions and question details about generalizations in these topics should be phrased as neutrally and respectfully as possible.
Our decision is final, and your content will not be reinstated"
My closing comment: "I imagine Amelia is just an apparatchik at Quora so shares the current politically correct hysteria about any mention of blacks that fails to praise them -- but her action deprives their questioner of the answer to his question.
Is that what Quora is about? Is it a cover-up service or an information service? No American is in any doubt about the black crime-rate so why can it not be mentioned in an objective information context? I have had many articles published in the academic journals of the social sciences on questions about race and racism but such discussions must be kept from the general public, apparently. So I suppose that this episode is just another example of Leftists having big problems with the truth -- JR.
Even without an El Nino kick, 2017 heads for top-three ranking for global heat
An amusing bit of Warmism below. Now that 2017 is trending much cooler than 2016, they suddenly admit that the 2016 temperature was pushed up by El Nino. They previously avoided mentioning the El Nino effect and pretended the warming was part of anthropogenic global warming.
The authors below say that there was no influence of ElNino in 2017 so therefore the warmth must be traceable to the higher CO2 levels in 2017. What they omit to mention is that the ocean is a very slowly-changing heat sink and that ElNino was affecting temperatures for nearly two years. So one must expect that heat absorbed in that time will take a similar period to dissipate. And we are only half way through that period. So a drop back to pre 2015 temperatures is the trend and a continuation of that trend should bring us right back to "stasis" temperatures and a resumption of the infamous "pause".
Most amusingly, note that although global temperatures are dropping, CO2 levels are higher in 2017 than they have ever been. Once again the exact opposite of what Warmist theory predicts. Much fun!
You can't beat going back to the numbers. The CO2 figures are here (see column 4) and the temperatures are here. The numbers show you what the carefully selected guff below never would
The world is headed for its third warmest year on record, even without the boost from an El Nino, as the signs of climate change continue to mount, the World Meteorological Organisation said.
In a report released to coincide with the opening of the Bonn climate conference in Germany on Monday, the WMO said the five-year average was now running at about 1 degree warmer than the average for 1880-1900 period. The same conference two years ago in Paris agreed to keep warming to below 2 degrees.
Headwinds for climate change conference
A UN-led climate conference in Bonn begins this week with President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in a potentially awkward sticking point.
Based on the first nine months of the year, 2017 is unlikely to match 2016 - the hottest year on record - or the previous year. Still, it is likely to dislodge 2014 as the third warmest.
Such a ranking for 2017 will be notable not least because El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions have been neutral this year, removing the warming boost the past two years had from an El Nino.
"It's clearly the warmest year [on record] that doesn't have a warming influence," said Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology and scientific coordinator of the WMO report.
According to the first 10 months of the year, Australia will have its third-warmest year on record, the bureau said in a separate report.
Mean temperatures are running 0.96 degrees above the 1961-90 average used by the bureau. Maximum temperatures were even more unusual, running at 1.34 degrees above average.
The WMO's report comes a week after the United Nations agency said greenhouse gases are now at levels not seen for perhaps five million years. Carbon dioxide levels rose the most on record last year, increasing 3.3 parts per million to 403.3 ppm.
BOOK REVIEW. "Young Hitler: The Making of the Fuhrer", interesting but amateurish
Yes. From what the reviewer says, the book is amateurish. He rightly says that Hitler was not initially antisemitic but does not know why he became so. He offers no understanding of Hitler's psychology at all. Yet Hitler himself gives a perfectly clear and believable account of that in "Mein Kampf".
Hitler was a strong patriot who wanted to make Germany great again. That is normal enough. Strong patriotism is common even in nations where there would seem to be little to be patriotic about. So there is no mystery or madness about his basic motivations.
And what turned that patriotism into anti-semitism is also clear. People say it was because of his rejection by the Vienna art school -- but Hitler himself agreed with that rejection. The Rector told him that his main talent was in architecture and Hitler enthusiastically agreed with that. He was not antagonized at all.
What DID anger Hitler was all the revolutionary talk in postwar Vienna. There were many orators calling for class war and a revolution. But that went completely against Hitler's patriotism. He wanted Germans to be one big happy family, not fighting among themselves. And it was his constant belief in Germany and German unity that got him his following. He came across as someone who loved his people. And they followed him to the bitter end because of that.
And guess who the revolutionary talk came from? Predominantly Jews. Karl Marx was a Jew and many of the Bolsheviks were Jews and to this day, Jews tend strongly to support the political Left. There is no doubt that there WERE many Jewish preachers of revolution in Vienna in the aftermath of WWI. Hitler even lists the names of the ones he knew of.
So he saw the Jews as enemies of Germany. Thus his hatred of Jews mirrored his love of Germany. All perfectly understandable and straightforward in an era where EVERYBODY (just about) hated Jews. His ideas were perfectly normal in the context of his times. The vast majority of Germans would have nodded their heads wisely when Hitler demonized Jews. It was a tragic overgeneralization but it was far from mysterious
Young Hitler is a new direction for Australian writer Paul Ham. His previous books have been about war, specifically defeats, disasters and grossly abnormal loss of life, such as Passchendaele: Requiem for a Doomed Youth (2016). His least blood-soaked book is Vietnam: The Australian War (2007), which remains the only one-volume treatment of the subject and is still useful, if in need of updating.
Now, however, he has turned to a biographical study, albeit of a soldier and the instigator of the most widespread war in history. But Hitler! Why Hitler? Ham’s 18-page bibliography makes it clear that Adolf Hitler is hardly neglected by other writers.
The question Ham believes has not been sufficiently answered is how “the experiences of Hitler’s youth, especially during the First World War, wrought the conqueror of Europe out of this unpromising human clay”.
In fact, Ham doesn’t quite mean that; he’s not trying to explain the Reich’s military successes. Rather, what is it about World War I that “created one of the most murderous dictators of the 20th century”? Ham believes “the finest” biographers of Hitler — Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw and Volker Ullrich — “tend to give less emphasis to the role of the First World War in shaping Hitler’s character than it deserves”. His book is to remedy this flaw. It’s an ambitious if not cheeky aspiration.
Ham quotes Kershaw: “What happened under Hitler is unimaginable without the experience of the First World War and what followed it.” So it must all be a question of degree, for what veteran’s personality and subsequent impact on the world is not influenced by war experience?
What are the striking features of Hitler’s 1914-18? That he survived all 4½ years of it on the Western Front. That he was a brave soldier and deserved his two Iron Crosses. That he was exhilarated by the dangerous life of combat. That he was disgusted by defeatism on the part of his comrades (although any suggestion of intimacy in that word hardly applies). That he resented whingeing and poor morale on the home front. That he saw the heavy losses in the First Battle of Ypres as the malign doing of the German political and military establishment.
Naturally, all or much of this played into the man’s evolving personality. But certain central traits of the “mature” Hitler don’t seem to have had a Great War genesis or particular encouragement — his anti-Semitism, for example. At length, Ham refers to the anti-Semitic miasma in the air in Hitler’s youthful days in Vienna and Munich, but keeps commenting that Hitler was not irrevocably infected then. And it wasn’t the war that did it either: Hitler’s Iron Cross First Class was recommended by his Jewish officer, and Hitler doesn’t seem to have noticed or minded, much less felt disgusted or ashamed.
If anything — and this seems the strong countercurrent of Ham’s book — it was Hitler’s experience of the aftermath of the war, rather than 1914-18 itself, that was responsible for the final fuhrer mould. Hitler bitterly embraced the myth of the stab in the back as an explanation for Germany’s defeat, and he threw himself into the business of fingering and nailing the assassin. In the end, this came down to being the entirely imaginary figure of Jewish Bolshevism.
Despite, it seems to me, arguing against himself, Ham has written an interesting primer. For the serious Hitler aficionados, brought up on Bullock and Kershaw, the obvious next step is Ullrich’s 2016 book Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939. But Ham’s Young Hitler works well as an introductory text. It has a good parade of the non-partisan witnesses to his youth, a discriminating account of Hitler’s war service, and offers just as much of Mein Kampf as a strong stomach can handle.
Yet a slight air of amateurishness hangs over the book. There’s a non-nuanced reference to the causes of the war, which seem to come down to Prussian militarism. Ham’s bibliography strikingly omits great Australian historian Christopher Clark’s groundbreaking 2012 book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. And there is no trace of what I might even call empathy for Hitler. Despite the book’s avowed intention, there is no prising open the psyche of the as-yet-unformed young man. His devotion to his mother comes across more as an aberration than any kind of possible key to a flicker of a less-egocentric consciousness.
Ham’s earliest assessment of the child is as “sullen and resentful” and “by the age of 12 Hitler had grown into an emotionally indulged self-absorbed boy with a marked contempt for authority and the temper of a bully”.
It could be said that Ham has taken a predetermined set against him. Maybe he can simply find no spark of humanity even in the child. “Whence came this juvenile rage at the world? … The answer has eluded the powers of psychiatrists.” It’s as though the evil machine was born ticking over and just waiting to be pointed towards its destined field of destruction.
Ham’s epilogue opens out into an analysis, a sermon, even a harangue on the present. Conventional wisdom has long been that once you bring Hitler into your argument, you’ve lost it. Present times, however, seem to call for the overthrow of this maxim.
In April, historian Christopher Browning devoted his review of Ullrich’s Ascent in The New York Review of Books to a comparative, and very sane, essay on the rise of Hitler and the rise of Donald Trump. For Ham’s last eight pages he says “a few points are worth making about Hitler’s legacy”. What follows is a fairly cosmic denunciation of white supremacists, far-right European parties, Steve Bannon, Islamophobia, trickle-down economics, Western inequity …
Ham then lays down his own combative program in a series of paragraphs that begin: “The solution …” As it happens, there’s little I disagree with, but the style is denunciatory, highly generalised and flamboyantly rhetorical. Is this intentional? Too much unnerving Hitler here.
An interesting collage
Armistice day -- lessons from "Kanzler" Bismarck and General Monash
The 11th day of the 11th month (also known as Remembrance Day and Veterans Day) was originally made memorable because it marked the end of WWI. And well might it be commemorated. The war it ended was unbelievably grisly. It has often been compared to a meat grinder. And it was pretty much that. Strong and healthy young men were marched forward ("over the top") into withering machine gun fire. Most died instantly. It was if their lives did not matter. They were deliberately killed by their own generals. Both sides did it but Britain's general Haig was most known for it. He became known as the "Butcher of the Somme"
This strange behaviour was because they could think of no other way of waging war. An outright charge on the enemy was how wars had been conducted since time immemorial. That was what you did in a war. But it was madness in the era of the machine gun and rapid firing field artillery.
One would have thought that manpower would be seen as the ultimate resource in a war and that it should therefore be conserved and carefuly used. It should not be squandered as in the disastrous Somme Offensive.
There was one General who did work to conserve his men: Australia's General Monash, a son of emigrant German Jews. As a Jew he might well have been horrified by the mass deaths Jews had experienced and wanted no more of that. A small excerpt about him:
"In July 1916 he took charge of the newly raised 3rd Division in northwestern France and in May 1918 became commander of the Australian Corps, at the time the largest corps on the Western Front. The successful Allied attack at the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918, which expedited the end of the war, was planned by Monash and spearheaded by British forces including the Australian and Canadian Corps under Monash and Arthur Currie. Monash is considered one of the best Allied generals of the First World War and the most famous commander in Australian history"
It's an irony that he spoke, read, and wrote German fluently.
And there is another very eminent German who might well have been horrified by mass deaths. Prussia's "Iron Chancellor" and founder of united Germany, Otto von Bismarck.
One of Bismarck's better known remarks (misquoted by Churchill) was: "Der ganze Balkan ist nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen pommerschen Grenadiers wert" (The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier). You can't get more conserving of manpower than that.
Bismarck died in 1898. Had he lived and ruled a few years longer, World War I might have been fought very differently, if it was fought at all. Monash showed what could be done in the field.
I can't resist a few more quotes from Bismarck:
What we learn from history is that no one learns from history.
The most significant event of the 20th century will be that the fact that the North Americans speak English.
The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.
The Americans are truly a lucky people. They are bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish.
Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.
The role of specialization in progressivism
The following article is about the "progressive" era, before and after WWI. It makes a case that the specialization that is the mark of modern life turns people into serfs of a kind. So to avoid that entrapment, there needs to be in people's lives some source of general cultural and historical knowledge. The only likely source of that knowledge is the educational system, particularly the High School years.
Leftist educators have over the years ripped historical and cultural knowledge out of b education. All tests of the matter show a profound ignorance of history among students. We are lucky if they can name America's three branches of government -- let alone know anything of the teachings of the founders. So it has become quite urgent to restore a general cultural and historical education to the schools. At the moment, only home schoolers are in a position to do that. But it will be a very powerful education for their children if they do.
This article is to my mind the best case for a general education that I have so far seen. I myself had a very general education in a long-gone era when Eton was the model for government schools. So I am constantly surprised at how little people know these days. To take just a tiny example of that, I just last night found out that a generally aware person I know had no idea of what the word "chagrin" meant. And I will never forget finding out to my utter astonishment that my son had got to the final year of High School without even having heard the names of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Tennyson. He had however heard of Kath Walker, an angry black poetess of no distinction
The cultural role of specialization in progressive ideology has become more apparent to me over the years, especially as I learn more about them at the same time I am learning about the Founders. It shouldn't be overlooked any longer.
The progressives, they really enjoy specialization. Man #1, he is a professional organizer. Always has been, always will be. Man #2 is a professional Human Resources coordinator. Man 3# is a professional journalist. Man #4 is a professional teacher. Man #5 is a CEO. Man #6, he is a professional politician.
Wait a second. Professional politician? Go with me here for a second. What were the Founders?
Many of them were lawyers. But actually, they were historians. But actually, they were philosophers. But actually, they were politicians.
Some weren't lawyers, instead they were farmers. But actually, they were authors. But actually, they were theologians. But actually, they were politicians.
You see that? They weren't specialists. They were generalists. They did many things throughout their lives, and did not look at politics as a life-long career and certainly did not go off to college to achieve that one single goal.
This is actually a part of the problem - the old adage "those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it" - well, what does a specialist know BUT his specialization?(and let's not forget the role of university indoctrination)
How can a specialist in, say, fixing some sort of complex machine possibly know about Article 3, section 2? That's not his specialization, that's for the Constitutional experts to handle.
How can a specialist in, say, nuclear physics, possibly know about the constitutional debates between August 6th to August 18th, 1787? That's for the history experts to handle.
How can a specialist in, say, medicine, possibly know the meaning of God's Law/Natural Law and the Enlightenment? That's for religious experts to handle. Add into the fact that the doctor who works 18 hours a day isn't then going to go home and read the Constitution before bed. Sure, there may be a small handful who will, but not nearly enough to make up the difference.
You see how the weakness is necessarily bred into the mix? I'm referring in all cases to super smart people here. This isn't an issue of lack of intellect. It's a lack of exposure.
Hyper specialists are natural suckers for tyranny. Serfs in the waiting. "Eh, politics? Bah, that's for the politicians to handle. Fake news? Bah, that's not for me. That's for the journalists to handle. History? No, I will leave that to the historians. Economics? I'm not touching that one. Go ask an expert." Specialization breeds large amounts of weakness.
Listen to the wording of this small preface:
In an age of specialization, one's activities are necessarily delimited by the professional interest. However, the great war has affected more than the vocational superstructure of our lives. It has rocked the foundations of civilization, and compelled the revaluation of many standards far more vital and more basic than the vocational. This fact may explain, if it does not justify, this excursion afield of a student of economics.
The war has changed many of the conditions of living which demand analyis. Unlike the chemist or physicist, the student of the social sciences cannot vary the conditions of his experiments, but must wait until the processes of history afford him an opportunity to observe variations In phenomena, and to study their causes.
The war has upset some accepted articles of faith, but it has confirmed many others, which not only stood the test of war, but determined the victory. Many new needs have arisen and some old tendencies have become clearer.
We are entering a new era. We may do so blindly, or we may attempt to crystallize our ideas on the issues arising out of the war for the purpose of intelligently controlling social forces.
The problems of social and of political adjustment, and of the conservation of human resources, are neither less pressing nor less significant to the country than are the economic and financial questions, which have riveted the attention of statesmen and publicists during the past year. The little attention which the social problems have received is not a criterion of their relative importance in the life of the American people. It is characteristic of human nature to neglect those problems which, though they deal with the most fundamental aspects of the national life, lack the driving force of the economic motive.
This volume is a sequel to "American Problems of Reconstruction, a Symposium on the Economic and Financial Aspects." In the treatment of their subjects the contributors were requested to discuss:
1 . What have been the effects of the war?
a. What pre-war conditions have become more clearly defined?
b. What new conditions has the war brought to life?
2. What should be our policy during the reconstruction period?
Thanks for suggestions are due to Drs. Dickinson, Rogers and Wolman, and others of the group of men who gathered at the Cosmos Club during the war. The volume has benefited as a result of the advice of Dean William H. Welch, of the School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University, and of my brother, David, particularly in the section dealing with the social aspects of medicine. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to President Frank J. Goodnow, Professors Charles H. Cooley, Franklin H. Giddings, M. M. Kaplan, T. I. Parkinson, Roscoe Pound, E. A. Ross, and Arthur J. Todd, and Mr. Abraham Flexner, for helpful suggestions.
That's from "America and the new era, a symposium on Social Reconstruction" It's a book written by progressives, for progressives. Social reconstruction? Who but progressives look at the progressive era through the era after World War 1 as an era of social reconstruction. Progressives are very intense when it comes to their "fundamental transformation" of America, and they have been since day one.
Notice how the theme of the preface is entirely geared toward social control, with a sprinkle of economic talk. That's the job of the new specialist in the progressive era, social control. Control over you, over your life. In part, this is also why progressives worship the false god of "the economy" so intently. They can use it for control purposes. Sure, it can be said that in the short term, an economy comprised entirely of specialists will be more productive and prosperous with fatter bank accounts than the corresponding generalists. However, at what price?
Here we are, one century past the progressive era. Tyranny is knocking at our door, demanding payment. You ready to pay the price for abandoning generalization? The generalists then had more freedom than the specialists do now. Choose wisely.
US birth rates fall as deaths from age-related diseases climb according to the CDC's latest quarterly estimates
There is not much doubt that feminism plays a role in the birthrate reduction. It has become accepted now that women should have a career -- and that means delayed child-rearing or even a complete abandonment of family creation. Some feminists even criticize mothers as "Breeders".
Women who are merely delaying childbirth also take a substantial risk that when they are "ready" for a baby one may not come -- even with IVF. There are now a lot of woebegone women in that situation.
Another way in which feminism is anti-birth springs from the draconian divorce law that they have inspired. Wise men are no longer prepared to take the risk of marriage. There are of course still a lot of ex-nuptial births but there is no doubt that a marriage does encourage children. It's what marriage was once all about.
But there is a silver lining to it all. The group least likely to have children would have to be feminists themselves. So the genes of these unhappy women will be much less likely to be passed on. To a degree feminists will breed themselves out of existence -- leaving the world a much happier place
Birth rates are down by more than two percent this year compared to this time last year
As birth rates in the US continue to decline, deaths from age-related diseases are on the rise this year, according to new quarterly estimates released by the CDC today.
Deaths from cancer and HIV, on the other hand, are estimated to continue their steady declines, underscoring the successes of innovative treatments in the US, and infant mortality remains stable.
The CDC's numbers so far for 2017 confirm trends in US population growth decline that scientists and statisticians have observed in recent years.
The new stats come as baby boomers reach old age, and people are waiting longer to conceive and having fewer children than previous generations.
The CDC’s quarterly estimates report that the since this time last year, the birth rate has fallen from 61.3 to 59.2 in the US.
Birth rates peaked in 1990, and rose back again to around 70 per every thousand women in the US in 2007.
The declining birth rates are likely driven by a significant reduction in teen pregnancies.
In 2016, the teen birth rate fell to a record low, falling nine percent from 2015.
While birth control is aiding in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, many experts have expressed concern that over the growing number of men and women that are infertile, or choosing to wait to try to get pregnant until later in life when the odds of conception are lower.
These trends are also linked to the aging population, a fact borne out by the CDC’s most recent statistics.
Their data show an estimated increase in deaths due to the majority of age-related diseases. Alzheimer’s deaths, for example, have risen by 1.6 percent since this time last year, according to the CDC’s quarterly estimates.
Heart disease, hypertension and stroke deaths are estimated to be continually climbing.
The new data presents more encouraging statistics for some of the most vicious diseases that affect younger people.
Last year, seven new treatments for various forms of cancer were approved by the FDA. The CDC’s most recent data shows, encouragingly, that the rate of cancer deaths has fallen by nearly two percent in just one year.
Similarly, HIV deaths have been in decline in recent years, corresponding with the increased prevalence of effective antiretroviral treatments and, more immediately, the advent of preventative treatments like PrEP. Since this time last year, HIV deaths have fallen by 0.2 percent, according to the CDC.
Overall, the CDC estimates that the death rate for the US has risen nearly five percent just since last year. Infant mortality, meanwhile, remains stable, but taken together, the sets of data support widely-observed trends that the country’s population growth is slowing.
Is this guy joking or is he just one of history's most incompetent philosophers?
Milan Bharadwaj writes below. He is a Tamil, a historic Indian race. He correctly says that climate science has become non-Popperian in that it concentrates on abusing its critics rather than making its own case. He deplores that. But he also appears to be a warming believer, in that he refers to an "irrefutable greenhouse effect".
Yet it is a central point of Popper's teachings that something that is irrefutable or unfalsifiable is not an empirical statement. So Bharadwaj is saying that the greenhouse effect is a faith statement, not an empirical one. So he is rejecting global warming claims as unscientific. He is right about that but it makes him a very confused warmist! Warmism really rots the brain. Perhaps it makes sense in Tamil
According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
In the wake of the recent slew of hurricanes which have barraged the American Southeast, numerous scientists and reporters have wasted no time in attributing these disasters to climate change. In fact, it seems like nowadays just about every meteorological phenomenon is a result of global warming. Whether it be increased temperatures, decreased temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes or even volcanic eruptions, climate change is always the answer, and the majority of these conclusions are drawn with sparing evidence, if any.
Meanwhile, any skepticism or dissenting opinion regarding these countless studies is dismissed as unscientific, when in reality, it is quite the opposite. What started as simply a relationship between carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, via the irrefutable greenhouse effect, has morphed into non-Popperian pseudoscience, primarily because it is no longer falsifiable. However, an examination of this fundamental flaw in climate research first requires an analysis of what exactly science is.
In its simplest sense, science is the formulation of hypotheses and the evaluation of said hypotheses through observation, experimentation or a mixture of both. What distinguishes science from pseudoscience, though, is whether or not these hypotheses can be disproven as well as proven, a trait known as falsifiability. According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
In context, the field of astrology — the study of the divine effect of the positions of celestial bodies on our lives — is pseudoscience because it violates this rule. No matter what patterns the stars and planets might be exhibiting on any given day, those movements are interpreted to be influencing what is happening in our lives. There is no course of events that could transpire that would lead astrologists to believe that their horoscope predictions were incorrect. As a result, astrology, numerology and other pseudo-scientific fields are considered to be non-Popperian.
Similarly, it seems like any and all atmospheric occurrences are attributed to climate change — in part because its definition has become so broad. There is no combination of weather patterns that would cause climate change devotees to doubt their gospel. By contrast, even theories that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, such as gravitation or evolution, are still capable of being disproven with counterexamples. It is for this reason that they are regarded as theories and not axioms. Climate change, on the other hand, has no counterexamples since every weather pattern is seen as a byproduct, therefore making it essentially pseudoscience.
Returning to the topic of tropical hurricanes, the rate of these aquatic twisters has not significantly increased over time, and similar data can be found for other natural disasters supposedly caused by climate change. This raises the question — why are articles and scientific studies constantly being churned out that suggest correlations between climate change and these natural phenomena, even when none exist? I believe the reason lies in the politicization of global warming over the past decades, as climate change has become a focal point of certain political parties.
Climate change fear mongering and sensationalism following natural disasters has proven to be lucrative in terms of political capital, and is thus being done more and more by politicians. A concomitant of this politicization is the increased popularity of climate science in the public, which causes a surge in the monetary incentives for scientists to create these studies. As a result, modern day climate science has incredible amounts of data tampering, as referenced by a variety of recent examples. Naturally, when financial benefit or political gain becomes the goal of research, as opposed to the expansion of science, the field becomes bastardized, with the politicization of science in the Soviet Union serving as a historical precedent.
That being said, there is still an irrefutable connection between the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, and I believe this should be made the focus of the environmentalist movement once again. Instead of deriding and silencing skeptics, we should all have a healthy bit of skepticism whenever we read an inane “scientific” justification for some natural phenomenon. Questioning widely-held beliefs is the very foundation of science as we know it, and the dismissal of skepticism is counter to this ideology. If we want the progression of actual climate science, we must learn to discern the distinction between the science and the politics, and reject non-Popperian fear mongering.
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