News Briefs 23-07-2007

Now that Monday’s news is done, where was I? Oh yes – The Battle of Hogwarts…

My overwhelming gratitude to Rico for being incredibly thoughtful – and, apparently, psychic as well.

Quote of the Day:

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.

Flannery O’Connor

  1. New head of Science Museum says, to cut global warming, get rid
    Damn … Didn’t I mention something like this would be seriously posed by some of of position, when we were all talking about golbal warming a few days ago?
    Watch — it will be like a tiny crack in the dam .. or tip of an iceberg .. down the line, can’t predict when .. but watch and keep a weather eye out … They … whom ever “they” might be, are testing the water.
    One of the things I used to stree with my journalism students .. learn to connect the dots. Often, from very seemingly unrelated stories or people come interesting tidbits that – by themselves – seem unassociated … but sometimes, just sometimes there is a connection that makes a source path very clear.
    Often they are connected, when they occur, more often not .. but a GOOD researcher will follow the pattern then begin to look at the background(s) of — in this instance, those making similar remarks.
    Could there be something deeper and perhaps more sinister behind the “Church of Global Warming?”
    It takes digging, and often many trips down dead end alleys.
    I have no great inside information .. but I think I am begining to see patterns. Patterns that are consistent with humankind, the one thing we seem to do is create for purpose very well.
    It would be great to have a forum — sort of a clearinghouse so folks can post what the find. If nothing more, it is a great place for community.
    Now, could this be something (as I say, I think possibly yes) … but, as I also used to tell my students, even if it isn’t — it is a good erercise in learning to do research.

    1. Sorry… same post WITHOUT SPELLING ERRORS
      Damn … Didn’t I mention something like this would be seriously posed by someone one of position, when we were all talking about global warming a few days ago?
      Watch — it will be like a tiny crack in the dam .. or tip of an iceberg .. down the line, can’t predict when .. but watch and keep a weather eye out … They … whom ever “they” might be, are testing the water.
      One of the things I used to stress with my journalism students .. learn to connect the dots. Often, from very seemingly unrelated stories or people come interesting tidbits that – by themselves – seem un- associated … but sometimes, just sometimes there is a connection that makes a source path very clear.
      Often they are connected, when they occur, more often not .. but a GOOD researcher will follow the pattern then begin to look at the background(s) of — in this instance, those making similar remarks.
      Could there be something deeper and perhaps more sinister behind the “Church of Global Warming?”
      It takes digging, and often many trips down dead end alleys.
      I have no great inside information .. but I think I am beginning to see patterns. Patterns that are consistent with humankind, the one thing we seem to do is create for purpose very well.
      It would be great to have a forum — sort of a clearinghouse so folks can post what the find. If nothing more, it is a great place for community.
      Now, could this be something (as I say, I think possibly yes) … but, as I also used to tell my students, even if it isn’t — it is a good exercise in learning to do research.

      1. Genocide?
        Hi Dale,
        Taking a cue from what you said about research, I’ve checked your previous post. Your words were:

        ‘… mark my words, some idiot with an audience somehwere down the line will propose Genocide as being the sure fired solution to the problem …’

        You may be right, but the article in question is about reducing ‘birthrate’ and specifically mentions genocide in the negative, hopefully to stop such comments.
        Didn’t work, it seems.
        I was one of those GW ‘believers’, but I’m equally horrified by how the government, etc, is trying to jump on the bandwagon, to grab power, make money, etc. But the last thing we want to stop this is to have the subject labelled under conspiracy theory. Do that, and they’ll get what they want.
        Some serious, level-headed thinking is needed.

        I’m fanatical about moderation

        Anthony North

        1. I think Flannery
          I think Flannery O’Connor’s quote applies.
          Also to assume a conspiracy theory … is to assume a theory in the first place.
          As I mentioned, I don’t have a clue, but I see similarities in patterns of behavior .. in patterns of method that have a historical track record. Whether one choose to watch and see if a pattern develops is one’s own choice.
          Also, to say conspiracy theory — which neither of us has, assumes a preconcieved notion — which I don’t think either of of has. I am only suggesting that there may be a pattern developing here. Then again equally, perhaps not.
          No matter what side of a coin you come down on, sadly, more often than not “level-headed thinking is needed” is usually a trait of observers and not the participants on either side of the issue.

          1. They …
            Hi Dale,
            You wrote:

            ‘Watch — it will be like a tiny crack in the dam .. or tip of an iceberg .. down the line, can’t predict when .. but watch and keep a weather eye out … They … whom ever “they” might be, are testing the water.’

            If you read enough conspiracy literature it soon becomes clear that this is the typical kind of language, thus prompting the tag I used.
            The processes you fear are, of course, legitimate. It is classic human behaviour to grasp a position of power, hold on to it behind the scenes, and create ‘scares’ to keep the people on side.
            The way to fight it is not to descend to their language or actions. Consider, by countering your initial comment in the way I did, your language is greatly moderated in the subsequent post.
            This has been prompted by ‘level-headed thinking.’ Used properly, it DOES change behaviour. Your two posts are evidence of it.

            I’m fanatical about moderation

            Anthony North

          2. I don’t know that moderating
            I don’t know that moderating is accurate … I wasn’t all that worked up over it anyway. At my age, I tend to only observe … and breath.
            What I think I was trying to get across is that while genocide is certainly the extreme (we both agree there are those that think this is alright — sadly)
            IN 1984, Yehuda Bauer defined it as …
            “[Genocide is] the planned destruction, since the mid-nineteenth century, of a racial, national, or ethnic group as such, by the following means: (a) selective mass murder of elites or parts of the population; (b) elimination of national (racial, ethnic) culture and religious life with the intent of “denationalization”; (c) enslavement, with the same intent; (d) destruction of national (racial, ethnic) economic life, with the same intent; (e) biological decimation through the kidnapping of children, or the prevention of normal family life, with the same intent.”
            and i 1976, Irving Louis Horowitz defines it thus,
            “Genocide represents a systematic effort over time to liquidate a national population, usually a minority . . . [and] functions as a fundamental political policy to assure conformity and participation of the citizenry.”
            BUt it also must be pointed out that for as many experts there are as many definitions.
            What Chris Rapley has broached is the very, very dicey area of population control.
            The term genocide is often associated with that concept. But also should be perhaps the issue of over-population. That IS the issue he speaks to, and a better term, would be euthanasia.
            Remember the film, Soylent Green? How it depicts a dystopia, a Malthusian catastrophe that occurs because humanity has failed to pursue sustainable development and has not halted uncontrolled population growth; New York City’s population is 40,000,000, with more than half of it unemployed. Global warming, air and water pollution have produced a year-round heatwave and a thin, yellow, daytime smog. Food and fuel are scarce resources because of animal and plant decimation, housing is dilapidated and overcrowded, and widespread government-sponsored euthanasia is encouraged to control and reduce overpopulation. Fiction to be sure, however, the issue of population and the earth’s ability to sustain such a large population is not.
            For example, this is a group known as The Optimum Population Trust (OPT)
            According to their journal,

            “OPT Position Statement, 2002

            The problem and ways of reducing it.
            The Optimum Population Trust (OPT) is a radical reforming body, set up in 1990. OPT believes that the existing human population is imposing unsustainable pressures on natural resources and global ecosystems; it is therefore a threat to the welfare of human beings and to the millions of other species with whom we share the planet.
            The problem is total consumption: that is per capita consumption of key resources — including the natural systems which absorb pollution — multiplied by six billion. A number of options for dealing with this situation exist: one frequently-favoured approach is radical reform of the technologies employed to turn natural resources into goods and services, so that the same ‘benefit’ to individuals is experienced, but, it is claimed, with far less damage to the resource base, and far fewer waste products to be absorbed. Another way, or an interrelated way, is to persuade everyone with high per capita consumption to consume less. While both approaches have much to commend them, OPT believes that if everyone is to enjoy even a modest level of consumption the present population is too high — globally by a factor of two or three. That is true now because of carbon dioxide emissions; and it is likely to be true in the future for a different reason: when fossil fuels become scarce — probably within this century — it is unlikely that we will be able to produce adequate energy from renewable resources.
            OPT’s unique approach
            OPT believes that it is possible, using a number of internationally accepted indices (for example, sustainable global carbon dioxide emissions) to calculate the human population that could live in each country with a good and sustainable quality of life, without adversely affecting the quality of life either of people who live in other countries or of people who live in future times. (Within the term ‘sustainable’ is the connotation of protection of bio-diversity and wilderness.) Now that human beings have the ability to control their own fertility, such a future could be planned.
            Nation states, working within global parameters, need to decide on the optimum population for their country. A state could decide (democratically, it is hoped) to reduce its numbers gradually, while per capita consumption (standard of living) increases. Or it might allow its population to increase while opting for a lower per capita consumption level (helped perhaps by better technologies) so as to stay within environmental targets. Around the world, different cultures have different priorities and different ecological realities. OPT believes that it is vital for each nation to live within its own ecological resources: the only political unit which can exercise some control over the two key variables — population and consumption — is a sovereign state.”
            I am certainly NOT making any sort of value judgement on their issue or approach, in fact in the time spent thus far reading some of the papers, I am impressed with the methodical and reasoned approach in assembling the data. (Also professing no expertise in any of these fields, I certainly could not write a critical review).
            But the truth is, this is an area that is, shall we say, politically incorrect, to venture into.
            In a piece written by James P. Duguid, titled WHY POPULATION CONCERNS ARE NOT ‘POLITICALLY CORRECT’ he writes,
            “The great American ecologist Garrett Hardin noted the harmful tendency of Western politicians and media to avoid considering the role of population pressure in causing, enhancing and multiplying many of the troubles of mankind. This Hardinian taboo became most severe in Britain after about 1980, when heavy net immigration began to contribute largely to the overgrowth of the already crowded population.
            In his recent book, The Treason of the BBC, Jack Parsons describes how in forty years of correspondence with the BBC, he failed to get it to include a mention or discussion of the probable role of overpopulation in exacerbating many of the political, economic, social and environmental troubles it was vividly portraying in its documentary programmes.”
            I would argue that there has been a long track record of decision makers using the “science” and slanting it to prove their purpose for what ends serves it purpose. Whatever that purpose may be. I would also suggest that your approach of being level-headed is the reasonable approach, but only if it is coupled by a willingness for people to actually find it imperative to READ and learn. Not to find conspiracies (that implies, at least to me, a level of organization that denotes some high level of intelligence … and there are those that would argue that how could political leaders be organized enough to formulate a conspiracy when they can’t even be organized enough to manage their country effectively.
            People need to know when to say, “wait a minute, that’s not what the report was saying…”
            Do we do this, I think not. We – worldwide – seem more to be of the ilk that it is someone else’s responsibility to do this for me, to think for me. We have seen sample of this with Katrina, at an extreme end, to choices we make where to live, expecting someone to tell us of the hazzards … someone to look after our safety … Someone once said that as we became more “advanced,” we seem to have suffered a diminished level of common sense.
            There is the persistent talk within the UK of “voluntary birthrate limits” of no more than two children per family, for example. Presently, I believe the number is 2.7. How long a step would it be for some politician someday propose that since “voluntary” didn’t seem to work, AND according to very sound and well researched studies indicates the earth simply can’t sustain this size population (whatever the figure used might be) “we need to take more drastic measures…”
            Far-fetched .. Perhaps for the moment, but often the line that separates fiction from reality is a very murky one. I think that the best method for maintaining such a distinction is … as you maintain a level headed approach … but only if it is coupled with educating one’s self .. Both take work and effort on the part of each individual. I would hope we have the drive to do that.

      2. All that talk
        of population control etc.

        I noticed the emphasis was on the more technologically advanced countries (ie Britain). Isn’t the population more explosive in the 3rd world countries? Is the next step politically to try to enforce some kind of limits on them?

        No… I really don’t want to get into conspiracy theories, but it does make me nervous a bit when people of influence are so fired up about something that is so individual and personal as how many children one has. The attempts in China has left them with too many men and not enough women to marry them. They were aborting or downright killing the girl children because they were limited to one child. *at least that is what one program I saw stated.

        Sometimes I feel like the information is being fed to us to lead us to a conclusion they want from us. I guess I like the idea… “Trust no one, Believe nothing” … well that does sound cynical doesn’t it? I am not quite that bad, but the ability to stand back and really look at what is being said and done and suggested without the emotional tags that are often put on it, I think is important.

        I hope that made some sense lol Just my opinion.. which is subject to change on better information lol

        great comments everyone… I wonder if other people really think about this stuff or just follow along…follow along…

        hugs

        marissa

        1. it reminds me
          This stuff reminds me of the discussions following the first Club of Rome report. “Limits of Growth” or something.

          The conclusion then was we should de-industrialize, and reduce population. Back then (early 1070s) was that we could not possible feed 3.5 billion people, only maybe 3 billion. Hence we needed fewer people.

          These days, one of the big complaints is that we can only feed about 6.2 billion people, instead of the 6.7 billion that we have. So again we need there to be fewer people.

          Oh yes, we have found another justification to have fewer people. They breathe too much, and fart too much – too much CO2 and methane.

          How about we demand smaller people? Those 6.2 billion who have enough to eat are getting taller and heavier, so more CO2 and methane per sufficiently-fed person. So let’s give everyone less to eat, especially the kids. They will be smaller when they grow up.

          Seems to me the “solution” was ready before the 1972 report. Now it has been recycled. A solution looking for a problem if you ask me.

          And who gets to decide how many fewer people? And which fewer people?

          I suggest that people like Mr Chris Rapley, the future head of the Science Museum in the UK should lead by example. If we need to have fewer people, he should consider volunteering.

          Another funny thing – he says to reduce the population, we should (among other things) improve contraception, education and healthcare. That seems wrong, we should worsen healthcare to get fewer people. It’s easy.

          I’m not a citizen of the UK. However, as a Canadian, I should probably ask my queen to fire this guy, lest he does some damage. Any know how I tell her that ?

          —-
          meetings, n.:
          Where minutes are kept, and hours are lost.

          1. Population
            Good morning everyone,
            I’m not sure that there is a limit on how many people the planet can sustain. We’ve got 6 billion, yet in the UK agriculture is in terminal decline. We are inventive and come up with solutions.
            Yes, there are lifestyle issues in the west – we consume too much, but this makes us overweight, gives bad diet, etc. I think this will work itself out naturally, with no intervention required. Estimates of future lifespans seem too optimistic, me thinks.
            This natural solution works in many ways. For instance, feminism, capitalism ,materialism – they all have an in-built incentive to have less children. Maybe, as the Third World advances, these social movements will kick in, solving the ‘problem.’ If not, and poverty remains, again the solution comes naturally, without intervention.
            On saying that, in the UK we have a reverse problem. The people who were supposed to die younger because of the terrible lifestyle they were supposed to have before the health guru are stubbornly failing to die and are living to a ripe old age. Hence, the time is coming when there will be too few workers to look after the elderly through taxes. The UK solution is heading into the idea of raising retirement age to 70.
            In the final analysis, I think the population problem is a red herring. In the past, expansion was often kick-started by population pressure. I think this could work again. It will be one of the final pressures that finally pushes us towards our destiny. Space.

            I’m fanatical about moderation

            Anthony North

          2. middle ages and space
            Can’t edit my previous post now. Of course the Club of Rome report was in the early 1970s, not the 1070s. I’m no longer young, but I’m not that old.

            Space? I think we need a real presence in space, and real space exploration. To see and understand the solar system as a whole. It won’t relieve population pressure any time soon, but we will learn many things, answer many questions. Questions that we don’t know we have now. We won’t find what these questions are by sitting here, investing all our brain power in better entertainment systems. Nevermind finding answers.

            —-
            meetings, n.:
            Where minutes are kept, and hours are lost.

          3. Dear, dear me
            Earthling, I must be getting decrepid. I never even noticed your typo!

            Space could answer so much. It could rejuvenate the entire species – teach us how to co-operate, appreciate the planet more, learn new technologies for dealing in scarcities …
            The possibilities are endless. We’re simply marking time until it happens.

            Sin is what you’ve done once you’ve been caught.

            Anthony North

      3. The Church of Global Warming…
        is just that. Note the similarities with more conventional religions, i.e., you’re not supposed to question the dogma, the hierarchy is correct, etc.. But that’s all it is, a bunch of people hopping on a momentarily fashionable band-wagon.

        The real issue, IMO, is stunningly obvious: finite resources divided by an increasing population equals a less than rosy future for much of the Human race. That’s pretty much it, no further dots to connect, so self-evident that one hardly believes the matter worthy of comment, despite the fact that people have been saying so for quite a long time. You’ve heard of “The Limits to Growth”, for example?

        Fasten your seatbelt, the ride’s apt to get bumpy.

        Cheers

        Good News: There’s a guiding force at work in the Universe. Bad News: It’s Irony.

    2. Religion is a factor in overpopulation
      People are not even given information on birth control in some parts of South America and Africa. And when they do use it they are told they will go to hell. Or if a women becomes pregnate, and aborts it is a crime, and they go to jail. Over and over again one church stands out in this mess, the Catholic Church. Also information on Aids and HIV is withheld. Those that live in poverty and ignorance are those who are put in the most fearful conditions. And then told god loves them because they are poor and sick. As long as religion runs how man sees his world there will be no end to this maddness. I don’t personally see the Global Warming Movement as a new religion. But people often mistake fervor for fanatic. This is science, not tablets brought down from the mountain of god. Please tell me whats wrong with cleaning up this fossil fuel mess, or telling people not to have so many children. China saw the writing on the wall.(no bad puns intended)And yes there are problems, because of religious superstitions people want boy babies. I hope every day that the world will wake up from the madness of religion and dogma before its to late.

      1. Too much religion?
        There is too much religion being talked here. Binro tells us global warming is a religion, yet admits it is a fad. Make your mind up. Bladerunner blames Catholicism for birth control problems in Africa – the usual culprits.
        Binro’s comments are hardly worth commenting on – diatribe rarely is. But whilst I’m no lover of Catholicism, the popular misconception needs addressing. Is Catholicism responsible for the woes of Africa?
        Africa has a population of some 930 million. Of those, 140 million are Catholics. That’s about one in six. Catholicism is a minority in Africa!
        The problems of Africa are caused by poverty and lack of education, as Bladerunner actually highlights, and also by being divorced from their endemic cultures. This is enough. We don’t need scapegoats.

        I’m fanatical about moderation

        Anthony North

        1. I didn’t think I’d have to explain this…
          but I guess I do.

          In responding to Dale’s post, I was expressing the opinion that religion is not any primary cause of the linked problems of resource depletion and over-population and it is unlikely to be any part of the solution to the problem. I mentioned the Church of Global Warming in this context because I think that the efforts which may be directed towards changing global warming will have little or no long-term impact because they’ll be directed towards what isn’t the real problem…global warming isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom of the problem, and the problem is too many pairs of buttocks on the third rock from the sun. And by the way, if you think religion isn’t faddish in nature, tell me all about your last meeting with a follower of Zeus, or Osiris, or Mithra or any of the other religions remembered only by history. Religions are fads, they come and go, or they come and eventually change so much that they’d no longer be recognized by their first believers, or they come and stay, but with an endurance like unto rigor mortis.

          The rest of my rather brief post is a statement of frank amazement at how many people seem determined to seek complex explanations for what is a very simple issue; your use of the term diatribe is inappropriate. If you think that you can differ with anything I’ve said, on any factual or logical basis, then have at me. If snarkiness is what you’ve got, feel free to share it with someone else.

          Cheers

          Good News: There’s a guiding force at work in the Universe. Bad News: It’s Irony.

          1. Values
            Good morning everyone,
            Binro, I think you’re getting ‘religion’ mixed up with spirituality. If you take Osiris, it was an expression of a culture which survived as long as the culture did. It wasn’t the religion that changed, but the culture, or society itself. Any representation of Osiris today is more likely to be a form of spirituality, an inner feeling, maybe even formulating a cult.
            Religion is more a social codification of a predominant spirituality. Take Christianity. There are many ways of expressing it, which could be ‘faddish’ at times, but the Nicene Creed remains intact.
            You went on to say:

            ‘…your use of the term diatribe is inappropriate. If you think that you can differ with anything I’ve said, on any factual or logical basis…’

            Diatribe means ‘forceful criticism.’ Whether I disagree or not with your views is irrelevant to the use of the word. What I was getting at is not so much what you said, but the way you said it.
            If you notice, I pointed out the actual Catholic statistics in Africa. I did so for a specific reason. Whether they be capitalist globalisation or liberal values, we’re automatically putting western misconceptions on the problem of Africa.
            That’s how Africa got into this state in the first place.

            The secret of life is optimism and broad shoulders

            Anthony North

  2. Crop Circles
    Are the reason I first came to TDG. Yes many are man made, but some I believe are not and they are so beautiful. This world is stranger then we can even think. Thank you fairies:)

    1. It’s a good one
      It’s a good one, isn’t it? The cirumstances are incredible. That field was watched by several people, filmed, all night, and it appeared in a 90 minute timeframe. This one is definitely not a hoax made by Doug & Dave with a skateboard and piece of rope. It deserves mainstream media involvement, ala the Chicago O’Hare and Channel Islands UFOs.

      Right now I’m reading Meeting the Other Crowd by Eddie Lenihan (Amazon US), an Irish folklorist sharing stories of the wee folk told by his fellow Irishmen. And they’re not all good faeries. Excellent book.

      1. I agree ….
        I read the two part interview yesterday .. I think the aftermath of the formation was intriguing too.
        I wonder about the “official” interest.
        It is ONLY speculation … to be more, you would really have to spend time talking with witnesses (difficult to do when one lives in Virginia) but I would imagine that there is very high interest. But I would be more willing to guess that they don’t know a hell of a lot more that then the adverage person who is interested and investigates (which perhaps is why they also tend to show up at the better formations) — rather than knowing and not telling as many speculate. For a government official to publicly say, “We don’t know.” is a difficult thing to do, as it is usually followed by the question .. “When will you know?” That truthfully in not an easy question to answer.
        If these are the creation of an intelligent design, and it is difficult to think they are not, what to me is more dicey that trying to figure out the method of creation .. is to understand the mindset of the entity creating them, when they created them.

        1. Crop Circles
          Crop circles intrigue me. I’m quite satisfied that simple circles could be due to atmospheric phenomena – more research needs to be done. But the pictograms are something else.
          I’m not prepared to make the leap to intelligent design as such. Those who know my UFOlogical studies will know that I put the subject down to a kind of global psychodrama – a big, global poltergeist, if you like – orchestrated by cultural input. It is maybe stretching the theory to put pictograms in this scenario, but I’m not ruling it out. The witnesses, for instance, were certainly in the mood to spark something themselves, within the psychodrama.
          But – and again this is stretching it a bit in THIS case – if we take cultural impulses in general, they tend to manifest in the mind of our great artists. True artists present a symbolic representation of our hopes, fears, and views of ourselves.
          Could we have some very clever unsung artists – almost mystics – behind the pictograms? Obviously I don’t mean those loveable rogues, Doug and Dave of cereological history.
          If so, the obvious question would be: why crop circles? Why not proper art? Well, horrendous conceptual art has taken over the art scene, expressing the cultural soul – if that’s what it can be called with them.
          Yes, if these artists exist, they are ingenious, and I’d sure like to shake their hands. They’re marvellous. And maybe, in expressing our cultural impressions in this way, it is intelligent design of a sort.

          Reality, like time, is relative to the observer

          Anthony North

  3. No worries Kat!
    I almost offered to cover the news for you so you could read Harry Potter, but I figured you would’ve finished it by now. But I guess you’re taking your time and making it last as long as possible! 😉

    “Read like a butterfly, write like a bee.” – Philip Pullman

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