LATE FINAL EXTRA: Check out the NIPCC, the Non-Government alternative Climate Change authority.
Comment of the week. Profile of the eternally adolescent Chaser Boys.
Foreign aid. Peter Bauer’s warning, government to government aid does more harm than good.
Good news from the land of windmills. Calling a halt on the welfare state.
Blast from the past. Barry Jones maintains the faith.
It is already clear that the process of global warming, to which human activity plays an important (but not the only) role, may well be irreversible. 2013 is on track to be the hottest year since systematic global records have been kept.
In 2007, Kevin Rudd referred to climate change as the “greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. Morgan polls indicated that in 2008, 35% of Australians nominated the environment as a major issue: by 2013 this has fallen to 8%.
Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity on the issue (this “toxic” tax), dismissing the science as “crap”, strongly supported by the Murdoch papers and NSW shock jocks, went essentially unquestioned, and became a default position.
UPDATE: Scrambling to mute and mould the message in the forthcoming IPCC report.
The Sydney Line. Wit and wisdom from Keith Windschuttle on history and culture.
Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. This weeks edition appears in the afternoon.
IPA HEY! on line, statements of the week.
Pictorial. Raising the Costa Concordia.
For nerds. Politics scrambles your thought processes!
The study, by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their “numeracy,” that is, their mathematical reasoning ability. Participants were then asked to solve a fairly difficult problem that involved interpreting the results of a (fake) scientific study. But here was the trick: While the fake study data that they were supposed to assess remained the same, sometimes the study was described as measuring the effectiveness of a “new cream for treating skin rashes.” But in other cases, the study was described as involving the effectiveness of “a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns in public.”
The result? Survey respondents performed wildly differently on what was in essence the same basic problem, simply depending upon whether they had been told that it involved guns or whether they had been told that it involved a new skin cream. What’s more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more – not less — susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.