Monday, 14 April 2008

Post #2 Hire a Hall / Everything (well not quite)

In olden days they used to say, "Hire a hall if you want to make a speech!" Now it's "Start a blog!" People should be careful about saying it. The recipient of the advice might take heed and do just that. But what to blog about? There's everything and nothing. Let's have a bit of everything to start:

China? I was worried when Kevin Rudd was so effusively friendly towards the Chinese during their visit in 2007. I thought he would do a Keating and put this jewel-in-the-crown Asian relationship before any human rights concerns. He's surprised me this week by defying them and saying "human rights" and "Tibet" in the same sentence - and right on their patch too.

The US presidential election? I don't make any pretence about it; I'm well to the left of the Australian Labor Party these days. So, if I was a US citizen, who would I vote for? Clinton or Obama? John McCain. Yes, that's strange on the face of it, but true. The history books may well show the old white guy defeating the first plausible female candidate or the first black guy with a real chance. No doubt the future will judge it to be a reversion to type. Perhaps the last gasp of the old right guard. They'll be wrong. It'll be a victory for common sense. The only "qualification" the other two have is a desperate thirst to get their hands on the controls at any price. I hope not.

Global warming? Who knows. The majority of us are sitting back bemusedly watching the savants/high priests hurling incantations and curses at each other. Who to believe? Most of us think there's something funny with the weather but, then, everybody always has. If we wait for those guys to agree before we act we'll wait till the heat death of the Universe. So what to do? Forget about global warming. Yes, forget it! What is the argument about really? More to the point, (and leaving aside whether it's real) why are people prepared to pay money to some stooge to gainsay global warming? After all, funding for scientific research is always damned hard to come by, unless there's a military/industrial payoff for someone. So, cui bono, when the stooge causes someone to waiver on believing in GW? The only visible beneficiaries are the carbon-fuel industries. Here's my simple answer to it all: Forget GW and talk about how we unhook from carbon-based fuels. We're going to have to one day; they're finite. The sooner we do it the better. That way, what's left can be used for materials, rather than put up the chimney. If there really is such a thing as global warming and cutting out carbon fuels ameliorates it, that'll be a nice bonus for the future generations.

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