Fair-ish and Balanced-ish
Thursday, February 20, 2003
Good news from Iran. The death sentence on Hashem Aghajari has been overturned. Unfortunately the case will be retried, but one can always hope that he will be acquitted. Link.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
I find it easy to dismiss most pro-war arguments, as they generally consist of ad hominems or are just variations on follow the leader. However, when people argue from humanitarian reasons, it's a lot harder to just dismiss their argument. Kanan Makiya, is one such person. This salon interview describes him as a "radical humanist, Iraq hawk". If there is somebody who can convince me that a war against Iraq is needed, it is people like him.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
The Skeptical Environmentalist
Since I'm looking through Nature I saw a news article ("Social scientists
call for abolition of dishonesty committee") that might be of interest to the blogging world. It concerns the recent investigation into Bjørn Lomborg and his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. Apparently some social scientists (one is quoted in the article) feel that the criteria used to judge Lomborg shouldn't apply to the social sciences. Jørn Petersen is said to claimed that selection of information to develop a theory is an integral of part of some of the social sciences.
Costs of Kyoto
A recent (2001) paper in the journal Nature, has quite an interesting conclusion. It looks at the costs of the Kyoto protocol in Italy, and concludes that if local external costs are factored in, the Kyoto protocol will save Italy money.
The net effect of implementing Kyoto over business as usual is:
* a 17% reduction in greenhouses gases
* 1,068 million euros saved locally
* 761 million euros saved globally
* costs of 308 million euros
The authors note that one potential problem with these estimates, is the costs of Kyoto. They looked at the electricity sector, and assumed that other industries (which produce approx. 2/3 greenhouse gas emissions) will suffer similar costs to the electricity sector. If these sectors do cost significantly more, then expect the costs to rise by up-to 3 fold. However, even then Kyoto has a net benefit.
Source: Giulio A. De Leo, Luca Rizzi, Andrea Caizzi, and Marino Gatto. The Economic Benefits of the Kyoto Protocol Nature, 2001, 413, 478 - 479
Global Warming Links
I find global warming to be quite a interesting topic, and in my many hours of searching found some interesting references. For those who share my interest, they may find the following interesting.
The following links are to IPCC reports. These are quite technical, but they do provide the best overview of the science behind global warming.
Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis
Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Climate Change 2001: Mitigation
Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report
Tom Rees has an interesting FAQ on global warming here.
Jim Norton has a great site about information pollution and global warming (part of a much bigger site).
Another informative site, is this one by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
That's about it for tonight, but I'll post some more in the future.
This is the first blog in what is hopefully a long and successful series. There is no real theme to these blogs, apart from stuff that interests me (mostly science and politics).
My name is Ken Miles, which is a pseudonym. Sorry to those who don?t like pseudonyms, but I prefer to have a bit of anonymity (not that I'm anyone famous) in my life. If you're really interested, I'm a uni student with too much time on my hands, currently doing a PhD.
The name of this blog is partially taken from the overused insult, it's also a partial dig at The Australian, but mostly because I'm a Kiwi living in Australia.