JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Queensland science is a mental construction

I’m impressed (really quite surprised) that this made it to the top story of the front page of The Australian. The syllabus for Years 10 -12 science students in Queensland contains this nonsense. What is good about it though (see below) is how it forces influential science leaders in the country to pick sides. Is science a “consensus”? Even on Climate Change? No says the Dean of Deans…

The Queensland Studies Authority:

“Science is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,”

“Explanations of natural phenomena may be viewed as mental constructions based on personal experiences and result from a range of activities including observation, experimentation, imagination and discussion.

“Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence.”

[QSA, Physics Senior Syllabus, 2007]  [QSA Chemistry, 2007] [QSA, Biology 2004 amended 2006]

The answer from QSA (The Queensland Studies Authority)? 

They said the statements concerning a view of science and science education should be read in the context of the entire syllabus and it was not, and was never intended to be, a definition of science.

In other words, they have nothing. No defense. Someone was asleep at the wheel when that syllabus got approved and since it has sat there for five years with little protest we can only assume: 1/ Most science teachers in Queensland don’t know what science is, or 2/ Most science teachers in Queensland don’t read the science curriculum, or 3/ perhaps some science teachers read it, and complained to the QSA and it did nothing.

Either way, it’s not a good look. But given that people like Prof Tim Flannery, ABC Science Presenter Robyn Williams, Prof Will Steffen and Prof Andy Pitman don’t know what makes science different to religion perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that curriculum writers are struggling.

Prof John Rice understands the scientific method

“Australian Council of Deans of Science, Executive Director, John Rice from Sydney University said it was a misleading view of science and misunderstood “the unique way in which science goes about understanding things” “That’s quite wrong. It fails to understand the way in which science grounds itself in observation and testable hypotheses.”

Professor Rice said the national science curriculum made a similar error, oversimplifying the idea of scientists proving and disproving hypotheses to suggest that scientific knowledge was agreed by consensus among scientists.”

In an interview with Emily Bourke on the ABC, Prof Rice is confronted with the “climate change” monster, and sticks to his point:

EMILY BOURKE: Do they not have a point though, in that there are some scientific theories, such as those around climate change, that are contested, that are the subject of vigorous scientific debate and their argument about the subjectivity of science is borne out there?

JOHN RICE: We have no problem with people pointing out that science is a contestable thing, and you have only to look at its history to see that there were great and vigorous debates. And in a climate change situation of course we are in a situation where, although some people want to say that the science is settled, clearly with the level of argument that’s going on around the place, there are a lot of things which are not settled.

So ABC reporters who want to keep telling us the science is settled, and they don’t need to interview skeptical scientists, only un-skeptical ones. The Executive Director of The Council of Deans of Science in Australia is effectively telling you that’s a terribly unscientific attitude:

But if they want to say that scientific knowledge in itself is nothing other than a consensus among a group of scientists, that is wrong. That vastly oversimplifies what has happened in order for people to say that science is settled in a whole lot of respects.

 * * *

Let’s get some responses in to the “Draft Curriculum” (Can someone find me those links to the new national  draft curriculum and places to send submissions in). Consultations close on the 20th of July.

Thanks To Bulldust:

ACARA: Curriculum

Follow the various links to get to the relevant curriculum drafts. The consultation section for the 20 July 2012 closing date you mention is here: http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

You need to register, answer a questionaire, or send an email, and do it in the right formula (use their headers to help them figure out where your feedback belongs). “You can download a printable version of the draft senior secondary Australian Curriculum, or download and print a copy of the questionnaire for your reference. ” Email them to:  Science@acara.edu.au (See also parts on maths and history if you are so inclined on the link above). Please make the effort to do it properly so your feedback will count. “In the email please include the relevant subject heading: draft senior secondary Australian Curriculum: (insert subject) and the essential cover sheet.”

The draft curricula by subject are here: draft curriculum

ICON - PDF  Biology
ICON - PDF  Chemistry
ICON - PDF  Earth and Environmental Science
ICON - PDF  Physics
ICON - PDF  Science Survey

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273 comments to Queensland science is a mental construction

  • #
    Scott

    Hi Jo,

    I sent you an email of a Deakin Unit – Creating Sustainable Futures (SHD201-SHD301).

    No asking the students what they think in this syllabus its rammed down their throat from the opening paragraph.

    I would love to get your thoughts on that info I sent Jo


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    cohenite

    Education is the last bastion of the AGW scam and its exponents, all lacking in ethics and morality.

    I don’t want to turn this into another ABC bashing thread but the ABC has played a leading role in school syllabus development on the topic of AGW ever since “PlanetSlayer” came along. PlanetSlayer has now been taken down but you can get a taste of its potential impact on young minds here.

    The type of mind which is capable of ‘creating’ PlanetSlayer is only too typical on the AGW side and reached its natural nadir in the 10:10 video.


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    • #

      No education is actually the first bastion. It established the soft muddled weak foundation that substituted “sense making” for genuine science. It is called Constructivism and rejects the transmission of knowledge in lieu of creating your own perceptions from your own experiences and activities.

      At its core it is grounded in the Marxist idea that rejects human rational thought as being to akin to claiming an otherworldly soul. That’s why the education push is always about projects and activities. Cognitive is literally redefined as psychomotor.

      Australia first started to get on board with what is called Transformational Outcomes Based Education during a simultaneous push all over the West in the late 1980s. This has been percolating and getting worse for a while.

      But first the schemers went after education. Then you have minds that have been primed to rely on emotion instead a factual analysis.

      You don’t get someone like me hearing the official explanation and saying “That’s plausible but it’s false. Here’s why I know that.”


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      • #
        John Brookes

        Yeah. But when they get to uni, we try and get them to learn stuff. Mechanics, quantum mechanics, electricity & magnetism, thermodynamics, waves, optics, special relativity, resonance…

        I don’t see how we are encouraging soft, muddled, weak foundations.

        But I guess you were talking about high school education.


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        • #

          Actually John I have been tracking the Bologna Process and Quality Assurance pushed by UNESCO to redefine all of higher ed in terms of learner outcomes. Including Australia. Doing it discipline by discipline is called the Tuning Process. If you have largely escaped it so far, it is coming.

          But keep the transmission of knowledge going as long as possible. While we get the word out on what is really going on in education, why, and who the poison pushers are.


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        • #
          Mark D.

          John, where did you leave off?


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          michael hart

          When I see a list of curricula that has Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and then something called “Earth and Environmental Science”, it always gives me pause for thought.

          What are they teaching in that fourth division that merits not being covered in the first three? My suspicion is always that it probably used to be called Geography. Interesting, yes, but quite possibly elevated to a “science” for the benefit of teachers and students who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do the real thing.

          The same train of thought is discernible at the BBC. They have a “Science and Environment” section. The recently appointed “Science” editor has an undergraduate degree in Geography.
          Plus ça change…


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        Adam Smith

        At its core it is grounded in the Marxist idea that rejects human rational thought as being to akin to claiming an otherworldly soul.

        Err what? Marxism was an attempt to explain how the economic structure of a society determines its social structure. It was an attempt to think about social structures rationally.


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          One of the good things about Marxist ideology is that Karl Marx actually laid out his assumptions, which allows for a detailed evisceration of the ideology itself.

          For example – Marx’s idea that the essential conflict is between the bourgeoisie and the proletariate as per

          Under the capitalist mode of production, this struggle materializes between the minority (the bourgeoisie) who own the means of production, and the vast majority of the population (the proletariat) who produce goods and services. Taking the idea that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, the Marxist analysis leads to the conclusion that capitalism oppresses the proletariat, which leads to a proletarian revolution.

          However – if the essential conflict is not between the owners of capital – and the workers, but between net value producers (savers) and net value consumers (debtors) than we have an eternal conflict that cuts across the Marxist categories and will swing from one side to the other, manifested by shifts in the modes of production favouring either a “saving” strategy, or a “spendthrift” strategy.

          Are we currently witnessing the end stages of the current modes of production that favour the production of debt, and debt based illusory wealth that rest on the existence of debt based, full fiat currencies within a fractional reserve banking system that has overladen the developed world with a mountain of unpayable debt?

          Think about it.


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          • #
            Adam Smith

            Marx wasn’t wrong because he didn’t realise how much people would love using credit cards. He was wrong because what capitalism facilitated was a burgeoning middle class, rather than simply an oppressed working class. People like Henry Ford realised that capitalism worked best when the people that make goods earn enough to be able to afford what they help make. And the conditions of their employment are such that they get a decent amount of time away from work so they can enjoy the fruits of their labour and thus work efficiently when they return.


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          • #
            Philip Bradley

            Marx was wrong, because he failed to account for new knowledge. Which is the problem with the QSA definition of science above. Science is a process to create new knowledge.

            However, for most people, including science teachers, science is the product of the science process. Once you separate science as a product from science as a process, most of the confusion goes away.


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  • #
    LevelGaze

    That “definition ” from the QSA is verbose, obscurantist and ultimately unintelligible. The Authority has been reading far too much Plato. But then, that’s what postnormal science is all about, isn’t it. Bloody mysticism.


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    • #
      Adam Smith

      That “definition ” from the QSA is verbose, obscurantist and ultimately unintelligible. The Authority has been reading far too much Plato.

      I agree that it is verbose, but I can’t see exactly how it is wrong.

      But anyway, what exactly is wrong with reading Plato? Why is that something that people should be persuaded to avoid.


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      • #
        ExWarmist

        Quotes by Plato

        The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions.
        Plato, Dialogues, Phaedo
        Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC – 347 BC)

        The above quote is pertinent. Have Fun.

        Cheers ExWarmist


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    • #
      Tristan

      I think it’s a serviceable definition of science, if science is held distinct from the scientific method, which has only been part of the way knowledge is acquired since the 16th century, at least in a formal state.


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  • #
    bananabender

    Who thinks the Higgs Boson will turn out to be BS (after another $100 billon is spent on research)?


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    • #
      Adam Smith

      Who thinks the Higgs Boson will turn out to be BS (after another $100 billon is spent on research)?

      Err, what gives you the impression that the discovery of the Higgs particle is wrong?


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      • #
        ExWarmist

        Hi Adam – It’s Cynicism.

        The question is – why is bananabender as cynical about science as he is? What has he seen, or experienced that has led him to this point.

        With a 5 Sigma signal – the higgs boson has effectively been discovered and a hole in the Standard Model of Physics has just been filled. If only Climate Science had 5 Sigma certainty. Now wouldn’t that be something.


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        • #
          Adam Smith

          I think your cynical ideology is clouding your view of the world.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            If you are not cynical, then you are simply not paying attention,


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            ExWarmist

            Cynicism is the wrong word for my position.

            It strikes me that cynicism is an overreaction to the loss of naivete driven by the loss of innocence and expectation that other people will react honestly.

            I acknowledge that there are both honest and dishonest people working in science, and in the field of climate science. The key enabler of unresolved issues in Climate Science is a disfunctional non-scientific process framework governing the production of artefacts within the field of Climate Science, coupled with a monopsony funding model driven by Governments expectations of “positive” results, and a compliant, cheer leading media that feasts on disaster stories and government funding either directly (ABC,BBC) or in indirectly in the commercial media

            Can these issues be corrected – of course, it is possible to reform the processes of funding and practice within climate science, it is possible to revive the art of investigative journalism and it is possible to reform government funding to remove funding bias from scientific and climate research.

            I’m not a cynic, I’m a realist.

            And BTW, the overstatement of certainty within the field of climate science is due to the active exclusion of uncertainty in the process framework governing the production of artefacts within the field of Climate Science. Just do some research on how the IPCC actually operates and the process disfunction will become clear


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Actually, I have it on the best authority that they have not found the Higgs Boson, but another particle by the same name. :-)


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        bananabender

        Why am I cynical? The scientists at CERN and elsewhere are already asking for another $10 billion in new-fangled hardware just to make sure of their results. After that they will just need a few trillion dollars and anothern 50 or so years research to fill in a few more “essential” knowledge gaps.

        Theoretical physics is now just another modern version of Medieval theology – “how many multiverses can dance on a pin?” It is primarily interested in what can never be fully understood and is ultimately of no practical value.


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    Left out

    For the life of me, I don’t see anything wrong with the three points (above) attributed to the Queensland Studies Authority. ALL perceptions, whether of physical phenomena or wholly abstract concepts, are essentially “mental constructions” of the observer. Who is to say that my idea of ‘green’ is the same as anyone else’s idea of ‘green’? In this sense everything is subjective. Objectivity is a laudable goal, always to be aimed at and probably never to be completely achieved.
    The points ARE wishy-washy, but are probably closer to the literal truth than some idealised claptrap about “rigorous empiricism”. They represent what science IS, not what it ought to be. If this helps people to be aware of the limitations of science and scientists, it just may encourage future scientists to temper their arrogance with a little more caution.


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    • #
      KinkyKeith

      Hi Left Out

      The problem is that those three points are there.

      They actually don’t need to be there. It is work for works sake and contributes little except to provide a little description for the politically correct.

      It’s not junk science.

      It’s junk administration.

      Padding.


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      • #
        Adam Smith

        They actually don’t need to be there. It is work for works sake and contributes little except to provide a little description for the politically correct.

        So you don’t think a science curriculum should feature a statement about how science differs from, for example, theology, or astrology?


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    • #
      LevelGaze

      Sorry, LO, I don’t buy all that. Far too soft.
      “If a tree falls in a forest and no-one is there to see it, has it really fallen?” etc.
      I maintain it has fallen even if there were no observing/measuring system to register the fact. I’ll rely on the “rigorous empiricism” you sneer at any day.


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    • #
      cohenite

      ALL perceptions, whether of physical phenomena or wholly abstract concepts, are essentially “mental constructions” of the observer.

      No, this is not good enough; the pernicious and insidious intrusion of subjectivity is infecting every aspect of modern democratic society, from the deplorable judicial justification in the Bolt case to AGW.

      The twin bastions or bulwarks against this subjectivity are the objective standards of scientific replicability and legal standards of beyond reasonable doubt and the balance of probabilities.

      The perfidity of the current and political support for AGW is that we see both those standards being severely mitgated.

      The relativists may or not be evil in intent but that will be their result, chaos and the removal of egalitarianism in modern society. If there are not objective standards then every subjective circumstance is subject to the imposition of the dominant subjective standard.

      It is amazing that citizens of this great country take this marvellous freedom for granted and can waffle on about something resembling Plato’s theory of Forms as being preferable to tried and tested objective standards in science and law.


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      • #
        Adam Smith

        The twin bastions or bulwarks against this subjectivity are the objective standards of scientific replicability and legal standards of beyond reasonable doubt and the balance of probabilities.

        Well a purely objective standard of justice would say that someone must be found guilty BEYOND ALL DOUBT, but that isn’t the case. Beyond reasonable doubt implies the possibility of some doubt.


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        • #
          cohenite

          Well a purely objective standard of justice would say that someone must be found guilty BEYOND ALL DOUBT, but that isn’t the case. Beyond reasonable doubt implies the possibility of some doubt.

          A specious point. Humans are not perfect. I am talking about the best humans can do. What perspective are you coming from: Adam the demi-God?


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            Adam Smith

            A specious point. Humans are not perfect. I am talking about the best humans can do. What perspective are you coming from: Adam the demi-God?

            It wasn’t a specious point at all. You wrote something that was wrong and I pointed it out to you.


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      • #
        Adam Smith

        It is amazing that citizens of this great country take this marvellous freedom for granted and can waffle on about something resembling Plato’s theory of Forms as being preferable to tried and tested objective standards in science and law.

        What exactly is non objective about this statement?

        Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as… viable in light of current available evidence.

        That explicitly notes that for something to be considered a scientific theory it must stand up against currently available evidence.

        It seems a lot of people are getting worked up over not much.


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        • #
          cohenite

          I was referring to Left Out’s comment. In respect of this:

          Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as… viable in light of current available evidence.

          The issue here is whether the vidence is from modelling as with AGW, or with observation, as with anti-AGW.


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          • #
            Adam Smith

            What’s wrong with observing earth temps using thermometers, satellites, radiosonde?

            Don’t they count as “observations” in a broad sense?


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          • #
            cohenite

            What’s wrong with observing earth temps using thermometers, satellites, radiosonde?

            Don’t they count as “observations” in a broad sense?

            Not when they are tortured through the AGW modelling. And as temperature records around the world show, even the data is ‘modelled’. Didn’t you read Jo’s thread on the BOM’s temperature adjustments, mmm?


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    • #
      Jaymez

      ‘Left out’ – I think that you have unwittingly demonstrated the problem with the way science is taught nowadays, and exactly why we have so called scientists stating that correlations are what they choose to interpret, or perceive as causations.


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        Adam Smith

        ‘Left out’ – I think that you have unwittingly demonstrated the problem with the way science is taught nowadays, and exactly why we have so called scientists stating that correlations are what they choose to interpret, or perceive as causations.

        Can you give me a reference for a scientist who says this?


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        • #
          cohenite

          Can you give me a reference for a scientist who says this?

          Can you give a reference to an AGW scientist who doesn’t?


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          Jaymez

          ‘Adam Smith’ you failed to reference anything you’ve written. But I will humour you. Read the proposed curriculum. It’s all about personal interpretation. Not evidence. The CAGW theory is based on the correlation between CO2 and Temperature’s even though it is a poor correlation, and with no proof of causation. So called ‘unprecedented temperatures’ is the most quoted ‘proof’ sited for CAGW.


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            Adam Smith

            Read the proposed curriculum. It’s all about personal interpretation. Not evidence.

            What part of the following statement implies that science is NOT based on “evidence”?:

            “Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence.”


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            It is not falsifyable.

            Good science looks for observations that will disprove a hypothesis, and only when you and your peers have totally failed to disprove the hypothesis will it become begrudgingly accepted … for now.

            The statement as written is not testable. It is not auditable, because the “accepted” concepts are whatever the “scientific community” think they are. There is no definitive link to the outside world. It is a self-sustaining argument.

            What is to say that the “current available evidence” has not been cherry-picked to mirror the accepted belief system.

            Can you imagine a company report saying, “The companies financial position may be viewed as a shared understanding that the Directors perceive as possible in light of what we know we have been paid, and think we owe.”


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            A final thought: The word theory is used incorrectly.

            A theory is a verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena. Climate science has been unable to account for a whole load of “known facts or phenomena” They have made predictions, and most have failed to materialise. So it is not a theory in the normal scientific definition of the word.


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          • #
            sillyfilly

            Are you that stupid that you discount the valid theory of the “greenhouse effect”?

            Back to primary school science!


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            Bulldust

            Silly … you would have to define what you mean by the “Greenhouse effect.” Most here would agree that CO2 and other GHGs are essential in retarding heat loss to space thereby elevating the temperature to lievable levels, but (in my estimation) most skeptics would contest the magnification assumed by alarmist CAGW models that assume further CO2 (& GHG) concentration increases in the atmosphere will cause catastrophic warming. Most skeptics contend that this feedback amplification, if you will, is highly exaggerated by the IPCC models, and that a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead, ceteris paribus, to an approximate warming of 1 degree Celcius (give or take a little bit). i.e. nothing to worry about.

            I tend to come at it from this simplistic angle… geologists tell us that CO2 concentrations have been at least an order of magnitude (or two) higher than present levels in the geological history of the planet. Why is it, therefore, that the planet did not become another Venusian landscape? I would suggest that it stands to reason that something on our planet buffers the system from catastrophic climate change. It seems reasonable to suggest that this buffering agent is water. But hey, what do i know? I am just an engineer & economist, not a climate scientist. Then again I have done enough modelling to know economic models (which are very similar in many respects to climate models) are all rubbish. They are way too sensitive to the input parameters to predict the future state of the economic system.

            One of these days I really should write up an article about a modelling exercise I did for my Master’s 20-odd years ago. You lose all faith in predictive modelling after going through a similar modelling exercise, trust me…


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      klem

      I know exactly what you are saying. The description above is precicely what scientists actually do. They get the data and they interpret it based on personal experiences. Just look at climate, there is no way to make future predictions based just on the cold data, but when you include personal experiences in the mix, predictions 100 years hence become easy. I don’t know if this is the correct way to conduct science, I’m sure it’s full of potential mistakes but I think this is what scientists actually do.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        A slight correction, if I may: The description above is precisely what some scientists, in some fields, actually do.

        Not only that, it has not always been that way. The change in approach regarding the scientific method has only become manifest in the generations of scientists who first attended university in the middle to late 1960′s and after.

        The late 1960′s was also the period when it became fashionable to append the word “science” onto a lot of occupations that were not, strictly speaking, scientific. Political Studies, for example, became Political Science, Industrial Process Design, became Production Science, and Librarianship became Library Science.

        These are only cultural changes, but they change the language, and changes to the language influence the way things are perceived.

        It is worth noting that very few of the original alarmists about CAGW had any qualifications relating to weather patterns or atmospheric physics. Yet the media gave them the label “climate scientist”, and that label stuck.* It is now, may years later, that academia has jumped on the funding bandwagon to offer courses in “climate science” instead of atmospheric physics.

        * Now, because of the publicity, if you have not been ordained as a climate scientist, “you are not qualified to speak on the subject”.


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        • #
          Adam Smith

          The late 1960′s was also the period when it became fashionable to append the word “science” onto a lot of occupations that were not, strictly speaking, scientific. Political Studies, for example, became Political Science, Industrial Process Design, became Production Science, and Librarianship became Library Science.

          Well speak for yourself because it is very uncommon for politics departments in Australian unis to be called “Political Science”. That is more an American thing. I’ve never heard the term “Library Science” used in an Australian university either.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            I’ve never heard the term “Library Science” used in an Australian university either.

            That’s because you weren’t there.


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        Adam Smith

        Just look at climate, there is no way to make future predictions based just on the cold data

        Why not? What exactly makes this impossible? Or is that simply your personal experience?


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        • #

          Just look at climate, there is no way to make future predictions based just on the cold data

          Why not? What exactly makes this impossible? Or is that simply your personal experience?

          Lets go to the video tape……well no, lets instead go to the IPCC TAR Working Group One: The Scientific Basis

          Executive Summary

          The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.


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            Adam Smith

            The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

            Woah! Clearly you stopped reading at the end of the executive summary.

            “Climate state” is a much broader term than “temperature”, which is a measure of energy.

            Basically you just quote mined.


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        • #

          Quoting a relevant section (and linking to the whole) is not quote mining.

          Furthermore, you asked why it is not possible to predict future climate ( see 5.5 and 5.5.2). But now you’re saying climate state is much broader term than temperature.
          Who mentioned temperature? Why introduce a strawman?

          Admit it Smith, you expected future climate to be predictable but have been shown to be wrong. But then again, I did say in an earlier post that you didn’t have it in you.

          It’s a difficult thing to do and only people genuinely honest with themselves are capable of doing it.

          I had hopes for you Smith, but you’re just another heavy posting lightweight.


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            Adam Smith

            Admit it Smith, you expected future climate to be predictable but have been shown to be wrong. But then again, I did say in an earlier post that you didn’t have it in you.

            Err what? So now you seem to be asserting that since something isn’t completely predictable that makes it completely unpredictable?

            It seems you are just playing word games and aren’t interested in the philosophy of science at all.


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            aren’t interested in the philosophy of science at all.

            My interests are of no interest to this particular discussion,

            So now you seem to be asserting that since something isn’t completely predictable that makes it completely unpredictable?

            Who’s playing word games now?
            Just because I can state that January of 2097 will be warmer than July of 2012 dosn’t make it a prediction.

            However, If I was to say that January of 2097 will be warmer than January of 2012 and summer of 2097 will be drier than summer of 2012, that would be a prediction.
            And if I was to say warmer by X degrees and drier by X millimetres of less rain, there would be less of a chance that I fluked the prediction.

            It just so happens that the IPCC DO NOT make predictions because they believe future climate states (temperature, precipitation, cloud cover etc) are not predictable.

            You can weasel all you like Smith. Much simpler and more honourable to admit you were wrong in this instance and move on.

            BUT I PREDICT YOU WILL NOT DO THAT. lets see if I’m right eh?


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      Roy Hogue

      ALL perceptions, whether of physical phenomena or wholly abstract concepts, are essentially “mental constructions” of the observer. Who is to say that my idea of ‘green’ is the same as anyone else’s idea of ‘green’?

      This isn’t science, it’s philosophy (navel gazing to me).

      Why do I care what your perception of green is? What counts is that we can both measure the same thing and find that it is green. This is entirely objective, right down to the exact wavelength. :-)


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        Adam Smith

        So determining the wave length of green light comes under the second part of that paragraph:

        Explanations of natural phenomena may be viewed as mental constructions based on personal experiences and result from a range of activities including observation, experimentation, imagination and discussion.

        I agree that these statements about science don’t make much sense if you don’t bother to read all of each paragraph.


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          cohenite

          I agree that these statements about science don’t make much sense if you don’t bother to read all of each paragraph.

          The whole paragraph is a complete oxymoron. Personal experiences have nothing to do with observation and experimentation.


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            Adam Smith

            The whole paragraph is a complete oxymoron. Personal experiences have nothing to do with observation and experimentation.

            Well this statement isn’t oxymoronic, it is just moronic.

            If someone looks at an insect under a microscope and draws what they see that is both an observation and a personal experience.

            It seems to me many here are getting worked up over what is a pretty banal explanation. I agree it isn’t terribly well written, but it seems most people here are just going looking for problems with it, rather than appreciating it isn’t a totalising definition of the scientific method.


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            Winston

            If someone looks at an insect under a microscope and draws what they see that is both an observation and a personal experience.

            If someone draws what they see, that is ART not Science. Open mouth, insert foot!


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            Winston

            imagination and discussion.

            I note that, significantly, you failed to highlight the post-modern science-lite end of the quote that is at odds with scientific method as it should be rigorously applied. Science is not democratic (quite the opposite), so “discussion” is not a prime focus of scientific method, other than subordinately to discuss the merits of an experiment or the validity of conclusions, not in the description of natural phenomena- that must be OBJECTIVE, not SUBJECTIVE, or coloured in with emotion, rhetoric, feelings, pathos, empathy or any other otherwise useful responses that essentially causes a deviation from solid foundations that underpin valid research methodology. Imagination only has a place at the conception phase of scientific hypothesis, and no place at all in the descriptive or analytical stages of assessing observations, since “imagining” implies just about anything can give virtually any result beyond that to which the data points. As I stated in a previous post, it’s no wonder you chose politics as a career path.


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      Stefan Landherr

      The three points are not in themselves wrong – but they are incomplete.
      To them should be added that:
      (a) data trumps theory every time
      (b) scientific theories must be falsifiable
      (c) the aim is to develop theories that reliably predict things that were previously hard to predict.


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      bananabender

      Who is to say that my idea of ‘green’ is the same as anyone else’s idea of ‘green’?

      Because “green” can be empirically measured and described by science with a universally agreed meaning. eg electromagnetic radiation with a spectrum dominated by wavelengths in the 520-570nm region.


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  • #

    A scientific theory can only be tested, never proved. However, a theory can definitely be disproved, which is why this facet of science is so important. It’s actually what drives progress in science. The physicist Karl Popper called this vital process falsifiability or refutability. Einstein put it in a nutshell, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/global-warming-and-pathological-science/

    Jo, typo “nonesense.”

    Pointman


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    KinkyKeith

    The Australian ego is about to suffer a giant shock as a result of the current world financial crisis.

    Yes we have mining BUT.

    When it is all over Aussies, who have tolerated 40 years of passive “education” geared to the LCD , will finally be forced to acknowledge

    that our High School Education system is not world standard and that business-wise other countries have raced past us because of this.

    Being as isolated as we are has some benefits but there is a big negative factor in that we are not forced to constantly compare ourselves

    with our near neighbours and have fallen into the trap of adopting a false image of our skill levels .

    Discipline is a necessary part of science and when discipline was made optional in our schools we found that high standards of education not

    only became optional but because of indiscipline they because impossible.

    The Australian attitude towards our place in society that built this country has been replaced by the duopoly of the grasping voter and the accommodating politician.

    Between them the average worker taxpayer is pushed into a life of hard yakka and hard taxation.

    One of the Myths so beloved of Politicians is that we are a rich country.

    Our population is just over 21 million .

    Indonesia , a poor country which we “help’ with significant donations of aid is one of the targets of our largess.

    They must be laughing their heads off at the stupid Australians who can be conned into giving away so much of their hard won tax money.

    It is a fact that there are in Indonesia 30,000,000 people (I’ll repeat that 30 million people) who are financially better off than 75% of

    Australians.

    Based on those figures there is a very good case for asking Julia to stop further “aid” to Indonesia and redirect it to needy Australians

    such as the many farmers doing it tough and Aboriginals could sure use a boost at the moment.


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      AndyG55

      “only became optional but because of indiscipline they because impossible.”

      It was still possible to aim at high standards in the top classes, but stupidity like ungraded classes in year 7-8 etc really does slow down the capable students unless you can find open-ended content to keep them occupied. Not always easy, but very effective if you can because it actually encourages free thinking.

      Unfortunately, as you say, the general difficulties of controlling a mediocre class definitely became harder and harder as my time as a teacher progressed. there is no doubt in my mind that general discipline issues has led to a drop in the overall understanding of subject matter by many students.

      The watering down of many courses, because they were “hard work” also hasn’t helped, nor has the “be nice to students inreports” attitude. I got in trouble quite a few times for writing the truth, and asked to re-write in a “nicer” format.. (I refused a couple of times and the head teacher ended up writing the report)

      Such is the education system. A slow slide downwards, but still some possibilities at the very top end.

      (please ignore typos, I have really sore eyes)


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      Jaymez

      KinkyKeith I know it is O/T but I’d be interested in reading the reference on the 30 million Indonesians who are better off than 75% of Australians. But if correct, it still means that there are 110 million Indonesians who are worse off than all Australians, (if I understand your quoted statistic correctly).

      I have been to Indonesia a number of times but wouldn’t say I know it well. I know there is corruption in the Government, military and police force, but that is common throughout Asia. There is a great deal of poverty. Given that apart from PNG they are our nearest developing neighbour, I’d rather we sent our Aid support to Indonesia than to many other far flung countries.


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        KinkyKeith

        Jaymez

        The material I quote is some years old but never-the-less I would say anecdotally quite relevant and more than a little probable,it is inevitable in any large population group that there will be many who are well off.

        I understand that there are also pockets of population in India numbering 20 or 30 million who live at a very high standard economically and

        to suggest that Australia has more “un-earned” wealth to distribute than either the rich in India or Indonesia is just perpetuating the myth

        which politicians, especially those of the left, love to use as a smoke screen, that we area lucky country.

        I’m here to contradict that.

        Perhaps if you were born on the North Shore of Sydney or in the shadow of Canberra, that may be the case but

        for the great mass of Australians to suggest that we have unearned wealth is just outrageous.

        We are a lucky country built on discipline, very hard work over long periods of time, sober financial habits and great personal sacrifice.

        I am a little concerned about your comment because it seems to be contradicting my main point which is that Australians are too trusting of the politicians managing our taxes.

        If you believe that the 30 or so million rich people in Indonesia are not in some way connected to the others you are so concerned about and that they have a lesser obligation to help than the poor of Australia I give up.

        The worlds poor number in the billions and the ONLY thing that will save them is GOOD GOVERNMENT IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

        This should be the object of the UN; to root out corruption and ensure good honest basic government in countries ruled by dictators.

        Australia CANNOT help all the worlds poor except by insisting that the UN do the right thing which I have outlined above.

        If you feel so strongly about helping Indonesias poor why not sell your house, or if necessary , your parents house and donate the funds to the UNHCR?


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          KinkyKeith

          Sorry Jaymez if I was little over the top above but I am exhausted after a lifetime of hard work and taxpaying and see too much of my

          investment in this country’s future being used by politicians to buy votes or ingratiate themselves with the UN’

          They hope to retire in a blaze of Pontificating Glory a la evans and carr well rid of Australia and the problems they failed to address.

          We have serious social problems in Australia which politicians decline to notice and instead put up the smoke screen of “others are

          worse off” and send our tax money overseas where is first has to be filtered through the hands of the local dictator or warlord.

          What a joke.

          The compassion industry is alive and kicking ; please excuse my being cynical.

          Here in my home town and in many other locations throughout Australia we have an aura of hopelessness or disconnectedness that shows up

          as chronic binge drinking. Were you aware that Australia has one of the highest levels of youth suicide in the World? We are letting

          our politicians off too lightly and have problems here we need to fix first.

          :)


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            Jaymez

            KinkyKeith, I was definitely not saying that the 30 million rich in Indonesia should not be helping their fellow citizens. I was genuinely interested in a reference regarding the incomes of Indonesians. I do get concerned about money being sent overseas because I have seen how poorly it can be spent. I had some experience watching foreign aid being wasted or gobbled by corruption in PNG, and Fiji in the 70′s and 80′s. I do think if we are spending money on foreign aid we should concentrate on our region. Personally I was pleased when John Howard gave $1B to Indonesia after the Tsunami, and Australia’s program which has built 2000 schools in Indonesia. Feedback from a mate working in Indonesia is that did get a lot of credibility and respect from Indonesians for Australia.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi Jaymez

            Sorry I guess I went off a bit and from your comments it seems we are on the same page there.

            My concern is mainly about politicians telling the truth and doing the best with the resources we have.

            So much is sent overseas to do so very little in the end and I would like to see us take stock and become a great nation again.

            You mention PNG and we seem to both agree that there we have the classic example of wrong thinking doing enormous damage.

            The Country has been given its freedom but the people have lost what they had and are now much worse off than when the patrol officers acted as a binding link between natives of PNG and the world outside.

            In the area up near Vanimmo there is a forestry industry with the usual results of that activity in a third world country. The trees come down and the money leaves the area with no benefit to the locals and a mess on the ground that no one will clean up.

            I agree that the money spent in Indonesia after the Tsunami was money well spent because it provided measurable help and boosted our image.

            We need a makeover for Australian politics because we need new direction here.

            :)


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            Adam Smith

            They hope to retire in a blaze of Pontificating Glory a la evans and carr well rid of Australia and the problems they failed to address.

            What about Alexander Downer who actually worked for the U.N. after he resigned from parliament?


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            KinkyKeith

            Caution; drive slowly

            SPACER at work.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        I know there is corruption in the Government … but that is common throughout Asia.

        And in Australia?


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          Adam Smith

          And in Australia?

          Australia and New Zealand have about the least corrupt and most transparent systems of government in the world.


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          KinkyKeith

          Hi Rereke

          Perhaps I am being cynical but the old 80-20 rule comes to mind. I have nothing but supposition in saying this but at times when

          governments feel under scrutiny they work reasonably well with 80% of their effort going to good management and the other 20% wasted

          effort/ corruption / whatever/self serving business.

          In recent times it seems that trying to scrutinize the performance of Government at all levels is almost impossible because of the

          verbiage that is used to camouflage activity.

          Maybe now that my working life is just about done I am more sensitive to the shenanigans in government and the seemingly constant self serving approach to the job, but when I look to what governments, in recent years, have achieved for the population I feel that all I see is a mess in that area.

          On the other hand, self serving activity is rife and I would take your comment about “how much” corruption and just say :

          Government IS Corruption.


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      Adam Smith

      Discipline is a necessary part of science and when discipline was made optional in our schools we found that high standards of education not

      What on earth does this mean?

      I’ve read a bit about theories of the scientific method, but I haven’t come across any that say science is based on “discipline”, whatever that means.

      The rest of your post was just a rant about foreign aid. Australia doesn’t even spend 1.5% of GDP on foreign aid. My guess is you are one of those people that thinks we spend 40%
      http://bit.ly/NK6FGK

      Indonesia’s GDP per capita is somewhat under US$5,000. Australia’s is about US$40,000.

      That clearly makes us a lot richer.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        A discipline is a generally accepted set of rules regarding the expected standards of conduct; quality of execution; documentation, etc.

        Disciplines were originally promulgated by various learned societies, and were binding upon their members, the various areas of scientific endeavor, physics, chemistry, botany, etc., each had its own set of disciplines.

        The term discipline has thus also come to mean an area of science, as well a the rules adopted in that science.


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          Adam Smith

          A discipline is a generally accepted set of rules regarding the expected standards of conduct; quality of execution; documentation, etc.

          Hang on a second. He didn’t say “a discipline” as in “the discipline of science”, he just wrote:

          Discipline is a necessary part of science and when discipline was made optional…

          You are using “discipline” to mean something very different to the original post.

          The term discipline has thus also come to mean an area of science, as well a the rules adopted in that science.

          What do you mean? Zoology is a different discipline to theoretical physics?

          I’m not sure science has a strict set of “rules”. There is no way to perfectly define the process that produces supportable scientific theories, just as there’s no one way for the justice system to prove someone guilty.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            I think your comment about discipline is playing with semantics, but …

            Discipline is not only rules, it is also having the moral fortitude to abide by those rules, so my comment and his comment are not necessarily at odds. In fact, it is no good having one, without the other.

            “Zoology is a different discipline to theoretical physics?”

            Absolutely, they are different. Zoology is conducted in the field. Theoretical Physics is conducted in the mind, with some help from the occasional whiteboard, and a little math.

            Science per se does not have a strict set of “rules”, apart from general adherence to the scientific method, keeping scrupulous records, releasing all your findings (unless they are proprietary), and such like.

            But different disciplines do have their own sets of rules and ways of working, that have evolved over time to make whatever they do easier to communicate, and record keep, and publish, and generally keep house.

            Also different disciplines have different regulatory requirements – safety standards, animal welfare, etc, and the way these are implemented becomes part of the discipline.

            Does that make it clearer?


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            Mark D.

            I’m not sure science has a strict set of “rules”. There is no way to perfectly define the process that produces supportable scientific theories, just as there’s no one way for the justice system to prove someone guilty.

            It is no wonder that you struggle!


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          KinkyKeith

          Hi RW

          Team Smith wants me to expand on discipline in schools.

          When you have students at near riot in many schools in Australia you have big learning barriers which show up in international

          performance tables for maths and science. I can tell TS that we have not been doing so well in the last 20 years because of Laise faire

          left approaches to behavior towards each other and the community; the prime example being alcohol sales which has been a protected

          industry and all political parties are involved.

          Students turning up drunk to school IS a serious educational problem as is the Australian rate of youth suicide; we are almost worlds best.

          TS also wants Australian drone workers who will submissively go to work and pay taxes and shut up while the politician of their choice

          lavishes our tax money on “deserving” causes locally or overseas.

          The Compassion Industry is a Political conn. There is great emotional and human suffering in Australias , so called, rich population.

          TS does not want the Australian worker to know that many Asian countries have very large numbers of extremely wealthy people; to not understand that is just putting your head in the sand or being deliberately deceptive.

          Australians need a new political awareness because we are heading nowhere right now.


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            Adam Smith

            Hi RW

            Team Smith wants me to expand on discipline in schools.

            No, I wanted you to expand on what “discipline” has to do with the philosophy of science.

            performance tables for maths and science. I can tell TS that we have not been doing so well in the last 20 years because of Laise faire

            left approaches to behavior towards each other and the community; the prime example being alcohol sales which has been a protected

            What on earth makes you think Laissez-faire is a left wing ideology? It is a right wing ideology.

            Students turning up drunk to school IS a serious educational problem as is the Australian rate of youth suicide; we are almost worlds best.

            Youth suicide is a very serious issue, but it has actually been in decline in Australia for the last ten years.

            TS also wants Australian drone workers who will submissively go to work and pay taxes and shut up while the politician of their choice

            lavishes our tax money on “deserving” causes locally or overseas.

            As I demonstrated to you, Australia only pays about 1.5% of GDP as overseas aid.

            You haven’t provided an explanation for why you think that is too much money.

            The Compassion Industry is a Political conn. There is great emotional and human suffering in Australias , so called, rich population.

            And there isn’t even more “human suffering” in overseas countries that are a lot poorer than Australia?

            TS does not want the Australian worker to know that many Asian countries have very large numbers of extremely wealthy people; to not understand that is just putting your head in the sand or being deliberately deceptive.

            As I demonstrated to you, the average Australian is about 8 times wealthier than the average Indonesian. Australia is a much wealthier country than Indonesia.

            Australians need a new political awareness because we are heading nowhere right now.

            Well if you want to become more aware, you should appreciate that Australia spends just a tiny amount each year on foreign aid.

            We spend more money each year giving diesel fuel subsidies to mining companies.


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    Bulldust

    A quick Google (I am good at finding things on the net :) reveals this is the place:

    http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum.html

    Follow the various links to get to the relevant curriculum drafts. The consultation section for the 20 July 2012 closing date you mention is here:

    http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

    The draft curricula by subject are here:

    http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/draft_senior_secondary_australian_curriculum.html

    Cheers,
    Bulldust


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    AndyG55

    As an ex high school teacher, I can assure you that the last thing you ever bother reading is the preamble and other crap at the beginning.

    Look at what is actually in the course, ignore the rest.

    I’m very glad I was a maths/manual arts/computer studies teacher and not teaching some airy fairy social subject, and thanksfully saw very little of this crap.


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      KinkyKeith

      Metallurgist then >>>> science -maths/manual arts Eng Sci/computer studies teacher

      Parallel worlds


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        Bulldust

        Bulldust also has a degree in Minerals Engineering (aka the post mining end of metallurgy) along with a degree in Mineral Economics.


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          Bulldust

          Bulldust also sounds a tad pretentious talking in the third person…


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            KinkyKeith

            KK hasn’t practiced as a metallurgist for a long time but we used to think we could calculate and quantify anything.

            Our thermo lecturer had us doing mass and heat balances on blast furnaces and especially we had to work out how much CO2 was given out for every ton of pig iron delivered from the furnace.

            Now I’m reduced to trying to figure out why it took me so long to come to grips with the AGW nonsense.

            KK :)


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      John Van Krimpen

      Andy, Yeah, if you look at the five draft curricula you don’t see the science of mathematics for a very good reason, maths is defined completely by empiricism, the science cannot afford the romanticism of those mission statements. I just can’t see mathematicians even looking at that those things at anyhting more than waffle.

      Everything is proof even in algorithmic and iterative processes in maths which is what they attempt to describe in a limited way. It’s why the climate gate guys got in so much trouble they didn’t understand the maths and were poor at it.

      The fact is science process is hypothesis then test for proof, in other words noble goals are not the outcome, a defined event or series of events is the outcome and not open for debate, just proof. Math because it owes its roots more to symbolic logic doing away with normal language this approach they discuss is trying to go back the other way and cannot be accepted, Mathematics itself is a language that by passes all tribal boundaries because of it’s basic symbolic rigid structures, whereas the language studies are completely fluid, with little critical testing for results, so they are trying to morph the sciences from critical path thinking to the social sciences and it should be the other way round.

      IN tutoring (high school students) I did set some work on mathematicians themselves to show students the greats were men and women, but this was minor and a confidence building exercise and was not the study of maths itself.


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        John Van Krimpen

        The consensus is the method and the proof and not a debate about what the result should be, what the result demonstratably is or is not, not a vote around a table, the only argument (not debate) is that methodologies and applications are all correct and the result is correct.


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          Adam Smith

          Yeah, for some reason a lot of people get concerned when the word “consensus” is used.

          But I see nothing wrong with the statement

          “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.”

          Or “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is not flat”.


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            BobC

            Adam Smith
            July 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm · Reply
            Yeah, for some reason a lot of people get concerned when the word “consensus” is used.

            But I see nothing wrong with the statement

            “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.”

            Or “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is not flat”.

            There is nothing wrong with the statements, Adam. However, they are statements about scientists’ opinions — they do not constitute a scientific proof.

            The proof of the above two statements is achieved by measurements, not opinion polls — a point you don’t seem to quite grasp.

            In this post, you reached the following incorrect conclusion about these statements of opinion:
            [I've numbered your statements for reference]

            What exactly is wrong with the statement:

            “There is a scientific consensus that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.”?

            (1) If you read it with the ‘light’ meaning of “consensus” it simply means that far more scientists believe the Earth is an oblate spheroid than those that don’t.
            (2) It doesn’t imply anything about how different scientists reached that conclusion,…
            (3) it is just a short way of writing “there is far more evidence to suggest the earth is an oblate spheroid than alternative theories such as the suggestion that the earth is flat”. [My emphasis]

            While statements (1) and (2) are obviously correct (given the correctness of the target statement about scientists’ opinions), statement (3) in no way follows, but is simply a conclusion you would like to draw — not one that can be deduced from the previous statements.

            I gave an example in this post of a consensus held for over 60 years by the world’s most prominent physicists that was (in 2004) falsified by a simple experiment — an experiment that none of those physicists had ever thought of doing.

            As it turned out, the long-lived consensus was not based on any evidence whatsoever, but on a quasi-philosophical “meta-analysis” of Quantum Mechanics — a guess as to what the theory “really meant”.

            Since all “proofs” of AGW are based on computer models (which have yet to demonstrate predictive skill distinguishable from random chance), the “scientific consensus” (ignoring for the moment that it really isn’t a consensus) is not based on measurements, data, or anything else that could possibly qualify as scientific evidence.


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        Adam Smith

        Andy, Yeah, if you look at the five draft curricula you don’t see the science of mathematics for a very good reason, maths is defined completely by empiricism

        This is pretty hilarious considering that EVERYTHING in mathematics is ultimately a mental construct, which apparently is what we are making fun of!

        Show me what “divide” is in the physical world.


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          Winston

          Show me what “divide” is in the physical world.

          Cut an orange in half, Adam.


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            Adam Smith

            Cut an orange in half, Adam.

            OMG! All this does is prove you don’t understand what a mental construction is!


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            Winston

            My son is autistic and has no concept of division as an entity. He can, however, cut an orange in half. He knows that he has one orange, when asked after cutting he now has two pieces, iin spite of having no concept that division has occurred. An objective reality in the physical world independent of any mental construct of ” division”.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Actually Adam, mathematics is not a mental construct.

          Mathematics is a language, used in the real world, to describe and communicate concepts that exist in the mind.

          How many dimensions can you “construct” mentally? I regularly work with concepts in five or six dimensions. See if you can build a mental construct for four.

          p.s. It can be done.


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            Mark D.

            I didn’t know you were a preacher!


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            I’m not.

            I prefer to teach, not preach.

            It is the concepts that are important, the words just get in the way.


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            Adam Smith

            Actually Adam, mathematics is not a mental construct.

            Well yes it is, it is ontologically “pure”, unlike other scientific domains.

            Mathematics is a language, used in the real world,

            This statement does not describe what mathematics is. You are no longer talking about what makes mathematics mathematics when you say that it is “used in the real world”, you are instead talking about the application of mathematical idea which is different.

            There is no such thing as “division” in the real world, whereas a geologist can actually show you a piece of granite, for example, mathematics is inherently about mental constructs. You seem to be worried that since something is a mental construction that it somehow isn’t useful?

            Anyway, here is a comic that demonstrates what I mean:
            http://xkcd.com/435/


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            Winston

            Well yes it is, it is ontologically “pure”, unlike other scientific domains.

            Don’t know about “ontologically pure”, but I recognise “pure onanism” when I see it, Adam. Mathematics is, IMO, a symbolic representation as Rereke suggests, like any language, and those symbols represent physical realities of number, shape, proportionality, etc. In your geologist example, the word “granite” is a mental construct by your interpretation also by symbolically representing the rock to which the geologist refers, and the visual appreciation of the characteristics of that rock is also a mental construct, as is the visual processing of “data” seen when evaluating that rock. Conveying observations of that granite verbally and by the written word to another in transferring knowledge is a mental construct also, but the accuracy or not of this conveyance of knowledge doesn’t alter the physical reality of what is described. Granite has it’s physical and elemental properties independent of mankind’s description of it, and will remain so long after the last man has drawn his very last breath.


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          John V K

          I won’t bite, I haven’t got enough time to work basic Algebra with you. But to help you division is real world process and can be proven mathematically to work. Maths symbolises accurately the universe around us, or it’s not maths and becomes religion.

          All language is a mental construct, agreed but mathematics develops the principles of identity and unit substitution, so don’t try and paint me into a non rigourous philosophical discussion, the topic is teaching science.

          Having said all that, there is a consensus but it is always based on a proof on constructs agreed proven to high levels of scientific certainty by observations and no individual contrary evidence. It’s the logical chain of evidence.

          The issue at hand is the discussions above do not place the result as the ends, instead inferring noble goals as some kind of end. After the result is achieved then a discussion on what to do with results is appropriate.

          That kind of verbiage is the same as the tripe, used by the UN IPCC to cover up the fact a limited number of scientists (few) and a hell of a lot of clerks had written a report to save mankind from Global warming and there was universal consensus when there very clearly is not.

          You throw strawman arguments, I don’t have to prove your lie about division. Sir it is up to you to prove that division as a mathematical principle does not work, that the supporting premises for division (algebraic statement identity and so on) are falsifiable, that there are cases where the techniques don’t work.


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            John V K

            You would not know an axiom from your own arsehat. An axiom is a statement that has not been falsified.


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            Adam Smith

            I won’t bite, I haven’t got enough time to work basic Algebra with you.

            I understand basic algebra thank you very much!

            But to help you division is real world process and can be proven mathematically to work.

            Completely wrong! There is no such thing in the real world out there as “division”. It is a mathematical IDEA par excellence.

            Maths symbolises accurately the universe around us, or it’s not maths and becomes religion.

            See what you did? You just said yourself that mathematics “symbolises” things. That’s not the same as saying that mathematical ideas exist apart from being mental ideas.

            All language is a mental construct, agreed but mathematics develops the principles of identity and unit substitution, so don’t try and paint me into a non rigourous philosophical discussion, the topic is teaching science.

            WOAH! All language certainly isn’t a mental construct. Languages have syntax and are represented as sounds. But this is very different to your assertion that the concept of division somehow exists in the real world, which it simply doesn’t. It is simply a mathematical idea.

            Having said all that, there is a consensus but it is always based on a proof on constructs agreed proven to high levels of scientific certainty by observations and no individual contrary evidence. It’s the logical chain of evidence.

            But hang on a second, you have basically just said this:

            “Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence.”

            I thought that is what we are meant to be making fun of? It seems you don’t find that so objectionable after all.

            The issue at hand is the discussions above do not place the result as the ends, instead inferring noble goals as some kind of end. After the result is achieved then a discussion on what to do with results is appropriate.

            There is nothing in the definition above that does this.

            That kind of verbiage is the same as the tripe, used by the UN IPCC to cover up the fact a limited number of scientists (few) and a hell of a lot of clerks had written a report to save mankind from Global warming and there was universal consensus when there very clearly is not.

            What? So something is only scientifically valid if absolutely every scientist in the world agrees with it? That sounds like authoritarianism, not science.

            You throw strawman arguments, I don’t have to prove your lie about division. Sir it is up to you to prove that division as a mathematical principle does not work, that the supporting premises for division (algebraic statement identity and so on) are falsifiable, that there are cases where the techniques don’t work.

            None of this explains that division actually exists in the real world rather than simply being a mental construct, albeit a very powerful one.


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            KinkyKeith

            TS is a space cadet


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          Stephen Frost

          Paging Rene Decartes, Rene Descartes … there’s a spill in aisle #3 … mop and bucket required!


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    The Black Adder

    I heard this on ABC Radio this arvo driving around.

    What a refreshing comment from someone in the Academia…

    ..there are a lot of things which are not settled..

    Well. that`s it then!!

    Where the bloody hell is Combet and Gillard?

    Can you please explain PM and Minister, why it is settled when it is clearly not.

    This is the reason we have a CO2 Tax. God help us, As KK says above Indonesia and the Rest of the World for that matter, are all laughing at us!


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      inedible hyperbowl

      There are a few more laughs to come!

      As the AGW scam continues to crumble before our eyes, those who have wedded their careers to AGW (JG, Combet, all of the ABC, large lumps of non-scientific academia, fairfax) will shout out their beliefs with more vigor and volume than ever before.

      AGW hype will disappear when they do. Thankfully, it looks like 3 of the above will disappear sooner rather than later.


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      Dave

      .
      TBA,

      Agree,

      Then we give Afghanistan $17 million extra to change their reglious views!

      Is this the same as giving billions to the CAGW scam religion in Australia?

      IT won’t work!


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        The Black Adder

        What about giving the Indonesians 4 C-4 Aircraft as a reward for sending us 20,000 illegal immigrants…

        Or giving Flannery $150,000 a year to tell us silly things that do not happen.

        I tell ya! The world must think us Aussies are mad.

        Thank God the Olympics are coming up…

        A few Gold Medals against the Old Dart and the Septic Tanks…. that will take our mind off things….


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          Robert

          I tell ya! The world must think us Aussies are mad.

          Not really but it does show us that your politicians and leaders are crooked, self-serving, lying fraudsters. But then from our side of the ball here in the US when we look at our own crooks politicians and leaders we see how much we have in common.

          In both of our countries we allowed our process of election and government to be subverted by those who enact legislation and policies not for the benefit of the nation but for their own benefit or to “buy” votes from special interest groups in order to form large enough voting blocks to keep their party in power.

          Those of us paying attention have seen what the majority in AU wanted and that the government ignored them. Though we do think that some of your countrymen, such as the Smith creature, could use a rest in a softly walled room.


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            crakar24

            +1 to you robert, by the way i see Texas tried to pass alaw stopping voter fraud you know like when dead people vote however this law has been overturned.

            Election fraud in action.

            By the way how come Romney is airing ads as if he is the GOP candidate when he does not have enough delegates yet? Surely he would have to wait until the convention in Florida?

            Cheers

            Crakar


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            Robert

            Crakar I wish I had a good answer for you but I do not. I can only speculate that Romney is assuming he will be the candidate because on may 29th he “officially had enough delegates to win the nomination.”

            Here are the CBS and Wall Street Journal trackers:

            CBS 2012 Election Delegate Tracker

            Wall Street Journal Election Delegate Tracker

            1,144 is the point he needed to pass and while the totals on the two sites differ, 1546 on CBS and 1522 on WSJ as I write this, he has more than enough.

            I have to confess that I stopped watching television sometime ago. I stopped cable and threw an antenna on the roof for local channels but generally watch movies and shows via Netflix through a computer hooked up to the TV. No commercials, very relaxing. I tend to like the older shows up through the 70′s early 80′s over the garbage coming out these days anyway.

            So, I can’t tell you what his commercials are like, what his chances are, or even if he will get the nomination. Only that it looks like he will be the candidate at this point in time.

            The elections have become such a farce I can’t tolerate the campaign ads, posturing, and other related crap that comes along with it. Our state, Minnesota, seated a senator who won even though we KNOW there was a county in which the votes of deceased people, babies, non-existent people, etc. were part of his tally. He is a democrat and that seems to be the way they do it. All I can tell you is I will be doing my part to get Obummer out of there and can only hope the rest of the country does the same.

            Now how much voter fraud we can expect from the democrats or, if it starts looking bad enough for them, some sort of emergency being declared so the election doesn’t take place is another matter entirely.


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            Adam Smith

            Not really but it does show us that your politicians and leaders are crooked, self-serving, lying fraudsters. But then from our side of the ball here in the US when we look at our own crooks politicians and leaders we see how much we have in common.

            Well actually Australian politicians are a lot less corrupt than American politicians, so it is unfair to just put them all together in the same boat.


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            Adam Smith

            In both of our countries we allowed our process of election and government to be subverted by those who enact legislation and policies not for the benefit of the nation but for their own benefit or to “buy” votes from special interest groups in order to form large enough voting blocks to keep their party in power.

            Well if we want to get started on an issue. What about the absurd subsidies that U.S. politicians and thus tax payers hand over to the U.S. agricultural sector every year? The Congress just passed another farm bill with hundreds of billions of dollars for farmers which ultimately results in increased prices for commodities.

            This works at the direct detriment to Australian farmers who receive very few subsidies but still have to compete for the same markets. If you want to help the world economy, you should be campaigning to end farm subsidies.

            Those of us paying attention have seen what the majority in AU wanted and that the government ignored them. Though we do think that some of your countrymen, such as the Smith creature, could use a rest in a softly walled room.

            Well it didn’t take you long to revert to abuse instead of making substantive points.


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            The Black Adder

            Adam,

            This is not a us V`s US fight!

            This is a fight against the CO2 religion.

            A dogma, that I am afraid, you have fallen for hook, line and sinker….


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            Mark D.

            Adam makes this unsupported claim:

            Well actually Australian politicians are a lot less corrupt than American politicians, so it is unfair to just put them all together in the same boat.

            Adam, besides the poorly written statement above, when will you take your own advice and offer some proof of what you say?

            So on a scale of 1 to 10 (most to least):
            AU = 7.9
            USA = 7.1
            No Adam that is not “a lot”!

            One thing for certain, nearly every time you post professing knowledge of the US, you prove your ignorance.


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          crakar

          One of the smiths has lost the plot time to do a shift chagne over


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            KinkyKeith

            This has been a prodigious effort by the Smith Spacer Team.

            They have managed to space out 5 pages of comment in 24 hours by cutting other peoples comments and then commenting on their grammar.

            A wonderfully pointless effort by Team Spacers beating the previous record of 3 pages which they also held from their effort last week.

            maybe we need to get that tracer team at work to find out if they really are all holed up in WA or maybe closer?.


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    Jo- I actually used the language that Australia adopted in 2001 on rejecting the transmission of knowledge in the story I wrote yesterday explaining where the US was going and how I could see the actual trajectory.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/rigor-relevance-and-relationships-the-new-3rs-to-get-to-a-caring-economics/

    The quote came from the 2000 Australian National Schools Network Protocols Training. The reason there is such global consistency is so much of the template is coming out of UNESCO and OECD as conducive to their desired economic restructuring around green energy. Which they prefer to economic freedom because Green Growth requires an interventionist approach to an economy. And bureaucrats make their money intervening.

    So in early 2000 Australia adopted Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools tenets. It also adopted the ATLAS Project–Authentic Learning and Teaching for All Students. That makes projects and group activities the focus and moves away from any abstractions in order to be accessible to all.

    The side benefit of leaving students ignorant and subject to media manipulation around the concepts pushed for all was supposed to be a nice quiet secret. Known to politicians, bureaucrats, and marketers. Ooops. Sure explains the success of some of these candidates though.


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    John Brookes

    I know a couple of very good physics teachers here in Perth, and you’ll be pleased to know that, realistic or not, they pay no attention to the post modern constructivist stuff. They just try and teach physics.

    They do see some strange things though. Like a text book that shows an algorithmic method of solving circular motion problems. Teaching it like that is pretty bad. What you want is students being able to use their fundamental understanding and problem solving skills, not a formulaic approach that applies to just one sort of problem and has no other application. This type of thing is just chasing marks.

    The philosophy of science is all very well, but we really just need students who can do stuff, and understand stuff. And to do that we also need exams which test this. These teachers find it really annoying when the WACE (HSC) exams don’t allow the best students to shine. There is a bit of a battle going on between those who teach and those who set the exams. However, teachers to some extent get the last laugh, as they end up marking the exams, and no matter how prescriptive the marking scheme might be, they will find a way to reward the right sort of thinking.


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      The Black Adder

      The philosophy of science is all very well, but we really just need students who can do stuff, and understand stuff.

      WTF !!

      We need TEACHERS and PROFESSORS to teach the truth !! Not Stuff !!

      By gees , by jingoes JB you got my blood boiling now!

      If you are the best they got in WA , then Ben Cousins was no accident!


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      Robert

      However, teachers to some extent get the last laugh, as they end up marking the exams, and no matter how prescriptive the marking scheme might be, they will find a way to reward the right sort of thinking.

      Missing the point entirely, this thread is about what is “the right sort of thinking” and how many educators are rewarding what they personally consider “the right sort of thinking” often from their own or the school’s activist or political leaning.

      As soon as you stated “the right sort of thinking” you shot yourself in the foot in the eyes of those who understand that what many educators, politicians, and schools consider “the right sort of thinking” is pure crap designed for the educator’s, school’s, or politician’s benefit and not that of the student.

      We have seen in numerous comments of yours what you consider “the right sort of thinking” and without fail someone here destroys it with logic and facts as that sort of thinking is flawed relying more on how you feel about something than how that something actually is.


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        Brian of Moorabbin

        +1 Robert. Nailed him right between the eyes.


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        John Brookes

        You are a strange one Robert. You don’t like “the right sort of thinking”. Lets see. Say you’ve got a problem involving an inverse square force law. The “right sort of thinking” is demonstrating that you understand what an inverse square force law is, and that you know how to apply it. It is not whatever any incompetent educational theorist has to say on the subject.

        My point is that good teachers of physics reward the right sort of thinking, ignoring the wishes of post modern educators.

        But never mind, if you want to think that all teachers are into this educational mumbo jumbo, then go right ahead and ignore that I’ve actually said that many physics teachers aren’t like that. After all, I see no reason why some practical data gained from actually interacting with these teachers should impinge on your views.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          Perhaps you should employ words like, “logical”, or “systematic”, rather that, “right”? The word “right” has so many connotations.


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            The Black Adder

            Bugger that Rereke!

            Lets go for the in word of the moment….

            “sustainability”


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            Robert

            There you go. That sums it up perfectly Rereke and the fact that John apparently doesn’t “get it” that we are speaking of “logical, reasoned, critical thinking” which very specifically describes the type of thinking.

            The phrase “the right sort of thinking” does not specifically describe what is being looked for, is very subjective, and sounds more like something a cult leader would be looking for than an educator.

            Now given John’s support of the AGW meme and the resemblance of supporters of that meme to what has been seen historically in members of cults then using critical reasoning one can easily reach the conclusion that when he speaks of “the right sort of thinking” he is referring to thinking that supports his ideology not necessarily reality.

            After all, I see no reason why some practical data gained from actually interacting with these teachers should impinge on your views.

            I find the above very interesting in that John cannot be more exact and precise in describing what he is trying to convey, his “the right sort of thinking” rather than saying “logical, critical thinking” or something more precise, even though he claims to be regularly interacting with people whose field demands precision in conveying their thoughts. It leads me to speculate that while he interacts with them, he doesn’t learn from them.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Robert,

            That is a good point. And now you point it out, I also notice the use of the word “data”, the plural of datum, which means a single measurement. He is using the word as a synonym for opinion, or to be more generous, information.


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      Mark D.

      But, this IS the best post JB has ever made here!

      It ain’t perfect, but it is unusual for John.

      ……….Maybe we ARE having some effect.


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      John, It is a pity that you do not follow your own thinking about understanding before making many of your inane comments in the past. If you make an attempt to understand then, maybe, you will have something to contribute. Gavan Schmidt (of NASA-Giss & RC) has indicated he did not know about the Schmidt number. Are you one of the sheep followers,of the false prophet Hansen, who have little or no understanding of heat and mass transfer and/or have decided to get on the bandwagon to spread misinformation for their own benefit?


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        John Brookes

        What is the Schmidt number?


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          The Black Adder

          You know…. the number!!!

          :)


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          Are you not capable of searching with Google or Bing?


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          BobC

          Brooksie often needs things spelled out:

          1) The Schmidt Number is necessary to correctly model fluid flows that involve complex processes (like the atmosphere).

          2) Gavin Schmidt is a prominent warmist and computer programmer/mathematician who produces Global Circulation Models for NASA that proport to predict future climate.

          3) The fact that Gavin Schmidt is ignorant of the Schmidt number implies that he doesn’t know what he is doing.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Thank you Bob, I have learnt something today.

            I was always under the impression that the Schmidt Number was an indeterminate imaginary number that represented the consequent effects of the unmeasured climatory influences that result in the projected amount of warming during any time horizon.

            But obviously, that is far too simplistic a view.


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            BobC

            Rereke Whakaaro
            July 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

            I was always under the impression that the Schmidt Number was an indeterminate imaginary number that represented the consequent effects of the unmeasured climatory influences that result in the projected amount of warming during any time horizon.

            I’ve never heard of it, but it would have to be paid propagandist Gavin Schmidt’s number, which he probably just pulled out of his … :-)

            I was, of course, referring to the number named in honor of actual scientist/engineer W.M Schmidt which characterizes the way momentum and friction affect convection in real fluids.

            But G. Schmidt’s ignorance is probably not relevant — GCM’s aren’t really models of the real world anyway, since it is impossible to initialize them realistically. Their legitimate use was to explore large-scale weather interactions, but their most lucrative use has proven to be propagandizing for big government control of our lives — what Gavin is paid to do.


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            KinkyKeith

            It sounds as thought the Schmidt Number may be related to the Reynolds Number but for slightly more complex situations.

            It is important to accept that these theoretical descriptor like Reynolds number and Schmidt Number are for very specific

            situations. eg flat plate, laminar flow or spherical radiation / absorption or whatever – that must be nominated.

            The bad news is that Warmer Scientists use thermodynamics equation in situations they were not designed for and do not adhere to

            boundary limits for the factors involved; Not Scientific at all.

            The ONLY valid way of using these equations is to be physically observing the system while varying one or more factors.

            When the operation of the system and the “model” is thus CONFIRMED only then, may the model be extrapolated to conditions outside

            the observed and tested range. And then, it is only up to the boundary limit that exist for each parameter.

            Because “Climate Scientists” have never used the required “boundary Limits ‘ for their parameters and have never achieved

            correspondence between modeled results and reality, they have a problem.

            THEY HAVE NOT BUILT A WORKING MODEL.

            Any contention that they have working models of the Earth’s atmosphere are technically, operationally, scientifically and ethically false.

            When you remove ALL of the claims associated with ‘models’ they have Absolutely Nothing.

            KK :)


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Thanks for the clarification Bob

            I was always under the impression that the Schmidt Number was an indeterminate imaginary number …

            Was my attempt at humour – obviously I shouldn’t give up my day job. :-)


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    As Ayn Rand eloquently stated years ago, all of these arguments come down to this foundational argument. We believe that A is A, and they believe that A is whatever they say it is.


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    pat

    and now we have a “bright” Marine Scientist at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns by the name of Janice Lough, from James Cook University, who obviously believes the Great Barrier Reef has never experienced “climate change” prior to CAGW!

    10 July: ABC Australia: Climate change could make Barrier Reef ‘boring’
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-10/reef-risks-becoming-27boring27-scientist/4121970

    either this usage of the phrase “climate change” is dropped or stopped, or we can give up on science right now


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      shortie from Greenbank

      http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/nemo-faces-acid-test-in-real-life-movie-sequel/story-e6freoof-1226422914425

      With the ‘untruth’ expert Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg piping in for his highly expensive more than 5c we know there is something more than a little ‘fishy’ going on in science up here in Queensland.

      In 1990 I felt the first attack on education by the CAGW faction when the QSAT test (the mid-year yr 12 test that grades schools and subjects) contained a english assessment on a CSIRO model that showed the east cost getting wetter and the west coast of Australia getting drier and it was ‘bad’ that this was happening. The 20 years from then in reality showed a slight reduction of rainfall over the previous 30-40 years from memory for the east coast showing that then and even now the CSIRO (as well as the BOM) has no concept of rainfall and the Pacific warm-cool cycles controlling el nino – la nina events.


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        Streetcred

        BoM forecast a drier winter on the east coast as recent as June this year … well, let me tell them that it has been wet and cold for a long time now. Then I discovered that they use the same software as the British Met Office which forecast a dry summer over there this year … and has subsequently endured substantial rainfall and flooding.


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      Streetcred

      Report in the Courier Mail this morning from that symposium that the GBR is getting more acidic … and here we all thought that seawater was base. Acidity is practically impossible given the buffering of carbonates present in the oceans.

      I mean, where do these people get this crap from ?


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      Marine Scientist at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns by the name of Janice Lough, from James Cook University, who obviously believes the Great Barrier Reef has never experienced “climate change” prior to CAGW!

      Suggests the attendees are cherry-picked, or maybe the sensible ones are just too old or too tired to tolerate the aggravation. Strange situation at JCU. At one time there seemed to be a 50/50 split between academics squawking about the GBR and those saying that it is in reasonable shape. On the other hand, “Climate: The Counter Consensus” by fellow staffer Bob Carter is not available at the JCU bookshop. I had to get my copy from the UK.
      The GBR has been there for something like 500,000+ years, the present build 6 – 8,000 years.

      Scientists at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns on Tuesday focused on their biggest fear: what will happen if climate change continues at its current rate.

      Translation: “what will happen to our funding if climate change skepticism continues at its current rate.”


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        KinkyKeith

        Hi Martin

        Your “present build” comment no doubt relates to the relative sea level stabilization period after the last great ice age melt.

        Basically it means that the GBR did not exist until about 8,000 years ago and even then had to deal with sea levels dropping about 1.5 metres 4 to 6 thousand year back to present levels.

        The constant crowing about sea level rises coming from CO2 are a joke in light of the worlds sea level history.

        :)


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    Leo G

    So, the Queensland Studies Authority regards explanations of natural phenomena to be viewed in a way that appears to discriminate in favour of pseudo science.

    “Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models … as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable …”

    Implies that scientific concepts, theories, and models are to be exclusively associated with a class, “the scientific community”, and that the perception of that class as a single entity is the determinant of their viability.
    Just what is the competence shared by each and every member of that “scientific community” that justifies the exclusivity, and why should their be just a single common scientific community as the determinant for all scientific concepts, theories and models?
    It appears suspiciously like AGW epistemology applied to science education.

    The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy suggest a list of criteria for demarcating science and pseudoscience:-

    (1) Belief in authority: It is contended that some person or persons have a special ability to determine what is true or false. Others have to accept their judgments.
    (2) Non-repeatable experiments: Relying on experiments that cannot be repeated by others with the same outcome.
    (3) Handpicked examples: Handpicked examples are used which are not representative of the general category that the investigation refers to.
    (4) Unwillingness to test: A theory is not tested although it is possible to test it.
    (5) Disregard of refuting information: Observations or experiments that conflict with a theory are neglected.
    (6) Built-in subterfuge: The testing of a theory is so arranged that the theory can only be confirmed, never disconfirmed, by the outcome.
    (7) Explanations are abandoned without replacement. Tenable explanations are given up without being replaced, so that the new theory leaves much more unexplained than the previous one.

    These are all familiar issues to regular readers of this blog who are regularly assailed by advocates of a climate change science “orthodoxy”. The QSA epistemology certainly seems to dovetail with that orthodox “mental construction”.


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    Left out

    LevelGaze, you appear to have missed my point. “Rigorous empiricism” is an excellent concept. My “sneer” (if such it was) was directed at the supposed frequency of its application in the real world. My point was that it is better to be prepared for how things actually are than for how we might like them to be. I felt (obviously, in error) that this was clear in the context.


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    Jaymez

    Has anyone successfully tried to register to provide curriculum feedback? I tried numerous times, completing every box including those not marked as mandatory and simply got the message ‘Registration Failed’.

    Maybe the website is being swamped, or maybe the website is consistent with the curriculum qualities?


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    Jaymez

    A couple of years ago I did a Grad Dip Ed (Secondary) with the thoughts I might do some volunteer teaching overseas in the future in my retirement. It is just a 12 month course. As I had an undergraduate degree in accounting and post Grad degrees in Economics and Finance I was advised I should qualify to teach high school Accounting, Economics, Maths and Society and Environment.

    The bulk of the course, apart from the ‘pracs’ was about the Outcomes Based Education system, managing classroom behaviour, preparing lesson plans and preparing all the school reports and paperwork. This was fair enough because the underlying specialist subject knowledge was assumed for Grad Dip Ed students.

    Much of our work was done in groups and then presented in the class so I was able to get a very good idea of the subject knowledge of my fellow students who would be full time high school teachers in less than 12 months. It was horrifying. Potential high school maths teachers who couldn’t manage basic algebra. The standards were pretty low all round. Many of the students had gained useless undergraduate degrees in soft arts and science areas which had turned out to be useless in securing them a job. So they thought they’d give teaching a go.

    They, and the lecturers seemed unconcerned about their lack of subject knowledge. They all figured they would just take material directly from the curriculum and also download lesson plans from websites which provided them at a small cost (I assume from enterprising teachers).

    It is therefore of great concern that there are likely to be plenty of ‘teachers’ who lack knowledge and any interest in researching to educate themselves, who will be happy to be spoon fed from a potentially politically or ideologically based curriculum council. Certainly the curriculum approach to ‘Society and Environment’ seemed to be taken straight from the left-wing songbook. So it’s no surprise Science has gone the same way.


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      Graeme No.3

      Lab. assistant who fancied his maths ability – ” I tested that emulsion for solids like you asked, and the answer is 118.5742 per cent”.

      Tech. Manager (letting him down too gently) – “I think you may have made an error in calculating it. It is a percentage, per centum, you know”.

      Lab. assistant (10 minutes later) – ” you were right, I did make a mistake. The real answer is 105.1189 per cent. ”

      Lab. assistant departed (unassisted) shortly after to new, more desired position – teaching High School Maths.

      That was in the 1980′s. I won’t say what State, but currently the new government is trying to fix up financial problems.


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    Speedy

    Morning all.

    George Orwell was right:

    “Freedom is the ability to say that two plus two equals four.”

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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      Speedy-

      The great writer Isabel Paterson, Ayn Rand was a student and friend before she became famous, used to say that no government can make 2+2=5 dealing with the earlier versions of constructivism coming out of the Soviet Union. If political ideology is what drives you, you can’t have reality getting in the way.

      We really learned nothing from Lysenko. Even many hard science grads are not familiar with that story.

      The really terrible science curriculum is over in New Zealand where they actually mandate sense-making. I guess we will see if we come up with the same insights this time as Newton and Copernicus. Back to perceptions is a terrible idea though as they are frequently wrong.


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        Speedy

        Thank you Robin

        What you have taught me is that we cannot separate objective reality from subjective morality. Just because Lysenko prefers a given theory of genetics, and the Politburo/Consensus sanctions Lysenko’s theory, does not make that theory either beneficial, or, correct…

        In the same way, being “passionate” about climate change/global warming/disruption/”insert excuse here” does not change the fact its science is balberdash and its implications (if applied) for humanity are catastrophic.

        Again, thanks for your comment – please continue to question.

        Cheers,

        Speedy.


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    Mark Allinson

    Nature

    “Nature is our construction”,
    The lecturer began,
    In a voice ringing thin and tinny
    As an academic’s can,

    “An artefact of language,
    A ghost of social thought,
    A mirror for projections
    Whose esse est is not”

    “Nature isn’t ‘out there’ –
    A meta narrative,
    A transcendental signified –
    It’s we who make ‘her’ ‘live’!

    “Nature is our creation,
    Our thought-forms give ‘her’ ‘life’,
    And seeing ‘her’ as ‘(m)other’
    Is what makes all the strife.”

    At last the lecture ended
    In thunderous applause,
    And the lecturer marched through
    The postmodern airlock doors.

    But as he crossed the car-park
    The bright almighty flash
    Of a mega-volt of lightning
    Scorched his arse to ash.


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    Robber

    Amazing what you can learn at TAFE <a href="http://www.tafe.vic.gov.au&quot; : How many carbon accountants do we need?
    Carbon Accounting. This course is based on current greenhouse and energy reporting methodologies. It prepares students for a role in a low carbon economy, learning the scientific and industrial background to carbon accounting; terminology, trends and drivers; international best practices, methodologies and standards; to identify, categorise and calculate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; to prepare and interpret a carbon/GHG inventory; current carbon and energy related legislation; to evaluate business risks and opportunities in a low carbon future; to identify an organisation’s carbon management options; to develop a carbon report for an organisation; review carbon reporting procedures.
    Diploma of Carbon Management. This course allows graduates to be able to meet the current and future industry requirements in carbon management. This will enable them to effectively work within their chosen fields with a comprehensive understanding and capacity to build, robust approaches to carbon management. This course aligns with current greenhouse reporting methodologies including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

    (Your link URL is bad) CTS


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      Robber here makes a good point.

      Note how Education is being designed in this specific case to fit new jobs that have become necessary to implement this new legislation.

      Now, all those emitting entities will need to hire these people with these new degrees so they can comply with the legislation. These people will draft all the entities compliance packages to ensure compliance.

      Part of that task is to (in the case of a large scale coal fired power plant here) look at the smoke stack and say:

      Yep, that’s one tonne of CO2 every 6.8 seconds, so with 4 generators running that’s, etc etc

      Well no it isn’t.

      His job is to draft the policy etc, and handle all the paper work for the reporting mechanisms, how many credits will be required, what the cap is, how many extra credits they might need, or how many they can trade (oh, that won’t be for three years yet, until the ETS comes in) etc etc.

      However, can you now see the inherent problem here.

      That emitting entity now has to find all new equipment to accurately measure their emissions. It’s not just a matter of having a rough idea how much coal is being burned and doing a rough calculation from that. Each grade of coal emits differing amounts of CO2 when burned, so now the entity has to specifically analyse all the incoming coal. They have to carefully monitor coal feed, burn rates, air inflow, temperatures, is that generator running at maximum delivery or just waiting to be called upon, when needed, is it winding up or down for maintenance. Is it on spinning reserve. Are all generators running.

      See now how compliance is not the province of the new guy with the degree. The entity now has to install all new equipment to accurately measure their emissions down to last accurate kilogram, otherwise there will be penalties.

      The entity now has to outlay huge amounts of extra money for tall this, as well as the wage structure for the new guy or guys.

      Don’t tell me this sort of outlay will not result in increased costs for the electricity generated for all consumers.

      Tony.


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        Adam Smith

        His job is to draft the policy etc, and handle all the paper work for the reporting mechanisms, how many credits will be required, what the cap is, how many extra credits they might need

        Well bloody hell mate, they need 1 permit for each tonne of CO2-e the plant emits. If someone can’t do their 1 times tables then they shouldn’t be in business.

        or how many they can trade (oh, that won’t be for three years yet, until the ETS comes in) etc etc.

        Excess permits can be sold back to the government. I’m pretty sure I’ve told you that before but you keep forgetting.

        That emitting entity now has to find all new equipment to accurately measure their emissions. It’s not just a matter of having a rough idea how much coal is being burned and doing a rough calculation from that. Each grade of coal emits differing amounts of CO2 when burned, so now the entity has to specifically analyse all the incoming coal. They have to carefully monitor coal feed, burn rates, air inflow, temperatures, is that generator running at maximum delivery or just waiting to be called upon, when needed, is it winding up or down for maintenance. Is it on spinning reserve. Are all generators running.

        What on earth is wrong with this?

        Why shouldn’t power generators understand the fuel going into their plant so they can operate the plant as efficiently as possible?
        See now how compliance is not the province of the new guy with the degree. The entity now has to install all new equipment to accurately measure their emissions down to last accurate kilogram, otherwise there will be penalties.


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        Adam Smith

        His job is to draft the policy etc, and handle all the paper work for the reporting mechanisms, how many credits will be required, what the cap is, how many extra credits they might need

        Well bloody hell mate, they need 1 permit for each tonne of CO2-e the plant emits. If someone can’t do their 1 times tables then they shouldn’t be in business.

        or how many they can trade (oh, that won’t be for three years yet, until the ETS comes in) etc etc.

        Excess permits can be sold back to the government. I’m pretty sure I’ve told you that before but you keep forgetting.

        That emitting entity now has to find all new equipment to accurately measure their emissions. It’s not just a matter of having a rough idea how much coal is being burned and doing a rough calculation from that. Each grade of coal emits differing amounts of CO2 when burned, so now the entity has to specifically analyse all the incoming coal. They have to carefully monitor coal feed, burn rates, air inflow, temperatures, is that generator running at maximum delivery or just waiting to be called upon, when needed, is it winding up or down for maintenance. Is it on spinning reserve. Are all generators running.

        What on earth is wrong with this?

        Why shouldn’t power generators understand the fuel going into their plant so they can operate the plant as efficiently as possible? If they produce more electricity per unit of coal, and per unit of CO2 emissions, then this can help them keep their costs down so they can make a bigger profit.

        See now how compliance is not the province of the new guy with the degree. The entity now has to install all new equipment to accurately measure their emissions down to last accurate kilogram, otherwise there will be penalties.

        This is just nonsense! They don’t have to measure emissions to the KG AT ALL! How could this possibly be the case when 1 carbon permit lets you emit 1 tonne of CO2-e?

        I would remind you, however, that the legislation for this greenhouse accounting was introduced by the Howard government!

        The entity now has to outlay huge amounts of extra money for tall this, as well as the wage structure for the new guy or guys.

        What on earth do you mean “now”? Mandatory accounting of Greenhouse gases started in Australia on 1, January 2008! The bills received assent when John Howard was still Prime Minister!

        Apparently it has been so damaging to our economy that it has caused the economy to grow at its fastest rate since late 2007!

        Don’t tell me this sort of outlay will not result in increased costs for the electricity generated for all consumers.

        Of course it added a cost, and that cost was first incurred over 4 years ago, but of course you don’t seem to criticise climate change policies enacted by the previous government.


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          The Black Adder

          Like I said earlier Mr Smith,

          ….you have fallen for this crap HOOK, LINE and SINKER!!!


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          Doctor Smith, you say here:

          Why shouldn’t power generators understand the fuel going into their plant so they can operate the plant as efficiently as possible?

          You just don’t get it do you?

          You may have a PhD in something or other too embarrassing to mention here, but obviously you have no CDF, and again, yet again, you show you have absolutely no idea at all about how electrical power is being generated.

          The purpose of this Carbon Tax (sic) and later the ETS is to specifically LOWER the efficiency of coal fired power, natural gas fired power, and even Solar Power, with the proposed Chinchilla Solar Dawn Plant to become subject to the ETS upon introduction, as they will be running Natural gas turbines to augment their Solar Power for times ‘when the Sun don’t shine’. It lowers efficiency by ensuring less and less power is generated for consumption, while at the same time, raising the cost of that electrical power, as Plants pass on the costs of those credits to all consumers. So, what your ETS has done is to lower the total electricity available and make it more expensive, as coal fired power is far and away the cheapest method of producing large scale power here in Australia.

          The efficiency of any power plant is the amount of electricity produced for consumption when compared with its Nameplate Capacity. That is worked out by the industry standard calculation:

          NP X 24 X 365.25 where NP is Nameplate Capacity, 24 hours in a day, 365.25 days in a year and the result is in KWH, MWH, GWH or TWH.

          As you can see, two of those variables are time related, hours in a day, and days in a year.

          The only end purpose of an ETS, (Cap and Trade) is to specifically LOWER power plant efficiency, by restricting the time that they can operate to generate the electricity they produce for all consumers, and then lowering that with each year.

          The second most efficient large scale power plants in operation are those large scale coal fired plants, and here you are, advocating sending in Government Regulators to ensure that efficiency is lowered.

          When it comes to the generation of electrical power, Doctor Smith, you really need to find out some facts first, but then that, being outside your province is something that you obviously think you don’t need to do.

          Time and again Doctor, you have been shredded when it comes to knowledge of electrical power generation, and this is yet another of those times.

          And Doctor, I can see your reply now, deflecting away from any actual response, and you’ll probably even mention what you perceive as a logical step, so, as you craft that response, Doctor, actually commit this time. and tell us when.

          Tony.


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            Tristan

            Tony

            Do you support fossil fuel subsidies?


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            And this refers to what I said in 21.1.2.2 how?

            Tony.


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            Tristan

            Pure curiosity mate.


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            Adam Smith

            You may have a PhD in something or other too embarrassing to mention here, but obviously you have no CDF, and again, yet again, you show you have absolutely no idea at all about how electrical power is being generated.

            Clearly you’re extremely jealous that I have a Ph.D. and you dont Tony, but I think you could earn a Ph.D. too if you put your mind to it.

            The purpose of this Carbon Tax (sic) and later the ETS is to specifically LOWER the efficiency of coal fired power, natural gas fired power,

            Wrong. It encourages power generators to produce as much power they can for each unit of CO2 emissions produced. That’s a measure of efficiency.

            The efficiency of any power plant is the amount of electricity produced for consumption when compared with its Nameplate Capacity. That is worked out by the industry standard calculation:

            That’s only one measure of efficiency.

            The only end purpose of an ETS, (Cap and Trade) is to specifically LOWER power plant efficiency, by restricting the time that they can operate to generate the electricity they produce for all consumers, and then lowering that with each year.

            Wrong again. There is no restriction placed on power generators concerning when they can operate. They can operate whenever they like. That is the beauty of a market approach to carbon abatement rather than the Opposition’s direct action socialist scheme which by definition IS based on the government directly mandating particular carbon abatement policies rather than letting the market find those that are the cheapest.

            The second most efficient large scale power plants in operation are those large scale coal fired plants, and here you are, advocating sending in Government Regulators to ensure that efficiency is lowered.

            You’re understanding of what constitutes “efficiency” is extremely narrow. And I’m not suggesting government regulators do anything that they haven’t been doing for the last 4.5 years.

            But of course you never criticise the Coalition’s climate change policies both from the Howard government and those that have proposed since then
            [Snip - calling somebody names that are close to libelous, is totally out of line. Please moderate the tone of your comments. Fly]


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            Doctor Smith,

            even though this Thread has run its course, it’s well worth mentioning this for some of the most enlightening things you said that need highlighting. I hope enough people come back and read this to see what Doctor Smith has done here.

            Firstly though, my extreme jealousy of your PhD (in whatever discipline it may be in) has actually prompted me to rush right out and sign up for a Doctorate of my own. Admitted, I’m into my 60′s now, and my meagre Air Force Super and part Carer’s Pension will make that a little difficult, but it sure will make a nice Birthday present for my 75th Birthday, and then I suppose I’ll have no trouble getting a job.

            Naah Doc, I haven’t got a jealous bone in my body. Oh hang on, there is one guy here in Rocky I’m jealous of. I don’t see him all that often, but when I see that E Type, then I think I feel a small pang of jealousy.

            However, Doctor Smith, I really am encouraged by your newly found support and advocacy for coal fired power, and sorry, people, I’ll have to take a leaf from the good Doctor’s ‘handbook for disruption’ and do some of his cutting and pasting. (See Doc, we learn from you all the time.)

            The first time I saw it, I wondered if Doctor Smith had pressed the ‘Post Comment’ button before actually reading what he had written, (you know, to check for spelling mistakes) but no, he went on to actually repeat his support for coal fired power, so I guess at least something of what we have said here has finally sunk in.

            In his comment at 21.1.2 he says:

            Why shouldn’t power generators understand the fuel going into their plant so they can operate the plant as efficiently as possible? If they produce more electricity per unit of coal, and per unit of CO2 emissions…

            No says Tony, surely he didn’t mean that, and then lo and behold, to confirm my first thoughts, Doctor Smith again said a similar thing in his next put down comment at 21.1.2.2.4, where he further reinforces that original comment with this:

            It encourages power generators to produce as much power they can for each unit of CO2 emissions produced. That’s a measure of efficiency.

            As Doctor Smith knows from his extensive knowledge of the electrical power generating process, this is how those new technology coal fired plants work, by generating much more power from smaller generators which mean a smaller turbine, driven by higher pressure steam ‘made’ from the use of a much better furnace. These ultra supercritical furnaces burn considerably less coal more efficiently, hence much less CO2 emissions.

            Then you go on to say:

            That is the beauty of a market approach to carbon abatement … letting the market find those that are the cheapest.

            That’s the real pity here Doctor. Australian power generators are in fact attempting to do just this, and the Government you support so much is the same entity that totally rules out exactly this.

            Still Doctor, perhaps you with your eminent qualifications as a Doctor can persuade your friends with that Labor mindset to allow these forms of power generation here in Australia. They are being constructed in China at the rate of one a week now Doctor, and that’s what is driving our mining boom here in Australia, as they cry out for our coal. Oh well, at least someone gets to use it.

            I know how difficult this comedown was for you Doctor, and thanks for being ‘big enough’ to finally admit it. I for one appreciate it.

            I guess then, that I don’t really need to have that PhD after all. If I can change your mind, and I only have a lowly Associate Diploma of Electrical Engineering, then it just goes to show me that I can actually have an influence after all.

            So thanks Doc. I’m really chuffed now.

            I’m still a tad jealous when I see that E Type though.

            Tony.


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            Oh, and Tristan,

            perhaps you might mention to us those fossil fuel subsidies as they apply to coal fired power and Natural gas fired power, and at the same time compare them with the subsidies paid to Solar power plants, Wind Power Plants, Geothermal Plants, Wave Plants, etc, and especially to rooftop solar systems.

            If your intent with this comment is to require a level playing field, then yes, I am all for that. Cancel those iniquitous subsidies especially to rooftop solar power which is costing billions of dollars, not paid by Government, but by every consumer of electrical power in the form of higher prices they pay for their electricity.

            Tony.


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      cohenite

      Your link doesn’t work Robber.


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    Neville

    The Bolter is asking for your help. Make sure Julia has to answer the best three questions.

    Please help if you can and pass on the message.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/vote_for_an_answer_at_last/


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    John

    1/ Most science teachers in Queensland don’t know what science is, or 2/ Most science teachers in Queensland don’t read the science curriculum, or 3/ perhaps some science teachers read it, and complained to the QSA and it did nothing.

    Answer 3. The problem is the folks at QSA (and in Ed. Qld ivory towers) are juniors who typically have a BEd but have never taught in a classroom. One example is the son of a head of department who, directly after graduation, started writing science curricula for the QSA. The problems of science and maths really start at the universities with their pathetically easy entry requirements and academic theorizing.


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    pat

    thought i had enough to go on from a brief mention on radio station 4RPH (radio for print handicapped) to find this story online, but it took time and this is the only report i found, the “eminent” for Prof Barlow was in the text:

    11 July: Australia: Julie Hare: Climate panellist gets $10m in grants
    AN expert panel charged with allocating $47 million in climate research grants handed $10m to a research centre run by one of its members.
    Richard Eckard, who has denied any conflict of interest, runs the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, which sought funding for nine projects through the first research round of the federal government’s Carbon Farming Futures Initiative. It was successful with eight.
    Only 58 out of 230 applications, or 25 per cent, received funding, well below PICCC’s 88 per cent success rate.
    An international expert in methane and agricultural emissions, Dr Eckard is named lead researcher on one of the successful projects and is a member of the team on four more, attracting $4.2m.
    PICCC, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries, helped prepare the other four proposals. The chairman of the 10-member expert panel, eminent scientist Snow Barlow, denied there was any conflict of interest…
    Professor Barlow (chairman of the 10-member expert panel, eminent scientist Snow Barlow) dismissed the “halo effect” in which eminent researchers familiar to the panel were put under less scrutiny because of their reputation.
    “We all have our own reputations that we have spent a lot of time building up and we are not going to make decisions that would damage that,” he said.
    Two Queensland University of Technology researchers, Peter Grace and Beverley Henry, were also members of the expert panel and successful grant winners on four projects…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/climate-panellist-gets-10m-in-grants/story-e6frg6xf-1226422922741


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    pat

    so the PM – with Peter Garrett in tow – held a “community cabinet” at redbank plains high school, ipswich. Murdoch Quest writer Melanie is typical of most writers on these free local CAGW-promoting Quest papers, but surely Melanie has outdone them all here:

    10 July: Courier Mail: Those who attended the Community Cabinet meeting in Redbank Plains were thrilled to bits
    by Melanie Burgess, South-West News From: Quest Newspapers
    The Redbank Plains community had vast and varied reasons for coming to see the Community Cabinet on Tuesday night, but the response was largely positive.
    Gillian Duncan, of Sinnamon Park, just wanted to see Prime Minister Julia Gillard face to face. “She is a very impressive leader. She is growing into the job and will do very well,” she said.
    Ngaire McGaw, of Seventeen Mile Rocks, also praised the government. “We’re glad about the carbon price,” said Ms McGaw, who is the Queensland convener for environmental think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions.
    She added, however, the tax wouldn’t be enough…
    “It was amazing. I got to shake her hand. She was really nice and bubbly.” Alison said.
    Tatiana said after seeing the Community Cabinet she was inspired to become a leader herself. “I want to be a principal. Seeing leaders up there, it inspired me to become great myself,” she said…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/south/thsoe-who-attended-the-community-cabinet-meeting-in-redbank-plains-were-thrilled-to-bits/story-fn8m0tyy-1226422958729

    LOL.


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    manalive

    The solipsistic argument as put by Left out (7:10 pm) is tautological and absurd.

    And why the scary quotes around “rigorous empiricism”?
    I think it was David Stove, the philosopher who coined the expression ‘scary quotes’.
    The use of ‘scary quotes’ is a way of neutralising success words — just another form of the subversion of the achievements of western civilisation.
    Roger Kimball explains it: “to appreciate what is at stake, consider the difference between fresh fish and “fresh” fish: the difference is difficult to define, perhaps, but easy to smell”.


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    RoHa

    When I got back to Australia after 30+ years away, I was full of memories of lean, bronzed, people who looked like a cross between Chips Rafferty and Paul Hogan (women too, unfortunately) and the rigourous schooling I had in South Australia in the 1950s and 60s.

    I found fat slobs who speak American. The local school was building new prep classrooms, and had a big sign with the words “Queensland Education – Preperatory School”. The head mistress hadn’t noticed till I pointed it out.

    Still, the food is better. Let’s hope the Asian immigrants (still mostly slim) will soon have as good an effect on the education system.


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      KinkyKeith

      Good one RoHa


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        RoHa

        Though I note that my schooling wasn’t so rigorous that I learned to avoid the typo “rigourous”.


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          KinkyKeith

          Didn’t notice it.

          The rest was so well done that the human brain just tricks itself into assuming that there were no mistakes.

          The CAGW crowd are unaware that humans are fallible and fail to check things and so we have the CAGW fiasco :

          -something very loosely based on an idea by a person whose brother once met someone who knew a person who claimed to be a Climate

          Scientist but who was really a politician.


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    Another load of documents to assess – groan …
    I decided to read through the draft syllabus for Earth and Environmental Science, as this would be one of the sources of future entrants to my profession.
    Rather surprised. Any kid mastering this stuff might actually be adequately equipped :-)
    The usual weasel words and dodgy phraseology is there, but the BS Meter didn’t go off the dial until page 19 (of 23 pages).


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    crakar24

    The latest from our say

    http://oursay.org/hangout-with-the-prime-minister/sort:votes/dir:desc

    This link takes you to a site where you can ask the PM a question, the top three questions asked will be answered directly by the PM live on air with the questioner allowed follow up questions.

    Here are the top three

    #1 with 4,264 votes “By how much, measured in thousandths of degrees Celsius, will the Earth’s temperature be reduced through the carbon tax?”

    #2 with 2131 votes “You said that you wouldn’t impose a price on CO2 until you had a deep and lasting consensus from the Australian people – When did you receive that consensus? and where is that consensus at now?”

    #3 with 1,723 votes “Dear Prime Minister, Why has agriculture been exempted from the carbon tax? Without the tax, high-emitting sectors such as animal agriculture (particularly beef) are effectively continuing to be subsidised. The reason is that most of their massive environmental costs are being externalised, rather than being paid by the consumers of the relevant products. Animal agriculture has been by far the biggest cause of land clearing in this country, largely due to the grossly and inherently inefficient nature of animals as a food source. If you combine the carbon dioxide emissions and loss of sequestration from that land clearing with the massive emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse pollutants involved in the sector, you have a huge contributor to global warming that is free to continue on its present course. We should be creating price signals to encourage consumers to purchase alternatives that are significantly more climate-friendly. Thank you.”

    The first two will kill her her off, they will break with transmission before she gets to the third what dimwit within the ALP came up with this stunt?

    http://oursay.org/hangout-with-the-prime-minister/sort:votes/dir:desc


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    rukidding

    We have got a new state of the climate report and guess what it is worse than we thought.


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    elva

    It is hard to know where to start. Giving my age away I enjoyed science in primary school where ‘facts’ were presented even when no fancy equipment or experiences were available. e.g. I was astonished to learn the earth was a sphere and how magnets attracted and repulsed.

    High school science was boring when hands on experiments were needed. It was a matter of learning from uninteresting books almost meant to wreck interest in science.

    Later, as a primary teacher and after a new crop of teachers came on the scene I was taken aback when a teacher asked me to explain what a was a magnet before they gave a lesson.

    Nowadays it seems science is devoted to eco-this, eco-that, eco-eco whatever you can think of. Plus the wording in curricula, not just science, appears to be deliberately written in legalese, abstruse, vague terms that would baffle a solicitor.


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      KinkyKeith

      Well said Elva

      KK

      :)


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      Adam Smith

      e.g. I was astonished to learn the earth was a sphere and how magnets attracted and repulsed.

      The earth is not shaped like a sphere. It is an oblate spheroid, which is significantly different.

      N

      owadays it seems science is devoted to eco-this, eco-that, eco-eco whatever you can think of. Plus the wording in curricula, not just science, appears to be deliberately written in legalese, abstruse, vague terms that would baffle a solicitor.

      I’m confused as to why you think that a domain as broad and technical as science doesn’t require specialised language?


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      memoryvault

      The earth is not shaped like a sphere. It is an oblate spheroid, which is significantly different.

      Yeah Elva, how could you get it so wrong and live with yourself?
      After all, the earth is 43 km wider than it is tall, and everybody knows 43 km is a significant percentage of the average diameter of 12,000 plus km. How could you make such an error?

      Do you realise the earth deviates from a perfect sphere almost as much as a competition-grade billiard ball?
      And we all know how pear-shaped they are.

      Shame, Elva, shame.

      sarc/off.


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        memoryvault

        .
        Did I mention my observation that Team Smith seems to have been reduced to the Special Needs student?


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          Come On Doctor Smith, don’t be a spoil sport.

          Tell us what your PhD is

          Call Me Doctor

          Tony.


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          Adam Smith

          Thank you for the laugh.

          You are clearly stuck in your own self importance thinking a team of people needs to read your posts.


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            The Black Adder

            Mr Smith…

            By how much will the ALP/Green CO2 Tax reduce the worlds Temperature?

            By how much are you contributing to the CO2 emmisions you proudly crucify by emitting your very own bullshit?

            By how much will the CO2 Tax reduce China and India`s need for our Coal?

            Well?

            An Oblate Spheriod ??

            I thought Dr Who had all the knowledge, but I apologise!

            Mr Smith wins! Hook, Line and Sinker. LOL.


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    pat

    with the MSM pushing the “extreme weather is caused by CAGW” meme again – btw the ABC article “rukidding” has just posted is from AFP – first take note:

    10 July: Gallup: Lymari Morales: Americans’ Confidence in Television News Drops to New Low
    Liberals’ and moderates’ views are now similar to conservatives’
    Americans’ confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993…
    Among 16 U.S. institutions tested, television news ranks 11th, following newspapers in 10th place…
    Confidence in newspapers is now half of what it was at its peak of 51% in 1979….
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/155585/Americans-Confidence-Television-News-Drops-New-Low.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=All%20Gallup%20Headlines%20-%20Politics

    am sure the aussie public is just as cynical, especially when it comes to reporting of CAGW.


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    pat

    recently i posted how Barclays Bank Chairman, Marcus Agius, involved in the LIBOR scandal, was a senior non-executive director on the BBC executive board. he has apparently resigned from Barclays & BBC since the scandal broke.

    now take a look at a former BBC Chairman, Gavyn Davies:

    5 July: UK Telegraph Blog: Thomas Pascoe: Revealed: why Gordon Brown sold Britain’s gold at a knock-down price
    One of the most popular trading plays of the late 1990s was the carry trade, particularly the gold carry trade.
    In this a bank would borrow gold from another financial institution for a set period, and pay a token sum relative to the overall value of that gold for the privilege.
    Once control of the gold had been passed over, the bank would then immediately sell it for its full market value…
    ***Goldman Sachs, which is not understood to have been significantly short on gold itself, is rumoured to have approached the Treasury to explain the situation through its then head of commodities Gavyn Davies, later chairman of the BBC and married to Sue Nye who ran Brown’s private office…
    Faced with the prospect of a global collapse in the banking …
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/thomaspascoe/100018367/revealed-why-gordon-brown-sold-britains-gold-at-a-knock-down-price/

    Social Market Foundation 2008: TRADING EMISSIONS: Full Global Potential
    MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
    includes Gavyn Davies
    SUMMARY
    In this essay, the author begins by stating that the global problem of climate change can only be solved on a global, international level, and asserts that carbon trading is the most effective method to do this…
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Simon Linnett is an Executive Vice Chairman of Rothschild…
    http://www.smf.co.uk/assets/files/publications/SMF_Trading_Emissions.pdf

    and the CAGW pawns believe they are saving the planet!


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    elva

    On the topic of QLD it is amazing what is emanating from the conference going on in Cairns. As usual the Crown of Thorns Starfish is promoted as a big threat to the GBR. Yet this threat was dismissed after research decades ago.

    The big issue was the ‘acidification’ of the ocean being a threat to the reef giving maybe 20 years before it dies. Who will remember this forecast? The report in the newspaper did NOT give the slightest bit of data about how much more acid the water has become; compared to when; and what the level will be and at what estimated time. As far as I know acidification of the oceans is not a major problem by any means.

    One expert claimed warming will mean the GBR will have to ‘migrate’ south at about 20km per year. Maybe he hopes Sydney will soon be a jumping off point for reef tourism. But how can it migrate if it is dying?

    Also, how is it that coral reefs do extremely well and grow faster in warmer waters north of the GBR? Questions, questions.


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      ” … amazing what is emanating from the conference going on in Cairns … ”
      The faithful are having a love-in ….
      “… the ‘acidification’ of the ocean … ”
      Marginal change, nothing that hasn’t happened before.
      The reef did not start forming until the land mass moved far enough north to allow it to happen.
      There are reefs around PNG, Solomon Islands …
      The Argo Project results suggest that one of the warmest stretches of ocean is the north-east Coral Sea. Sometimes gets close to, but apparently never exceeds 30°C. No shortage of reefs …
      I wonder how many people from AIMS are attending the conference?
      Not so long ago, some of them were persuaded to go look at the reefs at Dobu Island, Trobrians. Bubbles of CO2 coming up from the sea bed like from a glass of Coke. Are there living, thriving reefs? Yes. Other marine life? Yes.
      Apparently the visitors didn’t like what they saw …


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      The Black Adder

      Hi Elva,

      I live in Cairns! How the bloody hell do you think I feel!!

      Surrounded by green ideologues, government funded reef scientists and Tim Flannery (I know he is here somewhere, hiding in the bushes).

      I feel doomed! Doomed I tell ya!

      But, do you know what one old salty told me last week.

      He said, Bill, I tell ya, the Great Barrier Reef is exactly as it was when Captain Cook sailed over it 200 odd years ago. It is PRISTINE !

      It aint going no where!! The Reef is the reef and it will adapt!

      The scam of this green crap is being exposed Elva thanks to sites like Jo`s!

      I love Jo Nova for this simple fact.

      In the meantime, I have to go deliver 3 tonnes of TOFU to the Convention Centre….:)


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    pat

    Gavyn Davies now writes for the CAGW-advocating UK Financial Times, plus note:

    March 2012: Reuters: KKR buys hedge fund provider Prisma Capital
    Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR.N), the private equity company, has bought hedge fund money manager Prisma Capital Partners LP, marking the latest move by the private equity sector to boost assets by bolting on smaller funds-of-funds shops.
    Founded by three former Goldman Sachs Group Inc partners, Girish Reddy, Thomas Healey and Gavyn Davies, Prisma uses a fund-of-fund strategy for an institutional client base of insurance companies, institutional investors, endowments, pension plans and family offices. More than 90 percent of its $7.8 billion in assets under management belong to institutional investors…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/18/us-kkr-prisma-idUSBRE85H1O420120618

    Fulcrum Asset Management
    Fulcrum Asset Management grew out of close ties that linked former partners at Goldman Sachs. Co-founders Gavyn Davies, a former Chief Economist with the investment bank, and Andrew Stevens, an investment manager in its asset management business, were urged by a former colleague to consider joining forces when it emerged that the pair had similar ideas about managing money…
    http://www.thehedgefundjournal.com/magazine/201102/profile/fulcrum-asset-management.php

    keep a careful watch on your Super Funds.


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    “Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence.”

    Consider those words: “current available evidence”. So you take what you’ve got and build with that. If you have only a few bricks and some wire, build a skyscraper with it, because the material you have is what’s currently available.

    Of course I exaggerate. No scientist would take data that would be inadequate if multiplied a hundredfold, then use that data to create ludicrously simple representations of a reality that is fantastically complex and variable.

    I mean, that would spell the end of the Enlightenment. Next thing, we’d be trying to power modern economies with windmills.


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    CARFAX

    Hi Jo

    The situation in Queensland is serious.
    For over three decades Queensland has been captive of a radical agenda in Education, which has recieved little independent analysis. An ACER review described the Queensland model as ‘its own referent’ so far is it removed from international best practise. The mantra has been that Queensland has been the world leader. Unfortubnately the model has not been adopted by any other jurisdiction.
    Since the adoption of the radical Queensland approach, educational outcome for Queensland children have more or less been in decline as evidenced by TIMMS, PISA, ETC.

    Your three questions (below)are sensible but perhaps incomplete

    1/ Most science teachers in Queensland don’t know what science is, o

    2/ Most science teachers in Queensland don’t read the science curriculum,

    3/ perhaps some science teachers read it, and complained to the QSA and it did nothing.

    Maths and Science teachers in Queensland have read the syllabus and there was a body of well qualified teachers who know exactly what science is about.
    Ample evidence of this is to be found at the web site

    Your third proposition is closer to the mark.

    Many protests have been made to QSA but QSA has responded by removing people who complain from the subject advisory panels or by complaining to their employers.

    In the face of this sort of base intimidation well qualified teachers has stopped teaching Maths and Science or they have left the profession. As a consequence the number of unqualified teachers in front of Maths and Science classes in Queensland has become a another serious aspect of the problem.

    I am sure that a large body of excellent and well qualified teachers will be delighted to recieve the support that the Science Deans and the media have provided.

    QSA is a disfunctional organization which needs to be disbanded before it does any more harm and the Nastional Curiculum needs to be purged of the postnormal science that has done so much damage in Queensland under the supervision of QSA

    There has been


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    CARFAX

    For some reason the PLATO website link in my previous did not appear.
    It is
    http://www.platoqld.com/?page_id=214

    Sorry about that


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    crakar24

    OK the stats so far are

    Q1 How much will your carbon tax drop the temps etc 4549 votes

    Q2 There will be no carbon tax under a gov i lead etc 2359 votes

    Q3 Why are farmers exempt from the carbon tax etc 1746 votes

    As we still have 8 days of voting left we have not yet experienced the getup surge for Q4 “Dear Prime Minister, how will you ensure that adequate support is given to women small-scale farmers to better feed their families and communities, through your role as co-chair of the UN task group driving implementation of the Millennium Development Goals?”

    or possibly this

    “How do the Australian Greens of Today differ in terms of social justice values from Labor Left of today and of 1980?”

    My favourite (but a long shot with only 35 votes)

    “Given the fact that your handlers will pick and choose questions you can give softball answers to, isn’t this attempt to ‘reach out to real australians’ as fatuous and ersatz as every other political campaign the ALP has tried of late to communicate to people? At what point did your party become so out of touch that it has to fake basic attempts to interact with human beings? Is this a failing of your party in particular or politics as a whole in this country?”

    http://oursay.org/hangout-with-the-prime-minister


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    Is anyone as cynical as I am about this, in sensing a backdown, along the lines of the voting process for the questions being corrupted.

    If it actually does proceed, I can see answers from the Prime Minister that have absolutely nothing to do with the actual questions

    And hey, who would have expected the event to be moderated by a Fairfax political reporter, in this case Misha Schubert.

    Tony.


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    Stephen Frost

    The following capture some of the philosophical ideas which have been tried to greater or lesser degrees to define Science or at least aspects of Science: Empiricism, Logical Positivism, Observation, Measurement, Verificationism, Falsificationism, Realism, Antirealism, Instrumentalism, Coherentism, Theories, Paradigms, Deduction, Induction, Statistics, Reductionism, Materialism, Naturalism … and the list goes on and on and on. I haven’t yet found a completely satisfying description of Science, but you kind of know intuitively when you see it at work (or when you don’t).


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    As to the Education system, over here in NZ my daughter’s year 8 syllabus (sillibus?) seems to be a year long Green Party instructional bootcamp. She comes home for de-education and re-programming. Just to change the subject slightly, apparently according to our TV 3 news tonight, recent weather extremes are due to Man Made Global Warming (according to 400 scientists!!!). Well I never…!. It’s true because they showed us apocalyptic pictures of climate destruction, ravaging the land. Woe is us. What time does Coro start anyway?.
    I went to school at a time when Maths, Physics etc were all disciplines. I could never accuse any of my teachers of having any overt political leanings because I never noticed any and I think they were far too busy trying to teach their subjects. I also believe that they had the ethics to know that their personal politics had no place in the classroom. Something has changed since then, and I wonder about the bearing it’s had on the debate we are now involved in.


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    Jesus saves

    I note with much amusement that “Team Smith” once again pulls the ridiculous absurdities of the bloggers here apart with consummate ease yet again!! Amazing how rationality and a bit of knowledge can de-bunk your befuddled thoughts!


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      memoryvault

      .
      WOW!!!

      The Special Needs students arm of Team Smith has a cheer-leading squad.
      Apparently a member of the God Squad no less.
      Does that mean we are all in trouble with the “Big Man” upstairs?

      On a more serious note JS, I happen to take religion rather seriously, even if I don’t believe in it.
      I think your nic combined with your comment exposes a whole heap of well-meaning people to a lot of undeserved criticism.

      If you want to support team Smith’s simplistic idiocy, perhaps invoking the name of one believed to be infallible – by those who believe – is perhaps not the best way way to go about it.


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      The Black Adder

      What I want to know is….

      can Jesus save the ALP ???

      Bwahahahahahahahahaaaa… Not A F%&N Hope in Hell !!!!

      Therefore it is irrelevant. Soon, there will be no CO2 Tax.

      Case closed, go back to saving Trees Jesus!


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      Bob Malloy

      Jesus Saves?

      There are too many SAVIOURS on my cross,
      Lending their blood to flood out my ballot box
      With needs of my own.
      Who put you there?
      Who told you that was your place?
      You carry me secretly naked in your heart
      And cloth me publicly in armor
      Crying “ God is on our side” yet I openly cry
      Who is on mine?
      Who?
      Tell me who?


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    pH

    Karl Popper, you are needed urgently to re-establish the scientific method in climate “science”!


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    Jesus saves,

    Moses invests!

    Tony.


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    Neil Craig

    Religion “is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,”

    Witchcraft “is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,”

    Cargo cultism “is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,”

    Human sacrifice “is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,”

    Science obviously is no such thing. The explanations have tyestable, tested and rejected if they fail.

    Queensland U should admit it is merely, I hope, practicing cargo cultism.


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      Adam Smith

      Religion “is a social and cultural activity through which explanations of natural phenomena are generated,”

      WTF? How does resurrection count as a “natural phenomena”?

      Science obviously is no such thing. The explanations have tyestable, tested and rejected if they fail.

      I see the mistake you made, you stopped reading! If you bothered to read the rest, you would’ve come across this:

      based on personal experiences and result from a range of activities including observation, experimentation, imagination and discussion.

      “Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence.”

      It’s not particularly surprising that you disagreed with the statement when you stopped reading part way through.


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        Mark D.

        WTF? How does resurrection count as a “natural phenomena”?

        I know you don’t read much history, you certainly have a problem believing history, but the resurrected Christ was seen by eye witnesses. This would fall into the category of empirical evidence of a clearly “natural phenomena”.

        But then you have more faith in models than empirical evidence………


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    What seems to be lost in all this “conversation” is the following:

    1. A map is not the territory.
    2. A model is not the process.
    3. A word is not the thing.

    Once you teach ONLY maps, models, and words you have lost contact with the territory, the process, and the thing – aka REALITY.

    I suppose that maps, models, and words are “good enough for government work” but is it any bases to sustain and advance our technological civilization? I don’t think so. We really do need to know how well the map matches its presumed territory, how well the model tracks its process, and to exactly what does the word refer. Then, once we know that, we need to know how to improve our maps, models, and use of words. However, if your goal is not to sustain and advance our technological civilization then continue with what is being done. The goal is within easy reach.

    Reality is what it is and it will accept no substitutes.


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    pat

    12 July: ABC: Watchdog hit with 630 carbon tax complaints
    Deputy chairman Michael Schaper says it has launched 20 formal investigations…
    “Brumby’s is one of the businesses that we are continuing to look at,” Mr Schaper said…
    Brumby’s franchisees have also been told to remove Liberal Party placards on the carbon tax from their stores and the Government says all shop owners should do the same.
    But Mr Schaper says that is not a concern for the ACCC…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-12/watchdog-hit-with-630-carbon-tax-complaints/4125268

    again, small businesses need to do their own signs and apologise for price increases caused by the Govt’s policies on so-called catastrophic manmade global warming, the science for which is not yet settled.


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      Adam Smith

      12 July: ABC: Watchdog hit with 630 carbon tax complaints

      is that all? I thought there woud be millions of complaints, especially if as Tony says business power bills are going to increase by about $300 a week.

      ——————–
      REPLY: Adam, it wouldn’t matter what number of complaints were recorded. You would say “Is that all?” Most people haven’t had a power bill since July 1, and those that did were only paying a weeks worth of C-Tax. – Jo


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    pat

    how did we get to this?

    12 July: Australian: Barry Fitzgerald: Exec rage at carbon crime check
    THE top executives of companies hit by the carbon tax have to pass criminal checks before being allowed to deal in emissions permits.
    The carbon-cop role of the Australian Federal Police in the Gillard government’s tax has started to take shape, with executive officers of affected companies now required to clear an AFP criminal check before gaining access to the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units.
    The need for an AFP clearance has ruffled feathers. The chairman of one company required to apply for clearance said it was staggering that the government was imposing a tax and then running criminal checks on senior management of companies required to pay it.
    The man, who asked not to be named for fear of “complicating” registration with the ANREU, said it was also galling that the big emitting companies had to pay for independent audits of their emissions by accounting firms before the July 1 start to the carbon tax.
    “It’s hard enough that we are being saddled with the carbon tax. Now we are being told we can’t be trusted,” he said…
    Companies with an emissions liability that want to transfer, cancel or surrender units are required to have an ANREU account, as are trade-exposed companies receiving a level of protection from the carbon tax via the issue of free permits.
    ANREU is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator, a new statutory authority launched in April…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-tax/exec-rage-at-carbon-crime-check/story-fndttws1-1226423866789

    Clean Energy Regulator – Corporate Structure
    http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/About-us/Corporate-structure/Pages/default.aspx


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    pat

    12 July: Economic Times India: EU’s carbon tax will make it hard for global aviation and trade to recover
    India’s decision to fight the European Union’s (EU) impending carbon aviation tax highlights the politics of linkage between climate change and trade. New Delhi is in the company of several other emerging and advanced economies that are peeved at the EU’s insistence that civilian aircraft flying into or via European ports must pay a tax for polluting the environment…
    Carbon surcharges in a geographically-central location such as the EU region, which connects Asia to Africa and Latin America, can exacerbate an already bleak scenario and possibly tip more precarious airline companies into bankruptcies…
    Aviation supports 40% of the total value of international trade and accounts for 8% of global economic activity. The EU’s push for taxing airlines that are essential lifelines is a misguided one that threatens to slow down trade and chances of recovering from the current economic crisis…
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/comments-analysis/eus-carbon-tax-will-make-it-hard-for-global-aviation-and-trade-to-recover/articleshow/14832972.cms


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    pat

    12 July: NZ Herald: Brian Fallows: ETS changes will depress carbon market
    Changes the Government plans to make to the emissions trading scheme will reduce demand and increase supply in a market already flooded with cheap imported carbon.
    They risk reducing the price signal from a pretty faint murmur now to one that is well nigh inaudible…
    Whereas fewer than 150,000 units of import carbon were surrendered in 2010, it had shot up to 11.5 million last year.
    Groser regards this as a waste of foreign exchange, but that’s a problem only if for some reason the Government could not sell the imported carbon back into the international market once it had been surrendered, or if – contrary to his expectations – the international price continued to fall…
    There is plenty of uncertainty already: what will New Zealand’s emissions target be for the next eight years? Will we sign up for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol or just adopt the target unilaterally without a formal treaty commitment to other governments? And in that case would New Zealand emitters and foresters still have access to international carbon markets, which are creatures of Kyoto?
    Groser (Climate Change Minister Tim Groser) says he will not allow New Zealand to be pushed into decisions on these matters until there is a lot more clarity about what the world’s major emitting countries intend to do.
    “If the US and China, which between them are responsible for 40 per cent of global emissions, don’t do anything then I’m sorry, we are all wasting our time here.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10818922


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    pat

    yet the EU wants to charge all the world’s airlines a carbon dioxide aviation tax!!!

    3 July: Bloomberg: Europe Burns Coal Fastest Since 2006 in Boost for U.S
    By Rakteem Katakey, Rajesh Kumar Singh and Rachel Morison
    Europe’s higher coal use defies its policies to penalize carbon emissions and is based on profit margins climbing to a two-and-a-half year high for coal-burning power stations, data compiled by Bloomberg Industries show. Cheaper coal was made possible partly by a 49 percent jump in first-quarter imports from the U.S., Energy Information Administration data show…
    “Coal will continue to remain on the money in Europe because it’s more competitive to burn than gas,” said Trevor Sikorski, an analyst at Barclays Plc in London. “More and more of the coal to Europe will come from the U.S. where just the opposite is happening.”…
    Companies in the world’s biggest economy are spending at least $530 million to expand coal-export capacity to meet overseas demand, David Host, chief executive officer of shipping agent T Parker Host Inc., said June 22 at the IHS McCloskey Coal USA Conference in New York. Capacity will grow 35 percent to 285 million tons annually by 2015, he said.
    Coal accounted for 30 percent of global energy consumption last year, the highest share since 1969, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012. Demand grew 5.4 percent in 2011, the fastest among fossil fuels…
    In Germany, as much as 6,400 megawatts, or 25 percent of the nation’s gas-plant capacity, will shut through 2015, Deutsche Bank AG predicts. EON, based in Dusseldorf, credited “improved market conditions for coal-fired assets” in Britain among drivers for first-quarter earnings…
    Gas-fired plants need about half the carbon permits of coal burners. Even so, the 17 percent drop in permit prices to about 8 euros a ton ($10) from their February high has reduced their competitive advantage.
    “Even if they were twice the current level, utilities would prefer coal over gas for power generation,” said Paolo Coghe, senior analyst at Societe Generale SA in Paris.
    European utilities burning coal had a profit of 16.3 euros per megawatt-hour in the second quarter this year, compared with 9 euros a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. Plants using gas as a fuel only broke even in the quarter…
    Coal delivered into Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp slumped 26 percent in the past year to $91 a ton on July 3. Prices in South Africa’s Richard’s Bay dropped to the lowest in more than two years on June 12 and rates at Australia’s Newcastle port declined to the lowest since Dec. 18, 2009.
    Coal delivered into Europe is likely to fall 9 percent in this year’s fourth quarter from the period a year earlier as China raises capacity and the U.S boosts exports to a record, according to a median of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-02/europe-burns-coal-fastest-since-2006-in-boost-for-u-s-energy.html


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    pat

    11 July: NZ Herald: Kieran Campbell: ‘Abrupt increase’ in CO2 absorption slowed global warming
    Scientists have discovered an “abrupt increase” since 1988 in the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the land biosphere, which comprises all of the planet’s plant and animal ecosystems.
    Wellington-based scientist Dr Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher, from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was part of the global research team investigating the distribution of CO2 emissions.
    Ms Mikaloff-Fletcher said the breakthrough had taken scientists “completely by surprise”…
    ***The findings do not contradict existing science about global warming, but rather explain how much CO2 is absorbed by plants and animals, with some of the CO2 then being passed from plants into the land.
    A report into the findings says the increase in uptake is “a big number”, about one billion tonnes of carbon per year.
    “To put it into context, that is over 10 per cent of global fossil fuel emissions for 2010,” the report said…
    “What it does mean is that the climate change has been a lot slower than it would have been otherwise (because) less of the CO2 we’re producing is staying in the atmosphere.”…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10818936

    ***go figure.


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      Grant (NZ)

      Big surprise. The obesity epidemic is an informal carbon sequestration program. Why don’t the fat get credits for absorbing and holding onto all that carbon? They give credits to foresters for their trees. Obesity is a carbon sink.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    “They explore what integrity means in science, and explore and apply ethical guidelines in their investigations. They consider the implications of their investigations on others, the environment and living organisms. They use scientific information to evaluate claims and to inform ethical decisions about a range of social, environmental and personal issues and applications of science.”

    This is in the Chemistry section of the excuse for a syllabus. It’s confused goobledegook.

    One does not explore what integrity means in science. If there is no integrity, there is no science. This should take about 1 minute to teach. How do students explore ethical guideleines in their own work? Like, you are either moral or immoral, no in between.

    Then we once again meet that word ENVIRONMENTAL. Monumental chuck. There is no reason why the environment has relevance to science or chemistry any more than back farts. It has no intrinsic values to make it an ideal topic to display science with its strengths and weaknesses. It’s merely the door to open slather by teachers who were, in turn, taught the same nonsense. I have a son who was taught maths with sticks. Disaster. Same with teaching chemistry with the environment. No commendable reason to start, plenty of good reasons to get on with matters more important like pharmacology, molecular engineering, vaccines, food yields and so on, if you have to include uses for chemistry. However, you don’t have to. Chemistry has a long, proud tradition and it should be left to accomplished chemists to pass down their skills according to their ranking of importance – which is NOT the environment in most cases.

    It’s not the domain of bureaucrats to set course content. That way lies propaganda, or to be pedantic, that way propaganda lies. How would society react to bureaucrats telling medicos that they must be trained in only certain topics, like environmental medicine?

    To whimever wrote these directives, please, please clean up the system. If you can’t clean up the system, go pick up a few cigarette buts to get a clean environment into a satisfaction slot in your mind then go off and do something useful.

    The public has a gut full of things ‘environmental.’


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    Andrew McRae

    This entire media beat-up hullabaloo originated with John Rice saying this about the syllabus document:

    “That’s quite wrong. It fails to understand the way in which science grounds itself in observation and testable hypotheses.”

    Whereas Jo Herself (PBUH) even quotes the opening the paragraphs of the syllabus that contradict Rice’s opinion:

    Accepted scientific concepts, theories and models may be viewed as shared understandings that the scientific community perceive as viable in light of current available evidence. …and result from a range of activities including observation, experimentation, …

    The presence of some words you don’t like does not erase the real presence of the words which do describe the essence of the scientific method. Neither are these other words contradictory. To join the fray assuming the media headline is supported by the facts is to leave one’s scepticism far behind.

    The entire hullabaloo is a quibble over style and conciseness, which is fine, as long you don’t delude yourselves into thinking the syllabus replaces Popperian testing with postmodernist consensus, because it literally does not.

    Thank you for your attention. We now return you to your wheelless bandwagon.


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      The problem is that the primary focus is on “accepted scientific concepts” rather than how to discover reliably what reality is and how it works. The focus is inward and subjective. The external and objective is subordinate to their subjective primary. Its intent is to teach what to think and consequently destroys the ability to know how to think. It is not science education. It’s propaganda!


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        KinkyKeith

        Hi Lionell

        Robin has also made similar comment and your use of the “inward’ focus as against the “outward” things that make science work is great.

        The processes of science are to observe, to measure to postulate to adjust or change and re-measure and to record results,

        These are all outward activities and any abstract activity which may appear as intellectualisation of science, usually isn just about finding a way to measure processes or events.

        KK :)


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    TedK

    Looks to me like an English major (with a minor in psych) did all of the scripting and editing.

    Back in the old days when I had to submit papers through a secretary staff I often had to fight vociferously for my wordings as the English majors who found jobs as our typists were forever “changing my wording for the ‘correct’ English usage”. They were unable to understand how much their corrections ruined the specific topics because they neither understood nor cared about the math or science.

    As I went through various advancements, I eliminated or converted every secretary/typist position, preferably converted as a qualified tech was worth many typists. Computer literacy wasn’t the only reason secretary pools got reduced.

    In any case; the QSA descriptions look exactly like phrasings that someone with almost zero science education would think appropriate. Touchy feely mumblings with minimal cold hard science. Inadequate, yes!


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    crakar24

    The findings make it much more likely that we will soon – within the next few years – be able to discern whether the extremely wet and cold summer and spring so far experienced in the UK this year are attributable to human causes rather than luck, according to the researchers.

    I shit you not people

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/10/extreme-weather-manmade-climate-change?newsfeed=true


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Crakar!

      This is the Gruaniad we are discussing here. They couldn’t even tell you what they had for lunch yesterday without getting a Public Relations Company Propaganda team to write if for them.


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        crakar24

        Yes thats true Rereke but how long will it be before Ross and the deluded few start to claim AGW is unfalsifiable because it causes everything to change, in all directions at the same time.

        Its just like Joseph Geobells said it was


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    Adam Smith

    BobC
    July 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Adam Smith
    July 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm · Reply
    Yeah, for some reason a lot of people get concerned when the word “consensus” is used.

    But I see nothing wrong with the statement

    “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.”

    Or “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is not flat”.

    There is nothing wrong with the statements, Adam. However, they are statements about scientists’ opinions — they do not constitute a scientific proof.

    The proof of the above two statements is achieved by measurements, not opinion polls — a point you don’t seem to quite grasp.

    There is NOTHING in those statements that even IMPLIES that most scientists believe the earth is an oblate spheroid simply because most scientists think that is so!

    You are simply reading way too much into each sentence!

    But I do appreciate your reply to my post. You now admit that saying there is a “scientific consensus” on any particular issue DOES NOT imply that the consensus exists simply because it was agreed to by scientists.


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      BobC

      Adam Smith
      July 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm · Reply

      “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is an oblate spheroid.”

      Or “It is a scientific consensus that the Earth is not flat”.

      *******************

      There is NOTHING in those statements that even IMPLIES that most scientists believe the earth is an oblate spheroid simply because most scientists think that is so!

      I agree, and it’s entirely irrelevant to the point I was making that YOU falsely claimed that the existence of a scientific consensus implied that there MUST exist a preponderance of evidence for it:

      it is just a short way of writing “there is far more evidence to suggest the earth is an oblate spheroid than alternative theories such as the suggestion that the earth is flat”.

      I gave you an example of a strongly held, long-term (60+ years) scientific consensus in the physics community (recently disproven by experimental data) that was based on no physical evidence whatsoever, only a philosophical argument.

      There are dozens (if not hundreds) of similar examples throughout the history of science.

      The supposed “consensus” that AGW represents a danger (besides not actually being a consensus) is based entirely on computer models of a chaotic system that have not demonstrated any predictive skill distinguishible from chance. There exists no physical evidence to prove that AGW is even measurable (except locally, as in the Urban Heat Island effect), much less dangerous.

      **************

      You now admit that saying there is a “scientific consensus” on any particular issue DOES NOT imply that the consensus exists simply because it was agreed to by scientists.

      You’re straining at gnats here, Smith. You seem to have lost the logical thread of the discussion.

      Let me make it simple for you:

      First:
      The existence of a consensus among scientists DOES NOT IMPLY that it was based only on their opinions.

      Second (and this is the part you seem to be having trouble with):
      The existence of a consensus among scientists ALSO DOES NOT IMPLY that it is based on physical evidence.

      In fact, the existence of a scientific consensus is irrelevant to the truth of a theory, as anyone with even a slight acquaintance with the history and philosophy of science should know. Progress in science is achieved by adhering to the philosophy of empiricism — that facts about the world are only knowable through observation, not argumentation, theory, or opinion polls.


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    Andrew McRae

    Tip’o'the hat to ACM for noting a spectacular new level of hubris issuing forth from Michael Mann now staring down the barrel of a warmer-than-today Medieval Warm Period.

    The finding does not change our understanding of the warming power of carbon dioxide. In fact, it shows that human CO2 emissions have interrupted a long cooling period that would ultimately have delivered the next ice age.

    “In fact”, he says. “In fact”? Really? That sounds more like your financially, professionally, and ideologically biased opinion, Dr Mann.

    Methinks he’s going to be in the cooler one way or another. ;)


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      BobC

      Andrew McRae
      July 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm · Reply

      (Quoting Michael Mann, who has finally learned that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today):

      “The finding does not change our understanding of the warming power of carbon dioxide. In fact, it shows that human CO2 emissions have interrupted a long cooling period that would ultimately have delivered the next ice age.”

      So now do you suppose that Mann will change his mind about AGW and decide that it is a good thing after all?

      But Oops! — that would be the end of his cushy sinecure at NASA, so I don’t suppose he will.


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    Adam Smith

    Rereke Whakaaro
    July 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm
    I think your comment about discipline is playing with semantics, but …

    No, you are because you replied to the post by using the word discipline in a completely different way to the initial post.

    Science per se does not have a strict set of “rules”, apart from general adherence to the scientific method, keeping scrupulous records, releasing all your findings (unless they are proprietary), and such like.

    Re-read what I wrote. I am not disputing that science has a “method”, what I am disputing is that there is a perfect approach that reliably produces supported scientific theories. The scientific method is more like a constitution, a broad outline, it isn’t like a specific piece of legislation that mandates in detail what counts as right or wrong.

    But different disciplines do have their own sets of rules and ways of working, that have evolved over time to make whatever they do easier to communicate, and record keep, and publish, and generally keep house.

    Sure and these exist within the scientific method framework.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Adam Smith
      July 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      I note that you quote the first phrase in my comment to you, but then ignore what follows, in which I demonstrate that two of the meanings of the word, “discipline” that were being discussed were not contradictory. That is known as “cherry-picking”, and being forced to do that means that you have lost the argument, (I say this to reflect back to you, a closure tactic that you have chosen to use on several occasions).

      “… using the word discipline in a completely different way to the initial post.”

      Another fail, because the word “discipline” is a noun, so putting the indefinite article “a” in front of it does not change the meaning of the word at all, it simply refers to a specific instance of the word.

      For your enlightenment and education, please let me quote from the Oxford Shorter Dictionary, that I have open before me: “discipline n. – A branch of learning or scholarly instruction; Controlled and orderly behaviour resulting from training; The system of behaviour and strict obedience to rules enforced among pupils, soldiers, and others under authority; a particular instance of this.”

      I used the word with the first two these meanings, which are entirely consistent with each other. I did not use word “discipline” in its other meanings: “discipline v.t. – Scourge or flog as a penance or in self-mortification, thrash, chastise; Subject to formal rebuke, loss of privileges etc., for an offence”.

      Now whether or not you have a doctorate is really irrelevant. The real questions are a) whether or not you can think independently and creatively, and b) whether or not you can communicate your concepts to others via a common language, be it the spoken or written word, mathematics, graphical symbology, or music.

      You have demonstrated, in comments on this blog (in which you are a guest, may I remind you) that a) your thinking is muddled, it is far from independent, nor is it original; and b) you are incapable of coherently and consistently transmitting those thoughts that you might have, to others in a way they can comprehend.

      To go back to my opening paragraph, you see participation on this site as some sort of competition, a series of skirmishes that must have a winner (Adam) and therefore losers (the cannon-fodder that you blow into the weeds) through the power of your intellect, and the force of your erudition.

      It is part of your tactics to try to dominate any thread for the time you are on it, and to misquote or deliberately misinterpret what others say. You are also judgmental of others opinions (in terms of your own moral interpretation of right or wrong), and you will pick up on semantic mistakes, or sloppy punctuation. as being the deciding factor of whether, in your sole judgement, you win the argument or not. Does that not strike you as being the attitudes and actions of somebody who is somewhat immature?

      Of course, you will disagree with my assessment, and either reply by pointing out my typing mistakes, or more probably by just ignoring it altogether. But however you choose to respond will also say a great deal about your ability to indulge in mature and polite conversation between adults.


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    Adam Smith

    Baa Humbug
    July 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Just because I can state that January of 2097 will be warmer than July of 2012 dosn’t make it a prediction.

    OMG! You’ve completely tied yourself into a knot! Stating “…January of 2097 will be warmer than July of 2012…” is a prediction! Whether or not it is a REASONABLE or SCIENTIFIC prediction depends on what evidence you present to back it up, but stating what you think will occur at some future point IS a prediction. Scientists do this all the time they put forward a hypothesis based on current theory, which are effectively predictions, then they perform experiments to see if the result (which is by definition a future event) supports or disproves the theory.

    However, If I was to say that January of 2097 will be warmer than January of 2012 and summer of 2097 will be drier than summer of 2012, that would be a prediction.

    There is no substantial difference between this and your earlier statement.

    And if I was to say warmer by X degrees and drier by X millimetres of less rain, there would be less of a chance that I fluked the prediction.

    Well an actual scientist would probably base their prediction using a percentage.

    It just so happens that the IPCC DO NOT make predictions because they believe future climate states (temperature, precipitation, cloud cover etc) are not predictable.

    WTF? Of course they make predictions and they get attacked on this site all the time for doing so.

    You can weasel all you like Smith. Much simpler and more honourable to admit you were wrong in this instance and move on.

    Absolutely nothing in your post has changed my view. In fact all you have done is demonstrated how completely confused you are about what scientists do.


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      Whoaaa! there youngster, backup the thinking cells a little.

      OMG! You’ve completely tied yourself into a knot! Stating “…January of 2097 will be warmer than July of 2012…” is a prediction! Whether or not it is a REASONABLE or SCIENTIFIC prediction depends on what evidence you present to back it up, but stating what you think will occur at some future point IS a prediction.

      January is a summer month. July is a winter month. Predicting that January will be warmer than July is for all intents and purposes a useless prediction. WE ALL KNOW JANUARIES WILL ALWAYS BE WARMER THAN JULYS.
      For example, I can predict that you will draw a breath very soon. You will repeat that process very soon after. That’s not a prediction that takes any skill at all, a child can predict that.

      My 2nd example of predicting the temperature of JANUARY 2097 to be warmer than that of JANUARY 2012 is a prediction that will take some skill. Others may predict it to be no warmer or even cooler. That’s where the skill (or fluke) comes in.
      You seemed to have failed to grasp the seasonal difference between July and January. Please do be more careful when reading my replies.

      WTF? Of course they make predictions and they get attacked on this site all the time for doing so.

      You have been such a disappointment to me Adam. Considering the zeal with which you’ve tackled comments on this blog (and made a good fist of it considering how many people you were responding to at one time) your lack of knowledge about the IPCC and its processes is stark. I suggest you stay clear of debate about the IPCC. e.g.

      In contrast to a prediction, a projection specifically allows for significant changes in the set of “boundary conditions” that might influence the prediction, creating “if this, then that” types of statements. Thus, a projection is a probabilistic statement that it is possible that something will happen in the future if certain conditions develop. The set of boundary conditions that is used in conjunction with making a projection is often called a scenario, and each scenario is based on assumptions about how the future will develop. For example, the IPCC recently projected a range of possible temperature changes that would likely occur for a range of plausible emissions scenarios and a range of model-derived estimates of climate sensitivity (the temperature change that would result from a CO2 doubling). This is clearly a projection of what could happen if certain assumed conditions prevailed in the future – it is neither a prediction nor a forecast of what will happen independent of future conditions. For a decision maker, a projection is an indication of a possibility, and normally of one that could be influenced by the actions of the decision maker.

      To cut a long story short, the IPCC makes ‘projections’ based on scenarios (or stories), hence the use of terms such as likely, very likely etc rather than ‘will’.
      If you are still confused about this issue Adam, hop over to a blog on ‘your side’ such as SkS or RC and ask the denizens there.

      Absolutely nothing in your post has changed my view.

      Hah! surprise surprise, what’d I tell ya, you ain’t big enough to admit being wrong.


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    memoryvault

    .
    I see we are still stuck with the Team Smith Special Needs student.


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      Winston

      I’ll save him the trouble, MV.
      “You’ve disagreed with Team Smith, so you’ve lost the argument”. Argument ad reductio ad infinitum.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        That is a bit harsh.

        By common consensus, you have lost the argument before you disagree with Team Smith. We could save everybody a lot of time and effort, by accepting that fact, and just not bothering to reply.


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      Adam Smith

      I see we are still stuck with the Team Smith Special Needs student.

      Very interesting. I’m supposedly a special needs student, but I’m actually capable of contributing to the discussion [snip] ED


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