Listen To Hard Science, Reject Pop Science, To Lessen Global Catastrophe Risk.

By Geoffrey H Sherrington.

B.Sc., M.Sc.(Qual), ARACI, MAIAS, FAusIMM.

Scientist, retired.

Melbourne.  19th April 2021.

…………………………………………

Over the decades, there have been changes in the ways that countries recognise and exploit major advances in technology. This can be shown with examples from my home country Australia, which is isolated, has a fairly homogenous population and a simpler history than many larger nations. It has grown better than most from pre-industrial to industrialised but has been on the decline since about year 2000.

The sector for discussion here is energy, especially that from fossil fuels.

The era around 1920 is compared to 2020. The aim is to examine which Government and industry action was closest to optimum, leading to learning about how to design better future policies.

AN OPTIONAL DETOUR.

First, there is a detour to the Mt Morgan gold and copper mine, located on the Tropic of Capricorn, not far from Queensland’s east coast. See a Google Earth Pro search of 23.6406 S, 150.3783 E. The mine operated from 1882 to 1991. Mt Morgan is often said to have been the world’s richest gold mine of its early times.

My employer company operated the mine in the 1970-1990 era. On visits there, I would read books in the Directors’ Quarters library, particularly about what was done with the wealth.

Part of the wealth funded the establishment of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, starting in 1915. Today, it is a world-renowned institute for molecular biology.

Another part of the profit was taken by William Knox D’Arcy to Persia to follow his dream that there would be large quantities of oil to be discovered there. There was no significant global oil industry before D’Arcy started spending; he realised his dream and changed the course of history with a gusher in 1908. He had spent many millions of his own dollars in today’s terms. This oil discovery resulted in the birth of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909.  It eventually became British Petroleum Company, now BP, still one of the global major oil companies. (End of detour).

AUSTRALIA 1900 to 1925. Birth of large oil and gas industry.

Obviously, in the period 1900-1925, there were several events and technology advances that grew to global importance.

  1. World War I (1914-19) introduced trucks, tanks and aeroplanes, which needed oil products.
  2. From the 1860s, lighting and heating transitioned from whale and vegetable oil to kerosene-type products from coal and oil whose supply increased after 1920.
  3. The home and industrial electricity sector grew. In 1900, less than two percent of natural gas, oil, and coal were used to make electricity. Soon, reticulated electricity powered by fossil fuels became the expectation rather than the exception. Prices dropped then steadied in 1920 as volume increased, shown here for the USA.
  4. The automobile, invented 1886, became widespread in the early 20th century. One of the first affordable cars was the 1908 Model T Ford.  Most cars were powered by oil derivatives, whose demand increased rapidly. Internal combustion engine cars displaced electric cars with batteries.
  5. The plastics industry using oil feedstocks began, with cellophane in 1913, polyvinyl chloride in 1927, polystyrene and nylon in 1938, and polyethylene in 1942.
  6. Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser production was commenced in Britain by Imperial Chemical Industries ICI, who developed synthetic ammonium sulphate in 1923, first using coke oven by-products, then natural gas feedstock.

There were more developments, but these suffice to make the point that there was growing interest in the fossil fuel industry and how to benefit from its growth. It was an era when major national decisions had to be made if countries wished to be economically competitive for many coming decades.

AUSTRALIA 1901 to 1925. States join into a Commonwealth.

C.O.R. commenced.

In 1901 the several States of the Colony of Australia united to form a Commonwealth with a Constitution to define the Commonwealth actions permitted by the States. The chosen system of Federal Government was democracy, a Constitutional Monarchy under the King of England. The States chose to retain management of their mineral resources, but the Commonwealth had some indirect powers to manage, control and over-ride certain aspects. Overall, royalties were paid to the States based on production, while the general taxation of profits from the mineral resources sector was by the Commonwealth, as was control of international trade, diplomacy, defence and some shipping.

Against this (brief) background, the Commonwealth acted on fossil fuels, particularly oil, as described in an elegant publication dated 1938, just before World War II. It was named “Forward! A Great national Institution. The Romance of the C.O.R.”

It is recommended that you read this 16-page booklet, because it is at the core of several points about differences in national philosophies in 1920 versus 2020.

Here are some key quotes from it.

“In presenting this booklet it is hoped to convey some indication of the progress and development of the Commonwealth Oil Refineries Limited., and to make available interesting information relating to the world-wide resources of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd., a partner with the Commonwealth Government in the great enterprise popularly known throughout Australia as The C.O.R.

“The C.O.R. represents an important national institution, servicing Australia’s industries, of which Australians may justly be proud, and the brief outline of its history and activities presents a picture of remarkable progress achieved in a comparatively short period.”

….

“In 1909 the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, now known as Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd., was formed to develop the field and prior to the outbreak of war in 1914 the British Government became a partner in the great enterprise.” (Note: Winston Churchill was a driving force behind this move in 1914).

….

“The Rt. Hon. Lord Cadman of Silverdale, G.C.M.G., D.Sc., who is Chairman of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Ltd. And the Iraq Petroleum Co. Ltd., is one of the world’s leading Oil Technologists … Lord Cadman is also a Doctor of Science from Melbourne University.”

See a longer biography of Lord Cadman, his industrial and wartime work before 1921.

British and Australian specialists recognised the future importance of oil (and other fossil fuels) early in its global development and deployment. The critical British action to secure land rights and investment in Persia provided advantage to Britain for many more decades.

The British, in particular, have a historical record of being at the forefront with highly-qualified people including scientists put into high positions of trust.

AUSTRALIA & BRITAIN. Critical: A national pool of reliable top talent.

Incentives for scientific excellence have long been available, particularly in the British Commonwealth. Examples include the 1906 start of the Rhodes Scholarships to Oxford. The first scientific Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901: Physics to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen; Chemistry to Jacobus H. van ‘t Hoff; and Physiology & Medicine to Emil von Behring. Fellowships of the Royal Society of London began with ninety-four Fellows admitted on 20 May 1663 and four more on 22 June 1663; these ninety-eight are known as ‘Original Fellows.’  

The British system of Honours allows deserving people to become adequately titled and so help the course of Government by sitting in the House of Lords. Australia has not had this type of House. It has the Senate, whose members are elected by popular vote.

For excellence in science we can look to Fellows of the Royal Society of London. There were 15 Fellows honoured in 1921, to choose a random year. For brevity, the achievements of but 5 of them are linked here:

Francis William Aston Nobel Prize in chemistry, mass spectrograph.

Sir William Lawrence Bragg Australian Nobel Prize winner X-ray crystallography.

 William Henry Eccles British physicist, development of radio communication.

Sir Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt, 1st Baronet design and construction of some of the most famous British warships.

Udny Yule British statistician, particularly known for the Yule distribution.

Some achievements of these scientists surpass academic excellence and enter the realm of brilliance. Some are now household names for scientists, some were Nobel Laureates. Most of these scientists studied to Ph.D. level, many at Oxford or Cambridge.

Logically, Governments considering national participation in new endeavours must stand to benefit from having such pools of eminent people qualified to identify the opportunity and to lead the task. There is an art in selecting ‘the right stuff’.

Sometimes there is system failure. Leaping ahead in time, Australia has an example around 2005 of an important scientific advance initially unrecognised by Government and rejected by peers. It involved doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren showing that human gastric ulcers were caused by a bacterium rather than by stress – and that antibiotics were a treatment.

Logically, a better system would have been more efficient. Would this advance have (nearly) slipped through the net back in 1920? One is tempted to think not, because systems were better then.

There is one other short article that I urge you to read because of its relevance to the way that the petroleum industry has developed to its present state. The article by lawyer John M. Flower describes the formation of the Petroleum Information Bureau (Australia) in 1951. The growing part played by employed outsiders such as journalists and public relations specialists is central to his theme and criticism. Selected excerpts follow.

“The Bureau saw its role as ‘to disseminate in Australia accurate and authoritative information about oil.’ Back in the 1950s print was the dominant communication medium. The Bureau’s first staff members included former newspaper journalists. They focused on writing and supplying stories to metropolitan and country newspapers, to the various press agencies, to motorists’ organisations and to relevant magazines.”

“In the late 1960s concern for environmental quality grew rapidly in the community. Governments in Australia, as in the USA, the UK and elsewhere, came under pressure to regulate for cleaner air, cleaner water and the conservation of natural resources, especially forests and endangered species of fauna and flora. The oil industry was among industries cited as offenders. It seemed to senior staff of the Bureau that a new oil industry committee was needed to deal professionally with environmental matters … To quite a few people in the oil industry, from company directors to tanker drivers, it seemed incongruous that there were committees working for the industry in the fields of marketing technology/engineering, packaging, public relations, environmental affairs and industrial relations—but they operated independently and had no common office.”

AUSTRALIA. Summary of the 1920s era.

The advance of technology was assisted materially by, at least –

  1. An existing pool of the better scientists and mechanisms for them to report major emerging technologies, then lead these development plans (example Lord Cadman)
  2. Creation of managerial bodies to execute development plans (example C.O.R.)
  3. Money from original wealth such as mining to fund the plans (example Mt Morgan gold mine)
  4. A social environment that encourages and rewards thinking outside the mainstream (example, William D’Arcy)
  5. Governments with ideals to grow wealth and opportunity (example, Britain and Australia in that era)
  6. An awareness of activities that can hinder the plans (example, Flower’s concerns about advertising industry growth)

Under these circumstances and with cooperation from Britain, Australia was early to establish an efficient fossil fuel industry. By the year 2000, Australia was producing electricity with high reliability and about the lowest global cost and so was poised to attract more industry.

Also by 2000, heavy industries like alumina refining and aluminium smelting had been attracted to Australia by low cost and reliable electricity. Oil refineries supplied much of Australian demand and allowed the creation of a strategic reserve. Natural gas was found in large deposits and was being exported in competition with the rest of the world.

In 2000, the motor car industry was adequate, with Australia being one of a few countries able to create a new model from design through to mass production. Since then, the major car makers Ford and GMH (Holden) have departed the country. Australia did design and produce military aircraft around WWII, but subsequently this declined to the stage of making spare aircraft parts for others. The local market was simply too small to compete with countries like USA and the European Union.

…………………………………………………………………….

AUSTRALIA – COMPARISON EARLY 1900s TO EARLY 2000s.

From this point, we compare what went wrong about year 2000, with what was working so well in the decades after the 1920s, to show the gross errors. It is reasonably assumed that a scientifically educated nation with low-cost, reliable energy supply should perform well economically. Today, Australia is not. Why?

The Nobel laureates 100 years on.

The Nobel laureates for year 1901 are listed above: Physics to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen; Chemistry to Jacobus H. van ‘t Hoff; and Physiology & Medicine to Emil von Behring.  

Here, for comparison, are the Nobel laureates of year 2005, with Marshall and Warren discussed above in more detail. Physiology or Medicine, Barry Marshall & J Robin Warren, “for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease”. Chemistry, Yves Chauvin, Robert Grubbs & Richard Schrock, all for “the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis.” Physics, Roy Glauber “for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence” and John Hall and Theodore Hänsch jointly “for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique.”

Although various years can show different comparisons, it is safe to note a general trend from early recipients being individually brilliant with original discoveries, to later awards more to groups with skills in derivatives of earlier discoveries. If there have been brilliant examples in recent years (apart from Warren and Marshall), they seem to have escaped fame as seen by a wide range of society. Maybe the passage of a longer time is needed for brilliant individual achievement to emerge and be recognised for its greatness.

BRITAIN. The Royal Society 100 years on.

It is noted above that 15 people were elected as Fellows of the Royal Society of London in 1921, with emphasis on a selected 5 Fellows whose names remain well-known in science. For comparison, in 2015, there were 59 new Fellows. Some ‘names’ are well-known depending on the reader’s interests, but include – Sir James Dyson, a British inventor and engineer, best known as the inventor of the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner; Dame Julia Slingo, British meteorologist and climate scientist, Chief Scientist at the British Met Office since 2009; and Sir Robin Saxby, British engineer, who was chief executive and then chairman of ARM Holdings, which he built into a dominant supplier of embedded systems. Many of the new Fellows studied molecular biology. All but 10 of the 59 Fellows are Professors, reminiscent of an academic stew in which some pieces float to the top of a pot stoked by the practical input of energy and money from industry.

One is free to surmise that the situation is akin to that in music. Where are the Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn equivalents among composers of recent times? Are there modern composers who even have the technical mastery required to write the music score for a symphony for piano and orchestra?

AUSTRALIA. The energy scene 100 years on.

Australia in 2021 has but two oil refineries, down from 8 in year 2000.

From a 2017 report on Australia’s failure to stockpile agreed petroleum stockpile, “A decline in domestic crude oil and condensate production and increased demand largely accounts for the decline in Australia’s IEA compliance position.”

Petrol and diesel prices have moved since 1925 as shown for dollars of the day and dollar values adjusted by the consumer price index CPI.

The consumer price index for retail electricity costs has moved in relation to the cpi for all goods as graphed since 1980. (The 2020 dip for electricity coincides with Covid-19 sharp reduction of electricity demand. The harm started about year 2006, related to ‘renewable energy’ growth).

AUSTRALIA. Mass advertising in the 2000s.

There is some material above that deals with advertising at the start of the fossil fuel expansion in the 1920s in Australia. It seemed to earnestly want to inform the public, but reservations started to emerge in the cited paper by J.M. Flower.

Modern mass advertising, on the other hand, has mostly existed to make horrible products and services seem much better than they are. There are so many horrible products that the average person is exposed, largely unaware, to a torrent of advertising from newspapers to radio to TV to social media. Recent social media are a concern, because unskilled amateurs are taking over advertising from skilled professionals. These professionals have become really highly skilled. There are schools at many universities pumping out advertising propaganda, taking surveys, being paid large money amounts for ‘polishing the turd’.

The average person is buying a large range of ideas and products without even realising the advertising influence. There are whole industry sectors promoted, like female cosmetics made from mud, alternative medicines, fertilizers made from nearly-inert seaweed, alternative medical treatments like homeopathy and acupuncture that have no valid basis in science, but a lot of superstition.

There is not enough room here to develop this theme, except to note that advertising by skilled professionals has been instrumental in the ‘global climate crisis’ theme that many now worship, despite the failure if its many predictions when put to hard scientific tests.

To illustrate the extreme silliness of recent advertising, in Australia there is near-saturation advertising by the gambling sector, entreating viewers to ‘Gamble responsibly’. Given that gambling is not a responsible act by definition, the catch phrase is a stupid conflict of words. But, they would not continue with it unless their surveys showed that it made people more relaxed and free-spending about their gambling problem. There are dozens of images on the Internet from a search of ‘Gamble responsibly’.

GLOBAL. Post-normal Science PNS.

Starting 1990s, Jerome Ravetz and Silvio Funtowicz became popular developers and authors of post-normal science, PNS, a challenge to classical science that was easily malleable and therefore popular. As they wrote, “Post-Normal Science has become a liberating insight for many. It has given a name to their feeling that the terms of policy debate had been biased by the presumption that anything ‘scientific’ must be free of uncertainty, independent of values, and the exclusive possession of a technocratic elite.” Four dominant properties define PNS, “facts uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent.”

These properties assume that earlier science had established facts, little dispute, low stakes and few needs for urgent decisions.  The aforementioned science Lords, Nobel laureates, FRS people and Rhodes scholars might not incline to this view. It has led to scientists being side-tracked into spending scarce dollars and valuable research time to demonstrate that their own work will solve uncertainty, lessen disputes, lower the stakes and reduce tensions, thus qualifying them to report to the lower standards of PNS and avoid the difficult mental rigour of classical science. It has led to multitudinous absurd 21st Century claims that the invented bogey man named ‘Climate Change’ is an urgent, existential, global danger that will end the Earth.

In this PNS environment, several issues were developed including climate change, some science behind the Covid-19 pandemic and renewed abuse of genetically modified organisms typified by Monsanto seeds. These issues are too complicated for brief analysis, but a common failing has been the suppression of views that criticise PNS publications and methods, leading to extreme and dangerous new devices like the trial of science by social media and the ‘cancel culture’ punishment for deviates. Objective truth has been partially replaced by subjective truth, where truth is defined as whatever the author chooses to believe is true.

Interested parties searching the literature for PNS truth can find many accusations of how bad, sceptical scientists paid by the oil industry are trying to combat the commendable, righteous scientific truth of climate change when it is well known and published that there is no credible basis for most claims of past and future damage from the change in climate. See books by Bjorn Lomberg 2020, Ian Plimer 2017, Michael Shellenberger 2020, Steven Koonin 2021.

GLOBAL. Hard science must dominate.

Hard science, like Chemistry and Physics, and mathematics with its absolutism, need to regain its proper place after the assault of PNS. Rather than reading polemics, we can learn from events where hard science corrected the problems produced by soft science and weak administration. There is an excellent case history involving physicist Richard Feynman 1918-1988. The fatal Challenger space launch in 1986 failed because of poor management of known engineering about flexible seals on the rocket tanks. There is an account of Feynman’s involvement written by Ken Haapala, Pres                                                                                                                                                              ident, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). Some Feynman words follow.

“Let us make recommendations to ensure that NASA officials deal in a world of reality in understanding technological weaknesses and imperfections well enough to be actively trying to eliminate them. They must live in reality in comparing the costs and utility of the Shuttle to other methods of entering space. And they must be realistic in making contracts, in estimating costs, and the difficulty of the projects. Only realistic flight schedules should be proposed, schedules that have a reasonable chance of being met. If in this way the government would not support them, then so be it. NASA owes it to the citizens from whom it asks support to be frank, honest, and informative, so that these citizens can make the wisest decisions for the use of their limited resources.

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

Some SEPP words as well:

“The late Harold Doiron, a distinguished scientist and engineer of the Apollo missions, included Ken Haapala in his communications with senior NASA Headquarters administrators objecting to claims that CO2 is a primary cause of climate change. Using procedures so successful in the Apollo missions, Doiron was the leader of The Right Climate Stuff Team which investigated the claims of that CO2 was causing dangerous global warming. They found no evidence supporting the claim that humans adding CO2 into the atmosphere is dangerous. There is no climate crisis. The senior administrators of NASA Headquarters responded that they cannot control what other entities in NASA claim. This type of response forces one to conclude that the worst of what Feynman speculated may be true.”

UNITED STATES. Words from Professor Emeritus Richard Lindzen.

Here is a recorded talk from 31st March 2021 by Prof Lindzen, a climate scientist with high qualifications, experience and respect. Some extracts follow.

“In punching away at the clear shortcomings of the narrative of climate alarm, we have, perhaps, missed the most serious shortcoming: namely, that the whole narrative is pretty absurd. Of course, many people (though by no means all) have great difficulty entertaining this possibility. They can’t believe that something so absurd could gain such universal acceptance. Consider the following situation. Your physician declares that your complete physical will consist in simply taking your temperature. This would immediately suggest something wrong with your physician. He further claims that if your temperature is 37.3C rather than between 36.1C and 37.2C you must be put on life support. Now you know he is certifiably insane. The same situation for climate (a comparably complex system with a much more poorly defined index, globally averaged temperature anomaly) is considered ‘settled science.’”

After your physical, your physician tells you that you may have a fatal disease. He’s not really sure, but he proposes a treatment that will be expensive and painful while offering no prospect of preventing the disease. When you ask why you would ever agree to such a thing, he says he just feels obligated to “do something”. That is precisely what the Paris Accord amounts to. However, the ‘something’ also gives governments the power to control the energy sector and this is something many governments cannot resist.”

“It is likely that we have to capitalize on the insecurity of the educated elite and make them look silly instead of superior and virtuous. We must remember that they are impervious to real science unless it is reduced to their level. When it is reduced to their level, it is imperative that we, at least, retain veracity.”

Summary.

Recommendations:

  1. Nationally, structure policy bodies to enable action on scientific recommendations coming from recognised scientists of excellence.
  2. Structure scientific competence so that scientists of excellence can be identified for management of important emerging policy issues.
  3. Structure industry and academia to better identify and to give more weight to centres of actual excellence as opposed to self-advertised excellence.
  4. Encourage more scientific research from integrated industry/academic joint ventures.
  5. Conduct a hard science, deep review of the topics of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ to eliminate past assertions that are no longer valid.
  6. Conduct neutral economic analyses of the Australian costs of electricity generation accounting for the real costs with no distorting assumptions induced by various government policies of the day.
  7. Review current subsidies and incentives for energy generation methods with a view to ceasing those that are no longer beneficial.
  8. Conduct a realistic Australian estimate of ‘social cost of carbon’ with inputs of benefits as well as harms.
  9. Foster the establishment of several Australian-owned scientific publishing houses for scientists wishing to avoid the drawbacks of current German dominance and control.
  10. Review the benefits and harms of the peer review process for scientific publication.
  11. Review the various classes of industry for their ability to generate new wealth for the nation and promote those most positive, especially in the Covid industrial recovery period.

(End).

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Clyde Spencer
April 19, 2021 6:40 pm

Geoff
The movie industry has remade entertainment for the masses. Formerly, music was written for opera and concert halls. I predict that John Williams will be viewed in the same light as Mozart and other classicists 100 years from now.

Graemethecat
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 19, 2021 11:16 pm

If John Williams will one day be considered on par with Mozart, I’m very glad I won’t be around to see it.

John Garrett
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 20, 2021 5:22 am

There’s more than a fair chance that prediction (“…John Williams will be viewed in the same light as Mozart and other classicists 100 years from now”) will ultimately prove to be correct.

Ardy
Reply to  John Garrett
April 21, 2021 4:03 pm

Yes John, but will it have the depth of intellectual rigour and emotional width to hold your attention for most of your adult life?

Clyde Spencer
April 19, 2021 6:45 pm

Geoff, you said:

Modern mass advertising, on the other hand, has mostly existed to make horrible products and services seem much better than they are.

Years ago, I decided that the more a new movie release was promoted on TV, the worse I could expect it to be.

Some of your concerns about what has happened in Australia have parallels here in the USA. We may even have much of the responsibility for the evils of the modern world.

Nick Schroeder
April 19, 2021 6:58 pm

Consider Staples “Easy Button.”

Most every one understands how and what that reflective panel propped on the dashboard does. By reflecting the incoming solar energy it makes the inside of the car less hot, i.e. cooler. The Earth’s 30% albedo, much like that reflective panel, makes the Earth less hot, i.e. cooler. That albedo only exists because of the atmosphere. No atmosphere, no 30% albedo and the earth becomes much like the moon with a 10% albedo.

Consider the ubiquitous K-T atmospheric power flux balance and all of the numerous clones that all show more energy upwelling from the surface than arrived from the sun in the first place. Anybody who can balance their checkbook knows this is no good.

It’s that easy.

K-T Handout.jpg
Petit_Barde
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
April 19, 2021 10:59 pm

The trick is to make the (deliberate) confusion between radiative fluxes and energy transfer.

To compare apple to apple, the radiative fluxes between the Earth surface and the atmosphere must be algebraically added in order to calculate an energy transfer and then all the scam becomes obvious :

  • first of all, the IR radiative ernegy transfer between the surface and the atmosphere is low and upward thus the atmosphere can’t warm the surface,
  • secondly, this radiative transfer (IR radiative energy emitted by the surface and absorbed by the atmosphere) is very small (356 – 333 = 23 W/m²) when compared to the IR radiative energy transfer between the atmosphere and the space (169 W/m²), thus the active gasses in the IR spectrum cool the atmosphere and this AC is pretty efficient (169 – 23 / 169 = 86%).

All the scam is to focus on a tiny player (CO2 with respect to H2O) in a tiny part of the process (IR absorption vs emission into space) and to emphasize it ad nauseam.

Geoff Sherrington
April 19, 2021 7:04 pm

FROM THE AUTHOR –
Two images failed to transmit into the article.
Here are the links.
http://www.geoffstuff.com/cpi-electricity.jpg

http://www.geoffstuff.com/stupidities.jpg

The stupidities image goes near the end, under SUMMARY.
Sorry about that. Strange things can happen in the land of the never-never.

Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 19, 2021 7:17 pm

My fault. Fixed

Scissor
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 19, 2021 8:51 pm

Excellent article! Cheers.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Scissor
April 21, 2021 1:54 am

Scissor,
Your kind comment is appreciated. Geoff S

Ardy
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 21, 2021 4:07 pm

Excellent read Geoff and very informative to an Aussie like me. I particularly like the section on what has gone wrong. One thing you failed to mention is the decimation of the education system, how can we create outstanding individuals if the whole education system is focused on equality of outcome and not equality of opportunity.
I had never heard of PNS and I have been following these arguments for 25 years.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ardy
Forrest Gardener
April 19, 2021 7:06 pm

There is an old saying that it is hard to make people understand anything when their paycheck depends on not understanding it.

So when I look at the highly worthwhile list of recommendations I see actions which will need to be taken by people whose paycheck depends on not taking them.

And my question is what individuals with little influence can do to tilt the playing field in favour of science.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
April 20, 2021 4:31 pm

Oddly(?) I see no replies to this…?

Mark E Shulgasser
April 19, 2021 7:27 pm

I’m beginning to speculate about where all this bad science and propaganda is coming from, ultimately. I wonder if big finance hasn’t accepted the verdict of many critics of capitalism, that the system is doomed since it relies on never-ending demand. The artificial props that have held it up since the crash of 2008 are giving way and the only way to wring further liquidity out of the dried up orange is via a bold play in the energy market, jacking up costs at whatever cost to the taxpayer and the consumer. The alternative is a complete collapse of the banking system, with consequent chaos. Universities, research institutes, media, parties, are all beholden to finance. The scientific paradigm has been offering diminishing returns for decades (see John Horgan, The End of Science, 1996, on the case for scientific pessimism) even as the ranks of newly-minted academic scientists increase. That young scientists unconscious bias in favor of salaries and pensions, is easily nudged in the direction of also possibly saving the world.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mark E Shulgasser
commieBob
Reply to  Mark E Shulgasser
April 19, 2021 8:37 pm

As long as people live, demand is neverending. People need ‘stuff’ to sustain themselves.

“Capitalism” is far from doomed. I suggest you check out Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism.

The thing that sustains Good Capitalism is innovation. It means we can do more and more with less and less. It’s good for people and it’s good for the environment.

The seven minute video at the above link is well worth your time.

Mark E Shulgasser
Reply to  commieBob
April 19, 2021 10:01 pm

To rephrase then, capitalism is not doomed because it is natural, but the current banking system might be, leading to a catastrophic crash which perennial capitalism will eventually pull out of? Or do you believe that green energy is the ‘innovation’ that will save the system, whether or not warming is coming? My question is, what is financing the propaganda and the bad science, and why?

Lurker Pete
Reply to  Mark E Shulgasser
April 20, 2021 2:13 am

“perennial capitalism” is already pulling out in anticipation, the only thing keeping the global financial system alive is quantative funny money, look who’s buying up all the traditional stores of wealth, precious metals, and all the land.

Look up ‘Cyber Polygon’ look at who’s involved and their backgrounds, then decide if it’s really designed to build resiliance, or control the narrative to give the controllers plausible deniability so the global population will not be pointing the finger at them.

The ‘what’ is Technocracy (the original seeds comming from an elite collective, Club of Rome, CFR. BIS, WEF, Bilderberg and a thousand et al clubs) the why is simple, Power.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lurker Pete
Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  commieBob
April 20, 2021 6:38 am

Just so. Capitolism, A.K. A. the Free Market, has been working for as long as humans coveted something owned by other humans and figured out that killing the previous owner was counterproductive. Thus they started trading for the things they wanted. The modern banking system with its multitude of fiddles for hiding profits and funds through shell companies in remote parts of the world is just wrong and should be doomed on the face of it.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  commieBob
April 21, 2021 1:55 am

cB,
Viewed and appreciated the video, thanks. Geoff S

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Mark E Shulgasser
April 20, 2021 2:56 pm

Mark,
Your question about motivation is one of my main concerns in all of this creep of poor science. If we do not know what drives people, it is much harder to suggest remedies.
As to what can be done, I can suggest little more than writing letters, essays, papers the more people the better, plus continuing support for entities like WUWT, Heartland and others. Geoff S

markl
April 19, 2021 7:42 pm

It’s all Marx’s fault. Science has been co-opted by an ideology that believes the means justifies the end as long as it compliments perceived equality no matter how much it reduces living standards. Capitalism now equals class warfare and Marxism equals peace despite history showing otherwise ….. decidedly. Without morals to guide their quest the Marxists are making significant headway.

Scissor
Reply to  markl
April 19, 2021 8:49 pm

Yes, and atrocities follow belief in absurdities.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  markl
April 20, 2021 4:36 pm

Marxism eliminates “class warfare” by making everybody the same class: the lowest and most miserable. Except of course for the “untouchables”, the “elites”, the Al Gores, Clintons, Bill Gateses, George Soros, etc., etc.

Editor
April 19, 2021 7:47 pm

“Only realistic flight schedules should be proposed, schedules that have a reasonable chance of being met.”. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s government set completely unrealistic industrial targets, and no-one dared say they were unrealistic. The managers and engineers charged with meeting the targets necessarily failed, but still no-one was prepared to say the targets could not be met. So what happened then was that the unfortunate managers and engineers were charged with “wrecking”, and were executed or thrown into jail (where they were likely to die anyway).

I believe that the west is close to a similar situation right now. Keep your eye on Germany’s Energiewende (energy system). If the system survives by ever more taxpayers’ money being pumped in for ever-decreasing energy reliability and effectiveness, and particularly if some operators lose their jobs, then you will know that I am right at least with respect to Germany. But where Germany goes, California, South Australia and the rest will surely follow.

You can’t replace all your reliable energy with unreliable energy and still have reliable energy. Why is that idea so difficult for a government or the mainstream media to grasp?

Rick C
Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 19, 2021 8:41 pm

“Why is this idea so difficult for a government or the main stream media to grasp?”

Because both are dominated by liberal/progressives (socialists/Marxists/communists) who’s mind set is that all problems can be solved with enough other people’s money. Any past examples of money not solving problems are just a result of not spending enough.

griff
Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 20, 2021 3:06 am

Energiewende has been running for just over a decade now: the German grid is still one of the world’s most reliable. constantly predicted collapse yet to happen.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  griff
April 20, 2021 7:06 am

Yessss, which is why they hurriedly brought back on line those coal plants they had shut down. You are such a twit.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  griff
April 20, 2021 4:48 pm

Lies much?

CEG
Reply to  griff
April 20, 2021 5:21 pm

Germany is currently removing more wind capacity than they are building. A net loss in other words. They need the Russian gas badly to bridge the gap and enable them to shut down the coal plants. Plus where are they going to bury all those windmill blades and solar panels since a lot of those are approaching end of life.
They should really think through relying on an adversary for critical supplies.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Mike Jonas
April 20, 2021 3:48 am

scomo just handed SA a few bil to get the dropped due to costs interconnector to nsw started… to save their sorry asses. as an ex SA longterm resident im disgusted but then Vics little better presently either.
basically we’re screwed

philincalifornia
April 19, 2021 8:22 pm

Geoff, you will probably recall that Jerome Ravetz used to post on here and, as I recall, it was some kind of explanation for his PNS position, to which I referred as scientific lying at the time. He was also mates with Tallbloke as they were both at Leeds U at the time. I’ll have a look tomorrow, see what I can dig up from the days when it was less apparent then, than what Mother Nature is dealing on the climate crooks these days.

I recall that Ravetz was sincere and was searching for ways to act quickly on issues where all the data wasn’t in. One modern such example is obvious.

….. and, speaking of which, did every one see the video of Jane Fonda saying that Covid-19 was God’s gift to the left?

Vote.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  philincalifornia
April 19, 2021 8:41 pm

The only good thing about Jane Fonda was Barbarella.

Komeradecube
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 19, 2021 10:01 pm

Barbarella was a crappy movie: there is nothing good about Jane Fonda.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Komeradecube
April 19, 2021 10:22 pm

I was young then and softcore appealed to me. My fantasies did not involve having a conversation with her.
I was stoned at the time

Last edited 3 months ago by Alexy Scherbakoff
Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 20, 2021 4:50 pm

“…I was stoned at the time…” Yeah, there’re a lot of things look better under those conditions.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  philincalifornia
April 19, 2021 10:06 pm

Yes, Phil,
It was easy to read that and other work from Jerome Ravetz.
It was hard to discern why he wrote such words.
I suspect that history will not be kind to PNS.
Geoff S

Waza
April 19, 2021 8:29 pm

Electric street lighting and electric trams took off in the 1890s, but more importantly was the opening of Melbourne’s fossil fuel powered pumped sewer system in 1898.
120 years later, 100s of millions of people do not have access to safe water, with about 2 billion people not being able to claim reliable water/sewer/power infrastructure.
Fossil fuels are the only way to cheaply, reliably and quickly power this infrastructure for the developing world.

Izaak Walton
April 19, 2021 8:31 pm

Another old retired person complaining about how things were better in the past. This has been going on since before Plato wrote:
“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”
Although personally I prefer Monty Python’s take on it:

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 19, 2021 9:02 pm

Why are you hanging around this site? Do you have an old person fetish?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 19, 2021 9:25 pm

Considering the Handle that he has chosen, it speaks to the high regard he has for himself. Not able to obtain accolades based on his own accomplishments, he associates himself vicariously with someone who actually was an accomplished person. He is on a noble quest no less important than to find The Grail. Thus, he becomes a legend in his own mind.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izaak_Walton

Komeradecube
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 19, 2021 10:02 pm

SNIPPED

(Stop name calling Griff, who isn’t in the thread at all) SUNMOD

Last edited 3 months ago by Sunsettommy
Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 19, 2021 10:16 pm

I question the mental faculties of someone who would do that.

Dennis
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 19, 2021 10:14 pm

A secret desire to learn something.

fred250
Reply to  Dennis
April 19, 2021 11:06 pm

A secret desire to learn something.

.
Yet a total inability to do so.

fred250
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 19, 2021 11:05 pm

Izzy-dumb is just making a plaintive plea for attention.

Its REALLY SAD and PATHETIC. !

saveenergy
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 20, 2021 1:09 am

“Do you have an old person fetish?”

Well, when I was a lad of 15, I used to think a women of 25 was old & past it.
60 yrs later, I look at some 90yr olds & think … ‘I wonder…’

So the answer is yes !!!

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  saveenergy
April 20, 2021 2:40 am

You need help.

CEG
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 20, 2021 5:28 pm

I think he’s angling for fishy information.

[if there is some reason you have chosen to change email addresses to an invalid one, please realize this will get you deleted. I have changed two comments to your previously valid email address.-mod]

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 19, 2021 9:33 pm

A Monty Python original John Cleese has complained that ‘political correctness’ has suffocated humor.
He’s absolutely correct thanks to the ‘snowflake’ generations, it’s almost a reversal of roles.
By the way the quote has been misattributed to Socrates not Plato, apparently the origin is uncertain.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 19, 2021 9:54 pm

Plato put a lot of words in Socrates mouth. It is highly uncertain as to how much
any of them were actually said by him. All of Plato’s Socratic dialogues involve real historical people but whether any of them actually happened is an open question.

As for whether or not politcal correctness has suffocated humour probably depends on personal preference. It doesn’t seem to have stopped people like John Oliver making a good living out of satire. And there are still plenty of good British comedians around — Bill Bailey, Russell Howard etc.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 19, 2021 10:13 pm

The only reason the failed UK ‘comedian’ Tom Oliver is a success in the US is because they have low standards for humour.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 20, 2021 4:33 am

It’s because the libtards need to watch something on TV as their brains are mush and they cannot think of anything constructive to do.

Climate believer
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 20, 2021 12:51 am

“John Oliver making a good living out of satire”

Oh, is that what they call shilling for the Democratic party these days.

Oliver will go down in history as a mediocre comedian that screamed orange man bad for four years, whilst making enormous amounts of money off the back of it.

Everyone remembers his “do it! do it!” in response to Trumps rumoured thoughts on running for President. They all new Trump was pay day.

Alongside his other late night monolithic hive mind buddies, such a diverse bunch of moralising rich lefty white guys, he has been complicit in amplifying the political divide.

The guys an absolute disgrace to British Comedy.

Richard Page
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 20, 2021 5:08 am

John Oliver, Bill Bailey and Russell Howard are not good comedians – mediocre at best. There are many good british comedians around so why are you just naming the crap ones? Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais, Michael McIntyre, Lee Evans, Sarah Millican, Miranda Hart, Stephen Amos, Andy Osho to name but a few are all better comedians than the ones you have named. As to music – why am I not surprised that you like Wagner? I prefer Aram Khachaturian or Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov myself.

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  Richard Page
April 20, 2021 5:07 pm

I will give anyone a pass for preferring Wagner over Rimsky-Korsakov AND vice-versa. It’s all a matter of personal taste and may even vary from day-to-day. Many days, my favorite cookie is (soft and warm) chocolate chip, other days I absolutely must have oatmeal raisin, but then there are days when Oreo’s will do the trick.

Richard Page
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
April 21, 2021 5:01 am

Wagner’s music is all about power – very little subtlety about it – it is the half-brick in a sock of classical music. I’ve experienced the ring cycle (not all at once) and die Meistersinger and it has a powerful appeal about it, but at a less complex level; it seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator as it were.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
April 22, 2021 9:02 am

I generally prefer Risky-Korsakov or Moussorgsky over Wagner. Wagner is just too Teutonic.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 19, 2021 10:00 pm

Izaak,
Where did I complain that things were better in the past?
Some were, some were not.
Older people see more events. I remember the end of WWII and that was a time of shortage.
One of my messages, far from novel, is that desirable rigor has been lost from some sciences, with serious consequences.
Do you agree with that?
Geoff S.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 19, 2021 10:21 pm

Geoff,
You say in the first paragraph that Australia has been in “decline since about year 2000.” What is that except a complaint that things were better in the past?

Also I doubt that rigor has been lost from some sciences. There was plenty of crap science in the past (N-rays anyone) but over time that gets lost and the good stuff remains. The same is true now except that we get to see the crap science as well as the good stuff.

fred250
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 19, 2021 11:08 pm

” There was plenty of crap science in the past “

And there is more than “plenty” now,

…. much of it in the field of “climate science™”.

The stuff you swallow and regurgitate is a classic example.

Last edited 3 months ago by fred250
Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 20, 2021 1:04 am

ISAAC
What you label as a complaint is simply a derivation of actual measurements, some of which I have referenced.
I do not have a problem of being unable to tell reality from invention.
Geoff S

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
April 20, 2021 2:36 am

Geoff,
There are no measurements presented in your essay showing any
objective evidence that things in Australia are declining. Your essay is full of empty assertions like claiming that modern composers are unable to write a symphony. While we probably share the same disgust at modern music (personally I am a Wagnerian fan) I doubt that modern composers lack talent and think rather that it is a matter of style.

On average Australians are richer than they were in 2000 and in fact Australia had one of the longest periods of substained growth of any country in the world in that period. The only graph you seem to show as evidence for a decline is the end of car manufacturing. Whether this is decline probably depends on whether you think Australians should be working on a production line or doing other jobs in an increasingly high tech economy.

Lrp
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 20, 2021 3:25 am

Richer on the back of rising debt. Our exports: mining and agriculture.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Izaak Walton
April 20, 2021 3:29 am

Izaac,
No objective evidence?
What is showing in the graph of cpi movement in electricity prices?
What is showing in the value of motor car exports?
Did you look at any of the links?
Come on now, ‘fess up that you were grumbling.
Geoff S

lee
April 19, 2021 9:19 pm

And in Australia we have our own “Climate Council”, most know the actors behind it. For those that missed it Will Steffen and Tim Flannery spring instantly to mind. They now have a new document on why we need to get to “net zero” emissions by 2035. Strangely they do not quantify what sequestration (if any in their view) Australia has. A look at another recent document tells us why.

“Getting to net zero means we can still produce some emissions, as long as they are offset by processes that reduce greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. For example, these could be things like planting new forests, or or drawdown technologies like direct air capture. The more emissions are reduced, the more carbon dioxide we need to remove from the atmosphere (this is called sequestration) to reach net zero. ”

https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/what-does-net-zero-emissions-mean/

Nothing at all about Australia’s current forests or grasslands. And this is supposed to be “the science”.

Dennis
Reply to  lee
April 19, 2021 10:12 pm

Is that Tim the person many refer to as Tom Foolery?

And is Will the Antarctic ice disappearing expert who led an expedition on a chartered ship that became stuck in sea ice while the “scientists” held a barbecue alongside and ignored the Captain’s calls to board ship as the ice closed in?

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Dennis
April 20, 2021 3:33 am

No, that was not Tim Flannery.
You might be thinking of Prof Chris Turney.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/08/01/mocked-and-belittled-for-getting-stuck-in-ice_a_23057266/

Did you just see how, on seeing some wrong information, I moved to correct it?
How often do you see that voluntary correction among the climate glitterati?
Geoff S

fred250
Reply to  lee
April 19, 2021 11:11 pm

It is a very long time since Flannery and Steffen have any done any actual real science..

…. if they ever did.

lee
Reply to  lee
April 19, 2021 11:16 pm

Yes to the first. It was Chris Turney on the “Ship of Fools”.

Steffen – “In May, 2010, John Coochey, a retired public servant, was chatting at a climate seminar dinner in Canberra with the ACT Environment Commissioner Maxine Cooper about the annual ACT kangarroo culls and eating game meat. He remarked that he had his cull permit, which he added are issued only to reliable marksmen, and he assured Cooper that she need have no concerns about cruelty to roos.
Someone excitable overheard some of this chat and relayed a garbled version to the ANU’s climate czar, Will Steffen. Alarmed, Steffen sent an email to his group of ANU correspondents on June 2 saying they were now under serious threat from “a sniper”. About half a year earlier, someone had visited the ANU unit’s premises twice and. according to Steffen, displayed an aggressive demeanour. This supposedly led to security upgrades, although the only actual step was the introduction of new, broadly issued entry swipe cards.”

https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/11/whos-killing-climate-scientists/

“On global warming, Barrie is heavily influenced by the ANU’s Climate Institute boss Will “Death Threats” Steffen. In 2015 they wrote a joint report for Flannery’s Climate Council on why the ADF should elevate global warming to a central place in strategy.”

https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2016/12/warmisms-martial-plan/

lee
Reply to  lee
April 19, 2021 11:18 pm

Oh dear. Bad word usage. 😉

John Bruce
April 19, 2021 10:03 pm

My favourite saying is we are the dumbest generations of humans in human history but we have the most access to information
This is simply because if your message can’t be contained in 140 characters it can’t be translated by our latest must have everything instantly generation

When the world promotes a 16 year old drop out to a world expert the world is Lost and expecting an eminent Collapse

I have stopped trying to educate people and am waiting for the crash as Australian radio host Allan Jones once famously said on radio “The wheels have fallen of this billy cart and we are waiting for the inevitable crash”

Society of the future if it still exists will look at this hysteria and ask what substance caused such failure

It wasn’t oil and gas or excessive CO2 it was to much more likely other substances such as sugar causing swelling of the brain due to obesity

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  John Bruce
April 20, 2021 3:36 am

John,
Here is that sentiment expressed i9n 1979.
“How extraordinary! … The richest, longest-lived, best-protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology, is on its way to becoming the most frightened.”
Aaron Wildavsky, political scientist, University of California, New York Times, 1979.
In “The Apocalyptics” 1984, Edith Efron.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  John Bruce
April 20, 2021 4:05 am

“When the world promotes a 16 year old drop out to a world expert the world is Lost and expecting an eminent Collapse…”

She met with the Dalai Lama on Zoom and will soon be testifying to Congress.

B Clarke
April 20, 2021 1:33 am

Excellent article Geoff.

As a footnote, when broken hill Australia came on line ( if I remember rightly) around the late 1800s the production was so vast it all but killed the lead mining industry in the UK. AS you touch upon this was a political motivated move as much as a commerce move.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  B Clarke
April 21, 2021 1:58 am

BC,
I appreciate your kind comment. Thank you. Geoff S

ozspeaksup
April 20, 2021 3:42 am

I finished primary school in 1970 in my last yr theyd started getting the yobbo uni students in as our teachers and dumbed down “kits” for english n math etc byt 1973 when i left high school it was looking grim
friends a few yrs younger than me constantly amaze me by what they DONT know rather than what they do. so much basic education was turfed and life skills etc went with it.
Im seriously worried about the intelligence of the medical and other services I will be needing in the coming yrs. My doctor cant spell , bit of a worry when the difference of a letter or two can mean a rather different medicine etc.

John Bruce
Reply to  ozspeaksup
April 20, 2021 4:56 pm

Completely agree
I watch with disbelief when the basics are replaced by meaningless pleasure subjects such as drama photography etc
Learn maths science etc and do the others as a hobby

Red94ViperRT10
Reply to  ozspeaksup
April 20, 2021 5:16 pm

I once went to a Dr appointment, when the nurse asked if there was anything specific I wanted to have looked at, I said, “It seems time to do something about my tinnitus.” Her follow-up questions seemed bizarre, it wasn’t ’til the Dr came in and I could see the note, she had written “tendinitis”.

Bill Rocks
April 20, 2021 8:13 am

Very welcome article. The pace of the irrational change is stunning.

Best wishes to you, good, objective scientist, and to the people of the Land Down Under.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Bill Rocks
April 21, 2021 1:58 am

Bill Rocks,
A kind comment, most welcomed. Geoff S

Hatter Eggburn
April 20, 2021 11:18 am

Here’s a Mallen Baker video refuting predictions of dangerous sea level rise, such as in a recent (and already refuted) paper by Jim Hansen

https://youtu.be/4rat6xV6gN0

Red94ViperRT10
April 20, 2021 5:00 pm

I think PNS and Feminism™ have a lot of parallels. i.e., those who cannot succeed under the perceived system of rules in place at the time try to change the rules to where they are a success under the new rules. If you doubt me, just look at the appearance of the loudest of the harpies screaming about the “patriarchy” and etc. They do a disservice to women, trying to convince women to act like men, by which they abandon those truly feminine qualities that give them an edge in real life.

My #3 son has a Masters in Music Performance, and he has noticed the same in the field of music, particularly music composition. He will attend a performance of a new piece that “critics” describe as cutting edge or … [words fail me, but those who have read reviews will know what I mean] … only to find the piece a pile of garbage, unlistenable because of horrid tonalities and the like, in other words, they ignored the established norms of good sounding music, probably because they didn’t understand or fully grasp them, or could not hear the difference themselves between good and bad. Same with PNS. Same with Feminism™.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
April 22, 2021 9:06 am

Red
Aren’t you confusing PNS with PMS? 🙂

John Kelly
April 20, 2021 5:28 pm

What a great article Geoffery, thanks you. So good to see someone from the AusIMM contributing such high class thinking.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  John Kelly
April 21, 2021 2:00 am

John K,
The AusIMM might have changed since I was elected a Fellow. Geoff S

kevin kilty
April 20, 2021 9:08 pm

John Burnham noted the tendency of advertising and PR to reintroduce superstition in his book “How superstition won and science lost” c. 1985.

Tony Anderson
April 20, 2021 11:31 pm

It is noted herein that the Australian parliament has a Senate as opposed to the British house of Lords. The Senate is supposed to be a group of senators that represent the States of the Commonwealth of Australia and as such amend legislation regarding how it could affect their particular State.
Today the Senate is increasingly operated on Party political lines and it can be a drag of getting legislation of he Government of the day passed.
As one notable ex PM of Australian put it with respect to the Senate that they were “unrepresentitive swill”. This does help Australia move into the future when reform can be blocked by these.

Matthew Sykes
April 21, 2021 2:50 am

But your GDP peaked in 2012.

Specialisation is the answer, yes your industry dropped, it moved to China, and you became Chinas defacto mineral source.

You are now a specialised miner, China is specialised industry, the rest of us, who knows. But specialisation and globalisation is what you see.

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