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Search Results for: Jo chandler

Jo Chandler Sacked Redundant

Well Fairfax without Jo Chandler? who would have thunk it?

click for source

Well that will mean that my ‘favourite” senior writer will have more time more time to write sycophantic books about climate scientists and tomes about disgraced female police commissioners that no one will buy. It will also give her more time to hang out on twitter…
Pardon me while I indulge in a bit of schadenfreude here for reasons that I am unable to share publicly but this news does make me rather happy and for that I offer thanks to Peter Wellard who is but the latest of a very long line of would be internet vigilantes who obsessively follow everything that I write on line. Which must make me a celebrity 🙄

Mucho Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler’s prospects after the axefest at Fairfax

So the axe is going to fall on Fairfax, and form the look of things its going to fall hard, I can’t say that I’m that surprised that they are going to take to their expensive infrastructure and substantially reduce their overheads by reducing their staff by 1900.

Click for source

Of course the influence of Gina Reinhardt may even bring Fairfax a bit closer to the centre politically and won’t that set up a wailing and moaning in the latte belts of both Sydney and Melbourne ? One would hope that they hold onto their best journalists but maybe they can take this as an opportunity to shed some under-performing ‘senior writers” Like Jo Chandler. Its very clear   though that there are  writers at Fairfax who are worth reading and its inevitable that Fairfax will consolidate their titles published in different cities into a single entity eventually, after all so much of the content is shared across the empire anyway.

I can’t help wondering just what  Ex Fairfax staff will do with themselves  once they have collected that final pay cheque, after-all in a  shrinking sector they can’t all expect to find new gigs as journalists, some may try the old standby of writing books (that however may result only in failure) others may try to turn their dalliances with the internet into a money spinner but its hard to see how they can make a quid out of that especially if their previous experience on the net was to harass and stalk humble bloggers who happened to disagree with them about politics and anonymity on the net.

Oh well perhaps they need to get some ruby slippers and hope that when the click them together and say “there is no place like home”  and be thankful that they can draw upon their potential inheritance while they dream their Marxist dreams and sip  a Chai latte while avoiding being caught in the rain (because it plays havoc with their hair)

Cheers Comrades

Tallarook, Gillard, Rudd, Greece, Spain, Fukushima, Jo Chandler, and the sizzle of snags on a barbie

Things are crook in Tallarook as the whole world seems to be in a worrying spin of decline and crisis.Close to home it looks like Ray’s hopes of a love resurrection for Labor may be on very rocky ground indeed with polling now showing that his blessed Kevin Rudd would not hold his seat at the next election:

Click for the awful truth about Labor’s prospects

But there’s more as the expected crisis in the euro zone is coming to a pustular head as panic stricken Greeks and Spaniards attempt to protect their savings by withdrawing their money from the banks which is precipitating the gamblers on the stock market to likewise run screaming from the markets:

Don’t Panic!!!!

Meanwhile Brendan O’Neil explains to us just why the Green panic about Nuclear energy is hurting Japan in a far more serious way than the tsunami disaster at Fukushima with more set to die in Japan’s sweltering summer than met their end as a result of the reactor crisis.

link to search result to avoid Paywall

Closer to home though it seems that Jo Chandler has been busy following the Fuzzy Wuzzy twitter-verse again as she gives us a rather patronising exposition of PNG politics where she waxes lyrically about the potential for “activists” to influence the results of the election through social networking. Maybe someone should explain to her that maybe good governance and an end to endemic corruption might just be more efficacious to that country rather than more idiots taking to Twitter:

Click for the whole patronising source

Well that’s what I have found on this morning’s trawl of the world’s news and views. Not quite sure that I can do better in terms of unifying this into something that is internally consistent as an argument beyond my initial observation that “Things are crook in Tallarook” But then that is just the way that I see things this morning. On a brighter note I’m off to a Barbie at the other end of the known universe (Cleveland ) today which should be  a nice day out in my sports car with my daughter .
Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler’s weekend away and her trip down memory lane

One of the staples of the travel section of any paper has to be the accommodation review which is often little more than an advetrorial and often given in exchange for a freebee offered to the author of the puff piece which is why I found the disclaimer at the end of Jo Chandler’s latest piece so amusing:

  All weekends away are conducted anonymously and paid for by Traveller.

The thought that came to mind for me was just how could Chandler, a well known journalist and  author,  meet the requirements of this disclaimer? Did she book the weekend under an assumed name? What she would think up as her “secret identity”?  Did she disguise her appearance with a wig and dark glasses? Maybe she took inspiration from a long dead author of depressive poetry and straightened her hair. Just how did she make herself “anonymous” enough   to meet the requirements of the article’s disclaimer?
Then again maybe it was just a nudge nudge wink wink arrangement with the owner of the cottage that meant that no questions or lies were exchanged …
 Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler, the Catholic Church, paedophile priests and the suicide of the mentally ill

Sadly during my life I have lost one  good friend to suicide and helped prevent the same end for another person I cared about. Its never as simple as many want to suggest to prevent people taking their own lives. Nor is it easy to pinpoint the reasons that they develop the self-destructive ideation. The fact that mental illnesses like clinical depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have a high suicide rates and that these are all organic disorders of the brain should stop people seeking to  attribute  external triggers like sexual abuse all of the blame for the subsequent death of these unfortunate individuals. Don’t get me wrong I am not seeking to make excuses for or to downplay the pernicious evil any kind of sexual abuse but to use the suicide of the mentally ill as a tool to emphasise the gravity of the abuse is likely to ignore the fact that sexual predators do not choose their victims at random.

Thus I find the latest piece from the Age’s senior writer Jo Chandler both incredibly patronising and disingenuously misrepresenting the nature of mental illnesses like schizophrenia. (my bold in quote)

Jo Chandler Photo: Penny Stephens

It emerged he had been abused.

”And then he told me that if I told a soul he would kill himself.”

The roller-coaster of illness, madness, anger, absence and homecomings continued, punctuated by suicide attempts. Ms Watson gradually pieced together the story – it was not until very late that Peter confided the identity of his attacker – and tried to get psychiatric help for her son.

Then one day in March 1999 he was finally given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He told the medical staff he was just going to move his car. He was never seen again. He was 24.

”I never stopped looking,” Helen Watson says. For six years she was left wondering what became of him, though she was almost certain he was dead.

In fact his body was found hanging in a boat shed in Aspendale late in 1999. Police couldn’t put a name to it, and he was buried as a John Doe.

But the case preyed on one of the police officers, Rod Owen. When some new fingerprint technology arrived, he tried it out on the records from the body in the boatshed, and came up with a match. Ms Watson finally got the knock at the door she had wished for and dreaded.


There is no doubt that many people who are abused carry the scars for the rest of their lives and I for one thank God that I am an atheist who will never let the God-botherers anywhere near my children not because I am worried about sexual abuse but because I don’t want my children to develop an irrational belief in the supernatural. that said I have my doubts that the recently announced inquiry into priestly abuse of children in Victoria will achieve anything of substance. Of course there are those like our regular commentator Craigy who will both welcome the piece of political show and tell and denounce its impotence. My problems with any of this sort of thing is the inherent  difficulty in proving the relevant allegations because they essentially boil down to verbal conflict  between the accuser and the accused with almost no evidence other than the competing testimonies. A legal can of worms in other words. Add to that the time between the alleged abuse and those crimes being reported (if they have been reported at all) and any possibility  of justice seen to be done becomes rather remote.

Of course none of this matters to the author of this rather dull attempt at pulling the heat strings of the Age’s readers. Jo Chandler clearly does not care about those with self-destructive mental illness who would be just as likely to self harm even if every priest was taken out and made to emulate the fate of their saviour and every building and church entity were reduced to rubble. The underlying subtext here is just the same as  that which were evident in Chandler’s sneering piece about Mary Mckillop Ah well it makes a change from the last few pieces from the Sandpit’s favourite senior writer at the Age where she has just rehashed the opinions of Fuzzy Wuzzy bloggers about their dysfunctional democracy. Still it makes me wonder just why she keeps her job at the Age and what qualifies anyone to be a “senior” writer for Fairfax.

Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler : “Melting moments put ice sheets in a new light” Hmm I think not

I can’t help wondering just why the Fairfax press keeps running the global warming pieces written by Jo Chandler.This effort “Melting moments put ice sheets in a new light” is actaully rather confused and totally lacking in internal logic. It sets out to discuss two different scientific papers about the changing sea levels in the past. This claim however

What the lower level of sea-level rise suggests, they say, is that both the Greenland Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapsed during the protracted warm of the Pleistocene, when the dance of the Earth’s orbit increased the solar radiation that the planet received.

But the revised level indicates that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the behemoth slab of ice spread over 11 million square kilometres and an average two kilometres thick, did not melt significantly through that long period of warming.

Is rather at odds with this piece of panic merchant behaviour just a few lines later

On Monday, researchers from Spain and Germany revealed findings that Greenland’s ice sheet is much more sensitive to global warming than previously thought, and may already be approaching a critical threshold.

They calculated that if global average temperatures reach 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels – and they have already warmed 0.8 degrees – the Arctic ice would likely tip towards irreversible loss.

It should be rather obvious to anyone that if the Antarctic ice sheet endured in a period of far protracted warming due to orbital variations of the planet then it is not going totip towards irreversible loss.“due to increases in CO2.  Sadly for the readers of the  Fairfax press this piece by their “Senior writer” is not going to help them appreciate  the science quite simply because its author is clearly lacking in the knowledge or ability  to truly understand the subject. There are times when being a devotee to the millenarian climate change cult  is just not enough and this piece by Jo Chandler is a very good example of just why the Fairfax press needs to get someone more knowledgeable and less sycophantic  to the white coated priests of the apocalyptic   faith to write on the subject of the  climate and humanity’s (possible) influence upon it.
Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler – “Gunboat diplomacy stirs hornet’s nest under blogs” or a storm in a teacup

It must be tough being a “senior writer” currently focusing on  New Guinea when the puff pieces that you post to the Fairfax press are about as interesting as watching paint dry. Who cares about what the PNG social elites say on twitter? Or what some activist thinks about “women’s issues” ? PNG is a very sad example of the folly of expecting a stone age people with no notion of nation to be able to run a functional democracy, In a country where almost every family speaks a different language and the national lingua franca is a pathetic mish mash call pigen that no one else in the world speaks. None the less Jo Chandler has had a minor win today with one of her “Fuzzy wuzzy”  pieces getting her name onto the front page of the Age, not as the main story mind you, just as an adjunct to the headline piece
Sadly its not really anything more than another puff piece with a rather over wrought title”:

Gunboat diplomacy stirs hornet’s nest under blogs

Jo Chandler, Analysis

March 16, 2012

Ah well at least this storm in a tea cup saves us, for a short time, from considering the more pressing issues for this country, like the utterly incompetent Labor administration here that is only just a tiny step above the woefully dysfunctional  government in PNG. and for that I thank you Jo Chandler.

Cheers Comrades

Jo Chandler, an open letter from Peter Ravenscroft about her book “Feeling the heat”

I am always happy to put up guest posts here at the Sandpit, being a humble man I like to share the tiny corner of that net that is may own with anyone who asks nicely or who writes something that I think worthy, Well today I offer to our readers  an open letter to Jo Chandler from Peter Ravenscroft who contacted me a little while ago trying to get in touch with the lady  herself, but it seems that the Age email address that I offered to Peter no longer works and that she is not contactable. So without further adieu here is Peter’s letter:

Jo Chandler

c/o Melbourne University Press.


G’day Jo,


I am reading your book, ta for that, much appreciated. I note the unease, but have some good news for you. What follows immediately is a little tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely …


(I see this got very long, so skip it,  if not of interest. But I will send it anyway)


First, carbonism is a classic millenialist movement. It sells fear and angst, as they all do, and it is as difficult for the devotees to see as part of a continuum, as ever. But, this time it is different, don’t you see? The Catholic church, with which you may be familiar, has sold little else for 2,000 years. It is a good business model. Then they sell indulgences. Now the new folk sell panic tastefully relieved with carbon credits. To cleanse the soul. I suggest, of course you got a trip to Antarctica. You are a very valued part of the sales team. I have read what you write. Stirring stuff. It stirs up the grant money. The heroic hermit priest, braving the elements, wrestling with the demonic forces implicit in the knowledge of the imminence of Doomsday.


Pull the other one Jo, it has an Angora goat tied to it. You clearly do not believe that anthropogenic CO2 is wrecking the future or you would immediately stop flying about in giant carbon dioxide-belching aluminium cans, to conferences and to the Antarctic, to sample assorted cocktails. And, you would definitely have told your son not to dream of making a career of piloting such canisters. When I believed that, we stopped Concorde overflying Africa. We did some hopeless minor protests, but the boss of FOE in South Africa told the Nigerians their cows would abort – very effective, that was. Instead, Concorde aborted and had no further offspring.


I am not as sensible as you, so when I first heard CO2 was a problem, in ’74, and was setting up environmental groups across South Africa at (white English –our union had lost the rest) universities, I hitched all round the country. The secret policeman I had temporarily displaced from the job declined to do so and flew instead. Sensible man. By the way, I have also had moments of existential wonder in Maputo. My brother and I where there when it became Maputo, just as the Portuguese were winding up their empire. Our great contribution was helping a lady anthropologist pack her Austrian bentwood chair, and then being  formally welcomed to liberated Mocambique by the leader of Frelimo in the slums, and drinking a toast to that with the last bottle of fizzy drink left in the community. While Chissano (sp?) headed straight for the Polana Hotel, and somehow never got around to meeting his local commander. So, we share some cynicisms.


Like you, now, I am a warmist. But not a carbonist. Like you, I wonder what makes both the planet and society tick. I have been at geology for 40 years now so am just a beginner, geological time being what it is, and am just learning how to get everything wrong and what a wry sense of humour Murphy has. I did some anthropology after getting to be a field geologist, under a delightful and  exquisitely-credentialed elderly lady, and so have been studying the fascinating new religion – in which I am some kind of marginal cleric – namely “Science,” for forty odd years also.  I have now had the luxury of five years to assess the climate science data, with no boss other than myself to pester. So, I read everything I could find.


Being an unrepentant member of the radical green left, an active prospector and an ex- and unrepentant director of FOE, I am now perhaps the most awkward person in the climate debate – anathema to the carbonists and a leper to the sceptics. I live in rural splendour on our organic subsistence farm and a fleet of old exploration caravans, best friend, after Denise, a donkey called Wills, who is much amused at the climate fuss, as are all the ant and bird people here. I am as green as ever, but just more than a little uneasy about the environmental movement being hijacked by the carbonists, who have all the answers and denigrate those who do not with extraordinary ferocity. The extremists call for jail terms for sceptics. And equally uneasy about the radical right monopolizing, and exciting to violence from the other side. The extremists call for jail terms for  carbonists.


I have been patiently (huh!, ask Denise about the steam coming periodically from the ears) explaining, as friends drift away, just as you have found, that the heat that is changing the surface planetary temperatures, starting with the oceans, is coming from the core-mantle boundary, either as the result of, or as the cause of, the shifts in the z or vertical component of the geomagnetic field at that depth. There is the Holy Grail, very simple, found purely by chance, no great privation in the Namib Desert required (been there, done that, quite useless) but unfortunately invisible, even in broad daylight, to those who are not blessed with contour map vision, preferably with both first and second derivative insight also. They used to hand it out in the Boy Scouts, at least in the basic form, but now, it is very rare.     


The maps of where the surface temperature is changing most and most consistently – Eastern Siberia north of Lake Baikal, the Antarctic Peninsula, the coast of Angola, and the region around the Caspian Sea, and the north magnetic pole – all match, to near perfection, the now extremely well-plotted shifts in the secular shifts in radial, or z or vertical, component of the magnetic field at the core-mantle boundary – 3,000 kms directly below your left foot.  The surface warming regions never match, ever, the regions of high mid-troposphere CO2, and just for added fun, those never, ever, match where we generate CO2 in our industrial cities either, unless you fake the data. And just in case you want confirmation, the seismic velocity anomaly maps of the lower mantle match the first two sets very neatly. Keep in mind, seismic velocity anomalies track heat (sort of), not magnetic field shifts. So, the confirmation is independent, and all from Royal Society p-r papers, long there for all to read.


Once the basics of the carbonist case unravels, it all unravels. Some years back, I started with the Vostok core, noticed the mainly negative slope between peak CO2 and peak temperatures (it is not simply 800 years, it swings out to 3,000 and is, at occasional times the other way, unless we have stratigraphic core loss, which is highly likely). Then  applied some of the basic tenet of core-logging (extreme scepticism about the writing of vast historical novels based on small pieces of inscrutable drillcore) and the physics of ice in continental glaciers – always moving – and of ice cores coming to surface un-pressurized. Coming up, from the phase diagram of CO2, the deepest cores go through two phase shifts, probably explosively, so Petit et al are slightly in dreamworld, I think, in thinking we can possibly know the nueric value of ancient CO2 peaks.


And, some 50 million centrifugal pumps are doing sterling work lowering water tables , with a very neat match in the volumes, after isostatic rebound is allowed roughly of the order of 1,000 cubic kilometres per year. That pretty much explains the enigmatic rise in sea levels – I did once work in eustatics, once had an irrigation business, and have run centrifugal pumps on my subsistence farm for decades now. Etc., etc. I have a 500-page book on all that, with lots of pretty maps and graphs. Never read, far as I know, by anyone.


But, surprise, surprise, Nobody on both sides of this fraught debate, or the public, or the science establishment, or the publishing world, wants to know even the one-liner. Which is where what would otherwise be depressing, in fact all gets interesting, from the anthropology point of view.


Deduction: The science establishment promotes stories, just as you do, but is not quite so honest about it. The editor of the Royal Society’s journal, for instance,  found she could not, in a blue fit, pass on my email explaining, to Paul Nurse, the president of her own society, whose grasp of geophysics is not exactly up to speed. As one of the spin-offs of seeing that the heat is from below is being able to see the heat build-up before earthquakes, on the NOAA sea surface temperature maps and it works – I have got about seven in advance now (though with a lot of false positives), and Geonet in NZ said ta and is on the lookout for the patterns, and NASA also said ta, – , one might have thought the Royal Society for the Advancement of Knowledge would at least have been prepared to read the essay and attached maps.


Hansen at GISS said all enquiries re the AQUA satellite data were to go to him, then declined to answer the awkward questions, as to why he disappeared all the AQUA satellite CO2 maps, without any explanation. Briffa and Jones of EAU do not reply. The “Nature trick” email was significant, because Briffa’s Yamil hockey stick, refuted by the Russians who did the original fieldwork – they published a dead flat one from the same data – is the only graphical support in the literature for the Mann hockey stick, a point all commentators have missed. Since time-series contour maps, even though they contain two orders of magnitude more data than a line graph, are not in favour in this debate, faking the Yamil graph with the spliced on blade, was in fact scientifically serious distortion.   


CSIRO likewise does not reply coherently. Flannery keeps mum. Monckton for the blue team thought the 50 million centrifugal pumps story, see below, was the only new thing in the debate in a decade – nice of him to say so – but did not like me suggesting he stop railing about it all being a commie plot, if he was coming to Oz, and so changed to hinting it may be a Nazi one. And then he quite forgot to ask his geophysicist friend to check the basics of what I had sent.


Geomagnetics? That some version of geomancy? The ABC is stone deaf, at about six different programs, the BBC ditto, and the eyes glaze over, on commercial radio, at about the second sentence, if not the second part of the first word. They have to carefully explain to listeners what a magnet is, as they do not use them in Footy. And in science the truth is, very few scientists are game to say, “I do not even know the units used, in the field you are talking about or which end of a proton precession magnetometer goes in your ear.” We are very pompous shamans.


Power, to contradict that bizarre man Chairman Mao rather emphatically, is largely about the ownership of the currently fashionable stories, and nowhere more so than in science. Scientists depend for a living on telling simplistic stories, reality being far too complex for all us rainforest monkeys, even the smartest Ph.D.s. Infinite number of variable, one arrow of time, link any three and you have a fine PhD. Or, an infinite possible series of them. We in science have no magic formula for finding the truth, we just sell fairy stories. First to ourselves, then to friendly journos, then to taxi drivers.


If you come from a successful and long-undisturbed culture like Australia, one inevitably ends up with a low skill-level in questioning the establishment and its stories. I had the curious privilege of growing up under a system most of us hated, to wit apartheid, so deep scepticism was endemic and rather popular. Also, we had many local cultures loathing the system from several inspired angles. Everything the political establishment told us was suss, so, slowly, we learned to be sceptical of our own culture also; that in my case being the tattered remnants of British imperialism. And, of determinist science.


I have had a go at trying to persuade all sorts of folk to simply look at the satellite temperature anomaly and geomagnetic anomaly maps with the brain in gear. They are free on the Internet. If you can read a contour map and are able to compare two, it is not difficult to see that carbonism is utterly untenable. 


It may be worth keeping in mind that the interested reading public (the one that ever needs to be educated by the informed establishment) was sold on evolution for decades before the establishment stopped backing the legend of the homicidal sky fairy they called God being in charge of geology and species design on the basis of personal itches and insane rages. Buck House debated evolution in 1844, at a garden party given by H. M., around Chambers’ Vestiges of Creation . Read Wells (1812), Matthew (1831) for even earlier stuff, and the reviews of the day on those. And read Darwin himself in the third edition of the Origin, where he very honestly listed 33 prior claimants to evolution, several of them invoking natural selection. But the Darwin industry wound itself to fever pitch again, recently, with the same old silly mantra as to his precedence.


The fashion parade in kindergarten science marches on. Arrhenius, on no sane grounds whatever, discounted the heat from below – read the 1898 original – the evasion is pathetic – it is that heat going below during the day will be lost during the night. An indoor chemist, he obviously never saw basalt lava. The temperature at the cmb is about 4,000 degrees C. Liquid metal, maybe nickel iron, maybe ultra-high-pressure silicates acting as metals, flows erratically down there and generates vast electrical currents and vast heat flows. Those flows can be and have been mapped. Basalt, as you will know, needs to be at 900 degrees C, minimum, to get to the surface as lava. The planet wobbles, as you noted, and so the temperatures deep down fluctuate hugely on decadal and centennial and every other scale, as the geomagnetic field forever wobbles towards and away from the occasional full flip. The temperature in space is just a little colder than that in the emantle. So, who said the crust is a perfect insulator? Same bloke as said continental glacial ice is a perfect leak-proof trap for CO2, over three-quarters of a million years, maybe? We are petrified that the climate has shifted a few degrees in a century? Given how it is down below, does that sound remotely sane?


The obsession with carbon driving the ice ages and the present shifts is, it seems to me, simply a function of the consensus-majority of the climate community never having done Geology 101. Or, with the few who did, not being game to speak up. My best mate at uni, now head of an august department never mind where, one day said Pete, you may be right, but we are in the very competitive business of getting funding, so I cannot possibly say so publicly. I said, the consensus of the privileged is not always quite the same as the consensus of the informed. We had a good chuckle.


Your taxi driver is not a field anthropologist you want to dismiss too lightly. The science establishment has to toe the going line, as above. But the thousands of folk the taxi driver talks to have to decide whether to go look for work in Mackay, plant potatoes this year, invest in an inner city unit or a farm or gold, or have another kid. They – we – have no real insurance – the compulsory pension funds having been invested in fairy floss – other than observing reality, as best we can. We do not get to faraway cocktail parties to either back or oppose fashion statements. And so, the collective wisdom of a couple of billion ordinary observers is a little more trustworthy, often, that that of the paid priestly establishment. Lots of geos, by the way, are really just cabbies in disguise, as the field used to be popular, too many of us were trained and got tickets, and there is not often enough work to go around. As we get older, we get tired of the heavy labouring standbys. Then we yap away and bore the other cabbies to tears, but it does get into the brain. Also, when billions of people look at an argument, and say that, well, if it was in my field, I would not buy it, so I am sceptical, just maybe, collectively, they are not as stupid as the media and the paid priesthood assumes. It does not matter if the folk wash hospital sheets or sell mortgages or fix diesel motors or raise cows for a living, a lot of people are into complex logic, just to survive. Not all sell stories with salaries or grants attached.


So, I do not wish to disturb your religious beliefs, but if you would like to contribute something new to this debate, have a read of Why Carbon is Innocent or at least skim the pretty pictures, and then, if so inclined,  get back. You could cause quite a stir, rather than simply running the old mantras, sprinkled with well-adjectives about heroic scientists. When I was a kid, I was also brought up on the culture of heroic expeditioning, hence the field geology, the truck expeditions, the hitching here and there, the kayaking, etc. Then, though, the mythology was about Johnny-come-lately geographic and cultural exploration. We did not see ourselves as angst marketeers.


I do not claim my case re climate is correct, it would be quite bizarre if I had something so complex all correct, or perhaps even partly so. Geologists have been at this ice age problem for 200 years, in the present run, and since Outzi,  in reality. But what is disturbing is this. From both sides, everybody goes to ground, claiming that all sorts of experts, over there somewhere, none of whom know very much, if anything, about mantle geophysics, geomagnetics, remote sensing data, geochemistry, physical oceanography or the vagaries of priestly cultures, knows perfectly well what is driving climate change. Since no-one on this planet is up to speed in those fields – least of all me – one would expect some doubts to be expressed by the devotees of carbonism.


But. Not one human has ever got back with detailed questions, except for one string of queries, that wanted to know who was paying me (no-one), and what I had published in the anonymously-censored-by-the-in-group, profit–and-copyright-for-large-corporations peer review system. The answer to the second  is also zero, as I publish in ordinary English, on the net, in the public domain.  I may still own www.publicdomain.com, but it is defunct as no-one a decade back chose to contribute. Google and the surname will find some of the other climate change wreckage, among all the antiwar stuff. 


The big hole in the carbon-sceptics case has been the lack of an alternative model with real data to back it, but they are obsessed with external solar changes. So they also flatly refuse to look at the vast body of hard geophysics data, against  the satellite temperature data, and their really ever-so-simple and clear maps. No-one will look at the AQUA satellite AIRS CO2 anomaly maps (280 of them) with the brain in gear and some memory of where our industrial cities are located, either. Those cities are not actually in the western Sahara, where the deep sedimentary basins naturally put out huge volumes of CO2 annually. You can fit a lot of blue-green bacteria etc,. in the cool and delightful environs of the biggest sandpile on the planet,  just a couple of metres below the solar-heated roof. The CO2 comes from there, and from warming and de-pressurizing (upwelling) seawater. Or, so say those heretical satellite maps. Not a lot of big factories where the Humboldt and Benguela currents surface, either.  


Real concerns? We are a species overrunning its resource base on many fronts, not least the metals sector. Peak copper? Peak zinc? Peak iron? Peak lithium? Peak iridium? Peak aluminium? Peak phosphorus? Only the last has surfaced so far. We have mined out, in 200 years, all the high-grade metals it took 4 billion to accumulate, so there is no way back to the Bronze Age. All the high-grade ore is gone, so we are locked into gigantism, as surely as the dinosaur was. How do I cope with the depression? Easy – species, as species, never survive, but we live now and life overall goes on. Specieism is like nationalism. Virginity is curable, but those two are brain diseases. Me, I am cheering for the ant and mosquito people, who are much better at prospecting and mining than we are and have lesser metals footprints. Meanwhile, fly with a clear conscience. We have coal for 20,000 years, believe me, checking that that is part of my professional game. South African Airways, though you may know, is already flying on avgas from SASOL coal. There is enough of the black muck to get rid of this poisonous oxygen atmosphere and get back our long-lost methane one. I cannot say anything coherent about oil, or non-coal seam gas, not my field.  


There is no such thing as free insurance, so the precautionary principle being invoked by carbonists may yet sink us as a species. The numbers of individuals of any species – plant, bacterium or animal, are a direct function of the cost of energy to the individual. So, push up energy costs rapidly and numbers go down. With humans, that usually means war. So, we are playing with fire.


Me, I have made my own solar shower out of scrap and have made and sold one electric bike at a very fine profit, and grow enough food – just – to get by. So if it all goes pear-shaped and the supermarkets stop supplying food, I will be perfectly all right – for the two days it will take the urban hungry to remember our orchards. My Dad was a heavy machine-gunner in the Western Desert and an Uncle ran a heavy battery on the Somme, but I  am simply too lazy for all that so we will not be able to explain properly, why hungry folk should go away empty-handed. Not entirely academic as two years back, my father-in-law got himself murdered by the irate citizenry, when in hospital and almost on his death bed, back in the good ole RSA. I think every member of Denise’s family has been attacked at least once, by folk feeling understandably a bit aggrieved about the resource distribution system in general.  So here, we do not now explain it all with any vigour to the channel-billed cuckoos, ten other bird species, the water dragons and the fruit bats, so we now get few mulberries, where we used to freeze huge crops. We are in training. 


We cannot collectively change what is happening at the cmb, and we best know it. Half of humanity, in the mouse traps called cities, is a very high-risk strategy – Stalin sent townies out to a few kulacks, and even that did not work overly well. And if you now look closely, you will see that exactly where the uproar is in N. Africa and the Middle East is where the ground temperature is up, crops have been failing, and where, deep below, the magnetic anomalies at the cmb are changing most. Allah Akbar? I would have merely said he was on leave or  mischievous. We cannot change cmb magnetic shifts – the devil down there is just that little bit beyond our reach and is laughing at our hubris. We best know it, so we can attend to food security and stop jet-jumping to meaningless feel-bad conferences, in exotic locations.


Get back, if so minded. If you come to think I may have the odd thing right, it  could give you a very different journalistic career – and a lot of flak to catch.

I have pretty much run out of interest in the topic, so I am not fussed either way. I do value your concern, but.


Best, either which way,


Peter Ravenscroft.

How’s them apples Comrades?

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