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Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades

Alizée Sery has broken no Australian Law

I’m a red blooded bloke who appreciates the form of a good looking woman and if she can dance nicely then that is even better so I am rather surprised by the Hoo har about this young woman climbing to the top of a big red rock and strutting her stuff:

ULURUDE: French stripper Alizée Sery stripped on top of Uluru as a 'tribute' to Aborigines. Source: AdelaideNow

But the performance is likely to anger traditional owners who see Uluru as the most sacred place in Central Australia.

The strip show is also likely to infuriate Parks Australia, which is under intense pressure to ban people from climbing the rock.

Ms Sery had her performance photographed and videotaped.

Could it be that the same sort of people who get upset about this are those who trumpet so loudly the notion that this is a secular country where no one religion or faith should impose its dogma upon the people?

unselfconscious nakedness

Because it seems to me that this is an example of a time when those who are claiming religious offence and demanding that the lady in question should be deported, flogged,  denounced, or subject to the curse of the Kadichia man should just pull their heads in and accept that in a pluralist society we have to accept that what you  believe in is not due any special deference at all.

Alizée  Sery has broken no Australian Law here and while her little performance may be considered offensive or in bad taste by some Politically correct wowsers I can’t help thinking about how those same  people have derided the conservative wowsers who got upset about the nakedness of our indigenous people (before the coming of the white man).

Watch Hypocrisy begin to fly  thick and fast  about this form the Latte belt. But here is test for our new female PM to show the world if she is really as secular as  her sycophants believe or if she will bottle it and cave in to the animists from the indigenous industry .

Cheers Comrades


War is no longer up close and personal, is that a good or a bad thing?

In the long history of humanity and its many wars there has never been a time before when more civilians could expect to be spared the worst privations of war. Go back to the time of Julius Caesar and his invasion of Gaul if you were a “civilian” you had a 25% chance that you would either die or spend the rest of your life as a slave. All of your property would be forfeited or looted and if you raised a hand to the occupiers and  everyone in your village or your  family could end up being crucified.

I have been sadly  amused by the legalistic arguments mounted here and elsewhere by authors who think that in the light of modern technology that soldiers should be playing as if war is a pugilistic conflict and that those soldiers are obliged to follow “Rules of Engagement” even if doing so jeopardizes their lives or the lives of their comrades.

I have been thinking of this comparison quite simply because I have just finished watching HBO’s excellent seres “Rome” It is no sanitized and stagey piece like the rather good in its own way  “I Claudius”. Rome  is bloody and visceral with a real feel for the way that Romans lived,  struggled and died.

Recommended viewing Comrades


At what point do you admit that negotiations are futile?

AGW is one of my pet topics at this blog and I have often argued that even if the doom sayers are right about “the science” that they still have no answer to the insurmountable political hurdles that their prescription of CO2 reductions faces. I argue that there is just no way known that the efforts of humanity can be sufficiently focused and sustained for long enough at a global level to do what the alarmists insist that we must do to avoid the cataclysm that they so vehemently assure us is just around the corner.

Of course this is a kite that just won’t fly on planet Latte where our esteemed leader , Brother Number One has been insisting that it can be done to all and sundry. If his rhetoric is to be believed well then just getting up the ETS will save us all (do I hear a hallelujah?). We have had months of public discussion where the opposition have been constantly berated for refusing to give the government the carte blanche to impose a new tax on every aspect of our energy economy.The sad truth is that the opposition have not covered themselves with any glory on this issue either they have meekly gone with the thrust of the ETS scheme even though they have baulked at the details. All because they have lacked the cahones to actually oppose it because they know that it will do squat to alter the total amount of CO2 emissions generated in this country.
Now as the deadline for the Copenhagen conference beckons we find Brother Number One and Penny W(r)ong scrambling to lay the ground work for the expected failure of the negotiations

KEVIN Rudd has talked down prospects of international agreement at a crucial climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, amid fresh predictions the conference is doomed to failure.

The Prime Minister warned yesterday international agreement was “not nearly a done deal” and shifted his climate change pitch to domestic politics, attacking opposition disunity on the issue.

His attack came as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong also appeared pessimistic about Copenhagen but said Australia should still embrace an emissions trading system to set an example.

The comments came as an expert in international negotiations told The Weekend Australian there was no prospect of agreement in Copenhagen because differences between the positions of the US, the European Union, China and India were too great.

The only example that this country will set if an ETS gets up is of how to totally bugger up an economy in very short order, all for no actual planetary benefit. Remember that at something less than 2% of the planets  total emissions  no amount of pain here will make the slightest bit of difference globally#.

Now I am all for improvements in energy efficiency I hate the notion of wastefully using a finite resource when we can do it more cleanly and to that end I can appreciate  the benefits of improving the thermal efficiency of our homes, and making our transport do more with less. I even like the idea of using the sun to directly heat domestic hot water and lowering domestic energy consumption  but I think that Photo-voltaics are some what over rated by followers of the green religion. All of these improvements in the efficiency of our energy economy have  merit but there is still no way that all of these measures will constitute a filling of the doom sayers prescription for the planet, not if we want to maintain a decent standard of living it won’t.

Maybe the real bottom line for the alarmists is that they really want us all reduced to “living in a hole the road with nowt but a handful of cold gravel for our tea”

We should all be angry with all of our politicians , on both sides of the house  for not being at all pragmatic about what is politically possible , here on planet earth. Because both sides have missed the opportunity to side step entirely futile and empty gestures like an ETS scheme and to instead move straight to working out just how we can keep adapting to make the most of the climate of our blue world, just as our ancestors have since they first descended from the trees on the  African plains millennia ago.

Good government  is all about  the art of doing what is possible  with honesty and integrity but we are being offered hyperbole and spin on AGW from the government and the opposition are not doing much better. Hopefully when the Copenhagen talkfest fails we may see some sense but sadly I doubt it. So as I suggest in my title when are we going to see a politician admit that we can’t do it and that another approach is needed?

Ikke holde vejret Kammerater


# if we accept the  warminista argument

Greenpeace Recants

Read this post via the Blog surfer feature of WordPress and I thought that it is well worth promoting because the Greenpeace fellow is such a hoot as he squirms and then finally has to admit the error of their previous pronouncements on the Arctic Ice extent for this year.

Ice Capades: Greenpeace recants polar ice claim

4 mins ago by wattsupwiththat.

Well it is that time of year again, the Arctic ice begins to melt, as it does every year, and all sorts of crazy talk starts coming out. This time from Greenpeace. I am encouraged though, as they have come around to the idea that maybe they are doing more harm than good by overselling the alarmism.

NSIDC also has taken a more moderate tone, announcing that there will “likely be no record low ice extent in 2009“. This is a sharp contrast to last year’s ridiculous press statement from NSIDC’s Dr. Mark Serreze about an “ice free north pole”. Now that Greenpeace has come clean on their statement, maybe Dr. Serreze will finally admit his statement was “a mistake”. – Anthony

From Not Evil Just Wrong:

The outgoing leader of Greenpeace has admitted his organization’s recent claim that the Arctic Ice will disappear by 2030 was “a mistake.”

Greenpeace made the claim in a July 15 press release entitled “Urgent Action Needed As Arctic Ice Melts,” which said there will be an ice-free Arctic by 2030 because of global warming.

Anthony Watts

Cheers Comrades

Warministas; reinventing the past in their own image

I really wonder just how some of the nutty stuff that is written to support the Warminista liturgy gets past any sort of academic scrutiny. Because if this piece is to be believed ancient peoples were responsible for altering the climate as a consequence of slash and burn agriculture.

food gardens New Guinea

food gardens New Guinea (click to enlarge)

William Ruddiman, the paper’s lead author and emeritus professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, said the early farmers were likely to have cleared land by burning forests, planted crop seeds among the dead stumps and moved on to a new area once the yields declined.

‘They used more land for farming because they had little incentive to maximise yield from less land, and because there was plenty of forest to burn. They may have inadvertently altered the climate,’ he said.

Prof Ruddiman first published a hypothesis five years ago suggesting people began altering the global climate thousands of years ago, with human activity accounting for rises in carbon dioxide that began about 7,000 years ago.

His theory was criticised by scientists who believe the human impact on the climate began with the industrial revolution because earlier populations were too small to influence the level of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

But Prof Ruddiman today said that early farming methods, with around 10 times the amount of land per person than is used today, could have created an impact on the climate despite the small number of people in early civilisations.

He suggests it was only as populations grew larger that farming technologies improved to increase yields using less land.

His co-author Erle Ellis, of UMBC, said: ‘Many climate models assume that land use in the past was similar to land use today and that the great population explosion of the past 150 years has increased land use proportionally.

‘We are proposing that much smaller earlier populations used much more land per person and may have more greatly affected climate than current models reflect.’

The article was illustrated with an image of Forrest burning in Panama which is not at all appropriate to the thesis of this hypothesis, the picture I have included above is what they should have considered as the gardening practice in New Guinea gives us a far better window into ancient agriculture than any kind of  contemporary extractive forestry practice in central America ever would. Likewise if you want to see just how people could have used fire as a food gathering tool you need look no further that the Mosaic burning practices of our own indigenous people. The final nail in the coffin of this ridiculous theory is simply the way that  cool temperate forests are actually rather hard to burn and the notion that ancient peoples would be able to do so at will is just bonkers.

No, this whole cavort is an exercise in shaping history to fit the tropes of the Warminista faith, a sort of rearward projection of the theory that ‘evil’ humanity is responsible for its own impending doom so that it can be  that is “proved” by the fact that humanity has “form” for  altering the climate in ancient times. There is not a single shred of evidence to support this theory not even the basic assumption about ancient farming practices is supported by any credible evidence. The whole thing is misanthropic imaginings of the foetid minds of the Warminista congregation and it should be treated with the disdain that it deserves.

Cheers Comrades


Questions from another Ian

Admission time, I have yet to read Ian Plimer’s new book, but it is on my Christmas present list, None the less I am pleased to see that this tome is sending shock waves through the ranks of the faithful (blessed is the name of Al Gore) and their bitter denouncements says heaps about how much they fear their nakedness being highlighted.

Ian Plimers new book

Ian Plimer's new book

There has never been a climate change debate in Australia. Only dogma. To demonise element number six in the periodic table is amusing. Why not promethium? Carbon dioxide is an odourless, colourless, harmless natural gas. It is plant food. Without carbon, there would be no life on Earth.

The original source of atmospheric CO2 is volcanoes. The Earth’s early atmosphere had a thousand times the CO2 of today’s atmosphere. This CO2 was recycled through rocks, life and the oceans.

Through time, this CO2 has been sequestered into plants, coal, petroleum, minerals and carbonate rocks, resulting in a decrease in atmosphericCO2.

The atmosphere now contains 800billion tonnes of carbon as CO2. Soils and plants contain 2000 billion tonnes, oceans 39,000 billion tonnes and limestone 65,000,000 billion tonnes. The atmosphere contains only 0.001 per cent of the total carbon in the top few kilometres of the Earth.

Deeper in Earth, there are huge volumes of CO2 yet to be leaked into the atmosphere. So depleted is the atmosphere in CO2, that horticulturalists pump warm CO2 into glasshouses to accelerate plant growth.

The first 50 parts per million of CO2 operates as a powerful greenhouse gas. After that, CO2 has done its job, which is why there has been no runaway greenhouse in the past when CO2 was far higher.

During previous times of high CO2, there were climate cycles driven by galactic forces, the sun, Earth’s orbit, tides and random events such as volcanoes. These forces still operate. Why should such forces disappear just because we humans live on Earth?

Ian Plimer

So to the true believers (praise be to Tim Flannery!) who read this humble blog I challenge you to answer the questions put by Ian Plimer in this piece from the Australian. Hang on though there is just one small caveat, and that is conspiracy theories about the mining and oil industries will earn you an instant fail in this little test.
Cheers Comrades


“We can eliminate catastrophic climate change as the cause of the Neanderthals’ extinction,” he said.

A chilly climate as a longer-term cause for a gradual Neanderthal decline could not be ruled out, Mr Tzedakis cautioned.

He said, though, that the Neanderthals were clearly a rugged bunch as they had coped with previous climate shocks during the same glacial era.

If climate didn’t kill the Neanderthals, what – or who – did?

Two rival theories are out there.

One says that the Neanderthals were slaughtered by modern humans, who had the stone tools and the social smarts to wipe out their rivals for food and habitat.

Another says that Neanderthals and modern Man intermingled and even interbred. If so, the distinct Neanderthal lineage petered out but left an imprint in the human genome that probably survives in us today.*

The Australian

Many years ago I discovered the writing of Jean Auel and I delighted in the recreation of the life of humans at the end of the ice age when life was oh so much tougher than it is now. As the article I quote suggests there is something to be said for the theory that the Neanderthals interbreed with Homo sapiens there is even evidence (in the fossil record)that this was biologically possible.

I however do not see that both rival theories have to be mutually exclusive at all .The truth is that we will probably never know for sure, but it is interesting to speculate as you walk down the street if some of the people that you see may have in their genome DNA from this long vanished race of humans. I can think of a couple candidates who would be worth testing. Especially when they both show a distinct lack of puzzle solving ability.

Cheers Comrades


*my bold

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