Saturday, November 29, 2008

Got my shop on Second Life

As I blogged earlier, I believe SECOND LIFE ( offers possibilities to model ideas of sustainability, both as 3D worlds showing sustainable technology, like the Island of Etopia, and to try out the social side of sustainable living in communities, like the Island of Perfect Paradise.
Second life maybe a good platform to spread ideas about sustainable living, and I have set up a bookstall to sell my books and to download extracts from the book as "Newsletters from the future"-The (in) times.

Visitors to the stall can click and come straight to the website to learn more about the book, or download the newsletters for free.

If you have not yet seen my book visit here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I was in line with Keynes!

I am flabbergasted to know that my Imagestreamed suggestion for handling a controlled reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, the set up of an international environmental fund (EMF, based on IMF) was very much like the original proposal from Keynes back in 1944 for a world stabilization fund.

Unfortunately, his ideas were not accepted and the IMF and World Bank were set up instead.

My idea was to tax countries who overshoot emissions targets. His idea was to charge interest on the amount the country was in trade imbalance.

The principle of countries' being taxed on target overshoots is a good one, and could be used for trade balance and carbon dioxide emissions.

It just goes to show the power of imagestreaming, this was an area I was completely green in!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Karl Popper and Climate Science

(Thanks to Greenfyre's - I borrowed an idea or two)

Karl Popper’s thinking was that scientists should work hard to disprove theories. If they don't succeed then it is a working theory until disproved. It’s more rigorous that way.
An analogy might be comparing if you have 2 reports of an elephant. In one case it is a small group of reliable witnesses who swear they saw an elephant in the back garden.

Topo Gigo? Is that you?
In the second case you have thousands of unrelated people who variously have photographs, videos, sound recordings, foot casts, thermal imaging, dentition samples, x-rays, ultrasound images, radar and sonar images, samples of DNA , tissue, hair, saliva, stools etc. Further, all of of these data samples had been analysed multiple ways, all yielding the same result.
Then along comes someone with a handful of pictures of a mouse and claims that it proves there was no elephant in the garden. How likely is it that this evidence will prove conclusive in the first example? in the second? Possible of course, but not very likely.
Trying to prove something always courts discusssion.
The comparison with law is however misleading as in common terms we say ”it was proven he was guilty”. Scientists, to use the law analogy, are expert witnesses. Not prosecutors. Not judges or juries. For law to work you HAVE to make a judgement over causality in order for there to be consequences on negative actions. In the same way HAVE to act is incumbent on governments (ultimately all individuals) who by law represent the stewards of national resources.

Anyway, that's why scientists are sceptics and the media can rightly claim " most scientists sceptical to climate change".

In the case of climate change, take the theory "you can spew out as much CO2 as you like, it will not make a blind bit of difference to the climate system."

There is LITTLE evidence to support such theories. For example.... where has all the extra CO2 in the atmosphere come from? And there is no evidence to show it is all absorbed. On the contrary, experiments to DISPROVE the relation between increased CO2 and increased warming have not been able to rule out a greenhouse effect.

The next theory... Global warming is NOT a life threatening phenomena. Again, attempts to disprove this have not succeeded.

So ... and check the wording here as the double negative throws a lot of people ... it has not been disproved that man-made emissions can threaten life on Earth. We cannot disprove the theory that levels of CO2 over 350ppm create imbalances in climate system.

Now. How are the stewards of our environment - the people we elect - going to act on that? Because we are talking major risk.

Version 1. The voice of sense. Our government, acting on scientific evidence, is working to limit emissions as they may threaten existence.

Version 2. The voice of "science interpreted for ends". Although it has not been shown emissions are completely safe, we are going to continue until the negative consequences force us to react.

Back to your law comparison. That would be like the court, unable to convict the baddies, (no-one could really PROVE it was them!!!) would let them rule the city until people got so fed up with it, or it got so bad the community went under.

That is what we are looking at. It is going to get real bad before anyone does anything.
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