Anything from the extensive menu!!!!
Which China owns the rights to the historical narrative BB? There’s (at least) two Chinas. But, I digress...
Xi’s (CCP’s) China is reviving Confucianism as a proxy for a resurgent nationalism. They’re playing hardball realpolitik, taking all actions (economic, diplomatic, cultural and paramilitary) up to the point of armed conflict to achieve their goals. Look at NZ this week. It’s not benign, it’s not for the “common good”, and it’s not based on some mystic altruism. It’s all Sun Tzu, right?
From someone who’s been reading these forums for a long time and who has a lot of respect and affinity for your perspectives, you appear to have lost the plot blindboy. For starters, how can you seriously reconcile your views on CCP treatment of Muslims, other minorities and even their own people, with your values and oft-stated positions on human rights?
China throwing another infantile tantrum.
“Past the point of peak globalisation “
And just as importantly for us, it's argued that Australia has passed "peak China".
After getting heavily worked up for two years over Russian interference in US politics, Blindboy is going to lose his shit over this !
What's Sam gone & done now!
They stole my identity! Get me outta here!
Maybe I'm a little late to the news cycle, but has banning of Australian coal in Dalian ports been mentioned yet?
Makes a mockery of the FTA, their heads must be exploding at DFAT.
Other things that have happened: Julie B announced not going to stand in electorate at next election (Glorious Foundation no more?)
If Trump did that the world would lose its mind.
China does it and we’re victim shaming.
vj the coal thing is most probably just a reminder that we are economically vulnerable to relatively minor changes in their policy. Still anything that focuses our attention on our reliance on coal exports is probably a good thing because they are going to decline due to climate concerns and that could happen quite quickly. In terms of the bullying factor it's nothing the US doesn't do also. Ask NZ about their steel exports. We don't cop that because we are good little allies and do EXACTLY what we're told, not like those uppity kiwis, thinking they can run their own country.
Every time China reveals its evil intentions Blindboy splutters something about the USA.
Every fucking time.
Coal = bad
USA = bad
China = look over there at that distraction/ strawman !
There’s some puzzling PR work on China’s evil strategies going down at BB’s place......why ?
I do agree we are vulnerable having hitched the cart to 'resources-to-China' (and then after GFC selling our nation's RE and citizenship to overseas interests).
There is not a small amount of allegory with the 1930's - that time it was 'The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere', resources from the south, value-adding in Japan. Or that was the dream. I believe the WA successionist movement was partly funded by the Empire of Japan in this time.
One response to the 20's and the 30's was the desire, postwar, to establish a diverse well-rounded Australian economy not so susceptible to busts in commodity prices. (The stories I got from my cane farming grandmother really showed how desperate it got in the 1930s. None of us have had to dine on Lard on Bread for dinner, not even us that came of age in the 90's recession!). This diverse economy saw protected manufacturing, expanded agriculture (think Murray-Darling, Kangaroo Island, the NE WA wheatbelt) and as iron ore came online in the 1960s, Australia was equal most wealthy country in the world, per capita. The young adults of the Great Depression had become policymakers, and guided the country to wealth. Defence-wise we were within the US umbrella after their victory in the Pacific. This led to disastrous adventures, however.
The generation that grew up postwar did not know the sheer poverty of the time before, so as adults and policymakers, have dismantled the support for a diverse economy in Australia. We've lost our flagship manufacturing industry. Pet political projects are destroying the agriculture built up previously (eg water allocations). FTAs are signed and go only one way, and as we have seen this week, it seems the other side can change the rules whenever they want to. And we've replaced the diverse Australian economy with a housing bubble for the ages, which denies younger Australians the opportunity to have a domicile within the historical 1.5 to 3 times average yearly earnings pricing. If the younger Australians want to be a mechanical engineer - stiff shit, that industry's gone. Good job, post-war generation!
Australia's cheap energy advantage, that allowed us to value add, has been flipped on its head. We now have the most expensive electricity in the world. All the while, new coal fired power plants get built in China, on a scale that dwarfs any Australian reduction.
Go to nullschool, select 'Earth', select 'Chem' and then either 'CO' or 'CO2' - you will see exactly where the emissions are.
Fair comment vj but it is hard to argue to countries like China that they should reduce their emissions when our wealth has been built on high emissions and they are still roughly 3 times their per capita emissions. Then we have our idiot politicians like Abbott, signalling to China and others that we are not serious about reducing our emissions. Australia has played the globalisation game and has both benefitted and suffered from it. If you want a manufacturing industry then you are probably going to need tariffs to make it work and the WTO would have something to say about that. Yeh you can tell them to fuck off but since we go to their courts quite often and have won concessions from other countries in them, including China, do you think they are going to give special concessions to a high emitting seriously wealthy developed nation? Nah neither do I.
Tend to agree BB, Australia's wealth has been built that way. If you look at what's coming (reducing cost and exponential take-up of solar/battery) we can still manufacture and do it green. Hopefully with green materials - that gets me going!
For example I was just carving up jigs and my spinning tools were 100% pure sunlight powered :)
With the WTO and tariffs, most other countries have them in some form or another. If you look at US, it's direct; if you look at Germany it's hiding behind the Euro effectively giving a 30% currency devaluation; if you look at China or Japan there's stuff you just aren't allowed to import. Classic one was Thailand, 2 weeks after signing FTA with Australia, put near 100% duty on any motor over 2.7L, thereby denying our produce access to their market. Everyone with a car industry is protected. And I would much rather see us make cars than all the military construction being done (but we may need this) - again allegory of 1930s.
Blindboy = 100 percent apologist for China.
He just blamed Tony Abbott for China’s coal generated power policies.
No point reasoning with him.
Great posts , VJ. Always a fan of your insights. Wasted on Blindboy. He’ll cede to your pleasant and conciliatory tone whilst dodging direct questioning as surely as any politician. Confront him and he’ll reveal his true colours.
With globally unsurpassed pure volumes of emissions why shouldn’t China be held to account ? Tell me he’s not beating the developing country drum still , despite the obvious global expansionism of a dominant power ?
"Fair comment vj but it is hard to argue to countries like China that they should reduce their emissions when our wealth has been built on high emissions and they are still roughly 3 times their per capita emissions. "
I guess there comes a point where you are serious about climate change being caused by CO2, or you aren't. If the situation is as dire as stated, China pretty much has to stop all emissions, yesterday.
Anyway, if what I suspect is happening, it's far worse than global warming/climate change and we are all completely fucked. Just enjoy the increasingly erratic weather patterns. I postulate they are held in place by a rapidly declining magnetic field, and that the Mayans ended their calendar on the date they did for a reason. Also learn to grow veggies indoors.
10,000 years for a magnetic reversal could be a saving grace...
We're always going to be completely fucked at some stage VJ.
"And he paddles with desperation
For he is trapped inside.
The mountain lumbers onward
And the surfer must resign to paddle toward its peak"
"And in through the hollow of the eye socket
Borne on the fleeting wings of a photon
Come the visions of the living earth.
And as time flows across
the passage of a moment
The skull splits open
And the living sunshine chases out
the shadows of a million years"
Gentlemen, fascinating discussion.
VJ, the magnetic field reversal thingy has been imminent for a long time now and been discussed in various circles, and nobody really has a clue what would happen to life on earth. Adapt or die has been nature's motto since time began, sometimes you have to adapt faster than others.
But on other great scares that might make the China/US discussions moot, climate change effects of great significance are likely headed our way even if we pulled our heads out of our collective arses, Australia and the rest of the world. There is no them and us in that discussion.
The model western capitalist experiment is very much at its fag end. China's system of governance is unlikely to change in the short or medium term, western capitalism as we know it may not exist in 10 years. It is failing in nearly all endeavours, and with no model of governance to replace it.
So catastrophic natural disasters and a dysfunctional west, China may not have to defeat anything, they may be the last man standing.
On the other hand, major climatic effects may see China's system of governance topple over in short order. A billion and half starving people won't really be too worried about their alignment with the great leader's thoughts when getting their next meal is paramount.
Perhaps we should look at systems of government generally as being an overlay of apparent order over the top of 7 or so billion quite diverse individuals. I'm not sure that these 'systems of governance' are entirely sustainable, no matter what the model.
Just as an explanation there, I have read some disturbing things in recent weeks about how far along we are with climate change effects already built in, that is, from what has already been put into the atmosphere. If we stopped putting another ounce of carbon dioxide, methane etc into the atmosphere from tomorrow it is very likely that there will still be hell to pay.
20 years since this has become a live issue to the average punter, 50 - 70 years since science worked out it was an issue, we have moved not one jot towards a system of governance at a global level that will help stop the rot, and amazingly there are still people who want to argue the case about whether it's real or not.
We, the people of planet earth, are in deep doo-doo, and we're digging.
Carry on gents, sorry I can't drop by more often, I'm spending what little free time I have on more political sites these days, hoping to encourage some form of re-think.
Relevant article in The Age today about how Julie Bishop as foreign minister was constantly forthright in her pronouncements on Chinese actions in the South China Sea and the like. Given the near hysteria from the PM and relevant ministers over China's action on our coal this week she is already clearly missed. A bright star in a sea of darkness.
Scott Morrison - Why the fuck do you get out of bed each morning ?
Take a look at yourself. Think you represent Australia, you unelected clown.....get fucked.
Think the LNP is our government ? You wish cunt.
I would rather swallow razor blades than have you as our Prime Minister....stick your coalition in your arse.
Apart from that , it’s been a great day. Thanks Oma.
I liked Julia Gillard, but Shorten got rid of her, I thought she was straight up. I also like Morrison for the same reason. Could the Morrison haters please put up a numbered list of why you hate him. One line for each complaint. All I see is a guy dealing with stuff left to him to fix from many years ago and doing his best while avoiding national bankruptcy.
You realise the PM - whoever it may be - isn't a christ like figure?
A list of the Libs policy failures now and over the decades would be as voluminous as say, the book of revelations.
Actually, the list of ProMo's portfolio policy abominations alone is lengthy.
Let alone his prior work history. Do you even know who he is?
And I've just discovered Batfink's comment above. Great read.
Have a go at it.
Yeh I read it yesterday facto. Sometimes at the moment the climate change stuff is just too depressing to deal with. There is that terrible sensation that this is beyond our capacity. I have been thinking of it in more ecological terms lately to try and get a bit of perspective. It helps to think of humans as just another species subject to the same ecological forces as other species. Yes we have been very clever in manipulating the environment to create suitable conditions for an exponential growth on our population but other species can experience similar growth when the conditions are right and they are able to manipulate the environment to gain an advantage over other species. Many plants such as Casuarinas release chemicals to inhibit the germination and/or growth of other species and can create a monoculture in suitable conditions.
So having been clever we have absolutely failed to be wise and this comes back to the inherent tendency of our species to create ingroups and consider those who don't belong as "other". So through nationalism we have been able to act cooperatively at the level of the nation, but that same nationalism prevents us cooperating beyond coincidences of mutual benefit with other nations. Climate change, needing a global response, has therefore been completely beyond our capacity as a species. The ecological consequences for us are those that face any species which modifies its environment unfavourably ........ population crash with the risk of extinction. I cannot see humans becoming extinct anytime soon but unless something changes soon there will be an almighty population crash in the medium term, say 100 years. It is easier to think rationally about this if you try to forget that this involves an unprecedented degree of human misery through drought, famine, disease and war. Not sure how this could be avoided but if we pissed off the major religions and went back to nature worship it would be a start.
Stop the boats!
"So having been clever we have absolutely failed to be wise and this comes back to the inherent tendency of our species to create ingroups and consider those who don't belong as "other". So through nationalism we have been able to act cooperatively at the level of the nation, but that same nationalism prevents us cooperating beyond coincidences of mutual benefit with other nations. Climate change, needing a global response, has therefore been completely beyond our capacity as a species."
I'd agree there; it seems the only chance we've got is if each nation (or at least the larger players w.r.t. emissions) coincidentally decide reducing emissions is in their own interests. And by "nation" I guess I'm referring to those with power and influence within those nations. Seems like a long shot sadly, if its not already too late.
"Not sure how this could be avoided but if we pissed off the major religions and went back to nature worship it would be a start."
Could be right there too, BB. As a counterpoint, if those professing to follow an abrahamic religion remembered that they are called to be "stewards" of the natural world (ie that they are meant to protect and care for it), that might also be a start. Worshipping the natural world or revering it as a gift from god; you'd think either should motivate better care for it than we're currently managing.
Pops, for me the Abrahamic religions got it wrong on page 1 of Genesis when they claimed that God had given them dominion over Earth and everything on it. It would be nice to think that they put a broader spin on this and took it as a responsibility to care for the planet rather than exploit it, but history shows that this has not been the case. Add to that the slight problem that many sects of Christianity believe in a coming apocalypse and you have a recipe for environmental disaster. Our current PM belongs to one of those sects and apparently suffers auditory hallucinations to the effect that Jesus is talking to him. Me, I am off to consult the fairies at the bottom of the garden. I expect them to make considerable more sense than Morrison's version of Jesus.
I’m housebound for the day , but I’m pretty sure the currawong I just fed some grapes to reckons it’d be a good idea to have a beer with lunch.
Nature knows best.
"history shows that this has not been the case."
You're not wrong there BB.
"many sects of Christianity believe in a coming apocalypse" - that's a pretty orthodox view across all major denominations, so far as I can tell, with the disclaimer that "no one knows the day or the hour".
Most people who've made any study of physics would agree, in a sense - this world as we know it is going to end one day, be it from the expansion of the sun as it morphs into a red giant, or a flipping of the magnetic poles allowing "incompatible with life" levels of cosmic radiation to reach the surface of the earth, or some other way.
Changing the topic back to China - has anyone been following the He Jiankui gene-edited-babies story?
Its starting to seem plausible that plausible that his work was at least partially government funded.
Not sure you are correct about the views of the major denominations. They may have the view that it will occur but they certainly don't seem to believe that people should conduct themselves as if it was imminent. That is a huge point of difference in terms of attitudes to the environment. Didn't the Catholic Church publish an encyclical on climate change? In my experience it is the evangelicals who push the idea that this could happen in our own lifetime and that, of course, makes addressing climate change or any other environmental issue irrelevant. What physics tells us is that there is no reason to think the sun will do anything untoward in the next couple of billion years and that since life, including early human species, have survived numerous magnetic reversals, we probably shouldn't worry too much about that either.
On the gene hacked babies thing, it seemed inevitable that once the CRSPR technology was established it would be applied to humans. The only thing stopping attempts to genetically modify humans earlier, in my understanding, was that it was impossible to achieve consistent results with the previous technologies. The ethical guidelines preventing it were never going to stand up to the march of progress or whatever you want to call it.
China excused ......again.
Just picture, BB’s reaction if the Washington Post had revealed that Trump was genetically altering human babies. You reckon he’d be as accepting?
He’d shit his nappy.
Sorry BB, seems I didn't get my point acrosa r.e. "no-one knows the hour". Basically, the teaching is that the Christian doesn't know if the end of the world is imminent, or if it won't come for millennia, so must take both possibilities into account in their actions. In practice it calls for urgency in trying to bring others to faith (see my earlier definition of faith, and note that particularly for evangelistic denominations this is seen to be the ultimate fulfillment of loving one's neighbour), and it also calls for long-term effects of actions to be taken into account (see earlier comment re stewardship). Unfortunately that later point seems to be too easily forgotten.
Must say I'm not as well versed in Catholicism as I am reformed theology, but the current Pope having a technical background (trained chemical engineer) might mean he'd better understand (and take heed of) climate change than most clergy?
Re gene hacking, are you in favour of it? I've heard it compared to copying some code you don't understand off the internet, inserting it into your program, and hoping it does what you want it to without too fking anything else up (such is the current understanding of the human genome).
Blindboy is just in favour of China.
Like I said , if it’d been the USA he’d be protesting at their embassy.
But cause it’s China .....yawn , going to happen anyway.
More important to talk about Scomo !
Pops, CRSPR is amazing technology and will be of great benefit to humanity. It could be absolutely critical in the efforts to maintain food production as climate change intensifies and makes existing strains of basic crops less viable in their traditional ranges. It also has great potential to edit disease causing genes in human zygotes. At the moment yes there are real concerns about applying it to humans for the reason you state, that our knowledge of how the human genome works is still far from complete. With its central authoritarian government, China can simply ignore ethical concerns which would limit scientists in other countries. China, will be ruthless in its pursuit of its own interests on issues like this.
Oh and one other thing I think you are being evasive on the issue of the end times. No-one knows the hour is a phrase usually applied to knowledge of their own death. Given that there is not the slightest scientific evidence of a global cataclysm over any time scale relevant to humanity it is disingenuous to the point of being deliberately misleading to pretend otherwise. You might also like to look back over the long history of those claiming that the end is nigh ......... they have been doing it since they took Jesus down off the cross and they have always been wrong. It is a manipulative technique to generate fear and conformity ...... like all formal religion. The true religion arises whenever people look at their works with an open mind. It requires no churches, no priests, no dogma, no books and it is dies not divide it unifies. This is why formal religions cannot tolerate it. It is not a rival, it is their diametric opposite.
Not trying to be evasive BB, I'm just not very good with words. Let me know if I can elaborate on anything. I'm just trying to share my understanding of the Christian view on these things since there seems to be some interest (judging on the fact that you and some others are replying to these posts). Happy to let it slide if you're not interested.
By saying "no one knows the hour", I'm paraphrasing Matthew ch 24 vs 36-45 (attributed to be a direct quote of Jesus - so taken seriously by Christians), amongst other similar passages.
I hope that I haven't implied that there is any scientific rationale to believe in impending destruction - on naturalism there is none I know of on any timescale significant to our lives (despite the occasional sensationalist headlines). The closest would probably be the 150-200 year projection of the most pessimistic global warming models (with emissions unchecked and all positive feedback loops in overdrive), which is probably unlikely , and even then you'd not call the result an apocalypse by any means (terrible though it would be). Or the (vanishingly small) chance of a direct hit by an undetected asteroid
The point I've been trying to make is that the christian should NOT assume the end is nigh insofar as their caring for the planet goes, because they do not (and are taught cannot) know when it will be. A quick probability analysis would suggest you'd be better betting on the end being a very long way off. You're right that in practice that point does seem to be often missed.
Most Christians I know hold that it is possible for the world to end in their lifetime, but would be very surprised if it actually did so.
Apologies if this post doesn't make sense - my brain went to bed an hour ago. And apologies for this thread wandering off topic!
Oh and on CRSPR, the tech certainly does have huge upside, especially in fighting off world hunger as you say. But I'm very nervous about the effects of using it on systems (genomes) that aren't yet well understood. Do you know much about the history of psychology? Seems Chinese science could be primed to set off on a similar path as the US did in the first half of the 20th century (eg the prisoners experiment etc)?
All good Pops, always happy to reply to reasonable comments (....... and some unreasonable ones also!)
My basic point is that, as I am not religious and do not believe in any afterlife, my highest value is the survival of the human species. This is undermined by any belief in an afterlife, since that takes over as the highest value. It is then further undermined when religions preach a belief in Armageddon or any form of god driven ending to the planet. Even more disturbing is when people with these kind of beliefs hold high political office because, unless they are hypocrites, their decisions will be based on their beliefs and where these come into conflict with sound environmental or social policy, they will give those damaging beliefs precedence. One of the few positive things that can be said about Trump is that he is not in that category, but Reagan was and so is Morrison.
Inferring parallels between US and Chinese science is a stretch given the cultural differences. The collective good is given a priority in China, while individual rights and well being are more important in the US. So will China pursue research that is damaging to individuals? Absolutely if they think the results justify it. This gives them a huge advantage in what could be called applied human genetics!
Any wannabe geneticists out there want to tell me what is going on here. It doesn't make sense to me
Cheers BB. I've been enjoying this discussion, and I can certainly respect your position, even if I don't quite share it exactly.
"... unless they are hypocrites, their decisions will be based on their beliefs..." True, but for many (as I have argued above), their beliefs are not exactly how you seem to understand them. Believing that the imminent end of the world is possible is not the same as believing that it is likely. I'd argue that one's actions are more governed by what is likely than what is possible, as the majority of possibilities will never actualise.
I can't speak for Morrison, not knowing him, but if there is good reason to think he believed that the near-term end of the world was more likely than not, I'll be as concerned as you are!
"Inferring parallels between US and Chinese science is a stretch... So will China pursue research that is damaging to individuals? Absolutely if they think the results justify it." A lot of the most interesting work done in psychology was done under an "ends-justifies-the-means" ethos that wouldn't be possible to repeat in the Western world with modern ethics checks (the 60s and 70s was a pretty fertile time for this). A number of the experimentees ended up pretty messed up, but the field of psychology progressed rapidly - that's the parallel I'm trying to draw. It's not an identical scenario, but interesting nonetheless.
One of the more infamous experiments: https://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html
^^ That's really interesting, BB. Poor things are probably going to have a hard life, medically. Seems the girl's already had some problems. I think I understand it, but probably wouldn't be able to explain it any better than the article does. What part doesn't make sense to you?
Three gametes combine each with 23 chromosomes so a total of 69. Humans have 46 chromosomes so two must have 92. Where did the other 23 come from? I will try and find an explanation ....... but this isn't it unless I missed something.
2 sets provided by the mother, one by each of the two sperm that enter the egg? Seems similar to a case where a single egg splits in two and each portion is fertilised by a different sperm (in which case you have twins with identical genetic information from the mother, but the same information from the father). The difference being that the one egg is fertilized by two sperm prior to splitting.
No Pops, two sperm fertilised one egg, three gametes, 69 chromosomes! I'm onto it now. I'll post whatever I find.
From the UNSW press release:
"If one egg is fertilised by two sperm it results in three sets of chromosomes, one from the mother and two from the father, said Dr Gabbett. Three sets of chromosomes are typically incompatible with life and embryos do not usually survive."
^^ Please do. Physics and mathematics are my areas, not biology, but this is really interesting.
Seriously weird stuff. After the sperm enter the egg, it undergoes a form of cell division that results in a doubling of the chromosomes from each gametes so it now has 138 chromosomes in three nuclei each with 46. The cell divides in three and the cell containing only the father's genetic material dies. The other develop in the same way as normal identical twins. I hate it when scientists fudge their explanations which they did in all the press releases. The video here explains it properly.
The scientists doing the research seldom write the press releases - its normally a science communicator (most science faculties have at least one, often one or two per school) who may or may not be technically literate in the area themselves. The goal is to do the write up in such a way that mainstream media find the story interesting enough (and not too intimidating) to pick up, and so promote the school. Explaining the science properly can get in the way of that, so isn't always seen as being too important.
That video is good though, cheers.
Worth a read Pops.