Daily Archives: February 24, 2017

The dirty secret of clean energy


A status report for global warming. Much depends on the trend.

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: The degree of global warming during the next few years might have large political effects, as the public policy debate appears to be at a critical point in its 29th year (from Hansen’s Senate testimony). Will the pause resume, or will we get rapid warming? Close examination of the monthly data will give us clues about this important question.

Global Warming

How can we see the short-term temperature trend?

There is no one true way to show trends in global temperature. Here are three different perspectives; all give roughly similar results. First, let’s look at a graph by NOAA of the global average surface temperature (their excellent interactive website shows data since the reliable instrument era began in 1880). The time period selected depends on what we are looking for. The following graph shows January’s. It minimizes the overall warming trend, which is concentrated in the months of May, June, &…

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Rules of Warfare in Pre-Modern Societies

Notes On Liberty

As my first foray into NOL blogging, I figured I would bring up a recent debate I had liberty, war, and peace that lingered in my mind: how have rules of war been maintained throughout history without a central enforcing agency? This question is fundamental to the understanding of the nation-state in IR theory, and is also an astonishing example of spontaneous order in an anarchic and chaotic scenario.

The quandary exists because even the laudable negative rights of life, liberty, and property ownership are, as Eric Mack discusses in his essay on Just War Theory, require a positive enforcement by others. Similarly, “rules of war”–such as refraining from attacking non-regulars, not attacking neutral parties, abiding by the terms of treaties, treating prisoners of war with respect, etc.–are, theoretically, difficult to establish. This is because if Party A respects these rules, they provide a perverse incentive to Party B to…

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20 @EtuUnion parking wardens lost jobs b/c @LivingWageNZ @JordNZ

Source: THE LIVING WAGE in the People-Centred, Smart Capital of Aotearoa/New Zealand Addressing inequality starting with Wellington City Council This report was prepared for Living Wage Wellington with the assistance of Prue Hyman, formerly Associate Professor of Economics and Gender and Women’s Studies at Victoria University of Wellington at https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlivingwage/pages/129/attachments/original/1434872254/Living_Wage_Wellington_CC.pdf?1434872254

Inconvenient report by @LivingWageNZ now broken link @TaxpayersUnion @JordNZ

The report was my source for the Wellington Parking wardens not being rehired after their jobs were upgraded to a living wage job. The jobs were taken in house as a legal subterfuge to get around the inability to pay them the living wage when they are employed by Parkwise, a council contractor. The Local Government Act requires value for money to be secured if you pay more for a service.

Source: The campaign to become New Zealand’s first Living Wage council Living Wage Wellington’s journey with Wellington City Council — review of the first three years. Lyndy McIntyre Community organiser, Living Wage Movement Aotearoa NZ January 2016 no longer available at https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlivingwage/pages/89/attachments/original/1456712781/Living_Wage_update_2016_FCSPRU_2.16.pdf?1456712781 via

Denmark enforces blasphemy law; charges man with burning Qur’an

Why Evolution Is True

The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) reports that a man in Denmark has been charged with violating the blasphemy laws by burning a Qur’an.  It’s the first time Denmark’s blasphemy law has been invoked in 46 years.

Denmark is reactivating it’s [sic] ‘blasphemy’ law, for the first time in 46 years, charging a man for posting a video of himself burning a copy of the Quran.

The accused (aged 42) posted the video clip entitled “Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns” to a Facebook group called “YES TO FREEDOM – NO TO ISLAM” (“JA TIL FRIHED – NEJ TIL ISLAM“) in December 2015.

A spokesperson from the public prosecutor’s office in Viborg said: “It is the prosecution’s view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can in some cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause, which covers public scorn…

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