05. February 2021
Speech is a form of action, where an action is something that a person does, something that she causes to come about. What I will call a social action is an action that affects others. Some of the things that we bring about do not affect others at all, so not all action is social action. If speech included talking to oneself or talking in the presence of others in such a way that nothing coherent is conveyed or communicated, then that is not social action, nor is talk which is mundane and not...
06. January 2021
This is a discussion of the contents of a letter published by the leaders of the three principal Australian churches, which argues that the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 is morally compromised because the research that produced the vaccine used cloned stem cells from an aborted foetus. I refute the argument.
29. February 2020
This post was prompted by an attempt by Scott Morrison to justify the export of Australian coal, in the face of criticisms to the effect that it contributed to climate change.
26. January 2020
The first of the skeptical viewpoints mentioned in the Prelude denied that there was such a thing as climate change – I referred to this as NCS. I said that this was not on the face of it, a defensible position, which suggests that we should perhaps just dismiss it straight away and move on to address less implausible views. However, it is worth seeing what someone who adopts NCS is committed to and how her position could be defended. What she is committed to depends on precisely that she is...
01. January 2020
Discussions of climate change distinguish climate from weather, usually early on, and usually without much analysis. Thus weather is what we are aware of locally, day to day, what we experience: hot wet, cold dry, sunny cloudy, windy calm, frost snow ice, and so on. Weather is tangible and perceptible, but climate is not, not directly at any rate. Climate, or the climate, is what the weather is like on the whole, or in general. Since the weather changes with the seasons, unless one lives on the...
20. December 2019
12. December 2019
This post is intended to give a simple, non-technical explanation of the greenhouse effect. The next post will examine some of the technical details.
07. December 2019
Preliminary classification of types of climate skeptics
30. July 2016
On August 6 1945 over 10,000 people were killed in less that a second in the city of Hiroshima in Japan. Many were vaporised, literally obliterated from the face of the Earth with no trace of them left, by the ‘heat pulse’ of an atomic bomb dubbed Little Boy. Nuclear weapons give out heat radiation when detonated which travels at the speed of light, which is why people died so quickly. But this is only the first of three ways in which nuclear weapons kill. Those who were far enough away...
09. December 2015
I have not blogged since the change of Prime Minister in this country, because I have not felt the same degree of anger, frustration and disgust since Abbott left office. Indeed, Turnbull’s positive approach is most welcome after the fear-mongering of his predecessor; and no one likes a whinger! But now Abbott is to the fore again - demonstrating by his remarks about Western culture and values that among the many things he is not we should include being an historian – and has said he will...