Earth ChangesS

Brick Wall

Fundamentalist Politicians - ABC journalists should ignore Chair Newman's anti-science nonsense

The Australian Greens today urged ABC journalists to ignore the anti-science nonsense peddled by the Chair of their board and instead increase their strong coverage of climate change.

ABC Board Chair, Maurice Newman, today told senior ABC staff that climate change was an "emotional issue" and that journalists were too "intolerant" of climate sceptics.

"I trust that ABC journalists will not be cowed by the anti-science speech delivered by the Chair of their board," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

Comment: Well, this shows us exactly how our Green Party politicians think and what contempt they have for anybody who dares to violate their party/ religious line.

"How dare anybody suggest that people should have an open mind about climate change!! That is outrageous and anti-science. We can't have the sheeple thinking for themselves about climate change, (or anything else either) We are the experts and they really need to just take our expert opinions and accept them unthinkingly. Your job is just to pay for the programs we implement"


Australia - ABC chair criticises climate change coverage

© AAP: Jeremy PiperMaurice Newman thinks the ABC has been more balanced than others when it comes to climate change reporting
ABC chairman Maurice Newman has attacked the media for being too willing to accept the conventional wisdom on climate change.

In a speech to senior ABC staff on Wednesday morning, Mr Newman said climate change was an example of "group think".

He says contrary views on climate change have not been tolerated and those who express them have been labelled and mocked.

"It's really been the question of what is wisdom and consensus rather than listening perhaps to other points of view that may be sceptical," he said.

But he believes the ABC has been more balanced than other media organisations when it comes to reporting on climate change.

"I think that we've listened to the words of sceptics as well as those who are scientists in the field," he said.

"Climate change is at the moment an emotional issue.

Evil Rays

Australia - ABC Chairman says "Let them speak." Greens say "Nooooo."

Today the Chairman of "our ABC" (it's paid for by Australian taxpayers) said the unthinkable.

It's not that he said man-made global warming was a scam, and he didn't announce that carbon wasn't a pollutant; he just asked for journalists to listen to other points of view.
"At the ABC, I believe we must re-energise the spirit of enquiry. Be dynamic and challenging, to look for contrary points of view, to ensure that the maverick voice will not be silenced."
In a speech to senior ABC staff, he said that climate change was an example of "group-think", and that they should listen perhaps "to other points of view that may be sceptical."
Contrary views on climate change have not been tolerated and those who express them have been labelled and mocked.

I've been around long enough to know that consensus and conventional wisdom doesn't always serve you well and that unless you leave some room for an alternative point of view you are likely to go down a wrong track...


Former Apartheid Spy Appointed to Head UN Climate Change Effort

© Remigiusz Sikora/AFP/Getty ImagesMarthinus van Schalkwyk at the Poznan climate talks in 2008.
This week, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa's tourism minister, was nominated to head the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC). Van Schalkwyk is a former apartheid operative who bartered his way into the black majority government by helping it smear its democratic opposition. He is a statist bureaucrat who is one of the most unpopular political figures in the new South Africa. He is just right for the job.


Study Provides Better Understanding of How Mosquitoes Find a Host

© ARS Photo UnitMosquitoes can detect a very fine chemical structure difference in octenol, a compound emitted by mammals, according to new research by ARS scientists.
The potentially deadly yellow-fever-transmitting Aedes aegypti mosquito detects the specific chemical structure of a compound called octenol as one way to find a mammalian host for a blood meal, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report.

Scientists have long known that mosquitoes can detect octenol, but this most recent finding by ARS entomologists Joseph Dickens and Jonathan Bohbot explains in greater detail how Ae. aegypti -- and possibly other mosquito species -- accomplish this.

Dickens and Bohbot, at the ARS Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., have shown that Ae. aegypti taps into the "right-handed" and "left-handed" structural nature of octenol, which is emitted by people, cattle and other mammals. This ability to detect the "handedness" of molecules has been shown in mammals, but the discovery is the first case of scientists finding out how it works in an insect, according to the researchers.


'Globetrotting' New Worms Discovered on Great Barrier Reef and Swedish Coast

© Pierre De WitThe new species of Grania discovered off the Gullmarsfjord.
Between the grains of sand on the sea floor there is an unknown and unexplored world. Pierre De Wit at Gothenburg University knows this well, and has found new animal species on the Great Barrier Reef, in New Caledonia, and in the sea off the Gullmarsfjord in the Swedish county of Bohuslän.

The layer of sand on ocean floor is home to a large part of the vast diversity of marine species. Species representing almost all classes of marine animals live here. The genus Grania, which belongs to the class of annelid worms Clitellata, is one of them.

Grania the globetrotter

Grania is a worm around two centimetres in length and mostly white, which is encountered in marine sand throughout the world, from the tidal zone to deep down in the ocean. The researcher Pierre De Wit, at the Department of Zoology of the University of Gothenburg, is analysing exactly how many species of Grania there are and how they are related to other organisms.


Lizard Moms Choose the Right Genes for the Right Gender Offspring

© Joseph MehlingThe male of this species can be two to three times the mass of the female, but the females seem to be in control of the genetic destiny.
Two Dartmouth biologists have found that brown anole lizards make an interesting choice when deciding which males should father their offspring. The females of this species mate with several males, then produce more sons with sperm from large fathers, and more daughters with sperm from smaller fathers. The researchers believe that the lizards do this to ensure that the genes from large fathers are passed on to sons, who stand to benefit from inheriting the genes for large size.

The study is published in the March 4 issue of Science Express, the advance online publication of the journal Science.

"This species has figured out a clever way to pass on genes with gender-specific effects on fitness," said Bob Cox, the lead author on the paper and a post-doctoral researcher at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. "Usually, when natural selection pulls genes in different directions for each gender, the species faces an evolutionary dilemma. But these lizards have solved this puzzle, they've figured out how to get the right genes into the right gender."

Arrow Down

Colorado, US: Rock Slide in Glenwood Canyon May Have I-70 Closed for Days

 rock slide
© Kelley Cox/Glenwood Springs Post IndependentAftermath of the rock slide in Glenwood Canyon
Glenwood Springs - Crews have already began removing debris from a rock fall that has Interstate 70 closed in both directions at the Hanging Lake Tunnel in the Glenwood Canyon. The interstate is currently closed between Glenwood Springs and Dotsero.

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) engineers said that clean up would continue over the next two to three days, and that they hope to have an emergency contractor by the end of the week to begin repairs.

CDOT program engineer Joe Elsen would not say when traffic would again be allowed through the canyon. However, Elsen estimated that repairs will take between two and three months to complete.

"Without knowing anything else now, this is probably a two-month repair," Elsen said.

Bizarro Earth

Barcelona hit with heaviest snowfall in 25 years

© AFP/GETTYA man puts snow chains on his car during a heavy snowfall in Barcelona

Schools were closed, roads were blocked and power was knocked as Barcelona was hit with its heaviest snowfall in 25 years.

Snowfalls of up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) were forecast for the worst affected areas of the region of Catalonia, prompting the regional government to cancel classes for more than 142,000 students at 476 public schools.

Power was lost in homes throughout the region, with energy company Fecsa-Endesa reporting 200,000 clients without electricity, mostly in the province of Girona.

Bizarro Earth

Alaska: Earthquake Magnitude 5.6 - Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands



Tuesday, March 09, 2010 at 14:06:54 UTC

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 at 04:06:54 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

51.635°N, 173.516°W

51.6 km (32.1 miles) set by location program


79 km (49 miles) SE (142°) from Atka, AK

217 km (135 miles) E (96°) from Adak, AK

348 km (216 miles) WSW (247°) from Nikolski, AK

1790 km (1112 miles) WSW (244°) from Anchorage, AK