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The Principle of Goodness is an exciting new understanding of ethics that takes account of the welfare of every sentient being. A new, gentler, caring future is in store for humanity and for our non-human friends who share the Earth with us. This site explores using the Principle of Goodness to bring about a new and better future for us all.


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Human Psychology and Peace The Nature of Reality
The Climate Change Scam The Science of Global Warming

Carbon Is Life Book

 

On Seeking The Meaning of Life -Part 1: Why Bother?

A magpie ponders

I’m on a search for the meaning of life. What can you tell me about it?” my friend I’ve known since childhood asked me in her email.

The question got me really excited.

This is a big topic on which much has been written and much more will be written.

I sent her some rough notes mostly in bullet points to share my thoughts and we’ve continued our exploration via emails.

In recent weeks I’ve been asked this question again by a few people prompting me to write a more explanatory article.

For readability I’ve spread it over a number of posts:  

Part 1 – Why Bother?
Part 2 – Qualities to Develop
Part 3 – Nature of the Answer
Part 4 – From A Sufi Classic
Part 5 What Meaning Do You Want To Give Your Life ?
Part 6 – The Meaning Comes from Within     

 On Seeking The Meaning of Life - Part 1: Why Bother?

Each person is a unique consciousness. Life is a journey and the meaning of life comes from how each person chooses to traverse the contours of this journey. The answer is not linear and has many dimensions. One can look at it from many angles and arrange the pieces in many ways, discovering new facets each time.   

To begin with there's more than one aspect to the very phrase 'seeking the meaning of life'.
 
What is one really trying to understand more about?
 
One person could be looking for the reason for the existence of the universe with its various life forms, in particular the human life form. Another wants to learn about the relationship between one's own conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious self and how these relate to other consciousness in the universe. Still others want to know the reason for their trials and tribulations, their learnings, their unfulfilled desires compared with those of the seemingly successful and prosperous.

Free Speech in Australia? Forget It

As I've said before, one of the most worrying circumstances in our time is the obvious danger that the entire planet is steadily sliding into a new dark age. Things that used to be obvious - the need to truth and integrity in scientific debate, for example - are not only being forgotten, but the exact opposite (deceit, dirty tricks, falsifying evidence) is now being lauded by scientists, ethicists, journalists, and many others.

In this vein, one of the most dangerous and irresponsible documents ever produced on Australians' taxpayer dollars has appeared. Its purpose seems to be to establish what used to be called a Star Chamber - unelected, unaccountable, secret - to remove from the media anything that said star chamber finds objectionable. And who can say what that might be?

This is the new report, commissioned by the Gillard government, to 'solve' the problem of - well, it isn't exactly clear what the problem was, as I'll show in a minute. But first, Tim Andrews summarises the problem:

Mr. Ray Finkelstein QC, a left-wing former Federal Court Judge with no media experience, at the request of the Gillard Government, issued a 400 page report which calls for a Big Brother Super-Regulator to 'regulate' political speech and - among other things - impose new laws with the power to stop climate change realists from speaking up. 

Its “recommendations” will sicken every single Australian: They actually call for a Big Brother Super-Regulator to censor not just the newspapers and TV, but websites, personal blogs, and even what you say on Twitter!

Noble Cause Corruption; Fakegate and All

When ethics is kicked out of public life, it returns in the wrong place - denying the ethical wrongness of criminality, denying that there can be expected standards of behaviour, even towards one's opponents, indeed, denying the rights of complete innocents, such as their right to privacy or protection from violence.

Fakegate

Fakegate is the name that has adhered to the latest debacle in the global warming hoax. For the brief background: In 2009 and again in 2011, two series of emails were released from the email archives of the University of East Anglia. It has never been discovered how these were obtained, but they bear all the hallmarks of a whistleblower, since they revealed a long and astonishing history of deceit, possible criminality, and dirty tricks by central figures in the "climate change" aka "global warming" movement. Hence the moniker, "Climategate".

Then, in mid-February, it suddenly appeared as if the tables were turned: an astonishing memo and other documents appearing to come from the Heartland Institute revealed that they were planning a campaign to dissuade teachers "from teaching science" and "keep opposing voices out"! At last, the warmists were vindicated: all the opprobrium they had endured in the wake of Climategates 1 and 2 was about to be repaid upon the skeptics, now exposed as anti-science and anti-free speech, amongst other things.

The only problem: it soon emerged that the memo containing the devastating statements (widely republished by the world's media, whose staff hold journalism degrees and would have been taught to check their sources) turned out to be a fake. The other genuine documents released alongside it were fraudulently obtained from Heartland by the President and co-founder of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, Dr Peter Gleick. Numerous commentators have indicated that they believe he is the most likely, or perhaps only, candidate for concocter of the fake document as well. Donna Laframboise writes:

The Greatest 1,000-word Lie Ever Told?

A picture is worth  thousand words. And here is the picture I am concerned about:

Global warming scare picture from Cosmos magazine

That's from Cosmos, "Australia's award-winning science magazine". And awards they have, too. Their editorial page tells us they have awards for, amongst other things, Magazine of the year, Editor of the year, Excellence in environmental reporting, Best analytical writing, and on and on.

But does something strike you as a bit fishy with this image? Gosh that's an awfully high sea level! If that is what is in store for us, we are all pretty much doomed. What does that say in the caption? Let's magnify it a bit (I've had to use false colours to show up the red on black of the original):

Free Speech Shuts Down in Australia

One small suppression of free speech in Australia, one giant leap towards the coming dark age.

Gillard's tame ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is threatening businesses with million dollar fines if they have pre-carbon tax sales, or blame price increases on the carbon tax.

A few things: First, to non-Australians, the ACCC used to be a service to the country, but I have seen nothing useful done by them since their former chairman Professor Allan Fels retired. Time and again they seem to be refusing to act for the consumer and making lame excuses for not doing so. They aren't anybody's servant, just another tame bureaucracy doing the biddings of their political masters.

Next, this might seem petty. It is far from petty. When this story was reported on Wattsupwiththat.com, a commenter got the entire thing backwards:

The Chairman was quite clear about the organisations’s position in his presentation, which is no different than it has been in the past about any other misleading advertising ... “Business costs increase all the time, and businesses are free to set their own prices. However, if a business chooses to raise their prices they should not misrepresent this as a result of the carbon price when it is not the case.”

Baloney. The cause of a price increase is not a misrepresentation of the same kind as pretending prices have gone down when they went up, for example (which has been happening in Australia with the ACCC as usual doing nothing). And everyone, yes everyone, should have special leeway in commenting on government policy simply because governments are so much more powerful than individuals, or even businesses. If you can't risk being wrong when talking about a government, then you can't risk saying anything. As the writer of the story, Willis Eschenbach, explained to the above commenter:

Mixed messages on climate 'vulnerability' - Oh, Really?

It seems the world is going to be hoodwinked again by those pushing the global warming scam, this time for another 30 years.

And the most discouraging thing about it is: the sane people, those who know CO2 isn’t a significant cause of planetary warming, are showing all the signs of being suckered by the deception yet again.

Roger Pielke Jr’s blog reports on a leaked copy of the IPCC Extremes Report. The show-stopper centrepiece of the leaked report is:

"Uncertainty in the sign of projected changes in climate extremes over the coming two to three decades is relatively large because climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability".

That, of course, makes a complete mockery of the entire global warming theory. Remember that the theory’s only “evidence” is the computer models, which, it is said, cannot account for the late 20th century warming by the mere effects of natural climate variability. And yet, now, after 13 years of flat temperatures, they predict that we could be in for another 30 — 43 years in all! of flat temperatures due to natural variability masking the rise due to CO2-induced warming. Wow! CO2 must be a pretty poor warming agent if, as anthropogenic CO2 emissions rage ahead, temperatures can remain flat for 43 years.

The truth, of course, is that all this makes no sense whatever. If natural variability can cause 43 years of flat temps while CO2 races upwards, then it could also have caused the late 20th century warming without any help from CO2.

Is the Global Warming Theory Scientific?

A long article has been released with many quotes from the core group of global warming alarmist 'scientists'. Why do I quote that word? - because so far none of them have told us, the intelligent public, a full, proper, scientifically argued case giving evidence of four things:

  1. dangerous,
  2. human-emitted,
  3. carbon-dioxide-caused,
  4. global warming is taking place.

In other words, there are four propositions that must all be substantiated with credible evidence before a scientific theory exists that there is anything to fear from carbon dioxide. My take on the status of these four is: (1) is certainly false, (2) uncertain, (3) most likely largely false, and (4) most likely true, but not as large as it has been represented. But this post is not about the correctness of the theory, but the more basic question whether it is a scientific theory at all.

I think most people know of the concept that scientific theories must be falsifiable. There are a lot of subtleties around that idea that need not concern us now, but we can use it as a rough test for good science. Remember, good science doesn't have to be correct - a theory proposed, tested properly, and rejected for making incorrect predictions is still an exercise in good science, even if it failed to come up with an advance. And contrariwise, a wild guess shoved down people's throats by force without any attempt to test against reality is bad science, even if by some chance the guess happened to be correct.

So we see that the question of whether this is good science is not the same as the question whether it is correct (although the two are obviously related).

So how does the CAGW theory stack up?

Worth repeating: Gas against wind

From Matt Ridley at rationaloptimist.com:

Which would you rather have in the view from your house? A thing about the size of a domestic garage, or eight towers twice the height of Nelson’s column with blades noisily thrumming the air. The energy they can produce over ten years is similar: eight wind turbines of 2.5-megawatts (working at roughly 25% capacity) roughly equal the output of an average Pennsylvania shale gas well (converted to electricity at 50% efficiency) in its first ten years.

Difficult choice? Let’s make it easier. The gas well can be hidden in a hollow, behind a hedge. The eight wind turbines must be on top of hills, because that is where the wind blows, visible for up to 40 miles. And they require the construction of new pylons marching to the towns; the gas well is connected by an underground pipe.

Unpersuaded? Wind turbines slice thousands of birds of prey in half every year, including white-tailed eagles in Norway, golden eagles in California, wedge-tailed eagles in Tasmania. There’s a video on Youtube of one winging a griffon vulture in Crete. According to a study in Pennsylvania, a wind farm with eight turbines would kill about a 200 bats a year. The pressure wave from the passing blade just implodes the little creatures’ lungs. You and I can go to jail for harming bats or eagles; wind companies are immune.

He goes on:

Does Melting Sea Ice Raise Sea Levels?

Up until now I have unthinkingly assumed that melting sea ice doesn't change sea levels. The reason is a basic principle of physics: Archimedes' Principle, which says that a floating object displaces its own weight of liquid. The idea is that when the ice melts, it will exactly fill in the 'space' that the ice block made in the water, thus leaving the water level unchanged.

But there's a fly in the ointment: when sea ice freezes, it preferentially expels salt, in the process becoming purer than the sea water it is floating in. Pure water is less dense than salty water, so when the ice melts it will overflow the 'hole in the water' that the ice had occupied, and when it overflows, it raises the water level.

That's true, and that's a very interesting application of physics and a lesson to think precisely about the physics of any situation. In other words, as physics, it is fun and interesting.

But let's see how this is being used. At the alarmist site Skeptical Science, which purports to 'expose' the fallacies of skeptical views on global warming, they start out:

Darkness Closing In - Gillard Government Censors Its Critics

Anyone who is still in doubt that the era of freedom and tolerance is rapidly drawing to a close, please note this week's shocking news. From Menzies House, we hear of this behaviour completely unbecoming a government of any free people:

Four thousand, five hundred Australians have just been censored by the Gillard-Brown regime.

I thought I had seen everything. I thought after all the attacks on freedom of speech I have written to you about before, that nothing could surprise me.

I was wrong.

In a shocking and historically unprecedented suppression of political expression and abuse of democracy, 4,500 Aussies - all opposed to this unnecessary and destructive tax on carbon dioxide - have just been told that they don't count. That their opinions don't matter. That their thoughts are not allowed to be heard.

The background: As you will remember, last month, the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation asked for submissions about the carbon dioxide tax legislation. They specifically stated that they "encourage submissions to its inquiry from a wide range of individuals and organisations". There were no terms of reference.

Although they only gave us one week, four thousand five hundred of us took the time to write to the committee. Four thousand five hundred Australians took the time to read the over 1000 page legislation. Four thousand five hundred Australians wrote in depth submissions detailing the flaws in this proposed legislation.

Yesterday we discovered that their work will be suppressed. Will be silenced. Will be censored and stripped from the record without a trace.

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