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About this website

SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

with the dawg

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

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Unless otherwise indicated, material on this website is written by Syd Walker.

Anyone is welcome to re-publish material sourced from this site, as long as the source is acknowledged with a hyperlink.

Material from other sources reproduced here is presented on a 'Fair Use' basis. I try to cite references accurately. Please contact me if you have queries, comments, broken link reports, complaints - or just to say hello.

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No Need for Sophistry in Climate Change Debate
Dec 4th, 2008 by Syd Walker

I’m someone who believes there is an alarming prospect that contemporary humanity will modify the world’s climate in a disastrous way.

I plan to set out the kernel of the case, as I see it, in a separate article. In essence, my key concerns haven’t changed for 20 years. But that’s for another day.

Right now – as someone who believes climate change IS a real concern – I want to dicuss the growing use of terms such as ‘Climate Change Deniers’ and ‘Climate Change Denial’.

These quite new expressions are being bandied around with increasing abandon by some of our most prominent ‘public intellectuals’, such as the highly topical Dr Clive Hamilton. It’s time they stopped.

No case that’s based on evidence and logic need vanquish opponents by ‘framing’ the terms of debate in an unfair manner.

If the threat of rapid climate change is real – as I believe it is – we can win the argument fair and square. And we shall.

Head in the Sand over Climate ChangeA little humour might help. Let’s lighten up!

Of course it would be nice to win the debate sooner. But there’s a process we must go through to get there. It’s called rational debate in a complex modern society.

Nothing could be more damaging to achieving a consensus (or near-consensus) on climate change policy than an attempt to force the issue, by seeking to delegitimize those who hold opposing views.

The Trials of David Ahenakew
Nov 29th, 2008 by Syd Walker

A trial is underway in Canada.

It’s a most curious trial. Or perhaps it’s just ‘normal’, in this phase of human history that just gets “curiouser and curiouser“.

David AhenakewThe defendant is David Ahenakew, a 75 year-old First Nation leader, previously honoured with the Order of Canada for his service over many decades to his people and Canada as a whole. In Australia, the word ‘Aboriginal’ is typically used for our indigenous people. In Australian lingo, David Ahenakew is a respected Aboriginal elder and leader.

He is on trial for “willfully promoting hatred”.

What did he say? Did he, perhaps, offend the millions of mainly fair-skinned invaders of his land, who over the last few hundred years pushed his people to cultural extinction in many parts of Canada? Did he call for a war of extinguishment against the invaders? Did he incite a First Nation attack on Ottawa?

No. His alleged offense is more specific. He is accused of willfully promoting hatred against ‘the Jews’. He stands accused of breaching Canadian laws that criminalize ‘hate speech’. In effect, this Aboriginal leader is accused of persecuting other people – with his words (not deeds) – even though he’s a survivor of the shattered remnants of the original Canadians who has put in a lifetime’s effort into remedying disadvantages still suffered by his own disposessed community.

It’s difficult not to wince at the irony.

To be precise, the trial currently underway is Ahenakew’s second trial – for the same offense. He was found guilty in 2005. The Chronicle-Herald reports:

No Debate, No Dispute
Nov 18th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Some things are obvious, aren’t they?

Take the shape of the earth. As everyone these days well knows, it’s round. OK, I know – some pedants argue that ‘approximately spherical’ is more accurate. Bet hey – it’s roundish! Close enough is good enough. Anyone who disagrees is probably a ‘flat-earther’.

These days, we don’t debate or dispute with ‘flat-earthers’. There’s no need. Everyone knows they are wrong, so what’s the use?

One is reminded of the wonderful ditty in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Speak roughly to your little boy,
And beat him when he sneezes
He only does it to annoy,
Because he knows it teases

It’s much the same with The Holocaust.

Everyone knows what happened back then. It’s all really obvious. Why debate or dispute with ‘teasers’ who claim otherwise?

There’s another good reason never to debate with ‘Holocaust Deniers’. To hold such a view of history, it’s obvious they must be motivated by hate. Nasty, racist hate! Anti-Semitism, no less!

Disputing openly with these people grants them a platform for their wicked, racist views. Like an infection, this may spread the hate around. Better by far, therefore, to shut these people out of pubic debate. If they persist… well, perhaps it’s time to lock them up – to make sure they can’t keep spreading hate.

All this stands to reason, doesn’t it? It’s obvious.

No need for debate or dispute!

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