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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).

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"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.

"I wouldn't hire them to clean my toilet”
Dec 3rd, 2008 by Syd Walker

The most memorable one-liner of the week surely goes to Runar Birgisson, an Icelandic Marketing manager. Runar feels disillusioned with politicians he helped elect.

Demo in ReykavikMany around the world share similar sentiments, but Icelanders currently believe they have more reason than most.

Following the widely-reported financial meltdown in Iceland, a winter chill has set in. Moods are turning ugly. The hunt is on for perpetrators. Where did all the money go? Some blame politicians. Politicians blame bankers. Artists have begun invoking ancient Norse techniques for cursing enemies.

The whiff of revolution is in the air. Perhaps Marx and Mao were both wrong. Maybe the real revolution will start in Reykavik?

According to an Associated Press report by Jill Lawless and Valur Gunnarsson (emphases added):

Thousands of Icelanders marked the 90th anniversary of their nation’s sovereignty with angry protest Monday, and several hundred stormed the central bank to demand the ouster of bankers they blame for the country’s spectacular economic meltdown.

Tiny Iceland has seen its banks and currency collapse in just a few weeks while prices and unemployment soar — leaving a country regarded as a model of Scandinavian prosperity in a state of shock.

“The government played roulette and the whole nation has lost,” writer Einar Mar Gudmundsson told a noisy but peaceful anti-government rally of several thousand people in downtown Reykjavik.

After the rally, hundreds of protesters stormed the headquarters of Sedlabanki, Iceland’s central bank, demanding the sacking of its chief, David Oddsson.

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