Culture

Subterranean War: Some Reasonable Questions and Answers

Posted on 10 November 2013 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Further authors: Gerard Hastings and Linda Bauld, University of Stirling

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Worldviews and the (Economic) Merchants of Doubt

Posted on 20 December 2012 by Mark Edwards

In the previous two posts, I made two principal points: In the first post, I noted that doubt about the efficacy of government intervention to address HICC may become as much a barrier to action as the denialist strategy of manufacturing doubt about the scientific basis of climate change. In the second post, I illustated this notion by surveying the range of climate policie across the entire spectrum.

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Climate Policy: Points along the Spectrum

Posted on 17 December 2012 by Mark Edwards

In a previous post, I noted that doubt about the efficacy of government intervention to address HICC may become as much a barrier to action as the denialist strategy of manufacturing doubt about the scientific basis of Human Induced Climate Change (HICC).

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The Climate Change Policy Spectrum: Worldviews, Ideologies and the New (Economic) Merchants of Doubt

Posted on 13 December 2012 by Mark Edwards

In a study of the responses of farmers to changing weather patterns Rogers, Curtis and Mazur found that, “Personal values and worldviews were found to be the most frequent factors linked to adaptive behaviour.” (Rogers, Curtis & Mazur 2012, p. 258)

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Development at any price? The case of Australia’s Indigenous heritage

Posted on 21 September 2012 by Carmen Lawrence

This is the first of a series of three posts addressing issues surrounding Australia's indigenous heritage. The content is based on the 2012  John West Oration to the Launceston Historical Society given by the author.

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A Cabal of Bankers and Sister Souljah

Posted on 9 September 2012 by Stephan Lewandowsky

One of the many adverse consequences of knee-jerk science rejection is the voluminous noise generated in response to certain events, such as the recent publication of my paper on rejection of science and conspiracist ideation. Whenever baseless accusations are launched, whether against me or other scientists, this detracts attention from other potentially substantive issues.

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Climate and Lent

Posted on 28 February 2012 by Michael Wood

A few years ago I was standing next to a colleague preparing for Sunday church. Someone had just come in and asked us, as the leaders of the service, to ‘pray for rain’ for farmers who, at that stage, were experiencing a protracted drought. Now while I generally encourage people to pray for whatever they want, my colleague was insightful when he later quipped to me, ‘rather than praying for rain we ought to be praying for repentance’. He’d hit the nail on the head in the sense that prayer is really, first and foremost, about changing the human mind and heart rather than trying to change the mind of God (as if God arbitrarily interferes with nature anyway).

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Losing Our Sense of Place: Lecture

Posted on 10 October 2011 by Glenn Albrecht

This is introducing yet another new type of StW post; namely, a pointer to a lecture recorded during an event (usually here at UWA). Those post are identified by the new icon at the top right:

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The Sabbath as the basis for an environmental theological ethic

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Michael Wood

A few months ago I attended the formal launch and information session, at UWA, for this blog site that you are reading. One of the speakers introduced a perspective on the whole conversation around energy use and climate change which I found challenging and helpful. The essential argument, if I understood correctly, is that introducing more renewable energy into the system is not, of itself, going to resolve climate and other sustainability challenges, unless there is, at the very least, a corresponding reduction in energy production from all sources.

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Climate Change and Scientific Debate - The Messenger Matters

Posted on 4 July 2011 by John Gregg

What a week it’s been for the climate debate in Australia. The furore surrounding Christopher Monckton’s visit, the letter signed by 50 academics calling for a cancellation of his speaking engagements, the ensuing backlash against those petitioners by readers of The West Australian and of course Tony Abbott’s very public swipe at the calibre of our leading economists.

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What rising inequality and materialism does to us

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Carmen Lawrence

The emphasis on growth as the pre-eminent social goal has seen rises in inequality within societies. In developed economies, the degree of income inequality has been shown to be associated with a wide variety of health and social problems, including reduced trust and civic engagement, which may themselves reduce overall well-being.  One of the consequences of the tendency for people to assess their position relative to others – rather than in absolute terms - is that high levels of inequality in wealth and income are likely to produce greater levels of unhappiness. More people see themselves as losing out, even when they are well off. While there is continuing debate about the exact nature of the relationship, a recent study (Verme, 2011) which investigated a very large global sample found that income inequality has “a negative and significant effect on life satisfaction” and that the result “persists across different income groups and across different types of countries” (p 111). Wilkinson and Pickett (2010) argue that such ill effects of income inequality are not the result of income differences per se but rather are a consequence of social stratification and the associated “social evaluative stress” people experience.

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If It's Not Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll, what is it? Creativity maybe?

Posted on 25 May 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Let’s face it. The 1960’s were a time of radical change. And what we need today, like it or not, is another substantial transformation of our societies—from our current fossil-fuel based economies to an alternative means of economic productivity that is based on other sources of energy.

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Environmentalism: The Case for Radical Incrementalism

Posted on 8 May 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Clive Hamilton makes a strong case in favour of a radical environmentalism. Citing the suffragettes and the U.S. civil rights movement as precedent, he proposes a similar radicalism as the way forward for the environmentalist movement, and in particular for stimulating long overdue action on climate change.

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Environmentalism: The Case for Radicalism

Posted on 6 May 2011 by Clive Hamilton

The difficulty and importance of the global warming campaign is many times greater than every other environmental struggle. Controlling carbon pollution requires a wholesale industrial restructuring and defeat of the most powerful industry coalition ever assembled.

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Economic Growth and Human Wellbeing (Part III)

Posted on 5 May 2011 by Carmen Lawrence

(This post is the final post of a three-part series. See Part 1: Introduction and Part 2: Revisiting Limits to Growth.)

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Economic Growth and Human Wellbeing (Part II)

Posted on 3 May 2011 by Carmen Lawrence

(This post is the second of a three-part series. See Part 1: Introduction and Part 3: The Psychological Down Side of Growth.)

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Economic Growth and Human Wellbeing (Part I)

Posted on 1 May 2011 by Carmen Lawrence

Economic Growth and Human Wellbeing in Three Parts

The current debate about our planetary future is infused with fear that we may lose some economic prosperity during the transition to a low-carbon economy. Although those fears are largely misplaced, it is nonetheless important to examine to what extent our wellbeing as a species relies on economic growth. Do we need growth to be happy?

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The Importance of Conversational Frames

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Societies rely on tacit “frames” to conduct and understand conversations. One popular frame in Western democracies is the notion of “balance”—the idea that all sides of an issue deserve to be heard and that solutions can be found by balancing their demands and needs. This idea entails the assumption that all sides have a roughly symmetrical entitlement to be heard.

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Acceptance of Science and Ideology

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Recent U.S. surveys reveal that only 1 in 3 Republicans accept this simple fact, notwithstanding the incontrovertible evidence provided by something as straightforward as a Hawaiian birth certificate. The remaining 2 out of 3 Republicans either believe that President Obama was born outside the United States (between 45% and 51%, depending on the particular poll) or they profess uncertainty about his place of birth.

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