Evidence of rationality on US climate policy

Given the daily diet of extremism and irrationality demonstrated in US politics it is re-assuring to see research that, on the issue of global warming at least, the majority of Americans understand the problems and are supportive of action.

The latest report from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication shows that 57% of US registered voters would prefer to vote for a candidate who supports action on global warning. read more

What on earth were they doing the day Earth boiled?

On the day on which the Earth recorded a global average surface temperature of more than 2 Centigrade for the first time since records began what was the Australian Parliament and media doing?

While the Australian Parliament and the media were obsessed by whether or not the Prime Minister did or did not say something or other to Xi about sonar or how we would fit ankle monitors to refugees much of the rest of the world was looking towards the forthcoming COP28 with alarm and Australian politicians seemed oblivious. read more

A particularly satisfying cricket win – and not just for sporting reasons

For a former cricketer (one time Port Melbourne Cricket Club thirds all-rounder) and keen participant in politics it was immensely satisfying to see Australia winning the ICC World Cup while the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was there in the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad to witness it.

In case you were wondering of the significance of Modi’s presence the Indian media made it clear. Unlike in Australia – where it is impossible to imagine an Australian media outlet starting its report on a cricket match by mentioning the PM’s presence – it’s not the case in India. read more

Defending Country Memorial Project launched

For decades the Australian War Memorial Council denied the need for the full recognition of Australia’s first wars – the Frontier Wars – despite the overwhelming evidence of actions which today would be regarded not only as war but also in many cases war crimes.

Now the Defending Country Memorial Project has launched a website and a campaign to rectify that glaring omission. The Defending Country Memorial Project website details the overwhelming evidence that the War Memorial is wrong – evidence in books, colonial records, official reports and oral histories. read more

The best indicator of US voting intentions

There are many factors influencing voting behaviour but in the US one of the most powerful is religious affiliation.

The 2023 PRRI American Values Survey (see the recent blog post on American fears about democracy being at stake for more PRRI findings) demonstrates dramatic differences in various religious groups intention to vote in a Presidential election between Trump and Biden. The survey sample size was 101,000 from all US states. read more

Whittaker 2023 Memorial event Address

For many years a group of Port Melbourne people have been organising an annual commemoration of the 1928 dock strike and the death of Alan Whittaker, shot by police, during the dispute.

Now the committee which established the event is down to the last three members and we are wondering what will happen to the event in the future. Fortunately, a local historian, Janet Bolitho, has obtained a grant to make a film about Whittaker, the 1928 events and their commemoration. read more

One thing Americans agree on – the future of democracy is at stake in 2024

Despite all the rage and division in the US there is one thing all Americans, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, agree on – the future of democracy is at stake in the 2024 Presidential election.

A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington found that 75% of all Americans believed the future of democracy was at stake in the election with 77% of Republicans concerned, 73% of Independent and 84% of Democrats. read more

Another looming source of division

The Voice referendum demonstrated not only the power of misinformation and disinformation but also provides insight into what might happen if an Australian Government ever tries to take real action on climate change and how public opinion could provide fertile ground for divisive campaigns.

A series of surveys by the Pew Research Centre and IPSOS provide some context for that as well as providing insights into attitudes around the world. read more

400 years later Christians are still at it

This October marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Galileo’s The Assayer on the nature of three comets seen in Europe in 1618.

As always, whenever we think of Galileo, we think of Christian persecution. Indeed, Galileo said in the introduction to the book, that some people have “advanced ridiculous and impossible opinions against me.” He even sent it to the then Pope’s chamberlain who later served under the Pope who put the astronomer on trial. read more

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