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Lowe Tech

Lowe Tech column

Plimer’s climate change book for kids underestimates science education

By Ian Lowe

Ian Plimer says kids are being taught activism, not science.

The forces of climate science denial have geared down a level. Having failed in their attempt to confuse adults and stop the parliament adopting a timid first step in response to climate change, they are now trying to get at schoolkids.

Ian Plimer, a geology professor and expert mineralogist with no background at all in climate science, has published a new book, “How to Get Expelled from School: A Guide to Climate Change for Pupils, Parents and Punters”.

Some Spice Added to the Uranium Export Debate

By Ian Lowe

Do Australian uranium exports to India set a precedent for exports to other non-signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University.

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Politicians Abandon Science, Community Abandons Politicians

By Ian Lowe

Should we trust bureaucrats more than elected politicans or scientists to make decisions about new technologies?

Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University.

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Newspaper Biased Against Climate Change

By Ian Lowe

An analysis of The Australian’s coverage of climate change reveals overwhelming bias towards denialists.

In a recent Quarterly Essay analysing Australia’s national daily newspaper, The Australian, Robert Manne devoted 17 of his 115 pages to the paper’s coverage of climate change. He had conducted a detailed study of all the news articles published in a 7-year period up to April 2011.

Astonishingly, he found only 180 articles that were favourable to the idea of taking action to slow down climate change. These were overwhelmed by 700 that were unfavourable: a ratio of about 4:1 opposing action.

Coal Industry Uses the Dope Dealer’s Defence

By Ian Lowe

The coal industry needs to take responsibility for the consequences of selling their product.

Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University.

Read this article in Australasian Science Magazine (print only).

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Victoria’s “Scientific” Grazing Farce

By Ian Lowe

Is Victoria’s alpine grazing trial any different to Japan’s whaling “research”?

Japan’s “scientific” whaling program has justifiably earned international condemnation. While whale hunting has allowed Japan to dominate the field of spurious science for economic and political gain, we now have a local challenger. In what appears to be a move to repay the Mountain Cattlemen of Victoria for helping them to win the last state election, the incoming Coalition government allowed cattle grazing in the alpine national park.

Tassie Logging Agreement Toppled?

By Ian Lowe

Logging is continuing in Tasmanian forests of high conservation value months after an agreed deadline to cease logging has passed.

Last year there was reason to be optimistic about Tasmanian forestry. After decades of political fighting, the contending parties came to an historic agreement. Foresters, loggers, the timber industry, environmentalists and government signed a set of principles that formed a basis for the future. Logging would stop in forests of high conservation value, there would be a significant investment in plantations to provide a secure supply of wood for future needs, and responsible value-adding would be explored.

Scientific Evidence Faces Mediation

By Ian Lowe

Uncertainty in science enables misconceptions to perpetuate in courts and the media, but there is now a process for dealing with conflicting advice from scientific experts.

It’s Time to Gazump Fuel Guzzlers

By Ian Lowe

Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world in setting fuel efficiency targets for new cars.

A recent one-day meeting in Melbourne brought together international experts on vehicle fuel economy. The Global Fuel Economy Initiative aims to improve car efficiency. The argument is that the two pressures of climate change and “peak oil” demand reductions in fuel use.

Amber Light Given for Food Labels

By Ian Lowe

A review of food labelling is introducing a traffic-light warning system but left it voluntary for purveyors of junk food.