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Don’t Retire: Start a PhD in Paradise

BEFORE the 20th Century there was no age for retirement. There existed a leisured class who through birth or industry could choose what work they did – if and when. But, even they didn’t retire. Retirement, like unemployment, can potentially reduce you to discussion of people, events, and lost opportunities, when great minds discuss ideas. [...]

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Ray the Moderator

THIS blog now has a moderator. In time we might even have some rules. Ray grew up on a farm along the Tweed River in New South Wales. He started, but never completed, a degree in earth and biological sciences at the University of New England, Armidale. He’s had a few jobs over the years, [...]

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Solar Cycle Could Point to Mega-Drought

THROUGH the Millennium drought of 2001 to 2009, I was optimistic that it would rain again, that the drought would end and probably with flooding rains. The drought did break, and the aggregated average annual rainfall for the Murray Darling Basin as calculated by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) shows 2010 was the wettest year [...]

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March Against Democracy

JULIA Gillard promised, if she was elected, that there would be no carbon tax. Tony Abbot promised, if he was elected, that he would scrap the carbon tax. But the learned ignorant promote mass action to get their way, all the while claiming tolerance, and respect for democracy. Many of the posters on display at [...]

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Myth and the Bureau of Meteorology

WE know that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology can’t forecast weather more than a few days out. So why should we believe a climate forecast to 2030? According to Sara Phillips, writing for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Bureau’s new State of the Climate 2014 report is a reliable source of information because it distils [...]

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Not a Natural Disaster, Just another Rainfall Deficit

In announcing yesterday’s $320 million drought assistance package for farmers there was some mention of the situation out west being akin to a natural disaster. A more accurate description would be that its part of a natural cycle – not a natural disaster. There are many reasons why landholders may be particularly vulnerable to this [...]

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Mining Historical Data to Provide Better Medium-term Rainfall Forecasts

THERE are at least 3 practical ways in which medium-term rainfall forecasts for Queensland can be improved: 1. Through the use of sophisticated statistical modelling techniques, in particular artificial neural networks to mine historical data for recurrent patterns, 2. The incorporation of relevant climate indices, including the Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation, and also 3. The presentation [...]

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Japanese Whale Harvest Halted by Activists Operating ‘Small Navy’?

I HAVE no problems with the sustainable harvest of whales in the Southern Ocean using a grenade tipped harpoon to facilitate a quick death. This is the method used by the Japanese. Usually the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports extensively on the activists attempts to stop this harvest, and from their righteous perspective. I’ve just received [...]

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