No Illusions Podcast 09 – Black Holes & Cannibals

Late last week, Chrissy and I sat down with Hugo Sharp for a cigar and a chat about the latest news in politics, religion, science and philosophy…. oh and cannibalism.

Here’s the list of stories we chatted about:

Maxim Golovatskikh and Yury Mozhnov ‘killed Karina Barduchian and ate her’

Every Black Hole Contains Another Universe?

Iraq Body Count

Bolivian President Blames Capitalism for Global Warming

Big Energy’s Lies and Deceptions

NYT has an article about how the “Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming. But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.”

What say you to that, climate change skeptics?

Climate Scientists Say It’s Too Late, We’re Screwed

George Monbiot’s article today says that climate scientists around the world are mostly in agreement that it’s too late. We’ve squandered any opportunity we might have had in the last decade to mitigate climate change by curbing our CO2 emissions. And last night on G’Day World Live I was *still* debating with Nick Beaugeard about whether or not climate change was caused by humans. The recording of that show, which also features Ian Kath and Kate Edwards discussing polyamory, will be up shortly this morning.
clipped from

Quietly in public, loudly in private, climate scientists everywhere
are saying the same thing: it’s over. The years in which more than 2C
of global warming could have been prevented have passed, the
opportunities squandered by denial and delay. On current trajectories
we’ll be lucky to get away with 4C. Mitigation (limiting greenhouse gas
pollution) has failed; now we must adapt to what nature sends our way.
If we can.

  blog it

Exxon says one thing, does the opposite

From the “Just-Cuz-We-Say-We’re-Going-To-Do-Something-Doesn’t-Mean-We-Will” department:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that ExxonMobil has just announced “for the second consecutive year” that it is cutting funding to groups which promote skepticism about global warming. The groups that are supposedly being cut off include the Capital Research Center, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research. However, CSPI points out, “Each group continued to receive Exxon funding in 2007 after the company’s first announcement that it would discontinue the payments. Exxon did not immediately return calls seeking comment on how serious it was in following through on its plans.”

(Source: Integrity in Science Watch, June 2, 2008 via

It’s easy to companies to make a big splash, put out some advertising, put out a press release, but how often do they actually follow through? And who holds them responsible when they don’t? Perhaps we need more people like Stephen Mayne, who buy shares in these companies, and then rock up to their Annual General Meeting with a video camera to ask the hard questions.