Allan Takes Aim Blog

ACT Opinions

Posted on: 16 November 2012

Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose

In the fifth century BCE Heraclitus a Greek philosopher said the above . In the centuries since, the sentiment of this phrase “everything changes but everything stays the same’ has been expressed by many people in many different languages. My personal preference are the words of French journalist Alphonse Baptiste Karr if only because I can say it in French whereas I cannot say it in either Greek or Latin both of which I was taught in my seminary days and both of which, I say with shame, I have forgotten.

This phrase is important because its truth becomes obvious when one compares the past with the present. Not that one need go back centuries to make comparisons; read old newspapers or google up history of fifty years ago. On the other hand if you google up ancient history I’m sure you’ll find it more interesting than the history of fifty years ago.

But what you’ll find also, is that the world hasn’t changed nor grown bigger in circumference; all that has happened is that just as we re-arrange our domestic and physical environment from time to time, Mother Nature re-arranged her earth, her environmental home and home of humanity in the same way.

The big difference between Mother Nature and humanity is that she will have good reason to make changes whereas history shows our changes are often done without good reason. In fact humanity’s many attempts to change earth have been carried out for the meanest of reasons, the acquisition of wealth, fame, other people’s property and what many people consider the meanest of reasons, to prevent other people acquiring them.

A consequence of this meanness is that it has brought little benefit to humanity unless you can call never ending military wars a benefit. Fortunately, however, this meanness is only displayed by individuals whose objective is the acquisition of power.

These people worship power not for any good reason but simply for power’s sake. And as they set out to acquire power they care not that they manufacture famine, allow disease to proliferate, and prevent children being educated or protected from unnatural sexual practices that destroys them. In some cases their quest for power induces property wars that help fuel poverty, homelessness and mental problems.

More dangerously they foster imitators, many of whom become politicians who exude a caring image as a disguise for their love of power. Even more dangerously they object to free speech as most people know it.

These people come from many disciplines: academia, the Arts, agriculture, environment industry, finance industry, the law, manufacturing industries and medicine; in fact they come from too many disciplines to list.

And while politicians are curtailers of free speech the major practitioners are the climate change scientists who brook no dissent from what they say is settled science. Let me say from the outset I am not a scientist but from my constant reading of this group’s writings when they say the science of climate change is settled what they mean is because they think it right then it must be right and cannot be questioned. Effectively they suffer from the God syndrome.

It worries me that these people won’t tolerate dissent because in doing so they demean some of the greatest scientists of the past and scientists still with us. Indeed had Einstein, Copernicus, Galileo and many others not been dissenters the world today would likely be less interesting.

Based on my reading about climate change it seems to me that many of the scientists proclaiming its dire effects are much like those ancient biblical prophets of doom who regularly forecast the end of the world if people didn’t follow their advice. Fortunately many people dissented from their prophecies. Unsurprisingly, the world is still with us, and thankfully so are many dissenters ad if the influence of these people ever comes to dominate I can see the dissenters growing in numbers.

Let me end by saying that if the foregoing proves anything it proves Heraclitus and Karr are right: everything changes but everything remains the same.
Blog: Allan Takes Aim; web:


13 Responses to "ACT Opinions"

Interesting. I notice that you carefully do not actually take a postion on climate change. While I beleive, broadly, in what climate change scientists say, that being humans are largely responsible for the majority of the current warmning trend, experience has told me that while scientists are usually quite good at explaining what happened and fairly good at explaining what is happening, they are noticeably less successful at predicting what will happen, especially in a relatively new field with changes taking place at an almost evolutionary pace. I do not think it matters much whether they are right or wrong, except in the singular case of a runaway greenhouse effect turning the Earth into something similar to Venus. In cases other than that people will be challenged by Nature to adapt. I do not consider this a bad thing in general. We will figure out way to hold back the sea or we will move beyond its reach. It may be a threat in some way to civilization, although that is debatable, but it is in no way a threat to humanity as a whole.
This does not mean I think we can pollute willy-nilly. We should invest in greener technology as we have been doing, as a gift to future generations. It means that I doubt we have the political will to cut our own economic throats to prevent it when it will surely provide an eventual economic stimulus as we design and build technologies to combat sea level rise.

Dear Scott,,

Thanks for your comment but I do take a position on climate change and have said so in at least half a dozen published articles and in this piece. I do believe in climate but a dissenter (sceptic) who does not believe in the alarmist prophecies of the science is settled climate changers. There are also dissenting climate change scientists who say, and I agree with them, that from time to time not only has there been there has been climate warming but climate cooling not because of anthropogenic activity but because of Mother Nature’s activities.

But what worries me most about the alarmist prophets is, that they have contributed to the delay in the development of an energy source that will not only be limitless and cheap without producing CO2, but will also herald new opportunities for development in underdeveloped countries without the need for their environments to be polluted with wind farms, wave barrages and the like.

That energy is nuclear ‘fusion.’


I only venture to your blog every so often so I’m sure I have missed posts regarding your position. While I could read between the lines and suss out your feelings I still think that an objective reading of the post will show that it is never explicitly said. I think it enirely possible that some of the current warming is part of a natural cycle. That is a political hot potato when it shouldn’t be but scientists are not immune to such vagaries. I dothink it undeniable that some of the warming is anthropogenic but not being a climatologist I can’t say how much.

Nuclear fusion is being actively worked on. There was some notable advancement quite recently. Here is the article.

I am not at all certain however, how you come to the conclusion that “alarmist predictions” have a negative effect on nuclear fusion reactor development. Whether the world is headed for a small, medium or large level in sea rise it does need clean energy. I would think that the more alarmist, the more likely a clean abundant source of electricity would be needed. I suppose the argument can be made that money is being poured into “right now” technologies (wind and to a lesser extent solar and others) rather than in fusion research but the main problems in fusion are not theoretical. They are engineering problems. I liken it to the recently retired space shuttle. Quite possibly the last project of a similar scope and complexity as fusion. The problem is less one of funding than of finding qualified engineers for a technology that is still somewhat untested and finding way of testing the technologies in a lab environment that may or may not scale up to the real thing. Fusion is the future. No doubt about it. I have waited for it since I was in High School many,many years ago. But I don’t really get your point about how alarmism is slowing its progress.

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Thanks for your note on the above and thanks also for the ‘science daily’ link. Yes fusion is being worked on and has been for years starting in 1932 at Cambridge, England, where a group of six physicists were working on nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Unfortunately, WW II came along and fusion was sidelined because of fission’s war potential.

One of the scientists working on that programme was Australian physicist Mr( later Sir) Mark Oliphant AO KBE and former Governor of South Australia, who in 1952 set up the particle physics laboratory – still in operation at the Australion National University, Canberra. Affilliated with ITER this laborator keeps me up to date with what is happening at Caderache. I was also invited to vist the ANU laboratory as a guest of its scientific staff after an article I wrote about fusion was published on one of Australia’s major online sites.

But funding is the problem and it is caused by the alarmists because many of them are scientits closely aligned with companies involved in fossil fuel, solar power, geothermal and similar industries that supplement government funded university esearch. Governments are not intereseted in funding research that could cause large scale unemploymnent and companies are not interested in developments that will ruin their investments.

AS for my interest in fusion, that goes back to the period immediately following WW II when the subject of fusion came up one night on a BBC radio programme and my father (an engineer as you kmnow) started discussing it with me. Following recent work Cambridge scientists are confident that they will a have a fusion plant operating in twenty to thirty years. And unlikely as it is I hope to be around to see it in operation.


The earliest estimate I saw was for a 2020 operating plant but that seems optimistic.

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