Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)

It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start of pruning and political distractions for the drop off in activity here. Normal service should resume in the near future, but meanwhile here are a few of the things that have caught my eye over the last week or two. You may therefore consider this an open thread – and given what follows, somewhat more open than usual…

The political distraction, of course, has been the response to Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics. I haven’t yet read the book — it’s queued up on the iPad — but as everyone now knows, it concerns the sordid activities of right-wing attack blogger Cameron Slater, and in particular his close ties with senior government politicians. Slater has a long record of climate denial — often lifting material from µWatts or the Daily Mail to support his ignorant bluster — but the revelation that he published paid material for PR companies masquerading as his own opinion begs a question: was there a similar motivation for his climate denial posts?

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  1. See also: why. []

TDB Today: overshoot and the end of life as we know it

On Tuesday, the world whizzed past Earth Overshoot Day — the day in the year when we go beyond what the planet can produce or absorb in a year, and start consuming our natural capital. Like fishermen taking more fish than can be replaced by the remaining population, we risk running out of the very thing we value most, as I explore in my column at The Daily Blog this week — Living off our natural capital, or the end of the world as we know it is nigh. Comments over there, please.