Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Professor Robert “Bob” Carter RIP

Robert Merlin “Bob” Carter (9 March 1942 – 19 January 2016) was an English palaeontologist, stratigrapher and marine geologist who is perhaps best known as a prominent Australian climate change skeptic. He was professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University from 1981 to 1998.

Gurglars emailed me on Sunday about the Obituary:

ODT 5.3.16 (page 32)

ODT 5.3.16 Obituary Robert Carter p32[click to enlarge]

Then I heard from Mick (Douglas Field) on Monday:

You will have read the obituary (ODT Saturday) to Bob Carter who died in January this year. As you know he was a prominent sceptic re climate science and was more or less bannished from James Cook University in Queenslamd. You wll also know of his strong connection to the University of Otago.
Chris Monckton (The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley) has written a rather charming piece of music that he has called Bob Carter’s Peal. It was originally written for piano but it has been modified by the clever people at Edinburgh University (Chris lives in Edinburgh) who made a version with the sound of the bells of Ghent Cathedral.

Go to: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/27/ghent-cathedral-bells-ring-out-bob-carters-peal/ Article + Audio

[excerpt]
“Professor Robert Carter of James Cook University, who died in January 2016, has been immortalised in a clock-tune written by one of his friends in the manner of a Turmuhrglockenspielsonatine by the Baroque German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. This poignant but merry tune has been described as “the loveliest bell-tune ever written”. Traditionally, the Classical composers wrote clock-tunes to commemorate the weddings or funerals of their friends.

Professor Robert Carter, a geologist, became internationally famous in the last two decades of his life because he was one of the very few scientists who had the courage publicly to question some of the more extreme claims made by advocates of the apocalyptic theory of global warming. As the reported rate of global warming (even after much ever-upward adjustment of the linear-regression trends on all of the principal global-temperature datasets) continues to be very considerably below the rates that had been predicted, his polite but incisive questioning of what has become a substitute for true religion in the academic world will one day be seen to have been prescient.
Bob Carter was personally distressed by the extent to which the academic world had abandoned the scientific method in the rent-seeking pursuit of ever-larger grants from governments panicked or profiting by the climate scare. His university, which makes much money out of global warming by this questionable method, felt threatened by its leading professor’s heresy. Shoddily, the vice-chancellor, to his eternal shame and to that of his university, presided over the abandonment of all pretense at academic freedom: the university took various frankly malicious steps to Bob Carter’s detriment, the last of which was the withdrawal of his right as an emeritus professor to continue to use the library of the university that he had served so long and so well.
He was deeply distressed not so much by his university’s mistreatment of him in the closing years of his long and distinguished life as by its totalitarian rejection of the essential and formerly sacrosanct principle of academic freedom to dissent from profitable orthodoxy. Despite the university’s petty-minded and self-serving misconduct, he remained cheerfully and determinedly active to the last, attending the UN climate summit in Paris in December 2015.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Climate change, Coolness, Democracy, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, University of Otago

Jeff Dickie: Edinburgh tough, Dunedin (DUD)

Further to the contents of an email from Jeff Dickie last month, who was writing from a hotel on Orchard Road at the time:

Supplied. ODT 13.7.15 (page 6)

ODT 13.7.15 Letter to editor Dickie p6

****

INVOICE FRAUD AND MORE

TWO corrupt council officials and two businessmen who supplied them with cash and hospitality have been jailed with a warning they face “significant” sentences.

### HeraldScotland.com Wednesday 17 June 2015
Corrupt Edinburgh council officials face lengthy jail term
[…] Former local authority employees Charles Owenson and James Costello were treated to dances and drinks in lap dancing bars as valuable Edinburgh City Council contracts were secured through bribery. Ex-directors of Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) Kevin Balmer and Brendan Cantwell provided the rewards over the allocation of work for public buildings including schools, care homes and cemeteries.
Following their earlier guilty pleas a sheriff told them that he would continue their case until tomorrow for sentencing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to consider the information he had been given. But Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC told the four men: “Having regard to the gravity of the offences, it is clear to me the sentences will require to be custodial and require to be significant.” He remanded all of them in jail ahead of sentencing.
Owenson and Costello were provided with hospitality, including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds and meals out as well as cash, by Edinburgh-based construction firm ABC Ltd (Action Building Contracts). The contractors even submitted inflated invoices to the local authority for work carried out to cover the costs of the bribes they were paying council officials. Fiscal Keith O’Mahony earlier told the court: “In essence, the council was being charged for the cost of bribing its own officials.”
[…] Police began carrying out enquiries in 2010 as a result of complaints about the statutory notices system and were later informed that senior management had received “a whistleblower letter” alleging that Owenson was showing favouritism when allocating work to contractors. The Crown has raised proceedings to recover crime profits in the case.
Read more

█ 18.6.15 BBC News: Four jailed over Edinburgh City Council bribes

Shades of the ‘Screaming Orgasm cocktails’ saga following Dunedin City Council’s decision to build the stadium. That evening, the board members of Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust went out to celebrate, booking their drinks at Alibi Bar & Restaurant to the Ratepayers.
Of course, there have been masses of local big-ticket ‘corruptions’: the stadium land purchases (including for realignment of SH88); the Carisbrook ‘deal’ with Otago Rugby Football Union, and further ‘Otago Rugby’ deals with Dunedin Venues (DVML); the Delta subdivisions and service contracts (Jacks Point and Luggate, and more recently Noble Village); the unravelling Citifleet fraud and insurance scam (substantially greater than 152 fleet vehicles lost off the inventory, allied to ‘traffic’ in car parts, tyres, service contracts, and fluid cash); the Dunedin Town Hall Redevelopment Project (via City Property) yet to be fully detailed; and field lights for Otago Cricket Association…….. et al.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Carisbrook, Citifleet, Construction, CST, DCC, DCHL, DCTL, Delta, Democracy, Design, DVL, DVML, Economics, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, OAG, OCA, Ombudsman, ORFU, People, Police, Politics, Project management, Property, SFO, Site, Sport, Stadiums

Mayor Cull’s reflections on Edinburgh #SisterCity #Junkets

Edinburgh - New Town Old Town [thathideousman.blogspot.com]

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 at 11:36 p.m.

Message: I thought it might be of interest that there has been no response from the Mayor, or from anyone else regarding my criticism of the latest round of Sister City tourism as below.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:10:12 +1200
To: Dave Cull, Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Lee Vandervis, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Cc: Tony Avery, Grant McKenzie
Conversation: File – reflections on Edinburgh visit.docx
Subject: Re: File – reflections on Edinburgh visit.docx

Dear Dave,

Thank you sending us your preliminary reflections on visiting Edinburgh, which I know from personal experience to be especially pleasant at this time of year.
Since being elected in 2004 I have read many similar reflections on Sister City visits all of them similarly generic.
I note that your statement “So most of our time in Edinburgh was devoted to meetings with Edinburgh arts and cultural organizations, people or institutions.” is a fair definition of tourism, unless you are heavily into sports which might not necessarily be caught by the words ‘cultural organizations’.
Your claim that you went to “reinvigorate the sister city relationship” is untenable since there never has been any vigour in the relationship, as anyone who has done years on the Edinburgh Sister City Committee will confirm. The previously overused but safer ‘breath new life into the relationship’ would also fail as it is not possible to breathe new life into a corpse.
Ditto Otaru.
I take it that Dunedin will now be hosting some official reciprocal Scottish tourists by return when the Scottish winter bites.

At least Harland pretended to come back with a viable Scottish wind power design.

Kind regards,
Lee

On 6/08/14 4:26 AM, “Quickoffice” wrote:

Hi Colleagues, Attached a preliminary report on the Edinburgh experience. Dave

Colleagues,
The following is a preliminary report/reflection on our recently completed trip to Edinburgh while it is still fresh. There is considerable detail and learnings yet to be brought together from our various meetings.

This Sister City visit to Edinburgh was timed to coincide with the opening of the NZ in Edinburgh Programme. That included a national kapa haka group being a central part of the tattoo, an exhibition by Commonwealth artists partly curated by Aaron Kriesler of DPAG and many more performances/exhibits. NZ was the country of honor at the umbrella Edinburgh Festival. Our Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae was a guest of honor with the 2nd Lord of the Admiralty at the Tattoo opening night.
Dunedin received invitations to Edinburgh from the the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Creative Scotland and the British Council.
The visit was timed to coincide because one of the objectives of going was to reinvigorate the sister city relationship, potentially through the medium of arts and culture. This was timely as Dunedin is currently developing an Arts and Culture Strategy, our Economic Development Strategy recognises the important potential of the whole creative sector and we are awaiting confirmation of UNESCO City of Literature status. The two cities obviously already have many cultural connections, going back to Dunedin’s founding and naming by Scots.
So most of our time in Edinburgh was devoted to meetings with Edinburgh arts and cultural organizations, people or institutions. They include Creative Scotland (equivalent of Creative NZ), Edinburgh University (2 depts), Councillor convener of arts and future committee, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh City of Literature, British Council, Institute of Scottish Studies, and Centre for the Book Edinburgh Napier University. We also met with the Lord Provost, attended the Tattoo and the opening of Aaron’s exhibition.
We are still processing what we learned, but a number of things made us very positive about the potential opportunity Edinburgh, and our relationship with her, could offer Dundin. First everyone, without exception, has been welcoming and has gone out of their way to engage, spend time with us and provide any information we asked for. Several organizations have express a desire to collaborate with Dunedin. One or two came to meetings with specific proposals! We have even had an approach from the Edinburgh suburb Corstorphine asking about partnering with Corstorphine, Dunedin. The bigger picture is that Edinburgh has essentially reinvented itself as a cultural/festival city. Certainly after World War II Edinburgh’s economy diminished drastically. Edinburgh was the first UNESCO City of Literature. Now festivals of various cultural complexions bring hundreds of millions of pounds into the city. Edinburgh views and defines itself as a creative, literary artistic city. So if nothing else Dunedin can learn an
enormous amount from Edinburgh’s experience across a range of initiatives. In addition there is considerable potential for collaboration and exchange between Dunedin and Edinburgh institutions, to their mutual benefit. There was emphatic interest in Dunedin performers performing in both Edinburgh and Glasgow at major events. Indeed Neville and Cara saw the Chills in Glasgow on Saturday night.
So while we have yet to fully de-brief and weigh up what we learned, it is clear that there is huge potential culturally, economically and academically for Dunedin in refreshing and developing our relationship with Edinburgh specifically and Scotland in general.

Related Post and Comments:
8.4.14 Cinderella Shanghai + 75 ugly sisters

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: thathideousman.blogspot.com – Edinburgh, Scotland

34 Comments

Filed under Business, COC (Otago), DCC, Economics, Events, Geography, Hot air, Name, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Politics, Project management, Tourism, University of Otago, What stadium

DCC concerned by Hide’s call for transparency if it means producing more reports

From the can you believe it file…

### ODT Online Fri, 16 Apr 2010
Hide’s call for transparency baffles council
By Chris Morris
A plan by Minister for Local Government Rodney Hide to force councils across New Zealand to open their books in new ways has been questioned by Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin. Mr Hide used part of his address to yesterday’s Sister Cities New Zealand Conference in Dunedin to outline plans for a new financial reporting system for local authorities. Under the new regime, council staff would be required to prepare pre-election financial reports every three years, providing ratepayers with simplified explanations of expenditure over the previous term and plans for the next term.

The move aimed to encourage greater understanding of council finances by ratepayers, who would then be in a better position to “put hard questions” to their elected representatives, Mr Hide said.

Read more

Related ODT story:
Sister cities’ link lauded

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management, Stadiums