Ron Sandland recently wrote about the new phenomenon of 'big data' - weighing up the benefits and concerns. Terry Speed reflected on the same issue in a talk earlier this year inGothenburg, Sweeden noting that this is nothing new to statisticians. So what's all the fuss about? Here's another take on the 'big data' bandwagon.
Channel Deepening EMP - Missing, InAction January 27, 2008
Four days to go before dredging commences and still no release of the Environmental Monitoring Plan.
Equipment, people and resources have been mobilsed and stand ready for the commencement of dredging in Port Phillip Bay in just 4 days time. Yet the wider community (including the Government's own Independent Expert Group) are yet to see the detail of the revised EMP. Recently, high profile members of the community such as Lindsay Fox, senior government bureaucrats, and university academics have questioned the economic basis on which the CDP has been justified.
The EMP should be a detailed document that outlines all monitoring to be undertaken before, during and after the initial dredging. It should spell out what data is to be collected, the reasons for collecting it, the manner in which the data is to be analysed, and how the results will be used to both inform the public and protect the environment. In the past, proponents of large infrastructure projects such as the CDP were required to prepare an EIS or environmental impact statement. These fell out of favour as they often-times ended up being voluminous, 'hand-waving' documents prepared at great expense by consultants that extolled the virtues of the project while simultaneously down-playing the environmental impacts. Of greater concern, was the fact that statements of predicted impacts were never checked once the project approval had been received and monitoring had commenced.