Largely because the field was pioneered by European and Australian astronomers.
Or, instead of posting the summary from the blog post, you could have looked at the actual list. Most of the attendees are obviously media people: program directors, commentators etc. There were 3 academics, representatives from a couple of environmental groups, and at least one industry rep (from BP). So really, they get together a small group of 'experts' to inform the other attendees about the subject so that they can make their reporting policy decisions. It seems like the list shows exactly what the BBC described.
"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
In all of the discussions about copyright and patents, the ranters all seem to assume that ideas float freely and all anyone needs to do is fire up the machines to produce the widgets or code it up. They neglect the fact that someone had to spend (usually a lot) of time (and often money) to conceive, test, refine and _then_ produce the book, game, widget, etc. And with all of that investment there was no guarantee that it would succeed.
As soon as printing presses were around, it became clear that there are plenty of assholes who will wait to the very end of that process and simply copy a popular product, selling it cheaper because they had to take no risks. And plenty of people willing to save a buck by buying the knockoff.
Nobody would care if you came up with new bread shapes unless they somehow made eating bread even more wonderful. Despite the hours/weeks/years you spent toiling, your bread would be copied and you would never be able to recoup those costs.
I don't think that perpetual copyright is the answer, but neither is vilifying everyone who comes up with an original idea and wishing they would go out of business because Joe down the street was able to copy them in a week and sell it to you for half the price.
Apps: iNotes (typing with light figure work) and NoteShelf (fantastic pen work with Griffen pen). The 'fatness' of the stylus is not an issue and for particularly fine writing you can write in a 'zoomed' area and have it appear on the page at a smaller size. The app also recognizes your wrist as opposed to where you are writing so that you can just write directly on the page. They also have lousy screenshots on their website...the control you have over line shape is superb. Both apps allow organizing your notes in different notebooks so that you can separate out your classes.
The one thing I would still like is a better app for general note taking. iNotes is fine for typing but the drawing tools are rather limited. A previous app that I used, Notify, was fantastic until it crashed 45 minutes into a class taking all of my notes with it. Both iNotes and NoteShelf have been stable and I have never lost any notes.
I don't know where you pulled your stats from, though I know I have essentially seen the same bullshit floating around for months now. Even if your numbers were anywhere close to correct (or weren't skewed to pull some middle income households into the wealthy), you are neglecting the fact that the amount of income brought in by those groups is far larger by percentage than the amount of taxes they pay. In 2000, the top 10% owned 69.8% of the wealth (it has gotten worse since). They should be paying _at least_ 70% of the taxes.
Here is one nicely collated article http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
As you realize that the top 1% of earners hold 35% of the wealth, you have to wonder why they don't want to pay their taxes.