Friday, September 29, 2006

David Suzuki

David Suzuki
Originally uploaded by topend.
Speaking to a full Auditorium at Charles Darwin University on Tuesday night.
This guy is a great example of a life well lived. At over seventy years old he says it's time to wind down but I think he's still got a lot to offer. I hope, well I'm sure, we'll still be hearing from him in another 20 years!

Dr Suzuki was promoting his new autobiography and spoke mainly about his family life, some of the aquaintences he has made and things he has learned in the course of his very active carreer as a scientist and activist.

I am still amazed by the courage and ability that Dr Suzuki's daughter Severn displayed in the video he showed of the Reo convention. If you'd like to hear an interview with her please click on the URL below.

Thanks Stephen for this controversial Photo

The McArthur River Mine is situated upstream of Borroloola. An underground mine has operated there for some time, with various failures in containing pollution. Now there is a proposal to build an open-cut mine in the riverbed itself. The company are proposing that the river can be diverted but this is an extremely unlikely scenario given that flooding is a natural part of the hydrology of the area and much of the land is actually below the flood line.


WWF rep

My Thoughts
The word sustainable is lobbed around by politicians as if they have a crystal ball that subjectively deletes any negative effects of their actions!
Is the sustainability of our economy based only on a series of short-term profits? Are mining leases granted in the name of the national economy regardless of damage caused to an ecosystem that has successfully sustained the lives of people for tens of thousands of years?

Last night’s meeting at the Groove has prompted me into action. The organisers from the WWF and Environment Centre provided various pieces of information but it was later speakers who emphasized the need for action to be taken now, before it is too late. One man said it's time for the people (traditional owners) to stand up. I hope we all do! I hope this is only the beginning and that the people make a very strong demonstration to the government about how we feel about the way our natural resources are plundered!

Barbara McCarthy made a very moving and forceful speech that was absolutely inspirational. She challenged the government to consider the folly of allowing a mining company to pollute a valuable freshwater system at a time when we are on the brink of a worldwide freshwater crisis. Congratulations Barbara you are a person of strength and integrity your courage to speak against the short-term profit chasers is valiant example we all should follow. Keep it up hopefuly other members of the government will see reason. You have shown us without a doubt that you are there for the people.

The governments consideration of this outrageous plan makes it obvious that short-term profit making takes precedence over the future needs of the people of this country. Do the Territory and Federal Governments see the environment as worth no more than what it costs to circumvent bureaucratic red tape!

If you want to know more check out the Environment Centre NT website:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Finaly I Post...

Heaps has been happening but my bloging fingers are weary and I haven’t had the drive to press finger to plastic and actually tell of any of it. The doldrums…

I’ll have a go and see if anything comes.

So where to start…? The week I returned from Bali my parents and brother arrived with for a three-week visit from Melbourne. I hope they had a good time…

We went out for dinner a few times to the Trailer boat club and various other places that accentuated the tropical exotic novelty of being in Darwin; Australia’s northern most city.

Big Frill

(A huge frill Necked Lizard at Dripstone cliffs)

Mum and Dad had some friends to share their time with for the first week. They enjoyed a great trip to Bathurst Island while they were here too but were really here to spend time with their only granddaughter who they can’t get enough of and naturally spoiled with sweet stuff.

Fishing at Southport NT

We had a great weekend away at Tumbling waters with some close family friends. On Sunday morning we took the kids fishing. It was hot there were biting flies all over the place and the only place with access to the water had a 7 foot drop into fastflowing croc infested water. Not a great place to have three kids under 5 years old. We cast our lines in, caught one pretty little cod, gave him back to the river and then got the kids out of Dodge before something scarry happened. Back at the camp there were still plenty of biting flies but also more room to move around without becoming croc food. We all enjoyed the time to chill out before the folks returned to Melbourne.

Cane Toad (Bufo marinus)

Unfortunately though amongst the multitude of other amphibians, there were Cane Toads, which was a bit of a bummer.

Brazilian Cherry (Eugenia uniflora)

On the weekend I discovered an odd fruit in the garden, which I have discovered with the help of a gardening work colleague was a Brazilian Cherry. It's classified as an environmental weed. I ate it!

Tuesday went to see and listen to David Suzuki where my passion for the environment was revitalized. I would love to go into great detail about how I felt but am in the doldrums and very very tired so can’t find the words to express it. He showed a short video of his daughter addressing a group of international delegates in Reo, which moved me to tears. He then wrapped up his talk and I was left bleary eyed to make my way back through a foyer full of people trying not to appear embarrassed by my red eyes and running nose!
On the way out of his talk I was handed a flyer promoting a protest against the mining of the McArthur River and took it willingly. Dr Suzuki is such an inspiration I actually felt inspired to take some kind of action that expressed how I feel about something rather than shrinking away as usual under the usual pressure shut up, say nothing and don’t rock the boat. I’ll post more tomorrow about the McArthur River and hopefully put this blog to some kind of use besides my self obsessed rantings…
(Better wait and see about that!)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

If you’re sick of hearing about climate change and don’t want to believe that human beings have had any effect on climate. If you’re not interested in worst-case scenario stories or just don’t want any more bad news; if you don't care... then please ignore this post.

Andrew Denton interviewed Al Gore on his program Enough Rope. This is hot stuff but obviously in this country the issue of tourists pledging allegience to Ausie values is far more important.. Oi Oi Oi...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

David Suzuki to visit Darwin

Nothing much to write about at the moment I'm finding myself with verry little time for posting.
Sam Dana and I went to see the The Prarie Wind movie/Music Video at the Deckchair cinema last week. It was excelent I felt like I was at a concert (I don't get out much these days). Neil Young was fantastic to watch and his words seemed to come straight from the heart
Apparently David Suzuki will be appearing at CDU this month details below. Now that's gotta be better than whatever's on the news...

David Suzuki will be talking about his autobiography and his lifelong passion for the planet at:
7:00 pm Tue, 26 Sept 2006
in the Mal Nairn Auditorium

Building 35 Charles Darwin University

Ellengowan Drive, Casuarina

Tickets $5 from Charles Darwin University Bookshop (

Find more information here

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The world as we know it

There’s a new documentary movie out now called ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and apparently it will be shown at Birch Carroll and Coyle (BCC) in Darwin on 8th September.

It’s been recommended by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

It's not too late to wake up and take responsibility for the world we have created! There's plenty each of us can do. It may require no less than a global awakening but this is possible. A simple change in philosophy can change the world remember "It Starts With Me".

Out of the instinct for self-preservation there are initiatives being taken by many groups worldwide. We can not wait for Governments to act... They will do no more than we demand of them. People must take action now.

Here in Darwin there is a joint project from The Environment Centre, Darwin City council, NT Government, and Power and Water called COOL MOB which is designed to help individuals reduce their carbon emissions.
Why not start with an energy audit on your house. It could be the starting point that sets you off on a new way of life.

If you Dare

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back to Bali


Well, after the disappointment of the camera and the licence I finally managed to get to Ubud where I decided to hold up for the rest of my holiday. After contacting a acquaintance who I’d met there a couple of years before I was set up with a very nice 2nd floor room. Actually it was my friends’ own room as he was in Thailand. The room was fantastic I had my own private outdoor living area and various other luxuries that would not have been so lavish in a standard Losmen accommodation.

Basically all my previous plans for this trip had gone out the window and I had to re think my entire holiday. Instead of travelling the length and breadth of the Island I decided to sit around and read books, attend the local dances and just enjoy the food and drink Bali copi. I found it difficult to relax as I do like to be on the move and found myself exhausted from doing laps of Ubud so I rented a bicycle and managed to save my feet.

Pernama Accommodation (the place I stayed) was directly behind a small temple which just happened to be having it’s annual ceremony and associated celebrations so there was plenty happening right outside my door! What a stroke of luck! I wanted to stay in a family compound so I’d be near the action and found myself at the centre point of the whole community! There was a procession on Tuesday that went all the way from the bottom end of Jl Hanoman all the way to a sacred spring near the river in Campuan, about 4km. Everyone marched and there were even a couple of columns of children who had important rolls to play in the proceedings and were dressed accordingly. A group of girls wore the traditional costume that you would see at a Legong dance and the boys were dressed as Baris, which is a kind of legendary soldier I think representing a column of soldiers. It was awesome.


The preparations took place all week and I often woke at night to hear people constructing things, cooking or bringing more stuff on the back of a motorbike. The music never stopped all week. There was a group of men who seemed to be playing gamelan or at the very least a drum, gong or recorder all day and night. Everything took place right outside my bedroom and whenever I peered over my balcony I would see something interesting happening whether it was ladies folding palm fronds or animals being slaughtered it was all right there.

The evening of the ceremony was fantastic the whole community were involved. I was given the appropriate clothes to wear and was free to enter the temple and to come and go as I pleased. I actually didn’t mind not having my camera. It would have just got in the way and I’m no great photographer anyway! The people were great this was no stoic lamentation it was a celebration full of love, family, community and inclusion complete. God would have been proud of such a display. Maybe some day I’ll write about the experience in more detail. Maybe….

While in Ubud I met an interesting fellow named Joel Dousset who happens to be a great photographer, I told him about the ceremonies and he came along to take photos, hopefully he will post them soon on one of the photo publishing sites he uses. If you're interested have a look at his pages on flikr, TreckEarth or PBase sometime. Seeing the quality of his photos made my decision to leave my disposable camera behind so much easier. Why bother? With no camera I was free to mix with the crowd and not worry about invading anyone's privacy.


girls go to ceremony

Ubd proc

Ubd proc3


Ubd proccession 2

Pondok pekak