Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rising tide 350 action

(Informing the crowd)

There has been a rising tide of discontent throughout the world! Citizens of nearly every country on the planet have declared their wish to see commitment from the Governments of the world to take real steps towards reversing climate change and reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. People are tired of Government Greenwashing and large numbers are asking "What will it take to get our government to do what it takes to reduce emissions?"

350 Darwin, on the foot bridge
(Radical Activists from a local Church stand on a footbridge)

Here in Darwin we formed a human Tide Line to show where the sea level will be if our government refuses to commit to real reductions.

(Business man... Possibly real estate agent)

Apparently today has been (Continues to be) the largest international day of action ever! But the battle has not yet been fought. This is only the call to awaken us all. There will be more action and many more opportunities to demand that our governments commit to reducing CO2 emissions. It is also a call for us all to take the matter of climate change seriously and personally, although it nothing is likely to change without the support of government policy and systemic changes in the infrastructure of the country there is also a place for individuals to prepare for a post fossil fuel future! Sacrifices will need to be made, however this doesn't need to mean lives that are impoverished. It may actually help us improve our lives. Just as Colin Beavan discovered during his year of the No Impact Project, you can read about it in his book No Impact Man.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conscriptees to the wrong side

I've just finished reading the Quarterly Essay titled 'Quarry Vision' by Guy Pearce. (I know it's not the latest, but relevant with Copenhagen just around the corner)
I'd love to include some pretty cool quotes from the essay but I've already passed it on to a friend and don't intend to see it again until everyone I know has read it!

here's an Extract from the Essay.

Another article on the subject:

If you're an Australian and you celebrated the downfall of the Howard government hoping that our new Prime Minister would take a serious stance on Climate Change or that finally we would see an end to the lies and deception. By now you have probably already realized that we must have been dreaming to think we'd been delivered from 'Evil' (I know it's harsh). If you thought we would now be represented by a Government with conscience then unfortunately, like me you were also terribly mistaken and also a little Naive. (I still can't bring myself to listen to Midnight Oil)

If after observing the Rudd Government's slick PR work, crafty Rhetoric and contradictory policy you are feeling a little (very) let down. If you suspect there may be a conspiracy afoot but are afraid of being labeled as paranoid or worse still Un-Australian' you should trust your instinct! The conspiracy is real and we are all participants in it.

'Quarry Vision' confirms the suspicion that Government is in bed with Australia's biggest polluters! That Government Climate Change Policy has been virtually written by those who will profit from the continued and increased emissions from exporting and burning coal. That the Clean Coal propaganda is grounded in fairy tale science and will not provide any effective solution to the global warming problem! That there may in fact be such thing as The Carbon Mafia!

11:17 PM (I have republished this post after having deleted a huge chunk described by my wife as Diatribe! I would have used strike through but I don't know how to do that!)

According to the Oxford Dictionary diatribe is a forceful verbal attack; a piece of bitter criticism...

Who am I to argue?

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If this is a war on Climate Change then will we be 'Conscriptees' as Guy Pearce suggests or will we choose to fight for our children's future?


Publishers note: (Next post will contain nothing but flowers and happy thoughts)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Rooms for the Memory'

Have you ever seen a Ghost?
I've just seen a Ghost... Whether you believe in such things or not doesn't concern me. It does not matter!
It's been about 20 years since I saw Dogs In Space, a film set in inner Melbourne based on the lives of a bunch of young people living in a large shared house and going wild in the freedom of their youth. The film affected me deeply the first time I saw it because it kind of reflected the life I wanted to live and the amount of sense things made to me at the time... (Not Much if you're wondering).
Anyway; for those who don't know the film the lead Character was played by M Hutchence (INXS)... (If you don't know who he is, maybe you didn't grow up where or when I did, and you may never have heard of INXS, which would be a bit weird, that's OK but don't bother reading on, you probably won't get what I'm talking about).
Watching the film again and seeing Hutchence moving around on screen brought back all the emotion, excitement, angst, wonder of my youth... I watched as though I was watching my own life flickering across the screen!
I watched as though the guy was alive and it Haunted me!

The film was made in 1986 but I didn't see it until a couple of years later on Video. It blew my mind! I have no idea if any of it resonates with young people today but, I don't care! Watching it again was like someone had rubbed the lamp and released a Genie!

I can't describe completely how affected I was but when 'Rooms for the Memory' played at the end of the film I trembled!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Misled by maps

Firstly the Ride to Work Breakfast at Roma Bar was a great success again this year... Sorry I left my camera at home but you can imagine the scene. It's 6:59 am the banners are out the pastries have arrived I'm enjoying my first coffee for the day (a delicious brew thanks) and I look down the street to see about 20 cyclists all clad in reflective Government Issue orange vests. What a wonderful sight. I don't know how many turned up but it was a very pleasant way to spend the early morning.

Anyway back to my Rant about misleading information on a particular Map site. I'd discovered an application called Flood Maps that can overlay sea level rise by the meter superimposed over the well known G--gle Maps.

I'm looking at how Milingimbi Airstrip looks like the only dry land on the Island after relatively little rise in sea level and wondering if they've been prepared for the potential impending disaster when my eyes wander to the bottom of the page and I discover a link that simply says global warming.

So thinking it will lead me to information about the causes and predicted consequences of sea level rise, since that's the purpose of the map after all, I click on the link and am delivered to this!

Somebody please tell me. Is this ethical? Now I started getting all parranoid thinking it must be part of some kind of conspiracy that our Government is involved in to lead people away from meaningful action to combat climate change. I started to feel all woosey and sick at the thought of the power and the money that can be used to prevent our attempts to reduce global warming. But I come away reminded of the lyrics "Power and priveledge can not move a people, who know where they stand..." and my resolve is strengthened to know that win or loose It's what you stand for that matters most!

See you on October 24th

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bye bye Festiva hello Xtracycle

The car has gone! Long live the bicycle!

farewell Festiva
(Long bike - short car)

Yesterday we finished up the paperwork needed to transfer ownership of our trusty Festiva to it's new owners. My friend who recently got her driving licence and has been joined in Australia by her two kids, really needed a car (I couldn't convince her that it's better to cycle!) so we gave her ours!

It's been a great little car and was getting good fuel economy, sometimes 550km from a 35 litre tank... (what's that in kms per litre or litres per 100km?) but needed some work and I'm flat out being Mr Dad with two young kids with .0 time for tinkering so the decision was easy. Get rid of the car and get fairdinkum about cycling!

Now I have committed to cycling as often as I possibly can! (I'll have to because the car is no longer an option!) Just in time for the national Ride To Work Day...

As a special gift my friend gave me a really nice Batik shirt! It's funny how things work out because I've always wanted a really nice Batik shirt. I've owned some cheep ones but this one is much nicer and I would never have bought it for myself! (Partly because I'm stingy and partly because I have a no new clothes policy... Protest T-shirts excepted) What a great gift and a great lesson. Don't fear about letting things go. Sometimes you need to pass things on to those who need them. You never know what good things may come your way.

farewell Festiva
(Giving up the car for the trusty Xtracycle long bike)

Have a nice day.

Friday, October 09, 2009


My wife says that media... as we know it through the Mainstream Newspapers, radio and commercial Television is nothing more than institutionalized gossip.

I disagree. It is more than institutionalized gossip; although it is definitely gossip. There seems to be a greater malice behind our media.

Having been more or less unplugged for the past couple of months I find myself overwhelmed by the angst, scandal and emotional leverage used by all regular forms of media. When I accidentally happen to glance at a Newspaper, or find myself in a waiting room with at least one of the now apparently obligatory plasma screens blasting crap at a captive audience I am overwhelmed.

People around me seem unaffected by the imposing aggressive style but they are not. They are actually absorbing and believing the crap that is presented to them as news via the network or tabloid!
Just as in Orwell's '1984' people today appear to have lost their capacity for critical thinking. So many people's opinions appear to be formed as if they are carbon copies of whatever their favorite news reader or celebraty currentaffairs host has told them.

I remember debating the possibility of climate change with a friend several years ago, at a time when many scientists considered the theory pretty close to an indisputable fact but some doubt still existed. There were still a bunch of skeptics around who refused to accept the theory, I'm sure they were heartily supported by the Public Relations departments of all kinds of polluting industries.

As time rolled by and theory became fact (or pretty darn close to it), those who possessed the powers of critical thinking moved on to discussing how Global Warming could be combated in order to protect the future of us all. Sadly my friend along with probably half the population were still not ready to accept the theory of Global Warming...
Why? because the media were still broadcasting pro and anti Global Warming theory as equally valid arguments! Even though it was clear to anyone capable of independent though that the media were playing games with the subject and giving far too much credit to scientifically unreasonable arguments against the theory. People just lapped it up and continued on in their blissful cocoon of media misinformation.
I personally know several people who only actually believed in the existence of Global Warming when their favorite TV presenter told them the rumors may actually be true! The really scary thing about this is that even though they had believed there was no such thing and no amount of information or logic could convince them otherwise, all it took for them to change their mind was for the news to start telling the story differently! Yes it is possible to change the attitude of a huge proportion of the population simply by feeding them the information through the media resource they are used to taking their directions from!

I'm dead sure of it! But if you really want to make sure you've converted them to whatever story you're pushing you might want to use the other trick card in the deck. Tell them that all the other viewers/readers/listeners now believe the story you are feeding them and they are bound to jump right on board!


The media is more than just Institutionalized Gossip!

Do you think the revolution will be televised? See link below

Australians will laugh at dicks in 'Blackface' and say it's only fun. It must be funy humourous a gag, a giggle, because Daryl said it's so. We are innocent surely!
And our media ask, through public forum and internet comment pages, the divisive question; Biased by consumer viewer loyalty, to the darlings of high rating TV Ausie icon status buffoonery and irreverence.... "Was it so bad?"
And the Jury will be formed thus! Through forum posts by maliable fools the pupets of popular oppinion and zomby slaves to media endorsed bigotry and anglophilic oppression. The riddle solved and fools absolved of any crime committed!
No panel of ethics will be needed. The audience will decide when they recieve their brief right after these important messages from our sponsor.

I wonder what Gil Scott-Heron would say? But I think he already said it!

(Youtube video removed) Sorry bout that....

One less Car

I've got about 5 minutes to post this before I have to go and punch the dough... (Baking Bread again!)

So here it is! When I first started seeing my Sam she'd just bought a second hand Ford Festiva. It was her first newish car and she was very happy to own it. It then became our shared car and we have had many an adventure in the little 1.3 liter Coupe. A couple of trips through the centre of Australia the East Coast and a trip across to Broome proved that you don't need a large car to travel long distances.

Car camping
(Our little Festiva... but not for long)

After a couple of years of marriage we had our first child and managed pretty well with the three of us in the car. As the old girl got older we have had to spend more money to keep her going and alas we lost the airconditioning and that was the final straw for me. I declared that I would not pay to have that fixed (It uses heaps of fuel) and after about 11 years of service we decided to get a new car.
About a year and a half ago we had the opportunity to get a small station wagon at a reasonable price and so we became a two car family... (Not really in line with my low impact beliefs)

As you may know I am quite concerned about environmental issues and attempt to ride my bicycle as much as possible, however we have family visit from interstate fairly regularly and the second car has been handy.

Anyway it's crunch time and I've finally decide to be true to my ideal of reducing our impact on the planet and would dearly like to wear my One Less Car T-shirt without feeling like a complete fraud! So we've decided to give the car away to a friend! Yes we are giving it away! Basically they need it... we rather try living without it so it works out just fine.

Farewell little MOJO Mobile (The car's name). Thank you for 11 years of wonderful service and great millage.

I will now rely on my bicycle for all (Most) personal trips and endeavor only to use the automobile for family travel and emergencies.

loaded hay and trailer
(Primary Transportation Unit .1)