Archive for August, 2007

Terrorism Laws take us to the 17th Century
August 30, 2007

Our alleged war on terror has taken our law back to England’s 17th century. Laws were suspended by James I and courts allowed evidence and confessions taken under torture. As the historians note, who wrote of that era, individuals admitted to anything, and concocted any stories they thought might please their interrogators and stop the pain. Are we any different today? Do we tell our interrogators’ what they want to hear?

Do I hear someone saying but that’s the laws for terrorists, not for others? If you think green groups are terrorists you’ll be pleased to learn that UK coppers arrested green protesters under the terrorism laws and kept them incognito while questioning them.Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen but if the new terrorists laws make no exception for other groups, on the grounds that any disturbance is effecting national security. This incident at Heathrow airport means the terrorism laws apply to everyone. And yes, no one is allowed to speak of their incarceration, under pain of imprisonment. Gone are the days of transparent arresting procedures (and many innocent people have been arrested, charged and verballed), so if your relatives are missing for several weeks your local police will not begin searching for them until that period of mandatory arrest has past (your regular copper is not allowed to know about these sinister arrests). Gives you confidence in the democracies of the world: they are now police states. We must remember – you economists – that police states throughout history have never, finally, prospered. Entrepreneurs are too frightened to promote their ideas in case some individual in security becomes envious.

Tell Us of the Economic Future of Fire and Flood
August 28, 2007

Governments and corporations are pathetic in their hope that a strategy on climate change will keep economies bubbling along. Arguably climate change is passing the tipping point now. Logically there has to be speculation about it as the summers (and even springs) break heat records. Europe is to freeze if the Gulf Stream is stopped by the warmer water flooding in from the previousy cold Greenland current, Australia is to go without water, as is Africa. America’s coast and hinterland will be disrupted by ferocious weather and Asia will be flooded by immense monsoons and rising oceans.It’s all increasing as I write. Sixty seven dead today in Greek fires that’s immensity have never been experienced before.

So how do the world’s social systems cope with starving, homeless people (beyond anything we have now)? Given the new laws against terror, which in the UK has already been used against green groups, disruptive people can begin to disappear. My knowledge and imagination has an even more dire future. People roaming the earth in search of water and food, hoping they can find somewhere where they can begin to once again plan for the future.

Two very ancient cultures have developed in extreme weather patterns. The Australian aborigine, and the Arctic Innuit. They had no plans except live each day hunting for food and keeping their bodies at temperatures they could survive in. You may imagine it would be easy to return to those times. If by 2020 the oceans have risen as predicted, and warmed to the degree where it no longer absorbs carbon dioxide, we are on a coaster ride to chaos.

Will we still dream of economies becoming richer and life more comfortable? I don’t think so. Will we in the West still hold back from telling our children what their future may be so they can be emotionally prepared? Having worked with a global green environmental group as an editorial director I know that neither green groups or governments want to take away the “hope” of the youth. We don’t seem to recognise that in the rest of the world the young already face war, death, thirst and starvation on a daily basis. If we in the West tell them early they may even be inspired to seek answers. Maybe they’ll even discover who to blame. And is the latter one of the reasons we don’t want to take away their hope?

The Planet’s Tipping Point Is Behind Us
August 19, 2007

A climate expedition I was to accompany to Greenland has been postponed until high summer in the northern hemisphere. Talking to several scientists, those involved in the expedition, and green groups founded to educate us on climate change, I’ve discovered there is a secret: many believe we are passing the tipping point, from which there is no return for the planet’s climate system.

They have dilemmas. Who do they tell? Do they tell the children? How will they tell governments and corporations who have placed their hopes in carbon trading (this attempt to do something is universally laughed at. Afterall it is only a system to have corporations pay to pollute, and that expense will naturally be passed to consumers)?

If the tipping point is fast disappearing behind us (that means we have set in motion those systems that will now operate to destroy our climate no matter what solutions we offer) it means we have to learn to survive the way the Innuit and the Australian aborigines do. For instance there is no planning; we live day to day because our plans could be destroyed so quickly we can only be opportunistic in obtaining food. Aaah, but we’ve destroyed the herds of creatures that could live without our help. Our cattle, sheep and domestic animals and birds will die unless we feed and water them.

Okay, so where do we begin? We should be thinking about it, and we don’t have long.

Nuclear Waste Dumps For Indigenous Territory
August 18, 2007

The abusive indigenous legislation that takes land rights away from several communities has its origins in the negotiations the US is imposing on Australia for a nuclear waste dump for the planet. The Federal Government is about to sign (next month) what they regard as a lucrative agreement to first take America’s waste. America has not been able to contain its waste in Washington State – estimated 80% of waste is stored there. No matter what they attempt to contain it in, it leaks into the Columbia River.

The story of this development is contained in The Devil’s Trap … set to catch friends, a book of faction I began in 2003, predicting this outcome. It was launched on May 14. 2006 at the Williamstown literary festival, the day the agreement was first discussed by Australia’s PM and American bureaucrats. It is available on Amazon.

With this new legislation shamefully passed (without one Parliamentairan admitting to reading all the 500 pages – they only had around 48 hours to do it) by our Parliament and Opposition there are no barriers to storing the waste in our remote desert communities. They are going to bury the stuff there, disregarding the half life of 150,000 years. For some perspective we should realise that the Egyptian pyramids are the oldest man built structures are 8 -10, 000 years old and we didn’t know what they were for until English pre-history scholars examined them early last century. The reason for their structure had been obscured for thousands of years for the reason that the world had changed and no one remembered through the dark periods of history – many cultures simply died out. If visible structures are forgotten about in such a brief period, what will be the fate of the nuclear waste buried out of sight and potent for 150,000 years?

The way things go for Australia when dealing with America we will pay to take the nuclear waste.

THE FUTURE IS ONLY ABOUT PHYSICAL SURVIVAL
August 11, 2007

Sorry guys, you blew the chance to reverse global warming. We’re sliding into the morass of political and corporate spin: we can all be saved by carbon trading (please, don’t joke anymore). We’re beyond the tipping point. The ice from the north pole areas and Greenland will be gone by 2020 not 2050. The current down the coast of Greenland will now not go its cold way of descending into the deep channels of the south but will be warm enough to stay on the surface and turn to the west until it finally hits the Gulf Stream and stops it. With this phenomenon occuring to that warm current, Europe’s climate will no longer be warm. In fact it will freeze.

And that’s in everyone’s lifetime (well, except for the lucky ones).

This is from the scientists on a postponed Greenland expedition (it will be in the spring). We will be travelling to Greenland to show fifteen year olds the way to survive in extreme conditions. Those inactive babyboomers et al have really failed the future generations.

STRANGE DAYS
August 5, 2007

Victoria’s Talbot began it’s Words in Winter celebration with several historical monologues from characters who visited the village in the mid-1800’s. A cannon was to be cued and fired at an appropriate point in the dialogue. That point came and passed despite much direction from the performer, Doug Gellatly, the coffee maker from the Quince Café. Problem was the cigarette lighter was out of fluid. The cannoneer resorted to a match while directing the closest observer to fall down to give the cannon blast more drama. The cannon gave a mighty whump and blew apart. The observer had fallen down at the right time. Metal pieces passed over him to land on the road, and other places far away.

The barrel flew several centimetres above the head of New York poet, Paul Kane (he spends 2 months a year in Talbot) whose most recent book was launched last week by Helen Garner. “I thought New York was a dangerous place to live,” he commented coolly, although there was a memento, a piece of cannon, under his arm as he left the village to arrive in New York today.

“Oh shit,” the cannoneer,” said as he fell. He had received a bloodied hand. The barrel came to rest fifty metres away, cutting through the fence of a local bed and breakfast. The cannon firing had been permitted by the local council and the local police. The police car, travelling slowly, had only minutes before been stationary where the road was gouged by another piece of cannon.

Another observer, Dean Homicki, saw the action in slow motion. He saw the barrel spinning slowly to one side of him and heard Doug’s voice drag like an out of time recording. Going by was a vehicle pulling an ancient horsefloat. The float was a wreck with holes through the wooden sides. However it too had escaped the exploding cannon. The holes were from age. It had been parked in a community garage sale site for weeks. The buyer had left a $20 deposit and taken the wheels to be fitted with some rarely styled tyres from the 1940’s. He had promised to return in a week. Several months later he had made the return, only to discover the float had been sold on. The individual who had fallen to the ground had conducted both sales and he had a weird association of events – linking the circumstances surrounding the float to the spontaneous combustion of the cannon – for negotiations between the two purchasing parties had been fiery.

Not perhaps as fiery as the circumstances in the story several of the town’s 320 residents had heard a few days before. One drug dealer had threatened another in a larger town to the north and had reinforced the threat by digging up his competitor’s grandmother and cutting her hand off. Meanwhile, as these contradictory thoughts swirled through the minds of the witnesses to the explosion, small pieces of metal that had been catapaulted high into the air landed on roofs to the north of the town. Those residents imagined the hot water service of the refurbished lodge had exploded.

The cannoneer looked down at a small piece of metal that remained in front of him. He was eyeing it at eye level for the blast had thrown him down. “Oh Shit, it was the fuckin’ replica,” he exclaimed.

AUSTRALIA’S CULTURAL ICON ATTACKED BY AMERICAN
August 4, 2007

We know racing is important to Australians. It’s a symbol of how they have always regarded their country. First it was gold. Anyone could find a stake if they worked hard enough. Out of the gold societies there arose a need for socalisation (of white races) and race meetings became the glue that bound people.

So the only reason Telestra’s, Sol Trujillo, has called a meeting of senior executives in Sydney on the first Tuesday in November is to show us that he holds our cultural heritage with nothing but contempt. He doesn’t even know what the meeting he’s called is to be about. He’s out to show that American’s culture of colonisation can destroy us if it chooses.

RECIVILIZE TO WIN OVER TERRORISTS
August 4, 2007

Charles Dickens should still be alive and writing. He would have manufactured a term for Obama’s fall into the trap of American arrogance. Dickens’s term wiglomeration for the empty headed and arrogant lawyers of his era (any era?) should surely help spawn a term for politicians who believe their own spin. I haven’t found it. It’s up to you.

Remember though that Colin Powell was the military genius who said let’s defeat Sadam Hussein on the desert sands. He refused to go after the dictator in Baghdad. Why? He was a real strategist. He knew entering the cities would create terrible mayhem. So, Obama wants to take on the real terrorists in Pakistan; that mountainous country, far more rugged than Afghanistan, and naturally built as a fortress without boundaries.

Come on Obama, being bogged down in two countries, and already retreating from one in spirit, should cancel any madness of strategy. America loses wars that are prolonged. Look at Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. If you want to strike at the terrorists do it through education and a sense of humanity. However it would be best to recivilize yourselves as a beginning move.

The joke on the human race
August 2, 2007

How do we know that politicians aren’t prepared to do anymore for the environment than pay it lip service?

Internationally of course we have a prime example of government negligence and we are expected to understand it. It’s called war, or armed conflict. We know these activities destroy specific locations in its first wave but we tend to ignore the second wave. The second wave ends up in the planet’s atmosphere as carbon dioxide and, as it causes the global warming that is destroying the planet, such activity should be queried on environmental grounds.

Concern for this carbon dioxide source languishes, for all governments know that their side is fighting a just war, or a war on terror, and that means they imagine the global warming gases are justified.

Unlikely as it may seem governments don’t even pay lip service to creating such such gases. For research facilities to know exactly how much global warming gas is created by a cow’s fart, and not even begin to measure the creation of such gases from one bullet (shell, grenade, bomb) indicates a degree of criminal negligence. Neither the CSIRO, a scientific research establishment in Australia, nor the CIA, in America, knows of any such research. Or at least aren’t prepared to speak of it.

Given the above, the following regional examples show how deeply embedded is our disrespect for the environment. Take a look at your governments and their development schemes. Have they really decided the environment is a priority.

In Victoria, Australia, there is a certainty that dredging in Port Phillip Bay will destroy the ecology of those waters for thirty years. The Port of Melbourne Authority, lobbied by shipping lines, decided on dredging so bigger ships could come into the bay, and they yesterday admitted this potential 30 year destruction. Further, a former harbour master, Captain Frank Hart, says there will certainly be an Exxon Valdez disaster, and it’s a question of when, not if. Two other outspoken critics who agreed with him were given government jobs and were effectively silenced.

Captain Hart logically surmises that as an average of three ship’s a year scrape the Great Sands of the Bay when they access the South Channel, the bigger ships, three metres deeper, will run aground. He quotes the RIP at the entrance to the bay as the worst water in the world, with tidal surges running at more than 14 knots. To access the South Channel the ship has to face the out running tide, so that when a ship with a fifty metre width enters those waters at an angle it may be 120 metres wide or more. The safety margin in the 180 metre entrance is very small, especially in bad weather.

The Great Sands has rocks at a consistency raisins of in a Xmas cake.

Dredging also destroys the sea grass essential to breeding fish; will release the
cyanide and other poisons in the sands of the river, and poison the dolphins that are a unique breed to the bay waters. They evolved in these waters.

Victoria’s new Premier, as of this week, said this morning that “the plans to open the Port of Melbourne to bigger freight ships was crucial to Victoria’s economic growth.”
Oh, problem is, the third environmental inquiry is not over yet. The first two said environmental damage would be immense. The third panel was hand picked, and contained no members of previous panels.

And so it goes. The Tasmanian Premier has allowed Gunns to locate a timber wood chipping complex (the largest in the world) in an area that will harm air over the city of Launceston, and destroy fishing stocks off the coast. These were findings by an environmental panel that was overruled before it brought down its report. In the same state, the new Federal Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, says he will allow the logging of another 80,000 hectares of old growth forest if he makes it to PM, and that seems likely. Imagine the carbon tonnage there.

With minds set on making wealth without respect for the environment, what hope does the planet have? Human greed is the joke we live by.