sarren: (Default)
In Australia Labor is the left wing party, and the Liberal National Party (the Liberals) is the right wing conservative party.

THANK EVERYTHING. Labor has won decisively

Eight years of Liberals nightmare over. I would have given up all hope for my state if they'd reelected that fuckwit as Premier again.

Even better, One Nation (which should really just call itself the Racist McRacist Party) looks like it's got nothing! Way to go, WA! One Nation and the Liberals screwed up doing a preferences deal - I don't think EITHER of their voting base were impressed with that *G*

So basically the Premier fucked over WA economy (which took talent cos we had a mining boom) and then planned to sell off state assets like Fremantle Port (FFS) and Western Power to reduce the debt. So there were massive protests about that, yay.

And then there was the the controversial Roe 8 project, which environmentalists have been fighting for years and finally the govt said fuck this shit and started tearing up the Beeliar Wetlands anyway, riding roughshod over regulations and not complying with their management plans. People have been chaining themselves to trees and getting arrested.
sarren: (Default)
"Turns out two native Australian birds of prey, the brown falcon and the black kite, are closet pyromaniacs, and deliberately starting bushfires even though there is a complete fire ban over summer."

So this is a thing, wow
sarren: (Default)
"Supergirl is just a glorified fireman, she's never going to solve the underlying problems that are destroying the world" - says billionaire inventor/entrepreneur Matthew Lord, in the episode we are currently watching.

I'm noticing how many shows, especially genre ones, are addressing/referencing the reality of the state of the world today. Speaking of, we just watched Tomorrowland. Dfly put it on to watch with dinner, then afterwards I picked up my laptop because i tend to half watch movies, but then I realised I was watching an action SF adventure with two main female teenage protagonists (with George Clooney and Hugh Laurie supporting) and it had Important Themes and I put my laptop away and appreciated an excellent female driven film.

I've always made a point of showing Bunny shows with diverse ensemble casts and well written female characters, like Eureka (her fave character is Zoe), Warehouse 13 (her fave character is Claudia) and Leverage (her fave character is Parker). What a difference from my formative years, at her age I was watching Knight Rider, Aeroman, Alien Nation, V, Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs King etc.

Tonight when I realised that Tomorrowland had great female characters my immediate thought was 'oh yay, what a great film for girls to watch', and then I remembered an article I read yesterday about gendered reading, and realised that of course that applies to tv and movies as well.

I recommend this article - Stories for All by Shannon Hale. Its about how boys don't find stories about girls intrinsically less interesting until they are taught to by society from an early age, and along with that comes the belief that girls are less important, and a lack of opportunity for boys to develop empathy for girls.
sarren: (Default)
More fun burning off today. It is very satisfying. So we'd built a bonfire and I was tossing the last few sticks from the general vicinity on it.

Me *watching the bonfire burn, feeling pretty good*
Zebra *calling* I'm just lighting this fire way over here now.
Me *doubletakes*
Zebra - It'll be fine. That one's under control, we can keep on eye on it while we do this one.
Me *walks over and stares at the new fire piled on top of one end of giant log*
Zebra I did that deliberately. The other end of that log will just smoulder away.
Me *stares at grass surrounding log*


Zebra - We can leave it and go back to the house for lunch and PoI now.
Me *stares at all the grass around the log we haven't yet had to stomp small fires out of* Or we could stay here and monitor this for a while longer.
Zebra - I could just go back to the house and bring back some lunch.
Me - Actually, I'm thinking we could multitask.

Multitasking )

Zebra's post with more photos
sarren: (Default)
Sitting in [profile] zebra363's lounge room, watching Person of Interest, with freshly baked peanut butter/chocolate cookies and a cup of tea, glancing out the window occasionally at the alpacas moseying about outside in the paddock.

*wavy lines* Last weekend, after much PoI viewing.

Zebra - Come up next weekend and we can watch lots more PoI and you can even watch more Supernatural if you like.
Me - Yay, it's a plan!

Email from Zebra mid week - If you get here by 4.30 we'll have enough time to get the burning done before it gets too dark.

...should have seen THAT coming.

Random photos Zebra took from her previous burning and a lovely one of her property

I do enjoy bonfires, sitting under the stars watching the flames and the sparks. Throwing all the branches on is fun too, watching the flames leap towards the sky, though this one did seem a little close to a nearby tree. Comments from Zebra last night along the lines of "I could have thought this through better" and "it'll probably be fine" and "if we do accidentally burn down the nearby shearing shed we'd be doing the neighbour a favour" added a little excitement to the evening, given Zebra's track record. Though to be fair, she's only had one other fire even mildly get out of control since then, and she did go and check on ours later last night after we'd watched an ep or two.

Zebra has certainly done her best to make my visit comfortable. Freshly baked cookies last night and this morning for breakfast, sacrificing both our environmental principles to light her first and last fire of the year to keep the house warm for me, piling FIVE blankets on my bed on top of the doona...I didn't actually use all five, since I had come prepared and am wearing two pairs of pants, two pairs of warm socks and two jumpers.

Now we're watching one more ep then we're going to go light another fire, yay.

Zebra's post with photos
sarren: (wind)
Check out the video the mining industry never expected you to see

This week mining billionaire Gina Rinehart became the largest shareholder in Fairfax, having already bought a stake in Channel Ten. But this new video reveals this move is bigger than one woman’s ambition – it’s part of a coordinated and very deliberate strategy, with climate skeptic ‘Lord’ Monkton seen here advising a room full of mining executives on how the industry must gain control of Australia’s media.
sarren: (wind)
Carbon Tax passes Lower House

CEF: What the academics say Haha, all the others were all full of fancy important opinions which, valid of course, but this guy was my fave:

Prof John Foster, Director of the UQ Energy Economics and Management Group at The University of Queensland: It is NOT a ‘carbon tax’!! It is an emissions trading scheme with a temporary fixed price period (all such schemes have a temporary period where there is a fixed price as the system beds down).

I really despair when even science journalists are completely incapable of being clear on this and, in so doing just confuse the public, many of whom still think that they will see a carbon tax charge on their receipts, just like the GST.

Sadly, I am finding it hard to disagree with this nowadays. Democracy is failing the planet

I'm reading Bill McKibben's "Eaarth",

Transcript of McKibben's interview with Scientific American here

I’m only 60 pages in. Right now it’s all “so this thing is happening, and it’s releasing huge amounts of carbon, oh, and over here this thing is happening and releasing huge amounts of carbon, oh and over in that country, this thing is happening that’s, you guessed it, releasing huge amounts of carbon”.

I’m hoping for some hope, eventually.

only very slightly sarcastic
sarren: (wind)
Off the charts: America's year of climate extremes

Vaguely related: I am reading James Hansen's "Storms of My Grandchildren". I love this guy - he's been advising successive administrations on the urgency of climate change for decades, and then in his sixties his grandchild was born and Hansen had a bit of an epiphany - read his wiki bio, much more exciting than any official one, especially when you get to the 'allegations' and 'arrests' section.
sarren: (Default)
Me to other admin – do you want the bad news or the worse news?
Admin – Um, the worse?
Me – Deep ice climate change scientists believe we are going to lose the Antarctic and Greenland ice and that the world will eventually be ice-free and with sea rise of hundreds of feet.
Admin *wide-eyed* Um..
Me – By mid-century there could be sea rise levels of up to a foot, every decade. We’ll get to see it!
Admin *horrified* And the bad news?
Me – Our printer is broken.
Admin *cries*

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise, 7 min vid.

(from the Skeptical Science website)

I'm currently reading Ross Garnaut's Climate Change Review Update 2011, he says:

Another example is the extent of sea-level rise that is likely to be associated with specified degrees of warming. The decisive research relates to the mass of land-based ice in Greenland and Antarctica. This is a large issue, as the complete melting of Greenland ice would raise sea levels by about 7 metres, of west Antarctica by about 6 metres, and of east Antarctica by much larger amounts...During the early research for this book, it was disconcerting to find that the few deep specialists in land-based ice expressed the view privately that there would be a major contribution from dynamical processes in Greenland and west Antarctica to sea-level rise this century. The dimensions of the contribution are uncertain, but they are certainly substantial and possibly greatly disruptive. All declined to put their private views on the public record.

My unscintillating trip to work on public transport )
sarren: (Default)
Nothing like studying climate change and overconsumption and how fossil fuels are DOOMING US to get me back on public transport.

It was easy when I worked in the city, one bus straight in and it's not like you can park in the city anyway. Now I have a 30-40 minute drive and free parking versus 1+ hours, bus -> train -> busing it, so it's not like I can even just get comfy with a book.

Today my bus was on time. ON TIME. A brisk walk down to the train platform, stepping straight onto a train, then only a minute's wait until my next bus and I was home in 41 minutes. Couldn't have done it faster in the car at that time of day!!!

sarren: (Default)
5:45 - 7:15 PM AEST -

5:40pm-6:00pm - Professor Wil Steffen, leading climate scientist
6:00pm-6:30pm - Prime Minister Julia Gillard and GetUp National Director, Simon Sheikh
6:35pm-6:50pm - Ben McNeil, renewable energy expert

Get Up: Throughout the forum, we'll be taking questions for the PM and the other panelists live from Twitter. Tweet with the hashtag #climateforum11 to ask your question and join the conversation.

We're finally getting on with the job of tackling climate change, but the coal barons and the right wing media machine are desperately trying to scare Australians and block the proposal. Getting the facts out, right now, couldn't be more important to our future.


May. 21st, 2011 09:12 pm
sarren: (Default)
Today it was revealed that key scientists have walked away from the government's Murray Darling Basin Authority process in protest.

Right now the Murray Darling Basin Authority is in the final stages of recommending how to deal with the water crisis in the Murray Darling. But shockingly, scientists tell us that the Authority is preparing to announce environmental water flows so low they won't save our nation's food bowl. Worse still, the Authority has cancelled all independent scientific review of the Government's Murray Darling plan in an attempt to cover up its lack of environmental credibility.

Sign the petition )


Sep. 6th, 2010 06:12 pm
sarren: (shock blanket)
So, we're likely to have an actual Prime Minister tomorrow. I quite like the way we've been ticking over without one, personally.

And in other news that makes one despair for the future...

Aboriginal land in one of our most fragile ecosystems has just been earmarked for compulsory acquisition by the Western Australian Government. )
sarren: (shock blanket)
I am sitting in [profile] zebra363's lounge room wrapped in eleventybillion rugs and watching the alpacas grazing peacefully outside. Yes, I am aware it's not *quite* Arctic conditions up here, but it's a psychological thingumummy. Last night I slept with every blanket ever, two jumpers, scarf, socks and gloves. I was comfortable.

Yesterday arvo we spent three hours (until it was too dark to see anything except the giant bonfire) dragging dead branches over to the fence, throwing them over, under or through the fence and then dragging them over to the fire. Then we sat around and stared the fire for a long time.

Then we walked up to the house in pitch dark (I felt very hardcore), had dinner and watched an episode of Lewis (ie slept through).

Things to know about working with Zebra...

- When she says 'that's just about it' - it's not true.

- An hour later when she says 'that's about it, now' - it's not true.

- Some indeterminate time later, when she's an indistinct shadow among the trees emerging periodically to throw piles of sticks and the occasional log over the fence at you, and she says, 'just two more' - it's not true.

Still, nice workout and feeling of accomplishment. Have a feeling will be recreating it next week as it'll be the last weekend for burning off before the ban.
sarren: (Default)
From Get Up...

Julia Gillard has called an election before announcing her climate policy, but the Australian Financial Review (AFR) is reporting an extraordinary outcome from last week's Cabinet meeting: a commitment to set an interim carbon price and reduce carbon emissions over the next two years.

That would be a historic victory, if it were true. Although 'ministerial sources' are quoted, this hasn't been confirmed or announced. This report has all the hallmarks of a trial balloon--a leak politicians use to gauge the public reaction before committing to a position.

So as Cabinet meets again today, let's give them a very big reaction--of overwhelming support. They say you catch more flies with honey, so let's pour it on! Can you call Nicola Roxon, a key member of Cabinet, and express your support for a climate plan that includes charging big polluters for their carbon pollution?

The number is (02) 6277-7220

So often we contact our politicians to criticise or complain. Imagine how it will feel when Nicola Roxon or her staff picks up the phone and is met with your support for their possible policy announcement of putting a price on carbon within the next term of office.

They won't want to disappoint you. Your phone call can be really simple. All we're asking you to do is call Nicola Roxon's office to tell them how happy you are about the story in the AFR and then ask them to confirm if it's true. Tell them about the positive difference it's made to your opinion of the Government.

Can you can contact Nicola Roxon's office? The number is (02) 6277-7220

Now is the most powerful time to influence the Labor Party's decision to deliver a robust policy to reduce our rising carbon pollution. The election has been called and Cabinet is meeting today. Can you help us get a price on carbon pollution by calling Nicola Roxon's office and telling her there are votes in strong climate action?

The number is (02) 6277-7220


sarren: (Default)

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