The wild weather keeps coming, doesn’t it? We don’t have to wait to know how incredibly difficult sustaining life, livelihood and shelter will become if we exceed 1.5c degrees of warming.
All over the world, we are already experiencing the results of poor climate policy decisions. It has been a particularly stormy few months in eastern Australia, and it makes me wild. Like the wind. It does not pay to get too attached to your garden or the trees, for Canberra, the bush capital, is being rapidly re-modelled.Read more
Each month, Jude hosts a colour challenge, Life in Colour. The colour for November is black and/or grey. This is definitely my last contribution to this month’s colour challenge.
On the lookout for smoke tendrils in the sky,
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike surveys the scene.
Each year lurching from one extreme to another,
What are we to make of the constant vacillation?
Grey expectations –
Hoping for a break in the weather.
There has been yet more flooding in parts of Australia. The rain would have been welcome had it come after harvest. British Columbia (Canada) has also been experiencing serious flooding this week. Please take care if you live in a flood affected area.
As you do … on cheap electricity and a gas-led climate emergency.
The late, great John Clarke, together with fellow comedian, Bryan Dawe, explain Australia’s energy market. [Videos might only be available to Australian audiences.]
But don’t mention the planet.
You have to wonder if those companies with large long term contracts for electricity are paying proportionately much less than small users of electricity? It would make sense. Discounts for bulk purchases are pretty standard, aren’t they? I wonder if small users are thereby subsidising the big users? Do we know by how much? On top of that, the Australian government has committed $600 million to fund a new gas-fired power station to boost capacity when domestic demand and hence, gas prices. peak. As gas is expensive and government will want to reduce the budget deficit incurred from the pandemic (including clawing back the cost of its gas-led recovery investments), it doesn’t sound like future electricity prices will be minimised. Maybe this will just spur more businesses and individuals to go off-grid? That is likely to make it even more expensive for those who can’t afford to make that switch. It doesn’t seem to be a win for the hip pocket or the planet. Who does win then?
Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.
What a rocky week it has been. In North America, record breaking heatwave exacerbated by climate change is killing people, flora and fauna, as well as damaging infrastructure and disrupting economic activity. In Australia, the national government announced it will provide a loan to a private company, Pembroke Resources (established 2014), for a new metallurgical coal mining project. The mine will have an operating life of 80 years. Pembroke Resources is owned by US private equity firm, Denham Capital. No pesky shareholders or bankers to worry about, but who is going to insure a project like that? Do Australian governments (there is bipartisan support for coal projects) really not care about the damage that our addiction to coal is causing? I wonder if all our fire fighters are vaccinated now in case they are called to help fight fires overseas this year?
Let’s not go there. It is too depressing.
However, since we are chatting about rocks, I learnt from another blogger, Martha Kennedy, that Colorado town, Crestone, is known for its geology and for the discovery of a partially mummified body of a cult leader at the town (see here). I guess it is pretty dry in Crestone. The name of the cult group is called “Love Has Won”. So naturally, I thought of the song, Love On The Rocks, written by Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud. You thought that too, didn’t you? Anyway, it is my choice for Friday song day. Enjoy.
January 2020 — Not your average month. In aridity, smoke and fire, we excel.
Watering park trees.
Wish someone would water me. Read more
In a few days it will be the 17th anniversary of the bushfires that ravaged Canberra (the national capital of Australia) and its surrounds in 2003. With bushfires currently burning to the west of the territory, Canberrans are understandably anxious. It’s old news but some may be interested in this disaster. In many ways, the Canberra bushfires brought about a much broader call for research and action to better understand and respond to bushfire risk. Here are the sanitised details of that event —
“On 18 January, two fire fronts combined to create a 25 km fire front and wind gusts of up to 65 km per hour propelled the fire towards Canberra. The Chief Minister declared a state of emergency at 2.45 pm and the firestorm hit the outer streets of Duffy at approximately 3 pm, and soon reached [other] suburbs …. Four people were killed by the fires, more than 435 people were injured and there were 5000 evacuations. Approximately 160,000 hectares were burnt which equated to almost 70 per cent of the ACT’s pasture, forests and nature parks including Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and all government pine forest west of the Murrumbidgee River Stromlo pine plantation. There were approximately 488 houses destroyed and many more were damaged.” Read more
December (Canberra summer) — Caught in transition.
I feel compelled to take photos, both of the mundane and the unusual, as if to bear witness that these places, things, people and creatures, once existed and that they mattered. Read more