Monday 10th of August 2020

darwin was there...


From Gunter Ratingaher (picture of tree regeneration, by Gunter  Ratingaher).

Translated from German by Gus Leonisky...
There is a sense of surreality in the way we interpret what happens in life... Recently I was in Australia visiting an old friend of mine. She is living in the state of Tasmania. Thus I had to go and fly to a place that few people know anything about... From what I gather, this is the place where the world "Green" movement developed and took hold in the 1980s.
Being an old man approaching the 90 twilight zone, I also know that many good worldly people of the late 1880s were more aware of the value of a good environment than most people, including the "Greens", are now. Then, by the end of the nineteenth century, even most "conservative" people were aware of the value of fresh air, of natural landscape beauty and of the value of the earth beyond the price of exploitation. Most knew preservation of nature before the word "conservation" came along.
Tasmanian fires at the beginning of this year (2013) were fierce and destroyed an enormous amount of property — killing too many people. One now can see the native forests and the plantations where the fires went through. Most young plantation trees did not survive. They remain like skeletons of  the dead. Yet, already the taller eucalyptus (probably now used to fire storms) are regenerating. The new growth is still very close to the trunks and makes for weird eerie looking trees. But the next bush-fire season is only a few dry hot weeks and some lightning away. More damage can occur.
As one converses with some of the locals, the "greenies" are the first and last culprits to be blamed for the fires, as they did not allow nor encouraged councils to do some "back-burning" during winter... Back-burning is said to be designed to minimise the risk of wipe-out. Fire-fighters deliberately set the forest alight during cool days of winter, to eliminate the undergrowth and the fallen leaves, as to minimise the amount of "fuel" available should a bush fire be started by accident or by nature... It tends to annoy the local wildlife, but so what?...
Here one should be aware that, of course, the "locals" are either farmers (possibly descendant of those people who shot the last Thylacine — the Tasmanian tiger), are speculators on the world money markets, people for whom industrial indexes — for digging resources and/or cutting wood for toilet paper — "worth" a thousand times more than trees standing in a forest in which one can be in awe of nature, or are simply careless and ignorant about the way nature plays itself out. Some people don't want to know.
But one needs to understand nature beyond being impressed by its sheer presence... Tasmania has a place in its heart for Charles Darwin who — as a young man visiting the island — was already in search of the natural identity of mankind. The specific flora and fauna of Tasmania would have inspired him as much as those of the Galapagos... He would have seen Tasmanian Tigers, before they became "extinct". 
Eventually any person with a tad of common sense would know that with strong winds and the bush being dry for many months, whether one did back burning or not, some major damage was going to be done should a fire be started. Tasmania being the place where the world Green movement first took office, the "conservatives" have lost hold of their marbles in regard to preservation. Conservatives now hate conservation... They hate people who try to preserve the future of nature.
It is a great shame that these people see more value in ephemeral money than in the longevity of natural habitats. Money comes and goes.... Trees and nature are too big to be lost, even to a managed mixed exploitation and preservation... It does not work. Nature always looses out to greed or compromises. Greed is like rubbish sold with an inflated glorious value designed to suit our selfish attitude and desire for customised illusionary meaning while "compromises" are the option of the careless people who fake limited) concern.
Of course in "Tassie", global warming is anathema to the conservatives... The words are not even mentioned in the bush fire origin or paradigm.
See, there were some fierce bush-fires (1967) there, way before global warming was ever mentioned. One has to realise though that human induced global warming started soon after the industrial revolution in 1850s, thus negating this lack of mention, considering the Hobart region should be surprising dry, unless an old person like me ventures into its now once-again "conservatives"- threatened wilderness — and it pours.


a warmest year for idiot abbott...

Tony Abbott’s political opponents have seized on confirmation that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, arguing it should compel the prime minister to abandon his plans to scrap the nation’s carbon pricing laws.

Labor and the Greens used the latest Bureau of Meteorology records to demand the Abbott government rethink its policies on climate change. The acting Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, branded Abbott a “reckless ideologue who ignores the science and is intent on listening to people who are part of the tinfoil hat brigade”.

Abbott went to the election in September with a promise to scrap the carbon tax and replace it with his “direct action” policy – including tree planting and an emissions reduction fund to provide incentives for cutting greenhouse gas output.

Labor and the Greens have refused to support the carbon price repeal bills in the upper house, making it likely Abbott will have to wait until the new Senate composition takes effect in July to pass the laws. Labor maintains its support for an emissions trading scheme and advocates moving from the current fixed carbon price to a lower, floating price this July – a year earlier than legislated by the Gillard government.

cooking a saturday roast...

The scorching heatwave gripping much of Queensland will be felt in Brisbane tomorrow, with residents set to roast in temperatures of up to 41 degrees Celsius.

Queensland's interior has been sweltering through record-breaking heat in recent days, along with parts of Central Australia and north-western New South Wales.

The heatwave comes as a Bureau of Meteorology report reveals 2013 was the hottest year on record in Australia.

The mass of hot air causing the extreme weather again led to searing temperatures in central and western Queensland on Friday.

St George topped the temperature list with 47.2C, while Winton and Longreach also had scorchers at 46.4C and 46.3C respectively.

Charleville followed on 46.1C, while Blackall, Roma and Thargomindah all recorded temperatures just above 45C.

Brisbane's top for Friday was 34.3C, but the mercury is predicted to reach 41C tomorrow as northerly winds push the heatwave south.

destruction of your rights by TPP...


Under the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, Australia could be forced to pay foreign corporations not to dig up or destroy its coastline or native forests, writes Tom Warne-Smith.

What would you do if an international company decided to stick a toxic waste dump next to your house? Lodging an objection with your council is a good start - but what if the company could claim millions of dollars in damages if the council said no?

That's exactly what happened in Mexico when the municipality of Guadalcazar refused to issue a permit to build a waste dump because of the impact on the 800 surrounding residents and $16.6 million in 'compensation' was awarded to the dump's US owners.

Get ready, because the laws that let this happen are coming to Australia too.

A range of experts have recently highlighted the alarming potential consequences of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). This 'free trade' agreement between countries will more than likely contain secretive Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses, allowing foreign companies to sue national governments when changes to domestic laws affect the company's investments, and so limiting governments in the regulations they can make to protect the public.

A lot has already been said about the disastrous effects of these clauses on public health initiatives, like plain packaging for cigarettes. While the thought of paying Philip Morris so Australia can have a law to protect the health of Australians is bad enough, the effects on our environment could also be devastating.


Though anti-smoking campaigns have seen significant successes in many countries, including the United States, the sheer number of tobacco smokers worldwide has actually increased, according to a new study from the University of Washington.

Between 1980 and 2012, the rate of smoking globally decreased from 26% to 18.7%, but the total number of smokers actually increased to nearly 1 billion, the study says. The increase in the number of smokers worldwide is due to population growth—overall, fewer people smoke today (31% of men, for example) than smoked in 1980 (41% of men). The rate of smoking in the U.S. has plummeted from 42% in 1980 to 18% in 2012, and the total number of smokers has fallen over the same period from 52 million to 38 million. But in some large countries, including Indonesia and China, the number of smokers is increasing.

Read more: Smoking: Tobacco Users Near 1 Billion Worldwide |


stormy brits...

Gus: Anyone who follows my weather prediction would know that back in November I predicted at least four massive destructive storms for the UK. These predictions are not based on chooks entrails but on careful study of weather charts, weather dynamics and global warming. So far my predictions have been more than accurate.



One man is dead and more than a 100,000 people are without power as storms and high winds batter Britain, bringing more misery to already flooded areas and causing widespread travel chaos.

Gusts of more than 160 kilometres per hour lashed western England and Wales on Thursday, Britain's Met Office said, while severe flood warnings remained in place for much of the south and west of Britain.

A man in his 70s died in a suspected electrocution after a tree brought down cables in Wiltshire, police said, while the Energy Networks Association, which represents energy companies, reported that about 130,000 customers had been left without power late on Wednesday (local time).

Parts of south-west England have been under water for weeks after the country's wettest January in nearly 250 years, and areas around the River Thames to the west of London have also been hit by flooding.

Emergency services say they have rescued more than 850 people from their homes along the Thames in Surrey since Sunday as the river rises to its highest level in places for more than 60 years.

The severe weather has led to major travel disruption with motorways and bridges closed, and many rail services cancelled.

"All customers to abandon travel #Ukstorm," Virgin Trains, which runs services to north-west England, wrote on its Twitter website on Wednesday night.

Prime minister David Cameron has promised that "money was no object" in the relief effort, with fears that there was more bad weather to come.

The British army officer leading the flood recovery efforts has described it as "an almost unparalleled natural crisis".




A huge winter storm is affecting the densely populated US north-east, after wreaking havoc in the South.

Across the typically mild South, more than half a million homes and businesses lack power, and thousands of flights have been cancelled.

The mammoth storm has affected people in about 22 states from Texas to Maine and caused at least 12 deaths.

The most crowded swathe of the US - between Washington DC and Boston - is braced for up to 8in (20cm) of snow.



This winter storm (the third one this year) in the east of America is deemed of "historical proportion" like the one in Britain... Idiots won't realise that these two capers including the heat waves in Australia are related to increase in global warming. Scientists won't say so openly because "it is impossible to prove" yet... But scientists know the intensity of "historical storms" and their increased frequency is in line with climate change predictions from computer models of global warming. 

Meanwhile, doing the email rounds and twitter,  a chart of Britain flooded in 2100 lifted a few eye brows... The chart of course was made with sea levels having risen one hundred metres which is not out of the question by 2650 considering the amount of extra CO2 released in the atmosphere by human activity... The sea level rise predicted by 2100 by most computer models is between 45 and 90 centimetres... This prediction is made on present calculations, which for Uncle Gus are far too conservative, especially when comparing with the record.

The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (now more than 400 ppm) has not been seen for several million years and the consequences of such amount are dire. The "plateau" (there has been a slower rise of world temperatures in the last decade though most of the warmest years are in that decade) is not unusual in global warming scenario — even in the record of the last 500,000 years. This record shows that the fluctuation of temperature can appear to stabilise but then shoot through the roof, catching up with the CO2 interference. This is likely to happen in 2014-15, in 2020 and especially in 2032. . . 



scoffing at tasmania...


Tasmania is a land of "dregs, bogans and third-generation morons", according to well-known Australian cultural identity Leo Schofield, who said a decade spent living in the state left him feeling bitter and depressed.

Mr Schofield, a longtime restaurant critic and festival curator, was speaking to ABC News after an article published in Fairfax Media today quoted him as saying his experience in Tasmania "was probably the unhappiest episode of my life".

"I think I came very close to either a nervous breakdown or suicide. I just started to fall apart," he told Fairfax.

The 79-year-old, who set up a Baroque festival in Hobart, said Tasmanians had no respect for their heritage buildings or the environment.

He finally decided to return to New South Wales after the Tasmanian Government cut the festival's funding by 25 per cent, to an offer of $300,000.

He had been looking for a significant increase for the 2014 festival from the $400,000 the Government had previously provided.

The Baroque festival has since moved to Brisbane after a group of arts organisations offered additional cash to secure the event for the city.

He said the rejection hit him hard and his daughters convinced him to return to Sydney.


Ah, the power of cash for culturality... One could imagine Leo doing some candlelight suppers alla Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) of "Keeping Up Appearances" in his Tasmanian mansion where no-one would come, since it was in the middle of nowhere... with an ordinary view of a 1960s brick cottage across the road... Not even a neighbour to bother with some singing...

This information of course is coming from my German mate Gunter Ratingaher (read article at top) who took the following pictures of what may have been Leo's retreat in Tassie...:





destroying the wilderness to see the wilderness — crazy...

A controversial luxury eco-tourism project deep in Tasmania’s untouched world heritage wilderness is a step closer after its developer overcame a court challenge.

The Wilderness Society failed to block the fly-in/fly-out resort, slated to be built on Halls Island at Lake Malbena in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

The environmental group and other appellants argued developer Wild Drake should not have been granted a planning permit for the project, comprising several huts to be visited by up to 240 helicopter flights a year.

They are worried about the camp’s environmental impact and had argued Tasmania’s Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal improperly delegated assessment of the project to the state’s Parks and Wildlife Service.

But a Supreme Court of Tasmania judgment, handed down on Monday, dismissed the appeal, finding “no error” in the tribunal outcome.

“While we are disappointed with this decision, in the coming weeks we will explore our options,” Wilderness Society campaign manager Tom Allen said in a statement.

“The integrity of Tasmania’s world heritage wilderness is worth fighting for.”
The luxury camp is awaiting approval from federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.

“We call on her to decide that the proposal should be subject to a detailed and transparent environmental impact assessment that specifically considers the wilderness impacts of this proposal,” Mr Allen said.

The Wilderness Society has 21 days to decide whether to appeal the judgment.

The Lake Malbena project has faced several approval-related legal challenges and rallies have been held against the plan.


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