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Nov 2009

A New initiative

I have been talking to several of my colleagues who are long term Barraba residents. I have discovered several facts about the recent history of the town which I didn't know.

There have been several efforts in the past to clean up the river round the town but most of them collapsed because of failure to get support locally and from the authorities.

My last posting made the point that giving up on worthwhile projects is very destructive so I need a new plan. I will have to establish working relationships with other folk who are determined to succeed in these efforts and keep on trying. As it happens, I know several people who agree with me about these projects so I hope to get positive reinforcement.

Posted: 27/11/09 5:06 PM

An Interview with Alan Alda

Andrew Denton, one of Australia's most talented interviewers has started a new series called "The Elders". This topic encouraged me to make sure I watched the first episode. This was an interview with Alan Alda, star of "Mash" and someone born only a year or two after me.

I have been suffering from a degree of frustration because the projects I am involved in in Barraba, all of which are really important, are suffering from what I see as a common characteristic of Barraba activities, the rejection of any suggestion of change in favour of continuing to do things the way they have always been done. Given that the world is changing, continuing as though everything is as it always has been can be very dangerous.

The Transition requires everyone to understand the potential dangers of Climate Change and Peak Oil but I cannot attract a significant audience to presentation on these issues and my colleagues on the Transition want me to stop talking about the problems because they believe that this will cause the people to reject any suggestion of necessary change. Most of my colleague have also dropped out of any activity so the Transition is in danger of collapsing. I find this very worrying.

Andrew Denton's interview with Alan Alda was very potent in correcting my negative view. Alan Alda talking about his post "Mash" career made the point that everything he had set out to achieve after his success as a star actor had considerable difficulties and he realised that it was necessary to keep working on these things despite the difficulties if he was to achieve what he had set out to do.

Another of my heros, Peter Cundall, a wonderfully enthusiastic gardener, said something very helpful in a recent radio programme. He was asked by the interviewer about his childhood. He said that he was brought up in a traditional Roman Catholic family but he found that the stories in the Bible were just like the stories in the Fairy Story books. This encouraged him, from an early age, to be an atheist. This made me feel much better about myself.

Posted: 17/11/09 6:18 PM

Another Transition Step Forward

Today the guys have installed a new solar water heater on my daughter's house in Barraba.

I have arranged for it to be visible from the street so that people will know that another effort has been made to educe the town's carbon dioxide footprint.

I didn't use the common term "carbon footprint" because I disagree with the use of a non-scientific term in the public discourse.

I have just read an article in the New Scientist by a scientist who believes that policy makers are using advice from lobbyists rather than sound scientific advice and he is urging the scientific community to make every effort to correct this very destructive practice.

Today I read on the Guardian blog that people who work for the International Energy Agency have discovered that the policy of the IEA is not to publish science based facts if they could "upset America" or "cause a panic on the stock market". The IEA annual World Energy Outlook report due out soon will say that peak oil is not going to happen until 2030 at the earliest. This will be used by policy makers all round the world to set their policies as though the age of plentiful cheap oil will continue for at least another two decades. Those policies will of course tend to increase the consumption of oil thus bringing on the end of the age of plentiful cheap oil sooner.

As a Transitioner, I am terribly worried that the public discourse on Peak Oil and Climate Change is dominated by deniers who represent vested interest and who have enough support for the scientific truth to be ignored by the policies makers. Finding that an organisation such as the International Energy Agency are into this kind of untruth is pretty daunting.

We have just been through quite damaging Global Financial Crisis which was caused by the failure of the policy makers to take account of the reality of unsustainable bank lending. I dread to think of the disastrous effects on the planet if our policy makers ignore the unsustainability of our human impact on the planetary ecosystem. The Global Financial Crisis has been dealt with in a fairly successful way but such an outcome is unlikely to be possible if we suffer from climate change beyond the sustainable limits.

Climate Change and Peak Oil will of course cause considerable disturbance to the global financial system in the future when the costs arising from the problems become greater than the ability of the system to effect the necessary changes.

Posted: 11/11/09 2:42 PM

Another month has dawned

After a long hiatus I have employed a guy to erect the shed we bought in April and which I only got a little bit of the build done before my body cried out for a break.

The shed still needs a few little bits of work but it is very near completion. I have organized to get a lot of steel shelving delivered this week so I will be able to move lots of stuff that is cluttering up the house.

When that is done I will set about re-organizing the house to make it more habitable. The most onerous task ahead of us is clearing the Office/Sewing Room completely to get a new floor covering installed. That could wait but I hope to get that done soon too.

The Secretary of the Barraba Community Development Committee is on holiday so I had to sit in as the Acting Secretary at last night's meeting. It went well but I still have to write up the minutes so I'll be busy again for a bit.

Posted: 3/11/09 11:30 AM


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Created: 3/11/09 and last revised 30/03/2014
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