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Sunday, 16 September

07:00

Bringing on the Climate Emergency Gippsland News & Views Peter Gardner

A perceptive and important article on the climate emergency in the Age by Paul Gilding appeared recently. Gilding compared the current situation with the unprecedented emergency caused by World War II. The similarities between then and now are clear.

On the historical analogy he stated: The evidence of the threat posed by Hitler was overwhelming and the case for action crystal clear. However, many were still deeply resistant to acting. Only when the threat became overwhelming until it was accepted as an imminent crisis was Britain triggered into action. When it was, Winston Churchill led the critical shift in thinking, arguing that no matter how uncomfortable, expensive or challenging to the status quo, sometimes you just have to do what is necessary. Not your best, or what you can afford, or whats realistic but what is necessary. In his case, that was going to war and assuming victory was possible. And so began one of the fastest and most dramatic economic mobilisations and industrial transformations in history. As a result, something that was rationally bordering on the impossible was achieved.

Has the crisis occurred that will bring on the climate emergency? Probably not though the heatwaves and bushfires in the northern hemisphere this summer, possibly including the currently occurring hurricanes/typhoons in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, are definitely ringing the alarm bells. At home we have the drought and winter bushfires in NSW and East Gippsland. Currently there is no end in sight for the dry and an El Nino threatens, which could complicate and intensify an already dire situation. We have no idea how big or how severe the crisis will be.

In the meantime Gilding points out that the Darebin shire council has already declared the climate emergency in Victoria as a result of determined grass roots action and this has been followed by a number of local governments in the USA. As well there is the climate emergency petition that has been circulating online for some years which many of us have signed.

Gilding noted that with identified threats, resistance and avoidance, stronger and stronger evidence, acceptance of crisis and then dramatic response is pretty much how these things always unfold. And so it will most likely be on climate change. The type of action that will follow the emergency declaration is clearly enunciated by Gilding and by Churchill...

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Saturday, 15 September

07:13

Kryal Castle Ballarat: Australias only Medieval Castle Wyld Family Travel

Kryal Castleoh there some amazing memories from my childhood from this place. I think most Victorian kids and probably plenty of interstate kids will have memories from here. I remember my mum taking me when I was younger and Mark also remembers a visit to Kryal Castle Ballarat with his family.

I must admit though it has changed from what I do remember. The focus of Kryal Castle Ballarat is even more family-friendly now and I can tell you there is no longer the whipping of the wench! When we announced on our facebook page that we were visiting it was a memory that plenty of people had. I can guarantee you, you will not see that when you visit Kryal Castle now.

Kryal Castle Ballarat Australia

There are not many castles in Australia, actually, Kryal Castle is Australias only castle and the only medieval theme park as well. We have been to some of the biggest castles in the world but it was going to be a huge weekend when we finally got there. I wanted to give my girls the opportunity to have the same amazing childhood memories of Kryal Castle that I had and it did not disappoint. If you are going to visit Ballarat then Kryal Castle is one of the best Ballarat activities for families.

Where is the Kryal Castle Ballarat

You will find Kryal Castle just outside of Ballarat in Victoria Australia.

The address for Kryal Castle is 121 Forbes Road, Leigh Creek Victoria. 3352. (You can put this address into your navigation device and it will help you get there)

Kryal Castle Prices

There are plenty of ways that you can get Kryal castle tickets. You can purchase your Kryal castle tickets on the day at the castle ticket office or you can purchase them online through the Kryal Castle website.

...

01:27

How to Photograph Bioluminescent Oceans "IndyWatch Feed Photography"

There are certain natural phenomena that most photographers would love to capture. Aurora, eclipses, meteors, rainbows, eruptions, lightning and tornados all present challenges to the photographer, not least of which is (with the exception of eclipses) having a camera pointed the right way when they happen. Bioluminescent algae is no different in this regard. Like all the most incredible natural spectacles it is hard to predict and tricky to capture.

Ive been lucky enough to witness bioluminescent algal blooms on several occasions and have had a camera to hand when it has occurred. Of all the photographs Ive taken they are easily the most popular and generate more interest (and copyright theft) than anything else Ive ever photographed. So I thought Id give everyone the low-down on this amazing natural occurrence, from a photography perspective, in order to answer everyones questions about it.

Where to find it

The main issue with photographing bioluminescent oceans is finding the algal blooms in the first place. Ive had emails from people in places like Japan and America who admired my images and then asked me where and when it occurs. They seemed to believe that this was a regular occurrence, like the tides, that could be easily predicted and viewed from specific locations. Unfortunately that is most definitely not the case and far and away your biggest problem will be finding the algae in the first place.

There are some locations worldwide where bioluminescent algal blooms have been known to appear and visiting one of these locations is definitely the best way of maximizing your chances of viewing it in the wild. It has been regularly seen in Puerto Rico, the Maldives, and America (particularly Florida) and also in several hot-spots around Australia. Here in Oz, the bioluminescence has been seen in Tasmania, Cairns, Port Lincoln, Port Phillip Bay, and the Gippsland Lakes but Im lucky enough to live a very short drive away from one of the most reliable hot-spots Jervis Bay.

The common link between these locations is that they are at the end of a tidal circulation area, in which flotsam and jetsom traditionally wash up. The dinoflagellates in the water accumulate and get deposited in these areas on an incoming tide. In the case of Jervis Bay, the natural circulation of the bay often leads to the depositing of ocean matter on the beaches on the southern side.

The primary source of flow-agitated bioluminescence is dino...

Friday, 14 September

14:45

Helen Razer On Making Australia Racist-er Again #MARA "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

As the furore over an Australian cartoon about American tennis player Serena Williams rages on, Helen Razer calls game, set and match on the low hanging fruit of racial outrage.

Is Australia Racist?

Great, and at last. A fresh question for our debate-o-tainment.

Is Australia Racist??

Let the contest of ideas begin.

Of course, the answer will be NO.  Few of us suspect a nation established in violent, racist theft might have some lingering issues with racism. (You touch up a brutal invasion with the frail colonial lie that they cannot possibly be human ONE TIME.)  But, to truly learn if Australia, whose immigration policies are openly championed by Europes hard-as-hate anti-immigration right-wing, is racist? What a thrill ride this will be. Are there one or two racist items left in Australias shed of crazed denial (shed next to figurines of much-adored concrete native, not shed still holding Aboriginal children in torture conditions) we must debate.

This important debate was provoked by a drawing. Claimed as a likeness of Serena Williams, the alleged drawing gave me no visual hint of that great athlete at all. For a time, I did not know what this object might be and then I recognised it as the work of a traumatised patient.

My particular guess: the artist was a teen newly rescued from a Gippsland supremacy-and-baking cult and the art was produced when Nurse asked him to draw his feelings about Grand White Guru Wizard Tim. New Matilda notes that reports have since emerged that a Murdoch pissdrip called Mark or Sharlene or similar shat the thing out after eating a full box of Faber-Castells in one of her many office attempts at self-harm. We may never know the truth.

What do we know? That THIS is a spanker of a question. Is Australia Racist? Or, better: can we Make Australia Racister Again? #MARA

Important White Australians consider such questions today, as they are legally obliged to do. They will soon Start the Conversation on breakfast television, they will next Raise Awareness on Q&A and in time will make the very prudent choice of Steve Honk if You Heart Ethno-nationalism Bannon for moderator in chief.

Sure. You may not agree with Steves efficient and colossal distribution of explicitly racist lies about the Blacks, the...

13:48

Major accident closes Bass Highway South Gippsland Sentinel-Times

POLICE and emergency are currently on scene at a three car collision in Inverloch this morning.

It is believed the three car collided on the Bass Highway just west of Inverloch shortly before 10.45am.

Two people have been airlifted and a third is expected to be airlifted to Melbourne shortly.

Two of those have life threatening injuries.

Another two people have been transport by road ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

The Bass Highway is currently closed, and expected to remain closed for another four hours (6pm).

Major Collision investigation Unit investigators are en route and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The post Major accident closes Bass Highway appeared first on South Gippsland Sentinel-Times.

11:25

Protecting our playground means action on climate Mountain Journal

Weve on the tail end of an awesome winter. But the fact is that climate change poses an existential threat to the winters we love.

Yet again, climate scientists have warned that we are running out of time to cut greenhouse emissions. Yet the federal government has dropped the ball on climate action (and our carbon emissions continue to soar), so we need everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel and remind them that the community wants to see meaningful action on climate change. Please send a message to the PM, Scott Morrison, that our winter landscapes are at threat, and that we expect his government to act.

The outdoor community and the outdoor industry have enormous political power. But only if we choose to flex our muscles.

Heres two really simple ways you can get climate change on the radar of the PM:

1/ Please take a photo of yourself in your favourite place and remind the PM that these are #PlacesWorthProtecting and post on any social media platform. Tag in the PM.

Some examples:

The community wants you to #ActOnClimate @ScottMorrisonMP. Action now will help protect the places we love. [insert your favourite place] is worth protecting. #PlacesWorthProtecting

Or

The community wants you to #ActOnClimate, @ScottMorrisonMP. Action now will help protect the places we love, and the tourism that depends on them: $55 billion to the national economy each year. #PlacesWorthProtecting

Instagram post here.

Twitter post here.

2/ sign the open letter to the PM here.

Skiers and climbers, riders and hikers, paddlers and trail runners. Together were a force to be reckoned with.

Thanks!

Protecting our playground means transforming our energy system

Climate change poses an existential threat to the wild ecosystems that skiers and snow boarders, hikers, climbers, paddlers, trail runners, and mountain bike riders rely on for adventure. It also poses an equally grave threat to the businesses that rely on wild nature for their existence.

Tourist operators on the Great Barrier Reef are shifting their stance on climate change,...

09:30

David Bidstrup: Delusional disorder: The politics of electricity in Victoria. "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"

Two stories in todays The Australian, (12 September 2018), caught my eye. They reported on an additional 928 MW of renewable generation that would further impoverish taxpayers and enrich the renewable energy industry.

There are 3 wind farms and 3 solar farms proposed and each of them will be guaranteed a minimum price of $56 per MWh by the Victorian taxpayers. They will also harvest the RET subsidy of $80 per MWh giving a total guaranteed revenue stream that is risk free.

The table below lists the salient points. It is well known that wind operates at around 30% of rated capacity and solar at about 17%. This is due to the intermittency of the wind and the sun.

First thing to notice is the 928 MW rated capacity becomes 245 MW when intermittency is considered. The next is the Victorian taxpayers guaranteed floor price of $56 per MWh which equates to an annual risk free revenue of $120 million/year and the consumers contribution via the RET of $172 million/year.

This allows the operators to bid low to secure the front row at the electricity trough because they already have $136/MWh in the pocket regardless of the market prices.  Under this bizarre scheme they have no responsibility for providing a continuous supply so when nature does not oblige with wind and sunlight some other dispatchable, read coal or gas, power station has to be ready to pick up the load at any time, day or night.

Next lets look at the comparison with the now defunct Hazelwood power station. It had a rated capacity of 1,600 MW at a capacity factor of around 95% and could turn out 13,315,200 MWh annually and it was continuous except for the occasional maintenance outage, ( Hazelwood had 8 units so outages never took the whole station off line). The new renewables can provide 16% of the Hazelwood production, but not continuously. Victoria consumes around 45,000,000 MWh annually, depending on what data is used its a bit difficult to pin it down. This means the new renewables can produce 4.8% of the annual demand, but not continuously. To get 45,000,000 MWh per year from schemes like this would require scaling them up by a factor of 21 with an installed capacity of 19,500 MW and even them the supply would be intermittent.

Apart from the obvious stupidity of schemes like this in terms of lowering prices or providing...

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