theft


Of the three announced national carbon targets I’ve heard of lately, two are arithmetically worse than Kyoto targets, and one is technically worse. The latter is Australia’s target, already discussed here.

The others are the recent US announcement, and the recent China announcement.

The US announcement was for a 17% cut, which sounds a bit better than the Kyoto US commitment (or non-commitment, as it turned out) of 7%. But it’s not really better, because it’s on 2005 levels, where as Kyoto was based on 1990. As it turns out, the US target, compared to 1990 levels is only about 5.5%, so it’s worse than the Kyoto target, and it’s 8 years later.

China’s announcement was for 40%, which sounds pretty good (and ok, since they didn’t have a target for Kyoto, it’s not really technically logical to call it worse), BUT. China’s target is relative to GDP. And China has a phenomenally high GDP growth rate, that 40% grows less meaningful every year. Even if China’s growth rate was close to average, like 3%, that 40 percent would be more or less nothing by 2020. China’s growth rate isn’t average though, it’s massive – 9% in 2008.

I’ve started collating ruses like these on envirowiki. If you know of any others, please edit that page and add them

I just read “A Short History of Progress”, by Ronald Wright(1). Pretty gloomy, if you need any impetus to become either an activist, or completely depressed, this is it. Wright maps the rise an fall of numerous civilisations, and points out that our current technological and social trajectories are pretty similar really. The only real difference between us and the romans, outside of size of the supporting ecosystem, is that we’ve got evidence of collapse happening before. Well worth reading, especially if you know one of those people who irrationally believe that technology will save us. Now all I need is something to pick me back up.

Where’s Wallace Hartley when you need him? Oh, that reminds me – Chumbawamba have a new album out.

1. Wright, R. (2005). A Short History of Progress (p. 224). Da Capo Press. ISBN: 0786715472

There’s a huge wave of open-licensing sweeping the ‘net, and it’s starting to get into the real world. This is definitely a good thing – freedom of information is a great. The most common licenses, such as the GNU FDL, or the Creative Commons BY-SA stipulate that anyone can use the works, as long as they acknowledge the author, and that they keep it free (usually by using the same license). The last tactic has been called “viral” by numerous capitalists, and they are correct, it is. Eventually it will take over the world, or at least a large part of it. I can’t wait.

Creative Commons, and perhaps a few other licences, give people the option to license their work with a “non-commercial” (NC) clause, This is strongly derided amongst the free software movement particularly, as economic exploitation by a creator is considered a freedom and a right. This is argued well on the Freedom Defined wiki.

There are two main arguments against using an NC license, the first is economic, the second in a matter of compatibility. A third minor argument against the CC-BY-NC-SA, is an argument against creative commons itself. I will deal with these in the above order. (more…)

We didn’t hear much about it on the east coast, but the Greens just became the New Labour. No, they haven’t sold out on Uranium yet, but they’re on their way! One of WA Senator Rachel Siewert’s staffer’s went to a protest at Julie Bishop (Lib/Nat Minister for Science), and the protest got violent. That is, the cops whacked people with battons, and pepper sprayed them, and a protester threw a rock. And the Greens dutifully stood up for the oppressed and apologised to the cops, and sacked the staffer who went to the protest. News.com.au’s WA branch has a piece on the article, but I don’t want to promote that shit. The West Australian had a reasonable front page piece on it on Saturday that I’ve just seen, unfortunately it’s not on their website.

Not only did Siewert sack her staffer, but Bob Brown stepped in, and fucking agreed with her. COME ON you fools! Protesters, being the front line of a diverse movement, pushing the boundaries of issues that you agree with, and get beaten up by a bunch of thugs that have been completely bought out by the establishment and are intent on defending, with violence, the worst parts of the capitalist system – the bits you want to change (I know you’ve always been too soft to actually tackle capitalism head on). These thugs are actually allowed to be violent – they carry deadly weapons at all times, for fuck’s sake. And you take it out on the protesters. Way to support the movement. I think I just lost all respect for Bob Brown, it’s unfortunate that such a misguided fool is the face of the Greens.

Just listening to radio national news/current affairs, and this piece about the Geelong ford factory shutdown/worker layoffs and the newsreader says, roughly:

“The Factory’s manager admitted today that the decision was a hard one, given the impact it would have on Geelong”

ONE word in that really gets me riled up. It’s the word “admitted”. Let’s get something straight here. Companies don’t admit messages like that. They workshop them.

Ford doesn’t give a fuck about Geelong, any more than it cares about anything apart from profit. Companies don’t work for places, they work for money, and, infact, that’s not just an economic choice they make – they are legally bound to to provide profits to their shareholders.

But they DO know that people care about people, even if companies don’t. They also know that people buy cars. And if people don’t like Ford because they think Ford are capo scum, then they won’t buy ford cars (Heh. If people really looked hard, they’d realise that all car companies are capo scum, and wouldn’t buy cars). So Ford has to make it clear that they’re sorry, very sorry, we didn’t want to, but the Market (God) forced us to! no, really!

What the fuck happened to the ABC? It used to be highly intellectual, I’m sure to the point where it could see through this crap, but apparently not any more. It’s a pity. Might be time for some Pirate Radio in Oz.

I had a very interesting lecture today, on thermodynamics, ecosystems, and human values relating to technology (lecture 4, Technology and Human Values, PHIL3910 at the University of Newcastle. I recommend it). It didn’t give me a lot of information that I hadn’t heard before, but Yin Gao’s presentation definitely cemented a lot of that information in place for me.

One thing that did strike me, was Yin’s case study: the Aswan Dam. I’ve heard of it before of course, but never paid a lot of attention. Almost as soon as she mentioned it, I saw the link with climate change. As she went on, the similarities blew me away. let me explain: (more…)

it’s true, this website told me so:
http://www.miningnsw.com.au

not that I didn’t take part in making that website. but that’s not the best bit. The best bit is that this website is actually a parody of a site set up by the NSW Minerals Council, as part of their “Life: brought to you by mining” re-education campaign (http://www.nswmining.com.au). And the NSW minerals council have already taken the site down twice in the last two weeks.

yep. the NSW Minerals Council is having us silenced. who’d have thunk it? surely the Minerals Council is a free-thinking, facts-only information dispenser! who would imagine that they’d stoop to propaganda, and THEN… then try to silence criticism by the community? surely they are friends with the community?

apparently not.

anyway, check out the site, and check the indymedia page, as it has all the details on the background and all that I can’t be bothered writing again:
http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/node/50223 (this is a copy of the RT press release)
The original is ofcourse, at the risingt tide website: http://www.risingtide.org.au/node/401 (also on the front page at the moment)

the SMH has covered it:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/
industry-closes-anticoal-website/2007/03/04/1172943275688.html

let me know what you think. I did all the design work, with some help for a couple of the images. tell me if you think I’ve imitated too closely the original site’s layout etc. I don’t think so. Infact, I’m quite offended that those the NSWMC is claiming MY work, which I easily spent over 30 hours on, as theirs. in fact it really pisses me off.

we’re looking for a barrister, who mightbe able to do the case pro bono if it gets to court (we’d love to pay,but all we can afford is costs/accomodation, that kind of thing). if you know anyone who’d been keen and has some experience in this field,
please let us know.

if you want to help us get this story out there, digg it: http://digg.com/environment/Mining_Lobby_Silencing_Community_Comment

cheers
ned

Notes:

this case deals with legislation brought in to comply with the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement. Remember when all those small-media people were up in arms about the FTA? well this is just one reason why.
The actual amendment is available here:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_reg/car200412004n405376/index.html
(check out the schedule)

Fair Dealing Parody Information:
Fair Dealing Parody Fact Sheet (Attorney General’s Department)

this page is constantly being updated with new sites. nothing will be removed, but I apologise if it makes any comments seem illegitimate.

Happy Valley:

the same shit is happening in NZ, where the big state-owned mining company, Solid Energy, is sueing the Save Happy Valley mob, because they put out a political parody report claiming to be from Solid Energy. check it out!

Other media on this story:

— Mass Media:

— Law blogs:

— Other blogs:

— Other media:

— Crossposts:

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