Monthly Archives: March 2016

Oh, I love a good book club!

And, as I’ve mentioned before, the first evs Ceres Bookclub was a GOOD bookclub! CERES is a sustainability centre in the suburbs of Melbourne. There’s a cafe, nursery and education about renewable energies. What a cool place to get reading!

http://ceres.org.au/tamil-feasts/

http://ceres.org.au/tamil-feasts/

Our bookgroup centred around a feast, much intense, amused discussion and lots of inspiration. Three books were featured, Atmosphere of Hope by Tim Flannery, The Future, by Al Gore, and Don’t Even Think About It by George Marshall. Tim was there in person with his reflective book and his science mind all filled with notions of mitigation. Of course, the mirror-like quality of his cover is supposed to reflect YOU – you are the hope for the atmosphere.

https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/atmosphere-of-hope

https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/atmosphere-of-hope

Each of these books were presented by smart, highly qualified speakers, experts in climate change, education and entertaining in their own rights. After an able introduction from the bookgroup organiser, Lorna Pettifer, Tim Flannery spoke about Hope, describing technical and scientific suggestions to prevent serious damage from climate change.

https://www.algore.com/library/the-future-six-drivers-of-global-change

https://www.algore.com/library/the-future-six-drivers-of-global-change

The second tome was Gore’s vision of The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change and Sarah Houseman was kind enough to distill that enormous amount of research into a digestible titbit.

http://www.climateconviction.org/

http://www.climateconviction.org/

The final book was the only one I’d had time to read properly (it being shorter!). Kirsty Costa presented Don’t even think about it, Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change.

http://www.climateaccess.org/blog/don%E2%80%99t-even-think-about-it

http://www.climateaccess.org/blog/don%E2%80%99t-even-think-about-it

As George Marshall was unable to join us in Melbourne (he lives in Wales) he created an affable video, welcoming us to the bookgroup and introducing the major themes of his book. As we munched our delicious Tamil fare we warmed to his main theme, which I think was ‘share’. Here’s a basic primer:

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/IHyH3MPgZDo?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>iframe>

George is far more sophisticated than that, proposing tangible strategies for activists. He’s all about cooperation and converting the UNCONVERTED in a non-threatening manner. He took a tea caddy to a parley with the Tea Party in Texas.

https://in.pinterest.com/pin/419749627748518988/

https://in.pinterest.com/pin/419749627748518988/

He sat and chatted with a gun-toting woman, her family and friends for hours. He visited with survivors of a wild fire and toured New Orleans with survivors of Katrina to discover that the last thing survivors of disasters want to think about is climate change. As a general rule, folk don’t want to think about climate change at all. He notes that climate change is described by various thinkers as a ‘perfect’ or ‘wicked’ problem, in that there are so many reasons us human beings find it difficult to come to terms with.

George collects contrary thinkers. He discovered that denying climate change doesn’t mean denying all possible threats to the planet.

http://whyfiles.org/106asteroid/3.html

http://whyfiles.org/106asteroid/3.html

One of the biggest funders of an Information Centre warning of potential collisions with meteors or asteroids is a global warming denialist, Benny Peiser. This particular fellow even has an asteroid named after him, 7107 Peiser, officially listed on NASA’s website. ‘Peiser’s own website, meanwhile, routinely savages NASA’s climate scientists.’ (Interestingly, I can’t find Peiser on NASA’s website.)

George Marshall also examines funding difficulties faced by museums.

Smithsonian: David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins www.washingtonpost.com

Smithsonian: David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins www.washingtonpost.com

The Smithsonian is the biggest museum in the world. Its exhibition exploring climate change through time is ‘directly funded by those nefarious Koch brothers‘. That’s ‘twenty million dollars for the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.’ The Science Museum in London has an Atmosphere Gallery. The primary sponser is Shell Oil.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-12/03/science-museum-climate-change

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-12/03/science-museum-climate-change

Mr Marshall observes that writer Michael Crichton was invited to present scientific evidence at a US Senate Committee hearing, resulting from his eco-terrorist novel, State of Fear. Dr Crichton held a Bachelor in Science and he was a medical doctor. Hard to know his qualifications in atmospheric science. Certainly knew how to create a page turner and make a PILE of money!

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Michael_Crichton#/media/File:MichaelCrichton.jpg

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Michael_Crichton#/media/File:MichaelCrichton.jpg

Don’t even think about it is such an interesting book, I really encourage you to find it in your library. George writes about interviewing young folk at the coz play convention, Comic Con. He assumed these kids would be tech savvy, informed and interested. He asked them what they imagined for their future. He points out that we all knew what the future held when we were kids 50 years ago – it was Tomorrowland! But youngsters today? Go on, ask some for yourself.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/a-special-edition-of-the-current-for-november-30-2-degrees-1.3343179/our-brains-are-wired-to-ignore-climate-change-says-george-marshall-1.3343261

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/a-special-edition-of-the-current-for-november-30-2-degrees-1.3343179/our-brains-are-wired-to-ignore-climate-change-says-george-marshall-1.3343261

Another aspect he explores in the book is personal culpability. Are YOU to blame for climate change? Did you DRIVE to work? FLY across the world for a HOLIDAY? Take a good long hard look at yourself (in Tim’s book perhaps!) George Marshall points out that conservatives particularly HATE being told what to do, particularly by governments and ideologues and GREENIES – conservatives REALLY hate environmentalists – BAH to turning off water! HUMBUG to switching light globes!

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/george-marshall

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/george-marshall

Don’t even think about it is an easy, entertaining and persuasive read. If nothing else, herein you will find strategies for dealing with rich Uncle Dan over the port after Chrissie dinner. George suggests listening to Uncle, trying to understand what his fears are, sympathising with his grief and stress co-operation rather than unity. Be prepared to learn from religions – they’ve managed to keep followers for centuries. Drop over-used environmentalist culture such as polar bears and Save-the-Planet type slogans. Mr Marshall describes his surprise when he recognised the Tea Party Activists had much in common with his own tribe of environmental colleagues.

What have we in common?

If nothing else, I’m guessing we ALL love a good BOOKCLUB!!

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dy68L5jglAg?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
ceres


Goodreads Giveaway!

If you would like a free print copy of Man of Clay then head to Goodreads at the end of February!

(There are some really thoughtful reviews there, too!)

Cover of Man of Clay showing a sleeping baby surrounded by green and gold frogs

cover designed by Risa Liu featuring sculpture ‘Small Things’ by Sam Jinks

This is going to be interesting …

 

<div id=”goodreadsGiveawayWidget175906″><!– Show static html as a placeholder in case js is not enabled –>
<div class=”goodreadsGiveawayWidget” style=”max-width: 350px; margin: 10px auto; padding: 10px 15px; border: 2px solid #EBE8D5; border-radius: 10px;”>
<style>
.goodreadsGiveawayWidget { color: #555; font-family: georgia, serif; font-weight: normal; text-align: left; font-size: 14px;
font-style: normal; background: white; }
.goodreadsGiveawayWidget p { margin: 0 0 .5em !important; padding: 0; }
.goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink {
display: inline-block;
color: #181818;
background-color: #F6F6EE;
border: 1px solid #9D8A78;
border-radius: 3px;
font-family: “Helvetica Neue”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
font-weight: bold;
text-decoration: none;
outline: none;
font-size: 13px;
padding: 8px 12px;
}
.goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink:hover {
color: #181818;
background-color: #F7F2ED;
border: 1px solid #AFAFAF;
text-decoration: none;
}
</style>
<h2 style=”margin: 0 0 10px !important; padding: 0 !important; font-style: italic; font-size: 20px; line-height: 20px; font-weight: normal; text-align: center; color: #555;”>
<a href=”http://www.goodreads.com” target=”_new”>Goodreads</a> Book Giveaway
</h2>

<div style=”float: left;”>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28288727″><img alt=”Man of Clay by Victoria Osborne” title=”Man of Clay by Victoria Osborne” width=”100″ src=”https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/111×148-bcc042a9c91a29c1d680899eff700a03.png” /></a>
</div>

<div style=”margin: 0 0 0 110px !important; padding: 0 0 0 0 !important;”>
<h3 style=”margin: 0; padding: 0; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal;”>
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28288727″>Man of Clay</a>
</h3>
<h4 style=”margin: 0 0 10px; padding: 0; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;”>
by <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13583033.Victoria_Osborne”>Victoria Osborne</a>
</h4>

<div class=”giveaway_details”>
<p>
Giveaway ends March 31, 2016.
</p>
<p>
See the <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/175906″>giveaway details</a>
at Goodreads.
</p>
</div>
</div>
<div style=”clear: both;”></div>
<a class=”goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink” href=”https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_choose_address/175906″>Enter Giveaway</a>

</div>
</div><script src=”https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/175906″ type=”text/javascript” charset=”utf-8″></script>

EKTEK Goodreads Giveaway!!!!

It's Leadbeater's Possum awareness week March 28th - April 3rd 2016! http://leadbeaters.org.au/

It’s Leadbeater’s Possum awareness week March 28th – April 3rd 2016! http://leadbeaters.org.au/

When you win a copy of EKTEK through the Goodreads Giveaway – get in there – you will also win one of these extremely cute badges!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ektek by Victoria Osborne

Ektek

by Victoria Osborne

Giveaway ends March 31, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Bush rats

Native bush rat photographed by Philip Millar

Native bush rat photographed by Philip Millar

Our courtyard borders a revegetated bluestone quarry, Cruikshank park. It’s with some sadness I have to report the death here of a native bush rat. Given its proximity to the water we suspect it may have been poisoned. I understand most popular rat poisons dehydrate the small creatures and drive them to seek water at all costs. This beast was in the open, vulnerable to inspection by a small dog and for a nocturnal creature, awake at the wrong time.

File 7-03-2016, 09 20 02

We could tell immediately it was a bush rat by the round ears. Although the long tail does give the impression of being rattus rattus, imported from Europe, and the scourge of human habitation around the world, this animal is closer to a possum. When you look at that adorable little face …

What is amazing about the presence of the creature is that they are not normally found in urban areas and we live 7 km from the city centre. So the revegetation is working. Up to a point, of course, for whoever bought the poison to knock out the population of rats they thought were dirtying up their precious lifestyle, couldn’t have been aware they were actually being visited by someone all too rare in our city life.

Is it a rat?

Had a fun chat with Leisa at Ratsak. I uploaded the above pictures and she agreed bush rats were lovely and ate insects. So, perhaps if you live near a park or reveg site consider the rats you are about to kill, in a painful and tortuous way, might be shy, nocturnal native creatures contributing to our environment by pollinating flowers and nibbling on insects. Our bush rats are probably not to blame for scuttling in the roof, climbing vines or stealing food from your cupboards.

http://sydney.edu.au/science/biology/becr/research/sydney-bush-rat.shtml

http://sydney.edu.au/science/biology/becr/research/sydney-bush-rat.shtml

A study at the University of Sydney is trying to see if by building the community of bush rats in an area they can keep the black rat numbers down, as competition between the two species is pretty even. So long as their playing field is level to start with!

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2981267.htm