Thank heavens for these scientists

Their initiative – The Global Peace Dividend

Share their petition widely. It is here in so many languages.

Build a global fund to fight against climate change, pandemics and extreme poverty.

The 50 Nobelists’ appeal: spend less on the military, more on human welfare!

The Global Peace Dividend Initiative started this petition to Joseph R. Biden (President) and

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In December 2021, over fifty Nobel laureates and presidents of learned societies signed an appeal for a “Global Peace Dividend”. Taking stock of the accelerating global arms race, they proposed that all member states of the United Nations negotiate a common 2% reduction of their yearly military expenditure. They also suggested that one-half of the resources saved by this reduction be allocated to a global fund to fight against climate change, pandemics, and extreme poverty.

In the period 2025-2030, the ‘peace dividend’ generated by the laureates’ proposal would exceed one trillion US dollars — an amount comparable to total investments in renewable power worldwide, and six times greater than the funds available to research and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined. 

In an era of mounting challenges to human welfare, these new resources could positively impact the lives of millions, at zero cost for nations.

We, the signatories of this petition, strongly support the Nobelists’ initiative and ask you, Messrs. Guterres, Biden, Johnson, Macron, Putin and Xi, to start negotiating such an agreement as soon as possible.

Albert Einstein noted that one “cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war”. Today, leading intellectuals are laying out a path to prevent war and prepare for a prosperous common future. As Secretary-General of the United Nations and leaders of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, we ask you to take this path in our names. 


Please share this petition widely! It’s the best way to make change happen. 

For more information about the #GlobalPeaceDividend, visit or follow us on social media:

Interesting. Australia is a founding member of the United Nations. Thank you Dr Evatt. But, in Australia the Australian national Coalition government is budgeting for $270 billion over a decade for armaments. In addition it is now to buy nuclear submarines from the UK and USA through what they call AUKUS. The Coalition’s Minister for Defence has just spent $3.5 billion on tanks. From 2013 Coalition governments cut billions from public health and adopted a policy of ‘Trade. Not Aid’ and decreased to the lowest level their contribution to foreign aid, while talking about ‘our Pacific family’.

Australians, however, might have more foresight than their Federal government and share and sign this petition and let their Members of Parliament know how they feel about its current military priorities, particularly now we see the impact on Tonga and across the Pacific of that underwater volcanic eruption and the tsunami that has come with it in the midst of this pandemic.

‘A most interesting and worthy initiative ‘(from ‘Nature’)

Meet Carlo Rovelli – quantum physicist connecting sciences and humanities. See his books.

He has done everything he can to get rid of what he calls the ‘pernicious modern’ separation of the sciences from the humanities. And his humanity and depth of understanding is here.

Sciences and humanities!
Matteo Smerlak | Facebook › matteo.smerlak

Put defence money into planetary emergencies, urge Nobel winners
The Global Peace Dividend initiative was launched last month by more than 50 Nobel laureates and the presidents of 5 major science academies.

It calls on all countries to jointly reduce military spending by 2% each year and instead contribute to a global fund to tackle climate change, pandemics and extreme poverty.

Theoretical physicists Carlo Rovelli and Matteo Smerlak, the organizers of the initiative, encourage more people to sign the petition here:

How about Climate Action Teams!

Look at climate teams of nations.

Take in the examples given in Cosmos.

Cosmos’ – the weekly journal of RiAUS

This is the Royal Institution of Australia.

connected with the Royal Institution, London

based in Adelaide, in the Bragg Science Exchange.

Think of cross global connections for emissions reduction.

Look at the possibilities for Switzerland, New Zealand and Chile.

And the possibilities for Australia, Indonesia and PNG and/or South Africa.

See the proposal by the chief economist at the Environmental Defense Fund. [EDF]

Are Climate Action Teams the future of global emissions reductions?

By Jarni Blakkarly

/ 17 December 2021

Illustration by Marc Blazewicz. Credit: Zbruch / Getty (map), Getty Images (vectors).

‘New research reveals the economic viability of developing and developed countries partnering to reach enhanced emissions reduction goals.

‘Chile, New Zealand and Switzerland may be half a world apart geographically, but researchers say they share many of the same challenges when it comes to reducing their carbon emissions.

From the opportunities of geothermal energy to the challenges facing the high-emitting dairy and forestry industries, to the need to consult and cooperate with local indigenous groups, these countries have more similarities than you might think.’

That’s why they have been chosen as an example of what could work under a new model of international carbon trading referred to by researchers as Climate Action Teams.

Suzi Kerr, chief economist at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), says the Climate Action Teams model partners wealthier developed countries with developing countries to reduce emissions globally. It is about increasing ambitions at an affordable cost, and not about using the mechanism to replace or avoid domestic targets and objectives for net zero.

“By 2030, more than 70% of emissions will be in developing countries,” she says. “That means that the mitigation action that has to happen will be in developing countries.

“If we allow the wealthier countries to support and work with developing countries, and increase mitigation in the developing countries, through that support we can double the amount of mitigation for the same cost. So you can massively increase climate change ambition, making it much more likely that we will achieve our 1.5°C goal.”

What are Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)?

Nationally Determined Contributions are actions that individual countries have committed to take in order to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to below 2° Celsius, as part of the UN-led 2015 Paris Agreement.

Kerr says the teams would most likely be successful when the partnerships were between countries with similar industries and economies – to facilitate the sharing of policies, information and technology – or where there was an existing and historical relationship.

But she says both host (developing) and partnering (developed) countries would need to show a genuine and ongoing commitment to emissions reduction policies and frameworks for the plan to work.

“Chile already has quite an ambitious target – they would be mitigating beyond that, which would then put them on a path to be more ambitious,” she says.’

Suzi Kerr, EDF

One of the challenges would be to ensure that the price paid for emissions reduction in developing countries was fair and sustainable – not ridiculously low targets, but more sustainable long-term carbon emissions reductions based across whole sectors of the economy.

“Some countries are engaging in bilateral agreements with other countries where they are buying their low-hanging fruit – really cheap emission reductions,” says Ana Pueyo, a fellow at the New Zealand-based Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute.

“We would want them to collaborate in a climate team with a country that has a reasonably ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). And we would not be supporting them just to meet their NDC, we will be supporting them to go beyond.

“We will be talking about emission reductions over $50 per tonne, so not low-hanging fruit of the kind that we saw in the Kyoto Protocol that raised a lot of mistrust and criticism by environmental groups.

We want to collaborate with countries that are ambitious.”

What is the Kyoto Protocol?

The Kyoto Protocol was a UN agreement adopted in 1995 that committed industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change. It has been largely superseded by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Kerr says the proposal had a lot of potential in a country like Australia, where domestic politics around emissions reduction was messy and fraught with pushback from vested interests.

She says a Climate Action Teams model would enable a country like Australia to raise its ambition by partnering with neighbours like Papua New Guinea or Indonesia, or countries with similar economies and challenges like South Africa, and get a better return on investment when it came to reductions.

“Australia is going to really need to find ways to make real change without causing dramatic, politically impossible change in the Australian economy.”

Suzi Kerr, EDF

“Australia already has strong trade and aid relationships with Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, which would make them suitable candidates, or in South Africa you have many of the same challenges of large mining sectors trying to transition away from coal,” Kerr says.

“These natural affinities could be a really great thing because Australia is going to really need to find ways to make real change without causing dramatic, politically impossible change in the Australian economy. Australian climate policy has had a pretty rocky past, but this is the sort of opportunity to do something really good without having to fight the vested interests head on in the way some of the other policies might require.”

Kerr reports there has been lots of interest internationally. “Countries are really beginning to take their compliance seriously and they’re taking on much more ambitious, nationally determined contributions. They are also realising how difficult this is going to be.”

Originally published by Cosmos as Are Climate Action Teams the future of global emissions reductions?

While the people and governments around the globe focus on the virus,

the climate goes on changing.

AUKUS – Looked at a new way.

AUKUS is the trio formed for Australia to buy nuclear submarines from USA and the UK.

It appears we have much more in common than nuclear submarines.

Each of us faces the undermining of our environments in the name of market forces.

The science warning us about the future meets the face of market-driven greed.

I know it is too long and many will not be concerned while we face the pandemic but. . .

In Australia we have governments, Federal and State, equating fossil fuel with the future. When they talk of the economy and energy they avoid talk of the environment.

Stop Woodside Climate-Wrecking Gas Project Now!

Sign up

Our Australian Federal government is backing the exploitation of pristine waters off the NW coast of Western Australia by Woodside which now contains part of what was BHP. It is called the Scarborough Project. The Australian Coalition, a neo-liberal government, shown by its preference for privatisation and its now clearly market-driven approach to the pandemic, is undermining national efforts to protect the environment, preferring separate deals with different States and Territories.

It still avoids establishing ‘fit for purpose’ National Environment and Biological Diversity legislation required by the Graeme Samuel’s Report on the 1999/2002 legislation.

In the United Kingdom, see how its Environmental Agency has been hamstrung steadily by governments. Read George Monbiot’s essay.

George Monbiot

Fishy Business

The ease with which I registered my dead goldfish as a waste disposer shows how total regulatory collapse has opened the door to organised crime.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 24th December 2021

It’s a tragic story, with a happy ending. Until I was seven, I had a goldfish called Algernon. He wasn’t the most exciting pet, but I was quite upset when I found him floating one morning on the surface of his little tank. This, or so I thought, was the end of a short and uneventful existence.

But a few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the failure to regulate waste disposal in the UK. It showed how millions of tonnes of waste, some of it extremely hazardous, are now being handled by organised criminal networks, and illegally dumped or burned, presenting major hazards to our health and to the living world. It showed how the Environment Agency in England and its equivalents in the rest of the UK have lost control, to the extent that anyone can now get themselves officially licensed as a waste disposer, using false information that can remain unchecked.

Some people found this hard to believe. But as chance would have it, at that very moment, the spirit of my dead goldfish spoke to me. With a clarity he had never exhibited in life, he explained that he wished to be registered as an upper-tier carrier, broker and dealer in waste. This would ensure that anyone paying him to dispose of waste materials could be confident that he had met the requisite standards, and was not the kind of fishy operator who would take your money, dump your waste illegally, evade landfill tax and potentially land you, the unwitting householder, with a £5,000 fine for failing to exercise your “duty of care”.

Perhaps motivated by a sense of guilt, as I had neglected him in life, I sought to fulfil his wishes. On the Environment Agency’s website, I affirmed that he was a, ahem, sole trader and had no unspent convictions. I gave his name as Algernon Goldfish, of 49 Fishtank Close, Ohlooka Castle, Derby, and paid the requisite fee. It took less than four minutes. A month on, my long-deceased goldfish remains on the register as a bona fide upper-tier waste dealer. If you want your rubbish safely removed, no job too big or too small, Algernon is your man. Or your fish.

Already, in other words, the system has fallen apart. The government says, “We have pledged to reform the licensing system for waste carriers”, but this has been going on for a long time, and the situation is likely to get worse. Last month, the Environment Agency circulated two memos to its managers. They explained that while reports of pollution, illegal dumping and other kinds of damage are rising, grants for incident management have been reduced in real terms “by 90% in 10 years”. The only events to which it can still respond are those it is specifically funded to investigate, which means incidents at “regulated sites” (such as places handling radioactive waste, certain kinds of illegal waste and those involved in flood control) and water companies.

The memos instructed staff to “not routinely spend time” on anything other than acute catastrophes caused by other businesses. Members of the public reporting incidents at unregulated sites should be “reassured that their report is useful to help us prioritise our work”, and are effectively advised to take the law into their own hands, by speaking directly to the perpetrator. The agency’s officers are then instructed to “shut down report”.

In other words, unless you run a regulated site or are a water company, you can do what you damn well like. Mind you, as a constant stream of filth suggests, if you are a water company or a regulated site you can also do what you damn well like. Everything is fishy now, except our rivers.

There are two categories of crime in this country: those for which you can expect to be prosecuted, and those for which you can’t. There’s no consistent connection between the seriousness of the crime and the likelihood of prosecution. Bag snatchers stealing a couple of hundred pounds a week are more likely to be caught and charged than fraudsters emptying the bank accounts of elderly people. Carrying a few grams of cannabis is more likely to land you in trouble than dumping hundreds of tonnes of hazardous waste.

On one estimate, aside from the fake companies registered on the Environment Agency site, there are more than 250,000 unlicensed (in other words outright illegal) waste disposers in the UK. The number of con artists involved in ripping off vulnerable people and in white-collar fraud must also be high. According to the latest report by the auditors Crowe UK and the University of Portsmouth, in 2020 fraud cost people and businesses in the UK £137bn. Their estimate has risen by 88% since 2007. Yet only 0.4% of fraud is believed to result in a criminal sanction.

Many tens of thousands of people are likely to be involved in the industrial-scale money laundering, tax evasion, shell companies, corrupt practice and concealment of assets in the City of London and its satellites, and the UK’s property market. Large numbers are running coercive labour rackets in farming, car washes, nail bars, restaurants and other businesses. Altogether, it would not be surprising if more than a million people in the UK were engaged in the kind of organised crime that seldom leads to prosecution.

This is what you get from 40 years of deregulation. While good citizens are bound by ever more oppressive laws, “the market”, according to neoliberal theory, should be released from regulatory constraint. Deregulation is a euphemism for destroying the effective capacity of the state to protect us from chancers, conmen and criminals. Empowered to cut corners, fishy businesses outcompete responsible ones and we begin to shift towards an organised crime economy.

As crime syndicates extend their reach and expand their wealth, they become politically powerful. Eventually, mafias become embedded in public life. This is what happened in the US during prohibition. You can see it at work today in Russia, Italy, Mexico and Lebanon. There is no obvious mechanism to prevent it from happening here.

When Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist, announced that his aim was “the deconstruction of the administrative state”, people were horrified. But in reality, it has been happening for years, on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s just that they do it subtly. Our government couldn’t simply close down the Environment Agency: people would be up in arms. Instead, it hacks the budget and creates an institutional culture of demoralisation and failure. The same goes for the other regulatory bodies. Probity, integrity, trust? They sleep with the fishes.

Posted in health & safety, law & order

And in the United States of America the Environmental Protection Agency was trashed by Trump. But this, from the Center for Biological Diversity, refers to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

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For Immediate Release, January 3, 2022

Contact:Noah Greenwald, (503) 484-7495,

Lawsuit Launched to Protect Tucson Shovel-Nosed Snakes Under Endangered Species Act

Rare, Beautiful Snake Wrongly Denied Protection

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice today of its intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for once again denying protection to Tucson shovel-nosed snakes under the Endangered Species Act. In response to a September 2020 petition from the Center, the Service denied protection to the species for the second time in September 2021.

“The lovely Tucson shovel-nosed snake needs protection from massive urban sprawl from Phoenix and Tucson,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center. “Protecting this snake will mean protecting more of the natural desert we all love.”

The Center first petitioned for protection of the snake in 2004. In response, the Service found the snake warranted endangered species protection in 2010 but said such protections were precluded by its work to protect other species. In 2014 the agency reversed course and found the snake didn’t warrant protection. In doing so, however, it misinterpreted a genetics study to find the snake had a much larger range than previously thought and therefore didn’t need protection. That conclusion was directly refuted in a letter from the preeminent expert on the snake, the late Phil Rosen, Ph.D. In denying protection once more in September, the Service ignored this new information.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is badly in need of reform, but so far we haven’t seen any effort to do so by the Biden administration,” said Greenwald. “It’s not just this little snake that has been wrongly denied protection. Over the years the agency has refused to list dozens of species protections despite clear imperilment, including wolverines and pygmy owls. Even when the agency does protect species, it often takes far too long, sometimes more than a decade.”

The striking Tucson shovel-nosed snake is characterized by alternating black-and-red stripes over its cream-colored body. It has a small range limited to portions of Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties in an area sometimes referred to as the “Sun Corridor Megapolitan” for its rapid urbanization. Making matters worse, the snake only occurs on flat valley bottoms that are prime development areas.

Like other shovel-nosed snakes, the Tucson shovel-nosed snake is uniquely adapted to swim through sandy soils using its spade-shaped snout. According to a study by Rosen and Center Senior Scientist Curt Bradley, the snake has already lost 39% of its historic habitat to agriculture and urban development; the vast majority of its remaining habitat is unprotected and vulnerable.

Tucson shovel-nosed snake. Photo courtesy of USGS. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

More Press Releases

It is all symptomatic of what is happening in three basically English-speaking nations.

Forests are not fuel

Not just Bolsonaro in Brazil.

Time to go to the New Testament –

Matthew 7:3: ‘Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?’

Time to look at this beam in Australia’s eye. What we will allow to happen to our bio-diversity! And this is just one instance of it. Consider the ‘green washing’ in the name.

Find out about this definitely mis-named Verdant Earth Technologies, established only 2018 since Morrison’s Australian Coalition fossil-fuel supporting government has held power.

Nothing will be lush, rich, flourishing, thriving, teeming, prolific after Verdant Earth Energy is finished with it in the name of ‘biomass’. And all the koalas will be gone.

‘Destroying forests to burn for a few minutes of electricity is not a climate solution, it is environmental vandalism and must not be allowed.’ See how big that beam in our eye is!

And Australia suffers from so many bushfires and they are worse and worse and we lose so much! And it is the beginning of our summer and there is a bushfire in Western Australia now! And a company expects to be allowed to do this!

Listen to the Nature Conservation Council on this video.

‘Biomass is not green energy’.

  WATCH AND SHARE THIS VIDEO ON REDBANK TO SPREAD THE WORD Watch on Youtube   Share on Twitter   Share on Facebook Verdant’s proposal, if approved, would require more wood than Forestry Corporation generates from its logging operations across the whole of NSW in an entire year. Verdant plans to source this timber from anywhere within 300km of Singleton, threatening forests all the way to Grafton in the north and the Illawarra in the south. If approved, Redbank will trigger the logging of thousands of hectares of our native forests each year. Biomass proposals like Redbank could set back forest protection and climate action by decades and must be rejected. Watch & Share Video LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL 

Burning trees for electricity releases enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and feeds climate change.  

It takes a forest tree decades to grow but only seconds to burn in a power station furnace. The overall climate impact is arguably worse than coal, and the destruction of forests and all the animals that live there is devastating. Protecting native forests and the carbon they store is one of the solutions to climate change.

I wonder how many ex-patriate Aussies care about what could be happening here.

We have a Minister for the Environment increasing the number of coal mines and wanting to reverse the decision of a Federal judge that she has a duty of care for children whose health suffers from ‘climate harm’ – asthma – from coal mines.

You have the right to vote in the next election.

A pack of playboys?

Our ABC RN Science Show

Privatising developments in space?

We have the right to be concerned.

A serious warning from the University of Adelaide’s

Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Space travel and illegal wildlife trade are bringing greater biosecurity threats.

Fears of new biosecurity threats

Next – Australia’s new Chief Scientist presents her hopes for our possible contributions to the future with our public universities centre stage.

A reminder of the vital importance of Australia’s public universities that were left to languish by this Australian Coalition government in 2020 while COVID 19 raged.

Our public universities had to shed 40,000 positions. All that knowledge, acquired over years, lost. Lecturers, Tutors, Researchers, Librarians, Assistants had to find work elsewhere. They were not going to be funded to stay working for us.

Australia’s billions in revenue went to businesses and private schools, not to the knowledge and capacity of Australians to prepare for a future of global warming.

Hurrah for Cathy Foley – We must have the Humanities to ask the right questions.


Our chief scientist’s goals and hopes for science in 2030

Robyn Williams, presenter of our public ABC RN’s Science Show gives her the last words in today’s program – December 11th 2021.

This Chief Scientist from Australia’s CSIRO knows we need STEAM not just STEM.

When it is private fossil fuel wealth, not weather and the necessity to invest to adapt to changing climate and increased uncertainties – floods on the east coast, major bush fires on the west coast now in Australia’s early summer – that matters for those in government, in a democracy we can vote them out!

We are citizens not just tax payers.

Nature and culture

The sciences with the humanities!

Music in this world of geological time.

What matters is our capacity to share wonder.

The Jenolan Caves in New South Wales, Australia.

  1. > One of Australia’s Most Amazing Experiences
  2. > The Jenolan Caves Blog.

Underground Ecstasy‘ – the story of music underground.

December 5, 2015. Worth repeating in 2021, even if a pandemic has got in the way.

‘Every day, people tour Jenolan’s Lucas Cave. Deep underground, in The Cathedral Chamber, they are transported by a sound and light installation that showcases the dramatic proportions of Jenolan’s highest, grandest and acoustically magnificent chamber. With a sound system designed for performance in this sublime, natural amplification space, The Cathedral is the natural environment for a profound musical experience.  The voices of Dame Joan Sutherland and the Vienna Boys’ Choir have been further elevated by its majestic proportions.

But it is the default soundtrack used on most Lucas Cave tours that evoked sheer delight in the heart of a recent visitor.  Cave guide, Lisa Sampson, led her tour group into the Cathedral Chamber, and remotely activated the default soundtrack, as usual.  To her amazement, the piece of music was a massive favourite of a man in her tour group. In fact, he turned out to be a member of the composer’s worldwide fan club!  So, the tables turned, and cave guide Lisa received a fascinating commentary about the composer, the music, where it has been used and why it sounds so familiar to most people.

The song? The Ecstasy of Gold – originally composed by Ennio Morricone as part of the film score of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Lisa was inspired to do some serious digging into The Ecstasy of Gold. Here is what she discovered. The version played in The Cathedral is by Metallica. It’s been the super-band’s introductory music at concerts since 1983. Jay-Z sampled it in Blueprint. The Portuguese football team Sporting FC have used it as their introductory music for a season of home matches. It’s been used in an episode of The Simpsons and in a Spongebob Squarepants film. In fact, The Ecstasy of Gold has been so extensively covered that it has its own Wikipedia entry!

People have been singing in The Cathedral Chamber since it was first explored in 1860. In fact, it is one of the oldest, continuously running tours in Australia.

This is 2021 remember. Check it out. If you can, come and EXPERIENCE it. If your school, music group or organisation has a special relationship to a piece of music or musical artist, contact Jenolan Caves on 1300 76 33 11 and ask whether it can be played in The Cathedral on your Lucas Cave tour. Remember to book the Lucas Cave tour too! Don’t forget. This is December 2021. We hope it can be visited in 2022.

Nature and culture nurture one another. Come and immerse yourself in both.



If you take this journey beneath the surface in 2022, remember and care about and be prepared to do something about the global warming of our blue planet. It is our collective home. And vote for the future for all of us,  not for the increasing profits for the greedy fossil fuel corporations and their appalling, shameless political allies in Australia.

Australia’s Prime Minister danced a jig to celebrate an LNG development in the ocean off the North West of Western Australia. An attack on bio-diversity. A $16 billion project that could have supported real clean energy developments across the nation and provided support for the people of the Torres Straits whose island homes are suffering from changes in the climate. Australia’s First Nations and our Pacific ‘family’ as he calls our neighbours. No! He dances a jig and cheers for Woodside.

Such a trinity.

Poem. Music. Images

‘The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself’

Ian Gibbins, former Professor of neuro-science at Flinders University, now video poet who lives in Adelaide, South Australia writes: ‘Well, this is something really wonderful… The video I made with Tasos Sagris and Whodoes The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself won the top prize for Avant-Garde films in the Fotogenia Film Festival. The whole Festival has been a magnificent feast of diverse forms and voices. The finalist list included some of the best videos I’ve ever seen. So to come out on top is incredibly humbling.

Massive thanks to Tasos Sagris and Whodoes for entrusting me with their fantastic words and music and the Institute for Experimental Art in Athens for supporting the project.’

If you haven’t seen it, here is the video:

A special way of connecting. This work is taking me, and I hope others, beyond the frustrations of continuing political intransigence, at least for a time.

The Amazon to a Tipping Point?

That is the question!

What is the future for the Amazon?

Will the President of Brazil fulfill his commitment?

Before COP26 there was this news about the plans of Bolsonaro’s government.

Members of the ruralist caucus and allies to President Bolsonaro approve bill that paves the way for a new indigenous genocide,
APIB. 23 June 2021.

Robyn Williams, presenter of The Science Show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National, November 21st, expresses this concern and asks this question about this pledge from Brazil.

Amazon deforestation pledge.
‘The Amazon is being burnt and turned into grazing land. The world’s biggest rainforest influences weather systems in South America and climate even further afield. Brazil signed an agreement at the recent COP26 meeting to wind back its destructive practices. Will they stick to it?’

Amazon deforestation is stopping forest from recycling rainwater, which affects temperatures – ABC News

There is evidence in this information of Brazilian intentions a year before COP26.

Brazil sees record number of bids to mine illegally on Indigenous lands, Mongabay. 13 November 2020.

We are suffering in so many ways from the indifference of governments to global warming.  Callous indifference in their approach to people in the interest of powerful fossil fuel corporations.

In Brazil mining illegally on Indigenous lands.

In Australia, fracking on Indigenous land

in the Northern Territory.

We are democracies.

What are voters doing?

Indifference is the enemy of all of us.

Australia, China, India, Russia are showing their indifference to the future. Coal, oil and gas are only to be ‘phased down.’

Why the humanities must come in now. How long have the humanities been trying to help us?

Back in 1959, Walter M. Miller wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic social science fiction novel by American writer Walter M. Miller Jr., first published in 1959. Set in a Catholic monastery in the desert of the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the book spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz preserve the surviving remnants of man’s scientific knowledge until the world is again ready for it.’ This novel has never been out of print. Note! It spans thousands of years!

In 1897 H.G. Wells War of the Worlds was published serialised. Right at the time when there was an increase in the late 19th century anarchist movement! See any comparison in our contemporary world?

In 1909. E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops imagined a time and situation when the society, relying on ‘the machine’ for everything in their survival, had to live underground.

In 1932 Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World took us to a government where people were made passive with SOMA sedation, keeping people under control at the least expense.

The ‘Getting of Wisdom’ was discouraged, just like Australia today with the cost of Humanities degrees – in the arts, literature, history, politics, drama, music, –  raised by 113%. Rejecting creative and critical thinking.

Now, in Australia, we have Clade by James Bradley, first published in 2015 by Hamish Hamilton.   The  meaning of ‘clade’ comes from biology. It is ‘a group of organisms believed to comprise all the evolutionary descendants of a common ancestor’ – From ‘great apes to human clades’.  In 2013 Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, attacking effective emissions reductions, and stopping them, had called climate change crap.

Like the rest of the world, Australia has known about global warming for decades. The less frightening term ‘climate change’ was brought in by those determined to protect their carbon-fossil fuel profits. Read The Carbon Club by Marian Wilkinson which details the way Australian and American corporations worked so well to deprecate, slow down, dismiss – as Rupert Murdoch did with his media empire – to stop the elimination of fossil fuels. James Bradley has looked ahead to imagine how some will live in Australia, the UK and China.

This is not a ‘sci-fi’ novel. This is a ‘cli-fi’ novel. Such storms. Such fires. Bird die-offs . Massive fish kills – think of the Darling River here – worse droughts and floods hit the globe.
Look up the review of this speculative novel when global devastation has occurred.
Reviewed by Jane Housham  in  The Guardian Thursday 14th September 2017.
Now  –   The latest from ‘The Friends of the Earth’
Is this the ‘right’ way, the ‘Australian way’?  This Coalition’s Prime Minister of Australia says it is.

With the federal government continuing to push its ‘gas led recovery’ agenda, their support for the fossil fuel industry remains a major blockage to Australia taking meaningful action on climate change.
In mid June 2020, it was announced that more than 80,000 square kilometres of new offshore acreage is being offered to oil and gas explorers in Australian waters. The 21 blocks range from the Browse, Carnarvon and Bonaparte Basins off Western Australia, and other basins off Victoria and Tasmania.

Bidding on the blocks is due by March 3, 2022

If even a handful of these areas are developed, it will lock in many decades of greenhouse pollution. This is a watershed moment, where many investors are shifting from fossil fuels, the industry is struggling for social license and faces the threat of investing in what are likely to be stranded assets.’

What are we doing?

Are we sleepwalking into disaster?

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National

Science Show presented by Robyn Williams October 30th 2021.

The prize winners, the anthology, the history remembered. The Science Show this week is all about Bragg.

Sir Lawrence Bragg, Nobel Prize for crystallography, born in Adelaide, insisted the best science writing for its essential import to be realized and discovered was ‘akin to poetry and literature.’ See his Foreword to The Apple and the Spectroscope. That is the aim of the annual anthology of the Best Australian Science Writing, published by New South, the publication arm of the University of New South Wales.

Listen to Ceridwen Dovey speak about why she writes about science and why this prize-winning work focuses on what we are doing to the night sky. None of the billionaires setting out to privatise space asked any of the astronomers how or whether their flights might impede their study of space. They had no interest in potential killer asteroids. We will have 60,000 satellites crowding the night sky in ten years. Who is caring an ounce?

Associate Professor Alice Gorman, space archaeologist, Flinders University, and former Bragg Prize winner was mentioned as one of those trying to help us see what we are doing.

Profit is being put before knowledge and the future for the children.


The counterweight to deliberate misinformation.
On a roll – Ceridwen Dovey wins Bragg Prize for Science Writing again
At the same time, Are too many nations, like this Australian government, putting short-term fossil-fuel based profits first? ARE our young people, unable to Vote, going to have to deal with what politicians, now in positions of power refuse to care about? Ian Lowe summarizes what is needed to move the world away from its current climate trajectory.


What can the young people expect from Glasgow?
World sleepwalking into disaster with lukewarm climate action

I thank our national citizen-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation for its commitment to knowledge.