typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for the ‘NGO’ Category

4 cool sites

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Bono, retire from public life and we’ll donate a ton of money to fight AIDS is exactly what it sounds like. Gotta love that. Turns out that the RED campaign has spent more on marketing associated brands – like American Express – than it has actually raised for charity. Hmmm. What does that sound like….?

And given the European land war currently gearing up in Georgia, Undernews seems a gem of a discovery – particularly with regard to this article detailing the involvement of Israeli & US oil interests in Georgia in the lead up to Russia’s use of the American regime-change-for-personal-gain model of diplomacy. Speaking of which, there’s also this article on preparations for a naval blockade of Iran. And those are just today’s entries.

Hmmm… Certainly less pompous than a lot of the writing at Counterpunch. Could be a new favourite American-based international news and analysis site.

And ditching blah for wah – check out Natalia Paruz. Better known as “Saw Lady”…

is iiiiincrediiiiible. Go swoon at SawLady.com for more freaky goodness….

And finally, not just for Trekkies but for anyone with working eye glands…

That’s not a special effect. It’s a ‘pho-to’ from APOD – NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day archive. It’s cool that they do more than just invent frying pans, fix toilets, and get silenced over global warming, eh?

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Exxon crude oil $US45.45: US Supreme Court ruling

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In a landmark ruling, the US Supreme Court today slashed the damages bill against Exxon for the 11 million gallons of oil their drunken captain poured into a pristine Alaskan ecosystem just 20 years ago. Deciding that “the people” – as in of the, by the, and for the – of the original jury were brain damaged for originally awarding $5 billion in punitive damages against the company, Justice David Souter today pissed mightily in the faces of victimized communities, environments, and species for generations to come.

He found that Exxon should only have to pay $500 million in punitive damages, seeing as the company had already paid $507 million in damages to directly compensate communities of Prince William Sound for economic losses.

$500 million totals about $15 000 for each of the 33 000 claimants, and 4 days worth of Exxon’s profits last year, Read the rest of this entry »

“I Support Terror” by George W. Bush

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I support terror.

The use of fear, intimidation, the threat and the actual act of violence to further a political, ideological, or religious aim, message, or belief.

Hell yes!

Bring it.

5 years on, and Iraq is just getting warmed up.

So many bombings and beheadings and mass graves that if less than 60 people die, nobody notices.

Unless one of them is an American, or an English, Israeli, or Aussie,

etc. etc.

Saddam – an amateur.

Killed 5000 civillians and got hanged for it.

Used chemical weapons.

That he got.

From my daddy.

Hee hee hee.

I killed 3, 4, 5 hundred thousand civilians and got re-elected.

Not like my daddy.

Hee hee hee.

So let’s look at what I’ve got.

Tax money for life? Yessirree.

Impeached? Not likely!

Gunned down? Not yet…

And I’ve sure got this military-industrial complex all up in this bee-yatch.

Machine Accomplished.

No American President can ever back down again.

I’ve killed too many parents and children.

Not for the House of Bush.

Not for my sidekicks – a Dick and a Con and a Robber(the ‘t’ is silent).

 

But in the name of the US People.

 

Vengeance ain’t mine ‘cause I have nothing to avenge,

Nobody wronged me ‘cept Barb when she gave birth,

But revenge will be my legacy.

 

Global hatred as intergenerational equity.

That ain’t me talkin’.

That ain’t even me writin’.

Have too much trouble with them words as big as Texas.

So Happy Birthday Iraq War.

We Won, but you – you’re five!

Don’t get lonely though, li’l camper.

I know our wonderful toys have killed your sons and daughters.

So we’re going to get you a sister!

I think her name’s Irene?

It’s just spelt kinda different.

Heh.

Crazy A-rabs…

 

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This has been a preemptive strike in the name of the March 19 Iraq War Blogswarm…..

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 18, 2008 at 2:12 am

New climate group to drive Australian policy change

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In early March Sydney University’s Faculty of Law launched a new multidisciplinary initiative – the Climate Law & Policy Group.

In line with recent developments – the UK’s Stern Report in 2006, reevaluation of the Kyoto Protocol during 2007 and Australia’s current review process under Professor Ross Garnaut – the initiative aims to fill critical voids within current thinking and activity, both locally and internationally.

Key organisers Professor Gillian Triggs, Dean of Law at Sydney University, and Dr. Rosemary Lyster, an internationally respected teacher and practitioner of environmental law, spoke briefly of the new group’s reason for existence.

They identified the need to transverse various branches of law – administrative, environmental, international, trade, migration, taxation, corporate, criminal and public health – in making way for the emerging field of climate law and preparing legal infrastructure for an all-embracing response to the growing challenge of climate change.

With Australia’s emission trading scheme due to launch in 2010 and with Kyoto having so far failed to adequately engage developing countries, this first-of-its-kind initiative will work with individuals and governments to develop research projects and policy.

Keynote speaker John Connor, CEO of the Climate Institute, addressed the lawyers, academics, NGOs, Justices and students who came to hear his insider’s account of last year’s Bali negotiations and their implications for Australia. Though unsurprisingly absent, environmental barrister extraordinaire, Chris McGrath, did receive an honourable mention as the legal frontiersman keeping the Australian government falling over its legislative toes.

Connor signalled that there are powerful undercurrents building within global negotiations. Developed nations may yet group together to go beyond currently tentative Kyoto targets to cut their carbon emissions by between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020. He identified 2020 as the proving ground, the year by which bold initiatives must be taken and, if successful, replicated on a grand scale.

He said China and South Africa were leading the negotiations to build bridges with the developed world, while Australia is crossing a bridge of her own. The American position of controlled stalling has been rejected, traded for the quantum leap of the Garnaut Review and its broader consideration of the national interest in responding to climate change.

The way forward mapped out by these pragmatists seems to be a multi-layered paradigm shift already set in motion, from changes taking place in local planning laws and research financing to regional partnerships and global transparency and accountability.

The Climate Law & Policy Group’s first conference will be held on August 8.

 

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Monika’s Doggie Rescue: Paws for Thought

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After more than a decade as a self-financed band of gypsies practicing random acts of canine survival, Monika’s Doggie Rescue became a fully registered charity in 2001. Now a network of over 300 volunteers, Doggie Rescue is reshaping its Sydney pawprint.

Speaking with Monika, she explained that their Drummoyne outlet, mainly used for weekend meetings between dogs and potential owners, has recently been dispensed with.

Increasingly, the refurbished Doggie Rescue website will play an important role for rescued dogs and their potential new families. People can look at online profiles of any of the hundred or more dogs housed at the Doggiewood compound at Ingleside. A half hour from the city, amidst scenic forests and the Northern Beaches, Doggiewood is already the main point of consolidation.

Fun, furry, pre-arranged happy petting sessions take place every Saturday at Pet Barn in Alexandria. This ongoing adoption program through Pet Barn provides an important physical gateway to potential inner city owners and foster homes.

Combined, these elements currently see Doggie Rescue place about a thousand dogs in new homes each year. But Monika’s real hope is for a change in the culture that produces abandoned animals.

Just last year, a small amendment to NSW law introduced a compulsory reporting mechanism for councils. As reported in late January, for the first time official figures confirmed that of close to 50 000 cats and dogs taken in by NSW pounds alone, nearly half were killed.

The Department of Local Government’s most recent figures also include the death rates from all other shelters, and indicate that over 60 000 cats and dogs were killed by the NSW system in 2007.

“We have an oversupply of animals because they get pumped out of impulse outlets,” said Monika. “And until people start thinking more about what they adopt when they take an animal – that it’s not just a disposable item – we’re just going to continue all these problems.”

In an effort to challenge this situation, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has been working to put the Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill through state parliament. If she can build the necessary support, what began as a bumper sticker – ‘Say No to Animals in Pet Shops’ – could become law.

Clover’s Bill,” said Monika, “really is the most crucial thing in trying to stave this awful production line, this breeding without very much care or nurturing.”

Monika described ‘the rescue cycle’. Similar to the cycle of homelessness facing many streetSpoilt… kids, abandoned animals get dumped and re-dumped, usually ill-treated by more than just one home.

The proposed law, currently sidelined following a motion by Joe Tripodi, would end the sale of companion animals in pet stores. Sale would instead be restricted to breeders, shelters, vets, and pounds with a proviso that potential buyers are screened, educated, and matched to the needs of their new pet.

Monika’s Doggie Rescue already follows such a process. Perhaps uniquely, they also follow the progress of re-homed pets, requiring that mismatched pets be returned – an outcome that occurs in less than one per cent of cases according to Monika.

Doggie Rescue also provides a permanent backstop. In the event of an owner’s death, departure, or if it is at all needed, they offer permanent right of return for all dogs that come through their doors.

She lists her husband as the group’s biggest supporter who, along with Double Bay Vet Clinic and a number of private donors and supporters, makes it all possible. On the feeding, cleaning, caring, and financing rollercoaster, Monika’s ride has elements of Zen, Old Yeller, and Superfriends.

It is this environment which seems to produce the many Monika’s stories – one particularly sweet one being of a family that adopted a needy little dog with heart problems to keep their father company as he struggled with heart problems of his own.

Drop by www.doggierescue.com, Pet Barn Alexandria, or call Monika’s on 02 9486 3133 to find out more, or even see how you can help.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Tasmania – forest lies, lies, and more lies.

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Tasmania – where blokes are blokes, and trees are nervous.

A state where everything is above board, but Royal Commissions – the highest level of independent inquiry into allegedly corrupt use of authority – are practically banned. Oh Tassie – thank goodness for you, the one place on Earth where destroying forest ecosystems defies physics, biology and chemistry to fight global warming. How? Buggered if I know, but some big blokes with beetroot-blood pressure and friends running chainsaws seem to have worked it out.

Barely a week ago, Paul Lennon – the spectacularly inept Premier of Tasmania and occasional dinner-buddy of Gunns’ CEO John Gay – made a baffling announcement. In response to Professor Ross Garnaut’s analysis of the climate change issues and options facing Australia, Lennon declared that once and for all it was time to get the facts straight about Tasmania’s forests.

This was baffling for two reasons.

Firstly, Lennon and his colleagues in government, industry, and small-minded lobby groups have spent decades arguing that old growth grows on trees and should therefore be woodchipped as quickly as possible lest it get out of control. This argument shifted in the ’90s toward the need for human-led forest management for the good of forests, because without humans, forests are incapable of cutting themselves down. The latest model is two-pronged – logging prevents bushfires (just like abortions prevent cancer) and clearing forests makes room to plant more trees and therefore fight climate change (yes, they are that stupid). In essence, these people have deemed themselves the source of all forest facts. By calling for someone intelligent and with no connection to forestry cash to disseminate facts, Lennon risked undoing decades of half-assed but ubiquitous propaganda.

Secondly, for any non-Greens member of Tasmanian parliament, let alone the bug-eyed, frothing, rabidly pro-Gunns Premier to call for a setting aside of nonsensical argument and the genuinely independent presentation of clear, firm, scientifically credible facts about the environmental impacts of logging is simply unheard of.

But today everything is back to normal. Thanks to our good progressive friends at GetUp, we can see Lennon’s message for what it was. Thanks largely to his timing, it was just another hot, steaming, cow chip of media distraction from a sociopathic Tasmanian bureaucrat. GetUp has just circulated the following release:

You may have missed it, but the Tasmanian Government last week unbelievably signed an agreement handing over Tasmania’s forests to the Gunns pulp mill for the next 20 years – in the very same week Professor Garnaut warned them of the dire climate change consequences facing us.

If we don’t act now, bulldozers will start clearing land for the mill that will contribute 2% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions – at a time when we’re being told we need to drastically cut our emissions. But unfortunately Australia’s forests were largely left out of Garnaut’s recent interim report.

We have only one opportunity to put them in the picture. A proper assessment in his impending Climate Change Report of our native forests’ climate change value may just sink the mill project. Click here now to sign the petition asking Professor Garnaut to examine the full climate impact of this mill madness and the logging of Tasmania’s native forests:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/DontPulpOurClimate

There’s a real risk the Garnaut report won’t include a comprehensive assessment of native forests – despite new research finding the stopping of deforestation a “large, immediate and perishable opportunity”* to massively reduce emissions. Costing out the real value of native forests will not only prove Tasmania’s trees would be better left in the ground but make this teetering project financially unviable when Gunns realises they will have to pay for the carbon embedded in our forests.

Native forests are invaluable sources of carbon storage – and it costs nothing to leave them in the ground. But 80% of the 4.5 million tonnes of wood needed to supply the pulp mill each year will initially come from Tassie’s native forests – permanently destroying forests that can hold 10-20 times the amount of CO2 than plantations.

A proper assessment of their climate change value will undoubtedly make the arguments in favour of the mill, whose climate change impact has never even been assessed, untenable. Take action to protect nature’s lungs before the bulldozers move in:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaign/DontPulpOurClimate

Long story short, Lennon can dance naked down the main street of Hobart wearing wattle in his hair and singing about how he loves the freaky forest critters and their precious wooded homes because he has already pushed through the legislation guaranteeing that they will all be turned into dioxinated mulch.

What visionary leaders he, his state Labor Party, and their big-L small-minded ‘opposition’ are.

Many people may have missed it, but Kyoto in its current incarnation is the best hope for global climate action. Even supposedly progressive governments in supposedly first world countries still treat Kyoto as though it’s too hard, but it is riddled with perverse incentives.

For example, emissions from international shipping and air traffic are not included on anybody’s scorecard at the moment – even though these vapours are as damaging as those of any American cattle ranch or any Chinese coal plant. More directly, Kyoto rewards the cutting down of trees that were planted before the 1990s by recognizing the carbon uptake potential of new trees planted in their place – which means that governments have incentive to replace 600-year old eucalypts with water-intensive saplings.

Brilliant.

Add in the fact that Tasmania’s forest ecosystems are administered by people you wouldn’t trust to look after a goldfish, and all the big environmental research, studies, reports, and recommendations look less and less like progress, and more and more like good ways to feel proactive about doing less than nothing.

Written by typingisnotactivism

March 3, 2008 at 3:31 pm

the latest Whale Tale from Cpt. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd

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grabbed from Counterpunch because I know that even the supposed greenies who are mostly huffy and pissed off about people ragging on Greenpeace still have at least some interest in adventure stories and animals.

The Art of Finding Whalers

By Captain PAUL WATSON

Back in the early days of Greenpeace under the leadership of the late great Robert Hunter we resorted to plenty of unorthodox methods of locating whaling ships on the high seas. Strangely many of these methods actually worked. Stranger indeed has been our record of finding whaling ships on vast oceans armed with little else but our intuition and pure luck.

Bob Hunter used to call this karma. Bob was a Buddhist and a mystic and most likely a saint. He believed in reincarnation. I used to believe in reincarnation also but that was in a previous life.

But in May of 1975 we set out in a small little fishing boat of only 85 feet looking for the Soviet whaling fleet. They were operating in the North Pacific somewhere between the northern end of the Queen Charlotte Islands down to somewhere off of San Diego. We knew that they were somewhere within 200 miles because this was before the 200 mile limit law was introduced and the Soviets delighted in killing whales off the coast of the United States. It also provided a great cover for espionage activities and judging from the incredible array of electronics displaying antennas they were certainly doing more than just whaling.

We started out from Vancouver and journeyed north to the Queen Charlottes. We swam with Orcas in the Straits of Bella Bella and visited an abandoned whaling station in Rose Harbour, on the Charlottes. We saw whales but not a sign of the whalers.

We then headed south and Bob began to throw the I-Ching and in what was probably a first in the history of navigation we began to navigate by the messages received from the I-Ching readings.

This divided the crew into two groups, the mechanics or non-believers under the leadership of Patrick Moore and the mystics under the leadership of Bob Hunter. As a sailor and navigator I kept one foot in the camp of practicality and as a person who had experienced a vision quest under the guidance of Wallace Black Elk during the occupation of Wounded Knee, I had my other foot firmly planted in Bob’s camp of merry mystics. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by typingisnotactivism

February 19, 2008 at 2:06 am