David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

04 September 2013

Australia Votes : Climate Change? What Climate Change??


THE AGE editorial today:

As the world warms, Abbott goes backwards

Like the anectodal frogs in a gradually heated pot of water, our would-be leaders seem inured to climate change. While the major economic blocs are moving to tougher carbon pricing regimes to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, Australia's contenders for government have shown little urgency on this issue during the federal election campaign. Coalition leader Tony Abbott has just walked away from a long-term, albeit modest, bipartisan commitment to a 5 per cent reduction in the nation's emissions from 2000 levels by 2020. He now promises only ''as much emission reduction as we can for the spending that we've budgeted''. That is not nearly enough, according to several independent analyses of the Coalition's ''Direct Action'' policy of taxpayer-funded payments to primary producers and industry to cut emissions.
Mr Abbott has shed any pretence that he sees emission cuts as a priority. Good governments, though, heed expert advice, and the advice from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, the World Meteorological Organisation and national scientific and climate research agencies around the world is clear.

Warming levelled off in recent years when we had a coincidence of natural cooling factors - a sustained La Nina event and very low solar activity - but this has not reversed the one-way trend in which each decade is warmer than the last and no one born since 1976 has lived in a cooler than average year. Every year this century so far is among the 14 hottest since record-keeping began in 1880. The world has warmed by almost half the agreed 2-degree limit for avoiding irreversible change. Sea levels are rising and Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low last year. And Australia has just had its hottest 12 months on record. ''It's global warming being manifest locally,'' the Bureau of Meteorology's head of climate analysis, David Jones, says.

So what is the local political priority? The scrapping of the demonised carbon tax if the Coalition wins office. (Labor would shift to a trading scheme from July.) Having shamelessly exaggerated the economic impact of carbon pricing, the Coalition insists election victory would give it a mandate that Labor must accept. That is not how politics works. As Labor leader Kevin Rudd observes, election defeat does not mean you ''junk all of your long-standing policy positions''. Parties are entitled to stick to the policies on which their MPs have been elected.

Mr Abbott is also being hypocritical. He did not accept Labor had a mandate when it won in 2007 promising an emissions trading scheme (as the Howard government belatedly did too). After the ETS came before Parliament in 2009, Mr Abbott ousted Malcolm Turnbull as leader, withdrew Coalition support and blocked the legislation. So much for respecting a mandate. If Mr Abbott cannot secure the parliamentary numbers to axe carbon pricing, it is his prerogative to call a double-dissolution election. Australia might then benefit from a proper, focused debate about the urgent challenges of climate change.
"Everybody knows that Direct Action is a joke." 
Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens
National Press Club (here)

4 September 2013

Today F.I.A.P.C.E. released it's own
Direct Action.

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something ...