Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What we need is more "lakes" in the not so wild west

There is quite an eerie duality between the lakes of the "wild" west-flowing rivers (in general they flow to wards Lake Eyre) and the "tamed" west flowing rivers. A series of lakes in the "wild rivers" (eg Lake Yamma Yamma, Diamantina lakes, Coongie lakes, etc.) Considerably slows the flow to the treeless salty pit in the end point (Lake Eyre). On the way, these storages are the lifeblood of both wilderness in these catchments(waterholes, trees, wildlife), and for human resources in those same catchments (mainly sheep/cattle grazing).

If you compare this with the Murray/Darling basin, all the human endeavour that has toiled to tame it has merely expanded on this natural system of floods being trapped. Both for the environment and human uses, it is an amazing extension, as the facts remain that floods and drought are as damaging to the natural environment's inhabitants as they are to human habitation. The remaining floods and droughts in the system are still primarily in the gaps where there is no suitable "lake" to absorb floods and make the water available through some of the following drought. I am estimating that by the end of this La Nina year, as much as all the water capacity of all of the Murray Darling water storages will have flowed out through the barrages of Lake Alexandrina. It is an open question as to whether the floods have nicely "reversed" the whole of the environmental damage done through the 10 or so years of it being a closed system (in drought, as it were). Although climate scientists have deemed the last 10 or 20 years as the new normal - I would suggest that it is a very brave call to BET that there will be similar droughts within our lifetime, as opposed to the usual contrived predictions.

If we could have harnessed even half of that water flowing away to the sea, the floods would have been even more controlled. At least we should have generated some osmotic energy from it at Lake Alexandrina, instead of just talking desalination. In the next few years of relatively plentiful water (even if we have a drought immediately after this La Nina) It makes no economic sense to buy (at a high price) water allocations from farmers who would use it to make a profit, for the environment which doesn't need it at that moment because of the soil storage from this recent series of flood events. Just feel grateful that we have got so much flexibility due to large natural and artificial storages, and perhaps plan some more future bountiful lakes that can be huge long term environmental assets for a relatively small environmental and human adjustment upfront price in drowned valleys.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Disaster for International Diplomacy?

The ability for high level diplomats to say one thing *on the record* to each other, and say completely different things in public or to their citizens has been completely compromised - To put it another way, our governments ability to lie to us has been hampered considerably. Oh, what a terrible world it is where the people who's job it is to lie to us can't do that convincingly anymore. If you look at it closely, it is the same with lawyers as it is with politicians. How can lawyers (and prosecutors) successfully lie anymore if forensics and bugging of their priveleged conversations keep getting better and more common?

After all there is a grain of truth in the saying that a politician (and lawyer) is lying if their lips are moving. It is their job to do that, and the job of the "free" press to believe them (otherwise come election campaign they lose all their advertising revenue)

It really appears to be the unfortunate result of better technologies - and scientific systems that seem to find truth and rule out lies.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

country qld

From article

''I grew up in a Queensland country town, where people spoke their minds bluntly,'' he wrote. ''They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald Inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.''

''These things have stayed with me through the years. WikiLeaks was created around these core values.''

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Cyberwarfare Begins

It appears WWI of cyberwars has begun. It seems to be a fair fight, with weapons of choice being Distributed Denial of service attacks. The main casualties will be financial in nature, but will deeply affect how the world will operate in the future. The expectation of "complete" privacy has been eroding considerably, and can only be considered a transient phenomena (this conversation is secure for now - if I don't record it, it loses usefulness. If I do record it, there is an unknown probability that it may be leaked somewhere in the future - hopefully it won't bite us too hard, and will fall in the hands of our friends and not get exclusively sold to our enemies without our knowledge)

This is also the dillemma I (or anyone) has with their own private and intimate emails to friends. I have got into the habit of self-censorship just as much with my private emails as I do with FB or this Blog. There are still a few things I say and talk about verbally that I would not put into writing.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Julian Assange - Hero or villain?

It seems most reputable sites and countries are trying to cut the information off but,
It's not realistic that the information is going to be stopped

Note from the following linked site that he was born in Townsville and spent a lot of his childhood on Magnetic Island.

The "knowledge" that he has uncovered and disseminated is raw, extensive and does not "take sides" in terms of censorship - It's all there and available for anyone to read and make their own judgement.

He has been successfully demonised, especially by the USA, but I am unwilling to make any judgement at all except for that which I check on specifically.