Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beckham and Timberlake on the Al-Qaeda hit list

Well, got work next week at a camp. This week, staying fit, getting bored, and surfing the net - trying to understand the world and separate truth from falsehood, as is in my nature. There's a lot of misinformation out there... being realyed thanks to journos with less common sense than street sweepers.

You could write a book on the errors and lies spouted by Saint Al gore while he jets around in his private jet instead of commercial airlines like the rest of us peasants. A 6 m rise in sea leavels by the end of the century!! my ass. Even the politicised IPCC says the worst case scenario is a 59 cm rise.

Been reading "Vinod's blog" and found this (must be George Bush’s fault again):

David Beckham and Justin Timberlake are the targets of an alleged Al-Qaeda murder plot.

A chilling internet video, which has been posted on YouTube, brands Becks, 32, and JT, 26, as criminal influences on young Muslims.

Fellow footballers Wayne Rooney and Thierry Henry, as well as rapper P Diddy, are also mentioned.

The warning footage was posted by a Glasgow-based website named after Al-Qaeda that encourages attacks on Westerners.

as Vinod says, this illustrates quite well that it’s the free way we choose to live that really annoys the radical islamics, rather than any piece of foreign policy.

Envy and shame are powerful things and every broadcast of a Space Shuttle launch, every computer that boots up with a Microsoft logo and every can of Coca-Cola is a small reminder of where their society stacks up against ours. Britney Spears terrifies them but in a weird, oblique way, most Americans just can't understand and few of them can truly verbalize. Just about the only thing that could placate them would be if the US was as much of a failure as Syria and/or under their political / social control.

Read more of Vinod's interesting analysis:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lake Moogerah camp

Just back from 4 days at a School camp just north of the Mt Barney area, where I was a few weeks ago. Good camp, great views. Apart from that, I’ve had a few days here and there, at camps on the sunshine coast.

Spent one night out with the kids after walking to the campsite. Kept awake by some dude and his girlfriend having a verbal domestic quite close to our camp. Hence my rather worn look in the photo above. the kids were good, and we did lots of hi-rope stuff -flying fox etc. The rest of the time was spent at the main camp with hot showers, cooked food etc. I must say 16 yr old kids would probably learn more about their strenghts and leadership skills if they went on an extended expedition - 3 to 5 days walking, with some scrambling involved, preferably. Hopefully I'll get to do such camps. Mt Barney was good in this sense, although the walks between camps were pretty short.

Cooloola walk and musings about the environment

Photos: 1 and 3: strangler fig - a parasite that starts as a seed blown on to the top of a tree, then spreads it's roots downwards, and gradually surrounds and squeezes the tree to death.
2: jungle fern amongst the paperbark trees
3,4 my view from the pier.

(click on a photo for a large version).

Went walking in the Cooloola National park – a large area North of Noosa that goes all the way up to Fraser Island. 2 days of beautiful views, and an evening totally alone in a campsite, where I sat on a pier on the large lake and went into spiritual communion with nature – as I do sometimes. It was a really recharging experience. In this I have something in common with the greens – the love and preservation of wild places for our sanity. Though I do not share most of their other views – Love of the top-down enforced commune and distaste of the self-organizing free-market and their fear that the green apocalypse is just around the corner. They’ve been predicting apocalypses in different forms (mass starvation, the coming ice age…) since the 60s, and have a track record of getting it wrong. It’s worth remembering that some of the most hideous pollution has occurred in communist countries – East Germany was appalling. And is occurring right now in China, with the most polluted towns on earth.

I noted that Malaysia had very few large national parks, and saw examples of illegal logging by small time loggers, and illegal burnoffs by farmers. Also tiny 2-man fishing boats going past with their noisy engines, the horizon lit up by halogen lights used by squid-fishermen…. Not to mention the beaches too often littered with plastic and polystyrene. You get much more of a wilderness experience 1 hour away from Sydney than in most Asian parks. In Nepal too, the hillsides are covered with terraced farming, erosion is a big problem. In Africa, poaching kills off endangered species.

In conclusion, the richer a country is, the less people have to scratch a meager living fishing with tiny boats or breaking their back on terraced farms, or poaching, and the more wilderness is preserved. This means that policies which get poor countries to a high standard of living as soon as possible are good for wilderness preservation … not exactly the aim of green policies, it seems. As for industrial pollution - the richest countries also have less of that - compare China to Switzerland, or Japan for example. As for man-made c02 being a problem - see my post later on global warming. (note that temperatures dropped between 1940 and 1970 - while co2 levels rose).

the creation of Rich countries can be achieved by encouraging good governance (democracy, lack of corruption, rule of law) and… the free market. There is a definite correlation between high standards of living and the extent to which a country has “economic freedom” – or a free market situation.