Thursday, 31 December 2009

30 DAYS IN THE TELSTRA HALL OF DOOM

It started early in December 2009 after I left Cairns for New Zealand to buy a yacht to sail back to Australia.I had been gone from my locked apartment only a few days when Telstra, unprompted by me or anyone else of my aquaintance, cancelled computer access on my home phone line to my internet provider, TPG. Australia and churned me onto their BigPond system from which I had escaped in April 2009 after an acrimonius dispute over inflated charges in their byzantine accounting system.

I was blissfully unaware that this had happened while I accessed the internet from my laptop in hotels and motels all over New Zealand, sending and receiving email, using online banking, posting on Facebook, making international phone calls on Skype etc.The truth only emerged when I returned to Australia on Christmas Eve, December 24th and tried to boot up the computer in my home office. A call to the TPG help desk eventually established that access to TPG had been cancelled on this telephone line on December 6 after a request for a churn to Bigpond, allegedly from my phone in the locked and empty apartment.

It was now Christmas Day, not a good time to try to talk to Telstra or anyone else, but I tried...and tried... until I finally got a response from a call centre in The Phillipines where all calls to Telstra were being directed. Miguel in Manila was difficult to convince that my problem existed, claiming that I had requested a transfer to BigPond, this had been done, and what was the problem?. I finally persuaded Miguel that my plight was genuine, but he could only advise me to call Telstra Australia after it re-opened for business in three days' time after the Xmas holiday break.

By then, I had established a routine at an internet cafe close to home and used my laptop there to access email, but this was an unsecured public site and other activities including internet banking are unwise and cannot be used.
It is now New Year's Eve, December 31. nothing has changed. I have just spent the by now standard 90 minutes pressing buttons, listening to assurances about the importance of my call, etc, to be told that Telstra's last promise of action by 5 PM delivered yesterday should have read byJanuary 5. 2010 . SIX DAYS FROM NOW I am about to try to reach someone a little higher on the totem pole. Watch this space as my sojourn in the Telstra Hall of Doom continues

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Thursday, 15 October 2009

RISING SEA LEVELS, CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE CARTERET ISLANDS


The Carteret Islands, also known as Kilinailau Atoll are a low lying group of islands north east of Bougainville Island. The sea is slowly invading them as they sit perched on the encircling reef, just a few feet above the surrounding sea, and the global warming Industry has used the plight of the people there as an example of the ill effects of climate change.

Leaving aside the inconvenient truth that global temperatures have not risen for the last 11 years and show no signs of doing so; or that more and more experts are questioning what has become an article of faith for millions of people worldwide, no reputable scientist questions the fact that the climate is changing. It always has and it always will, as the dynamics of the planet evolve and alter over time. What some scientists do question is the unproven assertion that human activity over the last hundred years is responsible for a massive and rapidly accelerating rise in temperature, causing everything from rising sea levels to catastrophic weather events.

One of the islands doomed to disappear



There is no question that the Carterets are being flooded by ever increasing erosion from the invading sea, or that this will continue until they disappear, and that rest of the world, including Australia is morally obliged ensure that the Carteret Islanders are relocated in a new homeland. Some have already left for Bougainville, and the rest will follow once the painfully slow task of confirming ownership of new communal land is completed.

Beaches like this one are shrinking


Attermpts to portray the islander's plight as an illustration of the fate awaiting us all unless we heed apocalyptic warnings on rising sea levels continue unabated and should be shown up and resisted.




A walk on the beach now requires wading


But despite all this, the sea is not rising at the Carterets any more than it is rising on nearby Bougainville or, for that matter on Bondi Beach as a visit to either will demonstrate. Tide levels worldwide are much as has been predicted and continue to show no appreciable increase overall, nor are they expected to do so: published tide tables for anywhere on the planet will confirm that this is so.

The inconvenient truth is that he sea is not rising: Kilinailau Atoll is sinking, and will almost certainly continue to do so because it is on the wrong side of the junction between two opposing tectonic plates on the sea bottom.

The fault line from space.(click on globe to view full size)

Click 'back' to return to this page

The Carteret's fate has nothing to do with surface weather or global temperatures, rising or otherwise. The under sea fault alongside this island group follows the Ring of Fire which runs from New Zealand through PNG and The Phillipines up to Japan and then over to Alaska and down the Americas to Antartica with active volcanoes at irregular intervals along its entire length.
The fault is visible evidence of the result of vertical movements both up and down in the earth's crust. The huge slow-moving plates collide along it in tectonically induced conflict producing constant instability and this is what is drowning the Carterets. The earth under them is sinking and taking them with it.

Palm trees, drowned and uprooted


Telling this to the true believers is a waste of breath and no more effective than attempting to convince millions of Americans that the earth and everything on and under it was not created in seven days some six thousand years ago, but we should continue to tell it like it is, not as the Global Warming/Climate Change promoters would have us believe it is.



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Sunday, 4 October 2009

SINNERS REPENT...THE END IS NIGH


With religious faith now reduced to low levels throughout the Western World except for the more fundamentalist sects which are still actively proselytising, it was only a question of time before the universal desire of homo sapiens for reassurance against extinction produced a new belief system.

The time is now, and what amounts to a new religion is sweeping the planet, gaining converts by the millions as it goes. It started out as Global Warming, a scientific theory that the earth is getting warmer due to human activity with catastrophic consequences to follow.

Global Warming was quietly discarded when data accumulated showing that for the last eleven years, average temperatures worldwide had remained level, or in some years had actually fallen. The 'warming' became Climate Change, a portmanteau term which can accommodate rises and falls in global temperatures as well as any and all climatic phenomena including seasonal hurricanes, retreating glaciers, blizzards in the arctic, floods in China, droughts in Australia and reduced egg production by battery hens.

As with its predecessors, believers in the new religion are immune to attempts to question the Articles of Faith and would exact severe penalties if they could on those who question these beliefs as did the Inquisition some four hundred years ago.

The erudite and respected scientist, Galileo Galilei was forced to discard his impious scientific theory that the earth was not the centre of the universe and that the sun did not circle its flat surface every 24 hours, neither did the moon and the stars. Galileo narrowly escaped fiery death at the stake for questioning the received wisdom of the scientific community, and he recanted just in time.

There is a striking similarity about the Galileo Affair and the Global Warming belief system. In Galileo's lifetime, those fortunate enough to be able to afford it could buy Indulgences from the church which would dramatically reduce the time spent in purgatory after death while their sins were forgiven them. Now, sinners who pollute the atmosphere with CO2 can obtain absolution and forgiveness by buying 21st century Indulgences, now labeled Emissions Trading Taxes. Once paid for, their sins will be forgiven and they can continue to emit the evil vapour, paying as they go with more Emissions Trading Tax.

Plus ca change, plus la meme chose.

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Friday, 18 September 2009

MORE ON THE SATANIC GAS

The Evil Monsters



Here's a practical way to understand Australia's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Imagine 1 kilometre of atmosphere and we want to get rid of the carbon pollution in it created by human activity. Let's go for a walk along it.

The first 770 metres are Nitrogen.

The next 210 metres are Oxygen.

That's 980 metres of the 1 kilometre. 20 metres to go.

The next 10 metres are water vapour. 10 metres left.

9 metres are argon. Just 1 more metre.

A few gases make up the first bit of that last metre.

The last 38 centimetres of the kilometre - that's carbon dioxide. A bit over one foot.

97% of that is produced by Mother Nature. It's natural.

Out of our journey of one kilometre, there are just 12 millimetres left. Just over a centimetre - about half an inch.
That's the amount of carbon dioxide that global human activity puts into the atmosphere.
And of those 12 millimetres Australia puts in .18 of a millimetre.
Less than the thickness of a hair. Out of a kilometre!
As a hair is to a kilometre - so is Australia 's contribution to what Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calls Carbon Pollution.
Imagine Brisbane 's new Gateway Bridge , ready to be opened by Mr. Rudd. It's been polished, painted and scrubbed by an army of workers till its 1 kilometre length is surgically clean. Except that Mr. Rudd says we have a huge problem, the bridge is polluted - there's a human hair on the roadway. We'd laugh ourselves silly.
There are plenty of real pollution problems to worry about. It's hard to imagine that Australia 's contribution to carbon dioxide in the world's atmosphere is one of the more pressing ones. And I can't believe that a new tax on everything is the only way to blow that pesky hair away.

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Wednesday, 5 August 2009

More Climate Change Hysteria

Galileo Galilei is long gone to his reward and, unlike him, we no longer risk summary execution for questioning settled 400 year old scientific opinion that the earth is the center of the universe with the sun, stars and planets revolvlng around it once every 24 hours and that's a relief.

But wait, there's more. Continue to switch on lights, iron your clothes, drive your car, cook your food using, ( shock, horror, ELECTRICITY), and we are all doomed. Furthermore, the fate of the planet and all who inhabit it will be decided in a little over 7 days if the Australian Parliament fails to pass the Rudd government's Emissions Trading legislation. Who says so ?. Respected and revered scientists from The Australian National University, that's who. These august savants have gone into specific detail on the damage about to be visited on various world renowned icons by rapidly rising sea levels caused by CO2, the Satanic Gas

The Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park and, wait for it, the Sydney Opera House are all doomed unless sinners repent and do immediate penance in darkness and silence unbroken by the noise of car exhausts, power stations or machines of any kind unless they are powered by solar, wind or better still, pedal power

The Australian National University has a photo on its web page of dangerous gases emitted by the cooling towers of an offending polluter showing evil plumes pouring from menacing red towers. This is a standard shot used time and again by the Climate Change / Global Warming industry and is fraudulent mis-use of photographic evidence to mislead and confuse.

from the ANU website

The menacing clouds sullying the innocent blue sky are not CO2, which is a colourless, odourless atmospheric trace gas. The visible plumes are H2O, i.e steam which will soon dissolve and disappear, as will, in time, this meretricious nonsense from highly paid academics who could and should find something better to do with their taxpayer funded time.

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Friday, 24 April 2009

A Magic formula for beating Global Warming, Climate Change and The Evil Eye.



It was late December 1999. I had just returned from sailing a square rigged cruise vessel from Cairns to Cape York and back again with a load of happy wanderers. It was a last voyage before the dawn of the 21st Century.

The entire planet was awash with doomsday warnings from IBM and some of the world's most respected scientists, all unanimous in their opinion that everything electronic ranging from PCs, Bank ATM machines and computerised navigation equipment, such as the relatively new GPS, down to the humble telephone and domestic hotwater system, would all fail on the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Travel was not advised due to the expected breakdown of most communication systems, mobile phones included. Few if any of these, had software capable of operating after December 31 1999, said the experts.

It was christened the Y2K bug, and salvation was available only after an expensive innoculation performed by IT programmers who were harvesting a bonanza of fees from banks, international phone companies, security organisations and government departments, down to individual users of electronic navigational equipment like me.

These gurus, supported by gullible journalists world-wide. became very rich very quickly as they worked their magic and re-programmed electronic equipment before the dreaded sound of midnight bells on December 31st.1999. It was a brutal and exhausting fight, but they won. The new century dawned and the ATM's continued to work; trains ran without crashing into each other and the wheels of commerce and industry turned smoothly...Crisis averted by the narrowest of margins.

I awoke on new year's day to a chilling discovery. My personal GPS, (pictured here, and now a museum piece), had been forgotten. I had not sent it back to the factory for the expensive reprogramming required to keep it going after December 31st. It was now January 1. 2000... Too late ! The dreaded Y2K bug would have done its deadly work and laid it low.

My 20th Century GPS

I switched the GPS on, expecting a blank screen to confront me with my criminal forgetfulness, but after the usual pause to collect its thoughts, up came an accurate position from the constellation of satellites, still orbiting the earth unperturbed....nothing had changed...nothing had happened... everything worked just fine.

Almost ten years on, it still does!

So, next time you are confronted by a prophet of doom waving computer generated evidence as proof of immanent disaster, climatic or otherwise, save yourself time, money and apprehension by uttering the magic formula Y2K and continue with business as usual.

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Sunday, 15 March 2009

BAMAHUTA
Leaving Papua


People who lived and worked in Papua New Guinea prior to 1975 when independence was prematurely thrust on an ill-prepared and largely unwilling population by the Australian Government, are becoming a thin on the ground as the years roll on.

Most former colonies including PNG have coped with their new status with varying degrees of success, and a recently republished book by former 'kiap' Philip Fitzpatrick would be a welcome addition to any collector of stories written by the men who brought youth, stamina and dedication to the task of preparing a stone age country for political independence .

Rescued from its out of print oblivion by niche publisher Diane Andrews of Cairns, Bamahuta. Leaving Papua reeks of authenticity and personal aquaintance with the people of Papua New Guinea by a writer who lived and worked with them as a kiap in the final years of Australia's occupation of Papua from 1967 to 1973, two years before independence.

Like others who returned to PNG after 1975, including the writer of this review, Philip returned from time to time after the departure of the Australian administration, and was appalled and saddened by the shambolic and lawless depths to which the country he knew and loved had descended. The opening chapter of the book has a vivid account of an armed payroll hijack at a remote airstrip which Fitzpatrick survived after his driver was shot and badly injured. It makes gripping reading.

There is much humour and wry comment by this percipient and acute observer of mankind, both black and white, some of it racier and more personal than in books written by former kiaps like Ivan Champion, Jack Hides and J K McCarthy, but it deserves a place alongside these in the Papua New Guinea section on your bookshelf.

Brian Darcey

The once out of print book is now available from its new publisher by email at
dianepithie@gmail.com

Bamahuta. Leaving Papua © Phillip Fitzpatrick.
Diane Andrews Publishing 2008