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The Keeling Curve, keeping an eye on global CO2 levels since 1958

July 5, 2008

The Keeling Curve
Graph: scrippsco2.ucsd.edu

Many of us may not have heard of the name David Keeling. Many may not have known why this scientist has made such an important impact on the way the world thinks about global warming. So let’s take a quick look at how this man made one of the most important breakthroughs in modern history.

In the early 20th Century it was suspected that the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere was increasing. There was however very little measurements to support these suggestions and what data did exist varied widely.


Paul Stamets 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

May 13, 2008

Video: Ted Talks

I remember reading something from the late Terrence McKenna, suggesting, from memory, that Mycelia may have played a part in the creation of mammals, perhaps in order to help provide feed for fungi, in order to produce spores and then to help move its spores around, and ultimately, they may have also played a part in the sudden and dramatic increase in the size of the human brain, some 2 or 3 million years ago.

Paul Stamets expands on the importance of Mycelia, saying that they are sentient and that they have a range of applications which might help save the Planet. Fungi is the grand molecular disassembler, it was the first organism to migrate on to land, and it’s there that fungi helped produced the first soils and it in fact may help to fight soil erosion now. Fungi is capable of converting pollution to food, it fixes soils and will result in mixed communities of life, in short, it can be responsible for habitat restoration.

Fungi has also been proven to be highly effective against viruses, in fact Paul suggests that saving Old Growth forests, which is critical for these Fungi, should be a matter of National Defence. There is fungi that kills or repels termites from eating houses, and they, on the other hand can be used to attract insects to certain other areas. There is also fungi that can produces econol (ethanol) by breaking down cellulose and it might well be a better way of producing an alternative fuel, rather than using scarce food.

All these possibilities for fungi, yet most of us have never heard of their amazing abilities, one would have to say why, why could such a relatively simple, yet inexpensive solution be over looked, in asking the question you realize you’ve just answered the question… because big business ain’t going to make big bucks from it.

The Rick Simpson Story (Part 1 of 7)

March 24, 2008

I’m going to do another one of my serials here, this time on Medical Marijuana… but first a little personal story.

When I was 22 whilst riding my bike; which I’d ridden for three years without incident, I had a head on collision with a drunk driving a car; a drunk who was so drunk he could not stand. This drunk had apparently turned across a main road without indicating a turn. The collision was at a combined speed of about 100mph or 160kph.

Now it was an open speed limit road, there was a mile vision either side of the collision site, the sun was shining and I had my headlight and helmet on. Had it not been for an eyewitness I would have been charged, despite the fact that the driver was turning across the road and back into the golf club he was manager of.

My bike impacted the car with such force that it drove the car’s motor and gearbox into the front seat, and the car back into his lane… yet the officer attempted to blame me. Had it not been for the eyewitness and curious bystanders pointing out that the broken glass, mud from the cars guards etc were on my side of the road, I would have been blamed… I found out later that the driver was not booked for drunken diving, apparently because he and the police officer were Lodge mates.

Believe it or not I walked, well hobbled away from that accident, and although I remember nothing of the actual accident, I was told by the eyewitness when I contacted him to thank him, that I’d apparently flown over the car and landed on my back some 50 or 60 meters down the road.

Needless to say, after the accident I was pretty sore for quite awhile, however, months later my back was still killing me. The initial apparently disinterested doctors who treated, me basically just gave me some pills (Indocid at first then Bufferin), but they failed to inform me about the correct use of them, and they kept me on them for way too long.

It wasn’t until a a few years later that I got a reference from a friend to a good doctor; prior to my head-on I rarely visited a doctor. Anyway, eventually I got to see a very good specialist as well, he was one of those great old school doctors, and he actually rang; whilst I was in his surgery, one of the disinterested doctors and abused him regarding the ignorance and indifference he’d shown in the drugs he’d given me and which had destroyed my stomach lining all to no avail!

The end result was I was sent to a very good chiropractor and advised by my new doctors that I should ask some of my mates who smoked Pot and to “Give it a try”. I’ll point out that at the time, and despite the fact that I had gotten drunk only a couple of times in earlier years; mainly through peer pressure, I had become quite anti alcohol, tobacco and drugs. I was a serious competition Skydiver and considered such things antithetical to peek performance.

To say that Pot helped would be an understatement, it had non of the side effects of the other pharmaceutical drugs I’d been given. Pot would allow me a full nights sleep, it gave me back most of my mobility and the only side effect that was noticed was, I was perhaps more social and apparently more tolerant; I must admit I was a bit of a tyrannical captain. Though I did not lose my competitive spirit; I went on to win a further 3 state, 2 East Coast and a National championship, it was ironically the over use of alcohol amongst my team members that finally caused me to move from competitions to filming.

As for de-motivating people. Pot has I admit toned down my aggressively domineering and determined Attitude… slightly, and regarding the memory thing, well in Metallurgy I was 1 of 6 out of 123 that started Metallurgy with me, that finished in the minimum period, in fact 1 of the other 5, by his own admission only got through because I helped him.

I guess some might say, “Well it hasn’t seemed to have effected your ego.” Oh contraire, before I started smoking Pot I considered myself as one of the world’s worst winners, man if you were competing against me, or if you were on my team and screwed up you had me in your face till you either gave up or stopped screwing up.

And now finally:- The Rick Simpson Story (Part 1 of 7)

Video: YouTube


Why the tycoons fear hemp: From drugs to oil

February 17, 2008

G’day again,
Before I continue with this post I’d like to recommend a few products and no I’m not being paid and at the time of me composing this post there were no adds pertaining to my suggestion as far as I know (gee I sound like a politician – “I have no knowledge of that” or “I did not have sex with that woman” or “Evil doers” or “The tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free.”). 😉

Anyway the products to which I refer are:-

1. ReadPlease, a free text to speech software, it’s quite good but you should not click on their faces… which of course guarantees that you will, which is exactly what I want you to do… see how easy it is to manipulate people? I might say at this point this is, and the subsequent piece of software are very handy software to own, that will help dyslectics, people with poor eyesight or perhaps blind and and it’s an excellent product to help your kids with their studies. Now is a good time to try out this software since it is a longish post.

2. Verbose, another bit of software, not free but a bargain at about $20 and it has several advantages over ReadPlease in that you can highlight text such as this, tap an allocated key and it will read out the text to you whilst you go on surfing or whatever… it’s a truly great piece of software.

3. The third item is a book by Jack Herer called “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” It’s a very informative book on the Hemp industry and the politics of Pot.

OK now on to the real meat in this post.

I have copied the following post written by Seth Michaels from Helium.


Facts on forests

February 9, 2008

Photo: Google images

A few facts on forests

There are 4 billion hectares of forest in the worlds, covering 30% of the Earth’s total land area.

The world’s forest store 283 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.


Tarzan’s missing forest

December 19, 2007

Tarzan's missing forest
Photo: FunPic via WWF

Notice the dark rain clouds? Notice the now unprotected soil? Notice the absence of abundant and diverse life in the cleared area?… only greed and stupidity could think that that is a good idea!

Endangered Animals: Mountain Gorilla

December 2, 2007

Endangered Mountain Gorilla
Photo: Silverback Mountain Gorilla Family 13, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda June 2006

Habitat: Mountainous Cloud Forests of Central Africa

Location: Central Africa in a tri-boarder area of Uganda, Rwanda and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Status: Mountain Gorilla – Considered critically endangered, a situation made worse by the conflict and political instability in this region.

There only about 380 gorillas in some 30 groups which are left in the wild. There are some signs that things are improving. A 2003 census did show a 17 per cent increase in numbers since 1989, though it’s hardly cause for celebration just yet.

Who has not seen Sigourney Weaver playing Dian Fossey in the movie “Gorillas in the Myst”?

Endangered Animals: Tigers

November 30, 2007

Endangered Animals species Tiger
Photo: Creative Commons

There are a handful of individuals of the 3 basic differing environments that I believe are the supreme adaptive predators. The Tiger is my choice on land, the Peregrine Falcon in the Air (my favorite haunt) and the Dolphins and Killer Whales are my picks for the sea. However it’s the ‘Elephant in the room’ that poses the greatest threat not just the aforementioned stunning creatures, but ironically that ‘Elephant’ it self.

Three of the Nine Tiger sub-species have been hunted to extinction in the last century

This makes me both sad and angry, how can man destroy these wonderful animals. To all those poachers and hunters who still continue to kill, I hope that you end up being eaten by the animals you pursue.

Jacob and Ben’s View

It’s the Kids who feel strongest about the endangered animals so Craig & I have given Craig’s step sons Ben and Jacob an opportunity to include their research on habitat, status and population for the next few Endangered animals posts.

Tiger Stats

Habitat: Forests from India, to south-eastern China and from the Russian Far East to Sumatra, Indonesia.

Status: Endangered to Critically Endangered

Population: 5,000-7,000 individuals

Endangered Animals: Giant Panda

November 30, 2007

Worlds Endangered Animals
Picture: KidsPlanet.Org

We are starting a new category of posts on Endangered Animals.

Any information you have would be greatly appreciated and we will happily give you credit for your work and link to your websites.

The Giant Panda is the International Symbol for Wildlife Conservation and as such a good starting point for our new category. They’re just so cute, you feel like giving them a cuddle.

Giant Panda
Photo: Bensonassoc.com

Giant Panda Facts

Habitat: Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests.

Location: Southwest China (Sichuan , Shaanxi, and Gansu Provinces) to the east of the Tibetan plateau.

Status: Endangered.

Population: 1600 Individuals in the wild.

Say ‘NO’ to the Gunns Pulp Mill in Tasmania, Please Sign our Petition

November 24, 2007

Our previous four to five posts outline a current environmental nightmare of a situation happening right here in Australia.

We believe this situation needs to be addressed and stopped. Namely the proposed building of a huge Pulp Mill in the pristine Tamar River region of Northern Tasmania.

Please read the previous posts and make up your own mind as to the potential disaster that could be created by Gunns and Co.

Also we have included an excellent link from the Wilderness Society of Australia (www.wilderness.org.au) below which discusses why the Pulp Mill would be a disaster.

Click->Why the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill would be a disaster

If you don’t want to see the Tamar River and surrounding environment in Tasmania endangered by the Gunns Pulp Mill, then please show your opposition by signing our petition.

If you decide to sign the petition, you will receive a confirmation email.

This email will have a link which you will need to click on to confirm your signature for the petition.

Click here –> Gunns Pulp Mill Petition

When we have a substantial number of signatures the petition will be submitted to the Federal Government.