Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Trumpers and the waste they create

Note on the name TRUMPERS ( 17th March 2017) While stimulated by the phenomenon of President Donald Trump and his quickfix solutions, my idea in making up the word TRUMPERS is to find a new expression for a very old disease phenomenon in the recent Western tradition-- the word also carries the image of a pretty card which miraculously breaks the rules of reason in the game. There is a lot of sound common sense in playing cynic with every new complete savior technology and quick fix presented by wannabes .
This is what the well respected sociology Professor Jaques Ellul tried to tell the West nearly one hundred years ago . A.N Whitehead did also
The new saviors are typically not COMPLETE solutions ,There is ALSO a lack of real perspective , the need for catch up and a failure to really face the limits of what caused the problem .
Some other catch ups to come
  1. - a lack of recognition that Trumping is what got our wannabes to try and make water -----Australia
  2. -- the lack of recognition by taxpayers that Trumping ideas are what many poorly trained ignorant ideas people public servants licence themselves to practice when they sit down to work each day (Rob Sitch's honesty in Utopia ABC)
  3. - the suck eggs revelations we see trotted out post disaster by the press. Many disasters have a strong man made component that is not acknowledged, let alone understood by observers in the media.( Not OUR problem)
  4. -unseen consequences :the experiments this excitement about "new" creates results IS defunding of the old practices and any great commitment to their further refinement ( huge issue across the public service where its growing inability to do old things better is testimony to its changes of direction ( The imposition of a CEO - a change everything often type leader??) loss of real understanding of the wickedness of political problems.
  5. - ignorantly asserts world leadership of the particular wannabe and the need to change things that aren't broken. Fixers are out of a job and sycophants get one
  6. - As its driven by public servants ,wannabes and the public desperation for hope, it usually lacks cost control, realism and sound cost benefit analysis. It is rightly asserted as quick fix
  7. - the dressing up of old as new is an irrational and unsound reality . windmills , fossil fuel and hydro use are not new ( all advocated as if new today
Minor things to check before Weatherill, Freydenberg and the public will see daylight ( only a few)
-The cost to the community of high momentum additions to cars and trucks with heavy batteries
- the inefficiency of DC power for reliable delivery of power over distance.
-foot prints of creation are ignored in Li-Ion case just as they are if we use gas instead of coal.( CO2 outputs similar
-- the way they have switched on and off solar and gas research at a whim
- limits of resources to build such a huge volume of batteries
-the lack of efficient opportunities and probable poor cost benefit of new hydro in Australia
-ongoing explosions risks as there is no likelihood of ever getting better than storing 1,5 volts per cell making chemical storage of KW and high voltage DC a costly and risky physical presence -- their own excitement generated in part by their own ignorance of how things work ( yes they are not alone !)
Most importantly The HUGE and ever present problem is the lack of perspective NOT provided to the public by our problem solving press and their vulnerability to Trumping philosophies.
example :No press campaign as yet stated the LIKELY reality that petrol will be the most likely future fuel because of its easy transport , high energy value and ease of manufacture from algae and other renewable plant material.
Perspective is what we are denied by trusting in Trumpers.; these well dressed glorious desperate dinosaurs that call themselves gods. .

Monday, January 09, 2017

The appalling ignorance and dishonesty of our approach to environmental protection

It will be twenty years this year since the many deaths from 2 building failures at Thredbo created Australia's biggest Coronial enquiry. 
The photo shows the now empty site from the Alpine way above the 2 buildings involved. I wrote a suggested and finally proved correct basis for the tragedy to that Coronial enquiry. 
My work is in remote sensing ( predictions based on geology soils slopes, landscapes runoff, infiltration and vegetation from maps/ photos ;
As its very hard to get real " landslides" in weathered granite ( which this was ) I just couldn't see how the slope failure would happen without negligence of some kind. I knew many examples of both " "natural "and man made "slope failures" ( the proper term)
In 1997 when it happened, I had been looking after the prediction and remediation of landslides in the biggest landslide area in Australia.. You win some you lose some .
While many want to call it Australia's biggest natural disaster ( and blame nature not ourselves? ) , I wrote in 1997 that it was probably an avoidable planning disaster - which is what it proved to be .

Even today, there is still a high risk of slope failures simply because we don't plan the use of soils and water runoff very well.

Our polys should hang their heads in shame because they haven't the guts to train people to plan our environment properly 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Corruption in the world economic system

Great to see Stephen Long chasing the financial structure run by Indian overseas investors .I hope he uncovers the truth and the implications for our government in dealing with Adani . I fear there is too little focus on the former and too much on the latter . A short look not a long look is not a good look - but normal
 We baby boomers need to face the fact that we have been ignoring the dangers beyond our shores and focusing too much on the unconvincing and unjustified attacks/debilitating cynicism  on our own system .The Libs are not the worst disease affecting the country.
We gave money to the poor , often ignoring the fact that we can't really help countries whose own rich exploit them . We are not real wise about real politics - esp when we wander off telling others "How "to do things .
If we are going to do more than be good samaritans with individuals ( our historical and limited territory) we must not ignore the evil which corrupts and can corrupt even our own eco system.

As Susan Neiman has pointed out we lack wisdom in this area and in particular the post Christian reactionaries lack wisdom about evil .
The only way you can tackle real politic is to understand it and understand it in our own system.  Most important of all - understanding it as it happens close to home .
Only by being complete political and jericho road realists can we hope to really keep Australia great .

Do we not also have to decide whether our cynicism. ignorance and fear of evil  is preventing us believing we can be great again . Self loathing is not just the other blokes problem

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ignorance and Arrogance on Environment

Nothing will help modern Australian governments more than finding a way to get OBJECTIVE advice about soil water land and biodiversity questions . Neither farmers nor armchair experts and Green activists  can be trusted on this .
Our world, its wars , its food and its security in investment are dependant on getting this right  The mess of constant fighting about who knows what could go on for centuries .
There is a way forward cultivate local specific objective environment advice and ditch the empires and those who build them . A better democratic project for the 21st century I cannot think of .
Recent letter of mine to the papers .

Common advice to new Councillors is to "take expert advice seriously" . This is good advice ,but it is definitely not the best advice. The best advice is to take on " much advice " as is written on the floor of the Victorian Parliament .
The people in the big smoke don't know everything and one person can't be trusted to know all there is to know on the public good subjects in question.Sorry people, but those of you who live in cities are especially ignorant and arrogant on the subject of environmental risk --if only your leaders would admit it.    
Which of your former Councillors briefed themselves widely on the environmental risk questions which often plague their terms of office . I know having written to many many Shires on the subject of environmental risk for over thirty years, just how little that happens. The waste extends up to the golden thread weavers in Spring street who once thought they could make water .
Many post Kennett Councils have made the very bad and expensive habit of taking and seeking little advice, and from outsiders to the local area. They pay monkeys, and not with peanuts.   
Please Councillors, don't be a bunch of smart arses ( alecs) who think the only good advice comes from above.

.Democrats used to all believe in wisdom from the ground up. I wish all new Councillors well in keeping a better balance that truly respects local sources of wisdom.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Do we really need Emergency services hierarchies

The answer is No . We need leaders but not empires . Many emergencies services can be run by devolved services within existing more local organisations .The shires, hospitals police CFA and forest and  land and water management groups .  

The fact is that emergencies  don't occur every day and they are varied in their extent severity and focus. Permanent agencies are only necessary where both planning and recurrence demand it  Dedicated agencies will get lost between drinks if they don't deal with issues ( often much smaller scale and not called disasters) at very high  return periods
Risk is not an unknown in the country,  but it is to many city centrics , However well trained, city centric  managers are , they cannot have enough experience to properly  manage the range of  them unless they have worked long term at a local level . .

Much environmental risk management is best managed by people who work with related everyday issues ( soils ,water rivers  forests shires  The UFF - CFA dispute  is only the tip of an iceberg of increasing empire building and sus performance within the emergency services industry ,

Craig Lapsley and his staff have too much authority and too little responsibility . Yes govt may need agencies to show and show coordination,- but it should build, as required, from the boots up.

Anyone who knows how the modern emergency services organisation compete with each other and their members will not be surprised that we are not always getting good cost benefit from many of the new ones .

EXAMPLE September 25th September 2016    Forbes floods

'"  all sorts of dialogue is being offered up about situations where so-called managers are out of their depth."
 Incompetent comment in    Italics
Competent responses in      Normal 

"Flood waters hide deep holes and there is risk a car could overturn if a driver attempted to drive through.""  
In designing creek crossings I would consider it poor design if a 1 in 100 year flood eroded the roadway pavement . Ie any holes are Councils or Vicroads fault in most cases . Even  gravel roads should have safe crossing edges ,flood level markers and water over road signs  Public authorities should close the particular road and avoid broad blanket access  .

It is not difficult to prevent the tunneling problem but there would frankly be plenty of low flow crossings that should be on the agenda for work 

"Could get more water  in next few days"     The whole role of EM is to anticipate each situation as it likely to arises not use realtime  situation or unknowns as broad fear factors   

" this is a different flood from the last one "    Em should not talk like public do about risk , They should speak to anticipated risk directly by saying  This is a 1 in 10 i in 100 etc . Each flood behaves differently but the stream manager should be able to plan and design responses on the basis of proper risk assessment calls ( return period - likely rain ,
The geomorphology is known and an  Em who talks vaguely about breakouts and changes in flows has NOT been studying them in the many quiet times between floods . 

Emergency agencies are making the most of the risks,  but are not responding to them in a cost effective manner .
If the locals area reticent about their statement Ministers must take it seriously . A high  number of  disobedients may mean the agency is outta touch with real world risk management  The longer this goes on , the more the system will be corrupted

 Don;t expect the public or the media to pick a sound way through the rhetoric. Cultivating respect for leaders depends on onground credibility , consistent words and ideas like return period

see another time 

Monday, June 27, 2016


Takes one to know one is a great test -well applied . People accuse others of things they know lots about . Tanya wants us to believe her maths is better than the incumbents when it was her party that was the one  rejected at last election for  mismanagement  of Tax .
"According to my figures " we did OK
More here 

Friday, May 27, 2016

One Wonderful Wednesday

I talk a lot ( please be patient and listen this time) but this Wednesday I saw the most powerful standing in silence I have ever seen.   Hours of it --It was beautiful - to be treasured forever .
I love the system of governance we have inherited. Seldom have I loved it as much as I did  on Wednesday when I stood with 3 groups outside Parliament (Victoria)
eh -Its hard to love it at moment with all the noise and superficiality ( 4wks to election)

The very founders of our Colony put gold in the roof and green wisdom on the floor , We hopefully will continue to do the same.
Study it and show yourself truly following their reliable wisdom that's fixed on the floor .IiTs beauty is more than skin deep - reliable resilient.  A place of noise yes but a place where the framework for  peace and rest has been set .
To be continued shortly