Wednesday, August 31, 2005

An energy roadmap for the future - weaning ourselves off oil

Recent predictions of a petrol price rise to $1.30 per litre in Australia should be no surprise. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resources so their price will inevitably rise as demand increases and supply cannot keep up or reduces. Petrol prices will climb to $2 then $3 per litre in the not too distant future – and there is no apparent strategy for dealing with this.

What is really surprising is the “head in the sand” attitude of our political leaders such as John Howard, Peter Costello and Kim Beazley. Australia’s Bass Straight oil reserves will be severely depleted within five years, while our total oil reserves will be severely depleted within thirty years, yet our politicians trundle on apparently oblivious.

Our society has developed an “oil dependency”. Transport of food, goods and people consumes vast amounts of oil every day, so the effects of oil price rises will have serious repercussions on everyone. Lower income people will most affected, as they will lose a much greater proportion of their disposable income.

Yet our politicians are presiding over the building of increasingly grandiose freeways and tunnels – which have the effect of encouraging vehicle usage and therefore oil consumption.

It is time we had a roadmap for the future to promote and develop more sustainable and effective transport options such as public transport, cycling, and CNG and hydrogen fuels.

Here is a site with some interesting information on this topic:

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Article: Blogging to be free

An interesting article on the importance of blogs for free speech, and associated human rights issues.

Blogging to be free
Perspectives | CNET
August 16, 2005, 4:00 AM PT
By Curt Hopkins

"I've never been much of an activist. I lack that certain species of self-regard necessary to join the army of collar-tearing St. Sebastians who populate the peace industry.

But one morning I read an article about the detention and torture of Iranian bloggers. Within half an hour I had conceived and started the Committee to Protect Bloggers, or CPB. Here was a cause that required no hairsplitting. Simply put, no one, for any reason, should be tossed into prison and tortured for what he or she says. I was not alone.

Within a month, thousands of bloggers from around the world, of different creeds, religions and political orientations, had expressed their support. And when, a month after that, on Feb. 22, we staged "Free Mojtaba and Arash Day," tens of thousands of bloggers around the world joined our attempt to focus attention on these two detained Iranian bloggers."

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