Posts Tagged With: australia

Police, crocodiles and Penguins

Earlier today I submitted my Best Jobs in the World second round video. When I say today, I mean about 2am. I’m a little tired.

The whole process was intense, in a really positive way. Putting full time work together with making videos, creating social media content, reaching out to traditional media, and planning and pulling off an all-weekend outreach/stunt didn’t leave a lot of time for sleep, and when I did lie down horizontally, my mind was always churning with ideas.

An image of a pedalo boat in the Serpentine

This was a particularly hamstring-stretching iteration of my Quiz.

But being tired was the only real downside. I experienced an outpouring of support and endorsements that exceeded any of my expectations. I had friends who worked their connections, mates who joined me at the pub for brainstorming sessions, family proofreading my CV and getting out and about drumming up support, a gang of willing helpers who dressed in crazy outfits and were mobbed by children, and people I know (and some I don’t!) sending me endorsements from all over the world. Whether or not I make the next round, the last fortnight has been filled with highlights that remind me how lucky I am to know so many great people.

YOU were my ultimate referee - more than 160 of you!

YOU were my ultimate referee – more than 160 of you! (note: the mosaic software was being a bit difficult, so I think there are a handful of duplicates and some people missing :-( But I promise I saw and appreciated every single photo!)

Plus, I wandered all over London with a crocodile and a kangaroo, talking to strangers about some of the most inspiring natural places in the world. I mean, come on! How good’s that? It was so much fun that one of my friends wondered aloud why we don’t just do this stuff for kicks, and I’m a little inclined to agree!

An image of Dave and animals in front of the Serpentine lake

As it turns out, dressing up as a park ranger means people just accept that climbing up on things is the most natural act in the world.

I now have to wait until the 15th May to find out if I’m in the final 3. I think I have creatively interpreted the brief (constrained a little by not being able to work on it during normal hours) but I’m sure lots of the other candidates have come up with brilliant stuff, so I’m going to try to put it out of my mind for a week and just see what happens.

In the meantime, here’s a few of the great people I met on my travels:

An image of Dave, Dave and Squash in Hyde Park

This is Squash Falconer (left) and Dave Corn (right), who are travelling 3000 miles around Europe on Elliptigos (the contraption on the right). Smiling adventurers, raising money for charity – click on the picture to find out about their epic trip.

David and Coppafeel! representatives.

Coppafeel! representatives – a breast cancer awareness initiative aimed at younger people. It was a pleasure to have a chat with them, and such an important subject. Click on the image to visit their website.

Image of Dave on a police motorbike

Also, a big thanks to Officers Lee and Alex for letting me jump on their bike. It’s bloody massive!

And with that, I’m going to put the best jobs in the world to one side for a bit, and think instead about nanocellulose, optogenetics, drones and lego bridges during the day, and, well, a heck of a lot of not much in the evenings!

Oh, and you might be wondering why there are Penguins in the title of this post.

Bit of a long story.

Categories: communication, environmentalism, Fun Things On Land, photos, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It was THIS big!

Apparently this is a postcard from the Western Australia Museum. Crikey, it’s a bonza design! Hat tip for the find to my mum, along with Blue Carpet Collective (click through for their page).

See that little pink blob up near Kakadu? That’s the UK. Oh, the area along the coast from Adelaide to Melbourne? Greece. Germany? A bit of desert. France? More desert. South Africa gets the lion’s share here – most of the good bits, really.

Oh, hi Denmark.

Categories: Puzzles | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Bright and bold: water drop art

Ready? Let’s get stuck in and not waste time.

Seen one of these before?

No, it’s not some kind of digital art – this is a photo straight out of my camera. You might have encountered similar photos before. Here’s one more, then I’ll tell you how it’s done.

The Union Jack, the Federation Star and the Southern Cross - yup, Aussie flag!

OK, here’s the trick. Continue reading

Categories: photos, Puzzles | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grow a pair, Australia

I’m fed up with all the misinformation going around in Australia about the carbon tax. Here’s a few short points you need to know about carbon reduction in Australia.

  • Australia is not ‘going it alone’ by pricing carbon. That’s bullshit, plain and simple.
  • Both parties plan to put a price on carbon. Labor’s price on carbon is a $23/tonne direct price, the indirect price from the Coalition’s direct action scheme is an estimated $15/tonne.
  • Labour’s plan will see this price paid by the industries who create the carbon pollution. The Coalition’s plan doesn’t charge the polluters – the taxpayer foots the bill.
  • The estimated costs to everyday Australians under Labour’s carbon tax are based on averages. You, personally, have some control over the cost. By consuming less power, or buying less carbon-intensive products, you will dodge most of the tax. However, you will still get the benefit of tax cuts. So if you’re smart, you can come out ahead under Labour’s scheme. Under the Coalition’s scheme, you will pay no matter what.
  • Black Friday bushfires. Great Barrier Reef bleaching. Queensland floods. 2010 the hottest year on record. Wake up and realise this problem is real, it is happening now, and it will get much worse if we do nothing.

There you go. I’m not a cheerleader for the Gillard Labour government – I don’t think the scheme gets us where we need to be. A 5% cut by 2020 is nowhere near enough. The environment doesn’t care what’s politically or economically feasible, it cares how many billions of tons of carbon dioxide are pumped into the atmosphere. But Labour’s policy is better than the Coalition’s, for the taxpayer (i.e., you and me) and for the future.

Don’t be a bunch of selfish pricks, Australia. Grow a pair and shell out a few dollars a week to help protect your future and your grandkids’ future – not to mention the billions of other people, plants and animals around the world who will suffer under climate change.

Categories: communication, Politics, Problems | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

A long-awaited announcement

Australia – possibly the world’s most hostile Western country for environmentalists at the moment – has announced plans for a carbon tax. The Labour Party, in coalition with independents and the Greens, are to impose a price of $23 (~£15) per tonne of carbon emitted by 500 of Australia’s biggest polluters. The proceeds from the tax will be used to compensate taxpayers via tax cuts, and also be used to support workers who will be affected, and invest in renewable energy.

A few things that I’ve noticed right away:

  • A very high proportion of the pollution from large industries will be given to them in credits to start with.
  • The price changes most people will see are moderate. Power costs going up *might* be enough to encourage voluntary behaviour change but purchasing decisions on food are unlikely to be affected, as agriculture is excluded from the scheme.
  • The rebates will come in the form of tax cuts. This is OK, but doesn’t explicitly link the carbon element of the overall tax payment to the extra savings.
  • Petrol is excluded. Durrr….

Comments from Tony Abbott, the conservative leader:

So I say “no” to a carbon tax because I say “yes” to manufacturing in Australia and “yes” to affordable electricity and transport.

The whole point of this carbon tax is to make coal, gas and oil more expensive.

The price signal won’t work if the price isn’t high.

The tax doesn’t work if it doesn’t hurt.

It has to make turning on your heater more expensive and make using transport more expensive to work.

This is some of the smarter stuff he says, though it’s wrong. The price signal is intended for industry, NOT for consumers. A consumer price signal might follow, but it might not – if the industry takes action to reduce the tax it’s paying by decreasing its emissions intensity, then the consumer won’t necessarily see a price rise.
He also fails to realise that, to mitigate global warming, coal-fired power stations and the most emissions-intensive industries WILL need to close or be scaled down. Paying people to plant trees (his policy) is a nice complement, but does nothing to stem the carbon being emitted. It’s like buying extra mops when a dam is leaking.
And from Gillard:

From 1 July next year, big polluters will pay $23 for every tonne of carbon they put into our atmosphere.

They now know how much they will pay unless they cut their pollution.

And they can start planning to cut pollution now.

By 2020 our carbon price will take 160 million tonnes of pollution out of the atmosphere every year.

Perhaps. It sounds good, but that relies on the price signal working. Unlike a cap and trade scheme, if industries can still profit under the tax regime, they can still pollute. I definitely endorse the carbon tax – bureaucratically, it doesn’t add anywhere near as much as a cap and trade – but the plan as it stands is not enough to make emissions cuts that will actually impact on my future and that of my generation. It also won’t affect my wallet much. Small victories.

Categories: environmentalism, Problems, Science, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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