Over the next week, my posting frequency trend line is going to take a sharp dip — mainly because if we choose tomorrow and a week hence as our end points — which, as we all know, is far too short to be blogologically significant — there will be a marked absence of posts. Having got the vineyard ready for netting (which will start happening at 8-30am tomorrow), I will be heading north to Nelson, there to board a boat for six days tootling around the Abel Tasman and D’Urville Island. I will check in from time to time when communication technologies allow, but if anybody thinks I’m going to disturb a few days fishing, swimming, walking and eating (and drinking good wine) by posting on climate matters then they are going to be royally disappointed. If you’d like to know a little more about where we’re heading – try here.
Feel free to treat this as another open thread. (Image nicked from John “viral kitten” Cook at The Conversation)
Here’s a new recording by Aussie group Men With Day Jobs of their climate classic The Denial Tango, accompanied by a rather striking video. Men With Day Jobs are Rod Crundwell, Stafford Sanders and Kim Constable (from left to right in the pix in the video) and their new album “Deep in Denial” is due for release early next year.
I’d go with Tony Abbott, It’s just a load of crap
This round-the-world disaster is an evil greedy trap
‘Cause everybody knows the world is flat
Christmas morning has dawned sunny and warm chez Hot Topic, and there’s a pile of presents waiting to be opened. I doubt that any will be what Eartha Kitt had in mind when she recorded Santa Baby in 1953, but she makes a compelling case for Christmas largesse to be directed her way. This afternoon the weather is expected to turn to custard (or, perhaps, brandy butter) and when the rain sets in my mood may turn to match Eric Idle’s rather more ascerbic (and sweary – definitely NSFW) take on the festive season:
And if you’re feeling at all gloomy about prospects for the human race, then I have the perfect song for you. Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge1 assure us that worse is on the way — a truth we will all have to live with.
Normal service will be resumed when the mince pies are finished.
Something of a global warming (coverage) hiatus has hit Hot Topic in the last couple of days, courtesy of the rather dramatic gale that hit my part of New Zealand on Tuesday evening. We are all well, and suffered no damage to our house — but there’s a hell of a lot of tidying up to do to damaged trees and fences, and we are still without power and mobile phone coverage. With luck we’ll get reconnected in the next day or so. Normal bloggage will resume as soon as I finish chainsawing fallen branches and clearing debris.
Due to a security issue1 at Hot Topic’s web host, login to the site has been disabled until the problem is resolved. I have no information on when that might be, so if you’re trying to log in to leave a comment, or to register for the first time, please accept my apologies. You could always take the conversation over to Hot Topic’s Facebook page…
[Update 1:25pm - seems to be fixed.]
There has been a rash of attempts by hackers to break in to WordPress sites in recent months, and disabling login is one way that hosts can act to reduce server loads during attacks.
It had to happen eventually. The creaking old laptop that was once my pride and joy1 has finally gone to the great orchard in the sky, and I have been forced to visit the grocer for a new piece of fruit. Being that I am a creaky old geek, I couldn’t just nip down to the computer store and buy an off-the-shelf model. No, I had to have the processor upgrade, the maximum memory and a Fusion drive, which means it will be about a week before I can access all my files2. Until then I will be servicing the digital world from this iPad, which is a wonderful device for everything but writing. Posting will be (even more) intermittent, at best, and brevity will be my watchword. You have been warned…
It was new when Hot Topic was born.
You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, etc.
That’s the title of my first post at New Zealand’s new The Daily Blog. It’s an attempt to underline the long term imperative provided by sea level rise, to help a general audience to appreciate that every tonne of CO2 counts. The Daily Blog launched last week. Editor Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has pulled together over 30 of NZ’s “leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas”. I’ll be blogging there every two weeks, covering climate science and policy with an eye to the run-in to the next election in 2014. Wish me luck…
If only all Christmas music was as good as this. The finest voice in soul, and a Green with it, reminds us what today should feel like. Compliments of whatever shakes your tree from Gareth and all the writers who have contributed to Hot Topic over the past year. Should Al pall, then spend a few minutes pondering the energy problems confronted by a Glasgow legend during the festive season. Nadolig llawen.
I am regretfully giving up writing regular posts for Hot Topic. Age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease affecting central vision, has been advancing for some years and has come to the point where reading of the kind on which I have depended for my posts has become difficult and laborious. It’s four years since Gareth invited me to contribute to Hot Topic and I have been grateful for the opportunity. The full seriousness of climate change dawned on me about seven years ago and though for a time I had some opportunity to voice my concern through the pages of the Waikato Times, that terminated when the paper started talking about the need to ‘balance’ what I regarded as a straightforward communication of mainstream science.
Happily Hot Topic suffers from no inclination to balance science with denial. It has given me the chance to use the time available to a retired person to read and then review many books and reports by climate scientists and science writers and experts in associated fields. It has also allowed me to express the hopes and fears that mingle in the mind of anyone who understands the urgency of the climate crisis, and to chastise leaders who think we can somehow both mitigate climate change and burn all the fossil fuels.
I turned 80 this year, and my concern over climate change only grows with advancing years. I’m more pessimistic than I was four years ago about the possibility of significant action being taken soon to rein in emissions. But the urging must continue and the science be respected. Gareth stands out in the New Zealand setting for his commitment on both these counts and I have felt fortunate to be associated with his efforts and the support of the intelligent and knowledgeable commenters and contributors which Hot Topic enjoys.
It’s been my great privilege to provide a platform for Bryan’s writing over the last four years. In that time he has reviewed dozens of books (click the book reviews tab to get an idea of just how prolific he has been), held the government to account for its wrong-headed policy making and failures of vision, and provided a carefully considered and highly valuable moral perspective on the problem we all confront. If Hot Topic has achieved anything in recent years, it is in no small part due to his efforts — not least in keeping the blog running when I disappeared overseas or on holiday.
Thanks for all your words, Bryan, and the very best of wishes for this latest phase of your retirement.
A few weeks ago I burned a little midnight oil and, hunched over this very keyboard, wrote a little story about The Last Climate Denier in New Zealand. If you were to think that it was a tad satirical, you would not be wrong. It’s a sad story, set in a parallel universe that bears a striking resemblance to The Burning World, and was my entry in this year’s Royal Society of NZ Manhire Prize (fiction section). Now I learn that by some strange misjudgement my short story finds itself in the shortlist for the prize. I can’t publish the story here until after it loses (which will be late November), but in the meantime you can download it here. It’s a two hankie story, so be prepared…