Well here we go…… Geetwenty fever is well and truly setting in… more and more police are visible around Brisbane city and South Brisbane where the G20 super summer summit will take place.
When we take to the streets on Saturday for the People’s March in the hot hot Brisbane sun the crowd control device of choice would have to be water cannons but the next best thing would have to be the LRAD (rad!) sound systems which the Queensland police are in possession of.
Since we all don’t want to be part of any revolution which doesn’t involved dancing, the ‘free speech zone‘ on Saturday during the march should be lots of fun as long as the po po remember to bring the beats (and blops).
I caught up with Scotia Monkivitch at a boat building workshop on Sunday to find out about Walking Borders a series of actions which are going to culminate with the flotilla of paper boats planned to meet the People’s March.
Don’t want to go to the People’s March try the refugee FLASH MOB.
Today I would like to suggest you spend some time outside… to connect or maybe reconnect with nature.
Many studies have shown sigificant health benefits from exposure to nature…. a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression and an increase in energy, fitness, immune functioning and vitamin D intake.
You don’t need to go on a major journey to experience the benefits of nature… Living in inner city Brisbane I have learnt to appreciate the wildlife around me birds, possums, bats, frogs, ants, bugs, grashoppers, trees, shrubs, vines, and grass.
Especially good areas for finding wild nature are abandoned houses and buldings or building sites…. take a walk around yuor neighbourhood and see what you can find.
You can bring nature into yr house too… house plants improve air quality by up to 90%, you could even grow herbs in sunny areas and window sills.
Anyway moving on to what’s on today’s show … we’re going to be looking a G in the Anarchist Alphabet and speaking with Stil Wild Still Threatened’s Miranda Gibson about the Tasmanian Forrest Agreements Bill which includes a clause which holds areas of forest up as ransom as a way of silencing dissent.
The fight to save Tasmania’s rainforests has been on going for years… these forests are magnificant … massive trees stand in these forests trees which are hundreds and also thousands of years old…. unique and threatened wildlife is also found in these forests including Tasmanian Devils, Spotted Quolls and Tasmanian White Goshawks.
These natural wonders don’t mean much to the forestry industry though… to them the forests mean money and really old trees are really big and worth lots of money once harvested.
In late April a big announcement was made of the signing of the Tasmania Forest agreement Bill… The Wilderness Society, Australian Conservation Foundation and Environment Tasmania were the environmental groups who signed the deal.
I can’t relisten to it right now to tell you the words because I’m out in the sticks with a 18.74KB/S internet connection.
Which is ok because I can listen to the owl, frogs and crickets calling outside … if I was more in tune to nature I might find that they’re telling me much the same thing as the lyrics in the song.
The sentiment of the article below is very similar, power outages mean people become more human and do things like talk to each other, to strangers who in fact might live just next door or across the hallway.
The Tribes of New York: Back to the future?
“I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or The Answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive — nor will we deserve to.”
As the effects of Hurricane Sandy left much of lower Manhattan (and elsewhere) in the dark, I couldn’t help but recall the events — and lessons — of Aug. 14, 2003: the day/night of the Eastern seaboard’s most recent major blackout.
When the blackout of ’03 dimmed the mighty skyline, I could suddenly see stars… zillions of them blinking at me from beyond the unlit skyscrapers. Traffic lights were out of commission, but to the southeast, Mars provided the only red light we really needed.
By coincidence, our crimson neighbor was closer to Earth than ever before and the power outage gave us Easterners an excellent view of Mars’s southern hemisphere from a mere 34.6 million miles away.
Still, even with the stars twinkling above and little green Martians close enough to reach out and shake my hand, it was when I returned my gaze back down to the streets that I truly couldn’t believe my eyes. That clammy evening, one could witness a sight even more uncommon than any celestial spectacle.
Across the darkened city, Big Apple denizens stopped hustling. They sat still and talked to each other. No computers, no televisions, practically no telephones… just face-to-face communication (even if it was too dark at times to actually see faces).
Huddled around flickering candles and eating food before it could spoil, longtime Astoria neighbors introduced themselves, discovering similarities and answering the question of the day: “Where were you when the lights went out?”
This unforeseen solidarity was accomplished without the assistance of e-mails, texts, or tweets. Money didn’t change hands, no cell phone radiation was emitted, no air was conditioned. Under a sky full of stars and a visiting red space-mate, it was possible to encounter the sort of life we may have evolved to live back in the “caveman” days.
Our modern caves, the subterranean tunnels of transportation known as “the subway,” were empty but the concrete jungle above them might as well have been the Savannah. The tribes of Astoria sat around fires — sharing food and communal stories. Some even beat on drums.
In times like this, it’s easier to appreciate that we each possess a physiology that evolved to negotiate the Stone Age. Here lies the rub: we live in the Space Age. We are urban cavemen… overmatched in our daily crusade to navigate an artificial reality because we’ve lost contact with our primal instincts.
For one thing, we likely didn’t evolve to be surrounded by this many people. Thus, in our futile search for a manageable tribe, we preserve our attention for a handful of fellow humans. What’s vexing is how to deal with the millions not in our tribe… but still in our face. Subsequently, we inventive mortals have cultivated the ability to hastily disregard non-tribe members.
“In the busy streets, you develop human traffic skills of amazing dexterity,” writes zoologist Desmond Morris. “In crowded buses, trains, and elevators, you acquire a blank stare. You have eyes only for those you know. This enables you to enjoy the varied delights of the big city while mentally re-creating a personal tribe existence.”
But what happens when those streets aren’t busy… like, say, during the worst blackout in U.S. history? We may have eyes only for those we know, but what about when it’s too shadowy to tell the difference?
With our vision impaired enough to create the illusion of intimacy and our vaunted technology no longer at our overworked fingertips, we are gifted with a taste of a potentially different culture. Sure, things returned to “normal” when power was restored, but the experience left some of us wondering just what “normal” means.
The last time Mars got as close to Earth as it was in 2003 was some 60,000 years ago… an age when stars were easy to find and one could cause a blackout simply by dousing the fire.
The extraterrestrial lady in red will once again be 34,646,418.5 miles away in a mere 284 years. I wonder what kind of earthly culture will be there to greet her.
Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.
Things were beginning to look more hopeful for Tasmania’s old growth forests when in October 2010 environmental NGO’s, industry groups and Unions signed a statement of principles which appeared to pave the way for comprehensive forest protection and a restructuring of the logging industry.
Late last week though came the news that the talk had collapsed. Autonomous Action Radio spoke with Miranda today about what the talks had entailed and how people can act to help save these ancient pristine forests of Tasmania.