Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Libertarianism

Posted: 13/08/2014 by Toby in Informative
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For a short while, I thought that Libertarians sounded pretty good, but then again, I’m not political so I didn’t chase down the idea of Libertarianism very much. However, after reading this, I have decided I’m not much of a Libertarian at all.

Libertarianism is different – it is a philosophy based on the individual (not the state) owning him or herself.  The central tenet is that each of us has a fundamental right to liberty – the right to do whatever we want with the things we own, provided we respect other people’s right to do the same (acknowledgement to Michael Sandel “Justice”).  This implies the concept of a minimalist state which interferes as little as possible with the individual.

There is no reason to believe that the state knows better than the individual what he or she wants or needs yet governments progressively (pun intended) encroach on our ability to achieve personal ambitions.  It would be hard to argue that a completely libertarian society was workable or fair, but the concept is sound and governments need to make a strong case to remove freedom form the individual.

From: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/the_australian_way/ see comment by ‘Proud Libertarian’ in the comments section.

I think after my studies into the environment and waste management I’m turning into a bit of a socialist. People generally don’t know what’s good for the human race, or for the planet, and must be forced to act responsibly, particularly when personal ambitions clash with responsible behaviour.

Carbon price

Posted: 04/08/2011 by Toby in Informative
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Can I just cop a whinge for a second, about the carbon price? It’s a big deal at the moment in Australia, now that it is starting to look like a reality.

We just got a full A4 brochure in the mail entitled ”What a carbon price means for you.” I have to wonder how much they spent just on mailing everyone a brochure like this.

The first benefit on the front page is that ”9 out of 10 families will get some kind of benefit or break to offset the cost of living impact of the carbon price.” Much of the brochure is dedicated to how it is imperative to think earth friendly and cut carbon pollution, but then the only point about how a carbon price will bring down pollution is that companies will be encouraged to avoid the penalty and invest in clean energy and effiiencies. So why are we worried about a cost of living increase if the tax is only against big polluters?? Oh that’s right, the pollulters will simply pass along the cost of the tax to everyone else by selling products and services at higher prices.

I’m failing to see how, if these businesses are simply passing along the cost of the tax, how does this make them want to change the way they do business, their customers are bearing the cost, not them.

It’s just another way of infusing more cash into the government, and entity designed and run with one purpose in mind: to spend more money. Seems like a good time to become a civil servant, don’t you think?

Worst man-made disaster in US history

Posted: 08/07/2010 by Toby in Other
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One thing that doesn’t seem to be in the news much, and one thing that mass consciousness has not grasped, at least not in the U.S. and Canada and not here in Australia, is the question: what really caused the Gulf of Mexico disaster? What caused a company to build a mechanism that would go a mile under the ocean, and drill a hole in the earth’s crust, even under precarious circumstances, with new technology, going where disaster would be next to impossible to manage if it ever struck, and where the implications of that disaster would be felt for years and years to come?

It’s right here, in this picture.

The picture is too small? Click on it.

Still Spilling

Posted: 17/06/2010 by Toby in Informative
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I’m sure you all share my amazement that we’re months along from the time the Deepwater Horizon oil rig had an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, and the situation is still not contained.

As an employee of one of BP’s companies (namely BP Solar, where solar energy spills are actually eagerly anticipated), I find myself in a defensive stance and I find myself looking for ways that BP is doing the right thing to respond to the tragedy. It highlights to me that it’s so easy to be on one side of the equation or the other (rabidly angry and resorting to words like terrorism, or desperately hoping and praying for those who have to fix this problem that they will hit upon the right solution), depending on one’s stage in life, one’s friends, one’s employer, and so forth.

Anyway, since I’m on this side of the equation, here’s some reading that’s more source and less spin, from Tony Hayward’s (a household name by now) statement to Congress.

Strangely, it’s a Facebook link.

Spewing

Posted: 18/05/2010 by Toby in Informative, Pictures
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Working for BP, I get a view from the inside of the company while this fiasco continues in the Gulf of Mexico. As you probably know Gulf of Mexico spill has been going on for 3 weeks now, and it’s such a huge problem, with no easy way to stop it. At least with a tanker you know how much oil can leak out.

I just keep thinking to myself how mind boggling it is that they have to figure out something for a problem that is a mile beneath the surface of the ocean.

One of the first things I learned about Australia was from a short video about the rabbit infestation some decades ago

Then there were the cane toads.

Right now, there’s a camel infestation, in which thousands are going to be rounded up and killed. I’m sorta hoping they get put into something useful like dog food or fertilizer, but I’ll bet it’s not likely.

Here’s the latest I’ve read about: Rats infesting Lord Howe Island have been so bad, that they are now planning to simply drop poison from the air in the hopes of killing them all off.  Read all about it here.

WoTD: Anthropogenic

Posted: 13/01/2010 by Toby in Informative
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Funny fact about today’s word: it was related to the word I was thinking of while having a conversation about a professor’s fake eye. A co-worker was telling us that if the one of his students was getting a little too distracting, he’d go over with a glass of water, and plop his eye in, and say “I’ve got my eye on you now.”

And my thought was, it would be hard to get rid of the anthropomorphic association the eyeball had, only the critical word didn’t pop into my head quickly enough and all I said was ‘whoa, crazy!’

So what does anthropogenic mean? From the free online dictionary:

I came across this word in the following article about global warming:

http://www.myfreepress.net/blog/post/PCavnar/2009/12/demolishing-the-theory-of-global-warming/

Wait a second, you’re telling me that all these people running around howling about global warming are actually barking up the wrong tree?

In my humble opinion, I would say yes and no.  Yes, because there are ways to explain fluctuations in the earths temperature and climate shifts irrespective of what is being pumped in the air. No, because it’s still good to highlight the need for responsible and sustainable environmentally friendly ways to meet our needs.