Friday, March 14, 2008

Things are heating up!

No comment needed!
Total fire bans as southern states suffer record heat....
Ben Cubby Environment ReporterMarch 15, 2008
SOUTHERN states are in the grip of a heatwave of unusual intensity, with scorching heat expected in the next five days.
Sydney has escaped the worst of the heat but on Thursday Adelaide surpassed the record for the hottest continuous spell for a state capital, recording its 11th consecutive day above 35 degrees. Thursday night, with the temperature above 30degrees, was the hottest March night in the drought-stricken city's record.
In Melbourne, yesterday was among the hottest on record for March, and the 40-degree heat has prompted fears about running the Australian Grand Prix. Blistering heat would not only make spectators, drivers and support staff uncomfortable, but could affect the reliability of the cars, a driver, Anthony Davidson, told reporters.
Last year was the hottest in southern Australia since reliable records started being kept in 1910, and the trend appears to have continued, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
"The weather's been consistent with global warming trends," said John Turnbull, a senior forecaster at the National Meteorological Centre. "But I wouldn't say this is proof positive of global warming."
A high-pressure zone in the Tasman Sea is causing the heatwave by blocking a cool southern change. Winds around it travel anti-clockwise, allowing ocean breezes to cool Sydney, but causing hot, dry inland winds across most of South Australia and Victoria.
The Riverina, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania have total fire bans this weekend.
Last night fires were burning north and south of Adelaide and at Willunga, where nine firefighters were injured and a house lost on Thursday.

The finer things of life in Thailand!

Yes, along with trains, comes Chang Beer.

Anyone who has travelled in Thailand knows the wonderful, blithering, idiot this brew turns you into, not to mention the effects on one's stomach, and, er other endearing features to your fellow backpackers.

After all, who hasnt wobbled to a Thai State Railways station, gut churning, blinding migraines, and that unpleasent feeling about what went on the night before, and who really did it with the guesthouse cleaner.

Ahh fine memories...

To discourage such activities here is two most vibrant ladies, selling the opposition's product, that does not have as many nasty side effects.

Its all in the water, or the formaldehyde!

Doom, doom, the coming doom!

Allready, like in the mid thirties, when things were a tad under the weather, one can see the gathering clouds of storms and despair, as once more our greedy and selfish nature will take its course.

Again, blood, fire and death shall pour from the skies, as millions die, and very nature herself becomes our enemy, as the weather patterns conspire against us.

Just to remind you all that war etc is a right bastard, here is a bombed out station from World War 1, to show it is best avoided.

Cold war warning over Arctic riches
Ian Traynor in BrusselsMarch 11, 2008

EUROPEAN governments have been told to plan for an era of conflict over energy resources, with global warming likely to trigger a dangerous contest between Russia and the West for the vast mineral riches of the Arctic.
A report from the European Union's top two foreign policy officials to the 27 heads of government gathering in Brussels for a summit this week warns that "significant potential conflicts" are likely in the decades ahead as a result of "intensified competition over access to, and control over, energy resources".
The seven-page report, obtained by The Guardian, has been written by Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy supremo, and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the commissioner for external relations. It predicts that global warming will precipitate security issues for Europe, ranging from energy wars to mass migration, failed states and political radicalisation.
The report warns of greater rich-poor and north-south tension because global warming is disproportionately caused by the wealthy north and west, while its impact will be most catastrophic in the poor south.
The officials single out the thawing Arctic as a potential flashpoint of rival claims, pointing to the Kremlin's grab for the Arctic last year when the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, hailed as heroes a team of scientists who planted a Russian flag on the Arctic seabed.
Developments in the Arctic have "potential consequences for international stability and European security interests".
"The rapid melting of the polar ice caps, in particular the Arctic, is opening up new waterways and international trade routes," the report notes. "The increased accessibility of the enormous hydrocarbon resources in the Arctic region is changing the geostrategic dynamics of the region."
The report also stresses the volatility of regions that hold large mineral deposits and predicts greater destabilisation in central Asia and the Middle East.
The report comes as the issue of energy security begins to loom large on the agenda of Western policymakers. A summit of NATO leaders in Bucharest next month will discuss the problem for the first time, while a new manifesto for a radical overhaul of the Western alliance moots the possibility of NATO being used "as an instrument of energy security".
The manifesto warns that the Arctic thaw has already created "minor tensions" between Russia and Norway over fishing rights around the Spitsbergen archipelago, where large deposits of gas and oil are locked under a frozen continental shelf.
This "potential crisis" would draw in the US, Canada and Denmark "competing for large and viable energy resources and precious raw materials", it says.
But a group of former leaders from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands complain that the EU is not tackling the issue of "protection of energy resources and their means of transportation".
The Solana report is the first high-level attempt to get the issue on the summit agenda. The authors call on the EU to draw up an Arctic policy "based on the evolving geostrategy of the … region, taking into account access to resources and the opening of new trade routes".
Next month's summit discussion of NATO's role in energy security is fuelling speculation that Western troops could be deployed as "pipeline police" in places such as the Caucasus.
A NATO diplomat said energy security and the security of transport routes were "a national responsibility, not an alliance responsibility. We should be looking to offer advice and help, rather than putting boots on the ground."

Some random hornbags....

Yes, what would we be without hornbags?

Thankfully our local area has an abundance of such lovelies, enuf to remind your's truely of the great days of feral backpacking, in all those strange parts of the world...

So, with one's confidence enhancer in hand, namely cold tinnies, bear witness to some of my photographic fruits...lah.