Sunday, September 27, 2009

Philippines storm death toll nears 100

Philippines News.Net
Sunday 27th September, 2009 (IANS)

Nearly 100 people were killed as tropical storm Ketsana battered a wide area in the Philippines, dumping record rainfall on the capital that caused the worst flooding in 40 years, officials said Sunday.

Fifty people were also missing in floods and landslides following rains that exceeded what Hurricane Katrina dumped on New Orleans in August 2005, local officials and military spokesmen said.

Authorities rushed rescue and relief efforts to thousands of people who spent the night on the roofs of submerged houses in Manila and surrounding provinces. Some were trapped in their cars on flooded streets.

Defence Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said soldiers and volunteers rescued more than 5,000 drenched people from rooftops as the weather improved and floods receded in affected municipalities on Sunday.

'Our target is to finish the rescue operations before dark today,' he said. 'We have mobilized our air assets to find the people who need help and direct our forces there. We will continue our rescue operations until everyone that needs help is reached.'

The US government dispatched a helicopter and additional rubber boats to help in the rescue operations. Various UN agencies also donated funds to assist relief operations.

Rizal province east of Manila was one of the worst hit. One municipality in the province, Cainta, was almost completely submerged in floodwaters and still unreachable on Sunday.

At least 56 people died in floods in the province, provincial Governor Casimiro Ynares III said.

'Forty-five are still missing,' he said. 'We really need more rubber boats. We can't get through roads that are flooded. In some areas, the roads are blocked by stranded vehicles.'

Lieutenant Colonel Noel Detoyato, a civil military operations officer, said soldiers recovered 30 bodies in the town of Tanay alone in Rizal. The other fatalities drowned in the towns of Angono, Baras, Rodriguez, Teresa and San Mateo.

At least 11 people drowned in the Manila suburb of Marikina. The bodies were laid out on the streets as rescuers struggled to reach some isolated areas.

Thirty more people either drowned, were electrocuted, buried in landslides, struck by fallen trees and collapsed walls or suffered a heart attack in Manila, as well as the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Cavite and Apayao.

Detoyato said the fatalities in Laguna included two soldiers and three government militiamen who were dispatched to rescue flood victims in Pami town.

'The ill-fated team rescued more than 20 people before they were swept away by the strong current,' he said. 'Two other militiamen were missing.'

The weather bureau said the rainfall recorded Saturday in Manila was the capital's heaviest since 1967.

Nilo Prisco, head of the weather bureau, said the storm dumped 410.6 mm of rain in Manila in just nine hours, which was almost double the rainfall brought about by Hurricane Katrina.

The amount also exceeded the average monthly rainfall of 391 millimetres and the 1967 record of 331 millimetres.

'We can only attribute this to climate change,' Prisco said.

School classes in all levels were suspended for tomorrow (Monday) in Manila and the affected provinces to allow unhampered relief operations.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said more than 290,000 people were affected by Ketsana, which has strengthened as it moved away from the Philippines. More than 47,000 were in evacuation centres, it added.

The weather bureau said the storm was packing maximum winds of 105 km per hour (kmph) and gusts of up to 135 kmph. It was moving west-north-west at 24 kmph towards the South China Sea.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Doom is lurking forth! Fresh for you today!

Water wars forecast as feeding India's hungry leaves the land thirsty.

September 26, 2009

Farmers who can no longer irrigate fear nothing will be left to drink, writes Matt Wade.

BALAWAS VILLAGE, Haryana: India is destined for water wars, one of its leading environmentalists has concluded after studying the effects of modern agriculture for more than 20 years.

''In a decade India could look like Darfur in Sudan,'' says Dr Vandana Shiva, a nuclear physicist turned environmental activist. ''When you run out of water it's a recipe for killing. Water really makes people so desperate.''

A patchy monsoon on the subcontinent this year has hit crops, particularly rice, highlighting the region's vulnerability to water shortages. But the problem is much bigger than one poor wet season.

In Haryana and Punjab, two states crucial to India's food security, farmers are drawing too much groundwater. Dubbed the subcontinent's breadbasket, this region has been the heartland of the country's green revolution since the mid-1960s. The high-yielding crop varieties grown here have enabled the country to feed its huge, fast-growing population. But the hybrid crops of the green revolution require a lot of water, as well as fertiliser and pesticides.

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are now drilling deeper and deeper for water and the crop yields that once rose year after year have stagnated.

Last year the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, told an international agriculture conference there was a ''persistent feeling that the first green revolution has run its course … we need a second green revolution''. But a second resource-intensive agricultural revolution is not sustainable.

An analysis of NASA satellite data taken over north-western India from 2002 to 2008 found aquifers were disappearing at an alarming rate. The study warned of the potential ''collapse of agriculture'' and severe shortages of drinking water in the region unless things changed.

Associate Professor Raj Kumar Jhorar, a soil and water specialist at Haryana Agricultural University, says too many farmers have switched to water-intensive crops such as rice, wheat and cotton. His research shows that the area of rice under cultivation in Haryana has risen by about 430 per cent since the late 1960s, cotton by 230 per cent and wheat by more than 200 per cent. ''This just isn't sustainable,'' he says.

A Punjab Government draft water policy document published last year said the state's water was being polluted by industrial waste, sewage and excessive pesticide use in agriculture. ''This can adversely affect the health of the populace and may cause diseases like cancer, skin diseases and miscarriage cases,'' it said.

These reports only confirm what local farmers already know.

Chatan Singh, a farmer in Balawas, has planted two crops in his fields since June but both have failed because of the scanty monsoon. A few years ago this would have been unthinkable because tubewells and a nearby canal could have made up for any shortfall in rain. But the canal recently ran dry and the tubewells are suddenly spewing out unusable saline water.

When this year's rains went truant, Chatan Singh's crops withered, leaving the father of eight deep in debt.

''This is new,'' he says. ''Once there was good water from the rains, the canal and the tubewells, but now it's scarce.''

He and his neighbours now drink the saline water that comes from the ground. Tests by a local university showed it was not fit for regular consumption but the villagers keep drinking. They have no alternative.

Shiva says water shortages could split communities along deeply entrenched divisions of caste and religion.

''What we will start seeing is localised conflicts over water,'' she says. ''As livelihoods evaporate, along with water, you will see all sorts of cracks opening up in society.''

Conflict is also possible between the majority rural population and the bursting cities.

''People with power live in cities and as the water crisis is deepening what remains is being increasingly delivered to the cities,'' Shiva says.

She is monitoring eight big river diversions to provide cities with more water.

Farmers in Balawas do not quibble with her prediction of violent conflict about water.

''Our wives already squabble over drinking water so when it gets to agricultural water there will be a much bigger fight,'' says one farmer, Jai Singh Sharma. His family owns 16 hectares of land in Balawas but he now plants crops on less than half a hectare because of a lack of water.

''Our wells are no longer giving us what we need,'' he says. ''If our water supply keeps receding at this rate we will see violence.''

At Dauatpur village, about 50 kilometres from Balawas, the farmers are just as pessimistic.

Kulbhushan Sharma, whose family owns six hectares, says he has been forced to drill his wells deeper, especially in the past five years.

''Slowly, slowly, year by year, things are going from bad to worse,'' he says.

''If this goes on it will be the end. Forget water for farming - we won't even have any to drink. The whole of India will be affected.''

There have been bitter fights recently about the dwindling supply of canal water in Dauatpur.

''The violence has started,'' Sharma says. Last month a gang of farmers at Aurangabad in the poverty-stricken state of Bihar gained nationwide publicity when they took up arms to guard their watered fields. They said people from nearby villages were trying to divert water towards their fields. They were ready to kill or be killed to protect their water.

''We don't want a fight but if someone diverts the canal water then how will we irrigate our fields?'' one of the armed men, Narendra Singh, told a local TV station.

The Government has been urged to manage water more effectively and to improve the patchy maintenance of the country's vast canal systems. The Punjab Government recently banned farmers from planting paddy rice until after the monsoon arrives in an attempt to save water.

However, political imperatives have stifled sensible reforms. Water is not priced appropriately and most farmers have free electricity to run their groundwater pumps. This encourages waste.

As if India's water problems were not enough already, global warming threatens to make them much worse. Scientists predict the annual monsoon, on which about 40 per cent of farmers depend, is likely to become more unpredictable as the country adds more than 20 million new mouths to feed every year. It is no wonder some locals are starting to fear the worst.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Yes for a moment, lets take a small break from all the negativity about. At times it is good to pause from the daily diet, thrust down our gaping gullets, of stabbings, massacres, abuse, homeless crazies, violent sportsfans, shootings, ram raids, out of control teenagers, useless politicians, scientology nuts, artificially impregnated marsupials, etc etc.
Yes, pull up a pew, forget your mind numbing, brain deadending job, and just watch what wanders by....
For a change...!

Populate and perish: Sydney's time bomb

As one can see, quite clearly, Sydneys population is going to, and allready expanding in some quite fearsome ways.
Again, hornbag photography comes to our rescue, in showing in a best practice, ISO 9002 way, just how these changes are going to affect us all, in these 2 shots sauced only minutes apart.


September 19, 2009
SYDNEY in 2049 will be a vast urban sprawl stretching from Newcastle to Wollongong that as many as seven million people will call home, experts say.

Yesterday's revelation by the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, that Australia's population will swell to 35 million in 40 years has forced a reconsideration of whether Sydney can cope.

Demographers from the Australian National University predicted Sydney's population could grow to 6.9 million by 2049, an increase of 2.6 million.

The director of the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, Peter McDonald, said the natural constraint of the Blue Mountains would force the city to spread to the north and south, until it eventually met growing populations in Newcastle and Wollongong.

''I think you will see the coming together of those three cities into a single urban area,'' Professor McDonald said.

''It isn't simply that the Sydney metropolitan area will continue to grow. I think at some point people will actually choose Wollongong and Newcastle over Sydney to avoid the crowding and congestion and the cost of living.

''But the end result is that they will probably end up living in a larger metropolitan area anyway, with Sydney at its centre and a continuous urban link to those regional centres.''

Planners and experts in health and sustainability said a 50 per cent increase in Sydney's population would require tens of thousands of additional hospital beds and nearly a million new homes. The amount of water consumed for household use would increase from 1.3 billion litres a day to 2.1 billion litres, requiring a far greater utilisation of water recycling or a new dam.

''In the Sydney basin we may not be able to sustainably meet this population increase,'' said Dr Chris Dey, a sustainability expert from the University of Sydney. ''We need greater diversification - more harvesting, recycling, more reuse of waste water.''

Stuart White from the University of Technology's Institute for Sustainable Futures said public transport and housing would be greater challenges. ''These are major pieces of infrastructure that must be integrated into the city on a mass scale and that is an extremely difficult task, particularly when you're starting from the position we're in now.''

While the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, welcomed the population increase, Labor backbencher Kelvin Thompson said Australia was ''sleepwalking into an environmental disaster''.

''Another 13 or 14 million people will not give us a richer country, it will spread our mineral wealth more thinly and give us a poorer one,'' Mr Thompson said. ''It will make a mockery of our obligation to pass on to our children a world in as good a condition as the one our grandparents gave to us.''

Friday, September 11, 2009

Freak tornado' kills 14 in Argentina, Brazil

Ah yes, some hornbags of various shapes, sizes and colours, causing tornadoes, and freak storms, of various intensities in their local area.
Well, at least to some blokes anyway
Beware, strange weather coming to a street near you, soon!
If not, at least hornbags provide some temporary distraction.
Until the roof caves in, is blown away, or collapses into a gaping cavern.

Posted Wed Sep 9, 2009 10:00am AEST

A violent storm described as a "freak tornado" has shredded hundreds of houses and killed at least 14 people in the southern part of South America, officials said.

Northern Argentina and southern Brazil, and the small countries of Uruguay and Paraguay wedged between them, were hit by a fierce atmospheric mass packing rain, hail and winds over 120 kilometres per hour.

In northeastern Argentina, 10 people died, including seven children, authorities said.

More than 50 others were injured, and trees and power lines were toppled in the towns of Santa Rosa, Tobuna and Pozo Azul, said Ricardo Veselka Corrales, head of the local civil defence office.

Witnesses and local media described the storm as a tornado.

Meteorologists were wary, although the US National Climatic Data Centre said the area is the only place in South America with a likelihood of experiencing the high-speed spinning tubes of destructive wind.

"It could have been a tornado," said Jorge Leguizamon, of Argentina's National Meteorological Service.

"The phenomenon still hasn't been classified, experts will have to evaluate the damage."

What was clear was that "it's not normal for this area," said the provincial minister, Daniel Franco.

"We've always had very strong winds and torrential rains here but this was a phenomenon never seen before. Houses were completely destroyed," he said.

The devastation was "incredible," said the mayor of San Pedro, Orlando Wolfart, noting that several homes had been wiped from their foundations.

Television images showed a destroyed landscape, with several homes levelled and others still standing but with their roofs ripped off.

In the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, similar devastation occurred from what the region's civil defence service agreed was "a probable tornado."

Four people died when winds ravaged 37 towns and villages, knocking over more than 100 homes and blasting others with hail big enough to puncture roofs, it said in a statement.

At least another 64 people were hurt, 40 of whom were hospitalised.

One town in the state, Sao Domingos, was isolated, while several others had water and electricity supplies cut.

Flooding was widespread.

The head of the civil defence service, Major Marcio Luiz Alves, said "the real extent of the damage will be known in the next few hours."

In Sao Paulo, Latin America's biggest city, the storm turned the sky so dark that it appeared to be night, with occasional bolts of lightning and the persistent rumbling of thunder.

Heavy rain submerged 28 spots around the city and brought traffic on normally congested roads to a standstill.

Many flights were delayed at Sao Paulo's main domestic airport and pilots were being forced to rely on instruments because of zero visibility.

In Paraguay, hail stones peppered roofs and damaged some 700 rural properties.

"Damage was registered in the areas of Neembucu, San Pedro, Paraguari, Cordillera, Canindeyu and Caaguazu. Many crops were damaged," said the risk manager for the country's emergency service, Aldo Saldivar.

The change in weather saw temperatures in the capital Asuncion suddenly plunge from 35 degrees Celsius to 12 degrees.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More fresh and steaming doom!

It is good to see hornbags coping with the impending doom that is laid before us.
In fact, as one can see with the HB in white boots, she is firmly giving her tongue out as a vibrant opinion to what she thinks about the impending doom, in our lifetime, of all that we know and value.
So, lets look to world class, best practice hornbags, to make void all these doom merchants who know nothing, wish to purvey before us.
After all, what would a Korean who happens to be head of the UN, and visited the Arctic at first hand, know?
Yes indeed!

World heading for abyss on climate change: UN chief.

The world is accelerating towards an abyss on climate change, the UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday, urging rapid progress in troubled talks to cut emissions and tackle global warming.

"Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss," the United Nations Secretary General said in a speech to the World Climate Conference.

Ban, who earlier this week visited the Arctic to witness first hand the changes wrought by global warming, warned that many of the "more distant scenarios" predicted by scientists were "happening now."

"Scientists have been accused for years of scaremongering. But the real scaremongers are those who say we cannot afford climate action -- that it will hold back economic growth," he said.

"They are wrong. Climate change could spell widespread disaster," Ban warned.

The UN Secretary General pinned his hopes on a summit of world leaders in New York to discuss climate change in two weeks' time. Talks on extending the Kyoto agreement on emissions cuts in time for December's Copenhagen conference had been too limited and slow, he said.

"We have 15 negotiating days left until Copenhagen. We cannot afford limited progress. We need rapid progress," he added.

"In New York, (I) expect candid and constructive discussions. I expect serious bridge building. I expect strong outcomes," Ban told delegates and ministers from some 150 countries at the meeting in Geneva.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Australia enjoys warmest winter ever

Weather records have been smashed from one end of the country to the other as Australia swelters through its warmest-ever winter.

The Bureau of Meteorology has taken the unusual step of issuing a "special climate statement", confirming what many of us already knew - this winter has been very mild.

"Abnormal heat" has seen some temperature records broken by more than five degrees.

Some regions had their warmest 2009 day in the winter month of August - hotter than any summer day.

Nationally, the average winter maximum temperature is more than 1.6 degrees Celsius above average.

"Average winter maximum temperatures over Australia are likely to be the highest on record," said the Bureau's statement, issued on Wednesday.

And August was particularly warm - more than three degrees above average across the country.

"August 2009 has seen highly abnormal heat over large parts of Australia," the statement said.

The mercury soared above 37 degrees Celsius in some areas during August.

The Bureau says the hot weather was caused by a lack of cold outbreaks bringing air from the Southern Ocean, as well as clear skies and a lack of moisture.

And it's not over yet. The Bureau says the new temperature records may be broken afresh when more hot weather hits later this week.

Spring is also set to be hot.

Almost all of the country is forecast to be warmer than normal, with northern and western regions to be hardest hit.

It's also expected to be a drier spring than usual, especially in the south of the country.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hot August nights set Australian records

As one can see these hornbags have coped very well with impending dramatic climate change, sending temperatures soaring everywhere.

Australia is having a winter day of extremes as temperatures peak, winds whip, and fire threatens.

Brisbane sweltered through its hottest August day ever, while strong cold winds howled through the southern states.

The record day temperatures and strong winds in the north have fire authorities on high alert, while night temperatures have also been unusually warm.

Brisbane's August maximum temperature record of just under 33 degrees Celsius was smashed as the temperature soared to 35.4 degrees at 4.20pm (AEST) on Monday.

And the high temperatures are set to continue.

"It's an unusual event for August," Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) weather forecaster Janine Yuasa told AAP.

The hottest temperature in Queensland, according to the BoM, was 36.4 degrees at Amberley, west of Brisbane, and in the state's northwest Mount Isa reached 35.7 degrees.

"The highest minimum we've ever had in August was 17.8 back in 1950, if we get 18 degrees (on Monday night) it will be the warmest night on record so far," Ms Yuasa said.

In Canberra, 12 degrees also set a new record for the hottest August night.

Meanwhile, in Sydney a cold front expected for Monday night is in stark contrast to the previous evening when the mercury remained above 20 degrees - double the average August minimum of 8.9 degrees.

Evans Head, on the NSW north coast, recorded the state's top daytime temperature at 36.8 degrees.

Sydney's maximum temperature of 25.4 degrees was recorded just before 10am (AEST) on Monday before gales brought the temperature down along with trees and roofs in Sydney's west.

Gusts of more than 80km/h were recorded at Sydney airport and Badgery's Creek, and more than 2,300 Sydney homes were left without power.

The northeast of NSW is expected to remain hot.

Meanwhile, Victorians have been asked to be storm-ready as the state braces for three days of damaging winds and rain.

A severe weather warning has been issued and wind gusts up to 110km/h are predicted as a cold front moves across Victoria.

Hundreds of South Australian homes have lost power, as strong winds and steady rain batter the state.

After gusts of almost 100km/h blew across the state, BoM duty forecaster Simon Ching said SA had overcome the worst of the wild weather and that he expected the winds to ease.

Tuesday would remain windy, Mr Ching told AAP.

A combination of global warming and El Nino have climate experts predicting this year could be Australia's warmest in more than a decade.

BoM climatologist Karl Braganza said the temperatures this week had been very unusual with temperatures about 10 to 15 degrees above average, breaking many records.

"Some of the locations in parts of Queensland and northern NSW are recording some of the warmest temperatures in 2009 so far, including summer, so it's really quite extraordinary," Mr Braganza told AAP.

"The two factors precipitating these warmer temperatures are global warming and the El Nino in the Pacific at the moment ... when combined together lead to record temperatures.

"What's happening in the north is extraordinary ... we're smashing the August records."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Doom, allready in a town near you!

Seen yesterday, this hornbag is embracing all that climate change has to offer, by lurking under a bridge in somewhat reduced clothing, performing best practice climate change embracing, moving forward.

Study links drought with rising emissions

Melissa Fyfe
August 16, 2009

DROUGHT experts have for the first time proven a link between rising levels of greenhouse gases and a decline in rainfall.

A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed that the drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change.

Scientists working on the $7 million South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative said the rain had dropped away because the subtropical ridge - a band of high pressure systems that sits over the country's south - had strengthened over the past 13 years.

Last year, using sophisticated computer climate models in the United States, the scientists ran simulations with only the ''natural'' influences on temperature, such as differing levels of solar activity.

The model results showed no intensification of the subtropical ridge and no decline in rainfall.

But when human influences on the atmosphere were added to the simulations - such as greenhouse gases, aerosols and ozone depletion - the models mimicked what has been observed in south-east Australia: strengthening high pressure systems and the significant loss of rain.

''It's reasonable to say that a lot of the current drought of the last 12 to 13 years is due to ongoing global warming,'' said the bureau's Bertrand Timbal.

''In the minds of a lot of people the rainfall we had in the 1950s, '60s and '70s was a benchmark. A lot of our [water and agriculture] planning was done during that time. But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.''

Dr Timbal said that 80 per cent of the rain loss in south-east Australia could be attributed to the intensification of the subtropical ridge. The research program covers the Murray-Darling Basin, including parts of NSW, all of Victoria and parts of South Australia.

Monash University’s Neville Nicholls, a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who has also published work on the subtropical ridge, said he believed the research program’s results were right.

"We did think that the loss of rain was simply due to the [rain-bearing] storms shifting south, off the continent," Professor Nicholls said. "Now we know the reason they have slipped south is that the subtropical ridge has become more intense. It is getting bigger and stronger and that is pushing the rain storms further south."

The scientific results have implications for many State Government water programs and drought funding, some of which factor in climate change and some of which do not. Projections for the water coming to Melbourne in the north-south pipe, for instance, are based on the assumption that Victoria will return to rainfall levels of last century.

The Victorian Farmers Federation new president, Andrew Broad, said he would not speculate about whether there was a connection between drought and climate change.

"I have a healthy scepticism for scientists," he said. "But I will say that the doomsday people in climate change are robbing people of hope at a time when that’s all they’ve got left."

Melbourne’s dams get roughly a third less water than they did before the drought began in October 1996.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We are stewing in our own oven

Yes today again proving that global warming is at a train station near you, these stewing hornbags were sauced by one's BIG lens, in a somewhat heated state, in keeping with the have been warned! Or warmed as the case may be!

You, reader, live in a primitive city. In a hundred years from now, the society we are building will look back and marvel at how little we really understood about the world we have constructed for ourselves.

We are stewing in our own juices.

Last Wednesday, a night of driving rain, I attended a seminar where more than 100 professionals, a standing room-only crowd, had gathered to learn about practical, cheap, achievable ways of stopping Sydney's pot from simmering. These were not wide-eyed utopians. In purely parochial terms, the heating of our biggest cities is even bigger than the global warming debate. Because the rise in temperature is mostly and demonstrably caused by outdated thinking.

The story starts on Observatory Hill, at the southern end of the Harbour Bridge, where weather records have been kept daily since 1860. What the observatory has recorded is a rise in the average temperature at the centre of Sydney from 20.5 degrees to 22 degrees. As Sydney grows, Sydney slowly heats.

At last Wednesday's seminar we learnt why - 27 per cent of the surface of the metropolitan area is covered by bitumen, the black tar which soaks and retains heat and thus changes the city's climate.

Nearly all the rainwater run-off on this 27 per cent of the city is lost to productive use, flowing into Sydney Harbour because it is designed that way. The city's rooftops also gather heat. Roads and pavements maximise the waste of arable land. Tree-planting is stunted for legal reasons. Topsoil is "scalped" by roadworks. The increasing use of air-conditioners is creating more energy. More heat begets more heat.

It is not just a Sydney story. The most telling detail lost amid all that was written and broadcast about the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, which killed 173 people, was that more people died from heat stress in Melbourne than in the fires. During the oven-like temperature peak (three consecutive days above 43 degrees) Melbourne saw a spike of 1400 emergencies requiring an ambulance.

An extra 374 people died in Victoria that week compared to the average week. Most were heat stress related.

"To break this heating cycle we don't need more money, we need more intelligent use of what we already have," says the person who organised Wednesday's seminar, Michael Mobbs, the creator of Sydney's most famous experiment in sustainable housing. He was stunned by the size and quality of the turnout. The room was full of planners from councils across Sydney. He was especially pleased that the gathering was addressed by Arjan Rensen, a senior executive from ARRB, the company which writes the specification guidelines for all the road agencies in Australia.

"It was hugely symbolic having him there, willing to be associated with what we're trying to do," Mobbs told me. "It means the road authorities are at last starting to deal with the impact their roads are having on our cities."

The roads are Mobbs's starting point for reform, because they take up so much room and are so taken for granted. "We should just use existing bitumen and gravel but choose pale gravel, and mix it so that the gravel shows through the bitumen," Mobbs says. "We could also use dyes like those used in bus lanes, but paler than green or red. These were first used in the Harbour Tunnel, which was privately owned, because the owners wanted to cut the cost of their electricity bill. On streets with low traffic volume, these dyed surfaces will last 15 to 20 years."

Then there is the overlooked space, the humble pavements. They should be planted and widened where possible because of the cooling powers of plants and trees. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens should also be grown in public space such as roadsides. The practice is common in Germany.

Planners have started listening to Mobbs because, having transformed his own home into a dwelling with self-contained power, water and sewerage systems, he is busy converting his street, Myrtle Street, Chippendale, into the sort of micro-environment that, if replicated across the city, would cool it, slash energy consumption, and massively increase carbon sequestration.

In the block where Mobbs lives, much of the pavement is covered in mulch and supports a variety of plants, including fruit trees. The fruit is available to anyone. Large public compost bins store debris, each collecting three tonnes of food waste a year to create one tonne of compost. Pipes have been manipulated to retain rainwater run-off.

All this is so simple yet so innovative. Councils and planners have been trying to do their best with what they have inside a system they have inherited. What has been lacking is a sense of the whole, of the potential for policy symbiosis, a greater realisation of what Sydney looks like on Google Earth rather than on planners' maps. Google Earth shows a city that acts as a heat trap and an energy sink, especially in the sprawling, spreading western suburbs, away from the cooling salvation of the coast.

But when I asked Mobbs if he had received council approval for his innovations on public space on Myrtle Street he replies, "not quite".

The local authority, Sydney City Council, has an ambivalent attitude. It is on his side but it is also a bureaucracy operating under the morass of laws and regulations that sits like an oppressive weight on innovation in society. Says Mobbs: "It's all been done with the delicious sense of doing something without approval."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saucing hornbags lah

Yes, once again I have sauced best practice h'bs for you, moving forward.

Global warming making fish smaller: study

Lets hope that global warming does not cause hornbag shrinkage. However it is allready being experienced here. Before there was three hornbags, by the time this photograph was sauced there was two. More proof that global warming is indeed at work in our daily lives, and, er hornbag photography.

Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming, a study has found.

"It's huge," said study author Martin Daufresne of the Cemagref Public Agricultural and Environmental Research Institute in Lyon, France.

"Size is a fundamental characteristic that is linked to a number of biological functions, such as fecundity - the capacity to reproduce."

Smaller fish tend to produce fewer eggs. They also provide less sustenance for predators - including humans - which could have significant implications for the food chain and ecosystem.

A similar shrinking effect was recently documented in Scottish sheep and Mr Daufresne said it is possible that global warming could have "a significant impact on organisms in general."

Earlier research has already established that fish have shifted their geographic ranges and their migratory and breeding patters in response to rising water temperatures. It has also been established that warmer regions tend to be inhabited by smaller fish.

Mr Daufresne and his colleagues examined long-term surveys of fish populations in rivers, streams and the Baltic and North Seas and also performed experiments on bacteria and plankton.

They found the individual species lost an average of 50 per cent of their body mass over the past 20 to 30 years while the average size of the overall fishing stock had shrunk by 60 per cent.

This was a result of a decrease in the average size-at-age and an increase in the proportion of juveniles and small-sized species, Mr Daufresne said.

"It was an effect that we observed in a number of organisms and in a number of very different environments - on fish, on plankton, on bacteria, in fresh water, in salt water - and we observed a global shrinking of size for all the organisms in all the environments," he said.

While commercial and recreational fishing did impact some of the fisheries studied, it "cannot be considered as the unique trigger" for the changes in size, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found.

"Although not negating the role of other factors, our study provides strong evidence that temperature actually plays a major role in driving changes in the size structure of populations and communities," the study concluded.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ah yes some more hornbags..

Sauced from around Cirularrr key and the Opperraa house lah....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Poor face disaster from global warming

A hornbag who has managed to escape to our sunny country, from the worst places to be affected by climate change in the near future.

MOST of the gains made by the world's poorest countries over the past half a century will be lost unless action is taken on climate change, Oxfam says.

A report by the international aid agency says up to 375 million people may be affected by climate-related disasters by 2015.

"Climate change is becoming quite rapidly the central issue to do with poverty today", Oxfam Australia's chief, Andrew Hewett, told the Herald. "That also raises deep ethical dilemmas because the people least responsible for this crisis have the least resources to deal with it, and they are also those who are on the front line."

Oxfam is publishing the report, Suffering The Science-Climate Change, People And Poverty, today before this week's meeting of world leaders at the Group of Eight summit in Italy, where climate change and food security will be high on the agenda.

On the side of the G8 meeting there will also be a forum of leaders and ministers from the biggest polluting world economies, which the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, will attend.

A key issue at both meetings will be whether the US President, Barack Obama, publicly embraces the scientific goal of keeping the world's temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius in order to avoid dangerous climate change.

Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and European leaders have been urging the US to embrace the goal, and Reuters has reported that the 2-degree target has been included in the draft communique.

If Mr Obama supports the scientific goal he will raise expectations that the United Nations global climate talks in Copenhagen in December will be able to achieve an ambitious outcome. Including the 2-degree goal in the G8 communique also puts pressure on Japan, Canada and Russia to agree to tougher action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Oxfam report stresses the importance of the scientific goal, arguing that even a 2-degree temperature rise will have serious consequences for people living in poverty.

With advancing climate change, several big cities dependent on the Himalayan and Andes glaciers will face crippling water shortages within decades, the report says. The two most important world food crops, rice and maize, will also be reduced even under mild climate change.

Hunger caused by climate change may be the defining human tragedy of this century, the report argues, and if global warming is allowed to proceed unchecked the true cost "will not be measured in dollars but in millions or billions of lives".

Oxfam argues that developing countries, especially poor ones, will need at least $US150 billion ($188 billion) a year to cope with climate change and shift to greener energy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another little of nature's belly burps...

Just to let you know the wierdo weather is still about, and coming soon to a place near you.....

Freak Beijing storm turns day into nightABC June 16, 2009, 3:46 pm Send

June 17, 2009, 11:21 pmChina correspondent Stephen McDonell and ABC cameraman Rob Hill saw day turn into night as a freak storm swept across the capital Beijing today.

"It was pitch black outside and you could see people looking out from the office towers across the road from us," McDonell said.

"In a couple of the photos you can see a clock in the distance showing it was around 11:30 am local time."

The storms were expected to affect western and northern Xinjiang, most part of Inner Mongolia, north-east China and north China.

Today's extreme weather follows yesterday's hail storms across eastern China's Anhui province, which killed 14 people and injured more than 180, AFP reports.

Anhui's Civil Affairs Bureau said that more than 10,000 people were evacuated and nearly 9,700 houses collapsed in yesterday's severe storm.

Anhui was struck by hail and winds of up to 104 kilometres per hour, causing $82 million worth of damage.

A similar hail storm struck the region in the first week of June, killing 23 people and injuring more than 200.

Officials have warned residents that more dangerous weather could follow.

First hard evidence found of a lake on Mars

This Japanese hornbag will find it hard to survive if climate change has it way here and sauces the Martian best practice experience.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A long, deep canyon and the remains of beaches are perhaps the clearest evidence yet of a standing lake on the surface of Mars -- one that apparently contained water when the planet was supposed to have already dried up, scientists said on Wednesday.

Images from a camera called the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate water carved a 30-mile-(50-km-)long canyon, a team at the University of Colorado at Boulder reported.

It would have covered 80 square miles (200 sq km) and been up to 1,500 feet deep, the researchers wrote in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

There is now no dispute that water exists on the surface or Mars -- robot explorers have found ice. There is also evidence that water may still seep to the surface from underground, although it quickly disappears in the cold, thin atmosphere of the red planet.

Planetary scientists have also seen what could be the shores of giant rivers and seas -- but some of the formations could also arguably have been made by dry landslides.

"This is the first unambiguous evidence of shorelines on the surface of Mars," said Gaetano Di Achille, who led the study.

"The identification of the shorelines and accompanying geological evidence allows us to calculate the size and volume of the lake, which appears to have formed about 3.4 billion years ago," Di Achille said in a statement.

Water is key to life and scientists are looking desperately for evidence of life, past or present, on Mars. Having water on the planet could also be useful to future human explorers.

"On Earth, deltas and lakes are excellent collectors and preservers of signs of past life," said Di Achille. "If life ever arose on Mars, deltas may be the key to unlocking Mars' biological past," Di Achille said.

"Not only does this research prove there was a long-lived lake system on Mars, but we can see that the lake formed after the warm, wet period is thought to have dissipated," assistant professor Brian Hynek said.

The lake probably either evaporated or froze over after abrupt climate change, the researchers said. Its waters would have turned into vapor. No one knows what turned Mars from a warm, wet planet into the frozen, airless desert it is now.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Eric Walsh)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jellyfish threaten to 'dominate' world's oceans.

Giant jellyfish are taking over parts of the world's oceans due to overfishing and other human activities, researchers say.

Nomura jellyfish are the biggest in the world and can grow as big as a sumo wrestler. They weigh up to 200 kilograms and can reach 2 metres in diameter.

Dr Anthony Richardson and his colleagues from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research says jellyfish numbers are increasing, particularly in South East Asia, the Black Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea.

"We need to take management action to avert the marine systems of the world flipping over to being jellyfish dominated," says Dr Richardson, who is also a marine biologist at the University of Queensland.

He says the Japanese have a real problem with giant jellyfish that burst through fishing nets.

He says other researchers are experimenting with different ways of controlling jellyfish, including using sound waves to explode jellyfish and using special nets to try and cut them up.


Dr Richardson and his colleagues reviewed literature linking jellyfish blooms with overfishing and eutrophication (high levels of nutrients).

Jellyfish are normally kept in check by fish, which eat small jellyfish and compete for jellyfish food such as zooplankton, he says.

But with overfishing, jellyfish numbers are increasing. Jellyfish feed on fish eggs and larvae, further impacting on fish numbers.

To add insult to injury, nitrogen and phosphorous in run-off cause red phytoplankton blooms, which create low-oxygen dead zones where jellyfish survive, but fish cannot.

"You can think of them like a protected area for jellyfish," Dr Richardson says.

The researchers say climate change may also encourage more jellyfish and they have postulated for the first time that these conditions can lead to what they call a "jellyfish stable state", in which jellyfish rule the oceans.

Taking action

The team recommends a number of actions in its paper, published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution and released to coincide with World Oceans Day.

They say it is important to reduce overfishing, especially of small pelagic fish like sardines, and to reduce run-off.

They also say it is important to control the transport of jellyfish around the world in ballast water and aquariums.

Jellyfish are considered simple jelly-like sea animals, which are related to the microscopic animals that form coral.

They generally start their life as a plant-like polyp on the sea bed before budding off into the well-known bell-shaped medusa.

Jellyfish have tentacles containing pneumatocyst cells, which act like little harpoons that lodge in prey to sting and kill them.

The location and number of pneumatocysts dictate whether jellyfish are processed for human consumption.

While dried jellyfish with soya sauce is a delicacy served in Chinese weddings and banquets, not all kinds of jellyfish can be eaten, Dr Richardson says.

According to Dr Richardson, the species increasing in number are not generally eaten.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Latest doom sauced for you....

Yes sauced from the daily news of doom and despair.....see it now, before its too late lah!

Scientists warn acid is killing oceans
Email Print Normal font Large font Deborah Smith Science Editor

June 2, 2009

RISING carbon dioxide emissions are turning the oceans acidic in an irreversible process that threatens coral reefs and food security, the world's scientific academies have warned.
Seventy academies, including the Australian Academy of Science, urged governments meeting in Bonn for climate talks to tackle the issue in the new United Nations treaty on climate change to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.
In the past 200 years the world's oceans have absorbed about a quarter of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities, and the current rate of acidification is much more rapid than at any time during the past 65 million years, the scientists said in a joint statement.
Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society in Britain, said that unless global carbon dioxide emissions were cut by at least 50 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050 there could be an "underwater catastrophe" and loss of marine life.
"The effects will be seen worldwide, threatening food security, reducing coastal protection and damaging local economies that may be least able to tolerate it," Professor Rees said. "Copenhagen must address this very real and serious threat."
As carbon dioxide dissolves it alters ocean chemistry, leading to an attack on the carbonate building blocks needed by marine organisms, such as corals and shellfish, to produce their skeletons, shells and other hard structures.
"Ocean acidification is irreversible on timescales of at least tens of thousands of years," the scientists said.
Although it was a global problem, some areas, including the tropical waters around the Great Barrier Reef, would be more affected than others.
Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council Centre for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said the effects have already been observed. "We have clear evidence that the growth rate of corals is slowing because of ocean acidification."
The Great Barrier Reef was under stress as well from higher water temperatures, said Professor Hughes, who contributed to the academies' statement.
"Unless the world can sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the combination of repeated bouts of bleaching, more extreme storms and slower growth due to acidification will have a severe impact on coral reefs and the tourism and fisheries industries they support," he said. "We only have a narrow window of opportunity to prevent further severe damage to coral reefs before it's too late."
Will Howard, an oceanographer at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre in Hobart, said the issue of acidification was independent of debates about possible effects of global warming.
"The impact is happening now in nature, not in computer simulation or in laboratory manipulation, and can be directly attributed to carbon dioxide emissions," Dr Howard said.
If carbon dioxide levels, now at 387 ppm, were stabilised at 450 ppm, more than 10 per cent of the world's oceans would be affected by acidification, including more than 90 per cent of all tropical and subtropical coral reefs.
Stabilisation at 550 ppm could result in coral reefs "dissolving globally", the scientists said.
Adding chemicals to the oceans to try to counter acidification was likely to be expensive, only partly effective at local sites and could pose unknown risks.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Doom from on the road.....

A scarier, colder vision of the climate change future
Bob Beale
April 25, 2009

So the sea ice around Antarctica is growing, not shrinking. Hurrah! We're all saved from the misguided, mistaken and self-interested prognostications of those fiendish, bearded, white-coated climate scientists.

Er, no. The sea ice in Antarctica is growing because of the hole in the ozone layer, not because the planet is getting cooler. It's a localised effect, not a planet-wide phenomenon. If it was, the Arctic ice cap would not be shrinking.

In any case, we've banned CFCs, the chemicals that created the ozone hole, so as it gradually repairs, the Antarctic sea ice will shrink again. Likewise, all the soot, dust, smoke, aerosols and aircraft exhaust we've been pumping out have dimmed the atmosphere a little.

In short, science says the muck we have put into the atmosphere has been masking the long-term warming trend. As we clean up our act, it will become more painfully obvious.

Climate change sceptics are in for a rude shock if they seek consolation from Professor Ian Plimer about the threats posed by global warming. A geologist's perspective is cold comfort.

Plimer's much talked-about new book - Heaven And Earth: Global Warming And The Missing Science - may already be a best-seller, but another of his books, A Short History Of Planet Earth , published in 2001, made it plain where he thinks the planet is heading.

He may differ with colleagues about why the climate is changing but he does not contest that it certainly is and even he thinks the consequences are potentially alarming.

Sea levels have been rising in an erratic stepwise pattern for the past 18,000 years, and will continue to do so, according to his earlier book. "In the West Antarctic the recession rates of the fast-flowing rivers of ice indicate a rapid erosion of the slow-moving inland ice sheet driven by the same factors that drove the 120-metre sea level rise over the last 14,700 years.

"It would not be surprising if sea level rose a few metres over the next century causing untold suffering in low-lying areas such as Bangladesh, Holland, north Germany and many non-coralline islands … Low-lying parts of England, where many atomic reactors are sited, will be inundated."

He might have added that fair chunks of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth wouldn't be looking too flash either.

That won't be the end of it. The collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which began about 7000 years ago, means the sea "has another six metres to rise". At least he agrees with the Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, on that. Sea levels are not affected when sea ice grows or shrinks, because it's already in the water, but the melting of sheet ice on the land matters a lot.

A six-metre rise will "disrupt coastal populations" and "if global warming occurs and sea level further rises" worse will follow, he wrote, but there's a bright side, at least after the global mayhem subsides. "Warmer, wetter times have led to great renaissances in human history."

No one should be complacent because global warming may, ironically, switch off the North Atlantic Drift. It brings warm water and air to northern Europe, and he warns that its halting may cause temperatures to plunge by more than 5 degrees. Even if that doesn't happen, Plimer has another vision of the future, scarier than that of the climate change scientists.

He uses the history of recent climate change to suggest Earth will "soon lurch into another glaciation, possibly only in 300 or 400 years time but certainly before 2800". The same history shows such a change can occur very rapidly, in less than a human lifetime. "Past ice ages have led to famine, disease, population reduction and warfare, but have not led to the extinction of humans. Depopulation will occur by disease pandemics. As in the past, urban communities will drift into subsistence agriculture and cities will be vacated."

If the next ice age is as bad as the last one, ice sheets - kilometres thick across much of the northern hemisphere - will cover 60 per cent of the land now occupied by humans, and the sea level will drop 120 metres.

Two-thirds of Australia's trees will die. Centuries of cold dry winds will follow. The east coast will be smothered in dust and sand as massive dune fields resume their smothering slow-motion march around the continent's centre.

The abandoned ruins of Sydney will be atop a craggy ridge, overlooking a deep valley where the harbour used to be. A coastal plain will stretch 40 kilometres to the east before it reaches the sea.

Plimer is a geologist and good geology does not make good policy. His vision reinforces the fact that humans are deeply vulnerable to climate. And it underscores our failure to face up to the collective need to change the way we live. We need to keep our options open and give our environment and our society as much resilience as we can muster.

The evidence that humans can change, and are changing, our climate is incontrovertible. The Antarctic ozone hole vividly demonstrates this, but as Plimer says civilisations do exist by grace of geology, subject to change without notice.

This time, though, we have notice. A decade ago, the boffins warned us about future heatwaves, droughts, severe weather and loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Where will we be in 10 more years?

Bob Beale is a science and environment writer.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And some here too......

Over 100 dead, thousands displaced in African floods
Saturday March 28, 2009 - 10:00 EDT

Southern African countries have been hit by the worst floods in years, killing more than 100 people and displacing thousands, as a tropical storm threatened to bring more pain on the weekend.

As Mozambique braced for the arrival of a strengthening tropical storm Izilda, record river levels across the region threatened to exacerbate floods which have already affected hundreds of thousands of people.

Namibia's Government declared a state of emergency last week in areas where floods have affected more than 350,000 people, 13,000 of whom were displaced, according to numbers released by the United Nations.

Another 160,000 people have been affected in Angola.

The Zambezi River, along Namibia's north-eastern Caprivi Region, rose to 7.8 metres this week, its highest level in 40 years, before slightly dropping.

"We have large areas submerged by water and access to several villages is cut off," Caprivi governor Leonard Mwilima said.

Namibia's flood coordinator Erastus Negonga said the death toll stood at 112. Nearly 200 schools have closed, while one hospital and 19 clinics remain cut off due to floods.

In Zambia, 21 districts have been affected by flooding and the army has been called in to assist the worst affected region of Shang'ombo, where they are also helping reconstruct a bridge connecting it to the rest of the country.

"The Zambia Air Force has been engaged to transport food and fuel to the affected districts," said Davies Sampa, permanent secretary in the vice-president's office.

In northern Botswana, rain has caused the Okavango, Zambezi and Chobe rivers to swell, leaving 430 people displaced and submerging eight villages.

Last year, heavy rains in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi caused flash flooding in Mozambique that displaced tens of thousands of people and destroyed almost 100,000 hectares of crops.

Mozambique is no stranger to weather-related disasters. In 2000 and 2001 about 700 people were killed in one of the country's worst floods when torrential rains hit the south-eastern African country.

A little bit more extreme weather for you.

Flooded NSW areas now disaster zones

April 1, 2009, 5:49 pm
Too much, too quick and too soon after February's devastating floods - that's how Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades describes the latest deluge.

The regional hub on the NSW mid-north coast is mopping up after torrential rain isolated the town.

Coffs Creek peaked at 6.15pm (AEDT) on Tuesday just below the 1996 flood level of 5.43m, after copping 450mm of rain in a 24-hour period.

About 100 Coffs Harbour residential properties and businesses were affected, with 420 people evacuated, including 300 school children and residents of aged care facilities.

Coffs Harbour, along with the local government areas of Bellingen and Nambucca, were on Wednesday declared natural disaster zones, after the once-in-a-century storms.

It is the second time in just six weeks that parts of the region have been declared disaster zones, with heavy rains in February still fresh residents' minds.

Mr Rhoades said the downpour was "a simple case of too much, too quick".

"No matter what system you have in place in regards to mitigation, you would not have been able to cope with what came down," he told AAP.

"(Coffs Harbour business people) all told me that you actually stood there and saw it coming, and there wasn't a thing you could do about it - that's how quick it was."

The State Emergency Services (SES) said 1,600 Bellingen residents were still isolated, as were 500 people in nearby Darkwood, after heavy rain pushed the Bellinger River to a peak of 8.6 metres on Tuesday night.

They are likely to be isolated for two to four days.

South of Coffs Harbour, the Nambucca River peaked at 10.25m, just 0.25m below the record level of June 1950, at 10.30pm on Tuesday.

Nearby Bowraville and surrounding farmland remained isolated, the SES said.

The rail line between Kempsey and Casino was closed, after flooding washed away rail ballast and caused landslides.

Coffs Harbour residents and businesses were now mopping up after just recovering from the previous deluge.

"Basements in buildings are being hosed out today to get the silt and mud out," Mr Rhoades said.

"Residents are trying to salvage what they can of possessions that have been washed out of their garages, car ports, and some times, out of their houses.

"You've just got to feel for these people, because it is heartbreaking."

Mr Rhoades compared Tuesday's floods with those of 1996, which caused $140 million in damages and killed one woman.

"Looking at the 1996 flood and what that cost, I would put this one in the tens of millions of dollars for people to get to back to where they were," he said.

"There is damage to stock in businesses, homes that have had water go straight through them.

"I saw premises last night that weren't even within 50 metres of previous flood levels (but) that were affected last night, that have never before been affected."

The Insurance Council of Australia has urged people to make their claims as quickly as possible.

The SES received more than 940 calls for assistance across NSW due to the heavy rains, with the majority coming from the Clarence and Nambucca areas.

Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan said 100 people had to be rescued by emergency services, 65 in Coffs Harbour.

More than 800 people spent the night in evacuation centres in Coffs Harbour, Bonville, Macksville and Urunga, with most returning home after floodwaters receded.

Despite fears that further rain on Wednesday might exacerbate the flooding, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said the mid-north coast had seen the worst of the falls.

However, flood warnings were still current for rivers along the NSW coast, including the Orara, the Bellinger, Nambucca, Manning and Hastings rivers, and the Williams River near Newcastle.

"It's backed off into a shower situation, rather than the constant heavy rain we had yesterday," BoM duty forecaster Ewan Mitchell said.

"The problem is, with the saturated ground due to the recent rain, any further falls can fairly quickly give you some further heavy runoff and local flooding problems."

The wild weather has also seen the closure of most beaches along the NSW coast with waves topping three metres, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) said.

However, the heavy rain in the past 24 hours has brought relief for Sydney's dams.

Sydney's Warragamba catchment received about one-sixth of its average April rainfall on the first day of the month, with 14mm falling in the 24 hours to 9am (AEDT) Wednesday.

The Upper Nepean and Woronora catchments had almost half their median monthly rainfall, recording falls of 41.6mm and 49.5mm, respectively

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some more hornbags...

Yes, time to enhance the hornbag experience. Once again I have been saucing, and moving forward, in the area of hornbag best practice. Please enjoy, while going forward, in your own quintessential seachange in hornbaginess.....
Please note, if you dont understand what I wrote neither do I. Apparently to be in touch with modern managerilism, and droppings from the adminisphere, you have to enjoy percussive maintainence on one's bodily parts to get by in today's society.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Yes, once again I am pleased to purvey to my discerning readers, some more hornbags for you.
Please sit down with a cup of tea, a quiet ale, and enjoy forthwith.