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December 2007
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Archive for December, 2007

What Animal is This?

As 2007 draws to a conclusion, I make my final entry for the year, in the form of a challenge: Can anyone identify this critter? I photographed it on the distinctive new foliage of a juvenile mahogany (Dysoxylum sp.) and it is about 2 mm long (cerci excluded). For 2008, I wish our entire readership [...]


President of the Japan Whaling Association responds to Australia

On December 19, 2007 Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Stephen Smith, issued a joint media release with the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Mr Peter Garrett. The release states that “Australia strongly believes that there is no credible scientific justification for the hunting of whales and is opposed to all commercial [...]

What Will Decide The US’s Energy Future?

Such is the power of politics, driven by concerns about global warming, that according to the US-based online journal Grist, the tide has turned against coal and it is now officially “the enemy of the human race” with the states of California, Kansas, Florida and Washington denying permits or contracts for new coal-fired power stations. [...]

Shark Attack Alert, Reminiscent of 1960s

Dear All, In today’s Age newspaper, “Fears of ‘worst shark season’ ever as seas heat up”, see Back in the 1960s I can recall shark attacks being rather common in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. Temperatures were lower then … Cheers, John McLean

Happy New Year from Queensland’s Gold Coast

The surf is up at the Gold Coast with an intense low pressure system hovering off shore. The large swells and high tides mean that the car park has been closed at the Currumbin Surf Club – but you can still get a drink at the bar. The locals say the wild weather is reminiscent [...]

The Wet Season has well and truly arrived in the Daintree

The Cooper Valley has been dumped on with exceptional rainfall over the past few days. Since Boxing Day, over 700 mm has been recorded in our portion of the catchment. Last night I was unable to collect three travellers that had booked onto the nocturnal tour because of flooding. Another two, one from Hamburg and [...]

Newmont Wins Civil Suit in Jakarta, Rick Ness Retires

The mining thread at this blog has been dominated by the Buyat Bay saga; the alleged deliberate pollution of the bay, fishing village and its fringing coral reef in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, by US mining giant Newmont and in particular its Indonesian boss Richard Ness. I attended the verdict in the criminal trial of Mr [...]

Monaro Farmer Seeks Compensation for Carbon Sink

In the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney on Thursday 20th December 2007, the Court rejected the Commonwealth’s application to strike out a Statement of Claim entered into the Court by Monaro District farmer Mr Peter Spencer. Mr Spencer has claimed that Intergovernmental Agreements between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories, along with the [...]

Privet Hawk Moth

Not all is bad! We can rejoice in the grandeur of nature … in a multitude of expressions. The Privet Hawk Moth, for example, blends magnificently with its environment. Happy New Year to you all. Hope to see you in the ancient rainforests of the Daintree, or in the not too distant future, at [...]

More Broken Panes in the Greenhouse

Apologies for my lack of blogging activity of late – I’ve had a busy Christmas period on both the work and home fronts. Some friends even managed to hold a pre-Chrsitmas BBQ on 22nd December – no, not a result of global warming in the UK, just a cool, pleasant evening and the heat from [...]