I live in North Warrandyte. That means I’m stuck with Nillumbik Shire Council. This is the most expensive council in Victoria. We pay an obscene amount in rates. This year, the council boasts that it won’t raise rates. Yay.
This is also the same council that wants Residents to embed their houses in the bush despite the bushfire danger. Clearly, they don’t believe that Black Saturday can ever happen again. The proof is in the priority they place on bushfire mitigation. The following figures are taken directly from ‘Living in the landscape’, the Nillumbik Shire Council newsletter. The only change I’ve made is to sort the table by the cost. Have a look at this council’s priorities:
As you can see, $1,100,000 is considered more than enough for ’emergency management’ while a sporting redevelopment deserves almost twice as much at $1,795,000. I guess they figure that when a massive bushfire comes through again, we’ll all be dead and won’t be able to complain about their disregard for our health and safety.
One of the messages Tony Abbott and the Liberals bleeted ad nauseum before the last election [as a justification for getting rid of the Carbon Tax] was “why should we cripple our economy when it won’t do any good anyway?”.
That was not a direct quote of course, I just paraphrased the ‘message’. Well, I was given a most compelling answer yesterday by Lew Blaustein of New York.
As some of you may remember, Lew is a climate change activist who is marrying the message of climate change with something far more popular – sport.
Lew and I had a long chat about the Carbon Tax via Skype, and the gist of that conversation appears in Lew’s latest post :
Now I knew more or less what Lew would say, but the thing that truly surprised me was the cred. we Australians had on the world stage… because of our Carbon Tax! Surprise, surprise but the rest of the world was watching us. They applauded when the Carbon Tax went through, and mourned when it became clear it would be repealed by the Mad Monk and his cronies.
Australia may be a very small country but we’ve always been proud of ‘punching above our weight’. What we do matters, and that’s the single most heartening point I took from Lew’s post.
Are we going to follow the rest of the world like sheep? Or are we going to reclaim that international cred. bestowed on us by our willingness to do something about Climate Change?
Personally, I’d be really chuffed if we Australians were known for our sporting prowess, as well as our courage off the field.
I’ve just discovered you can never predict how and when you will meet another kindred spirit! I’m not a sporty person by any stretch of the imagination, but thanks to my friend Candy Korman, and my post on the Climate Change rally, I’ve just met Lew Blaustein from New York City.
Lew is a blogger who combines his passion for sport with his passion for climate change action in posts that speak the language of sports fans. You can read some of Lew’s posts here and here.
For now though I’d like to share a Nike commerical that Lew showed me. Yes, a commercial. Trust me on this, you’ll enjoy it!
I doubt Nike intended to support action on climate change, and I’m not sure whether basketball superstar LeBron James had that intention either, but this one commercial boosted the uptake of bicycle riding by something like 10%. It almost got me off my chair as well. 😉
Sport is not my area of expertise. Most of the time, sporting news goes in one ear and out the other. But not today because ABC 774 [bushfire warnings radio station] has been flooded with news of the findings of the Australia Crime Commission. In a nutshell, the Commission found that ‘legal’ drugs are permeating our sporting institutions.
The problem is that these ‘legal’ drugs are only legal because they have not been found in Australia. Yet. Once they are confirmed here, they can be made illegal but this means that the law is always playing catchup with industries that are expert at staying one step ahead at all times. Of even greater concern is the evidence that suggests some of these ‘industries’ include organized crime. The fear is that athletes will be ‘groomed’ with such grey-area drugs and then blackmailed to co-operate in match fixing.
I simply don’t have the knowledge to comment on how real this problem actually is, or may become, but it did make me think about a legal issue that we all take for granted – the assumption that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Now I have no objection to that assumption when it applies to people, however I find it really strange that we extend the same presumption of innocence to ‘things’. Like drugs.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to publish a list of acceptable drugs and then ban anything and everything that is not on that trusted list? [We do that with internet security]. Then if someone wishes to use a particular drug [or if it is needed for some rare disease] they must prove the drug is not being used for performance enhancement.
I’m not a legal eagle either, so perhaps my commonsense solution is too simple to be practicable, but I’d really like to know why it couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be done.
Any experts out there who’d care to comment?