How Low Can You Go

Jindalee Beach (C) PJ Croft 2017

Wow, it’s a sting in the tail of summer – three weeks into autumn, and at the autumnal equinoxe, it was 37C on Tuesday last week, 33C the next, 28degC today. It’s hot! It’s slowly cooling down, thank goodness, but we’re still looking at high twenties for the rest of this week. Our summer 2022/23 was actually quite cool, in the sense that we had no days or 40C or above. That’s a bit unusual, and I’ll take it, but I don’t think it means that global heating is not happening.

As well, it’s been dry! I think the figure was 1.4mm of rain for the entire three months of summer. I don’t like that. We need rain.

PS: last night we had rain, rain, rain! 38mm on the second last day of March. Whoopee!

The warning, this morning, that unless something is done to change our CO2 emissions, i.e. our greenhouse gas emissions, then we’re going to exceed the 1.5degC increase in our average temperatures and permanently damage the entire Earth’s climate, for the worse. This is serious!

Yet the big emitters and the coal and gas industries are barrelling along as if nothing needs to change. Glencore, the big company wanting to develop a huge coal mine in the Hunter Valley in NSW, is fighting tooth and nail to start digging. The only thing stopping them are the Aborigines opposing the plans.

Personally, at age 76 I won’t live to see the worst effects of climate change, but I’m afraid it’s too late. Money rules! Money will override all other considerations and mining and petroleum will go on, as long as people demand share returns for their superannuation funds. This is the point, we all want change for the good, as long as it doesn’t adversely affect us. T’was ever thus.


Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am left wing, so left wing that I’m to the left of the present government, the Australian Labor Party. when I swim, I swim in anti-clockwise circles. I have to ask pilots of aircraft to apply a bit of right rudder. I loathe the conservatives, the Liberal Party in Australia.

How anyone can support a party which knowingly broke the law to take vindictive action against low income earners in the infamous scheme which has become known as Robodebt is beyond me. The result of this infamous scheme was that at least several people committed suicide when they were pursued by government appointed debt collectors, when they didn’t actually owe any money! The relevant ministers knew they were implementing an unlawful scheme, yet they chose to ignore the law and continue. As a result, people died!

The reason I mention this is because I’ve just heard, this afternoon, on the PBS News Hour (a US publicly funded broadcasting organisation, so reasonably credible and impartial), something which I didn’t know, and I bet you didn’t either.

It’s that after Ronald Reagan’s win after Jimmy Carter’s (Democrat) term as president, the Republicans wanted some good news to announce at Reagan’s inauguration. At this time, the Iran hostage crisis was in progress, where all the staff of the US embassy in Tehran, 52 people, were held hostage, violating all the rules of the Geneva Convention.

The hostage crisis was nearing its end, with negotiations having presaged the release of the hostages. But the Republican administration and Reagan’s new Secretary of State ordered that the release of the hostages be delayed until the day after Reagan’s inauguration ceremony! The hostages were formally released into United States custody the day after the signing of the Algiers Accords, just minutes after American President Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

What a low act, and in my opinion, typical of the low acts that conservatives in any country will go to. I loathe conservatives for reasons like this.


I’ve just found out, today, that a photography web site DP Review, a site that I’ve been avidly reading since the early ’00s, is to close down on 10 April. Damn! This is like learning that the ABC is to shut down, or any similar web presence that has been a part of our lives for a long time.

DP Review was started by a British guy, Phil Askey, in London in 1998. I found it during the early days of digital cameras and it’s been one of my favourite sites ever since. I visit it daily.

Unfortunately, very unfortunately, it was bought out by Amazon and moved holus bolus to Seattle in Washington State, USA in 2007.

As we should have expected, Amazon has decided it has to close, as a result of massive staff cuts through the whole company. DP Review only has 14 staff, for goodness sakes, but Amazon management don’t care about small things like that.

That’s bad enough, but DP Review has a massive database of camera information, technical specs, cameras tests and the same for lenses. Surely this can’t be lost to us? Surely even the 200lb gorilla that is Amazon couldn’t trash this information? We can only hope.

(PS: apparently a dedicated group are frantically downloading as much of the web site as they can before it disappears.)


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