Mail, Kittens, Alive, Food Inc and Tim Flannery

June 10, 2010

 
MAIL
   

Thanks to everyone emailing stories, sending photographs (to acebourke@hotmail.com), and drawing my attention to many different causes and events. It’s how I’d love the blog to be…
Thanks to Francois for sending me these first 2 images.

Recently Tracey sent me a link to the Huffington Post which showed the most incredibly tender reunion between a gorilla and Damian Aspinall (of the Aspinall Foundation, son of John Aspinall who was keeping  exotic animals in England, especially tigers, around  Christian’s time). Kwibi the gorilla was returned to the jungles of Gabon, and Damian returned to see him five years later.”This must be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen…well, at least since Christian the Lion”. I immediately left a comment! (Misspelled). It is especially beautiful footage.

Jade drew to my attention to The Nature Conservancy Australia Nature Writing Prize. Worth $5,000, the deadline is 30th September. The Nature Conservancy describes itself as the world’s largest conservation organization and operates in over 32 countries. The Conservancy’s Australia Program was established in 2000 and since then it has invested $32 million to conserve 3.6 million hectares of land through 27 land acquisitions of areas rich in biodiversity. Learn more here.

Scott sent me these photographs of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick that is turning out to be much more catastrophic than even first imagined. Apparently there is a lot of oil in layers deep in the water, and the chemical dispersants being used must themselves be toxic. And the hurricane season is beginning.

Shrimp boats are used to collect oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La., (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

An oil soaked bird struggles against the side of the HOS an Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Oil from the leaking Deep Horizon oil rig is seen swirling through the currents in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

 

FOOD, INC., etc

I must go and see the documentaries Food, Inc., and The End of the Line that have recently opened here and been very well and seriously reviewed.  Political documentaries are now mainstream, and other examples include An Inconvenient Truth, and The Cove, about the annual culling of dolphins in Japan.

Both Food, Inc., and The End of the Line are about sustainable food production and the degradation of our food chain on both land and in the water. The many worrying implications of our modern industrial food production include obesity and diabetes, and Food, Inc., highlights the enormous corporate power  of the agricultural company Monsanto (investigated by the US Justice Department for alleged anti-competitive practices), and their treatment of US farmers not using its patented soya bean.

Many species are on the verge of extinction – like the bluefin tuna. We have to remember that every species has a role to play and any extinctions lead to often disastrous imbalances.

What are we advised to do? Be more aware. Check the fish on menus, and choose food carefully. Cut back on consumption. Read labels carefully, and avoid food with pesticides, and junk food. Support tight quotas of fishing and their enforcement, and the establishment of a global network of marine reserves. Act against the Japanese and other whaling nations. There will be much debate about whaling shortly, with Australia finally taking Japan to the International Court of Justice, and an International Whaling Commission meeting  in Morocco from June 18th.

The organisation Voiceless campaigns against industrialised food consumption, and do check their latest e-update.

TIM FLANNERY

It was a relief to read that the well respected and very busy multi-tasker Tim Flannery no longer thinks carbon capture and storage is feasible. He thinks the government should commit funds towards geothermal energy and solar photovoltaic energy, and he includes “possibly even nuclear”, which I don’t. In our recent Federal Budget sport attracted much more funding than renewable energy research and development, which tells you a lot about Australia, and our Government priorities.

CITY OF SYDNEY PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE

I was a judge of the City of Sydney Photography Prize recently with Sandy Edwards and Robert MacFarlane, both highly respected in the field, and well known photographers themselves. Robert, a fellow blogger, took this photograph of me. We had to choose 22 images from over 500 entries, and many good photographs were sacrificed. This annual exhibition will open in Hyde Park after 22 September, and the winner will be announced. I’ll upload some of the marvellous images then.

Image by Robert MacFarlane

PAPERBACK

I recently addressed the Bowral Supper Book Club at the superb Centennial Vineyard. The book is now in 18 territories and Christian’s story is in 16 languages!

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