Monday, November 27, 2006

A Mondyeunung Cyclone

An intense southern cyclone is winding up off the south west coast of W.A. tonight. Big rain coming tomorrow - this gif was created from BoM satellite loop for 1200-1500UTC 25/11/06 .

Mondyeunung is the Noongar name of the season (the two moons approxiamately) from late October to January. A good time to canoe or sail around the harbours or the sound at Albany as long as your back before noon. By then the easterly sea breeze driven by the deepening west coast trough starts spanking in. Sailing ships were often trapped for days or even weeks at time in Princess Royal Harbour/Mammangart because the entrance is a keyhole to the east into the sound and the winds show no mercy.

Tonight the Madjet is wagging his tail and bringing rain. It's midnight, dead calm and the humidity is 99% outside - everything is quiet. The calm before the storm...

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Waternup - a history of crows

How do you spell the words of a history that's been forgotten,
in a time when the future seems to be so uncertain...?

Did you know that, among the prisoners of Sandakan,
there was one young Arthur Morrison...?

He had to apply for citizenship to buy some land with the pennies he'd earn't
fighting for his country...

While other men were granted land for their small acts of gallantry...

Of course, he was not to be acknowledged, the shame would be to great. So now i negotiate...

Small memorials on a hill that once had honey possums. They died out a few years ago... me an' Sylvia trapped the last one.

It's called Watenup or Wardanap - that's the crow's business - 'look as far as you can see... now look farder ...'

So how should we remember young Arthur Morrison? Son of Mongalwar, a desert man who moved to be with his wife, whose son went off to war...for love...for life...?


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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Borneo Burning

(Image courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC)

The two images above are from the Terra Modis satellite that sends back pictures of the earth every day. They show fires as red dots in the top photo taken 4 days before the bottom photo. The red discoloration of the sea in the bottom photo is silt from run-off following fires on the south coast of Kalimantan. (Map of Borneo)

Here peat fires are burning once again According to Planet Ark
a thousand orangutans have died this year due to fires in Borneo.

An average of 1 billion tonnes per year of CO2 is released into the atmosphere due to tropical peat fires in SE Asia (mostly in Indonesia) this figure dwarfs the emissions from most other sources.

In 2004, Nature News reported on the consequences of the 1997/8 fires on Borneo. In that year

fires released 13–40% as much CO2 as a typical year's global emissions from burning fossil fuels

The airport at Palangkaraya was closed for three months in 1997 - it has been closed for at least that long this year and is still closed today. The fires this year are said to be as bad as 1997 even though it has not been as dry as then. It still remains as corrupt as then.

It's worth paying a visit to Google Maps and zooming in on the south coast of Borneo . You will sea vast scars across the landscape where the rainforest has been leveled . Initally this was for Suharto's mega rice plan which was a disaster. Nowadays the land is being cleared for palm oil and rubber plantations. It is greed this year and not drought which is driving these fires which are the major contributor to the accelerated rate of increase in CO2 levels seen since 2000.

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