thomas m wilson

Clive Hamilton’s Scorcher

May 4th, 2007

Clive Hamilton has been busy digging up the truth on the Howard government’s self-serving response to climate change. He has just published a book in which he brings the truth to the surface. I heard him talk last Wednesday at UWA in Perth.

If you didn’t manage to get your hands on the book or get to a lecture, you can hear Hamilton talk at the University of Sydney a couple of weeks ago.

My favourite quote from the talk: What do you call a climate change sceptic’s think tank? A sceptic tank.

Nuf said.

On Not Coming in from the Rain

April 28th, 2007

Today I really want to share with the world a Mary Oliver poem:

Black Oaks

Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary,

or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance
and comfort. 

Not one can manage a single sound though the blue jays
carp and whistle all day in the branches, without
the push of the wind. 

But to tell the truth after a while I'm pale with longing
for their thick bodies ruckled with lichen

and you can't keep me from the woods, from the tonnage

of their shoulders, and their shining green hair.

Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a
little sunshine, a little rain. 

Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from
one boot to another -- why don't you get going?

For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees.

And to tell the truth I don't want to let go of the wrists
of idleness, I don't want to sell my life for money,

I don't even want to come in out of the rain. 

Way To Go

April 26th, 2007

Roger Short, at a recent conference on science journalism at the University of Melboure, made the point that when we are cremated it has a negative effect on global warming, both because of our bodies becoming carbon dioxide pollution, and because the oven has to be heated up to 850 degrees for an hour and a half and uses massive amounts of fuel. Traditional burials are also no good as the places we use just have grass on them, and no biodiversity.

Smart thinks we should have vertical holes drilled, and we should be lowered down amongst leaves as a kind of padding. And then a tree should be planted over that. Over a century a tree sequesters one metric ton of CO2.

I love Short’s idea, not just because his science is so spot on and because he has thought of an important change for us to make in our burial rituals, but because of the associated symbolism of returning to the ecosystem. Edward Munsch’s painting ‘Metabolism’ springs to mind…


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