back to the bush … station life

Station country in both Kimberley and Pilbara areas that I visit on field trips are covered in this interesting blog with guest posters from cattle station women. My brother managed Liveringa Station in the ’60s, when it was a sheep station. Completely different now: 


A convoy of road trains getting ready to head out

Read stories from all over the North here. Here’s one from a Pilbara station:

  • 11 Aug Station laughs caught on camera!

    By Central StationHost: Yarrie Station Sara hails from the very south Island of New Zealand, yes she still rolls her ”Rsss” particularly under pressure from time to time. She has put together a smoking video to show a few laughs of station life in the Pilb …

    Read More



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massive green kill …

The most insidious installations of renewable energy are those that cause mass killing of wildlife. Flocks of birds, zapped and fried in an instance. (via Greenie Watch) Uh oh: California solar plant fries thousands of birds in mid-flight

Workers at a state-of-the-art solar plant in the Mojave Desert have a name for birds that fly through the plant’s concentrated sun rays — “streamers,” for the smoke plume that comes from birds that ignite in midair.

Federal wildlife investigators who visited the BrightSource Energy plant last year and watched as birds burned and fell, reporting an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, are urging California officials to halt the operator’s application to build a still-bigger version.

The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.

Jon Gabriel on the history of this plant with environmentalists and regulators:

“The facility has concerned environmentalists in the past, as its construction bladed over 3,500 acres of virgin desert. Being California, the state government required BrightSource to relocate a bunch of desert gopher tortoises to the tune of $22 million. The installation also endangers pilots flying the busy Los Angeles–Las Vegas corridor; they can be dazzled by the intense light.

It remains to be seen if regulators will stop the plant’s operation, but at least the world’s largest bug zapper should educate environmentalists and green energy boosters.

For too long, the public has been told that energy production is less a matter of physics than one of morality. Renewable energy like solar and wind are sold as “good” while reliable energy sources like oil and coal are “evil.” Methods like hydroelectric, nuclear and natural gas all were initially sold as clean and green, but became demonized the instant they turned a profit or revealed unintended consequences.”

Between this and slaying bald eagles with impunity, green energy is literally killin’ it lately.

Green Groups never did believe in saving the environment, just the money that could be fraudulently attained such as subsidies for their pet projects.

Anthony Watts passes over the farm: A birds-eye view of the bird scorching Ivanpah solar electric power plant Continue reading

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investment day, or ‘faerie’ training …

Starting to save funds and become a new share holder/owner. On October 18, I will be watching for a reduction in share prices, to take advantage of (caused by green?) protesters who don’t like their banks’ energy investments:

On the 18th of October, Market Forces and will coordinate what is set to be Australia’s biggest ever day of divestment action on fossil fuels. Thousands of Australians are again expected to turn out at bank branches around Australia and publicly close their accounts in protest if the big banks won’t stop funding the dirty fossil fuel industry.

Australia, it’s time to divest from fossil fuelsOn the 18th of October, Market Forces and will coordinate what’s set to be Australia’s biggest ever day of divestment action on fossil fuels! We’re calling on…

Join the bandwagon, there may be a bargain in banking shares. Maybe they have to sell off their shares to pay for training. You can go off with Conservation Council of WA’s Eco Faeries, training in tree-hugging starts next week. Neville Numbat:

Interested in becoming one of the Eco Faeries? Join their training day next week to see if you’ve got what it takes.

Interested in becoming one of the Eco Faeries? Join their training day next week to see if you've got what it takes.</p>
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Banks will be ‘shivering in their boots’/sarc.

Protesters are so clueless, I wonder where they think the oil and gas companies keep their money, a Commonwealth Bank Savings account? Haven’t they heard about ‘Hedge funds’, Investment Banks, etc.

The dirty fossil fuel industry? Seriously?:

Powered by carbon ....

Powered by carbon ….

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unclassified, and extremely remote, species …

The Kimberley and adjacent regions have many remote inaccessible areas, which means that much of the flora and fauna is unclassified. Geoff Vivian reports: Remote Kimberley teeming with unclassified life.

I have heard many strange frog calls on field trips myself, but they are seriously hard to find. Many are just the size of a fingernail. Those Kings Park Botanists are amazing, and lucky guys, often being dropped into the toughest spots by helicopter.

The chattering rock frog Litoria staccato was found near Kununurra and named for its distinctive call. The chattering rock frog Litoria staccato was found near Kununurra and named for its distinctive call. P Doughty/WA Museum

A WA Museum herpetologist has described several ‘new’ Kimberley frog species, mostly collected during field trips with Kings Park botanists Matt and Russell Barrett.

WA Museum’s Paul Doughty says much of the Kimberley is not easily accessible so it has a wealth of undescribed species, but they need to schedule collecting trips during the wet season.

“The place is just alive with frogs—for a ‘frogger’ it’s almost sad to go in the dry season because there’s just no action,” he says.

As the north-west Kimberley has no all-weather roads, they routinely arrive in a helicopter piloted by amateur naturalist Butch Maher.

Dr Doughty says his team found five of the species in the Prince Regent National Park and the Mitchell Plateau area (north-west Kimberley) and one southern Kimberley species near Fitzroy Crossing.

He says the main field equipment is a head torch, a pair of hands and a digital recorder for capturing frog calls.

“Anyone can catch the frogs,” he says.

“The hard thing is to get an excellent recording, if it’s a male, associated with that frog.

“That can be a bit time consuming and a bit fussy with the microphones and all the cables running through mud.”

Herpetologist Paul Doughty often travels to the remote north-west Kimberley for collecting expeditions. Image: P Doughty/WA Museum

He says once a frog’s call is successfully recorded they capture it for a voucher specimen, and he uses a small portable camera to photograph frogs in the field.

“When we get them back into the lab we’ll get some nice photographs with a high-quality mini studio setup, so that people can really see what they’re like.

“We take a tissue sample that we can then analyse the genetics for, so we can look at how distinctive these populations are.”

They then closely observe the specimens’ morphology, asking how they differ from species already described.

New species from the north-west Kimberley are:

• The chattering rock frog Litoria staccato, found near Kununurra and named for its distinctive call.

• The Kimberley rock hole frog Litoria aurifera, which has distinctive gold-flecked tadpoles first collected by Kings Park botanists Matt and Russell Barrett.

• The Kimberley rocket frog Litoria axillaris.

• Crinia fimbriata that doesn’t seem to have any close relatives, although the genus occurs across Australia.

• The tiny toadlet Uperoleia micra collected at Mornington Station.

• They also described a little toadlet Uperoleia stridera from the Fitzroy Valley.

Dr Doughty also plays a key role in maintaining the Kimberley field guide, which was last revised in 2009. 

Posted in Broome/Kimberley, Environment, science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

money, money, money … and millionaire believers

It was never about the climate, but the money for redistribution. The climate change money machine

Al Gore and all that:

I’m not ‘super sophisticated’, thank goodness, or I would have to ignore the latest science*:

  • *New Paper: Solar Cycles Linked To Warming Pause


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the cold … it hurts

No wonder it’s cold. Sunny tropical Broome cooled to 9.9C this morning. Hey, it’s mid August, whatever happened to the warming. This, by GWPF:

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is 1,354,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 mean. 148th daily record.


Full post

Massive Increase In Arctic Ice Over The Past Two Years

Green shows gain since August 15, 2012. Red shows loss.

ScreenHunter_1993 Aug. 16 13.05

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all gassed up with a shale gas boom …

The ‘stop the frakking’ protestors would do well to watch these two videos, or let these people get very rich: AN AMUSING  AD: HELP ME STAY RICH!

Internet media is all at sea over what to do about it.


Now, here’s a surprise, must be an election coming soon. Glenn Reynolds posts:

CHANGE: Democrats Embracing Shale Boom Ahead of Midterms.

In the run-up to this fall’s midterm elections, Democrats seem to be stifling some of their green sensibilities and embracing the recent U.S. energy revolution. Fracking has completely transformed the American energy landscape in just a few short years, and environmentalists, a key component of the Democratic base, aren’t happy. As the WSJ reports, many on the left seem willing to weather the criticism of this increasingly out of touch interest group as they tout the numerous benefits of the shale boom. . . .

But politicians on either side of the aisle would be remiss if they saw economic growth and environmental stewardship as mutually exclusive pursuits. True, fracking has unlocked a new bounty of fossil fuels, and greens are quick to remind the public that neither oil nor gas is renewable, at least on a human time scale. But the natural gas being drilled out of shale across America is green. Shale gas is displacing coal as a baseload power source (a type of power production renewables cannot yet provide), and it emits roughly half the greenhouse gases that coal does. As a result, shale gas is actually helping the U.S. lower emissions.

Moreover, natural gas plants are cheaper to bring on- and offline, which makes them a perfect fit to complement wind and solar energy, typical green favorites (when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing, gas plants can provide necessary power, and then have their output curtailed when the skies clear and turbines start spinning again).

Fracking is opening up new oil and gas plays all across the country, and Democrats who previously might have vocally criticized fossil fuel production are finding plenty of reasons to hop on the shale bandwagon.

At least for the next few months.

Continue reading

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restoring eye sight …

The Hollows Foundation, where the eyesight of ten people are restored in just 80 minutes. Donate today so Dr Ruit can continue his wonderful work.

My favorite health charity has this video out, showing an amazing surgeon at work:This video has to be seen to be believed. How is it possible that one surgeon has personally restored sight to almost 120,000 people… and counting? Dr Sanduk Ruit is one of the world’s top eye surgeons, and was a personal friend and colleague of Fred Hollows. 

In this time-lapse video, watch how fast Dr Ruit works to give the gift of sight to patient-after-patient in an eye camp in Nepal.

Dr Ruit is one in a million, and that’s the problem. Your support can help us train the surgeons and nurses who are carrying on Fred’s sight-restoring work.

Fred was a man who was quick to recognise a problem and even quicker to act and find a solution. In his words: ‘When I’ve seen an opportunity, I haven’t sat down and called a committee meeting…we’ve gone and done it.’ This attitude helped him to inspire many doctors and other health professionals to volunteer their time for his national program to attack eye disease in Indigenous Australians. This program became known as the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program.

Fred Hollows examining an Indigenous Australian

From 1976 to 1978, his teams screened 100,000 people, 60% of whom were of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. Because of this program, the rate of curable blindness among these communities was halved.

This ‘can do’ attitude sometimes meant that Fred could be considered as being short tempered and outspoken. His early campaigns earned him almost as many enemies as friends and he was often referred to as the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ of Australian surgery. This nickname referred to both his love of the bush as well as his temper.

Click here to watch the video

A Dream is Born

Fred then heard about a civil war in Eritrea (Africa) and how there were no eye doctors to treat the people who were suffering. At the time, Eritrea was one of the world’s poorest countries and once again, Fred could not just stand by and do nothing.

‘Each year in Africa about two and a half million people go blind…and they just go blind… they sit around in their huts,’ he said at the time. So again he mobilised a team to go over and help.

By the 1980s, Fred had extended his campaign for treating avoidable eye disease and was soon travelling all over the world. A great believer in helping people to help themselves, Fred set up eye clinics in some of the world’s poorest countries. At these clinics he not only treated people suffering from eye diseases, but also taught local doctors how to treat these diseases so they could continue his work.

One of the six table operating theatres in action without operating microscopes at Lahan Hospital (Nepal) in 2001One of the six table operating theatres in action without operating microscopes at Lahan Hospital (Nepal) in 2001. Photo courtesy of Rex Shore and the Hollows Foundation.

As word of his work spread, more and more Australians volunteered their time and donated money so Fred could continue to establish his clinics in developing countries around the world. His dream of setting up an eye lens factory in Eritrea became a reality when Australians donated more then $6 million to the cause.

Fred’s dream was to continue to his work, so when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, he set about ensuring the dream would stay alive. The Fred Hollows Foundation was established in 1992 and when Fred died in 1993, his wife Gabby continued the work of the Foundation.

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aussie madness …

Simon from Australian Climate Madness must feel that the climate debate has been won by the sceptics. I know the feeling, as posts on climate are now much reduced and it’s getting colder, so Simon has more time on his hands. He has just started a New blog: Aussie Madness

If it’s anything like his other, it will worth a regular visit.

There’s plenty of madness in Australian politics to keep him occupied for a long time. Like this over at Smithy’s:How Gillard was happy to trash Australia’s sporting reputation when it suited her,

or this at Warwick Hughes: In the “Ah-doan-beleeve-it” category – TV news says – ICAC investigating politicians over “smear campaign”

The moral of the story is, always be sceptical of what the media tries telling us. Check the other blogs for corroboration.

My own madness post: repeal Section 18C now … or use it!

Congratulations Simon, keep it up cobber …

Canberra wildlife

Canberra wildlife

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why Labor is on the nose …



The Oxford Dictionary defines patronage thus:

The power to control appointments to office or the right to privileges.

   Yet Latham is right, patronage is the driving force that’s obviously central to decisions made by the Labor system.  What new Board will be set up?   What new offices, jobs, travel, consultancies.

Because the union movement is the controller of its political wing the Labor Party this issue of patronage should be front and centre at the Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption.

I hate the thought that my son could miss out on a job because he is not Michael Williamson’s son.

Labor’s culture of patronage is of its essence a corruption of a liberal free market western democracy.  I hope the Royal Commision is onto that too. (Michael Smith)

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