Tuesday, December 25, 2007

How green is your airline industry?

I'm not quite getting it. Richard Branson is a great environmentalist for buying A380s? Is this "green" marketing spin? Encouraging people to consumer more and generate more green-house gases/environmental damage but less per unit of consumption? And feel good about it?

"A 380s is the most eco-friendly airliner in the skies" Can any airliner be eco-friendly? Given that on any of the calculators that work out your impact on the environment, air travel is right at the top. According to Airbus passenger traffic is expected to increase by 4.8% by 2025 - the next 18 yrs The A380 is lighter as more of it is made of carbon fibre and carries more people. "The A380 consumes 2.9 litres of fuel per 100km which is equal to that of a small car. (But most people don't drive a small car to London.) Today's fleet on average 5.5 litres per 100km.

Does airline fuel generate more greenhouse gas per litre than car fuel? Does it make a difference that that it is released so far up in the atmosphere?

Monday, December 24, 2007


When I was in my late teens I read The Greening of America, later I read Catherine Caufield's In the Rainforest, both siren calls to protect our environment but the trends has been in the opposite direction. Reading today's paper the reticulated giraffe has been reduced from 27,000 in the 1990s to 3000 today. Even the big inconographic animals of Africa are disappearing There has been inevitable and rapid growth in consumption and in population.

I was surprised to discover that major contributor to global warming is land clearance, the quarter of remaining forests are being reduced further. This is a larger contributor or close to equal that of the use of fossil fuels there seems to be so much of a fuss about.

Even in first world Australia, and looking at just one of the states, 6000 sq km of bushland are cleared in Queensland every year. But Australia's land clearance is a pittance as a contributor to global warming.

When I started looking at these figures I was shocked that the graph of all indicators of world environmental health were so sharply down since I was a teen and there had been such eloquent defences written.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

green confusion

I'm getting a lot of detail about the politics of greenhouse warming but not much actual detail. Everybody disagrees. Which is hardly surprising. What have managed to distill is that the biggest contributor is deforestation and secondly fossil fuels. Which fossil fuels and how they are being used. Guessing: coal and power plants.

I'm looking for something that will get all the big solid facts in one place.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Scotch cadets

I see in this morning's paper that there were three inicidents, including one in which a boy died of an allergic reaction to peanut butter, at a Scotch College cadet camp in the Wombat State Forest. If the current cadet corp is like my experience of 25 years or so ago, it's not surprising. Then, in a general well run school, the cadets had a crappy administrative culture. The culture of the army didn't fit schoolboys well. The scouts was a far superior organisation, which I discovered when I switched to it. And Scotch at Cowes was a good holiday. But my experience of the cadet camp at Tolmie (at the foot of Mt Buller) was of boys nearing hypothermia in leaking second world war ponchos while teachers, drank, played cards and played at being officers.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

ridiculous fast tracking JP for beatification

The catholic church makes a joke of itself with fast tracking John Paul II sainthood with a posthumous miracle. A nun (convincing?) prayed to him after his death and was cured! Pleeese. Makes the whole church seem shonky and political. Should the alarms bells have been rung (they probably were) when the usual five year waiting period was waived. Why was it waived? Well that's obvious. But what excuse was used? Soon every pope will become a saint automatically. Well it was good enough for him Benedict will instruct.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

small business stats

I found these ABS figures interesting and hopeful:

There were 1,963,907 actively trading businesses in Australia
in June 2006, up 1.3% from a year earlier,

Of these, the vast majority are small businesses based on
either their employment or turnover:

* Almost 1.9 million businesses (96% of the total) employed
less than 20 people (this figure includes 1.1 million
businesses who did not employ staff).

* Over 1.8 million businesses (94% of the total) had annual
turnover of less then $2 million.

Close to two-thirds (65%)
of businesses operating in 2003 were still operating three
years later. Of the businesses which did not survive, 43%
exited during 2003-04, 33% during 2004-05, and the remaining
24% during 2005-06.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

what's in a name

It's curious the link you feel with someone simply on the basis of sharing a name with them:

Andrew Kelly, a young man of Irish parentage arrived at Antler Creek in the fall of 1862, where he tried mining. A baker by trade, Kelly opened a bakery and Coffee Shop on Williams Creek, and later on Grouse Creek, where he and his wife also kept a boarding house. Remaining on Grouse Creek for 4 years, the Kellys', with their 2 children returned to Barkerville where Andrew opened the Kelly Hotel in 1871. The hotel flourished, and the Kellys' enjoyed the results of their hard labour. All this while Andrew Kelly had kept a zestful interest in the mining of the area, and had shares in several local mines. Andrew Kelly and his wife moved to Victoria to live at Oak Bay in 1905, where they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on 1916.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Treasure chest

We've been struggling with the size of the treasure chest (unsolicted manuscripts). But there's exciting news. We've appointed a Guardian of the Treasure chest, who will remain anonymous of course, and will log, sort, prepare, read, and encourage discussion and review.

Monday, March 26, 2007

fashionable business metaphors

not only "roadmap" and "roadmapping" but also "mud map"

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I'm fascinated, amazed and stunned that Hollywood can make a film about 300 men challenging the army of a mighty empire and identify the USA with the 300 - not the mighty empire.

Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe reviewed the film thus: "Imagine a large cast trapped in a series of screensavers. It could be ancient Greece. It could be somebody's hard drive."