‘Environment’ Category Archives


THE ANTI VIOLENCE SUMMIT AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: the connection (is there one?)

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Education, Environment, Family, Politics

Let’s hope the International Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” helps to curb recruitment of young people into violence.

Violence is one of the last things we want young people recruited into.

It isn’t the only one.

Other negative influences seek to recruit the young.

Doesn’t the concept of “Gay-Straight Alliances” in schools sound like disguised recruiting?

And what about “Same-Sex Marriage” — children adopted by such couples exposed to an environment where homosexual acts are considered “normal”, even desirable?


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LOOKING AT THE BIG QUESTIONS: then, now and forever.

by Arnold Jago in Environment, God, History, Truth

The notions of a closed and primitive mind, back turned to the obvious:

“I believe that an orderly universe, one indifferent to human preoccupations, in which everything has an explanation even if we still have a long way to go before we find it, is a more beautiful, more wonderful place than a universe tricked out with capricious, ad hoc magic.”
(Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder, 1998)

An attempt to address reality, but a bit long-winded:

“Immovable in its pure activity, this being is in no way subject to change. . . . On such a principle depend the heavens and the world of nature. Its life is such as the best which we enjoy, and enjoy for but a short time. For it is ever in this state, since its act is also pleasure — the act of the supreme intelligence, pure thought thinking itself. . . . If God is always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels our wonder; and if in a better, this is yet more wonderful. Life also belongs to God: for the act of thought is life, and God is that act; and God’s essential act is life most good and eternal. We say therefore that God is a living being, eternal and perfect, so that life which endures everlastingly belongs to God, for God is this life.”

(Aristotle, Metaphysics 12.7; 1072b 28-29, around 330BC)

Something real, suitable for today’s 21st century world :

Moses said to God: “I shall go to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers hath sent me to you.’   If they should say to me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses: ‘I AM WHO AM . . .Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS hath sent me to you.’”

(Bible, Exodus chapter 3, timeless)


COAL AND THE ENVIRONMENT: some realism would not go astray.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Environment, Politics

72-year old great-grandmother, June Norman, says she is going to walk 1200 km from Cairns to Gladstone to help to “save” the Great Barrier Reef.
Her mission is to curb industrial developments along the Queensland coast.
In particular to stop the dredging of Gladstone Harbour and the development of new Australian coal ports, e.g. at Abbot Point etc., which she claims are threats to the Reef.
“The Reef has changed so much in the last ten years,” she says.
It’s true that new coal-mines and export facilities could have detrimental effects on the environment. It all depends on how well they are planned.
For example, problems caused by coal-dust blown from coal rail-trucks and stockpiles at ports, can be minimised by environmentally-friendly suppressant sprays.
These are already in use in some mines, coal trucks and export ports. They can be applied for as little as 2 cents per tonne of coal.
Perhaps Grandma would be more realistic if she campaigned for better handling of coal rather than trying to destroy an important industry.



by Arnold Jago in Australia, Beauty, Contemplation, Environment, Lifestyle

The Victorian government plans to start granting 99-year leases to private investors to build hostels, hotels, etc. inside National Parks.
“Nature-based tourism is huge,” says Tourism Minister, Louise Asher, “It’s growing worldwide and Victoria needs to keep up.”
Huge sounds like huge profits for somebody.
Keeping up?
Keeping up with America or whatever isn’t always the best way to go.
God has given us brains. No need to keep up with anybody unless we’re sure what we’re doing is right.
* * *
Would it not be more sensible to leave things as they are?
If tourists can afford thousands of dollars getting from their homeland to Australia, can’t they afford a bus trip from accommodation outside the Park — rather than infest it with their grey water outflows, parking lots, Coke cans etc.
The unspoiled world of nature is somewhere we can contemplate the greatness of our Creator.
In the spoiled world of nature there is to contemplate but the disadvantages of the sin of greed.


LIES, DEATH THREATS AND STATISTICS: climate science, bending the facts etc.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Environment, Media, Politics, Science

ABC News announced on June 4 that climate scientists at the Australian National University Climate Change Institute had received emailed “death threats” from climate sceptics.
This story was quoted by media around Australia — and overseas.
One blogger applied under Freedom of Information laws for access to those emails, but the ANU refused to release any.
When he lodged an appeal, eleven emails were produced.
Some were abusive, but NONE contained death threats.
Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, subsequently told the Australian newspaper that “For the record, there were no alleged death threats except when journalists picked up the story . . . .”
* * *
If climate change types will lie (or at least adjust the facts) to give their opponents a bad image, is it possible they might adjust the climate statistics to prop up the notion that altering human activity will stop the climate changing?
I don’t know the answer to that.
But I know there are people from whom I would think twice before buying a used car.
These include ABC journalists, Greens Party politicians — and climate scientists.


EARTH HOUR DAY: some positive and negative thoughts.

by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, Environment, Politics, Prayer, Science, Silence

Today has been declared “Earth Hour Day”.

You are requested to turn off your lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm as a symbolic act declaring your support for creating a cleaner, better, more just future.

Based, they say, on combating human-caused climate change.

Nothing wrong with turning off the lights for an hour.

You can say your prayers just as well in the dark.

Better, perhaps, as there will be fewer visible distractions.

For many people it is probably a long time since they last gave an hour to contemplating God.

Or spending an hour in any kind of quiet, reflective frame of mind.

* * *

So the idea of a quiet hour of solitude in the dark is a good one.

But best find a different time to do it. Not tonight.

The 31 March Earth Hour is supported by activists like Julia Gillard, the World Wildlife Fund and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

That is a big worry.

These people don’t just want you to turn off your lights — they have policies in mind that will mean there are no lights to turn on.

They want to phase out coal-burning energy sources.

They make claims about the capabilities of solar energy, wind-energy and so forth which, at this stage of history, are pure imagination.

* * *

To sum up, common sense suggests that we all switch our lights off regularly for the good of our mental and spiritual health.

But make sure they are ON this evening between 8.30 and 9.30.