Monday, October 30, 2006

A new world: just a flick of the switch away

Climate change (aka global warming) is, in case you haven't noticed, the topic du jour. And everyone's in on it: Al Gore (duh), Mel and Kochie, even our usually reticent PM. But amidst all the "sky is falling" doom and gloom and confusion about how best to do things, the simple solutions seem to be rolled out a lot.

Turn off your lights when you leave the room. Unplug your TV when you're not watching. Keep your showers under four minutes. It all seems pretty straightforward. And as a recent report showed, it's measures like these that could save us bulkloads in the climate carbon challenge. In Britain alone, says the report, 43 billion tons could be saved (by 2010) if only those pesky Brits would turn off their bloody lights. Imagine if the whole world joined in.

But who are we to criticise? Despite these solutions being shouted far and wide, how many of us really abide by them? Or instead, how many of us glance up at the hallway light whilst tapping away on our energy-munching PCs or Macs and think, oh, I'll turn it off in a minute?

As much as I'd love to say I'm always doing the right thing, it's not always the case. When I notice my TV standby light's still on, I'll reach over and turn it off. But more often than not I won't notice at all. I keep my showers, for the most part, as short as possible, but who doesn't indulge in a nice, warm ten or fifteen-minute one every now and then? I know I do. And the lights? Well, typically the convenience of being able to see where I'm going (as opposed to stumbling blindly for a lightswitch when I want to enter another room) wins out over my conscience. I know, I know, I'm the bad guy. But I bet you are too.

I guess it's just a matter of making a little more effort. I will if you do.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Question time...

Just noticed that Hansard is now offering the opportunity to download audio recordings of Question Time.

Unfortunately, according to the page, "Audio recordings of proceedings must not be used for ... the purpose of satire or ridicule".

But if not for satire or ridicule, for what?

Just another example of The Man keeping us down, I guess.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

At least you can trust him with your daughter!

In an Opinion Journal article picked up by today's Australian, James Taranto glibly argues for, er...well, I'm not really sure.

First, he seems sure that disgraced Republican congressman Mark Foley deserves all he gets (and that the Republicans should all get shiny medals for - finally - recognising so): "...the Republicans washed their hands of Foley as soon as they figured out what was going on".

But next he gets all topsy-turvy on us, intimating that perhaps ol' Foley ain't such a bad guy after all. Remember, unlike Clinton's escapades with (the youthful?) Monica Lewinsky, "say what you will about Mark Foley, at least you can trust him with your daughter!"

Taranto sees distinct parallels between the Clinton and Foley scandals: "In both cases, sexually immature middle-aged men used their positions of responsibility to pursue younger people, who were also sexually immature, but had a right to be on account of their youth".

Which is nice, but I'll be damned if there isn't a slight difference between a guy attempting to bed a number of his 16 year-old pages, and another indulging in (uncommendable, but) entirely legal sexual relations with a perfectly consenting adult.