Dear Tooth Fairy,
if you come and save our world I’ll give you as much chocolate as you want … I promise! Last night Maxie lost his second tooth. He was so excited. He immediately tried to think of nice things he could give the tooth fairy so that she’d be happy to leave him a gold coin (or two?). He ended up wrapping a piece of chocolate and leaving it with this little letter. I am so relieved that the tooth fairy loves chocolate. Every time I went into Maxie’s bedroom he was still wide awake until quite late – lying there watching his tooth in the glass and hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
Every night I stay awake until very late hoping to catch a glimpse of her too. I’ve got a much bigger list of wishes than he does, so that’s probably why she’s been steering clear of me.
It’s not only tooth fairies that love chocolate though.
It’s been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – if that’s the case my new homemade hair conditioner should have had them queuing at the door – I smelt absolutely delicious with all that avocado and rosemary. Well, I may have smelt good but I looked crap. Seriously crap. My hair was limp and greasy and even Ian shook his head gravely and said “not a good look Lis”. FAIL. Attempt number one at making my own conditioner has been a disaster. My hair has, I can’t deny it, been very well conditioned, but you wouldn’t want to look like this if you had any plans to go out in public. Que sera … back to the drawing board. (NB. the next morning … didn’t need conditioner because when I washed and combed there were no knots so … maybe…)
If anyone out there tried my recipe (in the morning rather than at night) all I can say is “I’m sorry, I’m REALLY sorry … I was wrong!”. If only our Prime Minister could say “I’m sorry, I was wrong” too. “I’m sorry I thought of spending millions of dollars of public money on advertising campaigns and furniture for the lodge when I know how tough you guys are doing it, and hey why don’t you take it for your kids instead – use it to replace all the unflued gas heating in our nation’s schools. I’m sorry I didn’t pay attention to how our children have the highest incidence of asthma in the world and how this has been linked to unflued gas heating (and living near coal mines probably doesn’t help either); I’m sorry you’ve had to spend so many nights in Casualty because your little boy can’t breathe. I’m sorry that the Health Department has had no luck when they’ve lobbied and lobbied to get rid of the heating. I’m sorry I’ve ignored their warnings that the unflued gas heating in schools is the biggest public health risk to Australia should bird flu arrive on our shores. I’m sorry, I was wrong to dismiss global warming for 11 years. Hey listen, you know I care about you and your kids. You may have noticed that we’ve had a financial windfall with mining so I’m happy to give the States more money for schools infrastructure – after all our children ARE the future of this nation …. aren’t they?”
“And while we’re at it, I’m sorry that I let our water situation get so bad.”
I’m sorry you did too, Mr Howard. That’s why my personal action today, inspired by Daniel Bowen in Diary of an Average Australian is to stop eating Australian-grown rice. Because so much irrigation is used to grow these crops we’d be better off buying rice from countries that have a substantially higher rainfall. I chose this action because it was nearly midnight and I hadn’t done anything and all I felt like doing was trawling other people’s blogs, then, bing, I found Daniel’s blog and got all fired up to action again.
In retrospect I kinda’ did another personal action earlier today. After our permaculture class in the freezing freezing wintery wind, Ian said he wanted to zip down to the TAFE library in Wentworth Falls … “Darling, darling, sweetie, sweetie you can’t just zip down there, it’s a half hour return trip! – you’re using PETROL … remember, CARBON!?*#@&$$$$$” …. here I had to take a deep breath as I’m learning to do with all our marital eco-fights … “It’s the boys’ tumbling and trampolining class in Katoomba this afternoon so why don’t you wait until then and save doing two separate trips.” As I wrote this the tooth fairy came online and sent me an award for being bitch of the week … how dare you try and count bullying Ian as a personal action!!!!!! OK, OK, I’m sorry … how many times do you want me to say I’m sorry. So, it’s back to not eating Australian grown rice.
This is the beginning of the no-dig bed we put in at the Community Garden this morning
Here it is … finished!
But enough whingeing and back to some action.
Medea Benjamin in the US wrote an article in which he/she? asked “Have You Called Your Senator Today?” He/she said:
Some people get up early to have a leisurely breakfast and read the newspaper before going off to work, while others fly out the door with their coffee cup in hand. Whatever your morning routine, let me suggest a 30-second addition that could help stop the war in Iraq: Call your two Senators and tell them to bring the troops home in 2007.
The same would apply for any concern we have in our democracy… so I made another phonecall to our local MP’s office today to ask for an appointment to discuss my global warming concerns. I was surprised to be told that the MP for the Blue Mountains was constantly out on the road in Bathurst (not in the Blue Mountains) and didn’t have time to meet with me. I was asked to put any new questions in writing, despite the fact that I still hadn’t received responses to the last things I put in writing … this response would have daunted me enough not to pursue the issue in the pre-blog part of my life, but setting targets really truly does lead to action and I was determined to rack up my political action for the day. I immediately wrote the letter.
Interestingly today I received a questionnaire from a group within the Liberal Party who are calling for more action on Climate Change – it highlighted to me that calling for action should be coming from every single person in this society, regardless of their political persuasion … we are all responsible for what is happening now and caring about our children’s futures is not just a Left Wing response. We need two wings if we’re hoping to keep flying!
Cartoon by Ian Dalkin
Tuesday, 22nd May, 2007
Dear Mr Bartlett,
I rang your office today to make an appointment to see you regarding my concerns about global warming. I have 6 year old twins and am very very worried about the governmentâ€™s response to this. I was told that you are not in the office all that often any more and that I should put my requests in writing again.
I have previously rung your office, received a letter from you and responded in writing to that letter. I put a lot of time and thought into my response which I emailed to you on the 9th May. (I have added the copy of my email to the end of this letter). I have had no response to this letter but am told that I can’t have an appointment with you unless I have new points to make.
Our country is a democracy which means that, as members of your electorate, it is up to us to voice our views to you and have them taken into account as part of the democratic process.
I would very much like to speak with you to find out your personal feelings about global warming and how it should be tackled and I am in great need of reassurance that the government is doing everything humanly possible to protect the future for my children.
I attended a very grim presentation by an associate professor from Macquarie University today at the National Parks and Wildlife Centre in Blackheath. She was one of the scientists on the IPCC Panel. I am also hearing that the southern oceans are not soaking up carbon dioxide as much as they were and that carbon emissions are much worse than they thought.
You are our representative and I need to discuss this with you. Ideally I would like to see you as soon as possible,
101 Wentworth St
Earlier email sent 9th May:
Dear Mr Bartlett,
thank you for replying to my phone enquiry.
I will take the time to address each point you have made in your letter:
1. You say that your domestic initiatives are designed to mandate and manage emissions reductions.
According to your partyâ€™s own figures released by Mr Turnbull at the end of last week,
emissions in the stationary energy sector are up by 42% and transport is up by 30%
Unless emissions in energy and transport start to fall it means your initiatives aren’t working
2. You have said that you are promoting the development of clean, renewable, low emission energy sources, as alternatives to fossil fuel dependent technology
Why then did Mr Howard say, on the 23rd April, in the SMH
â€œâ€¦ this fuzzy warm idea is that if you have a lot more renewables you could run power stations. That is ridiculous.â€
We currently have a 2% increase of renewable energy target which has stayed the same for years. While we do have 8.5% renewables, why aren’t we increasing the amount more than 2% given what we know about carbon emissions and the rapid increase in the rate of global warming?
The EU has a 21% target, California has a 33% target and China recently announced (ABC, March 6, 2007) that it hopes to see 20% of all China’s energy come from renewable sources within 12 years.
Our 2% renewable energy increase target, which has been the same since 2000, is abysmal.
3. You have said that International initiatives are designed to demonstrate responsible global citizenship by meeting international targets
At Kyoto we were one of only three countries given an increase in targets – an actual 8% increase on 1990 levels and, according to your partyâ€™s figures from the Greenhouse Inventory we are projected to be over that target.
Good global citizens work together and join global agreements. They do not actively work to undermine them. We cannot be involved in negotiations for the 2nd Commitment Period under Kyoto if we haven’t ratified now.
4. You have said that your international initiatives are designed to assist developing nations with emissions reduction technology
India emits 1.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. China puts out 3.5 tonnes. Both are less than the global average of 4.2 tonnes. The comparable figures for the UK and America are 9.6 and 20.2 tonnes respectively. And Australia is the worldâ€™s highest emitter!
Last year the Indian president, Abdul Kalam, a former scientist, called for 25% of power generation to come from renewable sources by 2030.
The country, which started its renewables ministry a decade ago, is building the worldâ€™s biggest wind farm site, with 500 turbines outside Mumbai. The farm will have a capacity of 1,000MW.
â€œWe are helping to make India one of only four countries in the world that can manufacture and export such technologies,â€ said Tulsi Tanti, founder and managing director of Suzlon, which is building the wind farm.
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which last month reported that global warming was â€œunequivocalâ€ and caused by human activity, said:
â€œâ€¦ we cannot ask developing countries like India and China to bear all of this burden. Both have a point when they say that all the carbon dioxide was emitted in the process of the west becoming industrialised especially by the United States,â€ Dr Pachauri said. â€œIndia and China will argue that this is not a problem created by themselves.â€
It seems that India and China will be the ones helping us with emissions reduction technology
5. You have said that your international initiatives are designed to promote a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol which will be more effective, by including all major emitters
By saying this you are, in effect, admitting that to be effective an agreement should include all emitters … Why has Australia, one of the biggest emitters, refused to join Kyoto which would thus allow the Protocol to become more effective?
The Australia Pacific Pact (AP6), which your government supports instead of Kyoto is only voluntary, not legally binding like the Kyoto Agreement. It obviously has its own agenda, being made up as it is of the worldâ€™s largest importers and exporters of coal.
Kyoto took 6-7 years to negotiate. It has consecutive commitment periods which allows it to be developed over time. It is an existing legally binding framework that all the countries of the world have worked on. We do not have time to go through this process again. We have 8 1/2 years to the tipping point and need to act with the agreement currently in place.
6. Finally you comment that international initiatives in particular are extremely important because Australia only contributes 1.4% of global emissions.
France and Italy combined have the same total emissions as Australia … how many other countries do you think should be allowed to opt out of action like Australia is doing and how will you explain this to your children and grandchildren?
please tell Mr Howard that these initiatives are simply not enough â€¦. unless energy and transport emissions fall your initiatives are ineffective
our children require more of your government than this,