Kiwiburn

Kiwiburn was so awesome it hurts to be back in the city I love (though I have new eyes to see it now).

Kiwiburn was like life the way I want to live it.

Kiwiburn was so full of awesome people that it was impossible not to meet awesome people everywhere you went.

For those who have read Eidolon, Kiwiburn had the vibe of the Chateaux. (Copies of Eidolon are circulating again, if you want to read it.)

Man, I just lack the words right now to get across the enormity of the awesome. (The enthusings of myself and others can be found here, and I recommend clicking through.) All I’ve been doing for the past couple of days is ranting about it to everyone I run into, and it is always different. The experience was total immersion awesomeness. How can the fragments make the whole?

Cass and her UV tattoo and purple dreads. Home distilled absinthe at the Green Fairy. Dancing under the stars at the Pink Moa. The temple at night.

The sign will be that life is awesome.

shiny

Kiwiburn was insane amounts of awesome, which I will recount at length some other time. I need to sleep.

engines set to random

As of a random offer on Gmail chat an hour ago, in nine hours I am off to Kiwiburn, NZ’s version of Burning Man, for the next few days.

Time to pack!

IPCC 2007 report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the first part of its 2007 report last week, to considerable interest from the world. The report was the findings of Working Group 1 (2 & 3 to come later in the year), focussing on the physical science basis of climate change. You can download the summary for policymakers here.

I went along to a public meeting yesterday with a panel of experts who explained the thing in a bit more depth than the media get into. It was a useful exercise to get into the complexity of climate science in an accessible way, getting a sense of what we do and don’t know, without having to rely on the news media filter.

The IPCC process involves thousands of scientists, extensive peer review, and many years of effort to get a comprehensive picture of what is happening in the climate. The results largely confirm earlier findings, but with a great deal more research evidence (atmospheric, ocean, ice and land based) and corresponding level of certainty.

The guts of it is the world is definitely warming in a way that does not fit the usual cyclic variability of climate systems, and we are better than 90% sure that human activities are contributing to that warming. If our current behaviour continues unabated, that warming will continue. The effects of that warming vary from dangerous (what we are facing no matter what) to catastrophic (what we face without major and immediate cuts in emissions). We are running out of time to attain optimistic scenarios (see p14 of report).

The IPCC report does not include research from the last year or so, meaning a lot of the scarier stuff in the headlines of late hasn’t been considered. The biggest of these refer to sudden change scenarios – big chunks of ice breaking off and stopping warm ocean currents and whatnot – which the IPCC report states are relatively long term possibilities – a couple of hundred years away.

A couple of neat things I didn’t realise: first, 5 degrees C is the difference between interglacial periods. So when people are talking about increases of 3 degrees, while it might sound minor, that is pretty major stuff. 3 degrees is enough to melt Antarctica, and that is well within the range we are facing without substantial changes.

And when we say “substantial changes”, we’re talking about developed countries cutting emissions by about 60-70%.

Second, the ocean is currently heated to a depth of 3000 meters. That’s a lot of heat, and extra energy in the system, the effects of which are going to be felt for a long time no matter what we do. Also, sea level rise so far is largely down to thermal expansion of water, not ice melt.

So anyway. What can we do?

– More climate science so we understand it better.
– policy for mitigation and adaptation
– personal and corporate responsibiliy as “good citizens”
(This is especially relevant in New Zealand where we have real potential to set a good example as a developed country.)

As a general note, democracies respond to pressure from citizens, as do businesses to an extent (and there is money to be made in this, too).

But most importantly, we have got into this situation as the cumulative result of countless small actions by billions of people for a long time. We can get out of it as the cumulative result of countless small actions (and larger ones! 🙂 ) by billions of people (of whom we are each one) for a long time.

Had a good chat with flatmates last night, and a laugh at the US position of wanting to spew freaky dust into the atmosphere so as to deflect solar radiation or whatever, and allow us to continue doing as we are. This attitude is missing the point on the highest order. The simple message from the IPCC is, “Yup, it’s real, we did it, and now we have to change what we’re doing”.

the power of peeve

The cross is gone.

The power of peeve compelled it.

peeve

Not to be unduly bitchy, but when exactly is that huge glowing cross (of which I have a superb view at night, let me tell you) on Mt Vic going to come down? It’s February, for Chrissakes (ho ho ho, so subtle. Gaspode, bring the hammer)! And they stuck it up in what, October, November? Are they just leaving it up until Easter now?

zeitgeist

or: where are we at as a species?

clear enough for you?

Easy as 1 2 3

just a plant

If you go here you can get a free download of an illustrated children’s book about marijuana, called It’s Just A Plant.

Allenby Love

You know your flat has been around for a long time when

you find a website of it
which has different groups of people fighting about who has the right to the name
and the original domain has now expired anyway.

but the movies page is pretty funny

Sevens Mayhem Carnival

It occurs to me that the Sevens weekend in Wellington provides us a with a golden opportunity.

Instead of getting dressed up and going to the Sevens, and being locked in to the Circus Maximus with shit overpriced beer, how about we all dress up like crazies, get plastered and run amok throughout the land?

I mean, when else can we get away with this? Culturally, this is our Halloween. Let’s claim it.

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