What IS an old growth forest?
Are there different definitions of this term?
Why is old growth forest thought to be more precious than young or re-growth forest?
What IS an old growth forest?
I grew up next to Sherbrooke Forest in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
Last week I went to Melbourne for Jack Ward’s wake.
I met Jack not long after I came back from Antarctica.
All of what I do since those days involves raising environmental awareness. For many years I felt the opposite, numbed to my own connection to it. I see this in paintings long before I went: http://www.lisaroberts.com.au/content/artworks/2d/2d1979/2d1979.php
I now recognise the spheres as suns and planets and me as disconnected from things and feelings.
Being in Antarctica certainly challenged me. In the absence of much life there I experienced intense moments of being simultaneously part of past and future ice ages. Being there with climate scientists confronted me with the reality of human impacts on Earth and our collective disruption of natural climate cycles. I learned about the Milankovitch cycles that govern climate changes over long time periods – cycles of changing relationships between Earth and Sun that govern glacial and interglacial periods. This made me question my relationship to the world and to think about the massive scale of collective human action. It’s amazing to think that we can disrupt such major forces.
I met Jack in Mornington at an exhibition of Sydney Nolan’s Antarctic paintings. There he was, nose close up to the paint. Then I saw his eyes and I knew that he had been there and was most likely changed by that experience.
The other day I heard his voice when I rang his home phone. The sound was curiously disembodied, as I will always remember him, not of this urban noisy world.
Throughout its history the fisheries have proven that what can be fished will be fished until collapse. They have shown to be incapable of self-regulation, constraint, common sense and decency. They and their political backers have always shunned warnings, ignored or watered-down scientific recommendations and dismissed evidence of their destructive practices. They have always been driven by only one impulse: insatiable greed.
Sea Shepherd Australia
April 17, 2013
Krill Fisheries, the Next Collapse?
Commentary by Erwin Vermeulen
I find a way to upload an old film Beware of Pedestrians:
Human forms express diverse and often contradictory responses to an environment co-created by fellow pedestrians: a self portrait from inner suburban Melbourne, 1994 to 1995. The cage is a house and the grid maps Melbourne roads.
How does the film relate to my experience of the current environment? How does it relate to yours?
For me the film reflects my anxiety about what can be done to regain balance in the natural world. But it does not reflect my faith people to affect change. Beware of Pedestrians was made by a pessimist struggling to be an optimist. Now I am an optimist! I agree with the artist and educator Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack who advocated ‘belief in individual creativity in benefiting the common good’ (Jacqueline Strecker in The Mad Square exhibition catalogue, p. 130.). Artists, scientists and engineers must be encouraged to keep creating.
My engineering house mate sends me this video.
He describes it as “a physics thing”. I see it as a dance. That we see the world from our own perspectives can be challenging when working together on such a massive project as regaining global balance. But conversations between people with different views are a great start.
Strecker, J. The Mad Square: Modernity in German art 1910-37 (2011) Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales
Animation is a compelling medium. Animated metaphors and data visualizations convey aesthetic and scientific ways of knowing. Both are important for understanding climate change.
In this animation by Elliot Dear I see a dog, a bubble and a mirror as metaphors for caring, unity and connectivity.
The caption for this Vimeo animation reads:
With support from GEF, UNEP and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the UNCCD launches a new system for monitoring international efforts for implementation of the Convention. This innovative tool, named the PRAIS portal, aims at harnessing the power of knowledge for combating desertification, land degradation and drought worldwide through a new, quantitative approach. With the 2010 reporting and review process, the PRAIS portal has allowed to establish for the first time in the history of the UNCCD an objective baseline of the implementation of the Convention, particularly on performance indicators, financial flows and best practices on sustainable land management. The system will be further improved in the coming months by developing an analytical module and incorporating impact indicators.
It’s the last week of my first semester at UTS. Here’s what I’ve learned from my Design students:
Easy in theory, but
practice makes change.
Appeal to the mind.
Appeal to the senses.
Since starting to read the book Experimental Methods: An introduction to the analysis and presentation of data by scientist Les Kirup (1994), I am inspired to begin a Research Lab notebook .
As I start using the scientific format to report on an experiment I am doing with Daniela Giorgi, I suspect there will be room for jokes!
Title: How methods used by a theatre producer and an animator can be combined to present an academic paper.
Aims of the experiment:
1. Describe methods used by a theatre producer and an animator
2. Identify their similarities and differences
3. Identify any new methods that result from their collaboration
Description of the apparatus:
Sketch of apparatus:
In today’s Scuttlebutt newsletter I read:
Guest lecturer Dr. Richard Feely will discuss the present and future implications of increased temperature and CO2 levels as they relate to the health of our West Coast ocean ecosystems. He will also conduct a live demonstration of ocean acidification.
Dr. Feely is a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.
He also holds an affiliate full professor faculty position at the
University of Washington’s School of Oceanography. His major research
areas are carbon cycling in the ocean and ocean acidification processes.
He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of St.
Thomas, in St Paul, Minnesota in 1969. He then went on to Texas A&M
University where he received both a master’s of science degree in 1971
and a Ph.D. in 1974. Both of his post-graduate degrees were in chemical
He is the co-chair of the U.S. CLIVAR (Climate Variability and
Prediction)/CO2 Repeat Hydrography Program. He is also a member of the
steering committee for the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biochemistry Program. He
is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Feely has authored more than 200 refereed research publications. He
was awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Award in 2006 for his
pioneering research on ocean acidification. In 2007 he was elected to be a
Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
For more information, please visit our website or call (562) 590-3100,
$5 for public; FREE for Aquarium members, seniors (age 62+), teachers, and
students with valid ID and advanced reservations
Wednesday, May. 25 (7pm—8:30pm)
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
LIMELIGHT Long Beach Events Calendar, more information.
Method of performing in situ calibrated potentiometric pH measurements
Posted: 23 May 2011 12:37 AM PDT
A device for the precise and accurate potentiometric pH measurements in
situ. Embodiments of a potentiometric device according to the invention
consist of one or more glass pH-sensitive electrodes connected to a
potentiometer. A key feature of the device is that, rather than being
calibrated conventionally with buffers, it can be calibrated with an in
situ device that measures pH spectrophotometrically. Spectrophotometric pH
measurements obtained via sulfonephthalein absorbance measurements are
inherently calibrated (do not require buffers). Thus, devices according to
the invention allow for continuous potentiometric pH measurements with
occasional spectrophotometric calibrations. The spectrophotometric
calibration device consists of a spectrophotometer with associated pumps
for combining a sulfonephthalein pH indicator with the aqueous medium whose
pH is to be measured. The device will record potentiometric pH measurements
for an extended period of time until the spectrophotometric device is
autonomously activated for another calibration. In this manner precise and
accurate pH measurements can be obtained continuously in the environment,
and the low energy expenditure of the potentiometric device provides
excellent endurance. Also provided is a method and associated devices for
spectrophotometrically determining the salinity of an aqueous medium.
Inventors: Byrne, Robert H. (St. Petersburg, FL, US)
Application Number: 12/180021
Publication Date: 05/17/2011
freepatentsonline.com, 17 May 2011. More information.