As I write, the hunger strike by Southern NSW farmer Peter Spencer has, depending on reporting, now entered its thirty fifth (ABC news) or twenty fifth (working from dates in the local paper) day. Either way, its becoming serious.
Mr Spencer is on a platform 18 metres above the ground attached to a wind mast on his Shannons Flat property.
He wants a royal commission into state land clearing laws, saying they were used by the Federal Government to meet Kyoto protocol carbon reduction levels. He says they have made it impossible for him to clear his land, making it non-viable.
Over the Crikey Rooted blog Steve Truman has fairly long coverage. His view is certainly not shared by all his commenters.
I cannot comment on the detail without investigation. The rules Mr Spencer is complaining about are in fact state rules.
What I think that I can fairly say is the application of centrally imposed rigid rules on what farmers and graziers can and cannot do with their land has become a running sore in the bush because of its sometimes perverse local results.
We can see this in the problems Opposition leader Abbott is facing because of National Party opposition to the emphasis on tree planting.
At Copenhagen, Australia appears to continue to argue that CO2 emitted from bushfires should not be taken into account. I find this a bit odd as reported, especially with fires raging across NSW.
Australia is a fire prone country. Indeed, fire plays a role in the regeneration of the Australian bush, so carbon lost in fires is regained through subsequent growth. Still, the net effects do have to be measured.
Meantime, research carried out at the University of Newcastle to be published in Geophysical Research Letters questions widespread claims that the drought experienced in Australia's Murray Darling Basin is a result of CO2 emissions. The analysis concluded that the cause of elevated temperatures in the Murray Darling Basin was a combination of natural factors.
Finishing, I have been trying to monitor action at Copenhagen in part because the sheer difficulties involved in gaining agreement at such a mass forum interest me. As always, I have used blog search as one device to get up to date information and different perspectives.
This has been useful, but the blog coverage has been much less than I would have expected. It appears that the blogosphere does not share my current interest!
Just back from a Christmas party in the midst of a bus strike so a bit wonky. Still, I did want to post a response to a comment because the comment raised an interesting technical issue related to blog searching.
Clarencegirl posted this comment:
Just ran the search term"copenhagen climate change" through Google Blog Search and it itemised over 300,000 posts, with at least 50,000 mentions coming from Australia.
Crikey also live blogged last night.
Using the term copenhagen "climate change" a second search returned over 15 million items.Bob Q agreed with CG.
What blog search engine are you using?
Now what was interesting in a technical sense?
I was interested in real time reporting. Now twice when I have run google blog searches on Copenhagen including exactly the terms CG suggested, the total number of references was very high, but the number of references ranked by date order was very low. The search I did early this morning gave me just six references over a five hour period. Hence my comment.
Now when I read CG's comment, I did another search on copenhagen climate change this afternoon. There were more than twenty times the number of references again using a five hour period. Then a search just done using CG's term gave only five posts in a five hour period.
How do we explain this? I think that it has to be linked to the time of the search. People do go to bed at some point, so search topic intensity is linked to the time zones of the most prolific bloggers.
This may sound obvious, but it had not occurred to me!