Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strange Musings

I see that Lexcen is suffering from lack of inspiration. Mind you, Lexcen, I did laugh at your cantina sign. You still have the ability to capture the odd in life.

Neil is suffering from HSC marking. I sympathise.

This week youngest handed in the last of her HSC major projects in visual arts and design and technology. So that's done. I really will be glad when we get through this year.

Geoff Robinson continues to put up some rather good posts on his blog. Geoff's thoughts are informed by deeper reading than I have time to do at present, so I always learn something.

Population bomb versus demographic cliff. The posts on demography matters continue to make me think about this.

There is no doubt, at least in my mind, that the continuing growth in world population is a problem. Yet the very rapid decline in the past birthrate in some countries is now creating its own very real problems, creating what has been called a demographic cliff in which population and incomes both fall.

While I have written about this a little, there are issues here that I must explore in more detail. I actually think that demographic change is going to have a more important influence over the next forty years than climate change, yet few people are talking about it.

I used to read a lot of science fiction. A rather neat if depressing plot would be one combining the worst outcomes of demography and climate change. I was going to set out the plot. But, who knows, I might still write it!

This, however, leads me to a current topic, the Australian outbreak of horse flue.

Listening to people talk, I am not sure that enough Australians have yet got the point, the way that this outbreak illustrates the damage that might be done by a major outbreak of animal diseases on this still fortunately isolated continent.

It appears at this point that the disease may have escaped from a quarantine facility, although no one has been able to trace the exact cause. This comes on top of the escape of foot and mouth in the UK.

All this makes me a lot more cautious about some of the WTO attacks on Australia's refusal to admit some primary products, stating risk of animal diseases as a problem. It really is.

Enough of this for tonight. I must try to catch up on other things.

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