Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Personal 2009 End Of Year Political Shame List

Like many people who use the Internet on a daily basis I have been alarmed at where the Rudd Government's mandatory national ISP-level filtering scheme is leading both Australian society and ordinary citizens going quietly about their daily business.
Also like many others, I have begun to express my concerns to elected members of Federal Parliament by telephone, letter and/or email.
So as part of my efforts during December I sent each and every Labor member of the Senate and House of Representatives a short email on the subject.

This is a list of those members of the Labor Government who have apparently decided that the issue of Internet censorship is not worth even a brief moment of their time and therefore deleted my emails without reading:

Forshaw, Michael (Senator) Senate webpage
Pratt, Louise (Senator) Own website
Sterle, Glenn (Senator) Senate webpage

Bevis, Arch (MP) Own website
Bird, Sharon (MP) Own website
Burke, Anna (MP) Own website
Combet, Greg (MP) Own website
Danby, Michael (MP) Own website
Ferguson, Martin (MP) Own website
Irwin, Julia (MP) ALP webpage
Kerr, Duncan (MP) Own website
Marino, Nola (MP) Own website
Neumann, Shayne (MP) ALP webpage
Perrett, Graham (MP)Own website
Price, Roger (MP) Own website
Rea, Kerry (MP) Own website

Sullivan, Jon (MP) Own website
Turnour, Jim (MP) Own website

Bloggers who are on the Commonwealth electoral role might like to take note of these names.

In their turn, those listed politicians with their own websites might like to consider what would happen to their election campaigning or general self-promotion if one of their website entries addressed a subject falling within ACMA's very broadly defined 'Refused Classification' category or they directly linked (or indeed linked to a site which in turn linked) to a URL which was accidentally or deliberately included in the official secret blacklist.
Remembering of course that it is ludicrously easy to end up on this complaints generated banned list (and even the nine politicians on this list who tried to place their websites beyond the current reach of ACMA and auDA would get short-shift under a new censorship regime).
As for researching any contentious new bill before Parliament - well that could become rather tricky if the need to know was related to certain political/social/health issues and, such post-2011 research would not be something which MPs could reliably pass across to the Parliamentary Library with a request for assistance because the librarians' ability to access Internet searches may be compromised as well.

Polley, Helen (Senator)
at has added herself to the list of parliamentarians who deleted the email without bothering to read.
While I'm at it I think that a hat tip is due to all those Federal Labor politicians who did read actually my email, from Treasurer Wayne Swan through to various ministers, parliamentary secretaries and a bevy of backbenchers.
A special thanks to hardworking Labor MP for Page, Janelle Saffin, who took the time during her Christmas break to personally acknowledge receipt of the email.

Favourite word picture of 2009 and other quirks

Favourite word picture of 2009:
"just got booted out of the conference center..."
{The limp lettuce leaf in any Oz political salad, Senator Steve Fielding,
tweeting at COP15}

Least favourite second incarnation on the Internetz:
Project for the New American Century (PNAC) died years ago. This think tank had fun slogans like "American leadership is both good for America and good for the world", "a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity" and "a secure foundation on unquestioned U.S. military preeminence.
Unfortunately Kristol and Co are now up and running again at
Foreign Policy Initiative which started up in 2009. The new website tells us that "The United States remains the world's indispensable nation -- indispensable to international peace, security, and stability, and indispensable to safe-guarding and advancing the ideals and principles we hold dear."

Most predictable election result:
"Preference data for the Bradfield by-election has now been published by the Australian Electoral Commission, making it possible to assess the success or otherwise of the Christian Democratic Party's tactic in nominating nine candidates for the by-election.Standing nine candidates has been costly for the CDP, as none of its candidates reached the 4% required for return of deposit or to attract public funding. In total the nine candidates received 2,524 votes or 3.58% of the vote, but 1,054 votes or 1.49% were recorded by James Whitehall who had the Number 1 position on the ballot paper and so received the donkey vote." {
Antony Green's Election Blog 25th December 2009}

A quote to remember:
"As Boris said over on Stoat, "If there's something stupid to believe, there is someone on the internet who believes it." {From Rabett Run 21st December 2009}

The growing litigation pile belonga Monsanto:
"A mountain of lawsuits against Monsanto and related companies have been removed to federal court.This summer and fall, 161 lawsuits were filed in Putnam Circuit Court alleging Monsanto and related companies are responsible for causing cancer." {
The West Virginia Record 23rd December 2009}

Worst OZ commercial decision of 2009:
iSnack 2.0 - nuff said!

Something for the 'Obama is the Anti-Christ' assorted nuts:
"The first family arrived on the island of Oahu and President Obama and his wife Michelle started Christmas Day with a gym workout at 6.40am, returning more than an hour later. The first couple did not exchange gifts, aides said, and did not attend church." {The Sydney Morning Herald 27th December 2009}

A little festive season hysteria:
"Police from Blacktown Local Area Command want to dispel rumours circulating on a social networking website that a man, Dennis Ferguson, is living in Doonside in Sydney’s west.The claims have been investigated by police, in consultation with the Department of Housing, and the information posted on the website is incorrect. This is a case of mistaken identity and the resident of a street in Doonside is not Dennis Ferguson as has been reported on the social networking site. Police are urging those people transmitting false information to cease immediately." {NSW Police media release 22nd December 2009}

Most disturbing statistic of the year:
"NSW Council for Civil Liberties secretary Stephen Blanks said a pattern of police shootings had emerged in the past year. Four people have been killed by NSW Police this year." {The Sydney Morning Herald 27th December 2009}
This propensity to ape a fictional vision of police machismo by using deadly force appears to have been growing steadily in recent years.
Between 1990 and 2007 87 people were shot and killed by police in Australia and the most dangerous time of day to have an aggressive confrontation with police seems to be between 4pm and 8pm.

Most likeable blog:
Still Life With Cat - Clarencegirl once told me that this was a quietly insightful, gently humorous, venom-free zone and I wholeheartedly agree!

That unwanted prediction for 2010:
"ELECTRICITY, gas, water and public transport costs will all increase in 2010, while the average grocery shop will make a bigger dent in the family budget." {The Sydney Morning Herald 27th December 2009}

Most laughable Oz politician of this any year:
Just take your pick! Abbott, Abetz, Tuckey, Minchin, Pyne, Joyce, Fielding, Keneally,............

The Arsehat of all Arsehats in 2009:
Andrew Bolt - for services to Oz's racist underbelly, the anti-science lobby and general contrariety. {See almost any post on
his Herald-Sun blog}

Pic from Crikey

Thursday, 24 December 2009

*Season's Greetings for 2009 from the* *******North Coast Voices crew*******

Best wishes for the festive season from all at North Coast Voices

Clarencegirl, Clarrie Rivers, Petering Time, WaterDragon, K. Roo and others

North Coast Voices will be on holiday until New Year's Eve

Animation from Google Images

Mandatory National ISP-Level Internet Filtering: Mark Newton sends a letter

Mark Newton has published yet another letter to his Federal Labor MP Kate Ellis and it is well worth reading.

Excerpt from PDF copy of the letter dated 20 December 2009:

For the year that it has taken to conduct his six-week trial, the Minister has claimed that evidence gained from the trial will inform the policy.
The Minister also relied on evidence supplied by Mr. Tom Woods in 2007 as a justification for moving from user-based filtering (under the Coalition's policy) to ISP-based censorship due to Mr. Woods' ease of bypassing the Coalition's NetAlert filters.
So it's curious that the evidence5 delivered by Enex Testlab in the trial results released on 15 December weren't similarly persuasive.
Enex found that all of the solutions they tested could be trivially bypassed when blocking defined blacklist
(with success rates for circumvention blocking ranging from 16.2% down to a lousy 8.1%).
The success rates were higher when additional censorship methods were employed, but even then none of the products successfully prevented circumvention and all of them experienced reduced reliability.
Specially notable is that WebShield, the ISP in Australia with the most experience at running censorship systems, was included in the testing and was circumvented.
Even the experts can't prevent bypass, leaving the efficacy of these systems worse than the PC-based filtering systems employed by the previous Government.
At least a PC system can intercept your Google search to block knowledge of bypass methods.
ISP systems have no such defensive capability.
Other results of the trial include further confirmation that increases in accuracy lead to decreases in performance (You can have it fast or good - Pick one) and a moderate increase in underblocking errors as measured against the 2007 lab trial previously carried out by Enex Testlab for ACMA.

Report into the conduct of the trial. Recommendation is to ignore the Minister's press release and examine the raw data in the Enex report.

The real Rudd Family 2009 Chrissie card pic

I believe the inscription inside the Chrissie card might have read:

Will do better try to do better continue our triumphant progress on behalf of the Australian people next year.
Merry Christmas. KRudd

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Moggy Musings [Archived material from Boy the Wonder Cat]

At last a tweet I understand! musing:
stilgherrian Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Miaow. Yes I know.

A Get well soon, Apollo musing: Apollo (a very intelligent cat who cunningly found himself a very comfy berth in the stilgherrian household) has just had a big op. A big get well soon wish from one moggie to another!

A Smartypantz Cats musing: Rod3000 has the best tweets. He found a Wikipedia entry which shows that cats, George, Oliver, Oreo & Henrietta all received degreees or diplomas after handing over hard cash - which was some feat for H'etta as she had been deddy for some time past.

A media says it's true musing: A Bolivian man's cat saves him from being deported from the U.K. About time that having a moggy in the family was judged to be part of a hoomanz human rights!

A cat in the dog house musing: I'm not coming out from under the bed until Clarencegirl apologises for wagging her finger at me because I went into the herb patch and mowed down the lemon grass before moving on to trim those young tomato plants - can I help it if I like my greens?!

A Just like our house musing: An amusing tweet - stilgherrian I am home and arguing with the cats about the logistics of the fishing industry.

A By George! musing: George the Pillar Valley staffie saved his owner on 25 September 2009, when he raced to her rescue and killed a highly venomous brown snake slithering near her feet. Although not normally condoning snake killing, George is being feted by his family for this daring deed.

A gaming cat musing: I had to snicker behind a paw as I watched Clarencegirl try to Circle the Cat in this itty bitty online game.

Next year's must see movie!

Click on poster to enlarge

Kevin Rudd gets anti-censorship mail from Paris

From Reporters Without Borders:

The Hon Kevin Michael Rudd
Prime Minister
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

Paris, 18 December 2009

Dear Prime Minister,

Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that defends free expression worldwide, would like to share with you its concern about your government's plan to introduce a mandatory Internet filtering system. While it is essential to combat child sex abuse, pursuing this draconian filtering project is not the solution. If Australia were to introduce systematic online content filtering, with a relatively broad definition of the content targeted, it would be joining an Internet censors club that includes such countries as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy announced on 15 December that, after a year of testing in partnership with Australian Internet service providers (ISPs), your government intended to introduce legislation imposing mandatory filtering of websites with pornographic, paedophile or particularly violent content.

Reporters Without Borders would like to draw your attention to the risks that this plan entails for freedom of expression.

Firstly, the decision to block access to an "inappropriate" website would be taken not by a judge but by a government agency, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Such a procedure, without a court decision, does not satisfy the requirements of the rule of law. The ACMA classifies content secretly, compiling a website blacklist by means of unilateral and arbitrary administrative decision-making. Other procedures are being considered but none of them would involve a judge.

Secondly, the criteria that the proposed law would use are too vague. Filtering would be applied to all content considered "inappropriate," a very slippery term that could be interpreted very differently by different people. In all probability, filtering would target "refused classification" (RC) sites, a category that is extremely controversial as it is being applied to content that is completely unrelated to efforts to combat child sex abuse and sexual violence, representing a dangerous censorship option. Subjects such as abortion, anorexia, aborigines and legislation on the sale of marijuana would all risk being filtered, as would media reports on these subjects.

The choice of filtering techniques has not been clearly defined. Would it be filtering by key-words, URL text or something else? And what about the ISPs that are supposed to carry out the filtering at the government's request? Will they be blamed, will they be accused of complicity in child sex abuse if the filtering proves to be ineffective, as it almost certainly will?

Your government claims that the filtering will be 100 per cent effective but this is clearly impossible. Experts all over the world agree that no filtering system is effective at combating this kind of content. On the one hand, such a system filters sites that should not be affected (such as sites about the psychology of child sexuality or paedophile crime news). And on the other, it fails to filter targeted sites because their URLs contain key-words that are completely unrelated to their content, or because their content (photo and text) is registered under completely neutral terms. Furthermore, people who are determined to visit such sites will know how to avoid the filtering by, for example, using proxy servers or censorship circumvention software or both.

The Wikileaks website highlighted the limitations of such as system when it revealed that the ACMA blacklist of already banned websites contained many with nothing reprehensible in their content. According to Wikileaks, the blacklist included the Abortion TV website, some of the pages of Wikileaks itself, online poker sites, gay networks, sites dealing with euthanasia, Christian sites, a tour operator's site and even a Queensland dentist's site.

The US company Google has also voiced strong reservations. Google Australia's head of policy, Iarla Flynn, said yesterday: "Moving to a mandatory ISP filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond such material is heavy handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information."

As regards paedophilia, the most dangerous places on the Internet are websites offering chat and email services. So if this project were taken to its logical conclusion, access to sites such as Gmail, Yahoo and Skype would also have to be blocked, which would of course be impossible.

There are more effective ways to combat child pornography, including tracking cyber-criminals online (by means of cookies, IP address comparison, and so on), combined with police investigation into suspects and their online habits. Why did your government end the programme launched by the previous government, which made free filtering systems available to Australian families? This procedure had the merit of being adapted to individual needs and gave each home the possibility of shielding its children from porn.

A real national debate is needed on this subject but your communications minister, Stephen Conroy, made such a debate very difficult by branding his critics as supporters of child pornography. An opportunity was lost for stimulating a constructive exchange of ideas.

We also regret the lack of transparency displayed by your government as regards the tests carried out in recent months using procedures that have been kept secret. Your government paid some 300,000 Australian dollars to ISPs to finance the tests. Australian taxpayers have a right to be given detailed information about the results.

Finally, you must be aware that this initiative is a source of a concern for your compatriots. In a recent Fairfax Media poll of 20,000 people, 96 per cent were strongly opposed to such a mandatory Internet filtering system, while around 120,000 Australians have signed a petition against Internet censorship launched by the online activist group GetUp. The withdrawal of this proposal would therefore satisfy public opinion as well as prevent a democratic country from introducing a system that threatens freedom of expression.

I thank you in advance for the consideration you give to our recommendations.


Jean-François Julliard

Stranger than fiction.......

Stumbled across this as I tiptoed through the tulips in Yahoo! ANSWERS.
Seems someone's done a variation on an Einfield recently:
"I've just received a speeding infringement notice form Victoria Police, Australia - although I have never been to Australia! They have my correct name, correct street name (not number) and a postcode from a few streets away. I believe I know who has given these details, and old acquaintance who moved to Australia a year or so ago - they lived in the street which the postcode on the notice had. So my question is, what should I do with this? Go to the police in the UK? Ignore it? Or will they chase it up? Also, what is likely to happen to the person who gave the false details?"

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Mr. Disspain sinks his fangs in....

I think the creator of (later might think himself lucky that Chris Disspain CEO of .au Domain Administration Ltd at least endeavoured to be a little polite in correspondence, as he summarily booted the spoof site off the Australian Internet with only glancing reference to any AuDA dispute resolution policy.

Mr. 'I'm endorsed by the Federal Government' Disspain is not always polite.

Here is a sentence found in one his own company emails sent during a dispute with Larry Bloch's Netregistry: Rebelling against an 'over-zealous' regulator or just plain media whoring?

Now that's very proper executive officer language that is!
This is the man who has day-to-day control over domain registration of at least 6 million Australian websites?

Just another example of how rural & regional NSW is being let down

The Daily Examiner editor points out the inequity in energy service delivery costs across New South Wales.

Comment from The Daily Examiner, 21 December 2009
Click on image to enlarge

Obama's baby brother is a movie star named Marx?

Much of this Monday 14 December article from the Chinese media mentioning Obama's younger brother, Jiang joined the new film "Let the bullets fly," more and more powerful lineup, may be lost in awkward translation but the picture tells the story.
American conspiracy wingnuts must be ecstatic over the half-brother's first name, "Marx"!

Send Stephen Conroy an anti-censorship gift this Christmas via Electronic Frontiers Australia

A ‘blacklist’ of thousands of websites.

Click on The Gift of Censorship for Christmas and send short e-message to the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
For every thousand anti-Internet censorhip messages sent to Electronic Frontiers Australia for delivery to Senator Conroy, EFA will also send a Christmas stocking containing coal.

The fool's playing with us, right?

In the Herald Sun last Friday from one barking mad pollie:
BIBLE classes should be compulsory so children have a fundamental understanding of Christianity on leaving school, federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.
"I think everyone should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilisation," Mr Abbott said. "That includes, most importantly, the Bible.
"I think it would be impossible to have a good general education without at least some serious familiarity with the Bible and with the teachings of Christianity.
"That doesn't mean that people have to be believers."
Bible classes, Tones? Next you'll want all school kids to have a compulsory Christian baptism before they leave pre-school!
I wonder how many more people can you alienate before New Year - you appear to be going for a national record.

Pic from the Herald Sun article

Monday, 21 December 2009

Australia you've been Gherkin'd!

Clarence Valley teens have launched their own interactive website for youth called Gherkin.

Those deadly rappers JACCAS have a great song This is where we're from playing on the home page.

Go there!

Our Kev not so bright and shiny anymore

Being an Aussie prime minister must be a b*gger of a job, but compared to some others who've been at the top of the pollie pile Kevin Rudd has had a dream run in the public opinion polls since November 2007.
The UN shenanigans in Copenhagen this month have put a bit of a dent in that bright and shiny image......

ABC The Drum poll results at 6am on 21st December 2009

Stewart Franks quite frankly puzzles

I must confess that until fairly recently I had not heard of Associate Professor Stewart Franks.

Franks swam into view when his name become associated with Family First's Senator Steve Fielding and the now notorious Assessment of Penny Wong's Response to My 3 Questions on Climate Change.

Now I do not call into question this academic's record, but I do wish he wouldn't misspeak concerning possible conflicts of interest arising from his research funding.

The Australian online states in Rebels of the Sun:

While not interviewed for Channel 4, hydro-climatologist Stewart Franks at Newcastle University in NSW is one such scientist. Like all other scientists quoted in this article, he says he has never received any funding from any industry, but is increasingly uneasy about the dangerous path the debate is taking, where alternative views are discouraged and reputations attacked and discredited. [my emphasis]

However, in 2007 Stewart Franks received a two-year project grant from Macquarie Generation worth $85,000.

Macquarie Generation is a state-owned corporporation with a core business producing and wholesale selling electricity on the National Electricity Market in Australia.
This corporation operates two of the largest coal-powered stations in New South Wales (consuming a combined total of 13 million tonnes of greenhouse gas producing coal per annum) and is part of the national energy industry.

Therefore, this academic did indeed receive funding from industry.

Which does give one pause for thought when Associate Professor Franks goes into print asserting that high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are not driving climate change.

EFA publishes Takedown Hall of Shame

See full details here and submit your own candidates for this list here.
I understand that the recent takedown of an Australian political spoof site has already been sent to EFA.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Nature's canvas

NASA photograph of The Northern Lights

The Oz Minister for Censorshop speaks. I reply

"Australia stands on the cusp of a digital transformation."
So says the Oz Minister for censorsip on the DBCDE website in the same week he announced that the Internet will be censored and then told a whole heap of pork pies about his decision.

There's only one reply possible:

Saturday, 19 December 2009

World betrayed by national leaders at COP15 - 18 December draft agreement text

Australia is one of those countries at the pointy end of global warming trends and lack of any national water security, potential for catastrophic floods or storms, as well as predicted sea level rise are some of our biggest concerns.

It is also no secret that here on the NSW North Coast we have a sustained higher than the national average unemployment rate, a considerable bloc of low-income families and many retirees who reached sixty-five years of age with little more than home ownership to buffer against old age.

So there is little ability for many residents to hedge against future climate change impacts by either relocating, strengthening/raising their homes or taking out more comprehensive insurance policies, simply because extra costs cannot be accommodated in modest household budgets.

Additionally, it is obvious that local water security will continue to be threatened by vested commercial interest in the Murray-Darling Basin pressuring government to divert water inland from our coastal river systems.

So when news out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) this week reveals that world leaders have failed to reach any binding treaty or even meaningful political agreement on a global response to climate change and, what is worse, U.S. President Barack Obama (who in a desire to take any old short cut-and-paste piece of paper back to refute his domestic critics flew in and out within 24 hours) has opened the door to international inaction on a binding accord to a point in time past the end of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, the future does not look hopeful for our coastal communities.

It is not too harsh to say that we have all been betrayed by those political leaders and national government delegates attending COP15.

* George Monbiot on the biosphere's betrayal

* First draft of the 18 December 2009 'Copenhagen Agreement' before reference to 2020 reduction target date allegedly removed:

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties and the fifth meeting of the Parties to Conference of the Parties to the to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
In pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention as stated in its Article,
Recalling the provisions of the Convention,
Being guided by Article 3 of the Convention,
Affirming our firm resolve to adopt one or more legal instruments under the Convention pursuant to decisions taken at COP13 and this decision as soon as possible and no later than COP16/CMP6.

Have agreed on this Copenhagen [X] which is operational immediately

1. The Parties underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The Parties emphasise their strong political will to combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature ought not to exceed 2 degrees and on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, the Parties commit to a vigorous response through immediate and enhanced national action on mitigation based on strengthened international cooperation.

Ambitious action to mitigate climate change is needed with developed countries taking the lead. The Parties recognize the critical impact of climate change on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

2. Deep cuts in global emissions are required. The Parties should cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that the time frame for peaking will be longer in developing country Parties and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing country Parties and that low-emission development is indispensible to sustainable development.

3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change is a challenge faced by all Parties, and enhanced action and international cooperation on adaptation is urgently required to enable and support the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience in developing country Parties, especially in those that are particularly vulnerable, especially least developed countries, small island developing States and countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods.
The Parties agree that developed country Parties shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing country Parties. The Parties further endorse -/CP.15 on adaptation.

4. Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to implement, individually or jointly, the quantified economy-wide emission targets for 2020 as listed yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005 ensuring that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent.

5. Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention resolve to implement mitigation actions, based on their specific national circumstances and in the context of sustainable development. Mitigation actions taken and envisaged by Non-Annex I Parties shall be reflected through their national communications in accordance with Article 12.1 (b) of the Convention.
The frequency of submissions of the national communications of Non-Annex I Parties shall be every two years.
Mitigation actions taken by Non-Annex I Parties will be subject to their domestic auditing, supervision and assessment, the result of which will be reported through their national communications.
Clarification may, upon request, be provided by the Party concerned at its discretion to respond to any question regarding information contained in the national communications. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions supported and enabled by countries in terms of technology, financing and capacity building, will be registered in a registry, including both action taken and relevant technology, financing and capacity building support.
These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions shall be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines elaborated by the COP. The Parties take note of the information on enhanced mitigation action actions by Non-Annex I Parties as listed.

6. Developing countries Parties should, in accordance with the provisions contained in decision /CP.15, contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities:
reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forest, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

7. The Parties decide to pursue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, in accordance with decision -/CP.15.

8. Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding shall be provided to developing country Parties, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, to enable and support enhanced action on mitigation, including REDD-plus, adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, for enhanced implementation of the Convention. Parties take note of the individual pledges by developed country Parties to provide new and additional resources amounting to 30 billion dollars for the period 2010-2012 as listed and with funding for adaptation prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing states and countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods.
In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, the Parties support a goal of mobilizing jointly 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.

9. A High Level Panel will be established under the guidance of and accountable to the Conference of then Parties to assess the contribution of the potential sources of revenue, including alternative sources of finance, towards meeting this goal.

10. The Parties decide that the Copenhagen Climate Fund shall be established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation including REDD-plus, adaptation, capacity-building, technology development and transfer as set forth in decision -/CP.15.

11. In order to enhance action on development and transfer of technology the Parties decide to establish a Technology Mechanism as set forth in decision -/CP.15 to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of action on adaptation and mitigation that will be guided by a country-driven approach and be based on national circumstances and priorities.

12. The Parties call for a review of this decision and its implementation in 2016 including in light of the Conventions ultimate objective.

13. Capturing the progress achieved in the work by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action and Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol under the Convention the Parties by continuing negotiations pursuant to decisions taken at COP13 and this decision, with a view to adopting one or more legal instruments under the Convention as soon as possible and no later than COP16.
Deciding to extend the mandate of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention and continue the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under Kyoto Protocol to negotiate one or more legal instruments under the Convention.


Political Owl has images of the draft Copenhagen Agreement up on his blog.
The bare bones three-page appendix ending on Page 9 (shown here) demonstrates just how shoddy this document is - the framers apparently Googled the undertakings which at this time have not been formally endorsed by the listed countries:


UN Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) officially releases its own copy of the draft.
This time without any countries listed in the appendix and with no trace of that embarrassing Googled information.

May I speak with the Labor Minister for Fascism......pleez

From (now commenting on the Rudd Government's plan to censor the Internet.

Since I first placed this in North Coast Voices' post queue for next week, The Orstrahyun has commented on the fact that the Minister for Fascism appears to have struck again. Hat tip to Darryl Mason.
So I'm bringing this forward just in case the second version of this protest site goes off line:

auDA, the .au Domain Administrator is trying to take us offline. Earlier today they issued a notice giving us 3 hours to provide evidence of our eligibility to hold the '' and related domain names. Normally registrants are provided with approximately one week to provide this information on request. We asked for reasonable time to prepare and submit representations on our eligibility but auDA refused to grant this. Accordingly we've moved the site to '' - please update your bookmarks. Conroy's office must have been busy this afternoon! {Thursday 17 December 2009 - 15:22:10}

I suspect it's not really the protest site's original name and URL (obviously the subject of either a complaint from Team Conroy or preemptive removal by the server after all the online publicity) which caused the problem.
It was the likes of this on the home page:

This protest site is hosting discussion; Forums are now active SIGN UP and post your thoughts/opinions/comments.

In ur Internetz filterin' & losin' ur vote

The Rudd Government mandatory national Internet filtering scheme aka The Great Firewall of Australia is expected to be blocking free speech by 2011


A great competition to enter if you live on the NSW North Coast.


Yes, it's that time of year again. We need anyone and everyone out there looking for turtles or turtle tracks from now until the end of March. With beach erosion from the June storms yet to be replaced in many places there are still steep sand cliffs along many beaches. Turtle nests laid at the bottom of these cliffs will be in danger of inundation from subsequent summer king tides. We have to spot the nest the same day it's laid if we are to relocate the nest to a safer spot. Moving one nest has the potential to save 100 hatchlings. Last season the Make Turtles Count project spotted 7 nests and missed probably another 13. Also last summer was a record for ASR with 30 turtles in care at one time. It seems that when people are out looking for turtle nests they're also more likely to spot a sick or injured turtle.

With this in mind we've started a competition. Keep an eye out on your local beach, talk to friends and neighbours and enlist them in the fun. A turtle prize pack from the ASR Gift Shop (value $40.00) awaits any successful turtle nest spotters this season.

Australian Seabird Rescue
Phone: 02 66862852
Fax: 02 66869852
Mobile: 0428 862852

Photograph of a rescued 15 year-old Green Turtle at Australian Seabird Rescue

Friday, 18 December 2009

A COP15 'secret' that never was

Each day seems to bring more bad news out of Copenhagen as the United Nations battles to get the world's leaders to commit to concrete measures to combat predicted catastrophic climate change.
Thursday's glum tidings came through The Guardian newspaper which said it has a leaked UN document, concerning shortfalls between international pledges and actions required to keep the global temperature rise at no more than two degrees Celsius.
Except of course that wasn't actually 'news'. The United Nations Environment Programme had a similar pledges shortfall all mapped out on its website for the world to see.
With everyone from heads of government through to the media repeating the same 'old' information is it any wonder that we are all becoming quite jaded and sometimes close to downright cynical about the COP15 process on its final working day.

The total height of the bars represents the global emissions in a Business As Usual (BAU) scenario. It is only possible to calculate the global BAU for 2020. Therefore, no number for 2050 is shown.
Light yellow sections illustrate the global emission reductions if current low reduction pledges are implemented.
Dark yellow sections illustrate the global emissions reductions if current high reduction pledges are implemented.
Red sections represent the remaining gap between the current pledges and the emission levels needed to reach the 2°C goal.
The emission levels needed to achieve the 2˚C goal are illustrated by the green sections.

Is this your retirement castle? Mapping predicted sea level rise (4)

Is this the home you worked so hard for?

Below is your home as a 1 metre sea level rise begins to cover the street.

The Rudd Government's recent report Climate Change Risks to Australia's Coasts contains a 1.1 metre predicted sea level rise as its worse case scenario for New South Wales sometime within the next ninety years. Google Earth mapping uses a 1 metre sea level rise.

Half of all ambulances will arrive within 10 minutes of a 000 call, but on the NSW North Coast.....

Ambulance response times from NSW Health

Half of all ambulances in New South Wales will arrive within 10 minutes of a Triple O call, but on the NSW North Coast 30 out of every 100 people taken to a public hospital will probably wait in that ambulance or on a stretcher in some open hallway for over 30 minutes before being transferred into the care of Accident & Emergency medical staff for treatment according to the last NSW Health Quarterly Hospital Performance Report July-September 2009.
North Coast Area Health Service needs to explain why there is a bottle neck.

Staff cuts beginning to bite perhaps?

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Stephen Conroy - mass murderer?

Memo to the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy: This is the type of publicity a censor-in-chief receives. You may ban this image as offensive but you will never be able to ban its Internet distribution.

Prime Minister, you're banned!

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd received this NSW North Coast email concerning mandatory national ISP-level Internet filtering via his online contact form on 16 December 2009:

Dear Prime Minister Rudd,
I have read the ENEX Test Lab "Internet Service Provider (ISP)Content Filtering Pilot Report" and the accompanying discussion paper.
I am sincerely concerned that your government intends to impose mandatory national ISP-level Internet filtering on Australian society.
I still consider this censorship scheme open to both bureaucratic and political abuse.
The scheme will considerably add to the end-user costs of a typical Internet connection home account and, these cost will be prohibitive for low-income households.
It is doubtful that unrestricted Internet surfing by any determined IT literate teenager would be stopped by such a filtering scheme (ditto for adults seeking unlawful or pornographic material online), but it will probably limit Internet access to a large number of citizens on the federal electoral roll who may not be as technologically savvy.
When it comes to imposing an Internet filtering scheme - this is very much a multiple player game.
So I have removed and blocked KevinRuddPM from my own Twitter account and I intend to place on the restricted URL list created by Internet Explorer on my personal computer.
Needless to say I may become strangely blind to Labor candidates' names on the next federal ballot paper I am required to mark.

Email your support for those little islands standing up to the big polluting nations at Copenhagen

Greens Senator Christine Milne is asking Australians to send emails supporting the stance taken by the smaller island states for strong and binding international greenhouse gas emissions targets and a meaningful climate treaty.

Please take a few minutes to email these leaders to give them your support:

Or send a letter to the editor at:

Best Oz MSM quote and image this week

Both views on Australian Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott and his faithfull sidekick Shadow Finance Minister Barnaby Joyce found at The Age on Monday 14th December 2009.

Hat tip tp Ross Gittens and Michael Mucci.

"Abbott is a phoney populist, using it to conceal his convictions; Joyce is a genuine populist, being as unthinking as the mob whose votes he seeks." Ross Gittens

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Google Australia expresses concern in face of Rudd Government intention to censor its search engine

One of the interesting snippets to emerge in discussion of the Rudd Government commissioned report from Enex Test Labs is that the 'live' pilot of the proposed national Internet filtering scheme involved six out of nine of participating Internet Service Providers using filtering software which permanently locks Google's search engine into safe mode and possibly sends URL information back to the U.S. software vendor (this is a company which coincidentally seems to have a board dominated by accountants, financial advisers, venture capitalists and former investment bankers which are just the sort of people that the Global Financial Crisis has taught us to trust).
The software also locks Yahoo! search.

Anyone who has ever researched some of the more obscure historical information available using the World Wide Web will know that this safe mode frequently fails to display innocuous but often useful information and images.

Google's safe mode is of course a personal choice available to every PC user and strict search engine filtering can be locked in with password access.

Google Australia is naturally perturbed by the Rudd Government's drive to impose blanket censorship of the Australian Internet and posted this on its official blog on 16 December 2009.

A sincere thank you to Google's I.Flynn for this effort:

Our views on Mandatory ISP Filtering

At Google we are concerned by the Government's plans to introduce a mandatory filtering regime for Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Australia, the first of its kind amongst western democracies. Our primary concern is that the scope of content to be filtered is too wide.

We have a bias in favour of people's right to free expression. While we recognise that protecting the free exchange of ideas and information cannot be
without some limits, we believe that more information generally means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual.

Some limits, like child pornography, are obvious. No Australian wants that to be available – and we agree. Google, like many other Internet companies, has a global, all-product ban against child sexual abuse material and we filter out this content from our search results. But moving to a mandatory ISP filtering regime with a scope that goes well beyond such material is heavy handed and can raise genuine questions about restrictions on access to information.

The recent report by Professors Catharine Lumby, Lelia Green, and John Hartley,
Untangling The Net: The Scope of Content Caught By Mandatory Internet Filtering, has found that a wide scope of content could be prohibited under the proposed filtering regime. Refused Classification (or RC) is a broad category of content that includes not just child sexual abuse material but also socially and politically controversial material -- for example, educational content on safer drug use -- as well as the grey realms of material instructing in any crime, including politically controversial crimes such as euthanasia. This type of content may be unpleasant and unpalatable but we believe that government should not have the right to block information which can inform debate of controversial issues.

While the discussion on ISP filtering continues, we should all retain focus on making the Internet safer for people of all ages. Our view is that online safety should focus on user education, user empowerment through technology tools (such as
SafeSearch Lock), and cooperation between law enforcement and industry partners. The government has committed to important cybersafety education and engagement programs and yesterday announced additional measures that we welcome.

Exposing politically controversial topics for public debate is vital for democracy. Homosexuality was a
crime in Australia until 1976 in ACT, NSW in 1984 and 1997 in Tasmania. Political and social norms change over time and benefit from intense public scrutiny and debate. The openness of the Internet makes this all the more possible and should be protected.

The government has requested comments from interested parties on its proposals for filtering and we encourage everyone to make their views known in this important debate.

As I write Twitter's #nocleanfeed protest page is running at 35 tweets a minute and The Sydney Morning Herald poll this morning did not favour the Great Firewall of Australia: