How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room – Mark Lynas in The Guardian

December 24, 2009

Mark Lynas writes the disheartening tale of what happened in Copenhagen, fingering the Chinese for the failure of Copenhagen:

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

There seems no reason to think the Chinese will behave differently in international negotiations in the next few decades.

Letter published in City News – Village-to-Village bus extended to Elizabeth Bay – 311 bus

December 17, 2009

I had a letter published in today’s City News on the extension of the Village-to-Village shuttle bus service to Elizabeth Bay. This follows the withdrawal of the 311 bus service from Ithaca Rd, Billyard Ave and Onslow Ave in Elizabeth Bay.

For some reason the first sentence was omitted from the printed edition of City News.

Missing bus stop

It’s good to see that the City of Sydney is expanding the village-to-village shuttle bus route to include Elizabeth Bay. This follows the extensive community campaign to reinstate the 311 bus service to the Ithaca Road “loop”.

It appears that there will be two shuttle bus stops on that loop – while the 311 service had three. The “missing” stop is at the corner of Ithaca Road and Billyard Avenue.

I’ve written to Council asking if there’s a reason for not including the third stop, and whether it could be included on a trial basis. It will be good to hear Council’s reply.


Gittins in the SMH – Abbot’s populism may be making of Rudd

December 14, 2009

Ross Gittins in today’s SMH writes on the prospect of the upcoming federal election encompassing ETS and WorkChoices-revival scare campaigns, and possibly requiring Kevin Rudd to undertake:

a full-on fight to defend and explain an indisputably painful and complex economic reform, with benefits that are contingent, uncertain and long-term.

As often, Gittins offers an enjoyable read.

Light sails for space exploration – Planetary Society back on the case

December 13, 2009

The Planetary Society has recently announced that its “LightSail” is back – see LightSail The Future of Solar Sailing on the Planetary Society’s website for more details.

The LightSail is a fabulous project – best of luck to the Planetary Society, especially after the previous attempt died with a failed rocket launch.