Thursday, November 19, 2009

When will extreme weather conditions stop making news?

One wonders when extreme weather will cease being news? Given the present heat wave and the media's intense coverage of it and the forecast catastrophic weather conditions ahead, will this become the norm? The weather is always in the news, it's baseline conversation for most people, even when it's just plain pleasant. What period of time does it take though for it to cease being considered unusual. Seems to be adding fuel to climate change issues though...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What of our future in an environment of green fatigue?

The local paper (Daily Liberal) recently reported a story with a sub-heading "Temperature rise to be death knell for region". Professor Clive Hamilton (Centre for Applied Philosophy & Public Ethics) was quoted as saying "A 6 per cent average increase across western NSW would make that part of the State virtually uninhabitable." He suggests that Australian research indicates a jump in temperature would treble the number of the very hottest days over 40 degrees.

This article appeared only days after extensive media coverage of "green fatigue" (,25197,26239892-26103,00.html). I also recently visited friends who were commenting that they thought the whole climate change "thing" and "green politics" was nothing but a diversion tactic being played out by politicians.

I also recently heard a very entertaining after-dinner speaker (a scientist) who disputed the science behind climate change predictions, indicating he thought it was more about which scientist or scientific institution could most scare the "bejesus" out people.

So, who is right? Maybe it is the sceptics. But I'd like to think that even if the worst case predictions are wrong, we just can't continue the way we have been. World populations have to slow down or stop growing, we have to clean up the way we live and reduce our reliance on resource-hungry ways of living. We only have one earth and she is fast running out of puff...she is literally holding the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Monday, September 14, 2009

bird/chop at Chop Art Shop

I have a new work (pictured left) in progress for a Fresh Arts Inc. exhibition in Millthorpe, Central West NSW, due to open on 1 October 2009.
Titled bird/chop, the installation piece will be going into the cool room of an old butchers shop which is now an art gallery called the Chop Art Shop.

Incorporating sound in the work, bird/chop is a multi-media, site-specific installation that looks at the use of land to meet our need for a European-style diet centred on red meat consumption, and often produced using European farming practices. While delving into our farming history it questions the legacy we are creating for future generations.
Fresh Meat runs from 1 October - 1 November 2009, Chop Art Shop, 25 Victoria Street, Millthorpe. An artist celebration will be held on Sunday, 25 October at 11am. RSVP: Chop Art Shop (02) 6366 3905. Chop Art Shop is open Thurs/Fri 5pm - 9pm and Sat/Sun 10am - 5pm.
(C) Kim V. Goldsmith, 2009: cardboard, tape, sound system, clay, feathers, paint, handmade book

Places of work and home amongst most energy inefficient in the developed world

Australia is behind Mexico and Argentina in terms of its ability to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets, a report says.

The Climate Institute and European think-tank E3G released the report in the lead-up to next week's G20 meeting in the US.

Australia ranked 15th in an analysis of its capacity to generate business in a low-carbon economy, the lowest position of any industrialised country.

The report also found Australia was in the bottom of the pack when it came to its share of meeting the global greenhouse gas target of 450 parts per million by 2020.

Australia came 16th, with only Turkey, Russia and Saudi Arabia requiring a bigger turnaround to get back on track.

Climate Institute spokesman John Connor says the ranking is not surprising, considering Australia is a fossil fuel, carbon intensive economy.

"We need to improve that rate of productivity. The renewable energy target which has just been passed is very important, and that is 20 per cent of our energy by 2020. Of course we have got to get on with the rest of the 80 per cent," he said.

"We have got to get on across the industrial sector, our places of work and home are amongst the most energy inefficient in the developed world.

Source: ABC/AAP

Knowing what is best for people

In an interview with Pat Hoffie for the journal, Artlink, South African artist William Kentridge "talked about how colonialism still persists in describing itself to itself in terms of 'knowing what's best for people' and then applying those decisions by force...The monopoly of physical power and the assumption of wisdom, he pondered, are always catastrophic."

The full article is not yet available online on the Artlink website - but the link is (pp 46 -51, Volume 29 No 3)

It makes one wonder about the colonialists of the green movement. Are efforts to ensure individuals and local communities have global consideration for their actions shifting beyond a quiet groundswell to an attitude of "knowing what's best for people" and the an increasing willingness to apply decisions by force?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Coverage of PAE exhibition in The Land Newspaper

The Land newspaper (NSW) today published an artist profile piece based on the Perspectives. Art. Ecology. exhibition (above).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Climatic extremes: a new norm

The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story last weekend (News Review, p5 by Debra Jopson and Ben Cubby) about the farmers continuing to do more with less, more concerning scientific predictions and politicians playing politics...all while our climate continues to undergo change, global food security decreases, and the climate change sceptics get the last word. I wonder what it will take to ruffle the tail feathers of these ostriches?