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Climate, Water and Adaptive Responses

May 21st, 2008

Getting back to serious business, that’s the title of a National Symposium to be held by the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in Adelaide tomorrow and Friday (details here and program (PDF) here).

I’ll be appearing, but not in person. As discussed previously, I tried to arrange a videoconference, but that didn’t work, so I went instead for a prerecorded video appearance, which will be followed a bit later by a panel discussion in which I’ll take part by audioconference. I’m arranging to have the video turned into a podcast and will post this, along with my presentation, for anyone interested.

I have to admit I haven’t actually watched the video. Although I’m immune to most forms of the widespread fear of public speaking, I’m shy about watching myself on video. I find myself worrying about trivial mistakes and so on. But I have a feeling that I would be less worried about watching a podcast of myself, so I’ll probably go that way.

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  1. observa
    May 21st, 2008 at 19:43 | #1

    Probably no need to make a personal appearance John as I reckon the overall message is trickling down fairly well
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,23735054-2682,00.html?from=public_rss
    Mind you they’ve got some serious competition from Sydney’s recycling types
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,23736283-5005962,00.html
    There’s no stopping the green message now although ‘think globally and act locally’ might need a wee bit of tweaking methinks.

  2. wbb
    May 22nd, 2008 at 00:23 | #2

    Well done John, for not flying just to speak. It’s the way forward now. Nine times out of ten, anyway. (Or is it that it was Adelaide?)

  3. Salient Green
    May 22nd, 2008 at 08:53 | #3

    The act of videoconferancing illustrates your topic, “mitigation and adaptation”, perfectly.

    I am looking forward to seeing the podcast.

  4. observa
    May 22nd, 2008 at 09:02 | #4

    Well it’s true they’re a frugal lot in Adelaide wbb, which is often why national firms test new product launches here before going nationwide. As to the great wheelie bin heist, a bit of background about the law of unintended consequences may suffice here. Now while the whole bloody country was wracked by unprecedented drought and the citizenry of places like Goulbourn ran out of water, the good citizens of Adelaide (the driest city state in the driest continent you’ll recall) carried blithely on with business as usual, because we had our MD allocation chiselled in stone. That was until the approach of last summer, when the powers that be suddenly realised it might only be chiselled in mud and we promptly joined the real world of letting our gardens die too. That was the starting gun for all sorts of wingnuts to race out of the blocks to come to the aid of the more intelligent powers that be. So one fine day on talkback radio, one said wingnut explained how it used its wheelie bin outside its laundry window with an extension hose from the washing machine to gather said greywater. Next thing the hardware stores sported cheap Chinese pumps and kits and wheelie bins to facilitate same for the bathwater, etc. The fly in the ointment of course was that most of us needed our wheelie bins for the purpose for which they were supplied and unlike the ‘free’ bins provided by our benevolent councils, a new one for all that precious greywater cost $120 of the new greens’ hard-earned. I’ll leave you to deduce the rest. Hopefully I won’t have to get out the Makita cordless to ward off the new green wave, now the rains have come, although I’ll revisit that for next summer.

  5. observa
    May 22nd, 2008 at 09:23 | #5

    Being a man of price, naturally I like to think of these solutions as ‘Priceless thinking cap and trade-offs’, more of which are no doubt in the offing from my learned betters in these matters.

  6. observa
    May 22nd, 2008 at 09:35 | #6

    On second thoughts you must come and enjoy the free entertainment John, et al. They don’t call it the Festival State for nothing.

  7. jquiggin
    May 22nd, 2008 at 10:57 | #7

    wbb, I like Adelaide a lot, having been born there. Hopefully, next year I’ll be able to fit in a visit of a few days, with multiple engagements.

  8. O6
    May 22nd, 2008 at 14:11 | #8

    As I’ve written before, SA doesn’t always get it right. We rebuilt our house & garden to run on rainwater, inc. swimming pool, with grey water cleaned via spetic tank & reedbed before use on garden. We also eliminated airconditioning, added PV electrivcity & solar HW. Result? SA Water assessed our value at 3X what it was before, so our water rate went up 3X.
    Unintended consequences? Too right.
    Mind you, I’ve nothing against a wealth tax in principle, but it should be labelled as such, not called a sewerage and water connexion charge.

  9. May 23rd, 2008 at 14:21 | #9

    I just had a 60mx10m pond dug on my acreage near Castlemaine in Victoria. I’ll give one of those monolayer surface products a go to see how well it mitigates evaporation. The makers of these products claim they cut evaporation by up to 40%. I’ll also plant windbreaks around the pond and aim for about 30% aquatic plant cover in the pond.

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