State Highway 1 at its finest: Wellington to Auckland while it’s pissing down

In preparation for my impending move, I spent most of last weekend on the road. Down to Napier on Friday to drop Bentley off with his TEMPORARY foster parents, then on to Wellington to put my stuff in storage and sell my car.

Call me sentimental, but I have to say SH1 is just an amazing drive. Maybe it’s because it’s aways taken me to or from some of the best times I’ve ever had, but it still winds through some pretty amazing scenery!

Sunday’s drive north was about as wet as I’ve had it in a long while, with the added bonus that the Ruapehu lahar started while I was just starting out on the Desert Road – turns out I missed a 4-hour detour through Marton, Palmerston North, Waipukurau and Napier by about 10 minutes. Hail the mighty Sierra!

Anyhoo, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure in a while (if at all), here are some snaps taken from the road. In anticipation of the critique:

  • I know the image quality is terrible, but what do you expect from shots taken from a speeding car? It was raining!
  • Of the various local icons shown, I know I missed many, such as the statue of the Hunterway dog in Hunterville (Hunterway capital of the world!) – see previous point about the rain.
  • Holly, I hope you appreciate the photo of the Wairaki BP – that one’s for you!
  • The Dire Straits tape wasn’t my idea, but I did find it strangely comforting. I’m becoming my father! (Dad, did I tell you I met Mark Knopfler last year, by the way?)

Our tour begins in Bulls…

Mr Gore Goes (Back) to Washington

This Global Warming [sic] thing is kicking up a notch this week, with Al Gore scheduled for two major appearances in Washington (DC, home of the crack-addict mayor, as opposed to State, birthplace of grunge, Bill Gates and the world’s nastiest coffee).

Gore is set to solo before Rep. John Dingell’s all powerful Energy and Commerce Committee tomorrow morning and Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Environment and Public Works Committee in the afternoon. Judging by some of the proposed questions that have been leaked to the press, I’m guessing Al’s going to have a lot of explaining to do:

Mr. Gore: You have said several times that we have 10 years to act to stave off global warming. Was that 10 years from the first time you said that or 10 years from now? We just wanted to get a firm date from you that we can hold you to.

Mr. Gore: How can you continue to claim that global warming on Earth is primarily caused by mankind when other planets (Mars, Jupiter and Pluto) with no confirmed life forms and certainly no man-made industrial greenhouse gas emissions also show signs of global warming? Wouldn’t it make more sense that the sun is responsible for warming since it is the common denominator?

Mr. Gore: Joseph Romm, the executive director for the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, has said we must build 700 large nuclear plants to stave off climate change. Where do you stand on the need for nuclear energy?

Mr. Gore: Do you think the earth is significantly overpopulated and that is a major contributor to your view of climate change. (If yes, what do you think is a sustainable population for the planet?)

Like I said folks, I’m honestly undecided on this one. However, I do smell bulls*@t when Gore opens his mouth, and look forward to hearing some straight answers to the aforementioned curly ones – although something tells me I shouldn’t hold my breath.

An Inconvenient Counter-Augument

Now that Al Gore has received his Oscar, it would appear that it’s now safe for criticism of the whole ‘global warming’ thing to ramp up.

A couple of weeks back we had the revelation that Gore’s 10,000 sq ft Nashville home churns through approx 221,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, compared with an average for that city of 15,600 kilowatt hours. So that’s the hypocricy argument pretty much settled.

Then last week Britain’s Channel 4 aired a documentary I’d really recommend you watch (the whole thing is available for viewing online): ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’.

The argument the makers have put forward is the third option that I’ve always found conspicuously absent from the ‘global warming’ debate: ‘If the planet is warming up, is it of our own doing, and is there anything we can do about it?’ The short answer, put forward by an impressive array of eminent scientists, is ‘No’. They also do a great job of illustrating the insidiousness of the ‘Global Warming’… erm… swindle.

I’m posting this not because I want to engage any of you in a pissing contest, but because on reflection a couple of interesting thoughts have occurred to me:

  1. Is it just me, or is the whole ‘global warming’ hysteria reminiscent of the Y2K phenomena of the late 90’s?

    *’Possible issue’ identified.
    *Somebody figures out that there’s money to be made, but only if we commit to ill-conceived knee-jerk reactions (see also the Kyoto Protocol).
    *’Possible issue’ becomes ‘definite threat’, becomes ‘armageddon looming’.
    *Any dissenting or alternate opinions regarded as ill-informed heresy.
    *One way or another, I end up paying for it.

  2. Remember SARS?
  3. Ever get the feeling you’re being played?

Personally I have to say I’m undecided. The only thing I know for sure is that none of the arguments put forth in the mass media are convincing enough for me to agree with wholeheartedly. All the big players seem to have an ulterior motive – a quest for a viewers, an Oscar, or economic ruin (see Kyoto Protocol).

What do YOU think? Don’t tell me the conclusions somebody else made, that you’ve decided to agree with – have a look around, consider the evidence ON BOTH SIDES, make your own opinion, and share it with the world.

We’ve ALL Got Something To Share

One of the most common comments I get when discussing blogging with non-bloggers is that they wouldn’t know what to write about. It’s almost as if they feel there’s some kind of Orwell-esque Blog Police out there who seek out the ‘less interesting’ contributors and send them off to toil away under Napoleon’s iron rule at Manor Farm.

Oops – right author, wrong book. Anyhoo…

A good friend of mine and her husband have been trying to start a family for a couple of years, and are now in the early stages of the IVF process. It’s physically and emotionally harrowing, and how is she dealing with it?

Don’t take this the wrong way, Simonne, but I was astonished – your blog is really (really) good.

Courageous. Witty. Honest. Raw. Interesting. Heart-Wrenching. She’s been blogging for all of two months and tapped right into the essence of what great blogging is all about.