Tag Archives: Blog Matters

Blog upgrade

Our blog is hosted by an outfit called DreamHost, which Google tells me is located in Ashburn, Virginia, although Wikipedia has it in Los Angeles. Whatever, the important message is that we are due for an upgrade:

On March 27th, at 10PM PST, our server admins will begin restarting some Shared servers as part of regular maintenance to improve the stability and security of your Shared Hosting service. This action will cause minor disruptions to your site’s performance, including brief periods of possible downtime. This maintenance window is expected to last no more than 30 minutes.

PST turns out to be Pacific Standard Time, which is 17 hours behind Brisbane, so it should happen at 3pm on Thursday 28 March, or 4pm for those unlucky enough to live south of the Tweed. Continue reading Blog upgrade

Mad March – looking forward to Easter

The first three months of the year are always difficult for me. It’s hot and humid, and there is a lot of physical work to do. I tend to have annual medical check ups, and our tax return for last year needs to be done by the end of March.

Last year I was in better shape because the blog was broken over the festive season, which allowed me to get a head start. This year the time to get it all sorted is now, so that is what I’m going to have to do.

I intend to keep blogging, mainly short ones and perhaps Climate clippings and Weekly salons, until things get sorted. Continue reading Mad March – looking forward to Easter

Climate Plus Blog Rides Again

Hello, long time no visit. I originally set this blog up for Brian quite a few years ago, and it’s mostly been well behaved, but then it decided to take a Bex and have a lie-down at a very inconvenient time.

What with the time of year forcing other obligations it’s taken me this long to work out that the fix was actually an embarassingly simple one when I’d been looking at a bunch of complex possibilities.

So, belatedly, it’s back up again but with fewer of the special functions until I work out which one was sending the database into conniptions.

Happy New Year!

Blog glitch plus dirty work at the crossroads

Probably everyone who attempted to visit the Climate Plus site on Wednesday and Thursday 14-15 June found a notice saying the domain name had expired, if they found anything at all.

In simple terms the domain name of the site was due to expire on 11 June. We thought it was on automatic renewal, but that turned out not to be so. Turns out there was more to it than that. The interwebs is a place where it seems the normal ethical rules don’t apply. Continue reading Blog glitch plus dirty work at the crossroads

I’ll be away until mid-October

As already mentioned on Saturday salon 29/8 four of the Bahnisch siblings and their partners have decided to meet up and invade Europe again. Back in 2008 it was the Rhine, this time the centre-piece is a trip down the Danube. I’ll be away from Tuesday 8 September to Tuesday 13 October.

John D has been busy doing good works lately, but has indicated he might crank out a few posts. Continue reading I’ll be away until mid-October

Saturday salon 29/8

1. Away for a while

Four of the Bahnisch siblings and their partners have decided to meet up and invade Europe again. Back in 2008 it was the Rhine, this time the centre-piece is a trip down the Danube, if it has any water in it. I’ll be away from 8 September to 13 October.

This time I think it best for the blog to lie fallow. John D has been busy doing good works, and there are no other active bloggers to keep the site going.

I’m expecting my posting to taper in the coming week. We’ll see.

2. National Reform Summit

I think the idea may have come from former Labor minister Craig Emerson and Nick Cater, the Director of the Menzies Research Centre. The National Reform Summit was sponsored by The Australian, The Australian Financial Review and KPMG and everyone that mattered was there – business groups, community groups, the unions, addressing all manner of social and economic issues, and apparently reaching furious agreement.

Laura Tingle says the key question is now how the debate now feeds back into politics. My feeling is that the ideological fissures will again reappear as we get back to sound bites and point scoring.

Joe Hockey said we can’t go into the future looking out of the window od a Holden Commodore. I’d just like a government with its hands on the wheel. Hockey said consumers will lead the way.

Martin Parkinson said we are sleepwaliking into a real mess if we don’t get a grip.

Roy Green and John Hamilton Howard tell us what we need to do to ensure Australia remains an innovative nation.

3. Border Force farce

I couldn’t believe what seemed to be going on. Something called Border Force. People who looked like cops. Stopping people at random on the street to see whether their visa was in order!

Here’s an explanation:

    In July, the Australian customs and border protection merged with the department of immigration and border protection and launched the Australian border force, whose officers have substantially greater powers than either customs or immigration officials. They are permitted to carry guns and have powers to detain.

    Under the Migration Act, an authorised officer can ask for information from someone the officer “knows or reasonably suspects is a non-citizen”.

    The information can include evidence of being a lawful non-citizen and personal identity papers. The person must comply with the request within a time period “specified by the officer”.

    If the officer “knows or reasonably suspects” the person is an unlawful non-citizen the officer must detain that person.

In effect the immigration system was being militarised.

Any way it seems to have stopped before it started.

4. Visigoths sack Rome

That was 1600 years ago on 24 August:

    Tuesday marks the 1,600th anniversary of one of the turning points of European history – the first sack of Imperial Rome by an army of Visigoths, northern European barbarian tribesmen, led by a general called Alaric.

    It was the first time in 800 years that Rome had been successfully invaded. The event had reverberations around the Mediterranean.

It must have seemed like the end of the world at the time.

5. Gillard supports same sex marriage equality

Gillard has been getting a bit of a razz for saying that she now supports same sex marriage. A bit bloody late, they say.

Actually she’s repeating what she said in her book some time ago. Her position has been misunderstood, by people who either don’t listen or hear only what they want to hear. There is a statement in the link, but let me try again.

Gillard as a young feminist saw the institution of marriage as hopelessly patriarchal and wanted it nixed in favour of civil unions. She would do nothing to support the institution.

She has come to realise that history has spoken. The institution of marriage will endure and even be cherished. That being the case she now recognises that it should be open to all.

She has been seen as strangely conservative, or sucking up to conservative interests, whereas she was actually more radical than most.

Introduction to Saturday salon

Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

    The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Quick blog admin note

Yes, the look of the site has changed yet again – sorry about that. WordPress is rolling out security updates every few days at the moment after a core vulnerability was discovered, and the updates break theme templates that try and be too fancy with non-core features.

So I’ve reverted to one of WordPress’ own standard themes, Twenty-Fifteen, in the hope that as further updates roll out they are less likely to break anything on this template.

Comments facility broken fixed


Unfortunately a WordPress update appears to have broken our comments facility. The “Submit” button has gone missing.

Unfortunately too our technical guru is on holidays with limited internet access, so I’m not sure when it’s going to be fixed. So I can only apologise and hope for better days. If anyone has any bright ideas, please let me know at climateplus@bigpond.com

I was going to do a post on GM foods, but I’ll leave that until the comments facility is fixed.

Blogging hiatus, again

On Saturday 26, July Len and I together with my wife are setting out for Alice Springs and points beyond, returning via the Simpson’s Desert. Len’s wife is doing the smart thing and flying out to the Alice to join us there. If we return it will be on 19 or 20 August. This week my thoughts are turning in that direction with increasing excitement and some trepidation. So blogging might be sporadic this week. After that I won’t be looking at a computer screen until we get back.

Deep Red sand dunes of the Strzelecki Desert in outback South Australia.

(Image from here.)

I will set up the Saturday Salon posts ahead of time, but with no topical input from me, as I’m not clairvoyant!

I’m not usually a happy camper, and have avoided it most of my life, but we’ve invested in modern gear including sleeping bags rated to -10°C. I think a howling westerly and a sand storm would be the most unpleasant. We’ll be doing the desert crossing in a convoy of five, with all sorts of emergency and recovery equipment. No-one in the group has actually done it before, but the detail of planning engenders a deal of confidence, so here’s hoping!

The ‘featured image’ on the front page is from here.

Blogging hiatus


My dearly beloved sister and her husband from Canada will be staying with us until Friday 20th. Naturally my priority will be with them, so blogging for me will be disrupted during this time. I still have a few posts in the draft bin from the time I was active before the blog opened. I might manage to rummage through the pile and post a couple.

Because of house geography I’m restricted in my computer access and at this time of night must work from my wife’s computer, which for me is less than ideal.

From Monday to Wednesday we will be paying a visit to Byron Bay and Casino sans internet access.

Many moons ago as it happens and not the main reason for our visit, my sister and her husband had their honeymoon at Byron Bay. My wife and I had half ours at Lennox Heads and have not been back since 1982. When the Commonwealth Games was held in Brisbane we decided to take leave and go down to NSW where we could watch on TV.

Anyway bear with me for the next five days and we’ll see what happens.

Posting strategy

blogging-230Tomorrow there will be climate post, no risk.

In the welcome post I said I’d post as time and inclination permits, so there won’t always be a post every day. I still work outdoors on most days, so with the time available I’ll surprise myself if I average more than three a week.

In fact, however, I’ve been writing posts for the last six weeks, so at last count I think there were 17 in the bin. Back in 2012 when we were close to launch I actually published three which are still there, and I think worth a look. I might do link posts to them at some stage.

I don’t want to flood the place, so I’ll publish posts the binned posts between the new material for some weeks until the backlog is cleared. So for a while there should be daily offerings. However, I’d recommend taking a subscription, available at the foot of the page.

The posts in the bin include a bunch of Climate clippings posts, which I’ll also feed in. I used to aim for one a week. They’ll be a bit more frequent for a while and then as time and suitable material permits.

John Davidson, when he gets cracking, will do a parallel series under the rubric Climate action. There should be more from him about renewables, electric vehicles, new technologies, electricity prices and such and less from me. It will be a case of parallel play, however, and there may be some overlap. I don’t think either of us is madly territorial.

Open threads

Climate clippings and Climate action will also act as open threads on climate matters.

For tragics who would like to talk about other things I’m thinking we could have two weekend open threads, somewhat in the manner of LP. Can anyone suggest a name and an image for a Saturday Salon type post? I can only come up with boring stuff like Your say and Conversation corner. I did find, however, in my youth working as a reference librarian that boring names like Handbook of… had greater utility and were more readily remembered than snappy titles unless you can come up with something like Catch 22.

On Sunday I had in mind something like Lazy Sunday but extending it to the whole week and including information of interesting life experiences like movies or shows you’ve seen, books you’ve read, street protests and other activism, as well as what you’ve been doing in the back yard. Provisionally the title is The week that was. Again ideas of titles and images appreciated.

If we remember, each open thread will be categorised as such. So when you want to make a sundry comment go to the Open Threads link above the header and find the latest open thread.


… this post will be filed under Blog Matters accessible under the link above the header. When I have days off, like today, I hope to spend a bit of time doing posts about features of the blog, seeking your comments and suggestions.


Welcome to Climate Plus

When Larvatus Prodeo folded originally in 2012 the one option I ruled out was starting my own blog. The plain fact is that my computer skills are such that I’d never be able to create a place I’d like to live in. Then tigtog offered to help and help she did, putting up with my numbskullery and faltering comprehension.

So here we are. Welcome to Climate Plus. I’ve grown fond of the place and I hope you do too.

In Climate Plus we have a blog designed and customised by tigtog at VIVidWeb, powered by WordPress and hosted by DreamHost. It’s been in an advanced state of development since October 2012, when I put it aside to do some writing about family history. Then it was overtaken by the revival of LP.

It’s meant to be a friendly place, with simple but functional features.

As to what we might achieve here I’ll quote from Curt Stager’s book Deep Future: the next 100,000 years of life on earth:

In this new Age of Humans, our thoughts and desires have become powerful environmental forces in their own rights, and how we think and act can be as important to millions of other human (and other species) as to ourselves. The better we know and respect each other as people, the more we’re likely to learn from one another, the more likely we are to understand each other’s needs and goals, and the more likely we are to cooperate effectively for our mutual benefit. Greenhouse pollution problems will not be solved piecemeal, and there is also no way to avoid making a collective choice one way or the other. We’ll either decide to solve them as a self-aware global community or we’ll decide to suffer through them together as a disjointed mob of individuals. (Emphasis added)

We may be just talking about climate change here, but in our own sphere we are creating meaning. You never know when a sleeper may be planted that makes a real difference in the larger scene.

John Davidson joins as a foundation author who brings the practical perspective of a process engineer, not just any engineer, a process engineer experienced in setting up systems that work. You can read about him here.There may be others later.

I plan not to become victim to ‘feeding the beast’, so I’ll post as time and inclination permits. Soon my sister and her husband come from Canada to visit, when I’ll take a bit of time out. Later in July I’m joining my brother and my wife as part of a convoy driving out to Central Australia and back via Simpson’s Desert. We’ll have a satellite phone for emergencies, but that’s all.

You’ll notice that tigtog has brought across many of the posts I did at LP in recent years. In addition there’s Gillard on the world stage which I posted in February, in part as a trial. We have more in the bin which will be fed in over the coming days, so there will be plenty to chew on initially.

So welcome aboard, tell your friends and we’ll see how we go!

The image at the head of this post comes from Neal Elbaum’s collection.

As a concluding perspective I’ll post this shot of the earth from Voyager 1. In the Age of Anthropocene we have collectively become responsible for the future of our little space ship. But does the universe care? There are over 200 billion suns in the Milky Way and over 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe, some of which have over 100 trillion stars:

Earth from Voyager 1_500

What matters is that we care and we have to learn to care collectively.