Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thoughts on APEC

Well, the land of Oz is hosting the APEC conference -- the gabfest where head honchos of all the Pacific states get together to discuss things. It's being hosted in downtown Sydney, the nation's most populous city.

And what have we seen? Such tight security that comedians, a man trying to cross the street and the usual suspects (i.e. protestors) have been arrested. Such good will our Pacific leaders bring with them! How trusting. How expensive! Your tax dollars and mine, good friends, saving the leaders from their constituencies. How noble an expense. How messy for the citizens of Sydney.

And while they have been negotiating trade deals and tiptoeing around issues like climate change, (wait for the communique!) small, buried stories in the daily media may indicate what is really happening.

Climate change? Some people say it's worse than has been thought. James Lovelock of "Gaia" fame may have it right: in a century there will only a few breeding pairs of humans located at the poles.

Then, add that to the concerns the international food specialists have been raising -- that due to an exploding (still!) human population, added to climate change means that there will be a severe reduction in food crops. Remember the old adage: food increases arithmetically and population grows logarithmically. 1,2,3,4 versus 1,2,4,8... Add that to the normal human patterns of refusing to use their intelligence, preferring rather to stay in their cultural comfort zones, and we have a lovely recipe for a catastrophe the size of which has yet to be seen in human memory.

If the dinosaurs were still around and had good memories, they might have something to say here. Who or what will replace humans as the 'intelligent' (word used advisedly) species on the globe? Perhaps nothing; roaches will rule OK.

And visitors from other planets will come and visit us someday to see the sad wreckage of a species who committed suicide, and will seriously wonder why...

On that fun and up-beat note, enough for now dear readers.

P.B. White

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Spring Reflection

In the land of Oz it is now officially spring -- although the equinox is still 3 weeks away. The official sign of spring is the blooming of the jasmine, and the redolent scent fills the air with a welcoming sweetness that beckons us to walk in the outdoors and enjoy the first flush of warm weather, flowers and more daylight.

And greatest of all blessings this year has been excellent rains -- the best in five years they say, so the poor gardens of the city are looking a bit more refreshed after about 200mls of rain. There's more to come, say the weather shamans too.

The land is also gearing up for a federal election with a reasonable and clear cut choice for the first time in years -- even though some wags consider the opposition leader, Kevin Rudd, as "Howard Lite".

I bring in this last somewhat less than bucolic thought into my writes of spring (sorry) because we sincerely hope that the coming of the rains, the changing of the season from a quite harsh winter, will be the harbingers of a change of government -- one that can only be described as 'dry ', a la Thatcher -- to one of a rather more compassionate nature.

Notwithstanding all the turmoil of our times, I am grateful to be alive and living where I do. Let us hope and work toward making the planet undergo a spring of renewal for humans and life in all its forms. Let us pray that the earth is washed by the gentle rains of spring, rather than the torrent of blood that stains the ground with wasted lives.

P B White.

PS: My website is also upgraded. If you want to visit it, go to

And I am attaching a picture of me in one of my weekend incarnations :-)

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