Tyto wetlands

We stopped off at Ingham’s Tyto Wetlands for a couple of hours’ birdwatching on the way home from the Kennedy Track and I was surprised to find later that Green Path has never even mentioned them – surprised, even mildly shocked, because we’ve been visiting the park for longer than the blog has existed.

We will now make up for our neglect by posting a selection of photos from the last twelve years’ visits.

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The Kennedy Track, Mission Beach

We joined Wildlife Queensland’s Townsville Branch recently to walk the Edmund Kennedy Track on one of their rare excursions beyond the local area.

The occasion was a joint expedition with the Cassowary Coast branch to commemorate the anniversary of Kennedy’s landing in 1848, and it was combined with a visit to Ninney Rise and a very convivial dinner at the nearby Bingil Bay Cafe. (Yes, that’s a free plug. Anyone who makes a laksa as good as theirs deserves one.) The weekend will be written up on the branch blog in due course so I will focus on the Track.

View of Mission Beach
Looking North from the beginning of the track

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Kotler: Last Tango in Cyberspace

cover of Last Tango in CyberspaceLast Tango in Cyberspace

Steven Kotler, 2019

Last Tango In Cyberspace is near-future hard SF. Its protagonist, Lion Zorn, freelances as a trend-spotter, looking for ‘the next big thing’ for industry. His contract with a pharmaceutical company seems to be about designer drugs but a deeper agenda gradually emerges, and it is one which aligns the novel with Green Path’s concerns about wildlife conservation and animal rights.

That could easily make it over-serious but in fact it’s very smart, fast-moving and often funny. It’s hard to say much more without giving away spoilers, so I’m merely going to recommend the book, especially to those who enjoy William Gibson’s work.

Kotler was new to me but has a decent record as a journalist and nonfiction author, and this is his second novel. His first seems to have owed too much to The Da Vinci Code to be worth tracking down, but his third should be worth looking out for.

How can I decarbonise my life?

The question

What can we, as a family, do to reduce our carbon footprint and have a more ecologically sound lifestyle in general?

I know there are a lot of resources out there but I don’t have any particular expertise or the time to research everything, so I need a step-by-step or a handbook.

A related question – a lot of the difficulty is inertia. Any advice on how to get momentum turning away from the consumerist vortex of middle class American life (give me convenience or give me death) towards a more sustainable lifestyle?

This excellent question was posted to an online forum recently. It received some very good answers so I thought that I would treat it like a similar question on ethical investing a year ago and turn the discussion into a blog post.

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Put Solar On It! (2)

Solar power has been going gangbusters since my previous post under this title (2014) and an update of it is well overdue. This isn’t it, however. What I want to do here is talk about domestic solar power, and specifically its advantages here in North Queensland, via four small projects which came out of our own move from one suburban Townsville house to another two years ago.

I will go from smallest to largest.

Hall Lighting

The new house is a low-set, 1950-ish cement block home pleasantly surrounded by trees. That makes it much darker than our old high-set home, and its double-fronted layout means that the central hallway gets no direct natural light at all.

We had to choose between running lights all day, every day, and putting in a small skylight. Initial quotes for a skylight (Solatube, basic model) were around $750 with, of course zero running costs for about 10 hrs/day of adequate light, 365 days/yr. Could we do better?

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