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Can Tai Chi & Qigong Make Ageing Aussie Adults’ Lives More Liveable? Personal Experiences of Millions of Seniors & Many Researchers Say Yes―Read On

Arthur Gatley 13/09/2019

Today’s older adults’ life experiences, wants and needs are vastly different to those of their parents. You face a ‘third age’ of moderately healthy retirement.

Can Tai Chi (taiji) and Qigong (jigung) improve Australia’s older adults’ health and happiness? Can burgeoning aged-care costs be reduced by Tai Chi and Qigong?  Can ageism be countered by happier and healthier seniors’ who engage with community more effectively? Today, globally, millions practice Tai Chi and Qigong. Both regimens focus on ‘three regulations’ of posture and movement, controlled breathing and meditation.

The Teacher

Twenty-five years ago 64-year-old Rodney, Cobargo’s Tai Chi/Qigong teacher, was working in a paddock. Suddenly his life changed. Struck by lightning this capable energetic man became disabled. He could no longer work or maintain his property, social life crashed, Rodney became depressed. After 15 or so diagnostic failures an older GP blamed his thyroid. Rodney took his prescription to Cobargo’s quaint wee pharmacy, days later his ‘absolutely wrecked’ body and mind experienced remarkable improvement.

Rodney became happier but his body, damaged by a building career and ‘25 years of NRL footie’, needed attention. Tai Chi classes started in the Cobargo School of Arts and his Tai Chi/Qigong journey began. For a time, Rodney drove to Canberra every weekend to train with Brett Wagland and associate and partner Fontane, masters of the arts, a six-hour journey from home and back. Rodney became proficient, training daily and teaching weekly.

He’d taken over teaching Tai Chi/Qigong in the hall. Groups of two or three grew to classes of 20-plus mature age Tai Chi students, graceful exercises accompanied by soft music, humming air conditioners and clicking knees. Self‑effacing Rodney put growth down to ‘the Hall Committee installing air conditioning’, Cobargo is cold in winter and hot in summer. The real reason being, Rodney frequently promotes his classes, often at regional township events.

Research Findings

The US National Centre for Biotechnology Information’s A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi states―’Qigong practices activate naturally occurring physiological and psychological mechanisms of self-repair and health recovery’. Exercises are disciplined ‘drawing on natural forces to optimise and balance energy within’.

The study demonstrates improvements in mobility, balance, inner ear problems, heart performance, general inflammation, BMI, blood chemistry, anxiety levels, blood pressure, depression, older adult mobility, quality of life (QOL) for older adults, QOL of HIV/AIDS sufferers, improvements in moods of those suffering traumatic brain injury, self-efficacy― self-confidence in terms of one’s ability to achieve tasks, arthritis, shingles, joint movements of sedentary folk, spinal column pain, self-esteem, sleeping, QOL for cancer sufferers, cardiopulmonary patient QOL, geriatric depression and hand grip strength.

Carl and Annie Started 9 Months Ago

Both are Rodney’s students, 65-year-old Carl once saw people doing Qigong exercises on ‘the flat in Bermagui’ thinking his frozen left shoulder ‘would be buggered after this’. Despite treatment Carl’s shoulder remained frozen, frustration mounted. Carl was in pain and unable to ‘get a straight answer’ from therapists. Some of them ‘didn’t want to know about it’. Tai Chi/Qigong emerged as the only effective treatment.

Carl went to Reboot in Bermagui, a seaside-town festival featuring stalls, sport, food, music and other entertainments. Carl saw Rodney demonstrating Tai Chi/Qigong to ‘about two people’.

Carl joined in, ‘I realised pretty much within the first five minutes, hang on, I think this is what I need’. Admitting that ‘I just used to poo-poo it’ Carl discovered his error of assumption. Tai Chi/Qigong were the only thing that helped, he has been practicing it for nine months. His frozen shoulder has thawed.

A Dancer

Carl’s partner Annie is 64 and was doing yoga at the same Saturday event, after finishing Annie joined Rodney’s class saying, ‘I thought gee, this is alright’. Next day she and Carl fronted Rodney’s Sunday session. Annie says she ‘just mastered it’, a surprise for this aerobics and Pilates practitioner. Annie moves like Bruce Lee, when I asked about prior martial arts training Annie replied ‘Zumba’.

Zumba is a trade-marked fitness training system using Hiphop rhythms. Anne has practiced a range of fitness regimes, now favouring Tai Chi/Qigong while gracefully ageing.

Life After Karate

Thea, married and 73, trained Karate as a young woman. Time took its toll, a late-life stroke was a wake-up call. University of the Third Age, U3A, offered Tai Chi/Qigong, Thea signed up. Her earlier Karate training proved to be a two-edged sword. Past expertise in that ‘hard’ fighting art made transition to gentler Tai Chi/Qigong challenging. U3A’s instructor ‘had eyes in the back of his head’ helping Thea to adjust from hard to soft Tai Chi/Qigong training.

Changes after three years of Tai Chi/Qigong practice for Thea are physical and psychological. Balance issues improved and age related lower back problems diminished, her Thursday Qigong session ‘keeps that in line’. Thea’s ‘mental strength’ improved due to Qigong’s meditative practices, her more relaxed demeaner means improved mindfulness, focusing on consequences of actions when making decisions. Plus, Tai Chi/Qigong’s disciplines improve her attention to daily tasks and other commitments.

Thea now effectively runs the household, cares for two breeding Boerboels and tends around 5,000 square metres of garden. Voluntarily making clothing for children in Loganlea Hospital expresses her new-found positivity. Other benefits Thea notes are her attitude to her diet, fried foods and snacking while shopping are anathematic. More respect for the temple of her body? Tai Chi/Qigong practice has been very positive for Thea.

This is Personal

This story starts with a motorcycle crash at 18. I regained consciousness in St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne with a cracked skull, fractured sacroiliac joint―connects one’s pelvis to one’s spine, a foot-peg through a leg and other bumps. Discharged after six weeks I spent months on my back. Serendipitously, a friend spirited me to a weekend with fellow bike enthusiasts and out of the wheelchair and walking.

By 70 searing pain, ruined skeletal geometry, sleeplessness and anxiety sent me to a local GP who prescribed pills, physiotherapy and gentle walks on flat ground. This achieved little, especially after a heart attack sentenced me to desk-work and a diet of more pills, dangerous and addictive analgesics.

Local resident Rodney invited me to his Tai Chi/Qigong lessons, after my whingeing about my torment. There were around 15 or so locals: two middle-aged male construction workers and the rest were women. Rodney and veteran Tai Chi practitioner assistants, 76-year-old Bob and arthritic but restored Di, took us through our paces. Miraculously, I woke up next morning pain free and at peace with the world, bingo!

Gentle, graceful, meditative and thoroughly enjoyable Tai Chi/Qigong was a significant life-moment. The best bit, regular practice manages pain and anxiety limiting pill taking, failure-to-practice’s negative consequences keeps me training. All this for $15 a week, ephemerally effective physiotherapy is $80 a session.

Dementia Can be Managed

Dementia is news, it’s incurable, disabling and scary. Carole Milligan, Qigong teacher, did some work with demented folk for an Aberdeenshire, Scotland dementia support group. Qigong was chosen as dementia limitations make the complex Tai Chi form unusable.

The program was effective, similar programs need to be instigated for Australia’s dementia sufferers. Why, because of observed outcomes and self-reports from participants? Milligan says, ‘regular physical activity could represent an important and potent protective factor for cognitive decline and dementia in elderly persons.’  This is reinforced in participant self-reporting, some examples:

  • ‘My husband thinks I’m better … I can do things without hesitating.’
  • ‘… my daughter sees a difference – I’m more relaxed and things work better’
  • ‘Qigong has stopped the buzzing in my head.’
  • ‘… I was struggling at my local yoga class, but I managed this fine.’

and the best one

  • It was for the physical side that I came initially. I didn’t realise how much it would help me mentally. I feel normal – I forget that I’ve got dementia.

If you’re caring for a dementia sufferer it will help to read Millgan’s report.

 

What’s Needed Next

Australia spent around $15 billion on aged care in the 2015/16 financial year. The bill, home support, $2.2 billion, home care, $1.5 billion and residential care, $11.4 billion. It is a clear that proven benefits of Tai Chi/Qigong for older adults means costs to taxpayers would be significantly reduced by encouraging Australian senior citizens to practice these arts to delay entry to residential care.

An additional benefit will be less ageism, resulting in more respectful engagement with the general community. A caution, some claim Tai Chi/Qigong expertise. Be aware that it takes 20 years to perfect the full practice, check credentials of teachers to avoid disappointment. Assuredly more research into the health, sociological, economic and political benefits of Tai Chi/Qigong for older adults is indicated.

Arthur Gatley, arthurgatley@bigpond.com, +61428978434

Australian Government Department of Health (2019, March 29). Aged Care Research and Reporting. Retrieved from https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/aged-care/aged-care-research-and-reporting

Australian Over 50s Living and Lifestyle (n.d.). www.australianoverfifties.com.au. www.livewellclub.com.au. Robina, Queensland. Decalais Consultants Pty Ltd

Guide Bega Valley Shire Council Ageing and Disability Services (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/default/page.asp?p=DOC-YMM-17-02-73

Boerboel (n.d.)). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 19, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boerboel

Contact ̶ us (n.d.). WellBeing. Retrieved from https://www.wellbeing.com.au/contact-us

 

Contributor Guidelines (n.d.). WellBeing. Retrieved from https://www.wellbeing.com.au/contribute

Detox: Reboot Mind Body and Soul. (2019). WellBeing. Universal Magazines. www.umco.au

Jahnke, R., Larekey, L., Rogers, C., Etnier, J., Fang, L. (2010). A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. American Journal of Health Promotion 24 (6) Retrieved from https://journals-sagepub-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/doi/abs/10.4278/ajhp.081013-LIT-248

Kutner, N., Barnhart, H., Wolf, S., McNeely, E., Tingsen, X. (1997). Self-Report Benefits of Tai Chi Practice by Older Adults. Journal of Gerontology 52B (5), 242 ̶ 246. Retrieved from https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1093/geronb/52B.5.P242

Langlois, F., Vu, T.T.M., Chasse, K., Dupuis, G., Kergoat, M.J., & Bherer, L., (2012). Benefits of physical exercise training on cognition and quality of life in frail older adults. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(3), 400–404, doi:10.1093/geronb/gbs069.

Life Begins at Magazine (2019, August 20). Retrieved from https://www.lifebeginsat.com.au/

Milligan, C. (2019). A Study on the Effects of Qigong for People with Dementia. Taiji Forum. Retrieved from https://taiji-forum.com/qigong-chi-kung/health-qigong/qigong-dementia/Productivity Commission Research Paper (2015). Efficiency in Health. Retrieved from https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/efficiency-health

National Seniors (February, 1). Ageing Baby Boomers in Australia. Retrieved from https://nationalseniors.com.au/research/finances/ageing-baby-boomers-in-australia

Tanner, S., Richardson, N. Kasinger, M. (2017). Feature Writing: telling the story (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press

Taylor, T. (2019, June 27). Exercise boosts longevity in middle and old age, regardless of previous activity levels, study finds. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2019-06-27/exercise-age-longevity-not-too-late-bmj/11248194

The Conversation (n.d.). Articles on Older Peoples Health. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/au/topics/older-peoples-health-33308

Welcome to the 2018 Seniors Card eMagazine (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/emag

Zumba (n.d.). In Wikepedia. Retrieved August 12, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zumba

The Great Chicken Rescue

Oh no, the chickens. Month or so ago the chicken gate was left open, local fox kittens were well fed. One of six survived, a mongrel sort of red chook, Isa Brown and some other thing. Managed to get five Isa Browns to keep survivor chicken company. So far so good, until last night that is. It was a cold and windy night, black as anthracite and speaking of anthracite I think thermal coal and when … whoops,
off into straw man territory. We had a fire going, first of the year. Oh no the chickens, my lock up the chickens smartphone alarm didn’t register. Out into the black, phone torch guiding me over loops of garden hose left on the path, through a side gate to the fowl sanctuary. It’s gate was closed, hah someone else has locked them up and miss-vixen out. Shone the torch in, no fucking chickens, gate’s not latched, winds don’t do bolts. Blackness always makes thing seem worse, felt bad for the poor chickens, followed our normal routine and our humans have locked us out. Walked around all the trees checking, chickens roost up high at night, right? No, no, no, no; practiced my clucks, Isas are as tame as, and generally reply to my chickenese. Glad no one could ‘see’ me walking around in the dark, book, book, book. What was that, “cluck”, aha. Looked up, looked out, nothing, under the tractor, no. A ghostly apparition sat on a cattle trough, a fowl if I’m not mistaken. Aha, under adjoining rose bushes a rustle. One by one lifted them up to the top of chicken wire chook yard fence, peeled their talons off the top wire, and dumped them into the yard beside fowl house’s little chicken door. So far so good, huddling in a bunch on the ground in the middle of the fowl yard the captives tried to come to terms with the dark night. The rude awakening and molestation by one of their mad humans was disorienting. Hmm, around to the gate, shone torchlight onto the chook door, no, one by one I unceremoniously shoved them through. Closed the gate, opened the chook house door and shone the torch onto the high roost, no joy, no chooks. Picked up the befuddled fowls one by one and put them onto the top of the row of nesting boxes, climbing the wee ladder was not on for these pooped poults. There they sat, images of strewn feathers and recollections of desolation welled up. They have to go up high. Bounced torchlight off the roof, one sleepy chicken had a nervous go at climbing the ladder, success. Cached the rest of my egg machines up high. Had to have a big shiraz after that bit of bullshitting around, benefits of being a chicken wrangler and saving the day.

A Place of Tranquillity and Creativity—Bermagui presents another quality art show

Whale Shark in Steel

Do you want to experience ‘inspiration and delight’ you should come to Bermagui next March? Sculpture Bermagui 2019 ran for ten days. Organised by the culturally rich Bermagui Community using local and visiting volunteers this art show was expansive featuring local and guest sculptors. A show enriched by local musicians playing tunes among the art, harmonising with winds and waves . The music in the pub was quite handy too, if you got dehydrated.
Outdoor sculptures were exhibited on Dickinson Park on the shores of Horseshoe Bay back-grounded by an imposing Gulaga (Mount Dromedary). After appreciating carved marine beasties, an indigenous weapons array and the solitary ‘rusty’ fisherman take an easy stroll in warm breezes and sunshine beside sparkling seas to nearby Dickinson Point Headland.
Overlooking huge Pacific swells crashing into cliffs lay a garden of sculptures framed by ancient Norfolk Island Pines, banksias and other coastal greenery. One admired a giant whale shark of recycled steel then interacting with a beautifully carved sandstone sphere sitting on a plinth, a gentle touch of a finger makes it spin. A walk down town takes sculpture lovers to Bermagui’s Community Centre. A delicate ‘polynesian’ sailing boat crewed by a tiny aluminium manikin juxtaposed to an intricately hued, beautifully crafted was a harmonious constrast. Baskets woven from spinifex and flax, wood carvings, composites of recycled materials, metallic forms and soapstone sculptures contrasted perfectly with the rugged outdoor art of the park and headland. There was much recycled material used in the exhibits, a good thing.

Spinning Ball of Stone

Sculptures can be owned, $170 for a woven basket to $140,000 for a complex form of cubes. Haggling is not encouraged, artists are not in attendance and Sculpture Bermagui gets a modest commission on sales, there are bills to pay.
Bermagui’s a picturesque seaside village, located just off the Princes Highway midway between Batemans Bay and Merimbula.
features more than ten places to eat, excellent coffee from a street side coffee bar, the open microphone at River Rock Café to hear some truly competent musos, Italian or Asian cuisine on the wharf or eat freshly caught fish cooked with chips. There is a curry house, a sourdough bakery and a patisserie for sandwiches, pies, breads, pastries and Vietnamese pork roll.
Accommodation is senior friendly, rates reflect seasonal pressures. Most Internet services are accessible via the strong phone tower signal.
Local, national and international artists entered works in 2019, check the website for this years exhibition. Sculpture Bermagui, 6th — 15th of March 2020.
Arthur Gatley—09/04/2019—arthurgaltey.net—arthurgatley2@gmail.com

Misdirection of Australia First’s Artillery

This post denigrated Bega’s major industrial employer because they make their product  halal. That is, it is permissible for committed Muslims. The post has been restricted by either FB or Australia First. It should have been left so we see the lack of understanding of Australia’s global trade successes and our dependence on them for the dollars needed to pave roads et cetera.

As Bega Cheese manufactures halal products as well as kosher food it would be simply designed to increase their market share and not to fund mosques. Indeed Bega Cheese released a press statement regarding this, see it at https://www.begadistrictnews.com.au/story/2983902/halal-certification-misunderstood-says-bega-cheese-national-accrediting-body/

They are business people and if they have to employ a Jew and a Muslim to ensure compliance with their markets, and we get to eat a better regulated product, who gives a rats’. Liken them to  statutory meat inspectors at the ‘abbers’. They would probably get on with one another too. We just signed a trade agreement with Indonesia, the largest Muslim population on Earth, how can they be sold cheese if it isn’t halal. Bega Cheese can’t be expected to take a commercial hit like that because of the  lack of thinking by some misinformed Australians?

In Australia the trouble at the moment is with rockspider clerics of all religious flavours and both genders being protected by religious management/marketing executives and their political mates. They’re called pastors, bishops, imams, grand imperial wazoos and all kinds of other pseudonyms, instead of MDs, and CEOs et cetera. But they are protecting their businesses (religion is a big money spinner) and jobs, and Australia First should get onto sorting out these fuckers and the other slime balls who run our governments by donation and lobby. Our system is sick and it is not because of two percent Muslims or any other minority it is because businesses, lobbyists and their tame politicians and not people run our land, and business cares about commercial survival and little else. Refer to the banking enquiry, aged care scandals in commercial residencies, cruelty to disabled folks by untrained carers being employed by government contractor service companies, woman basher/killer problems in our society only being addressed at election time because patriarchal big end of town blokes are still the dominant lobbyists and donors to the woman free (or almost free) parliament that runs our fair land, gigantic fish kills in inland rivers because the water was stolen without penalty by some mega-irrigator (a possible political donor), and finance business lobbyist directed attacks on our industry super-funds which are run by both industry-union representatives (business executives) and industry employers. And they outperform finance industry efforts by big margins. If elected governments can fix those kinds of shenanigans #wethepeople might have faith in their capacity to rule fairly and effectively.

Maybe we should treat the law as just guidelines, like big business does, they don’t go to jail. And vote independent, it doesn’t matter which one you vote for, they will be real people with their own opinions and real engagement with #wethepeople. Kick ’em out next time if they don’t cut it. Let public service bureaucratic advice to parliament run our country. It does anyway when egregious and stupid politicians stop lying and let it happen. They, bureaucrats, only answer to silly and tedious Senate questioners, then they go on with their business as usual lives.

Wikipedia Funding

Hi, Wikipedia a cornucopia of information both good and bad. The site has inaccuracies of fact and truth, but it is very useful to researchers in that it provides directions to follow. It is not ‘peer reviewed’ no, but if users verify claims made they are protected from blunders of diligence.

This appeared on the site today, Sunday 18/12/2018:

‘To all our readers in Australia,It’s a little awkward, so we’ll get straight to the point: This Sunday we humbly ask you to defend Wikipedia’s independence. We depend on donations averaging about $16.31, and only ask you for one gift a year. But most of our readers in Australia are not responding to our messages, and time is running out to help in 2018. If everyone reading this gave $3, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of your Sunday coffee is all we need. People warned us not to make Wikipedia a non-profit. But if Wikipedia were commercial, it would be a great loss. Wikipedia unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable information. Please take a minute to keep Wikipedia growing. Thank you.’

I can afford three dollars and I use PayPal for much of my online business. As an avid knowledge ‘Dyson’ I urge anyone reading this to donate so I can continue to use its fact and truth checked spurious ‘facts and truths’ to build entertaining and meaningful narratives for Readers. Unlike giving out card numbers to unscrupulous businesses and causes for impossible to stop recurring charges and donations PayPal lets the user get into account admin. and delete unwanted recurrent financial exsanguination.

Arthur

Who Wants Their Junk Culture

Since WWII the world has been subject to an encroaching US cultural octopus. An intrusion that is diminishing global cultural diversity, as destructively as pollution does in biological ecosystems. During WWII US cultural intrusion so antagonised our nation that it was commonly said of GIs based here was that they were “overpaid, over sexed and over here”. US cultural intrusion has escalated, we now have junk food, trashy Hollywood movies, sexualisation of children, predatory pharmaceutical manufacturers ripping off the desperate and the disgraceful politicisation of climate change problems by fossil fuel interests. It is no surprise that Ford F trucks are the top selling vehicles of 2016 in the US. Why, thanks to oil company political donations petrol (gas to Americans) sells for around 75 cents a litre? Those merchants of death, the National Rifle Association (NRA), use membership dollars and weapons manufacturer donations to sway Congress to allow unfettered firearms sales to all. Excuse me, you dopey bastards, this is driving rampant small arms violence and the killing thousands of US civilians by US civilians. Regarding America’s simplistic version of English, the spell check on WordPress keeps trying to make me use a “z” instead of an “s” in words that end in “…..i’s’ation” and it tells me their is no such word as ‘ínarguably’.
Inarguably the USA’s ‘freedom to make money from anything’ culture generates great thinking and innovation resulting in globally used technologies. Mistakes are made, now they have legalised weed to increase revenue for state governments. But this extra revenue will be absorbed, the same controls needed for alcohol will have to be applied to weed. And due to the soporific effects of dope America’s innovation culture may well disappear, stoned people cannot design computer chips.
National arrogance plus a pervading ignorance of nations other than their own limits any positive outcomes of others’ interactions with the USA. Trump’s isolationism is a good thing in one way, it relieves the pressure of Americanisation of other cultures. Hopefully we will see a best case scenario of flourishing interactions, cultural growth and resulting diversity for all of humanity. Ecology clearly tells us that diversity of genetics, memes in the case of cultures, ensures survival of species, cultures, and establishment of durable symbiotic partnerships. Interactions between nations and cultures would surely obey the same processes as biological ecosystems. Others, the rest of the world, may well prove to be as creative and industrious as their American cousins.
In essence we must decide if we want to allow our lives to run by corporations owned by billionaires who have rarely engaged with other than their “fellow Americans” and Rupert Murdoch. This system has seduced our current crop of right wing, read conservative, politicians. They are convinced that if the rich get richer any funds they don’t hide in the Caribbean will trickle down to we the people. Arrant bullshit, if Global Inequality’s site claims are true, less than one percent of humans control more than 45% of global wealth, it becomes obvious to those on the bottom rungs of the economy that the trickle of wealth is upwards to the wealthy not downward to the rest of us. Economists, and our ever hopeful political masters, predict the future about as accurately as BOM’s weather forecasters. Models are at best guidelines, all kinds of unexpected, un-factorable events interfere with predicted outcomes. No one saw the Bolsheviks or Trump coming, neither the Czars nor Hillary Clinton’s advisers.

The sky’s falling in, no it’s not

The fire season, called summer in Australia, is here. Last year Associate Professor Alan March advised that building should be banned in bush fire zones. Other, calmer experts in the field of sustainable building disagreed, and rightly so. New fire safety building rules ensure survival of both dwellings and occupants. As the Guardian states replacement dwellings will not look like those destroyed by bush fire but they will allow owners to live in beautiful coastal areas surrounded by our wonderful eucalyptus forests which for millennia have burst into flame burning the majority of under-story, canopy and wild life residents in the forest. Fortuitously months after these events regrowth happens, native animals adapted to eucalyptus forest wild fire have sheltered in holes in the ground, on the south side of gradients, and in streams. They then start to breed up and repopulate, well supported by a flush of new growth on indigenous plant species well adapted to fire storms. A process of rebirth and regeneration, long before the fire event. Long ago our land had populations of giant marsupials, soft leaf forests and wetland environments. Climate change altered all that, and many animals became nocturnal possibly to beat the heat. Soft and wet disappeared, land dried out and vegetation became prone to burning, probably caused by lightning strike before human colonists ran burn regimes. Soft was replaced by hard, resilient fire resistant species. If we want to colonise eucalyptus forests we have to construct dwellings that offer robust fire resistance and havens for residents. Additionally fit for purpose access must be provided for fire control activity with secure water storage dedicated to fire control purposes, and accessible to water bombing aircraft. Those like Prof March need to take a deep breath and loosen up a bit to consider common sense solutions.

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/30/great-ocean-road-bushfire-put-safety-before-rebuilding-says-expert

Little Red and the Nemises

Five youthful wives, good castle, and food never stops. Add to that a security system featuring guards, dogs, and mesh. Well we all blunder on occasions, vulpes vulpes live by our mistakes. “John, John the grey goose is gone, the fox is out on the town oh!”. Bugger, lost my four fulsome hens and my own life, I am the Little Red Rooster of Willie Dixon and the Rolling Stones. In that “aint no peace in the barnyard since he’s been gone.”. The survivor, a wily red chook, will miss us, our keepers will miss us, and the currawongs will get unlimited access to a food supply. To quote The Don, “Sad”.
Hi, as a keeper of the fowl my remorse is devastating. My keeper and I haven’t had an egg breakfast for days, had to buy a dozen from sister Bobbie, $5. Pondering; is it worth owning chooks. Probably not in $ terms but they were my friends, organic garbage recyclers, and friendly suppliers of fresh eggs. Planning to score some year old retired free range layers, wily red ones this time, not beautiful, big bottomed Sussex girls. They wont fight. But, such is farm life and death, move on Art, foxie’s cubs will now grow up to ensure we replace our chickens regularly.
 

 

Wallaga Lake National Park Morning Walk

02/01/2017: Green under-story grasses are now brown due to cycling weather patterns. This is summer, Dennis Leary’s Assholes are again saying ‘how about this heat’, and climate change is still in it’s infancy. It must be, CO2 levels have just cracked 400 parts per million at Cape Grim, Tasmania. Weather science modelling is notoriously inaccurate, BOM rates itself at around 50/50, enabling us the luxury of waiting and seeing. Climate science modelling is unlikely to be as good as weather models, there are heaps of unknown elements influencing climate. Anthropocene environmental changes are happening and CO2 generated by mankind’s yearning for bright shiny things contributes. ‘Anthropocene’ being the name given to this geological epoch populated by 7 billion bi-pedal mammals, and in the scale of time it might be a bit arrogant. Dinosaurs lived here for tens of millions of years and evidence relating to life on Earth indicates that life is routinely snuffed out by much bigger cataclysms than a few greedy humans knocking of a few mammals and themselves. The mountains split asunder, the skies go black, the seas turn to acid and those beings incapable of adaptation are rendered extinct. The survivors; a giant biomass of simple organisms, trillions of tons of insects, and a much lesser number of more complicated beasties. Those whose job is to rebuild a rich mix of life on the planet. Bright shiny things are not included.

 

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