27 September 2008

Manly Beach Bike Week - Sustainable Mobility

Manly Council is hosting the NSW Bike Week, (pdf) (RTA) on Sunday, 280908 from 10 am to 4 pm at North Steyne.
The key objectives are to
" Raise the profile of the use of bicycles for short local trips.
Promote safe cycling and the use of shared bicycle/ pedestrian facilities
The Road and Transport Authorities main aim is to improve safety on the roads.

Once one has "dusted off" one's push bike and obtained safety gadgets it is off to a high risk territory of armoured and petrol-powered vehicles.
The motorised community's behaviour hits the attention-economy daily with news of road rage, bullying, 'hit and run' and ploughing into pedestrians or their houses. "Accidents", speeding and intoxicated vehicular manslaughter are the norm. Bodily harm is also caused by the noise and chemical pollution that is being inflicted on all. Pedestrians and cyclists wishing to share this space seem to be perceived as a lower species with less rights, as they are not obtaining power derived from fossil fuels. Not contributing to Australia's record emissions they are treated as being 'in the way'.

Awareness needs to be raised not in the community that is achieving sustainable mobility, but in the petrol vulnerable car-dependent nation and its mind-sets. Structural change needs to to facilitate safe and emission free transportation.

Many bikes in Manly still arrive on/in cars. The 'leisure bikes' get unpacked with idling motors at the beach/car-park. Variations range from plastic uniformed racing bikes, to large family groups, with children often on dysfunctional cheap 'throw-away' bikes and mounting-bikes looking for municipality tree-edges to crack. Of course, there are some real-life cyclists arriving on bikes as well. But all are seeking to join in on the heel-to heel packed 2.4 kilometre (1.5-mile) Pacific beach path. The cycle/walkway proper is situated along the beach car park with many cars having hard or sharp protrusions right over the cycle path. At night the beach walkway has racing bikes endangering pedestrians. Off the beach drag, the fragmented bike paths are often parked on. Without the provision of physically-separated bicycle paths the life of a bare body on a wire frame is taking a higher risk. Arriving for ones "short local trip" there are insufficient bike racks to do the shopping. The odd bicycle bar is often taken up by motor-bikes, conquering the pedestrian paths increasingly. Resorting to tie the bike to trees/palms further degrades the neglected trees.

Leaving the bike and attempting to cross any marked pedestrian path is a struggle, and one had better run. The designated 'pedestrian zones' are most of the time filled with delivery trucks and trades vehicles. Idling is the norm. Car design regulations in Australia are lagging behind causing injury and death to walking people and cyclists. Fatal injuries could be avoided by spending a bit on reducing harm to the 'collided objects'.

"About 300 pedestrians and cyclists are killed in vehicle-related accidents on Australian roads each year and another 3000 sustain serious injuries.
The most common injuries are serious head injuries, broken legs and ribs and fractures to the pelvis.
Cycling is a wonderful form of mobility, but the mind set of the car addicted community and their practices has to be targeted and structural urban changes have to be realised and enforced.
1. Corso 'bike path'
2. Beach bike path with dangerous protrusion in ya face
3. Beach bike path with knife-like instrument at head level
4. Manly Cove pedestrians & push bikes only!, 3 large motorbikes, one idling bus.

Update 021008
- They complain about birds swooping cyclists in their breeding season as they run out of habitat. Pity, there are no corresponding articles about the deadly dangers posed to pedestrians and push-bike riders by urban tanks steared by aggro drivers at pedestrians, push-bike riders and birds. (Manly Daily 021008, the dead-tree version is most reliable!)

24 September 2008

North Head NP Occupied - More Toxic Diesel in Wildlife Habitat

North Head, Lady Fairfax walk today. Toilet litter all over on the ground from mass-tourism (without the facilities). The National Parks sign is a sure indicator for what is to be expected: dogs, bikes, litter. The rare Banksia vegetation had been damaged on the 'walkway' by cars. Although there were no black plumes (soot) visible from ocean-going vessels, the entire air around the walk seemed saturated in diesel fumes. And then there it was again - another giant infrastructure development IN the national park, placed on the main 'tourist-attracting' look-out, directly on the cliff of North Head.

Diesel-belching clutter IN the wildlife refuge (NP)
A huge diesel-belching, humming demountable, with a large spinning radar antenna had been placed in the middle of the Sydney Harbour National Park's territory. Seeking to “add value to all aspects of Sydneys port operations... (and) protect the environment and have regard to the interests of the community “, the Sydney Ports Corporation planted this air-conditioned, video and radar surveillance object into a wildlife refuge. This 'state-of-the art' technology (pdf) is to aid in the intensification of trade and logistics from Botany Bay to Sydney Harbour (North Head).
Intensify - more for more, 'exploit & open up NPs'
The “Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) provides active monitoring and navigational advice for vessels in particularly confined and busy waterways with complex traffic movements...Sydney’s ports alone handle over $50 billion of international and domestic trade annually. Total trade through Sydney’s ports was 29.2 million mass tonnes, 5.0 per cent higher than last year.” Obtaining ROI in a harbour full of tinnies is not easy. Infrastructure is likely to be erected in various harbour sites and widening the bays (dredging) is already starting in Botany Bay and elsewhere.

Deadly trade
As in colonial times, the growing population (pdf) is still dependent on the boats coming in, bringing the essentials. Only this time, the huge diesel-powered vessels (container ships, tankers, bunk carriers, tugboats and cruise ships) are costing lives and health. Most diesel powered ocean-going vessels are significant contributers to air pollution in the heads, the harbour, ports and cities. Ports, handling the bulk of imports, are among the biggest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emission. “Each step of the goods movement process is powered by diesel fuel, which releases greenhouse gases and toxic, smog-forming air contaminants...ports pose "grave health risks" to millions of people living in metropolitan coastal areas, especially those living nearest the ports." In 2002 "60,000 people living in coastal communities along major shipping routes died from lung and heart complaints as a result of high sulfate emissions from ships". Particulate matter from ocean-going ship causes asthma, heart attacks, hospital admissions, and premature mortality. “Particle pollution from shipping to tens of thousands of premature deaths each year, most of them along coastlines in Europe, East Asia, and South Asia." This dirty trade is causing harm to public health and to the environment.The ocean, its life and the atmosphere becoming degraded
"Ships use the tar-like, sulfur-concentrated remains of petroleum left once the gasoline, oil and all other products have been extracted. This high-sulfur fuel is responsible for the significant environmental impacts of ship sulfur emissions. Regionally, sulfur emissions contribute to acid rain, which can pollute freshwater lakes and rivers, and damage vegetation." Even cloud formation over the Pacific is influenced by trade-carrying cargo ships powered by diesel engines."The annual costs of sea traffic’s contribution to air pollution, climate change and marine pollution are estimated to amount to 260 billion euro for the world fleet and 57 billion euro for the EU fleet." These 'externalities' are probably not lower for the Asian/Pacific region.

Intensifying diesel-powered traffic that 'costs the Earth' and has negative impacts on the marine foreshore and protected wildlife refuges is unsustainable.

- International Maritime Organization
- "In accordance with the Australian Government's responsibilities and policies, Australia's obligations under IMO Conventions and AMSA's functions specified in Section 6(1)(a) of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Act 1990, AMSA coordinates a national pollution prevention and response strategy to protect Australia's marine environment from pollution caused by shipping and related activities. This document lists the prevention components of this strategy, based largely on several IMO Conventions given effect by domestic legislation, implemented and enforced by Commonwealth and State/NT Governments." Protection of the Sea - Conventions and Legislation in Australia, AMSA, Australian Government
- Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983, NSW
- The National Parks and Wildlife Service, DECC
- National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974
- NCC/NPA Submission to Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks, Submission of The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and the National Parks Association of NSW and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society. 0808, pdf 1,2MB

Update 111008
"The International Maritime Organization on Thursday adopted stringent new controls on airborne pollution from the world’s 300,000 oceangoing vessels. Emissions from ships steaming into ports from Rotterdam to Shanghai to Long Beach, are blamed for about 60,000 premature deaths around the world annually. Sulfur emissions are a major source of airborne fine particulates, which have been associated with pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. In some ports in Europe and in the United States, environmental groups, using the courts, and local governmental bodies have required ships to shut off their engines and plug in to the local electrical grid to keep ship operations functioning while in port." NYT 101008

22 September 2008

Manly Beach 2048

“Pungent brown sewage spews into the Pacific ocean. In the background, cranes put up hotels and beachfront apartments."
So runs an intro to another Pacific tourist spot where uncontrolled coastal tourism development kills the 'golden goose' for investors, residents and visitors. Pressures to intensify and commercialise the protected 'green and blue' leads to the degradation of all. Squeezing the proverbial 'goose' to death means a loss of human health, life quality and economic gain. Even more of the Australian species, plants and animals would lose their habitat, that is their right to life.

Manly in the 21st Century could be consumed in the same way, if there is no refraining from grabbing 'what's left'. Developing the trends would give the following constellation:

The pressure is already on (pdf) to convert 'nature' (Sydney Harbour National Park, North Head, Quarantine, Dobroyd, and Garigal National Park) into more of the same, a tide of 'accomodation' and sprawling sub-urban McMansions with their associated infrastructure.

Manly 'town' could become 24/7 neonlit buyosphere which customers could immerse themselves in. Alcohol merchants and casinos high-rise, Las Vegas style could frame the beach. Experiences and bodies could be organised via animators from the entertainment industry. Roofed domes would lessen the deadly uv radiation from scrambling the DNA. Organised 're-creation' is conducted on flood-light filled arenas. All are of course attending in respective plastic uniforms. Sports ovals, swimming pools and golf courses are also day & night air-conditioned and lit. Plastic lawns have long replaced water gobbling/toxic lawn transplants.Every inch of the Earth is paved over with coastal real estate: tourism development (hotels, resorts, restaurants, etc.), and the infrastructure supporting coastal development (e.g. marinas, beaches, recreational fishing facilities.) Breakneck developments turn the area into ear-piercing noise waves on every corner.

The sky is also filled with constant noise: Jumbo planes are seen 'spinning' over the beach, belching poisonous gases and consuming non-renewable energy while delivering more 'customers'. Helicopters and small plane 'joy-rides' are now so numerous that they are on a clear collision course with each other and the many UAVs. Brand names are 'written' into the clouds for all to see, that are not in-dome. Blimps urge all to accelerate the buying of anything now!

The ocean:
Surfing and swimming has long being abandoned, as the nutrient over-enriched coastal waters have turned into a permanent red tide. This anoxic "dead zone," is devoid of fish, but still very rich in stinging jelly blooms. The entire coastal marine ecosystems has been consumed. The sand is so e coli laden, that it is not to be touched. The 'ocean spray', full of HABs, is a health hazard.An industrialised ocean horizon:
Private boating also ceased, due to oil shortages and the unavailability of territory to give these motor-boats 'a good spin'. A dense network of aquaculture infrastructure clutters up the coastal waters. Further out, the ocean horizon is studded with chains of giant artifacts: Desalination factories (pdf), gas- and oil drilling and extraction structures and huge data platforms. No whale has been seen for years that could navigate this dense human ocean clutter.

More frequent violent storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and giant waves mince up the entire set-up due to human-caused climate change. The thick layer of human debris and waste floating on top of the Pacific also gets washed onto the shores. Various chemical spills and scrambled infrastructure do not make 'clean-up' operations easy.

Due to the many desalination factories, the water guzzling life style could be kept up. Visitors on the whole are consuming double the amounts of water via hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use etc. But locals also all have their personal lap pool by the 'beach'. The exotic plants still are watered with petrol pumps as before.

The demand on energy leads from time to time to a crash into 'a candle economy'. Many suffer in their air-conditioning dependent dwellings in the long black-out periods. The nuclear option seems to keep this power-ful life-style alive.

Sewage, another plentiful anti-product which is a slight challenge to the aesthetic and olfactory appeal, could also pose a possible loss in revenue for tourism. The dead zone of the coastal waters is fueled by this waste-water contaminated with toxins and pharmaceuticals.

But all is not without life, people now have their dearest darlings cloned in multiples. One can see them, as before in cafes with up to 6 harnessed dogs.
Huge cats, as well as packs of dogs have gone 'feral' roaming gated estates. The only surviving bird is the Indian myna, seen in millions coating all with its feces. Many black rats are seen living on the garbage. Large swarms of flies, mosquito and ticks are still posing a challenge.

Australian animals can now be admired (for a fee of course) in an event space, previously known as a museum. There they are, the bandicoot, the little penguin and so many more - all stuffed, just like in the 19th Century. Most Australian plants are gone. Some invasive plants and pests are still about, despite the increased toxicity of the weapons used in aerial helicopter spraying.

Uncontrollable fires shroud the area in suffocating smog. Even though there are only weeds left to 'back-burn', the scarcity of water, threatens the 'real estate'.

Many argue that tourists were not drawn by all that 'environmental stuff', they didn't give a hoot about the unique ecology of Manly. They were seeking to spin their body around, often with the aid of petrol or ingestid toxins . This constituted 'fun' and sold well. Human generated 'attractions' have to be erected to offer a peep here or a spin there. Once contained, money could be collected in this Disney-like hybrid simulacra world. Neither locals nor visitors are remembering or missing that 'biodiversity and landscape attractiveness'. The problem is though, that the place has become indistinguishable from so many other (coastal) places in the world and that is a challenge. Like malls and airports, one doesn't know anymore where one is.
Looking after the Country in the future:
Myopic objectives could gamble away 'nature' and 'uniqueness' that has no substitute. Unchecked developments and mobile destruction (mass tourism) degrade a place and its resources. 60 % of Australia already has been degraded by relative few people in a short time. 'Customers' flee the degraded tourist traps, locals desert the uninhabitable places seeking refuge in the remaining 40% 'new-found-land'.

Returning North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park, Quarantine Station, Dobroyd, and Garigal National Park to their owners
might guarantee a halt to the tidal wave of destruction.The National Parks and reserves are an essential refuge for endemic plants and animals. They also are of great ecological and economic value in framing Manly as a desirable and unique place on the Earth.
1 North Head, Manly and the Northern Beaches, Google Earth
2 North Head, Dobroyd and part of Sydney Harbour National Park, Google Maps
3 Dobroyd, SHNP viewed from Manly Cove
4 The Pacific ( uncluttered) viewed from North Head
5 North Head cliffs and the Pacific Ocean

Manly Council Submission to Taskforce on Tourism in National Parks, PDF
The NSW Government
The Environmental Trust, The Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC)
Manly Council
NSWALC, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Land Rights Act
National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974
NCC/NPA Submission to Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks, Submission of The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and the National Parks Association of NSW and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society. 0808, pdf 1,2MB

Areas to 'exploit' and 'open up':
Sydney Harbour National Park (SHNP) North Head, Quarantine Station, Dobroyd, and Garigal National Park.
Coastal Recreation and Tourism:
- UN Atlas of the Oceans
- United Nations University (2008, June 4). Coastal Management Cooperation, Enforcement Key To Avoid Pending Crisis For Millions, UN Experts Report. Retrieved September 22, 2008, via Science Daily
- Mike Davis , House of Cards, Las Vegas: Too many people in the wrong place, celebrating waste as a way of life, Sierra Club
-"You can't have one species growing indefinitely on a planet that is finite." Prof. Bill Rees

" The vast majority of the Australian population is clinging to the east coast, running out of land and running out of water...2043, when 43 per cent of the Gold Coast has been abandoned to ever-rising sea levels. Australia's swelling population could be accommodated in desert cities." SMH 201209

20 September 2008

Black Cockatoos calling the rain

A bit of heat and Manly Beach was packed with people. For most of the visitors, by now 6 - 8 million p.a. (pdf), it seemed unnoticed, that 3 giant Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus) were gliding through the arcade of Norfolk pines. Some of these ancient gigantic Pacific trees (Araucaria heterophylla ) can get up to 57 m tall. Although not endemic to Manly, they fringe the beach and provide a flightpath for the Black Cockatoos going north to the next headland. The tall trees and the giant birds both originated on the Gondwana supercontinent a long time a go. (pdf) The presence of these birds always brings the rain.
> Pines and Birds at Manly Beach

19 September 2008

Little Penguins, Electrocuted Birds, Mauling Dogs, Bogong Moths, Spilled Oil and Artistic Inspiration

A visit to the the Manly Art Gallery, where the current exhibition is by Bruce Goold. The designer/printmaker displays woodcuts/linocuts of iconic Australian objects. Nautical themes and Aussie flora and fauna get mingled with sub-urban culture jamming. The fragipani, banana and (unfortunately) bamboo convey that coastal holiday feeling.

Some thoughts on the following themes seen there, which are relevant for the northern beaches:

'Telegraph crows' 1995 depicts Australian Crows getting electrocuted in power lines. Think about it every time you flick on that convenient switch, how many birds and other fauna get killed and crippled by this underdeveloped landscape feature bringing power to you.

The design with Bogong moths was very timely as they will start their annual migration next month. This gets too messy for tidy-town then.

Eora Rock engraving of Little Penguin, close to Lion Island
'Lion Island' depicts a Sydney nature reserve. On its beach is a Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) and a large poodle looking very canine. This ever-same theme of irresponsible people bringing their mostly degenerated canines into protected wildlife refuges that are of great biodiversity is unfortunately repeating. Maybe Lion Island will no longer have the 'largest penguin colony' in Sydney if the boat & dog community continue to defy the law.
The few remaining little penguins in Manly get regularly mauled by off-the-leash dogs. One of their 'habitats' at the Manly Cove is a busy human infrastructure with fireworks, bands and other mass events. The little bird needs to live in a partial marine and partial terrestial territory. This is the space where human impact in Manly is most noticeable.

Habitat for Manly's endangered Little Penguin population (pdf) , Manly Cove. More than a webcam needed here.

'Pasha Bulka' 2008 visualises the stranding of a huge cargo ship beached on a Newcastle surfing beach in 2007. 'Heavy fuel oil ' ran into the Pacific Ocean. Such scenarios are not unthinkable for the Manly region. For now, we get the sulphur particle emission from ships that are near Manly.

Outside the Art Gallery there were numerous very large motor bikes parked on the “pedestrian and bicycle path only”. Aerial garbage is a new thing here: Plastic kites in Manly Beach pines, a very long nylon fishing line dangling from a tall palm in front of the gallery, waiting for that next bird to entangle. Aqua-parking as far as the eye could see in Manly Cove, right along the penguin's feeding grouds. Wharf construction set the acoustic ambience.
See also Bogong migration incompatible with humans

- Endangered Population of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor) at Manly, NP, pdf
- Caution: Electrocution! Suggested Practices for Bird Protection on Power Lines, BUND,
Update: 0709 The slaughter of 11 Little Penguins by a dog/s in their last mainland habitat on mainland NSW.

17 September 2008

Wobbegong Dreaming at Shelly Beach Aquatic Reserve

The Spotted Wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) is a shark that lives in temperate to tropical rocky reefs. It likes to rest in caves during the day and at night it inhabits the bottom of the shores. Occasionally it ventures offshore. Sea grass beds are the preferred nursery. It has nice spots and a substantial 'beard'. If all is well, it can become 100 years old and measure up to three metres.

But there is a hitch, which is that the majority of Australians live along this very coast-line. The interface of shark habitat and the human field of activities has led to the near eradication of this species.

In the last 20 years the Spotted Wobbegong declined by 60 %, more in NSW

The coastal habitat has human infrastructure sprawling all over, sea grass beds are becoming rare.

Extractive practices are seeking to plunder or commericalise every bit of the creature:
  • Flesh for flake
  • Skin for hide
  • Poaching for aquaria trade
  • Peep & pay industries
Commercial fishing with a high rate of by-kill extracted many, sometimes chucking them if there was no market for them. “Recreational”, sports-fishing competitions and spearfishing do the rest.

All is well, now that the remaining wobbegongs in the 'wild' are tagged with radio transmitters and seven were bred in captivity, then also tagged and released into Shelly Beach Reserve. ”...Acoustic study and tracking devices will ensure that we can find much more about it.” Fitting electronic devices onto or into juvenile creatures usually employs invasive methods, as the gear is glued on with epoxy resin or suction pads. The ethics of this practice is questionable. Data-gathering from the dry comfort of the screen and DNA mapping might just reveal that the object turned into flake or by-kill yet again. Managing the mind-sets and practices of their own kind might ensure a sustainable habitat and an effective biodiversity management.

Large boats throw their heavy anchors into this delicate aquatic reserve. The noise and chemical pollution they cause is not compatible with a reserve for 'wildlife'. Suburbs drain their effluent into the shores and at night keen divers disturb creatures in their habitats with bright torches.
Just yesterday there were, yet again people line fishing IN the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve. Spearfishing in it has also been reported.

Spotted Wobbegong
, IUCN Programme
Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Shelly Beach, Manly
NSW AMSA Position Statement on Marine Protected Areas and No-take Marine Sanctuaries, 2008, pdf
Australian shark fishing out of control
,The Nature Conservation Council?
The cost of Recreational Fishing and Boating on the Moreton Bay Marine Park, Bay Journal
Marine, National Parks Association of NSW, advocating the establishment of marine sanctuaries in NSW, only 6.5 % of NSW marine habitat is protected.

16 September 2008

Manly's Plastic Legacy - From Plastic Toy to Fish

Time has come to pack the urban tank with plenty of plastic gear and drive to the beach. Unpack the bikes, prams, pack of dogs and convienence food and drink. At the end of the day, the full plastic-poo bags are left, leaking silently. The plastic wrapping for each mouth-full are 'blowin in the wind'. A large range of plastic toys, fast-food containers and lighters are being moved by the waves. The industrial beach cleaning machinery cannot keep up.

Finally, the Pacific becomes the tip full of trash. It is thought that 80 % of marine garbage originates from the shores. Most of the inferior plastic toys are broken by frustrated kids seeking non-plastic stimulation. The plastic that does not end up in the ocean, gets heaped up in the streets, awaiting petrol-transport to the 'land-fill'-tip, which is next to a national park. Some have started to recycle this plastic deluge in to art.

In the end, the terrestial tip leaches into the groundwater and the 'marine tip' grinds up all the plastic into tiny little pellets, leaching toxins. These in turn enter the food chain. An inheritance for all the off-spring and the remaining ecology from a plastic world.
Map showing where people are most desperate to keep developing human beings entertained via (mostly plastic) toys.
Map: Toys Import, map no. 58 via WorldMapper, © Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)
"Is there a present that a child or family member just has to have and you can't find it in any store?" Kidsource, 2000
- Keep the Sea plastic free

13 September 2008

Manly Restaurants & Eateries - a Wishlist

There are some very good restaurants in Manly. Council made an effort to bring the “the basics of food safety, cleanliness, and hygiene practices” to the eateries and restaurants recently. The NSW Food Authority introduced a ' name and shame' register. As we are frequenting these premises with our friends, MNLY has a wish-list.

We'd like:

  1. a regularly cleaned place, preferably using non-toxic materials
  2. the provision of hand washing facilities for staff and customers
  3. a fragrance- free environment
  4. a smoke-free environment, in and outdoors
  5. a spam-free ambiance
  6. an absence of dogs (and their feces) in the food and drink establishments
  7. an absence of toxic car fumes and unventilated gas heaters in the sitting areas
  8. that it is stated whether the water was filtered
  9. that it is mentioned on the menu where the fish/seafood comes from, esp wrt aqua-'culture'.
In detail:
  1. In some places the paucity of cleaning is obvious. Some premises elsewhere are disclosing their ecological cleaning agents and the frequency of cleaning.
  2. The bathroom does not necessarily have to be designed, as is fashionable in event gastronomy, or even cleaned with ecological sound materials. But the bottom line should be clean facilities and functional hand washing basins ( hot water, soap & towels) for staff and customers in times of recurring norvirus, hepatitis and Sydney belly. Toilet paper helps.
  3. Various toilets offer synthetic fragrance sprays in small toilet cubicles to mask odours, due to lack of ventilation. Entering the premises one is forced to inhale these harmful substances. (pdf)
  4. The right to breathe while eating out
  5. Climate damaging flat screens have been installed in many places to pour some solid state spam over the customer held hostage to programs of shameless self-promotion of sales people. Each of the LCD displays is a huge energy guzzler, some use the equivalent energy of 7 fridges (de). These unsolicited, non-informative messages ruin the atmosphere. The choice of music is often, soothing to the staff, but incompatible with the clientele.
  6. Dogs, prohibited in all food and drink serving places, regularly are seen sitting on laps, eating off the plate, kissing their owner. Staff handle doggy bowls and human implements simultaneously without concern. The dog saliva on the table just gets redistributed with the same old rag, that is used for all tables. True, as seen in real life!
  7. Unflued gas-heaters, an unhealthy and wasteful form of heating are approaching the end of season now. The doors open up and more vehicle pollution and noise is made available.
Reducing Risks when eating out

What is an 'air-freshener'?
Health Risks from Perfume: The Most Common Chemicals Found in Thirty-One Fragrance Products by a 1991 EPA Study
What is a fragrance, video
The hidden threats lurking in synthetic fragrances and indoor air “fresheners” pdf
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs)
Common Synthetic Fragrances Found to Harm Wildlife, Humans
Household fragrances may be harming aquatic wildlife

Update 061211
We also would like to eat ethically wrt to industrial relations. Don't serve up up poverty wages, lack of sick leave, and discrimination. Guide (US)

11 September 2008

Smoking and its socialised effects in Manly

Secondhand smoke exposure in Manly's public places, such as the beach, the streets, lanes and out-door eateries is causing direct physical injury to people wishing to share these public spaces. Lunch-time would be a prime time to enforce the law in these places. The no-smoke signs are a prefered smoking location.

After the big rain, the beach was thick with butts, causing the leaching of toxins into the environment. The paved environments are also carpeted with this toxic anti-product.

Mega litter and toxic run-off into beaches and waterways:

  • 7 billion cigarette butts are littered by Australia's 3.7 million smokers every year.
  • Cigarette butt litter still accounts for around 50% of all the litter in Australia

Cause of dangerous and costly fires:
  • "..for every 1,000 smouldering butts that are discarded, 40 fires could result."
  • 7% of Australia's bushfires are caused by discarded cigarettes - that's over 4,500 fires a year caused by cigarettes and smoking materials.
Facts via Planet Ark

10 September 2008

Manly's Bandicoot & Wildlife Code

Replacing the unique with the ever-same
The unique Manly treasures, such as bandicoots (little penguins etc) and the sprawl of human urbanisation make for a predictable outcome. Wildlife habitat and sprawling sub-urbia are incompatible. Attempts to limit the negative impacts by "best practice" recommendations and "awareness education" are dubious. We are assured that the owners of the St Patrick's Estate townhouses were given their bandicoot awareness education. "The houses themselves also had to be bandicoot-friendly.."
Manly's surging dog (cat etc) population is making a practical statement to replace the unique Australian biodiversity with a monoculture of foreign animals. The interface between wildlife refuge and human infrastructure and their destructive packs is the killer-zone.

Effective protection of threatened Australian wildlife
Manly’s North Head developments are said to be contingent on " keeping their dog in at night and never letting their cat outdoors unless it is in a sealed cat run." But there are dogs ON the beach (illegally) every morning and night, sometimes even defecating ON the beach on a busy Sunday. They are un-leashed most of the time, hunting little penguins or hunting bandicoots at night in Shelly Beach bushland. With a lack of enforcement and a population wanting to expand the ever-same, the diverse uniqueness of the Manly ecology is sacrificed.
via Pets curfew in building code, Manly Daily 100908

See also:
Bandicoot Habitat I

More on Bandicoots in MNLY
Images: 0808 all via Google Maps
1. - 3. National Park, St Patrick's Estate townhouses developments
End of Osborne Rd
5. Montpelier Pl./ Bower St. development