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History

A Creation Story

 

In the beginning the Pacific Ocean was a formless void.  Then about 70 million years ago the Great God Vulcan said, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters".  So he formed a great hot spot - a hole in the earth's crust through which magma from the mantle could leak, like air leaking from a netball.  Then Vulcan said,  "Let the dry land appear".

On the surface of the Pacific tectonic plate, below the water, a little pimple formed - pushing the land up until it became an island and with a 'pop', some red hot molten rocks and gasses squirted into the sky.  And Vulcan saw that it was good. 

But soon the Pacific plate drifted north, over his hot spot. So Vulcan repeated his trick again and again, creating a chain of islands.

 

Lyman Museum Lyman Museum
Lyman Museum Lyman Museum

Lyman Museum - the formation of the archipelago
 

Vulcan's hotspot is presently below Mauna Loa and Kilauea and the mere mortals a' top his other mountain have noticed that there's an almost linear relationship between the age of each volcano in the chain and its distance from Kilauea, the youngest, that emerged above water just 100,000 years ago.  They've also noticed that the island they call Oahu is over a million years older than their 'big island' of Hawaii.

 

Formation of the Hawaiian archipelago
Formation of the Hawaiian archipelago

Formation of the Hawaiian Archipelago - from the Hawaii Center for Volcanology website

 

Vulcan's islands were of pure sterile rock, born of fire. So Vulcan said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon my isles".  Thus during the millions of years that followed, sea creatures came ashore and flotsam from trees and plant life washed ashore. Then those new-fangled bird things evolved to bring seeds in their guts and defecate in the soil.  And Vulcan saw that it was good.

A long, long time later, after lying unmolested for many hundreds of millennia, just seven hundred or so years ago, Vulcan caused an eruption creating a long white cloud so that following it from far away the first human settlers arrived (or was that New Zealand?).  After humans arrived an avalanche of change took place.  With them they brought new plants and animals and a whole new ecosystem began to evolve.  The first settlers were soon followed by others of their species, who possessed even more advanced technologies, and thus they brought even more change. Some might say devastation.

But mighty Vulcan's not concerned.  He has more islands planned. Underwater nearby he's already building another, Loini, that's not yet emerged from the waters and over time he intends to sink the present lot.

Praise be to Vulcan.

 

 

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Travel

Russia

 

 

In June 2013 we visited Russia.  Before that we had a couple of weeks in the UK while our frequent travel companions Craig and Sonia, together with Sonia's two Russian speaking cousins and their partners and two other couples, travelled from Beijing by the trans Siberian railway.  We all met up in Moscow and a day later joined our cruise ship.  The tour provided another three guided days in Moscow before setting off for a cruise along the Volga-Baltic Waterway to St Petersburg; through some 19 locks and across some very impressive lakes.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

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Chapter 1

 

 

 - news flash -

Body in River

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The body of a man was found floating in the Iguazú river this morning by a tourist boat.  Mary (name withheld) said it was terrible. "We were just approaching the falls when the body appeared bobbing in the foam directly in front of us.  We almost ran over it.  The driver swerved and circled back and the crew pulled him in. The poor man must have fallen - or perhaps he jumped?"

The body was discovered near the Brazilian side but was taken back to Argentina. Police are investigating and have not yet released details of the man's identity...

 

Iguazú Herald

 

Everywhere we look there is falling water. Down the track to the right is a lookout to the other side of the gorge, in Brazil, where the cliff faces are covered by maybe a kilometre of falling curtains in white windswept water. Here and there the curtains hang in gaps or are pushed aside by clumps of trees and bushes, like stagehands peeking out into a theatre before the performance.  

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Opinions and Philosophy

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This paper was first written in 1990 - nearly 30 years ago - yet little has changed.

Except of course, that a lot of politicians and bureaucrats have put in a lot of air miles and stayed in some excellent hotels in interesting places around the world like Kyoto, Amsterdam and Cancun. 

In the interim technology has come to our aid.  Wind turbines, dismissed here, have become larger and much more economic as have PV solar panels.  Renewable energy options are discussed in more detail elsewhere on this website.

 


 

Climate Change

Issues Arising from the Greenhouse Hypothesis

 

Climate change has wide ranging implications for the World, ranging from its impacts on agriculture (through drought, floods, water availability, land degradation and carbon credits) mining (by limiting markets for coal and minerals processing) manufacturing and transport (through energy costs) to property damage resulting from storms.  The issues are complex, ranging from disputes about the impact of human activities on global warming, to arguments about what should be done and the consequences of the various actions proposed.  The following paper explores some of the issues and their potential impact.

 

Read more ...

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