Monday, October 22, 2007

Climate Change- how much impact do humans have on the weather?

The ever present debate on Climate Change continues.

Some scientists see it as an excuse for left wing parties to win votes, by devoting money and processes to climate control.

Global warming is a hot topic. Those in rural Australia, suffering droughts of severity are desperate for a solution.

Fisheries officers are the same, the reef is being destroyed and warm weather is driving the fish south, and killing others.

There is no question that the earth is heating up- the question is, how much do people impact the change? Some scientists believe that it is a natural cycle, and use proof e.g. as 30 years ago people were worried about the earth being too cool.

Others say, we are thousands of years overdue for an ice age and should consider ourselves lucky because with global warming, we will lose a few cities over sea rise, with an ice age, we could lose half the planet (I think this is pretty silly- global warming can trigger an ice age anyway!)

It is quite interesting how much government parties use global warming as a scare factor though.

I've been doing a bit of work for an environmental services company in Sydney and here's something funny- people use more energy switching on and off the lights than if they had just left it on. So there you go!

Financial Worries- what will become of gen y?

The August debate about home loans and debt and all things financial was heated on Question Time. Victorian Premier Mr. Brumby claimed 'we build schools, we don't set them off and we build hospitals, we don't close them down'.

The debate fits comfortably alongside the worries of finance minister Nick Minchin, who has recently raised concerns that interest rates, which are at an all time low rate, are that way due to an interest crash in the US.

As if we didn't have enough to worry about already! It is, at present, really difficult for generation Y in terms of saving enough to afford to buy a house, own a car, and pay off all sorts of debts. The idea that it could become harder in the future is terrifying! Who is going to be able to afford to buy a house? Will we be renting in our eighties? The idea is scary.

Generation Y don't think about owning a house, they think about travel, clothes, technology and going out. Generation Y work to feed these wants, the concerns about saving for super, houses etc. aren't a priority at all. That's just how it is, the world is becoming a consumers paradise and nightmare all in one hit.

The annoying thing is, there isn't a great deal of education on this. Perhaps this is because I am part of the beginning of Gen Y, perhaps in the future education on saving and home loans will be more thorough.

Because we all need to be prepared, we all need to save, but few of us care.

And taxes will go up!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Parliament Committee Hearing with MAA

On Monday, 27th August 2007, the Motor Accidents Association held an open hearing in conjunction with the LawSociety of New South Wales, the New South Wales Bar Association and the Insurance council of Australia to discuss the application and appropriateness of certain 'schemes' (this word came up a lot) within the Motorindustry.

Issues discussed in the hearing related to policies of treatment for those in and how they related to the Motor Accidents Council. To be honest, for the first ten minutes I was there I thought they were talking about road rules and was wondering why no one from the RTA was present. This is because they spent the entire introductiontalking about schemes but did not actually say what these 'schemes' were. Of course, the members of parliament ould have been aware, studying the material before they got there, however for the audience it was no stage play and often confusing, at least at first.

The hearing started to get interesting when Richard Grellman spoke of early treatment (via claims) for patients in motor accidents. This idea would cause people to get in and out of treatment faster, lowering costs because the injury may not get to the fatal stage it could if left untreated too long. This saves the Motor Accidents Authoritymoney because people are treated early. Also discussed was the need for further compensation to those in vehicle accidents in order to avoid expensive courtcases. The Medical group at the hearing were discussing the idea of treating patients early and compensation but were having difficulty because the issue came up that each doctor may have different opinions on the severity of ones injury and its relation to insurance. One surgeon may say an injuryis 5% critical, yet the patient could be treated by another who could say the injury is 7% critical. This impacts the costs at the end of treatment.

Issues that came up were that it is rather impossible to quantify a person's pain and suffering, and that if a persons injury is serious, they will have much to pay back later. The hearing saw opinions of all, including the Law Society of NSW who exposed the fact that The Motor AccidentsAssociations ratings had dropped in recent years.

The RTA was mentioned at one stage and I think it would have been of benefit for the Motor Accidents Association to have had the RTA present because road regulations such as level of innebriation and restrictions could have come into place when speaking of treatment and compensation.

I found the hearing long and at times confusing, but it did become more interesting as time went on. There waslittle argument or frustration shown, which surprised me, it was more about getting the facts right, and in fact, it seemed the people speaking, especially from the Motor Accidents Association were unsure of exact figures anddidn't have an answer when asked about judging the exact amount of physical pain one needs to go through to determinethe cost of treatment.

The idea of patients being treated faster was well agreed upon, it was 'severity of injury' that caused doubt.

An interesting hearing though it would have been better if I had understood some of the abbreviations the groups used at the time!

Monday, August 20, 2007

the relevance of strip clubs!

It’s interesting how news of Kevin Rudd entering a strip club FOUR YEARS AGO has only just become public knowledge now with the upcoming election. Musings that Alexander Downer’s office unveiled the news are being questioned. The whole affair is rather aggravating, it’s not as though the situation is at all reflected in Rudd’s work life. If claims that Alexander Downer’s office released the news are true, it just goes to show how sketchy that office really is- having to go back four years to draw attention to the most minor of personal incidents definitely qualifies as scraping the barrel.

I’m not sure that the news of Rudd going to a strip club will actually influence voter’s opinions to a harmful degree; it doesn’t affect his qualities as a politician, hopefully the public will realise this.

I saw a blog on the Sydney Morning Herald web page that spoke of Rudd and Howard both playing the role of the ‘underdog’. There was an opinion poll that accompanied the blog and most seemed to think that Howard is the real underdog and Rudd is pretending. I can’t see the intelligence in playing ‘underdog’. It would be wiser to show certainty as a politician and strength as a party.

I was asked to write whether I think blogs will influence the election. My first reaction was no, people will form their own thoughts and blogs are just opinion pieces! But then I realised, many people are greatly influenced by what they read and this is the scary thing about blogs- people can write anything.
The truth is, people with steady and educated opinions are not likely to sway over a blog, it is the easily influenced that could. Really, what to believe is up to the individual. Take for example Ayn Rand, who wrote fantastic political novels, ‘The Fountainhead and ‘Atlas Shrugged’. I certainly don’t agree with everything she had to say, she was extreme and some of her opinions are outdated. However, she did have some great points (and she was an amazing writer.) This is an example of how you don’t have to believe everything one person writes, but you can choose their strong points and concentrate on these. I’ll leave you with a couple of Rand’s ideas that shone through in those fantastic novels. You should consider these before voting:
-You should be good at what you do and take pride in your work (politicians included)
-You should never live for the sake of another human being (or vote for the sake of one!)

P.S. They’re making Atlas Shrugged into a movie with Angelina Jolie- this is something of a crime. PLEASE read the book first.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

First Posting

Why hello!

This post is really just a test run, but now that I have your attention, hope you're having a wonderful day/night (depending on when you read this).

All the best!