29 January 2007

'Its not my revolution if I can't floss'




Tassie to Texas is a huge dislocation and as a few days ago I walked to a Taquareia (Taco & Burrito shop) by six lanes of traffic and a huge flyover with giant Hummers and SUVs thundering past and above under the bright plastic signs of the strip malls and gas stations... I felt pretty overwhelmed. Hey Toto.. I'm not in the forest anymore.

Probably doesn't help that whenever I shut my eyes I am back in the Florentine, under the leafy green light walking the forest paths or high in the tree tops listing to the kookaburras laugh below me. The camp I've been living at was busted and there have been many arrests and violence out there.

So what am I doing in Texas?

Snap Displace
My Resource Rebels adventure has switched countries & continents and brought me to Austin, Texas to meet up with the New Rising Tide North America (RTNA) to travel with them on their US roadshow.. although I should be saying 'our' as I have been rapidly assimilated into RTNA by hours & days of consensus meetings..

So to get into the activist lingo.. I'm going to be 'bottom lining' the tour blog that can be found here: risingtidetour.blogspot.com With updates from the road and all the cool folks we get to meet on the way.

Meeting Meeting Meeting Meeting
Well after hankering for more meeting protocol in Australia..(Although there was some great stuff in places.. so big ups to the fab facilitators over there!) I was excited to get to such a crew with strong meeting process - However I feel like I've been in a perpetual meeting since I arrived! We spent weeks camped out in Austin at The' Brownfield' (see RT blog) with the wider Rising Tide crew before we got onto the road, restructure in the RT Network.

One meeting even started around while I was asleep in my crashbag under our big tarp... Another morning I awoke was to a mass flossing session around me... with a worried discussion about how they were going to floss after industrial collapse.

No really.

Flossing aside, The RTNA folks are very exciting & cool folk. There is activists from all over and also Artists from the Beehive Collective & Musicians from Riot Folk.

The Roadshow bus broke down.. and our lives we taken up by meeting after meeting.. so I don't feel like I saw that much of Texas! Apart from the many cacti and spiky things at the Brownfield earning Texas the title of 'Brillo-pad of America'. What I did see was pretty cool - lots of Vegan fun.. amazing big food co-ops full of Yummy Vegan treats, ice-creams places.. Pizza places that have soy cheese.. mmmm. Austin seemed way cooler and more chilled out than I expected, but does have the reputation of being the 'Eye of the redneck hurricane'.

Anyhow check out the roadshow blog for tour news! - risingtidetour.blogspot.com

15 January 2007

Forest Furnace

(Photo by Bob Mossel)

“so we are going to cut down the ancient forests, feed them into a power plant and call it green power”..

It reads like some un-funny far-side cartoon, but is an all to real proposition in Tasmania.

With the all-to-familiar ‘record breaking figures’ it’s the hottest-driest year on record in Tassie and months before the usual forest fire season all around us the forests burn.

Thought out Tasmania& Victoria (where the east Gippy blockade in my ‘ Causing trouble in Victoria’ blog was) the ancient forest, plantations and peoples homes are in flames.

It dominates the headlines daily with insane fiery pictures.

Climate chaos is hitting hard here and governments & industry continue to do their best to push it over the edge.

There are two different proposals for wood-fired power stations in Tasmania current slip-sliding their greased way through the approvals process. One at the Southwood 'Integrated Timber Processing Centre' just outside the Weld valley where I was living in the forest over the winter, and one as part of a new pulp mill proposal up north.

Not that the logging and subsequent 'regeneration burnings' aren’t damaging enough to the climate as the last old carbon storing trees are felled.

However the audacity of trying to call it renewable energy takes another big step towards Orwellian ‘War is Peace’ doublethink.

Living out the forest up as tree is amazing, but in these dry times does bring on some fire paranoia.. ‘Its looking a bit hazy today…’ Does the air smell smoky to you?’ There is no mobile signal in the forest.. and at one of the blockades we were an hours walk away from the nearest car access.. when would we do? Many strategies were discussed, live jumping in the river, and that it better to run away downhill.. as fore travels faster uphill. How fast could I absail down this tree?? So many things we don’t have to consider living in the wetter uk!! but for how long?

So for life at the blockades, and a taste of these amazing acient forests check out my last three Tassie posts, and my video from the Florentine:

‘Carry on up the Flozza’
‘Blockade over the Weld River’
‘Trouble of Tasmania – Pirates of the Weld’

And a website I found with more info on Climate Chaos & Tassie

Also check out the Tassie, Weld & Florentine photo sets on my flickr.