Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Friday, December 29, 2006

Cannabis for Safer, Healthier, Wealthier Aussies.

The Canberra Times (AU)
letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au

Letter to the Editor,
Dear Sir, Madam,
[350 words]


Cannabis for Safer, Healthier, Wealthier Communities

David Barnett writes questioning why nothing has been done to recognise the serious consequences of cannabis use.
["We're all dopes if we don't get serious about cannabis dangers." . CT. 21 Dec]
Barnett cites the 60% of Australians who 'have used' but fails to note for all this use mental health issues are no more prevalent than before cannabis was prohibited. The omission of comparative harms of alcohol and tobacco both causatively linked with serious mental health issues is self evident.
Were those who misused licit drugs to substitute with cannabis, evidence suggests that within a generation, A&E, neurological, cardiac, thoracic, oncology, hepatic and mental health wards would be left with barely anything to do. Additionally the criminal justice gravy train would cease to run. The nation would be safer, healthier, and wealthier.
Prohibitionists expect the world to do 'as I say' without accounting for the mess they leave behind. Where is the cost benefit analysis (or even efficacy) of the obsessive focus on keeping cannabis from kids by jailing adults? Barnett acknowledges the failure of deterrent laws, waxing lyrical "what about the children' yet he tolerates subsuming [control of] age of consent to criminal networks.
Scary stories of health risks accompanied by 'you're just not allowed it' enhances allure, availability and profitability. Every time we bust someone 'to send a signal' we create another job opportunity.
Removing the double standards that are an impediment to credible anti-drug (alcohol and tobacco) education was a core recommendation of the New Zealand Health Select Committee in 1998. The same committee also said of cannabis "the harms have been largely overstated".
Advertising 'harms' won't work for youth who are already rejecting the value system. Reality based education requires us to fix what's broken and respect adult choice. Legally regulate cannabis and Mr Barnett's mental health issues and youth problems will not only have the required resources, the effort put in to both sectors will be enabled.
Einstein said, doing more of the same and expecting a different result is insanity. Clearly, the unresolved tensions surrounding 30 years of insidious cannabis policy is enough to make anyone mad. Barnett's 'it's dangerous' proposal, absent reform, appears to be no exception.

Blair Anderson,
Director, Educators For Sensible Drug Policy,
http://efsdp.org/

50 Wainoni Road,
Christchurch,
New Zealand.

ph ++64 3 3894065
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Policing Morality from inside your body!

Our Givamint has decided the New Year shall be jolly and introduce 'silly tests' at the roadside. Failure to accomplish a 'party trick' will see you arrested for processing.

(MANDATORY COMPLIANCE or your deemed GUILTY enough to bleed - try this, stand on one leg, close your eyes, tilt your head back, right back, I said RIGHT BACK Sonny....and try not be awestruck by the novel experience.)

A gravity 'wobble' will result in the narco-facists poking sharp needles into your blooooood seeking nanograms of evidence of internal affairs with the devil in order to remove one of thousands of dollars, your license to travel the kings highway and some measure of public humiliation for causing all the problems of the world. (non-compliance on the blood sacrifice and we do you over anyway, its just automatic, no blood test required! In terms of justice, this is no different to witch dunking!)

You will after due penance [and for the remainder of your life] be branded "a drugged driver". It may as well be written on your forehead. This in a nation where cannabis is endemic in under 21 year olds. TO NOT test positive is proof of deviancy!

Of course this, 'we promise it wont be random, random stopping' was introduced for our own good. That's why there was no public consultation.

Detection of metabolites of exocannabinoids in blood plasma is the logical equivalent of licking someones exhaust pipe to see if they have been speeding.

And they wonder why three young teenagers died last night when they did a runner from a random stop.....

I wonder if the cop who was charged with knocking on those parents doors at 5:00am managed to utter "we were only going to stop them to save them from themselves'.

Good grief...

May this day hold wonderment and joy... for the rest of us at least!

Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Xmas on the FrogBlog

The entire Climate Change debate in so far as New Zealand is concerned [and that includes the most recent consultation round] is that it (a) lacks a framework that accommodates inter-regional, inter-national and intra-national tradability, (b) it is not equitable. (Thanks Jeanette, for mentioning equity, some of us were listening).

There can be no equity when the commodity is unauditable, arbitrary and there are boundaries. (even if there was an auditable 'energy backed currency' disputes for the greater part occur at the boundaries). There is a  solution space that extends beyond 'to little to late'  kyoto, and the longer we leav it to have that conversation the deeper we'll have to dig to get out of the hole. Presuming Kyoto is OK because 'its the best we have got', or because 'politics is the art of the possible' is anally retentive... its like saying Polio is OK because Anthrax looks terrible.

We need something that builds upon the intent of UN Convention, that's for sure. As long as our uninsured economic losses are twice GDP growth, this thing is going to bite us in the arse (Expansion and Divergence).

If the correction required is the equal and opposite 'opposing forces' to E&D then Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is to coin a phrase of the British Environment Minister, 'the only game in town'.

The curious reader will obtain a more thorough explanation at http://www.gci.org.uk

If you think it has merit, don't keep it to yourself. Let MfE know. Tell them on the consultation pages on their website that it is necessary to think beyond impositional and penalty based solutions, even the transitional ones. (Simpliatic cap and trade, baseline and credit, and offset trading... bah humbug! who needs thresholds for entry? allowances (who gets them?) and penalties (just who is the policeman here?) who pays compliance costs? (and the lawyers) Coverage, flexibility, methods, leakage, safety valves, project based offsets, gratis allocations, auctions etc.. etc... its a business nightmare scenario.

Go simple, go C&C.

Cheers and Beers everyone.. Have a great Xmas and a climate ameliorating New Year...

  "and long may yer lumb reek on other folks coal"


--
Blair Anderson
Corporate Technology Consultants
ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Editorial: A Fairer Approach To Road Safety

"Driving while impaired" detected at nanogram sensitivities is a bit rich, especially absent proof of impairment. It becomes the science of small numbers.


The amount of alcohol that is openly (even advertised as OK) tolerated while driving is correlated to 'some impairment', set at a level just enough to sustain public 'mutual respect' but not enough a liquor industry would be seriously hurt if a few glasses of wine put you, your career and your ability to meet your mortgagee at risk or worse, someone in hospital or a casket.

With cannabis inparticular, there is quite simply inadequate evidence of impairment at zero tolerant detection levels, certainly not enough to put you, your career and your ability to meet your mortgagee at risk.

There is an overwhelming consensus in the media reports that drugged driving is causing a lot of accidents and that road side detection is the best intervention. Accepting the former supposes the latter to be logical. It ignores evidence that health promotion can be achieved by other means, or crucially that the health promotion has been disabled by the very policy base itself.

That would be a truth too inconvenient.


We are inventing the blame and shame game...

This policy, like party pills and the national drug policy consultation has on evidence thus far, not been well thought out. /Blair



Newshawk: Herb
Pubdate: Tue, 19 Dec 2006
Source: Hawke's Bay Today (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2006
Contact: http://www.hbtoday.co.nz/info/letters/
Website: http://hbtoday.co.nz/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2947
Author: Louis Pierard

A FAIRER APPROACH TO ROAD SAFETY

The biggest impediment to full acceptance of the need for vigorous traffic policing is the perception that a government department is using the motoring public as a cash cow. The accumulated effect of all those minor infractions reaps millions each year.

If the revenue were tagged to go back into making roads safer - either through improved design or to pay for more patrols - instead of being sucked into the consolidated fund, then the virtue of issuing speeding tickets would not be so regularly held up to question as a cynical and punctilious form of tax-gathering. And that is despite the fact that it is all having a telling effect on the road toll and that there is still plenty of scope to bring it down much further.

No one likes being pinged in the back pocket for travelling a few kilometres over the limit - especially when they regularly witness so many worse examples of poor driving that seem to go unchecked and especially by a fixed camera that penalises forgetfulness rather than speed.

Speed cameras are undemocratic; speed is for those who can afford it. It's certainly not the way to ensure Police Minister Annette King's wish that with road safety policy the Government wants people to change their ways rather than write out cheques.

So any plans to make the system more rational and fairer should be welcomed. The overhaul of road safety policy announced this week by Ms King and Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven is to be applauded.

Under the changes, motorists risk losing their licences for running red lights or not wearing seatbelts as demerit points replace fines for some offences. The use of demerit points gives enforcement more integrity and prevents drivers, especially the young, from treating road safety policing with contempt.

Now they will lose their licences and their cars (providing the measure is met with equally vigorous enforcement) instead of gathering huge fines that eventually become impossible to pay.

One key initiative is a new offence, driving while impaired by illegal drugs, which will bring in roadside drug-testing as a standard policing method.

If evidence of illegal drugs is found, drugged drivers will be prosecuted with penalties that mirror those levied against drinking drivers. (yeah right, the narco-cops are not going to come round and see if you have a beer in your fridge! /Blair)

Given the prevalence of recreational drug use, recognition of its potential contribution to the road toll is overdue.

(equally, given the prevalence of recreational drug use, recognition of its non- contribution to the road toll by the displacing of clearly harmful alcohol is an oversight./Blair)

Blair Anderson
Corporate Technology Consultants
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Monday, December 18, 2006

Its the Fugacity, Stupid!

Daily Mail, UK
Dear Sir/Madam
Re the article by Jenny Hope 16 Dec 2006
'Not only does the tar in a cannabis cigarette contain many of the same
carcinogens as tobacco smoke, but the concentrations of these are up to
50 per cent higher in the smoke of a cannabis cigarette,' it says.

Benzyprene, found in the tar of cannabis joints, can change the make-up
of one of the genes which suppresses tumours and could therefore make
cancer more likely for people who smoke joints.

There are also more than 75 case studies of young cannabis smokers with
cancers of the throat and gullet - diseases usually rare in people under
60.

Among the many erroneous claims asserted most all of which fails to account for current policy and how it's perverse application may help or hinder the concerns raised (where does anyone get appropriate cancer help from a policeman?)
I take umbrage with and seek correction's to be made 'in the interest of public good' for the egregious obfuscations related to cancer, cannabis and (ingested) air-pollution.
Tobacco Documents Online ( Oak Ridge Natl Lab Toxicology + Industrial Health ) says about Benzo-a-pyrene [BaP]
  • The food chain is the dominant pathway of human exposure, accounting for about 97% of the total daily in- take of BaP. Inhalation and consumption of contaminated water are only minor pathways of human exposure.
  • The long-term average daily intake of BaP by the general population of the U.S. is estimated to be 2.2 micrograms (~g) per day.
  • Cigarette smoking and indoor activities do not substantially increase human exposure to BaP relative to exposures to background levels of BaP present in the environment.
  • Since the increased lifetime risk associated with human exposure to background levels of BaP is 3.5 × 10-4, we conclude that ingestion of food items contaminated with BaP may pose a serious health threat to the U.S. population.
*Research was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under lnteragency Agreements
U.S. Department of Energy. Toxicology and Industrial Health, 7:3, p. 141-I57

The combustion of fossil fuels is the primary anthropogenic source of background levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in the environment (Archer et at., 1979; Edwards, 1983). While there is no known intentional production or use of the most toxic PAH, benzo-a-pyrene (BaP), it has been detected in virtually all environmental media and food items consumed by animals and humans - environmental contamination of BaP is widespread. environmental behavior of organic chemicals chronically released into the environment Because BaP is a potential human carcinogen, the environmental fate and accumulation of this compound in the food chain is of particular concern.
Its the Fugacity, Stupid.
Its all in the environmental behavior and that BaP's are chronically released into the environment

Fugacity Food Chain (FFC) models estimate the concentration of [complex organic] chemicals in air, water, soil, bottom and suspended sediments and aquatic biota (fish). Using these concentrations we can predict the amount of a chemical that accumulates in the food chain and the average daily intake by the general population.

Using FCC helps predict the health impact of BaP in people by monitoring:
1) its physicochemical properties;
2) its bioaccumulation potential in living organisms;
3) degradation rates for processes that remove the compound from the system; and
4) an estimate of emissions into air, water, and soil. The physicochemical properties of BaP and its bioconcentration and biotransfer factors.

BaP released into the atmosphere may remain in the vapor phase or may sorb onto particulates.

Deposition of BaP onto outer plant surfaces contributes substantially to vegetative contamination.

Organics that have accumulated on outer plant surfaces have a typical weathering half-life of 14 days and chronically constantly replaced. (see also: The Report on Diesel Exhaust, Activity of Particulate Organic Matter and other mildgreen analysis on environmental/health from mobile sources )
Finally, I refer your journalist staff to a more balanced analysis on cannabis and cancer from the USA NIDA's Prof Donald Tashkin who after decades of research into cannabis related harms conceded that its use may even have a prophylactic effect in the case of lung cancer. Other recent multidisciplinary studies have found no epidemiological correlation with cannabis/cancer in heavy users (20,000 joints.)
Yours faithfully,
Blair Anderson
http://mildgreens.com
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tide watch

As predicted and espoused by the writer for years and all but ignored by the cognoscenti, tidal energy is attracting world wide interest and investment.

We, for want of a bit of 'public' consultation being seen to be done are giving up our resources to offshore interests (who are doing nothing we couldn't have).
It is little surprise to read that yet another UK company, Neptune Power, is assessing a prototype turbine for use in the Cook Strait, between the North and South islands of New Zealand. Up to 7000 turbines could eventually be employed at the site over 200km2 of maritime territory. Electricity production costs are estimated at 7 US cents per kWh [<12cents NZ ].

Blair Anderson
Corporate Technology Consultants
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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Friday, December 15, 2006

Drug Driving Editorials 15 Dec 06

Subject: Drug Driving Editorials 15 Dec 06

Each and every one of these editorials is deserving of LTE

"when ya pull on the threads of drug policy, it's the cloth of unintended
consequences your messing with" /Blair

(tx to Paula for assembling these....)

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southlandtimes/3899978a6566.html
*Collaring the drugged driver*
15 December 2006
*letters@stl.co.nz*

The headlines for the Government's latest road safety initiatives tended to
focus, reasonably enough, on the new offence of driving while impaired by
illegal drugs, writes The Southland Times in an editorial.
This immediately raised questions about why legal drugs were excluded, when
some contain serious warnings about not driving.

After all, if the driver of a car hurtling towards you and your family has
his reactions impaired by the chemicals in his system, you are not likely to
take any comfort at the time, or later, from assurances that the drugs were
legitimately taken. That won't change the medical consequences, or the
laws of physics regarding objects in motion. It won't change the level of
danger created.

The criticism can be stretched only so far, however. In some respects the
Government has gone for a popular measure while pulling back from a more
difficult area. On balance, the initiative is open to the criticism that it
doesn't go far enough.

Even so, there's scant room here for those who take illegal drugs to argue
that they're being unfairly picked on. There is often good reason for the
illegal status of those drugs and that reason often has to do with the
extent to which they are not only harmful, but debilitating.

What's more, most people would strongly suspect that more illegal drugs than
legal ones are unprosecuted factors in crashes.
The Government says more people than realised are driving under the
influence of drugs.

The methodology of the new testing system, not yet fully determined, will be
interesting. Drivers suspected of driving while impaired will be required
to undergo a roadside test ? those little co-ordination and thinking
challenges that many a nervous but otherwise clean and sober citizen might
fail, particularly if they rely on the subjective assessment of the police
officer. Drivers deemed to have failed will then be required to give an
evidential blood test. Details, says Transport Safety Minister Harry
Duynhoven, are still being worked out, though he makes clear overseas models
provide useful reference.

The Government, every bit as much as the tested driver, should tread
carefully here. There's disconcerting scope for the announced system to
provide a good deal of work for lawyers.

What's missing from the initiative is any strong word on the use of
cellphones in cars. That's a shame. The case for banning hand-held ones is
compelling, though whether hands-free phones should be permitted is more
problematic. There's evidence that the mental distraction of conversing
with a distant figure is, itself, a real problem, though the satirists are
quick to add that such thinking could be extended to conversing with
back-seat passengers. One unassailably strong part of the new initiatives
is the extension of the demerit point system to include intersection
infringements, red-light cameras and seat belt offences.

A consultation process has returned a clear finding, says Transport Minister
Annette King, that demerit points are a more effective deterrent than fines.
The Government is also looking at tightening the demerit discomfort for
young drivers who are still on graduated licences. Good. Any avenue for
legitimately hitting the hooning driver in a meaningful, corrective way
should be taken up.
=============================

http://www.stuff.co.nz/3901091a6520.html
*Stronger traffic action needed*
15 December 2006
*laurab@marlexpress.co.nz *

The proposed steps announced by Police Minister Annette King and Transport
Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven this week to overhaul road safety are a step
in the right direction, writes The Marlborough Express in an editorial.
Under the new measures motorists could risk losing their licences for
running red lights or not wearing seatbelts as demerit points are suggested
to replace fines for some offences. The Government says it is investigating
the greater use of demerit points to stop motorists, especially youths, from
continuing to drive while clocking up big fines.

This change could help to dispel public perceptions that police issue
tickets mainly as a revenue gathering exercise. Mrs King says the Government
does not want drivers writing out cheques but would rather they change their
behaviour.

The idea of replacing fines with demerits will only work if those who
continue to drive after they have lost their licences are dealt with
severely by the law. The type of driver who manages to collect enough
demerits to lose their licence will probably continue to drive regardless of
whether they have a licence or not.
Hitting offenders where it hurts, like confiscating their cars, might seem
like a drastic idea but will certainly make drivers think twice about
breaking the law.

Another proposed measure is roadside drug testing. Drivers who are stopped
because they are suspected of driving while impaired by illegal drugs will
be required to undergo a roadside test, followed by blood tests. If
evidence of illegal drugs is found, they will be prosecuted.

This is another positive step but some are calling for even stronger action.
Lower Hutt woman Rachael Ford, whose mother Mary Radley died after a
drugged driver slammed into the car she was driving near Koromiko in August
2004, is unhappy that the new measures focus on illegal drugs. She says
legal drugs, such as methadone and morphine tablets, are just as much a
problem as all the other illegal drugs.

One area where Government has not clamped down is on drivers who talk or txt
on cellphones while driving. An outright ban on drivers using hand-held
cellphones is already in force in 35 countries. Driving a car is an activity
that requires 100 percent concentration and anything that distracts a driver
can be extremely dangerous. Perhaps more deaths need to be attributed to
cellphone use before action will be taken on this issue.

Groups such as the Consumers Institute say road deaths are not falling at
the rate required to meet the Government's target of fewer than 300 roads
deaths by 2010. The institute has suggested 10 measures to lower the road
toll, ranging from reducing the drink-drive limit to raising the minimum
driving age to 16. The statistics are not good. So far this year 62 young
drivers aged between 15 and 19 have died on our roads, that's 16 percent of
the road toll.
Even 300 road deaths a year is still too many. Strong action is needed to
bring the road toll down to even less than that and hopefully the new
measures will go some way to achieving that.
=============================

http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatustandard/3900951a6504.html
*Winning on and off the road*
15 December 2006
*editor@msl.co.nz*

This has been one of the busiest years in memory when it comes to news
stories about traffic control. That doesn't look like changing with the
release of a new bunch of policies detailing action against rogue drivers,
including more demerit points. Measures that lower the road toll must be
supported, particularly because it also will lead to fewer people who are
merely maimed and crippled in crashes, and who are left alive to suffer,
writes the Manawatu Standard in an editorial.

So congratulations to the police for the lower road toll figures. About 360
people have died so far this year with only a few days to go, whereas in
1973, when there were many fewer cars on the road, a horrifying 843 were
killed. It shows how much the police have achieved and how well drivers have
responded. You can't argue against methods that save lives, even if the
police haven't won any popularity contests out of it all.

However, public opinion is a tricky thing. The difference between winning
and losing public support can teeter on the thinnest of edges. Many men are
a little fragile when it comes to driving. They don't want drunks and
speeders on the road, but they also don't want to be bossed around by the
rules needed to control drunks and speeders. For many young men, car
driving is their only macho outlet.

So as the screws continue to tighten on drivers to behave on the roads,
there will be more outrage and claims that Nanny State controls are being
imposed and "freedoms" are being trampled on. Speed camera fines are the
most popular target because they combine the embarrassment of successfully
being stalked and caught with the sting of a big hit to the wallet.

The Standard has covered that topic in depth this year. We revealed that an
unhealthy approach to ticketing had emerged in some police stations, with
competitions on ticket numbers and expectations of ticket tallies among the
revelations. Hopefully that has changed.

A new approach appears to be emerging, with the plan to use demerit points
instead of fines as a punishment for road offences to avoid claims that
ticketing has a hidden revenue-gathering agenda.
The police deserve support as they hunt a lower road toll. But to get that
support we need to feel that they are going after drunk and dangerous
drivers, idiot drivers, boy racers all those who make the road dangerous for
ordinary people. What will weaken support is if pettiness intrudes:
slapping fines or demerit points on mums doing the school run whose wheels
didn't come to a complete halt at the stop sign being a good example.
==========================

http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelsonmail/3901043a6508.html
*New ways to cut the road toll*
15 December 2006
*billm@nelsonmail.co.nz*

The Government has set itself the hard target of cutting the road toll to
300 and road accident-related hospital admissions to 4500 by 2010 and it
isn't going to get there under the existing laws said the Nelson Mail in an
editorial on Friday.

If it is accepted that the goal is realistic - achieving it will mean
reaching pre-1960 fatality levels - more must be done to change driver
behaviour. As the Consumers Institute has pointed out, based on current
figures the road toll will need to fall by 7 percent a year until 2010. The
improvement, while remarkable, is running at about half that. Hence the new
package of measures announced this week in a road safety policy statement.

Transport Minister Annette King and Transport Safety Minister Harry
Duynhoven did not provide much detail, but did announce changes that, once
developed and implemented, will have a significant effect on policing.
Among them is a new offence, driving while impaired by illegal drugs, that
will bring in roadside drug testing as a standard policing method, and will
be accompanied by penalties mirroring those meted out to drinking drivers.
This is a logical reaction to the proliferation of recreational drug use
and will help to close a loophole that has been open for too long.

The flagged greater use of the demerit point system is both an
acknowledgment of the deep public distaste for what is almost universally
regarded as revenue-gathering for minor offences, and a pragmatic solution
to the problem of unpaid fines. Mrs King has recognised the unpopularity of
the current regime by saying that the Government "does not want drivers
writing out cheques, but we want drivers changing their behaviour".

The change in policy also addresses the contemptuous attitude that some
young drivers have towards fines, leading to the accumulation and then
cancellation of massive tallies. A greater use of demerit points will see
this group faced with loss of licence much more quickly than the present
system allows and might also cause older drivers to take greater care.
Nobody likes paying fines but the risk of being forced off the road for six
months also tends to concentrate drivers' minds - compulsory
disqualification is a big part of the improvement in the drink-driving
figures.

A third change, reducing the speed tolerance near schools from 55kmh to
54kmh does not look like much. However, there are studies to show that even
such small adjustments do lead to an overall improvement in the accident
rate, and some allowance must continue to be made for variations in
speedometer accuracy. The key, as with all the measures mentioned, is in
getting out the message that there will be greater vigilance.

Those who complain about the increasing effort being put into improving road
safety should remember two things. First, road accidents take a terrible
toll on New Zealand families though death and injury and also place a heavy
burden on the health service. Second, there is plenty of evidence that, in
spite of a growing population and a burgeoning vehicle fleet, the toll can
be brought down.

In the early 1970s fatalities passed 800 a year and that figure was reached
again in the mid-1980s. Since then there has been a steady downward trend.
Last year's total was 405, this year's will be lower still. The target of
300 is demanding but worth aiming for. Ask anyone who has lost a near
relative or close friend or seen a life ruined because of a road accident.


--
Blair Anderson
Corporate Technology Consultants
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Nuclear Power - 'first do no harm'.

Nuclear Policy Research Institute,
College Park, Maryland
attn: Helen Caldicott MD [President]


Thank you for your precise and accurate statement on consequences of continuing fissile energy development and dependency.
Nuke's as a solution to anthropromorphic climate change is a case of the cure is worse than the 'lifestyle' disease.
While prevention, in this case,is the only recourse, I would be very interested for a whole bunch of other reasons to hear NPRI's position on depleted uranium?
The sanctioned use of this weaponised radiative source contravenes all sensibilities such that the arbiter's of its use against DU's known harms are guilty of malfeasance of holocaust proportions and should be tried before the court of human rights alongside Saddam.
I have no doubt that I would be at the end of a very long queue to support such an action.
Keep up the good work, and please keep me apprised of your Institutes valuable contribution to keeping the public informed on nuclear's downsides.


Yours faithfully,
Blair Anderson
Public Health Advocate in Energy, Drugs and the Climate.
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
50 Wainoni Road,
Christchurch,
New(clear Free) Zealand
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Monday, December 11, 2006

"Biofuels: Think Outside The Barrel" - Vinod Khosla

It's not that we cannot fix this, rather we lack the organisational will to consensually arbitrate a framework to deliver it. /Blair

Biofuels: Think Outside The Barrel

1 hr 8 min 42 sec - Mar 29, 2006
Average rating:   (335 ratings)
Description: Google TechTalks March 29, 2006 Vinod Khosla Vinod Khosla is a venture capitalist considered one of the most successful and influential personalities in Silicon Valley. He was one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems and became a general partner of the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers in 1986. In 2004 he formed Khosla Ventures. ABSTRACT On Wednesday, March 29th, by invitation from our co-founders and CEO, our special guest, Vinod Khosla, visited Google to deliver a tech talk about the emergence of ethanol as a viable, market ready, and competitive source of renewable energy. His presentation has been making huge waves in the investor, policy, and business communities and we are privileged to have had him take time to talk to us about the tremendous potential for ethanol's explosion into the market. Here are some recent articles that might be of interest in relation to this talk: Vinod Khosla, a Silicon Valley billionaire, who wants to save the world from oil http://www.economist.com/people/displaystory.cfm?story_id=5655161 On the Ethanol Bandwagon, Big Names and Big Risks http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/26/business/yourmoney/26etha.html?_r=1&oref=login

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

A malfeasance of holocaust proportions

KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban gunmen who murdered two teachers in eastern  Afghanistan early Saturday were only following their rules:
 

The new list of 30 rules, decided on during a high Taliban meeting in September or October and since circulated over the Internet, span from the organizational — no jihad equipment may be used for personal means — to the health conscious — militants are not supposed to smoke.

They also contain a grave warning for aid workers and educators.

Rule No. 24 forbids anyone to work as a teacher "under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels." One rule later, No. 25, says teachers who ignore Taliban warnings will be killed.

Taliban militants early Saturday broke into a house in the eastern province of Kunar, killing a family of five, including two sisters who were teachers.

The women had been warned in a letter to quit teaching, said Gulam Ullah Wekar, the provincial education director. Their mother, grandmother and a male relative were also slain in the attack.
 
Perhaps one of the worst consequences of prohibition is its empowerment of white privildege, the unearned right not to talk about some things! For this is less about what the Taliban are doing than it is about the international community standing back and tolerating this....  where the bejezzuz is the UN Security Council on this issue? Oh thats right, the UNODC [office of drug control/Vienna] looks after Afghanistan and they tell the UN drugs 'are' the problem. The UNODC also said the world would be rid of drugs by 2008.    
 
 
No Classroom 'news item' on modern history can ignore the required critical thinking in this issue. Certainly insofar as the USA is the primary instigator and beneficiary of its international 'pre-emptive' strive for democracy... in the rules of engagement, one cannot ignore the perpetuation either by design or stupidity, of DARE and other anti-drug propaganda spoon feed to children.
 
What is taught in rural Idaho or urban Pittsburgh has consequences for people from Kandahar to Bogota to Bankok. [ Impact Assessment of Crop Eradication in Afghanistan and Lessons Learned from Latin America and South East Asia (PDF) ] Those who fail to account for this ideology are guilty of malfeasance of holocaust proportions .
 
 
Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219
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Friday, December 08, 2006

The Key to climate change?

The Key to climate change?
New National leader John Key has tried to improve his environmental credentials with a big show on climate change. While he no longer denies the reality of climate change, his declared interest in a trans-Tasman emissions trading system operating outside the Kyoto framework raises a whole new set of credibility problems.

Neither FrogBlog or National's Mr Key have considered Contraction and Convergence 'bubble" strategies. An ANZAC bubble could give CER some real Climate Emission Reductions and be expeditiously adopted within existing trade frameworks. If NZ was to dive deep and go Carbon Zero as PM Helen Clark proposes, Australian extractive industry 'exports' could [largely] pay for it. More especially achievable if Mr Sterns carbon valuation calculated on a BAU model at UK50Pound per ton finally gets some media notice. ;-)

/Blair


Mr Key doesn't seem to realise that emissions trading only helps if you cap and reduce the overall amount of carbon, otherwise you're just moving emissions around, not preventing them. Trading carbon with Australia, outside the Kyoto treaty and free to pollute as much as it wishes, won't help. This was followed by a
fascinating session in Question Time that saw John Key lead a barrage of questions on climate change and carbon neutrality.
Read the full
press release.
Read Frog's
comment and extracts of the Oral Questions.
--
Blair Anderson
Corporate Technology Consultants
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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A Frank Probationer

WAR ON DRUGS IS INEFFECTIVE

I commend Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand for having the intellectual integrity and political courage to point out the self-defeating nature of our approach to drugs ( Herald, Nov. 30 ).

I was a probation officer for 25 years, most of which was in the federal system here in Vermont, before retiring in 1997. My career coincided with the ramp-up of the "War on Drugs," and I had the opportunity to observe its ineffectiveness first-hand.

[ Simply a stunning revelation by a courageous public guardian borne of the frustration and experience deep within institutionalised 'corrections'. Here is the witnessing of endless systemic failure to achieve an outcome, I urge readers to send a note to the publication mentioned in this URL]
/Blair
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Useful teaching aid (Cannabis in the Clinic)

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/units/addiction/issues/marijuana.cfm contains reference and links to the excellent work of Robert Melamede (inc. audio)
--
Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065 cell 027 265 7219
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