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Friday, October 26, 2007

I love Dr Karl (and he loves me).

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is standing as a member of the Climate Change Coalition, for the Senate in NSW, in the forthcoming election (on November 24). I was invited to go to Sydney today to help brief Karl on issues to do with coal mining under the Sydney Water Catchment area, thanks to Kim Martin having met with Karl during the week.
I jumped at the chance, naturally.
Caroline Graham, from Rivers SOS, who has been campaigning against the coal mining under the rivers of the Illawarra Plateau (for many years) was involved as well, which was great. Caroline knows these issues really well, as she has been campaigning against it for so long.
I showed Karl some of the images of Longwall Mining machinery, and how the longwall mining technique removes entire "panels", where all the coal in a layer is removed, and then the rock above the former coal layer is allowed to collapse down.
This causes subsidence (of course). This subsidence is what causes cracking of rivers in areas where the coal mining has occurred.
This is one of the maps which Caroline Graham has prepared to show where the longwall mining is occurring, in relation to the dams and rivers on the Illawarra (Woronora) Plateau. Karl was amazed that this is being allowed. What can we say? The information is out there on the public record, but few media people have ever taken any notice. Hopefully Dr Karl can help focus some public attention on this crazy situation.
Anyway, I am afraid that I acted like a "58 year old Groupie", and asked Dr Karl to sign my Climate Change Coalition T-Shirt, which he was happy to do.
As I said to Karl, I went with Zoe to see Dr Karl at an ABC's JJJ "Outside Broadcast" at the Australian Institute of Sport, in Canberra, a number of years ago, as we were both fans of his - from way back.
I also commented that his ads on "micro-sleeps" on the Television are a seriously good public information campaign - as I was "that guy" who was prone to falling asleep for moments, while driving. In my case, it is caused by sleep apnoea. Hopefully I have the issue more-or-less under control these days, but one needs always to be aware of the need to "Stop, Revive, Survive", when on the road.


7times9 said...

You are very lucky.

Dr Karl himself collects autographs so I don't think he would have minded in the least.

Denis Wilson said...

Dear 7times9. Thanks, I think I am lucky, too.
Are you a Maths freak (with a name like that?) If so, the Beatles will still love you, when you're 64. :-)


7times9 said...

Well I do have a degree in Maths but 7times9 is actually an incorrectly remembered reference to the scene at end of the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

- - -

Of course there has been a massive downside to Karl's decision to stand for election: NO MORE DR KARL ON TRIPLE J :-(

However I've just discovered that the BBC now podcast his Radio 5 weekly segment!

Denis Wilson said...

Dear Dr Maths. 7Times9
Honoured to have a numerically empowered person on board this humble Blog.
Thanks for the link to Dr Karl Podcasts. I didn't know they were available, via the BBC.
By the way, wasn't the Hitchhikers Guide ultimate answer 42? I also forget.


7times9 said...

Yes, the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is 42. But the joke at the end is that (SPOILER:) the scrabble tiles DON'T multiply to make 42. Neither does my user name, so I guess I'm thinking in an (Douglas) Adamsian way ;)

Anyhoo, just posting to find out if you saw this. I haven't looked for the original article yet, I wonder who persuaded him.

What do you make of it?