Butterflies Against Gas – saving the planet one flutter at a time

So i have recently become more and more bamboozled by the legality of the CSG Industry -that is how on earth is it legal??. I honestly thought environmentally dangerous industries of this caliber died in the fifties – you know?…chemicals with cotton farming and “cigarettes are good for you”. With modern technology today allowing for independent research and global networking i really didn’t think something so obviously damaging would get so far. At first i was dumbfounded but have since done some research; reading articles and press releases, activists pamphlets and gas company websites, scientific reports and  watching home videos from locals experience the effects first hand. Coal Seam Gas companies seem to have no problem destroying the fertility of the land, the safety of our water and the quality of the air we breath. After attending an active protest in Glenugie near Grafton in New South Wales i fell in love with the wetlands and the cause. Beautiful butterflies roaming freely, water lilies in natural lagoons oh and an assortment of dragon flies buzzing around. It is a paradise. However it is bittersweet as the site for an exploratory drilling well is in walking distance to the lagoons in the heart of the wetlands.  Which will all be in danger if the fracking goes ahead. Hence my brand new group – Butterflies Against Gas.

BUTTERFLIES AGAINST GAS IMAGE 1

For those of you who do not know much about Coal Seam Gas it has been sold as a “cleaner energy source” than coal – “producing less greenhouse gasses”. The method used to extract the gas uses Hydraulic Fracturing, Multiple Drilling, Hydraulic Drilling and Azidizing. They drill deep into the earth forcing a mixture of sand, water and chemicals down to create pathways for huge amounts of methane gas to escape. This toxic water mix that has now been created needs to be removed to make way for the gas. There is no safe way to dispose of this wastewater which is now highly toxic. The water mix is then stored in a damn lined with plastic nearby, often not even fenced off from local wildlife such as (in Australias case) kangaroos and wallabies.

Many studies in Australia and around the world have found high levels of methane gas leaking out of CSG wells. This gas seeps through the ground, contaminates the bore water and then becomes a part of the atmosphere. In Tara, Queensland Australia, we have recently been provided readings of up 20 parts per million of methane in the atmosphere and 7 ppm on average. It all reminds me of that movie about Erin Brockovich.

“Methane is about 20 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide,” Peter Rayner says.

But when you burn it, it produces, on average, only about half the carbon pollution that coal does, to produce the same amount of energy. (coalseamgasnews.org)

So with all the reported leaking it makes the process worse for greenhouse gas emissions! With the negatives far outweighing the positives. It is 30 years gain for 1000 years pain. The other sad thing i keep hearing is how irreversible a lot of the the damage is – so if they are allowed to continue we could lose all hope of  fresh water and fertile soil for farming – where is our future?

I think i will leave it on that note – i could go on forever. Here are some groups to look out for, and there are so many more for other parts of the world. Cheers, Lock the Gate and SAY NO TO COAL SEAM GAS!

Some beautiful pics from near Grafton;

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Mini Waters Anti – Fracking Protest

Along Golden Mile Rd near Grafton airport. A rally will also take place today in town in Grafton. A Fracking area has been fenced off and we need to stop the trucks. Anyone who is passionate about anti-Fracking or wants to know more information please come down to the site where we have peaceful protest set up with a beautiful gathering of different people; artists, musicians, activists etc. You can also head to the rally in Grafton today.

We re hoping for a communal gathering to stop a global issue. No matter if your local or passing through we would love your presence.

Fracking has the potential to cause many serious long term problems, with the loss of valuable water and fertile land for producing food. (read more http://www.frackingfacts.com.au)

Looking forward to my ride from Brisbane to Sydney!

So we are in the final week of Toybox, the preschool television series i have been working on. It has been 2 years, 4 series and something like 300 episodes of madness and fun. Alas ‘Toybox’ is over and it is time to move back to Sydney. Since purchasing my 1988 ex250f a few months ago i have been looking forward to this ride. Brisbane to Byron, then to Coffs Harbour and the beautiful Belingen and Glennifer Valley. Next i will head west to Armidale for christmas with the family and finally i will make the last leg to Sydney (hopefully in time for a mates boxing day partay!). I am so excited! I have managed to secure a bed in each location which means i can leave the tent behind, reducing my weight and providing me with much more enjoyable manoeuvrability. I will put my bike in for a quick service and carburettor balance tomorrow and then i will be ready to hit the road. YAY!!!!

Having only been riding in Australia since october i am a bit wary of the highways and the trucks along with it. I have been reading roadcraft tips and forums on riding the east coast. I will be avoiding the busy highways as much as possible but they will be inevitable. eek! Fingers crossed i survive this trip and can enjoy many more!

1988 EX250F Kawasaki Ninja

1988 EX250F Kawasaki Ninja

2 stroke and4 stroke engines – I am trying to get my head around it.

I have been trying to succinctly get my head around the difference between 2 stroke and 4 stroke combustion engines. The more i seem to ask the more confused i have become. I have found many youtube videos contradicting each other. I think i have finally reached an understanding. Please correct me if i am wrong. here it is;

The difference between a 2 stroke and 4 stroke engine;

In a 2 stroke the piston acts as an intake valve, exhaust valve and a compressor (making it much lighter but has a dirtier fuel mix). 2 stroke engines combust every cycle (giving it more power).

The 4 stroke engine has a separate intake and exhaust valve (much cleaner fuel mix) that require and extra cycle to open and close only combusting every other cycle (less power).

A Cycle is one full rotation of the crankshaft.

2 STROKE ENGINE

Stroke one

The fuel air mix is compressed up towards the spark plug sucking more fuel air into the crankshaft area and closing the exhaust and intake valves.

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.48.40 AM

Stroke two

The fuel is ignited by the spark plug forcing the piston back toward the crankshaft. As the Piston moves back towards the crankshaft it acts as the exhaust valve and then the intake valve. Pushing the smoke out and then a fraction later, pulling the fuel air mix in.

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.44.38 AM

4 STROKE ENGINE

Stroke one

The fuel air mix is sucked in from the inlet valve as the piston moves back towards the crankshaft.

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Stroke two

The fuel air mix is compressed as the piston moves towards the spark plug where it ignites.

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Stoke one and two make up one cycle (one full rotation of the crankshaft). It ignites in this cycle.

Stroke three

The fuel air mix has been ignited which forces the piston back towards the crankshaft.

 Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.45.20 AM

Stroke four

Stoke three and four make up the second cycle (another full rotation of the crankshaft). It does not ignite in this cycle.The smoke is pushed out the exhaust valve as the piston moves towards the spark plug. It does not ignite in this cycle.

 Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.45.27 AM

Stoke three and four make up the second cycle (another full rotation of the crankshaft). It does not ignite in this cycle.

The Intouchables – A Perfect Movie

One of my favourite pass times is film critique with family and friends. It is not often you take yourself off to the cinema and have no criticism of the film what so ever. Even my favourite films have some error or minor production flaws it is inevitable. Yesterday to escape the scorching 39 degree afternoon dad and i dissolved into an air-conditioned cinema to watch The Intouchables. WOW! What a movie. Dare i say a perfect movie! The small indie cinema was the ideal setting for this intimate film. I do not want to give anything away so i will avoid mentioning plot. The actor Omar Sy, one half of the lead duo, is ultimately charming. His tantric smile and childish mannerisms are captivating throughout. I was completely mesmerised. A trance only broken with breaks of uncontrollable laughter. François Cluzet (the other half) plays this role so elegantly. As i watched his story unravel i was gripped and sore with stomach aching laughter. By the end of the film i was so invested in the characters their story brought me to tears. The ultimate feel good film. A French masterpiece! Not only were the performances outstanding, but the direction cinematography, wardrobe, setting etc was flawless. A beautiful sight with an enticing score the ultimate combo. I don’t usually say this, so cliche, however this film truly is A MUST SEE!!!

If you don’t usually like subtitles you have to endure it for this film. Its worth it!