Return of The Wastemakers

I had a Vance Packard moment this week, thwarting the concept of planned obsolescence, which he wrote about in his 1960 best-seller, The Wastemakers. My triumph was no big deal, but they were hard-won as I finally, after four weeks, got my 32-year-old Technics stereo system working again. Before we get into that, and on a similar theme, I would like to have a rant about the complexities and nonsense of Windows 10. Microsoft’s latest…

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Confessions of a Tree Hugger

The derogatory label ‘tree hugger’ is worn with pride by environmental guerrillas, the ones who chain themselves to trees in a bid to prevent them being chopped down. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines tree hugger as ‘someone who is regarded as foolish or annoying because of being too concerned about protecting trees, animals, and other parts of the natural world from pollution and other threats’. Yes, well, that’s objective. Although chaining yourself to a tree…

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Carnarvon open for business

It doesn’t seem too widely known that the once-notorious black soil road from the Rolleston turn-off to Carnarvon Gorge is now completely sealed. True, there is an unsealed section between Takarakka Resort and the National Park headquarters, but it’s a few hundred metres at best. In the 1970s, a hired car full of adventurous Kiwis set off for Carnarvon, 720kms west of Brisbane, having heard it was a must-do wilderness experience in Queensland. “Mind you,…

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Private interests and national parks

Let’s just imagine going for a bush walk in a national park, say five or ten years from now. As you set off on foot with your smart phone, selfie stick and water bottle, a tribe of kids and adults whiz past on mountain bikes. In the distance, you can hear the throaty buzz of trail bikes traversing the circuit reserved for them on the other side of the mountain. A kilometre or so down…

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