2011: A year in the ShadowLands
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2011: A year in the ShadowLands

What a far out year it has been in the ShadowLands.

It was a very ordinary year for disasters beginning with the Queensland floods. I listened into Queensland emergency services radio and made notes.

There was much talk about whether much of the damage from the floods could have been prevented by flood management. Inquiries eventually agreed with the assessment. Poor old Bangkok suffered from similar issues later in the year.

Germaine Greer got carried away by the whole thing, but I guess that’s what she does.

The ShadowLands complained about the conduct of the Ombudsman’s office, suggesting it demonstrated partisanship by releasing a report when news was dominated by a cyclone. Funnily enough, the Ombudsman was forced to resign later in the year after being accused of colluding with the Greens on another issue.

The true heroes of the year, I believe, were the engineers of the buildings in Tokyo.

Alena Composta had me and many others guessing for a while. Turns out she may be some relation to Professor Bunyip. Hoax of the Year, without a doubt.

We put together a radioactive recipe, had a go at John Birmingham, and discovered that a UN agency tried to hide its prediction that there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010 after I examined it. This turned out to be the biggest environment story on the internet for a couple of days and was covered in international media such as Der Spiegel, Fox News, New Scientist and the Wall Street Journal. I was even interviewed by the BBC.

An academic paper more or less vindicated my stance.

I challenged the folk at the ABC website to show they are not biased – and they failed, naturally. A number of these issues were addressed at Senate Estimates.

I loved this quote from the editor of Cosmos magazine, upset the ABC correspondent Mark Willacy by asking questions about his radiation exposure and then writing about it, noted the Greens’ campaign against wind turbines, got carried away on twitter, nearly hooked up with a gorgeous African refugee, hailed the decision by Alan Joyce to ground Qantas (seems to be working out fine for him so far), predicted a bushfire time bomb, and took note of expert opinion about Fukushima.

Then there was stuff I wrote somewhere else.

Jeez, time for a cup of tea and a good lie down.

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