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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Words of Wisdom from Father Ted

Ted responds to the suggestion that, in England, the 'charismatics' are 'the good guys'.

A Very Poor Assessment! The good guys are in every kind of churchmanship over here, such as the lovely lady who leads the parishes I looked after in the Welsh/English Borderlands. The Anglican tradition isn't really, I suspect, about churchmanships. Much rather it is about serving those around us as best we can whether as laity or with the special charismata of ordained ministry.

It is a sad thing that observing Anglican charismatics over the last thirty years or so, it seems to me that most of them are people high on their own adrenalin and confusing that experience with the effect of the Holy Spirit who is the only source of charismatic experience (by definition, I believe). They seem to be more "wonder-workers" than anything else. Alas in many cases failing to work any wonders other than in the emotions of anyone present susceptible to such things. The understanding of charismatic life by the Pentecostals and by the Orthodox Churches is rather different, but perhaps more accurate.

Sorry to be so cool about the matter, but the whole problem lies in the egocentricity which can be engendered in the old-fashioned Anglican tradition of every incumbent being "a pope in his own parish."

The Happy side of things is that behind all the attractions - charismatic phenomena (bending over backwards so that the minister can push you over more easily to become yet another "slain in the spirit"), management policies and jargon, "New Church" initiatives, appalling hymns and droning worship songs (every age has had them) - the vast majority of clergy get on with the job of shepherding their flocks.
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Stephen on Algae and the Energy Crisis

Single-celled algae can grow very rapidly in low quality water, producing biomass at 10 to 30 times the rate of terrestrial plants. They can do this mainly because the cells are immersed in a medium providing all their needs, including physical support, and so the cells have no need to build infrastructure to move materials and to support themselves.

A pond 60km by 60km (less than 500,000ha) well stocked with a vigorous microalga would go close to producing sufficient biomass to meet most of Australia's liquid fuel needs.

Furthermore, algae have remarkable biochemical abilities: some strains produce oils that could be used unmodified in diesel engines.

Indeed, there is good evidence that many of the world's vast reserves of fossil liquid fuels are the products of ancient algal activity.

The demands of algae are simple: sunlight, warmth, water, nutrients and, most significantly, carbon dioxide, the much maligned gas that is a major contributor to global warming.

Australia has more sunshine and warmth than any other developed country, and seawater is common, thanks to our extended coastline. Augmentation of seawater with waste water from sewage treatment plants could completely satisfy algal nutrient demands and would have the side benefit of treating the wastewater.

Significantly, carbon dioxide can be delivered to the algal cells either direct from the atmosphere or in a concentrated form from cement factories and electricity stations.

The algae can also be engineered to convert waste carbon dioxide to produce valuable products, such as liquid fuels.

Consequently, this process has much greater economic potential to be an economic option than, for example, carbon capture and storage, which, other than the carbon credits, produces no useful product. In addition to the production of liquid fuels, the algae can be used in other ways: there is potential for the cells to be pyrolysed to char for burial, which effectively removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or they could be used as animal food.