Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.
I don’t know whether the bushfire smoke is getting to me, or whether I’m just going a bit batty, or maybe both. Either way, I sure don’t feel well. Depending on the way the wind is blowing, my True Love and I will nip outside for a breath of fetid air. On one of our brief walks, we saw a tiny colony of flying foxes (fruit bats) with what looked like several babies clinging to them. Flying foxes have been having a tough time of it over the last few years. They have been dying in their thousands from heat stress during increasingly frequent heatwaves. I can relate. I think I might drop off my perch too if I don’t get air-conditioning. Seriously though, it is a real problem. Read more
It is time for my Friday song post. Where did the week go? I’m relaxed and comfortable (in-joke, a little Aussie humour) at the seaside. However, at the back of my mind, there is still this ominous foreboding that we are in too deep. It’s a feeling that Australian singer-songwriter, Richard Clapton, writes so well about in his song, Deep Water. So I thought it should be my Friday pick. Read more
Would it surprise you to learn, ladies and gentlemen, that Australia has the highest rate of deforestation in the developed world and that, although direct comparisons cannot be made. rates of land-clearing are on a par with Brazil? Land-clearing is accelerating the growth in Australia’s carbon emissions. Read more
So often novelist, Richard Flanagan, speaks for me on matters close to my heart. He is spot on when he says the fight to stop the Adani Carmichael mine is not just about Adani. (Read Richard Flanagan’s speech to the Stop Adani rally by clicking on the above link.)
The Adani mine infrastructure is needed to make other prospective mines in Galilee basin viable. Political power broker, Clive Palmer, also has mining interests in the Galilee basin. Mr Palmer’s political party, United Australia Party. has just signed a deal to direct preferences to the Liberal and National parties. The tag line for the United Australia Party is “Make Australia Great”. Seriously! In addition, the family of Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources in the Morrison Government, also has interests in the Australian coal industry.
Several years ago, I attended an event where the Australian Council of Trade Unions had an information and merchandise stand. They were selling T-Shirts advocating for wind power. I remarked to the woman on the stand that there was an inconsistency between what she was selling and the views of then leader of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), who was concerned about the how the shift to renewable energy would affect his members. She said to me that the AWU does not represent the views of her union or the union movement as a whole. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (rivals to the AWU), has recently been applying pressure to the Australian Labor Party to support the Carmichael mine. It should be noted that the PM-in-waiting, Mr Bill Shorten, was once head of the AWU.
Do I need to remind Mr Shorten and his party that the AWU and the CFMEU do not represent the views of the entire Australian labor movement? Voters, if you come across representatives of the ALP door-knocking, remind them of this and send them a strong message that the Adani coal mine must be stopped and our environmental legislation amended immediately to ensure that the carbon footprint impact of projects is taken into account. Carbon neutrality must be a minimum for project approval. Read more
A post for the environmentally-conscious and chocolate-mad.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got Friday on my mind. I’ve been waiting for this event all year. For many years it has kept me going — my National Folk Festival. It is a magnet for extremists. I say extremists because that is the language that is now being used by some leaders to describe the environmentally and socially-conscious. In the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack, you would think that our leaders would have learned that scare-mongering can have dire repercussions. It legitimises the warped views of those who would seek to achieve their aims through violent action. It is the responsibility of our leaders not to characterise peaceful, concerned citizens as extremists. Instead, let’s have a reasoned debate on solutions given the evidence. In other words, let’s have some evidence-based policy making without the histrionics, and then we can vote on it. Read more
My February Changing Seasons post will be divided into two parts. Part 1 covers the serious stuff. Part 2 will be more lighthearted.
February – in the dying days of summer, danger lurks.
The shrill wind blew of the calamity to come.
But no one was listening.
Did you know that the UN declared 2010 to 2020 the Decade for Deserts and has called for urgent action to fight against desertification? The main reasons are land-clearing for agriculture, over-grazing and other land uses (eg. mining), unsustainable land management practices and climate change. In a vicious cycle, degraded lands hold less carbon and less surface moisture. It is estimated that it takes 1000 years to generate 3 cm of topsoil and if the current rate of soil degradation continues, all the world’s topsoil could be gone within 60 years. No topsoil. No life. Read more
Once upon a time, yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands stretched from Toowoomba to Victoria (Australia), providing a continuous wildlife corridor 100-150 kilometres in width and 1,500 km in length. Since colonisation, vast swathes of grassy woodland have been cleared for agriculture. Now there may be as little as 1-5 percent remaining. most of which has been modified in some way by grazing. Many birds and animals have become trapped in isolated communities, reducing valuable genetic diversity and leaving them vulnerable to threats of local habitat loss. It is not surprising then, that yellow box and red gum grassy woodlands have been declared a critically endangered ecological community. Read more
This is my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt — Forecast. To join in, click on the link.
It seems that this month, there is a new temperature record broken every other day. Another scorcher is forecast tomorrow. When the temperature dropped below 35c yesterday, I quickly hightailed it out to the surrounding bush. Due to my mosaic project and hot weather, I’ve been terribly inactive and was afraid my legs would no longer work, but I can report that they are still in walking order.
This is what happens when water becomes a commodity. I predict that the former federal water minister will lose his seat at the next election over this debacle.