Paris…..climate talk …..will it be all talk?

As I walked out of the valley yesterday morning, the full moon was slumbering  down in the western sky, looking so round and bright ( photos blurry ) and by the time I had walked the 6 ks light misty rain drifted over my face. After a searing heat week, sadness at the massive fires in South Australia where people died and 100s of animals, both farmed and native, severely burnt or killed,  I felt so lucky to live at the end of a valley that surrounds me with a variety of bird-life and native fauna. I will do all I can in my remaining years to enhance and protect what is left.


But when I got to town I was confronted by two local environmental activists who berated our green mayor for crowd funding his trip to Paris to the Climate Change conference.  For me climate change is not about ideology, its about the planets survival and walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Tomorrow the day of action will take place all over Australia.

So what do I see here in our Byron Shire after 10 years of green ideology? Vehicle Grid lock on the entry roads to Byron Bay, bike lanes that hardly anyone uses I am told.  Herbicide use in our public parks and  along side drains.  Roads patched up with a spray of tar and a shovel full of loose gravel, soon dispersed with a shower of heavy rain for it then to flow into the drains and creeks. Road verges mowed rarely with sections still being poisoned to then grow back stronger than ever. Go out at night and I see roaming dogs and cats on the road. Millions spent on feral cat campaigns federally yet our tiny Shire just seems to turn a blind eye. Yet we see local campaigns for animals in other countries while the koala is dying out as we humans push more into their remaining habitat or are being killed by the introduced feral dog/cat/fox. And the true cost of our quick fixes is never truly accounted for as the bureaucracy in Council just keeps growing, thwarting progressives as it does.

And then there is land care ( land-scare as one person described it yesterday ) poisoning trees next to creeks which then fall into the running water, water that is used domestically.  Other examples of wanton herbicide use I viewed, where spraying was visible beneath a growing canopy of rain forest trees. Some-one doesn’t think understory plants have value ??? Read the WHO’s directive on  glyphosate, round-up.   Also the new peer review science on why we are loosing our bees.

Then there are the hectares of mowed manicured lawns which could be growing clean Certified organic food, a huge growth area domestically in which this region has not taken advantage of and something our green elected reps make no mention of. With some of the finest growing soils for small diverse food plantings, we need a local organic certifier to assist and help the beginners, something a progressive environmental party could be leading. A wide range of vegetables and fruit can be grown here which are now imported into the Shire from far afield.

And then there are the new houses that are still being built, large enough to bed 10 people instead of 2 or 3.  Plastic bags still littering our road-sides after years of pledges to replace them.  No recycling bins in our town streets, to educate people on what is recyclable or not. Each urban house/unit now carry three garbage bins and the land fill site at Myocum just keeps expanding.

Feel good campaigns that spend public money to eradicate the cane toad that have huge fanfare and one day of action. After that nothing as we see in most of our feel good campaigns.


Our new PM and the hapless minister of the environment ( when being interviewed he twists facts and at the end of the non answers you forget what he is talking about )   along with our foreign minister are all there in Paris. I, along with a lot of Australians are waiting to see the outcome from this foray into the international environment confab. We have seen very little change in any policy following the Abbott days from the new PM.  Except people, we are told, feel safer, because his smooth public relations rhetoric is in sharp contrast to the very ugly contemptuous tone we heard daily from Tony Abbott.

Fingers crossed,  so we will have to wait and see  the outcome from Paris and what our green mayor brings back from his junket. Lets hope its for real this time.

So lovely to be back in my cabin, dinner with Jayne and a dance after what was an intense day for me.


 The Dutch Parliament passed the law prohibiting private parties from buying Monsanto’s toxic herbicide, RoundUp, and is expected to go into effect in late 2015. While the Dutch Lower House had initiated the law to ban glyphosate from non-agricultural use years ago, it seems Monsanto’s grip on the government “overrode” the motion at the time, but now residents of the Netherlands will be safe from the toxic pesticide. Two members of the Dutch Parliament, Esther Ouwehand and Gerard Schouw, submitted the motion, which influenced recent approval. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, has been linked to many health risks including different forms of cancer, nervous system damage and birth defects among many other issues. The Netherlands now joins Russia and Mexico as the latest country to ban Monsanto’s RoundUp. Will this prompt other countries to follow suit? 
Creeks and Drains are for rain water. NOT HERBICIDES.

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One of the better TV series this year. Reality Trip.

SBS Television.

I was captivated by this insight into 5 ( 3 women, 2 men) in their 20s and all coming from an affluent New Zealand life style.  Their awareness of the origins of the myriad of consumer goodies, that their working lives allowed them to purchase, were sharply brought home to them as they witnessed the lives of the poorly paid workers that create or grow what the 5 take for granted.

Powerful viewing and  I ended up hoping another documentary about these 5 is made in a couple of years time. To see what influence their exposure to modern slave labour, poverty like we have never known and the environmentally degraded city/land/waterways that surround the factories that produce our consumerist life styles. How we have exported our pollution and don’t care as long as our GDP looks positive and our Xmas spending supersedes last year.



These powerful episodes coincide with me reading – A SHORT HISTORY OF NEW ZEALAND- written by Gordon McLauchlan.  I was schooled in the late 50s and early 60s and the countries history  was avoided or denied in our classes.  My education really started when I was hospitalized at 13 and the Maori nurses and cleaners of the wards became my friends. Following, at 16, I worked with many Maoris in hotels and it was there that I felt their anger.

Maori resistance and their courage, when confronted with the superior armory of the British soldiers and new settlers, and in my own province’s ( Taranaki ) terrible wars were never mentioned in my education.

The only difference between Australia’s indigenous peoples and the Maori was the Treaty Of Waitangi, which was signed by Maori chiefs  ( 3 versions, the legalized London version, the official one )  and the Crown in the 1840s but was only really advanced in the 1970s ( well after I had migrated from NZ )  when the Waitangi Tribunal was set up to finally acknowledge and begin to move forward from the grievances of the Maori people after 160 years from the original signing.



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A Dead Cane toad and a Lesueur Live frog in the garden.

Unusual this year is that I have found 4 dead cane toads within my Certified Organic garden confines. This is the first year this has been seen.  I am very curious as to why this is happening. The upside is during our work morning 3 native frogs hopped away from our weeding hands.


The upside was spotting ( can you ?) of this beautiful Lesueur’s Frog.


Where is the national outrage on this reality?


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Wow, summer has arrived with temperature’s reaching 35 degrees here on both Friday and Saturday. Smoke filled the valley by sunset Saturday but Sunday morning I woke to cloud and the odd spit of rain.

Daikon flowers.


With the Paris Climate Conference in a weeks time , the focus on the Paris attacks hopefully will not detract from the very serious reality of the rapidity of the planets warming.  But we will see.


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Antibiotics and Roundup.

After WHOs recent published warning on Glyphosate ( Roundup) as a probable carcinogen,  ( observers working as herbicide-free land regenerators are very aware that the regrowth of some sprayed weeds is stronger then ever ) the reality that  e coli is resistant to antibiotics proves our short term fixes are not in harmony with ecology or life itself.


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Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare needs you tomorrow.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare, next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 21st of November, from 8am to 12pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate. We will be working 150 meters down the beach from dog walking track, when you get to the Bitou Bush on the front due, walk in heading west and you will find us. If you are early,  start to pull seedling on the front dune. We are working on the last path of Bitou and we you can see across to the other side, so very exciting and we asking for as many help hands we can get there, so the work can be completed.  Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat  and some morning tea.
More information 0478272300 or go to

More on Glyphosate and its mixers that are polluting our surface water . With new peer reviewed evidence on how Roundup is seriously disorientating bees navigation I will post the latest findings at a later date.


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A gentle happy Oskar has gone to hen heaven.


Oskar………………………… by Rodney Weidland.


Cilia and Poppy.


Dear Donald

Wow. I’m so grateful for your contribution!

In less than three hours, we reached our goal of $40,000 to fund ACF’s legal challenge to the approval of the Carmichael coal mine. With your generosity, we are delighted to be able to cover the initial fees for this momentous legal challenge.

But it didn’t stop there. Over 24 hours we received a huge groundswell of support and the donations kept flowing in.

Thank you. You’ve shown how much you want a world without coal mines that make climate change worse and irreversibly damage the Great Barrier Reef.

Thanks to your generous donation, we will be able to run a strong campaign to stop this mine, grow clean energy and create a national plan to protect nature.

Thousands of people chipped in, many for the first time ever, so this will truly be a people-powered campaign.

Since we filed in the Federal Court last week, there have been new revelations about Carmichael mine impacts and Adani in the media:



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