Provocatively optimistic: I am really enjoying this book Adventures in the Anthropocene, charging my way through it!

After decades exploring some of the most biologically interesting parts of the world, from Borneo to New Zealand, biologist author Chris Thomas says, “The current rate at which new species are forming on Earth is starting to look as though it is the highest ever.” The Guardian summarises, “The problem with recreating the pristine is that it is misplaced nostalgia – the natural world is a dynamic system…”.

Adani…………………………raise your alarm in a town near you this weekend.

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45 mls of rain.

Relief as gentle rain  fell for a few hours. Already the garden has bounced back. Frogs calling and spawning while the snakes stalk them.

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Still no rain.

A week of extreme heat for this time of the year………..tipped 36 degrees on Thursday, made more tense with a strong wind.

I spent the hot day processing coffee beans.

Lessons here for the Australian greens.

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Determined to devour the remaining mandarins.

Parched gardens, desperate for a shower. Woke at 4 am to three spits of water from the sky.

Day break starts on our bush regeneration sites. Work in the shade. Joining up tracts of new forest.

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September 26, 2017 · 12:05 am


A report released earlier this month from Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK found that children across England are exposed to significant pesticide residues in the government’s “School Fruit & Veg Scheme.” Food for Thought documents more than 123 different pesticides on school produce, and calls on officials to source more local, organic produce to protect schoolchildren’s health.
The report draws on analysis of 12 years of pesticide residue data, and among key findings reveals that produce provided in the school program has significantly higher residues than mainstream produce found on supermarket shelves.
In 2015, for example, 90% of school program apples contained the residues of multiple pesticides, while for conventional apples in the supermarket this figure was just under 60%.

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Town day.

As the lack of rain is beginning to show as trees discard unwanted leaves and the grass burns off,  I saw water tankers delivering water to rural homes.

Good time for individuals to consider more water tanks to catch from the roof . Or for the properties dependent on creek or spring water only to install tanks. Weather patterns are no longer predictable. We will need all the water when can collect in the future. Our creeks need all the help we can give them. Few platypus remain.

Best practice and what our local Green party could be addressing?

Early walk out…………..dawn chorus accompanied me. Dust inhibited me if a car past me by. Coopers Creek water muted as it runs low. Cow paddocks bare of grass as the cows all looked at me as I passed by.

The tree tomato harvest was poor this past winter. The beautiful king parrots took a liking to the small green fruit and decimated most bearing trees. The hopper seems to find a lone fruit and stayed there for days.

Sprayed Telstra site on Wilson Creek Road.

From the NTN.

Glyphosate (N -(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is a broad-spectrum systemic non-residual knockdown herbicide used to kill weeds. It was released in 1974 by Monsanto under the trade name RoundUp™, and rapidly became the world’s most popular herbicide. Volumes of use increased dramatically after the introduction of genetically modified (GM) glyphosate-tolerant crops in the 1990s. Estimated global use between 1974 and 2014 was 8.6 million tonnes, with use rising 15-fold since GM Roundup Ready crops were introduced in 1996. Volumes have also increased with its use for pre-harvest desiccation of cotton, cereals, peas, beans, and other crops, this use resulting in elevated residues in food and animal fodder from such crops. But global non-agricultural uses have also risen 5-fold since the introduction of GM crops; volumes of use have also increased owing to the emergence of glyphosate resistant weeds, leading to higher dose applications. It is the most commonly used herbicide in agriculture and forestry, and routinely applied by Local Councils, State-based road departments and the general public in Australia. As a result, virtually everyone is chronically exposed to this chemical, some by several routes of exposure.

Read the full letter below.






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In an evolutionary sense, sharks are among Earth’s oldest survivors; they’ve been roaming the oceans for more than 400 million years. But some individual sharks boast lifespans that are equally jaw-dropping. Incredibly, deepwater sharks off the coast of Greenland appear to have been alive and swimming back in Shakespeare’s day 400-plus years ago—making them the longest-lived of all known vertebrates.

Bristlecone pines can live to be 5,000 years old. Sea sponges can live for thousands of years. One quahog, a hard-shelled ocean clam, died in 2006 at the age of 507. But among vertebrates, the long-lived skew much younger. Bowhead whales and rougheye rockfish can live for up to 200 years, and a few giant tortoises may also approach the two century mark. Now it seems that Greenland sharks more than double even these remarkable lifespans, scientists report today in Science.


The reason for the sharks’ unfathomably long lives has to do with their lifestyles. Cold-blooded animals that live in cold environments often have slow metabolic rates, which are correlated with longevity. “The general rule is that deep and cold equals old, so I think a lot of people expected species like Greenland sharks to be long-lived,” says Chris Lowe, a shark biologist at the California State University at Long Beach. “But holy cow, this takes it to an entirely different level.”

Lowe, who wasn’t involved in the research, adds that Greenland sharks must have a metabolic rate “just above a rock.”

Greenland sharks spend their time in the remote, freezing depths of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans, making it difficult for researchers to parse the details of their lifestyle and reproduction. Determining their birthdates is even harder. Until now, scientists have been thwarted in their efforts to date this elasmobranch species—a group which include sharks, skates, and rays—by the fact that the animals lack calcium-rich bones, which can be radiocarbon dated.

Faced with a dearth of calcium-rich material to date, the authors of the new study employed a creative solution: They searched the sharks’ eyes. The nucleus of the shark’s eye lens, it turns out, is made up of inert crystalline proteins that are formed when the shark is an embryo and contain some of the same isotopes used to date bones and teeth. Measuring the relative ratios of these isotopes enabled scientists to determine the year when each shark was aged zero.

Scientists examined 28 female sharks—all acquired as bycatch from commercial fisheries—to find that many seemed to have lived longer than two centuries. (Scientists discarded the youngest animals, because they showed signs of radiocarbon released by Cold War-era nuclear bomb testing.) The biggest shark of this group, which measured about 16.5 feet, was believed to be 392 years old—placing her in the era of astronomer Galileo Galilei. Yet Greenland sharks are known to grow well over 20 feet, meaning many are likely even older.


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