Tag Archives: climate

Save us the smugness over 2018’s heatwaves, environmentalists In this historically precarious moment, we need something more fundamental than climate strategies built on shame and castigation

There was a barely stifled schadenfreudian glee echoing across the liberal press through this burning hot summer. Environmentalists could scarcely disguise their we-told-you-so smirks as one suffocating heatwave after another rolled over the globe, wildfires savaged landscapes from Siberia to California and broken temperature records kept piling up.
But yearning for catastrophe is an ugly desire, and it is exactly the wrong way to think about global warming. Disasters always hit marginalised people first and worst, and as tempting as it might be to hope the calamities of 2018 bring new kinds of change, that desire only betrays how badly environmentalism needs to be overhauled.
It is a historically precarious moment for the environment. We constantly hear dire warnings from some UN body or scientific panel that we have this many years left and these thresholds before we hit the tipping points and the whole world unravels. Despite this piercing urgency, the languages at hand are so consistently inept that it often feels impossible to know what real change might be or how to talk about it.


The reflexive condescension of environmentalism that looks down on those working in industry is precisely what we do not need. Working people whose livelihoods and families depend on resource extraction have no time for catastrophism, and defaulting to that desire sets back climate justice movements immeasurably.
Ecology has to speak to class directly and confront inequality with believable claims that a different world is possible.


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2017 ??


New Years Day started for me at 6.

Cloudy and still humid with the chorus of the birds almost deafening. The searing heat of yesterday ( 38 here) has brought out many insects. Spangled drongos were darting and swooping on their breakfast.



Another year flown by.

Looking at my photos from last January and it felt like yesterday.

A busy and satisfying year here. A couple of wwoofers ( Simon and Yoko ) in January and February.  Great dinners prepared by new influences into my kitchen. More sea weed into my diet. Wide range of herbs and leaf from the gardens . The wonderful extra with some wwoofers is their food choices.


My regeneration continual work progressed well with Tim, Victor and others slashing, pulling and mulching. Continual light rain punctuated the days we could work. Leeches, windy days, when boughs of higher trees come darting down, and strong sun, even as early as August, lessened our working hours.

Thank-you to all my real physical workers….. Both the volunteers on the road verges and the paid workers here……great effort too with helping me prepare 500 kilos of turmeric for dispatch.

Overall it was with much satisfaction, as we climbed to our present work site,  through emerging rain forest canopy. From metres above, frogmouth owls watched, brown pigeons scattered to a higher branch, to watch us climb through. The odd yellow breasted robin escorted us through its territory.  Night Caps cliffs look down on us and the emergent bangalow palm forest is now clearly visible.

Surely one of the more beautiful working sites.


Through-out the year. Heather, my sister, came for a very happy laughing time with her. Others too so socially a very good year. My big night out highlight was thwarted by a flood, and I couldn’t attend Barb Jungr’s Byron Bay concert. She kindly sent us her CD singing Dylan and Cohen.  Thank-you Barb.


Politics left me depressed. From our elections here in Australia to the debacle we saw from the US.

Day by day from now on.

Greens take heed. Many of us are disillusioned.


My reading was restricted to those below…………….  THE NEW WILD………….  a positive reassurance in what I am doing here and my approach to regeneration.  With many facts on plants migration and the niches some fill, in a new land, as humans rampage through, this book by Fred Pearce has opened my eyes wider with hope. Anything that grows in our depleted soil is showing us the way is his thesis.

Galvanized my thinking to a satisfactory and comfortable  level and strengthened my approach against herbicides. As Peter Wohllenben says in THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES……………  we deaf and dumb our ecology with our lack of understanding that plants communicate. He was talking about modern whole sale farming practices and the use of herbicides on our food growing areas and hybrid seed. And essentially how that impacts all health, from the micro soil life to us at the top of the food chain.



Radio National is my daily back ground along with Bay FM.  I wait with hesitation, the new programming for Radio National in 2017.  Does not look promising for us old timers. Many programmes I follow when indoors going.

TV, flicked through the food programmes, always about over eating  with Come Dine With Me reflecting our disconnect with the food we take for granted. Food waste is now an epidemic.

SBS Food channel disappointing to the extreme with further encouragement for binge eating.

Reminds me of a Japanese saying ” one grain of rice left in your bowl is a bead of sweat on the brow of a rice farmer”.  Why not some vegetarian and vegan cooking programmes?

Land-line always informative. Science programme CATALYST axed. Why ?

Solar rebate ends today. Paying us 6 cents when the sun shines and selling it back to us for 36 plus cents. Time to off grid.


The renovation shows along with Grand Designs, reflect the status of home builders which is more than often dominated by the third bathroom and space large enough to house 10 instead of two or four.

How do we adapt to climate reality I ask?  AUSTRALIA’s carbon output is still rising. And no real debate or incentive to do anything to reduce it.

There is no real will and my thinking along that line is reinforced when high profile so called environmentalists fly off to another countries campaign while our koalas and many of our indigenous creatures are in rapid free fall in  numbers here. So few want to get involved on the ground.

And life style changes with-in the home, like turning off all standbys, is seen by many as pointless.

The Green party should have their feet on the ground as close to local ecological reality and inform the general population on very real environmental issues, like herbicides in our creeks and drains and on our food.

Advise and engage with what the individual can do. We have been talking about plastic bags in this Shire for over 10 years to finally see initiative from our local IGA and the Mullumbimby Music festival in 2016. Many of those ten years we had a Green dominated Council.

Climate change is about adaptation and softening our carbon and other outputs. Not wasting food, car pooling, growing where you can instead of mowing and encouraging local food self sufficiency.


Our leadership in our no herbicide approach to plants someone decides to poison, has gathered momentum and support. More non chemical company research is being published, after peer review, and its not finding most herbicides a plus for the planet.

A total of 80 hours I, along with Jayne, have put in each, to the hand removal of jump-seed from the public road’s verges. Our volunteer workers, Lou, Shea, Lil, Pav and Tim have had some enjoyable work mornings as we laughed and talked and sung as we mattock  out the beautiful jump-seed, with its soft green broad leaf centred with a dark red. Always a good feeling after we finish.


My projected hopes for 2017 ?

Continue our herbicide free Shire campaign, gather information on a setup for a Shire wide Organic Certifying body  through a public meeting. Publish peer reviewed fact on herbicides.

Will ask to contribute,  Nadia, Ellen and Mary Gardener, Geoff Dawe.



Continue the gardens and ready for a winter harvest of turmeric, ginger, galangal, yacons and yams.

And have a good steady slash, pull and mulch of lantana throughout the winter months here.


Happy New Year.

The year facts will overwhelm fiction.


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Autumn’s last days.

Time is zipping by with my town day on Friday beginning with my walk out of the valley bordered by a glimmering sparkle of glow worms.

Always starts my day in a positive way.


Long day which saw Jayne and I ending up here for me to then burn the dinner. What a disaster. plum-and-currant-biscuits.gifBut the biscuits compensated. Yummy too.

But night ended well with the table turned over for art work and some ‘herbicide and water don’t mix ‘signs prepared and plum, pineapple and chilli and lime jams cooked in the kitchen.

Sunday back into the rain forest and we joined up an emerging forest ( cleared and slashed lantana 10 years ago ). Now a varied indigenous rain-forest with rosewoods and abundant bangalow palms.  All self seeded too.


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85 mls of rain.



A wet weekend always gives me a chance to read, catch up and talk on the phone.

One article stood out for me was about Richard Di Natale, the Federal Greens Leader, looking resplendent in Acne, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Hugo Boss fashion labels.

Already been previewed with his pro genetically modified food view with that implying he supports Monsanto ? I hope the up coming interview proves that assumption wrong.

No mention of the environment and over population in the reviews.

No mention  of Australia’s rising carbon emission.

I wait for GQ  and the full interview with much anticipation. The review I read was in a celebrity column in the Fairfax press.




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I made a besan and wholemeal pizza base, topped it with chopped and pulped tomato, mozzarella and lots of basil, thyme and oregano. Even I am loath to say this myself, it was delicious.


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No to fluoride.

>http://www.abc.net.au/news/el2013-11-21/byron-black-sheep-flouridation/5108468 Council voted 5 to 3 against fluoride.

Comments worth reading, particularly the wacky view many have on Byron.

I walked out of the valley at 6, the photo taken on my way to catch Jayne going to work. Always enjoy my 7 k walk. Birds having breakfast. Rain forest trees flowering along-side Coopers Creek next to the gravel road-way. After a quick breakfast I attended the gathering out-side Council along-side the urban anti fluoride group. Passion is good to see displayed and now I think we will see it expand into the eventual herbicide ban on public soil.


Watching me as I ate breakfast in a court-yard in Mullumbimby. The town is hosting its fantastic music festival this week-end. My idea of a music festival that every venue in town is involved.




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A win in the US.

Have you heard the good news? The US Senate has stripped the “Monsanto Protection Act” from the government spending bill currently under debate.

This is a huge win! The policy rider that fast-tracks genetically engineered crops — and undermines safeguards for farmers — is set to expire on September 30. Monsanto & Co. have been pressing hard for an extension, but thanks to thousands of people across the country raising their voices on this important issue, it looks like they’re not going to get it.

Let’s keep it up! » These days, companies like Monsanto are more determined than ever to maintain their stronghold on food and farming. But together, we’re making real strides toward a fair, safe, democratic food system. Will you donate today to continue important work like this?

The “Big 6” pesticide and GE seed corporations — Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and Dow — already control a majority of global agricultural markets. The latest research shows they hold 60% of the commercial seed market and 76% of pesticide sales worldwide. By pushing policies like the “Monsanto Protection Act,” they make it clear that they’re hungry for even more.

PAN and True food.

From the ABC on-line. The IPCC and its climate report.




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For or against ? Facts versus fiction ?




As shopping is at a frenzy pre-Christmas and most of what we are buying is made in China, even a calendar I liked was printed in China, isn’t it time we all questioned where what we buy and consume comes from, the energy and its source it takes to produce it and then the fuel to transport it back to our shops or post offices via shopping on line. Then the couriers and contract postal workers to deliver it via their vehicles to our addresses.

Canada’s Conservative government finally approved a $15.1 billion bid by CNOOC, a state-owned Chinese oil company, for Nexen, a tar-sands producer. Canada has strict rules on foreign takeovers of natural-resource companies. Stephen Harper, the prime minister, said that future foreign offers for tar-sands firms would be barred, except in “exceptional circumstances”.

From the Economist.


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Saturday gardening.

Cycled to Jayne’s and got my breathing in sync going up the hills. Jayne was baking a pear up-side down cake, kitchen filled with a delicious smell. Tonight is poker night with lots of cake. I might go although I can’t play poker.

Then we pulled down and gathered a couple of madeira vine onto tarpaulins. Weeded a future flower garden where we uncovered this little frog, a teenage Great Barred we think ?

Started on the mulching here. Covering and scattering mustard seed. 2 weeks with-out rain. Wow, next we will be complaining.

The gang, laying 7 eggs a day.

The Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) is releasing guidelines for organic producers and mining companies endorsed by the Queensland Government.

Unlike conventional properties, organic certified producers are afforded some protection under a number of Acts.

Petroleum and gas activity on an organic or biodynamic property is described as an advanced activity under Acts including the Mineral Resources Act 1989 and the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009.




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Cunjevoi in the foreground.

Cunjevoi  ( Alocasia brisbanensis ) all parts of this plant contain a highly toxic alkaloid but its delicate rose/jasmine like scent is a sheer delight when it reaches my nose. Prolific regrowth of this plant is occurring in all gully regeneration sites which gives a contrasting shade of green to the other regrowth.

The failure of the Rio Climate summit.


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