Tag Archives: environment

Watching another wallaby.


Green’s beginning to implode or still growing up ?

Take the environment back to the core Greens.  Australia is increasing its carbon output. Our indigenous species are in free fall and our creeks and rivers are in very poor health.



And an earlier report……….https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/02/i-joined-the-greens-because-of-bob-brown-but-now-he-has-broken-my-hear


Boycott bad eggs!

If you pay extra for free range eggs, you deserve the real deal. But there are plenty of “free range” eggs on supermarket shelves that come from chickens kept in cramped conditions that are not guaranteed to go outside.

Eggs that come from chickens that don’t go outside regularly or have high stocking densities don’t deserve the free range label. Boycott these eggs because the government’s regulation on this is insufficient.

When you join the campaign we’ll send you a list of free range eggs that we think are the real deal, the list of bad eggs and an app to help you find real free range in the supermarket.

After a week of rain.

After a week of rain.

Update before the next year. Over 2 hours long but a valuable catch up to why and where the planet is now.






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December 22, 2016 · 9:21 pm

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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Busy, busy, busy with the cooler weather. Garden catch up is my daily priority with the beginning of the harvest of galangal, turmeric, yacon and ginger.

Below, a waterfall still running.



What a depressing week with the government about to call a DD election in July. Cynical politics and with a Banker PM and the scrutiny of the Panama papers, it could be an interesting 70 days of campaigning.


More images have been released on the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef alongside more reported clusters of Parkinson’s disease  and Alzheimer’s in heavily herbicide use farming areas.

Is it too late?

Lets hope the candidates, particularly any Green aspirants for political office, are carefully selected. Our own local Council election,  a candidate  who ran on the Green Party ticket  (Rose Wanchap) here in the Byron Shire and who deserted her elected role to the pro development side within 6 months of being elected, outraged and disappointed many Green electors.




The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on our blue planet, and home to a vast array of marine plants and animals, including reef fish, sea turtles, sharks, hard and soft corals.

I’ve just come back from the Reef, and I was shocked at what I saw. I knew there would be bleached coral, but I had expected some patches of bleaching surrounded by mainly healthy, colourful corals.

I saw the opposite. The reef flat was a field of white coral as far as the eye could see. It was the face of climate change, and it was devastating.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on our blue planet, and home to a vast array of marine plants and animals, including reef fish, sea turtles, sharks, hard and soft corals.

Imogen Zethoven
Great Barrier Reef Campaign Director.

And with most of the coral trees poisoned along the creek banks, we are expecting a visible change in the nectar feeding strategies of many birds along the valley.

coral-flowers-providing-winter-nectar Coral tree flower with a honey eater.

Photo by Rodney .

With the odd glimmer of realistic news.








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When it rains I spend the day listening to the radio and boy did it bring me down yesterday.

First the NSW government voting in draconian and undemocratic legislation which will impose huge fines and jail for  ordinary people who are acting in trying to protect our already severely degraded environment. A recent poll found 83% of a 1000 NSW people polled said, emphatically, our water and soil and farmer’s land rights must be protected.

Our legislators are governing for themselves, not us.


The Federal Government back- tracking on Safety in Schools legislation which gave help in educating children to understand we are not all born the same. Some elected representatives seem to have views that belong in the 1950s, not in the texting and internet generation. Yet all are ready to use these technologies to further their out of date ideologies.

What a farce.


And then the enormous non challenge of Equality in marriage for the LBGT community ……………what an embarrassment which we are showing to the rest of the more progressive world on this issue. That not only in our climate change denial at many levels of active government, our legislators are out of step with our own populations views in 2016.

Over whelming support for Marriage Equality in the Australian population is being denied as the discrimination continues and my community are faced with outrageous and erroneous statements every day.



Former Irish president Mary Robinson says climate change is a threat to human rights on RN Breakfast

with Fran Kelly on RN

Wednesday 16th March Former Irish president Mary Robinson says climate change is a threat to human rights on RN Breakfast


Almost half of Australian voters say policies on climate change, renewable energy and the Great Barrier Reef will influence the way they vote at the next federal election, according to new polling shared exclusively with Guardian Australia.

The nationwide poll of 1,048 people over the weekend found 47% of people agreed or strongly agreed that “climate change and renewable energy will influence the way I vote at this year’s federal election”.




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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 influence? 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.


Photo above, no it is not autumn, its poisoned Coral trees next to the creek.

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. So disappointing.


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 mayor 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 overseas flight.

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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Unexpected rain.

Preparing for the once predicted El Nino is not a bad thing so the unexpected rain during the last few days has been very welcome.

Weeks are flying by with my work schedule on the lantana front falling behind. Cool too but with a sudden bout of flu and harvesting the last of the galangal and turmeric, my time has been used in other ways.

Optimism: Bob Brown
Tuesday 5 August 2014 9:06AM
Bob Brown 1
Former Senator and Greens leader Bob Brown has written a memoir of his life in politics and the environment movement.

He says that optimism is the key to success and that a life of action has made him optimistic rather than pessimistic about the future.

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Good news from Tasmania.

It’s the news we have long been waiting to hear. At 11:40 this morning the Tasmanian forest agreement passed the Tasmanian House of Assembly. This is just quick update: everything you need to know about the deal.

If it is implemented, the agreement will protect 504,012 hectares of rainforest and important native forests. Verified by scientists as the most important of Tasmania’s remaining native forests, the protected areas would include the iconic forests of the Styx Valley, Upper Florentine and Weld Valleys, the temperate rainforests of the Tarkine and the unique forests of the Blue Tier.

Importantly, the agreement will support workers and restructure the timber industry towards a sustainable and productive future where it can make certified products we can all be proud to support.

From Get-up.

Huonbrook welcomes adaptable wwoofers.

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You cannot solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it – Einstein


When the original forest cover was removed in the Northern Rivers, camphor laurel was introduced because it was fast growing and provided much-needed shade for both livestock and homes. It soon filled the void following failed dairy farming and banana plantations and after most of the original trees were removed, it is now declared noxious by short sighted politicians and  pre 1788ers.  Almost all of the native food source for birds was removed by European  farming/tree harvesting colonization. For insects and other fauna  the camphor laurel soon provided much-needed sustenance. It has been recorded over 40 insects, along with many birds  depend on camphor laurel for their precarious and lucky survival as their original food sources were removed. So to see whole areas poisoned locally is a tragedy and reflects our short-term thinking with-out any historical hind-sight. And these people advocating complete removal of the camphor really are showing the same ignorance that the early settlers did when they first brought European farming practices to Australia’s quite different ecology.



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Monarch-butterflies in the garden.


Can’t wait to see this doco. The Monarchs have arrived into my garden and are busy dotting the cotton plant with eggs. The cotton plant is considered a weed to be poisoned by some but I regard every plant as a blessing as the Monarch travels far for this breeding plant.

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From the 18th floor.

More rain but it didn’t deter me going to the West-end and enjoying the day. 2 young children thought I was Santa Claus, to their parents delight. Another little Bengali girl beamed and waved to me which double took her mother. Overall an interesting day with a lunch with the Spanish photographer I met on the flight over, then I viewed the South African movie. Beauty, a bleak look at repressed sexuality. I am buying books,something I said I would not be doing due to their weight. Nano Houses,ideas for small and sustainable dwellings and  What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism.  I went to Foyles book-shop, boy what a book-shop that still is. Many floors of anything you want to read or see. Riverting too is Murdoch’s appearance at the Leveson Inquiry.

Amanda is playing the latest Kate Bush CD,  50 words for Snow.  Very pleasant.

A sign in the Battersea herb garden.

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