Tag Archives: rapid climate change


Weather Alert
Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now.

Mounting evidence suggests our changing climate is having an impact on everything – from what we grow, eat and drink, to house prices and the cost of insurance.

Four Corners has travelled from coast to coast to chart how Australians are adapting to the new weather challenges.


The comments  are worth reading beneath this article.


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Cane toads.

In the last 2 weeks I have found 6 dead cane toads in my gardens. Highly unusual and I would like to know what is killing them.


Introduced as a bio-control to take control of a native beetle in the 1930s, the cane toad (Bufo marinus )  soon left the sugar cane fields and developed a taste for a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates. Varying in size, some can weigh a kilo or more and with a seriously poisonous gland on the back of their heads, it can kill most of what attempts to eat them.

But there is some developments. I have witnessed here a live toad with its eyes removed, by a bird I presume.

Australia has spent and wasted millions in various eradication programmes and as we have seen in the Byron Shire an occasional one night muster where people go out and catch them to then euthanize. A feel good effort but a total waste of money and resources.

My own efforts here have been continuous over 20 years, in removing the toad from my gardens, but with climate change impacting all life in some way or another, its difficult to know whether my declining indigenous frog populations is a direct result of a combination of a new wild evolving.

Evolution, as suggested by Rick Shine from the University of Sydney, is working to defeat the toad. Some snake species have developed tolerance to the toxin, others have evolved smaller heads ( like the black snake) so as not to eat larger more toxic toads. And even humans are adapting with cane toad legs on a Darwin restaurant’s menu.

So why is Australia introducing the herpes virus to the carp in the Murray River system?  Why are we not harvesting them for fertilizer or learning to eat them as many Eastern European countries do?




Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 11th of February,  from 8am to 12pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate. We will continue on with Bitou Bush primary work  South of the Horse Beach access track. Walk along the fire trial, turn left at the second gate and we will be there. Call me if you lost, hope to see you there.

Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat  and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided.


BSCFL is a project of Mullum Seed

Mullumbimby Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development Incorporated

Nadia de Souza Pietramale

Project Coordinator

0478 272 300



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Longest day.

– />edge-of-the-garden




Harvesting some salad for lunch I watched this formation above me for an hour. I can not determine what they are although my first guess are pelican. First time I have seen a treat like this here. They seemed to be looking for something as they flew closer but then to sharply turn around and head back into the easterly direction from where they came.

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Rain and living with the media.

More rain has soon seen the saturated ground discard the water as soon as it falls. Already access out is impossible so captured indoors with the radio as company. I expect power and phone to soon drop out.

Election campaign is already dominating the serious radio stations. So I hope this rain soon stops so I can get out-side again because I think 6 months of listening to this would drive most of us mad. This morning why the Greens have not got more traction, in my view and based on our local level, where the green vote is high, it is obvious as we have seen this Shire turn into an international party and expensive life style real estate destination with very little emphasis on what to me is the basis of being an environmentalist or Green voter . For a start our local Green leaders could have been at the forefront of promoting and supporting Organic food growing/value adding on the acres of mown lawns around the Shire.  If a country like Bhutan can go totally organic, using its human waste amongst all other organic matter as a fertiliser, why can’t Byron ?

And then there is the lack of educating on energy use and where our energy actually comes from. Not in my back-yard is a common theme yet we all rely on fossil fuel for our basic transport and cooking requirements. ( In an aside, the irony  for Australia as we export millions of tons of tax-free coal/liquid gas to China to produce virtually everything we now buy when Chinese cities are  choking their people with the emissions from the factories that produce our consumer index goods ).  If our tourist attraction had been promoted as having  a clean, herbicide/pesticide free food reality in all our restaurants and food out-lets, where possible, our attraction to those tourists who want to see how it is done would have been far stronger, ethically and morally, to what we have now . And then there is the use of   herbicides to keep the trims trimmed and tree plantings weeded. When I go out with Jayne on the mail run I see Stop Coal Seam gas mining signs sticking out of chemically sprayed grass. Why ?

Youth unemployment  channeled into inefficient training courses whereas locally sponsored/supported environmental work would be a better start for many. We need shovels, brush-hooks and whipper snippers on our roads instead of heavy machinery and spray packs which put more expensive rate paid for gravel into our creeks and drains. Edges of our roads should be planted out with the likes of lomandra with the plentiful rocks which would prevent the number of edge slips we are now experiencing.

On a Federal level the Greens have done a lot better ( except no-one dares talk about population numbers ) but to me it always has to start at a local level first. And for me this Shire is a very poor example of people not practicing what they preach.  Is there anyone out there who wants to harvest all the trees that have recently fallen in our recent cyclone ? Could replace some of the wood now sold from way beyond here in Mitre 10. And there are all the camphor trees that are being poisoned. Can’t they be value added ?

All the poisons sprayed now out to sea in the flood. Do round-up users, some employed by our once green council, think of where the residue of this poison finally ends up ? Do they really believe what the makers say, that its fauna friendly ?

So as the accelerating climate reality takes hold it will be all about adaptation and we need real leaders not embedded with opinion polls, vested interests, lobbyists and very rich multinationals/individuals who have the ear of our very average leaders. Exception possibly could be Christine Milne, leader of the Federal Greens, someone who speaks a lot of sense to me but I am not optimistic to the next period in Australia’s politic. The argument used against the Federal Greens is that they are for the environment first and that jobs come second. I see hundreds if not thousands of jobs just in repairing our degraded land ( growing trees absorb CO2 ) and then there is all the unlocked potential for smaller agriculture holdings coming back into their own with growing and supplying local food markets. Mega farms, like mega supermarkets do not bode well for sustainability and full employment.


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Down-pours and humidity

Buckets of water fell from the sky last night, gutters overflowed and the out-side buckets filled to the brim. All with-in 10 minutes then it was all over. Bush Telegraph, on Radio National, this morning told us that Australia has just experienced its wettest year since 1956, the difference being this year was that the overall temperature  did not drop as it has in the past. To the climate sceptics, who say there stands  the proof that rapid climate change is not happening, to them they are wrong. Simply because the warmest years ever recorded are upon us now.

On a lighter note. A couple more committed people have presented to speak at our Organic Bush Regeneration meeting to be held at the local hall soon. Both passionate and very active in chemical free bush regeneration and the techniques they use.

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