Whose Priorities?

I was sitting in class earlier today. We were talking about health priorities, on a macro level. I.e. what can governments, organisations, etc. do to increase health and wellbeing? (Rather than what can individuals do themselves?)

There are lots of different initiatives being talked about, and the whys and hows they’re meaningful. If people are interested, then look up sites like VicHealth or the National Health Priorities.

Anyway. During the break, an article about recycling caught my eye. Its basic premise is that households aren’t the biggest source of landfill in Australia – that title goes to comercial and industrial sector. So, how do we make it a “macro-level priority” to reduce waste and increase recycling in the commercial and industrial sectors?




Got My Walking Shoes On

Who else saw the sunrise yesterday morning? It was lovely.

Image of sun peeking over trees and house to rise. Sky is stained pinkish-red and there are streaky clouds.
I went for a walk yesterday, to a spot not far from home. I had some lettuce that had gone a bit yucky in the fridge and I figured that I’d take it to the spot where the ducks, geese and moorhens were and let them have it, while I ate breakfast there.

Smiling woman (MyZania) in foreground to the right of the pic. Behind her is some green grass with a few ducks and a waterway.
The birds ignored me when I sat down but as soon as my breakfast appeared they came closer to have a look. That’s another reason I brought the lettuce… One moorhen was so impatient and bold that it pecked at the sole of one of my runners! The goose from last time appeared last. It reminded me of a dog, the way it looked at me for food. Its tail even wagged a bit!

I wonder what sort of goose it is?

Goose viewed from behind, as it looks across the water. Close-up of the goose on grass with some other birds.
It was a good start to the day. It didn’t even take ten minutes to get there and I took “the long way” back. Now that I live close to uni and the train station, I walk a reasonable distance every day.

Being on the top/ first floor with the kitchen on the ground floor helps too. 😜

I like being able to do this. Someone suggested on Wednesday that I ought to bring my bike down and check out some of the bike paths around here. But I’m not sure I’m confident enough for that. For now, walking and PT’ing between places suit me fine.

From Here On In, We’re All In

I marched for the climate on Saturday in my hometown. We had a sizeable gathering, with many official groups and other concerned people (and a few dogs). The weather behaved, too. We listened to a number of speakers, with important messages.

Check out Foreign Correspondent‘s latest show, which aired last night (iview here). It was about climate change – looking at the problems and solutions. There are plenty of solutions being developed around the world. Australia could borrow some of the concepts, if politicians had the guts.

Climate change is a social justice issue, as hinted at on the program. The wealthy will be able to better protect themselves against (or ignore, as the case may be) climate change than those less-well-off. It’s geographical, it’s economical, it’s political. http://winstonclose.me/2015/11/30/climate-change-to-hit-the-worlds-poor-written-by-james-plested/

Paris is important, even if it just sets benchmarks. What is, in a sense, more important is to change ourselves and our own surroundings, if possible. At the very least, start the conversation. We’ve already passed the 1*C-above-pre-industrial-levels mark and we want to keep it below 2*C. We have to keep up the pressure on corporations and governments. In the future, I don’t want to regret a lack of change – I want to be glad and grateful that change occurred. But in order for that to happen we have to act. Now.

There is hope. Check this out, from the ACF.


Making history

Story by ACF November 30th, 2015


This past weekend, more than 140,000 people came together in 55 towns and cities right across our sunburnt country.

On the eve of the Paris climate negotiations, as world leaders gathered in Paris, we gathered in unprecedented numbers.

We broke records. In every Australian capital city, more people joined People’s Climate Marches than ever before. Over the weekend of November 27-29, your power, your energy and your spirit beamed across the world’s media. What a beautiful sight.


From Melbourne to Darwin, from Broome to Lismore to Burnie and Cooktown, legends turned out in droves. In capital cities, towns and regional centres, we took to the streets to show our leaders what we’re made of.

In Adelaide, people on the footpath stood with jaws dropped as the march filed past.

In Melbourne, 60,000 marchers stood for a minute’s silence to honour what we’ve lost and reflect on the unbreakable thread of hope that we hold for our future. Tears streamed down cheeks.

In Sydney, 45,000 people snaked through the city with placards, puppets, maracas and pinwheels, calling for climate justice and a brighter future.

Armidale made the longest banner Australia has ever seen, and sweaty People’s Climate marchers in Cairns ended their march in a lagoon.

People's Climate March, Broome
People's Climate March, Sydney photo © AYCC
People's Climate March, Canberra photo © AYCC
People's Climate March, Cairns photo © AYCC
People's Climate March, Alice Springs photo © AYCC
People's Climate March, Darwin photo © AYCC
People's Climate March, Brisbane photo © AYCC
People's Climate March, Adelaide photo © Bill Doyle


We came together to tell our leaders, loud and clear – we the people will hold you to account. We showed the world, we’re all committed to a brighter future, and we are getting on with it, whether our politicians are ready or not.

People's Climate March, Melbourne 27th November, 2015 photo © Kate Lamb


We are a massive community of people who care. We are firefighters, Indigenous people, nurses, young people, old people, people of faith, health care workers, union leaders, grandchildren and gardeners. We are explorers, thinkers, innovators, superheroes, dreamers and doers. We all want a brighter future.

People's Climate March, photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March, photo © Stephanie Bradford
People's Climate March, photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March photo © Heather Kiley
People's Climate March, photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March, photo © Heather Kiley
People's Climate March, photo © Stephanie Bradford
People's Climate March, photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March, photo © James Thomas


To make this happen, people from more than 350 organisations worked together for nearly a year – environmental groups, unions, faith leaders, Indigenous communities, health organisations, local councils and grassroots, climate and community groups.

We grew relationships. We collaborated. And although the rallies are over, we’ll keep on working together, because we know together, we can turn the wheel of history.

Hundreds and hundreds of amazing volunteers also spent their evenings and weekends flyering, postering, phone banking, doorknocking, making placards and banners, marshalling and doing all sorts of other unglamorous but oh-so-important things.

People's Climate March photo © Stephanie Bradford
Too precious to lose.jpeg
People's Climate March photo © Heather Kiley
People's Climate March photo © Doug Gimesy
People's Climate March, photo © Bill Doyle


People's Climate March photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March photo © James Thomas


You inspired people everywhere to get involved. And well over half a million people, at more than 2300 events in 175 countries, did.

As people couldn’t march in the city of Paris, that beautiful city hosting the UN climate talks, you marched for them.

For the next two weeks, world leaders will meet in Paris to decide how much they are willing to cut pollution.

Last weekend, we made so much noise from every corner of the globe, they cannot ignore us.

People's Climate March, Bargny, Senegal photo © 350.org
People's Climate March, Auckland, New Zealand photo © 350.org
People's Climate March, Cairo, Egypt photo © 350.org
Filipinos join the People's Climate March, photo © 350.org
People's Climate March, Guatemala photo © 350.org
People's Climate March, Alaska photo © 350.org
People's Climate March, Paris photo © 350.org
People's Climate March, Zurich, Switzerland photo © 350.org


You turned up. You spoke out. And together, we’ll keep campaigning and speaking out and standing together, day after day, year after year, to create the brighter future we know is possible.

In 2016, we will stop the massive Carmichael coal mine. As Australia heads into a federal election, we will hold our political representatives to their duty of care for life.

Whether global warming is a top election issue is up to us.

A rally on its own doesn’t change the world. We all know that.

People do. And together, we will.

This is yours. You created it. Thank you, and let’s go!

People's Climate March, photo © James Thomas
People's Climate March, Melbourne photo © Peter Campbell

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REBLOGGED: Bill Shorten Takes Climate Change Seriously, So Guess Who Isn’t Happy With Him

I saw the ‘articles’ last week and raised my eyebrows with a little smile. O.o :/
I then went looking for the article(s) that talked about the actual topic of Shorten’s visit, but found very little online. That annoyed me. 😡
As an aside, Shorten has actually been cleared of wrongdoing by the Commission, if a bit late in the day. So hush – and let’s get on with it, shall we? Don’t get sucked into their bull***. I thought Shorten held himself quite well on Q&A when he was there for a one-on-one a month or so ago.
There are only two weeks until the People’s Climate March. Sign up and march, to show leaders we mean business. Climate action now, before it’s too late.

Bill Shorten takes climate change seriously, so guess who isn’t happy with him?

‘The frontline of climate change’ was the appealing subject of the email I received from Labor this morning. It read:

We often talk about what effects climate change will have on our economy, or on agricultural land, or how many more natural disasters we’re likely to suffer.

What we talk about less is how climate change is affecting some of our closest neighbours right now. And it’s devastating. The Papua New Guinea and island nations in the pacific are facing real, existential threats from climate change.

Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Richard Marles are visiting these islands this week and talking to people about life at the frontline of climate change. Bill told the Labor Herald about the trip so far, it’s well worth a read.

This is an issue that isn’t going to go away – we’re likely to see and hear a lot more about it as the International Climate Change Conference in Paris approaches at the end of this month. We’ll keep you informed as much as we can.

Now you’d think that’d be a good thing. Here we have a group of politicians and a political party taking climate change seriously and placing it front and centre on the table. And added to that, they are engaging with counties that are most likely to be the first victims of rapid change.

In most countries this concern and their initiative would be applauded. But they might just happen to be countries where the Murdoch media doesn’t have the same influence as it does here. Instead of it being applauded, we see it derided. Andrew Bolt of The Herald Sun led the way:

LABOR leader Bill Shorten will test the honesty of journalists this week when he tours Pacific Islands he claims are drowning.

Will they dare report that most of the islands are in fact growing or stable? Or will they again prove they cannot be trusted to tell the truth about the global warming scare?

Shorten and deputy Tanya Plibersek plan to visit Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

As the gullible Sydney Morning Herald announced: “Labor wants to put climate change at the centre of public debate in the run-up to a major United Nations summit in Paris later this year.

Sister paper The Daily Telegraph could only feature the story as one that will see ‘Bill Shorten . . . fly 16,000km on a private jet . . .’ and mock him with the image above with the caption ‘Labor overboard with private jet tour‘, while all that news.com.au wanted to tell us was that Bill Shorten danced awkwardly while in Kiribati with suggestions that it might give us a good reason to laugh at him.

One would think that the Murdoch media don’t like the idea of someone taking climate change seriously.

Personally, I’ve had it up to my teeth with the Murdoch media. How can any important issue or any non-Coalition politician get a fair run in this country while the Murdoch media has so much power and so many right-wing fanatics spreading the Murdoch gospel?


Other links about climate change (carbon, coal, morality and planning) here:
1. https://theconversation.com/its-been-australias-hottest-ever-october-and-thats-no-coincidence-49941?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721+CID_4f7f49253a70a9218b85cac34397429f&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Its%20been%20Australias%20hottest%20ever%20October%20and%20thats%20no%20coincidence

2. https://theconversation.com/australias-plantation-boom-has-gone-bust-so-lets-make-them-carbon-farms-49754?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721+CID_4f7f49253a70a9218b85cac34397429f&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Australias%20plantation%20boom%20has%20gone%20bust%20so%20lets%20make%20them%20carbon%20farms

3. https://theconversation.com/like-it-or-not-morality-dictates-that-we-wean-ourselves-off-coal-49836?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721+CID_4f7f49253a70a9218b85cac34397429f&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Like%20it%20or%20not%20morality%20dictates%20that%20we%20wean%20ourselves%20off%20coal

4. https://theconversation.com/is-there-really-a-moral-case-for-coal-the-answer-is-about-far-more-than-money-49832?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+October+30+2015+-+3721+CID_4f7f49253a70a9218b85cac34397429f&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Is%20there%20really%20a%20moral%20case%20for%20coal%20The%20answer%20is%20about%20far%20more%20than%20money

REBLOGGED: Why a 4 degree global temperature increase is the new game in town

Oh dear. This doesn’t look good. 😦
Grassroots groups and corporations are sitting up and paying attention – or at least beginning to. They’re divesting from fossil fuels and seeing what else they can do.
Meanwhile, our government has (arrrrgh!) approved the Carmichael Mine again. Will they ever get the memo?
The Paris summit is a month away. While they’re meeting, we’ll be meeting also – to march and show our support for strong action. Just like last year. (More to come next week.)

Why a 4 degree global temperature increase is the new game in town

by The AIM Network

By Dr Anthony Horton

Numerous recent initiatives intend to precipitate action on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the lead up to the Paris Climate Summit, which is now less than 2 months away. In recent weeks, approximately 2000 people and 400 organisations have made commitments to cease investments in fossil fuel producing companies. Countries were asked to nominate actions they would undertake to reduce GHG emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by October 1.

A US Clean Power Plan which was announced in August this year could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power stations by 870 million tonnes by 2030 (equivalent of taking 166 million cars off the road). China has committed to peak emissions by 2030, and there are indications that emissions may peak before that. Two weeks ago on September 25,China announced that a national carbon emissions trading scheme would commence in 2017. Shortly after that, Brazil announced a 43% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

When the Paris Climate Summit begins, the parties negotiating a deal need to consider the extent to which global warming is already occurring. Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 were 58% higher than they were in 1990 and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have increased from approximately 340 parts per million (ppm) in 1980 to nearly 400ppm today. It is a commonly held belief that in order to limit warming to 2°C the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must stay below 1 trillion tonnes.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we were more than half way to 1 trillion tonnes in 2011 with a total amount of 515 billion tonnes in the atmosphere. If global greenhouse gas emissions continue at the rate of 140 billion tonnes each year, temperatures may rise by up to 4.5°C by 2100. Even if each country fully honours its Paris pledge, it is possible that global temperatures may increase by 3.5°C by then.

Global average temperatures are approximately 0.8°C higher than before the Industrial Revolution and a recent study in the journal Science showed that a suspected warming hiatus between 1998 and 2012 didn’t occur-the cooler temperatures arose from measurements from ocean buoys rather than ships. A subsequent study also found flaws in the statistical modelling in the research that pointed to the hiatus.

The world’s oceans are absorbing most of the heat which is being added to the Earth’s climate system. Arctic sea ice coverage in summer has reduced by more than 40% over the past 40 years, and mean sea levels have risen by approximately 20cm since 1880 and could rise by up to 1 metre more by 2100. The Kiribati Government has recently purchased land in Fiji to accommodate residents in the case of flooding.

Given that fresh water is less dense than salt water, melting sheets of ice interrupt oceanic circulation patterns. It is possible that Europe’s climate may cool slightly as a result of the Atlantic meridional driving cold salt water into the deep ocean and warm water northward. The changes in ocean currents may also be shifting jet streams and altering storm patterns.

According to Simon Lewis from University College London, forest fires in Indonesia could release up to 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. Recent US fires have consumed more than 2 million hectares of forest. Alaska fared worst due to soot from the fires darkening the ice and reducing its ability to reflect solar radiation away from the Earth.

The Arctic region is reportedly warming twice as fast as the rest of the Earth, and if the permafrosts (that store 1,700 Gigatonnes or 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon) thaw out, huge amounts of methane will be released. The big problem with that is the global warming potential of methane is 25 times that of carbon dioxide.

In a paper recently published in Nature Climate Change, researchers from Universities of Cambridge and Colorado estimated that the economic impact of both methane and carbon dioxide being released could be as high as 0.7% of global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2200 using environmental models. Their research did however include a high level of uncertainty.

A little more than a week ago Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney warned that measures necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change in the long term could result in huge losses  in the shorter term by rendering oil, coal and gas essentially untouchable.

See more on the 4 degree warming scenario here.

I have to say I admire Christiana Figueres’ persistence in urging immediate action-seemingly on a weekly basis. As overseer of the Paris Climate Summit in December she has an unenviable task in obtaining an unprecedented global agreement. Her task is not made any easier given the justification with which some countries are defending their Paris commitments (despite considerable pressure from others) and their apparent lack of understanding that we are all residents of the one Earth.

Most developed countries understand that the old “business as usual” approach simply won’t cut it anymore and that they have a responsibility to take the needs of people in developing countries into account, especially as the majority of these countries have made little contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. Announcements are being made virtually every day on social media regarding renewable energy initiatives and/or countries, states or towns that are moving from a reliance on fossil fuels to larger and larger percentages of renewables in their energy mix.

Whether the global average temperature increase by 2100 is predicted to be 2°C or 4°C, it is inevitable that countries need to join together and help each other, including their nearest neighbours. Australia’s recent move to “throw its toys out of the cot” if the UN established an organisation charged with the responsibility of assisting people that are fleeing from the ravages of climate change surely flies in the face of the need to help those around us.

This article was first published on The Climate Change Guy.

rWdMeee6_peAbout the author: Anthony Horton holds a PhD in Environmental Science, a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours and a Diploma of Carbon Management. He has a track record of delivering customised solutions in Academia, Government, the Mining Industry and Consulting based on the latest wisdom and his scientific background and experience in Climate/Atmospheric Science and Air Quality.Anthony’s work has been published in internationally recognised scientific journals and presented at international and national conferences, and he is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal Nature Environment and Pollution Technology. Anthony also blogs on his own site, The Climate Change Guy.

At last, some common sense on climate change

One thing I am glad about which has come from the ALP conference is the promise to have 50% of Australia’s electricity generated by renewable sources by 2030. About time, I say. The current government has already tried to say that this will mean a “new tax”. Pah. Don’t they have anything new? Something must be done and it’s pointless to try and say otherwise.
Even if Labor’s move is partly motivated by political tactics, to be seen as a clear alternative to the current mob on this front anyway. I don’t care. I just want action

Food for thought: reblogged from http://theaimn.com/global-food-shock-may-be-very-close/

Global food shock may be very close

By Dr Anthony HortonA new peer reviewed risk assessment produced by Lloyd’s of London shows that humanity may be on the verge of collapse by 2050 unless significant effort is implemented to slow down the effects of global warming. The risk assessment discusses a scenario of three simultaneous disasters-a heatwave in South America, a windblown wheat stern rust pathogen across Russia and a very strong El Nino southern oscillation cycle-all of which are possible given the current trends. The result would essentially cripple global food security.Lloyd’s commissioned food security and sustainable development economics experts to develop this plausible scenario of a global production shock to some of the world’s staple food crops and to describe the impacts to investigate the implications for both insurance and risk. Members of the UK/US Task Force on Resilience of the Global Food Supply Change to Extreme Events (supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office) assisted in the development of the scenario and a group of leading academics peer reviewed the risk assessment prior to its presentation to the insurance industry.

The risk assessment model used in the report estimates that wheat, soybean and maize prices will quadruple and rice prices may increase by 500% on those from 2007/8. Wheat and rice production would fall 7%, maize would fall 10% and soybean would decrease 11%. The resulting scarcity would precipitate riots in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East and the EU and US stock markets falling 5 and 10% respectively. The degree of shock to each commodity is based on Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data from 1961 to 2013. Three de-trending methods were applied to global aggregated and country data to address changes in crop area, yield, technology and other critical factors over this period. Midpoints of the range of percentage reduction in production for specific years caused by specific historical events were selected as the basis for the components of the scenario.

Global food demand is rising as a result of unprecedented population growth and shifting consumption patterns. The FAO has predicted that agricultural production will need to increase by more than double by 2050 to close the gap between supply and demand. The existing vulnerability of the world’s food systems is exacerbated by a number of factors including increases in the intensity and frequency of floods, droughts and wildfires along with a rise in conditions that are amenable to the spread of agricultural pests and diseases. Water scarcity is another very important factor, given predictions that approximately 66% of the world’s population may live under water stress conditions by 2025.

Agriculture is the world’s largest employer as it provides livelihoods for 40% of the world’s population. It is also fundamental to the global food system. Most of the discussions around food security have focused on long term pressures which heighten the vulnerability to supply shocks. Crop production shocks are likely to pose a systematic threat to food security if they impacted on any of the world’s traditional surplus production areas or “breadbaskets”.

Businesses are likely to invest more heavily in comprehensive risk transfer structures as they become more aware of the threat of disruption to food systems. Shocks to global food supply could represent significant opportunities for the insurance industry which has a key role in assisting clients to understand their risk exposure and to tailor appropriate solutions in response.

The scenario in the Lloyd’s assessment is based on a “business as usual” approach under which human induced climate change leads to increased flooding and drought and to agriculture functioning under water stress in a decade. If carbon emissions are reduced dramatically and the world’s agricultural systems can adapt, such a dramatic scenario will no longer be on the table.

Anthony Horton blogs on his own site: The Climate Change Guy


There is a beautiful song by Eric Bogle called, “Shelter”, which I remember singing as part of school choir. It’s a wonderful song, reflecting on Australia, though it never quite mentions the actual name.

I remember it had three verses, the first verse went something like:
I’m drowning in the sunshine as it pours down from the skies
There’s something stirring in my heart, bright colours fill my eyes
As from here to the far horizon, your beauty does unfold
And oh you look so lovely, dressed in green and gold”

The rest of the song is just as poetic and beautiful. I love travelling, but – well, never say never, but I feel that I was born in Australia and so will live and eventually die in Australia, even if I visit other places. As much as I grumble about the current government, some things transcend politics. There’s a certain rugged beauty to be found here that I wouldn’t trade for anywhere else in the world.

I like taking photos with my iPod touch – especially nature stuff, even if that’s just the sunset as seen from my family’s back deck. I feel like today is a picture-sharing day…especially given how cold it is outside.

Here are a few which I took last night from slightly different angles. All the pretty colours!

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Here are also some photos from back in April, around the Easter weekend, when my family went on a day trip along the Great Ocean Road. I can’t help but admire the wild beauty and natural peace of these places….

“I’m the hot wind from the desert, I’m the black soil of the plains
I’m the mountains and the valleys, I’m the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian”

(Bruce Woodley & Dobe Newton, one of the verses of I Am Australian)

Displaying photo 2.JPG Displaying photo 5.JPG Displaying photo 1.JPG Displaying photo 3.JPG Displaying photo 4.JPG Displaying photo 3.JPG Displaying photo 4.JPG

We have such a beautiful country. I think of many things when I take these pictures and look at nature. Another song I cannot help but think of is that lovely hymn, “How Great Thou Art” (Stuart K. HIne).

“Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!” (Chorus)

If only we humans hadn’t stuffed it up. Hopefully we’ll be able to agree to fix it before it’s too late.

Climate Action Now, Please

So, did anyone see the Four Corners program on the 15th of June? It was titled “The End of Coal” and was quite interesting. Upshot of the program was that coal is on the way out. It might be around for a little while longer, but both for long-term economic and sustainable futures, we should start moving away from it. Otherwise, we’ll be left behind.

We’re in a situation where recent reports showed that at least 45% of Australia’s threatened wildlife species are moderately to highly vulnerable to climate change. It interlinks with many things. For instance, climate change means more climate refugees. It means more food difficulties and less water for a growing population. It could mean more disease, too.

Climate change is a fact. Even the Pope has recognised this and has published an encyclical about it. We must act now, before it’s too late. Action is relatively cheap, but waiting will prove costly. So, governments, stop dragging your heels!

Get a move on.














Marching for Social Justice – Against a (Still) Unfair Budget that’s just sneakier

The budget recently delivered federally is still unfair in many ways. It’s just sneakier about it.

Consumer confidence might have bounced slightly, but I bet it’ll be a short-term improvement – before people wake up to the truth again.

Two articles (the first an excerpt, the second republished in full as it’s a call to arms):

Tony vs. the red dragon: A cautionary tale.

Tony Abbott’s had a colourful career in politics. The kind of colourful you get when you mix all of your paints together, sort of a dodgy-vindaloo brown. Whether its women doing the ironing or Jesus not wanting refugees to come to Australia, he just can’t seem to keep his foot out of his mouth (to the point where his minders should probably keep him as far away from the media as possible.) If he was ever considering a change of career I imagine that a mash-up of some of some of his more cringe worthy moments with some decent beats might be an overnight hip hop sensation. (Err nope, nope, nope.) But of all his embarrassing blunders and sleazy winks, onion eating and baby kissing, awkward silences and inappropriate weirdness, one particular comment stands out in my memory.

While campaigning with Will Hodgman in 2013, Abbott in one of his more eloquent brain farts described the Greens efforts to stop vast areas of already protected Tasmanian forests from being turned into toilet paper as “socialism masquerading as environmentalism.” One does wonder what he meant by Socialism. Did he mean “a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy“? Did he mean the revolutionary socialism of Che Guevera? Or did he mean “the radical idea of sharing“? It’s hard to see how any of these would make sense in the context. Then again, Abbott is not well known for making sense. Were they just some cleverly crafted words strung together to appeal to his voter base? It matters not.

Whatever confusion may have sprung from the recent budget, one thing is refreshingly clear. Abbott is adamantly not a socialist. His particular oeuvre seems to be a mix of neoclassical economics as proffered by Reagan and Thatcher, the cold war politics of the 1950s, a liberal spattering of British colonialism and a peculiar nostalgia for a time prior to women’s emancipation. Businesses create jobs. Go out and buy yourself a cappuccino machine. Unless he’s trying to create demand for imported coffee beans I really don’t see the point of this. We believe in small government, he blabbers, without thought as to who will deliver expected services or collect the taxation to fund them. We are doing what we were elected to do and that’s getting the economy back on track, he flat out lies, assuming mass ignorance of rising levels of public and private debt and cuts in spending across every portfolio. Except defence and border security, but I’ll get to that later.http://theaimn.com/tony-v-the-red-dragon-a-cautionary-tale/

The Welfare Declaration

Keith Davis reports that the March Australia NATIONAL WELFARE MARCH in July intends to do nothing less than change the social welfare landscape of this Nation. So far Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and a number of regional centres are joining together to march for social justice for the disadvantaged citizens of this country. This ‘peoples’ movement’ is taking square aim at the regressive social welfare policies of the Abbott Government. We believe that welfare payments are there to support the poor, the homeless, the disadvantaged, and the unemployed, and we do not believe that the rich and the corporations deserve any sort of access to tax-break welfare payments. In July, ONE MARCH can have the power to sway a Nation!” or bits of that thereof …

We Are Marching For Social Justice and Our Aims Are Very Clear. We Will Not Be Distracted From Our Cause.

We Intend to Change The Social Welfare Landscape Of This Nation!

The days of hoping for others to do it for us are over. The days of simply waiting for social justice to come our way are coming to an end.

The days of our public humiliation are about to be swept aside.

No longer will our voices be ignored. No longer will we be ground down by the poverty that has been forced upon us.

No more will we accept the judgement and demonization sent our way by the self appointed political and social upper classes of this nation.

We are taking to the streets. We are building our barricades against unfairness. We are pushing back against the tide of ridicule and suppression.

We are re-claiming our power.

We are not your serfs. We are not your servants. We will not be constrained by your oppression, your judgements, or your ridicule.

We are not animals and no more will we allow ourselves to be confined within the corrals of your Jobnetworks. We will use every means at our disposal to close down your punitive gulags.

We are not slaves. We are not convicts. We will not submit to the chains and shackles of your Work for the Dole. We will not allow you to brutally exploit our labour.

Our homeless are not scum. Our sole parents are not bludgers. Our pensioners are not invisible discards. And our disadvantaged are not blights on your social landscape.

Our unemployed are not Newstart Criminals. Our disabled are not an embarrassment. Our mental health sufferers are not cannon fodder for your funding cuts.

Our Aboriginal brothers and sisters on welfare are not targets for your quarantining experiments.

Our razor wired Asylum Seekers are not your political prisoners.

So we are taking to the streets.

So we are taking you on.

We will picket your Centrelinks.

We will force you to raise Newstart and other benefits above the poverty line.

We will demand our right to live with dignity.

We will demand a Basic Income Guarantee for all.

We will stop the unfair judgement and demonization of all Welfare Recipients.

We will demand that you withdraw welfare payments from the corporations and the rich.

We will demand that you stop attacking the poor.

So we are taking to the streets. We are building our barricades.

And to you, the Government of this land, we say this …




I, myzania3350, will be there. Will you? It’s time to take a stand. As I’ve been saying over and over: we have to make a change, we can’t wait for someone else to. Spread the word!

(Strolls off humming tune to “Do You Hear The People Sing”. Yes, yes, I know, it ended horribly for them. It’s still a bloody good song for this purpose.)

We Only Have One Earth

I’m fed up with a bunch of things. One being our treatment of our environment.

It’s just so frustrating – there’s only so much I can do. The Government needs to step up. I doubt that will happen with the current nutjob we have though. What will it take?

Some articles from The AIM Network, particularly by Dr Anthony Horton; he blogs on his own site – http://www.theclimatechangeguy.com.au/ – and Keith Davis:

Spotlight on health and climate change long overdue

By Dr Anthony HortonAccording to Damian Ryan, Head of International Policy at The Climate Group there is no better time to apply a spotlight to health and climate change. Higher temperatures will either create a range of illnesses, disease or injuries or exacerbate them, at a time when ageing populations and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease will place increasing strain on health systems around the world.

Heat waves are likely to have health impacts for significant numbers of people around the world, as evidenced by events in Western Europe in 2003 and Russia in 2009 when 80,000 and 50,000 premature deaths respectively were reported. Vulnerable poor and elderly people made up the majority of these counts.

Vector-borne diseases normally contained within temperature thresholds that contain their habitats are also likely to spread with higher temperatures. There is now evidence that malaria which is spread by the Anopheles mosquito is now present in regions that were previously regarded as too cool for the mosquito’s survival, such as the Ethiopian highlands. (more here: http://theaimn.com/spotlight-on-health-and-climate-change-long-overdue/ )

Please explain

Please explain – coal can take 5.5 years off your life in China and cost $500 billion per year in the US in health costs but it is good for Australia?By Dr Anthony Horton

Recent pronouncements by the Abbott Government that coal is good for Australia are increasingly coming under scrutiny, and if recently published findings are anything to go by, this scrutiny should continue. According to the International Edition of the Green Innovation Index, Australia had the highest coal consumption per capita on Earth, and was the 5th highest producer of coal. In terms of per capita energy use, Australia was ranked 43rd in the world, just above Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and 45th in the world for per capita electricity use. The report also noted the repeal of the Carbon Tax in 2012 by the Senate despite being one of the world’s highest greenhouse gas emitters and having one of the highest emissions per capita in the developed world.

As I touched on in my article “Spotlight on climate change and health”, recent research has also shed light on both the direct and indirect costs of the link climate and health at the present time and not at some time in the future. A joint Chinese-United States Study has found that the air pollution created by the use of coal use has reduced average life expectancy by 5.5 years. As we all know with the term average- there must be a percentage of people whose life expectancy is reduced by more than that, which I’m sure most people would agree is a serious issue.

The research, which was a collaboration between Peking and Tsinghua Universities in Beijing and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) looked at the impact of what was virtually an arbitrary Chinese policy. In the period 1950-1980, the Chinese Government established free winter heating for offices and homes via coal for fuel boilers as a “basic right”. Due to budgetary constraints, the program was only rolled out in Northern China which was deemed as the area bordered by the Huai River and Qinling Mountain Range. This “basic right” has resulted in significant concentrations of particles being added to the atmosphere. (more here: http://theaimn.com/please-explain/ )

Nudge to humans from planet Earth: How many warnings do you lot need?

By Keith Davis.

“Hi Humans. Lately you may have noticed that I have accelerated the melt rate of my Antarctic Glaciers. Lately you may have noticed that I have been experimenting in my lab with the creation of even bigger and better super storms. Lately you may have noticed that I have been expanding my deserts at an ever increasing rate.

I use the term ‘may have noticed’ under decided advisement because it actually appears to me that you have taken no notice at all of my warnings. Well I am running out of patience and I am fast forming the opinion that I need to step in strongly and start protecting myself.

And I’m feeling a little crowded.

Wherever I look there is this huge mass of you human beings waddling about consuming things. Consuming food. Consuming water. Consuming my resources. And at some point there will be so many of you that you will, inevitably, arrive at a point where there will be nothing left of me to consume.

All around the world you, as a species, are gathering up every possible resource to either throw down your gobs, blow out of your exhaust pipes, or feed your insatiable greedy need to have more and more of that nihilistic human philosophy called unlimited economic growth.

Don’t you get it? You are sowing the seeds of your own destruction.