Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts

Friday, 25 September 2020

Morrison Government continues to drag its feet on national greenhouse gas emissions reduction


Renew Economy, 21 September 2020:

Morrison said, of net zero emissions:

"Well, as you know, our policy is to achieve that in the second half of this century, and I certainly will achieve that, and that’s why this week’s announcements were so important because it was about the technology we need to invest in now, which will make it a reality, particularly on the other side of 2030. The target that you’ve talked about becomes absolutely achievable. I’m interested in doing the things that make that happen. I think that is very achievable"…..

Morrison was, in fact, effectively stating that Australia would reach net zero emissions by 2100. Heck, what’s a half-century between friends?

In fact, Australia’s Paris climate agreement targets are neatly aligned with reaching net zero by 2100, whereas Labor’s old 45% by 2030 targets were aligned with net zero by 2050 (the far safer option). Unfortunately, the latest projections from the government are wildly off course, not only for net zero by 2050, but also for net zero by 2100….

If the rate of yearly emissions drops between 2020 and 2030 in Australia’s government projections continue, by my own reckoning, Australia will reach net zero emissions in the year 2300….

The Guardian, 22 September 2020:

The Morrison government’s rejection of a net zero emissions target for 2050 is at odds with the Paris agreement and more than 100 countries that have backed the goal, according to some of Australia’s most experienced climate experts..... 

countries in Paris including Australia had specifically asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to examine what 1.5C of heating would mean, and what needed to be done to avoid it. 

The resulting report, released in 2018, found global emissions needed to effectively be cut in half by 2030 – to be 45% below 2010 levels – and to reach net zero by 2050. It found staying within 2C heating would require net zero by 2070, but the impact of that was likely to be far worse

Australia chose to stick with its existing 2030 target of a 26% to 28% cut below 2005 levels and is yet to set a date to reach net zero.....

By contrast, [Erwin] Jackson said, Australia was “confusing the market”. “On the one hand, it has signed up to an international agreement that is supposed to put it on a path to net zero emissions by no later than 2050,” he said. “On the other, it keeps talking about ‘low emissions’. We’ve moved on from a conversation about low emissions. Globally, we have recognised we need to get to zero emissions.”

BACKGROUND

Australia is almost standing still when it comes to reducing its national annual greenhouse gas emissions. At the end of 19 calendar years in 2019 federal government policy has only resulted in our annual greenhouse gas emissions falling by a trifling 18.5 metric tonnes in comparison with the annual emissions at the end of the year 2000.

Estimated National Greenhouse Gas Emissions in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or MTCO2e over last 20 years - includes Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry:

2000 - 551 Mt CO2-e
2001 - 570 Mt CO2-e
2002 - 568 Mt CO2-e
2003 - 561 Mt CO2-e
2004 - 574 Mt CO2-e
2005 - 597 Mt CO2-e 
2006 - 610 Mt CO2-e
2007 - 606 Mt CO2-e
2008 - 590 Mt CO2-e 
2009 - 584 Mt CO2-e 
2010 - 543 Mt CO2-e
2011 - 546.3 Mt CO2-e
2012 - 551.9 Mt CO2-e (total excludes Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry)
2013 - 538.4Mt CO2-e
2014 - 535.9 Mt CO2-e 
2015 - 535.7 Mt CO2-e
2016 – 543.3 Mt CO2-e
2017 – 533.7 Mt CO2-e
2018 – 532.5 Mt CO2-e 
2019 – 532.5 Mt CO2-e (this annual total marks a difference of only -18.5 Mt CO2-e compared with the year 2000 annual total)
2020 – 528.7 Mt CO2-e (total up to 30 March)

Note:
Unadjusted figures found in Australian Government National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: Quarterly updates.and at Australian Dept. of Environment and Energy.
The estimated totals from 2000 to 2009 are from Dept. of Energy and Environment.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

New report by the World Meteorological Organization warns global warming 1.5℃ limit may be exceeded by 2024—and the risk is growing.


Phys Org, 9 September 2020:



The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century. A new report by the World Meteorological Organization warns this limit may be exceeded by 2024—and the risk is growing.

This first overshoot beyond 1.5℃ would be temporary, likely aided by a major climate anomaly such as an El Niño weather pattern. However, it casts new doubt on whether Earth's climate can be permanently stabilized at 1.5℃ warming.

This finding is among those just published in a report titled United in Science. We contributed to the report, which was prepared by six leading science agencies, including the Global Carbon Project.

The report also found while greenhouse gas emissions declined slightly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they remained very high—which meant atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have continued to rise…..

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

A reminder that past mistakes make the Far North Coast even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change


It is easy to forget that long before modern urban population pressure and seachange retirees, the coastal fringe of the Northern Rivers region was being shaped by mining which irreversibly weakened shorelines now experiencing increasingly erosive wave patterns due to climate change.

This past degradation of coastal sand dunes and barrier beaches leaves many communities vulnerable.

Echo NetDaily, 12 December 2013:

Mining, not waves, destroyed Belongil

Oh, spare me. The Belongil? Again? Could The Echo run that article from a few years back that detailed (with photos) the deep sandmining that destroyed the ancient solid dune base right across Byron Bay and Tallows and more?

Is there anyone left alive who knows there’s a place called The Sand Hills Estate in Byron Bay, and why? As a reminder, it’s where the YAC is, and there were huge sand hills there, which were mined out. Does anyone recall there was a freshwater lake there, just like the ones on Fraser Island that had to be protected from sandmining in the 70s? Byron’s lake was not protected, and it was destroyed by sandmining.

Are there still residents who recall the mining industry and politicians saying the mining was ever so important, for the space program no less, and that the beaches would be fine? Because a magic plant named bitou bush would hold the soft sand together after the ancient black sand was removed?

But it turned out the black sand was used for cheap insulation on power lines, the bitou bush became an ecological nightmare, and the soft sand washed away in the first big storm. Does anyone remember any of this? Or that we even used to have black sand? And that was when the mining industry/political fixers came up with: it’s a natural process and we need a planned retreat? Any of this sound familiar? Does anyone know what the black sand was, how it got there, and how long it takes to accumulate?

And the current cliff edge at Belongil? Anyone actually bother to look at a survey map? Because that edge just happens to be where the mining stopped, at boundaries of private land. Notice that otherwise the whole thing would have been mined, washed away, and the sea would likely be across Ewingsdale Road?

For goodness sake, anyone remember the radioactive tailings dumped as landfill around town, that was all supposed to be fine? Until some smart bloke wandered about with a Geiger counter and a few people woke up. Is that sand-processing plant still rusting on the beach at Kingscliff? You know, the one with the big signs that say ‘WARNING: RADIOACTIVE’?

For pity’s sake, what on Earth lets people make statements without any reference to the geological, industrial, or political history of the landscape, and line up as the poster boys for mining industry arse-covering, and yet claim to give a damn about the world?

Listen, John Vaughan may annoy people, he may be obstreperous and confrontational in manner, but he’s actually, in this case, right. Do. Your. Homework. Or. Don’t. Put. Your. Hand. Up.

Matt Hartley, Byron Bay

BACKGROUND


The birth of sand mining in Australia took place in Ballina, NSW, in 1870, when John Sinclair discovered gold in the black sand on Shaw’s beach. That discovery sparked a gold rush that lasted for nearly 30 years. At its peak there were about 300 people digging for gold on the beaches around Ballina (Morley, 1981).

It is, however, unlikely that the beaches were in pristine shape before the gold rush started. Cement production didn’t begin in Australia until about the same time as the beginning of gold mining on the beaches (NSW Heritage Office, 2003), so beach sand wouldn’t have been mined for construction work prior to that time. But cedar getters began working in the forests in the 1840s and they hauled logs to the beaches and out to schooners moored offshore (NPWS, 2007). This undoubtedly caused some significant damage to parts of the dune systems.

The beach gold miners depended on south-easterly gales to expose the black sand and bring the heavier, gold-containing particles to the beach surface (Morley, 1981) and mining was done entirely by hand (Nott, 1957 cited in Borland, 1999).

Within twenty years, most of the beach gold deposits were exhausted and the attention of the miners turned inland. By the end of the century, gold had been discovered on beaches from Bermagui, NSW to Fraser Island, Qld, but its peak had passed (Morley, 1981).

For the next couple of decades, mining for gold, platinum, and tin continued on the beaches around Byron Bay. But around 1920 there began to be an interest in other minerals that were found in the beach sands – rutile, zircon, and ilmenite, the “heavy minerals”.

The first large scale mining of heavy mineral sands was carried out in 1935 when Zircon-Rutile Ltd began production of zircon and rutile at Byron Bay. They only processed the ore, and engaged contractors to do the mining – which was done on the beach by hand, using shovels (Morley, 1981).

When mineral sand deposits were discovered in the back dunes and heathland country behind the beaches, mining techniques changed. Ponds were dug and small floating dredges were used to extract the minerals (Nott, 1957 cited in Borland, 1999).

In the 1950s, as a result of criticism of the environmental damage being done by sand mining, the NSW Mines department began to work towards improving the rehabilitation of mine sites. But it wasn’t until the late 1960s that any serious effort was put into this process (Unwin & Cook, 1986 cited in Burdett, 1994).

Around that time, reprofiling of sand dunes was improved by the introduction of a stacker boom to rebuild the dunes with the tailings sand returned from the separation plant (Burdett, 1994).

In the 1960s mining began in the aeolian high dunes of southern Queensland (Morley, 1981).

In the late 1960s, mining companies began to employ qualified rehabilitation workers for the first time. (Unwin & Cook, 1986 cited in Burdett, 1994)….. 

Aunty Linda Vidler (2004), an Arakwal elder from the Byron Bay area, recalled 30 foot high sand dunes at Tallow Beach before sand mining took place. There were also dune swales and permanent lakes (Vidler 2003, cited in NPWS, 2007). Today the dune system there is more uniform, flat and simplified (NPWS, 2007). 

It is likely that while sand mining continued, it caused increased erosion of the shoreline of Australian beaches, as seems to have been the case with sand mining in California (Thornton et. al., 2006). Landward displacement of frontal dunes has occurred (Dallas & Tuck, 2008). Lack of vegetation and dune instability in old, unrehabilitated mine sites continues to contribute to erosion of the dune systems. 

Sand mining has destroyed archeological and heritage sites, such as Aboriginal camp sites, middens and possibly burial sites (Dallas & Tuck, 2008). Many sites of European and Aboriginal value were lost to sand mining around the Ballina area (Dept. of Land and Water Conservation, 2003)..... 

Port Of Yamba Historical Society Museum, 30 July 2018: 

Yamba’s Pippi Beach is a big open beach ideal for long walks, surfing and fishing. At low tide the odd Pippi shellfish can be seen, but not as many as there were before sand mining and overharvesting in the mid 1900s. 

In almost every decade of the twentieth century sand mining has occurred along the north coast of NSW. The sand, rich in zircon, rutile, ilmenite and monazite was considered valuable for steel alloys, enamels, glazes and glass. 

The Depression delayed early attempts but in 1934/5 leases at Iluka, Yamba and Back Beach, Angourie were exploited. The Yamba lease consisted of a 40 metre wide strip of beach above low water mark and from a point on Pippi Beach opposite the present Ngaru Village and including most of Barri Beach (locally known as Mines or Dump Beach). The sand was loaded by hand into a horse-drawn dray, which took the mineral to the treatment plant, about 1.2 km south of Barri Point (Flat Rock). Later a tramline was erected on the beach, and hopper trucks, still loaded by hand, took the sand to the treatment plant pulled by a small diesel locomotive. 

The Yamba lease was worked out by 1937 and production shifted to Angourie. Another tramway was built from the treatment plant to Back Beach, Angourie but little evidence remains of this tramway today. 

In 1942/3 four new leases covered Turners, Yamba and Convent Beaches in Yamba and Green Point, Spookies and Back Beaches at Angourie. A small amount of mineral sand was taken from Main Beach, Yamba in 1943 before an appeal by a delegation from the surf club to the Minister for Mines had the mining stopped. A further lease was obtained in 1943 covering Barri Beach and Pippi Beach up to Lovers Point. On seeing the notices of the proposed mining activity, William Ager appealed for Council to resist the lease applications, feeling that the mining would undermine his conservation work. Despite the lease being granted, however, no mining took place in favour of richer mineral deposits further north in the Cudgen area. 

 Another period of mining occurred from 1968-1970, when sand dunes behind the beaches from Brooms Head to Yamba and Iluka were mined then rebuilt using front-end loaders. 

The Bitou bush planted by the mining company to rehabilitate the dunes has since become a noxious weed. They did however discover the Yamba Cemetery, located towards the south end of Pippi Beach, covered in 20 feet of sand. 

The declaration of Yuraygir National Park in 1980 and the importance of our beaches for tourism have largely ended any prospect of further mining. The North Coast Environmental Council and Maclean Shire Council blocked an attempt in 1995, especially after exploratory work caused severe dune damage. 

Clarence Valley Council, Coastal Hazard Study for Pippi Beach, Yamba, 23 March 2016: 

Pippi Beach and its adjoining headland to the north at Yamba Point are of high aesthetic and environmental value. 

The beach is generally backed by dunes located within Crown Reserve. These dunes were mined for heavy minerals in the 1970s and later revegetated. Poorly managed stormwater discharges into the dunes at the northern end of the beach led to erosion of the dune face and formation of localised blow outs. 

Coastal hazard investigations by Manly Hydraulics Laboratory in 2002 found that Pippi Beach was only mildly affected by coastal hazard. However, storms in recent years have lowered the beach profile and impacted on beach amenity. 

Also a public footpath has been proposed joining Yamba Point with beaches to the south and a concern has been expressed for the stability of elevated bluff areas to be traversed by this path..... 

The Daily Examiner, 2 March 2018: 

Wooli Beach, Brooms Head, Woody Head and Yamba beaches are all being impacted by coastal erosion. The Daily Examiner has been following the erosion since the high tides and big swells were forced upon the Clarence in late December 2017, January and February this year.

Map of historical coastal mineral sand mining
from Yamba in the north to Wooli in the southern section of the Clarence Coast
IMAGE: "There were always people here: a history of Yuraygir National Park", p.55

NOTE:


While minerals sands mining results in short-term alteration of ecosystems, there is a particular concern that thorium, the principal radioactive component of monazite, may over time leach from tailings dumps into local water supply systems. Also, as elevated radiation levels are likely to occur at areas of spillage adjacent to monazite loading and storage facilities on former mining sites, it may be necessary to have a system of controls to restrict the public and nearby landowners from having contact with some parts of former mine sites [Greg Swensen, Mineral sands mining in Western Australia, p.2]. 

Some samples in an old ilmenite stockpile (since removed) at Jerusalem Creek in Bundjalung National Park held thorium and uranium that exceed public health exemption criteria. [NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Bundjalung National Park Review of Environmental Factors: Proposed ilmenite stockpile removal and site rehabilitation, 2016]

Monday, 3 August 2020

A grand gesture by James Murdoch which changes nothing on the Australian media landscape


@mjrowland68
James Rupert Jacob Murdoch has decided to leave his father's toxic media organisation.

The Hollywood Reporter, 31 July 2020:


Getty

Former 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch has resigned from the board of News Corp., the parent company of the Wall Street Journal. 


In a letter of resignation filed Friday afternoon, Murdoch wrote: "My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions." 

James Murdoch had been on News Corp.'s board of directors since 2013. News Corp. is one of two media companies controlled by James' father Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch family. 

The other is Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News and the Fox broadcast network, which was created after 21st Century Fox sold its entertainment assets to The Walt Disney Company. 

Murdoch stepped down as Fox CEO following the sale, with his brother Lachlan Murdoch becoming CEO, and father Rupert becoming co-chairman. 

News Corp., which owns the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, New York Post, News U.K. and newspaper and TV assets in Australia, is run by CEO Robert Thomson. 

After leaving the Fox fold, Murdoch started his own company, Lupa Systems, which has invested in technology companies and other firms. 

Lupa Systems has acquired stakes in Vice Media, tech startup Betalab, and is pursuing a stake in MCH Group, the parent company of the Art Basel fair. 

Lupa Systems and Joe Marchese's Attention Capital also acquired a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises last year, the parent organization of the Tribeca Film Festival. 

In a joint statement released after the letter was made public, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said "We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Earlier this year James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn issued a joint statement expressing disappointment with the level of climate change denial found in News Corp’s Australian outlets.

James Murdoch became chief executive of British Sky Broadcasting in 2003 at the age of 30, when his father Rupert was still chairman. 

By 2012 after the News of the World phone hacking scandal and the subsequent Leveson Inquiry, U.K. media watchdog Ofcom declared James' ''conduct in relation to events at NGN repeatedly fell short of the conduct to be expected of him as a chief executive officer and chairman'' when he was running News Corp's News Group Newspapers.

At that time James was also a director of British Sky Broadcasting Group as well as a director of News Corporation.

He apparently stepped back from any day-to-day roles within the family business at the end of 2018.

His resignation does not imply that he has sold or intends to sell his shareholdings in News Corp or Disney.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Tweet of the Week



Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Inc. commences a civil enforcement proceeding in NSW Land and Environment Court to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions


Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Incorprated is a group of bushfire survivors, firefighters, local councillors who have joined together to demand the Government take immediate action on climate change.

The group says of itself: "We have come together because we have lost our homes and our communities to bushfires and we want action. We are sick of waiting and we won’t put up with half-measures anymore. The Government can no longer ignore the way their climate change denial is hurting our communities and putting lives at risk. They must take Australia beyond coal projects like Adani and move to 100% renewable energy for all."

On 20 April 2020 Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action Inc. brought a civil enforcement proceeding in the Land and Environment Court to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The proceedings seek to force the EPA to establish a climate policy, based on its statutory role which includes a requirement to prepare policies to protect the environment. The group will be arguing that the EPA as lead environment regulator in NSW failed to establish such policies in relation to climate change.

The outcome of this case is of particular interest to communities in the NSW Northern Rivers region given the mega wildfires of the 2019-2020 bushfire season and the environmental devastation/property loss/social dsiruption in their wake.

On 27 April 2020 The Daily Examiner reported:

Any notion that climate change is an issue that can be dealt with effectively in some distant future has been shown to be untenable given events of the past few years. 


Extreme weather events, severe droughts and longer and more catastrophic bushfire seasons have shown more people there is a connection between these events and the growing carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Australians concerned about climate change are becoming increasingly frustrated with the ostrich-like attitudes of many politicians and government agencies. 

One group that is taking legal action in an attempt to force a NSW government agency to do more on climate change is Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action, which is taking the Environmental ­Protection Agency to court ­because of its failure to better protect communities. 

Group president Jo Dodds said all members had experienced a bushfire first-hand. They believed climate change was a major contributing factor to the cause and growing intensity of bushfires in Australia. 

She said the issue wasn’t being taken seriously enough and “there’s a sense that the bushfires are over and we can get back to normal life after COVID-19 – but the fires are going to come harder and more frequently”. 

The Environmental Defenders Office is representing the group. EDO chief executive David Morris said the EPA had “a statutory mandate to protect the environment … but the EPA don’t have a current policy to regulate greenhouse gas emissions”. 

“Those two things can’t coexist,” he said. “We’re simply asking the court to tell the EPA go and create environmental quality objectives with respect to greenhouse gas emissions, regulate the pollution and use their existing powers to do so.” 

According to the EDO, the EPA is in a unique position. As an agency “with teeth”, it has the power to issue licences to control pollution, as well as put caps and prices on substances that are harmful to the environment. 

The case is listed in the NSW Land and Environment Court in Sydney on May 8. 

Leonie Blain, Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Losses in the 2019-20 NSW bushfires may exceed 70 per cent of the state's entire koala population


ABC News, 7 March 2020: 

Koala losses from recent NSW bushfires 'One of the most significant biodiversity impacts in our history' 

Authorities may have underestimated the extent of the impact of the bushfires on koalas on the North Coast, a New South Wales ecologist has said. 

Stephen Phillips, managing director and principal research scientist at Biolink ecological consultants, has been revisiting six previously-surveyed koala habitats between Forster and Ballina. 

The company was hired by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to undertake the first on-the-ground surveys in the area since the recent bushfires and is more than halfway through. 

"As part of the broader modelling that we're doing with fire, we're assuming a 70 per cent loss or — 70 per cent mortality rate," Dr Phillips said. "And current information suggests that, based on our field survey work, that the real answer is probably north of that somewhere. 

"So the losses are probably far bigger than what we've been modelling in." They are more than halfway through resurveying the sixth site and Dr Phillips said the story now seems "pretty consistent".

South of Port Macquarie this week they found little evidence of survivors. 

"Part of what we're doing here, we're looking beneath one of the most preferred koala food trees, which is called Tallowwood, and in raking around the bottom of this tree I've picked up a koala scat [faecal pellet]," Dr Phillips said. 

They are, however, still working through the 18 sites at Lake Innes, south of Port Macquarie. 

"One of the good things about this site is that the canopy scorch is mild, so that gives us some hope that there may be some survivors," Dr Phillips said. 

"I guess part of what we're doing now is trying to work out how much of this study area has been impacted and how many survivors there may be, but all evidence indicates its probably not going to be many." 

Area of special significance 

The site in Lake Innes was previously the subject of a successful translocation study

"So finding out what's happened to the population that we established and finding out it's future, whether it's going to survive, whether it's going to become part of a broader recovery program, is also what this is about," Dr Phillips said..... 

Read the full article here.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre to close because the Morrison Government refuses to consider funding it further


In 2015 the Abbott Coalition Government changed guidelines for government-industry-community cooperative research centres.

This change was implemented by the federal Department of Industry and Science.

At the time the 2015/2016 Federal budget planned to cut $26.8 million of CRC funding (over four years).

In spite of the original budget cut less than two years into its existence, the 
Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) went on to do sterling work in cooperation with federal and state governments, industry, non-government organisations and international bodies.

This was Australian Prime Minister on 7 February 2020 according to the 
BNHCRC website: 


CRC Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, CRC Research Director Dr John Bates and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison invited the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC to Parliament House to discuss current and future contributions of research to the bushfire response and recovery. 

CRC Chair Dr Katherine Woodthorpe and Acting CEO and Research Director Dr John Bates met with Prime Minister Morrison and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews on 5 February to talk about building a bushfire-resilient Australia. 

After the meeting Prime Minister Morrison posted the above picture on his Facebook page, saying: 

“Today Minister Karen Andrews and I also met with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC to discuss their important work to assist with the bushfire response and improve preparedness for future fire seasons. We talked about making a more bushfire-resilient Australia and how it can support the proposed Royal Commission.” 

The CRC was invited to discuss how it could support the Royal Commission using its research knowledge and expertise, and through the Inquiries and Reviews database that catalogues over 300 inquiries and reviews of emergencies and disasters caused by natural hazards across all jurisdictions in Australia between 1886 and 2017. The database captures the findings of previous royal commissions and other bushfire inquiries.

What Scott Morrison was well aware of, and most ordinary voters hadn't realised, was that the 2015 change to those guidelines meant that the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre would cease to receive federal government funding as of 30 June 2021 and inevitably will have to close its doors.

On the heels of a devastating 2019-2020 bushfires season, marked by mega wildfires burning across millions of hectares, this Senate Estimates hearing (below) is how the Australian public became widely aware that one of the supports enabling emergency services to fight such fires was being withdrawn.
On 2 January 2020 The Australian reported that the Insurance Council of Australia had urged the federal government to commit to keep funding this key bushfire research organisation.

This call seems to have had no effect on Scott Morrison and his government - it appears that he is still intent on burning Australia back to nothing but bare barren earth.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

The Future Eaters have re-commenced logging in forests affected by the 2019-20 mega bushfires


Styx River State Forest, in the New England Tablelands region of New South Wales, covers 16,000 hectares. 

The Brisbane Times reported on 26 February 2020:

Conservation efforts in NSW to stop more species becoming extinct in the wake of this season's unparalleled bushfires require more than half a billion dollars over the coming four years. 

Emergency intervention to save as many as 30 endangered species alone needs $15 million this year and $35 million in both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years, according to a spreadsheet circulating among state government agencies and obtained by the Sun-Herald. 

A burnt area of the Styx River State Forest in northern NSW.Logging has resumed in the area despite most of the region being burnt.
The leaked requests come as Forestry Corporation resumed logging in unburnt refuges in the Styx River State Forest despite risks to species including nationally endangered Hastings River mice.....

While officials wrangle over conservation funding, industrial-scale logging has resumed in fire-hit regions such as the Styx River, inland from Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast. 

Chris Gambian, chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council, said the logging would have "immensely negative ecological impacts" given so little of the Styx River forest was unburnt. An endangered Hastings River mouse, from a photograph taken in January 2018. 

“The fires mean that whatever we thought before about wildlife and species has to be scrapped and reassessed," Mr Gambian said, adding he had asked the Environment Protection Authority to issue a statewide stop-work order for logging in native forests state until the effects of the fires are known. 

“Logging remnant forests after such a disaster is like sending a demolition crew in to conduct a cyclone recovery operation," he said. "It is hard to imagine a more harmful intervention." 

Mr Gambian noted the government's own analysis indicated at least 32 threatened animal species alone had lost at least 30 per cent of their habitat due to fires, and were now "teetering on the brink".....

A Forestry Corporation spokeswoman said the majority of production crews on the north coast had moved from native forests to hardwood timber plantations after the fires. 

"A small number of selective harvesting operations that commenced prior to the fires have continued under the strict regulations governing native forestry in NSW," she said, adding that crews in the Styx River State Forest were "finalising work in this location" and will move some harvesting operations into fire-affected forests "in the near future".....

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Australian Forestry Industry: these future eaters need to be stopped



Australia is the world's smallest continent with a land area of 149,450,000 km2 completely surrounded by ocean.

It is not by accident that the vast majority of its est. 25.6 million strong population live along its fringes - that's where most of the forests and rivers are.



What you see on this map represented approximately 3 per cent of the world’s forests in 2016 and, globally Australia was the country with the seventh largest forest area.

It is estimated that when British-Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, forests covered one-third of the continent - a total of around 49,811,685km2

This had fallen to less than one-fifth or 19 per cent by 2006. At that time more than 16,500 plant and 3,800 animal species had been identified as forest-dependent.

Ten years later Australia​ had only 134 million hectares of forest remaining, covering 17 per cent of its land area. 

In the 228 years between 1788 and 2016 under the policies, legislation and regulations of successive federal, state and territory governments a total of 24,405,185km2 of predominately tall trees had disappeared under the forester's and farmer's axe, never to return.

The eating of Australia's future continues to this day as projections suggest that by 2030, another 3 million hectares of untouched forest will have been bulldozed in eastern Australia.

That's on top of the tree cover lost in the 2019-20 bushfire season when over 5 million hectares of forest and grassland burned - with 100 per cent of tree canopy lost in some areas of the vast firegrounds.

Combined forest burnt in New South Wales and Victoria this fire season has been estimated in one study as 21 per cent of Australia's entire remaining forest cover.

Yet despite what has been lost and the uncertainty surrounding what might regrow due to the continuing stressful heating and drying of the Australian continent caused by climate change, the forestry industry is pushing hard to expand its activities further into state forests, nature reserves and national parks.

The relentless, selfish greed of this industry needs to be called out for what it is - a collective madness.

If you would like to see the federal government and east coast state governments reign in this madness, please express your views to your local state & federal members of parliament and to the following:

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, PO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT 2600

The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales, 
GPO Box 5341, SYDNEY, NSW 2001 
willoughby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment, 
52 Martin Place, SYDNEY, NSW 2000 
hornsby@parliament.nsw.gov.au 

The Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, 
PO Box 15185, CITY EAST, QLD 4002 
thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, 
GPO Box 5078 BRISBANE, QLD 4001 
environment@ministerial.qld.gov.au 

The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria, 
Office of the Premier, Level 1, 1 Treasury Place, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, 
Level 16 8 Nicholson Street, EAST MELBOURNE, Victoria 3002 
lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au 

The Hon Peter Gutwein MP, Premier of Tasmania, 
Ground Floor, Public Building, 53 St John Street, LAUNCESTON, Tasmania 7250 peter.gutwein@dpac.tas.gov.au 

Roger Janesh MP, Minister for Environment and Parks, 
GPO Box 44 HOBART, Tasmania 7001 
roger.jaensch@parliament.tas.gov.au