Tag Archive | australia

The Devils may be saved…

The latest critter to face extinction is the Tasmanian Devil…. however this is not from the normal contributions from man nor is it known what has caused the cancerous Facial Tumour disease currently moving through the population of Devils on the East Coast of Tasmania, many of us have views as to the cause but few are willing to state publicly. Views range from the lack of Genetic Diversity in the population to the one which I subscribe to pesticide over use which has altered the genetic makeup of the creature, all of the current schools of thought are valid, but no single contributing factor has yet been identified and if it is the latter I doubt it will be…

But there has been a recent breakthrough, some good news which I am happy to report to all…

A Tasmanian Devil from the West Coast of Tasmania appears to have a Natural Immunity to the disease.
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Stop the Cull!

Australia is wonderful country, with its great people and diverse creatures it truly is wonderous place, but every once in a while we do stupid and horrid things much like anywhere else in the world.

This is one of those times…..

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Contractors are being brought to Belconnen a former navel base in Canberra, to kill around 400 kangaroos and stop them over grazing. news report is as follows:

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian animal rights activists vowed Wednesday to prevent the planned killing of more than 400 kangaroos on defence department land after the government refused to intervene.

“We are going to blockade the gates 24 hours a day from Saturday so they can’t get in and kill them,” Pat O’Brien, president of the Wildlife Protection Association of Australia, told AFP.

Contractors are preparing to cull the animals on a former naval site at Belconnen in the national capital Canberra to protect native grasslands from overgrazing.

The authorities have turned down an alternative plan to relocate the kangaroos, citing expert advice that this would be inhumane.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett rejected accusations by some activists that the government was being hypocritical by failing to protect kangaroos while taking a strong stand against Japan’s whaling programme.

“Our views on whaling are clear and we will continue to resolutely oppose the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean,” he told reporters.

“A balanced and properly scientifically delivered programme to ensure that we preserve and enhance our environment and our ecology and our wildlife is pretty good policy as far as I am concerned.”

The plan is to shoot the kangaroos with tranquiliser darts and then administer lethal injections.

There was an international outcry in 2004 when about 900 kangaroos were destroyed at the site of a dam supplying water to Canberra, and the latest cull has also drawn fire from abroad.

British-based animal welfare group Viva, which has the support of former Beatle Paul McCartney, has launched a petition against the cull and says on its website that it has received support from people in 25 countries.

Millions of kangaroos are killed in Australia every year, but O’Brien said the Canberra kangaroos were a special case because they were trapped by the defence department fences and could not move to the wild even if they chose to.

“There is a commercial kangaroo kill which we are also working very hard to stop,” he said. “They are killing about three-and-a-half million kangaroos this year.

“The meat is sold for dog’s food or exported to France, Germany and Russia mostly. It’s just a terrible, terrible industry.”

The rationale behind the killing was that there were too many kangaroos, he said.

“But four years ago they were saying there were 65 million kangaroos in Australia, now they’re saying there are only 20 million. We’ve had 10 years of heavy drought and incessant heavy commercial shooting.”

As stated even Paul McCartney is getting in on this… if they removed the fences the kangaroos would move on, they could relocate them, but to say this would inhuman is ridiculous what letting them live is more inhuman than killing them… well thats just stupid dont you think….

Click to find out how to help stop this murdering of a National Icon and save innocent creatures trapped by fences

Click here to sign the Petition today

The Garnaut Report so Far!

The interim Garnaut Report into Climate commissioned by the State and Federal Governments of Australia…. it is possibly the most comprehensive report into the effects and solutions when it comes to our changing climate that we have seen….

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So what has he said to date? This is straight from the media release:

A report by economist Ross Garnaut warns Australia could be among the worst-hit countries if the world does not act to slow the rate of climate change.
Professor Garnaut has handed down his interim report on carbon emissions targets and the creation of an emissions trading scheme today. The report was commissioned by the federal, state and territory governments to help develop major policies on climate change.
Professor Garnaut says Australia’s large agricultural sector and a reliance on trade with developing nations in Asia, that are also put at risk by rising temperatures, makes it one of the most vulnerable countries in the developed world. He says Australia needs to play a lead role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by going beyond its stated target of a 60 per cent cut by 2050.
But Professor Garnaut says Australia is relatively well-placed to convert strong action on climate change into economic opportunity.
The report also sets out an initial guide to the design of an emissions trading scheme.
State and federal leaders have been briefed on the details of the interim report in Adelaide.
South Australian Premier Mike Rann says it paints a very sobering picture for the global community.
“Essentially what I’m sure that you will find out is that in the last five years and certainly since the modelling done by Sir Nicholas Stern, things are much worse for the world in terms of global warming than previously believed,” he said.
Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter says the report has a blunt warning.
“What Ross Garnaut has done is basically tell us, ‘less time than you thought, more action than you thought, maybe in a shorter space of time’,” Mr Carpenter said.  “There needs to be a sense of urgency. This isn’t a matter just for governments, it’s a matter for the ordinary people of the states.”

So thats the report findings to date I will be posting more as it becomes available but get ready Aussies for more drought, floods, storms, etc etc….

can the earths rate of Climate Change be slowed do you think….

or do you think the earth we passed that point long ago?

UPDATE here is a link directly to the Garnaut Review Website for more info from the source

Breaking News for Coober pedy!

Cobber Pedy is an Opal Mining Town… It is not connected to town Power,

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And most of the population live underground to avoid the heat….

It is situated in South Australia and as you can see from the photo is Desert.

However the folks here are mining Opals… of the highest Quality.

It is a pretty town with great Characters and charm…

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This has just appeared on the Yahoo news  site…

Australia’s largest solar power station is to be built at Coober Pedy, in South Australia’s mid-north, to provide more than 10 per cent of the city’s electricity needs.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the $7.1 million project would feature 26 solar dishes, each one 14 metres high, to produce 1,860 megawatt hours of power each year.
Coober Pedy was chosen because it is not connected to the electricity grid and gets all its power from diesel generators.
The solar power station will cut diesel use in the town by 520,000 litres, saving 1,500 tonnes of greenhouse gases.Mr Garrett described the project as groundbreaking and an example of the federal government’s commitment to a clean energy future.
The federal government will provide $3.55 million for the station with other funding coming from the state government and private industry.  South Australian Premier Mike Rann said the project would consolidate the state’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy initiatives.
“It reinforces our willingness to collaborate and invest in practical solutions to climate change in our communities,” Mr Rann said.
“South Australia already provides nearly half of the nation’s wind power, more than 45 per cent of the nation’s grid-connected solar power and is home to more than 80 per cent of all geothermal exploration activity in Australia.”
The new Coober Pedy power station is expected to begin generating electricity by the end of 2009.

I ask the Question Why is it only 10% of the towns power
to remove the need to run Generators at all?
Well done to Federal Government and finally something good from Peter Garrett,
however there is along way to go…..

We are almost gone!

One of the most famous creature australia has to offer is the Tasmanian Devil. It is largest mammal Carnivour and an Icon throughout Tasmania. They were made famous through warner Bros Patrial of them as the hunourous Tassie Devil.

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Despite the fierce reputations the Devil is quite shy, they can be heard at night as their howling screeches and haunting howls ring out through the Tasmanian Wilderness.

However these incredible creatures are in fast decline. A form has of cancer has gripped this creatures causing horrible facial tumours which eventually lead the animal starving to death. The disease was first witnessed in 1996 and has since spread throughout the eastern half of the state.  As at November 2007, the Tasmanian devil disease had been confirmed at 60 different locations across 59% of Tasmania’s mainland with the West coast area being disease free so far. At this rate the Tasmanian Devil will be extinct within 20years.

Across the state and indeed the country an effect to keep the species alive and therefore prevent another extinction is underway with disease free animals being moved into quarentine areas both in Tasmania and on Mainland Australia to be kept as breeding stock.

This project is called Project Ark. and is a project to capture and remove healthy animals in an attempt to keep breeding population, to date there is around 100 animals with in the ark with expected  targets of 500-1500 animals to keep genetic diversity.

The cause of the facial tumour disease is at present unknown… however research can now diagnose animals… there has been much speculation as where and how the outbreak happened with poisons and pesticides being thought by many as the starting point, a mutated reaction to something but this is speculation, however this disease has never been seen in animals prior to 1996. It is almost unheard off for a rebust species such as the Devils being driven to extinction by a newly formed unheard of disease.  Although testing and research into a cure have been underway for almost a decade and with no immunity or resistance within the animals and no immunisation or treatment we stand to loose this creature as another casualty of mans inattention to the environment

Check out these links to see how you can help or for just further information on these wonderful creatures… and help us save another species. Even Warners Bros is trying….

I was going to fill the page with images of devils healthy and sick but it is far to upsetting. If you wish to see for yourself what this disease looks like you will find images in some of the links below but I do warn you it is not a pretty site. 

DPIW Tasmanian Dept of Primary Industries and Water

Warners Bros Even Hollywood tries to save the Devils

Save the Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park

Sustainable living

I have been away on a little adventure traveling around the West Coast of the State of Tasmania.
My family and I have been camping but in the traditional camping way….

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What do I mean by this? Well lets see…
No Caravan, fridge, generator, mobile phone, Television, or homely comforts…
We took Tent, fold up table and chairs, fold away table to cook, small BBQ, blankets etc, lantern, food, axe and that was about it…

One of the places we ventured was a little village known as Trial Harbour on the far west coast of Tasmania…. Yes I know so many people visit small village so what made this one special?

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Trial Harbour is not Connect to the Electricity Power Grid or the Telecommunition grid, or the Water or anything…. The entire town runs quiet happily from Solar and Wind Generated power attached to each of their homes. These also where not mere fishing shacks some where two stories with all the mod cons.
Small Wind Turbines and two or three solar panels on each home was all that was obvious to the passer bye. most homes had a Satelitte dish, and some also had a wireless attenna set up. So you could see the residents would have Television, Satelitte Phones, electricity, Wireless Internet.
There are no shops, or taps so all previsions need to be taken with you however it is just 25 kms to Zeehan to restock. There is a clean creek to restock water but you should bring your own bottles with you. The road in to Trial Harbour from the main road is 20km of Gravel  and when we went quite passable with a car. 
Along the sides of the road, you will notice bolders which are just sticking up everywhere. Huge granite bolders perched on the sides of hills and mountains, these are reminants from the last Ice Age. Many have been signed by Tourists…

There is a well set up camping area, with a clean pit tiolet and campfires established for use.

I would highly recommend Trial Harbour for a camping Holiday to anyone venturing to Tasmania. It has the best Surfing in the country. The Southern Ocean hits land here with the most incredible waves. There is a sheltered beach for the kids although caution must be taken as conditions can change very quickly and there is no hospital or lifeguards so you are on your own in that respect.

Trial Harbour I must say is a lesson for anyone in sustainable living and proves a home can quiet comfortably be run from the resources nature has provided.
A town can run on the same principles shown here and with a little planning and forethought we can all live off the grid and still be in contact with the outside world.

Something You should see!

I have found 2 Youtube Videos which are a must see for anyone who truly cares about the environment….

It is a segment on the Australian 60 minutes Current Affairs Program, only goes for 15 minutes but does give a great insight into what we are facing trying to save this beautiful place…..

Please watch:

Pulp Friction (Part 1 of 2) – Gunns Pulp Mill Story

Pulp Friction (Part 2 of 2) – Gunns Pulp Mill Story