Gippsland News & Views

Recruiting for EGCAN and XR by Angela Crunden

Angela at Safeway

The East Gippsland Climate Action Network (EGCAN) recruitment and information drive have been pretty well received over the Friday’s that I’d been sitting outside Woolworths. I’ve had regular interactions with wonderfully supportive people who wanted to join EGCAN but there were the not so positive encounters too. It was invariably men who wanted to tell me a joke about Greta Thunberg; who wanted to tell me that Greta Thunberg was a selfish little bitch who didn’t care about starving children; who wanted to say that I was a victim of fraud; who told me to fuck off; who just muttered and shook their heads in disgust. Thankfully they were all manageable and in fact non-existent when my 50 something year old niece joined me one Friday. There was safety in numbers. But finally the council ranger put an end to my recruitment endeavour. I was told I needed a council permit and $10 million public liability insurance to hand out EGCAN climate change information.

In the last couple of months I’ve become involved with Extinction Rebellion (XR) a movement that has lifted my spirits and directed flagging creativity. It has given me hope. I closely identify with XR principles particularly that of nonviolence. The one issue that I struggle with is the issue of civil disobedience that causes inconvenience to people. Whilst sitting outside Woolworths, causes no inconvenience, it can certainly seem to ruffle some people’s day.

Inconvenience on the other hand, for people going about their work and their daily activities is more than a dent in the day. I know what inconvenience feels like, it’s rotten. It’s the train running late when you have an important meeting, it’s being forced to run late at the school pick up. It’s all those things that get in the way of your day and I’m really sorry. But I’ve run out of ideas. I listened to Nicki Hutley of Deloitte Access Economics on The Drum recently. She confidently assured viewers that there were many actions that could be taken that wouldn’t cause inconvenience for people going about their everyday lives. I’m inclined to write to Nikki Hutley to ask her just what actions she has in mind. Does she think that the closure of 600 schools in New South Wales constitutes inconvenience? And how does that inconvenience compare with the blockage of a few intersections in metropolitan Melbourne?

The problem as I see it is that nothing that I’ve done so far has had any impact or created a change at a government level sufficient to deal with the climate crisis. I lived off the grid, grown vegetables, have been an avid recycler, written letters, protested and chanted. Nothing has worked.* I’ve run out of ideas. Then along came extinction rebellion. A movement that had clear principles and for me the most compelling principle was one of non-violence.

*It is most difficult to ascertain the results of any our actions. But to paraphrase Gandhi “if we do nothing there will be no result” (ed).

Bushfires and the CSIRO Warnings of 1987

On 14 November the Age published a short letter from Tom Beer, retired CSIRO scientist, on the bushfire emergency of our northern neighbours. Beer looked up an article he had lead authored in 1987 the conclusion of which was that with climate change “the fire danger every year on average would be larger than the fire danger during the year (1983) in which Ash Wednesday occurred.” This was followed up immediately by Graham Readfearn in a great article that expanded on Beer’s work in the CSIRO department of atmospheric physics and looked at the effort of others including Graeme Pearman and Barrie Pittock. Readfearn noted that the science had not changed since 1987 – referring to the Monash Conference when over 50 papers including Beer’s were presented.

He continued: “What Pearman is seeing play out now, in the bushfire crisis and the drought, “is what we were talking about at the Greenhouse 87 meeting. That was about the changes that we anticipated, based on basic physics of the climate system.” Despite the fact that Pearman gave more than 500 presentations on climate change between 2000 and 2010, he still asks himself if he could have done more. “What could I have done? What did I do wrong?”

Interestingly one set of data used by Beer et al* was from East Sale Air Base from 1945-1986. The abstract of the paper noted the importance of humidity and that “estimating the likely changes in relative humidity for any future climate scenario is vital for examination of future bushfire incidence” with relative humidity being a function of a number of factors including temperature rainfall and wind.

For those too young to remember on Ash Wednesday 16 February 1983 over 100 fires burned across Victoria and South Australia causing 75 fatalities and the loss of over 2,500 homes. It was an El Nino year and very dry when many of the rivers in East Gippsland stopped flowing. This century has started to fulfil the forecasts of Tom Beer. Both the 2003 and 2006/7 fires in Gippsland burned huge areas for more than 2 months. The fatalities and damage caused by Black Saturday have eclipsed all previous bushfires. The NSW and Queensland fires look set to burn for some time yet. And summer is yet to come**.

*T.Beer, A.M. Gill and P.H.R.Moore “Australian bushfire danger under changing climatic regimes” p.421 in G.I.Pearman (ed.) Greenhouse: planning for climate change, CSIRO Australia, 1988

**Since this was written a number of ‘unprecedented’ bushfires have been burning in Gippsland at Gelantipy, Ensay, Bruthen and other locations.

On song for the planet

Maddy May

Republished article from Bass Coast Post

LOCAL musician Maddy May headlines the Sound for Climate concert, which features a distinguished line-up of some of Gippsland’s best young musicians. She brings a captivating presence that will make your heart flutter with her sweet voice and beautifully haunting lyrics. Her folk/jazz/alternative sounds are easy to listen to and will leave your ears happy and your heart full. Maddy has found her way to some of Australia’s biggest stages, including Splendour in the Grass, Bluesfest Byron Bay, The Hills Are Alive and the Moto GP.

The concert is run by Bass Coast CAN (Climate Action Network) and Friends of the Earth and will include guest speakers talking about aspects of climate action.

Inverloch songwriter, musician and climate activist Mat Morgan has toured his music all over Australia and New Zealand. His contemporary folk style brings his poetry to the forefront of his music. Having written for and played with many artists, Mat understands how to deliver a message and captivate an audience he’s just met, like he’s known them for years.

Gippsland songwriter and guitarist Olivia Lay has had a guitar in her hands most of her short life, though it sounds like she’s been playing since Woodstock. Olivia takes inspiration from artists such as Newton Faulkner and John Butler. She’ll tell you a detailed story with an instrumental piece, before she even starts singing. She recently supported Ruby Fields and Baker Boy, and is ready to take on the world.

Folk singer-songwriter Matthew Bentley will hit the stage with an acoustic guitar and some tricks. Matthew’s no stranger to a stage, having toured extensively for the last two years, including shows at the Workers Club and St Kilda Festival. His melodies sit upon on his gentle guitar work like the frame of a painting. Swinging by Inverloch for the Festival, on his national tour, it’s a treat to have Matty coming over to put on a show.

Pia Nesvara is a small but powerful Chilean/Australian songstress from the Dandenong Ranges. Always armed with her flamenco guitar and her cheekiness, she takes on elements of folk, roots, jazz, soul and Latin music to create her own truly unique sound. The 20 year old finds power in vulnerability and through her introspective lyrics offers you a new perspective, one of empowerment and honesty. Pia’s powerful voice, her exploration of genres and use of timing and syncopation will captivate you and leave you feeling a little more whole.

Jimmy Harwood plays like he sings, and sings like it’s always his last song. Having played the Melbourne circuit extensively through his teenage years, Jimmy has built a serious following for his hip-hop influenced vocals and smooth guitar vibes. Notching up over 100,000 streams of his EP ‘Choose Your Colour’, and reaching #3 on the triple J unearthed roots charts. Jimmy has hit the road supporting Coast and Ocean on his East Coast tour, and is not slowing down anytime soon.

Event details here

Bushfires Silent Vigil in Bairnsdale Mall


The notice for this climate action was short. An email from East Gippsland Climate Action Network (EGCAN) and the local Extinction Rebellion (XR) group* received late Thursday gave notice of a silent vigil to be held for half an hour in the Nicholson St mall. The purpose it stated was as follows: “This will be a respectful symbolic action of support for all the communities facing the incredibly devastating fires in NSW, Queensland and WA. We will stand in solidarity with the bushfire victims, emergency services workers and volunteers.” Participants were invited to ‘wear black for mourning if possible’ and to ‘bring a friend’.

I was five minutes late attending and not dressed for mourning. The vision as I rounded the corner from the Safeway carpark into the mall was quite impressive – a row of silent figures dressed in black – like crows on a fence. I joined the dozen or so participants followed by a few others to bring the total to 17 or 18.

The EGCAN facebook page later reported: “A silent vigil was held in Nicholson Mall yesterday in support of people across Australia affected by bushfires. Members of East Gippsland Climate Action Network and Bairnsdale Extinction Rebellion took part in the vigil. Our Federal Government cannot simply observe these events – this unprecedented destruction of people and homes and land – and keep denying the truth of the Climate Emergency. We stand in solidarity with Australians and communities on the frontlines of the Climate Emergency and our emergency services workers and volunteers working round the clock to put out these blazes and support those affected.”

The response from the public was varied. Some stopped and stared, some avoided us completely, and two delightful souls read the sign, clapped and gave us encouragement. By the end of the thirty minutes (or in my case 25) we finished for which I was thankful as sitting rigidly was causing me some discomfort in the lower spine. There can be little doubt that EGCAN (and XR) are making a splash around Bairnsdale and at the very least causing many to stop and think. Meanwhile the bushfires continue in NSW and Queensland and another hot spell will arrive on the east coast by mid-week (20th).

What is shaping up to be a long, hot summer in a dry Gippsland is still to come. The bushfires in Victoria this century have been frequent, large and damaging to life and property. Recently the fire season in Gippsland extended (in August 2018) to winter fires .  A massive injection of funds and human resources for the State firefighting and emergency sectors is urgently required. On the net the Anthropocene has already been superceded by the Pyrocene. Welcome to the climate emergency.

*there is some overlap between the 2 groups

Climate Change Deniers, Stephen Hawking and Quantum Physics

Nothing annoys me more than the persistent denial of climate science by some whilst they freely use the means of communication that science has given us to promote their propaganda. One wonders if these people ever consider the contradictions this involves. Most of modern western society is based on science including medicine. Without the medical advances of the last 200 years many of our lives would have been short and brutal. (see here)

Recently whilst reading a biography Stephen Hawking: a life of science by Michael White and John Gribbin (BCA/Penguin 1992) I was struck by an early passage in the ‘Classical Cosmology’ chapter explaining quantum physics. In particular I noted how important the science of quantum physics was to things in everyday modern life we take for granted. Most of this White and Gribbin stated “we can safely leave the physicists to worry about” but noted that “it is worth realizing that the physics behind how a computer or TV works depends on an understanding of the quantum behaviour of electrons. Laser beams, also, can be understood only in terms of quantum physics, and every compact disk player uses a laser beam to scan the disk and ‘read’ the music. So quantum physics actually does impinge on our everyday lives…” (p.38)

Thus we have a bizarre situation where computers are the main avenue of communication on which climate deniers either deny or dispute the science of climate change but without quantum physics the computer could not exist. There is a certain irony here and it is a clear illustration of how you cannot choose the science. One wonders where would the climate deniers on the social media be without their computers and smartphones? Making the time and effort to pen a ‘letter to the editor’ of the ‘Daily Blurb’? Perhaps.

Sometime ago I blogged on some facetious comments Hawking had made about climate change deniers . Commenting on the runaway global warming that has occurred on planet Venus he said “‘This is what happens when greenhouse gases are out of control’… implying that our own planet could also meet the same fiery fate. He then amusingly quipped, ‘Next time you meet a climate-change denier, tell them to take a trip to Venus; I will pay the fare.’”

Hawking is no longer with us (he died last year) but his work, and the absurdity of being able to select the science you like and denying or even opposing some aspect you don’t like, remains. The lessons are there in history from King Canute to Stephen Hawking. The climate deniers just have to open their eyes or as Greta Thunberg says “listen to the scientists”. But we won’t hold our breath waiting.

Farmers are part of the Climate Solution by Alan Broughton

Soils provide the greatest carbon sinks apart from the oceans. There is more carbon stored in soil than in the atmosphere and vegetation combined. Despite the massive losses that unsustainable agricultural practices have caused, this is still the case. Sequestering carbon in soils can be achieved much more rapidly than tree planting, and many farmers are now doing that.

Grasses are the fastest carbon sequesters, not in their foliage or roots, though that also contributes, but because of the carbohydrates their roots exude into the soil. Grasses do this to support the microbes in their root zone which in turn mobilise nutrients for the plant. The greatest value are the mycorrhizal fungi that enter the plant roots. Their mycelium networks effectively enlarge the plants nutrient and water searching ability many fold. The by-product is glomalin, a very stable humus-forming compound. Mycorrhizal fungi are very sensitive to nitrate and phosphate fertilisers, herbicides and fungicides. Plant root exudates are reduced when soluble fertilisers are applied.

Grasses need grazers – they have evolved symbiotically. Without grazers the grasslands decline as they get old, photosynthesis ceases, glomalin is no longer produced and woodlands or deserts take over. Woodlands store carbon in their trunks and branches and roots but release little into the soil compared to grasses.

For grasslands to work properly the grazers have to be managed to prevent over-use. In natural herds the animals do this themselves, but when confined by fences they cannot migrate to allow pasture recovery. Farmers can do this, and many now are.

The movement towards regenerative agriculture without chemicals has gained great momentum in Australia and other parts of the world. Many Landcare groups are now providing support. Large numbers of farmers are attending talks and workshops by regenerative farming advocates. There are many fine examples. There is no inherent reason why food production should be a polluting industry. It is polluting because of the huge profits available to input suppliers who are supported by government policies. Change is occurring despite governments and despite the hardships many farmers face. Farmers are the primary victims of climate change; many are realising that increasing soil carbon is the best way of creating resilience. Soil carbon stores vast amounts of water.

The debate about agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gases has been perverted. Methane is not the important issue – nitrate fertilisers and soil carbon loss are the important issues. Alternative agriculture in its many forms and terms – organic, biological, biodynamic, ecological, agroecological, holistic – provides the solution. Corporate influence on governments, farmer information services and agricultural education and research is the major barrier to change agriculture from a greenhouse gas producer to a greenhouse gas sequester.

*Alan is a Gippsland teacher and author of Sustainable Agriculture Versus Corporate Greed.  Previously published by Green Left Weekly 

Agriculture’s Greenhouse Gases by Alan Broughton

All three major greenhouse gases are influenced by farming practices: methane, nitrogen compounds and carbon dioxide.

Methane: the contribution of farming to greenhouse gases has centred on methane produced by ruminant animals. This is not where the focus should be. It provides a helpful diversion from the main methane increasing culprit, which is gas mining and use. Ruminants do belch out methane and have been doing so for many millions of years. Nature does not allow waste. In natural systems the methane is consumed by methanotrophic bacteria that live in the soil. In healthy farm ecosystems they continue to play this role, but being very sensitive to synthetic fertilisers and many pesticides they fare poorly in farming systems that rely on chemical inputs.

Ruminants in confined feedlots often produce less methane than grazers, because of their more concentrated lower fibre diet. However, methanotrophs are not active on bare concrete, and the manure is not rapidly decomposed as in a well-managed grassland, so methane and ammonia enter the atmosphere. Feedlots should be phased out, not only because of their net greenhouse gas production but also because the animals are forced to live in non-natural crowded confinement and on non-natural feedstuffs and antibiotics, and the meat produced is nutritionally inferior. Animals need to be removed from feedlots and reintroduced into cropping systems to recycle nutrients and replace herbicides. Rice fields also produce methane. Much of the world’s rice production occurs on what were once natural swamps. In those natural ecosystems, which also produced methane from the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter under water, different kinds of methanotrophs took care of that methane. Synthetic fertilisers and pesticides inhibit their work in rice fields.

Nitrous oxide: the greatest producer of nitrous oxide and nitrogen dioxide is nitrate fertilisers – urea, ammonium sulphate, potassium nitrate, mono- and di-ammonium phosphate and anhydrous ammonia (ammonia gas drilled into the soil). Only a small proportion of applied nitrate fertiliser is used by plants, usually no more than 20%. The rest pollutes the atmosphere as nitrous oxide and nitrogen dioxide, or waterways and aquifers as nitrates and nitrites. The nitrogen compounds are major greenhouse gases, damaging the ozone that helps protect the earth from the sun’s heat. Some of this nitrogen forms ammonia in the atmosphere, combining with moisture to produce acid rain. Nitrate fertiliser use has skyrocketed since the 1950s around the world, from about 5 million tonnes per year to close to 200 million.

In natural ecosystems the nitrogen needed by plants is made available by soil microbes. Farming systems can make use of these microbes as has done for the past 10,000 or so years, unless poisoned by farm chemicals. The greater the damage done to soil microbes, the greater the amount of nitrate needed to get the same yield. Undecomposed manure also emits ammonia and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Dung beetles, earthworms and the huge variety of soil microbes deal with manure in a short time, providing conditions are right for their activity, which means no chemical inputs to interfere with their work.

Carbon dioxide: nitrate production is an energy intensive industrial process needing huge amounts of natural gas (methane) to heat nitrogen and hydrogen under pressure to 1,000 degrees to make ammonia which is further processed into nitrate fertilisers. An estimated 3% of global carbon dioxide is the result of burning natural gas for this purpose. Nitrate fertilisers gradually destroy soil organic matter, turning it into carbon dioxide. The bacteria that the fertilisers stimulate need a carbon source for energy – they take it out of the soil. Excessive soil tillage does the same thing. Bare soil also loses organic matter as it becomes oxidised to carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide (and nitrous oxide and methane) is also produced from burning the fuel to drive the machinery. Efforts should be put into developing energy sources that are renewable.

*Alan is a Gippsland teacher and author of Sustainable Agriculture Versus Corporate Greed. Previously published by Green Left Weekly.

Climate Change and Vaccinations by Mark Kilpatrick

What does climate change have to do with vaccinations? On one level, nothing. But if we look at denial of the science, there are many similarities. Our understanding of the world is based on centuries of scientific inquiry, hypotheses, experimentation, refutation and discussion before agreement is reached as to the validity of the theory explaining how things work. Vaccinations came about through a gradual understanding of germs and how the body defends itself against disease.

The last 80 years has seen an unprecedented decline in mortality due to infectious diseases, due to the development of antibiotics and vaccines. The proof of the effectiveness is undeniable; who today knows anyone who has contracted polio, diphtheria or tetanus? Yet there is an increasing cohort of the population who believe that vaccinations are harmful, unnecessary and part of a conspiracy by “big pharma” and the medical establishment. Apparently, governments and agencies like the World Health Organisation turn a blind eye to the supposed harm vaccines cause because they are beholden to multi-national drug companies. Anti-vaxxers deny the science of immunology based on pseudo-science they read on the internet and their own prejudices, not on any understanding of how the immune system works or of medical science in general.

Similarly, with climate change, the people who choose not to believe the science are doing so because it does not fit their world view. The role of CO2 in creating the greenhouse effect was first postulated in the 1820s by Fourier, since then scientists have been doing what scientists do: they try to pick holes in the argument, conduct experiments, look at alternative explanations for the findings, record temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels, publish papers which lead to more discussion and arguments back and forth until they come to a consensus. For the last 60 years or so, that consensus has been that the world is warming due to increased C02 from the burning of fossil fuels.

The science is settled. We are today seeing the beginnings of what the science has predicted in terms of a changing climate; coral reef destruction, vast swathes of mangrove die-off along Australia’s top end, drought, bushfires, sea-level rise. Yet still, people refuse to believe the science. Denialists, like anti-vaxxers, do not understand the science or the scientific method that underpins these discoveries. They believe that there is some vast, worldwide conspiracy behind climate science.

Anyone who has read about the history of science knows that discoveries that challenge our current view of the world are usually met with disbelief and hostility. Galileo was found guilty of heresy and lived the remainder of his life under house arrest for daring to suggest that the earth travelled around the sun. This was an affront to people who believed that the earth and humanity was the centre of the universe. Charles Darwin was ridiculed for his theory of evolution because people could not accept that we were “descended from apes” rather than being created by God in his image. Scientists have been burned and tortured because their theories disturbed deeply held world views.

We have long believed that we can take what we want from the planet, buy whatever we desire, and throw away what we don’t need. This underpins much of our modern life. No wonder so many people are unable to accept that this is not sustainable. It is easier to deny the science, castigate people like Greta Thunberg and crank up the air-con.

What do we suppose that an anti-vaxxer would do if their child contracted polio and could suddenly no longer move and was struggling to breathe? They would most likely go to the nearest emergency department and put their faith in modern medical science to save their child’s life.

And hope it’s not too late.

*Mark is a community health nurse in East Gippsland

20 years of Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group by Ann Robson & Maxine Semple

Scouts working with BULG

Bairnsdale Urban Landcare Group Inc (BULG) was formed in 1999 following concerns from residents about the badly degraded state of the Mitchell River and its environs. Native vegetation was poorly managed; exotic weeds had invaded; silver poplars were taking over; there was poor access to the river; a walking track needed upgrading and extension; limited views of the river; and failure to treat the river and its environs as an asset.

Since its formation, BULG has been involved in the redevelopment and construction of walking tracks; the removal of poplars; establishment of the 2 year adopt-a-site program in 2003, where the northern bank was divided into 19 sites and community groups invited to ‘adopt a site’ for two years to plant and maintain the sites. Many local schools, the community college, local businesses, families and Landcare members signed up and subsequent revegetation of both sides of the river saw 12,000 indigenous trees planted.  Over 35,000 seedlings have now been planted across all of our sites. Maintenance and weed control continues; interpretive signage has been installed; 2 flower plots have been established to promote local indigenous flower species and water monitoring is a regular occurrence.

Community engagement has been one of our core activities from our first working bee to clean up rubbish to our 20th birthday celebrations in 2019. Our group works in partnership with various schools, colleges, scout groups and engages with and supports like-minded groups such as Friends of Bats & Habitat Gippsland. National Tree Day on the banks of the river and anything up to 80 cubs, scouts and parents join Landcare members to plant, guard, water and mulch 400 to 500 seedlings in the ever-expanding scout plot on the north bank. We have been working with the scouts for almost 10 years and have assisted scouts with their Landcare badges and the necessary volunteer work needed for the Duke of Edinburgh award.

Federation Training VCAL students started working with BULG in 2016 when they resurrected the old community college site on the north bank. This group also collaborated with us in the Port of Bairnsdale project. Some students initially admitted they chose Landcare as an escape from the classroom but they quickly became involved in the work. Their work was rewarded with a regional Landcare award in 2017. For the past two years the Landcare group has been working regularly with VCAL students from Bairnsdale Secondary College. Again the students have taken ownership of a site along the north bank and are creating a new sign for their patch. This work is part of the VCAL personal development program which provides opportunities for the students to expand their observation skills, practise problem solving and increase their creativity and team building skills. BULG, Bairnsdale Scout group and Bairnsdale Secondary College VCAL students were nominated in the 2019 Victorian Landcare Awards for their revegetation work.

In 2019 BULG began working with Noweyung, an organisation that caters for people with different abilities and that was keen to include some meaningful environmental activities in their curriculum. BULG members meet with Noweyung participants twice a month for Landcare related activities.

The 5.4km Mitchell River Walking Track is now a popular tourist and community destination and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Revegetating this important riparian zone with indigenous plants has assisted with erosion control and enhanced water infiltration; created a wildlife corridor, providing habitat for significant birds and animals and providing an additional refuge for indigenous fauna in a time of climate change (bird species in the area have doubled);  and potentiates carbon sequestration.

Neil Rankine and the XR Rebellion by Catherine Watson

Neil Rankine shortly before his arrest (image Channel 9)

Neil Rankine doesn’t fit the stereotype of a climate change activist, by Channel Nine’s reckoning. He is too old and too respectable. “Sixty-two years old, a former mayor, long-time councillor and for decades a CFA volunteer,” reporter Brett Mcleod noted. “But Neil felt so strongly about this issue that he was prepared to be arrested and for the first time in his life locked up overnight.”

On October 7, Mr Rankine, a former Bass Coast mayor, was charged with three counts of obstructing an emergency worker during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) sit-in near the Flinders Street Station. Holding up a hand-made sign reading “Tell the truth”, he was the first protestor to be arrested during a week of protest action in the CBD.

After refusing to accept bail conditions not to return to the protest, he spent the night in lock up. Channel 9 was there to greet him when he was ejected from the Melbourne Magistrates Court the next day, having been bailed to appear in the Wonthaggi Magistrates Court on November 8. After almost 24 hours in custody, he looked bedraggled. He’d only just managed to get his boots on and was still holding a plastic bag of his belongings and his belt. Despite his evident tiredness, he stayed on message. After all, commercial TV doesn’t usually show much interest in climate change. “We have to stand up,” he told the reporter. “We have to take a stand. I’ve attempted all sorts of other ways to get things happening.”…

As a scientist and reader, Neil first heard of climate change more than three decades ago. At first he thought the dire predictions were a little far-fetched, but the more he read and learned the more he was convinced. Over the past decade he has read and listened to the evidence with a growing sense of dread. “The IPCC are telling us that if we don’t get to zero net emissions in 10 or 12 years we sail past our agreed Paris target of 1.5 degrees and most corals are dead. Next comes 2 degrees where all corals are dead and we’ve lost hope or technology of safely controlling the situation. Ask any farmer in Queensland and NSW, he says. They know about climate change. We might have a bit more breathing space in South Gippsland but in time this region too will be ravaged by drought and bushfire and flooding, just like the rest of Australia.”

The full article is in Bass Coast Post here.