Posts Tagged ‘education’

Australia’s drop in the Ocean – the Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill is open for comment

March 13, 2009

History in the making!  Australia contributes their “drop” in the rising ocean….  Be quick!  The Australian Draft Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 is open for comments and submissions. You have just over one month to contribute your comments. 

Exposure Draft of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Legislation at Australian Government Department of Climate Change: 10th March 2009

The above LINK will give you information –  Fact Sheets,  How to Make a  Submission,  Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme White Paper, and the  Australian Treasury’s     Economics of Climate Change Mitigation for Australia’s Low Pollution Future .

I, for one, will not be commenting, (as I just don’t have the scientific & monetary policy intelligence  – but many other’s DO)  on this scheme. I do, however, wish to document this occasion on my webpages……


I reckon that this upcoming Legislation is another instance of creating alot of paperwork, ambiguity and brainfreeze over money, the economy and the environment.

It is another legislative form of sustaining the myth that we can, as an “enlightened nation” – buy our way out of anything.

My own feelings on this matter are:-

  • Environment and Economic education require intrinsic and deeply modified linking within ALL  Australian Educational Systems. 
  • Environmental understanding should be the basis for education, not economic outcomes (as is the current trend of modern mainstream Australian Society).
  • The Australian Environment, as a source for healthy economic balance is still largely forgotten.
  • Environmental understanding  is currently an appendage that is tacked onto the economic mindest of education policy custodians. 
  • Environment is life. The Market place and the Economy of the market place is a symptom of life. If  life is well, then the economy is well. 
  • If the Environment is well, then the economy is well. At present, the environment is not well. 

Australia could, in it’s government policy wisdom, create biodiverse forestry systems Australia-wide, that create

1. jobs and regional industries – Australia wide

2. biodiversity – Australia wide

3. timber for selective harvest and timber products – Australia wide

4. renewable resources for economic strength, trade and market well-being – Australia & world wide.

When, back in the early 1990’s, I talked with Queensland Forestry marketing and agroforestry workers, I was led to believe that the cost, back then, of producing timber was greatly subsidised, and that pricing of timber products did not fully reflect the cost of production of the timber itself. I was also told that the increase of the cost of hardwood would rise, and that over the coming few decades, the amount of hardwood timber that could be harvested in Australia would not be able to keep up with demand (and hence, the market price would rise). Of course, since then, many pine and hardwoord plantations have occurred. The biodiversity factors associated with these plantations? I will not comment on them here. Possibly some have high biodiversity, possibly other’s do not.  

Regarding Forests, Australia and Market solutions to the increase in Carbon? Well, other than individuals ceasing their compulsive obsessive, over the top consuming of  resources and associated thoughtless waste management – My simple solution is to create a massive, widespread  BIODIVERSE FORESTRY industry.

An industry that is fostered fully by the Australian Government(s) and the Education system(s).

Oh, yes, an one more thing – the knowledge for creating, sustaining an Australian wide forestry initiative, within a Regional Context is already with us. It just hasn’t been implemented at a grand level. 


Phantom Koala (PK) and Litoria decide it is safer to stay in the forest, than venture to the Australian Treasury and plead their case for more Biodiversity. They trust that Nature will teach Australians in the end, to care for the Land and it's "Balance of Faeries".

Phantom Koala (PK) and Litoria decide it is safer to stay in the forest, than venture to the Australian Treasury and plead their case for more Biodiversity. They trust that Nature will teach Australians in the end, to care for the Land and it's "Balance of Faeries".



There is a song that sums up how I feel about carbon trading and the Air Quality of this planet. The song may not have intended my interpretation, but I shall use it to illustrate my educational stance:-

The following is by David Byrne, the song AIR on the Talking Heads 1970′ s   Album Fear of Music


Hit me in the face
I run faster
Faster into the air
(I say to myself)
What is happening to my skin?
Where is that protection that I needed?
Air can hurt you too
Air can hurt you too
Some people say not to worry about the air
Some people never had experience with…
It can break your heart
So remember when the weather gets rough
(You’ll say to yourself)
What is happening to my skin?
Where is that protection that I needed?
Air can hurt you too
Air can hurt you too
Some people say not to worry about the air
Some people don’t know shit about the…

PK & Litoria look for Rufous Bettong – a threatened species listed as vulnerable by the NSW Government

March 6, 2009

There are 25 threatened marsupials in NSW – (NSW  Government Threatened Species). The Rufous Bettong is one of these threatened species.

I share some mutual habitat with a Rufous Bettong that lives nearby,  in Upper Burringbar, NE NSW.  Thickets of vegetation, old fallen tree logs, a  variety of niches to  set up a nesting spot and stay for a while to live. This  could definitely be appealing to a Rufuous Bettong

PK & Litoria learn from Goanna how the Grass got sick, and that Rufous Bettong has moved

PK & Litoria learn from Goanna how the Grass got sick, and that Rufous Bettong has moved

The gully and surrounding land is part of  this Rufous Bettong’s territory. Its home and backyard.  This land was sprayed last year with glyphosate. Since then, the tall grass has died and fallen over. 

Hortico Weed Killer  360 Concentrate   Material Safety Data Sheet  (MSDS SHEET) = GLYPHOSATE  MSDS

The pathways and resting spots of other small animals that lived there were more  apparent for a while after the spraying. Eventually the wildlife  re-adapted their travel and lifestyles.  The changing of the landscape can have many consequences.

The dead thatched layer of this sprayed gully was quite high, and opened up  in places.

The Rufous Betong had nested in one such thatched area  when I walked next to it. I disturbed the Bettong and  gave it a fright.

Extracting itself from the undergrowth, it thumped away very quickly. Poor dear Rufous Bettong!

Lesson 1 :  Aepyprymnus rufescens -RUFOUS BETTONG  * =  beautiful!!!

 lesson 2 : sudden change and human traffic can cause stress to a vulnerable animal… a threatened species listed animal – marsupial… one of 25 listed little darlings

lesson 3 : Rufous Betong , one of 25 threatened Marsupials in NSW  RUFOUS BETTONG  – vulnerable marsupial species listing in NSW

Rufous Bettong distribution and vegetation association – Northern Rivers, New South Wales

NSW Environmental Legislation   

Rufous Bettong at the Marsupial Society of Australia  : see original article here, with more Threatened Species links :  Rufous Bettong and the Glyphosate Bank

bluecray search engine : Rufous Bettong  

bluecray Regional Environmental News – Mt Warning Caldera  SEARCH : Rufous Bettong

Australia’s Bushfire Legacy : An Ash Oracle

February 15, 2009

The Victorian Bushfires and Australia’s Bushfire Legacy highlight Australia’s environmental future regarding Urban and Rural Planning within an Australian Fire Prone Landscape.  Stephen J. Pyne,  (professor at Arizona State University and author of two FIRE books – “Burning Bush: A Fire History of Australia” 1991 and “The Still-Burning Bush”  2006), wrote a ‘must read’ article in The Australian’s Opinion column on January 10th 2009.  

Professor Pyne’s article  ” Bushfire leader becomes laggard”   highlights the need for Australians to look beyond the ARSON and GLOBAL WARMING perspective to what is right under our Aussie sunscreened noses and our romantic virgin green environmental mindsets:

1. The Australian Bush is a complex, diverse and dynamic feature  – critically important to our sustainable future. Fire is an integral part of this dynamic environmental heritage across the vast and diverse regional forest, woodland and grassland habitats of Australia.

2. Global Warming and Arson consequences underline our urgent need to properly understand and manage fire in our urban and rural landscapes. However, fire storms in many parts of Australia can, and will still occur regardless of Global Warming and Arson.

3. Urban and Rural Planning play a critical role in Fire Storm defense as Germaine Greer so aptly and forcefully suggests in her recent article in The Times online .

Urban & Rural and Regional Planning roles should include above and beyond what is already current (**see links below):

  • Clear, practical, easy to access and understand guidelines for regional and local  fire management strategies
  • Pro-active support of trained Rural Fire Authorities by all levels of government via technology and substantially increased capital inputs and educational outreach centres 
  • Building and infrastructure design guidelines, including shelters and building & infrastructure industry codes 
  • Development design guidelines geared to Biodiversity & Fire Regimes
  • Biodiversity maintenance based on sound local knowledge and not hypothetical “money talks”  nature disassociated  engineering principles
  • Community education
  • Consultation with local indigenous peoples who carry with them oral instruction on local fire management, 
  • AND, above all, taking the emotional response out of fire management and placing it back into the hands of those that understand the nature of fire, instead of misguided political movers and shakers

4. Each and every child in Australia should have, at the core of their education syllabus:-

  • Environmental Education on equitable terms with Economic Education (something that was not created by the 2020 Summit) : including Fire Education and Land Stewardship  
  • Fire understanding, from pre-school level, that goes beyond how to put out a small fire or survival when the smoke alarm rings in the school ground  
  • National syllabus should include starting, controlling  and putting out fires, understanding the nature of the different types of fires that our future will present to them and how to LIVE with FIRE 
  • Understanding the role of fire in Australian Vegetation Landscapes and Habitats, the dynamics & cycles of Vegetation Communities and the history of Fire Management in Australia
  • Recognising fire prone landscapes, situations and seasons
  • Knowledge of fire defense (back burning, burning off, fuel management in landscapes), community fire warnings and emergency procedures    


Phantom Koala ponders a big fire in the Mt Warning Caldera Region! Chin Ting says: “Don’t worry PK, if the fires come – You can run into the surrounding bushland….. that is….. if the PLANNING LAWS promote sensible prescribed burning and keep enough safe places for you to run to”


Searching for Fire Management Guidelines in the NSW Government Department of Planning – Planning Guidelines for Hazardous Development appears to still be in the pipeline?  (Hazardous Industry Planning Advisory Paper No2. : Fire Safety Study Guidelines Consultation Draft July 2008 )  

Bushfire Guidelines : NSW Government Department of Planning

NSW Rural Fire Service 

Searching for Fire Management Guidelines in the Qld Department of Infrastructure & Planning  – here is the Current Qld Government’s Planning & Development Laws list

Qld Government : Department of Infrastructure and Planning :- Planning and Growth

Qld Government State Planning Policies : including Guideline for SPP1/03 Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of  Flood, Bushfire and Landslide 1.0

Qld Rural Fire Service

Nature Conservation Council of NSW : 25th July 2008 Re: National Koala Conservation Strategy Review – Nature Conservation Council Submission  

COAG 2003 Bushfire Enquiry  ” The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference … issues related to bushfire mitigation and management that are of national significance;  opportunities for enhanced cooperation and the adoption of national best practice. The Inquiry took account of the work and findings of other bushfire inquiries.” findings released 24th Jan 2005.  Find the report here at Report of the National Inquiry into Bushfire Mitigation and Management  at the COAG website

“a review of current knowledge and literatue assist in determining ecologically sustainable fire regimes for the southeast queensland region” 2000 at Cuong Tran Southeast Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium page on the COAG website FIRE links