I'm looking forward to hearing former Australian Greens leader Christine Milne at the Byron Writers Festival next month.
I was happy to sponsor Christine's appearance for an In Conversation session with Margaret Throsby on the Saturday morning of the festival, to learn more about her focus on serious legislative action on global warming, advocacy for human rights and the restoration of our democracy.
She is also appearing as a panel member in a session entitled How to Buy less Stuff and Save the World.
In another session, called Keeping the Blue Planet Green, she is joined by Joelle Gergis, author of Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia, which highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems, and David Ritter, the CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, whose book The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, defeat the big polluters and reclaim our democracy provides a timely and colourful contribution to the crucial topic of the future of the coal industry in Australia.
Investigative journalist Carey Gillam will be one of many authors tackling environmental issues at the Byron Writers Festival in August.
Her book, Whitewash: the Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science, paints a damning picture of the glyphosate herbicide Roundup. A growing body of evidence indicates the Monsanto product has links to cancers and a host of other health threats, and Gillam's book reveals evidence of widespread corporate influence.
Other books to be showcased include:
Michael Ableman's Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier tells of residents of a Vancouver slum who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood.
Eskil Engdal & Kjetil Saeter have an story of high adventure in Catching Thunder: the True Story of the World’s Longest Sea Chase, about Sea Shepherd's pursuit of an infamous illegal fishing ship, the Thunder, in the forbidding waters off Antarctica.
Joelle Gergis highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems in Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia, while Micheline Jenner reveals The Secret Life of Whales - her findings from 30 years of cetacean research while raising two daughters at sea.
Locals Emma and Tom Lane will share the story of moving their young family to the Byron Bay hinterland in search of a simpler life, which unexpectedly led them to create The Farm, in The Farm Community.
Charles Massy's Call of the Reed Warbler looks at how regenerative agriculture can save our health and planet.
The CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, David Ritter provides a timely and colourful contribution to one of the most important struggles in our national history - the future of the coal industry, in The Coal Truth: The Fight to Stop Adani, defeat the big polluters and reclaim our democracy.
And finally, former Australian Greens leader Christine Milne will be on the panel for several sessions, including How to Buy less Stuff and Save the World; Keeping the Blue Planet Green, and In Conversation with Margaret Throsby.
I'll be joining surfers and other ocean lovers this weekend to stand up and say NO to the sand mine extension planned for Lennox Head.
The proposed project is close to North Creek and the Newrybar Swamp drains and will affect the hydrology of the area by removing 3.6 million tonnes of sand from a low lying (wetland) area that is very susceptible to flooding. The disturbed acid sulphate soils will feed pollutants into North Creek and the already very sick Richmond River, and then into the ocean.
Wear blue and bring your signs for a photo.
Saturday, July 14 from 2pm-3pm, at Lennox Beach, between the pub and Shelter Cafe.
E-news 6 July 2018
The recommendation by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to slash payments for rooftop solar power by 44% is a major step in the wrong direction.
Big congratulations to the Richmond Rotary Club for once again delivering an amazing Ballina Food and Wine Festival.
The showcasing of so much fantastic food and drink is a great demonstration of the abundance of the Northern Rivers food growing and production industries, and the wide-ranging talent and creativity of its entrepreneurs, not to mention our amazing local musicians.
Well done Jody and Colin in particular, for an outstanding job.
I was very proud to once again sponsor the event, and to enjoy a fabulous day out, as this video by my friend Trish shows.
The addition of ducted air-conditioning to five exhibition rooms at the museum in Mullumbimby will make life a good deal more comfortable for the many vollies who keep it running, and the thousands of people who visit each year.
The old Post office building which was moved to the current site in Myocum St is cold in the winter and hot in the summer, and the humidity and extremes of temperature are not good for the wide range of collections at the museum.
It was good to be able to help the Brunswick Valley Historical Society obtain a $10,000 Community Building Partnership Program grant to fund the upgrade.
"The new air-con makes the museum a really pleasant place to visit and linger," said the Society's treasurer, Susan Tsicalis, pictured here with me and president Stephen Hall.
Calling all sports groups – apply for Local Sport Grants now
Greens Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith MP, is urging local sports groups to apply for the latest round of funding under the NSW Government’s Local Sport Grant Program which closes Friday 24 August 2018
I was honoured to be invited to help celebrate the opening of the Ballina Tennis Club extension last weekend. I facilitated grant funding of $38,000 through the Community Building Partnerships Program to help the club with the upgrade of its facilities to make it more inclusive members of all abilities.
Ballina Tennis Club President Margaret Oldham organised a wonderful event, including the appearance of tennis great Pat Rafter, who unveiled a plaque officially opening the new facilities.
Pat was amazingly generous with his time, encouraging the junior players and hitting a few balls around with them long after the ceremony was over.
The Greens are the only political party in Australia calling for a national action plan on climate change, seeking emissions targets to keep global warming below two degrees.
Anything above that will be a disaster for humanity, the Climate Council's Will Steffen told a packed Byron Theatre this week.
He was addressing Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) supporters – the group seeking to engage the whole Byron Shire in building a zero carbon community by 2025 across five key sectors: energy, waste, land use, buildings and transport.
Prof Steffen painted a disturbing picture, with a hike in extreme weather events, submerged coastlines, fresh water crises and massive migration a few of the consequences of a warming planet. Droughts will worsen in several key food-producing areas of the world, including southeast Australia, and rainfall will increase in others, bringing devastating floods.
Some of the impacts, such as the fate of coral reefs around the globe, are believed to have already passed the tipping point.
We have a narrow window of opportunity to keep the rise in emissions at a survivable level, Prof Steffen said, and the panel discussion that followed his talk outlined some of the things that can be done by individuals to work towards that, including calling upon our politicians to address the situation, installing solar panels and divesting from fossil fuel investments.
Find out more about Zero Emissions Byron here
ZEB talk, with Amelia Hicks, Sue Higginson and Will Steffen.
The Teven Tintenbar community is reeling from a proposal to build a toxic asphalt plant in this fragile valley. They need support with letters and also with donations to their fighting fund if you can.
The proposed site is in a rural zoning surrounded by agricultural lands – a totally inappropriate location for such intensive and dangerous industrial activity. Our green belts are vital for the future of nature-based tourism. They are vital for our food production. And they are vital for the health and sanity of all of us who live in this entire region. Let’s not destroy them any further.
Add your voice at No Bloody Way
And visit the residents' Facebook page here