In early October, yet another science report was released by the World’s leading climate body, the IPCC, confirming that climate change is well underway, and that under current estimates warming will reach 1.5 degrees in the next few decades.
An increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius will make the climate much more unstable; bigger storms and cyclones, harsher droughts and heat waves.
However, 2.0 degrees hotter is much, much worse and would cause very serious social, economic, and environmental problems. Destruction of coral reefs, rising sea levels, collapsing food supplies are all real and happening now.
Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees would require a complete reduction of greenhouse gasses to zero by 2050 or sooner.
But we all know this – scientists have been telling us with increasing alarm for decades that the planet is getting cooked – and we, its inhabitants, are facing a very uncertain and unstable future. The IPCC report is optimistic that governments across the world will see the light and quickly move to phase out fossil fuels and start planning to adapt to the uncertain future.
Unfortunately, this optimism seems misguided. The Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2016 will not limit global warming to 1.5 degrees – actually it will do very little because the commitments are too weak and the United States has run away.
Most governments and industry either don’t care or far worse are staging a huge deception campaign to undermine climate science, and any real efforts to limit greenhouse emissions.
The public has been duped by the likes of the coal and oil industry, by their slick marketing companies, and by dodgy scientists and lobby groups funded by these interests. For example, Tony Abbott and his colleagues have happily pushed the coal industry’s agenda, undermining energy reform and dumping real climate action.
These people and the industries they support are a minority, holding humanity to ransom for their own political or financial gain. Let’s stop being hoodwinked by big industry and demand immediate and far reaching action to reduce greenhouse emissions to zero.
ACTION:To move Australia beyond fossil fuels, the climate movement must grow to an unprecedented scale and size. Join FoE Australia's Tipping Point team of national volunteers: email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
How much do you know about the environment? Enter this quick quiz and you could win a family pass to the beautiful Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda!
Just pick the correct answers ( more than one may be correct in each question). The deadline is Thursday 15 November.
You may have to research some of them by searching this website... just click here to enter
If the link above doesn't work, just copy and paste the 10 questions below to an email, choose the correct answer/s ( more than one may be true in each question) and send to email@example.com.
1. The Kuranda region was first settled:
In the 1800s
In the 1900s
thousands of generations ago
50 years ago
How many dog attacks were reported
in one year, in Cairns?
We have a Eco-Fiesta winner!
Chloe Schafer wins with the closest number 620. Guesses ranged from 20-3000! Which goes to show, as one of you said:
"We have no idea. Do we?"
Here's the breakdown:
- 120 are attacks on people
- 250 are attacks on pets and other animals
- 350 are frightening threats with emotional harm.
Dogs are mainly killing other animals. And they are a major direct threat to our remaining 1200 cassowary. Cassowary are a keystone species for rainforest survival.Read more
Toolbox for Sustainable Development
What is sustainable development?
Perhaps the most complete definition is development that meets the needs of the current generation without degrading the ecological inheritance of future generations.
Is this what we are seeing in our region?
Over the last few decades, there has been an onslaught on the recovering rainforest and bush in Kuranda and the wider region. Cassowaries and other endangered wildlife have been killed by loss of habitat, traffic, feral animals and domestic cats and dogs. Just recently, large numbers of paperbarks have been cut down in the centre of Mareeba to evict flying foxes.
As habitats shrink, the clashes between humans and wildlife will increase unless a more collaborative and sustainable planning approach is taken. With this vision in mind, the Kuranda Region Planning Group (KRPG) has been set up. See www.kurandaregion.org for further information. This is a network of local residents, environmental groups and wildlife experts that aim to work with government at all levels. FoE FNQ is a member of this network.
ACTION: Support KRPG's Wet Tropics World Heritage Vital Corridor Buy Back Scheme email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Opposing environmentally destructive development
We have various options:
Engaging with the official governmental planning system at local, State or Federal level
We can put in submissions to Mareeba Shire Council about potentially environmentally destructive developments that conflict with the Mareeba Shire Planning Scheme 2016 For a list of current development applications, see https://msc.qld.gov.au/building-planning/development-applications/
If the development is still approved, we can then appeal in the Planning and Environment Court against the approval – but only if we were submitters. The Environmental Defenders' Office (EDO) offers legal advice, fact sheets and community handbooks prepared by legal experts. However court cases can be lengthy and expensive. Mediation is another option to achieve a better outcome.
Very large developments are assessed by all three layers of government – and this is the case for the mega resort KUR-World.
ACTION: Write a submission to the Coordinator General about KUR-World. Email email@example.com to find out more.
Non violent direct action
In the 50th year after Martin Luther King was killed, this remains one of the most powerful tools we have. The Daintree Blockade in the 1980s was a local example of people risking their lives to protect the rainforest. Though it failed to stop the Bloomfield track being bulldozed through, it helped to save the Daintree and kick started the listing of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. This inspiring local history has been chronicled in the new book The Daintree Blockade: the battle for Australia's Tropical Rainforests by Bill Wilkie.
It is well worth the read with the added bonus of name spotting local eco-heroes who still live in the area. As Bob Brown said ' The sheer energy and commitment of those campaigners on the ground- that was the core to saving the Daintree itself' As we battle mega resorts and huge subdivisions and find out how weak and woolly the planning law is in Queensland, this may be what it takes to save the Kuranda region.
Protesters buried in the path of bulldozers in efforts to stop the Daintree road.
Photo by Cliff Frith.
Next Meeting: Thursday 26 April 6.30pm via Zoom or phone link. Ring Margie on 0403214422 Everyone welcome. See website for May meeting.
Our Kuranda property was recently sprayed with the herbicide Roundup by Council workers without our authorisation. Our property adjoins Jumrum Creek which ultimately flows to the Great Barrier Reef via the Barron River. Due to the ecological sensitivity of our property and region, we initiated a formal complaint through the Queensland Ombudsman. Mareeba Shire Council’s actions and subsequent dismissive response reveals a common belief that Roundup is innocuous. While this complacency has been fostered through decades of aggressive marketing by agrochemical company Monsanto, there is mounting research suggesting Roundup is toxic not only to the environment, but to human health.
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Roundup’s declared principle ingredient ‘glyphosate’ as "probably carcinogenic to humans". The European Chemicals Agency has classified it “a substance causing serious eye damage and being toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects". After bitter division in 2017 the European Union approved a limited 5-year licence for glyphosate, with France declaring a ban within 3 years. Currently, more than 700 US farmers, landscapers & gardeners are involved in a lawsuit against Monsanto claiming that exposure to glyphosate caused their cancers.Read more
Wednesday 3rd January
Kuranda: 11 Kuranda Cresc, [text: where is the meeting again? 0403214422]
Members and Friends and potential campaigners! Bring your friends
You are invited to the FoE FNQ New Year tea party this Wednesday 3 January at 6pm, at 11 Kuranda Cresc. Celebrate the wins of 2017 and help set our priorities for 2018. Bring a plate and share a meal in the rainforest while putting the world to right.
All welcome who are interested in protecting this very special area. You and your valuable time and energy are appreciated and needed.
If you cannot come to the party but would like to be involved, please let us know your availability so you can come next time! We can organise video links in 2018 if that works best for you... You are important to us. 😀
And in the meantime have a very Happy New Year.
Thank you all for your support in 2017!
John, Margaret & Sarah
Successes and Activity 2017
Stop Adani communications, database and action support
Cassowary Keystone strategy assistance
Bat interventions at Mareeba
Supporting Koah community's campaigns about contaminated bore water & fire management
Plans and issues for 2018 include:
Land clearing and land use in FNQ
Poison use in the region
Establishing a Tablelands FoE working group based in Mareeba
plus bring your concerns and campaign ideas.
- A local council that understands the special nature of the Kuranda region, is as open to environmentalists as developers and listens to the residents' concerns. A State Government inquiry into alternative local government arrangements for the Kuranda Region would be a great start. Alternatives to be investigated could include (a) merging the Kuranda Region with Douglas Shire and (b) creating a new Kuranda Region Council, separate from Mareeba Shire.
- Sustainable planning and land clearing laws that are enforced with adequate monitoring. These should protect old growth and recovering forest - and stop our communities and wildlife being threatened by mega developments such as KUR-World and Adani.