Tuesday 26th of June 2018

the bare earth theory...

no worries...

IN A RECENT REPORT, entitled 'Tree Clearing: The Hidden crisis of animal welfare in Queensland', released by WWF Australia and the RSPCA Queensland, scientists estimate tree clearing in Queensland kills about 34 million native mammals, birds and reptiles each year.

This is an underestimate according to the report:

The enormous extent of suffering and death caused makes tree-clearing the single greatest animal welfare crisis in Queensland. Yet it is largely unmonitored and unstudied and neglected in wildlife policy and law.

Many animals die on the site of clearing. Some are crushed by machinery or falling trees. Others die more slowly from injuries, starvation and exposure. Others die as they flee from clearing in collisions with cars, fences or power lines, killed by predators or due to injuries or deprivation.

Tree-clearing: the hidden CRISIS of animal welfare in #Queensland#Australia via @wwfaustria https://t.co/H27u5WhzaD

— Betty Lea (@Betty_Lea) September 7, 2017

Rates of clearing from 2010-2015 (the latest for which data are available) show that the annual destruction of bushland more than tripled: from 26,000 to 114,000 hectares of mature bushland and from 66,000 to 182,000 hectares of regrowth.

Nearly 300,000 hectares was cleared at last count in 2014-15.

Most tree-clearing in Queensland overlaps mapped habitats of threatened species. Despite this, most of it proceeds without any attempt to seek approval under threatened species laws. The enforcement of State and Federal nature and biodiversity conservation laws appears to have been minimal.

The weakening of controls over habitat destruction in Queensland together with recent similar changes in New South Wales have led to eastern Australia being listed as one of 11 global deforestation fronts. These are the areas which on current trends are predicted to account for 80% of all forest losses up to 2030. Australia is the only developed nation in this ignominious list.

The report makes a heartbreaking case for not only immediate protection of habitat but an urgent need for wildlife laws that ensure monitoring and enforcement are mandatory provisions. Thus far, there has been no response by the Palaszczuk or Turnbull governments. Not surprisingly, there has been almost no mainstream media coverage of this report.

Read more:



10,000 koalas per bulldozer...


Queensland has been rated as a "contemporary hot spot" for land clearing and is on par with places like Brazil, a new study has found.

The paper published today has found the parts of Queensland that have been cleared the most in the past, are also being cleared the most now.

Remote areas including the Cape York Peninsula are also being cleared.

Dr April Reside from the University of Queensland (UQ) said drastic changes are needed to save species and protect habitat.

"Land clearing in Queensland is the highest that it has been in the last 10 years," Dr Reside said.

"We have 95 threatened species of animal, 12 threatened species of plant that are impacted by land clearing."

Dr Reside said practices such as thinning, where up to 75 per cent of vegetation in an area can be cleared, is regulated by the landowner.

"It means that the mammals, the birds and the reptiles that are impacted by cat predation suddenly have nowhere to hide so they start to decline," Dr Reside said.

UQ researcher Dr Leonie Seabrook said Queensland had one of the highest land clearing emissions rates in Australia.

read more:



and charitable tax deductions to the miners...

Tens of millions of dollars are spent annually on political lobbying for the interests of the fossil fuel sector. That investment serves the interests of a small amount of company shareholders in keeping a legacy industry alive, despite the availability of newer, clean technologies, at lower cost.

In the wake of these behind-the-scenes policy negotiations, the real and present impacts of climate change, such as bushfires, coastal flooding and reduced crop yields are left at the door of future generations to deal with.

As the expensive fees of industry associations like the Minerals Council of Australia are claimed as business expenses, the fossil fuel companies are then able to receive generous tax concessions – paid for from the public purse. That’s why the hypocrisy was palpable last week, when the deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said in an address to the Minerals Council that the charitable status of environmental groups is against the interests of Australia.

So, when there are no rules limiting the power that big mining wields over politics, why are environmental scientists being attacked by the government?

Recently, the government instituted an inquiry into Australian charities, seeking to curb the work of charities working to protect the environment. The inquiry’s most concerning recommendation, which came from the Minerals Council itself, is that all environmental charities, no matter if they are focused on research or public education, should be forced to spend 25% of their resources for on-the-ground remediation work, such as tree planting and weed control. Environmental remediation has great value, but ultimately the policy change required to solve climate change will only happen through scientifically informed policy change that allows businesses and communities to do the heavy lifting.

The Climate Council is an independent organisation dedicated to public education on climate change. We want to keep doing what we’re good at – which is providing independent, accurate information to Australians across society; from emergency services to farmers, schools and businesses. For the government to demand that the Climate Council spend 25% of its time on remediation is nonsensical and undemocratic. When it comes to Australia staying in step with the global race to address climate change, planting a few trees just won’t cut it.

The government inquiry is a cynical attempt to hamper support for charities by reducing our ability to execute on our purpose. The Climate Council’s purpose is to accurately communicate information on climate change, giving Australia the chance to be on the front foot in responding to climate change. Our information assists fire fighters, health professionals and communities. It helps journalists to report more accurately in what is a debate often awash with misinformation. Importantly, it helps the wider community make sense of what is a complex and confusing issue.

An informed public is absolutely vital to a well-functioning democracy. The science is not the only consensus on the issue. Most Aussies are worried about what climate change means for their jobs, property and families, especially the youngsters that are now stepping up to power our economy.

For the government to adopt the mining lobby’s recommendation would damage the ability of organisations protecting the environment to work effectively – and therefore damage our environment itself. It would also set a dangerous precedent for the interference of vested interests into our government. For beyond the Climate Council a broad range of charities stand to be affected should the government give itself powers to hamper any community group that they deem to be in conflict with its worldview.

The logic of curtailing an organisation like Climate Council, which fills the major chasm in public information on climate change, is unscientific and undemocratic.

Despite what we hear about the post-truth, fake news world in which we now live, the Australian public still values independent experts. When we go to the doctor, or fly in an aeroplane, we place our trust in the hands of qualified experts. Equally, for Australia to make sound decisions on our changing world, we expect to be advised by experts that operate independently of vested interests.

read more:



Tim Flannery wrote The Future Eaters

the bulldozer is king...


Australia is home to more than one million species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. About 85% of the continent's flowering plants, 84% of mammals, more than 45% of birds and 89% of inshore, temperate-zone fish are endemic – that is, they are only found in Australia.

Over the 200 years since European settlement, extensive clearing of native vegetation has removed, changed or fragmented habitats. Human activity and natural events such as fire, drought and flood continue to change Australia's ecology. Such change affects the interactions within ecological communities, and can reduce their diversity and threaten the survival of many native species.

Since settlement, hundreds of species have become extinct in Australia, including at least 50 bird and mammal, 4 frog and more than 60 plant species. It is likely that other species have disappeared too, without our knowledge. Many other species are considered to be threatened and are listed under Australian Government legislation as endangered or vulnerable. More than 310 species of native animals and over 1180 species of native plants are at risk of disappearing forever.

Threatened ecological communities

An ecological community is an integrated assembly of native species that inhabits a particular area in nature. Species within such communities interact and depend on each other – for example, for food or shelter.

Australian Government legislation allows for the listing of ecological communities as threatened. This is the first step to promoting their recovery under Australian Government law, supported by the preparation of recovery plans and threat abatement plans.

Examples of endangered ecological communities are the grassy white box woodlands and the natural temperate grassland of the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory; the Buloke woodlands of the Riverina and Murray-Darling depression bioregions; the brigalow belt in south-eastern Queensland; and the critically endangered swamps of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.

Why conserve species and ecological communities?

read more:




Why conserve species and ecological communities?


Good question... ALL GOVERNMENTS in Australia (Federal and State) could not care less about "ecological communities" but will pay lip service "under strict environmental guidelines" to allow more mining and further destruction.

The bulldozer is king...



hollow logs...

When a Western Australian man dragged a hollow log on to the roof of his farmhouse and strapped it to the chimney with old fencing wire, he hoped endangered cockatoos would come home to roost.

Five years later, the unusual decision is improving the survival odds of the native Carnaby's cockatoo which faces extinction.

The latest figures suggest Carnaby's numbers continue to decline in southern Western Australia due to habitat fragmentation caused by large-scale land clearing.

The naturally placid cockatoo now competes with corellas, galahs and even bees in the remaining eucalypt woodlands for nests in hollow trees which may take 100 years to form.

read more:


killing the others...

The world's growing extinction threats are typically worst for the largest and smallest creatures, a finding that should temper conservation efforts, new research has found.

The study, published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined 27,647 vertebrate species based on body mass as assessed by the Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. About 17 per cent of all species, for which size data is available, are threatened with extinction.

read more:



Read from top...

back in appalling adaniville...


India's former environment minister Jairam Ramesh is "absolutely appalled" by the Australian Government's approval of the Adani Group's massive coal mine in North Queensland, which he says will threaten the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, "a common heritage of mankind".

Key points:
  • Australian politicians argued India needs Adani coal to lift poor out of "energy poverty"
  • Indians "cannot afford" Adani coal, former Indian Ministry of Power head says
  • Adani Group says it is an "absolute and religiously law-abiding organisation"


Mr Ramesh, an elder statesman of India's opposition Congress Party, also said the Federal Government and Queensland Government have failed to do adequate due diligence on Adani Group's environmental and financial conduct in India before granting environmental approvals and mining licenses.

"Adani Group's track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired," Mr Ramesh told Four Corners.

"And if it leaves a lot to be desired domestically, there's no reason for me to believe that Adani would be a responsible environmental player globally."

Mr Ramesh said it was almost beyond belief that the Australian Government would look to provide concessional loans and other taxpayer support to facilitate Adani Group's coal mining project — because of the consequences for climate change of developing a giant new mine and opening an entire new coal basin.

read more:



Australian politicians argued Adani needs Adani coal to lift poor Adani out of "energy poverty"...