Apologies & Updates

Hi all!

Apologies for the extended hiatus.  First of all I was away on a uni field trip to the very beautiful Jervis Bay Marine Park, on the south coast of New South Wales:

Then I got back to craziness at work and 10,000 words worth of essay due before the end of May.  Yikes.  I’m managing to just keep my head above water, but my time to be social and do anything fun like blogging, has been limited.  Still.  Abandonment of things I love is never a good idea.

So.

Some things since last time I posted that I would like to share.

1) I posted back in September last year about CSG and plans to expand production in NSW.  A moratorium on fracking was in place in NSW until the end of 2011, pending a parliamentary inquiry.  The inquiry has recommended the extension of the moratorium on production licenses being continued, but not on further exploration.  The moratorium has been extended at least until all of the chemicals used in fracking have been assessed by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme – at this stage, only two of around 46 have been fully tested. Getting some solid results seems like a good idea before issuing fracking licenses around the Great Artesian Basin, northern-NSW’s greatest source of water for farming and, in some cases, drinking.  It’s a shame that Queensland seems to be a lot more under the influence of the mining companies…

Further articles here and here.

2) This article made me really, really sad and frustrated.  While I can understand that people’s concerns will always lie with their immediate, every day issues, it concerns me that we, as a society, seem to be shutting out the big, global issues that will ultinately become immediate and every day. 

3) The Guardian often publishes some amazing photos in its Environment section.  These are no exception.

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11 thoughts on “Apologies & Updates

  1. Apology accepted : )
    The story you linked to about the lack of interest in environmental issues really surprised me. From my side of the planet, it seems like Australia has been hit with more than its fair share of droughts and floods – wasn’t last spring the wettest on record?
    How can people be living through such disasters and think that there may be a link with “all this talk of climate change”?
    If it makes you feel better, I also get “really sad and frustrated” at the similar lack of interest in environmental issues here in Canada.
    Good you with your 10 000 words!

  2. Hi Lucinda,
    Do you have access to the study behind the Sydney Morning Herald article? I’d like to dive deeper into this topic because I am very interested to learn in which way Germans are different in terms of environmental awareness and why. The author argues with the German past but I struggle with this reasoning. Where is the link between Nazi Germany and eco consciousness? For me, it’s more about living in a densely populated country with a large number of neighbouring countries and the consequential interdependencies.
    What do you think?
    Best
    silke

  3. JP: Thanks for the luck – I finally made it to the end! Anyway,to (very belatedly) answer your questions, the weather here in Aus has been all over the place over the last few years, with devastating floods, storms and bushfires. People just don’t seem to make the connection though.

    Silke: You can access the full report here if you’re interested: http://www.modern-cynic.org/SEV_Reports/AustralianReport(31March2012).pdf

    I agree with you, in that I think proximity to other countries is probably what makes Germany much more globally aware, especially in terms of the environment. In Australia, the mentality can often be quite insular and disconnected from the rest of the world. There is also an attitude of ‘well, Australia’s so tiny, our emissions can’t possibly matter’, which I think is also due to distance – we forget that we are part of a bigger picture

    • (About the weather) That is the impression I was getting from the bits and pieces that I heard in the news. I hope you haven’t been seriously affected yourself…

      We are having similar extremes here (although not as intense), but, like you said, no one is making the connection. For example, in mid-March we got a massive heat wave in eastern North America. Massive in the area affected and in the temperatures reached. The US broke something like 16 000 (!) temperature records and here in Canada we broke records by many-many degrees. We were actually breaking April records in March. It was a record heat wave the likes of which we have never seen since temperature record-keeping began.

      And yet, in the news, no mention of climate change. Despite the fact that this heat wave followed what was basically a “non-winter” throughout North America.
      It is very frustrating to be aware of the significance of these events and that the media doesn’t make the right connections.

      • hi there!
        thanks for sharing the link. although i have to admit that i was more interested in the global study. ;)
        for me, it’s very difficult to understand that the journalists don’t seem to make that link in your countries because here in Germany we hear about climate change, renewables, ressource scarcety, etc in the news almost every day since fukushima (and also before). the green party is quite strong here.
        there also have been a lot of very good documentaries about the impact of climate change on other regions on public TV recently.
        climate change is every where! I guess that’s because our gouvernment decided to stop nuclear energy which has to result in massive changes in terms of infrastructure, energy consumption and lifestyles.
        honestly, i am shocked to hear that Germany seems to be an excemption in this regard.
        best
        silke

      • Hello Silke,
        I am not surprised by the fact that Germans are more exposed to the impact we are having on our planet. Just reading about how your government reacted after the Fukushima disaster says a lot. And the investment you have put into renewables is to be commended. I read that two weekends ago, at mid-day, half your electricity was being produced by solar energy! I’m soooooooooooo jealous!!!
        Unfortunately, after Fukushima, we were hearing things like “now is not the time to make important decisions about nuclear energy”. And our efforts in renewables is disappointing to say the least. And the funny thing is, our potential is HUGE. We get much more sunlight than Germany (potential for solar) and we are among the least densely populated countries in the world which means we have tons of space for wind energy.
        Unfortunately, our energy and environmental policy has actually been regressing in the past years. I won’t go into great detail, but our current Federal government is attempting (and will succeed) in passing several dozen changes to environmental regulations which will allow mining, oil and gas projects to be more easily approved. And, if you are ever interested, look up the “crown jewel” (I’m being sarcastic!) of our economy: the Alberta Tar Sands. The fact that we are willing to invest billions into such a project says a lot about our disregard for climate change and environmental protection.
        I swear, I’m not always this negative : )

  4. Believe me, I am not always that possitive either! :D
    Anyway, I have to correct myself: at the moment, it’s all about football… and the Euro….
    Thanks for your comments – just added your blog to my blogroll. Looking forward to reading more green words from canada.
    silke

    • We are talking about the Euro too! Not so much football though : )
      Thank you for your interest in my blog. I’ll be coming by your site as well.
      And thanks Lucinda for the opportunity for Silke and I to “meet”!

  5. Hi Lucinda,
    just wanted to let you know that I’ve contacted Mr Devinney – and he told me that the German findings are published in September or October and presented in Hamburg/ Germany around the same time. Thanks a lot for pointing this very interesting project to me. I’ll try to get the other country reports as well – and if you are interested in them as well – I’ll keep you in the loop!
    Best
    silke

  6. Hi Silke,

    Sorry, for some reason I only just saw your comment. Yes, if you could let me know when the German one is published, that would be fantastic. Thank you!

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