Sunday, 3 December 2017

Warrnambool plastic spill: ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER.

So, WHO IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE for environmental disasters? Who says environmental disasters aren't political?

Yep. This page was set up as an early response by some members of our local community to a spill of probably billions of little plastic beads used in the production of plastic  utensils. The page is great for raising awareness and for seeking help to clean up the spill of nurdles on South West Victorian beaches.

AND due to this page via  Colleen Hughson and the resulting big hearted community response and the consequent news items in the Standard and on TV, the EPA has escalated the spill of nurdles from Warrnambool’s Sewage Treatment Plant to a Class 2 Emergency under Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley. It's an environmental disaster and it would have been much worse without the quick response of a number of local people.

I get into trouble all the time because 'they' say I make these issues political. But it isn't me making them political. THEY ARE POLITICAL!

Some evil bastard company dumped God knows how many of these pollutants into the sewage system and Wannon Water's systems were unable to filter them out. So, they were washed out to sea where many still remain in the currents being carried far away to other beaches or dissolved into a toxic sludge or being eaten by creatures, (they turn into a toxic sludge in rock pools too) but it's assumed that most have been washed onto our beaches along the coast from Peterborough to Yambuck, just passed Port Fairy. Here's a picture of some nurdles and other plastic debris collected from Warrnambool's Shelly Beach.

So let's analyse this ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME SCENE.

The EVIL BASTARD who threw away God knows how many truck fulls of nurdles ( little non-biodegradable, plastic beads used in the manufacture of drink bottles and any other plastic thing that has been tossed away and now covers the earth from pole to pole, in the oceans, rivers, grasslands, farms, mountains ) may never be found. How do you trace such an act? And, if it can't be traced then how can it be controlled?…/…/illegal_dumping

Wannon Water pleads innocence and initially denied the beads came from their waste water treatment plant. It was only after the public response that Wannon Water took the situation seriously and admitted that the beads had passed through their filter systems. Now, they're acting holier than thou and cooperating with the authorities. BIG DEAL!…/sewag…/nurdles-response.aspx

DELWP Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning have a, as in ONE, machine that rakes the beach, sifting the sand for nurdles. ONE machine...not huge....not even BIG. ( Hope it doesn't kill any endangered species know...the Hooded Plovers )

Here's a photo of Warrnambool City Councillor, Warrnambool Surf Life Saving Club captain and my hard working husband, David Owen, collecting nurdles from Warrnambool beach near the Surf Club.

The local community response to this State Environmental Emergency has been astounding because SOME Warrnambool people are generally good people who actually care about our environment. Without them, who knows how long it would have taken the authorities to pay attention.

So WHO IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE for such disasters? The answer lies in the question, why ARE billions of tonnes of nurdles produced each year and why oh why, did some company employees ( one presumes it was a manufacturer ) have so many in EXCESS that they broke the law by dumping them in our sewage?

Logic tells us that the answer is very simple. Manufacturing and chemical companies produce billions of tonnes of these un-biodegradable, fossil fuel sourced and dirty, fossil fuel energy manufactured nurdles, simply because... THEY CAN!

Not one government in the world has banned single use, non-biodegradable plastic. So who is at fault? It's the GOVERNMENT stupid!

And you wonder why I campaign for the Greens?

And the Weekly Times reported it but got a number of things WRONG.

The following comment was submitted by John Drake but not published:

The article is misleading on a number of key points. The vast majority of people on the beaches cleaning up this environmental disaster were not and are not organised by Wannon Water. There is no link at all. They are not Wannon Water's teams but community volunteers and school children who responded to the crisis after a member of the public spotted the contaminants on a beach near the sewage outfall about three days after the spill began. The volunteers were on the beaches for over a week before Wannon Water got involved with the cleanup. It has taken nearly two weeks for authorities to declare this emergency, despite being alerted by representatives of community groups and environmental agencies. The mechanical beach cleaner is of limited use and utterly impractical on the most contaminated beaches. This is apparently the first incident of its kind on the Australian coast, so we all have a lot to learn, mistakes have been and will continue to be made, and we must work together. But lets be clear about one thing; the community led the initial cleanup response with no effective support from Wannon Water and continues to lead the on-ground response.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Ignore this ignorant rant.

This group is anonymous and bone ignorant!


 I welcome intelligent and informed criticism of the Church but this is balderdash. Catholics call those books 'deuterocanonicals' ( meaning 'belonging to the second canon') and they are the books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The books included in the Hebrew Bible are referred to as 'protocanonicals'.

My Catholic Bibles always included them placing them between the Old and New Testament. They are seen as an interesting historical addition but not absolutely necessary from a spiritual perspective. 


Protestant Churches, on the other hand, refer to them solely as 'apochrypha' and some don't include them in the Bible at all!

From Wikipedia: Apocrypha are works, usually written, of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin.[1] Biblical apocrypha is a set of texts included in the Latin Vulgate and Septuagint but not in the Hebrew Bible. While Catholic tradition considers the texts to be deuterocanonical, Protestants consider them apocryphal. Thus, Protestant bibles do not include the books within the Old Testament but have often included them in a separate section. Other non-canonical apocryphal texts are generally called pseudepigrapha, a term that means "false writings".[2]

The word's origin is the Medieval Latin adjective apocryphus, "secret, or non-canonical", from the Greek adjective ἀπόκρυφος (apokryphos), "obscure", from the verb ἀποκρύπτειν (apokryptein), "to hide away".[3]

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Stop oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight!

#MalcolmTurnbull. Please Mr Turnbull, ban gas and oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight. 
Apart from it being a place of enormous environmental significance and being extremely important to most Australians, and the fact that fossils fuels should be and are fast becoming a thing of the past...apart from all of that...I believe that you are a good man who knows that it would be the wrong thing to do. 
So please Mr. Turnbull, do the right thing, not the most expedient thing, nor the most power grabbing thing. Put the long term good of all Australians and our precious environment first...before your career, before party politics.
C'mon Malcom. We know you can do this good thing.
 To: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Dear Prime Minister,

I am extremely concerned that your government may allow oil companies to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

The Great Australian Bight is a pristine marine environment that supports 36 species of whales and dolphins. It sustains one of the world’s most important nurseries for the endangered southern right whale, as well as important industries like fishing and tourism. These would all be put at unacceptable risk by oil exploration.

The waters of the Great Australian Bight are deep, rough and remote. Drilling for oil here is risky and irresponsible.

Independent oil spill modelling has shown almost all of Australia’s southern coast could be at risk from an oil spill in the Bight.

Searching for new oil reserves in the Bight runs directly counter to the urgent need to stop burning oil, coal and gas to prevent catastrophic climate change. It is inconsistent with the Paris Climate Agreement goals your government signed to protect our climate.

The Great Australian Bight is the wrong place to drill for oil. And this is the wrong time in history to allow oil companies to look for more of it.

Prime Minister, I call on you to ban oil and gas development in the Great Australian Bight now and into the future.

Lisa Owen

Thursday, 29 June 2017

About refugees....

My interest was tinged with frustration when I saw the message of last weekend's workshop, the Right Track run by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, was 'changing the minds of voters'. I've been trying to do exactly that for years and bloomin' years. 

Sometimes I wonder if voters actually know the policies of the parties they vote into government.  If everyone who professes to believe in a fair go for refugees, a decent and accessible health system, a healthy and sustainable environment, a fair and effective education system,  workable public transport,  better roads and equal marriage rights, actually voted FOR those things and not for the Parties that are AGAINST them,  then I believe a Party the colour of forests would be in government and all those issues would be solved.

Being free to vote for our government is a great privilege hard won by many brave people. With such privilege comes responsibility.  Voters  have an obligation to educate themselves about  the issues, to read the policies of all the Parties and then, for the sake of everyone especially our  young ones, to do the right thing.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

What to do about Trump?

Here's one for the blogosphere BRAINS TRUST.

Considering every overtly incompetent and outright dangerous thing Trump has done during his 102 days, why hasn't he got the sack? If the majority of people voted against him, what's going on?

How is it that he's still in power? Or is it that the other possible candidates are even more frightening?

He has incredible power, is an ego maniacal uneducated, uninformed, incompetent, unprepared, ignoramus who is also, literally a loose canon!

Most people in the States focus on the poor and minority groups ( quite rightly ) but look at what's happening with North Korea. That debacle frightens the bejeesus out of me....and what about the environment?

Hasn't he broken a squillion rules by now...enough to give him the sack? It seems as though he's surrounded by fall guys and he's untouchable!

This is why I've always said, certain things must be set in stone... or the Constitution....such as preserving our life support systems, universal human rights and peace and non-violence.
So why aren't they? But surely he has overstepped enough marks to prosecute him.

What about that fake tower he built in Azerbaijan....receiving money that was being laundered for the Iranian terrorist organisation? That fact is out there and presented for all the world to see. So why isn't he being prosecuted/impeached for it?

                                                     Trump Tower Baku: Never opened.

Hello? Anybody? Does anyone have enough knowledge to answer these devastatingly frightening questions?

Here's a beautifully written piece from The New Yorker on that very issue. Please read it. It will stop you from sleeping peacefully in your bed....or might just inspire some smart action against this man's dangerous and powerful megalomania.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

If you want a decent, fair Australia you must vote Green.

                                       ABOUT THE GREENS


So c'mon people. Step up. Don't let the Trump brigade in One Nation and the Coalition sweep Australians into the same disastrous mess America and the world finds itself. We must never, ever let that happen here... but sadly it looks as though the unthinkable has happened. One Nation has recently out polled the Greens.

You have no choice BUT to vote GREEN if:

1/ want a sustainable and healthy environment that can be enjoyed by future generations which means, of course, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, saving all our native forests from logging & wood chipping (for crying out loud!), saving our atmosphere, our oceans and our soil from pollution of all kinds and ultimately preventing species extinction, in particular our own species. For all the wonderful wildlife carers out there, the Greens also have great animal welfare and wildlife policies.

2/ want equal rights for marriage, women, LGBTI people and people of all ages and of every race, creed and nationality especially those seeking asylum and also those who are vulnerable and threatened on our own shores. If you want equality in education, health, welfare and for big business to pay their fair share of taxes, you must vote Green.

3/ want Australia's happiness index to exceed all others because of our thriving sustainable environment, economy, arts, culture, wonderful food produce, opportunities and freedoms.
The fact is that if the Greens were in Government today, all these things would be enacted and protected.

The GREENS ARE NOT PERFECT ( though we ARE pretty darn good ) but our shared humanity is what makes us so unique. Sure we have a far left element. So what? We also have not so far left and right leaning and middle dwelling elements (like me). If you look at our policies, it's clear why it's possible for us to come together for a common cause, though we may come from many different backgrounds and persuasions.

Sure there's a degree of competition in ideology and human attachment to ideas and ways of doing things. God help us if we ever stop asking questions and debating ideas through our shared long as it remains shared and as respectful as is humanly possible and it's within our Greens policies and constitution.

We understand that our shared humanity is not without it's difficulties but the amazing thing about the Greens is that we're prepared to keep working at it.....for as long as it takes and maybe, most likely, forever.

So c'mon people. Step up. Don't let the Trump brigade in One Nation and the Coalition sweep Australians into the same disastrous mess that America and the world finds itself in with the new Republican administration. We must never ever let that happen here. Yet it is true that recently One Nation exceeded the Greens in the polls.

So onya bikes people! ( Well not bikes in a Jehovah's Witness kind of way but more in a sustainability sense. ) Get out there and spread the good word! Tell people if they want change and true prosperity for all, then they absolutely must vote GREEN! And support and volunteer for the Greens as well!

Don't let those with atrociously bad policies take the balance of power in our Government because at the moment that's looking frighteningly possible and God knows the Government itself has taken a number of inhumane and unsustainable actions and is threatening to do much more.
Step up people!The Greens are and will be the very best choice you can make.

Friday, 30 December 2016

We are responsible for every bit of plastic rubbish polluting our earth.

This really disturbs me and it's not just about coffee pods. Some of my good family & friends have these machines & don't understand the impact that the pods have on our world. They are an utterly unnecessary use of resources & are incredibly damaging to our only home & life support system...the Earth.

And it isn't just about an incredibly self indulgent & mindless use of a polluting substance that is hard if not impossible to recycle. It's also about all the bits that are forced on us via packaging.

Now, in the 21st C, when humans are faced with the collective and connected problems of climate change, rising CO2 levels & other toxic emissions, plastic, pollution in general, soil and water degradation & deforestation ...out of control consumerism has created a world in which nearly all the food we buy is wrapped or packaged in single use, non-biodegradable PLASTIC.

When cans, jars or any other bulk items arrive at supermarkets or any store, every single slab is wrapped in stretch plastic. That's quadrillions of miles of non-biodegradable, single-use material that required billions of tons of dirty fossil fuel to source & to make.

The really sad thing is that most ordinary good people don't think twice about it. They think that the amount of plastic their families use is much less than it actually is or they have given in to the process because it takes time, effort and a little extra money to source environmentally sustainable packaging & products.

And in the end, those good folk usually vote in governments that are perpetuating and making our environmental and human rights problems much worse through legislative inactivity and tax breaks and actual tax payer funded grants, to fossil fuel and emissions greedy corporations that only have profit dollars as their aim. Corporations don't care about people or life on Earth. It's true. It's called capitalism and it relies on consumerism.

Anything a company does for others, unless it's extremely wealthy beyond needing more money and is run by good people with other people's welfare at heart, is simply about hard cold profit. There used to be a thing called the triple bottom line which required a company to ask three questions before taking on a project "Is it fair? Is it affordable? Is it environmentally sustainable?"...but most companies have scraped that. Now it's actually illegal for corporations not to do everything they can to strive for more profit and growth no matter the impact on environment or people.They're answerable only to the laws made by each nation's Government and their own company share holders.

If you want proof....look at how many companies use palm oil in their products. It's not like they don't know that Orangutans will be the first great ape species to become extinct because of deforestation due to palm oil. None of us are exempt from using palm oil because so very many companies use it. I've just discover that my toothpaste, Sensodyne, which I've been using for sensitive teeth since I was a teenager, uses palm oil derived glycerol. SO, I've been unknowingly contributing to the demise of orangutans since I was a teenager. Well, ever since they started putting palm oil in it.

This is why I believe we need Green Governments all around the implement laws that require companies to do the right thing and change the way we package & make all products. Only Governments can make the good things cheaper & the bad things more expensive!

That's why I know the price on carbon was such a ground breakingly good thing. It reduced emissions by 8% for the short time it was permitted to operate. Sadly, power hungry people used it as a political tool by calling it the 'carbon tax' when it was only operating as a tax for the first 3 years after which time it would transition into an emissions trading scheme. After three years companies that emitted over a certain tonnage of Greenhouse gas emissions could buy permits for those extra emissions and then exchange them on the world market. Each year the number of permits were to reduce to give companies time to clean up their operations.

Companies were not permitted to pass on costs of emissions to consumers and quite a number of companies were fined for doing so, including Brumby's Bakeries. It was calculated that the price on carbon would on average only cost people $20 a year for those 3 years....and then nothing at all. So what was the fuss about? Now Australia is left lagging behind all other countries except maybe Trump's America.

Anyone who voted in either the Liberals, who are diabolically bad on environmental and human rights issues, or Labor, who aren't that far behind them, is unavoidably complicit in furthering the damage to our life support systems. 

If you say to me that you don't vote Green because of one or even two issues that are not to do with human rights or the environment, then you are not really aware of the seriousness of our global situation.

Complacency and ignorance is now no excuse. It is in the end all up to the responsibility of each voter to do the right thing for their children's future and for all human rights. AND I would say to you the ONLY real choice is to vote GREEN.

If you need any further convincing, please look up the ocean rubbish gyres, some of which are the size of Tasmania or larger. This last month our Warrnambool beach has been covered in plastic rubbish. The Life Savers do their best to clean it up during patrol....but it shouldn't be up to them to clean our beaches. We are responsible for that plastic rubbish.