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.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Unions are misleading public on changes to the pension.

 Changes to the pension are not actually effecting pensioners the way the Unions tell us they are.

I'm personally disappointed in the Unions for scare mongering on this one. Usually I agree with everything the unions have to say but this one does have to be called out as UNTRUE! Here is why it's not exactly as the Unions portray the changes.....

Changes to the pension only effect the top elite unless I have it wrong? Only those with over $823,000 in super will be effected......and that as far as I know does not include the family home. Doesn't that sound fair to you?

Prime Minister Howard introduced the current 'giving pensions to the rich scheme' and it has cost us dearly. Wealthy people have a lot of tax breaks and this is just one of them.

Now we need to make it fairer.

And as Sean Weatherly said on Labor/Unions misinformation about pensions.
'It's so hypocritical considering Labor pushed single mums onto Newstart and just cut a whole lot of welfare in the Omnibus but now complain about the Greens doing a deal to make pensions better for those at the bottom'

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Pope Francis Issued the Catholic Church’s First Statement on Nonviolence—Ever

Interesting and heart warming to see this in the light of Trump being elected to the presidency and Pauline Hanson's One Nation popularity growing in Australia. Why does the world seem to be getting worse not better, when there are so many good people striving for peace and inclusion?

Pope Francis Issued the Catholic Church’s First Statement on Nonviolence—Ever

Posted by Ryan Hall
Today, Pope Francis Issued the Catholic Church’s First Statement on Nonviolence—Ever
By Rev. John Dear
Today, Pope Francis released the annual World Day of Peace Message for January 1, 2017, called “Nonviolence—A Style of Politics for Peace.” This is the Vatican’s fiftieth World Day of Peace message, but it’s the first statement on nonviolence, in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—in history.
We need to make “active nonviolence our way of life,” Francis writes at the start, and suggests nonviolence become our new style of politics. “I ask God to help all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values,” Francis writes. “May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society and in international life.  When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promotors of nonviolent peacemaking.  In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms.”
In his historic statement, Pope Francis discusses the violence of the world, Jesus’ way of nonviolence, and the viable alternative of nonviolence for today. His message is a breath of fresh air for all of us, and offers a framework for all of us to envision our lives and our world.
“Violence Is Not the Cure for a Broken World”
“Today, sadly, we find ourselves engaged in a horrifying world war fought piecemeal,” Francis writes. “It is not easy to know if our world is presently more or less violent than in the past, or to know whether modern means of communications and greater mobility have made us more aware of violence, or, on the other hand, increasingly inured to it.  In any case, we know that this ‘piecemeal’ violence, of different kinds and levels, causes great suffering: wars in different countries and continents; terrorism, organized crime and unforeseen acts of violence; the abuses suffered by migrants and victims of human trafficking; and the devastation of the environment.  Where does this lead?  Can violence achieve any goal of lasting value?  Or does it merely lead to retaliation and a cycle of deadly conflicts that benefit only a few ‘warlords’?”
“Countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering,” Francis continues, “because vast amounts of resources are diverted to military ends and away from the everyday needs of young people, families experiencing hardship, the elderly, the infirm and the great majority of people in our world.  At worst, it can lead to the death, physical and spiritual, of many people, if not of all.”
Practicing the Nonviolence of Jesus
Jesus lived and taught nonviolence, which Francis calls “a radically positive approach.” Jesus “unfailingly preached God’s unconditional love, which welcomes and forgives.  He taught his disciples to love their enemies (cf. Mt 5:44) and to turn the other cheek (cf. Mt 5:39).  When he stopped her accusers from stoning the woman caught in adultery (cf. Jn 8:1-11), and when, on the night before he died, he told Peter to put away his sword (cf. Mt 26:52), Jesus marked out the path of nonviolence.  He walked that path to the very end, to the cross, whereby he became our peace and put an end to hostility (cf. Eph 2:14-16).  Whoever accepts the Good News of Jesus is able to acknowledge the violence within and be healed by God’s mercy, becoming in turn an instrument of reconciliation.”
“To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence,” Francis writes. He quotes Pope Benedict who said that the command to love our enemies “is the magna carta of Christian nonviolence. It does not consist in succumbing to evil…, but in responding to evil with good and thereby breaking the chain of injustice.”
Nonviolence Is More Powerful than Violence 
“The decisive and consistent practice of nonviolence has produced impressive results,” Francis explains. “The achievements of Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the liberation of India, and of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in combating racial discrimination will never be forgotten.  Women in particular are often leaders of nonviolence, as for example, was Leymah Gbowee and the thousands of Liberian women, who organized pray-ins and nonviolent protest that resulted in high-level peace talks to end the second civil war in Liberia. The Church has been involved in nonviolent peacebuilding strategies in many countries, engaging even the most violent parties in efforts to build a just and lasting peace. Let us never tire of repeating: ‘The name of God cannot be used to justify violence.  Peace alone is holy.  Peace alone is holy, not war!’
“If violence has its source in the human heart, then it is fundamental that nonviolence be practiced within families,” Francis writes. “I plead with equal urgency for an end to domestic violence and to the abuse of women and children. The politics of nonviolence have to begin in the home and then spread to the entire human family.”
“An ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence between individuals and among peoples cannot be based on the logic of fear, violence and closed-mindedness, but on responsibility, respect and sincere dialogue,” Francis continues. “I plead for disarmament and for the prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons: nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutual assured destruction are incapable of grounding such an ethics.”
The Vatican Conference on Nonviolence
Last April eighty of us from around the world met for three days at the Vatican to discuss Jesus and nonviolence with Vatican officials, and ask the Pope to write a new encyclical on nonviolence. Our meetings were very positive and constructive. While there, our host Cardinal Turkson, head of the Pontifical Office of Justice and Peace, asked me to write a draft of the 2017 World Day of Peace on nonviolence for Pope Francis. I sent in a draft, as did my friends Ken Butigan, Marie Dennis and the leadership of Pax Christi International. We are glad to see our main points, even some of our exact language, in today’s message.
Next week, we go back to Rome for more meetings on the possibility of an encyclical on nonviolence. We won’t know if Pope Francis himself will receive us until the day of our first meeting, but we are hoping it will happen. We are going to encourage the Vatican to reject the just war theory once and for all, fully embrace Jesus’ methodology of nonviolence, and make nonviolence mandatory throughout the global Church.
Pope Francis’ Invitation to Nonviolence
“Peacebuilding through active nonviolence is the natural and necessary complement to the Church’s continuing efforts to limit the use of force by the application of moral norms,” Francis concludes. “Jesus himself offers a ‘manual’ for this strategy of peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount.  The eight Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-10) provide a portrait of the person we could describe as blessed, good and authentic.  Blessed are the meek, Jesus tells us, the merciful and the peacemakers, those who are pure in heart, and those who hunger and thirst for justice. This is also a program and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives: to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their respective responsibilities.  It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers.  It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost.  To do so requires ‘the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process.’   To act in this way means to choose solidarity as a way of making history and building friendship in society.”
His concluding words should be a source of consolation as well as a challenge for us in the days ahead:
Active nonviolence is a way of showing that unity is truly more powerful and more fruitful than conflict.  Everything in the world is inter-connected. Differences can cause frictions, but let us face them constructively and non-violently.
I pledge the assistance of the Church in every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence. Every such response, however modest, helps to build a world free of violence, the first step towards justice and peace. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to build nonviolent communities that care for our common home.
As we prepare for years of resistance to come, I hope we can take heart from Pope Francis’ global call for nonviolence, help spread his message, and do our part to become nonviolent people, build the global grassroots movement of nonviolence, and uphold the vision of a new world of nonviolence.
Read the full World Day of Peace Message here!
Press reports:
Catholic Nonviolence Initiative’s press release: