You are on page 1of 13

21 December 2013



By Peter Burdon, ABC

The funding cut to environmental legal centres may h ave t h e i ro n i c e f f e c t o f galvanising people into ghting harder for their existence. Many of us take for granted the privilege of living in an industrialised and stable rst world country. As we commute to work in the morning we could be forgiven for thinking that our fragile environment is under sensible guardianship and that our elected leaders are doing everything in their power to secure this land for future generations. Ye t a l o n g s i d e t h i s complacency, some of us are worriedeven frightened. We are living at a time when the best

science in the world is telling us that human beings are on a collision course with ecological collapse. Moreover, the time frame for this collapse is getting shorter and shorter. While luminaries of the environmental movement like David Suzuki remind us to put faith in human reason, his argument is belied daily by the descriptions of barbarism that occupy the headlines. In the rst 100 days of the Abbott government we have been confronted with threats to repeal the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act; scenes of Australia's climate negotiators blocking progress, wearing Tshirts and gorging on snacks during sessions of the Warsaw

climate conference; the approval of the world's biggest coal port in a world heritage area; and enticements to BHP Billiton to reconsider their Olympic Dam expansion. Ye s t e rd ay o u r d e s c e n t deepened after the C o m m o n w e a l t h A t t o r n ey General's department announced that it was cutting an estimated $10 million in funding to the country's nine E nv i r o n m e n t a l D e f e n d e r s Ofces (EDO). It is also planning to end a long-standing, bipartisan annual payment of between $90,000 and $100,000 meaning that the legal centres will receive no federal support from 1 July 2014. For more on this story visit:

Earth Sanctuary Newsletter December 2013!

Special Report: Save The Great Barrier Reef

Emergency Management Lets Plan Together

Page 2

Page 4

Page 13

21 December 2013


Pictured right is the Earth Sanctuary team at the 2013 Brolga Awards. The Sanctuary won Best Business Growth NT Tourism 2013.

Earth Sanctuary Team Roll On... 2014 A time to prep!

By Dan Falzon and Sarah London


we may find

you around the galaxy our team wish you a Merry Christmas! We hope your enjoying the PlanetLife newsletter and we hope its being helpful in keeping up to date with Climate Change activity.

Planet Life is a little project we started to ultimately keep our gang up to date with the enormous data of planetary info that is not Our team enjoy building making the 6pm news. We awareness on sustainable Take care and best wishes use it to sling shot our over Christmas Superstars! living and we firmly projects and prepare for

the inevitable disruption that the unpredictable climate will bring to all regions of the Earth. Its a big job becoming sustainable with your energy and water supplies but if you start prepping early it will reduce the problem down the track. Most Governments around the world are now insisting on a minimum of 72 hrs of supplies in your cupboards so the awareness is filtering through.

believe that by helping others make the necessary adjustments in preparing for climate change, we ultimately create a safe environment for all. 2013 has been a big year for the gang (pictured above in the Northern Territory) with thousands of travelers from all over the world coming to say gday and enjoy either an eco tour, star show or be part of our many events on offer.

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013

From all over Australia and the World,

kids are enjoying the wonderful displays at Earth Sanctuary. They are learning about the essential areas of Energy, Water, Shelter, Utilities, Food and Wellbeing. These are the key ingredients to getting started and we know everyone can make a difference!.

By Trenz Pruca

The Summer is kicking in at above 40 degrees and Joey has flown in from Melbourne to help start the Sanctuarys Quandong Homestead facelift. 20 years of extreme weather here in the Outback has buckled and twisted the timber around the Homestead calling for a rejuvenation package. At the completion of the job, Joey was just happy to walk around the old Homestead without puncturing a tire. Great work guys, plenty of work to go before the 2014 season, stay posted!

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


The Great Barrier Reef under threat by the short term management schemes of modern politics. By Janna Donaldson,

Australians all let us rejoice For we are young and free Weve golden soil and wealth for toil Our home is girt by sea Our land abounds in natures gifts Of beauty rich and rare To all Australians, how are we and future generations meant to sing our Australian anthem with dignity and respect when we continue to desecrate our countries natural gifts of beauty rich and rare? How can we as a nation be so short sighted to support the further expansion of the coal-mining industry and further destruction of the Great Barrier Reef including its unthinkable removal from the World Heritage list! Shame on the Australian Government and coal-mining capitalists who are trying to go ahead with the expansion of the mega coal mine industry and subsequent dredging of the G r e a t B a r r i e r Re e f a n d s h i p p i n g superhighways! If these plans go ahead they are not only dredging millions of cubic meters of seabed oor but will also be destroying an essential ecosystem that we all depend on for survival, including species that survive on and migrate through the Great Barrier Reef and the thousands of peoples jobs and livelihoods

within the QLD tourism industry, QLD shing and agriculture industries. The mining of coal and its export adds a huge burden to the carbon loading of our country. Coal is a natural resource that will run out within the next few decades. To jeopardise the Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the world's great wonders for a quick x short-term gain is nonsensical and verging on madness to the point of insane! It will take thousands of years to recover if at all! The destruction will lead to the extinction of many already vulnerable species that future generations of our children will not have the delight and amazement to experience. I urge all Australians again, please do not support the further expansion of the coalmining industry and further destruction of the Great Barrier Reef including the removal from the World Heritage list! We as a nation must start thinking long- term and start taking action in ways that will lead to sustainable natural resource management, human and environmental health and life longevity.

Janna Donaldson, Darwin NT

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


Japan Times, 18th December 2013

Tokyo Electric Power Co. ofcially declared Wednesday that the two reactors that suffered no major damage at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in the 2011 disaster are defunct, meaning the nation will have only 48 operable commercial reactors. With this decision, all of the plants six reactors will be classied as defunct, Tepco said in a press release following a meeting of its board. It is extremely regrettable that we hugely betrayed the local peoples trust due to the accident and are deeply ashamed of ourselves. Reactors 5 and 6 will be classied as defunct on Jan. 31, but instead of dismantling them, Tepco may use them as experimental facilities to support the challenging task of scrapping the three reactors that experienced meltdowns and the other one crippled by a hydrogen explosion. The public has been demanding that Tepco scrap both the Fukushima No. 1 and nearby Fukushima No. 2 plants. The utility has not made clear what it intends to do with the

four-reactor Fukushima No. 2 complex, located about 12 km south of the crisis-ridden Fukushima No. 1 facility. As new accounting rules regarding decommissioning came into force in October, Tepco is likely to avoid booking a large extraordinary charge for the current business year through next March due to a shortfall in funds for decommissioning. We are currently examining the impact of the latest decision on our accounting, Tepco said. After the Fukushima No. 1 plant was hit by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced core meltdowns. And the building housing reactor 4, which did not have fuel inside its core because it was under maintenance, was damaged by a hydrogen explosion. But reactors 5 and 6, which were also under maintenance at the time of the earthquake, achieved cold shutdowns through the use of an emergency diesel generator that avoided ooding. For more on this story visit

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


By Jonathan Amos, BBC

The bounce back in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic this summer was reected also in the volume of ice. Data from Europe's Cryosat spacecraft suggests there were almost 9,000 cu km of ice at the end of this year's melt season. This is close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012. It is a rare piece of good news for a region that has witnessed a rapid decline in both area cover and thickness in recent years. But scientists caution against reading too much into one year's "recovery". "Although the recovery of Arctic sea ice is certainly welcome news, it has to be considered against the backdrop of changes that have occurred over the last few decades," said Prof Andy Shepherd Greenland, where there is much more two-year-old and three-year-old ice than of University College London, UK. in previous years."One of the things "It's estimated that there were we'd noticed in our data was that the around 20,000 cu km of Arctic sea ice volume of ice year-to-year was not each October in the early 1980s, and so varying anything like as much as the ice today's minimum still ranks among the extent - at least for the years 2010, 2011 lowest of the past 30 years," he told and 2012," explained Rachel Tilling from the UK's Nerc Centre for Polar BBC News. Cryosat is the European Space Observation and Modelling (CPOM). "This is why we're really quite A g e n c y ' s ( E s a ) d e d i c at e d p o l a r surprised by what we've seen in monitoring platform. 2013."We didn't expect the greater ice It has a sophisticated radar system extent left at the end of the summer that allows scientists to work out the melt to be reected in the volume. thickness of the ice oes covering the "But it has been. And the reason is Arctic Ocean. related to the amount of multi-year ice In the three years following its in the Arctic." Dr Don Perovich is a sealaunch, the spacecraft saw a steady ice expert at Dartmouth College, US. decline in autumn ice volume, with a He said Cryosat's data tallied with record low of 6,000 cubic km being observations made by other spacecraft. recorded in late October 2012. "In previous summers, some of the But after a sharply colder summer this year, the autumn volume number [multi-year ice] migrated over to the Alaska and Siberia areas where it has gone up. Measurements taken in the same melted. But this past summer, it stayed three weeks in October found the oes in place because of a change in wind patterns. And so there'll likely be more to contain just shy of 9,000 cu km. multi-year ice next year than there was Thicker ice has been retained in the this year," he told BBC News. The minimum ice extent in the Arctic this Arctic Part of this stronger performance summer was recorded as 5.10 million sq can be put down to the greater retention km. Again, this was a gure almost 50% larger than the all-time satellite-low of older ice. This is evident particularly around mark achieved 12 months previously the Canadian archipelago and North when oes were reduced to just 3.41 million sq km by mid-September.

Area/extent is easier to measure, but scientists regard thickness/volume to be the best metric with which to judge the health of the ice pack, which is why Cryosat's unique data-set is so important. For a while, it was uncertain whether the European satellite would get any autumn measurements this year. The spacecraft suffered a major fault in its onboard power system at the beginning of October, and all science activity was halted. But engineers managed to switch the satellite over to a back-up system and normal operations were resumed on 11 October. "We lost the side 'A' of the power subsystem we believe for good, although we still have hope to be able to use part of it in the future in case we experience another issue," said Esa Cryosat mission manager Dr Tommaso Parrinello. "Since 2 October, we have been operating on the redundant chain, but all other subsystems are still being operated on their prime chain 'A'. Therefore, the science instruments and the quality of data have not been affected."

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013




By Volcano Discovery, 17th December, 2013

The Indonesian Volcanological Survey (VSI) informed in its latest press release that a signicant increase in seismic activity was detected during the past days. While the volcano has been relatively calm at the surface, producing only a dilute gas plume with some ash reaching about 1 km above the crater, the increase in earthquakes suggests that new magma is currently rising and could produce new (potentially large) explosions. In particular, low-frequency and so-called hybrid earthquakes, typical of uid movements inside the volcanic edice, have climbed to almost one 1000 per day. Continuous volcanic tremor (internal vibration) at medium levels has also been detected over the past days. Deformation measurements with tilt-meters on the northern and eastern

ank and EDM (electronic distance meters) show a uctuating trend of ination, suggesting the presence of an intruding magma body at shallow depth. Gas and temperature measurements are not conclusive from the VSI report, as quality / temporal coverage are insufcient. The exclusion zone was extended to 5 km radius, and the volcano remains on highest alert level and Aviation Color Code Red, because explosive eruptions with high-level ash clouds could occur any time. For more visit:

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


Opinion Piece by Michael Kennedy, ABC, 17th December 2013

The government has swiftly moved to dismantle several pieces of environmental protection. It looks like natural Australian places won't be getting any Christmas presents this year. In two ABC Environment opinion pieces this year, I wrote about a looming environmental crisis as the Coalition Government's new policies began to bite. I'd warned about the Government's plans to devolve their national environment powers to money-hungry state and territory governments and to remove Commonwealth protection for the Murray River. I'm afraid the news is not good; there will be no presents for the environment this Christmas. Let's start with the Murray-Darling River ecological communities debacle, as it epitomises the chronically conservative and biologically ignorant attitudes of the Abbott Government towards environmental management. The "River Murray and associated wetlands, oodplains and groundwater systems, from the junction of the Darling River to the sea", along with the "Wetlands and inner oodplains of the Macquarie Marshes" had been determined by the Commonwealth's Environment Minister's premier scientic advisory body to be two of the most "critically endangered" ecosystems in the entire country. However, on December 11, in the Federal Parliament, and at the behest of Environment Minister Greg Hunt and his Parliamentary Secretary Senator Simon Birmingham, the Members for Parkes and Barker respectively moved that the River Murray and Macquarie

Mar shes Commonwealth protections be disallowed, with the motions carried despite previous sound and rational defence of the listings by Labor MP and former Environment Minister Mark Butler and Greens MP Adam Bandt. Even for a long-term and hardened environmental lobbyist like me, it is hard to sit and listen to one Coalition MP after another lie before the House and then kill a crucial conservation initiative stone dead! I'm trying to imagine Environment Minister Greg Hunt's face-to-face with Professor Helene Marsh, Chair of the Threatened Species Scientic Committee (TSSC), telling her that he has chosen to take the advice of the National Irrigators Council over that of her own committee of unimpeachable scientists, and for the rst time since the enactment of the rst Commonwealth legislation to protect endangered species in 1992, reject the listing of two threatened ecological communities for purely political reasons. Minister Hunt has just broken the conventional system of scientic impartiality practiced by all previous Environment Ministers, who have accepted the advice of the TSSC since the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) came into force in 2000 and the Endangered Species Protection Act before it in 1993. The consequences for the performance of the TSSC, the Commonwealth Environment portfolio, and the effective protection of Australia's biological diversity will be surely felt in the negative. It is hard to stress too much how dangerous this precedent is. For more on this story visit:

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


By Eco Friendly Planet

More household waste is produced between Thanksgiving and New Years than any other time of the yearabout 6 million tons of added waste nationwide. Christmas is the most festive event of the year. No wonder there will be plenty of food, decorations, gifts and cards purchased to celebrate Christmas. The sad thing is, lots of them are wasted. The story of Christmas waste has become more and more surprising every year. Here are some staggering facts about the waste we every year make during Christmas: Waste from Christmas Trees. Fact: Each year, 50 million Waste from Christmas Gift Christmas trees are purchased in the Wrapping U.S. (Cygnus Group). Of those, about 30 million go to the landll. Fa c t : Wr a p p i n g p a p e r a n d (Environmental News Network). One shopping bags account for about 4 acre of Christmas trees produces the million tons of trash each year in the daily oxygen supply for 18 people. U.S. It is estimated that if every American family wrapped just three Hints: Buy potted Christmas tree presents in reused materials, it would so it still can produce oxygen all through save enough paper to cover 45,000 the years and you can use it for another football elds and if they reused just two Christmas. You can also plant it in your feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles garden. Alternatively, you can buy an of ribbon saved could tie a bow around articial Christmas tree that can be used t h e e n t i r e p l a n e t . D u e t o t h e year after year. This way you can materials( dyed, coated, laminated, signicantly cut your Christmas waste. plastic etc ) wrapping paper and ribbon are typically difcult to be recycled. Waste from Christmas Card Hints: Use reusable shopping bags Fact:! 2.65 billion Christmas cards when shopping for! Christmas presents. are sold each year in the United States, Use only used wrapping paper and that could ll a football eld 10 stories ribbon for your Christmas gifts or use high. If each American sent one card reusable containers to deliver them, less, 50,000 cubic yards of paper can be baskets, mugs, reusable shopping bags saved ( Use Less Stuff ). Every year etc. 200,000 trees will be cut down to make holiday cards. Waste From Food Christmas leftovers. There is another study that revealed that if we planted trees on land currently used to grow unnecessary surplus and wasted food, this would offset a theoretical maximum of 100% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Hints: Do not prepare excessive amounts of food to celebrate your Christmas. Food is organic compound, it will generate methane gas if the waste is not properly managed. Compost your food waste to help! our planet. Find some useful compost kits here. Hazardous Waste from the Christmas Gifts.

Consider to buy eco friendly gifts. According to EPA, about 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday s e a s o n . Re m e m b e r, i m p ro p e rl y discharge batteries might cause mercury pollution.

Hints: Send Electronic Christmas Hint: Buy gifts with rechargeable At least 28 billion pounds of edible Cards instead. food are wasted each year - or over 100 batteries instead of disposable ones. Recycle or reuse Christmas Cards pounds per person. (Use Less Stuff). It is you receive. For more visit: undoubtedly that the food waste is mounted during Christmas time as it is estimated that 400,000 people become 12/christmas-waste/ sick each year from eating tainted

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013



can maintain liquid water on its surface (also known as the Habitable Zone) are closer to them -- making such potentially habitable super-Earths in those regions more detectable. [6 Most Likely Places for Alien Life in the Solar System (Countdown)] Scientists also believe that these smaller stars are the most abundant in the sun's corner of the universe, implying super-Earths would be plentiful in our solar neighborhood, as well. Nader Haghighipour is a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the University of Hawaii-Manoa's Institute for Astronomy. Among his research interests is guring out how these worlds form, and most importantly, how they arrive in their current orbits. Some of his work hints that migrating giant planets could be responsible for the close-in orbits of smaller bodies. Their massive gravity could excite the rocks and protoplanetary debris on their paths and cause them to be scattered out of the system or coalesce into smaller planets such as super-Earths. "When giant planets approach the central star, especially around an M-dwarf, I'm interested in how they affect accretion of small planetesimals in a disc in front of them and how that will result in the formation of super-Earths, particularly in the habitable zone," Haghighipour said. For more on this story visit:

By Elizabeth Howell,, 13th December 2013

Our solar system hosts a cornucopia of worlds, from the hellre of Venus to the frozen plains of Mars to the mighty winds of Uranus. In that range, the Earth stands alone, with no planet coming close to its life-friendly position near the sun. Outside our solar system, however, it's a different story. Observations using space-based and ground-based telescopes have indicated that a new class of objects dubbed super-Earths worlds that are about two to 10 times our planet's mass and up to two times its radius could be among the most common type of planets orbiting other stars. That's because during the past few years, astronomers have found plenty of these supersized rocky bodies orbiting different types of stars. Among these planetary systems, those around Mclass stars, which are cooler and fainter than our sun, are particularly important. Because of the low surface temperatures of these stars, the regions around them where an Earth-like planet


Date of Discovery: December 2013 Location of Discovery: Earths Orbit Photo Date: Unknown Source: ISD/highres/STS106/STS106-314-20_4.JPG Date of Sighting: October/December 2013 Location of Sighting: Brooks Mountain Range, Alaska, USA Source: http:// Date of Sighting: December 13, 2013 Location of Sighting: Tijuana, Mexico Date of Sighting: December 15, 2013 Location of Sighting: ! Volcano Popocatepetl, Mexico

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


forced to spend their short lives crammed inside battery cages where they cannot even stretch their wings. Avoiding cage eggs is crucial, but there's more to this story: laying hens in! all! production systems are killed when their egg production wanes years before their natural life expectancy resulting in millions of chicks being hatched each year to replace them. Only female chicks are required for egg production, which means millions of unwanted male chicks are! gassed or ground up alive ! each year as 'waste products' of the egg industry. This is why many animal lovers are choosing to purchase! egg alternatives! that are available at supermarkets. Consider your milk. Avid dairy drinkers may nd it difcult to imagine that the benign milk carton is harbouring a dark secret. But the truth is, cows don't automatically produce milk. Like all mammals, cows only lactate after giving birth. To sustain high milk ow dairy cows are impregnated each year. The resultant newborn calves are taken from their grieving mothers and the cows milk harvested for human consumption. Close to 1 million unwanted dairy calves are slaughtered each year at around 5 days of age. Given the ethics of this practice its not surprising that soy milks, oat milks, rice milks and other dairy alternatives are gaining popularity among caring consumers. Send a feedback email urging your local supermarket to end their support of factoryfarmed meat and eggs in favour of more humane alternatives. Spare a thought for lab animals. Millions of animals suffer immensely in needless product testing experiments. Look for household cleaning products and cosmetics that are not tested on animals. For more visit:

By Animals Australia

Helping animals doesn't have to be complicated, time-consuming, or even expensive. It's about being informed and making simple, every-day choices that can free animals from suffering and abuse. The rst step is knowing which choices to make. AT THE SUPERMARKET The humble act of grocery shopping provides the single greatest opportunity to vote against animal cruelty. Every time you shop, there are important decisions to make: Factory farms still exist because unwitting shoppers purchase their products. If you disagree with conning intelligent pigs in crates so small they can't turn around; or performing surgical procedures on animals without pain relief, then the choice is simple: join the growing number of Australians who refuse to buy factory-farmed products. If you haven't already, nd the meat-free section of the supermarket and try out some of the new products that are reaching the Australian market such as mock mince, pig-free 'bacon' and veggie roasts. Opting for cruelty-free alternatives is the single best way to ensure that farm animals who have been excluded from critical animal cruelty laws are protected from abuse. Think twice about eggs. It's becoming common knowledge that most egg-laying hens are

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013


By Sustainable Living Australia

Sustainable living is an amalgam of lifestyle choices made with the intention of adapting world sustainability models to the scale of a household or family. Many individuals who practice sustainable living have formed communities and neighbourhoods of like-minded individuals who support each other in their efforts. The goal of sustainable living is to reduce the vast carbon footprint left behind through modern life. While some see sustainable living as a step backward technologically, the fact is that many who practice this lifestyle do so through the use of some of the most advanced technology available. Dening Sustainable Living The basic philosophy of sustainable living is to lead a lifestyle in tune with the symbiotic nature of life and the Earth. Those who practice sustainable living ultimately seek to use the natural principles of ecology to live in the environment without taking anything from it that cant be replaced. Adapting the more general tenets of sustainability to personal lifestyle choices is seen as a small but important step in developing a larger society that can live in harmony with the Earth so that the human race and all life can continue to survive together into the indenite future. Factors of Sustainable Living Three basic, yet critical, factors exist and are necessary for sustainability to work: social, economic, and environmental. Of these three factors, environmental is the most encompassing. Social and economic sustainability rely on environmental stability. Social sustainability relies only on the environment, while economic sustainability relies on both social and environmental stability. These factors can also be represented by a Venn diagram whereby each meets with each other and all three meet in the centre. When social and environmental factors come together, bearability is achieved. When economic and environmental factors come together, viability is achieved. When social and economic factors come together, equitability

is achieved. Only when all three factors come together is true sustainability achieved. History of Sustainable Living Sustainability has been a part of human knowledge since the rst days of agriculture, thousands of years ago, when it was noticed that crops depleted the soil. As cities grew, examples of the depletion of natural resources presented themselves, and practices of sustainability grew. Sustainable living as a personal lifestyle choice is thought to have originated in the 19th century. In the early 1800s, as the industrial revolution began in Britain, the Luddites posited that some forms of technology were inherently bad because of the drawbacks witnessed. In 1854, Henry David Thoreau, American naturalist and author of Walden, became the rst person to write directly about sustainable living. One hundred years later, the modern sustainable living movement was spearheaded by Scott and Helen Nearing, who published the persuasive book entitled Living the Good Life. Another book, The Limits to Growth, written in 1972 by Donella Meadows, pushed the need for sustainable living and reached more people than any other work before it. The book was translated into 28 languages and sold several million copies worldwide. Early in the 21st century, several government committees and United Nations conferences focused on promoting sustainable living through practical lifestyle choices. Lifestyle Categories for Sustainable Living Because sustainable living is about making lifestyle choices in the modern world, it is more easily accomplished by breaking down the requirements of living and living in society into six separate categories. These categories represent all of the areas in which sustainable living lifestyle choices must be made. The lifestyle categories for sustainable living include the following: shelter, power, food, transportation, water, and waste.

PLANETLIFE 21 December 2013

Emergency Management
Long-Term Food Supply With a shelf life of up to 25 years, Wise Companys ready-made foods are high-quality and easy to use if a disaster strikes. For more information or to purchase these great packages, contact Daniel Falzon at the Earth Sanctuary (NT) on +61 (0)412 933 352.

Ultimate Preppers Package

1-Year food supply for 2 adults (1,440 servings) Normal Price $4,236.00 Prepper Price $4,065.00

Deluxe Preppers Package

1-Year food supply for 1 adult (720 servings) Normal Price $2,253.99 Prepper Price $2,088.00

Essential Preppers Package

4-Month food supply for 1 adult (240 servings) Normal Price $808.00 Prepper Price $697.0