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Byron Shire
November 27, 2021

How I learned to stop worrying and love climate change

Latest News

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The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

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The Ballina Region for Refugees were part of a nationwide event on the weekend – a 5-kilometre fundraising walk on a drizzly, grey Sunday, but with spirits undampened. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Coming out of the Cave

It was 2018, and in this crisis we witnessed the best that the world can be. We all watched in nervous anticipation as cave diving hobbyists from around the world became experts in a rescue never before attempted. It showed the power of collaboration for a higher purpose. It showed true courage; of the men who risked their lives in the complex underground maze of caves, of the boys who maintained the most incredible calm, and of the parents who never gave up hope.

Vale Mullumbimbian, Noel Ernest James

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According to the End COVID For All campaign the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in Botswana, most likely to be called 'Nu', underlines the need for Australia to step up its contribution to co-oridnated global efforts to prevent the virus’ spread and mutation.

Donald Trump – here’s laughing at you…

Mandy Nolan

The biggest threat to the planet isn’t fossil fuels. It’s fossil fools. Or as they are more commonly known: climate-change denialists.

They’re dangerous, and there’s no amount of carbon offset that neutralises their impact. Unless you club them individually with a piece of wood. You have to offset them pretty hard. They’re like cockroaches. When the whole world has burned to a cinder, there will just be climate-change denialists walking around going, ‘See, told you it was bullshit’.

A little imagination

Like any good conspiracy theory someone had to concoct it. I imagine eminent physicist and Princeton professor William Happer, Donald Trump, and oil lobbyist Jim Inhofe sitting around one night at Trump Towers pulling a few bongs going, ‘this whole environment thing is bad for business… renewables suck… too much grid sharing – people can’t generate and share power – that’s socialism!’

Then one of them coughs out some smoke and says, ‘let’s say it’s not happening!’

They fall on the floor laughing. Trump is clutching his furry orange belly. ‘Let’s say… the science isn’t real’. ‘Let me say that,’ shouts Professor Happer… he doesn’t have his pants on. ‘I’m a scientist. They’ll believe me!’

This makes Trump wee himself just a little with excitement. Jim says, ‘I’ll take a snowball into the senate… to prove it still gets cold – that shit really confuses dumb people!’

They all sit around high-fiving each other, then Trump’s face is serious for a moment. He says, ‘I’ll save us seats on the rocket out of here when we go to Earth2’.

Nothing to see here

Climate-change denialists don’t believe we’re in trouble. They say the climate’s changed before. They say that Antarctica is gaining ice. That extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming. That sea-level rises are exaggerated.

They don’t believe the science that says we’re screwed. Denialists basically believe that someone has made up the whole climate-change thing to sell solar panels. And wind turbines. Because someone out there is really profiteering from this whole end-of-the-world thing. We just can’t work out who that is.

The scariest thing about climate-change denial is that it’s created and endorsed by people who actually know it’s bullshit. It is a conversation disruptor.

Climate-change denial is clever, self-perpetuating conspiratorial ‘it’s a hoax’ style propaganda for the fossil-fuel industry so they can stay operational until corporations work out how to make renewables pay the same kind of dividends oil does.

You hear of coal barons. Oil barons. You don’t hear of solar barons. Wind-farm barons.

Facts aren’t relevant

Climate-change denial has nothing to do with facts. It has to do with people’s desire to be unrelenting in their beliefs. In their capacity to resist change. In not wanting to admit that we human beings and the way we have lived life on Earth are about to kill life on Earth. We are the amoebas in a petrie dish, shitting and fucking and breeding until we’re extinct.

Denial is the classic response of any addict. In this case we have a culture hooked on fossil fuels and consumption so, rather than change, the strategy is to pretend it isn’t happening.

I find putting your fingers in your ears and going la la la helps. If you’re in a coastal property that’s about to be inundated, just put on some floaties and tell yourself it’s normal.

The funniest thing about climate-change denial is that it doesn’t matter how much they deny the science – right now and in the very near future, shit is going to get very bloody real.

This article is from The Echo‘s eleventh annual sustainability supplement Sustainability 2019 – hints for living a sustainable life. Check it out for more great tips for those who would like to tread lightly on this planet.

More articles from Sustainability 2019:

Local councils taking action on the climate crisis

Local councils are on the front line of managing resources and the environment and are in a position to implement practical on-the-ground changes to protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and plan for the impacts of the changing climate.


Power to the people: take the climate crisis into your own...

If you had to walk a kilometre to pump your water from a well, do you think you would be careful how many drops you used?


Been thinking about going off the grid? Here’s some firsthand advice

Thinking about going off grid? ‘Do it!’, says local filmmaker David Lowe.


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  1. So the byron shire council has declared a GLOBAL Warming emergency..well let us give you some advice council!! You have a pothole Emergency thats been under your watch .you dare spend one dollar of the 20k allocated for something that dos not exist .in the byron shire…and the push back will be relentless!!! .so can anyone please explain, what, has become so dire in the shire ? Hurry take cover !!! Its going to rain …take cover the suns out !! Whats so different about weather patterns in the shire today ? Its called climate change..it rains one day ..and sunny the next …most of the custodians of our lands ..that i have spoken to here , in the pilbra , and Alice springs.. don’t seem to have a issue with Global warming….guess they would know a thing or two regarding weather patterns, would they not ? around 60.000 years of knowledge …so who are we to preach Global warming to these eco warriors, ultimate environmentalist…are they to denialists Mandy ??? By the way if its possible to wean yourself away from this Global Warming hysteria Mandy …japan are about to resumed the slaughter of 275 eco warriors of the oceans in the name of science..!! so all you protesters get to WORK get your banners out for a worthy cause …now thats what i would call a EMERGENCY!! echo could you please bring this to your loyal readers attention..

  2. Aside from a bit of overreach in the article, the climate change “problem” goes way beyond climate change deniers. Society is full of us consumers buying bigger vehicles (SUV’s and dual-cabs), cars with bigger and more powerful engines (“really, you need a car with a 6 litre engine?); bigger houses than we need with no eaves and reliance on air-conditioning; bigger TV’s, bigger fridges, more expensive holidays to far flung destinations; millions every year crowding onto cruise ships that cross the globe and pump out more pollution than a small city; foods where the “food mile” cost is significant and growing (why are we left to buy crap food made in China and imported to fill the gap left by prime quality Australian food products being exported to China?). Sure, more have solar systems, but the aim is to buy more power more cheaply, not to change our behaviours and use less energy (wait 5 to 10 years when people discover their solar system is now less efficient and needs to be upgraded – how manydead solar panels will go into landfill). Of course we want governments to deliver cheap power unto us so we can continue to gorge – but we all have a role in a society that wants to continue to revel in cheap power.

  3. Right on Mandy ! and to folks who don’t think there’s a climate emergency, feel free to protest to protect whales and the million other species headed for extinction, I’m fine with that. Plenty of protesting for everyone, no need to argue. Extinction Rebellion !

  4. There have been at least three major extinction events in the history of the planet. The extinction of dinosaurs led to the rise of mammals. So i think that the extinction of humans on this planet will not be the end of the history of the world . Perhaps it would be for the better and nature has a way of keeping checks and balances . So is it just a human thing to think that the extinction of one species , homo sapiens is the worst thing that could happen, perhaps it will be the salvation of many other species. There were billions of years when there were no homo sapiens on this planet and everything seemed to go along alright , so maybe extinction would be just another case of nature following it,s normal pattern.

    • Yeh, I like that idea. Who says homo sapiens is the be all & end all? We’ve had our chance & we’ve blown it! That’s justice. That’s karma.

  5. Bewitched-bothered & bewildered climate change
    deniers will eventually wake up. The ‘pollies in
    power’ know the time of reckoning is close on
    their heels so they split their investments; just a
    little trickle in coal, & the rest? Ah, that’s secret
    government member’s business. The rise of
    Extinction Rebellion… it’s needed. Calm,
    knowing & kind.

  6. Brilliant Mandy! & hilarious as always.
    Ill never be able to get the picture of Trumps furry orange tummy out my head now.
    The very well financed & organized F. Fuel industry IS behind the international climate denial blitz (lookup US Heartland Foundation)
    But I must disagree with the above comment about human extinction being “just nature following it’s normal pattern”
    Previous extinctions have never happened as incredibly quickly as the present one.
    No one species has ever buggered up the environment SO badly for EVERY OTHER SPECIES. This is not nature – this is human greed and this is outside of any “natural rebalancing” that the Earth has faced in the past.

  7. “Unless you club them individually with a piece of wood. You have to offset them pretty hard.”

    Advocating violence against people that don’t agree with you. Perhaps you should hire some rail cars to force them into.

  8. How any right minded person can deny climate change in our present situation is unbelievable .
    But unfortunately the climate change isn’t the only problem. Another huge problem is population , it took mankind over 150,000 years to reach 1billion in 1800 , it took only another 100 years to reach 2billion , it took only an other 100 to reach 8 billion , that’s 2x2x2 in 100 years , if we carry on like that 8x8x 8 is 512 Billion the planet can’t sustain 50 billion . So yes carry on burning your fossil fuels and driving your V8 cars because in 100 years Its all over , for the human race , well most of it , and I wouldn’t want to be one of the last few million left.
    The planet will carry on , very happily once we are gone . And get back to some normality without us interfering .

  9. ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. Isn’t
    it called ‘divide & rule?’ What a bugger-up
    batch of brute-biting moralising morons we
    have who expect us to grovel & swallow
    their pitiful untruths day in day out. Who
    or what inspired the Aussie public to vote
    LNP! Yes – Labor’s love-lost ‘can’t lose’
    leader & trash pulp-fiction being spat out
    by all media forms. Even a mud maggot
    could predict this outcome. Still, the
    public bought it. Shame.


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