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Byron Shire
July 4, 2022

Where were you when extinction happened?

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Murray Muzz Drechsler has joined the Extinction Rebellion holacracy. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

Veteran environmental campaigner Murray Muzz Drechsler has joined the Extinction Rebellion holacracy, in an effort to make governments at every level sit up and take notice as the climate crisis becomes the climate emergency.

Drechsler says that Extinction Rebellion (XR) will be holding the Byron Shire Council accountable for their actions.

‘They have declared a climate emergency but they haven’t acted upon it. Not only have they not acted on it, they are going to clear critically endangered wetland rainforest for a bypass. That’s not going to happen.’

Drechsler says the bypass isn’t the only local issue, he says the situation at Tallows Beach needs to be addressed. ‘There have been several fish kills at Tallows and one at Belongil. You’d think after three of four fish kills they would know what was going to happen.’

Mayor Simon Richardson says that the actions that have created the climate emergency have been decades in the making. ‘It will not take months to solve them. We all need strong determination and commitment to tackle these problems and we can do this by resisting the actions that are creating the problems and so we need those committed to resist the problems to do so.’

Mr Richardson says that Council is currently along the path of establishing a 5MW solar farm are by far the biggest for this area and most of NSW. ‘We are also along the path of establishing a bioenergy facility, which will be the first in Australia. We also resisted the push to lose the use of our transport corridor for mass transport and council’s funded feasibility study on the rail corridor has shown that both a rail shuttle and bike path are both possible and viable. They estimate just using shuttles to get to our markets and festivals alone will take over 700,000 cars off the road each year.

‘All three of these projects are head and shoulders above what is happening elsewhere. And we are looking to do far more.

‘Our work in improving fish migration along the length of the Brunswick River through removing causeways and upgrading them with bridges and our riparian river bank work both have huge benefits for native fish and speaking to a Fisheries employee relayed to me the other day that Byron is doing more in this area than any other council he knows of in NSW and we should be promoting our successes in this more. 

‘A progressive council in the Northern Rivers is the least of the planet’s problems and though we are far from perfect, we are trying hard within the confines of our powers to try and lead our community in areas we can.’

Drechsler says the reason why we are facing extinction on a planetary scale, including humans, is because we are constantly putting money before people and people before nature.‘We’ve got it arse-about which is why we are looking at the end of it all.’

Drechsler says there will be a few interesting actions including a die-in and a die-out. ‘There will be a lot of information available on the day. Extinction is a serious thing. We’re looking at one million species becoming extinct in the next few years, then more on top of that and humans within 50 years – if we’re lucky.’

Mayor Richardson says we need those who are committed to creating solutions to the problems to do so; as it is only through creating alternatives and applying solutions that we will ever step back from the brink. ‘We who are committed probably have parts of both these responses in us, though most have a dominant impulse; mine is to try and create solutions and this requires bringing people together and at times, compromising to find ways to move forward.

‘Resisting change requires little compromise but on the other hand, can polarise us and it is the polarisation and division in our societies that is a cause of much of our problems.

‘As an old activist myself I look at some new groups with envy, as it is empowering to have a steely unwavering focus standing on a stage or in front of something and saying no.  

‘Regardless of whether one focuses on the problems, or focuses on the solutions, it is crucial they each see each other as necessary and don’t dissipate energy by attacking each other.

‘There are plenty of others who are neither resisting change nor seeking solutions and they would be better targets for both sides to try and influence. Those individuals and organisations resisting aren’t perfect, and nor are individuals and organisations seeking solutions, including Byron Shire Council, but we all need to keep being committed, and accept that our perfection is a luxury for which the planet cannot afford to wait.

Drechsler says we are living in a life threatening situation. ‘This is an emergency. We need to treat this as an emergency and do things we normally wouldn’t do. It’s crunch time. People say “When shit gets real I’ll be there”, well, shit’s real.’

Drechsler feels it has taken a Greta Thunberg, a 16 year-old to make it real. ‘We need to treat this as if the house is burning, because it is and it’s everybody’s fight. In 50 years time there will be no “Where were you when extinction happened?”, we’re not going to be here. We’re screwed – that’s what extinction means. It’s the end.’

If you want your say on the climate emergency, XR will meet in the park outside the council chambers in Mullumbimby this Friday from 9am for a peaceful family picnic.

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  1. Veteran of what ?? Its a insult to pur defence forces….who the hell are you mate !! You wont be holding the Byron Shire council responsible for anything!! They dont have any money …the only money they have is what rate payers give them …Are you a rate payer Mr Veteran? Paid 70k of my taxes last year to support welfare!! ..for this crap !! …and i will be making a phone call … to address it ..yes we do have a EMERGENCY in the shire ..and its NOT climate change!! Its a pothole Emergency, homeless Emergency!! As i said the pushback from the Rate Payers WILL be relentless if this current council spends one dollar on this climate change nonsense…their are far more pressing issues that need to be addressed and HOW …

    • “…climate change nonsense…”, onya Burrow old son. Just deny,deny,deny and The Climate Emergency will not not happen. Your squawking doesn’t replace the Science.

      • Listen here captain planet, global warming is a hoax….this paranoia, propaganda, is out of control….the discoloration of the reef is a normal.. process…ask peter Ridd …scientist…about the reef …but he got sacked for having a different view on the reef …nothing unusual..speak out against the science and do it at your own peril….trillions of dollars have been invested in renewables around the world, and investors are on the war path to get rid of fossil fuels at any cost !!!! The IPCC are heavily invested in renewables around the world…..and all you have to do is spread this propaganda regarding Global warming….and BINGO …..the climate council of Australia.. heavily invested as individuals in renewables ….FLANNERY has ? He is a laughing stock of the world…and his mates who predicted all that bullshit..surely with those famous predictions..there would be some consequences…but no because not one of those predictions have ever have come true!! They pulled back from anymore for over a decade..now they are back ..hoping we have forgotten…dont think so ..”.get a mirror at the end of your bed “captain planet” and wake up to yourself “its not to late

  2. Murray, you’ve hit it on the knocker…..and
    ‘waking up’ shouldn’t be all that hard to do
    but it’s getting tougher all the time. Greed
    and common sense don’t intermingle.
    Some of us have fought this for years
    as you’d know.

  3. Sadly these people are not just involved in climate change, they’re out to destroy the entire politico/economic system. I put them in the same category as Antifa.

  4. Right on the money, Barrow and Ron. It won’t take 50 years for Mr Dreschler to realise the climate warmers have been duped by what will turn our to be the hoax of the century.

    • Hoaxed and duped, you talking about the deniers like your self. Time for you to catch up. You been duped by current day Fossil Fuel lobbyists and Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda leaflets pretending to be newspapers. Exxon’s own scientists knew decades ago about burning Fossil Fuels and the catastrophe for the climate. The Fossil Fuel Industry is running the playbook of years ago spun out by Big Tobacco ( smoking is good for you ) Big Asbestos ( asbestos is a great and safe product to use) Big Chemical ( DDT, Agent Orange in the past and today Glyphosate, they all perfectly safe ). Please feel free to ignore the Science on The Climate Emergency just like Health was ignored in the past….the cost of denial comes back with interest.

  5. Strange you’d say that, Ron. There’s
    not a day that passes in this land
    where unrest & control does not hurt
    its people & its once upon a time
    great future. Antifa: Anti-Fascist ie.,
    anti-Hitler. Anti-Mussolini – Aussies
    have always been anti-Fascist &
    rightly so. We fought against the
    Neo Nazis & White Supremacy.
    Where on earth does you thinking
    come from!

  6. All power to the solution makers. There are so many people working on the multiple solutions to climate change, species extinction and neoliberalism. We need protests, but more than that we need solutions.

  7. Denis, I’d like to believe Climate Emergency was a hoax.
    It’s not. Instead it’s pay-back-time for civilisation to grow
    up & stop snivelling & or attacking each other. Why is
    it that our ‘stuffed-up society’ believes the earth owes
    us a living! The earth owes us nothing – it’s not our
    lying over-controlling government; earth is not about
    vandalising us & often treating the population as if
    we’re all fools or disrespecting the aged, the young,
    those in need of housing & medical services. Think
    about it. Place the blame where it belongs – ie; those
    who want to be catered to – “Who wants to be a
    Millionaire” & damn the rest of society. High paying
    jobs [coal, fracking etc.] plus the companies & the
    governments that support them. Wacko sick &
    non-caring laws imposed on anyone who does not
    do as they are told. I remember my grandson
    singing ‘It’s A Small World After All’ aged 4. Well
    it’s gotten smaller – small minds are sucking it dry &
    you can’t excuse my knowing superstitions – it’s no
    longer ‘all for one’, is it… ? Grown-up humans –
    so many of us are not!

  8. Ron and Barrow are like those two old mupets in the theatre gallery… thankfully your bigoted comments represent the loud minority in the Northern Rivers region..How about you get up off the coach and stop watching SkyNews…STOP believing all the Murdoch lies that these corporations pay Channel Nine for… SkyNews is a fully funded apparatus of mass propaganda for the National Party and its Oil, Gas and Coal corporate donors, who only care about one thing, and that’s their bottom line…why do you think Campbell Newman is on every single “expert” panel every time you turn on Channel Nine News??..Paid lobbyists can take many forms, they can be in Canberra bubble buying favor from politicians and law makers, they can be chief editors on mainstream media, or they can be National Party local members.

    You two are clearly rusted-on National Party voters who think its your born right to com-modify nature and use the earth and forests as a means to get a few quick dollars by raping this land for foreign corporations to take offshore and use as venture capital to make more money on the funny-money futures market..well you have overlooked that facts that this land was stolen…it was here for many thousands of years and then Royal Britania the Imperial scammers, came along and brain-washed simpletons like you two to carry out “land improvements” which basically meant leveling everything and sending all the timber to the motherland, and killing off all the local people and their animals totems..Who gave you the right to destroy the air water and forests and make the mega rich even richer?..we may all enslaved by corporations who are hell-bent on destroying the planet to make a few quick bucks, the only difference between you and me is that you are in denial of the facts,…Look around you our only home Planet Earth is dying…and the potholes won’t get fixed by allowing the big end of town to come in and extract all the minerals and level the forests, nor will a $24 million dollar bypass to nowhere.. which is effectively going to convert 10 acres of protected SEPP 14 coastal wetland into very expensive inner-city Byron Bay real estate…Yes folks the Bypass is a sneaky land grab by the National Party and Villa World, who are now a fully-owned subsidiary of AVID Property Group, who are in turn owned by the US venture capital company “Proprium Capital Partners”…look it up its all online.

  9. Being ex Army I recognise that the word veteran is not owned by Defence and if someone feels they’re paying too much tax then look into tax minimisation strategies. I am all for paying to live in this lucky country however we also need to educate when we hand out money. Teaching people to fish is a much more sustainable strategy.
    And I too wish that we did not have a climate emergency on our hands. BUT WE DO!

    I can’t seem to post the picture of the calculation I did in August last year where in a 24 hour period the 7 billion people on the planet, with their body heat alone, turned 24.5 million tons of water to steam. It took me 10 minutes to do the calculation and in that time the population of the world grew by 1500 people so God knows how much heat we produce in a 24 hour period now. And that was just our body heat! It doesn’t include any fossil fuel burning! I’m starting to get a little frustrated but can understand the ignorance. It wasn’t until 2010 that I started researching it. Before that I was ignorant as well.

    Very happy to have a more detailed discussion, especially involving people in their 90s who have seen the radical changes. If you are denying climate change then please bring the people on the ground who have seen it NOT CHANGE over the decades. I doubt you will find one whereas my Marine engineer father had to calculate how much ice would melt from their steamships. And in the 1960s an American fossil fuel company boasted how the energy they produce in 24 hours can melt ice that took millions of years to form. And what’s the worst that can happen if we live more sustainably? We have a better planet. So what if we’re wrong? The changes we are suggesting are better for all anyway. So that’s my rant. For anyone who wants to visit my beautiful 300 acres south west of Casino please get in touch and I’ll show you some more research.

    • Some very good points Larissa !! However this propaganda regarding Global warming really is out of control… we in Australia do not have a climate emergency as suggested..even Allan Finkel lead scientist for the Government …came to the conclusion that even if all Australians turned of the electricity supplies…parked the cars in the garage that it would make no difference ..Australia’s contribution to Global Warming is but 1.5 percent of the worlds pollution, issues , overall Larissa not one scientist world wide in the past 50 years has had one prediction come true …this is part of the reason iam so skeptical? And yes booming population’s worldwide is not helping and do agree …larrissa if you have some interesting research…happy to view it …


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