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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

It’s not the fossils, it’s the fools 

Latest News

Is polluting a lake in a national park to support new housing ok?

From Byron Bay to Evans Head to Casino the questions about how we deal with what is politely termed ‘effluent’, and how that may or may not destroy our local environment, demand real and urgent answers.

Other News

A pawn in AUKUS

Xi’s defensive ‘ring of steel’ comment, aimed at his domestic audience, clearly suggests that the US is being characterised...

Goodbye to an inspiring scientist, activist and friend

Mary’s influence on me as a local activist, and later councillor, was profound – she opened my eyes to how water courses through and shapes this place.

Bulga Forest logging ‘suspended’

The NSW Forestry Corporation has changed the status of a contentious area of Bulga Forest from ‘active’ to ‘suspended’.

And Still I Sing

Ballina Region for Refugees is holding a fundraising screening at Byron Theatre next Wednesday to raise urgently needed funds for their community resettlement program. The film is And Still I Sing, an extraordinary documentary by Afghan filmmaker, Fazila Amiri. 

Missing woman located – Tweed Heads

A woman reported missing from Tweed Heads on Tuesday, 21 March, 2023 has been located safe and well.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A fluid God

Why is the ultra-right targeting trans kids? Opportunistic neo-Nazis are using transphobia as their PR exercise. Like abortion, trans issues, and in particular issues around schools and the rights of trans kids, are emotionally charged. For those who have chosen bigotry and fear over acceptance and inclusion, polarised viewpoints create ignition points for hate and violence.

Humans have been muddling along in cities for around twelve thousand years, says Wikipedia, although if you count using an alphabet of some kind as the criterion of civilisation, the time span drops to a mere fifty centuries.

Still, long enough for the swirl of politics, religion, economics, art, philosophy, science and sheer accident to shake us all up in the cosmic blender, with no sign of purpose or design.

But fifty years ago a new ingredient appeared in the historical flux. 

Nobody in the previous fifty centuries had been able to predict the future, owing to the vast and chaotic variables involved. However, if one variable were to grow dominant and overpower all other possibilities, the shape of the future might indeed be discerned.

That variable is the manifest damage we are doing to the planet. All the rest of our activities, our achievements, hopes and plans, life itself, are as nothing compared to the apparently irresistible current sweeping us into an ever-narrowing channel, which even the blindest oracle can predict will end in destruction.

Until we became numerous enough and powerful enough to foul the sky and poison the sea, the damage humans did, however disastrous, was insignificant on a planetary scale. 

The Romans extended the Sahara Desert by over-farming North Africa. 

Americans exterminated the buffalo and the passenger pigeon and made a dustbowl of the prairies. The Soviets destroyed the Aral Sea with intensive irrigation and industrial pollution, and thousands of other local environmental tragedies have played out in history, through greed or necessity, and usually through ignorance.

The difference now is that we are not ignorant, and the damage is no longer local. The danger of ecological systems collapsing worldwide has been known to scientists and politicians for fifty years. 

It has also been known for fifty years to the owners of oil, gas and coal industries. 

Today, everyone knows the principal reason for this potential collapse is the Greenhouse Effect – the heating of the atmosphere and the oceans through burning fossil fuels.

What changed human affairs a few decades ago was not the onset of the Greenhouse Effect. 

What changed was not even the power to destroy the world; that power has existed since atomic weapons were invented. Fortunately, nobody’s pockets would be lined by their use, so they have remained an unexecuted threat.

What changed was that a tiny number of people decided that increasing their own wealth was more important than the survival of humans and other species on this planet.

Admittedly, nobody else in history has ever been presented with this choice. 

Even the most brutal Mongol or Conquistador did not think that their invasions would destroy the world. 

But the creatures who own and run the fossil fuel companies made the decision to fight science, humanity and common decency just so that they could profit from extracting every last barrel of oil and tonne of coal from the earth before it burns away.

Because it just looks like business as usual, the essential evil of these people is disguised, although their crimes against humanity are many times greater than those of Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot.

While they count their, largely untaxed, profits they encourage governments to enact ever more punitive laws against protest and dissent, and in the meantime they build bunkers and buy islands to escape to when society breaks down.

Dante imagined levels of Inferno for treachery, fraud and violence, and he placed Satan, frozen, in the centre of Hell. But imagination fails to conjure a suitable fate for those who consciously choose to destroy the Earth rather than give up one cent of pocket change.

David Lovejoy, Echo co-founder

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  1. And on it goes from the Fossil Fuel Industry, crying for even more $’s help ( on top of the already $’s10billions pa subsidies ) from the government, ie the taxpayer, as they finally have to face up to actioning in the process of decarbonisation.
    The Fossil Fuel Industry, they’ve had it so good for so long with Abbot/Turnbull/Morrison running protection for them but it has come to an end.
    Did the Fossil Fuel Industry not think that the COALition would lose an election?

    • Yes you Joachim have also had it good for how long
      With your reliance on fossil fuels !! ⛽️
      Your welcome !.. oh i forgot how many trillions
      on renewables worldwide in the past 20 years ?result ? The the reliance on hydrocarbon’s
      Worldwide down from 85% to 83 % …
      Net Zero will NOT happen this century and to suggest otherwise is false information…

  2. Thinking about electric vehicle purchase 🤔
    The batteries in a electric car weigh about
    500k . To make a car battery of this type, you need
    To process 10 tonnes of salt for the required lithium, 15 tonnes of ore for the required cobalt,
    Two tonnes of copper ore . In total you have to process 200 tonnes of soil to make one single battery. As if that wasn’t enough, this pollutes more than a petrol/ diesel car dos in 20 years of normal
    Consumption. Not to mention the “child exportation ” during the production of mining Cobalt… got one yet Joachim ?

    • Hello Barrow, lovely to see you back. Not so lovely is you back in your usual form.
      Fossil Fuels, yes we’ve grown up with the ‘wonder energy’ but we’ve known since the late 1970’s – thank you to Exxon and your team of scientists – that burning fossil fuels isn’t so wonderful.

      Barrow, thank you for your concern about my reliance on fossil fuels but here’s a couple of minor details to ease your angst;
      – I have rooftop home solar that exports more electricity than I need to use for myself, so you very welcome enjoying my excess ‘green electrons’ for the last 16 years.
      – Making assumptions can be dangerous at times and this is gonna hurt you real bad when you read, I don’t own or drive a motor vehicle, never have, never intend to. So, “got one yet Joachim ?”, you have the answer.

      On the Net Zero business, that thing called Science which you deny all the time, is quite clear – Net Zero 2035.
      I probably won’t be around to see it but for my nephews and nieces sake, it had better happen if they want to live on a planet that has been inviting for human habitation as we have sort of known it.

  3. This is a very dangerous idea. The notion that a tiny number of people have the fate of the planet in their hands. It absolves the rest of us from the responsibility of having any choices in this situation. It’s ok for us all to demand our air conditioning, our SUVs, our iphones our European holidays, our fast fashion because we’re all just unwitting pawns in the games of others and we apparently have no agency.

    • People don’t want to understand how the cons work, they just want dramatic fairy stories that they can virtue signal about.


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