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Byron Shire
September 29, 2023

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Big Polluters are Getting Off

Latest News

Feros responds to Expression of Interest announcement

The announcement earlier today that the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, started the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for Feros Village Byron Bay has drawn a response from the Feros Care board that still sees the facility in terms of a 'closure'. 

Other News

Champion golfers crowned in Mullumbimby

  Adam Bullock and Julianne Ross have emerged as Mullumbimby Golf Club’s (MGC) 2023 champion golfers after finishing on top...

Cartoon of the week – 27 September 2023

The letters deadline for The Echo is noon Friday. Letters longer than 200 words may be cut. The publication of letters is at the discretion of the letters editor.

Ciggie butts tops in litter prevention project 

A litter prevention project has been a success, say Byron Shire Council staff, with 1,450 pieces of litter being prevented from flowing into the Cape Byron Marine Park over a two month period.

Running the NY Marathon for type-1 diabetes research

Southern Cross University student Georgie Collis has type-1 diabetes but this won't stop her running in the New York Marathon in November to raise funds for research.

Cinema: Battle of the sea folk

Yes, it’s school holidays so there are lots of films with ‘G’ in the rating, and Ruby Gillman – Teenage Kraken is definitely on the list. Sometimes the hero you are meant to be lies just beneath the surface.

A short history of cruelty

Anthony Albanese went to the last election promising to end live sheep exports from Australia. This rubbery promise has since been rolled back to his government's second term (assuming they get one). The independent panel's long-awaited report to the federal government on the issue has now also been delayed, from this week to late October.

Climate change doesn’t care about your offsets. The temperature doesn’t stop rising because a coal company has carbon offsets.

Offsets don’t work. They have become a licence to pollute.

What we actually need is a reduction in carbon emissions, not carbon-emitting industries to greenwash their impact by investing in a solar farm or planting saplings. While it’s nice to know that big polluters are keen to invest in green industry it would be better if they just stopped polluting. You know what’s better than offsets?

Transition to non-carbon emitting solutions.

We are living in unprecedented times.

Climate change according to world experts is now out of control, and with data that shows average world temperatures the hottest on record it’s clear we are moving towards catastrophe.

Climate change doesn’t care about your offsets.

The temperature doesn’t stop rising because a coal company has carbon offsets.

The whole concept of offsetting just seems nuts to me.

It’s like an alcoholic who has a ginger beer once a week thinking that helps them get sober.

You can’t offset alcoholism. You just have to stop.

Capitalism has nurtured emission-addicted climate denying corporations, who come home drunk. Every night. Then they buy us flowers.

It’s like a cigarette company donating to a lung cancer charity every time some poor bastard buys their ciggies.

It’s like setting fire to your suburb but sponsoring the fire service who have to put it out.

It’s like being a paedophile who sponsors a child in Africa through World Vision.

All the good will in the world doesn’t stop the actual harm. It doesn’t assuage your guilt.

Why are we letting perpetrators of our own extinction, the corporations who steal from our children’s future, offset their profits with their fuzzy, feel-good projects? 

And why are we making the extractive villains the heroes in the story? 

A story earlier this year in the Guardian stated that according to a new investigation, the forest carbon offsets approved by the world’s leading certifier and used by Disney, Shell, Gucci and other big corporations are largely worthless and could make global heating worse.

Verra is the world’s leading carbon standard for the voluntary offset market. The article reported that based on analysis of a significant percentage of the projects, more than 90% of their rainforest offset credits – among the most commonly used by companies – are likely to be ‘phantom credits’ and do not represent genuine carbon reductions.

Sadly, that’s no surprise. I don’t have faith in extractive capital-driven corporations, who use their wealth to run roughshod over government and community, to do anything except refine and update ways to decimate the environment in return for their dirty blood-soaked billions. 

Offsetting is what has been used to fool us into allowing coal companies to keep emitting.

They are criminals. The dirty emitters who foul the future.

Offsetting is what allows us to accept forest and old growth trees to be felled.

Don’t worry, the developer is offsetting with some tree plantings.

Here’s an offset idea I quite like. We live in a nation with enormous empty houses worth tens of millions. Maybe we just knock them down. And we can offset them. 

With public housing.

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  1. CO2 is not a toxin, it’s plant food. A correct analogy would be offsetting that donut by putting some more time in at the gym.

  2. The Climate Science is in, The Climate Emergency we are living.
    The LabLibNatFossil Fuel Cartel is here to help….to help their Fossil Fuel Industry masters.
    Its what happens when political parties and governments are bought by $’shundredsofthousands Fossil Fuel Industry ‘political donations’.

    Hopefully the Federal Court – “Environment Minister and coal mining companies taken to court, By The Echo September 18, 2023” – brings our coal and gas project approving Minister Tanya to heel.

      • Australian Institute of Marine Science:
        ‘The northern and central Great Barrier Reef have recorded their highest amount of coral cover since the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) began monitoring 36 years ago…
        ‘However, average coral cover in the southern region (from Proserpine to Gladstone) decreased from 38% in 2021 to 34%. “A third of the gain in coral cover we recorded in the south in 2020/21 was lost last year due to ongoing crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks,” he said.
        ‘”This shows how vulnerable the Reef is to the continued acute and severe disturbances that are occurring more often, and are longer-lasting.”
        ‘Dr Hardisty said the increased frequency of mass coral bleaching events was “uncharted territory” for the Reef, with this year’s bleaching event the fourth in seven years and the first to occur during a La Niña.
        ‘”In our 36 years of monitoring the condition of the Great Barrier Reef we have not seen bleaching events so close together”, he said.
        ‘”The 2020 and 2022 bleaching events, while extensive, didn’t reach the intensity of the 2016 and 2017 events and, as a result, we have seen less mortality. These latest results demonstrate the Reef can still recover in periods free of intense disturbances.”‘ https://www.aims.gov.au/information-centre/news-and-stories/highest-coral-cover-central-northern-reef-36-years

        • Crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks caused the first ‘coral bleaching’ during a La Niña. It reduced the gain in the southern part, slightly. Due to coal and oil?

      • Barrow, we have been here before on the topic of GBR and ‘coral cover’, drilling into assessments by AIMS and GBRMA to get a proper picture of affairs.
        The Echo has helpfully above, referenced AIMS.
        The Guardian made a contribution on GBR matters last year as well, in an article –
        ‘Record coral cover on parts of Great Barrier Reef, but global heating could jeopardise recovery, Graham Readfearn Thu 4 Aug 2022 03.30 AES’.
        Within that article, the important takeout – “The fast-growing acropora species of branching and plate-like corals that were pushing coral cover up were also preferred prey for COTS , he ( ‘he’ being Dr Mike Emslie of Australian Institute of Marine Science ) said.
        So the excitement of headlines about “record coral cover” needs to be tempered with the reality that the GBR is not saved.

        • We get it, you’re hoping the reef dies. It’s twin up in Indonesia has all the same species of coral and fish, and a naturally higher water temperature.
          Fun Fact: When cities such as Göbekli Tepe, Nevalı Çori, Hamzan Tepe, Karahan Tepe, Harbetsuvan Tepesi, Sefer Tepe, Taslı Tepe, etc, were being built, the great barrier reef area was dry land with people living on it. My Mother has touched government buildings that have been scientifically proven to be older than that reef.

        • Joachim with respect..fact… Coral thrives
          On hot conditions…so the very notion
          That Global warming is detrimental to
          The Barrier reef is just nonsense..!
          Not one scientist who is not hooked
          On government grants / Taxpayer’s
          Funding could confirm otherwise…

  3. Would Mandy again be using her weekly column to politically promote herself and push her Greens agenda?, without any corresponding notification that she is the Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Richmond.

  4. Let her go her hardest. She is digging a great hole for herself with the tripe she spins out at random each week, The Echo is complicit in supporting her attempt at becoming a serious contender for this seat. It is so, so obvious what is happening. Most thinking people are a wake up to this scam.

    • Greg, “Let her go her hardest.She is digging a great hole for herself with the tripe she spins out at random each week,”, and you pointed out where she was wrong???
      ‘Shoot the messenger’, is all you got, yeah.

      • Keith pointed out that this column acts as a political advertisement, then Greg said it gives her a chance to discredit herself as a candidate. They are talking about the messenger shooting herself…..in the foot.

  5. This just proves that in the long haul healthy debate and common sense can be obtained to get a positive result. I think all contributors are good people with good intentions, however some have been blinded by dogoodism and socialist mantra.


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Weed exit and smiley koalas get support

Weed and smiley koalas were on the minds of Tweed Shire Councillors and staff at last week’s council meeting.

Another wallaby death on beach prompts calls on dog owners 

A Byron local says a dead wallaby found on Belongil beach last Saturday had all the hallmarks of a dog attack, and is calling on the public to be more vigilant and for authorities to step up to help protect native wildlife.

A win for Feros Village Byron Bay residents

A whole community can expel a sigh of relief at the breaking news that months of distress and sadness can now become part of history – this morning the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, has announced that services providers for aged care are advised that Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for Feros Village Byron Bay.

How do you rate the media rating system?

Parents are being asked to have a say on whether Australia’s media classification system is effective in informing decisions around age-appropriate films and video games for children.