Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Final 2010 Green Ideas and Drinks: Thursday 2nd at the Apple Tree

Our Last Green Ideas & Drinks for the Year!!
Thursday Dec 2nd
The Apple Tree in The CourtYard
2060 Moggill Road Kenmore
Come & chat about all things sustainable...........
from 6:30pm

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soils are Alive!!! Conference 27th Nov: Parliament House

"There is a lot more to soil than dirt. Healthy soils support the functioning of our natural environment and are the basis for successful agriculture. Although the soil biological ecosystem is considered the most diverse, it is poorly understood. Our conference will give you an introduction to all aspects of soil and will have a focus on the rich and important biology and create a link to ecosystem services and sustainable land use. Scientists from Queensland and interstate will guarantee a hugely interesting learning experience and a better understanding of soil resource management."

Saturday, 27th Nov 2010
Registration from 8.00am
Undumbi Room, Parliamentary Annexe, Parliament House, Brisbane, George St (entrance via Alice St—UBD 4 J13)
Post conference BBQ in the grounds of Qld Maritime Museum

For more information and a registration form please visit Cubberla-Witton Catchments Network Inc website here.

$50 conference

$12 post conference BBQ

Program highlights
  • Dr Peter Kopittke/University of Queensland: Introduction to Soils
  • Dr David Eldrige/University of NSW on Microbiotic Soil Crusts and their Role in Soil and Ecological Processes
  • Associate Professor Peter McGee/University of Sydney on Mycorrhizal Fungi and their Function in Soil and Application to Restoration
  • Dr Geoff Monteith/Queensland Museum on Dung Beetles and their Effects on Soil
  • Dr Geoff Dyne/Qld Section Australian Government Land and Coasts on A Hidden Diversity: native earthworm species and their role in soil processes and ecosystem integrity
  • Dr Diane Allen/Qld Dept of Environment and Resource Management on Soil Carbon and Soil Health
  • Merline Olson/Soil Foodweb International on How to measure Soil Biomass
  • Professor Richard Haynes/University of Queensland on Soil Contaminants and Bioremediation
  • Dr Chengron Chen/Griffith University on Global Changes and Soil Microbial Community

N.B: This conference has been organised by the Cubberla-Witton Catchments Network

Friday, November 19, 2010

Recipies from 'Domestic Goddess on a Budget' by Wendyl Nissen

Store cupboard

Apple cider vinegar

Baking soda

Castile soap (I use Dr. Bronners liquid and cake)

Essential oils


Sunlight soap

White vinegar

Spray cleaner for kitchen

1 litre water

1 tsp baking soda

a few drops of liquid soap

10 drops lavender or tea-tree essential oil

(add 1 tsp olive oil for wooden benches)

Dishwasher liquid mix

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup liquid castile soap

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

5 drops tea-tree essential oil

1/2 cup white vinegar

use 2 tbsp per load

Hand dishwashing mix

3 tbsp liquid castile soap

2 cup water

1 tsp glycerine

10 drops lavender essential oil

Stainless steel

Wipe with baby oil

Toilet bowl cleaner

Throw ~1 cup baking soda into bowl, add ~1 cup white vinegar, watch it fizz!

Leave ~10 mins then scrub with brush.

Spray tea-tree spray (1 cup water with 30 drops tea-tree essential oil) in and around toilet.

Liquid handwash

250 ml boiling water

2 tbsp grated Sunlight soap

dissolve about 10 mins, then add

2 tsp glycerine

2 tsp rose water

10 drops essential oil of your choice

Magic night face cream

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tsp apple cider vinegar

~1 tbsp water

3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

I should have mentioned that this book not only has sections on natural cleaning products, natural beauty and health and the kitchen but also has sections on gardening, how to save money, how to reduce, re-use and recycle and how to manage your life! It’s a fantastic book, I highly recommend it.

Wendyl also has a website http://www.wendylsgreengoddess.co.nz/

I’d love to hear how these recipes work out for you and any other recipes that you would recommend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not one drop

I was watching ABC news breakfast the other week and they were interviewing an irrigator/farming spokesperson about the proposed reductions in water allocations in the Murray-Darling. When asked about the proposed water reductions they stated they wouldn't give up "one drop" of water.

This does seem rather short sighted thinking, but indicative of a debate where many seem to have forgotten that the economic and social health of these regions will depend on the health of the river (i.e.: the environment). After-all, if we reach a stage where there is little or no water reaching downstream farming communities and the lower lakes, it won't be just the environment that is negatively affected.

There is also a greater long term irony in this kind of thinking. As Prof Ross Garnaut said in his recent speech to the Academy of the Social Sciences on the need for action on climate change:

"If the mainstream science is broadly right, later in this century we will probably not be squabbling about whether a 37 per cent reduction in allocations to Murray-Darling irrigators is too much; but rather working hard to improve the chance of there being any water at all to allocate."

Not one drop indeed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

TTKD November meeting: Reskilling (+bring your bike)

An important part of the Transition philosophy is making sure useful skills are passed on within, and around, the community.

Hence our November meeting focuses on skills and reskilling. Come along and learn how to:
  • make your own home cleaning products
  • maintain your trusty bike
  • how to use the old Vacola bottling and preserving kit
  • and even spin your own wool!

PLUS....... we would love YOU to bring along or share some activity you do that could help others on their steps to sustainability. The presentations already organised are from members of Transition Kenmore, so if you have something you want to share you are most welcome (and qualified) to do so.

PS: Jeremy, who will be doing our bicycle maintenance session is encouraging everyone to bring their own bikes along, especially if you have questions. As it's much more useful to be shown how to do maintenance on your own bike, not someone elses.

Wed 17th 7;30pm
Uniting Church Hall
982 Moggill Rd Kenmore

Saturday, November 13, 2010

QLD govt ClimateSmart vs "Something big"

A poignant slide from Dr Guy Pearse's talk "Is 'Queensland - The Smart State'? - Queensland's Continuing Addiction to Carbon" at UQ on the 28th of October. Full speech with slides available from the UQ Global Change Institute website.

Guy's talk made some very important points, (as summarised on the website), in Queensland "current policy would leave Queensland’s emissions 36% higher in 2050", which is shocking considering QLD already has one of the highest per capita emissions levels in the world and that "Meanwhile, the government is spending billions of dollars on infrastructure to help Queensland double coal exports over the next decade or so. The legacy of that is a state generating more than 50% more greenhouse pollution at home and abroad than Australia’s current national total."

Guy's talk (and the slide above) showed how all the current policy measures are not going to dent the continuing increase in C02 emissions within QLD, and even if they did, are obliterated by the increase in the coal exports we are sending to the rest of the world. Clearly far more government action is needed.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

QLD govt draft transport strategy - Connecting SEQ 2031 - Have your say

The Queensland Government recently released Connecting SEQ 2031, a draft plan of rail, bus and road development over the next 20 years for SEQ.

The plan is available to download from the website and the website also contain summary's from within the plan. Overall the plan has targets to increase the percentage of journeys made by public and active transport (although note that due to population growth the absolute number of trips made by car will still increase).

There are also some very brief summaries of their rail, bus and active transport plans as well as a breakdown by region (if you want more detail look at the report, it's pretty easy going). Perhaps of most interest to people out west is the plan (although as yet not formulated in detail) to provide bus priority (although not a busway) between Kenmore and the city.

If you want to have your say, you can here, although Transition Kenmore will look at providing some comment as well. Public submissions close on the 26th of November.

Fun fact off the website:
"Some parts of the SEQ busway network carry about 12 400 passengers per hour (in one direction). For comparison, a typical motorway lane carries about 2000 people per hour."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Naomi Oreskes - Public Lecture: How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming

The Global Change Institute at UQ is hosting Naomi Oreskes for their final Insights Seminar of the year. Here are the details from the GCI website:

“Merchants of Doubt”
How a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming

‘Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway have demonstrated what many of us had long suspected: that the ‘debate’ over the climate crisis - and many other environmental issues - was manufactured by the same people who brought you ‘safe’ cigarettes.' Former US Vice President Al Gore

In this public lecture, Naomi Oreskes will "roll back the rug" on the dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.
She will tell the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.
Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly - some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is ‘not settled’ denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. ‘Doubt is our product,’ wrote one tobacco executive. These ‘experts’ supplied it.

When: Tuesday 16 November 2010, 5.30pm
Where: Abel Smith Theatre (Bldg 23), The University of Queensland, St Lucia (map)
RSVP here

Naomi Oreskes is a Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

Her research focuses on the historical development of scientific knowledge, methods, and practices in the earth and environmental sciences, and on understanding scientific consensus and dissent.
In 2004 Oreskes wrote an essay on science and society Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Science, December 2004). In the essay she reported an analysis of “928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 and published in the ISI database with the keywords ‘global climate change’” After the analysis, she concluded that 75 percent of the examined abstracts either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SMH: "Power bills 'must rise' without a carbon tax"

It's good to see some thoughtful discussion of power prices and the effect of a carbon price in the media. This story in the Sydney Morning Herald provides some food for thought.

"AUSTRALIANS will be hit with higher electricity bills if the nation fails to implement a carbon price, the head of NSW's electricity price regulator says."

The reasons for this appear to be two fold, a carbon price is the lowest cost method to reduce greenhouse gas emission from electricity generation, while the current uncertainty around carbon pricing and government policy is making it difficult for generators to invest for the long term.

You can read the story here.