It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

Palm Oil, what’s the big deal? #100daysofblogging #Day10

Forest Destruction in SumatraThere are so many things we should avoid in our food for health reasons; aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Palm Oil is not one of those. It’s perfectly fine for consumption.

The problem with palm oil is the destruction of native peat forests in Indonesia. 

The logging and ‘drainage’ of peat forests, for ‘oil palm’ plantations, results in millions of years of built up carbon and methane gas being rapidly released. Normally this built up organic matter is saturated with water, locking in the carbon and methane. This prevents the peat below the forest from being rapidly emitted or catching fire.

But these areas are actively ‘drained’ of water in order to plant oil palm.

The rich organic matter of a peat forest is then open to catching fire, as they repeatedly have in recent years, to devastating effect.

So what is at stake with palm oil plantations in Indonesia? Continue reading Palm Oil, what’s the big deal? #100daysofblogging #Day10

Logging in WA’s South West

Recently I took part in a guided tour of our remaining native Karri forests with the West Australian Forest Alliance . I remember visiting these forests as a child, it is always inspiring. The first time I climbed the Gloucester tree near Pemberton I was barely in my teens. At 72m tall, the Gloucester tree was the highest 14-year-old me had ever been.

Clear Felling in WA's Challar Forest

When I heard the new Forest Management Plan will double the scale of logging in our remaining Karri forests (1), I wanted to see the implications of this for myself. I knew it would be painful to see, but I had to go. I had to bear witness and share the tragic reality of clear-felling with you.

Only 10% of our native Karri forest remain today, BEFORE logging expands.

After what I witnessed I have no doubt this new plan, if allowed to continue, will leave us with no pristine Karri forest left. It’s no wonder activists have begun taking direct action to halt the destruction (1,2,3).

I am very glad they have.

Continue reading Logging in WA’s South West