September 20 message
If not me then who? If not now then when? We are in the middle of a climate emergency, but we are acting like nothing's wrong. I'm a parent with young children and to be honest I'm scared about their future. The effects of climate change are real, and we are already starting to see impact - but that's nothing compared with what will happen in the next few years if we don't take action. Now.
It's easy to feel helpless or bury your head in the sand (I did it for a long time) but on Sept 20 you have a chance to make a difference. To stand up for what is right. To tell the governments that we won't accept business as usual any longer. Will you join me and my family on Sept 20 in Bellingen to stand together as part of the Global Climate strike?
I don't want to my kids to turn around in a few years and ask me "if you knew that climate breakdown was happening, why didn't you do something to stop it?". I want to know that I did something. That I tried. We are all busy. I get it. It's inconvenient to take a day of work. It's a pain for me too. But you know what's more inconvenient? Climate breakdown, drought, mass migration, food shortages. If you care about the future of the planet, and the future of our children, then I ask you to mark Sept 20 in your calendar and do whatever it takes to join the local strike in Bellingen, as part of the global strikes happening in over 150 countries worldwide. If we all stand together we can send a powerful message that world leaders won't be able to ignore.
Tom White, Thora
On August 17 fire permits were introduced, and apart from the lower valley, it's getting very dry and the bush is a tinderbox with no relief in sight. Stepping back to the night of July 27, RFS crews were called out to attend a fire 10km along the Horseshoe road from Waterfall Way. A cold night, a few fires on the edge of the road, which fortunately had not spread over a large area and were extinguished. Monday morning a Forestry officer was asked to drive out and check there was nothing still smouldering. The ramification of an outbreak out there under the present conditions is difficult to imagine. But just one kilometre along the same public road four activists were blocking access. The Forestry officer, trying to explain his mission, here is the office number, call them. He was verballed. You are a liar, when are you going to start logging, etc. The usual outrageous behaviour must not be condoned, and the example must pose the question: is it really about our rivers, wildlife, and the forest itself or is it just about shutting down all native logging in NSW.
The big fire in 1968, probably before my friend Mark Graham was in nappies, destroyed much old growth forest in the Kalang catchment, and would have decimated all wildlife in its path. Following the first downpour, the river didn't run red it ran black, the sediment from all that scorched earth. Maybe Mark, old mate, you should have studied economics. If in fact Forestry Corp does run at a loss, this must be balanced up against the product, the employment, and most importantly the hundreds of millions it would cost to import this product from third world countries who are decimating their forest with no environmental controls. Just another example of let the good life roll on, but rip it out of someone else's backyard, not mine. As for Mark's suggestion that slave labour no longer exists - it abounds in our society. For those who choose to live off the efforts of some other poor devil, surely that must be a form of slave labour. I understand someone did apologise to that Forestry employee for a stupid act, but nevertheless.
Darcey Browning, Thora
Sydney is to have its desalination plant doubled in size, water is becoming more scarce, and possible inadequate rainfall is predicted. Melinda Pavey was on the news recently discussing this and I was struck by the irony. While she is willing to commit millions to ensure continued clean water for Sydney, she seems not the least bit concerned for the continued supply of clean water to our community as Forestry Corporation is poised to start logging at Kalang River's headwaters. I've been testing our river water for the past two years and the quality of the water very high and shouldn't be risked for short term gain by a large corporation. Let's hope Ms Pavey changes her mind about us and backs us up instead of big business
Deb Borodin, Kalang
Wake up Australia
You Aussies need to do something.The logging of Kalang headwaters is crazy! As a visitor to this area from England, I am horrified at the apparent complacency of this government in the protection of the natural environment. Like millions of others, I came to this area primarily to enjoy the natural beauty, the incredible biodiversity and the unspoilt rivers and beaches. To find out that you could lose such a huge important colony of koalas if this logging goes ahead is madness. Koalas numbers are so reduced, that they have become functionally extinct and loss of habitat is the major cause. You have a healthy large breeding pool in your backyard. Will you stand by and let them be wiped out with this short term destructive timber harvest? Understanding the impact of this deforestation on rivers, it is obvious that your tourism will be seriously compromised. When the beautiful clean rivers that I swim in every day run red with silt, and downstream fishing and oysters are impacted, the local community and businesses will suffer dramatically. Wake up guys! This is where your dollars come from. Tourism is the future, NOT timber. Save your special place here before it is too late!
Freya Brain, Kalang
Feature letter: Looking beyond the Bellingen Bubble by Rob Simpson