IN RESPONSE to Bill Gardner’s letter (Wimmera Mail-Times, January 4 titled: Carbon capture for the Wimmera and Mallee), I strongly recommend that he, farmers, land managers, politicians and members of the general public read Charles Massy’s outstanding book, Call of the Reed Warbler (University Queensland Press 2017).
Charles eloquently explains how we can and must, if we are to avert the impending Anthropocene, change farming practices from mechanical to regenerative and in doing so, drought-proof farms, sequester carbon, improve soil health, increase productivity and restore biodiversity.
Clive Crouch, Nhill
Questions on climate
READING the byline of the comment piece in the Wimmera Mail-Times’ December 28 edition (titled: A year that will define us on climate change) gave a perfect indication of the content.
I therefore ask the writer Amanda McKenzie a vital question that I have asked many a writer and speaker in many a forum: What part of the science of climate change convinced you that carbon dioxide emissions caused global warming, aka climate change? Using the term, “Many scientists believe…” will not cut it. To date the response has been non-existent.
Ron Fischer, Horsham
Editor’s note: Amanda McKenzie is the chief executive of the Climate Council, an independent non-profit organisation made up of climate scientists, health, renewable energy and policy experts and formed in response to the abolition of the Australian Climate Commission.
WHILE applauding the concept of a new year’s resolution, the reality is that by the second, third or fourth week of January, many people will struggle to keep the commitments they have made to themselves to improve their own health and wellbeing and, by extension, that of their loved ones.
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case for those in our community wanting to change their relationship with gambling.
The 100 Day Challenge has been designed with the assistance of experts in therapeutic services to provide practical, effective support to people seeking to take a break from gambling, reduce the amount of time or money they spend, or quit permanently.
The program offers participants 100 recreational activities as alternatives to gambling, over 100 days, and encourages them to set and track progress against their own goals. It includes a range of tools, tips and advice, and features a highly engaged online community where participants share their experiences.
If you’d like to join the more than 4000 Victorians who have already signed up for the 100 Day Challenge, visit 100dc.com.au
Janet Dore, interim chief executive, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
Duck shooting decision
ANY day now the state government will announce what will or won’t be, in terms of another native waterbird shooting season in 2019, at thousands of public waterways around Victoria often in close proximity to residents.
For the sake of our struggling native waterbirds and the communities they (used to) frequent, let’s hope our “new” government is indeed progressive, true to its word on protecting our unique wildlife and governing for all Victorians.
Latest scientific data, which the new chief executive of Game Management Authority refers to as “the most significant”, shows our native water birds have fallen even further from last year’s desperately low numbers, remaining well below average with “game bird” numbers low by order of magnitude.
This year, habitat and breeding indices are also desperately low. And if you think it couldn’t get any worse, throw record dry conditions and heat spells into the mix – heat spells set to continue through January to March, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Our native waterbirds – many unique to our country – need our urgent protection.
Birds turn out to be doubly as affected as mammals from climate change, an international team of scientists found, after checking 481 species in 987 populations around the world (published by Zoological Society of London in the journal Global Change Biology). Nearly 40 per cent of the world’s birds are in decline, largely due to human activity including hunting (State of The World’s Birds 2018).
It’s not just the 400,000 to 500,000 birds shot each year in Victoria – and this number is without the minimum one-in-four wounded, flying away to die a slow painful death elsewhere – that are impacted.
There is a ripple effect through the species as many native waterbirds are monogamous, forming lifelong pairs. When one is shot, it’s likely not only the offspring won’t survive but the remaining partner may never recover or re-partner.
Independent experts have submitted compelling scientific reasons for years on why the native waterbird shooting seasons should not go ahead, but every year they go ahead anyway. Season “modifications” make little, if any, difference and are impossible to monitor.
Meanwhile, our native waterbirds are being decimated, along with our rural communities’ chances of prospering from the benefits of nature-based tourism.
Less than 0.4 per cent of the population are licensed to shoot ducks. Only half of them turned out to shoot last season.
It’s time for strong progressive leadership, ditching duck shooting for the more popular, humane, sustainable and lucrative nature-based tourism. It’s time to get it done.
Kerrie Allen, Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting