Monday 28th January, 2013

 

Welcome back to my Diary and in 2013 we are going to be full steam ahead working towards a Koala Protection Bill and then a Koala Protection Act.

In coming weeks the draft document will be in our hands and then it will be time to finesse it as word perfect.

It was Australia Day on Saturday 26th January.  This is a day, like 4th July for Americans where we celebrate what it means to be Australian.   Our traditional owners, I think would prefer it was a different date, given it was the day that our country was originally settled by the British and given our aboriginal population have been here for over 60,000 years, it does seem a little presumptuous that after 200 years, we think we “own” the place.

In that time, we have created the worst extinction rate in the world.  Some 200 species have gone to extinction and probably hundreds more that were never recorded in the first place.

Today is pouring with rain and over the summer we have had fires that have been shocking.    There has been very little news about how koalas have fared in some of these fires and it is my experience that this means many perished given the intensity of those fires.

It is too far a stretch to suggest that a new piece of legislation will stop fires, but if you had hung in cars like I have with some of the best biologists in our country, you would feel confident as I do that how we are managing our land could be better and that continuing to clear with no regard for biodiversity will see us in worse trouble in the future.  

I personally have had a great rest.  Mr. Darcy, as you probably know has a new companion, Miss Bennett.   She is not a writer but it is marvellous to see Mr. Darcy so happy and training her like his grandfather Dane trained him.  She has already learnt not to chase birds in our paddock and of course nothing can restore the spirit than a puppy and the joy they bring.   She will have her first visit to Quinlans in early February where our Board and team will strategically plan for both the AKF and the Koala Army.

That said, I also had a reality check about the future and over my very lovely Christmas break, I had to wonder whether it is worth it; because it is becoming clear that if Australia does, by the end of the century reach 6 degree increases in temperature, most of the country I love will be unrecognisable to me.

Over summer we have heard also that tropical fish are moving to Tasmania because the water is so warm.

This says to me that nature is capable of adapting and I suppose I have to wonder whether we are, as humans because I find more and more as I get older that we get set in our ways.

Is it worth it?   Yes?  Because if we do not all pull together and focus on solutions for the future, I fear that we will all not want to live in that 6 degree increased landscape.  Some of our country towns had 50c temperatures during January.  That is 122 Fahrenheit for us oldies and who would want that?

It seems to me we are in an incredible loop that is hard to get out of; it gets hotter, we turn on the air conditioner, which means more energy use, which can often increase temperature and then it gets hotter and we turn on another air conditioner, and then it gets even hotter.

There are many in this world that will never have an air conditioner and they have never even heard of a Koala, but I know that the AKF and our mission to help protect the forests of Australia is a great way of helping our country pull its weight in an enormous jigsaw puzzle that is too much, even for someone as wise as Mr. Darcy.