Great Barrier Reef in Danger

Great Barrier Reef in Danger

A marine scientist known as the Godfather of Coral, Dr Charlie Veron, says the Great Barrier Reef - one of the seven wonders of the natural world - is in grave danger if the Australian government doesn't act on climate change. According to Dr Veron, who has worked on the reef for 45 years, without immediate action, the entire reef could be dead quite soon.

According to researchers from the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce (NCBT) - a federal government-funded initiative devoted to researching the reef - 7% of the world's largest living structure has been left unaffected by a massive coral bleaching event.

Coral bleaching happens when abnormal water conditions - for instance, rising temperatures caused by climate change - discharge tiny photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae, turning the coral white and subsequently killing it.

Veron says that the only reason why the coral bleaching didn't spread to 100% of the reef was thanks to a sudden easing of warm conditions last December. Once the coral's bleached, it's dead. It's the end of the road, Veron says. It's a matter of time before that full whammy happens.

Veron has been particularly against the federal and Queensland state governments; decision to approve the massive Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland's Galilee basin, 500km from the reef.

The mine could produce up to 60 million tones of coal each year from six open-cut pits and five underground mines. The project has the support of both the federal and Queensland state governments, which affirm it will create thousands of jobs and inject $16 billion into the economy. However, over its period of activity, the mine is expected to pump billions of tones of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Both governments have approved the the Adani mine without thinking of the consequences, Veron says. It's last thing Australia, of all countries, should be doing. I can't think of anything more harmful to do to the Great Barrier Reef than that.

It's a sentiment echoed by Professor Terry Hughes convener of the NCBT, who says the approval of the mine shows the government isn't serious about stopping climate change and saving the reef. I think an appropriate reaction from Hunt would be to rescind the 60-year permit. That would be real action for the Great Barrier Reef, Hughes says.

Queensland's Environment Minister, Steven Miles, evaded any responsibility and passed it down to the federal government.What the Reef needs is a set of policies that will cap and reduce emissions in real terms year on year, Miles said. The state government will play our part within the scope of our powers, but meeting our Paris [Climate Conference] targets is primarily the responsibility of the national government. What we don't have right now, and what we are demanding the Turnbull government deliver, is a national plan to meet those targets.

Scientists from the Climate Council took a stand a placed a full page ad in Queensland's Courier Mail. The article explained that climate change is destroying the reef and immediate action is needed to prevent further damage. The open letter was signed by 56 experts with countless years of experience in studying climate change, and called for an end to investment in fossil fuels in Australia. As you read this, a catastrophe is unfolding, the letter reads, before going on to explain the extent of the coral bleaching event. (...) Why is this happening? As the Earth's temperature rises due to climate change, our oceans are experiencing record-breaking heat.

Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes stated there is no doubt that the massive coral bleaching event on the reef is due to climate change. This is not a surprise because we have known for decades that the burning of fossil fuels is driving climate change, and that delicate ecosystems like the reef will be destroyed as a result, she said. We are now seeing first hand the damage that climate change causes, and we have a duty of care to speak out. There's some great research on the

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

website.

Crazy Facts About Australia

Crazy Facts About Australia

Isolated from the world as an enormous island, Australia have developed their own little brand.

As we kick off 2017 here are some interesting facts that will probably shock you about Australia.

Everyone knows Australia is quite big but nobody imagines that Australia is as wide as the distance between London and Moscow; therefore, the whole of the European continent could fit in this one single country Down Under. In fact, the whole of Belgium could fit in the biggest property in Australia. Even though Australia is so big, more than 85% of Australians live within 50km of the coast. Australia is very sparsely populated: The UK has 248.25 persons per square kilometre, while Australia has only 2.66 persons per square kilometre. It is such an amazing country that each week, 70 tourists overstay their visas.

In terms of wealth, with a World History centred in Europe and the USA, nobody has stopped to think how rich Australia has been or is. For instance, in 1880, Melbourne was the richest city in the world. Guess how much Australia's richest woman -Gina Rinehart - earns every half hour. Nothing less than $1 million, this means she makes $598 every second.

Another interesting fact in Australian History is that in 1892, a group of 200 Australians unsatisfied with the government tried to start an offshoot colony in Paraguay to be called ‘New Australia.'

In terms of world History, the first photos from the 1969 moon landing were beamed to the rest of the world from Honeysuckle Tracking Station, near Camberra. Also Australia was the second country in the world to allow women to vote, after New Zealand. Ever wondered who came up with the 8-hour working days? Well, it originated in 1856 when stonemasons took action to ensure this working hours which later became recognised worldwide. Australia was also one of the founding members of the United Nations.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Thereafter, he suggested his love of beer was the key to his political success.

There are also things that only happen in Australia. For instance, Australia's first police force was made up of the most well-behaved convicts. Also, Qantas once powered an interstate flight with cooking oil.

Everyone knows Australians love their sports but what they might not know is that Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world, as it has more top level sport available for its citizens than anywhere else.

In terms of fauna, Australia can be very surprising as well. Before the arrival of humans, Australia was home to megafauna, including three metre tall kangaroos, seven metre long goannas, horse-sized ducks, and a marsupial lion the size of a leopard. As to the animals on the Australian coat of arms, Kangaroos and emus cannot walk backward. Speaking of which, Australia is one of the only countries where they eat the animals on their coat of arms.

The Great Barrier Reef is the planet's largest living structure and it has its own postbox.

The venom of the male platypus is strong enough to kill a small dog. When the platypus was first sent to England, it was believed that Australians had played a joke by sewing the bill of a duck onto a rat.

Sydney Christmas Markets

Sydney Christmas Markets

From festive artisan food to carols, gifts, fresh produce, gourmet treats, Santa Claus, retro fashion gifts, arts and crafts, children's stocking fillers, and festival local cheer, Sydney Christmas Markets offer all that the holiday season can afford.

Whether you are haven't done your Christmas shopping yet and are looking for special handicrafts, or you want to indulge yourself in festive gourmet treats or just enjoy a time out with your family and friends, you'll be spoilt for choice in the city. Jingle all the way through Sydney's top Christmas markets.

Lindesay Christmas Gift Fair

Held in a majestic Georgian house - Lindesay - this three-day annual market is the place to shop for unique boutique Christmas gifts. From arts and crafts, fashion and children's stocking fillers, you name it, they've got it. Shop till you drop surrounded by old-fashioned interiors and and period furniture. Indulge yourself in delectable treats from the stop kitchen and servants quarters as you enjoy the view of the Sydney Harbour.

Upcoming Dates:

17 Nov 2016 10:00 am — 4:00 pm

18 Nov 2016 10:00 am — 4:00 pm

19 Nov 2016 10:00 am — 4:00 pm

Eryldene Christmas Fair

With over 50 quirky stallholders, the Eryldene heritage home in Gordon offers a unique Christmas shopping experience. A visit to its famous garden and the open house tour of the Historic Houses Trust property are the perfect addition to a the festive shopping day.

Upcoming Dates:

Eryldene Christmas Fair Saturday & Sunday 26 & 27 November 2016

Round She Goes

If you are a vintage and retro fashion lover, this is the market to do your Christmas shopping. Located in Marrickville Town Hall here you can find a gift for anyone of your family and friends and, of course, for yourself. From frocks and bags, brooches and buttons and plenty of bargains, you'll be spoilt for choice. At Round She Goes events and on the online marketplace, you can shop for preloved designer labels and quality vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery.

Upcoming Dates:

12 November 2016, Central Coast Christmas Fair

If you happen to be around Sydney with your family during the holiday season, this is an unmissable family Christmas event. Widely known amongst locals, here you can choose from over 150 gift stalls, and even grab your fresh Christmas tree from the Rotary stall. Activities for the kids also abound. Enjoy your shopping while your kids are jolly getting pictures with Santa, going on rides or enjoying puppet shows and performances all day long. The Central Coast's favourite Christmas event returns to the beautiful waterside tranquil location of Mount Penang Gardens. You can enjoy the Coast's largest free outdoor Christmas shopping experience on the water in a relaxing environment with plenty of free parking.Now in its ninth year, the event features over 160 hand-picked, high-quality local arts and crafts stalls, international food zones and fresh seasonal produce areas, puddings, and delicious cakes. Santa will be there too and you can take photos with him on the water!

Upcoming Dates:

Sunday 4th December 2016, 9am-2pm The Beaches Christmas Market

With over 100 producers offering a variety of the most delicious goods available, this is the market to stock up on farm fresh produce and gourmet treats. Apart from the delicious food, you can also find genuine artisan stalls and heaps of family friendly activities. Currently their most updated page is their Facebook page.

Upcoming Dates:

Sat 17 December 2016, 9am-3pm

The Australian Open of Surfing

The Australian Open of Surfing

Every year the world's top adrenaline-fuelled athletes converge at the birthplace of professional surfing, Manly Beach, Sydney, for the country's fiercest surf, skate and music event - The Australian Open of Surfing.

Over this nine-day event, the world's greatest surfers will ride the waves like mythical creatures and bring Manly Beach, Sydney's premier beach side destination, to life. Attendees will be able to be mesmerised by an exciting mix of athletes competing in QS6000 men's and women's WSL-sanctioned surf contests, two men's and women's world junior star-events.

The world-class skateboarding won't disappoint. Be ready to be impressed by the jumps and turns of the incredible skaters as cool music plays in the background.

After enjoying the glorious Australian sun, hopefully with lots of sunscreen on, the sand and the waves, head to the stage in the evening to enjoy live music. You can also take pleasure in art and fashion. And it's all free.

Everyone will come together to celebrate youth culture, innovation and athleticism at Manly Beach. There's plenty of things to see and do at Manly Beach. Indulge in over 40 activities and beaches, 130 bars, restaurants and cafes or explore over 200 shops and stores. As you stroll down sidewalk you'll be able to get an iced coffee, smoothie or win a jet ski from one of the countless stalls that line the beach.

Surfing, skateboarding, art and Channel V concerts attract more than 160,000 people every year. You can get there by ferry from Sydney Circular Quay.

The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing is an extension of the world's largest action sports festival, the US Open of Surfing. This annual event is owned and produce by IMG and is held at Huntington Beach, California. The event aims at celebrating inclusion and creativity while inspiring the next generation of athletes and artists.

This year it runs from 25th Feb to 5th March, 2017. While waiting check out some cool surf pics from Bali on Wavedog.