Taking a Stand.

Should our future be decided by those who refuse to acknowledge the science?

The situation is dire. The Scientific American is making a political stand for the first time in the history of its prestigious 175 years long life.

Policy & Ethics

Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden

 THE EDITORS | Scientific American October 2020 Issue

Credit: Ross MacDonald.

‘Scientific American has never endorsed a presidential candidate in its 175-year history. This year we are compelled to do so. We do not do this lightly.’

‘The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.’


See this blog from The Wilderness Society. Look at what Trump has planned for Alaska?

So close to the Arctic! So much evidence of global warming! He destroys carbon sinks!

Blog The Wilderness Society.

3 reasons ramped-up logging in the USA’s biggest national forest could be a disaster.

September 25, 2020

Tongass National Forest, Alaska

Southeast Alaska Conservation Council

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Alaska’s Tongass National Forest combats climate change, supports Indigenous communities, provides clean water. A plan to be released by the U.S. Forest Service will set the stage for the federal government to open millions of acres of old-growth temperate rain forest to logging and development.
[Who now is in charge of the EPA in USA?]
The Final Environmental Impact Statement, expected to be issued Sept. 25, is one of the last big pieces needed before the administration can remove protections from more than half of the 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest in Alaska.

Proposed changes would exempt the Tongass from a law called the “Roadless Rule,” which is designed to protect the very wildest parts of America’s forests from reckless development. For the most part, people don’t want this to happen: a majority of some 140,000 public comments solicited by the Forest Service about the plan favoured keeping the Roadless Rule intact. And the president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska has said this rule-making process “repeatedly disrespected and ignored sovereign tribal nations and their tribal citizens.”  

In Australia, we have loggers calling the shots in Tasmania! We have burnt forests not being allowed to regenerate. When forests are destroyed by logging we lose life! Think of what is being done to the Amazon! Fossil fuels are toxic to us and the planet. The evidence is clear! But

The Australian Coalition government insists on a gas-led post COVID 19 recovery with coal-based carbon capture and storage, not the regenerative possibilities offered in new agriculture. See ‘For the Love of Soil’ in my previous blog. We have a Coalition government determined to use our money, put aside solely for renewable energy, for gas! And they intend to let the Coalition Minister for Energy interfere with how it is used!

This great American voice for intelligence is taking a stand. We need to do the same.

Regenerative Agriculture.

Think of it. What would be better for us and the planet? This?


‘De-risking’, so insurers take on toxic fossil fuel like gas-fired power!

When you can have real carbon capture in agriculture by not clearing land!

And not importing and using petrochemical fertilizers.

New Zealand born Nicole Masters is an independent agroecologist, systems thinker, author and educator. She has a formal background in ecology, soil science and organizational learning studies in New Zealand. Nicole is recognized as a knowledgeable and dynamic speaker on the topic of soil health.

See it in WA in Australia, the South Island in NZ, in Nevada in USA. and Canada.

Masters unveils a flawed food production system that is in desperate need of review,” says Graeme Sait, director of Australia-based Nutritech Solutions. “She chronicles the heroic work of the farmers and ranchers who have accepted that challenge and she provides a pragmatic and inspiring game plan for those contemplating that journey.”

Nicole’s book breaks down the complex, technical know-how of soil into more digestible terms. She combines this with case studies from her travels working with farmers and ranchers across Australasia and North America to explain what inspires and enables these innovative land managers to embrace a new land ethic and build “soil capital” on their agricultural operations. Together, they present a compelling testament to the global, rapidly growing soil health movement.

The producers Nicole works alongside are based in some of the most extraordinary and breathtaking landscapes in Australasia and North America. She takes us on a journey to meet farmers and ranchers from the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island, to the wilds of Western Australia, the desert landscapes of Nevada and to the edge of grain production areas in Canada.  What led them to change their practices, how do they achieve their goals and what results are they seeing?

“For years, many of us involved in regenerative agriculture have been touting the soil health – plant health – animal health – human health connection but no one has tied them all together as Nicole does,” says farmer and soil health advocate, Gabe Brown. “She shows us through her own personal experiences and those of farmers, ranchers, researchers and medical professionals all over the world that the answers lie in the soil.”

In spite of the challenges food producers face, Masters’ book shows even incredibly degraded landscapes can be regenerated through mimicking natural systems and focusing on the soil first.

“Our global agricultural production systems are frequently at war with ecosystem health and Mother Nature,” notes Terry McCosker of Resource Consulting Services in Australia. “In this book, Nicole is declaring peace with nature and provides us with the science and guidelines to join the regenerative agriculture movement while increasing profits.”

These stories can offer inspiration to those who love quality food and the environment. We can all support producers, selflessly providing ecosystem services well beyond the farm gate. . . . Now more than ever we all need to catch the soil bug and regenerate our landscapes!’

 In Australia, as in USA, we have Federal governments that refuse to commit to zero emissions by 2050. Both of our Federal governments still listen to the lobbyists for fossil fuels to the extent that here, ‘de-risking’ will mean Australian tax payers taking on the risk of  stranded assets to satisfy the group, including gas with its fracking, calling themselves ‘low emissions’.

Information from the Australian Conservation Foundation. ‘On Tuesday the Morrison government announced $52.9 million in public funding for the gas industry. And then the Coalition revealed a plan to weaken our brightest renewable funds – the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) – to let them splash cash into fossil fuels.’ Because business is wary of such investment.

Australia’s Prime Minister has offered us zero emissions some time in the second half of the 21st century. For him, jobs equal gas, not other avenues in health and teaching.

Regeneration in land and landscape must mean much less logging of our old forests.

Once more thank you to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National Science Show presented by Robyn Williams.

Full episode 54min 7sec

How to eliminate CO2 emissions from agriculture? The answer lies in the soil!

New Zealand is committed to zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Sustainability – Who cares? Who doesn’t?

Educators do. Children are being brought to understand what sustainability entails. But children can’t vote. And votes make the difference in a democracy.

In Australia ACARA says. ‘The Australian Curriculum places emphasis on Sustainability as a priority for study that connects and relates relevant aspects of content across learning areas and subjects. Cross-curriculum learning is fundamental to: … appreciating and respecting the diversity of views and values that influence sustainable development.’

If educators know the connections needed now, why do too many in politics in democracies continue to fund toxic fossil fuels?

Which nations care about sustainability? Sustainability requires clean energy.

ASU has the USA’s first School of Sustainability. In 2020 what do its students face?

‘Established in 2006, the School of Sustainability’s mission is to foster innovative research, impactful education and engaged communities to achieve environmental integrity, social equity and well-being.’ And its ‘Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, home to the new College of Global Futures, [is] dedicated to designing futures where everyone may thrive.’

Students at Arizona State University png.

Discover how a sustainability degree prepares you for tomorrow’s work environment. The Dean of the School of Sustainability, Chris Boone says: ‘Sustainability is improving human well-being and ensuring social equity for present and future generations while safeguarding the planet’s life-supporting ecosystems.’

Are students going to vote in their November elections? What will they vote for?


The Arizona State University is now connecting Shakespeare and ecology!!! Its foundation Professor, Sir Jonathan Bate formerly of Oxford, was interviewed by Michael Cathcart on our indispensable Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National’s weekly program ‘The Stage Show’ keeping us connected while the virus keeps us apart.

The man who lives with Shakespeare

on The Stage Show
with Michael Cathcart

Sir Jonathan Bate has spent much of his life living with William Shakespeare — he’s dedicated his career to better understanding the work of the Bard. Now the British academic is asking how Shakespeare’s work might help us to save the planet.

Educators are making the connections we need. Why not so many in politics?

Wisdom and Warning.

the ABC’s Science Show presented by Robyn Williams
Extract minerals for clean energy. Lithium batteries conserve energy,

 Lithium processing a new opportunity for Australia

Half of the world’s lithium is found in Australia. Most of the rest is found in South America. After extraction, it undergoes a series of transformations finally becoming the major component in batteries for cars, bikes, and all manner of modern devices. After extraction, the lithium passes along a processing chain, generating increasing profit at each stage. As research fellow Mahdokht Shaibani explains, the profit for the mining company is just half of one percent of the profit generated from other stages along the way. Mahdokht says Australia is well positioned to develop industries and benefit from lithium processing and not just be a miner who sells raw materials for other nations to profit.’ No need to focus on fossil fuels.

Cleaner air delivers LA health and economic benefits

‘Ed Avol has spent his career measuring the effects of bad air on health. He says the $65 billion spent on cleaning up harmful emissions in California has produced savings of trillions of dollars in saved health costs alongside other economic benefits.’

Window closing for action to stabilise the Earth’s climate

Johan Rockström is a Swedish professor of Earth Systems Science. He outlines why the Earth has entered a climate emergency and why urgent action is needed.

Johan Rockström
Professor of Earth Systems Sciences
Director – Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Potsdam Germany

English version of the Swedish Radio show Vinter i P1 with Johan Rockström

Listen for free on your mobile device on the ABC Listen app, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or your favourite podcast app