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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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activism

Opposition to Mt Wellington cable car keeps growing

The community campaign against the cable car that has been proposed for kunayi/ Mt Wellington in Hobart is going from strength to strength.

Here is a summary of what’s happened in the past week.

Continue reading “Opposition to Mt Wellington cable car keeps growing”

Is this a game changer for sustainability in the outdoor industry?

US-based retail giant REI has just announced a new set of sustainability standards, which will apply to all 1,000-plus outdoor brands it currently sells , and all the ones it will sell in the future. The standards address a broad range of social and environmental concerns, with minimum requirements and a set of preferred or suggested practices’.

These guidelines will be implemented almost immediately. While REI only trades in the USA, many of the brands it stocks are sold here in Australia, so we have to assume these brands offerings in Australia will be manufactured to these standards.

While individual companies have been making significant advances in sustainability and workplace issues in recent years, the sheer scale of REI’s influence on the retail market in the USA could prove to be a game changer in that it could cause a ‘step change’ in the baseline operating standards of the outdoor gear sector.

Brands sold through REI include:

Arc’teryx, Deuter, Exped, Mountain Hardware, Mammut, Osprey, OR, MSR, The North Face, Columbia, Burton, ExOfficio, Helly Hansen, Kuhl, La Sportiva, Marmot, Smartwool, etc.

The full story can be found on Green Outdoor Gear.

The economic impacts of climate change on winter sports

Protect Our Winters has released an update of it’s report ‘the economic contributions of winter sports in a changing climate’. It is yet another reminder about the economic benefits of the snow industry, both in local economies and at the national level, and the threat posed by climate change to this economic activity.

Continue reading “The economic impacts of climate change on winter sports”

Mountain May Day

It’s crunch time in the campaign to stop the cable car up the face of kunanyi/ Mt Wellington. The proposal is being fast tracked by the Tasmanian government (background here).

If you’ll be anywhere near Hobart on Sunday 6th May please join this event and show your opposition to the desecration of the mountain.

Meet at 11am, Cascade Gardens, South Hobart.

Speakers include Bob Brown, Denison MP Andrew Wilkie, Richard Flanagan, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and others.

The Cable Car Company have said that ‘public opposition is virtually non existent’.

Put it in your calendar! Please share this event. More details coming.

Facebook event page here (has full details on the location).

The End of Winter

Lately I have been experiencing extreme Solastalgia – ‘psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change’. I see it in the burnt out snow gum trunks on The Razorback (burnt three times in a decade). I see it in longer fire seasons and more erratic winters. I see it in the summer baked woodlands around my home in Central Victoria. I see it in the receding glaciers and icesheets.

Some days I feel inconsolable. As a day to day activist, I work as hard and as strategically as I can to get real protections in place, but I know that all my efforts are just about slowing down the reality of what is coming … and no matter what you achieve, its never enough. This week I heard a Coalition politician, Matthew Canavan, talk about ‘beautiful’ coal and how we need to dig more coal and drill more gas, and I had one of those dark nights of the soul moments where I felt that we’ve already gone off the cliff – that we are well and truly fucked. There is such obstinate, wilful ignorance about climate change by people like Matthew and so many of those who are in charge of our governments, such powerful vested interests blocking action, and such ecological destruction locked into the momentum of our high consumption lifestyles. It seems quite beyond hope.

Sometimes it’s heartening just to be reminded that there are many other people who are also paying attention and taking action. This reflection on the changing face of Alaska really struck a deep note with me. I made my first journey to Alaska when I was 20 and fell into the deep, wild beauty of that place. It was like a lucid dream, and I felt drawn into the mountains and the silence. This piece by composer John Luther Adams is heartbreaking. He asks what will fill that space in our humanness when the cold and wild Alaska is gone? I don’t just want to reflect on what we are losing. I also want to fight for what we still have. He reminds us of our shared complicity in the world we are creating. I fully agree with John: “We must find new ways of living on this Earth. The changes we make must be profound. They must be worldwide. And they must happen now”.

Continue reading “The End of Winter”

Protection for some of Kuark forest a welcome first step

Following a long community campaign, the Andrews government that it will increase protection of the Kuark forest in East Gippsland.

As part of the extension of the Victorian Regional Forests Agreements (RFAs), the government has announced protection for the Kuark forest. The Kuark is a classic ecotone forest that exists on the interface between the cooler forest types of Gippsland and the sub tropical forests that stretch up the eastern seaboard. There are plans to create a ‘coast to mountains’ walking trail through this forest.

Spokesperson for the Goongerah Environment Centre Office (GECO), Ed Hill, said “we welcome the government’s announcement that parts of the Kuark forest will now be protected. This is a good step in the right direction and we look forward to working with the government to ensure the Kuark forest is formally incorporated into the Errinundra National Park along with other forest areas of high environmental value, within this term of government.

“Today’s announcement does not provide full protection for the iconic Kuark forest, some areas have not been included, we will continue to advocate and campaign for their protection.”

The full reaction from GECO can be found here and Friends of the Earth here. The minister’s announcement is here.

Community members from the Strathbogie region act to protect forests

Community members from the Strathbogie region have again taken direct action today – the International Day of Forests– to prevent the ongoing, needless destruction of Strathbogie’s forests.

Local group Our Strathbogie Forest reports:

Continue reading “Community members from the Strathbogie region act to protect forests”

#ClimateWhiteout: climate change and the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics are underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Climate and winter sports advocacy groups have been using social media to highlight the expected impacts of global warming on future Winter Olympic sites.

This is not a new story, but research that shows that climate change is likely to make nine former Winter Olympics sites too warm to host the Games again has been circulating using the hashtag #ClimateWhiteout.

Continue reading “#ClimateWhiteout: climate change and the Winter Olympics”

East Gippsland old growth forest blockade continues for second week

The following update comes from Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO).

Conservationists are continuing to blockade an old growth forest logging operation at Granite Mountain in remote East Gippsland today. The blockade was established on Monday January 22nd, and has halted logging in the contentious area for seven consecutive days. Fifteen people are maintaining a presence on the site today, one person is positioned in a hammock suspended from a tripod structure that is blocking the access road to logging operation.
Continue reading “East Gippsland old growth forest blockade continues for second week”

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