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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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activism

Environmental week at Thredbo

Environmental week is an annual event that happens at Thredbo resort in NSW which is ‘dedicated towards driving awareness to our guests, community and beyond about all of our environmental initiatives in place and what we can all be doing as a community to protect winter and Thredbo’.

It will happen from July 22 – 28, and features talks and presentations, a hike to Mt Kosciuszko, and a fund raiser for tree planting.

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This is what climate change looks like

Yes, Australia does have erratic winters.

Yes, the forecast was suggesting that the season would start late and be mediocre to average.

And yes, we just had two awesome winters, so we would have been very lucky to have three in a row.

But the first month of winter 2019 has been the sort of winter you would expect under climate change scenarios.

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Victoria’s best chance to lead on climate action

Climate change poses an existential threat to the mountains and winter environment that we love and rely on. In Australia, winter snow is already in decline, and has been since 1957.

And climate scientists keep warning us that we are running out of time to cut greenhouse emissions and head off future climate impacts. With the Coalition being re-elected, Australia now has no leadership on climate change (and our carbon emissions continue to soar), so we need everyone to put their shoulder to the wheel.

With the failure of the federal government to act, there is a huge need for the states to continue their work on energy policy. In the ACT, the Government has legislated a target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020. States around the world, from California to Colorado to New York are also showing leadership and setting deep emission reduction targets and high renewable energy targets.

And now we have a fantastic opportunity to see Victoria take the step towards transforming its energy system and economy. We have just four weeks to send in submissions to the Victorian government on the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets. The state government must announce targets for 2025 and 2030 by March next year. Targets which are based on climate science, rather than what is deemed ‘politically expedient’, will drive down emissions and start the transition from coal to renewables.

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POW info night at Hotham

Sunday September 8.

The Snow Bird, Hotham Central, 6.30 – 9pm.

Protect Our Winters (POW) is mobilising the outdoor sports community against climate change. It was founded by the legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones and is active across North America and Europe. POW is now taking off in Australia.

Come along to this session to hear what’s happening, how you can support POW, and how to get involved. All welcome.

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Climb8: 700 kms across the Alps on snowshoes

Climb8 will be a long distance snowshoe expedition planned for the 2020 winter.
It aims to cross 36 summits, visit 8 ski resorts and carry out climate change research along the way.

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Logging stopped near Icy Creek

Forest Conservation Victoria reports that:

“Logging has been halted today in an area of forest at Icy Creek, along the main scenic tourist road out to Mt Baw Baw. A person is suspended 25 metres above the ground up a tree on a platform tied to logging machinery. Their actions are preventing the destruction of Ballantynes Saddle, which still remains after major decimation on the adjacent ridge.”

Ballantynes Saddle lies on the road to Mt Baw Baw between Icy Creek and the township of Tanjil Bren.

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Human sign on kunanyi/ Mt Wellington

There was a great turnout at the human sign event over the weekend to show opposition to the cable car planned for kunanyi/ Mt Wellington.

Check the video here.

For images, check the Respect The Mountain facebook page.

Background on the campaign available here.

IMAGE: Rob Blakers.

In the chaos, it’s important to remember the good stuff

Regardless of who wins the federal election, life will go on, and winter snows are getting closer. But it is still easy to get depressed about the chaotic state of federal politics, and the appalling lack of action on climate change that we have witnessed under the current Coalition government. Fires burnt large areas of the mountains this summer, there are ongoing attempts to allow commercial developments in national parks and other wild places, and feral horses have, in effect, been given protected status in Kosciuszko national park. Faced with ever more intense fire seasons, the forests are getting younger as we get older.

As the saying goes, ‘if you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.’ And, if you’re paying the slightest bit of attention to the natural world, then it’s normal to feel constant Solastalgia.

So, its important to hold hope and to pay attention to the good things that are happening. As Outside magazine recently reminded us, being out in nature is good for our bodies and also our emotional health. And there are also many good developments affecting the places that we love.

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Adventurers for Climate Action

Anyone who spends time in wild nature knows that climate change is already impacting on the places we love. While for decades the primary political work of outdoor enthusiasts was to campaign for the protection of wild places through the creation of national parks and other reserves, now we need to also respond to the existential threat posed by unbridled climate change.

Older groups are shifting their focus to include acting on climate. For instance, the Wilderness Society, which has led so many campaigns to protect wild landscapes here in Australia, now has a strong focus on climate change. The wintersports group Protect our Winters (POW) is doing valuable work mobilising the skiing and riding communities and focusing them on decision makers.

Now another outdoor focused group – Adventurers for Climate Action – brings together the combined efforts of 10 organisations.

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