A Summary of the Environmental Actions Taken by the Liberals Since Winning The 2013 Election. Complete with Humorous GIFS.

When the Labor Party came into government during 2007 the…

Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Climate Change Commission were established

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Kyoto Protocol was commissioned

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They committed to a 20% renewable energy target to be achieved by 2020

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and after a LONG debate over the price on carbon they persisted and got it passed in the senate

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I’ll admit it wasn’t all good

There was that poorly planned Home Insulation Program.

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But the Liberals have been in 6 months and

The Renewable Energy Authority, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Commission have all been either dismantled or had severe funding cuts.

I campaigned with the Australia Youth Climate Coalition on their Repower Australia campaign to get the Clean Energy Finance Corporations $10b renewable energy investment fund passed through parliament. I rallied and had conversations with 100’s of people and then they’ve just scrapped it all.

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Yeah, so ….Thanks Tony

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They’ve reduced the renewable energy target from 20% by 2020 to a mere 5%

Something else activists around the country, including myself worked hard to achieve.

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They’re drafting plans to abolish the Price On Carbon

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and they say they’ll be ‘reviewing’ the laws around marine park no-take zones… but we all know what that means

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Meanwhile we have a handful of wealthy Australians weakening our unions and buying out media corporations

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Gina Rhinehart is sitting back earning $600 a second apparently…

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She’s somehow made Andrew Bolt her pet monkey

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Clive Palmer is meant to be earning a measly $1.1b a year …probably saving for his dinosaur theme park which is super important – much more important than having an equitable society, apparently.

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Tony is sitting on the front bench like

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This is me whenever I see our Prime Minister in the public eye

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Aren’t we meant to be proud of our politicians? I’m embarrassed…

This is the truth, this is what we are facing with right now

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Our current leader Tony Abbott was quoted in 2010 saying

“The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

Pretty much saying that they need to introduce policies targeted at climate change to win votes, not because he believes climate change is the real and present threat that it is.

Well Tony I’ll post some references to the scientific concensus supporting climate change at the end of this blog because I can’t stand having a Prime Minister who cannot understand straightforward scientific evidence.

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I don’t blame you though because you also scrapped the science minister.

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 I hope the Liberals start talking sense soon because I really don’t see whose votes they’re aiming for.

W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107.

P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002.

N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618

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Hidden Treasures

I started back at uni this week after having time off over summer. On my walk to the train station I stopped into the Little Library at Melbourne Central to have a browse, I’ve donated many books there throughout our BNN journey and love the old timely bookstore feel it has.

So I went in and had a quick scan of the books there and I saw the spine of one book that read ‘The Spend Less Handbook, 365 Tips for a Better Quality of Life While Actually Spending Less‘, Perfect, right up my alley I thought. When I got on the train I fished the book out of my bag and noticed a sticker on the front which initially I thought must be some award the book has won. I soon realised the sticker said ‘Books just wanna be free!’ – this grabbed my attention.
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A little while ago we had a comment from ‘CC’ Richards who’s blog is Daytripper Sippers. He bought our attention to the idea of ‘traveling books’ which I have heard a bit before but he jogged my memory on the theory behind them. Travelling books work on a ‘read and release’ theory, this means you leave a book which you have read or are willing to let go of ‘in the wild’ (such as on a park bench, on the train or the Little Library) so that then someone else can pick it up and enjoy it themselves. Travelling books have been around for ages, but the exciting part is that they have now gone digital – this means you can keep track of your books travels online instead of just hoping it’s gone to someone nice and never knowing. You see normally you would leave your name and location inside the front cover of the book, but now with the help of bookcrossing.com each book is assigned a registration number and can be logged online so all past and present holders of the book can see the journeys it makes.
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Anyway… The book I picked up is a bookcrossing book! I had the biggest smile on my face when I noticed this, it’s like I felt special, as if the book chose me – weird I know! So far the book has been a little gem with quite a few nifty tricks of the trade. It had a little story at the end of chapter one which I really enjoyed, it seemed to connect with me and our BNN journey really well.

A rich businessman while on holiday in a foreign land approaches a local fisherman who is relaxing next to his boat watching the waves gently rustle up the shore.

“Why aren’t you working?” he asks the man.

“Because I have already caught enough fish for the day,” the fisherman replies.

“But if you were out there fishing now you could sell all the fish you catch and make extra money,” urges the foreign businessman. “You could save up the extra money you earn and buy another boat. Keep on working like that and soon you could own a whole fleet of boats and start up a business in international trade”

“And why would I want to do that?” said the fisherman, barely looking up from under the brim of his straw hat.

“So that you could become rick enough like me to be able to sit back and enjoy life”

“But what” replied the fisherman “do you think I am doing now?”

What a great story, it resides so perfectly with some of the things we’ve learnt so far with BNN. Be grateful for what you have, live for now – don’t waste your time thinking ‘if I just had that I would be so much happier’ because if you really think about it, you probably wont. Experiences are what really stick with you, memories of laughter, smells and sights – not stuff.

I am so glad I’ve come across this book, it made my day. I look forward to reading more of it and then releasing it so it can go on and live another day.

Little xx

Twelve Things to Do Instead of buying ‘stuff’

  1. Go outside and explore your neighbourhood, Give a smile, a wave or a cheery ‘hello to people you pass by. You could walk, jog, bike ride or even roller blade around town. You might discover some cool shops or parks you didn’t know about before.
  2. Spend time with your pets (if you don’t have any, maybe you could borrow someones, ha!) treat your cat to some cheese, give her a big long cuddle on the couch. You could practice some obedience training with your dog or play hide and seek with him/her at the park. 
  3. Make funny eCards on JibJab 
  4. Find a nice spot outside to lie down and just enjoy the moment. Watch the clouds go by, feel the cool breeze and listen to the birds chatting in the trees.
  5. Go on Pintrest and try out a few of those projects or recipes you’ve ‘pinned’.
  6. Go through old photo albums.
  7. Write a haiku poem
  8. Get involved in your local community, join a club such a mothers club, gardening club or book club and meet some new people.
  9. Exercise! I am pretty lazy, and will admit I like to indulge in the ‘TV workout‘ 
  10. Read a book
  11. Do something you’ve been needing to do but have put off for way too long now such as mending holes in clothes, cleaning out the tupperware cabinet (which we’re still doing btw) or putting up wall hooks for art you’ve been meaning to put up.  
  12. Play a board game (we like Ticket to Ride, The Game of Life and Agricola, all of which are available on the Apple App Store to play multiplayer or single on iPad or iPhone)

Do you have any other suggestions?? 

Cute animal picture!
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Little xx

Writing Wednesdays

This week I attempted the 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 writing exercise.

Grab the 7th book from your bookshelf. Open it up to page 7. Pinpoint the 7th sentence on the page. Begin a poem that begins with that sentence and limit it in length to 7 lines.

I came across this idea and a few others I may use in a later post on the Huffington Post ‘Best Creative Writing Exercises’

The 7th book on my shelf was The Maze Runner (written by James Dashner), this is one of my very favourite books, it’s part of a series. I’m also very envious of its U.S. movie release this September – although I’m determined to get my hands on it some how.

So in bold below is the 7th sentence from the 7th page of the book and below it follow the poem which totals 7 lines (including the quoted text from the book). I’m not very good at poems, but I’ll give it my best shot.

An odd, dilapidated wooden building near one of the corners of the square contrasted greatly with the grey stone.

this place was strange, unfamiliar and eerie

But still he stood there, this was now his new home

So to make an impression he put on an act, acting happy and gleeful, not tired and weary.

It was time to begin, this was a fresh start

he sought refuge that night in the local tavern

and in the wee hours as the last drinks were called he finished is pint and preyed that this time he would not fall apart
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Little Pop xx

Writing Wednesdays

When I was young my Mother, my Grandfather and Grandmother put a lot of energy into encouraging me and my cousins to express ourselves creatively. We come from a family of writers, my Great-Grandfather, was a writer for The Herald and Weekly Times. My Grandmother has studied writing and editing and although she is not yet published, I love seeing the joy she gets when she see’s or hears something which motivates her, her whole face lights up before saying ‘That would make a great story!’. My Grandfather recently had a hip replacement and has limited mobility whilst his body recuperates. We assumed the limited mobility was driving the two of them a bit stir crazy being cooped up in the house (Don’t get me wrong they have the most beautiful apartment in North Fitzroy, but I’m sure anyone who is mostly stuck in one place for a certain amount of time would be forgiven for feeling this way!). So we went off to visit on Sunday arvo. It was lovely, we bought some mini cakes and had fesh salad rolls from the bakery, we shared stories of all our recent accomplishments and ideas, all in all I had a lovely afternoon. As the sun was starting to set at around 5:25pm we were sitting in the lounge area when Mum suddenly remembered an activity we did when I was younger to encourage me to write – The activity is pretty straightforward, you pick an object, it could be anything: a saucepan, a remote, a coaster etc… Then everyone is handed a few sheets of paper and a pen and you all just sit and write for a solid five minutes. It’s so much fun to hear everyone reading out their stories and comparing them to your own, it’s amazing how one little object can be viewed in so many different ways.

Here is what we chose to write about – a little blonde boy ornament with a cane.

 
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And here are the stories each of us came up with

My Grandmother

Herman Windshuttle put on his little cap & his brother Wilhelm’s hiking boots. He was off to Munich to join the youth movement. 

“Farewell Murri, Farewell Greta don’t lets worry about the weather” became his walking song & the brolly top flapped along in counterpoint to his strides. 

He came to the river, which at this point was small enough & friendly enough to allow him to jump.

A loud booming roar came over the low mountain range to the north. Herman took off his cap and waved proudly. They were off to spread the news of Deutschland Uber Alles, to the English cousins.

Herman actually had a cousin in Sussex somewhere, Murri wilfully spoke of her some nights. 

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My Mother (Big Pop)

Wee blonde Angus went out one day. He had no boots to keep his feet dry – just slippers and socks. He went to the town square and there at the market he purchased a bonnie green felt hat. It fitted well and his thick blonde curls just peaked out from the brim. He looked at all the stalls full of colourful fruits, vegetables and tableware. He wished his home had lovely decorative items. On the ground he found a broken tea cup that had been discarded. He picked it up and studied the hand painted flowers that decorated the fine china. What a prize! He placed it in a handkerchief and kept it in his rucksack

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My Grandfather

It was a terrible day! The rain had been puring constantly for many hours and the roads and tracks surrounding the cabin were slippery and muddy, Gillford was quite down-hearted. He planned a days hiketo the canyon and had estimated that it would take him at least 3 hours to reach his destination and he would have a lovely picnic before returning home! What a disaster! 

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And Myself…

The boy was cold. He had nothing left but the clothes on his back and the cane he used to walk after injuring hid right leg trying to escape the nazis. He estimated he had been walking for 3 days although it could well be longer as the blizzard made it hard to distinguish day from night. His mother was a teacher and a sympathiser of our local jewish community, she was taken away after being found out to be educating the the ‘undesirables’ and his father died when he was very young. At this point his snow boots and cane were all he had left, he did not know what the future held for him – but he had hope and hope is something no man could ever take from him. 

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Little Pop, signing out! 

Summer Snacks

Yesterday I made some snack bars from neglected cereals and nuts in the pantry. I’m the first to admit I am a serial cereal hoarder – I decide one day ‘Ooh I’m going to be healthy and start eating cereal!’, but this mindset is short-lived and often the cereal is left neglected in a Tupperware container in the pantry. It was time to make use of the neglected cereals, it was their time to shine! Here’s my take on how to make them, I completely winged it so excuse the vagueness, although that’s part of the beauty of this recipe, you can use what ever you want. It’s a fantastic way to use up the ingredients taking up space in your pantry, and gives you a healthier option than snacking on chips and chocolates (that’s what I do at least!).
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Ok so here goes…

INGREDIENTS

Like I said though, this recipe will work with so many different combinations and all measurements are approximate. Try it out yourself mix it up a bit and let us know how you go. Our batch made approximately 16 bars and one cup of crumbles we used as granola in yogurt.

    • 4 cups of Cereal – you can use a mixture of different types, or just one depending on what you have in your pantry
    • 1/2 cup of chocolate buttons
    • 3 tablespoons of honey
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts
    • 1/4 cup of peanuts
    • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup of raisins or sultanas

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Some of our ingredients

METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
    2. Line oven tray with baking paper (I’s say have the baking tray at least 6cms deep… ours was about the size of an A4 piece of paper)
    3. I put all the ingredients inside a mixing bowl except the honey and salt
    4. Then I got a small pot and put the honey in with the salt and heated on the stove top until runny
    5. Drizzle honey mixture on the dry mix and stir through – The honey binds the ingredients together. If you feel there isn’t enough feel free to add some more.

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    1. Pour the mixture into the backing tray and spread out evenly
    2. Get another sheet of baking paper and place over the top of the mixture. Use your hands to push down on the mixture which will make it nice and compacted and avoid them crumbling.

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The mixture compacted in baking tray

  1. Place tray in oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes for chewy bars and 25 minutes for crunchy bars
  2. Take tray out and immediately place in fridge for 10 minutes
  3. Take tray out and cut the bars into rectangles or squares using a pizza cutter
  4. Place tray back into fridge for an hour or so
  5. Remove tray from fridge and lift mixture out using the baking paper
  6. The bars should be able to snap apart along the lines you cut earlier
  7. Place in Tupperware container in fridge or pantry
  8. Any crumbles made can be used as granola to have with yogurt. Yum!

Hope you enjoyed our recipe! Do you have any low-cost healthy snack ideas? Snack bars in the supermarket can work out to be over a dollar each in some cases, this was much more cost effective and soo yummy! If you try this out please don’t hesitate to let us know how you go 🙂

Little Pop xxx

Australia Day

G’day!

Today was Australia Day. 
For me Australia day (AD) has mixed connotations, it brings out both the best and the worst in people. It makes me both proud and not-so-proud to be Australian and I wish it wasn’t like this. There are a small majority of ‘Australians’ who take the goodhearted patriotism of AD and turn it into a nightmare by partying way too hard. The media has put on a good front trying to discourage excessive drinking and racism fuelled violence, but it still happens. Victoria Police say there are more assaults in the state on Australia Day than any other public holiday, most of this is non-family violence fuelled by a mixture of booze and racism. I feel like a small majority of people think it’s ok to hate on those from other nations on AD… as if they’ll receive a ‘pardon’ for their completely inappropriate behaviour and ‘F&$K Off We’re Full’ social media campaigns. I don’t even understand where this kind of racism stemmed from – don’t these people realise that once upon a time we were the outsiders? Indigenous Australians are the real ones who should be celebrating, the land is rightfully theirs. AD is a perfect day to spend with your family and friends, have a barbecue, go to the beach, listen to the Hottest 100 or just sit at home and have a cup of tea, because that’s the beauty of this country – we are free to be who we want, and to celebrate in what ever way we want.

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I celebrated by making a list of 10 things which make me proud to be an Australian citizen

  1. Pavlova (need I say more?)
  2. I have always found it pretty cool that our country takes up a whole continent. 
  3. Our unique mix of flora and fauna – 80% of Australia’s plants and animals do not occur anywhere else
  4. We have a really good gun-control system… certainly better some than other countries. 
  5. We are the lucky country! Australians have so many opportunities throughout their lives.
  6. WIFI & Google Maps – believe it or not Australians played a large part in the development of these two nifty technologies.
  7. The beaches… We have a beach house on the Mornington Peninsula and I’ve gone there ever since I was a kid. The air is crisp just as the sound of the waves is soothing. Nothing beats munching on $3 worth of chips whilst watching the sun set on the beach.
  8. The slang: bloody oath! Fair dinkum! I’m Nackered!
  9. We have a pretty good voting system… it’s not perfect but everyone gets a say.
  10. I like the mystery that Australia holds to other nations… do we really ride kangaroos? Are drop bears a serious threat? What about cute cuddly Possums and Koalas, they couldn’t possibly hurt a fly could they?

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So Happy Australia Day fellow bloggers, I hope celebrated safely and found time to soak up everything that makes this country great. 

Ooo Roo!

Little Pop

 

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