The earth is sustainable, just like the human body heals itself, as soon as it gets damaged. Or as soon as people damage it. But sometimes, that healing of its balance can be a bit rough. On Boxing Day 2004, when the Aceh Tsunami struck, it was very, very rough.
The next year hurricane Katrina, which devastated the community of New Orleans on August 29 2005, forced hundreds of thousands of people to run for their lives (250,000 did not return, relocating or becoming long-term displaced people) and seek shelter from the planet's fury.
As this page is being re-written, in February 2009, Australia is still reeling from the 8 February wildfires in Victoria, which are expected to extract a toll of around 300 human lives. That day Australian weather bureaus predicted Victoria's hottest ever day, and 48° C was recorded.
Welcome to the sustainability section!
If this is your first visit to our website, be assured that you're warmly welcomed! You may also want to scroll down the page or click on this quicklink to see the blurb that tells you how the website works: there are six sections and more, and there's more than 1000 pages...
But first, some links to new pages added to this section dealing with sustainable earth care and management - pages not listed in the olive green menu buttons on the left. The pages also include articles on this website relating to climate and environmental refugees.
Green section archives:
18 June 2009: Christine Milne: The climate nightmare is upon us - Greens Environment spokesperson Christine Milne's June 2009 address at the Press Club: "It is not a lack of climate science that holds back action. It is how we respond to the challenge that the science poses, and that is deeply cultural. It is the values that we bring to bear, what we think is good for us, our religious underpinnings, our view of power and opportunity, of what is possible in the world and Australia's place in it. All these value judgements stop us from embracing change."
5 April 2009: Addicted to Growth: the Economy's Road to Perdition - "The wheels have fallen off the wagon, but the world's politicians are fiercely divided between those who feed the monster billions of dollars at a scoopful in hope that it recovers, and those who think that it's just the wheel bearings that have run hot. Both of the groups are prisoners of the paradigm or their own making that has kept them elected: promising growth, better welfare, more jobs and better services."
28 March 2009: Earth Hour: Shhhh, we're in the dark in Australia ... - Can a website participate in Earth Hour? Well, at Project SafeCom we say 'Yes We Can'. If you see this page when you visit safecom.org.au, Earth Hour has arrived, and none of the more than 1,000 pages can be accessed: all of them point to this page.
::: E-ACTION ALERT ::: March 2009: Time for Climate change action: Tell Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong! - Kevin Rudd's 5% reduction targets are not enough, Australia's worst polluters should stop getting obscene subsidies from Australian taxpayers, and it's high time to tell the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Climate change Minister Penny Wong, and Peter Garrett MP, that we need some "real" climate change policies!
26 February 2009: Australia's Climate Action Summit: Time for Climate change action - Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong avoid the issues, while thousands of people respond by 'Encircling The Parliament' ... The Rudd government's climate change policies, strategies and carbon reduction targets may well have been announced with much fanfare, but most of the announcements have amounted to a big sell-out to the polluters and they seem to pander to ....
20 February 2009: Australia takes its sun for granted - How Australia ignores its abundant sun and its energy contribution to a post-carbon society. An investigation into the Australian government's avoidance to use its main asset, the sun, and how it could power much, if not all of Australia's energy needs. Australia is not just avoiding its role in building a post-carbon economy, but more disturbingly, that it keeps itself beholden to the lobbying powers of the polluting industries that use coal as its core energy source.
19 February 2009: Black Saturday 2009: Reflections after the Victorian Fires - "It's possible some people may feel upset by the link being made in the media here and overseas between bushfires and climate change. I understand that people are shocked with grief. But there are many things we can and must learn from this tragedy, and one of them is this: The climate has changed. Our 5 per cent by 2020 carbon pollution reduction target is no longer politically viable. We are facing a climate emergency and [are] running out of time."
15 February 2009: Christian Aid report says: "the real migration crisis is still to come" - As the effects of climate change join and exacerbate the conflicts, natural disasters and development projects that drive displacement, we fear that an emerging migration crisis will spiral out of control. Unless urgent action is taken, it threatens to dwarf even that faced by the warravaged world all those decades ago. Christian Aid predicts that, on current trends, a further 1 billion people will be forced from their homes between now and 2050.
8 January 2009: Climate Troubles: the condemnation of Australia's Climate targets - The Rudd government's 'softly-softly' 5% targets have been roundly condemned by NGO's, climate scientists - and also by Ross Garnaut, Australia's climate change consultant, who was commissioned to write the papers, and now the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Professor James Hansen, has written an open letter to Barack Obama about Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong's targets.
12 July 2008: The Australia Institute: Clean coal and other greenhouse myths - This paper by George Wilkenfeld, Clive Hamilton and Hugh Saddler exposes sixteen greenhouse myths, and reiterates the basic principles of an effective greenhouse policy: no new coal-fired generation until it meets the criteria for at least half-clean use; encouragement of renewable and gas-fired generation; an increasingly stringent cap on emissions supported by a tradeable permit system; and stringent minimum energy efficiency standards for vehicles, buildings and appliances.
7 July 2008: Climate Code Red - Reviews and Comments - "Having been involved with global warming climate change as a researcher in environmental health for 25 years, I can say that this is without question by far the best book to date on this issue -- the first book to have the integrity to say how the situation really is."
5 July 2008: Climate Code Red: The case for Emergency Action - Australian climate scientists David Spratt & Philip Sutton reveal extensive scientific evidence that the global warming crisis is far worse than official reports and national governments have indicated - and that we're almost at the point of no return. According to Green's Christine Milne, they "provide a valuable and sobering contribution to the policy challenge of climate change at a pivotal moment, with their key insight that the expectation of failure has become the norm in climate policy. Climate Code Red is a significant contribution which should be read by anyone seriously contemplating how to set greenhouse emission-reduction targets."
5 July 2008: Will Ross Garnaut's verdict become Kevin's Slow Boat to China? - Professor Ross Garnaut has delivered his long awaited Climate Change Draft Report, and now it's up to the Rudd government to prepare the action and implement the policies. Will Professor Ross Garnaut force Kevin Rudd's climate change leadership, or will it be silently 'averaged out' in Canberra? This page summarizes the early impressions.
1 July 2008: Climate Change: Catastrophic Impacts and Human Rights - by HREOC President John von Doussa QC: "Australia's response to climate change must be human rights compliant. What is also clear is that the international standards and norms that these rights establish themselves provide guidance to decision makers on the substantive elements of legislative and policy responses to climate change."
20 June 2008: The Gristmill: How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic - Every now and then a remarkable online resource deals with an issue so well, that nothing more needs to be added to the topic. That was also the case with the comments provided by guest contributor to the Gristmill, Coby Beck, on the issue of How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic. Here's the table of links to all related issues.
8 May 2008: UN Human Rights Commission offers Human Rights to Climate Refugees - Three reports about the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution to recognise issues connected to climate change as having a human rights framework, as well as a picture by Reuters and the Reuters Alertnet about political manipulation of climate refugees and six FAQs about climate refugees.
22 April 2008: The 2020 Summit: Coal Industry Chiefs overheat Kevin's Climate - "I found myself in the climate stream with representatives of coal mining companies including Xstrata and Shell, yet not a single person from an environment Non-Government Organisation. No-one from Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, Climate Action Network Australia or any of the State Conservation Councils."
21 March 2008: The Garnaut Climate Change Review Interim Report - Hasn't Australia changed radically in just a few months: under the former government Ross Garnaut, who has just released his Interim Climate Change Review Report, would have been stonewalled, ignored, vilified and sidelined, and Canberra would have followed a lead from industry on its opinion about him. Now he receives appause from the environmental lobby while big energy producers cringe...
20 January 2008: Climate Change: voices from communities affected by climate change (Friends of the Earth International) - "Cities and towns where Australians live, generally concentrated near the coast, will be affected by sea-level rise and storms and, in the North, bymore intense cyclones. Heatrelated deaths in Australia's major urban centres are expected to become five times more frequent by 2050."
18 January 2008: Richard Flanagan - Out of Control: the tragedy of Tasmania's forests - "In a world where it seems everything can be bought, all that will remain [of the Tasmanian native forests] are ghosts briefly mocking memory: a ream of copying paper in a Japanese office and a man fern in an English garden. And then they too will be gone."
26 January 2007: And the Winning Big Issue for 2007 is... - It sounds almost like the announcement by of Juan Antonio Samaranch, who announced that Syd-e-ney had won its bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games - it's just that the "winner" of the Big Issues in 2007 is a rather more disturbing announcement.
3 December 2006: From coal and horses and shock-jocks: Forcing the coal industry on its environmental knees - The judgment against Centennial Coal's Anvil mine by the New South Wales' Land and Environment court was a blow for the coal industry, but a giant - albeit potential - win for the planet, which brought together on the same side of the table some very unlikely partners: shock-jock Alan Jones, a 26-year-old student from Newcastle, and wine growers from The Hunter.
4 November 2006: Walk Against Warming: Day of Action on Climate Change - The Government will only take real action on climate change and protect our kids' futures if you to tell them to. Join thousands of other Australians in a peaceful walk urging action on climate change on the International Day of Action on Climate Change now.
8 October 2006: An Inconvenient Truth Down-under - "The reason [Australia] has joined the US in failing to ratify Kyoto, is that it wishes to sabotage this international agreement. Australia's policy under the Howard Government has been to attempt sabotage, not just of Kyoto, but of any international climate change treaty or protocol that 'works'..."
:::CALL TO ACTION::: Monday 18 September 2006: A Planetary Emergency: Earth on the boil - this week, of all weeks in the year, seems a most opportune week to send you Project SafeCom's 'brand-new' publication - the brochure "From Climate Change to Climate Justice".
14 August 2006: Got that sinking feeling? - Some of Australia's closest neighbours are getting 'that sinking feeling' - and with good reason: their nations are sinking, or rather, rising sea levels increase the likelihood of them becoming "climate refugees". But this page is about our own country: Australia...
11 March 2006: Burning Coal and burning the planet - The Australian Labor Party has just released its environmental policy blueprint, and on the face of it, the policy looks 'half decent', but, as always needs to be asked, is the ALP policy all it's stated to be? And, how vulnerable is the stated target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050?
5 March 2006: Silencing the climate change prophets - ABC Four Corners lifts the lid off government gagging of those who know and should tell us. "Some scientists believe that there'll be more environmental refugees. Is that a possibility?" - "I can't really comment on that..."
15 September 2005: Friends of the Earth Australia: A Citizens Guide to Climate Refugees - While the Earth has always endured natural climate change variability, we are now facing the possibility of irreversible climate change in the near future. The increase of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere from industrial processes has enhanced the natural greenhouse effect.
5 January 2005 - Changing worlds: the coming of envirogees - In the last week of 2004, when undersea earthquakes followed by tsunamis seriously impacted on countless local communities, the entire world was given a wake-up call which none of us can afford to ignore. An article by Project SafeCom's Jack Smit.
31 December 2004: Changing worlds: the coming of envirogees - They will be coming in boats, in trucks, on trains - and in lorries, in aircraft wheel housing spaces, crouched.... An exploration of some Australian and global issues associated with ecological and seismic disasters, and the links between the two aspects of a planet under pressure - and the implications for a world community 'on the move'.
8 January 2004: Ten Steps to create an Organic Permaculture Garden - In an organic permaculture garden, the balance of a healthy self-functioning is not just retained, but also developed by deliberate design. In an organic permaculture garden, there is no need for applications of pesticides, the predator and prey are maintained in a balanced loop with plants, animals and insects.
25 November 2003: Practicing vermiculture - or owning a worm farm - Vermiculture is the practice of cultivating 'creepy-crawlies' in order to help them break down organic household waste. The power of for example redworms - Eisenia fetida - is staggering, and many people now own a "worm farm". In principle, a worm farm can handle kitchen waste, newspapers, and even egg cartons.
5 October 2003: Calming the Western Australian salt monster - In Western Australia, salt has now damaged about two million hectares of farm land. Production on those hectares has fallen, or stopped. If nothing is done, the salt will keep spreading for another 200 years. It will finally stop moving after about 30 per cent of the land has been degraded...
14 August 2003: Holistic farming: working towards your greener pastures - Talk to the people of the 750 km2 back paddock of El Questro Cattle Station, the folks at The Kachana Pastoral Company in the Kimberley in Western Australia. They regard their cows as part of the daily Executive Farm Management Team: Kachana's intensive rotational grazing plan is a proven success.
12 May 2003: The PAN Recall: the biggest medicine recall in history - The slowly forgotten MEDICARE dismantling push - legislation proposed in April-May 2003 - by Howard went hand-in-hand with the biggest medicine recall in history: the two events were only one day apart. While this should have rung all the alarmbells of the mainstream media, nothing happened. Read the 3-part analysis below. It will surprise you!
How the website works:
The website has six topic sections marked by their colors. From any page you can jump to any of the sections using the menu bar at the top. List bullets with the same colours help you identify the 4-5 line page summaries that you'll find throughout the website. Below are the section descriptions, showing these bullets, following the order of the top menu bar.
The red section was developed as part of our 'election campaign' during the 2004 Federal election. It carries the nick-name "Fixing Australia", because Project SafeCom's Blog was set up as part of that section.
They grey section is our human rights section. With about 400 pages, the grey section is by far our largest section, dealing with Australia's refugee and asylum seeker issues, indigenous issues, the campaign for a Bill of Rights, Australian media issues, and the Iraq War.
The olive green section, nick-named 'sustainable earth' contains some environmental issues and the climate change debate in Australia. Issues about climate change and 'environmental refugees' are also stored inside this section.
The 'sustainable shelter' section presents some ideas for alternative housing and low-impact shelter and living environments.
The orange section was created as a response to Australia's draconian Anti-Terrorism legislation proposed during the neo-conservative government of John Howard from 2003 to 2005 - and its implications for citizens' rights and freedoms.
The blue section is the section for organisational matters and the section of our Association matters; it includes the 'closed section' for our organisation's members.
The white field at the right side of the top menu bar is not a section: if you're one of our members, it brings you to the page where you can log in to the members-only section.
Other list markers
The page summaries for the Blog are marked with this little swirl to mark it as distinct from the usual 'red' section page summaries.
All pages that deal with indigenous issues or speeches written by indigenous leaders are marked with this tiny Aboriginal flag.
surfing this website
A brief explanation of the coloured sections of our website. Note that all the menu button images below are "clickable": they bring you to the places we describe!
If you're visiting our website for the first time, we welcome you! You may like to know that you're in the presence of 2,000 to 4,000 others who are visiting the site today (figures of April 2008). And if you're one of our returning visitors, you may already be excited: since January 2008 we've re-edited the entire website, and it's more attractive and comprehensive than ever!
using your mouse
Move your mouse over any of the menu buttons below and in all menus: an explanation of what the page is all about will show.
Currently you're in our dark olive green section, which collects all our pages relating to climate change, climate change events and global warming issues - including the issues surrounding climate refugees. This green section is expected to grow rapidly during the years 2009-2010.
Currently still the largest section of our website, the grey section counts hundreds of pages about Australia's undermining of International rights for 'unannounced' boat refugees and asylum seekers; our treatment of Indigenous people; Australia and "the Iraq War", the state of our media and our need for a human rights charter.
Exploring all sections of our website will be easy by using the "What's New" page as your starting point (bookmark it!), because that page not only links to all archived pages since 2001, but it also lists every new page we create, usually on the very day we create it.
In addition, throughout all six sections of the website you'll find this documentation button, leading you to hundreds of background documents, action flyers, petitions, research papers and briefing papers for and from Non-Government Organisations, churches or affiliated church groups, refugee activist groups, Federal Members of Parliament, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, sustability groups and climate change organisations.
We use smart "inverted" colours in the menu buttons when you are already at the page listed amongst the buttons in the menu. A good example of 'inverted colours' is here in the orange section - where the menu on the section hub page shows a bright cyan: the inverted colour of the colour orange.
and there's some more
If you see a page summary with the little "PS" logo (also shown in all browers' address bars, except for Internet Explorer), then you're looking at page that's authored, and usually published, also outside this website by Project SafeCom or with Project SafeCom.
If you see a page summary with the little "PS" logo and a red letter "e" overlaid over the logo, then you're looking at a page for one of the terrific Project SafeCom public events.
We've also made sure to include some more buttons on every page of this website:
Project SafeCom is of course an Non-Government Organisation, or an NGO, and entirely independent as an organisation - and proud at that - but that also means we're self-funded: we pay all our bills and we generate all the money we need to pay those bills ... a never-ending quest!
So, by including the row of four red and green buttons as displayed here on every page of our website, we ask you to visit our online Shop, our page for making donations, while you also should enjoy visiting our Events page - since our beginnings in 2001, we have organised forums, film events, speakers' events and theatre fundraisers.
orders and payments
Our international preferred payment agent for all books and videos in our online Shop and for donations is PayPal. All products pages have an instant PayPal payment button installed for our visitors' convenience. While we are clearly a "not-for-profit" organisation, your donations to us are under Australian law not tax deductable.
So, our income is generated from the sale of products via the website, the proceeds of local events and fundraisers, from donations and periodical pledges, and from membership fees. You don't need to live in Australia to become a member: while we have paid-up members in all Australian States, we also have members who live overseas, like in the USA. All our members get our acclaimed News and Updates, and qualify for a discount on all products from our online Shop.
Enjoy your visit to our website!