Book Review: Einstein’s Last Message

Author: Dr Rod O’Connor  

Review by Sam Garrett-Jones

In 1946 Einstein was worried. On the 23rd of June, he gave the New York Times his “message.” He warned, “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive.” Einstein was fearful of nuclear war and human nature. He thought we might destroy ourselves. Since then, our situation has become worse. We now have climate change and far-reaching destruction of the natural world.

Nature Kids – Summer 2020

Nature everywhere … from tall trees to tiny bees

CAMERA CONNECT

If you can’t get out to see the wonders of nature first-hand, why not let the wonders of technology show you? At the end of August two white-bellied sea eagle chicks hatched in a nest 20 meters up an ironbark tree in Sydney’s Olympic Park. Three cameras provide a live feed for viewers all over the world!
Check out EagleCAM and the Eagle Diary on the Birdlife Australia website.
There’s also FalconCAM in Orange.

Did you know?

The white-bellied sea eagle is Australia’s second-largest raptor.

Quiz (answers at bottom of page)

  1. What is a raptor?
  2. How big are a white-bellied sea eagle’s wings?
  3. What is Australia’s largest raptor?

GOOD NEWS FLASH!

In September, South Australia became the first Australian state to ban single-use plastics. The new rules will come into effect in 2021 and ban the sale, supply and distribution of plastic products like straws and cutlery. Here’s hoping New South Wales does the same soon!

SAVE OUR POLLINATORS!

The B & B Highway is a Sydney-wide network of over 40 garden “bed and breakfasts” designed to create habitats for pollinating animals like bees, birds and butterflies. The gardens also allow scientists to gather data about animals that play an essential role in sustaining our ecosystems and food production …1 out of every 3 bites of food relies on pollinators but 40% of the world’s insects are at risk of becoming extinct in the coming decades due to human activity.

A Pollinator Private Investigator app that is currently under development will allow kids’ observations to be fed into the CSIRO’s citizen science databank!

For more information visit the PlantingSeeds Projects website


Quiz answers

  1. A raptor is a bird of prey (or a bird-like dinosaur!).
  2. The wingspan of the (larger) female is about 2 metres.
  3. The wedge-tailed eagle.

Ambitious expansion of national parks warmly welcomed

National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) welcomes Environment Minister Matt Kean’s renewed commitment to the expansion of national parks and reserves.

Late last week Minister Kean announced the gazettal of Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp National Park, as well as additions to a further 12 reserves, and committed to adding at least 400,000 hectares of new reserves by 2022.

Loss of an Icon

Patricia Durman, NPA Macarthur Branch

According to a 2015 report by the Australian Koala Foundation, there were only 87,000 (1% of the original population killed for the pelts) left across Australia. They go on to say that up to 8 million were killed for their pelts before 1927 when the practice was banned across the country.

Confusion reigns after reported changes to tree removal laws

The National Parks Association of NSW has called for confirmation that the NSW Government won’t remove essential protections for urban bushland following the Australian’s release of leaked Cabinet documents.  

UoW plant trees to offset carbon

A group of University of Wollongong staff and students will visit the Berry area on 20 October to plant over 500 native trees as part of an ongoing initiative to reduce their carbon footprint.

The group will help to complete a 1.1km wildlife corridor planting along parts of Coolangatta and Moeyan Roads which is on NSW Sport & Recreation managed land south of Berry.

The idea of university staff and students offsetting carbon was generated by Associate Professor Owen Price, Director at the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfire at the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Life Sciences at the University of Wollongong.

Although Covid-19 has dramatically reduce air travel since March this year, university staff often fly to attend conferences and for research related reasons so planting trees is one way to help offset the carbon from all that flying.

Dr Price contacted David Rush, Bush Connect Project Manager and Land for Wildlife Regional Assessor for the Illawarra Shoalhaven region to connect the staff and students with potential tree planting projects on the coast.

“Planting native trees, shrubs and groundcovers is a great way to offset carbon, but it is also critical for creating corridors for native wildlife”, said David.

“For over one hundred and fifty years our native forests have been cleared, fragmented and lost and we have numerous native animals species that are now listed as threatened or endangered plus several vegetation communities that are also threatened”, added David.

“Projects like the Berry Bush Links and Thin Green Line are planting vegetation corridors for native animals such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo, to name just one of the many animal species that benefit from these projects.

Although a range of different species are to be planted for a range of native animals, we are also planting a number of Casuarina species which provide food for these beautiful cockatoos”.

The tree planting activity will be a Covid-19 safe activity with attendees providing their own tools, gloves, food and water and will be keeping their distance from each other during the planting.

“This is an excellent way for people to give something back to the environment which is being hammered by the impacts of climate change, bushfires and rural development pressures.

The Bush Connect projects also provide funding for landowners to help reduce invasive weeds, plant trees, control feral animals and study native animals.

Landowners that would like to get involved or learn more about the projects which are funded by the NSW Environmental Trust can call David on 0418 977 402 or email: davidr@npansw.org.au.