The Meeting Place

Our Planet

Indonesian environment groups recently protested Australia's involvement in the waste export industry

Where our waste is ending up!

Indonesia becoming the second largest export destination for Australian rubbish since China cracked down on the practice in recent years (pictured; a village in East Java)

Streets and rice fields in villages in East Java are now used to harvest piles of rubbish as they are laid out to dry in the sun by locals before being sorted sold to tofu factories in the region

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Finally, some good news.

According to a UN report the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer is healing and is expected to fully heal over the next 50 years.

In the 1980s, scientists found a hole in the ozone over Antarctica that was caused by chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are found in aerosol cans, refrigerators and other common products.

The chemicals can stay in the air for about 50 years.

The banning of CFCs helped reduce the chemicals in our atmosphere, and as a result, the ozone layer has been slowly repairing itself.



Couple of years ago we were selecting which heating to put into our home. Everywhere we went they said solid fuel burning timber is what the greenies say is good for the planet.   We were puzzled to say the least.

Now I read this!


The silent killer in our homes: Wood-burning stoves emit six times as much pollution as a diesel truck... and they're ruining your health even if you don't own one

Scientists have found that wood burning stoves
are choking the British atmosphere, adding to the smoke particles from traffic, industry and farming that cause thousands of deaths.

OK it says British atmosphere, wonder if that applies to all the planet?

I dislike wood burning heaters although I know quite a few that have them -- because they like to see the flames and they say it feels cozy -- I say give me an Air Con -- any day -- its quick and does a wonderful job with no hard work or fuss.

When winter is here I know when people have lite their fires as you can smell them a mile away

We use reverse air con  Plan B.

Yes  as do I Celia

Our air con won't work any more, due to lack of usage. We haven't pulled out the heater for more than 3 winters now. And we shut the house & turn on the fans if it gets really hot, so we're not going to replace the air con.

I live near Ballina, which has been called the mildest climate in Australia (the highest minimums & the lowest maximums, on average). It does get quite hot & humid in summer, but we usually get a cool sea breeze.

What has the world come to?


More than 1,000 pieces of plastic including 115 cups and two pairs of thongs are found inside a dead whale after it washes ashore in Indonesia More than 1,000 pieces of plastic found inside a dead whale after it washes ashore in

A large lump of plastic waste, including drinking cups, bottles and thongs has been discovered inside the stomach of a dead whale (pictured) after it washed ashore in Indonesia. Rescuers from Wakatobi National Park found the rotting carcass of the 9.5 metre sperm whale late on Monday in the Southeast Sulawesi province. Park chief Heri Santoso said rescuers were alerted to the dead whale after they received reports villagers were beginning to butcher the rotting carcass.

This plastic is a hell of a worry -- they are still packing everything in it and also tiny useless bits are being made and I can not see a way out -- and it is ruining the planet 

I agree with you PlanB . We can all be involved in lessening plastic. Only use  cups  and bottle than can  be reused. When you gor for a walk take a bag and pick up rubbish before it goes into the ocean. Write to the govenment environment ministers and tell them that something must be done about plastic whic is a scourge on our environment

How many of us have done just that KB? 

without putting pen to paper the Politicians will just pass the buck.

I also note that Woolies are still giving out these stupid plastic miniatures -- MORE plastic -- no supermarkets or manufacturers are doing a darned thing to rid us of plastic, in fact,  they are just bringing  out MORE --

I always take my own water bottle and also my own washable cup for fruit juice etc -- and also my own cup for coffee IF I intend to have coffee.

The Government are not interested in doing anything to save this planet.

It would help if local authorities ensure there are adequate drinking fountains in public areas and shopping towns. 

Train platforms often have sugary drinks and sweets dispensing machines, but there is a dearth of fountains and refilling spouts with clean water.

Just to say that many don't want disposable plastic containers but they are being obliged to buy an expensive, sometimes unhealthy drink for themselves and family. Not supplying water (and sheltered seats) is a deliberate ploy to placate businesses profiting from selling empty calories.

Yes LJ I remember drinking fountains!   But I guess these days we cannot assume everyone will be clean!

How many germs like cold sores will be passed on. [It is only recently that babies are dieing from the same virus if you have noticed]

I was in Miss Mauds the other day, they have a slim long nozzle tap for people to help themselves to water, glasses are on the side.  Along comes this woman with two 600 ml empty bottles puts the neck of the bottle over the end of the tap and fills each bottle up.    They allowed her to do this!  We were horrified.

This used to happen on cruise ships, till the Doctors woke up and realized how some viruses are spread that way.  People coming along to the taps and putting the necks of the bottle over the tap.  These are the bottles that people don't use straws anymore for and put the neck of the bottle into their mouths.!!

Not only that people can purposely put germs on the end of these water fountains. [for fun]

Standards are not the same as they were 20 years ago unfortunately.

Boy Celia I am with you 100% you can not be too careful with this sort of thing --I also hate it when the cups supplied are stacked on top of each other with NO covering -- the last one I saw was in a HOSPITAL!  with everyone coughing etc in the room -- I always carry my own fold up tumbler --(in a clean plastic bag) -- I hate to think of what would be passed on through bubblers these days too --- they used to be good like LJ said.

It is surprising what people do that is so unclean.


You are worrying unduly, this is Australia.  Run the water fountain for a few seconds first.  That also brings on the cooler water.  No contact of mouth with the fountain.  Where there is a collection bowl below that would be suss.  But who drinks out of the collection bowl? 

Although there are grots around.  I did see a feral lifting his dog to lick the spout of one fountain.  That was notwithstanding that there was an adjacent tap with a bowl expressly provided for dogs :(  But what about the stock newspaper and TV photos of people having their face licked by their dogs?  Gross. 

I believe that councils could use a little lateral thinking in the design of fresh water fountains. 

Of course in a cafe you can't vouch for hygiene.  A chef who caught a bus at my stop and wore his work gear, was definitely shy where personal hygiene was concerned.  A cake of Rexona would have lasted him all year.  It would never get wet.


Agree with you on those disposable plastic cups on cold water machines.

As a general comment on hygiene, we thought that the local Council was up to good things refurbishing nearby public toilets.  But the 'initiative' was to remove a dividing wall.  Two obvious problems:  first, the toilets are now unisex and shared, completely open. - A PC initiative for the various 33 (34?) gender categories.  That has resulted in all of the toilets resembling the worst of the male public toilets  - pee and paper everywhere and brown stuff smeared over seats and walls; and, still no soap provided.

Previously the male toilets had a urinal and the floors were generally dry.  Also, for some strange reason the whole facility is now a daily disgrace.  Wondering if the shared gender facilities encourage perverted behaviour.

-What a welcome for the families who use the parklands.

Must say I have always avoided using the mixed gender toilets -- I do HATE those darn blowers and avoid them like the plague -- I always carry a small fresh towel for wiping my hands when I am out.

LJ I don't think you understand the situation.

The neck of the bottle is over the end of the tap it touches the tap!   Now tell me you can guarantee that used bottle has no type of infections on the rim?

If  doctors realize the implications then that is good enough for me.

What about people that have auto immune problems?    Have you thought about that?

They cannot afford to get their immune system weaker that it already is.

You are assuming that everyone has the same good health as you have.


Agreed, you can't have anything touching the water outlet. If others are filling bottles and touching the outlet that could transfer saliva :(

Thank goodness we understand eachother, yes that is my point.  It also transfers infections/virus to others. This is not acceptable and has been monitored in other public areas like cruise ships.

You can imagine what would happen in small communities drinking from fountains and filling bottles.

I am sure some people, any people, could have a infection and not know about it. 

I am horrified after having to be out the other day and called in for a fruit juice -- and noticed the young girls behind the counter trying to separate the containers -- putting their hands INSIDE them, to pull them apart-- enough to say I canceled my order,    it astounds me what little attention is paid to cleanliness

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just ten rivers.

Eight in Asia and two in Africa.

As with Labor's 'toxic' carbon dioxide, even if Australia did not exist, it would make no discernable difference to reducing either.  That is a scientific fact. 

The mystery is why there is so much plastic in the South Atlantic & South Pacific? The link you gave above, LJ, is showing both these areas just off the western coasts of Africa & South America respectively. The cold currents run up these coasts, from Antarctica & the Southern Oceans, so it's a mystery why such a concentration of plastic is those two spots, so far away from any of those 10 high-polluting rivers & ocean currents mentioned.

The good news for Australia is that the Pacific currents are divided by the equatorial currents, so we are largely bypassed from those huge islands of plastic in the North Atlantic & North Pacific, which I heard were as large as Tasmania! It's almost unimaginable - hope it's not true.

I'd like to correct you about your so-called "toxic" C2O LJ - it's methane & other greenhouse gases that are toxic, not the common carbon dioxide which we exhale with every breath. Burning fossil fuels is toxic to the environment & whether Australia burns them or sells coal from the biggest brown coal deposit ever discovered, like Adani's Carmichael mine, the coal will still be burnt somewhere on Earth & the effects felt globally.

Australia might only be burning less than 2% of global greenhouse gases (fossil fuels & cow farts), but our footprint goes way, way over that figure if we count the fossil fuels we export & is burned overseas.


Labor called Co2 'toxic' (plain from my post), remembering PM Gillard in particular.  

The South Pacific gyre sweeps past South America.  There is no evidence that Australia is even a minor contributor to the mess.

Regarding your last para, I don't imagine that anyone would seriously argue that Australia is responsible on a 'cradle to grave' basis for the coal others import from it.  However, if Australia does not share its resources it would not be regarded as a good world citizen.  Are you arguing that China and India should be denied the coal and other fossil fuels?  What about the gas exported to Japan?



Six weeks ago we could not find any life of bees or wasps, now the garden is alive with them thank goodness.


Buzzkill! Pesticides impair social behaviour of bees by harming their ability to forage making them lazy and less likely to feed and care for larvae

The United Nations has warned that 40 percent of the planet's insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, which would have serious implications for food production and ecosystem health

A new study has shown that the behaviour of bees is greatly affected by pesticides making them incapable of foraging outside the nest. The study was published in American Science journal.

I noticed my yard was alive with Bees when the Gum trees were full of flower plus many other things in the garden -- so good to see after a very low count of them for quite a while

The shocking sex life of BEES revealed: Researchers find some honeybees are part male and part female with up to FOUR parents

In a paper published to the journal Biology Letters, researchers from the University of Sydney have revealed new insight on the remarkable nature of honeybees with both male and female tissue.

More bees here this year. Great to see.

Interesting about bee male/female tissues.


Another plant that the bees will not leave alone is my Thyme!  They are addicted to this creeper. The plant is covered in tiny flowers and bees.

It is a hardy little ground cover if you are looking for a ground cover that attracts bees into the garden.


Celia that Thyme looks amazing what one do you have?

Plan B I have lost the name tag, it is two and a half years old now, I was hoping for the pink flowered plant but ours has white flowers on.


Dozens of the rare 'ice pancakes' were spotted on the River Helmsdale in the Strath of Kildonan, Scotland, by Daniel Norrie

Mesmerising footage shows a sea of 'ice pancakes' of all different sizes covering a river in the Scottish Highlands. 

The 'rare phenomenon' on the River Helmsdale was such a spectacle that it prompted a group of binmen to pull over and take in the unusual view.




What an amazing sight. Thanks Celia.

More than 25 years after the bombs dropped, the tests of nuclear levels in the area left Geiger counter readings 'off the scale' (Pictured is the Maralinga Airfield base)  

The area known as Maralinga (pictured), sits more than 200 kilometres north of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia The area known as Maralinga (pictured), sits more than 200 kilometres north of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia

Yes Celia -- it is darn disgrace -- Bob Menzie allowed the Britush to test their darn bombs here and on it went and is deadly to this day and the radiation spread all over Australia

From 1952 to 1963, the British government, with the permission of the Australian government, conducted a series of nuclear weapons development tests in Australia. The testing occurred at Maralinga, South Australia; Montebello Islands, Western Australia and Emu Field, South Australia.

This was an absolute DISGRACE!!! Everyone in Australia was affected by the fall out poison which was even in the milk delivered to children in schools. The Aboriginal people were treated as disposable and I know some who still suffer eye damage and immune damage from the effects of those tests and were never compensated.

How can anyone hero worship Robert Menzies and Winston Churchill who instigated this? How can anyone hero worship the Queen who would have known about it and probably gave her permission? 

Yes who need enemies when we have Politicians like those back then!

Although hindsight is great, surely they did their homework before letting the British do this to such a pristine country?



With you, 100%  Robi and people are STILL having effects those bombs

For the first time in Tasmania, a council has used thousands of recycled glass bottles, printer toner cartridges and plastic bags to build a road south of Hobart.

The stretch of road, on Charlton Street in Snug, uses an additive made up of 530,000 plastic bags, 168,000 glass bottle equivalents and toner from 12,500 cartridges in each kilometre.

Full ABC story.

NASA confirms Voyager 2's crossing into interstellar space — and its progress is being tracked from central west New South Wales in Australia.

Since early November the CSIRO's Parkes Radio Telescope has been tracking Voyager 2, which can no longer be observed from the northern hemisphere.

The spacecraft has the potential to last billions of years, and NASA said the records it carries are time capsules which may one day be the only traces that remain of human civilisation.


The 270-square-mile (700-square-mile-km) Markermeer lake is one of Europe's largest freshwater lakes, used as a freshwater reservoir and a buffer against floodwaters and drought  A group of five islands will be developed on the Markermeer lake in the Netherlands to bring nature back to the area after it became devoid of wildlife. A nature organisation will use an innovative technique of forming the small islands with silt, which is a mix of clay and sand

Streets and rice fields in villages in East Java are now used to harvest piles of rubbish as they are laid out to dry in the sun by locals before being sorted sold to tofu factories in the region

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