A Global Network of Animal Health Professionals Concerned About Climate Change and the Environment
Hi Climate Vets!
I hope you've all been keeping safe and holding up OK with all the ways that COVID-19 is impacting people everywhere. Those of you not in Australia, we acknowledge that things here aren't nearly as bad as most other places in the world, and we're sending you our support and best wishes.
I wanted to update you on what I've been up to, climate-wise... I've been doing a lot but haven't taken the time to share with you, so I thought it was about time! I've been putting most of my climate time and energy into Veterinarians for Climate Action (vfca.org.au) and Energy Forever (http://www.pmhsn.org.au/energy-forever/), both of which are making some great progress that I'm really excited about. A lot of this work isn't very share-worthy as much of it is behind the scenes, but here are a few things that listen-able or watchable:
What have you been up to? Please comment and share, and help inspire your fellow Climate Vets!
Everyone is aware by now of the incomprehensible scale of animal death in the Australian bushfire event this summer, with the loss conservatively estimated at one billion mammals (plus other vertebrates and COUNTLESS invertebrates). It's really staggering.
If you're following this blog you know about our fires in November. Here are photos of two reptiles that have emerged from our burned area in the last few weeks (for non-Australians, they are a "land mullet" (a large skink) and a red-bellied black snake) . Both of these animals should be round and shiny, not concave. They survived the fire itself, only to end up starving 2 months later. Obviously there are millions like this around Australia, not counted as initial casualties, who didn't happen to make themselves known to friendly veterinarians.
As follow-up, I'm happy to say we were able to relocate these two individuals to better feeding grounds. We haven't seen the snake again but the land mullet has been seen sunning himself a week after the relocation, looking much sleeker already.
I also want to share this statement from the Australian Entomological Society, that I think is really powerful in its brief, simple statement of plain fact. It's only a little more than a page long, and it says so much: https://www.austentsoc.org.au/AES/Documents/AESCC_Response_to_Bushfire_Crisis_Jan_2020.pdf
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison credited his surprising election win last May to "the quiet Australians". He meant people who just want to go about their own business and don't engage in public discourse - and he likes it that way.
Bramble Cay is a small coral cay at the northern tip of the great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. The Bramble Cay melomys is a small Australian mammal that was last seen in 2009 and was declared extinct by various authorities between 2015 and 2019. The Queensland government considered it the first mammalian species extinction due specifically to anthropogenic climate change.
Extinct is very, very quiet.
There are many other small species with very limited ranges. Ranges that are on fire right now, such as the Kangaroo Island dunnart.
Once the flames and soot settle after the current unprecedented fire disaster, time will tell how many more Australian species will be very, very quiet.
When will the Australian government govern for them?
Here's a link to my Op-Ed in yesterday's Port Macquarie News about my personal experience with the recent bushfires and observed impact on wildlife. This was written and published in collaboration with Amanda Woodward of the Climate Media Centre. Sadly the last two paragraphs were truncated in the paper version but it is complete online.
Yours for the critters, Angela
Dear Climate Vets,
At some point I want to tell you about our bushfire experience of the last few weeks and the impact on our surrounding bush and wildlife, but today I'm working on catching up on the things I didn't do while we were putting out fires!
So, here's something that I've been very much wanting to share with those of you in Australia - a group of veterinarians from across Australia who are creating a climate action group within our industry. We've been getting great feedback so far and we're really optimistic that it will be an effective effort.
At this stage we need your help please! We're in the process of applying for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, a prerequisite for donations to be tax deductible. We're pushing this application through as fast as we can because it can take up to 12 months for our application to even be reviewed.
For this application our organisation needs to have 50 members, and I'd really appreciate it if you could help us out by being one of these first 50. To become a member you just need you to fill out this form, which should take you ~5 minutes. There is no membership fee at this stage.
When we launch officially in a few months you can then either rescind your membership or pay a membership fee to become a fully fledged member. Either way, we appreciate your help to get us over this initial hurdle!
Eventually, membership fees will likely sit in the ~$90 range, with larger donations encouraged from those who particularly believe in our cause. We are having to stage it like this because we're still several weeks away from having the required permits to fundraise and/or accept donations at all.
If you want to know more about VfCA, or get more involved, please contact me back and I can get your more information, links etc.
Many thanks in advance!!
True, there's no internet shortage of photos of last Friday's MASSIVE event.
But here are some images from little old Port Macquarie - estimated 1500 strikers from an area of just under 80,000.
One of the common criticisms / concerns about the strike is "but what will it really achieve?"... so I wanted to report that on Monday, a prominent member of my local Council got in touch to let me know she's organising a group to lead on making progress in emission reduction in our community. And she specifically said it was in response to Friday's action!!
Keep up the good work Climate Vets, wherever you are in the world.
Yours for the climate, ~Angela
My place of business, Veterinary Oncology Consultants, will be closed on Friday morning. It’s the Global Climate Strike and I’ll be there instead!
What is the Global Climate Strike?
Over the past year, millions of young people participated in school climate strikes to send a clear message that the climate crisis needs immediate attention.
This September, those same school students are calling on adults to join them on the streets to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Millions of adults will walk out of their workplaces and homes to support solutions to the most important crisis facing our world. Find out more at: https://globalclimatestrike.net
Why we support hitting the streets for climate
Our climate is too important to ignore. All of us benefit from living in a healthy, stable climate. It’s what has allowed us to build inspiring businesses in the first place.
Kids really shouldn’t have to do this; but the unfortunate reality is, they do have to - so the least we can do is stand strong with them!
Are other businesses getting involved?
Yes! Over 1500 businesses have pledged to support their workers to strike too, through an alliance led by Future Super, called “Not Business As Usual”. There are too many to list here, but if you’re interested you can view the list at https://www.notbusinessasusual.co/.
Ways that these businesses have pledged to support their employees’ participation in the climate strike include
• The Government of the State of Victoria is allowing public servants to make flexible work arrangements to be able to go to the strike
• Future Super is closing the office for a day
• Atlassian’s employees are using a ‘Foundation Day’ (their CSR leave program) to join the strike
• Other organisations are holding a ‘no meetings’ day
So, I encourage you to answer the call from the young people of the world; go strike with them if you can and if not at least send a message of encouragement. And if you’re an employer, try to make it possible for your employees to go - obviously in veterinary medicine it's not always possible to let everyone go to a special event, but think about options like perhaps cutting back on appointments and only seeing emergencies and caring for inpatients. Lastly, please feel free to forward this information and encouragement to anyone else who's an employer that may be willing to step up to support employee participation in the climate strike.
Dear Climate Vets,
We hear a lot of big numbers being thrown around these days, but let’s just pause on that one for a moment.
Yesterday's release from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is stomach-churning ... if you're feeling strong go to https://www.reuters.com/article/un-environment-biodiversity/scientists-warn-a-million-species-at-risk-of-extinction-idUSL5N22H0W2 to read the Reuters report on it.
Importantly note the comment “...it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,”
There are plenty of things that each of us can do locally to help START NOW. Unfortunately I’m not talking about riding your bike to work – not that that’s not a good thing, it definitely is – but sadly sadly, it’s not enough. Personally, I’m volunteering to assist the campaign for Australian federal parliament of an independent candidate who has a strong position on climate change and also has a chance of success against the local representative of Australia’s coal promoting current government. Plus, guess what, it’s fun! There might be something like that that you can do. Maybe write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper if you can only carve out half an hour or so.
But, does anyone have any idea as to what Climate Vets as an organisation can do? The thing that comes to mind for me is that maybe as a global network we’d have a chance with a Letter to the Editor of a larger publication - would you support that?
Anyone else have any ideas?
Thank you, ~Angela
Hi Climate Vets,
Today is March for Science Day. For those of you in Australia, I hope you were able to get to a march near you. For those of you where the marches are yet to happen, I hope you'll be able to find one. check here:
If you've never done a protest or rally before; the March for Science is a great first event for people like us, you'll be among nerds, I mean, friends!
Here's an article and video of today's event in Port Macquarie NSW Australia:
Talk to you again soon! ~Angela
Dear Climate Vets!
If you're not familiar with the Union of Concerned Scientists, I'd like to take this moment to tell you about it. UCS is an excellent organization and it's the kind of group that I think a Climate Vet would likely be interested in. So, please take a minute on its 50th birthday (initiated on March 4, 1969) to check it out:
Thank you! Yours for the planet, ~Angela
Dear Union of Concerned Scientists,
For your big day, I wanted to get you a suite of progressive environmental legislation, but all I could afford was this blog post.
Hi, my name is Angela. I'm a biologist, veterinary oncologist, mother, small business owner and climate advocate.