Queensland and all the delights it has to offer

There seems to be a lot of beards in Queensland. Love it.

Fertile Atherton Tablelands

Fertile Atherton Tablelands

Other great things about Queensland include Cassowaries, rainforests, strangler figs and Ulysses Butterflies.

Bad things about Queensland include poor coffee making skills and stingers. When it’s 35 degrees out and you can’t go in the ocean because jellyfish will eat you alive, it’s a bummer.

The elusive Casswary

The elusive Casswary

If you find yourself in Cairns, take a couple days to drive up to Cape Tribulation. Just driving on the twisty road is adventure enough! But then you also get lush, green forests, crocodiles, and cassowaries. For some reason there were very few tourists around when we were there. It wasn’t like we thought it would be…it’s not developed at all. Just a few caravan parks. It really makes you feel like you’re in the wilderness.

On your way back to Cairns, stop for a dip at the Mossman Gorge. The water is chilly, but the view is worth is.

Brrr.....Mossman Gorge

Brrr.....Mossman Gorge

A drive through the Atherton Tablelands is also a must. Magnificent landscapes. I also recommend Paronella Park, which I thought was going to be a huge tourist trap for Japanese Anime Fans. It turned out to be a beautiful fairy-tale forest complex with a lot of local history.

Cairns itself was nice, but nothing too note worthy. The lagoon is a nice alternative to the ocean, which leads to certain death (stingers).

The Pope says “No”, Carolyn says “Yes”

avatar hometreeI saw Avatar on the weekend. First, it was awesome. Second, it made me think about the tar sands. That’s right, I’m not switching to the more friendly ‘oil sands’. I’m not helping them spiff up their image.

Now, Mr. Military Man is very obviously the bad guy. And he’s pretty bad. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who saw the movie and didn’t describe him as evil.

However, there are many, many of these people in real life. You might even know one. Any oil company exec, and I’d wager a lot of mining company execs, logging company execs and probably a fair chunk of politicians, would fall into the role of Mr. Evil Military Man. They see something in the Earth that they want, and they take it. They leave nothingness in their wake. Barren land.

I’m not saying that these people would knowing kill people and destroy ancient sites like in the movie. But they have seen the reports about the damage occurring to our ecosystems and what that could mean for our planet. They know what we’re facing and they ignore the urgency.

Currently if we just stopped the tar sands, mining and logging, we’d be in a bit of a pinch. However, just because it’s in the ground, doesn’t mean we have to take it out! Oil companies have a lot of lobbying power and can influence government decisions on funding to projects like alternative energy (have you seen Who Killed the Electric Car?). tar sandsThese people need to let progress happen. They need to make an effort to put their own resources into alternatives to the tar sands.

Just think what that could do to their image! They might make a few less billions of dollars for a while, but there’s a lot of economic potential in alternative energy. A progressive thinking oil exec…it could be a revolution.