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Has the time of the Rational Environmentalist arrived?

October 20th and 21st 2012
Rydges World Square Hotel, Sydney

Registration Form [Word] [pdf]  or

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Accommodation at Rydges

Conference programme

2012 Conference Papers:

Greens and sustainable development    Alan Oxley

Are wind farms too close to communities?   Steven Cooper BSc(Eng) MSc(Arc) FIEA

Are fisheries or science in decline?   Marine biologist Dr Walter Starck

Is the temperature or temperature record rising?   Dr David Stockwell


Some speaker bios

AEF Annual Conference 2010

Can policy change save the environment?

16th & 17th October 2010

Rydges South Bank Hotel, Brisbane

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Register through PayPal

Accommodation at Rydges

Conference Program

Conference Papers


Environmentalism: A Climate of Conflict

Photographs of speakers

Conference Papers

Youtube presentations:

The 2009 conference started with many people hot under the collar – not from global warming, but air conditioning failure, however after a short introduction from AEF chairman, Alex Stuart our guest Dr Dennis Jensen gave an opening address to the conference that took everyone’s mind off the room temperature.  The address was listened to most attentively by members present and filmed in its entirety by ABC News.  Dr Jensen made it clear that the unsubstantiated theory of anthropogenic global warming would never gain his support. See alsoLiberal MP rubbishes human link to climate change. 

Emeritus Professor Garth Paltridge talked about why it is that the whole concept of disastrous climate change has run so far and so fast when the science of the business is so uncertain.  Basically he believes that it is because ‘doing something about climate change’ plays to so many other agendas – many of which may be good agendas in their own right, but should not be supported simply by overstatement of the case with regard to global warming.  Another more difficult question is - Why the scientific community itself is prepared to put its overall reputation at risk in order to sell to the general population the disaster scenario of global warming? 

Professor Mark Adams, Dean of the faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Sydney gave a detailed and graphic presentation on the effects of fire on water yield and also gave alarming statistics on the length of recovery time for water catchments following intense bushfire.  AEF will continue to liaise with Professor Adams through our involvement in the Victorian fire management stakeholder group, the Victorian Lands Alliance.

The next speaker, Joanne Nova the author of the Skeptics Handbook and accomplished science media communicator outlined the inconsistencies in media coverage of climate change and the distorted view this presented to the community.  Conference attendees received a copy of the handbook, which can be downloaded from the link above.  160,000 copies of this handbook have been distributed in Australia and overseas with a second printing in the pipeline.

Following Joanne, AEF chairman Alex Stuart gave a very interesting and detailed presentation on the biases of the IPCC in the presentation of climate science to government and the community.  Given that the IPCC is held up as the font of all wisdom on climate matters, the revelations of science based on false premises and a lack of independent review by the IPCC in his presentation were rather chilling.

Our final speaker was former Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews MP whose topic of population issues attracted the attention of Channel 7 News who ran a story circulated widely by AAP

Mr Andrews presented a series of statistics which should give cause for a serious debate on how we deal with population growth and the attendant environment issues. 

Following lunch, the AGM was conducted with some minor changes to the constitution passed and the re-election of Alex Stuart as a director of the foundation.  The open forum following the AGM saw discussion on some of the issues that AEF had been demonised over for daring to raise, but are now accepted or being discussed by the wider community.  Issues such as genetically modified crops, the need for debate on nuclear energy, public land management, the need for clear policy on water and the Bell Bay pulp mill are now being accepted on the science.  AEF members should feel proud to be part of an organisation that has been prepared to raise these issues contradicting the populist view and to be vilified for the sake of trying to improve the environment.


A Climate for Change

The 2008 Annual Conference was held in Canberra on the weekend of October 11th & 12th and once again heard from some very good speakers. Conference papers and YouTube presentations are in the process of being uploaded to the website.

Professor Bob Carter gave a detailed and informative presentation on climate science that ended with a call for a National Climate Policy. William Kininmonth, former head of the National Climate Centre, gave an outline of the characteristics of past climate and how little effect carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have on climate. Professor Don Aitkin spoke on the need for sustainability and the need in particular for all Australians to be part of the conversation about water.

Gillian Hogendyk, a landholder from Warren in NSW and secretary of the AEF gave an outline of the work of the Macquarie Marshes Environment Trust of which she and husband Chris are members. The Trust has worked hard to improve the condition of the marshes and to highlight the illegal diversion of environmental water flows from the marshes to private land.

Max Rheese and Mark Poynter gave an update on the campaign to see Victorian Red Gum forests classified as Ramsar reserves rather than national parks. They called for a new paradigm in public land management that recognised the ‘wise use principles’ of the Ramsar Convention.

Graham Young, Chief Editor of On Line Opinion gave an illuminating insight into blogging and the power of the internet to engage the community. Dr Terry Dwyer from ANU spoke on valuing the environment and analysing the true cost of environmental action. Associate Professor Trevor Stevenson from RMIT gave a fascinating presentation on the ability of biotechnology to feed the world and the importance of second generation biofuels.

The final formal event for the day was the launch of the Australian Climate Science Coalition by Dr John Nicol.


People and their Place in the Environment

A very successful conference was held in Melbourne on September 8th and 9th and thoroughly enjoyed by all. A big thank you to all the speakers who, without exception, gave well detailed and informative presentations to the assembled members and visitors. We had the opportunity to question all the speakers and most speakers chose to stay and participate in the conference. Most of their presentations are available on the website. An open forum was held at the conclusion of the conference where members could have direct input into the activities of the foundation and in the best traditions of democracy, make change happen.

A taskforce to investigate the draft red gum/ Murray River proposals from the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council was formed by the membership as well as a taskforce to study Melbourne's urban water crisis.

The Gala Dinner on Saturday night with Professor Aynsley Kellow as speaker was almost a sell out affair and kicked on into the early hours. Professor Grahame Webb had us up early for a breakfast presentation on the pitfalls of biopolitics and a well rounded presentation on the value of conservation through sustainable use.


DVDs of the proceedings, including all speakers, is available from Bush Vision. Contact Leon Ashby at president@bushvision.com or phone 08 8723 5550.


Caring for the Environment in a Changing World

The AEF held it's first conference and AGM over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September, 2006, at Rydges in Brisbane. 





A DVD of the proceedings, including all speakers, is available from Bush Vision. Contact Leon Ashby at president@bushvision.com or phone 08 8723 5550.