Miss Earth Australia 2009 winners!

"We are all Miss and Mr Earth's regardless of a crown or title! Well done to everyone who participated in Miss Earth Australia 2009, but more importantly well done to everyone in the world who has ever made a difference in the environment!" Liana Werner-Gray

Miss Earth Australia 2009 - Melinda Heffernan
Miss Earth Australia 2009 People's Choice - Liana Werner-Gray
Best In Talent - Jana Sardelic
Best In Environmental Speech - Liana Werner-Gray
Miss Earth Australia singer of the year - Kim Aldover
Green Achievers Award - Rachel LaBlack, Leila Sweeney, Hiranthi Warusevitane, Liana Werner-Gray, Melinda Heffernan,
Innovators Award - Kathleen Francis, Casey Henderson, Jana Sardelic, Gloria Therese, Liana Werner-Gray,  Jessica Zukerman,  Leila Sweeney,  Cecilia Kauhanen

Melissa Neighbour takes a stand for our Earth!

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I Love Earth would like to acknowledge Melissa Neighbour for pulling out of Miss Earth Australia in protest and to stand for what she strongly believes in. 

To view her protest read below or follow this link  http://youthprojectsurvival.org/miss-earth-competition-forgets-the-earth-and-focuses-on-the-missy%e2%80%99s 

"Last Monday morning I arrived at Bondi Junction to meet the Miss Earth organisers and contestants. The Miss Earth schedule required me to take a whole week out of my usual life which involves working as an environmental planner with Conics and working with the Project Survival Pacific team.

I was ready for a full week of press conferences, pageant training and environmental activities. First on the agenda was getting acquainted with each other… it was wonderful to meet so many like-minded women who had many inspiring stories to tell of their own environmental initiatives and interests. Next was lunch followed by a press conference. For this we travelled to Sunny’s Seafood Restaurant in Hurstville. It was an interesting venue choice to say the least and unfortunately no-one from the media attended the “press conference”. It was a shame as this turned out to be the only opportunity to promote a main cause of the competition which is to raise awareness of environmental issues.

The following day involved preliminary judging of our environmental speeches. As the organiser introduced the judges and listed their credentials, it became apparent that none of the judges were involved in the environmental field nor did they have any experience in this area. I began to question their ability to judge us based on our depth of knowledge and understanding of current environmental issues.

That evening a stretched hummer arrived to take the contestants on a city tour. At this point the legitimacy of Miss Earth as a pageant for “earth-loving participants who will…. take action to protect the Earth from man-made pollution” really started to fade.

The schedule on the following day was booked in for tree-planting, however this activity was cancelled and instead the day was re-scheduled entirely for make up and hair for the preliminary judging that evening which was open to the public. This wasn’t what I had taken a whole week off work for!

The preliminary judging was held at Sunny’s Seafood Restaurant in Hurstville. On my way there we picked up my mum from the airport who flew down from Brisbane to attend the event and support me. The venue was highly inappropriate with the majority of the attendees did not speak English and much of what was said by the MC was repeated in Mandarin. Unfortunately however, the contestant’s speeches and talents were not translated and the majority of the audience was unable to appreciate them.

The evening revealed that the judges were forgetting to grade the girls on environmental awareness and understanding but rather were judging solely on looks. This became apparent when best talent was selected for a contestant who mimed the song “I’m a Barbie Girl in a Barbie World, Life in Plastic, its Fantastic” and a contestant with an understanding of what is really is like to live in plastic, but yet with limited environmental knowledge, was chosen to deliver an environmental speech.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were scheduled in for training and rehearsals for the final Saturday night show.

As a contestant of Miss Earth I felt we had achieved nothing in the way of raising awareness of environmental issues or to help the environment in a tangible way. I felt like the pageant was focused primarily on beauty and on creating a great ‘show’ for the Saturday night. On Thursday I had made my decision to pull out of the competition based on these grounds.

There were some very talented and environmentally aware women in the competition who are out there really making a difference to our world. The competition failed to recognise the positive difference they are making, and for them and to honour my own principles I officially withdrew my place in the pageant on Friday in protest. I am in the process of writing a letter to Miss Earth Australia and Miss Earth International detailing my concerns.

Thank you to the amazing women I met in the Miss Earth competition who have inspired me and given me hope!" - Melissa Neighbour

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/the-diary/lost-horizon-for-unit-owners-20090917-ftqj.html

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The Diary is not so sure about the environmental credentials of the stretch Hummer which has been ferrying the contestants around Sydney this week.

Climate Change Skeptic? No Excuse! By Rachel LaBlack a Miss Earth Australia candidate

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Abstract

Although Human-Induced Climate Change has now been generally accepted as an evidenced based scientific phenomenon there still remains many skeptics across all arenas of society - scientific, business and political.  Their claim that ‘Climate Change is a myth,’  however, is inconsequential. This is because even if Climate Change is an utter fallacy, it is a timely warning for humanity who, with or without Climate Change, is rapidly driving this earth to destruction and thus, Climate Change or not, every person has an obligation to preserve their environment.

Introduction

Although there have been vast developments in the understanding of science and weather patterns there continues to be much uncertainty, conflicting information and complicated data surrounding the Climate Change crisis. Thus, whilst there has been a general consensus within the scientific community that human-induced Climate Change is occurring,  there are many grounds for debate regarding the limitations of the science and extent of the causes and consequences of human impact on global weather trends. There are still those who argue that the current environmental era is merely a normal part of the fluctuating weather patterns that have existed since the dawn of time and thus there has been no disruption in the normal cycles of planet earth.  Needless to say, this argument is wholly redundant.  Planet Earth has been disturbed in so many direct ways by the current parasitic human lifestyle that even a plateau in global temperature could not slow the destruction that is being caused by unsustainable living. Problems such as water, land and air pollution, natural resource depletion, land deformation, and flora and fauna disturbance have drastically damaged the natural environment. Of course the issues are inextricably linked as seen in recent reports linking Climate Change with air pollution, water supply and natural resource depletion,  but there are many threats to the natural environment even without Climate Change superimposed on top.

What is Climate Change?



The Australian Government has a Publication entitled “Climate Change – What Does it Mean?” It explains that Climate Change is “changes in our weather patterns because of an increase in the Earth's average temperature.”  
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ascribes to a more comprehensive explanation. In the glossary to their reports Climate Change is defined as a “change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate Change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.”  

If Climate Change (Human-Induced) is Just a Post-Modern Fanciful Melodrama

If the phenomenon of Global Warming and Climate Change was premised on nothing more than speculation, pure fallacy or exaggeration this would make no difference to the obligation to continue on a worldwide reformation to care for planet earth.  This is because the present environmental issues are not being driven purely by a change in ozone layer composition leading to altered radiation absorption. Instead, it is pollution on a grosser scale that is rapidly torturing the natural environment. The current lifestyle is actually somewhat primitive and rather analogous to simple bacteria behavior. Place a pathogen in a petri dish and it will flourish at a great rate until the nutrients are depleted and the waste products so intolerable that they die. Is the human race so backward that self-limitation is an insurmountable inevitability? Problems other than Climate Change appear to suggest so. These include pollution affecting aspects other than the atmosphere e.g. solids and liquids polluting land and water, Human ventures e.g. mining, land clearing and stripping of natural products, Overpopulation of some areas and Eutrophication (over-enrichment of natural water sources with nutrients from agriculture, energy production by-products and wastewater) amongst many others.

Thus the collateral benefits of adopting a sustainable lifestyle to combat Climate Change are excellent in many other dimensions, and it is these extra benefits that may be more directly advantageous. For example by planting trees it is not just the re-sorption of carbon dioxide that will be beneficial rather it is the prevention of erosion and the preservation of habitats that can be achieved.

If Climate Change is Real

Assuming that Climate Change is real then all of the above apply but the consequences are even more drastic and each individual’s obligation to act is exponentially higher. Evidently, it depends on who you are as to the affects that will be felt from Climate Change. A high flying executive may be inconvenienced by extreme weather events, lost resources, risk to reputation if complacent, “shareholder concerns, possible litigation and compliance and competition risks.”  But if their beachfront property is destroyed by rising sea levels then they will can just relocate every few years. Conversely the humble low-income tax payer will bear the cost through increased water prices, insurance premiums and food expenses. Ultimately however, it is third world populations that will bear the real burden, through increased difficulty accessing water, decreased food production capacity and disaster management inability. Cynicism aside, environmental degradation has severe consequences for all concerned and the delayed response of many of the consequences means that the implications will plague society long into the future unless an intelligent response combining prevention and adaptation is promptly and adequately initiated.

The Nature of an Individual’s Obligation

The consequence of it being unnecessary to prove the validity of Climate Change in order to justify an environmental revolution is that it places an obligation on every individual regardless of their perception of the science. Hence the decision to help save the environment is not a choice. Unfortunately, although it is currently in vogue to claim to wish to ‘save the environment,’ the decision is perceived as an optional personal choice that is sadly too often tokenistic or for ulterior motives. For many it is a choice based on political, financial or social reasons that one can choose “if that is your thing” or otherwise leave it for the more ‘alternative’ folk.

Notably however, this reluctance is slowly dissolving and its impact is even extending to the financial arena. In fact the willingness of Company Shareholder interests to consider the environment is dumbfounding.  Slowly and surely the legal duty of companies to purely maximise shareholder profit is being subtly eroded by a social justice value. Where nothing else could – not even Human Rights Issues - the environment is making its mark. Thus if one does not ascribe to Climate Change at least save the environment to save your business!

Conclusion

Thus Climate Change: A Mere Lucky Coincidence? An Allegory for Action? A Fortunate Fable? Call it what you want because even for those who don’t believe Climate Change is real, it sure is the best fabrication yet and it is exactly what this earth needs to inspire an environmental reformation. Fancy technology such as recapturing carbon dioxide from the air  is exciting but when it comes down to it, it is what each individual can integrate into their daily lives to protect the natural environment that will make a difference. The purpose of this article was not to articulate practical aspects that can help to preserve the natural surroundings – these are varied, infinitely numerous and well published, rather it is to recognise this higher change that needs to be made: an acceptance of some personal responsibility without being able to hide behind the protection of scientific uncertainty and disbelief. The global financial crisis is nothing if there becomes a global existence crisis. So even if Climate Change is a complete farce to you consider it a lucky coincidence to kick-start the conscience of even the most environmentally lethargic!! The cost of complacency is too high.

"Did You Know?" the speech by Liana that won her Best In Environmental Speech at Miss Earth Australia 2009!

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Did you know every time you leave the house without switching off power points, you are contributing to the fact that Australia has the highest carbon footprint in the world?

In 2 days the average Australian uses the same amount of electricity that the average person in China uses in one week.

Australians use more water in one day than people in some African countries use in two months. We are selfish and indulgent.

Did you know that every time you flush the toilet 8L of water is wasted, and you are ruining our Murray Darling basin as it faces extinction.

Did you know that every time you waste instead of recycle you are destroying our iconic areas like the Great Barrier Reef and the Kakadu Wetlands? We are also killing the plant and animal species that live there.

It is fair to say we are murderers of our own home......?

It is time to use less and stop being selfish. Our Earth is undoubtedly the most noble thing to fight for. Start with integrating small things into your life on a daily basis, turning off the lights and power points when not in use, showering under 3 minutes, reduce chemicals in and around your home, there are eco-friendly alternatives, use them, use Miracle Wash Laundry Balls to stop 15 tonnes of washing powder per household being swept into our oceans and rivers, recycle. You don’t have to change your life dramatically, just small steps in the right direction. Every action has a reaction. And it is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever too late!

3d photo shoot!

This is Liana Werner-Gray in a new revonlutionary technology, a 3d Synth photo shoot! You can click on the photo, spin Liana around and see her at any angle. This is the dress she will be wearing in the Miss Earth Australia pageant designed by Athan-Jon by Jonathan Pampling (www.myspace.com/thehumanexhibit). The earth dress is made from recycled fabric, organic tye-dye, vintage velvet and netting and has a small carbon footprint as it requires no ironing or steaming!

To vote for Liana for the People's Choice Award for Miss Earth Australia visit www.missearth.com.au

All rights reserved. Created by Fabian Krätzer. For Studio and 3d Photoshoots you can contact him under:
FabianKraetzer@gmail.com