Do you see what I see? There is a new ‘Donate’ feature on the home-page of The Politics & Environment Blog. Its purpose is self-evident and it is hoped that members of our weblog community will consider availing themselves of the facility to help share the load, as it were.
Since the 14th April 2005, when the site was first launched, over 1,515 entries have been published eliciting some 41,440 comments. It has become quite the gathering place for our community of interest. Whilst we are often conflicted by ideology on issues raised, we also embrace strong environmental values, which for many would include sustainability and ‘user-pays’. It could be said that expenditure and environment often make for strange bedfellows, but the fact is, there is a growing cost to the maintenance and operation of the weblog.
In another popular gathering place, visitors to the Daintree rainforest consistently express strong expectations that the destination will reveal sightings of some of Australia’s most unique wildlife in natural habitat. Unfortunately, the majority are unsuccessful and not because the ecological values of the landscape fall short of the mark, but that the travel-style is so completely contradictory.
Three-quarters of the half-million (or so) travellers per year are bound to the travel-intensive itineraries of day-visitation out of Cairns or Port Douglas; only a quarter stay overnight. There is also a significant destination bias, with summer holidays from the northern hemisphere and escapees from the winter chill of southern states, supplying the largest numbers of overnight visitors to the winter rainforest at is most dormant.
Elusive encounters with rainforest beauties, like the (above) male Orange-thighed tree-frog (Litoroia xanthomera), are few and far between. Visitors would be well-advised to travel into the rainforest at the hottest, wettest time of the year and to engage the expertise of a local inhabitant, to maximise prospects for successful sightings. However, to do so they would need to stridently go against the flow and direct their travel dollars more purposefully.
Perhaps the same could be said of the weblog; a purposeful direction of economic support might bolster the vitality of the forum even more substantially than the rigour of free comment.