As the G20 summit of world leaders tries to resolve the economic crisis, where are we really heading? Many key issues are being ignored in the rush to "restore growth" at any price.
Also published on Online Opinion on 21 Apr 09.
The Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED) in South Australia has an aggressive Population Policy which flies in the face of logic, safety and South Australia's severe environmental problems. With the spin-title of "Prosperity through People", it aims for growth in fertility and overseas immigration. We publish here three documents, including a letter from a science and engineering researcher who asks Ms Caroline Batty, the Manager of population policy in South Australia, how the government intends to live up to its spin, and some questions from Mark Goldsworthy, S.A. Liberal MP. Policies like this are being steam-rolled over Australians in every state, as our government abdicate their authority and decision-making to the Growth Lobby.
This document is republished to give background dating from 2003 as the Victorian government began to take control away from citizens and locals over water, land and government, and to assume more and more control, in public-private associations. It was the beginning of overt attempts to promote private profit from induced scarcity. The induced scarcity was created by the government policy to grow Victoria's population and economic activities. At the time few Victorians had the faintest idea of what was going on.
Whilst many people have been aware (but have mostly been ignored) that vegetation, especially forests, creates rain, and whilst desertification has been linked to deforestation historically many times, there is a new and robust theory to explain how this may happen.
See also How logging causes forest fires
The costs of environmental destruction wrecked by the growth lobby in the name of 'development' are huge and felt by many people and other creatures on a daily basis, long after what they loved or needed is covered in concrete and roads. Without the growth lobby, we would have environmental peace and democracy in this country.
Radiocarbon-testing has confirmed that a giant rare old-growth eucalypt located in its natural forest habitat on East Gippsland's Brown Mountain has been chainsawed by VicForests, despite it being scientifically confirmed to be at least 500 years old.
For those with their eyes open population growth and the immigration that fuels it are never out of the news. ... unaffordable housing drives young families into debt slavery (even pushing some to the less-expensive urban fringe where a number died in Melbourne’s recent fires)... strained infrastructure leading to blackouts, cancelled train services... traffic congestion, draining energy from the economy and from human lives...hospitals that can no longer care for the people they serve... water supplies that dwindle as drought and growth desiccate cities and stretch the capacity of farms... pleasant suburbs degraded by intensive redevelopment; greenhouse gases ...and a natural environment wilting under the burden of numbers.
Ann Bligh's needlessly early and needlessly sudden election has disrupted the already rushed consultation for the draft South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031. The Gold Coast & Hinterland Environmental Council (www.gecko.org.au), together with the Redland City Council have asked that the consultation period be extended by eight weeks so that the issues of peak oil, climate change and South East Queensland's carrying capacity can be properly addressed.
There is a story that about 50 years ago the President of Mexico said that they should grow the population to "put Mexico on the map".
In Australia we have heard the same thing and now we see the predictable (and predicted) results. Fortunately we have abundant records to trace the politicians and individuals responsible for these harmful policies and to show that they were warned, over and over.
Since Black Saturday - Feb 7, 2009 - when Australia's worst-ever bushfires on the hottest day in Victoria's recorded history completely destroyed all infrastructure at Wildhaven animal rescue and release center, Alan and Stella Reid have had a few visitors, including Steve Irwin's father, Bob Irwin, and Maryland Wilson of the AWPC, and four kangaroos that also escaped with their lives. Allan Reid tells an incredible story of his own survival as the place burned to the ground leaving him and perhaps four kangaroos alive. Please consider donating money for hay and rebuilding.See alsoImportant Wildhaven Shelter in St Andrews NE Victoria perished needs rebuilding and video.
Urgent: Penrith Council set to vote tomorrow night to approve 2 new Delfin-lend-lease suburbs totalling 3420 dwellings at the former ADI Site, last big stand of Cumberland grasslands. Residents say public has no idea of what is in process and call on councillors to defer approval pending series of public meetings. Council planners urge councillors to approve plans despite residents' 16 year campaign to save this environmentally crucial sanctuary for wildlife and natural ammenity, not to mention safe CO2 store.
Kristina Keneally, NSW Planning Minister, sells out public land and the environment to Delfin Lend Lease. Now many gentle wild creatures will die the most abject deaths and 1000s of trees will give up their carbon to the atmosphere. How much more nature to be destroyed for narrow corporate interests in a dead-in-the-water economy for the grasping few? See also "Council bastardry..."
"If you purchase two copies of The Age this Saturday, soak one in the bath overnight and read the other. Think of the copy coming out of the bath, as the landscape prior [to the impact of repeated fires] and the dry paper, as the landscape is today." (Article by Duane Norris for Natural Sequence Farming)
Andrew Bolt's story, "Green rules, black forests" is one of many mainstream media sources to keep alive the legend of the brave Sheehans' fight for justice and safety against their philistine greenie neighbours. But there is even more to that story than the press have so-far published. Read on...
"The value of open land is so much more than the dollar price estimated in terms of what it would yield if subdivided and sold to developers or built on to create a revenue raising venue. It is a defect of our land valuing and legal system that it fails to account for many damages to quality of life through changes to land use. Melbourne's founders were far sighted in setting aside areas of land for Melbourne’s people. Unfortunately their provisions for future generations have been exploited for short term objectives (according to Coasian economic values) at the expense of the general population." - Jill Quirk
Just in via the bush telegraph, more on woodchip sales downturnLast week there were TWO woodchip carriers moored just off the south head of Twofold Bay (site of chipmill) for several days before one departed without loading any chips. The other is still there and has not loaded any chips. The talk around Eden was that as many as FIVE chip carriers might be expected there, all at once.
The reason is: it is cheaper to park a boat there (avoiding port fees) than sail around aimlessly hoping that someone will buy some woodchips needing shipping.
In Victoria in 1992 some bureaucrat got the idea of changing the name (and focus) of the Department of Conservation and Environment to a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, then in 1996 to a Department of Natural Resources and Environment, then in 2003 a split to (1) a Victorian Department of Primary Industries and (2) a Department of Sustainability and Environment.
Currently its known by its obscure acronym DSE...(Don't Support Environment, or Department of Sparks and Embers).
On 13th February, the fire on Wilson's Promontory was almost extinguished. However, Victoria's Country Fire Authority, seemingly unconcerned with preserving the dwindling remnants of our natural bushland where human lives and property are not threatened, failed to act to extinguish the blaze. As a result, almost 50% of our precious Prom has been burnt out.
Guns' mills are faltering. The Japanese company, Nippon, has just bought the Latrobe Valley's Paperlinx factory, at a time of major downturn in woodchip prices. It seems like a very risky purchase - even if they got it dirt cheap. But is this a buyers' market or a fire-sale?
Fall in wood-chip imports is related to the fall in production of cars, machine tools, electronic goods and mobile phones. How so?
A 'fire-bunker' is similar to those made to shelter from fire in war. It works in bush-fires too. If they had been used as extensively as they once were, hundreds of lives could have been saved. However, if the bunker is not built properly and not built below ground level, it could be a death trap.
Important: See, also, article "How misconceptions about bushfire bunkers may cost lives", which disputes some of the content of this article and comments.
Writer and ecologist, Hugh Spencer, kicks off discussion here about Kevin Rudd's proposed $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan. "The only component of the scheme that I can wholeheartedly agree with is the roof insulation - but even then, it requires a far more coherent energy target - as 'roof insulation' can mean damn near anything...."
"Conservation" and environmental issues are just given tokenism, and "sustainable" is just a green-washing term.
At a press conference about Brown Mountain today (midday on Wednesday 28 January), Greens Senator, Bob Brown, decried the fact that amateurs are doing work which is a Victorian government responsibility, discovering and documenting endangered wildlife at Brown Mountain. Brown also spoke with confidence on the need for an environmental population policy for Australia.
Mark O’Connor and Bill Lines’s Overloading Australia has only been out for a short time and the growthists are becoming hysterical. Their arguments are as hopeless as ever. Tim Blair, (Murdoch Press) has even attacked Mark O’Connor for being a marriage celebrant and Brigid Delaney (Fairfax) is wheeling out old-fashioned cultural cringe, iced with neo-Macarthyism.
Not all the protesters are up the trees. There are troops on the ground as well. And in the creek!
Stuff the precautionary Principle- it might get in the way!
Longitude: 148.74495E Latitude: 37.26S. East Gippsland Victoria Australia-
The logging of old growth forest at Brown Mountain has been precipitate and swift. Few Victorians would be aware of the destruction which has occurred over the past few weeks in forest wild life habitat.
"The ‘tour down under’ bike race was hell. The helicopters hovered above my house on and off for 3 hours. The noise terrified the animals I was caring for and obviously disturbed wildlife for tens of kilometers around." (Wildlife carer)
January 19 is Martin Luther King day. It has been my tradition to trot out one of his most unknown speeches. Circulate it widely, please. I was a teenager when he appeared on so many talk shows. Apart from his captivating and stirring speeches, his calm reason and supreme intelligence---on so many issues---still impresses me. He was a giant. And he was more literate than Obama on the ecological facts of life, obviously. But then, so many more were in the late sixties too. See also this article about the 1999 civil trial which found that the US Government conspired in King's assassination.
Peru is still under the thumb of Colonialism, just the names have changed! Corruption is rife, and so is crime and human rights abuses. Mining companies are making a small minority mightily rich, and the indigenous and rightful owners of the land are suffering torture, death and death threats, loss of land, water pollution and loss of food.