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Water trading will create barons

The decision by the Prime Minister and four state leaders to commence water trading in the southern states will lead to exploitation of a scarce resource and cost farmers and the environment dearly, according to Member for Calare Peter Andren.

"Anyone watching the manipulation of utility markets around the world can see how water trading will create water barons and lead to manipulation of the market, just as privatisation of the Snowy Scheme would lead to electricity market manipulation," Mr Andren said.

"While there needs to be a radical change in water use practices in Australian agriculture, such as far more incentive to invest in drip irrigation, water trading will disadvantage family farms and advantage speculators and urban water purchasers who can spread the cost over businesses and households.

Was the Club of Rome wrong?

Professor John Quiggin (JQ) states states "we can’t protect the environment unless we are willing to accept a radical reduction in our standard of living". Sorry, but I cannot accept this statement. If you define a high standard of living as 'owning stuff', then you are simply wrong. If our standard of living is so great, why is it we have to spend so much money repairing people? Why is there so much depression?

Our modern lifestyle is crap! I know, because on the whole I have divorced it. I have never been happier than since I quit working (for a wage of course, at the age of 46!) June next year, I will ditch my car, and I can’t wait! Finally organised so I no longer need it.

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Two views on the Gaza conflict

First View

I have hesitated to use the word 'genocide' to date because I think often the rhetoric can get very inflated in discussion of this conflict. Inflated rhetoric muddies the waters and prevents clear thinking. (That doesn't mean we shouldn't use words that express our emotions, but these need to be meaningful. Mistaken and over-use of emotive rhetoric devalues the currency of language. Then we don't have words for realities which do exist. People stop listening when the language has lost meaning. And 'genocide' is problematic because of the wide gap in ordinary usage and its meaning in international law.

The condition of the people of Gaza is utterly dreadful as the article below shows, far worse than for those in Lebanon, bad though that is. So what other word adequately describes what is now going on in Gaza?

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