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Pope Francis disingenuous on climate change


Pope Francis needs to be praised for calling for an "ecological conversion" for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. "Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever," he writes.

Health care savaged, despite growing needs

The Federal hospital funding system, based presently on growth in demand and costs, will change under the Abbott government. This "change" is actually about slashing and downgrading what each States receive, to make the system "more efficient".

This "change" is an $57 billion attack on our nation's health care system.

ACOSS link unaffordable housing to homelessness - finally

ACOSS has come to the amazing and unprecedented conclusion that for "an increasing number of Australians, housing affordability is a serious problem that affects their ability to work". A quarter of people battling with housing stress regularly skip meals in order to pay their rent.

"There's a lot of overcrowding, people are bunking up, living in inappropriate forms of housing which are not good for anybody," chief executive of the Australian Council of Social Service Dr Goldie said. (Article republished from comment to front page article.)

Hugo Chavez: a true, passionate Latin American leader


Hugo Chavez:A true and passionate Latin American leader.

Latin America was always material for big movies and great stories of literature of South America. It's always been the cradle for big revolutionary leaders such as Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Salvadore Allende, Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra. Always unsuccessful but their work rarely finishes because The United States of America always interferes. Chavez was inspired by all these leaders. (11 March, 2013 Two Venezuelan diplomats were deported from USA).

Withdraw from the UN Refugee Convention

Both sides of parliament are saying that the problem is asylum seekers dying at sea as they attempt to reach Australia. Other groups claim that we are "racist" and "xenophobic" for being heartless, and that we have the capacity for an open-door approach of the Greens. There are probably millions, if not billions of impoverished, persecuted peoples who see Australia as a "rich" country and an ideal soft target for resettlement. This is despite the pressure on jobs, housing, infrastructure, food security and environmental concerns. If we need to make a deal with Malaysia, or Indonesia, we should be free to do so. The solution is to discard our alliance with the UN Refugee Convention.

The Tarkine Wilderness under threat

Tasmania's Tarkine rainforests are important for their flora which has links to the ancient continent of Gondwana, and for their lichens and fossils which help tell the story of Australia's ancient flora and its evolution.
Mining companies like Venture Minerals are desperate to exploit the minerals beneath Tasmania's environmentally significant Tarkine area. Demand for metals being placed above the value of the environment.

GM Crops - a solution for over-population?

GM crops are being seen as an “answer” to human overpopulation, a “big Australia” and a way of securing food for the future. The global challenge is to produce 70% more food in the next 40 years. GM has the potential to increase hunger around the globe.

Deaths and Politics in Victorian hospitals

Growth is choking our city, our public transport, our parking lots, and streets and causing more and more "shortages", and rising costs - particularly in hospitals. Does it take a death of someone waiting to get some funding? More democracy in the system would solve a lot of the problems. When workers are too scared to complain vigorously, the patients aren't heard either. Does anyone have a choice in this system? Who is responsible?

Dingo Strategy has no bite...

Media Release... Exactly as I or anyone would have thought. A hungry dog is more likely to approach people and try and get food, and then they have to be "managed" to prevent attacks. It's all a self-fulfilling prophesy to keep their numbers down for tourism. The fine was more about upsetting the status quo and about having their little scheme exposed for what it is. People living on islands don't usually survive without importing food. Why should these animals have to? "Sustainable" numbers for dingoes is one thing, but "sustainable" human numbers - and their overshoot - gets ignored.

UN's outdated Refugee Convention - an immigration smoke-screen

How many other "solutions", detention centres, unaccompanied children, unidentified entrants and money must be spent on failed policies to address the asylum seeker issue?
The government is trying to please too many lobby groups - those who want the economic benefits of population growth, and those prefer to act with compassion and humanity.

Horn of Africa - people caught in the Malthusian Trap


Aid agencies have accused the world's richest countries of ''wilful neglect'' in failing to fund appeals to save millions of Africans from famine.
Nearly 11 million people are at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa, including 500,000 children who "are suffering from imminent, life-threatening severe malnutrition," according to UNICEF. 1.6 million additional children under five years old are severely malnourished.
(photos: Wikimedia commons)

Australia's "Bush Capital" kangaroo slaughter, where's the science?


Parks and Conservation Service Manager Daniel Iglesias says up to 3427 kangaroos will be "culled" in the ACT.  It's simply a matter of thinning out some of those nuisance and feral kangaroos to allow genuine natural ecosystems and native species to flourish, and of course a government department will want to be seen protecting endangered flora and fauna!  It appears to be based on sound science, but is it?

James Fitzgerald's joeys are missing! the "harvesters" have killed them


Raising orphaned joeys is a job that requires dedication, time, money, compassion and commitment. It means night and day feeds, special formulas, quietness to avoid stress, warmth and special bonding. All this can simply be wiped out by the released animals being "managed" by the NSW government!

Victoria's Freeway madness


Studies have shown that the use of these major roads will continue to increase in the years to come. Do we really want our city of Marvellous Melbourne to turn into Los Angeles in a desperate attempt to "solve" our traffic problems? The North East link tunnel/freeway would not alleviate traffic congestion and destroy valuable biodiversity parklands and wetlands.

Climate change and population growth implication, CO2 emission targets


Australia is on course to miss the bipartisan target of a 5% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.

The emissions for the 12 months to December 2010 are 0.5% higher than the previous 12 months, according to figures released 18th April.

While Australians are supposed to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time our government is pushing for high rise developments and population growth.

Koalas on the edge of the survival precipice


The conflict between koalas and humans is due to the fact that koalas prefer forests growing in better soils, and most of these forests have been chopped down for agriculture and housing.
The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there a possibly as few as 43,000 koalas remaining in Australia.  Koalas are a “vulnerable species” in NSW. 

David Attenborough - population growth contrary to addressing climate change


“Why this strange silence? I meet no one who privately disagrees that population growth is a problem. No one – except flat-earthers – can deny that the planet is finite”.
A population growth of 20% by 2020, and at the same time a symbolic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, is inherently contradictory and people will be forced to pay an ineffective carbon tax.

Alpine area is not a "cow paddock"

Research has shown that grazing has had a substantial impact on the composition, structure and condition of all the major vegetation types eaten by livestock, on virtually all of the Bogong High Plains. We don't need any more research in the Australian Alps on cattle grazing.

Say NO to a commercial kangaroo industry for Victoria


Victoria's perceived increased kangaroo numbers made headlines when they forced the cancellation of the Hanging Rock Australia Day races. KIAA executive officer John Kelly said developing a management plan was the first step toward legalizing commercial kangaroo harvesting in Victoria. They said that a ban on processing kangaroos was "robbing" farmers of $13 million per year.

Australia Day Hero - kangaroo rescuer Ray Cole


Mr Cole, originally from Preston in Victoria, is a humble and ordinary man with compassion. To oppose the police and go ahead and rescue a struggling joey, in deep murky water, was a courageous and selfless act. He saw a struggling creature needing help, and did what he could.
 
 

Cattle grazing in a National Park - unjustified and unscientific


National parks are protected because they have unspoilt landscapes and a diverse number of native plants and animals. This means that commercial activities such as farming are prohibited, and human activity is strictly monitored.  The return of cattle to the Alpine National Park could thus be illegal.

Sadistic attacks on kangaroos at Morisset Hospital


The sadistic atrocities occurring against our indigenous inhabitants - kangaroos - at Morisset hospital is totally shameful and horrendous.  Why haven't these atrocities been stopped and the sadists captured?  It is disgraceful that the Morisset kangaroos have been slaughtered for years and the only people to help are a handful of wildlife volunteers.

Climbing human population's food sources threatened by bumblebee population decline?

The global human population is estimated currently to be 6,892,000,000 and increasing, almost out of control, by 203800 every day. As this human population's consumption of food increases accordingly, the populations of other species, which it consumes or upon which it depends for the growth of plant food, is declining at an alarming rate. An example of the latter is four common species of the bumblebee in the United States, the abundance of which has dropped by 96 percent! Much of the food crops in the US depend upon the bumble bee for pollination to reproduce. How humankind will be able to continue to feed itself, unless this decline in bumblebee populations is stopped is not known. (Originally published as "Decline in some species along with over-abundance of humans" in Your Say.)

Whale ecology means enrichment of the oceans and carbon dioxide reduction


Studies have found that whales increase the population of plankton which bolsters the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If Japan is justifying their illegal whale slaughter under the smoke-screen of "scientific research", then their junk science must be exposed to enforce their removal. Clearly, it is erroneous to claim, as the three whaling countries tout, that whales compete with their commercial fisheries. Rather, they enhance them.

Sweden's liberal immigration policy - and the costs

Sweden has joined the United States, Britain, Spain and other nations as a target of politically motivated violence. It is no longer possible for countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden to think about their populations as homogenous groups with shared values and world views.
The costs are high. Foreigners are 6.2 times as likely to be incarcerated than Swedes, or 520% higher incarceration rate.

Fears 'Frodo' the koala may die

Frodo still has pellets in the stomach. Condemnation from the Queensland government is rather shallow when biodiversity in southeast Queensland is under pressure from habitat loss primarily due to increased urbanisation, driven by population growth, a fact stated in the State Government’s State of the Region (SEQ) report.
State planning is currently based upon the fool’s dream of endless growth. Human population growth brings disfunction, social dis-ease, lack of connection to our land and indigenous species, and increased crime. Her veterinarian carers confirm they cannot remove all the pellets from her tiny body.

The humanitarian challenge of refugees

The number of refugees Australia accepts is set each year and has remained between 13,000 and 14,200 since 2003. This year the number will be 13,750, regardless of the number of boats that arrive. It is predicted that there will be millions of climate change asylum seekers in the future. Oxford University's Norman Myers believes that the number of climate refugees could be as high as 200 million by 2050. It will be the poorest countries that will be the worst affected. How many of these will also be from the impacts and direct consequences of overpopulation is also unknown.
How do we respond?

Victoria's Mumbai Cook


With 2236 people arriving every week in Victoria - 1800 of those moving to Melbourne- there is scant recognition of the amount of infrastructure needed to support these numbers.

Every third or fourth home of Point Cook is of an Indian family, out of the 1500 homes. In fact, they all call Point Cook "Mumbai Cook"!
(photo: Traffic in Mumbai - wikimedia commons)

Skills shortage crisis?


So many of our manufacturing industries have disappeared overseas, that opportunities for training and apprenticeships are limited, despite the provisions of vocational training at TAFES.
Why should we be having an immigration program to address skill shortages when we should be developing a better educational and training framework that produces and exports our own skilled workforce?

Palm oil - the killer oil


An estimated 40% of food on our supermarket shelves contains palm oil. Palm oil typically costs the lives of up to 50 Orang-utans each week. Possible extinction in 20 years.
Over 85% of the world's palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. See also, for some hope, "Restoring Eden"

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