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Miscellaneous comments from 1 May 2013

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MUSLIM leaders have slammed the federal and state government because politicians had failed to provide jobs, core infrastructure, funding for community organisations and sport as well as neglecting resources needed for policing.

Western Sydney has become a ghetto as a result of mass immigration, with complete disregard for the lack of infrastructure, debt, crime, congestion, amenities and resources.

Labor feels anger of Muslims

... by Simon Black from The Daily Telegraph of 1 May 2013

Lebanese Muslim Association president Samier Dandan said that unemployment is very high and more and more land is being opened up to cater for population growth. Our governments assume that immigrants want, will vote for, and approve of our rampant population growth. However, they are being invited to live here under the illusion that we have jobs, skills shortages, a high standard of living and education.

"This state government has totally ignored the area."

A 2012 report by Urban Taskforce Australia said there was a jobs deficit of 200,000 in western Sydney as of 2011. Under current growth forecasts this deficit is predicted to grow to 319,000 by 2031. Youth unemployment in the region is running at 17.9 per cent.

The Urban Taskforce are part of the powerful growth lobby, and support high growth at whatever costs. Their own forecasts predict the growth in unemployment and deficit. The Urban Taskforce, instead of promoting rampant population growth, should be a force in fixing the mess.

you must be kidding or going senile.

Ed. More info needed here. Very vague comment.

Committee for Sydney CEO Dr Tim Williams, in his report Homes for All, revealed two thirds of 35-year-olds cannot afford a home but a fifth of the population owns half the homes. He is blaming NIMBYISM for creating a "magic circle" for a few privileged home owners, forcing Sydney into a housing crisis.

Battle for backyards as NIMBYs create housing crisis at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/battle-for-backyards-as-nimbys-create-housing-crisis/story-e6freuy9-1226634215206

It's easy to blame those protecting their backyards against the forces that would have them disappear for more property developments in the face of Sydney's rampant population growth. He's simply deflecting focus from the real problem, unsustainable, politically-driven, population growth.

Developmer lobby Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson called for more high-density housing, community groups warned apartments would ruin suburbs and councillors rejected 10 per cent of projects proposed last year. Suburbs overrun by high density housing and towers is NOT the solution to Sydney's housing crisis, but a stable population - something obvious but not surprisingly missing from the debate.

The average cost of a Sydney house has gone up in real terms by 49.2 per cent and units have risen by 22.1 per cent since 2001. Dr Williams called for an end to nimbyism, dubbing it a "threat to our children's futures". There are limits to how much families and people on fixed incomes can afford to pay for mortgages. Mortages are able to drain the wealth and incomes of workers into their own profit pool.

McKell Institute executive director Peter Bentley said the high cost of housing in Sydney was forcing workers to spend up to 16 hours a week travelling to and from their jobs. They have become slaves to the elite and the money lenders!

The Committee of Sydney, in their recent media release, have asked for planning to be "streamlined". This sounds ominously an effort to avoid democratic input, and stifle the NIMBYs.

MEDIA RELEASE: Committee for Sydney hails Planning White Paper Reforms - could be a breakthrough for Sydney of 16 April 2013 at http://www.sydney.org.au/think-sydney-blog&post=media-release-committee-for-sydney-hails-planning-white-paper-reforms--could-be-a-breakthrough-for-sydney-

Research by the Committee for Sydney shows the failure to manage population growth as effectively as Melbourne has cost Sydney $43 billion in lost GDP growth. If what is touted as the route to prosperity - population growth - is actually costing a loss in GDP, then surely this "economic growth" model is outdated?

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

Attorney-General Orders Second Appeal

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie today directed the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the sentence of the second teenager involved in animal cruelty against two alpacas at Caboolture State High School.

Earlier this week, the Attorney-General announced he would appeal the sentence received by Wayne Charles Hartwig for abhorrent acts of animal cruelty that resulted in the death of two alpacas.

A second offender, who is a juvenile, was also sentenced for the crime in the Caboolture Magistrates Court last week.

The juvenile was convicted of two counts of cruelty to animals by night, one count of trespass and other unrelated charges.

The juvenile was dealt with under the Youth Justice Act 1992 and received a sentence of 12 months’ probation and 80 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay restitution.

The Attorney-General is of the view that the sentence is manifestly inadequate, does not set an adequate deterrent and is not in line with community expectations.

[ENDS] 3 May 2013

Media contact: Katherine Hornbuckle 0402 862 351

While tax-dodging tycoons fare far better than refugees in gaining admission to Australia, a few scraps of red tape remain, at least until the next federal election.

In the meantime, Onn Mahmud might consider a shift to Tasmania, where a company linked to his even richer brother, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, was not only welcomed by the state government but was given more than $10 million of public funds to set up a branch of the family's forestry empire, the most voracious in south-east Asia. The company is now the main driver for the loss of Tasmania's native forests.

JOHN HAYWARD, Weegena, Tas
http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/problem-is-far-deeper-20130504-2j015.html#ixzz2SQCOP79C

A report, by Deloitte Access Economics, estimates that as Australia's population ages, and more survive long into old age with costly health and aged-care needs, government will struggle to fund services to them unless tough decisions are taken.

The Age: Tough decisions needed before ageing sinks budget

Healthcare, pensions and aged-care services will eat up almost half of all federal and state government spending by 2050 without reforms to create a more sustainable system, a report for the Business Council warns.

With good health care and high living standards, a boom of immigration or babies will inevitably have an "ageing population" down the track.

''With no change to policy, expenditure growth would need to be funded by debt, and the cost to budgets would grow exponentially,'' the council said.

Creating a sustainable system means ending the growth pyramid that we call "economic growth" through productivity-hampering population growth - or Ponzi demographics!

Exponential growth of debts is evidence of the nature of our economy, based on growth. It's a perfect Ponzi scheme, where those at the base of the system are penalised and seen as an unnecessary burden to the system- to the elite at the apex.

Today's demographic bulge of 20 to 39-year-olds will eventually become 60 to 79-year-olds, yet the number of people entering the Ponzi scheme continues to be boosted by high levels of population growth, mainly through record levels of immigration.

The Deloitte report estimates that by 2050, Victoria would be spending 42 per cent of its budget on health and ageing, and NSW 39 per cent. The Ponzi pyramid spits out the least economically-viable victims at it's base, as burdens to the system. The "ageing" are considered excessively expensive, but the young and dependants are fresh and new and welcome, despite their costs in the economic system. They are potential participants, so that the elite at the apex can drain their earnings and wealth through mortgages and banking loans.

No community can stay "young", and what we need to end our demographic meddling so that our population can grow organically and naturally, through more births than deaths, and allow our society to age with dignity.

This was posted to a discusion, Young people these days, on johnquiggin.com .

Ikonoclast (@ #9) wrote:

Then [Peter Costello] got rid of free university education so he and his selfish mates would have to pay less tax.

It was the Hawke ‘Labor’ government which first set in train the course of events that would lead to the commodification of Australian vocational and tertiary education, when they introduced the Higher Eduction ‘Contribution’ Scheme (HECS) in 1986, the year I began my degree as an adult student.

I supported the boycott of HECS organised by the National Union of Students by not filling out the forms required by HECS.

The campaign failed as we know, so, nearly three decades later, we are living with the consequences of that and a host of other neoliberal economic ‘reforms’ of Keating, Costello and like-minded people from within the ‘Labor’ and the Liberal/National parties – an Australian Dollar which has ‘floated’ to its currently high exchange rate, privatisation, massively reduced government services, the export of jobs, loss of control of natural resources, support for wars started by the US and its allies including two illegal wars against Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, etc.

Thank God that I was ready to complete a degree, was independent from my parents and managed to complete a post graduate qualification while T.E.A.S. (Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme) was operating in the late 1970s! I could not have done it otherwise. As I recall , my university fees were paid for the years that went beyond those I had already put in at tertiary level and a small living allowance. I was able then to complete a university degree full time and a post postgraduate year. This allowance paid my rent and made it all possible. I worked for 27 years in the field for which my postgraduate studies qualified me. Was that a worthwhile investment for the government? People at the time criticized the scheme saying that people were using it to pursue hobbies. How likely is it that an adult would put in the slog required to attain degree status if s/he were not serious? How does our society lose by educating motivated adults even if the studies are not directly applied to a profession? We no longer have this luxury and cannot even offer free education to young people starting out on their first qualification. How sad.

NEW POLITICAL ANIMAL ON THE BLOCK

ENDING LIVE EXPORT IS IN ITS SIGHTS FOR THIS ELECTION

LUDWIG CALLED ON TO RESIGN AFTER YET ANOTHER APPALLING EXPOSE OF ANIMAL BRUTALITY UNDER HIS WATCH AND HIS DEPARTMENT'S COVER-UPS

The Animal Justice Party (AJP) will be fielding 10 candidates including 6 women, for the Senate in the September Federal Election.

Mark Pearson, NSW 1st Candidate for the Federal election states:

“The Animal Justice Party (AJP) stands for animal well-being without fear or consequence.

"The AJP is totally opposed to the live export trade, as are the majority of the Australian people (as has been shown by numerous polls). The fact that the major political parties ignore the people's well formed opinion is staggering.

"If the government will not get rid of live export, the people will get rid of the government. That the opposition leader, Mr Abbott, has promised to expand the industry and apologise for suspending it shows callous disregard for both the animals and the electorate.

"The Gillard Government’s own self-acclaimed livestock export monitoring system has now been shown to be completely useless, as we all expected it would be. Its time Minister Ludwig resigned. Its time these major parties put the well-being of animal lives ahead of losing votes in certain sectors of the country and bowing to a ruthless industry."

_________________________________________________________________________________

The news of the AJP comes following a string of Government supported animal cruelty incidents over recent years including the live animal export trade, the commercial and recreational slaughter of kangaroos and other native animals, ongoing evidence of brutality in intensive factory farming and puppy mill practice.

NSW: Mark Pearson (1), Kate Vickers (2)

ACT: Marcus Fillinger (1), Jessica Montagne (2)

Victoria: Bruce Poon (1), Cherie Wilson (2)

South Australia: Colin Thomas (1), Sally Sutton (2)

Western Australia: Katrina Love (1), Alicia Sutton (2)

A full list of AJP policies and its manifesto can be found at http://www.animaljusticeparty.org. For further information please email info@animaljusticeparty.org or tweet us @justice4animals.

Media Enquiries:

Mark Pearson, NSW Candidate – 0417 252 107

Tom Godfrey – Bell George PR - 0449 681 282 – tom@bellgeorge.com

Editors’ Notes
The Animal Justice Party of Australia" (AJP) was formed in 2009 to help ensure principles of kindness, compassion and capability are applied to all animals in all parliaments of this country. The AJP will be contesting the 2013 Federal election in the Senate in five jurisdictions and is considering candidates for selected lower house seats.

The treatment of cattle in an Egyptian abattoir as shown on ABC TV's 7.30 last night was in fact torture to watch. I keep hearing claims by devil's advocates and proponents of the live cattle export trade that these exposures by Animals Australia are isolated cases. Who would believe that for one moment? Animals Australia randomly find these practices that are not representative of animal treatment in the country in which they are filming? It is so unlikely that it would be laughable if it were not so serious.

Finance Minister Penny Wong confirmed that the government was ''not in a position to proceed'' with an increase to Family Tax Benefit Part A that was due to start on July 1.

"Not in a position to proceed" is a cruel and cold understatement, and wipes away a $600 maximum available for Australian families.

The Age: Federal budget takes 17 billion hit

This proposed increase in Family Benefits was supposed to be from the proceeds of the mining boom. More than 1.1 million families were to receive an increase to the maximum rate of FTB-A of $300 a year for those with one child and $600 a year for those with two or more children.

Senator Wong said that on top of the revenue hit in 2012-13, the government anticipated revenue hits across the forward estimates.

Joe Hockey tweeted that the federal budget, due to be handed down next Tuesday, was in ''chaos''.
''Wong says revenue write downs now $17bn. Last week Gillard said $12bn. Week before Swan said $7bn. Budget in complete chaos !!'' The budget continues to blow out, despite our record levels of high immigration and "economic growth".

A Ponzi scheme investment fund can last only as long as the flow of new investments is sufficient to sustain the high rates of return paid out to previous investors. As recently as 1950 or so, the world economy was living more or less within its means, consuming only the sustainable yield, the interest of the natural systems that support it. But then as the economy doubled, along with population growth, and doubled again, and yet again, multiplying eightfold, it began to outrun sustainable yields and to consume the asset base itself. Politicians and economists are captured by the cornucopia myth of never-ending growth and riches, but the real world is finite.

Almost everyone — in Europe and in the United States — has been living beyond their means, from consumers to politicians to entire countries. Governments have become servants to the markets upon which they have become dependent. Old debts are paid with new ones, with borrowers giving not the slightest thought to repayment.

Our economic system is, at its base, a giant Ponzi scheme, dependent on ever more people producing and consuming ever more stuff.

Our government's "economic growth" Ponzi scheme is flattening out to a plateau of de-growth. It's always the most vulnerable at the base of the Ponzi scheme that bears the brunt of the decisions of those at the apex.

The State Government is promising a $2.5 billion Budget surplus within four years, relying on a strong recovery in the Victorian property sector forecast to deliver thousands of new jobs. Jobs in housing construction are not ongoing, but depend on population growth. We are becoming entrenched in growth, and short-term gain at the expense of a sustainable budget, and future.

Treasurer Micheal O'brien relying on strong recovery in property sector

Strong "recovery" from the property sector implies an economy heavily reliant on on-going population growth, and the demand for housing. The government relies on land tax and stamp duty, rather than production, innovation and manufacturing for healthy exports. But economists said the Budget papers were "overly optimistic" in tipping growth would rise from its current 1.5 per cent to 2.25 per cent next year and then 2.75 per cent in following years. The race for high rates of population growth, instead of good and services, has become the measure of our State's economic performance. However, it's a bog hard to get free from, like an addiction. It's easy to shoot-up, but withdrawal is hard.

The ANZ Bank's senior economist, Cherelle Murphy, warned the Victorian Government was being a bit too "optimistic" in terms of a property boom and population growth. "Nationally, unemployment looks like it is going to rise in the coming months and stay high," she said.

The cost of population growth are never considered. We have a population growth rate of 1.7%, and our debt has increased to a new peak of $23 billion, up from $16 billion. It's perfect Ponzi scheme that consumes the "investors" at its base so that costs of living continues to increase, and we are plagued by "shortages" of services, congestion, cut-backs to funding and accumulating debt for infrastructure.

A surprisingly strong report on German industrial output in March has helped the euro gain ground on the dollar and yen. Markets were caught off guard by a positive German economic indicator for the second day in a row.

Output jumped by 1.2 per cent on the month in March - beating even the highest forecast of 0.8 per cent in a Reuters poll -after an upwardly revised 0.6 per cent increase in February as factories churned out more goods and energy production rose.

German industry grows in March as economy gears up slowly

“German industry has entered the current quarter with a lot of momentum,” said Heinrich Bayer, an economist at Deutsche Postbank AG in Bonn. “We expect a strong pickup in growth this quarter after a 0.2 percent increase in gross domestic product in the first quarter.”

The German economy is in better shape than many others in the 17-strong group of European Union countries that use the euro and is believed to have returned to growth in the first quarter. It shrank slightly in last year's final three months, which Schaeuble cited as the main reason for the lower tax revenue forecast.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/05/08/2588972/german-industrial-production-rises.html#storylink=cpy

The last two German states to charge tuition fees, Bavaria and Lower Saxony, are expected to abolish them in the coming months, making Germany an outlier amid a global trend toward the introduction and increase of tuition fees.

The Bavarian parliament is expected to scrap university tuition fees. The Social Democrat-Green government in Lower Saxony means tuition fees will be phased out in that state by 2014. On the contrary, over $2 billion has been scrapped from an already struggling university sector.

The German Education Union argues that higher education is a human right -- a belief enshrined in the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Among the 34 members of the OECD, a club of rich nations, it is estimated there are 26m youths not in education, employment or training (so-called NEETs). Germany, which has a relatively low level of youth unemployment, places a lot of emphasis on high-quality vocational courses, apprenticeships and links with industry. But it is an exception.

Despite the enmity often directed at Berlin for its insistence on painful austerity as the cure for Europe's sovereign-debt crisis, Germany has become a new land of opportunity for tens of thousands of people fleeing their recession-racked homelands . Language barriers, rigid German labor laws and the reluctance of some German firms to hire foreigners remain impediments, some analysts say.

Germany has managed to avoid the Ponzi economic growth paradigm and is gaining economic and educational success on a declining and ageing population. Australia should take a lesson from Germany's example.

Tired of the constant media and political belly-aching over 'budget black-holes'?

Read this sensible analysis of the situation and weep even more over the abysmal quality of our public debate.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/5/6/federal-budget/deficit-debate-thats-all-out-whack#ixzz2STx3kt4g

Imagine if the media narrative was directed toward things of substantial merit rather than sensational concoction.

Queensland's Liberal/National Party Government is planning to bring its land clearing amendments to parliament. .

The World Wildlife fund is arguing its case before the state's Development, Infrastructure and Industry Parliamentary Committee, claiming that the Campbell Newman-led administration has reneged on an election promise that it would "retain the current level of statutory vegetation protection."

Under the State Government's proposed Vegetation Management Framework Amendment Bill, landholders would be able to clear land for "high value agriculture and environmental works".

WWF-Australia has called on Premier Campbell Newman to honour an election-eve promise to retain the laws. "The undoing of that protection would accelerate the risk of extinction of a number of animals," CEO Mr O'Gorman said.

"I think that Queenslanders love their koalas, love their cassowaries, and those vegetation areas also provide a vital protection to reducing run-off into the Great Barrier Reef.

All of the good policies in the past that protected valuable land and biodiversity from indiscriminate clearing is being undone by the the Queensland Liberal-National Government.

Twenty-seven academics from universities across Queensland are urging Premier Campbell Newman to reconsider proposed changes to the Vegetation Management Act.

“These are big policy decisions and they’ll affect our wildlife and our biodiversity forever, so we think it’s really important to get them right,” said Concerned Queensland Scientists spokeswoman Martine Maron.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/land-clearing-will-devastate-queensland-scientists-20130512-2jg2h.html#ixzz2TEfwxcvs

There’s many species that rely upon not just mature bushland, but also that high-value regrowth, in order to survive. A group of 27 experts from five Queensland universities issued a statement today calling for the state government to reconsider the changes.

"As scientists with expertise in biodiversity, conservation and sustainable development, we wish to express grave concerns about the future impacts of the proposed changes," they said.

It is estimated that at least 700,000 hectares of endangered or ecologically important woodlands and forests could disappear, with other bushland being cleared as well.

This destructive madness, malice and environmental vandalism is because more land is needed for agriculture. It's about cutting "red tape" so that farmers can increase their productivity, despite the fact that trees and vegetation are the homes for many species, and they are a buffer against climate change, flooding and soil erosion.

Malthusian fears that population growth will outstrip food supplies have been widely discounted as food production has kept well ahead of growing human numbers in the last half century.

A new opinion to solve the planet's "challenge" of feeding the world's population in the future is that we eat insects. Instead of the logic of actually facing the real problem of human overpopulation, it's forcing the limits of endurance and acceptable food sources.

It's been suggested that to feed 9 billion people expected to be alive by 2050 could be to rear billions of common houseflies on a diet of human faeces and abattoir blood and grind them up to use as animal feed, a UN report published on Monday suggests. Doing so would reduce the pressure on the Earth's forests and seas as food sources.

Insects grow exceptionally fast and thrive on the waste of many industrial processes. The authors envisage fully automated insect works being set up close to breweries or food factories that produce high volumes of farm waste. Each could breed hundreds of tonnes of insects a year that would be fed to other animals.

Depending on the species, a single female fly can lay up to 1,000 eggs over a seven-day period, which then hatch into larvae. Potential big users would need vast quantities of the product – some pet food businesses alone could use over 1,000 tonnes per month," the report adds.
The UN says that by 2050, the planet needs to increase food production by up to 70%. There's limits to soils, fertizers, arable land, but no limits to human reproduction ability!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/13/breed-insects-improve-human-food-security-un

Most 2 billion entomophages (people who eat insects) reside in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the FAO said. Wider consumption of insects could, it argued, lead to more food stability and security. The FAO noted that most markets for edible bugs in first-world countries are small, due to the fact that most people “view entomophagy with disgust and associate eating insects with primitive behavior.” Not surprising!

Between 1980 and 2000, global population rose from 4.4 billion to 6.1 billion, while food production increased 50 per cent. By 2050, the population is expected to reach 9 billion.

The UN and scientists are reluctant to even enter the population debate. They simply accept human overpopulation and planetary consumption and destruction levels as inevitable and something that must be worked around. Aid must be cut to developing countries that are not trying to limit their population, and endorse family planning. Countries such as Australia, with governments that image they can ignore the global reality of overpopulation and base their economic model on growth, but be brought in line with the rest of the planet.

Julia Gillard started her Arts and Law degrees at the University of Adelaide. In 1983 she was elected national Education Vice-President of the Australian Union of Students (AUS) and moved to Melbourne to complete her degree at Melbourne University. Later that year, she was elected President of the AUS. She was president of both the Adelaide University Union and the Australian Union of Students.

"Sad to say, university staff and students have borne the brunt of the Gillard government's broken promises to increase university funding," Union president Jeannie Rea said in a statement on Monday. Now that present day politicians, including Ms Gillard, have gained their own careers and appreciated their university education either free or low costing, they will deny this to present and future generations. We are heading towards not the smart and skilled country, but one threatened by a dystopia of chronic skills shortages that will justify ongoing immigration.
The logic of it defies explanation.

Comment below, with subject End of Baby bonus welcomed of 11:54AM, Wed 15 May 2013 has been moved to here and the Subject has been changed to Baby bonus axed, but Ponzi growth pyramid kept by Gillard. - Ed

An iron ore strip mine in Tasmania's disputed Tarkine region has won state environmental approval, further boosting development there.

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/mine-approved-in-tarkine-wilderness-20130516-2jovb.html#ixzz2TSOhJ4Dc

Venture Minerals' Riley Creek project is expected to produce two million tonnes of ore from later this year, after the Perth company clears about 500 hectares of eucalypt forest 100 kilometres south-west of Burnie.

The lure of wealth and trading riches distorts values and destroyed natural wonders, almost as pristine as they were thousands of years ago. Human greed could change this, and see much of the Tarkine dug up and cleared.

A relict from the ancient super-continent, Gondwanaland, the Tarkine contains Australia’s largest tract of temperate rainforest, and is home to more than 60 species of rare, threatened and endangered species. These include such unique animals as the Giant Freshwater Lobster – the world’s largest freshwater crustacean, and the Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle – Australia’s largest Eagle, and the famous Tasmanian Devil.

Many of the Tarkine’s unique values are threatened by destructive activities such as new mining, logging, and illegal activities such as poaching and arson, and less than 5% of the Tarkine is protected as a National Park.

The minister for the Environment Tony Burke holds the future of the Tarkine in his hands.

http://tarkine.org/
Sign the petition: Save the Tarkine

The only place on Earth where orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos all roam together, 1.2 million hectares of Sumatran rainforest are under threat of being flattened for gold mines, oil palm plantations, logging and roads.

Campaigners in Sumatra are working around the clock to use this momentum to convince Indonesia's President to keep Aceh's forests, wildlife and people safe. This is our only hope of protecting this last stronghold for some of the planet's most endangered species.

Palm oil is one of the world's leading agricultural commodities. The two biggest producers, Malaysia and Indonesia, account for 84 percent of the world's palm oil production and ring up sales of US$11 billion annually. The world's appetite for energy seems insatiable, and palm oil may be the Next Big Thing in energy.

As biofuels take center stage and governments mandate their use-ironically for the environmental benefits-additional forest destruction, and the attendant loss of wildlife and proliferation of smoke-filled skies, are likely to ensue.

The biofuel boom is spurring companies to turn more and more of these vast areas into oil palm plantations. John Buchanan, senior director of business practices with the U.S.-based NGO Conservation International, says that palm oil's energy efficiency as a biofuel makes it very attractive to investors.

The promise being made is that wood can produce fuels to run our cars. A few years ago we were told corn, rapeseed, sugar, oil palm, soy and various other crops could be grown for biofuels while providing energy security and reducing greenhouse emissions. The reality has been far different with globally surging food prices, loss of rainforests and other important habitats, further depletion and poisoning of aquifers, and rampant human rights abuses -- all for little or no greenhouse gas emission reduction.

To grow enough corn to yield one gasoline-equivalent gallon of ethanol in the drought-stricken Midwest requires 2,700 gallons of water, while the refining process itself consumes between three and six gallons of water per gallon of ethanol. With almost 50 percent of corn production now going to ethanol, farmers and ranchers are paying more for feed which means higher prices for beef, milk, poultry and pork.

As with agrofuels, a cellulosic ethanol industry will indirectly destroy forests and lead to more costly food by increasing land pressures upon natural forests and agricultural crop lands. We can expect more vast, lifeless, toxic and water dependent monocultures of genetically modified Frankentrees on stolen deforested lands at a net carbon loss. And the biofuels will be sold to us as a green product, perhaps certified as "well-managed" by WWF, FSC, and other forest sell-outs.

Human population growth, species extinctions, the destruction of the planet is set to continue in the quest for economic growth and energy.

Biomass, humanity's oldest fuel, makes up 76 per cent of renewable energy and 10 per cent of all energy. About 60 per cent of this is wood, twigs and dung, used by almost three billion people who lack modern fuels, resulting in terrible air pollution and millions of deaths.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/harvesting-forests-to-reduce-fossil-fuels-the-next-big-boondoggle/story-fni1hfs5-1226646298253

SOS: Momentum grows in the Save Aceh campaign

This is not a "harvest" but a rape and pillaging of Nature's last strongholds - forests. Forests can't be seen for the trees if they are valued only as "fuel".

Forests are multidimensional environmental systems that are fine-tuned over long periods to sustain biodiversity, food chains, climate and atmosphere control. Many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in forests. Biomass as "CO2 neutral" assumes only one dimension of our existence on our planet - the consumption of energy at whatever costs, even robbing future generations of intact ecosystems.

The planet is not just for one species, homo sapiens. We must work in harmony with the planet, not be the cause of an ecological disaster. It's short-sighted and anthropocentric to consider forests as a free energy resource.

The failure of 'socialists' and many liberals to help Jim Garrison prosecute the murderers of President Kennedy back in the 1960's enabled the further erosion of democracy in the United States and set back the popular struggle to end the U.S. war against Vietnam.

Had Garrison been helped in his pursuit of the murderers of JFK, he would have almost certainly have succeeded in his prosecution. Bobby Kennedy would have lived and would have won the 1968 Presidential elections and the war would have ended by no later than January 1969.

Fortunately, Oliver Stone and others such as James DiEugenio, author of Destiny Betrayed (1992, 2012) have not been disheartened by setbacks and have continued to speak the truth against establishment 'historians' and the lying mass-media.

One of the latest examples is The Untold History of the United States (2012) by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. This was also made into a television series. Unfortunately it is still hard to obtain the DVDs in Australia. (Try ordering it through Amazon).

The book sets the JFK Presidency in its historical context. This includes the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his New Deal of the 1930's which got America out of the Great Depression in spite of the fact that this went counter to supposed economic theory of the time and the participation of the U.S. in the Second World War, amongst others much of the the far left, including Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), mistakenly held to be only driven by imperialist motives on the part of the United States and the Western Allies. This misunderstanding of the Second World has continued to add confusion to historical study the Second World War.

Oliver Stone's account of the Second World War stands head and shoulders above just about every other account of that war I know of. (A possible exception may be found in the writings of the left-wing U.K. Labor Parliamentarian Konni Zilliacus (1894-1967)). It is astonishingly insightful, although not entirely without oversights in my view.

Today (21 May 2013), Supreme Court proceedings were commenced to sue the Department of Environment and Primary Industries for years of failure to protect Victoria’s threatened wildlife.

We are alleging in Court that the State Government has violated the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act by not preparing protection plans called Action Statements for four threatened species: the Glossy Black Cockatoo, the Long-nosed Potoroo, the Eastern She-oak Skink and the Large Brown Tree Frog.

These four struggling heroes represent the other 370 listed species that also have no legal protection despite them being extremely rare.

There’s is a big difference between being listed as threatened and actually being protected.

We proved that the govt. logging agency had failed to survey for and protect endangered forest wildlife for decades, when we won the last Supreme Court case in 2010.

But we learnt that VicForests can survey and identify rare animals, but still destroy them, their homes and food. Although they’re in deep trouble, the govt refuses to write up plans to protect all listed wildlife.

We have amazing animals that exist nowhere else on earth, but laws to protect them are violated daily by the government. The way the state government is applying the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act is instead guaranteeing their extinction.

Environment East Gippsland is being represented by the Environment Defenders Office.

This case will cost us thousands of dollars and we are asking for any assistance you can offer.

Tax deductible donations for 2012/13 can be made to EEG via GiveNow:

Please share this - or send to others who are also fighting to save their local wildlife. This case could have very wide ramifications.

Jill

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Jill Redwood

Coordinator

Environment East Gippsland Inc

Locked Bag 3

ORBOST Vic 3888

(03) 5154 0145

www.eastgippsland.net.au

EAST GIPPSLAND - our breathing space

More than half of respondents to a Salvation Army survey are often going without meals, while two-thirds are having to cut down on buying basic necessities. Australia's status as a desirable "Lucky Country" of a few short decades ago has been eroded by economic growth!

2,700 people across more than 200 Salvation Army centres around the nation were surveyed.

The findings also highlight the impact poverty is having on children, with many missing out on school activities, new uniforms and annual dental check-ups.

30 per cent of people surveyed could not afford to fill prescriptions after going to the doctor, and 60 per cent were unable to access dental treatment. While we spend billions of dollars asylum seekers, and our guilt is projected onto their displacement and plights from war and conflicts, many of our own children and most vulnerable are at risk from poverty.

The Salvation Army estimates that one in six children in Australia now live at or below the poverty line. 92% have no savings.

As our wealth pyramid progressively is shared between more and more people, those at the base are being more and more suppressed and living in deprivation. Ostensibly, our cities have more glass towers and our economy is "growing", its quality is disintegrating at it's base.

Salvation Army survey finds many families going without basic necessities

Sweden is one of the wealthiest, most stable and smoothly running countries in the world. Which would explain why the country's 9.5 million residents may be shocked by the events of the past few days.

The trouble began over the weekend, after the police shot dead a 69-year-old man in the city's Husby neighborhood, where many residents originate from the Middle East and Africa. Resentment over asylum seekers, competition for jobs, and Islamist militancy have helped fuel a surge in support for anti-immigration parties in the region.

Critics of riots in Sweden are saying the integration policies of the country – and that of the whole of Western Europe – are “not working.”

“This is a clear consequence of this multiculturalism politics that Sweden adopted around ‘80s and increased in the ‘90s... And this is not a unique one single occasion… we have had these ethnic-based riots against Swedish authorities. We have seen this in Western Europe, that is very sad, and I think we will see more of this, if we don’t change the politics,” the chairman of the Sweden’s National Democrats Party Marc Abramsson told RT.

“Sweden has been trying harder than any of the countries in Europe to try to push for integration. We have invested virtually billions from taxpayers’ money into it, we have tried everything that the scientists have presented – and still it’s not working,” the politician argued.

“They live in their area, and they feel the area is their own. And when the police arrive, they feel they are you intruding into their, sort of, ‘country.’ The police… who work in these areas, there have to be in two cars, one protecting the other."

The Nordic countries have long been among the most tolerant and open minded toward the world's refugees and destitute. But, every society has their breaking point and it is no surprise to me that Denmark and to a lesser extent Sweden, have turned more to the right away from tolerance.

The new "multiculturalism" should be called integration. The word itself is an oxymoron. Either people are part of a nation's culture, or they are not. Promoting separatism is a cause of tension and disintegration.

Asylum seekers should ideally seek refuge in countries with more similar cultures as those of their source countries. Third world and extremist religious cultures should settle in countries with similar values and backgrounds. People can get alone tolerably while there is space, plenty, wealth and resources, but once there is unemployment, poverty, disadvantages due to costs of living and overcrowding, humans end up resentful and in conflict.

A 25-year-old Afghan war veteran was killed near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, on Wednesday. The two men suspected of murdering Drummer Rigby were previously known to the intelligence services, but were reportedly assessed as not posing a deadly threat.

The Australian Muslim Youth Network has sent texts and emails warning Muslims to avoid arguments about their faith and steer clear of anti-Islamic protests which have been planned for some Australian cities.

The 2009 Islamist terrorist plot against Sydney's Holsworthy Army Barracks showed Australia is not immune to these threats. Last year's Muslim riots in Sydney showed the ugly face of religious extremism that exists in some sections of our society.

Muslim leaders in Australia came out united against the violence of the Sydney Protests, Muslim leaders across the United States condemned the terrorist attacks in Boston and already, the Muslim Council of Britain has condemned this attack in the strongest possible terms stating that "Muslims have served this country’s Armed Forces proudly, with honour".

The Muslim Council of Britain said in a statement: "This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family."

Crimes of hate and terror can easily be labelled "Islamic" or extremist, but without being part of a bigger organisation. They are compromising the majority of people who want to live, work and proceed peacefully with their lives.

May 23rd was World Turtle Day! While turtles are super cute and do some really fascinating stuff, the purpose of WTD is serious.

The day was started 13 years ago to raise awareness of the plight of turtles, tortoises and their shelled brethren. Wild turtles are subject to habitat destruction, pet trading and other factors of our changing world.

According to American Tortoise Rescue, turtles and tortoises are threatened by the exotic food trade, habitat destruction, global warming and the pet trade. In the illegal pet trade, turtles and tortoises are removed from their natural habitat and transported long distances to be sold, often in unsafe conditions.

According to ATR founder, Susan Tellem, “We are seeing smaller turtles coming into the rescue meaning that older adults are disappearing from the wild thanks to the pet trade, and the breeding stock is drastically reduced,” she added.?“It is a very sad time for turtles and tortoises of the world.”

To commemorate the annual event, the group has linked a contest to their official Facebook page. Entrants to the contests can win prizes and bid in a charity auction on a suit donated by Shaquille O’Neal.

FACEBOOK: American Tortoise Rescue

Turtle Day encourages you to discover the world of turtles and tortoises, and to learn how you can help to protect and help them to thrive. Some ideas include dressing up as turtles, saving turtles on roads, or getting involved in turtle research.

One of the world's leading naturalists, Sir David Attenborough, has cautioned Australia against pursuing further population growth, labelling an unlimited expansion a kind of madness.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/sir-david-warns-against-growth-20130525-2n3z7.html

Sir David Attenborough questioned why our country still debated whether it needed to grow its population. Actually, there is no debate. The mainstream parties have long been locked into the growth-formula for their economic model. It defies reason, logic and long-term strategies.

Population growth is considered inevitable by governments that make these growth-decisions without democratic input. The evolution of our economic model has meant that the ideal of "growth is good" has continued long after its use-by-date.

We live in a time of the challenge of feeding the planet's swelling numbers. It's assumed that innovation and technology will increase food production by 70% by 2050, as required by the UN. We have species extinctions, deforestation, environmental degradation, the decline of the oceans' food chains, and the inevitable consequences of conflicts as limited finite resources are more thinly spread, our politicians' desire for a bigger population is devoid of scope and a global view.

Australia should set the pace on sustainability.

It's encouraging that Sir David has not given up on us humans saving the planet. While much of the public will warm to him and share his views, no doubt his message will land on deaf ears for most of our leaders.

Attenborough said ''The notion that you could continue to expand and increase and grow in an infinite way on a planet which is finite, is a kind of lunacy. You can see how mad that is by the expression that you can't believe that you can grow infinitely in a finite place - unless of course you're an economist."

Economists deal with numbers that are infinite, and the constraints of the real world can be smoothed away through graphs showing growth without limits.

“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”

Kenneth E. Boulding