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Miscellaneous comments from 5 February 2012

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Comments made on previous "Miscellaneous comments" page from 5 December 2011 can be found here.


"Darrin Hodges represents the Australian Protectionist Party which claims the Australian way of life is under threat. The party is campaigning for a 'one in one out' immigration policy. And to protect the jobs of Australian workers.

"Reverse racism can be called positive discrimination or affirmative action and it's basically the idea that there's a sense of political disenfranchisement for the majority... who, even though they're like a majority, politically they're like a minority," Darrin said.

"If it's racist for the protectionist party to advocate on behalf of their identity, then groups like the Lebanese Muslim Association must also be racist, they're advocating on behalf of Lebanese Muslims.""

Minister Hazzard will be called on to explain his broken election commitment that the Liberal Nationals would stop Lend Lease from destroying an additional 100 hectares of critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland at the former ADI Site in Penrith.

Brad Hazzard need to do some explanation as to how his planned new urban release areas can be delivered sustainably, with minimal impact to the environment and the quality of life of locals. Brad Hazzard appears to have thrown the sustainability criteria for new urban development outside of the identified growth centres out the window. How can flora and fauna be managed and protected while being engulfed by urban sprawl? "Sustainable growth" is an oxymoron, and like the Alpine cattlemen's claim that they are doing "trials" to prevent fires in national parks, this urban expansion has nothing to do with science, ecology or environmental protection.

It is nonsense to argue that this will make life better for the residents of Western Sydney. This will only further trash our quality of life and our environment.

Where will the bushland "offsets" be planted? Native species can't just be expected to relocate after losing their territories.

In Penrith there is 2400 hectares identified for release of which most is completely isolated from any proper infrastructure. To allow that amount of land to be fast tracked for release is not "planning" but maximising developers' opportunities. The car will be the only way people can commute. Public transport and infrastructure is begrudged as an after-thought.

It's a plague of people, and houses being build will lead to increased population.

See Western Sydney group to meet with Brad Hazzard this week about urban sprawl of 31 Jan 2012 at .

Mantle Mining Corporation’s (ASX: MNM) dramatic increase in both share price and volume over the past two days has caught the eye of the ASX, with the company being issued a speeding ticket. In addition, trading volume has increased substantially from 301,371 to 4.52 million yesterday and 14.99 million 2nd February.

The company is working towards an Inferred JORC Resource at the Bacchus project, which has an exploration target of 1-2 billion tonnes of brown coal.

While shareholders are wringing their hands with delight, not so the residents of Bacchus Marsh!
They are being "greenwashed" by the mining company, saying that this coal will lower greenhouse gas emissions in India - where it's being exported to.

Lower greenhouse gas emissions emissions in India shouldn't come at the expense of loss of community rights, and the destruction of fertile agricultural land by heavy and invasive drilling machinery in Bacchus Marsh.

Paul Connor, from the activist group Quit Coal, will be charged with interfering with a vehicle after police had to use an angle grinder to cut him down after the four-hour demonstration.
Bacchus Marsh drill site sparks protest

Organised by Quit Coal, the protest is the latest in a series of activities against the West Australian company’s 15-hole drill program.

Mantle mining plan to dig a huge, open-cut coal mine, then dry and export coal to India.

This project will destroy local farmland fields and threatens ground water, all for the sake of quick export dollars. It requires the burning of brown coal, so any "saving" of carbon emissions fails to take into account the emissions involved in the coal-drying process, involving substantial energy use.

Objectors to mining exploration in Bacchus Marsh are worried that native grasses will be destroyed if exploration continues. Concerns for the Parwan grasslands were raised at Mantle Mining's open day on Saturday when almost 100 people were invited to observe the drilling process and its desired achievements. Parwan Landcare spokesman Simon Jolly said he had doubts that rare species of grasslands could be successfully revegetated once ripped up.

Mantle Mining has a coal exploration licence to dig up 386 km2 of the surrounding area. Preliminary results of the coal properties have already "exceeded expectations".

Mantle has issued a bizarre and arrogant statement saying that while they support the right to peaceful protest, any such protests will not affect their future operations!

If protests are already deemed futile they must be confident that any democratic action against their destructive exercises will be stonewalled, due to powerful allies in government.

A government spokesperson said prior to commencing work at this site the company obtained consent of the affected landowner and had a compensation agreement in place. How can the intrinsic value of land, of local food supply, the loss of the integrity of their landscape, possibly water poisoning, loss of democratic transparency, and the stress of having such a huge parcel of their area drilled be adequately compensated?

Poor Truganini, her name so taken in vain to name yet another suburb dedicated to overrunning this country; in her life so abused by the same immigrationist system.

"POPULATION growth has seen student numbers at one of Wyndham’s newest schools more than double in a year.
Truganina South Primary School opened with about 200 students in grades prep to 6 for the start of the 2011 school year, but principal Mandy O’Mara said its enrolment had greatly expanded, with 500 students rolling in for 2012." ( Wyndham-Leader, by Kellie Cameron, 7 Feb 12).

It reminds me of that hidiously hypocritical mantra that labor party politicians and their mimickers recite so indecoriously over the former territory of the peoples displaced by colonialism and multiculturalism, as they announce some new development.

"I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we are meeting on today, the [insert name] people of the [insert name] nation." It makes me cringe. It would be impossible for a politician opening yet another new suburb to acknowledge that the dispossession of the traditional owners, past and present is ongoing and every new development is an insult to all those born here, who are not consulted and who don't want it.

My thoughts too. How dare they name a piece of urban sprawl after Truganini. After what was done to her in her lifetime and after death, something of value like a public park, nature reserve, a bay a river should be named after her, not a housing development! ABC presenters pronounce her name as applied to the suburb to rhyme with "miner" rather than "Teena". I was told by Tasmanian family members that her name was pronounced Truganini with the "nin" like "win' not "wine".

(This was also posted here.)


A general strike gripped Greece in protest against new austerity measures demanded with increasing urgency by the European Union as part of a debt rescue deal with banks.

Greece's largest police union has threatened to issue arrest warrants for officials from the country's European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders for demanding deeply unpopular austerity measures.

In a letter obtained by Reuters on Friday, the Federation of Greek Police accused the officials of "...blackmail, covertly abolishing or eroding democracy and national sovereignty" and said one target of its warrants would be the IMF's top official for Greece, Poul Thomsen.


The former Nationals leader, and until recently the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Mr Fischer addressed the National Press Club last week on the question of global food security - an issue he said the Vatican was keenly aware of.

All the signs of impending catastrophe are in front of us, Mr Fischer said, as runaway population growth heads for a smash into "peak everything" - water, land, nutrient, oil, fish and research.

See: 'Peak everything': Fischer of 12 Feb by MATTHEW CAWOOD

If a former political leader can draw the dots on human insatiable greed for growth and declining natural resources, why are other leaders so blinded?

Mr Fischer also flagged forecasts that up to 40 per cent of the Earth may face regular drought by end of the 21st century, and cited Julian Cribb, author of The Coming Famine, who wrote that world food production may decline by around 25pc "exactly when we are attempting to double it".

It's clear the age of growth has ended, yet economists and politician are still fixed in a retro era, to our peril. The Pope, if he is concerned about famine and impending global disaster, should give advice on family planning, and encourage it. How can the Church have any credibility if the Pope ignores the damage done by banning contraception? No species, or anything, can have exponential and unfettered growth within a finite container.

Increasing diversity in dietary options assume that science and technological advancements will eventually modify natural resources to produce enough food to feed 2.5 billion extra people. Scientists themselves are more realistic and skeptical.

Indicators of severe planetary stress include loss of species, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing global deforestation, stratospheric ozone depletion, pollution, loss of topsoil, shortages of water and food in many parts of the world.

The Earth is a finite entity, and in the last decade food production from both land and sea has declined relative to population growth. Agricultural land has shrunk and degraded.

Dr Norman Borlaug, father of the "green revolution", was responsible for an increase in food supplies in poor countries, far beyond what many agriculturalists deemed possible. He was frustrated throughout his life that governments did not do more to tackle what he called “the population monster”, and recommended.... “the agencies that fight for increased food production and those that fight for population control unite in a common effort".

The world has been given a 40 year reprieve from the “population monster”, but it's not too late to take Borlaug's advice and unite in a common effort against it.

There's no real dilemma - but a battle between the obvious solution and ignorance. We must unite against human overpopulation, not resort to eating sea weed, gm crops, insects and artificial "meat" as suggested.

See also: Planet's growing dilemma of 16&nbsp:Feb 12 in the Age, reprinred from the Guardian.

How much can a koala bear?
One koala was trapped by a controlled fuel-reduction "bushfire" that ripped through her habitat last September, after the area had supposedly been cleared of wildlife. When she was found in that tree, 2½ weeks after the fire. Each foot pad was burnt, as well as her ears and eyes.

The Age - how much can the koala bear

Thousands of other koalas, not as "fortunate" as this one, have perished, as the killing of an iconic species continues unabated.

Human population growth is lethal to our slow-evolving species, unable to fight back the developers with chain saws, along with dogs, feral animals, disease, roads and human expansion.

Deborah Tabart is a fierce protector of koalas, and head of the Australian Koala Foundation.
She condemns the hypocrisy of politicians who piously continue to call koalas national symbols while turning a blind eye to threats to their long-term survival infuriates her.

Dr Jon Hanger is the wildlife veterinarian who isolated and genetically sequenced the appalling koala retrovirus, which inserts itself into the animals' DNA and can be passed on genetically or through infection, attacking the immune system. This disease is just one of many threats faced by the famous marsupials, including mining, logging, coal-seam-gas exploration and, most of all, broad-scale land clearance.

They fall from trees straight under the bulldozers!

Terrorism towards koalas: She says. "But the fact is, after September 11, when John Howard was so busy focusing on terrorism, three Labor states - Queensland, NSW and Victoria - were able to work in tandem to build infrastructure and real estate developments".
"Developers have run the east coast of Australia for the past 10 years, and thousands of koalas have died."

Senator Bob Brown is hoping that the remarkable amount of information aired last year in an 8 month senate inquiry will finally prompt federal Environment Minister Tony Burke into listing the koala as a nationally threatened species under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). If Burke obliges, it also means that billions of dollars in development plans in Queensland could be halted.

Deborah Tabart doesn't believe there are even 100,000 koalas left. She told the Senate inquiry the AKF believes there may be no more than 85,000 koalas in the wild.

Koalas are another iconic animal fighting for survival against not only developers - often attacked at the forefront of these debates - but due to our socially sanctioned and politically driven rampant and destructive population growth.

My comment is awaiting moderation.
It's a response to a very econometric article about asylum seekers on Independent Australia, called, "The Artificial Australian Asylum seeker crisis." Basically the article bolsters the idea that "it's all about asylum seekers" which is what the mainstream press wants Australians to believe. I don't know how independent the Australian Independent is. What do others think?

Here is what I wrote:

"A few problems with this article.

It seeks to make its entire case based on economic costs.
It then compares the $cost of providing for asylum seekers in a third world country with the $cost of doing so in an expensive first world country.
It uses an arbitrary notion that asylum seekers should be distributed on a per capita basis per country.
It fails to take into account that in European countries and most countries except the US, Canada and Australia, asylum seekers have little or no chance of acquiring permanent residence and still less of citizenship (which is the equivalent of permanent migration status in Australia)
It fails to take into account democracy and the environment, seemingly believing that if a dollar-case can be made that invalidates all other objections.
I agree that the number of asylum seekers arriving here is relatively small compared with the huge number of economic immigrants who come here at the invitation of our state and federal governments and are swamping our education systems and, by contributing to rapid population growth, are driving up the cost of land, housing, water, power etc.

Now your author might think there is an economic argument about how driving costs up causes more economic activity, jobs etc and that we are all going to be 'clever' about this, but it is clear to me that the growth lobby that drives all this with the government's support is the major beneficiary and that the rest of us are paying for it.

I also agree with the author that the asylum seeker crisis is a beat-up. It is designed to draw peoples' attention away from the much larger incoming stream of economic migrants. It is designed to confuse us all about what is actually contributing to population growth. It is most of all designed to confuse and divide the Left between an idea that most immigrants are asylum seekers or refugees and therefore deserve an initial uncritical reception and the idea that most immigrants are asylum seekers or refugees and are costing us a lot of money. In fact most immigrants are here to make more money and are chosen for their ability to provide cash up front to shopping centers to finance shops etc (as 'business migrants')or to work at 50% tax in our hospitals etc. That stream of immigrants is closely followed by their relatives (many of who are contributing to that other hoary old 'crisis' of the aging population.

So the asylum seeker thing is vastly over-stated but it acts as a lightening rod to drive wedges between Australians who might otherwise act together on more important things - like saving our democracy, our water, our green spaces and affordable housing from business-lobby-driven-inflation-motivated overpopulation."

Previously published on Brasscheck TV and Youtube.

I have just stumbled on your wonderful book about your family. We have common ancestors on your mother's side and my mother and your mother were in regular contact. Could you send me your email address, I'd like to make contact.

Editorial comment: This comment has left me and other contributors to candobetter scratching our heads. Would the contributor, please make another post and (1) give more information about yourself and (2) explain which family you are referring to. We won't publish that information if you don't want us to.

The Delphi Technique: Let’s Stop Being Manipulated!

By Albert V. Burns

More and more, we are seeing citizens being invited to “participate” in various forms of meetings, councils, or boards to “help determine” public policy in one field or another. They are supposedly being included to get ”input” from the public to help officials make final decisions on taxes, education, community growth or whatever the particular subject matter might be.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, surface appearances are often deceiving.

You, Mr. or Mrs. Citizen, decide to take part in one of these meetings.

Generally, you will find that there is already someone designated to lead or “facilitate” the meeting. Supposedly, the job of the facilitator is to be a neutral, non-directing helper to see that the meeting flows smoothly.

Actually, he or she is there for exactly the opposite reason: to see that the conclusions reached during the meeting are in accord with a plan already decided upon by those who called the meeting.

The process used to “facilitate” the meeting is called the Delphi Technique. This Delphi Technique was developed by the RAND Corporation for the U.S. Department of Defense back in the 1950s. It was originally intended for use as a psychological weapon during the cold war.

However, it was soon recognized that the steps of Delphi could be very valuable in manipulating ANY meeting toward a predetermined end.

How does the process take place? The techniques are well developed and well defined.

First, the person who will be leading the meeting, the facilitator or Change Agent must be a likable person with whom those participating in the meeting can agree or sympathize.

It is, therefore, the job of the facilitator to find a way to cause a split in the audience, to establish one or a few of the people as “bad guys” while the facilitator is perceived as the “good guy.”

Facilitators are trained to recognize potential opponents and how to make such people appear aggressive, foolish, extremist, etc. Once this is done, the facilitator establishes himself or herself as the “friend” of the rest of the audience.

The stage is now set for the rest of the agenda to take place.

At this point, the audience is generally broken up into “discussion—or ‘breakout’—groups” of seven or eight people each. Each of these groups is to be led by a subordinate facilitator.

Within each group, discussion takes place of issues, already decided upon by the leadership of the meeting. Here, too, the facilitator manipulates the discussion in the desired direction, isolating and demeaning opposing viewpoints.

Generally, participants are asked to write down their ideas and disagreements with the papers to be turned in and “compiled” for general discussion after the general meeting is reconvened.

This is the weak link in the chain, which you are not supposed to recognize. Who compiles the various notes into the final agenda for discussion? Ahhhh! Well, it is those who are running the meeting.

How do you know that the ideas on your notes were included in the final result? You Don’t! You may realize that your idea was not included and come to the conclusion that you were probably in the minority. Recognize that every other citizen member of this meeting has written his or her likes or dislikes on a similar sheet of paper and they, too, have no idea whether their ideas were “compiled” into the final result! You don’t even know if anyone’s ideas are part of the final “conclusions” presented to the reassembled group as the “consensus” of public opinion.

Rarely does anyone challenge the process, since each concludes that he or she was in the minority and different from all the others.

So, now, those who organized the meeting in the first place are able to tell the participants and the rest of the community that the conclusions, reached at the meeting, are the result of public participation.

Actually, the desired conclusions had been established, in the back room, long before the meeting ever took place. There are variations in the technique to fit special situations but, in general, the procedure outlined above takes place.

The natural question to ask here is: If the outcome was preordained before the meeting took place, why have the meeting? Herein lies the genius of this Delphi Technique.

It is imperative that the general public believe that this program is theirs! They thought it up! They took part in its development! Their input was recognized!

If people believe that the program is theirs, they will support it.

If they get the slightest hint that the program is being imposed upon them, they will resist.

This very effective technique is being used, over and over and over, to change our form of government from the representative republic, intended by the Founding Fathers, into a “participatory democracy.” Now, citizens chosen at large are manipulated into accepting preset outcomes while they believe that the input they provided produced the outcomes which are now theirs! The reality is that the final outcome was already determined long before any public meetings took place, determined by individuals unknown to the public. Can you say “Conspiracy?”

These “Change Agents” or “Facilitators” can be beaten! They may be beaten using their own methods against them.

Public "consultation", meeting, planning sessions are all of they type. The Save Ivanhoe movement, with community "consultation" from the Council, has managed to be conned. The local residents are now part of the consultative process when they objected to the whole idea of high density and high rises in Ivanhoe. Now, they are part of the process in making sure this actually happens - with approval!

The community’s interest in its future will be held uppermost in the planning process and demonstrated through an extensive and intensive community engagement strategy, working with Council at every opportunity

The Council formed a new Draft Plan in partnership with the community as a guide to development in the Activity Centre. A grand achievement for an community that almost unanimously initially did not want any high rise or high density developments in their Village area!

Albert V. Burns writes from Utah and is a regular columnist for the Spanish Fork Press. He has an extensive knowledge of the conspiracy which has been working so hard to destroy this nation and incorporate it into a one world government. He has developed an extensive personal research library and the knowledge to find what he needs, to write his columns.

In the article linked to here, the author claims that lower fertility in Kerala threatens the economic prosperity of that state.

KOCHI: If the results of the census is anything to go by, it is high time Kerala revised its family planning policy as the state may register negative population growth in the next two or three decades. Demographers point out that the sliding population will have far reaching consequences as human resources of the state which has already registered a dip will come down drastically. if plans to prevent such a situation are not devised.

Even while the country's population is growing at fast pace, the 2011 census reveals that the population growth of the state is very low and it is negative in two districts.

The above contrasts curiously with the more reasoned conclusion to the article:

"... but economists in the state are of the opinion that the current situation can be turned in Kerala's favour by adopting plans which suit the situation. "

The demographic transition or low rate of population can be used for the benefit of the state, provided the authorities use it properly. ...

I was advised of the above in an e-mail from the Population Media Centre.

See also: Azad concerned about growing population of 14 February.

That article you linked doesn't surprise me in the least. Most demographers and economists the world over, and politicians, want population growth. The more the better. Even if they say they aspire to zero population growth, you know they don't mean it and would be appalled if it were achieved. But this is nothing new. As Sheila Newman has described population growth is always in the interests of the power elite, even though it usually isn't in the interests of ordinary people.

This quote from the article shows just how the rapid growth of the past couple centuries has skewed expectations of what is normal:

While the population in the country is growing very fast at 1.54% annually, the annual population growth of the state is just 0.48%. which is very low.

0.48% growth is still very high and unsustainable over the long term.

Veg or Non-Veg? India at the Crossroads
by Mia MacDonald & Sangamithra Iyer
Brighter Green, 2012. Free 46-page download

Brighter Green founder Mia MacDonald and associate Sangamithra Iyer ask, Can India provide enough food for its people as well as support hundreds of millions of cows and buffalo and billions of chickens in increasingly industrialized conditions? And can it do so while protecting its natural resources and the global climate, and ensuring progress in human development?

MacDonald, previously a researcher for the United Nations Population Fund, World Wildlife Fund, and Worldwatch Institute, describes Brighter Green as a public policy action tank addressing issues that span the environment, animals, and sustainable development.

The questions that MacDonald and Sangamithra raise are not new. They also troubled Sir Sardar Datar Singh, founder of the first modern dairy farm in India. Singh headed the Indian Dairy Science Association from 1948 to 1955, by appointment of the first Indian prime minister, Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru, at recommendation of Mohandas Gandhi.

Singh on the one hand led Indian animal agriculture in the present direction, and on the other, inspired and encouraged his granddaughter, Maneka Gandhi, who has for 30 years been the most prominent vegan in India, and the most caustic critic of the Indian dairy industry .

Veg or Non-Veg? India at the Crossroads does not introduce much that Singh did not consider, though he is not known to have foreseen global warming. By now, however, the consequences of the various trade-offs that Singh promoted in his efforts to help feed India are much more evident.

India in Singh's time had recently endured several of the most catastrophic famines of the 20th century. India today feeds nearly four times as many people, and is a net food-exporting nation. Yet much of the progress that Singh helped to introduce was possible only because most Indians of his era were vegetarians, who rarely consumed non-dairy animal products and by-products. Neither then nor today could India grow enough fodder and pump enough water to sustain high-volume production of meat and eggs. Whether India can sustain the present volume of dairy production is among the questions that MacDonald and Iyer examine.

India has a several-thousand-year history of ethical vegetarianism, MacDonald and Iyer open. Vegetables, legumes, and grains lie at the center of the country's varied regional cuisines, but cultural, ethical, and economic strictures on meat eating are weakening. India is no longer a majority vegetarian nation. Only about 40% of India's 1.2 billion people identify themselves as vegetarian, according to a 2006 survey.

India's fast-expanding middle class "is driving growing demand for meat, eggs, and dairy products like ice cream and cheese, as well as milk," MacDonald and Iyer assess. India is now among the world's largest producers of milk, poultry meat, and eggs. It has the world's biggest dairy herd, leading the world in production of buffalo milk, ranking second in production of cows' milk. Total Indian milk production increased by 44% during the first decade of the 21st century.

An estimated eight million male buffalo calves die from neglect or starvation each year in India, to preserve their mother's milk for human use , note MacDonald and Iyer. In response, India's national Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying, and Fisheries has launched a program to encourage raising male buffalo calves for meat, specifically for export.

Cows are sacred to Hindus, who are about 80% of the Indian population, MacDonald and Iyer explain, and their slaughter remains controversial, but beef from buffalo is now the second most widely consumed meat in India after poultry.

India is also the world's fourth largest producer of eggs and fifth largest producer of poultry meat, principally from chickens, MacDonald and Iyer continue, offering frequent footnotes and sidebars to document their contentions. In 2010, India was the world's fastest-growing poultry market, outpacing Brazil, China, the U.S., the European Union, and Thailand. The costs of producing chickens for meat in India are the world's second lowest, and production of eggs in India is cheaper than in any other country, according to the Poultry Federation of India.

World Society for the Protection of Animals president Mike Baker has enthusiastically endorsed the Rural Backyard Poultry Development program, introduced by the Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in 2009. The idea was to help local egg producers keep the 30% of Indian national egg market share that they then still had, after losing 70% to industrial poultry conglomerates. But that battle has already been lost. Just 10% of India's poultry production remains small-scale or 'backyard,' wrote MacDonald and Iyer just two years after the Rural Backyard Poultry Development program debuted. About 90% of the more than two billion meat chickens produced in India each year are raised in industrial-style facilities, MacDonald and Ayer report.

In the 1950s an average of five eggs were produced each year for every Indian, MacDonald and Iyer write. Now, 50 eggs are technically available for each Indian, but while urban Indians eat an average of 100 eggs a year, a rural Indian eats an average of 15, slightly more than one egg a month .

The poor & the food chain
Although more Indians are eating higher up the food chain, under-nutrition remains stubborn and persistent, MacDonald and Iyer emphasize. Forty-four percent of Indian children under age five are malnourished. One of every three of the world's malnourished children lives in India.

Yet, paradoxically, More than 20% of Indians in urban areas are overweight. In India today, MacDonald and Iyer summarize, both malnutrition and obesity-related diseases are among the leading causes of death.

The situation is not improving, especially for the rural poor. India is the world's third largest producer of cereals, MacDonald and Iyer explain, after China and the U.S. But after decades of increases in the post-Green Revolution period, availability of food grains per capita is now declining.

Increasingly the rural poor are squeezed between drought cutting into grain and vegetable production and food prices driven up by rapidly increasing demand from livestock producers. But the steep rise in meat production and decline of vegetarianism paradoxically do not mean that Indians are on average eating more meat. Consumption of meat [in India] is less than one-sixteenth of levels in China, and one-thirty-fifth of those in the U.S., MacDonald and Iyer explain. Data show that for the period 1997-2007, per capita meat consumption was static or declining. Most of India's meat, eggs, and milk are consumed by those in middle and upper economic brackets. And while India's middle class comprises at most just one quarter of the population, it is the segment growing most quickly-and where shifts in diet are seen most clearly.

Livestock industry analysts predict that Indians will never eat as much animal protein as people living in the U.S. or China, MacDonald and Iyer continue, but because the Indian human population is so large, and because the Indian middle class is growing rapidly, small shifts can have large consequences. In particular, MacDonald and Iyer warn, Water scarcity is a reality in all of India's states, and animal agriculture is a significant source of water pollution. Much of the Indian subcontinent is already arid. Global warming is exacerbating the trend. United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization director Jacques Diouf recently warned that as much as 18% of Indian grain production might be lost to drought resulting from anticipated effects of climate change.

Offering a succinct yet comprehensive diagnosis of the threats to Indian food security presented by the growth of animal agriculture, MacDonald and Iyer conclude with a disappointingly weak and politically unrealistic set of recommendations. Most call upon the Indian government to reverse policies supportive of animal agriculture that originated with Sir Sardar Datar Singh. These policies are supported by an ever-expanding bureaucratic infrastructure, including the National Meat & Poultry Processing Board, established in 2009, committed to expanding the meat industry and building the meat export trade. A government with these goals is unlikely to reverse course except under political, economic, and ecological duress felt more acutely than the perennial pressure to secure re-election by continuing policies that have proven popular among middle class voters and campaign donors.

The mission that MacDonald and Iyer meanwhile envision for Civil society organizations working on environmental, food security, rural development, gender, agricultural, or animal welfare issues is to seek opportunities to work more effectively together to counter the growth of intensive animal agriculture in India.

Kindness Farms

Yet among the most ambitious projects underway in India to counter the expansion of animal agriculture are the Kindness Farms funded by Australian investment banker and vegan philanthropist Phil Wollen.

The Kindness Farms might be described as a hybrid of Gandhian ideals with the notion that doing good can at least break even, and perhaps inspire profitable business ventures.

We have inaugurated our latest Kindness Farm in Visakhapatnam, Wollen e-mailed on January 29, 2012. It is huge, attractive, and productive, raising fruit, vegetables, feed-grasses, and flowers, as well as housing rescued cattle, buffalos, dogs, and horses.

Kindness Farms will produce significant quantities of organic food, which is almost impossible to buy in India, Wollen said. Organic vegetables and fruit command a high premium in all the Indian cities. So we will soon acquire a retail outlet and will sell our produce directly to rich Indians at a premium. The money will be used to support our animals. The food will be branded Kindness Fresh Foods.

We have also launched our fourth Kindness Mobile Restaurant, feeding hot vegan meals to impoverished street people, Wollen continued. The recipients are encouraged to see the food not as charity but as a stipend. They already share the streets and their meager meals with the street dogs. So we ask them to keep their eyes open. If they see puppies being born, or a man whipping a horse, or a lorry hitting a cow, they should call our shelter and we will send our ambulance. This idea is gaining traction in the community.

We have committed to a third Kindness Farm in Bangalore, within the Morning Star orphanage, Wollen added. t is already productive--sown, nurtured, harvested, cleaned and cooked by the orphans.

An older Kindness Farm in Puttaparthi is growing massively, Wollen said. The food is sold in our organic shop on the main street. We have decided that every Kindness Farm will now have a Kindness Kitchen, Wollen finished, which will provide a hot meal to all the shelter staff and animal herders before they start the day. This means we are assured that they have a full stomach, a healthy vegetarian meal, and good health. They also become very loyal employees. We have also decided to employ as many people as possible from the local village and teach them trades. We also intend to educate their children and teach the parents to read.

Countless charitable projects have tried to alleviate animal and human suffering in India. There is no guarantee that the Kindness Farms will be more successful than many that have long since failed and been forgotten. But just as Sir Sardar Datar Singh understood that he had to develop and make an economic success of his own dairy farm before he could influence government policy, Wollen understands the importance of demonstrating his ideas before prescribing them.

"Sustainable development" is an oxymoron
India is currently home to about 1.21 billion people, representing a full 17% of the earth’s population. India's 2011 census showed that the country's population had grown by 181 million people in the prior decade.

Demographers expect India's population to surpass the population of China, currently the most populous country in the world, by 2030.

'Sustainable development' is a contradiction in terms.

According to a report in the Times of India (6 May 2010) the government of India will not introduce legislation to reduce population growth. Said Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, We are not in favour of controlling population growth through any kind of legislation, but by way of generating awareness and persuading people to have a small family size for betterment of the health of the mother and child. More than 50% of the population is in the reproductive age of 15-49 years, which imparts momentum to the population growth.

California, India, the Middle East and China show the most pronounced groundwater depletion. Water is being pumped out of underground groundwater aquifers faster than it's being replenished, with farming likely the primary cause. In many high-intensity food-producing regions,including the plains of northern China, India's Punjab and the western United States, water limits are already being 'reached or breached'.

Sustainability, Carrying Capacity, and Overconsumption

Sign the petition!

The Great Barrier Reef doesn't just matter to mining companies, governments or tourism agencies. It's a place that matters to us all, and the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is charged with its protection. Sign the petition to stand up to the mining industry and protect the area from development.

Add your name to the petition to UNESCO and Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to:

Immediately halt all dredging and industrial development in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and surrounds, and not to approve any major coastal developments until the strategic assessment has been completed.

THE Great Barrier Reef faces a "death by a thousand cuts" from increased shipping and port development, a World Heritage delegation has been told, yet the threats will continue to be multiplied.

The World Heritage delegation visit is in response to concerns about the projected growth of coal and gas exports through the reef yet at the same time, if all proposed developments proceed, coal exports along the Queensland coast are estimated to increase from 156 million tonnes last year to a whopping one billion tonnes a year from 2020!

The area will be facing increased port traffic, and disturbances, along with toxic pollution from agriculture, overfishing, population growth and tourism. Even small changes in temperature can have a devastating effect on the natural environment. Sea temperature rises of just 1 or 2 degrees centigrade can cause coral bleaching and death on a worldwide scale.

The crown-of-thorns starfish is the biggest threat to the Reef because they eat their size in coral cover every day, and some weigh as much as 80kg. Their outbreaks are caused by human impacts on the ecosystems. Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) have been a major issue on the Great Barrier Reef and other Indo-Pacific reefs for nearly 40 years. The Crowns of thorns only has two predators, The giant Triton snail and the Large Wrasse. It also mainly eats one thing which is coral although species of it may vary. The crown of thorns starfish was introduced from East Asia. They come to Australia stuck to the bottom of boats, in cyclones and any other form of transport they can find.

Coral reefs are being degraded by an accumulation of stresses arising from human activities. In simple terms, stresses can be grouped by the actions of people extracting material from, and placing materials upon, coral reefs. Over-fishing, pollution and coastal development top the list of chronic stressors.

Coal is one of Australia's top export earners, and the Great Barrier Reef sits off the coast of the eastern state of Queensland, the country's largest coal-producer.

"The creation of mega mines in central Queensland, the accompanying export infrastructure and increases in shipping traffic, as well as the burning of the coal they produce, place an incredible burden on Australia's Great Barrier Reef," the environmental group Greenpeace said in a report.

The Reef supports a $6 billion tourism industry which employs 67,000 people and should be conserved as a unique and valuable natural asset rather than be eroded by "developments" that will turn the area into a shipping lane.

Operation Divine Wind is over and the whaling fleet is heading home early with a fraction of their quota! For eight years Sea Shepherd have obstructed the whale killers in the Southern Ocean, and they will continue to obstruct them for another eight years if that is what it takes to end their illegal hunt.

Without any government support, Sea Shepherd's ocean warriors say they have found and shut down Japan's key whaling factory ship, Nisshin Maru, deep inside Australian Antarctic waters. As an anti-whaling nation, they should not have been inside Australian territorial waters.

The Sea Shepherd crew are under-rated modern-day heroes, undermining years of Australia's inept and wasteful diplomatic pressure on Japan.

Whaling is effectively shut down for 2012. It has cost no Australian dollars, except what has been donated by the public.

The fact that Japan had a "factory ship" is a contradiction in terms for a fleet that is meant to be using harpoons for bona fide scientific research! They are either the most ineffective and inefficient scientists in the world, or very clever illusionists to be able to continue their thinly disguised commercial whaling right under our very noses - just south of Tasmania.

My curse on that island nation is working.
Immoral cult poaching of whales in Australia's Southern Ocean (on the other side of the world from Japan), fishing Blue Fin Tuna to the brink of extinction, and annual slaughter of dolphins at Taijin - their culture is backward.

Suggan Buggan
Snowy River Region
Victoria 3885

Reprinted from the ABC news
(words in brackets are mine)

Protected dugongs and sea turtles are being cruelly slaughtered in Queensland's Torres Strait to supply an illegal meat trade, an investigation by ABC's 7.30 has found.

The program has aired confronting footage that shows the brutal methods used to hunt the animals, with turtles being butchered alive and dugongs drowned as they are dragged behind boats.

The investigation throws into sharp relief the conflict between Indigenous Australians and animal rights activists over traditional hunting methods and exposes a black market in animal meat.

Activist Rupert Imhoff spent a fortnight in the Torres Strait, filming the hunting of the turtles and dugongs, both listed as vulnerable to extinction.

He used a secret camera to film scenes of animal cruelty, including the slow death of a sea turtle.

"It didn't actually die until they took off the bottom shell, actually peeled off the shell," he said.

"And then it just let out one last gasp of air and passed away."

Both dugongs and turtles are protected by federal law, but the Native Title Act gives an exemption to traditional owners, who can hunt to satisfy their personal, domestic or non-commercial communal needs.

The traditional hunting methods are seen by animal activists as deeply cruel but Queensland exempts native title hunting from its animal cruelty laws.
(human laws can't over-ride animal rights, or their indigenous rights)
'Too sensitive'
("Too sensitive" is simply political-correctness at the costs of the welfare of sentient animals. It's a cop-out)

Lawyer and advocate Rebecca Smith says conservation groups avoid criticising Indigenous hunting.

"It's just too hard, too prickly, too sensitive," she said.

"It's often deemed people who are opposed to traditional hunting are often called racist, but there is nothing racist about saying this is cruel."

National Indigenous radio broadcaster Seith Fourmile is a passionate advocate of the Indigenous right to hunt. He has nothing to do with the scenes of animal cruelty exposed by 7.30.
(Any "rights" must also be seasoned with responsiblities and consideration for other living creatures)

"We're working with the RSPCA to actually look at that cruelty to animals," he said.

It's just too hard, too prickly, too sensitive ... people who are opposed to traditional hunting are often called racist, but there is nothing racist about saying this is cruel.

(more like reverse racism - these traditional owners have the "right" to atrocities against defenceless and so-callled protected native animals, but they are protected from normal, average Australians?)

Rebecca Smith

"But it has got to be a cooperative approach."

The slaughter in Australia's north goes well beyond the bounds of traditional hunting.
(There are indigenous peoples who are protective of our wildlife and concerned by their slaughter and declining numbers. Indigenous peoples should be the custodians of our environment and wildlife, not their enemies)

Former abattoir worker Colin Riddell has spent years collecting evidence of dugong and turtle killing. His investigations reveal the killing goes much further south in Queensland's coastal waters.

James Epong is a Mandubarra man who lives on his traditional lands an hour south of Cairns.

The Mandubarra have declared a moratorium on the taking of turtle and dugong, but around them an illegal meat trade flourishes.

"Nine times out of 10, the illegal trade is to sell the meat for the benefit, for grog money or drugs," he said.
(There's nothing "traditional" about grog and drugs or the black market)

"One person that we know of in Yarrabah made $80,000 in one year."

Mr Fourmile says there are also non-Indigenous people involved in the illegal trade.

"They are involved with the trading, with selling it, passing it down - some of the turtle meat has gone as far south as Sydney and Melbourne," he said.

In the Torres Strait, Horn Island appears to be a transport hub for the illegal trade. On four separate occasions, 7.30 has confirmed multiple eskies arriving on the afternoon flight from Horn Island to Cairns.
'There's no jobs'

All the Indigenous people interviewed by 7.30 recognised the illegal trade and are committed to ending it.

"There's no jobs on Aboriginal community, let's not lie about it," Mr Fourmile said.
("Green" jobs should be created as park rangers and protectors of native animals and their habitats)

"There's no doubt this is happening. I'm not going to lie about the fact that there is some people out there doing it."

Cape York saltwater people like Frankie Deemal are working to end the esky trade.

There's no jobs on Aboriginal community, let's not lie about it. There's no doubt this is happening. I'm not going to lie about the fact that there is some people out there doing it.
Seith Fourmile

"We don't have no legislative framework in place in which we can police the kind of rogue killing, the kind of outsiders coming into our place," he said.

"We don't have the kind of legislative assistance to do that."

And the Mandubarra people are helping to protect the turtle that has helped sustain them.

"I went out to get one where I normally go and there was just nothing there," said James Epong.

"I came home empty-handed and I thought, 'I can't have this'. I want my kids to experience what I'd experienced. So from that day we just said no more hunting."

For the Mandubarra people, the turtle hunting ended in 1993.

Queensland's Department of Environment and Resource Management was contacted by 7.30.

In a statement, the department said it "takes the claims very seriously and will investigate all reports of illegal hunting and poaching".
This has been going on for some time. The department's assurances are rather hollow!

Below is something I sent to the powers-that-be of this site earlier today. I am looking forward to receiving a response from anyone, however, who is interested in discussing our proposal for action which follows a new paradigm. It is centered in California, but -- clearly -- its implementation/success would stand to send out positive ripples worldwide. In short, since the two mainstream parties are worthless for our collective purposes, and since ALL third parties are permanently marginalized... and since we want to embrace something that is essentially legal and nonviolent... we are turning to the electoral arena in California... to secure significant reins of power which are NOT dependent on career politicians. And so... we want to have 12 unaffiliated, nonpolitician citizens serving as Governor of California in lieu of having another self-serving careerist at the helm in 2014. As per the articles recommended below... a Guv of CA can UNILATERALLY transform life in the state and beyond overnight. Details upon request. Blessings in solidarity, Your Oxman in Clear Lake, California at the moment. Email me at, if you will.

I appreciate your efforts and accomplishments. As per your Mission Statement... we are aligned sufficiently to move in solidarity together. I have a plan for action which carries the imprimaturs of the late Howard Zinn and many high profile figures worldwide. Please glance at my background at the archived ("About Us"), and then google "Documenting Ourselves to Death" and/or "Unilaterally, Virtually Overnight, Legally and Nonviolently...." together with That should get us started; quick glances at other pieces posted on the site might help too; the 'Arundhati' article? Please confirm receipt of this and, if you will, tell me about yourself and your primary priorities at present IN TERMS OF ACTION. Blessings in solidarity, Your Oxman

WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S iconic, endangered black cockatoos are being decimated by land clearing, logging and human population growth, according to government figures showing a 35 per cent fall in numbers in just one year.

"To lose more than a third of an endangered species in just one year is a devastating result and shows that current conservation measures are failing," Conservation Council of WA spokesman John McCarten says.

More than $9.3 million had been spent by the WA Government on protecting and rehabilitating black cockatoo habitats since 2008-09. That included more than $7.7 million from developers to buy and rehabilitate private bushland for environmental offsets linked to project approvals. "Offsets" are not the same as original habitats.

WA's uncontrolled over-population will inevitably lead to even more environmental disasters unless it can be turned around. But with a pro-development/pro-destruction Premier who has remained silent about WA’s latest disastrous rate of population increase (which topped the nation) it’s easy for the average punter to remain pessimistic.

Only 4222 Carnaby's black cockatoos were sighted across 185 locations from Geraldton to Esperance during the annual count, compared to 6672 sighted a year earlier. BirdLife Australia, which conducts the annual count each April, found a 34 per cent decline in the Perth greater area up to April 2011.

dramatic decline of endangered WA cockatoo

Australia already has the highest mammal extinction rate in the modern world. Our population growth is not sustainable, and our nation is descending in quality - not only for animals, birds but human quality living. What's made Australia unique, such as our rich wilidfe heritage, is being eliminated by the drive for economic growth and profits, and wrecking Australia. buzzword, an oxymoron.

Melbourne Markets Redevelopment

The audit evaluated whether the redevelopment of the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market was effectively planned, procured and managed. It examined the initiation, planning and management of the redevelopment, the procurement planning and management, and the project delivery to the end of 2011. The audit found that poor project implementation and stakeholder management has resulted in significant delays, cost overruns, and has damaged the government’s reputation. A number of significant changes made during the project have adversely affected its success and probity matters in relation to the trading floor procurement cast doubt on the fairness of the procurement process.

Link to audit summary and full report:

Well, no-one wanted it, did they? It was undemocratic and now we find out, not to great surprise, that it looks like a dirty deal.

Loggers get free range of possums' habitats to harvest timber in Victoria's central highlands.

Nether the conservationists or VicForests ultimately won - VicForests definition of habitat was not fully upheld and nor was MyEnvironment's. Justice Osborn found in favour of a conservative but improved definition that will halt logging in many areas otherwise destined for chips. The only winner in this case is the Leadbeater’s Possum, but not by enough to ensure its long-term survival.

Unfortunately, protecting endangered species in forests is included in the same legislation as for the logging industry. It's a contradiction, but forest destruction has become part of our economy and a source of jobs, and State forests can't be excluded from logging.

After a battle in the Supreme Court, Justice Robert Osborn refused to grant permanent orders that would restrain loggers from harvesting timber in three coupes, Gun Barrel, Freddo and South Col, northeast of Toolangi. VicForests "won" the court case against MyEnvironment, with their concerns about destroying the habitat of our last Leadbeaters Possums, those that miraculously survived Black Saturday's inferno.

Legislation is flawed as it does not protect "coups" from being logged.

While the economic benefits of logging may be clear and quantifiable, what about the costs of extinction?

Extinction is forever, and trying to recoup endangered species is costly financially, environmentally and ethically as we lose more of our natural heritage.

The little Leadbeaters Possums are Victoria's native species emblem. How do we explain to future generations that they were exterminated because we had to mulch their trees mainly for woodchips for overseas markets?

Short term economic benefits rule, and any policies to protect the environment or endangered native species is largely tokenism.

Where's the "balance"? Leadbeater's Possums have no economic power, no political voice and are simply trying to eek out an existence against all the forces against them - climate change, human contacts, fires, declining habitats and now they must be exterminated even further by VicForests - for logging profits in a so-called sustainable industry.

Legislation such as the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act actually do nothing and is impotent against VicForests.

"The more time passes, the more I'm sorry....
We shouldn't have done it....
We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog."

These are the words of one of the former lead scientists who had worked on the Soviet "animals-in-space" program, about the fate of Laika, a small stray dog who was the first living creature launched into space. Laika was about 3 years old, and left this earth for a fate beyond even the harshest fates reserved for her kind on earth, strapped into a tiny cabin and sent into space alone, trapped in a harness within a sputnik. It is speculated that, instead of dying of starvation, or being poisoned by one of the pellets in her ten-day supply of food and water, she may only have lived for hours. Today I found a website in memorium for her. Laika

We humans are like ferocious monsters dressed up in clothes pretending that we are better than the other animals.

I remember vividly when the Russians launched this little dog into space, never to return. I was in primary school and the name we knew him by was "Little Lemon". We ( all the kids in my class and I) were really upset about it and talked about it a lot. I feel exactly the same to this day as I did then about this act of cruelty. It's the "grown up" version of pulling frogs legs off to see what happens. I hate to think how the poor dog would have suffered and how scared he would have been. What sort of minds could concoct such a cruel act?

I can hear the constant screaming of those pathetic Grand Prix cars. It is not bad enough to want to escape Malvern for the weekend but it must be hell for residents of Albert Park. I went into the city yesterday and it was really loud in the tram going down St. Kilda Rd. It is such an insane form of entertainment.

ELEPHANTS are in danger of being hunted to extinction across Africa, with poaching reaching "unprecedented levels" to supply demand from Asia for the animal's ivory tusks, experts have warned.

Elephants being hunted to extinction across Africa

In just 10 weeks, poaching gangs killed a significant number of savannah elephants in a reserve in northern Cameroon and were close to exterminating those in the country's Bouba N'Djida National Park. According to WWF Vice President Richard Carroll, one of the problems facing conservationists was the sophisticated weaponry used by poachers.

200 elephants in four weeks in an ongoing killing spree in a Cameroonian national park is a heart-wrenching tragedy, and the blood-bath and pain must be condemned world-wide.

The ivory tusk trade must be halted, and all trading in body parts of wild animals must cease. The suffering of young orphan elephants, dying without food, nurture or water, is gut-wrenching.

Consuming elephant meat is not common in Thailand, but some Asian cultures believe consuming animals' reproductive organs can boost sexual prowess. Thailand's national symbol is the elephant.

Elephant meat was ordered by restaurants in Phuket, a popular travel destination in the country's south.

Elephants are sensitive and very intelligent animals. They have strong social bonds, and the young have a long period of dependency.

The waring ravages cause by human violence and greed appear to be boundless, and without mercy. Such is the power of "filthy lucre" - greed for profits from suffering and slaughter.

Bouba Ndjida National Park and others in Africa must be assisted in protecting wildlife from criminals.

Human population growth is denying elephants their habitats, and bringing new conflicts for their survival. There are few places on our planet left unscathed by human encroachment, violence and onslaught. Animals such as magnificent elephants, and their body parts, are then viewed as another illegal economic resource.

Most of the crucial middle-men roles in Africa are held by Chinese individuals who are part of the burgeoning immigrant communities here in Africa.

What's left of reserves and national parks must be preserved for the Earth's precious diversity.

Vote here
Votes so far (presumably due to people with vested interest getting this publicity going) are currently greatly in favor of the Grand Prix. If you don't like the Grand Prix, cast your vote against it in this Age poll.

I missed my chance to vote in the Age poll although the vote which should have ended the Grand prix was the Victorian state elections of 27 November 2010.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu promised in 2010 to cease the $50 million per year state government subsidy of the Grand Prix as shown in the media release of Greens state MLC Sue Pennecuik, below.

Premier Ted Baillieu has broken that promise.

The Age's poll closed on 19 March (yesterday). The time the poll was closed was not given. It would be helpful if any readers, who were able to vote, could tell us roughly what time they recall voting if they can remember, so that other readers may be more likely to record their vote in time in future polls.

The question put was:

Would you be happy if yesterday's grand prix was the last to be held in Melbourne?

In that poll 40% voted 'yes' and 60% voted 'no'. That appears to be a result in favour of the continuation of the Grand Prix. However, more than likely those in favour of continuing with the Grand Prix would have been better organised than those opposed. If the media reporting of the Grand Prix were more balanced and Melburnians and as other Victorians were better informed, the results would have most likely been strongly against. Certainly it is amongst the residents of the are who have to endure the motor race.

State government still refuses to release documents re cost of 2010 Grand Prix.

Greens Media Release of 9 Feb 2012

Despite its stated commitment to openness and transparency, the state government has again refused to release documents pertaining to the cost to the taxpayer of the 2010 F1 Grand Prix in Albert Park, citing "damage to the state's financial and commercial interests," Greens MLC for the Southern Metropolitan region said today.

"It is difficult to believe this defence and in any case the documents relate to significant expenditure of taxpayers money which should be made public," Ms Pennicuik said. "The 2010 race has been run and the public are entitled to know how much it cost them."

"Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Louise Asher, MP also disclosed that there had been no economic study performed as the basis of the five year contract to 2015," she said.

Ms Pennicuik had successfully moved requests in the Legislative Council for the production of a range of documents including the financial arrangements and contract between the state government and the AGPC regarding the staging of the 2010 event and the fee paid to Parks Victoria for use for Albert Park Reserve - which has never been disclosed. However the government only supplied some documents not including those which would show the cost to the taxpayer.

"The state government is not living up to its pre-election promises to come clean re the Grand Prix," said Ms Pennicuik. "We are heading towards yet another event where taxpayers will again be forced to fork out money to a multi-million dollar corporate monopoly."

"The government should live up to its promise not to continue to prop up this event and get out of the contract," Ms Pennicuik concluded.

For further comment: Sue Pennicuik 0409 055 875

See also: Documents motion: Australian Grand Prix Corporation of 14 Mar 2012