The Australian's white-anting of Australian democracy continues

Rupert Murdoch's media empire, since it successfully campaigned to bring down the Whitlam government in 1974 and 1975, has similarly abused its power all over the globe in order to ensure that only governments, whose policies are acceptable to it, will remain in office.

Extreme fires, melting polar ice put world on notice - time is running out

All Australians should be alarmed at the accelerating rate of global warming highlighted by melting polar ice and extreme fires, the Australian Greens said today.

Can fossil fuels be replaced?

“At one time, the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI) for oil was at least 100 to 1. We are reaching the point where the EROI of oil will be 1 and no more drilling will take place. It was while the EROI of oil was high that most of our current infrastructure was built.

“Evidence suggests that the EROI of corn ethanol is less than one, which means it takes more energy to make than you get out of it – an energy sink.”


We Fiddle as the Continent Turns to Dust

"We have elected a prime minister, four times, who has led Australia through an era of unbroken and unprecedented prosperity, yet appeared obdurately impervious to the greatest issue of our times. He ... increased federal taxes, including the GST, to a peacetime record of 25.7 per cent of gross domestic product, but did not use this unprecedented flow of funds to mobilise the nation against the greatest threat to its survival. ...

"We are creating deserts out of farmland. And when the rains do come, heavy rain will bring problems, not just relief. An enormous amount of topsoil is sitting dry and exposed, vulnerable to run-off."

mike's picture

Water recycling in Queensland

Fellow Green Comrades,

I write because I am concerned green groups will jump in to support water recycling without putting pressure on the government.

We don't have a water problem so much as a population problem, a population problem which drives growth and which exacerbates greenhouse emissions. These emissions also exacerbate droughts, quite likely making any normal drought some 10 to 30% worse than it would otherwise have been.

Leadership needed on trees

Julian Kennedy’s article “Development stumped” (Westside News, 8 November) revealed a disappointing lack of civic leadership from both sides of the Brisbane City Council on the importance of planting trees. Our city is growing rapidly in population and is increasing its density through infill and smaller blocks in greenfield areas – steadily reducing public space per person available for outdoor exercise and fitness activities and environmental amenity. Alarmingly, Brisbane is also becoming hotter and drier through climate change.

Trees are critical to protecting our quality of life. We need to value and preserve existing trees and plant many more now where open space is available.

Winning the Dinosaur Stakes

I think even the most ardent advocates of Thorium would have to grant that Thorium is neither clean or safe. It is only comparatively so when talking of other nuclear fuels. I bet that these groupies of the nuclear industry would not let their kids near Thorium waste for 500 years.

I understand that its reputation as 'clean' derives partly from the fact that a Thorium reactor can use waste from conventional reactors and its advocates say that it can thus be used to convert waste which will be lethal for thousands of years into stuff that is only deadly for 500 years. It is seen as a 'cleaner' technology rather than a 'clean' one. And it is seen as a clean-up technology rather than a 'clean' one. It probably will be a serious consideration for the nuclear club when that party sees an end to cheap Uranium and the increasing cost of Uranium wastes. Could we call that Peak Uranium? At that time look for full development of this partly developed Thorium technology.

Water trading will create barons

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

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

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

mike's picture

The Diagnosis: Mass Denial

The Diagnosis: Mass Denial
And Other Forms of Ecological Avoidance Syndrome (EAS)

One can only marvel at the sweeping paradox of our time.

We have the blessing and the curset to be living in a time in which scientists have repeatedly reported on the imminent destruction - and in many cases, collapse - of major parts of virtually all of the earth's principle ecosystems. The rate of destruction, overall, is accelerating rapidly.

Was the Club of Rome wrong?

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

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


'Left Wing' ABC bias

Originally posted on John Quiggin's blog on 10 Dec 2005

Crispin wrote : "of course there's left-wing bias in the ABC."

I don't think so. It is 'left wing' in a sense compared to the other newsmedia, but in absolute terms it sits far to the right of what was once considered the middle ground.

Media Release - 29th September is Save the Koala Day but what is there to celebrate?

29th September is Save the Koala Day but what is there to celebrate about?

Since the beginning of the twentieth century we have placed koalas survival at risk. In Queensland there was several open hunting seasons, 1915, 1917 and 1919, with one million taken in 1919. In 1927 the Queensland government allowed 584,738 koalas to be taken for skins. By the 1930s the koala was extinct in South Australia and since then we have had tollways and now urban expansion, with the SEQ koala declining from Common to vulnerable.

Are we approaching the peak of human knowledge?

This is a copy of a post to the Energy Resources mailing list in response to an article by John Horgan The Final Frontier in Discover Magazine of September 2006, which challenges the accepted wisdom that human knowledge can expand forever without limit are included below. To the contrary, the article and the post argue that we stand to lose most of the knowledge we have gained over the past few centuries as our society very likely collapses due to the destruction of our natural capital caused by our industrial system.

Population, immigration, the private property market and housing affordability

This is part of an an ongoing discussion over housing affordability and population growth on Online Opinion in response to an article "A crisis in housing affordability"by Queensland Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett. I am posting here, in part, because of inflexible rules limiting the size and quantity of contibutions on Online Opinion. Other posts can be found here.




Planning Changes will ruin Melbourne - letter to The Age

This letter was printed in The Age Newspaper on Friday 1 Sep 2006

The latest planning proposal to waive the necessity of council approval for "minor" projects such as pergolas, single storey extensions and swimming pools (bid to defuse anger on planning, The Age, 30/80 sounds like a response to a situation that is out of control.

Reducing the control of planning authorities for these projects paves the way for building chaos in suburbia with people's freedom to build coming at the expense of the amenity of their neighbours. Alternatively where neighbours agree, it could well be at the expense of the general amenity of the suburb as low standards may be shared by those two neighbours.

There is now no refuge for Melbourne residents. There is nowhere to move where anything will stay the same. Every suburb is being filled with units. Only the very wealthy who can afford a large property can be guaranteed reasonable amenity as we had in past decades.


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