Mood: don't ask
The truth is out there - in the Victorian election result. In the reform agenda to ban the logging of wet mature native forests in Tasmania. In the silence of the usually voluable and egregious Michael O'Connor on the ALP national executive.
Those who know, know: You can't log all the wet schlerophyll, rainforest, and otherwise green damfuls of water in mature forests, for 200 years and not expect megafires eventually.
Water is the limiting factor for life on this wide brown land. Scientific studies show that Aboriginal firestick farming was no where near the level of burning of colonials that effectively destroyed the forest water cycle.
Now there is barely any evidence of that original wet giant cathedral eucalypt schlerophyll forest in Victoria. A bit in East Gippsland but mostly it's gone. The industry have been systematic in destroying the evidence of their crime against nature and humanity for 150 years now.
The brutal fact is the logging industry killed those 170 plus people over 50 to 150 years ago - out of ignorance, by their landscape conversion to new regrowth removing water out of the landscape. Coroner Justice Teague it appears is a learned fool who barely scatched the surface of land use history in Australia to it's inevitable consequence.
Just as humid forests on the equator in hot climates also tend not to burn. Or at least did not until recently when even the abused Amazon jungle is burning due to the drying process of fragmentation - by loggers.
The grim truth is we are in a diabolical land use downward spiral with the green dam of water breached and virtually empty. How to re-establish that green damful of water is the honest forestry job at hand that the 'experts' can only guess at: How to accelerate an old growth landscape with their watery sponge full of root networks where there is now only saplings like hairs on the back of a dog? Much like agri activist Peter Andrews promotes green damfuls on clapped out farms due to hopeless landscape hydrology.
It's never been done in regrowth forest, and may never be done. Meanwhile on the NSW South Coast, the logger's logger Ian Barnes rules, having operated illegally without an EIS for some 20 years to the end of the 90ies, now ratified by a corrupt NSW Government with resource security laws in 1999. Barnes is now busy preparing the way for the next megafire: Trashing any high volume wet green damful of water in the form of mature forest that he can. About 50% of forest outside national parks on the NSW south coast has now been logged in the last 10 years. A perfect patchwork of kindling for a megafire just like Victoria. How many will be barbequed in NSW? And how long until it happens?
Only it will happen. Tragically. Because of vandals like Barnes and predecessors back 150 years. Will Barry O'Farrell progress the loggers' megafire agenda via trashing of green dams of water that are left? One assumes so, over the weak objections of wets like Hartcher and Hazzard in his new cabinet come March 2011.
A sorrowful international year of the forests to be sure.