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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
What the cream of Australian science really think about logging in Tasmania
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: ecology


Last Saturday the Sydney Morning Herald reported this, quoting:


Mr Rudd and his environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, have been under pressure from Mr Lennon, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the logging industry to water down the party's draft forestry policy.

They want them to remove a clause giving a future Labor government the option of protecting more of Tasmania's old-growth forests.

But as Mr Garrett is likely to lose his bid to stop the party abolishing its policy not to allow new uranium mines, Mr Rudd was not going to allow him to be defeated on forests as well.

Mr Lennon told Mr Rudd that reducing logging would affect thousands of jobs and families and he did not want a repeat of events in the 2004 election campaign, when the former leader Mark Latham gave him 20 minutes' notice of the logging policy.

The uranium mining issue will be resolved today, and Mr Rudd, who wants the no-new-mines policy abolished, is expected to win.

There were concerns yesterday that if delegates broke ranks with their factions, Mr Rudd could be defeated by a Left-led push. "We need to back off," joked one Left source, wary of the consequences of rolling the leader so close to an election.

It is expected that between 180 and 190 of the 397 delegates will vote to retain the policy.

Mr Howard called the debate part of "the ritualistic phoney war of a Labor Party national conference".

In Challenger casts fight as generational battle - National - smh.com.au p5, 28-29 April 2007


Then next working day Monday we heard a strong reliance by ascendant Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd, being the awesome intellect that he is, on the science underpinning the forest protection question in Tasmania, which is the only ethical approach to take at this critical time in history, quoting here with bold added in places:




CHRIS UHLMANN: Alright, to another issue your platform calls for the further protection of old growth forests in Tasmania. When will you and Peter Garrett start campaigning on that and will a single new tree be protected under what you did on the weekend?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, we're confident that we've got the balance right in this policy. I don't think we got the balance right in the last election and I think the people of Tasmania know that. I've already admitted that we made a mistake there.

When it comes to when we'll campaign in Tassie, look I haven't sat down with Peter yet and worked that out. But we'll be down there over the coming months I'm sure.

On the question of conservation, our policy is absolutely clear-cut. We support the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement, we support the so-called RFA (Regional Forest Agreement) process, and we support conservation measures, which are contained within those processes, and we're confident that we can find...

CHRIS UHLMANN: So, contained within those processes, so you're not looking at any new trees in Tasmania, you're talking about those trees which have yet to be protected by existing agreements, there's nothing new in this.

KEVIN RUDD: What we believe we can do, through a proper scientific process articulated through those agreements, and through the methods, which are explained within those processes, identify appropriate areas for conservation over time.

But there is a proper scientific process to be gone through there. You can't simply stand outside the process, point at it and say, "Well, independently, unilaterally we're going to decide to either knock that over or protect this".

It's got to be done scientifically, there is a scientific method alive within the RFAs, and that is a process that I'm happy to support.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Kevin Rudd thank you.



Purely by chance we have been lucky to re access this priceless and historic policy statement of Australia’s cream of forest scientists just before the October 2004 election. It was part of the Earthbeat programme on Radio National axed by the ABC soon after re election of the Howard Govt in early 2005, and this particular document was lost from its sparse record of that program. A copy was contained on this writer's post on the Sydney Indy Media website which has recently become accessible again, when I thought it had been lost to the political community. The IMC post extracting the Earthbeat summary is extracted here in full with the scientists statement quoted in full, again bold added:




ABC Earthbeat ventillates real scientitic consensus for Tas forest protection

by via ecology action

A group of 100 environmental scientists is calling for
high conservation forests in Tasmania to be protected, in comparison for instance to the alleged scientific approach of WWF subject of a post yesterday. Transcript still on the way but if you go to this link you can listen again ..


Saturdays at 8.30am, repeated Mondays at 2.30pm
Presented by Alexandra de Blas

More Scientists for Forests
Saturday 18 September 2004

A group of 100 environmental scientists is calling for
high conservation forests in Tasmania to be protected.

Guests on this program:

Professor Tony Norton
Head of
Geospatial Science
RMIT University

Further information:

Statement of support for change on Tasmania's forests

Presenter: Alexandra de Blas
Producer: Jackie May


Statement of support for change on Tasmania's forests

9 September 2004

The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is widely perceived in the scientific community to have failed to deliver the intended protection for environmental, wilderness and heritage values that state and federal governments committed to when they signed the National Forest Policy in 1992.

The scientific processes in the Tasmanian RFA were overwhelmed by political compromises. Established criteria for forest conservation were not fully applied. There are large areas of high conservation value forest that would have been reserved if the RFA criteria for forest conservation had been fully applied.

Logging practices and the conversion of native forests to plantations have intensified in the seven years since the signing of the RFA, resulting in record volumes of export wood chip production. This intensification, combined with the well-documented inadequacies of the conservation reserve system (exemplified by the large areas of unlogged Eucalyptus regnans tall open-forest that remain unprotected) has produced highly modified forested landscapes with diminished landscape values.

There is an urgent need for Commonwealth government intervention to significantly improve the forest reserve system and to adequately protect landscape values. We believe that the conversion of native forests to plantations is highly undesirable, and is contrary to the spirit of the RFA, the National Plantations Policy, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Australian Forestry Standard.

In light of the extensive changes that have occurred in many of the most productive forest ecosystems in Tasmania, we believe that the reserve system should be significantly extended to include all high conservation value forests.


Professor Tim Bonyhady FAAH FSSA, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Professor Ralf Buckley, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD

Professor Mark Burgman, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Professor David Gillieson, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD

Professor Richard Hobbs FAAS, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA

Professor Peter Kershaw, Monash University, Clayton, VIC

Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick AM, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Professor Charles J Krebs, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT

Professor Tony Norton, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Professor Harry Recher AM, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA

Professor Jann Williams, LaTrobe University, Bendigo, VIC

Associate Professor Jeremy Bruhl, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Associate Professor Brendan Mackey, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Associate Professor Nick Reid, University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Dr Deborah Rose FASSA (Senior Fellow), The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Matthew Appleby, Tea Tree, TAS

Dr Colin Arrowsmith, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Geoff Bedford, Cremorne, NSW

Dr Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Kirsten Benkendorff, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

Dr Joe Benshemesh, Alice Springs, NT

Dr Sandra Berry, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Mark Breitfuss, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, QLD

Dr Karl E C Brennan, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA

Dr Don Driscoll, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA

Dr Alaric Fisher, Jingili, NT

Dr David Fraser, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr David Green, Rosny Park, TAS

Dr Ron Grenfell, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Graeme Hastwell, CRC for Australian Weed Management, Brisbane, QLD

Dr Robert Henzell, Uraidla, SA

Dr Andrew B Hingston, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Amy Jansen, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Dr Simon Jones, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr David Keith, Wildlife Research Institute, Sydney, NSW

Dr Dylan Korczynskyj, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, WA

Dr Michelle Leishman, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW

Dr Gary Luck, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW

Dr Gang-Jun Liu, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Dr Michael McCarthy, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC0

Dr Tein McDonald, Woodburn, NSW

Dr Peter McQuillan, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Silke Nebel, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW

Dr Kirsten Parris, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC

Dr S. "Topa" Petit, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA

Dr Emma Pharo, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Dr Pieter Poot, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA

Dr Lynda Prior, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT

Dr Libby Robin, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Dr Jonathan Stark, Fern Tree, TAS

Dr Alan Stewart, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW

Dr Barbara Stewart, Mullumbimby, NSW

Dr Elizabeth Tasker, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Dr Fleur Tiver, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA

Dr Arn Tolsma, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC

Dr Rodney van der Ree, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Dr Steven Ward, Mortdale, NSW

Dr Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Mr Keith Breheny, Midway Point, TAS

Mr Christopher M Carr, Armidale, NSW

Mr Oberon Carter, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Heidelberg, VIC

Mr Yung En Chee, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Mr Paul Finn, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD

Mr Garry Germon, Gloucester, NSW

Mr Tim Heard, CSIRO Entomology, Indooroopilly, QLD

Mr John Hibberd, Kestel Reserch Pty Ltd, Wapengo via Bega, NSW

Mr Daniel Hunter, Dhurringile, VIC

Mr Boris Lomov, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Mr Michael McBain, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC

Mr Wieslawa Misiak, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Mr Julian Reid, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Canberra, ACT

Mr Paul Rymer, Woolloomooloo, NSW

Mr Matthew Sheehan, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS

Mr Phil Spark, Tamworth, NSW

Mr Garon Staines, Terrigal, NSW

Mr Paul Thomas, Lawson, NSW

Mr Christopher van Buggenum, Thirroul, NSW

Ms Rose Andrew, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Janet Cohn, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Nicole Cranston, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT

Ms Naomi Davis, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Kate Hammill, NSW Department of Environment & Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Jane Jelbart, University of Western Sydney, Avoca Beach, NSW

Ms Melinda Laidlaw, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD

Ms Deborah Landenberger, University of Newcastle, Elermore Vale, NSW

Ms Samantha Lloyd, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW

Ms Nicky Meeson, Midway Point, TAS

Ms Maggie Nightingale, Alice Springs, NT

Ms Shirley Pipitone, Flynn, ACT

Ms Catherine Pohlman, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD

Ms Frances Quinn, The University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Ms Sally Radford, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW

Ms Elizabeth Rickwood, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Karen Ross, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, Hurstville, NSW

Ms Monica Ruibal, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT

Ms Libby Rumpff, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Justine Shaw, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS

Ms Andrea White, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC

Ms Joanna Willmott, Kurrajong, NSW

Ms Jesse McCoullough, Albion Park, NSW

Miss Amanda Nascimento, Port Kembla, NSW

Contact: Professor Tony Norton ph.(03) 9925-3279; fax.(03) 9663-2517

Email: tony.norton@rmit.edu.au



Postscript#1: A prediction: Ruthless Rudd has been very pragmatic over the disgrace of old growth logging, but depending on how the vote goes in the federal election later this year the hammer blow on brutish logger unionist Michael O'Connor is simply delayed from this writer's point of view: More here 3/4 of the way through this 1 hour abc radio link: 2nd May 2007, Radio National, Breakfast.


"Tasmanian forestry

One of the casualties of the ALP Conference was any policy born under the leadership of Mark Latham – and that included his Tasmanian forestry policy.

Labor concedes that Latham's approach probably cost the party two Tasmanian seats at the last election.

Now Labor is backing the Howard government's regional forest agreement in Tasmania. This is an agreement that preserves a large amount of old growth forest but allows logging and a viable timber industry.

The policy shift by Labor has pleased the forestry union, the CFMEU, which famously backed John Howard at the last election.

With the two major parties in lockstep on forests, it has been left to the Greens to argue for more preservation of old-growth forests.

Gordon Taylor reports."

Posted by editor at 9:49 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007 8:25 AM NZT
Famous author Flanagan dishes the dirt in the UK on Lib-Lab logging atrocity in Tasmania
Mood:  irritated
Topic: corporates


Paradise lost - with napalm

To Australia's shame, loggers are being allowed to destroy Tasmania's extraordinary primeval forest

Richard Flanagan
Wednesday April 21, 2004
The Guardian

I am writing this in our autumn, once Tasmania's most beautiful season. But the china-blue skies are now nicotine scummed, as smoke from the burning of old-growth forest floats over Hobart, an inescapable reminder that the destruction of ancient woodland - like no other in the world - is accelerating.

In Tasmania, an island the size of Ireland whose primeval forests astonished 19th-century Europeans, an incomprehensible ecological tragedy is being played out.

Recent calls from Britain to boycott Tasmanian goods and tourism are not going to end logging. But in an Australian election year, with the forests emerging as a major issue, they form part of a chorus of international condemnation that shows Australians that the forests are not just a natural resource, but are globally significant wild lands.

Rainforest is being clearfelled and then burnt with napalm. The world's tallest hardwood trees, eucalyptus regnans, are being reduced to mud and ash. And the monocultural plantations that replace the old growths soak up so much groundwater that rivers are drying up.

Compound 1080, a lethal poison, is laid to kill off native animals that might graze plantation seedlings. In the resulting slaughter, wallabies, kangaroos, possums, and protected species such as wombats, bettongs and potoroos, die in slow agony.

The survival of extraordinary creatures such as the giant Tasmanian freshwater crayfish - the largest in the world - is in doubt because of logging. Scientists warn that numerous insect species still unrecorded are disappearing in the conflagration. Local people are finding their water contaminated with atrazine, a potent weedkiller.

Logging is an industry driven solely by greed. It prospers with government support and subsidies, and it is accelerating its rate of destruction, so that Tasmania is now the largest hardwood chip exporter in the world. And Gunns, the largest logging company in Australia with a monopoly in Tasmania, is making record profits selling these forests as woodchips, which are in turn made into paper and cardboard.

But the woodchippers are destroying not only Tasmania's natural heritage, but also its parliament, its polity, its media and its society. The close relationship which leading Tasmanian politicians enjoy with Gunns, goes beyond sizeable donations to both major parties; it has given rise to a political culture of bullying, cronyism and threats, a culture that allowed the state's electoral system, under a 1997 Liberal-Labour deal, to be altered to minimise Green representation.

Because of the forest battle, a subtle fear has entered Tasmanian public life; it stifles dissent and is conducive to the abuse of power. To question or to comment is to invite the possibility of ostracism and unemployment.

The reality, relentlessly denied with lies, is that logging old growth brings neither wealth nor jobs to impoverished rural communities. Most wealth made out of woodchips flows out of the state; less than 15% of Gunns' profits stay in Tasmania, which remains the poorest Australian state. Contrary to the government's claim that 10,000 jobs depend on old-growth logging, John Gay, Gunns' managing director, recently admitted that only 480 jobs were at stake.

However, the giving away of such an extraordinary resource does threaten Tasmania's broader economic prospects. Key industries in which job growth is concentrated, such as tourism and fine foods and wines, trade as much on the island's pristine image as they do on the products they sell, and there is growing concern at the damage being done to Tasmania's name by images of smouldering forest.

Since woodchipping began 32 years ago, Tasmanians have watched as one extraordinary place after another has been sacrificed. Beautiful places, holy places, lost not only to them, but for ever. They overwhelmingly want the practice of old-growth logging ended - Wilderness Society polls show that 69% of Tasmanians are opposed to the practice.

But with both major political parties in Tasmania as one in their rigid support of Gunns and old-growth logging, Tasmanians cannot stop this coalition of greed and power from within their island. Change can only be brought about by the Australian government, and it will only act when the issue becomes one of inescapable national shame.

Of course it can be argued that the destruction of one more unique piece of our natural world, while regrettable, is small change next to the horror of Madrid, or the tragedy of Iraq. But in the lineaments of the struggle in a distant island, it is possible to see a larger battle, the same battle the world over - that between truth and power.

Günter Grass, writing of Tasmania's forests, has described their destruction as an aspect of the same attitude that led to Nazi book-burnings. Could it be that, when all our skies appear to be darkening, the great forests of Tasmania are a symbol of hope for us all?

· Richard Flanagan's most recent novel is Gould's Book of Fish



Posted by editor at 6:54 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 7:43 PM NZT
George Newhouse more likely to capture ward byelection than seat of Wentworth?
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: election Oz 2007

Good on ya George for having a serious go in Wentworth. We remember grovelling a 5% vote in 1996 or so for the same seat, crashing from a 10% vote for the state seat of Vaucluse in 1995.

That was the year George Newhouse was elected to Waverley Council with Barbara Armitage running the shop, then later Mayor Paul Pearce current state MP for Coogee.

$omething tells me it will be a quixotic challenge. If Peter King MHR couldn't withstand a $600,000 reputed [a reader "Peter" writes in comments below $609K] pre selection campaign by Big Malcolm Turnbull, I don't think an ALP rep even with George's impeccable Jewish credentials, will shift him.

But I could be wrong. That's what democracy is about, and this front page story today won't hurt:

Rudd's stars target key Liberal seats

George Newhouse THE eastern suburbs mayor and human rights lawyer George Newhouse is firming to challenge Malcolm Turnbull in his marginal seat of Wentworth as part of Kevin Rudd's push to hand-pick Labor candidates for key seats.

And if Mayor Newhouse distracts and annoys Big Mal bleeding him of precious time and energy it can only help the Rudd Team nationally.

But still methinks light green Newhouse has a stronger chance of organising, if not running for, the local ward byelection for the ALP previously held by Richard Davidson (Lib) as per this notice doing the rounds, with launch tomorrow night May 2nd

You are invited to our

By-election campaign launch.


George Newhouse Mayor of Waverley, Cr. Ingrid Strewe


The Waverley Labor team


invite you


to our campaign launch at the Bronte SLSC, Bronte Beach (north end).


When – Wednesday 2nd May 2007

At - 6.30pm for 7pm

$25 or $15 unwaged.


Drinks at the bar and finger food.


Lobbying allowed.

T: 93897299


Election 19 May Waverley Ward

The critical aspect of a Wentworth contest could well be the Green Party primary and preference votes in this indy leaning, well educated part of the city.

Posted by editor at 1:50 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 8:43 PM NZT
Big parties trading rhetorical blows over APEC venue really sublimating much bigger challenge of climate change?
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: globalWarming

Picture: At right, Mitre 10 advert "Can't help fix the traffic ...." taken at corner of Grove and Illawarra Rd in Marrickville with a view to CentrePoint Tower in the CBD 10 km away. You know things are crook when hardware chain stores are leveraging a widespread public perception of gridlock in transport in the city to sell their products so drivers spend more time in the backyard.

Having spent what seemed like an eternity in the libraries of the Australian National University in Canberra, I can but only agree with Deputy Premier John Watkins that APEC Australia 2007 and their 21 govt leaders etc should wrack off down there in September this year. That's what Canberra was built for - security from the hustle and bustle of economic major CBD's and trade.

The controversy is gleefully reported here in Melbourne which was never in contention for the APEC junket/juggernaut  in The Age local newspaper there:

Howard slams NSW govt over APEC remarks


April 30, 2007 - 12:39PM


Prime Minister John Howard has accused the NSW government of small-mindedness for suggesting the APEC summit should be held elsewhere.

Sydney is to host the gathering of world leaders on September 8 and 9, and NSW Deputy Premier John Watkins has warned of mass disruption to business and traffic while delegates are ferried around the city.

Mr Watkins has said APEC will bring little benefit to the people of Sydney and suggested the summit should be held in Canberra.

Mr Howard said he was amazed by Mr Watkins' attitude.

"This will bring millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars to the NSW economy, and it will bring untold benefits in prestige to the entire nation, and very particularly to Sydney," Mr Howard told reporters.

"This will be the most prestigious gathering of world leaders ever in Australia, and is the NSW government saying that Australia's biggest and most international city can't handle that?

"I am just astounded at the small-minded, provincial attitude being taken by the NSW government."

Mr Howard acknowledged the summit would disrupt business in Sydney but said that was the fault of terrorism, not democracy.

He urged the NSW government to support APEC.

© 2007 AAP


Another report here today on the ABC Howard slams APEC doubt 'small-mindedness', and the Sydney Morning Herald Get ready for pain Sydney, APEC's coming, and here front page today Thanks for nothing, says NSW

The Sydney City Council seems to be doing its best with its own webpage in anticipation APEC 2007 in Sydney - City of Sydney but this all misses the point. It's why Chile has government town Valparaiso, why the USA has Washington, why New Yorkers hate the UN generated traffic jams, and Australia ....has Canberra.

So PM Howard can complain as much as he likes about NSW govt dissension over his arrogant choice of hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Conference next to the Opera House and Harbour but he will pay for it with votes at the federal election, is my feeling.

But this trading of rhetorical blows seems even more willing than normal, with evocative metaphors re "tumbleweeds" blowing through the Sydney CBD, and PM Howard double quick in launching a counter attack. And therein lies a clue to something more.

We get the feeling this is a proxy argument over an even more serious contest between the state and federal sphere: The impressive cooperation of the former to hire highly respect Professor Ross Garnaut to do a 'Stern Report' on Australia's economic future under climate change: ALP's climate expert urges nuclear caution, and terms of reference here Garnaut Climate Change Review.

And in particular this honest exchange of intellectual equals here, Prof Garnaut and Oxford educated Mark Colvin on PM show last night ("Hello Mark, good to be with you" indeed.)

Could this genuine spat over APEC be a symptom of a deeper existential angst over of the two major parties, knowing full well they are both failing their sacred duty of welfare and good government of the People as a whole with their bipartisan support for loggers and coal mining?

Already heavy hitters in the retail energy market like Paul Anthony , CEO of AGL on Difference of Opinion - ABC last night,

also given a big rap with large picture in Robert Gottliebsen's article on the weekend

AGL moves to cash in on carbon curbs | Wealth | The Australian

are saying its not nukes, or coal but natural gas and renewables we need to promote here as much more greenhouse friendly. And Alan Kohler hints at pretty much the same thing here: Hot air on both sides of political fence - Business - Business ...

We recommend the Difference of Opinon show last night with a summary of the panelists here:


Dr Tim Flannery

Dr Tim Flannery: is the 2007 Australian of the Year, and an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer, conservationist and author, in his latest book The Weather Makers he says climate change is the most serious issue facing humanity. He is a leading member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, which reports independently to government on sustainability issues. His an advocacy of nuclear energy and criticism of coal as the asbestos of 21st century have made him a controversial opinion leader on how to tackle climate change.

Sam Mostyn

Sam Mostyn: is a Group Executive at Insurance Australia Group, a global insurer and one of six companies that started the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change. IAG is developing an extensive risk assessment of the impact of climate change in our region. Sam is also a member of the NSW Premier’s Greenhouse Advisory Panel. Sam has a BA/LLB from the Australian National University.

Paul Anthony

Paul Anthony: is chief executive officer of AGL, Australia's largest retail energy company, which has recently joined the world's first legally binding carbon trading program - the Chicago Climate Exchange. He brings international experience as CEO of the largest renewable energy company in the UK - Energy Power Resources, and as a former Executive Vice President of the British Gas Group.

Warwick McKibbin

Warwick McKibbin: is a Professor of international economics at the Australian National University and a board member of the Reserve Bank. He is also a Professorial Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and has been a consultant on economic and climate change policy issues for the Japanese Government, the US Congress and the World Bank.


This week's gallery from our in-house cartoonist Warren Brown, who produced these cartoons during the course of the program.


Posted by editor at 12:31 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 8:32 PM NZT
Woolworths staffed with 'greenies' on the shopfloor, senior management dump local Ecobot nappies
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: local news

Picture: 4 staff members in the local supermarket today, in their friendly green uniforms. Unfortunately the product lines promoted by the monolithic supermarket sector is not necessarily as green as it could be.

 This story ran on March 29th p27:

Woolies dumps green nappies
ENVIRONMENTALLY minded consumers are willing to drive hybrid cars but putting a biodegradable nappy on their child might be a stretch.
Sydney Morning Herald 29/03/2007     Cost - $2.20     537 words

Hope you appreciate the crude pun in the headline(s) too.

The article is not free via google as you can see but a paper clipping has been on my messy desk for 4 weeks. I keep trying to throw or file it but something held me back. Now I know why - those rather contradictory green uniforms I just noticed today at the local Woolworth's.

As explained in the article the ecologically friendly nappies are made by Australian Pacific Paper Products, sold as 'Ecobots'. Paul Klymbenko, CEO of Planet Ark is quoted:

"It's popular alright, it's just that it is not popular enough. ... This is not about a choice based on price but one based on what is best for the environment."

The article states "A replacement product - from Sweden called Nature Babycare - will be in the stores in a fortnight".

That would be about mid April 2007 so our next visit will have to include a scan of the relevant aisle for a change (!).

Postscript #1 The Sydney Morning Herald science blogger has this take: Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nappy returns


Politics and religion are classically regarded as the divisive topics best avoided if you want a quiet life.

However, if you want a really vicious dinner party debate, forget the prospects of the Howard Government or the latest Sharks result - try bringing up the topic of nappies.

Nothing quite polarises sentiment or induces more outrage among the environmentally conscious than the question of whether you use (or used) cloth nappies or chose disposables.


Posted by editor at 12:06 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007 8:57 AM NZT
Monday, 30 April 2007
Stateline NSW studiously ignores local agitation against ALP forest chippers?
Mood:  smelly
Topic: ecology

Picture: Post logging burn 2007 in Badja State Forest SE NSW in the marginal Eden Monaro electorate: Someone should tell the ALP under Kevin Rudd that you can't be a climate change champion and a gungho logger.

The ALP national conference apparently saw back room deals to save face with the brutish logger unionist Michael O'Connor as reported here last Monday Tuesday 24th April:

Garrett at loggerheads with foresters


Greens Senator Brown quite accurately notes O'Connor is the best friend John Howard could have in the ALP:

Labor should expel O’Connor: Greens

26th Apr 07

Greens Leader Bob Brown says that the CFMEU’s forestry spokesperson, Michael O’Connor, should get the boot from the Labor party.
“He helped orchestrate the elect-Howard campaign in the last week of the 2004 election and, if he doesn’t get his way, will do the same in 2007,” Senator Brown said.
“He should go on the national executive of the Liberals, not Labor,” Senator Brown added.
“Michael O’Connor should make public the financial ties between the logging corporations, who back Mr Howard too, and his union sector. If he doesn’t, the Tasmanian secretary, Scott McLean, should.” (see SMH’s Garrett at loggerheads with foresters: April 24 2007)”
“All this points again to the need for a Royal Commission into the back-room dealing which infests the woodchip industry,” Senator Brown said.
Senator Brown has also written to the ALP conference delegates, asking them to oppose the logging of old-growth forests and the expansion of uranium mining. (see attached letter).
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603


Contrary to these hopeful reports of the demise of eco vandal O'Connor in fact he is now parked at the peak of the ALP here:

"Centre-Left fails to win single spot on council" [offline] by Steve Lewis, Chief political correspondent The Australian p6, 28-29 April 2007, and main reporter mate it looks like of Michael O'Connor, who is the subject of the story. O'Connor is now elected to the Labor national executive from his national logger union.


More recently note this double talk:

Rudd refuses to outline forests assurances, April 29, 2007, AAP FEDERAL Labor leader Kevin Rudd has refused to outline any promises he's given to the forestry union over his party's forests policy.

Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) official Michael O'Connor told the ALP national conference this morning that a deal had been done over forestry jobs.

“Coming into this conference, we thought we might need some amendments to the platform,” Mr O'Connor said.

“I'm happy to report after some discussion with the leader about the interpretation of the platform, I can with 100 per cent, 100 per cent support, recommend this to the conference, but more importantly recommend it to our members.”

The policy proposes more conservation areas but reaffirms its support for the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement as Labor further distances itself from former leader Mark Latham's forest policies.

Mr Rudd would not comment on what assurances had been given to the union.

“The platform speaks for itself,” Mr Rudd said.

“We intend to have a viable long-term forestry industry in Tasmania. We intend to make sure that there is appropriate conservation of environmentally sensitive forest areas.

“The assurances are those which you see reflected in the platform document.”

Mr Rudd said he was sure that Labor's environment spokesman Peter Garrett would soon visit Tasmania.


Greens Senator Bob Brown issued this release same day:

Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 2:13 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Brown calls for Rudd-O'Connor logging deal to bemade public

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Brown calls for Rudd-O'Connor logging deal to be made public

Greens Leader Bob Brown has called on Labor Leader Kevin Rudd to make
public the details of a secret pact he has made with CFMEU forestry boss
Michael O'Connor at today's Labor conference.  The party's forest policy
was passed unopposed, but only after O'Connor made it clear he had
secret assurances from Kevin Rudd and that the unions would make sure
Rudd's commitments were met.

"The logging and burning of wild forests and wildlife in Tasmania,
Victoria, WA and southern NSW is as unpopular as it is an environmental
obscenity in 2007," Senator Brown said.

"Last election, O'Connor helped Howard back into office.  Now this
election, he says he has a dog collar on Kevin Rudd over forests.  The
air should be cleared," Senator Brown said.


We noted this local agitation in rapidly vandalised forest corner of NSW/Victoria last Friday from the irrepressible Harriet Swift:

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 12:34 PM
Subject: [chipstop] chipmill blockade

We held a highly successful chipmill blockade yesterday which stopped trucks entering the mill for more than 11 hours.

It started at 4am and ended at 3pm. Miraculously, nobody was arrested. There were no injuries (unless you count me feeling sick after eating instant noodles), but some bad language. We had a top crew from EG, SE NSW and other greenie haunts. Security at the mill is becoming more of a challenge, but we managed to outwit them!

The action involved a cable across Edrom Road, the main road into the mill, attached to a tree sit with back up arrangements to prevent entry along a side road.

We had a theme of native forests and climate change for media statements. The action was covered by ABC - local, regional, statewide, as well as the afternoon show (10 minute discussion) and WIN TV. Print media coverage not known yet, but Eden Magnet turned up for photos and comments from us.

Chip stockpiles for both mature forest chips and regrowth are very low (virtually empty) at the moment and there is a ship coming in next week, so it was good to give them a headache while they are so busy trying to make up volume.

Some highlights:

  • Peter Rutherford (EG campaigners will be aware of him), now Forestry Manager, South East Fibre Exports turning up to photograph us.
  • Peter Rutherford arriving with a Mathie log truck under police escort, driven by a member of the Mathie family to read out the Wandella forest injunction against 8 forest activists. After reading out the injunction, Rutherford asked Sooty to let the truck pass. You might ask: what's that got to do with him, as he works for SEFE? Good question, but it might indicate other plans SEFE has against activists or other plans Mathie/SEFE/ NAFI may have. The police asked Quentin Mathie and the truck to leave as soon as the injunction reading was over.
  • Chipmill worker saying to Keith: "I saw youse standing next to the Shooters Party at the polling booth the other day and I should have flattened you them! "
  • Trucks trying to break the blockade by travelling along Shelly's Road. A group of 6 got through before one became stuck. They had to unload it and were still trying to free it as we left.
  • a visit from new SEFE General Manager, Peter Mitchell in his gold Prado.



And similarly we noticed this:

Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2007 4:54 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Media statement:Woodchip Blockade focus on Global Warming

Conservationists blockaded the South East Fibre Exports chipmill at Eden last Thursday, stopping log trucks from entering the mill for over 11 hours.

The blockade lasted from 4am to just after 3pm.
Spokesperson for the conservationists, Ms Harriett Swift said that the group was concerned about the role of the woodchipping industry as a generator of greenhouse gasses.

“Woodchipping of native forests is an enormous generator of greenhouse gasses and this must be recognized by policy makers,” Ms Swift said.

“The destruction of native forests from Victoria and SE NSW for South East Fibre Exports (SEFE) is a major cause of climate change.”

“Each year it generates about 18 million tonnes of CO2 or equivalent. This is huge by any standards and is more than 20 times the amount saved by the whole of Australia by banning the incandescent light globe.”

“It is more than 250 times what the Bega Valley Shire Council will save by changing to green power.”

“And from NSW forests alone, the CO2 produced is roughly equivalent to that produced by every car in Sydney in a year,” Ms Swift said.

During the blockade, Mr Peter Rutherford, Forestry Manager of SEFE unsuccessfully attempted to invoke a 2005 Supreme Court injunction against a group of 8 Wandella forest activists which sought to prevent them from blockading the logging company, Bruce Mathie and Sons. Mr Rutherford arrived at the blockade site with a Mathie log truck under police escort, and driven by Mr Quentin Mathie.  The truck and driver remained present while Mr Rutherford read out the injunction.

The conservationists who formed the blockade were from the region affected by woodchipping, as well as some international visitors.”
We were especially pleased to have a crew member from the Sea Shepherd who has recently been saving whales in the Southern Ocean as well as some other overseas visitors who had been amazed to discover that Australian Governments were still subsidizing the destruction of our most valuable carbon sinks.
“With climate change upon us, we need these forests more than ever. It is no longer just a regional or even a national issue. It is a world wide concern,” Ms Swift said.

28 April 2007
64923267, 0414908997

Photo caption: Mr Peter Rutherford, Forestry Manager of the Eden chipmill  reads out a Supreme Court injunction against a group of Wandella activists in an attempt to lift the blockade.  Pic on website at:

CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au


We couldn't help noticing the absence of any mention of this wicked logging reality ripping a million tonnes a year of native forest out of public estates on the NSW Stateline show and networked this:

Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 8:10 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Quentin Dempster's Stateline airbrush as usual Re: [chipstop] chipmill blockade

As per usual Stateline tonight, that is 'our abc', decided not to report the real NSW news below, even as it ran on 7.45am prime time abc radio morning news, and 9 am news, AND relates to the ALP national conference issues with a big chunky article in the Herald indirectly related earlier this week. That folks, at least to this writer, is an open and shut case of censorship by that programme.

But why? It's quite a mystery. My feeling would be it is a pre emptive buckle in mortal fear of the federal govt agents on the ABC Board. Another theory would be that Quentin Dempster and Jeff Angel have an understanding not to run the issue of forests on his show to expose the failure of the 'peace deal' made by Angel and Carr. Dempster is a TEC loyalist. A decent story would mean passing the baton to a new green leader?

Some peace deal. Some ABC TV 'Stateline'.

Yours truly
Tom McLoughlin

PS pics of ALP conference street theatre here:

We recently got on ABC talk back and praised Quentin Dempster for defending the ABC from advertising on their website which would surely compromise their political and financial independence from Big Business and their political vested interests.

But then we couldn't help noticing Dempster's pointed repeated and yet inaccurate description of famous green entrepeneur Ian Kiernan AO as
"Mr Grassroots". Kiernan is grassroots the way Myer, Kimberley Clark, at some stage Westpac, McDonalds (Hi Ronald) and no doubt a large range of other large corporates are "grassroots".

Kiernan cut the deal with Bob Carr to greenwash the North Shore Sewerage Tunnel around 1998 which was supposed to have water recycling, and has been seeking redemption with water tanks and anti Desal campaigns ever since. But he is an entrepeneur:

We are briefed as recently as yesterday by a 5 year employee no less who resigned, burnt out, from the Clean Up organisation and "grassroots" is not the description we heard.

So we sincerely believe the saintly Dempster has got it WRONG twice - on understanding the real place of Ian Kiernan in the real politik of society, and secondly airbrushing the ALP destruction of forests, even if he probably doesn't deserve an on air mugging as he got from the brutal state MP for Vaucluse of yesteryear Mr Yabsley

"QUENTIN DEMPSTER: And the bitterness spilt over into a challenge about how we, at ABC TV, had pursued the Metherell story. [bold added, see below]

MICHAEL YABSLEY, STATE DEVELOPMENT MINISTER 1992: Quite frankly, I mean, I don't know that you're the best one to be sitting here, in such a pious and sanctimonious way, casting these judgments. I think it should be the point should be made that you have been a participant in this process yourself, rather than an observer. I mean, you were the one who set up a dinner at your place at which Terry Metherell was present, together with a senior member - a senior staff member of the ICAC. You were the one who was custodian of the documents that Terry Metherell held so near and dear. So, I just think that the point should be made that, you know, there are 4 million people out there in the State of New South Wales who need to know that at least one of the journalists who is making such pious pronouncements has in fact been far more a participant than an observer, and that, of course, is you.

QUENTIN DEMPSTER: Mr Yabsley, at no time was I a participant in Metherell's resignation to the parliament.

MICHAEL YABSLEY: I just think it's time that Quentin Dempster started to answer a few questions rather than ask the questions."


All this ironic because if Dempster was simply doing his job back in 1991 by "pursuing" the Metherell Affair, it is worth noting the former Education Minister bailed from the Coalition and became an independent causing the ultimate downfall of Premier Greiner over .... rampaging loggers attacking NSW Wilderness areas. Yep, that's right. Metherell was a greenie from the conservative side of politics.

Ironic indeed that Dempster is attacked by Yabsley in '91 for reporting the Metherell affair under Greiner, and criticised by SAM here in 2007 for not reporting controversial logging now under the ALP's Premier Iemma.

Posted by editor at 5:25 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 2:20 PM NZT
Donations for SAM website to keep posting original independent media
Mood:  hungry
Topic: donations to SAM

If you read a story and appreciate the content why not make a donation to keep the Sydney Alternative Media website away from

D-E-A-T-H ?

The editor/owner Tom McLoughlin is independent of all political parties, strongly opinionated and a voracious critic and consumer of little and big media like this photo of the exhausted Yangtze near Chongqing taken this year after a long long drought:

Sometimes we even break stories like the cavenous sandmine at Tinda Creek which feeds into the Wollemi Blue Moutains World Heritage Area:

On the 3rd of each month we will count our hit rate, which continues to grow, and report the figure the next day along with donations received either anonymous or by name. (Hit rate for March was 7,600 and 11,400 for April with 3 days to go).

Send cheques or money orders to Sydney Alternative Media website C/- ARC, 142 Addison Rd Marrickville 2204 or email for more details to

We are also happy to report expenditure of this micro news service which is totally in the red, and non profit, and we imagine will stay that way forever.

Posted by editor at 4:22 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007 11:50 AM NZT
ALP conference fallout: How to fix broken democracy in ALP branches?
Mood:  sharp

Chris Uhlmann on the ABC AM show asked the critical question of Kevin Rudd this morning along the lines of 'what happened to democracy in the ALP branches?' who lose their right to preselect candidates as per this Big Media story:

Intervention No apologies over preselections: Rudd LABOR Leader Kevin Rudd said it is in the party's interest for him to intervene in preselections in the lead-up to the federal election.

Leader Rudd sort of fudged the answer and he will be fighting to justify the pragmatic common sense of recruiting talented folks over the heads of forelock tuggers, bullies, loud mouth dummies and no account branch stackers who have been passed over.

The real answer to Uhlmann's theoretically sound criticism of the ostensible contradiction of

- business stuck with IR worker domocracy, versus

- federal ALP party going with hierarchy on preselections,

is that when a party's democracy is already broken with very poor grassroots representation and integrity, it's best to drop the facade altogether and junk the role of closed shop branches. That is when something is rotten, let it go, don't pander to it or put band aids on it. Better to go with talented people who are popular by virtue of their earned community respect and demonstrated ability, not some unhealthy local clique, nepotism, time servers or possibly ethnic loyalty.

In other words Rudd and the federal ALP hierarchy are admitting the ALP branches, as ragged as they are, cannot be trusted to exercise their responsibility to choose the best candidates, and he is surely right. It is just another reason why to vote for a genuninely grassroots based Party like the Greens until the ALP re establishes vigorous grassroots democracy in the Labor organisation.

The next step is the nepotism and forelock tuggers of some of the Big Unions with a pretty poor claim to representative status in the private or public workforce (speaking as a left wing ASU member) but still claiming a big say on federal ALP policy, not least over the destruction of Tasmanian forests in the age of climate change, that most of the public abhor

... from the inimitable Bill Leak in The Australian today, and see this Unions won't rule us: Rudd

Posted by editor at 1:52 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007 2:29 PM NZT
Sunday, 29 April 2007
Sunday political talkies: Howard determined to be PM 4 more years on Ch9
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: At the time of writing we chose a different picture which was trumped by the Oaks interview here with Howard on Sunday 9 show, the last of the Sunday Talkies. Now we read a day later Monday 30th April, Crikey.com.au today notes the media room at the ALP Conference was similarly packed to watch the same interview with scary Howard.

Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):


This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media. ]

Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208

“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.” 


Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.


For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.



Media Backgrounder:


PM Howard Govt policy via the Switkowski Report is driving up the price of uranium stocks by 100 to 200% according to Deloitte energy and resources partner Bhavesh Morar: Florence Chong, Resources writer The Australian p27, 28th March 2007.



ALP conference – Sydney Morning Herald



PM sets nation on nuclear path


A speech aimed not at true believers, but the new receivers


Rubbing shoulders - at a price


Rudd's long march to Asia's heart


Forget policy, the aim is to channel imagery





Life in top job not as easy as ABC


The Australian – News Ltd


Labor ends 25-year opposition to new uranium mines KEVIN Rudd has won his party's support for an expansion of uranium mining, arguing that some nations have to use nuclear power because they do not have the rich range of energy alternatives that Australia has at its disposal.


Matt Price: Speech glosses over substance

Video: Rudd's speech to the conference

Rudd's speech (pdf)

Audio: Labor's conference song

Howard's nuclear strategy to pressure Opposition

Dennis Shanahan: Sounds like same old Labor

Matt Price: This dag will have his day

Editorial: ALP is still fighting the wrong enemy

Left seizes on Rudd's 'activist' vow





I was Bush's scapegoat: ex-CIA boss


NATO fear over arms treaty

Sydney Daily Telegraph

PM pushes nuclear nation | The Daily Telegraph

Picture: Main cartoon in Sydney Morning Herald echoes Daily Telegraph rival on page 2 "Up and atom: PM's push for nuclear reality"

10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am

Paul Bongiorno directs traffic. Michelle Grattan Age/Fairfax, Mal Farr, Daily Telegraph/News Ltd (both serious, moderates)


Missed the first 13 minutes. 


Bob Brown Greens on ALP and Coalition embrace of nuclear industry, with Australian targeted as international nukes waste dump. Role of Peter Garrett in the ALP. Russsia to get our uranium just broke an arms treaty. Crazy dangerous expansion of this industry . 


Nicholson cartoon at The Australian on the panic around climate change rising sea levels. Importance of the Senate, Brown rejects Family First as a real competition, says fundamentalist party is after  Coalition voters, and will serve another 6 years if elected.


Notable discussion with Farr and Brown as the credits rolled and the theme music kicked in for at least another 30 seconds. They all know its game on.

Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress

Picture: Insiders live cross to Kevin Rudd at 9.15 am


Insiders 2

Focuses on Rudd sledging in opening. Takes live cross to Rudd at the ALP conference from the main meeting room at 9.15am no activity in the background. 

Big questions to Rudd on Garrett capacity to sell ALP message when so against the policy of uranium mining, just like Meet the Press.

Everyperson segment 1950ies rockers pro uranium mining from South Australia. 

Panel Meglogenis (News Ltd), David Marr (Fairfax),  Gerard Henderson pro Coalition Sydney Institute and media tart.on abc/Fairfax.


Paul Kelly analysis – radical change on IR will define Rudd.


Replayed at 11.10 am on radio PNN 630 AM band.


Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/


Picture: Insiders run Howard speech to Victorian State Liberal conference embracing a nuclear reactor future, below is a 2004 NYC Republican convention poster on 1 of our 5 filing cabinets.


Henderson says unwise to sledge Howard. We agree as posted late Friday night.



Sunday 9


Feature on drug rehab scheme near Byron Bay, rhetorical response to Bob Brown attack on MTP earlier in the day, in set piece feature story here.


Laurie Oaks, Prime Minister. Looking hale and hearty for an old bloke. Inexperience versus age frame. “Stale versus fresh”.


Focus on IR. Howard strongly leads with the idea he will be there for another 4 years if he wins. ‘67 now, younger than when Reagan started as President.’


Oaks pressed him on age and Howard repudiates any concerns about this, as long as his party wants him.


Presses him on climate change. Weasels out on this. Won’t do modeling like Stern Report.

California 27% of nuke power. Adopted big target climate change. Howard says PM of here. Underlines commitment to fossil fuel and nuclear industry here.

Budget questions:

Howard plays long experience wind up. Sounding very upbeat. Coalition in the hunt. Obligatory cricket rah rah.  Look out Rudd and ALP.


Posted by editor at 11:30 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007 1:47 PM NZT
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Big media's horror Saturday: Child exploitation, overt compromise by Israel lobby, and Tim Blair's flatulence
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: big media

Pictures: todays clips of stupidity, on our recycled (!) timber kitchen table, rescued from a Bronte council throwout.

Why are children appearing in the big media today on behalf of their posturing political parents? Both the children of Kevin Rudd Opposition Leader, and of Mark Scott managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are pictured in the news today, both courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.


Is this systemic child abuse? How in any way is this massive exposure of any benefit to those children, especially the under 18’s down to primary school age? What can those kids possibly have that’s probitive of the quality of their parents? Are the parents saying the political community can now treat them as fair game, enquire as to their school expulsions, genetic diseases, drug taking or whatever? I don’t think so. No its an entirely one sided first strike missile defence type of political propaganda. 'Look at my darling kids' but don’t you dare say ill of them, they are innocents above the muck of politicking. Well of course they are which is why they shouldn’t be in the newspaper in the first place. This kind of child propagandising is just plain wrong as it is widespread.


These were not incidental images. They were endorsed staged calculated attempts by their parents to leverage sympathy of them as regular good blokes. And it is patheticly misleading and deceptive for lack of real information value. No one needs a licence to have children. And children are programmed to be loyal and trusting of parents.


All it usually signifies is that the adult parent is desperate for help in the PR stakes. In Mark Scott’s case underlined by a glossy feature in The Weekend Australian Magazine, giving an entre to conflicted financial business and political interests: It’s all about breaking the ban on advertising on the ABC with the first step being online adverts. Pretty sleazy that, using one’s own children to advance professional career goals.


And then there is foreign affairs specialist Greg Sheridan quoted page 2 of the same newspaper “Sheridan wins Israel prize”. Trouble is how can any journalist hold themselves out as remotely objective when accepting prizes from one or other stakeholder in geopolitics? This is just another sleazy attempt at compromising the news and it doesn’t look like Sheridan will be politely declining it for professional and ethical reasons. It’s the equivalent of an industrial relations journalist accepting the ‘services to union collective bargaining’ prize of the ACTU, or ‘services to understanding the uranium mining and nuclear cycle prize’ from ANSTO. Lobby groups naturally want to ingratiate themselves but Sheridan’s lack of perspective in accepting the gift shows past and future bias in matters involving Israel.


Then there is the usual Tim Blair tragi comedy Saturday Opinion piece with his mock philosophical sophistry. (Spooky echo of my ‘wallow’ tag on Ruddy in his left hand column, just as I heard the saintly Mark Colvin on PM use the ‘gratuitous’ word from another of my headlines about Crikey.com.au applied to a Amanda Vanstone story last night).


Blair’s main contention today is an alleged unhealthy obsession of the Left with “sadness” and “disaster”. Funny how people concerned with human rights, social justice, and inequality would have such a focus in the real world. Blair probably doesn’t know about these places that say 5.5 billion out of 6 billion know all too well. Live long enough in middle class privilege that royalty of centuries past could not conceive of, add decades of wearing blinkers and hey presto we just airbrushed 75% of human experience. How to solve world poverty with a click of the fingers.

Like the proverbial 3 wise monkeys’ (or as I like to think of them, sinister Wizard of Oz flying monkeys) Blair thinks his narrow Ayn Rand view in a spiritual and economic enclave is the only true light. There is a grain of truth but a barrow full of lies in his TimBoy's simple thesis. Sure the Left and Greens feel a fleeting sense of vindication at the very real prospects of climate change cataclysm and war dead as defined by such as The Lancet.


But actually, and this is first hand experience personal and observed, far more suffer burnout, despair, and need the soothing revival of individual sustainability workshops as organised by John Seed and Ruth Rosenhek of the Rainforest Information Centre:


 "In response to growing public concern about climate change, the Rainforest Information Centre is taking to the road to address the psychological and emotional issues surrounding global warming.": National climate change roadshow hits Northcoast | Alternative ...


But don’t stress over these demanding thoughts there Tim behind your rose tinted glasses. It must be comforting living in the shadow of Ayn Rand’s gospel porn that says altruism is really just a selfish attempt at moral triumphalism, such that unvarnished selfishness is really far more honest – like a big fat pay packet from News Ltd to spread psychological violence is ‘honest’? But who are you trying to convince? Yourself? Don’t you find that terribly unsatisfying? Indeed boring?


Posted by editor at 3:35 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007 9:41 AM NZT

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