Source of map and bar graph below: Tony Whan and South East Forest Rescue.
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.
One question - who funds Gerard Henderson?
Supplementary: If you don't know because the Sydney Institute funding is secret - how can you publish him prominently in the opinion pages and claim you are a real newspaper and not simply a propaganda sheet?
The truth is Fairfax opinion editor is a professional joke.
What can you say about ol' Monky eh?
There he was back in the day slumming it at Ursula College residential hall at ANU in the mid 80ies, like a barely concealed ASIO recruiting officer.
2 doors down from Burgmann College were KR Rudd was holed up some 5 years earlier.
Monky had a reputation amongst what Sister Scholastica (RIP) referred to as the elite: One a maths professor today, another a uni medal winner destined for Macquarie Bank, another who got more HDs than credits or distinctions. And this humble cynic - even at that age. I spent too much time envying Rodney Day listed as world record holder of Pengo arcade game in Wikipedia, earnd in the Ursula common room.
Back in the day when it was a religious Catholic institution. And I confess I ought not to have stolen the bottle of alter (!) wine and am just about a teetotal these days.
We had another name for ourselves - The Sloth Club. Which was so not true - all ambitious and quite hard working in private. But in the common room to join our 'club' there was only one rule - you didn't care if you were in our club! Suitable social apathy was the evidence required of a strong identity and self confidence that eschewed vain double talk.
Hence Monky was never going to cut it. And now we read his prose yesterday in The Australian dated 4 January 2011 attacking Assange as literally Daniel Ellsberg endorses Assange. WTF? Monky tries to turn that endorsement around while ignoring the revelations on the Iraq war count, the Right to Know agenda, the effective rescue of the relevance of the 4th estate from their own craven compromises with Big Govt/Big Corp Donors, peace dividend from what Gandhi calls the role of 'openness' in his profound 10 principles of non violence. And so on.
Monky hasn't changed - short of stature and short of principled prose. No one doubts the Big Media aka conservative press will both exploit wikileaks and proceed to their 'little murder' of the source being Assange and wikileaks. The 5th estate well know the deconstruction. But it won't work.
For the same reason gold Walkley winner Laurie Oakes staunchly defends the role of wikileaks in boosting the public's right to know, so Monk has only made an intellectual and moral fool of himself - again.
On the issue of the sale (sell out?) of NSW power assets we keep reading the cannard of the 1997 sale proposal being worth $30 /$25 billion then only $15B under Iemma in 2007 and now only $5B (or $3B after the coal mine).
These are not the same asset bundle. As pointed out by John Kaye MP (Greens) some years ago the 1997 proposal included the poles and wires which may be Transgrid authority.
No doubt there are other variations in the asset profile for the 3 DIFFERENT sale proposals.
For so called professional journalists or opinion writers in Fairfax and News Ltd in the space of 2 days to get their articles wrong by a mere $15B while promoting their critique is an outrage of public misinformation, probably as bad as the performance of the NSW Govt itself.
No wonder the Govt is so bad. The 4th estate is a sad projection of incompetence. The irony is that this makes the case for Wikileaks regarding actual sourcing of information to cross check the dopes in the big media.
Van Onselen's story may not be online but it appears at p100 today of the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.
Verrender's piece in the weekend Sydney Morning Herald is here:
One stupid quote here:
"At just $5.3 billion, with maybe another $2 billion to come, NSW taxpayers have been royally shafted, ripped off and taken for a ride. At least, that's what the critics would have us believe. And, superficially at least, it's difficult to argue with them.
In 1997, those same assets were in the books at $25 billion. But within two years, the value had plummeted to $16 billion."
This cartoon above ran on ABC Insiders on 31 October 2010:
They are by David Pope, also referred to in this report:
Pope honoured as Cartoonist of the Year
Canberra cartoonist David Pope has won one of Australia's top cartooning honours, taking out the 2010 Cartoonist of the Year Award in Melbourne last night.
He beat five other finalists to take home the top award.
Pope has been drawing cartoons for the alternative press in Australia since the mid-1980s and for The Canberra Times since 2008.
He says former Canberra Times cartoonist Geoff Pryor created the space in the paper for his brand of political cartooning.
"I've been very lucky to follow in the footsteps of Geoff Pryor at the Canberra Times, who really created the space at the paper where you are given free rein to make political comment about the news of the day and social events," he said.
"It's a terrific space to have and he created that space in the paper over 30 years."
Over to Insiders comment here:
JASON CHATFIELD: Yes, oh it was a godsend, incredible. It was a slow news day and then just a shoe flew in and every cartoonist in the country stood up and applauded.
There's two reasons that I'm excited that John Howard is back on the scene. One of them is that I get to draw John Howard again.
The other one is that I get to hear Mike Bowers do a John Howard impersonation.
MICHAEL BOWERS (in John Howard voice): Oh not tonight!
JASON CHATFIELD (in John Howard voice): Oh stop it Mike, yeah!
(Referring to Paul Zanetti's cartoon, www.zanetti.net.au):
MICHAEL BOWERS: The shoe throwing incident just gave so many visual metaphors and visual puns for you guys. It was just fantastic.
JASON CHATFIELD: It was amazing. Yeah we've got a Zanetti here with "three shoes?" and then Tony Jones here saying, "Oh the third one is from Costello."
Very good. I'm surprised it's an actual shoe and not a fluffy slipper or something.
(Referring to Jason Chatfield's cartoon, jasonchatfield.com):
MICHAEL BOWERS: You've picked up on it as well.
JASON CHATFIELD: I did. Yeah I mean it was just the fact that that week it got so much press for the book.
He's written everything that's happened to him and then this happens.
And you know I can imagine him just sort of sitting there thinking, oh "Damn, I could have put that in the book."
MICHAEL BOWERS: If they go to a second printing I'm sure it will be in the book.
JASON CHATFIELD: There'll be an addendum yeah, Lazarus writing still.
MICHAEL BOWERS: Me and the shoe.
JASON CHATFIELD: Lazarus reeling.
(Referring to David Pope's cartoon in the Canberra Times):
MICHAEL BOWERS: David Pope from the Canberra Times has really gone for the jugular.
JASON CHATFIELD: Yes. This is one of the sharpest gags I've seen all week.
MICHAEL BOWERS: "The legacy resurrected."
"Sorry is this a bad time?" coming from the skull as they pour out of the Iraq War with the Wikileaks man opening the door on it.
JASON CHATFIELD: This is such a good cartoon. And he's just hit it straight on the head.
The deeply cynical attempts to smear Assange of Wikileaks in the big media remind of the devastating critique of some in the big media - like Fox News today - in a re-run of the 1986 Olive Stone movie Salvador whitewashing massive fatalities by a right wing dictator convenient to the USA fascist influence in Central America.
Director Oliver Stone, a Vietnam War veteran, talks about the movie here:
The movie cast included such notables as:
- James Woods as Richard Boyle
- Jim Belushi as Doctor Rock
- Michael Murphy Ambassador Thomas Kelly
- John Savage as John Cassady
- Elpidia Carrillo as María
- Cindy Gibb as Cathy Moore
- Tony Plana as Major Maximiliano 'Max' Casanova
- Colby Chester as Jack Morgan- State Department Analyst
- Will MacMillan as Colonel Bentley Hyde Sr.
Truly I say to the Big Media in their coverage of Assange this is their Bonhoeffer moment in terms of professional morality: They can reflect the facts or self censor and sanitise in the face of seemingly overwhelming power of the USA military machine. And yes the death rate in Iraq is comparable with Nazi Germany if not as great.
* * *
Which all reminds of the sly Cut & Paste in The Australian yesterday, scolding the Greens (as if the criminal News International have any moral stature on such things) for referencing climate change/global warming as akin to coal trains as death trains in the Holocaust.
Ironically The Australian is 'correct': Inundation and changed monsoonal rainfall patterns from Africa to South East Asia and the Amazon will affect hundreds of millions of people as well as diverse species in nature. Which means the comparison to the Holocaust is inappropriate. The death rate from climate impacts of coal trains will be far, far worse than the Holocaust.
Which of course is anathema to the death cult like worship of the Holocaust as the greatest evil that man has ever been capable of.
Thank you John Lennon, an influential life echoing down the years, posted at the anniversary of his death, or something like that around this time in alot of big media. The header refers to a line in a song by George Harrison in tribute to his band brother on his untimely death. But on balance I went for another song link demonstrating such influence in the current day, like the lovely "IMAGINE" banner below in 2007: Eddie Vedder cover of a well know Lennon song, apparently channeling Dylan at the time.