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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Turnbull, China/India coal use, pioneering Montreal Protocol and West's capacity to ban carbon intensive imported goods
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: globalWarming

Minister Turnbull and the Howard Coalition barrackers here:

Alan Tudge: Greenhouse crusade rests on flawed logic

13 February 2007

SHUT down our coal industry - our children's wellbeing is at stake! This is the message from Greens' leader Bob Brown, who argues that because burning coal emits large amounts of greenhouse gases, the coal industry should be shut down within a matter of years. Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has echoed Brown's position, while Labor's environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, has also singled out coal, effectively calling for the growth of the industry to be frozen.

are wrong. Way wrong.

Senator Brown's limited article here:

Bob Brown: We must kick the coal habit | Opinion | The Australian

is right. Way right. Why limited?

As Turnbull, a trained barrister knows, the essence of good advocacy is to identify the point of greatest prejudice and keep hammering that point. This is the dictum straight from Liberal Party, and legal luminary ex High Court Chief Judge, Sir Garfield Barwick on how to be a good advocate.

Hence Turnbull on 7.30 show recently:

  • Turnbull, Garrett debate climate change.
  • and related stories here

  • Govt to consider national carbon trading.
  • Climate change puts spotlight on Garrett, Turnbull.
  • discussed the "best way" to help China reduce it's coal fired greenhouse emissions was to generate 'clean coal' here rather than a domestic phase out of our coal mines and power stations.

    That is half true.  Turnbull is right to identify China and India as the point of greatest prejudice to the global future. Yes it will be decided in those places with or without Australian coal, but it won't be via "clean coal" carbon sequestration: That's a bogus technology and a 10 to 20 year timeline even if possible by the most optimistic boosters.

    We simply don't have that kind of time to f*ck around for that long. Rates of change are moving too fast.

    And the Australian government are not credible on clean coal anyway because they keep promoting nuclear power knowing full well it has been demonstrated to work unlike 'clean coal'.

    But if China and India will never stop their use of coal, clean coal technology is the best chance we have got to improve their operation? Wrong. China know the music will stop on climate change, and there must be an energy revolution, restructure and reform, which is why they are so big on renewable technologies now as per regular advice of Greenpeace. 

    When the music stops just like ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol discussed below, the West will simply move to block sales of the greenhouse offensive manufactured imported goods from those countries which could if implemented break the political economy of both India and China

    China well know the West have the ultimate choice to buy or not buy their carbon intensive manufactured goods.

    Sorry? The West decline their manufactured goods for breach of carbon emission standards?

    It's all happened before with the Montreal Protocol on ozone hole depleting substances (ODS) which started in 1987. India and China in that case initially refused to participate in that protocol because it implied retooling their manufacturing sector free of CFCs and similar chemical corrosives of the atmosphere. As we understand it at SAM the West effectively said 'You WILL cut these emissions or we WILL block your markets in the West'.

    India and China retooled in 5 years apparently to move out of ODS (though the process is a long convoluted one and ongoing).

    China and India will have to similarly retool their energy sector out of coal and oil as will the USA, as will Australia. In fact the whole world will have to. The future of civilisation literally depends on it.  It will happen. It must happen. The fossil fool age is rapidly drawing to a close along with all the political and industrial sectorial privileges that went with it.

    The point of greatest prejudice to the whole globe means coal is finished sooner than later and China and India will agree, just as the point of greatest prejudice in the global political economy is the West's willingness to buy cheap Indian and Chinese manufactured goods, or not.

    We first heard of this geopolitical reality on the great ABC radio national Earthbeat programme  

    Earthbeat on Radio National

    which was slashed under the oppressive Howard Coalition government and their stooges on the ABC Board.

    Sure the energy restructure across the world will make the reform of ODS look like an afternoon picnic: Reform of energy supply is a step change, or even two or three steps, for modern civilisation but it must happen out of a pure instinct for survival.

    And the best way for Australia and the West to bring China and India to that negotiation is with clean hands with the phase out of our own coal production and use, along with financial restructuring funds as per the Montreal Protocol. Our common future depends on it.

    More on the pioneering Montreal Protocol, warts and all, to protect the ozone layer here:



    The Montreal Protocol: History Canadian Government

    Ozone History (NASA)

    Chinese Firms Pledge to Contribute to Ozone Layer Protection

    Joint Efforts to Protect the Ozone Layer :: United Nations ...

    China endeavors to protect ozone layer

    Today: India Accelerates Phase-Out Of Ozone Depleting Substances

    Posted by editor at 11:48 AM EADT
    Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007 7:31 PM EADT
    PM Howard running over political crocs to VP Cheney visit Feb 22, safe haven or vortex of demise?
    Mood:  don't ask
    Topic: election Oz 2007


    Picture: Poster of the aging Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee movie franchise: Is Howard having a fit of vanity seeking to reprise the hairy chested tough guy persona who fights off scary 'crocodiles' in a world of fiction to a bemused USA audience? 




    All the commentary in Big Media the last 48 hour news cycle has correctly bought into PM Howard's determined sledge of Barak Obama presidential candidate in the USA, and the Democrats generally, as a ‘friend of terrorists’ for daring to promote a withdrawal from the Iraq war:


    But they haven’t quite got the gist we think regarding the impending Dick Cheney visit.


    Howard’s statement was deliberate if bogus provocation unlike suggestions of guest Katherine House on 702 Glover show last afternoon that Howard was turning "cranky". On the contrary a Qld govt backbencher yesterday egged the pudding by adding Obama’s view was “evil”. That’s how willing the PR tactic is.


    Not only is Howard not sending 20,000 more Australian troops as challenged by Obama, but more to the point he would never let his own sons over to that meat grinder, just as Michael Moore famously interviewed stony faced USA federal politicians about their own children going to war. Oh no, everyone else is cannon fodder in this war.


    SAM's editor watched the Oaks interview on Sunday that kicked this all off, skipping to Insiders when possible for my political talkies piece but I must admit I didn’t expect Howard’s malice to capture all the Big Media attention.


    Where indeed is the news value? Is he really interfering in USA electioneering? It was on Ch9 in Sydney not USA news services until they ran it. It was a proxy derivative comment for Much Bigger Politics in Uncle Sam so in that sense nothing new. So far it's just Howard’s monstrous cruel pro war dogma as “the slaughter” to quote Richard Neville pours bucket after bucket of blood into a vortex of civil war.


    But there is news, as Opposition Leader Rudds says, in Howard deliberately attacking the ascendant Democrats in the Senate and Congress as potentially damaging Australia’s alliance relationship in the future. Indeed Howard is becoming “a menace” to quote Senator Brown (Greens). He will be gone most likely as PM if the US Democrats win the presidency in 2008, even if he Howard wins here October 2007. Yet here he is throwing his destructive weight around now. That's indulgent and vain.


    But there is more to the ridiculous Obama attack as if he were a Republican conservative governor in the West Wing TV show in the 52nd State.


    Firstly Howard seems to be ploughing the ground for the arrival of his role model in radical global interventions and military arrogance one Dick Cheney Vice President of the USA who will be visiting our country later this month Feb 22nd to 27th 2007. And there is alot of ploughing to do for such as Cheney.


    This war is so unpopular and Cheney so unloved that veteran Alex Mitchell wrote in the Sydney SunHerald recently that the VP should be arrested for “war crimes”. That’s a big call for mainstream press. Yet he is Howard’s mate and he will be here on Howard’s platform.


    Secondly to coin a phrase 'trouble loves company', and Howard is in unprecedented strife himself as Coalition leader: Adverse polling as Rudd goes ahead in the preferred PM polls;  climate change denial come home to roost in the voters minds; Premiers stonewalling Howard’s big budget sledgehammer on Murray Darling water restructure (a $10B political posture which side stepped Cabinet no less).


    So this sad joke framing of Howard and Australia on ‘the world stage’ with a mere symbolic 1400 troops there in Iraq under the skirts of W Bush - is some kind of political leap across the back of domestic political crocodiles.


    For instance conservative Sunday Telegraph has Milne writing “Rudd’s clever manoeurvring has Howard on the ropes” including this amusing comment:


    “One seasoned Canberra watcher observed on Thursday: 'Howard’s like a cobra, bobbing and weaving, probing for a weakness and wanting to strike. Trouble is, the other guy is a mongoose.' " 


    Milne quotes last sentence “one hard headed senior cabinet minister"  as follows:


    “We’re going to have [sic] swim harder and faster now if we want to win”.


    Matt Price same paper similarly has “Our lives could depend on this” referring to climate change gravity Howard has lost credibility on. And notice Howard man Switkowski promoting nuke power economics in the wake of any carbon trading scheme:


    Carbon trading would boost nuclear: Switkowski - Sat Feb 10 18:19 ...


    Old technology for old ways of thinking. Howard is yesterday’s man desperate for a change in news cycle, and prepare the way for Cheney. He’s playing for distractions and for time and likely will have some kind of choreography around the Cheney visit seeking to recapture essential ‘momentum’ in this critical election year.


    And observers can smell the lack of momentum, the political blood. Ex PM Keating and rival to Howard was using his usual melodramatic language yesterday on abc radio (queried about a major urban planning issue he worked on) about “putting the sword” to leaders “glued to their seat” like “dessicated coconut” Howard “who stayed too long”.


    Howard appears to be employing an eye catching political gymnastic stunt leaping into USA affairs and toward Cheney's visit over his own domestic worries. But will he make it to a political refuge? Experienced rock climbers will tell you when are stuck (like Howard was at the end of a bad week) there is one way to confound the viewers - go for a dynamic move like this, but you need a good landing place at the other end, or it's uh oh, free fall. It all comes down to the final clinch or pad.


    Is Cheney such a 'juggy' hand hold the other side? Or solid island in the river depending on your choice of metaphor. I don't think so. And Howard is very high with a long way to fall (or sink). Likely it will be an ugly spectacle especially in the last split second.


    A good start to analysing the quality of Cheney's PR promise around his visit can be found in a story which ran with a rediculous sledge of Nancy Pelosi third in line to the Presidency, for upgrading her plane transport in a time of war.


    It refers scarily to Cheney applying fraud to the case for going to war with Iraq:




    War evidence 'dubious'


    February 10, 2007

    WASHINGTON: Top Pentagon official Douglas Feith provided intelligence of "dubious quality" to buttress the White House case for invading Iraq, an investigation has found.


    A classified Pentagon report found Mr Feith, one of the main architects of the US invasion of Iraq, engaged in "inappropriate" activities involving important intelligence reports before the war.


    The findings were a "devastating condemnation" of Mr Feith's Department of Defence office, which had a key role in drumming up domestic and international political support for invading Iraq in 2003, Democrat senator Carl Levin said yesterday.


    The Defence Inspector-General's report concluded Mr Feith, former undersecretary for defence policy, issued intelligence assessments on the relationship of Iraq and al-Qa'ida at odds with what the wider US intelligence community concluded.


    It appeared to refer to allegations made by Mr Feith in 2002 and 2003 that Saddam Hussein had active links to al-Qa'ida, used by the administration to link the invasion of Iraq to the September11 terror attacks.


    The bipartisan commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks later reported that no collaborative relationship existed between thetwo.


    "The office of the undersecretary of defence policy developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qa'ida relationship, which included some conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the intelligence community, to senior decision-makers," the unclassified summary of the report said.


    It also found that Mr Feith's office "was inappropriately performing intelligence activities ... that should be performed by the intelligence community".


    The Pentagon paper said Mr Feith's reports were used by top government officials, including Vice-President Dick Cheney.


    "Indeed, Vice-President Cheney said the principal Feith office assessment was the 'best source of information' on the alleged relationship between Iraq and al-Qai'da," Senator Levin said.


    The latest revelations came as Democrats in the House of Representatives readied plans for a marathon debate over President George W. Bush's Iraq policy just days after Republicans blocked a similar effort in the Senate.


    "We're just saying no" to Mr Bush's recent decision to add 21,500 troops in Iraq, house Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi said of the proposed non-binding resolution.


    House Democrats will declare support for US troops, but opposing Mr Bush's plan to send more.  .... AFP, Reuters


    [bold added]




    Similarly Matt Price writes in The Australian Saigon a reminder of another hard war recently of


    I'm still convinced the Prime Minister will call an election shortly after the APEC summit in Sydney winds up in September, thus cashing in on playing host to the global gabfest and its attendant world leaders. Yet as MPs reconvened in Canberra this week, several Liberals were openly dreading the prospect of Bush visiting Australia and thought John Howard might seriously contemplate calling a pre-APEC election to avoid this prospect.


    Unlikely, I think, but given the PM's intimate links to the White House I find it astonishing Howard didn't pull strings and, if necessary, scream down the telephone to dissuade Dick Cheney from visiting Australia later this month. Even the US Vice-President's friends can't find a decent word to say about Bush's discredited right-hand man. War veteran, respected Republican and possible presidential candidate John McCain said Bush "listens too much" and "has been very badly served" by Cheney, an old confrere. Before dying, Gerald Ford found time to record an interview pouring scorn on the Vice-President, his ex-chief of staff.


    During a staggeringly brazen and delusional interview with CNN, Cheney boasted the US had done "exactly the right thing" invading Iraq. "Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes," the Veep proclaimed. Asked to ponder any mistakes, Cheney came up with: "We underestimated the extent to which 30 years of Saddam's rule had really hammered the population, especially the Shia population, into submissiveness." This submissiveness hasn't been especially evident in the subsequent slaughter. Cheney arrives in Australia as his former-chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, stands trial for attempting to smother criticism of the war. Just this week US financier Jeremy Grantham issued a scathing critique of the White House's response to global warming. He writes; "Successive US administrations have taken little interest in either oil substitution or climate change and the current one has even seemed to have a vested interest in the idea that the science of climate change is uncertain." It's a common criticism, remarkable mainly for the fact Grantham is Cheney's personal investment manager.


    So besides acting as a beacon for critics of Iraq, Cheney - a champion of the US oil industry - will be horsemeat for the climate change brigade, too. In the partyroom this week, the PM copped a grilling over the maltreatment of David Hicks. According to South Australian MPs, discontent is red hot in the terror suspect's home state where the Government must defend five marginal seats. Exasperated by the barbs, the PM at one point blurted to colleagues: "What do you expect us to do?" Queensland backbencher Warren Entsch yelled back: "Bring him home like the Brits have done."


    This kind of disgruntlement, bordering on insubordination, was once unimaginable and is driven by internal concerns Howard has aligned himself too closely to a dud White House. "I do not believe this country should abandon America," the PM told his partyroom. "The alliance will be judged by the fidelity of its partners in times of trial."


    While it's true the politics of withdrawal are fraught, the architects of the Iraq disaster have run out of credibility. Bush and British PM Tony Blair are already suffering the political consequences and those reverberations may belatedly have reached Australia.


    Cheney is here for five days this month and has allegedly expressed an intent to go fly fishing. Many Coalition MPs would be perfectly happy were the Vice-President to spend most of his visit in soggy wellingtons hidden away in the bush, attracting local trout instead of unwanted attention. pricem @theaustralian.com.au


    [bold added]


    Like the comic Crocodile Dundee movies




    John Howard is almost certainly one sequel too many.



    Postscript #1 14th Feb 2007 -

    In a parrallel of the USA House of Representatives debate underway anytime now, the two major Parties in federal parliament here are going at it as per The Australian reports today

    Rudd slams 'gutless' Howard's Iraq strategy

    OPPOSITION Leader Kevin Rudd has turned the attack on Iraq policy back on John Howard, accusing the prime minister of being gutless and without a plan for the future of Australian troops in the troubled country.

    Posted by editor at 7:55 AM EADT
    Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007 10:47 AM EADT
    Sunday, 11 February 2007
    Sunday political talkies: Climate change threat locks in under PM Howard
    Mood:  caffeinated
    Topic: election Oz 2007

     Picture: Image from post apocalyptic Planet of the Apes movie http://www.movieprop.com/tvandmovie/PlanetoftheApes/planetoftheapes.htm and refer to Footnote 1 below


    Posted 8.47 am.


    Author’s note: 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.


    10 Meet the Press 8-8.30 am




    Quality 2nd string network, good show, lower audience than 9 or 7, both low for Sundays anyway.


    Rudd looking a bit more lean, working hard perhaps.

    Host Paul Bongiorno, a real veteran and moderate. Canvasses Sunday press which has gone vaudeville it seems incapable of coping with the existential angst of climate change, except for one paper The Sunday Times re ‘100 year storms’.


    Guest Opposition Leader Rudd. Ad breaks suitably Jet Star Kath and Kim voice pitching to “love birds”.


    PB gets first question on aged $1.5 billion from Howard war chest. Easy echo of the policy and insightful contextuals ‘less than $2.2 billion previous years. Rudd stumbles “bunch of mad greenies want to destroy the planet” probably because he knows the coal industry’s days are numbered.


    Glenn Milne, on panel looks studious with glasses and healthier too, hopefully on the wagon. Happy relaxed smile even. Is the disappearance of Christian Kerr from Crikey.com.au connected to this? GM redemption for his violent tantrum at Walkleys?


    Michelle Grattan is the sober anchor to the panel but Glenn gets first question on economics. Looking spruced up female version of George Smiley character at Canberra Press Gallery.


    Gratten goes to Rudd’s experience and he answers with 25 years  in govt and business and is convincing. Spruiks Chinese expertise re climate change reforms which is very sound.


    Milne goes to education. Wise praise of teachers difficult job by Rudd.


    (A rollicking traverse on the core election questions: aged, economics, experience, education, next security.)


    David Hicks advert runs in the break, as does rubbery figures of The Australian just prior.


    On Iraq, ratting by leaving? Rudd: Defend embassy, other security assistance to the Iraqi, consult with USA, alliance not mean comply with everything. $2B cost to our budget, worse than Vietnam.


    Grattan notes polls agree, how soon, 6 months? Ans: Depends.

    GM: Numbers out? Ans: Enough to protect diplomats 100 or 200.


    Iraq fate if all leave [subtext worse bloodbath?] UK and USA have to decide for themselves. Declines Obama 08 March deadline for US troups out in Presidential campaign speech running today. Rudd: Rotation is usually 6 months, if elected in Nov 07.


    GM: Hicks at Gitmo prison 5 years? Rudd: Knows for a fact in USA won’t get a fair trial. Gutsy.


    Industrial Relations timelines: missed the answer refer website for transcript.


    All look satisfied with the subject and their role in the grilling. It was ‘prime ministerial’.


    7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am


    Humourous, quite edgy as usual.


    Picks animal capers theme (as did SAM website re choccy monkey pollies image) on climate change etc re Costello quacking, Garrett fillip re call for earnest action, O’Connor outgoing opposition minister on mechanical bull, but mos cutting perhaps was Malcolm Turnbull suggestion of eyeing off an ALP plunging neckline with a sex/six blooper.


    (Is this a deliberate echo of the lurid Sunday Telegraph front pager today about a movie star having sex in a jet airline? The world is going to hell and they run a front pager like that. Tragic Big Media.)


    Revealing reference to "presidential" Rudd in the debrief to the visuals by Riley with hosts.


    Web page here but no transcript usually: http://www.seven.com.au/sunrise/weekend


    [Posted second segment about 10.15 am with refinements up to 10.35am]



    2 Insiders (abc) 9-10 am,  http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/ 


    ‘He’s been here before claims Howard in 2001 and 2004. But now Coalition is in the late 30’s in the polls, on the trend unlike the year before 2004 election. [Refer footnote 1.]


    Guest is Julia Gillard, deputy Alp leader.Quite the carrot top. Ex litigation lawyer and smart advocate. Admiration for Rudd’s work history (straight out of the West Wing praise for the leader?).


    Panel (below) looks at PM Howard gaff in Parliament on climate change, David Hicks and other things.


    Everyman segement. Boat crew young professionals.


    Panel: Lenor Taylor Aust Financial Review moderate (Fairfax) Andrew Bolt, clever, far right, Herald Sun (news Ltd) Mal Farr, clever centre right Sydney Daily Telegraph (news Ltd)  Paul Kelly soliliquy The Australian (news ltd)


    Too many News Ltd. Need a community media rep like Crikey.com.au?


    Kelly says Brown and Flannery apostles (faith based smear) on climate change will do alot of damage to Australian society and economy.  Kelly woefully anti science, anti evidence, and projecting his own religious economic prism onto science based ecology.


    APEC meeting October (?) 2007. Election timing before or after?


    Influence of morning television for Rudd and Hockey’s career.



    9 Sunday 9-10.30am  http://sunday.ninemsn.com.au/sunday/


    Running family fertility surrogacy story as feature first 15 minutes at least.


    Interview with PM Howard with Laurie Oakes looking the same in both cases, Howard well slept after tough week. Reveals the high election stakes Howard on Sunday tv already.


    Talk on aged care package of $1.5B. Expensive way to buy onto tv?


    Howard pushing economic difference with Rudd. Rudd voted against tax reform. Wrong to say “cigarette paper” between us. Real Old Australia comment theren.


    Iraq war? Simplistic answers stay or go. ‘Barak Obama agrees with Labor’ best chance for Shia and Sunni to get together is if USA promise to leave in March 2008.


    Adbreak and PM is back. Extended interview is huge free advertising from James Packer network 9.


    PM pushes ‘clean coal’, which is phoney, and nuclear power with far better choices around. Lambasts Greens on ending king coal just as he rejected their drought/water summit … then held one. That is he has no credibility.


    Talks about water deal for Murray Darling.



    * Footnote 1:


    SAM believes no one has ‘been here before’ on climate change given the dangerous sea rise threat from climate change according to latest best scientific advice (the doctor’s advice referred to by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth), and notice terrifying Katrina Images here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Fo959fgC4 of urban inundation


    On Friday this writer sent this email to Miranda Devine's publicly advertised email address and she appears to have responded in kind in today’s Sydney SunHerald :


    To: devinemiranda@hotmail.com

    Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 10:06 AM

    Subject: you are in this story


    This has gone to the NSW political community.

    Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW, principal ecology action sydney


    PS: You are a climate change sceptic aren't you?




    Friday, 9 February 2007 Miranda Devine airbrushes bushfire arson motive at Goonoo, backs redneck attack on scientists, public servants Mood: down Topic: election nsw 2007



    Here is Devine’s article:


    Be alert for climate-change alarmists Malcolm Turnbull's and Peter Garrett's face-off highlights the difference in responses to climate change, writes Miranda Devine. ]


    She seems to be quite ignorant of the reality of urban inundation and the latest credible science.


    Ch10 Videohitz by coincidence has a song just after 10 am with spaceship dodging asteroids, diving into a glowing planet as bright as the sun, reaches ground and the remnants of life are there including Big Ben.


    It’s the Earth post climate change and burned off atmosphere, much like Planet of the Apes film with Charlton Heston encountering the Statue of Liberty half buried in sand:



     A good tune with a good message: Politicians like Howard are f*cked when it comes to best scientific advice on climate change. Reveals the popular culture sensitivities even in hit tunes.

    Posted by editor at 8:44 AM EADT
    Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007 7:44 AM EADT
    Friday, 9 February 2007
    Miranda Devine airbrushes bushfire arson motive at Goonoo, backs redneck attack on scientists, public servants
    Mood:  down
    Topic: election nsw 2007

    Picture reference: "Instance of land clearing 100 km north west of Dubbo." in Sydney Morning Herald story "Cleared land to be farmed as regeneration plans go up in smoke" Date: April 3 2006 By Elicia Murray, including this quote

    "VAST tracts of cleared land in north-western NSW are being prepared for farming, after the State Government failed in its attempt to have the area returned to its original bushland state.

    Green groups and the Government have accused a Nyngan farmer of tearing down up to 2000 hectares of native bush on his property since 2002, in what they say is one of the state's worst cases of unauthorised land clearing."


    In the age of global warming where every carbon store is a boon, there are agriculturalists who demand the right to continue to log and clear established woodlands. Anyone who watches An Inconvenient Truth and the awesome melting patterns of Greenland and West Antarctic would be planting them not the opposite.


    When these redneck farmers and loggers lose the argument as they did at Goonoo Pilliga in North West NSW in early 2005 it seems they want to take it out on innocent public servants.


    Climate change sceptic Miranda Devine had this malicious article Jan 28th 2007 p15 Sydney Sun Herald:




    It’s a holy commandment of the volunteer bushfire figher community that politics should not interfere with the cooperative effort of the local community. Everyone in the country should pull together to deal with the common threat. But Miranda Devine stirs up potentially devastating division and conflict amongst locals in the Dubbo area leveraging contested land use decisions that farmers lost in 2005, just as the pro land clearing farmers at The Land did in 2005.


    Her article reads in part

    IT'S THE talk of Dubbo. Two weeks ago, as a bushfire was raging through the Goonoo Community Conservation Area, an angry showdown between Rural Fire Service volunteers and National Parks and Wildlife Service employees threatened to derail firefighting efforts.

    The streets are abuzz with the story of how, at the height of the blaze, greenie NPWS workers drove their vehicles in front of a bulldozer driver trying to clear a firebreak in order to stop him damaging any more vegetation.

    And over the next few days, furious firefighters said every time they cleared a firebreak, a NPWS crew was behind them, infuriatingly pushing vegetation back onto the track.

    The fire was eventually extinguished last week, having ravaged 60,000 hectares of the national park and threatened adjoining farms. But the white-hot anger among local volunteer firefighters still burns.

    "There's a lot of bad blood out here," local farmer and retired RFS fire control officer Kevin Brown says.

    NPWS spokesman John Dengate says the story is simply a "misunderstanding" that has spread like Chinese whispers.

    He says it was only one vehicle, containing two NPWS employees who had driven from Sydney, who "happened to park their car in front of" the bulldozer driver. "The idea that Parks [and Wildlife] would try to stop the firebreak is ridiculous."

    Dengate concedes there were arguments about the width of firebreaks, with NPWS staffers trying to tell bulldozer drivers to make them narrower, "because it's faster and more effective". He confirms that one overzealous NPWS employee was stood down.

    RFS incident controller Don Jenks, called in by Dengate to further clarify matters, says some firebreaks were so wide "you could land a 747 on them". But he agreed his crew were upset when NPWS staffers started "refurbishing" firebreaks before the flames had been extinguished.

    As for the bulldozer incident, Jenks was initially furious, but later discovered only one NPWS car had stopped the driver because "they just wanted to talk to him".

    Much of the disagreement stemmed from the fact that NPWS people thought a D8 bulldozer was too big, whereas the firefighters wanted a big dozer for wide tracks to ensure the fire wouldn't escape to neighbouring farms, as it had to devastating effect from nearby Goobang National Park in December, 2001.

    It's no wonder there is bad blood between the NPWS and local farmers, most of whom are volunteer firefighters.”

    But the redneck firefighters were not so keen to fight any fire in this conservation area back in May 2005. Back then according to The Land the farmer clearers were flirting with bushfire revenge for losing the farming land use decision intent on logging and clearing.


    Picture: Street posters by The Wilderness Society taken by this writer in late 2006 on City Rd at Camperdown and Carrington Rd Waverley in Sydney in the approach to the March 2007 NSW election.

    Back in 2005 this writer reported on a Sydney independent media website the following situation in rural land politics:


    “Peter Austin and The Land, cracks up, exhorts fire bugs in the Pilliga?


    The latest issue of The Land, published by JB Fairfax/Rural Press from memory, a stand alone news company, goes dangerously close to exhorting firebug revenge on the Carr government for its latest forest conservation decision. Some other assumptions in its coverage are also hysterical, misleading and ultimately a disservice to a rural readers.


    Here is a link to a previous imc post on the mass media details of the decision for north west forests: http://www.sydney.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=54957


    [refers to Goonoo Pilliga conservation decision covering some 348,000 ha which outraged the farmers who wanted to use the land. It was Bob Carr’s conservation decision swansong and a very good one despite his pro woodchipping broken promises in south east NSW.]


    The front cover of the May 12th editon has a Bob Carr graphic in Pinocchio 'liar' mode on the allegation Carr changed his tune from an interview in 2003 extracted inside the paper for a more redneck final decision. But perhaps that was before the logging union national leadership betrayed federal Labor in Tasmania helping to return a dishonest Howard Government?


    Also perhaps the editor and senior writers like Peter Austin understand how the ecologically minded felt in 1998/99 when it became clear that the east coast logging/conservation decisions made it clear Carr had no intention of keeping his 1995 election promise to end woodchipping of native forest by the year 2000. That promise is now 5 years broken.


    Irresponsible firebug talk in The Land

    In The Land's press tantrum they include dangerously irresponsible prose virtually exhorting firebug behaviour from supporters of the logging industry who know all too well about starting and organising 'controlled burns' after logging. Further it is well known that anti conservationists have started fires before such as the infamous Dunbogan koala colony despicably burnt by a corrupt apparently alcoholic NPWS officer in an attempt to ease approval of a white shoe canal estate real estate project just south of Port Macquarie in the 1980/early 90's.


    These pro fire bug quotes in The Land include:


    Quoting Opposition spokesperson Duncan Gay at page 7: "Years of careful forest management to keep fuel levels down has the potential to go up in smoke"


    "NSW is faced with the prospect that 348,00 hectares of locked-up forest could turn into a destructive and unstoppable forest fire"


    The Land continues"


    "(Local brigade captian and NSW Farmers executive councillor, Rod Young, Purlewaugh, said his members would not be volunteering for future fire fighting duty inside any new reserved areas.)"


    The Land editorialist then writes at p12


    "Hundreds of thousands of hectares of woodlands ... will now be locked up to await the inevitable and frightening firestorms which will do far , far more damage in a few hours than a century of sawmilling."


    Putting aside the inconsistency of quoting fire damage as a problem, and yet supporting firestick management so often praised by farmers and loggers based on the known recuperative ability of native bush, are these quotes above code for tacit support for firebug revenge? That could well be one interpretation.


    Responsible fire management is indeed a definite aspect of proper management of the area to mimic natural and Aboriginal land management history over the last 100 and thousands of years.  But that doesn't equal an outdated hunter gatherer logging industry.


    Ecological case for decision

    The Land argues that the whole forest area is really just a human artefact anyway of only the last 100 years or so (p8, "Forest's roots not in the 'dreamtime'). That sounds a little weak and folksy but it is a fair question to ask again what is the public interest in this latest decison for the welfare and good government of all urban and rural and regional voters together.


    Certainly looking to the past is no final answer for what is best to do now. As the UN has pointed out at:




    humanity is using up the ecological space at a frightening rate threatening civilisation as we know it within only possibly fifty years. There is no point living in denial about this.


    I asked David Butcher head of Greening Australia last week, a really quite conservative green group, what he thought and he said it was a pretty good decision and wondered about the detail of the newly invented  management tenure: multiple use Community Conservation Zone. I asked about the timing and he said it was due back in February 05 and years in the consideration.


    Then there are the arguments of the ecologically minded Western Conservation Alliance emphasising the nature values and eco tourism values of the region (recognised with  $2.5 million govt fund for a new centre): Refer




    with extensive posts there. You can be sure there will be a great array of threatened and endangered species. That's the reality of the high consumption world we live in now and forever more.



    Water production issues

    Look at the other indirectly related coverage in the same issue of The Land. The NSW Farmers Association's Mal Peters column dwells on the "nightmare" drought in NSW at page 13, and another story talks about a $30 million project to better manage the existing water in the Barren Box Wetland at page 27. This disruption of water supplies is very likely related to landscape scale vegetation clearance of some 1 million hectares in NSW alone of the last 10 years, and much more over the last 100 years. Vegetation, and especially mature forest, acts as a water sponge and reservoir with a constant clean trickle in times of low rainfall, but a dust bowl holds none.  It is very well known too that regrowth forest is a major net user of water. This implies conservation not regrowth conversion or ongoing clearfelling.


    Prevention of salinsation threat

    Then there is the imperative to protect the remnant native vegetation of the central and western division to avoid the devestating impacts of salinisation on the future of agriculture. Already over the last few years we have seen projections from scientists of ten million hectares or more of prime agricultural lands destroyed nationally by dry land salinity from rising water tables. This is the direct cause and effect of vegetation clearance. In this regard the high impacts in the WA wheat belt is the alarm bell to Qld, NSW and Victoria. Only a fool government and big agri business would ignore the creeping destruction of their best productive land, as well as disintegration of regional infrastructure in roads, bridges, building foundations including flooded cellars of country pubs from rising salty water. This in itself is a compelling case for managing the north west forest as a mature ecosystem to maximise a lowering of the water table over whole landscapes.


    Real politik lead up to 2007
    There is little doubt in this writers mind that the Carr govt are revisiting their successful nature conservation wedge strategy of the Lib/Nat Coalition in the 1994 lead up to 1995 election, in that case east coast native forest conservation. Further that this strategy applied to the sparsely populated central and western divisions will help moderate traditional urban Labor and Green anger from grotesque and corrupt developer agendas in the urban/Sydney environment.

    In an indirect way ecologically minded people can thank the effective opposition under John Brogden for the re-emergence of this previous successful Carr strategy.

    Whether it will be enough to win in 2007 is an interesting question that John Brogden should be addressing. He could afford to get a bit more green in the urban areas and promise not to undo what Carr has done regionally, get over the idea of no second dam (forget silly Costello on this point) in favour of water recycling and thus outflank Carr for the greater welfare and good government of NSW.

    cpppcltrust.com/ecologyactionsydney "

    [SAM editor: All this has happened with Iemma water and greenhouse tv advertising campaign, when before it was ‘saving trees and jobs’ with forest images, and Debnam instead of Brogden pushing water recycling.]





    The clearer-farmers have been attacking everyone ever since 2005 via their media spin doctors. Parks Service firefighters via Miranda Devine’s story above. Michael Duffy story reported below. Scientists in this story back on 23rd October 2003.



    THE LAND, EDITION NEWS : AGRIBUSINESS AND GENERAL  'Out of control...'   By Alan Dick   Thursday, 23 October 2003


    NSW Farmers Association president, Mal Peters, has called on the NSW Government to suspend immediately the NSW Scientific Committee which determines which plant and animal species are declared endangered or


    ….. He said in the case of the most recent preliminary listing, the coolibah-blackbox woodlands of northern NSW, the listing seemed to have been made solely on the personal opinion of John Benson of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.

      … Mr Peters said the Scientific Committee was far from independent, with many of its members from State government agencies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service which had a huge vested interest in seeing more listings.

      ….. But Mr Benson said on Tuesday his views on the coolibah-blackbox community of the northern plains had been based on a review of dozens of scientific papers and the committee had had access to the entire data base.

    ……He said also the 150,000ha land clearing figure had been chosen by journalists when he had suggested in 1994 land clearing in NSW between 1980 and 1995 had run between 100,000 to 200,000ha a year. In 1995 he had modified that to about 50,000ha for 1995 onwards, then with native grassland factored in had lifted it to 60,000ha. Mr Benson said also he had always supported stewardship payments for landholders …"I'm the person who helped them get the $120 million (for on-farm works to protect native vegetation)," he said.


    Wildlife campaigner for the Humane Society International, Averil Bones, said the nomination process for threatened species was rigorous and demanded good peer-reviewed science. She said the society's nomination of the woodlands had cited the work of at least 20 scientists and several Government departments.




    The question is worth asking how the fire at Goonoo conservation area got started. This writer is well aware of a rogue government staffer and alcoholic who was known in the 1980’s to light up Crowdy Head National Park near Laurieton/Dunbogan on the central coast, to burn the Dunbogan koala reserve being targeted for canal estates by a developer. Canal estates that were banned by Bob Carr, one of the first actions his government in 1995.


    Not by coincidence in any respect, a marginal seat in proximity of Goonoo Pilliga is being contested at Dubbo held by Independent Dawn Fardell, and this is the real target of grubby Miranda Devine. Similarly veteran Alex Mitchell carries bitchy gossip in Naked Eye in the same Sunday Herald Fairfax paper on Feb 4 07 “Dubbo’s left fuming” over a total exaggerating of the local MP opening a renovated PCYC facility instead of the police minister. I mean WTF? That’s what local MP’s do, as is quite proper. With or without the government minister.


    This is also the subtext to the outrageously biased article by Michael Duffy in favour of land clearers recently here Saturday 3rd February 2007:


    Why Nyngan and Waverley are poles apart


    airbrushing the highly contested problem of landclearing rates. Duffy treats unscientific unproven anecdote as fact by referencing a suspect Ch9 Sunday story by Ross Coulthard on the land clearing issue broadcast in August 2006. It just so happens and it is well known in the non government groups that Peter Wilkinson (pictured at right), a media consultant here




    is a colleague and ex staffer at Ch9 to Ross Coulthard, and that Wilkinson has been paid a 6 figure sum to generate PR spin for NSW farmer interests on this land clearing issue (source pers comm. Reece Turner The Wilderness Society). For instance Wilkinson Media carry this paper:

    Dec '05: Want to change a law? Or manage change?


    With this opening line


     Wilkinson Media has outlined some key questions to consider for a successful campaign by industry to change laws. And remember – a partnership with Government is critical to managed and sustained change.”


    Obviously Wilkinson, who also appears on the abc radio Trioli “spin doctors” segment occasionally, is behind the Sunday show story, and thus Duffy referencing in the flagship Sydney Morning Herald: A PR fix to undo a sound government measure to help combat amongst other things global warming and species extinctions.


    Earlier this week this writer left a complaint to this effect with the editorial at the Sydney Morning Herald namely Duffy treating Wilkinson’s spin via Coulthard as fact when it is surely paid for opinion for NSW farmer clearers and resplendent with undeclared apparent conflict of interest as regards Coulthard, Sunday, their mate Wilkinson and the farmers money.


    Postscript #1 9 Feb 2007


    NSW Stateline leads with a strong story first programme back this season with Jock Laurie of the NSW Farmers Association that they want to engage in the carbon trading market in this new global warming, climate change reality. Quite a show, and possibly a balancer to this quite deliberately brutal story above. The detail will appear in due course here:



    We have also notified Miranda Devine via her public email address with a note that this has gone to the NSW political community which is true.

    Posted by editor at 8:40 AM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 9 February 2007 9:44 PM EADT
    Thursday, 8 February 2007
    Washington Post brackets PM Howard and coal global warming problem
    Mood:  caffeinated
    Topic: globalWarming

    PM Says Australia to Keep Exporting Coal


    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, February 7, 2007; 7:38 PM

    CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia would not end its biggest single export, coal, as part of the government's strategy to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Prime Minister John Howard said Thursday.

    Scientist and author Tim Flannery, who last month was chosen as Australian of the Year for his contribution to public understanding of the environment, said late Wednesday that Australia could no longer justify being the world's largest coal exporter given the dire consequences of global warming.

    [SAM editor: notice image choice of the Post below and the extraordinary caption to the image following]

    [Picture caption] Australian Prime Minister John Howard in his Sydney offices in this Jan. 12, 2005 file photo, comments on Egyptian-born Sydney man Mamdouh Habib who will soon be returned to Australia from Guantanamo Bay without charge despite the United States believing he had foreknowledge of the Sept. 11 al-Qaida attacks. Howard's commitment to tackle global warming came under attack Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007 over a gaffe in which he questioned whether greenhouse gas emissions are linked to global warming. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File) (Rick Rycroft - AP)

    But Howard ruled out cutting coal exports, arguing that Australia's response to climate change must protect jobs in the coal industry.

    "You can't do that," Howard told Sky television of the prospect of ending coal exports.

    "That would be devastating to many communities throughout Australia; it would cost thousands of jobs _ we are the largest coal exporter in the world," Howard added.

    He said his government was investing in the development of new technology that would make coal-fired power generation cleaner.

    "We must respond to the challenge of climate change, but we have got to do it in a measured and practical way that doesn't unfairly disadvantage the economy of this country," he added.

    Flannery said exporting coal could no longer be considered to be in Australia's national interest.

    "The social license of coal to operate is rapidly being withdrawn globally, and no government can protect an industry from that sort of thing occurring," he told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.

    "We've seen it with asbestos; we'll see it with coal," he added.

    The opposition center-left Labor Party this week began Parliament's first session of this election year by targeting the center-right government's refusal to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Labor backed its calls for Australia to ratify Kyoto and join a global carbon trading system with a landmark U.N. report last week that found with 90 percent certainty that human activity was to blame for catastrophic climate change.

    Global warming is likely to be a major issue at elections due this year with most cities facing drinking water shortages because of the worst drought in a century which is dampening economic growth by slashing farm produce.

    The government has proposed introducing nuclear power to reduce Australia's dependence on coal _ an option Labor rejects.

    [Arcticle found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/07/AR2007020701985.html ]


    Also notice this report of winners in the "energy revolution":

    Climate challenge will heat up the global economy, Barclays predicts: Climate change will boost the global economy and dominate financial markets over the next 25 years, a leading investment bank has predicted. In a new report, Barclays Capital challenges the conventional wisdom that global warming will have a devastating impact on economic growth. Independent

    Posted by editor at 3:04 PM EADT
    Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 3:52 PM EADT
    Australian of the Year, Professor Flannery calls for coal industry shut down
    Mood:  on fire
    Topic: globalWarming

    The enormously powerful message of Professor Tim Flannery on ABC Lateline show last night 7th February 2007 is compulsory viewing for Australians concerned for their future:

    Tony Jones speaks with Tim Flannery Tony Jones speaks with Australian of the Year Professor Tim Flannery, on the issue of climate change.

     He notes the UN IPCC report in all the news recently was based on 2005 science and limited by a consensus approach where "reasonably well-supported [science] also gets weeded out".

    He calls for the 'social license of the coal mining industry' to be withdrawn.

    He calls for 'geothermal hot rocks to power the national power grid out of the Cooper Basin in South Australia'. (We at SAM like this idea and agree with him as radical as it sounds.)

    He calls for 'thermal solar power development' too, and notes the 'contentious nuclear power industry is not needed here, and problematic for controversy in itself'.

    [For instance Crack in nuclear option with interesting use of our term water "guzzling" power plants, echoing other reports of water guzzling Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1839044.htm]

    He repeats his diagnosis of 'ice melt causing dangerous sea rise within 5 to 15 years'.

    He spoke in a very calm and courageous manner, facing a world threatening situation with the gravitas it deserves. He likened it to 1939 preface to World War 2. He spoke in a way fully understanding this is not the message Big Politics or even Big Media want to hear, and can't cope with really.

    As such he said economic imperatives are necessarily secondary. There was much discussion too of China and India's current dependence on coal in massive dimensions and the need to move against coal there as much as here to protect our common future.

    To echo this profound reality, the Opposition Environment Minister Peter Garrett referred in question time Federal Parliament earlier the same day as follows:

    "PETER GARRETT, OPPOSITION ENVIRONMENT SPOKESMAN: Will the minister confirm that Sydney University research shows rising sea levels could lead to erosion, extending up to 70 metres inland from the promenade at Bondi Beach?"

    at Climate change puts spotlight on Garrett, Turnbull The broader climate change argument is continuing to dominate the political debate in Canberra – not only between the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, but also putting the spotlight and the pressure on two of the nation's best known but least experienced parliamentary frontbenchers."

    Federal Industry Minister McFarlane was on abc World Today programme earlier in the day too rejecting extreme predictions of '30 feet sea rise' (in fact predictions of 12 metres sea rise which is more like 40 feet):

    "Well, we need to look at the context of where we're at, at the moment and I know the Labor Party is jumping to quick fix solutions, but there is a long-term context to managing our greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Prime Minister and I have both repeatedly said, and you can go back over the statements, that climate change is real and is happening, and we're not going to be verballed by Kevin Rudd on this.

    The Prime Minister's made a clear statement in the House yesterday which clarifies his position and after the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on the weekend, I accept that human impact is altering the globe's temperatures, but not the extreme claims of sea level rises of 30 feet.

    The IPCC report actually said at the bottom end, around about half a metre and, sorry, at the top end around about half a metre and the bottom end, half that. So, let's be realistic about some of the extreme claims."

    in Macfarlane discusses carbon trading paper 7th February 2007 at http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1842303.htm

    It's pretty obvious who is right and who is wrong. Who is protecting Establishment industry and financial/political interests and who is facing the best scientific advice on its merits without fear or favour.

    It's not PM Howard and his government as currently constituted. This global warming diagnosis is an unprecedented threat to Australia's national interest, and its not going away as commentators note the polls moving into "landslide" territory against the Howard government.

    Posted by editor at 8:30 AM EADT
    Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 9:20 AM EADT
    Wednesday, 7 February 2007
    'West must cut first' says China in greenhouse game of deadly chicken
    Mood:  bright
    Topic: globalWarming

    Reportage lifted from http://www.carbonpositive.net/viewarticle.aspx?articleID=586 sourced to Financial Times, Reuters, and notice the Sydney Morning Herald approach to China following:

    China stands firm on emission cuts

    As emissions soar in fast-developing China, its government has emphasised that the West must commit first to cutting greenhouse gas output as those most responsible for global warming.

    In the wake of the IPCC fourth assessment report released last week, the stance highlights the problems inherent in attempts to forge a new climate treaty among the world’s nations to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

    Despite already being the world’s second largest emitter after the United States, and catching up fast, a Beijing official said that climate concerns would not be allowed to impede China’s rapid rate of economic development.

    China adds new power generating capacity each year equal to the total capacity of the UK and Thailand together, much of it from fossil fuel sources such as coal.

    The government has set targets to increase energy efficiency by 4 per cent a year, but the country must be given time and help by the West to switch to cleaner energy sources, said Jiang Yu, an official from the foreign ministry.

    Beijing is quick to point to figures from the China Meteorological Administration showing per capita emissions at 0.65 tonnes per person in 2000, - roughly one-fifth of those in Western countries.

    At a press briefing this week, Yu said: “Developed countries bear an unshirkable responsibility … climate change has been caused by the long-term historic emissions of developed countries and their high per-capita emissions.”

    Again officials refused to comment on whether they would consider reduction targets in a post-Kyoto accord.

    The US and Australia reject Kyoto under their current governments, one of the main arguments being that any commitment they make to emissions reductions must be matched by the developing world. This has created a stalemate at the UNFCCC which has seen its timetable for a Kyoto successor fall behind schedule.

    Financial Times, Reuters, 6/2/07

    [bold added for directly attributed China govt official statements: SAM editor]

    Monday, February 5, 2007

    Hot air on climate change


    200_beijingsmog.jpg Is it fair to expect China to cut carbon emissions, which per capita are a tiny fraction of Australia's?

    Last November, Australia's Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell inadvertently upset Chinese delegates at the Climate Change Conference in Nairobi by stating what had been widely reported: that China was set to overtake the US as the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases. Senator Campbell, of course, denied that his comments had offended his Chinese counterparts, but it was telling that China's state-run media immediately ran stories ''correcting'' the perception that China should be held to greater account on the global warming issue.

    The stories pointed out that China's per capita carbon emissions were way below those of any industrialised countries - and pointedly gave Australia as a comparison.

    Posted by editor at 7:34 PM EADT
    Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 7:43 AM EADT
    Chocolate pollies in choccy parliament melt in the global warming?
    Mood:  quizzical
    Topic: globalWarming

    Picture: The current chocolate display Rozelle confectioners Darling St Sydney taken 6th Feb 2007

    Our job at SAM website is to push the hard questions,  push the alternative news that gets missed, and join the dots as best we can, without fear or favour. Hence the go hard on the '12 metre sea rise' threat from global warming in recent days based on views of superior scientists like Dr James Hansen a director at NASA, Professor Tim Flannery here, Dr Chris West UK Govt Director of Climate Impacts Programme.

    The alarming sea rise issue seems to all turn on whether ocean rise of 2 mm per year has escalated to a higher rate of 3+ mm per year and whether this heralds exponential melting rates of Greenland and West Antarctic ice shelf. This small initial sea rise sounds trivial but it's not, like the fable of the grains of rice on the chess board. Or a slow roll of a huge boulder at the top of an entropic hill before momentum takes over. Exponential rates make tiny numbers turn to infinity fast. If Greenland and West Antarctic ice melt turns exponential we are in big big trouble within decade(s).

    Hansen for instance is quoted as saying Feb 2nd 2007:

    "Now IPCC could not estimate the ice sheet contribution because it is a nonlinear problem and they don't know how to do it. Ah, but I think they should warn people more strongly about that danger because I think it's the greatest danger that humanity faces in the global warming problem. " http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=07-P13-00005&segmentID=1

    Mainstream politics is tuning in also to the glaring omission of the latest UN IPCC report, with help from lobbying by this writer. The above scientists are right to sound the alarm too which applies the Precautionary Principle regarding the whole world's future.

    We were agog at the cosy reparte of ambitious deputy leader of the Liberal Party Peter Costello with Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd on ABC TV news last night, his ostensible rival. Costello must know sea rise is scary. He knows his own Treasury and Finance boffins were cut out of a boondoggle for the National Party irrigators in a $10B water package by PM Howard recently. Howard is in a policy panic over perceptions of water shortage caused by climate change and it shows.

    As Rudd announced a states wide summit for Premiers and others on climate/water situation recently Howard goes the $10 billion sledgehammer with his own water summit this Thursday 8th of February 2007.

    All this federal posturing complains NSW Opposition leader Debnam, with his own NSW election to fight, is complaining of no oxygen for his issues.

    In the biplay Howard minister Turnbull has clipped the NSW Govt $50M plan


     to take water from the Kangaloon aquifer:

    "Less than a day after becoming Federal Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull put a stop-work order on the NSW Government's $50 million aquifer in the Southern Highlands because of fears the work could pose a danger to a protected wading bird.": Sydney Daily Telegraph January 26th 2007, p6

    So much for letting the States do necessary infrastructure for water, to quote the PM Howard criticism back at him.

    As if in a tantrum, Premier Iemma has 6th of February pre emptively announced tender invitations to big construction companies who just happen to be donors, for the dreaded desal plant at Kurnell here:

    Water wars: it's the sea or underground

    "The NSW Opposition plans to tap the Botany aquifer to provide up to 5 per cent of Sydney's future water if elected in March, but the Iemma Government has committed itself to building a $1.9 billion desalination plant. "

    If it doesn't go ahead the tenderers will get millions in compensation for all the preparatory work.

    So Debnam is right to complain that Federal politics is crowding him out as various water dominoes fall around him in a chain reaction. Pollies are melting under the pressure of climate change implications like the chocolate monkeys if they were left in the glaring sun.

    Purely by coincidence the inventor of chocolate Freddo Frogs which sell 98 million per year here in Australia died recently at 94 according to the local press:


    That coud be a surreal metaphor for ice melting climate sceptic pollies like PM John Howard who is sounding more shrill by the day. In fact the whole of the two party duopoly of the ALP and Coalition in Parliament House might also melt (like this chocolate one below) under climate change leaving The Green Party in government. Time will tell:

    Posted by editor at 8:46 AM EADT
    Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 7:56 AM EADT
    Cardinal George Pell wades into nukes where angels fear to tread
    Mood:  accident prone
    Topic: nuke threats

    Here is cleric George Pell on the strength of one PR sponsored visit to the new expensive Lucas Heights reactor such that he thinks he has a good handle on this big big white elephant: 

    Nuclear over-reaction By Cardinal George Pell February 04, 2007 http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/opinion/story/0,22049,21164182-5001031,00.html

    So much so he rushes into print without being briefed by the no case.  That's a high risk approach to public policy if ever I saw one. Or a biased approach.

    One visit with the PR merchants gives the Cardinal about as much credibility on this issue as it does this writer on theological matters having once been an alter boy, 30 years ago at the local Catholic church in Warrnambool.

    For instance Pell ignores waste problems: The UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority http://www.nda.gov.uk in 2006 estimated 70 billion pound$ clean up cost for their old nuclear gear, admittedly a much bigger sector there:


    As for medical uses, cyclotron technology (ANSTO spruikers for their new reactor even have one at Royal Prince Alfred hospital) can do that job:
    or simply import medical isotopes like most other parts of the world do, instead of a billion dollar white elephant.
    But the truth really is the Lucas Heights Reactor is for it's dual use potential, just like Iran's nuke development projects in "the national interest". Just like Indonesia wants reactors by 2015 (on an earthquake zone no less), Taiwan, Japan, South Korea also as North Korea scares the bejesus out of everyone, and China regularly menaces Taiwan democracy.
    What is the Cardinal's view of Australian Weapons of Mass Destruction in a USA strategic defence network? Never happen? We already have their spy bases at Pine Gap and other places here, as per the radical lefty website http://www.anti-bases.org/ below.
    Nor is it simply their objections: Paul Dibb the respected defence analyst and academic, and former 25 year veteran of domestic security agency ASIO, was quoted recently in The Australian that his research in 1976 'proved' Australia was on the Soviet Russia nuke weapon target priority list. That's what the US Alliance means, the rough and the smooth. But how many people actually know what their government has signed us up to, or plans to?

    Postscript #1

    As if to reinforce the real dual use purpose of nuclear power programmes, the Epoch Times (Australia) runs a biggish story "UK's atomic quest goes on" p5 31 Jan-6th Feb 07, noting the renewed debate over trident nuclear missiles on a new generation of submarines, and noting the UK nuclear arsenal is about 200 strong. Link to story asap, general link here http://en.epochtimes.com

    Posted by editor at 8:12 AM EADT
    Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007 7:56 AM EADT
    Tuesday, 6 February 2007
    Desal plant is democracy 4 sale: Rhiannon, Greens
    Mood:  rushed
    Topic: election nsw 2007
     [SAM editor: Premier Iemma appears desperate to pump prime 'economic activity' at any cost, no matter how cynical as below, and almost certainly ignores scientific predictions of serious sea level rise at the construction location, as for all of coastal Sydney. What a mess.]
    MEDIA RELEASE 6 February 2007

    Desal plant tender process corrupted by $1 million donations to NSW ALP

    Greens MP Lee Rhiannon today revealed that NSW Labor has received over $1 million from the Iemma Government*s preferred builders of the proposed desalination plant.

    "It's no surprise that these companies are the preferred tenderers for the desalination plant - the process is corrupted by political donations before it even starts," said Ms Rhiannon.
    "John Holland, Sinclair Knight Merz, Multiplex and Theiss have been massive donors to the NSW ALP. Their combined donations for the last eight years have been over $1 million.

    "We knew the Kurnell desalination plant was bad news for the environment and for the economy, now we know it is bad news for democracy. 

    "We don't know what deals these companies did with Premier Morris Iemma and his ministers behind closed doors, but we believe they did not give more than $1 million in donations without a plan to boost their own

    "The desalination plant was already on the nose. But the Premier's invite to top ALP donors to tender has just added to the stink.

    "Theiss' donations alone went up four fold last year to $33,000. Veolia donated to the ALP last year for the first time.

    "The Government will continue to make planning blunders so long as it does business with its big donors," Ms Rhiannon

    For donation figures, see: 

    For more information:  9230 3551; 0427 861 568
    Postscript #1 7th Feb 2007

    Posted by editor at 9:04 PM EADT
    Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007 6:49 AM EADT

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