Archive for the ‘Forests’ Category
Great opinion piece in today’s copy of The Age out of Melbourne. Worthwhile reading for anybody interested in biodiversity in Australia, old growth forests, or climate politics.
In a Government report based on threatened species studies at Brown Mountain conducted earlier this year, it is stated that ”neither DSE or VicForests routinely undertake pre-logging coupe surveys”.
Most of their information on threatened species comes from reports dating back to the early ’80s. This was at a time when we only just started to learn about species such as the long-footed potoroo and when management plans for endangered species simply did not exist.
Experts in their field produced these older reports, but the research areas were so large, and resources so limited, that many forests were not even surveyed. Brown Mountain is one of the areas that fell through the cracks.
Along with other forests at Ada River, Yalmy River, the upper Bonang catchment and the Bungywarr forests, the ecological values of these old-growth forests have simply never been documented.
Environment East Gippsland are taking VicForests – the corporate arm of logging regulation in Victoria – to court to try to force protection, rather than mere ‘consideration’ for endangered species and unique forests on Brown Mountain threatened by unnecessary logging.
That’s right! In an age of easy vehicle access and painfully unreliable but ultimately half-assed public transport, who the f$%# needs to run anywhere?
Then again, who needs air to breathe, water to live, or biodiversity to flourish?
Which is a good reason to spare some plastic pocket change for the good folks at Tasmanians Against The Pulp Mill V3.0. If you sponsor this running doofus in the Sydney Marathon Sydney Marathon Sydney Marathon this weekend (September 20) then all your hard-earned wisely-donated $$$$ will go straight to very effective direct actions in Tasmania, carried out by clever and determined locals against a shabby state government and an even shabbier bunch of forest-f$#%ers.
February 7, 2009. Black Saturday. The Victorian firestorm that left thousands homeless and hundreds dead.
Only Pentecostal Danny Nalliah, pastor of Catch The Fire Ministries, had the good sense to look past all the enraged finger-pointing and publicly blame Victoria’s frivolous abortion laws. The comparably visionary Miranda Devine, writing from her comfortable Sydney mansion, preached that filthy murdering greenies with their climate agenda owe the families of the dead a personal apology.
Max Rheese, head of the pro-GMO/logging/nuclear, anti-climate-science, Don Burke-fronted Gunns-donation-receiving corporate think-tank Australian Environment Foundation wrote for Online Opinion to blame public land managers and governments. Although he conceded that the only reason they ignored awesome forest science established in 1939 (yes, really) was because of pressure from latte-sipping inner-city greens.
Even Germaine Greer – usually worthwhile and at worst amusing – announced to a dinner attended by the Queen that a lack of burning and clearing by Australian authorities, albeit in ignorance of blackfella wisdom, is to blame. Similarly astute observations can be found all over The Australian’s letters pages.
And even Fran Bailey, MP for the bulk of Victoria’s worst affected areas, is pushing an argument adored by nearly every woodchipping lobbyist and climate skeptic every time Australia burns.
It amounts to a claim that protecting areas managed as National Parks, limiting logging of native forests, and giving ecosystems a chance to function at all naturally is to guarantee fiery tragedy and ensure that fire crews can’t gain access when it occurs.
Basically, ‘man with bulldozer, chainsaw, and woodchip license knows best’.
But writing to the Environment East Gippsland newsgroup, one Victorian forest activist noted that “apart from Bunyip, I cannot think of any major fire this season that hasn’t been in a plantation or other heavily managed forestry area.”
According to his observations and initial reports, all fires – bar one – started in plantations, logging coupes, grasslands, and farms. Namely, areas already decimated and dehydrated by the very practices prescribed by the ignorant, remote, and spin-driven parasites happy to exploit yet another fatal catastrophe.
But at least this tragedy will finally move Australia to really act on climate change…
Massive extinctions warned about by academics over the last decade seem set to start within the next. Updated science since the diplomatically framed IPCC reports of this year and last indicate that the planet has already begun processes that are almost too grand to halt, let alone reverse.
The escalating scale of human emissions could not have come at a worse time, as scientists have discovered that the Earth’s forests and oceans could be losing their ability to soak up carbon pollution. Most climate projections assume that about half of all carbon emissions are reabsorbed in these natural sinks.
Computer models predict that this effect will weaken as the world warms, and a string of recent studies suggests this is happening already.
The Southern Ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide has weakened by about 15% a decade since 1981, while in the North Atlantic, scientists at the University of East Anglia also found a dramatic decline in the CO2 sink between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s.
A separate study published this year showed the ability of forests to soak up anthropogenic carbon dioxide – that caused by human activity – was weakening, because the changing length of the seasons alters the time when trees switch from being a sink of carbon to a source.
Soils could also be giving up their carbon stores: evidence emerged in 2005 that a vast expanse of western Siberia was undergoing an unprecedented thaw.
The region, the largest frozen peat bog in the world, had begun to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago. Scientists believe the bog could begin to release billions of tonnes of methane locked up in the soils, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The World Meteorological Organisation recently reported the largest annual rise of methane levels in the atmosphere for a decade.
Which means you can take your 5% carbon reduction and your 2 degrees of manageable warming and stick them up your arse. We’re headed to a place that will make Children of Men look like comedy.
Pauly RIP, did it for white skinned bogans everywhere.
(by DJ Lobsterdust)
Woo Hoo!!!!! Paul Lennon has run out of scapegoat deputies and finally resigned as Premier of Tasmania. In what may be one of the only political moves he has ever made in the genuine interest of Tasmania’s populace and future generations, Big Red finally pulled the plug on his untenable losership blaming his 17% popularity rating and the needs of the party, rather than the fact that health claims about the vitamin content of Coco Pops are widely considered more credible than he is.
It will only be to make way for a slightly less oafish brand of corporate lackey douchebaggitora sociopathica, but bugger it – that’s something to get depressed about tomorrow and every day thereafter. For now, it’s time to pop corks and light whatever your preferred flavour of fat one might be.
Lovely bit from Tasmanian Times here – guessing their offices erupted into some sort of Bacchanalian orgy with in seconds of Big Fat Red finally making the announcement that TT had so long been anticipating. As they say,
The disaster of the pulp mill became more about the erosion of democracy and public trust than it was even about the environment. If it was the most glaring example of Paul Lennon’s contempt for proper governance and indifference to democratic process, he was here only following where Bacon had trod. At his ascension Lennon made much of his determination to fulfill Bacon’s vision for Tasmania. How could he know it also portended his own tragedy?
For he lacked Bacon’s charisma. Perhaps his greatest political failure was to be too honest about all that Bacon covered over with his undoubted public charm.
Lennon is now gone.
Even in the moment of final “Good Riddance”, the Mercury – “Tasmania’s leading source of frequently pro-government pap propped up by ad dollars” – has seen fit to run a blancmange of cut-and-pasted infobytes and ministerial quotes which more or less neglects to mention the curry-fart cloud of corruption and big-money-friendly bloody-mindedness hanging over the squinty eyed Big Red One for the last decade or so.
Nevertheless, at least the Mercury has chosen to mention on this fine day that Gunns are having some trouble getting the cash for their toxic planet-raping bog roll enabling Pulp Mill. Seems that ANZ are backing away from the project under the guise of credit concerns, rather than risking future industry dollars by bluntly opposing any project that might make the Exxon Valdez seem like a hiccough.
I don’t share the optimism of pundits who think that the departure of Lennon means a sure end to the pulp mill, nor do I think that ANZ’s unwillingness to fund the bastardry – even if this is officially confirmed in the fullness of time – is a guaranteed end to the world’s biggest, stupidest pulp mill. What is needed for 200 000 hectares of forest to rest easy is for John Gay to announce the project’s demise to the ASX, and for Peter Garrett to rescind any and all outstanding approvals related to the project. Given that Garrett just last week approved the construction of mill worker’s quarters, the gigantic forest-eater may yet have legs… ugly, gnarled, wart-infested, pus-dripping legs.