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  1. I’m thinking we should be hearing something about this very soon from the oyster farmers.  Perhaps from the retching oyster-eaters.

    Posted by Guy Parsons  on  14/05/07  at  01:12 AM
  2. Good on you, Alison! Keep in their faces.

    Posted by from The Sacrifice Zone  on  14/05/07  at  07:21 AM
  3. It has been clear since July 2006 that the bureaucrats in Tasmania, and federally, had no intention of moving away from the extremely dangerous ‘business-as-usual’ catastrophe.

    In fact, the situation has worsened now that the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine (APVMA) raised the legally ‘acceptable’ height of the aerial spraying helicopter from 3 metres to 15 metres above the ground to accommodate the ‘forest’ industry. 

    “A helicopter a ‘mere’ 15 metres above the ground means that the most voluminous fine droplet drift of these dangerous pesticides will fall 5 to 10 times that distance away. 75 to 150 metres by my calculation. This is both well within and on the OTHER side of the ‘exclusion zone’ ..recommended by the ASCHEM in Tasmania!

    That is, houses and water bodies within 150 metres of the aircraft will often receive more chemical exposure than the target crop. This in almost ideal aerial spray conditions! ” (flat land, level aircraft, appropriate nozzle etc).

    Katabatic winds and tilted aircraft associated with hilly terrain will ensure the distance of maximum chemical drop will vary and UNAVOIDABLY travel much further than this in Tasmania’s typical geography.

    Posted by Brenda Rosseer  on  14/05/07  at  11:12 AM
  4. QUICK paul,get steve kons up there to have a glass of this stuff and tell the dimwits on the east coast how good it is.maybe mayor legge will also partake of a schooner.

    Posted by crud  on  14/05/07  at  12:03 PM
  5. The poison rained down from the sky
    Into our water I wonder why?
    We only see it from the tap
    We only complain when it tastes like crap.
    But on the East Coast poor people drink the shite
    While Kons and co chuckle with delight.
    West Tamar folk drink blue green slime
    Our council says it will all be fine.
    Hydro bring power across Bass Strait
    No power here from empty lakes
    But Gunns will build a monster mill
    Where will the water come from dill?
    So empty lake and poisoned creek
    When clean and green is what we seek
    Let’s hope one day things change,
    But in Tasmania that would be strange.

    Posted by Dave Groves  on  15/05/07  at  07:45 AM
  6. Tomas and KB - are you paying attention?

    Common chemicals are linked to breast cancer-,1,5154634.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

    If you have ANY ability to keep an open mind about emerging issues, please read the link below and the links especially to epigenetics at the end of this article.
    Note that atrazine and dioxin have been listed as chemicals directly linked to breast cancer.
    If there is a possibility that this article is correct, then caution jusy MAY be the way to go?
    Any chance of feeding this in to Tas Govt and Local Council?
    Anybody accountable out there? Any hands up?

    Posted by sanguine  on  15/05/07  at  11:02 PM
  7. Looks like the community has to test its water weekly and publish the results to force the government to act against the forest industry and stop them poisoning our water.

    Posted by steve  on  16/05/07  at  09:14 PM
  8. sanguine, your ridiculous “If you have ANY ability to keep an open mind ...” line is hardly conducive to a lengthy response from me.  If you want me to answer your key question (which I assume is “If there is a possibility that this article is correct, then caution jusy [sic] MAY be the way to go?”] then please either retract any suggestion that I might not have an open mind on issues of cancer causation, or else conclusively prove that there is good reason (other than your own biases) to doubt whether I do.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  19/05/07  at  11:24 AM
  9. Sigh - Sanquine - it is indisputable that a range of chemicals - let’s call them carcniogens and mutagens - can cause cancer. However, we are surrounded, bombarded even, by these chemicals as a consequence of modern human life - they are in our food, in the cleaners we use, spewing out from our cars, in the computers we tap away on. They are unavoidable unless you want to remove yourself from modern life. But if you do this, then you also remove yourself from the many cancer cures and therapies modern medicine can also deliver! There is no doubt also that the fetus in utero is also susceptible to a number of influences that will predict its future health. There is also no doubt that epigenetics exists (there is also no doubt that most TTers don’t understand the field in any case), this is why, for example, identical twins are different. It’s the basis for why the phenotype can vary from the genotype.

    But it’s from here that the arguments usually become intellectually bankrupt. Just because all these things are true, it doesn’t mean that minute contamination (particularly ‘below detectable’ levels) of water supplies are going to result in clusters of birth defects, cancer or endocrine disorders. It seems some people would wish that they did to confirm there paranoia, but there is no evidence that they have or do in terms of the water supplies of our towns and cities in Tasmania. Shocking as it may be, in this period of time, our babies have never been healthier and our life expectancies keep getting longer and longer. Tasmania is a bit behind in the general health stakes relative to the other States because of our socioeconomics, genetics and demography are working against us to some degree.

    I don’t expect this to change the minds of the vast numbers of people who believe that modern life is severaly harming us, be it pesticides,  vaccination, chemicals on deodorants or whatever.  In psychology, I believe this phenomenon is known as ‘confirmation bias’, a form of cognitive dissonance, which may be related to some sort of primitive fear mechanism.

    Posted by Tomas  on  19/05/07  at  09:09 PM
  10. 8 prev posts / letters of yours have certainly led me to believe - but maybe my mind works differently from yours - that you do not believe that environmental toxins do cause cancer. I have not seen you support epigenetics as causal agents for human diseases - but I have seen you write loud and long on just about everything else - even you would not suggest that you are a shrinking violet when it comes to expressing your opinions; so what am I to think? Yep- that’s what I’m thinking!
    And you haven’t dealt with the issues of a cautionary approach or accoutability. Don’t evade the real issues, please!

    Posted by sanguine  on  19/05/07  at  10:27 PM
  11. Tomas said: “I believe this phenomenon is known as ‘confirmation bias’..”

    Or is it a case of Tomas’ ‘negation bias’? Don’t they call it ‘head in the sand’?

    Oceans in Extreme Danger

    1970 - 2003:  30% decline in the world’s terrestrial species. Biodiversity crisis went to the UN security council for the first time ever this month (May 2007).

    Peak Oil

    Key pollinating insects dying off as they never did before.

    World unable to replace the natural gas, uranium, copper, and many minerals that we are now consuming.  Shortages inevitable. 

    Overexploitation and contamination of global drinking water.

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  19/05/07  at  10:37 PM
  12. 9 Hiya Tomas- glad you could come along!
    Well-it is good to have our biases exposed!
    Don’t let’s get into prevention, as it obviously spoils a good treatment! And fear - fear of lack of responsible and accountable care by authorities is far worse than primitive fear. Our grandchildren would expect better from you, if you are in any position to assist them, than this.

    Posted by sanguine  on  19/05/07  at  10:38 PM
  13. Tomas (sigh),

    I feel quite confident in saying that I dont think most of us are either ‘paranoid’ or are driven by some sort of ‘primitive fear mechanism’in being concerned about carcinogens being present in our waterways despite the fact that we are continually bombarded by them in daily life. To put forward the argument that these poisons are everywhere so what is the point of being concerned with a few more in a water supply is defeatist. These chemicals should not be present in our waterways (particularly as they are the result of private or forest industry), and we should not be forced, out of need, to consume them even if they dont pose a health threat. Chemical tresspass is yet to find its feet in this state. If these chemicals were found in the waterways of California, as the result of forestry or agriculture, those responsible would be publicly drawn and quartered.

    Posted by Jon Ayling  on  20/05/07  at  06:24 AM
  14. Tomas said (#9): “Shocking as it may be, in this period of time, our babies have never been healthier and our life expectancies keep getting longer and longer.”

    There are an increasing number of reports from child health professionals that contradict your statement.  In fact the decline in some health measures is such that the present generation of children is likely to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

    Posted by Snowy  on  20/05/07  at  10:06 AM
  15. It simply is a real shame that Tomas cannot put his obvious mental faculties to work to overcome some of the environment and climate problems instead of promoting the negative. Unfortunately he won’t see us at the end of the world because there are too many who disagree with him to let it happen without attempting to rectify the human situation.

    There is probably a very big position available for him though with Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe UN delegation who are now the chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development. This even though the population is starving and inflation is running at 2000%.Get going Tomas.

    Posted by Plantagenet  on  20/05/07  at  02:54 PM
  16. sanguine (#11): it’s not a case of your mind working differently, it’s a case, in this instance, of your mind not working at all!  I have never said even anything remotely hinting that environmental toxins never cause cancer.  What I have said is that in the specific case of the Tasmanian Devil, those claiming *to know* that toxins are the cause of its cancer are wrong (in their claim to be sure) because there is nothing approaching proof of such a theory.  I have also sometimes disputed some of the more obviously shoddy attempts to prove that particular so-called cancer clusters in humans must have been caused by specific poisoining events.

    To be clear, in the case of the Tasmanian Devil, anyone who says “I know that devil disease was originally caused by manmade toxins” is making a clearly false statement since at this point no-one knows, while someone who just says “Devil disease was originally caused by manmade toxins” is jumping the gun and could turn out to be right or wrong when all the facts are in.

    I don’t know quite what I have to do here to get it through the skulls of some readers that when I say “claim X has not been proven true” I am *not necessarily* saying “claim X has been proven false”. The same furphy that these things are the same, as if people can only deal with firm yes and no answers and not with the fact that sometimes either answer is premature, comes up time and time again on here.

    I write on what I choose to write on.  I have many reasons for choosing to address some topics and not others.  Sometimes I’m not interested in a topic, have nothing useful to say about it, or the points I would have made are being adequately made by others.  Some topics I just can’t be bothered with, because making and defending even a single, simple, uncontentious point often results in dozens of nonsensical replies and idiotic personal attacks.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  20/05/07  at  06:05 PM
  17. These chemicals should not be in the food chain. Perhaps a nice cup of D.D.T would make you feel better tommy.And why does it piss you off that we are sticking up for our rights to a safe water supply will it affect your bosses’ profits.One day you deny the problem exists the next you try to tell us the more we get exposed to these poisons the safer we are.For a scientist you are a verry STUPID MAN and no one believes your bullshit and i hope you are never in a position of power.

    Posted by steve  on  20/05/07  at  08:50 PM
  18. Steve - sorry to disappoint you with the facts. Crazy as it might sound to the lay person, exposure to some toxins can actually be good for you. It is why our gastrointestinal tract and immune system evolved the way it did. This is why all the chemical toxins we are surrounded with don’t kill us off.

    Snowy - it pays to read beyond the popular press. There is no evidence that today’s generation of kids will be less well than their parents. This is one of those lines being sold by the anti-obesity/diabetes crowd at the moment that actually doesn’t stack up against the epidemiological evidence. Makes for good headlines, but isn’t based on real data. Not unlike the climate modelling nonsense that feeds the climate catastrophist fad we have. The good news is that our kids will be healthier and live longer than we have, but good news is often that bit harder to sell.

    Posted by Tomas  on  21/05/07  at  10:21 AM
  19. Firstly I want to state quite categorically that I don’t profess to be knowledgeable on this topic so I don’t want to get too involved other than to correct biases and incorrect information by posters (pity others aren’t equally as honest as their ramblings make it clear they lack knowledge on a lot of the topics on this site).

    Anyway, I believe this stated by DR? Bleaney reporting someone witnessing ” Spray drift ... going onto George River at approximately 4 km upstream of St Helens water intake pipe” using roundup and brushoff.  Queries:

    1).How did they know what chemicals were being used?
    2). Isn’t Roundup benign once in contact with water?
    3). Why is it suddenly forestry spraying?

    If it is forestry spraying lets get some facts about forestry spraying V agriculture spraying. 

    For a start most chemical pesticides used by the plantation forestry sector are also used in food production systems on our farms so why is forestry singled out. As I pointed out on another post, plantation forestry is a minor contributor to Aust chemical pesticide use with the annual expenditure in 2003-04 accounting for only 0.7% of the $2.4 billion total and < 20% of that spent on household insecticieds. Aerial application of chemical pesticides by the plantation industry accounts for a maximum of 0.5% of the total 10 million hectares of land aerially treated with a range of chemical products each year across Aust.

    So if you want to persist with complaining about pesticide use and its effects, start being honest with yourself and focus on the sector that uses 99% of the chemical applications each year.  It is drawing a very long bow to blame any chemical poisoning in St Georges River on forestry practices.

    Posted by tragedy  on  21/05/07  at  10:28 AM
  20. Tomas said “there is no evidence that today’s kids will be less well off than their parents..”

    Here’s some reading for you Tomas:

    A report by the Menzies Centre for Population Health Research,
    University of Tasmania entitled `Cancer in Tasmania – Incidence and
    Mortality 2000 states:

    “The age standardised incidence of all cancers combined [in Tasmania](excluding non-melanocytic skin cancers) increased by 37.6% during the 23-year period 1978 – 2000 (comparing 1999 – 2000 with 1978 – 1979, the increase was 33.7% for males and 38.4% for females). Some of the largest increases were observed for prostate cancer in men and breast cancer for women.” (a coincidence that these particular cancers can be induced by triazines used in forestry plantations and agriculture?)

    ‘The rising incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes in New South Wales, 1990–2002’
    Craig E Taplin, Maria E Craig, Margaret Lloyd, Claire Taylor, Patricia Crock, Martin Silink and Neville J Howard.  MJA 2005; 183 (5): 243-246

    Australian Bureau of Statistics.   
    Newsletters - Age Matters - Issue Number 7, April 2004

    Antibiotic resistance: The problem keeps multiplying
    By: BRADLEY J. FIKES - Staff Writer, North County Times

    ‘Number of students with autism growing rapidly’
    Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun. Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    ‘IVF link feared in defects’, Julie Robotham Medical Editor | April 26, 2007. Brisbane Times

    Diabetes soars in the under fives. BBC UK

    Global diseases close to “crisis”, blood probe told. Depopulation of a Planet Page 117 of 133
    In a story from the Dec. 2, 1995 edition of The Toronto Star, written by Nick Pron, we
    read quoting:] The spread of infectious diseases worldwide is reaching “crisis” levels, and no country is immune to the problem, a federal Commission was told yesterday.

    Australia’s Chronic Disease Strategy:
    “The World Health Organization warns that the global burden of chronic disease is increasing rapidly, and predicts that by the year 2020 chronic disease will account for almost three quarters of all deaths. In Australia, the burden of chronic disease and its consequent effect on disability and death is growing in line with this trend.”
    ISBN: 0 642 82820 2 PAN: 3777
    Online ISBN: 0 642 82869 5

    State of Public Health Report, Tasmania 2003
    “in comparison to the rest of Australia, and particularly in relation to chronic diseases, Tasmania faces a number of significant health disadvantages. While the gaps are narrowing over time for some key measures such as life
    expectancy, the outlook for many other health indicators is less promising.

    Multiplication problems -What’s to blame for the rise in infertility?
    Shelley Page. The Ottawa Citizen. Sunday, January 21, 2007

    And asthma’s sharply on the rise. More males being born than females in industrially polluted areas…...etc etc
    Global ecosystems ‘face collapse’—

    I could go on.  Exactly how much evidence do you want, Tomas??

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  21/05/07  at  05:10 PM
  21. tommy these chemicals should not be in our water it says on the drum do not ingest and if you get it on your skin wash it off straight away.If you want to prove your own bullshit get yourself some and drink it you stupid lab rat.And MR tragedy it was a tree plantation’ great southern so give them a call,Farmer or forestry i dont care no one has a right to poison our drinking water.These chemicals are bad for us what planet are you dub people on

    Posted by steve  on  21/05/07  at  08:53 PM
  22. Tragedy writes: “Isn’t Roundup benign once in contact with water?”

    No.  Go to:

    Tragedy also asserts:
    “plantation forestry is a minor contributor to Aust chemical pesticide use with the annual expenditure in 2003-04 accounting for only 0.7% of the $2.4 billion total..”

    This information has been obtained through the use of a confidential survey to industry.  This was done at a time when public disquiet about the abuse of pesticides by the forest industry in particular.  As such - with it’s non-transparency and lack of credible responders - it cannot be regarded as a reliable source.  further, one of the co-author’s of the paper that published this information is of dubious credentials when it comes to scientific objectivity. 

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  21/05/07  at  09:15 PM
  23. Steve - following good examples on TT, I wont bother responding to you until you adopt a civil tone. I won’t hold my breath….

    Brenda - all good points. Here is why there is no public health alert on age-standardized increase in cancer rates (you will find similar data in other developed countries) - detection and screening. The technology for detecting cancer has improved significantly and we have public health programs in place to improve vigilance and detection of many common cancers. A good coverage of the increase in cancer rates is covered by WHO - The major tragedy in Tasmania is the unusually high rate of lung cancer in young women due to smoking - this is something we should be doing more about at a public health level.

    Brenda, I would encourage you to have a look at PubMed and type in cancer and tasmania, and you will see many of the papers that are relevant (also a bit on Devil tumour as well). Many papers on the other issues you mention are there also. The rise of autism in developed countries you mention is a fascinating phenomenon for which I not yet heard a convincing explanation. Why this is more common in more educated populations is an epidemiological problem that needs solving. It is clear that the developing brain is being exposed to something in utero or early infancy - might well be a chemical agent.

    Posted by Tomas  on  21/05/07  at  09:47 PM
  24. Nice try Brenda - giving me a link to rantings by another feral and yourself doesn’t dicredit Tomkins at all - in fact he clearly discredits Amos and he didn’t bother replying to your (contribution) - obviously wasn’t worth the energy.

    I don’t understand why the report lacks transparency. I think its beacuse you don’t like the facts in it isn’t Brenda dear (go on admit you will never accept anything that opposes your viwewpoint will you…go on I dare you)

    Why oh why Brenda do you persist with your charades masquerading as science.  Why not simply admit to everyone that regardless of the evidence presented to you that you will still oppose a pulp mill, forestry spraying, any other forestry activity.  Be honest and don’t try and use (Anonymous abusive obsevation deleted) unscientific claims to back up your personal views. 

    Let me give you some free advice as someone who has worked in a ministerial office and the public service - those letters you wrote to the bureaucrats that you posted on this website are ignored totally by them - in fact letters like yours were used as a darts board in our office.

    Ah the painful reality.  They don’t bother answering letters that don’t make sense - they have other things to do.

    Posted by tragedy  on  21/05/07  at  09:48 PM
  25. Snowy (#14) - what reports did you have in mind?  I’m sure you could find plenty of reports showing an increased prevalence of disease or disorder X.  Brenda’s post is an example of this method, but it doesn’t mention all the disorders that for whatever reason are either on the wane or becoming more effectively treated.  As such, proof that “the present generation of children is likely to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents” would certainly come as quite a surprise to me.  Still, I’m no expert on these things; if you have such a proof, bring it on!

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  21/05/07  at  11:21 PM
  26. Dr Kevin Bonham says he’s no expert.  Well Kevvie, why not try to become one by making an effort and doing some research on human health?

    You said:
    “Brenda’s post is an example of this method, but it doesn’t mention all the disorders that for whatever reason are either on the wane or becoming more effectively treated. . .”

    Now there’s a job for you.  List the diseases that have been on the wane.  Were there - dare I say it! - changes in the environment such as cleaner water that may have contributed to their decline?

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  22/05/07  at  10:06 AM
  27. Metsulfuron-methyl (component of Brush-off) was found in several consecutive flood samples 30/4 and 1/5 until the automatic sampler cut out. It is unknown when the pesticide level dropped to below detectible levels.

    It is unknown where this has come from and is likely untraceable under the present regulatory system.

    All pesticide users in water catchments should be accountable for pollution. Plantations unfortunately tend to be in upper catchments which causes problems re water quality. Peter Davies in the early 1990’s clearly showed this in many papers. The State’s regulate for water and pesticide use - no-one owns the water and all depnd on it. Pesticides have not been rigorously tested for immunotoxicity and endocrine disruption prior to their release.

    All consumers have a right to clean, safe water.

    Posted by Alison Bleaney  on  22/05/07  at  12:40 PM
  28. It is not an individual’s or a community’s job to argue or to prove that chemical residues in drinking water are harmful or otherwise.  It is the role of governments to ensure that they are not, and that they are not present in drinking water if there is even a hint of doubt.  That is what elected governments are for, not simply to promote gambling, football, forestry and pulp mills. 

    This river and its user community is only the symptom of what is to fall to the rest of the island, the grand vision of a blind Lennon.  The focus of future Tasmanian governments must change drastically if the island is to remain, not just an attractive place to live, but liveable all together. 

    Of course that is totally opposing Gunns’ objective of turning the place into one gigantic plantation with a couple of mills at each end and a road in-between capable of handling a thousand 400m long overloaded log trucks each hour. 

    Why is it that every single issue in this state seem to revolve around and at the end boils down to forestry, while in reality the industry represents an insignificant portion of the state’s economy?  I’m sure plenty can, and is more than willing to argue how significant 6.7% of gross state product is?! But it is still ONLY less than seven bloody percent!  And even that includes agriculture and fishing. 

    Politicians on either side, if there was such a thing in Tasmania, can not see past this seven poultry percent.  Why?! 

    Are they all really that dumb, not being able to see and consider the other 93% from the trees?!  Or perhaps, that rest of us are, for not seeing them for what they really are.  I just don’t get it!

    Posted by Tom  on  22/05/07  at  03:31 PM
  29. #28 It is the individual’s or community’s job to argue or to prove that chemical residues in drinking water are harmful or otherwise when the government is doing testing and you don’t like or don’t agree with their results.  The majority of us are happy with their job on this otherwise we would vote them out.

    You say forestry is only 6.7% of gross state product and represents an insignificant portion of the state’s economy.  Why then do you all you posters crap on about it.  As I proved earlier, forestry uses < 0.7% of the annual expenditure on chemicals.  So I agree, don’t focus on it but rather focus on the other industries that pollute the air with their chemical use.

    Posted by tragedy  on  22/05/07  at  05:28 PM
  30. tragedy writes: “As I proved earlier, forestry uses < 0.7% of the annual expenditure on chemicals. “

    ‘Proved’??  Really, Mr Tragedy?  That’s precisely the sort of spin that has resulted in the complete loss of credibility for the Government and its most-favoured corporation.

    Proof cannot be encompassed by a figure emerging from a secretive survey of the forest industry. The data cannot be verified. The industry has a strong motive to understate the figures on the amount of pesticide they use. The survey was co-written by an obvious advocate of industrial forestry.

    Posted by Brenda Rosser  on  22/05/07  at  09:23 PM
  31. Excellent observation Tom. Aren’t statistics beautiful?
    Statistical research has shown that racists have a lower IQ than the rest of the population. Its obvious that a person with a low IQ will never be able to compete succesfuly with others based on ability, and so must then compete on a lower level.
    Forestry in Tasmania is a similar story. People with no hope of creatively producing anything of value to the rest of the human race, are forced to exploit something that was already here. They choose to believe that our life-support system only exists for them to dismantle and trade for items they covet.
    You know, longer cars, more beer, more impressive buildings to view other people playing sport and of course better tracks to establish which horse is faster.

    Posted by no pulp mill  on  22/05/07  at  11:04 PM
  32. Ever wondered why the Lennon government is in such disrepair?  Here is your answer (29), listen to the tragic public servants it employs.

    Your statement about individuals having to prove that their environment is unhealthy before the government should act would be frightening, if it actually made any sense at all, or if one could take it seriously, or if you were a public servant, in reality you are nothing more than a barking mad lap dog. 

    Go fetch boy.  Good dog. 
    No… no… don’t crap in your own bed you idiot.  You have to live there.  What, you don’t mind it full of shit?  Ahh what the hell, you have a pungent stink about you already anyway, a bit of this chemical and bit of that pulp mill wont hurt ya one bit!  Na, get off, you really have to stop doing that, goan get off me leg you mongrel.

    People are crapping on about forestry because Paul Lennon has stated that all government departments are working on nothing else but the pulp mill.  And boy it shows.  The quality of that work also highlights the quality of the people willing to put their best paw forward to help him. 

    Hey, has the allegory about a dog on chain has sunk in yet!?  Doubt it!  Seriously, where do they find these blokes, sounds like another ...!

    Posted by Tom  on  22/05/07  at  11:08 PM
  33. Brenda

    The data used in the report is available on publicly accessible websites and annual reports.  But lets play your game shall we and assume they did understate the figures.  Are you suggesting that it is 2% , 5% or maybe 10%. You won’t get away with any thing above 10%.  But do the exercise yourself.  Ring the local Roberts offices or the chemicla companies direct and talk to the chemical sales reps to get an idea of who buys the chemicals.

    The fact remains, forestry is only a bit player in total chemical usage in this country and no amount of denial on your part will change that fact.  So again, I repeat, if there are the causal links that make children worse off than their parents because of chemical use, then attack the industries that use the majority of the chemicals and don’t just focus on one which is a minor player.

    Posted by tragedy  on  23/05/07  at  08:23 AM
  34. Tragedy, you say that only .7 per cent of pesticides purchased in AUSTRALIA [my emphasis] are used in forestry.

    But the great majority of forestry activity in Australia occurs in this little state of ours, Tasmania, while the great majority of agricultural activity in Australia occurs in the Murray Darling Basin and various other irrigation or dryland farming areas on mainland Australia. 

    Your .7 per cent figure is totally irrelevant to any debate about chemical usage in TASMANIA because it is comparing apples with oranges, across widely differing areas of an enormous country.

    Meaningless twaddle. 

    Jason Lovell

    Posted by Jason Lovell  on  23/05/07  at  10:45 AM
  35. RE # 34 “Meaningless twaddle” about the pot calling the kettle black.  Where’s some supporting facts.  It is so easy in this game to put up your personal biases and fob them off as a known fact but you have to do better than than Mr Lovell if you want to engage with me. I only deal in facts. 

    As for Tom at #32 I’m afraid you are not a very good judge of character - I am not a public servant in Tasmania (far from it actually) just one of the majority of Tasmanians who supports forestry in Tasmania. It is a pity you are in the hopeless minority outside of this predictable web site and you have to resort to churlish attacks on posters.  What makes it even worse is that anyone that has an opinion, or presents facts, contrary to Tom’s gabble is personally attacked because he has no way of refuting their arguments. 

    I say it is game, set and match with you Tommy boy and you should disappear from the debate as you are incapable of making any meaningful contribution.  Casting aspersions on anyone’s character is gutless unless you do it face to face. So be gone with you and your insignificant posts.

    Posted by tragedy  on  23/05/07  at  05:02 PM
  36. You deal in facts tragedy?

    You started it on this thread, so how about some facts to back your claims that the forestry sector is a ‘bit’ player as far as chemical usage in Tasmania goes.

    Have you got any facts about the forest sector’s use of chemicals in Tasmania, or is it all anecotal “evidence” from “sales reps” and/or reports on chemical usage across the entire country of Australia?

    I will withdraw the meaningless twaddle comment however. That was a cheap shot and I apologise.

    But I don’t resile from the gist of my post, that your ‘facts’ about chemical use across the whole of Australia are not relevant to Tasmania alone and are therefore meaningless in the context of chemical usage in Tassie itself.

    Jason Lovell

    PS Your writing style seems awfully familiar tragedy :)

    Posted by Jason Lovell  on  23/05/07  at  05:47 PM
  37. Foresty only represents a small fraction of activity, industry and income in Tasmania (about 7%).

    They’re constantly complaining and whining and demanding more.

    Why is our government listening to this noisy minority?

    Posted by Richard Barton  on  23/05/07  at  05:51 PM
  38. The river is not poisoned ok you caught us out your drinking water is poisoned but it is good for you It must have been a farmer because they use more poison than us ok it was a tree plantation but please blame the farmers anything to get the heat off my bosses back It is realy tragic being a lab rat please believe our bullshit please or we will cry….

    Posted by steve  on  23/05/07  at  08:58 PM
  39. #32
    Seems that little fella is having a go at anyone about here Tom.
      Here I was quietly walking up Bathurst St, West Hobt, minding me own business, and as I pass by this picket fence the angry little puppy dog on the other side is Yip Yappin at me all the way.
      All that yappin was a bit of a surprise when you are not expecting it, but after the passer by has passed by the little fella trots back to his bush behind the fence and lays in wait for the next victim, proudly secure in his puppy dog logic that his 0.07Kw yappin has chased another bad guy of his patch.

    Posted by Observer  on  23/05/07  at  10:11 PM
  40. James Apology accepted thankyou. I will aim to play the issues more often and not the person. I must say though, I do enjoy the acerbic , humorous and often witty comments.  I just get frustrated when people use their opinions to claim them as known facts. The problem with a lot of the posts here on forestry is proportionality.  It is not necessarily what is said but what is not said. I like to try and fill in the gaps and keep people accountable if they make outrageous and false claims that they believe are true.

    My facts on chemicals came from a report comparing forestry chemical use with total chemical use (I referred it to Brenda but it must be on another post). It was to try and keep the original claims by Brenda and Bleamey in context.

    Your point about proportion of forestry in Tasmania is a good one to make, however a glance at the statistics shows that Tassie isn’t the major player.  Tas (22%) is 2nd behind Vic (24%) in total log production.  Tas is 3rd (20%) in gross value of log production behind NSW (21%) and Vic (25%).  Tas is highest for export hwd woodchips (43%) and 4th with only 6% of pine woodchips. But if we look at area of plantations, since that is where majority of chemicals are applied in forestry, Tas has only 13.1% of total plantation area. Stats from and “Aust Forests at a glance 2007”. All figures for 2005-06.

    So although Tassie wins in noise about forestry, the statisitics don’t convert that to largest forestry state in Australia.  So my assertion that 1% of all chemicals is applied in forestry practices still stands.

    PS If you think my writing style is familiar, is that a compliment or an ominous warning that my cover is about to be blown!?

    Posted by tragedy  on  23/05/07  at  10:40 PM
  41. Brenda, re #26, the main reason I do not set out to become an expert on human health is that, contrary to your apparent impression, this would involve several years of further academic study that I cannot afford in either time or money terms.  Nor need I, as a general scientific background is well sufficient to knock over arguments as weak as yours.

    You, however, seem to be under the delusion that a bit of biased cherry-picking from random websites makes you an instant MBBS.  It doesn’t.  And if you want me to answer your question, you too will have to ask in a more appropriate manner.  Indeed I am now extending the “doctor clock” policy to *any* deliberate misuse of my name or title whatsoever.

    As Brenda has been a particularly bad offender on this score lately I am also introducing an exciting new dimension to the “doctor clock” rule.  Any time the same idiot resets the clock three times in a row (starting from now), the length of time required without a breach from all posters before I remove the “Dr” from my username will be increased by one month.  However, from that point on, breaches by that recidivist within the first three months of the clock will *not* reset it (meanwhile, the recidivist should expect their own name to be parodied and insulted as heartlessly as my imagination permits).  We need to give the others a fair chance!

    wedge tail (#31): your stupid myopic post disproves your own theory on IQ and forestry very thoroughly.

    Tom: the simple answer to your question “Why is it that every single issue in this state seem to revolve around and at the end boils down to forestry” is that your ideological fellow travellers can never seem to shut their mouths about it.

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  23/05/07  at  10:52 PM
  42. Regarding that forestry is in the order of 7% of Tasmania’s GSP, that’s not the full story.

    Tasmania is considerably reliant on tourism, one of the least sustainable industries to ever become economically important in this state. It makes pure common sense to focus attention on other activities for economic diversification and in due course replacement of tourism.

    Already we are hearing calls that tourism must be halted in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Fair enough since it’s a masssive polluter worldwide. More immediately, it’s no surprise to see the industry struggling locally jsut as oil production has begun to fall (peaked in May 2005 according to most data). It’s a trend almost certain to continue as consumers focus on affording the basics and abandon distant recreational travel.

    In addition to diversification issues, there’s also exports. I don’t have current figures but forestry is certainly a major export earner in Tasmania and thus will always attract a lot of attention. Nobody really wants to make work, they want to create economic wealth and exports (or import replacement) are arguably a better measure of wealth creation than GDP.

    GDP includes activities such as funerals, rubbish disposal, even a car crash adds to GDP and yet they’re clearly not wealth creation. In contrast, if it’s a physical item that you can see and touch and it’s being exported then that’s a pretty certain source of economic wealth (assuming the production is profitable).

    That’s not to say forestry is either good or bad. I can see both sides of that argument. But as a non-tourism exporting industry in a highly tourism dependent economy with an unfavourable trade imbalance it’s obviously going to attract attention from an economic perspective. As a large scale resource industry it’s an obvious focus for environmental concerns. Hence it receives a lot of attention from both sides and hence the public debate about forestry.

    Long term, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tasmanian wood processed into not paper (the ultimate end use of most wood cut in Tasmania at present - the mills are simply offshore but that’s exactly where the wood ends up) but alcohol for use as motor fuel. It’s not a comprehensive solution to the oil problem by any means but then neither is anything else. Odds are that we (worldwide) will end up using anything and everything that works with the only question being the order of development.

    Not that we’re ever likely to see a real long term liquid fuel replacement on a scale comparable to the present oil industry. But in a time of desperation the odds are everything possible will be tried. History has certainly shown that in a crisis situation all sorts of “impossible” things get done real quick provided that the technology exists (and it certainly does in this case).

    Already we’ve seen ethanol from crops go from virtually nothing in major industrialised countries to the point where the limits are clearly in sight. And it still produces very little net energy as a percentage of overall consumption. At some point I think we’ll see paper competing with fuel for the wood resource (driving up the price) just as we’re now starting to see mouths compete with engines for agricultural production (also set to massively drive up food prices).

    Add in present very high rates of monetary inflation (M3) and we’re in for interesting times ahead if nothing else. Any commodity that can be internationally traded and used as fuel isn’t likely to get cheaper unless the world economy (especially BOTH China and the US) really does collapse. That’s not impossible of course, but odds are one or the other keeps going and using whatever liquid fuels it can get. 

    Good or bad? I’m not commenting on what I think SHOULD happen, just on what I think is LIKELY to happen.

    Posted by Shaun  on  24/05/07  at  12:55 AM
  43. ‘Today the Oil Drum linked to a James Hansen released paper analyzing the impact of peak oil, peak gas, and peak coal on the likely emissions of carbon.

    Hansen notes that most of our emissions scenarios have thus far failed to account for whether the carbon will even be there to burn.

    Plenty of graphy goodness, but what I took away was this: There’s just enough oil and gas left in the ground to take us up to, or maybe a bit over, the 450 parts per million of CO2 that climatologists worry about so much. This makes it imperative that we in the developed countries immediately phase out coal, the one supply of fossil carbon that can take us right over the cliff.’ - John McGrath, Gristmill, 22nd May.

    Posted by Jon Sumby  on  24/05/07  at  11:05 AM
  44. While some doggedly hold onto the notion that 0.7 percent is a negligible number, if it was correct, I would like to point out that in the context of this thread the important factor is the contents and effect of that percentage, not its size. 

    Consider that it takes 5kgs of well placed plutonium to annihilate 10 Millon people on this planet inside 10 milliseconds.  Does that mean that 5kg of that plutonium is much less harmless than 5 tons of lead?  Still, I don’t except all to understand the analogy, I know that for some I’m probably barking up the wrong tree. 

    Kevin, I don’t buy that.  Green ideology is a cop out, in fact it seem to be based on ideology it self.  Forestry today is a much wider issue than that.  Ask any tourist that has to pass 300 plus log trucks in a week visit to the island and can not get a vista from any lookout without a logging coup or two.  They are wondering what is going on here but I don’t think they are all greenies.  In any case, simply saying that it is an issue only because people are keep rasing it as an issue, seems to me a bit of a circular reference. 

    Shaun.  The seven percent is GSP, the income or wealth generated, not turnover like GDP, hence it does not include cleaning up after log tuck mishaps.  I would also like to know how much forestry operations really contribute to green house gas emissions.  Properly assessed I think you would be surprised to find that they might actually outdo tourism pound for pound, not as much in fuel use but burn offs which release incredible amounts of Co2. 

    It is also naïve to think that a cut down tree is a carbon sink, as inevitably over time it will break down, so as you are taking generation after generation of mature timber from a piece of land, to me it seems that there must be a cumulative greenhouse gas effect beyond what a normal forest would generate.  I could be wrong, the first time, ever!  My point is that this will never be properly examined or published if it has, and that leads me to believe that I am still right.

    Long distance international tourism is in for some adjustments over the next few years I agree.  The energy cost of local tourism, proportionately to the cost of a whole trip is considerably less than that of its international counterpart. 

    Local tourism is a bit like coffee, it has permeated our culture and it is here to stay, I believe that we will find the time and the money.  In fact for the reasons Shaun outlined and because we have a very small cut of the international market anyway, Tasmania is in a great position to take more of the Australian segment.  We should have a unique product to offer, but there’s forestry in the way again. 

    I’m finding it hard to believe that the energy industry is heading blindly towards a huge change in energy source from fossil fuels to some other forms without some control.  It is their business, and it is a good one to have control over. If you look at it from there perspective, how would you manage the change over if you were aware of better cheaper ways to produce energy. 

    I’m less sceptical about the existence of the right technology than about the energy industry’s willingness to release it to market until the oil, coal market is milked to all it’s worth.  Never mind the planet, soon we can holiday on the moon and you can’t see the distraction from that far anyway.

    Posted by Tom  on  24/05/07  at  11:45 AM
  45. Tom,  what I’m referring to is the Tasmanian environmental movement’s myopic focus on the forestry issue to the near-exclusion of all others.  Also, if an issue is merely something people make noise about, then by definition something people perennially make noise about is going to be a permanent “issue”.  The only circularity there is if *they* then claim their own hot air (and responses to it) as evidence that it is a public issue independent of their own creation of it.  I’ve given figures here before, for instance, concerning the way the Wilderness Society almost never issues a Tasmanian press release without it discussing forestry.  Of course if we’re talking about *real* issues (defined in terms of substance) then the picture is quite different, and the answer to your question “Why is it that every single issue in this state seem to revolve around and at the end boils down to forestry” becomes “It may seem that way to you, but if so you’re most likely captive to media or movement hype and ignoring real issues that are much lower profile.”
    “Ask any tourist”?  Well, have you *done* that?  Do you have access to any credible survey showing that tourists to Tasmania have serious concerns about now and then seeing the odd spot of land-clearing from a lookout or passing a log truck?  (Do you think these people don’t have trucks and land-clearing at home?)  Tasmania has massive scenic tourism advantages in already reserved areas, which are often the areas the tourists come to see.  I doubt they generally expect to step right off the plane or boat into 400 km of unbroken virgin rainforest.

    (Usual disclaimer applies.  I forgot to mention it in my opening post but all posts I make to this forum represent my own views and not necessarily those of any organisation.)

    Posted by Dr Kevin Bonham  on  24/05/07  at  02:19 PM





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