Tasmanian Times


Must Reads (Archive 1)

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  1. The Deboxer

    April 3, 2005 at 6:46 am


    Well, how long does it take for scientists to break out of their silo? They’ll be revelating that God’s been to visit next, having dna tested a foreskin that has no earthly father.

    The politicians may act. But act is all we can expect – and their timing has already proven hopeless. Of course the politician is merely symptomatic of the majority. So it’s clear isn’t it – our politics are hopeless.

    The benefactor-dictator is the only win. And of course we will argue over whether he (meaning ‘the gender-possibly-irrelevant person’) is actually good or not. And in perfect time the real one will make it obvious. And this will weigh the suffering and the ecstacy, the fullness of eternity and the practical sense – of a perfectly tuned place of people having no room whatsoever for stupidity.

    The world will divide. The good, the bad. Ugliness won’t be an issue. Science will be seen, not as unecessary, but as tiny as your first reading book. Politics will merely be respect; or on the other hand mandatory obedience.

  2. phill Parsons

    April 2, 2005 at 3:00 am

    Bread and cicuses

    What a complex of contradictions. For 10 days we will be exposed to the arts, an Island extravaganza to attract tourists, entertain the masses and raise questions about society. At least one would hope so under the tutelage of Robin Archer, a questioner from wayback.

    At the same time we see the learn to burn program of Forestry Tasmania producing its own exposures. Smoke particles, along with others, fill the atmosphere enough to influence the climate and locally can impact on people’s health.

    This supposedly essential process, the belief being that eucalypt forest will not regenerate without it, makes its own statements, raising a raft of questions.

    Why juxtapose the 10 days to the distraction of this annual pyre, what mania is being fed. A 2 million dollar distraction, is it a failure of planning or Jim’s vain hope to change Tasmania by lifting its people above the day to day?

    And what is the bigger picture as the wasteland of industrial forestry is incinerated, bared to the soil, the vestiges of habitat deliberately reduced to charcoal and minerals, the potential for erosion maximized just prior to the rain season.

    The soils organic matter minimized, the capital of the forest gone in humungous puff.

    1360 scientists launch the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment at the prestigious Royal Society, the forebear of Tasmania’s own. Portents of further failure of ecosystem services.

    Collapse of fisheries through overfishing, the spread of disease through overcrowding, new disease arising in a warmer environment brought about by the prolific release of greenhouse gases and a collapse in available drinking water delivered by rainfall.

    Mongolia suffering under prolonged drought, our own sand gropers experiencing water deficits with Perth’s water catchments taking a 30% cut in ‘free’ water.

    Here, we go on as in deliberated ignorance of the world, defending a dated practice of burning the timber left behind from industrial forestry in a pale reflection of American practice rather than seeking an improvement that has a lesser impact on our environment and its capacity to deliver services.

    Let’s take a look at one example of a part of the catchment that may need different management, the head or upper catchment, now, due to 200 or so years of treating Tasmania as a little bit of somewhere else without a treaty, much of the forest has been reduced to.

    Especially important hydrologically if rainfall continues to decline, these areas hold back the rainfall and discharge it slowly into the drainage, acting as a storage.

    Reduce them, tamper with them and the driest 6 months for 55 years will give you another year of rivers without water for irrigation and impoundments below a quarter full.

    Reducing the leaf and trunk area reduces the discharge control and also the wringing of moisture from cloud, reducing the forest litter to mineral soil hastens runoff and can impact on both water quality and stream dynamics. Filling the forest with a mosaic of growing forest reduces the water discharged as the growing trees use more water than stable mature forests that are only replacing dead trees.

    Yes, for a little while rivers can be dammed, the sea can be desalinated and ancient underground stores plundered through bores and wells, all costly temporary solutions.

    Remember the last time the hydro’s system was near capacity, a test of rainfall. The decline in rainfall appears to be long term and the planning, when present, short.

    So now we must ask, how long will the headwaters and upper catchments be reduced to a clearly discordant beat, the forests capital burned up behind a masque, environmental services punished for being a ‘free’ good, the pipes of payment left to the children that are propogandized as soooo important.

    phill Parsons awaits the erudition of the new greenhouse strategy, hoping against belief that its clothes will not be imperial, its teeth that of a paper tiger and Tasmanians reduced to the circus maximus at the decline of the stupid monkey.

  3. Dave Groves

    March 30, 2005 at 1:25 am

    House of cards. All things come.
    Nice work Gerald!

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