Tasmanian Times

Economy

A Very Deliberate Destruction

Satirical Picture: of Tony Abbott, … as Labor storms to poll lead over Coalition, SMH here

A friend who is a wildlife expert once told me the story of how, while driving in the North West of the state, he saw a car swerve across to the opposite side of the road to deliberately hit an echidna. Why would someone do that? I asked, shocked. To prove that they can, he said.

Much of the destruction that the human race wreaks upon the natural world is unconscious, almost accidental in nature, a by-product of the ever expanding material civilisation most of us live in. Our housing and our food, our clothing and technology and internet shopping and travel all come at a cost; not just the dollar cost we pay for them in this man-made structure we call the ‘economy’, but the cost to the planet, it’s ecosystems and wild places, and the millions of other species with whom we share the Earth.

When we buy a packet of biscuits at the supermarket we don’t think of all the inputs from the natural world that went into making it – the bushland that was cleared to grow the wheat and sugar, the petroleum to make the fertilizers and drive the farm machinery and transport the raw materials and make the plastic packaging, the palm oil that was likely grown on land that used to be Indonesian old growth tropical forest and orang-utan habitat. We don’t think of these things not because we are bad people, or because we don’t care about forests and orangutans, but because to drill down into the consequences of every single aspect of modern consumer life would, quite literally, drive us nuts.

That’s the unconscious kind of environmental destruction, and anyone who lives in a Western consumer society participates in it to some extent whether they want to or not.

In contrast to this ‘accidental’ type of environmental destruction I’ve described there’s another type that, far from being unconscious, is deliberate and full of intent, and disturbingly, we’re seeing more and more of it at the highest levels of government in this country. I’ll give you two examples, at both federal and state levels.

The federal government’s determination to repeal the carbon tax in Australia repudiates every scientific, economic and policy expert consensus in this country and the world. It is a fact that carbon emissions from burning fuels are heating the planet and if we continue on our current trajectory, the scientific evidence tells us our children and grandchildren will have to deal with increasingly devastating impacts of dangerous climate change within their lifetimes. It is a fact that most economic and policy experts who have worked on the vexed issue of how to reduce carbon emissions say that putting a price on carbon is critical to changing our course and avoiding dangerous climate change (defined as anything over a 2 degree Celsius increase – we have burned through nearly half of this buffer already).

Australia, under the previous Labor/Green government, had already done this hard work of putting a price on carbon, and at the same time used some of the proceeds of that carbon price to fund expansion of renewables and also educate the public about the causes and effects of climate change via the Climate Commission. Now the Coalition under Abbott are moving to repeal the carbon tax, shut down the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and have already disbanded the Climate Commission (1).

This week, the rest of the world gathered at the UN talks on climate in Warsaw this week, at which the Philippines delegate gave an incredibly moving speech on the impacts of climate change challenging anyone still denying the reality of climate change to visit his devastated country. However Australian Environment minister Greg Hunt wasn’t there to hear it. He was sitting in Parliament to help push through the repeal of the carbon tax. In the face of the scientific evidence on climate change, and the clear worldwide momentum to take urgent action on reducing carbon emissions, the Coalition have made it clear that not only will they refuse to take meaningful action on climate change, but with their goal to increase coal exports they will go out of their way to exacerbate Australia’s contribution to it. Like the driver going out of his way to kill an innocent animal, the Coalition, presumably with the support of the unthinking Australians who voted them into power, continue to assert their right to screw up the Earth’s climate as much as they damn well please if it means a bit more money or power for a select few vested interests in the meantime.

On the state level, we see this same kind of thinking with the Liberals’ forest policy. One of Will Hodgman’s key pledges going into the forthcoming election is to increase logging in Tasmania’s native forests. In concert with the Coalition government, which has promised to reverse the World Heritage status of 120,000 hectares of forest(2), the state Liberals have promised to open that World Heritage classified area to logging. No country has ever sought to do this before, this is an unprecedented action. World Heritage listings are typically highly valued as they not only confer honour on a country but provide tangible economic benefits through increased tourism. No environmental asset achieves its place on the World Heritage list without going through an incredibly stringent and drawn out process to prove its environmental values are worthy of that status. To seek to deliberately destroy those values, as Hodgman with the support of Greg Hunt seeks to do, is to actively want to destroy an area that has been considered by the highest environmental assessment authority in the world as being of irreplaceable value. What kind of mentality would seek to do that? Like Abbott with the carbon tax, like the driver swerving to ensure he kills the echidna, Hodgman and the Tasmanian Liberals are going out of their way to ensure the destruction of places of unquestionable ecological value.

The obvious question when faced with this kind of thinking is the same as the one I asked my friend: why? Unlike the busy shopper who doesn’t think to connect their morning tea treat with the destruction of the last remaining orang-utan populations, conservatives like Abbott and Hodgman don’t have the excuse of not knowing the consequences of their actions.

As Prime Minister of the country, Abbott can call on the best and brightest expertise of the country. And if he bothered to ask all those eminent scientists, economists, and policy makers, they would tell him, as they have told previous governments, that pricing carbon doesn’t only make sense environmentally, it is also crucial economically to transition Australia into the forthcoming clean energy revolution. They would also tell him that his alternate Direct Action program is a dud and will do little more than waste billions’ of taxpayers’ money.

Tasmanian Liberal opposition leader Will Hodgman knows perfectly well that the forestry peace agreement that ended decades of conflict in this state over logging in native forests had the support of most industry, government, and environmental stakeholders, yet he has referred to it consistently as the ‘disastrous jobs-destroying forestry peace deal’. Now he wants to reverse it and open up World Heritage listed forest for logging. Given that world markets have already made it clear they will not accept forestry products from Tasmanian native forests, does he really think that the global market will be interested in timber products from areas that have had their World Heritage values trashed?

Yes, Abbott, Hodgman, and their respective parties know exactly what they’re doing. The environmental costs of removing the price of carbon and increasing coal exports, of de-listing a World Heritage listed old growth forest so it can be logged, are not hidden or unconscious. These acts are overt, deliberate, legislative one-fingered salutes to the members of the public and environmentalists who continue to express the view that driving the Earth’s climate to unliveable temperatures and destroying irreplaceable heritage wilderness would not be humanity’s smartest move.

And it’s here that we come to the real reason why the state and federal Liberals (who have lurched so far to the extreme right they make founder Robert Menzies look like a radical pinko leftie) are so determined to act like environmental vandals on issues like climate change and logging in native forests. It’s not really about the environment; both the state and federal Liberals profess to care for that. It’s not about jobs or the economy; native forestry in Tasmania has cost the state billions in taxpayers money, it’s economically disastrous. Ditto ramping up coal exports while ditching renewables at a time when governments all over the world are moving towards stronger global carbon emissions targets. And it’s not about what’s morally right, because to trash our grandkid’s climate future just so Clive and Gina can make a few more billions on their bottom line over the next few years is ethically reprehensible, as is wiping out world class ancient forest ecosystems that have been in existence for tens of thousands of years.

No, this isn’t about facts or logic or what’s right. It’s about ideology, a deeply entrenched world view that unquestioningly links human progress and civilisation with a failed model of trying to run infinite economic growth on a finite planet. It’s about a mentality that privileges a tiny fraction of the global population who have become unimaginably rich and powerful by exploiting for their own short-term gain the wealth of the Earth that belongs to all of us.

And most importantly it’s about principle – not a moral or ethical principle, but the principle of human entitlement, power and ownership over the natural world. Because, as this twisted world view posits, if humans have the power to destroy nature, it therefore follows that they have the right to do so. God gave man dominion over all the creatures that creep, crawl and fly over the Earth, and by God if man wants to destroy those creatures and even his own planetary home it’s his privilege and don’t anyone dare try to stop him while he does it.

There’s a reason why the actions of Abbott and Hunt and Hodgman look like a giant ‘eff you’ to anyone who cares about the kind of planet we pass on to future generations. We’re not mistaken, we haven’t misread the signs. The contempt they exude for the environment and the people who care about it is intentional, as deliberate as a car swerving to ensure the death of a harmless wild creature. They’ll burn our kids’ climate, they’ll trash our kids’ wild places, and they’ll call it victory. And unless we all wake up very soon, our descendants will be paying the cost of this false‘victory’ for a long, long time to come.

References:

1) Now relaunched through community funding as the Climate Council
2) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-10/liberals-set-to-log-world-heritage-forests/4948076

Miriam Moriarty is a Tasmanian writer with a focus on environmental and social issues

Also read:

http://theaimn.com/2013/11/23/an-open-letter-to-abbott-voters/

Vica Bayley: State climate strategy welcomed as critical step

Independent Australia: Indonesia crisis entirely of Tony Abbott’s making

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
68 Comments

68 Comments

  1. Chris Harries

    December 11, 2013 at 8:24 am

    “They were careless people – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

    ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

    But the article goes beyond carelessness, to deliberate destruction. Very heavy.

    In Tasmania, I think this deliberation goes back to a time when we were embarrassed by our naturalness and about our general failure to develop a concrete jungle here that were seen to be signs of true success of a modern economy. Embarrassment twinged with bitterness. So a major slice of the Tasmanian psychology learned to despise what we have. And we’ve never really gotten over that. There’s still an ingrained tendency to smash it up, or want it to be smashed up.

  2. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Addenda to 66:

    PNG, not PHG;

    to Turkey recognising a Kurdistan ~ better to have amicable neighbours than hostile residents;

    to the Arab / Muslim world (not “word”) desiderata at the end ~ a women’s liberation movement.

  3. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Comment 65’s “We can hope for an unexpected surprise” is not as unimaginable as it seems at first sight: we have already had “an unexpected surprise” when Indonesian president B J Habibie announced, and then carried through with, the 1999 plebiscite for East Timor.

    International surprises are not as rare as some may think (although they do seem to catch too many “experts” by surprise, including most of the world’s thousands of Kremlinologists). Some examples:

    ~ the sudden People Power end of the Marcos regime;

    ~ China’s abandoning economic Marxism and associated lunacies (whereas the Soviet Union’s sticking with them was absolutely expected);

    ~ almost every single act in the 1989-1991 fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent events; including, most importantly,

    ~ the collapse or implosion of the USSR; and,

    ~ the total post-Tito dissolution of the pan-Slavic Yugoslavian entity;

    ~ the recent outbreaks of Arab rebellions (far early to call them “revolutions”; and far too early to tell whether worse regimes or situations will be the main result).

    One of the major reasons for Habibie’s decision was that Tim Tim was draining his country’s budget – Indonesia had acted on a sort of “What have the Romans ever done for us” principle, which the East Timorese did not fall for. Will something similar happen in western NG, or will its (apparent) mineral resources continue to be a main factor?

    On the last point, China is doing very nicely in its exploitation of African resources, WITHOUT the burdens of colonial government and administration in Africa.

    Some other “unexpecteds” likely put smiles on our faces (ideological / nationalist / religionist fanatics excluded):

    ~ at least four of Northern Ireland’s six counties getting to vote on joining the Irish Republic;

    ~ The Ukraine handing back to Russia the Crimean & Kersh peninsulas (they are full of Soviet-era military toxic wastes anyway); and

    ~ in a spirit of “They’re your fuckers, you can have ’em”, The Ukraine ceding to Russia its eastern macro-region because its population is 93% Russophone, and acts as Putin’s permanent fifth column;

    ~ China giving (genuine) autonomy, perhaps as an SAR, to Tibet;

    ~ Turkey recognising that it is better off with its Kurds having a nation of their own;

    ~Pakistan (as if!!) & India agreeing to an independent Kashmir;

    ~ Australia’s maritime border with PHG moving south to a median line in the Torres Strait;

    ~ Thailand ridding itself of a troublesome Muslim, and potentially murderous Islamist, majority in its far south, by abrogating the 1905 Anglo-Siam treaty (which put them there over a century ago), and retro-ceding the Pattaya area to Malaysia (which would be 99% unwelcome to Malaysia’s Chinese population, and perhaps even to a majority of its Malays as well); and a really Big One,

    ~ the Arab / Muslim word (as a whole, not just the few which have done so) finally getting to benefit from (mutatis mutandis) a Protestant Revolution, a Puritan work ethic, an Enlightenment, a separation of mosque & state, and an American Revolution.

  4. Kim Peart

    December 9, 2013 at 8:50 am

    RE: 64 ~ Andrew Johnson

    The sad fact on the ground in New Guinea, is that Indonesia won a war that, with US assistance and subsequently, Australian collusion, resulted in Indonesia occupying half of New Guinea and moving in their own people, to the point where the Papuans are now outnumbered in the west.

    As the western Papuans have never quietly surrendered, Indonesia’s war on New Guinea has continued since 1961, when they first attempted to invade.

    If Indonesia accepts a belated just vote of all Papuans on self-determination and there is a peaceful outcome, that would be great.

    Sadly, Indonesia’s strength of assertion does not appear to be waning, as they press the length of their victory and reap the financial reward.

    In the age of climate change, which is expected to hit Indonesia hard with drought, fire and flood, their grip on New Guinea may only tighten and even see an increased flood of environmental refugees heading for Australia.

    We can hope for an unexpected surprise, but I wonder if some lateral thinking is called for in this matter.

    Kim Peart

  5. Andrew Johnson

    December 8, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Kim, first if you read the “Terms of use” and/or “Copyright” pages you will discover that the web pages you are quoting are not endorsed by the UN or its members.

    e.g. http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/terms/
    “This site may contain advice, opinions and statements of various information providers. The United Nations does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other information provided by any information provider, any User of this Site or any other person or entity. Reliance upon any such advice, opinion, statement, or other information shall also be at the User’s own risk.”

    “Materials provided on this Site are provided “as is”, without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The United Nations specifically does not make any warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any such Materials.”

    “Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in the Materials on this Site are those of the various United Nations staff members, consultants and advisers to the United Nations Secretariat who prepared the work and do not necessarily represent the views of the United Nations or its Member States.”

    Second issue is reality, a list whether you’ve written it or a web-designer or somebody’s secretary has written it is not a legal authority or a grant of sovereignty over other peoples or their nations. Sovereignty is only held by the people, not the UN or foreign powers; US citizens divested their sovereignty in 1776 to create the United States, Australians divested theirs in 1901 to create the Commonwealth of Australia, more recently the East Timorese used theirs to create Timor Leste.

    As I said, the UN members made themselves subject to article 76 on 21 Sept 1962 by making resolution 1752 (XVII) and that obligation can not be released except by West Papua deciding to become a fellow UN member as explained in article 78 of the Charter. And under 103 of the Charter nothing in any agreement can ever release the UN members from the duty of article 76 regarding any trust territory including West Papua.

    It is explained in the Charter, if you have trouble understanding it then I suggest you ask for help before putting your faith in self-serving claims of Jakarta or the guesswork of anonymous web designers.

  6. Kim Peart

    December 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Re: 61 ~ Andrew Johnson

    Western New Guinea, or West Papua, cannot be found on the UN list of colonial territories ~
    http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/nonselfgovterritories.shtml

    For the nations of the World and especially Indonesia, the matter was settled in 1969.

    In Wikipedia we can read ~ “The Indonesian Government position is that the United Nations’ noting of the results validates the conduct and results.”

    Consider the British claim on the Falkland Islands, which is on the list, or Gibraltar and whether the UK is about to step back.

    Other territories on the list include New Caledonia and French Polynisia, of which we can read ~
    “The French Overseas Territories Minister Victorin Lurel says his country will play no part in the UN decolonisation process for French Polynesia. In an address to the French Polynesia’s territorial assembly, Mr Lurel said rather than decolonisation Paris will be guided by the victory by pro-French parties in this year’s territorial election. In a speech boycotted by the Opposition the French Minister reasserted France’s authority over the territory.” (ABC Radio Australia, 4 Dec 2013)

    The only way to turn the ship of decolonisation around on New Guinea, would be to get western New Guinea back on the list of colonised territories, which may be as likely as having Tibet declared as such, which would be as good as war with China.

    Indonesia stands confidently on New Guinea and has managed to outnumber the western Papuans in its rather brutal game of territorial expansion.

    The needle on the independence barometer may yet shift, but this is nowhere near happening at a level that will concern Jakarta, with their growing economy and ripening friendship with China.

    In recent months we have seen the West essentially defeated in the Middle East, with the bombing of Syria suspended through a Russian initiative, Iran now coming in from the cold and that historically vexing question of the Ukraine rising, as Moscow lays the pressure on to keep them out of the European camp.

    The Chinese declaration of a war zone in the East China Sea, claiming Japanese territory, may see war break out at any time and may also be a step toward a similar zone across the South China Sea toward Indonesia, which will also increase the risk of conflict, as China seeks to secure its trade routes to the Middle East.

    The old Cold War geopolitical forces that saw Indonesia win West Papua are now rising again and if war happens, we can expect an indonesian alliance with China.

    Our current spy spat with Jakarta should not be seen as happening in a vacuum and is somewhat increased in volume with our complaints to China about their war zone over Japan.

    The real prize is resources, in a conflict that could see PNG and Australasia taken, to deny the US any large land base in the south.

    Occupation of the south would also lead to the resources of Antarctica, where Australasia holds claim to half that continent.

    In this future and if we don’t simply appease a Chinese-Indonesian alliance by allowing their possession of PNG, with Washington’s backing we may see it prudent to invade West Papua to defend the south, even declaring the Wallace Line as a no go further boundary.

    That may be the test of our ability to survive as a nation and how West Papua may find freedom, but only if the US stands with us.

    This is possible.

    An alternative and peaceful way forward would be to invest in serious space development, where we could look toward establishing industry beyond Earth and building defences against killer asteroids, which could be a greater threat to us than Indonesia or China.

    With access to solar resources, we could look to orbital habitats able to offer territory far greater than the lands of Earth.

    We would also be able to fix climate change, by using the energy of the Sun to extract excess carbon from the biosphere and processing the extracted carbon back into a useful resource.

    A bold vision that inspires action by China, Russia and the United States, working together, may be the only peaceful way to offer freedom to West Papua.

    If we wake up, with our resources, technology, educated population and pioneering spirit, we folk from Down Under could play a leading role in a celestially peaceful future.

    Our freedom may depend on it.

    Kim Peart

  7. Kim Peart

    December 6, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Re: 57 ~ Simon Warriner

    Any catastrophe resulting in death and environmental damage is bad, but to keep a sense of balance, it may help to view the scale of impact.

    The greatest catastrophe that we have unleashed is the carbon crisis and I fear that we are only just beginning to see the start of that one.

    If Hansen and others are right, we are heading toward a runaway greenhouse that will be destructive to our civilization and result in the deaths of billions, even triggering the beginning of the death of life on planet Earth.

    I see a situation where we have totally failed to keep a safe Earth and that is a failure far greater than Fukushima, Chernobyl, Nagasaki or Hiroshima.

    A greater tragedy may unfold, should the carbon crisis drives up environmental catastrophes that drives down our economy and removes our ability with spaceflight.

    Why?

    Because if we see a killer asteroid heading our way and are trapped on Earth, we will be dead sitting ducks in a flash to oblivion.

    When an asteroid fire-storm hit North America 12,000 years ago, all human communities were terminated, along with the megafauna.

    The Fukushima nuclear accident could have been entirely avoided, if we had reached to the Sun for energy in the 1970s, when the way had been opened, by building solar power stations in space to gain direct access to our stars unlimited energy supply

    That way lies the way to avoid the asteroid apocalypse, by launching industry beyond Earth and constructing our planet’s defences.

    Many fear nuclear, but fail to fear the impact of carbon and asteroids, in what must be a classic form of denial of reality.

    If we can gather perspective and awaken to action, we will find ways to avoid catastrophe and be able to win back a safe Earth.

    To hell with stupidity.

    Let’s get smart.

    Kim Peart

  8. Andrew Johnson

    December 6, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Good questions Kim.

    The person opposed to colonisation was UN Sec. Gen. Dag Hammarskjold, he was killed in a plane crash on 18 Sept 1961; his replacement U Thant is the one who pushed the New York Agreement through in 1962.
    The UN was short of money, the US was offering to buy $200m of UN bonds at the same time it was pressing the Dutch and Sec. Gen. U Thant to sign the New York Agreement.

    The UN has never ‘approved’ or ‘endorsed’ the Indonesian act of no choice; the UN has never said that any referendum took place in 1969. West Papua according to the United Nations is currently being administrated by Indonesia, there is no suggestion in any official UN document of the fictions published at un.org ; see a copy of an official UN summary at http://colonywestpapua.info/ag-059 UNTEA.pdf

  9. Kim Peart

    December 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Re: 59 ~ Leonard Colquhoun

    The stark truth in this tale is, that the western Papuans had been successfully running their own affairs until 1898, as they had for the past 60,000 years or so and had no need for a great colonial power to impose on them.

    In fact, the Papuans frequently expelled illegal immigrants, or invited them to dinner.

    There are accounts of Papuans sailing as far as India to pursue trade, a history that becomes lost with the Indonesian invasion.

    The minimal Dutch presence became highly visible in 1942, when the Japanese invader only found 15 government posts in western New Guinea, a territory the size of France, which means that most West Papuans were still successfully running their own affairs until that year.

    With no Indonesians on the ground, how could the United Nations hand over the administration of a territory of over 400 indigenous tribes to a nation that had just attempted to invade New Guinea?

    How could the UN allow any nation to run a vote on self-determination in a colonial territory that it had been seeking to acquire through invasion a few years before?

    How could the United Nations approve a fraudulent vote by 1022 selected and intimidated Papuans, only a fifth of which had been observed by UN representatives?

    Papuans do not forget their history, as they are waltzed by Indonesia through a slow-motion genocide.

    Should we forget the Papuans?

    Kim Peart

  10. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Adding to Comment 58’s “with an official Dutch presence not beginning on the ground until 1898”: and belatedly made visible after 1949, when it was far too late for such a European colonial remnant to survive, particularly as the home country’s Volk were against its retention.

    Pleased to see some of the lengthy accounts of this period, but some lose a bit of credibility by degenerating into conspiracist nonsense, not all that dissimilar to the various idiot versions of international Jewry manipulating the world.

    One major factor was that the 1949 victory of the communist side in the Chinese civil wars changed the nature of anti-colonial / liberation movements in much of the world, and how the US interpreted them.

  11. Kim Peart

    December 6, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Re: 55 ~ William Boeder

    A valuable batch of insights on the birth of Indonesia as a nation, passing through many angry years.

    Concerning the suggestion that ~
    “Irian Barat, or West Irian, was one of the territories held by the Dutch for hundreds of years as part of the Netherlands East Indies.”

    Though the Dutch East India Company claimed New Guinea in 1660, they failed to establish profitable trade.

    In the vacuum, the British East India Company attempted to establish a settlement at Restoration Bay in western New Guinea in 1793, but this failed within 2 years.

    In 1828 the Dutch government erected Fort de Bus and declared northwest New Guinea part of the empire, but this failed within 8 years, because of disease and Papuan hostility to the Dutch presence.

    It was in 1848 that the Dutch, German and British governments sat down in Europe to carve up New Guinea like a Christmas cake, with none of them having a presence on the ground, or asking the Papuans how they felt about the feast.

    New Guinea was left to the Papuans for hundreds of years during the colonial era, with an official Dutch presence not beginning on the ground until 1898.

    To see the face of West Papua before the Indonesian invasion, look at the National Geographic magazine of May 1962.

    Kim Peart

  12. Simon Warriner

    December 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Re 41, 46, and 40 again.

    Which of the scientists working on the Manhattan Project said, upon witnessing the first detonation: “I am become Shiva, destroyer of worlds”?

    As a tradesman I have regularly had the dubious pleasure of fixing fuckups engineered by individuals far better educated than I am. Just because I chose not to get a degree does not make me an idiot. After one particularly stunning example one of my collegues coined a phrase, “educated beyond his natural ability”. It amply sums up the collective intelligence which placed a tank for holding used radioactive fuel rods above ground level, above a nuclear reactor, on an active seismic zone prone to earthquakes of magnitudes greater than 6.5 on the Richter scale, with its cooling water pumps at sea level on a coast well known for tsunami waves, all the while knowing that if the rods came into contact with each other, or the tank leaked, or the cooling water stopped, or the building got destroyed in an earthquake, there would be a release of dangerous radioactive particulates, some with half lives measured in thousands of years, most of them toxic to life. At what point, gentlemen, in that decision making process did those involved step over the line from brave to negligent, and from negligent to outright stupidity. At what dollar cost did the potential to harm unknown amounts of the biota on the planet become irrelevant to the individuals planning and building this technology. Some individuals made that exact decision.

    Kim, yourself, Trevor Cowell, Leonard and anyone else trumpeting Fukushima as a useful learning opportunity will only have any credibility when you have got off your comfortably remote arses and done some time in the radioactive hot zone helping to attempt to mitigate what is nothing short of a monumental cluster fuck. Get back to me when you come back from that trip, will you.

    I am not some greenie technophobe, Leonard. I was using cutting edge thermal imaging technology when it was in its early days, for uses ranging from military to medical, sport to R&D, have worked for the worlds then largest electrotechnical corporation, and have worked on the ANSTO campus at Lucas Heights.

    There are times where “suck it and see” is fine, and even commendable. I have done it myself, and at some risk to myself. It is true that risk and innovation are indivisible. There is, however, no excuse for the short-sighted, bloody stupid decision that placed a nuclear power station on the beach in a known seismic zone. The outstanding criteria that makes such a decision imbecilic in the extreme is the inability to undo the damage done and the inability to predict the extent of that damage. A stone cathedral collapse has known scope and once on the ground the rocks tend to stay there. Would that radioactive isotopes did the same! Injecting oneself with a trial cure for a disease is heroic, but only one person is at risk and they are a willing and informed participant.

    All the other examples given have limits to the collateral damage. Where are the limits to Fukushima’s fallout? Remember, that site still has the potential to generate far more fallout if anything else goes wrong. There is a long way to go yet, and as someone with some small insight into Japanese culture (having family who do business there and have done so, including living there, for the last 20 odd years) I am far from comforted that we are being told the full story about the real state of affairs on that site.

  13. William Boeder

    December 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Continuation of the evolution of Indonesia:

    CIA PRESIDED OVER WEST IRIAN TALKS

    And who is Robert Komer? Just a leading CIA agent, who ran the notorious pacification program in Viet Nam. His recent appointment to be Ambassador to Turkey touched off riotous demonstrations there, while the Turkish press dubbed him “Robert the Butcher.”

    Schlesinger also, in agreement with Sorensen, explains that Washington’s motive for intervening was because they felt the Dutch could not win a war over West Irian. “The only alternative to [settlement] was war, and the President was sure that the Dutch, having declined to fight over Java and Sumatra, would hardly go to war over this last barren fragment of their Pacific empire.”

    In the spring of 1962, negotiations began in Middleburg, Virginia, between the Indonesians and the Dutch with Ellsworth Bunker “sitting in.” After five months of talks, an agreement was reached in which the UN would be an interim administrator while sovereignty passed over (theoretically) from the Dutch to the Indonesians. Then the question would finally be settled in a referendum to be held in 1969 (20 years after The Hague Conference!).

    But in 1969 the U.S. was no longer worried about Irian Barat becoming part of Indonesia, since the Djakarta puppets had made its rich mineral deposits and strategic potential completely open for exploitation by Wall Street and the Pentagon.

    The U.S. part in the negotiations over New Guinea had another function in addition to preventing a possible line-up in which the U.S. would be forced to militarily intervene on the side of the Dutch.

    It also opened doors for other contacts with the Indonesian government, doors that had been closed since 1958. As Schlesinger put it, “Kennedy now moved to take advantage of the improved atmosphere…. When private American oil contracts were up for renegotiation and Sukarno threatened restrictive measures, Kennedy sent out Wilson Wyatt . . . to conduct negotiations for new contracts, a mission which Wyatt discharged with notable dispatch and success.” [p. 535]

    The amazing thing about this success for U.S. imperialist diplomacy is that it occurred only a few years after this same country — the U.S. — had been caught red-handed in an attempt to overthrow the Indonesian government. And yet Washington managed to become a key figure in negotiations that presumably had nothing to do with the U.S.! But this triumph of imperialist maneuvering and trickery had much less to do with the “brilliance” of Ellsworth Bunker and others than it did with the hard facts of life in Indonesia. Raped by the Dutch for 350 years and then saddled with a robbers’ “peace” by The Hague agreements, Indonesia needed foreign exchange so desperately that its nationalist government, no matter how much it hated the imperialists, was still granting them economic concessions in 1962 and later.

  14. William Boeder

    December 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Continuing the evolution of Indonesia:

    The Dutch formally relinquished their colonial status at the Round Table Conference at The Hague in 1949. They did not do so, however, without exacting some very serious concessions from the Indonesian government, whose Prime Minister at the time was the reactionary Mohammed Hatta — later to become an outright enemy of Sukarno and leader of the CIA-backed secessionist movement in 1958.

    Hatta agreed to the restoration of “broad avenues of [Dutch] economic power over Indonesia, such as rights, concessions and licenses for the operation of existing and new enterprises and estates. Furthermore, the Indonesian Government was forced to take over the debts of the Netherlands East Indies Government, which amounted to more than a billion dollars, and which, in effect, meant that the Indonesians were paying for the Dutch military attack which had been launched against them.” [Indonesia: Troubled Paradise, p. 95] In 1950, Indonesia finally abrogated this deal and tried to make further steps toward real sovereignty, although these outrageous concessions to the Dutch had already helped to further weaken its terribly crippled economy.

    It was at the Round Table Conference in 1949 that the first inkling could be seen of the role that the U.S. would later play in Indonesia’s politics. At the urging of the U.S. representative, Indonesia reluctantly agreed that the status of Irian Barat, the huge western portion of the island of New Guinea, would be held in abeyance for the time being, to be settled by negotiations within a couple of years.

    Irian Barat, or West Irian, was one of the territories held by the Dutch for hundreds of years as part of the Netherlands East Indies. Although sparsely populated, its spectacular scenery and huge area (largely unexplored even to the present day) is suspected to contain vast resources of mineral wealth. The tremendous chain known as the Owen Stanley Mountains, containing peaks of over 15,000 feet rising within sight of the sea, is a geological formation that has already attracted the attention of prospectors for several U.S. mining concerns, while other U.S. firms are drilling for offshore oil.

    The Dutch continued to maintain control over this part of Indonesia until 1962, when Irian Barat was taken over by a United Nations administration. The U.S., first at The Hague in 1949 and again in the early sixties, “mediated” the dispute in a way calculated to weaken the Indonesian government.

    Theodore Sorensen, in his book,Kennedy, touches briefly but revealingly on the U.S. role as mediator in this conflict:

    . . . A temporary success of sorts was registered in 1962 in the territory of West New Guinea, the subject of a bitter dispute be- tween the Netherlands and Indonesia. To avoid a war which the Dutch had no desire to fight and which the Indonesians had every intention of winning with massive Soviet backing — and to strengthen the position of the Indonesian moderates, the only hope against an ultimate Communist takeover in that country — Kennedy made available the brilliant diplomatic services of Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker as a UN mediator. [p. 580]

    The word “moderates” can be changed to read “fascist butchers,” since the forces the U.S. hoped to bolster have now revealed their true character. And the “brilliant” Ellsworth Bunker is now known to the world as the man who presided over the U.S. occupation of the Dominican Republic and, as Ambassador to South Viet Nam, is presently making a last-ditch effort to prevent the Vietnamese liberation forces from finally wresting their country out of the hands of foreign imperialists.

    More light on the U.S. “mediation” of this question is shed in Arthur Schlesinger’s biography of Kennedy, A Thousand Days.

    . . . The President regarded Indonesia, this country of a hundred million people, so rich in oil, tin and rubber, as one of the potentially significant nations of Asia. He was anxious to slow up its drift toward the communist bloc; he knew that Sukarno was already turning to Moscow to get the military equipment necessary for invasion. And he was also anxious to strengthen the anti-communist forces, especially in the army…. He was therefore immediately responsive when Robert Komer proposed that the United States take the initiative in trying to settle the West New Guinea argument before it blew up into a crisis. [p. 533

  15. William Boeder

    December 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Continuation of the evolution of Indonesia:

    Still hoping for help, a group of Indonesian women even set out for the United States to appeal to the Daughters of the American Revolution, thinking these ladies would understand their revolution! But disillusionment was not long in coming.

    The U.S. strategy was to avoid a definite victory on either side, hoping to draw out the struggle until both Holland and the Republican forces were worn out. When the Dutch first moved to destroy the Republic and build back their own strength in Indonesia, the U.S. turned its back to any appeals for help from Sukarno. But later, as the Dutch military position improved and it seemed that they had a chance of reinstituting colonial rule, the U.S. moved to work out a compromise. In January 1948, a new agreement between the Netherlands and the Republic was signed on board the U.S.S. Renville. The Renville Agreement legitimized the recent conquests of the Dutch, who by now controlled half the sugar mills in Java, 75 per cent of its rubber, 65 per cent of its coffee, 90 per cent of the tea and the rich oil fields of Sumatra.

    This temporizing agreement, presided over by the U.S., lasted less than a year. In the meantime, the Dutch strove feverishly to set up more puppet states and continued their military build-up. But the movement for independence was also growing, and by the end of the year the Dutch felt compelled to make a do-or-die move.

    In a lightning attack on December 19, Dutch paratroops seized the Republican capital at Jogjakarta, capturing Sukarno and other government leaders. It appeared the Republic was doomed.

    However, the real strength of the independence movement lay not in Jogjakarta but in the countless hamlets and towns throughout the archipelago where armed guerrillas had been organized. The attack had completely exposed the Dutch intention to restore their colonial stranglehold. Their puppet states lost any control over the masses, and the net effect of the blitzkrieg was to weaken the overall Dutch position even more. Within six months, the Dutch were forced to restore the Republican government and enter into a series of negotiations which culminated in final independence.

    U.S. SUBVERSION BEGINS

  16. William Boeder

    December 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Continuation of the evolution of Indonesia.

    However, from the moment of signing this agreement, the Dutch worked feverishly to destroy the Republic. They started to set up puppet states under various feudal lords, at first on the outer islands but eventually in the territory they had supposedly recognized as free. They also continued a blockade of Java, and most important, began to build up, rather than phase out, their troop strength.

    By May 1947, there were 110,000 Dutch soldiers stationed within the Republic. At midnight on May 27th, they struck against the Indonesian armed forces. While they used bombers, cannons and tanks against the ill-armed Indonesian troops, they called the defensive measures of these people fighting for independence “atrocities.”

    The Indonesians had expected an American occupation when the war was over, and believed so firmly in the U.S. as a “liberator” that they patterned their first statement of freedom after the U.S. Declaration of Independence. To welcome the U.S. troops that never arrived, they hung out posters containing quotations from the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Even after they saw that they would have to fight the combined forces of the Dutch and British, who were using Japanese troops, they still believed that U.S. intervention would help them gain their freedom. Sukarno made a radio appeal to the U.S. to be an arbiter in the fall of 1945, but there was no answer from Washington.
    to be continued/

  17. William Boeder

    December 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Hello Leonard and Kim, also the others that have been following the Indonesian encroachment upon all in its Archipelago:THE INDONESIAN STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE

    That Washington underestimated the strength of the Vietnamese popular forces is now well known. But what happened in Indonesia in this post-war period?

    With the defeat of the Japanese, power in Indonesia was in the hands of the nationalist forces. On August 17, 1945, Sukarno proclaimed the Republic of Indonesia, claiming at last the independence that the people had fought so long for. From a revolutionary point of view, the Dutch had never had any right to rule the people of Indonesia. But now, even from a legal point of view, the Dutch, by surrendering to the Japanese in 1942, had in effect forfeited any claim to Indonesia. Great bitterness existed among the Indonesians, who felt that the Dutch had allowed the Japanese imperialists to take over without a fight rather than arm the Indonesian people.

    But the Dutch in 1945 were not so willing to give back Indonesia to its own people as they had been to make a deal with Japan. For four years, intermittent warfare was waged as the Dutch made a last effort to reconquer their former colony.

    When the Japanese surrendered, the Dutch had no troops in Southeast Asia. They frantically ordered that Indonesia be kept under Japanese command until the British could get there. On the arrival of Lord Mountbatten, he also instructed the Japanese not to hand over any administrative functions to the newly proclaimed Republic, and soon the British were using Japanese troops in combat against the Indonesian patriots.

    This situation provoked widespread protest throughout Asia, and even in Australia the dock workers refused to load any munitions that might be used against the Indonesians.

    In November 1946, the Dutch signed the Lenggadjati Agreement, recognizing the de facto authority of the Republic over Java, Madura and Sumatra and agreeing that Dutch and Allied troops should gradually be evacuated. It also stipulated that by January 1, 1949, a United States of Indonesia encompassing all the islands of the archipelago was to come into existence.

    to be continued/

  18. Keith Antonysen

    December 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

    For Trevor’s benefit, recommend nuclear energy after seeing this video Trevor. At least watch the last 5 minutes.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=040_1384817880

  19. O'Brein

    December 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    When interviewed on ABC weekend Tanya Plibersek stated “Australia has had a friendship with Indonesia since the 1940’s”.

  20. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    The “invaders of this Papua New Guinea country in its earlier times were the British interests that began mining for gold”. No, the earliest miners were Australian in Wau and Bulolo. One of them has the airstrip at a 20 degree angle to the horizontal, which adds a special effect to the usual thrills of being flown in PNG.

  21. William Boeder

    December 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Hello Kim I believe you are one of the most cognizant persons relating to the history of Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua and the part played by our fair weather allies being the US of A.
    Learned Leonard Colquhoun, same Indonesian warhorse but a different jockey, a moot point.

    The second invaders of this Papua New Guinea country in its earlier times were the British interests that began mining for gold, (well after the Germans had left this Country) which saw the British opportunists shooting all in their way to the region of their Gold mining prospects.

    Ah’ the good old days enjoyed by England when they were paying a shilling or two to have these indigenous people working their arse off for the fat avaricious Lords of England.
    All done by its colonizing conquest of Lands that were not claimed by any other Country, way back in the days when Australia was merely a cringing member of the Commonwealth of England.

    To think now that Australia literally hurls hundreds of millions of our taxpayer dollars to these former South Pacific Warlord Generals, for this huge amount of profligate Foreign Aid dollarsgoes no further than to those among the elite echelons of Indonesia’s controllers.
    There is no requested accountability as to the use or disposal of our Australian taxpayer money,
    it could even be funding the military actions, massacres, military sweeps etc, ever ongoing and ever fully operational against the Indigenous people of Papua/West Papua?

    Then we must remember the infamous Lombok Treaty as initiated and signed between John (The Fibber) Howard and the Indonesian government, ‘that Australia recognises the sovereignty claimed by the Indonesians over the lands of Papua/West Papua.’
    This was just another of this cringing individual John (The Fibber) Howard actions against the better interests of Australia and toward its futures.
    Worst of all Tony the Rabbit with his “I’ll stop the boats” bullshit, he having had just one little chatter with Former Military General President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, that soon had Tony the Rabbit racing back to our shores and saying “just hang on a minute before, (no longer I’ll stop the boats) WE do any thing at this very moment.

    Just another instance of a servile obsequious offering to the Jackals in Indonesia, ‘same as was performed by (the former best mate of George W Bush) John ‘Lombok Treaty’ Howard.

    I am of the mind that a few rounds of HE from one of our Frigates aimed just barely over the top of the Presidential Palace will cool the ugly attitude held by Indonesia’s President toward Australia and its people.
    Q. I ask the question here, what other than buying a few cattle from Australia, (where they can obtain their cattle quite cheaply) then of the kept under a low profile Rio Tinto’s 10% or so of the murderous American owned and operated Grasburg Gold and Copper Mine, located in far East Papua, do the Indonesians provide of merit to Australia?
    A. I understand the answer to this is in the region of Jack Schitt.
    So why must Australia bow before the warlords of the South Pacific, it will only require a number of quick set missiles, (no prior negotiation required) dumped upon Jakarta and its Palaces and the Papua/West Papua slaughter-party will be at ended.

  22. Kim Peart

    December 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Re: 45 ~ Leonard Colquhoun

    It is a moot point now, whether Dutch, Australian, Papuan and any other allies willing to enter a just fight would have kept Indonesia out of New Guinea.

    Their first wave of paratroopers didn’t do very well, being rounded up by the Dutch and Papuans.

    Fearing that Indonesia was about to become a large Red pro-Soviet state, it was American intervention in 1962 that saw Papuans and their land used in a slave trade to buy a pro-West peace.

    If we, Australia, had been true to our words and actions in supporting West Papuan self-determination in the 1950s and 60s, we would have continued to stand our ground, rather than becoming stupidly compliant to American Cold War politics.

    If we had been true blue in the UN in 1969, we would not have voted to accept the fraudulent Act of Free Choice and other nations could have joined us.

    That was our choice then, just as it is our choice now to honour our nations former commitment to West Papuan liberty.

    If we have no mind of our own when it comes to issues of justice and freedom, then we will have no idea how to say “No” to any great power that orders us around.

    We once said “No” to Imperial Japan, on the Kakoda Track in 1942.

    What happened to us?

    Kim Peart

  23. Kim Peart

    December 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Re: 42 ~ Simon Warriner

    We are a deeply technological society and much of our progress is through disasters, whether fast of slow.

    Those mighty stone cathedrals sometimes collapsed, taking many lives, but the lessons learned led to improved building techniques in making stone reach to the stars and dance in the air.

    Wars are a disaster and a driver of invention, ultimately delivering the atomic bomb and nuclear power.

    How many people have died on our roads, or been maimed for life in car accidents, but out of the mess we have slowly made driving a little safer, to the point where robots will soon do the driving.

    That greatest disaster of all that we are driving through our addiction to fossil fuel, could have been avoided entirely, if those with the sense to think logically had woken up to the detail that we could have started building solar power stations in space in the 1970s and we could have afforded to do so as well and if we had, we would have totally avoided the looming carbon apocalypse on this planet, by beginning the transition from carbon to stellar energy.

    If we can now learn from the carbon disaster that we are creating and appreciate that reversing the crisis demands more than slamming the brakes on (see link to article in comment 15), we will avoid the deaths of billions and potentially, the loss of all that countless generations have fought so hard to give to us.

    We would not have needed to be learning from nuclear energy disasters on Earth, if we had been smarter in acting on the energy transition from carbon to stellar.

    Maybe it’s not too late, if we wake up to some basic realities of life in the cosmos and appreciate that sometimes we must go through pain to achieve gain.

    See my TT article ~ A Deeper Level of Denial ~
    http://oldtt.pixelkey.biz/index.php?/article/a-deeper-level-of-denial/

    Kim Peart

  24. Leonard Colquhoun

    December 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Comment 43’s observation, “We saw such an outcome in East Timor in 1999, when they were finally allowed to express their opinion on the 1975 Indonesian invasion and occupation of their land”, possibly contains the underlying reason for Indonesia’s and Indonesian president Habibi’s, late 1998 agreement to a referendum for the future of the then Timor Timur: unlike West NG, East Timor had never been part of the Netherlands East Indies, and therefore its 1975 annexation of [the former] Portuguese East Timor would always have an air of illegitimacy (similar to how some explain the massive failures of the two Fraser governments).

    As for “We ran away from a fight in New Guinea in 1962”, get real: how ever would we have won? Given our then superiority in military materiel off-setting our inferiority in military personnel, a little reality-based imagination could see one likely, and very foolish, outcome: our RAAF bombing ‘key military targets’ in the same was as the USAF bombed ‘key military targets’ in North Vietnam – and look how that worked out.

    It is mainly in comic books* that armies engage in / continue with wars they cannot win. The Japanese imperial army drew the line at engaging in war as Germany’s Axis ally with the USSR after Pearl Harbor, because border clashes in the late 1930s had very clearly demonstrated it was a no-win situation for Japan.

    * and irrational regimes like the Third Reich.

  25. John Wade

    December 1, 2013 at 9:01 am

    I really do not understand your tapered understanding and viewpoint of critical assessments @40.
    Maybe I absorb the dangers from human ignorance more openly and more critically than some others, but I recommend 900 years is a long time for “‘Disasters’ are an almost necessary requirement for advancement …no free lunch” to view our anthropogenic insensitivities try:

    http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chapter1.html

  26. Kim Peart

    December 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Re: 39 ~ Leonard Colquhoun

    HISTORIC FACTS ~

    The ‘Act of Free Choice’ happened in July 1969.

    Dutch colonial activity did not begin in western New Guinea until 1898.

    When the Japanese invaded in 1942, they only found 15 Dutch government posts.

    The Dutch prison there was an isolated camp, not an occupation of the whole territory as a prison, as happened in Tasmania.

    From 1957 Australia worked with the Dutch government toward the independence of the whole island of New Guinea, with many Australians on the ground working with the western Papuans. We were officially part of the raising of the West Papuan flag on 1 December 1961. We helped to raise West Papuan aspirations for freedom and independence sky high.

    We turned our backs on the West Papuans in 1962, because the United States told us to.

    Indonesia began invading New Guinea in 1962, not to liberate Indonesians, but to occupy New Guinea and turn Papuans into Indonesians, which has resulted in a slow-motion genocide of Papuans, with as many as half a million killed, sometimes for raising their Morning Star flag of freedom.

    If the UN had run a proper plebiscite on self-determination in 1969, including all Papuans eligible to vote, what would the outcome be now?

    We saw such an outcome in East Timor in 1999, when they were finally allowed to express their opinion on the 1975 Indonesian invasion and occupation of their land.

    The invasion and occupation of western New Guinea served as a green light for the Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor.

    We ran away from a fight in New Guinea in 1962 and were literally defeated by Indonesia. Thus, when it came to East Timor, we had no idea of what was right.

    Will we ever have any idea of what is right?

    Or are we waiting to be told what to think and what to do by Washington, or Beijing?

    The governor of Port Moresby, Powes Parkop, decided that he knows what to think, when he supported the raising of the West Papuan flag their yesterday ~
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-01/governor-defies-png-request-and-raises-west-papua-flag/5127624

    Kim Peart

  27. Simon Warriner

    November 30, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    re 40, Linz, and anyone else easily offended, I am sorry but this nonsense has to be about the most ignorant, imbecilic and absolutely brain dead crap I have ever read in my life.

  28. Leonard Colquhoun

    November 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Comment 40’s point – “that ‘stuff’ is learned [from disasters] and generally we move on to improved ‘technologies’” – is utterly beyond the ken of simple-minded feral Greenies who seem to take for granted that the rest of us are as ignorant of technology and science as they are.

    Calls to ban, say, CSG / fracking, for ever 100% are an insult to the overall intelligence, ingenuity, innovativeness of the human race.

    The most significant example of this intelligence, ingenuity, innovativeness in the fields of medicine, where such marvellously wonderful cures are effected in diseases and genetic conditions which were once death sentences.

    Bollocks to “back to nature” – if you believe that, show us by going back there, minus every human advance for the last 100,000 years.

    Good onya, TGC.

  29. TGC

    November 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    The good news coming out of Fukushima- and almost all other disasters whether ‘anthropogenic’ or caused directly/indirectly by a natural event- is that ‘stuff’ is learned and generally we move on to improved ‘technologies’ ‘Disasters’ are an almost necessary requirement for advancement -especially in high-tech and much science.Again- “no free lunch”

  30. Leonard Colquhoun

    November 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Re the matters raised in Comments 32 & 38, read this Wikipedia-based summary of the negotiations in 1949 for Indonesian independence –

    “The issue of the inclusion or not of Western New Guinea almost resulted in the Netherlands–Indonesian Round Table Conference (Aug-Nov 1949) becoming deadlocked. The Indonesian delegations took the view that Indonesia should comprise the entire territory of Netherlands East Indies. The Dutch [claimed] Western New Guinea had no ethnic ties with the rest of the archipelago [and should be excluded].

    “Despite Dutch public opinion supporting transfer of Western New Guinea to Indonesia, the Dutch cabinet was worried it would not be able to ratify the Round Table Agreement in parliament if it conceded this point.

    “Finally, in the early hours of 1 November 1949 a compromise was reached: the status of Western New Guinea would be determined through negotiations between the United States of Indonesia and the Netherlands within a year of the transfer of sovereignty.”

    Which, of course, there weren’t.

    Link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch–Indonesian_Round_Table_Conference

    So, it should be obvious that the situation was and still is far from simple, and far too complex for your average simple-minded ideologue. (And, aren’t they all?) Yes, the Papuan peoples were distinct, but much of the population in the eastern archipelago shared these same Melanesian characteristics. Yes, it had been part of the NEI, but the Dutch only showed any interest in the territory in the late 1940s, previously using it as a Devil’s Island / Tasman Peninsula type of penal colony, and this belated interest looked hypocritical in the extreme. A flurry of “development” in the early 1960s looked far too little too late.

    And, to avoid another appearance of hypocrisy, should Australian agitators for West NG independence also agitate for Australia to hand over the Cocos / Keeling Islands to Indonesia, on the basis of 60% of its people being Malay Muslim? Or Christmas Island, because it in on Indonesia’s continent shelf? Or hand it back to Singapore, because it is 70% Chinese?

    Another interesting point is that the 1962 “Act of Free Choice” was NOT in the routinely reviled post-1965 Soeharto era, but in the Soekarno era, when left-leaning Indonesia was one of the darlings of the Left in our academia, the progressivist media, and the commentariat.

  31. Kim Peart

    November 30, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Re: 32

    Andrew writes ~ “….. 2,000,000 hectares being illegally farmed by Indonesia in a UN trust territory which Canberra and the rest of the UN has been asking Indonesia to administrate on our behalf for the pass fifty years.”

    The western half of New Guinea, an area the size of France and commonly called West Papua, is internationally accepted as being legally part of Indonesia.

    West Papua was a colony of Indonesia between 1963 and 1969.

    In 1969 Indonesia held a vote on West Papuan self-determination, called the Act of Free Choice.

    It was supposed to be run by the UN, but Indonesia was allowed to control the process, which was limited to 1022 selected men being lectured under the shadows of guns and then being told to step over a line drawn in the dirt.

    The UN was supposed to at least be observing the process, but Indonesia went ahead while the UN observer team was still in Jakarta, who then raced off to West Papua and got there to witness the last 20% of the line dance.

    On the basis of that, the UN General Assembly permitted half of New Guinea to be absorbed into Indonesia.

    Was it just?

    Why would Australia vote in favour of a UN observed vote of about 200 men?

    No women were included in the line dance.

    It is a black mark across the soul Australia, that we have been party to such an absolute abuse of legal process, to convert a Papuan land into an Indonesian possession.

    Should we remain silent about such high level abuse?

    Kim Peart

  32. Simon Warriner

    November 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    re 34, and even less good news coming out of Fukushima and surrounds.

    Past performance may not be a certain guide to future events, but an industry whose risk assesment skills delivered that result is best kept away from sharp objects and dangerous substances, don’t you think?

  33. Robin Charles Halton

    November 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    #34 TGC I read an article recently, Anglea Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor said that four new coal fired power stations are being built as Renewables are not producing base load.

    From a local perspective here in Tasmania it is believed that further Chinese JV’d Wind farm investment is unwise from an eventual cost to the consumer point of view. The Chinese would expect good returns from their share of investment so it is obvious that consumers would need to step up to pay.

    The Federal govt should do far more to encourage private owners to install solar panels to supplement their use coming from public utilities.

  34. phill Parsons

    November 29, 2013 at 8:44 am

    #29. By referring to power I was referring to electricity. I didn’t believe TGC was referring to nuclear powered airplanes. One wonders what humans are without the natural world?.

    #30. Thank you for the parameter. Australia has more renewable capacity than Australian could possibly use making a role for the cable. When the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing and there is no wave action then thermohaline storage cells can be used to release the stored energy without calling on hydrogen cells.

    For those watching the Settlement of Ireland we saw 2 climate change events. One ended the new stone age and the next ended the bronze age. Arising from each was a new technology. More work may show these steps in technology were driven or stimulated by those events across the northern hemisphere.

    Which nuclear future does TGC want, Chrenobyl, 3 Mile Island, Hanford or Fukishima?. Please name a dangerous alternative energy project or source. rr

  35. TGC

    November 28, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Not such good news about off-shore windfarms coming out of Europe! What was that about a “free lunch”?

  36. Keith Antonysen

    November 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    In relation to economics Paul Keating was ahead of the pack; he presents an interesting interview slamming Tony Abbott’s attitude to a carbon tax.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDXtT8RCui8

    The other video provides an indication of scientists views on climate change.

    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1939492/opinion-climate-change-deniers-use-tobacco-tactics/

  37. Andrew

    November 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I admit Tony is a problem but the raising of an extremist to post of leader stems from the political need to differentiate the coalition from the equally pro-business ALP. Meanwhile we read Miriam’s comments about orang-utang and 99% of readers imagine they have a complete picture of the global situation outside our borders; nonsense.

    For example over 2 million hectares of the Indonesian palm oil farms are on the Australian continental island of New Guinea, not land purchased from PNG but 2,000,000 hectares being illegally farmed by Indonesia in a UN trust territory which Canberra and the rest of the UN has been asking Indonesia to administrate on our behalf for the pass fifty years.

    While the world was rightly dismayed by the 4 million barrels of oil split in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, every year Russia spills 30 million barrels of oil some 3 million of which then seeps into the Arctic Ocean.

    The carbon tax was a good start but we voters should have followed up with raising awareness of some of the other sources of the problem.

  38. Leonard Colquhoun

    November 27, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Re this claim in Comment 19, “The ONLY reason renewables aren’t further ahead is because no one can legitimately charge for the energy source because it is free so its hard to monopolise to make a massive profit”: just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such energy as (cost-)free energy, once costs like construction, maintenance, management, distribution, integration with existing generators and grids, et-bloody-cetera, are factored in. “The ONLY reason . . .” is simplistic nonsense.

    If so-called “free” energy was so feasible to produce, distribute and use, its development would follow along the lines of how mobile telephony has developed.

    “Build it and it will generate” makes as much consistent sense as that other saying ending with “and they will come”.

    All over Europe, that continent which so many on the Green / Left fawn over, government subsidised solar and wind energy “businesses” and facilities are closing down – once the 80% taxpayer-sourced subsidies run out, so do they.

  39. TGC

    November 27, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    #26 It is unlikely there will be any new hydro-electric projects in Tasmania-other ‘renewable’ sources- and that probably means wind and maybe solar, other mentioned renewables are a very long way off so can’t reasonably be considered- these ‘alternatives’ are very expensive, non-base-load,and environmentally have as many ‘issues’ as fossil-driven sources. They may be different issues but they are apparently ‘real’ to those affected.

    When- as Australia- we look to our future energy needs then nuclear cannot be ignored and around the world nuclear generation is again being taken seriously and implemented.
    Some nuclear power incidents in the last 50
    years notwithstanding energy from nuclear sources is as ‘safe’ as any other.
    Tasmania may need less ‘energy’ in the future as our economy grinds down, our population growth continues as negligible-even declining- and national ‘gridisation’ draws us into more co-operative energy arrangements.

  40. Kim Peart

    November 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Re: 26 ~ Phil Parsons

    Has the Bass Link cable been cut? ~ If not, then it is supplying fossil fuelled power to Tasmania.

    Is all machinery, including card, trucks and trains on the island now electric? ~ If not, then machine power needs are being driven by fossil fuel.

    Is all food consumed in Tasmania now produced without using any fossil fuel? ~ If not, then food eaten is enabled by the use of fossil fuel.

    Is all shipping in, out and around Tasmania driven by the Sun or by oar or by sail? ~ If not, then the power for shipping and fishing is fossil fuel.

    Are jet planes flying into Tasmania no longer using carbon fuelled propulsion? ~ If not, then Tasmania still flies on the wings fossil fuel.

  41. Kim Peart

    November 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Re: 27 ~ John Wade

    Is it possible to speak of how the future will be? ~ We plant the seeds of the fruit that our children will eat.

    The religious dogma that convinces many to wait on Earth until a saviour arrives to put the world right, could be a problem, if it leads to us putting our survival at risk.

    The economic dogma that we must keep burning fossil fuel like there is no tomorrow, is a problem, if it suppresses any serious competition to its monopoly on power, such as solar power stations in space.

    Princeton researchers (see link in comment 15) are now telling us that we really do need to wake up and figure this thing out, or we are galloping into a runaway greenhouse effect, which James Hansen fears could turn planet Earth into a second Venus (the Venus syndrome, page 223, ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’).

    If we cling to the dogma that somehow, magically, we can step to a sustainable future by planting trees and putting solar panels on our roof, then we stand guilty of ignoring the science that tells us that reducing CO2 emissions will not be enough.

    We cannot overcome CO2 emissions by applying the brakes. ~ We must reverse CO2 emissions, if we want a safe Earth.

    In his recent book called ~ 2312 ~ Kim Stanley Robinson speaks of a future where humans gain a deeper appreciation of the value of the Earth, by living in settlements in space.

    Either the Russians have been reading that book, or Stanley Robinson has seen their research, as a recent article in Space Daily described hollowed out asteroids that would be set spinning to provide a gravity for human settlements ~
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Asteroids_should_be_colonized_or_used_as_transport_to_planets_999.html

    If we can overcome the dogmas that keep us buried on Earth, then we can begin to imagine a future that includes survival, on Earth and in the cosmos.

    The proper management of our spaceship Earth must include prompt management of our carbon budget and defence against even small asteroids 17 metres across, that could take out a city ~ which nearly happened in Russia this year.

    We, Australia, could play a role in human survival, by investing in serious space development.

    That way lies the building of a much strong nation.

    That is our choice.

    Kim Peart

  42. John Wade

    November 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Kim Peart in “this future that includes survival” hence inhabiting deep space, has religious dogma been banned as well as all the isms that fracture our exponential intelligence?

  43. phill Parsons

    November 27, 2013 at 8:54 am

    It seems to escape TGC that Tasmania meets its power needs from renewables now. That capacity can only increase.

  44. hugoagogo

    November 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    #23 + 24

    Not quite. There actually is a [i]”three strikes and you’re out”[/i] rule in Mick confessional boxes.

  45. David Obendorf

    November 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Pete [commemt #23] Catholicism is such a forgiving religion. You can get away with murder – red, blue or green in the confessional. A few “Our Father’s”, half a dozen “Hail Mary’s” and a “Glory Be” and you’re cleansed!

    Neat, hey?

    The Catholic Church has turned a blind eye (or supported) to wars, mass murder and pedophilia.

    Tony Abbott is but one of its broad church of brethern… Tony Abbott, you could say, is one of their ‘Exclusive Brethren’.

    The shocking history of the Catholic Conquistadors in Central America are the hallmark for 21st Century ‘God-on-my side’ politicians like the current PM of Australia.

    Allelheuia!… now pass the ammunition brother!

  46. Pete Godfrey

    November 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Tony Abbott belongs to a cult that believes that no matter how stupid,wrong,unconscionable or illegal your acts are all you need to do is confess to the priest and all will be fine ever after. So what can we expect from a man who has such a strange belief system.
    TGC there is only one word needed to debunk your stupidity “fukushima”

  47. William Boeder

    November 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    #14. Trevor there are many times when you speak out on topics in Tasmanian Times that contains little more than worthless drivel, why you seem to think you opinion is so vital that it needs to be put in print I’ll never ever know.
    There are of course better and safer options, I do know that in our past life Steam was the greatest source of our energy.
    I now say that Hydro-generated electricity if it was retained, (not on-sold to Victoria or any other State for some ridiculous low cost as opposed to that which is charged to the people of Tasmania via the super expensive grid system) we in Tasmania would be self sufficient and well able to deal with all our energy futures.
    EG: Electric charged vehicles and even more improved steam systems could deal with our transport if the needs must be.
    The cartoon depiction of Australia’s media-pumped Prime Minister in the opening to this article is of this feeble-minded half-trained preacher-man of the cloth, (who is more interested in undoing or destroying the good policies and directions set for Australia and its people by the Labor governments and earlier versions of the Liberal government.
    As for the Neanderthal thinking held in the minds of those who strive for and laugh at the death of our wildlife, may they be haunted in their later lives by the evils of their present high level of crass ignorance and cretinous idiocy.
    For these creatures are not out to create the myriads of slaughter and destruction beloved of the Tasmanian Neanderthals, they merely strive to live in our presently non-destroyed environmental realms of this State.
    Sorry Trevor but your philosophies are generally of the most implausible and most absurd origin.

  48. David Obendorf

    November 26, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Karl [at #18], the running down of an echidna and the other poster at Comment #3 who alleges he was in a vehicle with a DPIPWE manager driving who ran down a quoll only highlights what is a very serious form of wildlife-phobia; nay sickness that is but the tip of Taz-mania’s iceberg.

    In my opinion there is a psychic epidemic in parts of Tasmania that collectively will kill, burn, poison and generally degrade the places they live in … as Miriam Moriatry states: ‘just because they can!’ How in-need of help is that?

    The [b]Clean-Green-Clever[/b] rhetoric suits some politicians to peddle but they have a ‘cognitive dissonance’ where their rhetoric is not matching reality and voiceless animals and the environment are the inevitable victims.

    [b]Time or Protest Voting[/b] in Tasmania to get these child-like politicians to wake up from their Pantomime performances… this purile theatrics needs to end.

    On past performances and rhetoric, some incumbent MPs are simply not worth a vote in my opinion.

  49. David Obendorf

    November 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Looking forward to seeing [b]TWS[/b]’s Mining Policy for Tasmania, I hear it’s on the way.

    Which mines will they accept and which will they oppose?

    Existing open cut mines – like Grange Resourses at Savage River?

    Reclamation of ore-rich tailings at locations like Lunia?

    Mining the ore-rich tailings at Pieman Heads?

    Their approach to the public & environmental health implications of a company mining town like [b]Rosebery[/b]?

    What will be their policy on increasing the height of tailing dams that hold gangue sludge; dams that have a history of collapse (accidental and by design)? [Monopoly player, Shaw Contracting P/L will want to know where they stand.]

    What’s their policy of remediation of the many hundreds of old mine sites and dumps with acid mine drainage problems impacting on aquifers and surface waters including drinking water to local users?

    [i]Welcome to Taz-mania … Exploit the Opportunities![/i]

  50. Sue DeNim

    November 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    An excellent article Miriam. I don’t know why anyone is surprised. The Mad Monk and his dunce cronies have wreaked of elitism, fascism, privilege and entitlement for ages.

    Labor aren’t much better in not addressing our continued reliance on and export of coal but I knew all along these nit wits would be a disaster.
    Its the Tony Abbot slash and burn sale. Everything that even hints at protection or conservation must go.

    At the risk of feeding the troll, I will say it again that TGC is completely delusional in his statement. What world is he living in?
    Solar, wind, wave, geothermal, waste to energy, bio fuels and energy efficiency are all eminently POSSIBLE and being used right now across the world.
    Unless you are talking about thorium nuclear reactors, which I doubt because you seem to have no ability to research such things, you are once again championing just another dig it up and burn it energy solution that can be centralised, monopolised and charged at a premium and continue to leave us with a devastating waste problem. Oh yes, what a great idea, look where its gotten us so far.

    I know you will argue that solar and all the other technologies use resources to build and set up a network and you are correct, there is no escaping this.
    But once the infrastructure is set up, the feed source is FREE!. Repeat FREE! It can be decentralised and community owned so pricing can be kept down.
    In the meantime while the infrastructure (solar cells, turbines etc.) is running down we can sort out recycling of infrastructure, so it can become a closed loop industry.
    With coal, or nuclear or gas, even when the infrastructure is set up we still have to dig something out of the ground, expending more energy to do so.
    Additionally the risk of spills, pollution, gas or radiation leaks remain ever present.

    The ONLY reason renewables aren’t further ahead is because no one can legitimately charge for the energy source because it is free so its hard to monopolise to make a massive profit.

    As evidenced by our current state of affairs and writ large by this article, it seems we have given up on doing what is ‘right’ and plough ever forward into what makes a minor few heaps of cash.

  51. Karl Stevens

    November 26, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Running over an echidna and climate change are disconnected in my view. The author then launches into a political discourse. Sure the Libs are really dumb but not dumb enough to realise that even if Australia spent 80% of its GDP on carbon mitigation, we would only postpone catastrophic climate change by a few months.
    As for running over echidnas, you would hope the perpetrator suffered severe anaphylactic shock after a jack jumper bite. Echidnas do eat these ants I believe?

  52. Kim Peart

    November 26, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Re: 14 ~ TGC

    What a bizarre statement ~ “Most of the above appears to confirm the need for our future energy requirements to be nuclear sourced. No other option is possible.”

    Earth orbits a star with so much fuel in reserve, it will continue to burn fiercely over the next 5 billion years, until expanding to the orbit of our planet as a red giant.

    The natural option for industry beyond Earth is to build solar power stations and there is more than one way to bring this power supply down to Earth, if we need it, such as to extract excess carbon from the biosphere and process extracted carbon back into a useful resource.

    In the long-term, with carbon back in safe bounds for life, it looks like we could meet all our energy needs from increasingly efficient ground-based solar power generation, not to mention hydro, tidal or wind.

    We will need nuclear power, most likely fusion as the Sun employs, to provide power in deep space, unless we find a way to tap into dark energy.

    Banging the drum for nuclear power on Earth only serves to promote the fossil fuel monopoly on power, as nuclear will never offer serious competition to carbon energy, let alone in time to hammer down the carbon level in the biosphere.

    Stellar energy is available now, most abundantly and efficiently in space, if we decide to build a future that includes survival.

    Kim Peart

  53. Richard Brown

    November 26, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Number 3…Can I ask exactly what you did when this DPIPWE imbecile ran over the Quoll as you said?..I know what I would have done to him..and I wouldnt be worrying about violent retribution..I hope you reported this … and that he was dealt with accordingly by this useless institution??

  54. Kim Peart

    November 26, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Researchers at Princeton University have shown, that if we cut CO2 emissions to zero today, the planet will continue to warm with the CO2 that remains at large ~
    http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S38/51/51I69/index.xml?section=topstories

    Will we face the fact that we have collectively failed to keep a safe Earth?

    We can blame the carbon energy industry, but the whole world uses fossil fuel and helps to drive the strife.

    Though conservationists called for sustainability, the brutal truth writ large was that they were not going to stop the progress of industrial society.

    The simple path forward for human society was to expand human activity into space, build solar power stations beyond Earth and make the transition from fossil fuel to stellar energy.

    That became possible in the 1970s and if conservationists had knuckled down to that reality and demanded action, we could have kept a safe Earth.

    The conservationist focus on the Earth has only served to assist the carbon energy monopoly and in effect, help drive the killing of life on Earth.

    To turn back the tide of carbon death that we have unleashed through our dogmatic blindness and mindless greed, we must get back to the future.

    With science demonstrating that we are on the way to a dangerous future, our only option is to invest in solar power stations in space, to gain direct access to the unlimited energy of the Sun and be able to extract excess carbon from the biosphere to win back a safe Earth.

    In a logical progression, by building an industrial presence in space, we will also be able to start building our defences against killer asteroids that could eliminate humans on this planet in a flash.

    With a clear direction for human action, we will all be able to work together with hope in the future.

    Failure to act will be sheer madness.

    Kim Peart

  55. TGC

    November 25, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Most of the above appears to confirm the need for our future energy requirements to be nuclear sourced. No other option is possible.

  56. John Biggs

    November 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    It’s not only what you say Miriam, which is so sensible it is obvious to anyone with an open mind, but how you say it. You don’t just slam the Libs, you explain why they deserve the powerful hit you give them.

    There are several paradoces in all this: the Libs must contain some decent peeople, but if so why don’t they dissociate themselves from the cruelty of asyum seeeker policy, the thuggish “diplomacy” of Abbott, the deliberate sabotaging of the Warsaw summit by officials sent by Abbott who wore t-shirts to the conference as a mark of disrespect, the assault on anything to with mitigating climate change, financing poor countries hit by climate change, giving approval and gunboats to the murderous Sri lankan govt, and so on and on.

    Another paradox is how 45% of voters gave their first prefernce to the party that stood firmly against their interests: almost all the Liberal policies were favouring the rich at the expense of the not rich, against climate change when now it appears 87% of the population want action on climate change. These inconsistencies suggest a deep pathology in the way people are handling things, deepest of all in the Liberal party. I find the psychology of the thinking and the actions of the right (and it is very largely the right #11) inexplicable without resorting to moralistic terms like selfish, uncaring, even downright evil, as depicted in the image heading this article. The justification in Q&A last night given by Josh Friendenberg for asylum seeker policy as “humanitarian”, care for the poor souls lost at sea, was so dishonest and simplistic it was beyond laughable.

    I would like someone from the right to try and justify their way of doing things in the face of all good sense. However, I expect any response to be one of vilification and name calling, unlike Miriam’s article which arges a very strong case.

  57. phill Parsons

    November 25, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I argue that it is money that is delaying change.

    The huge sums invested in fossil fuels are vulnerable as disaster becomes the modus with the climate.

    The smart thing would be to transition the investments but who will hold up the value of the unmineable coal, the unrecoverable oil and gas.

    Currently they are valued at about a quarter of the cost of going 100% renewable but when the cost of damage from storms, fires, disease, sea level rise, failing natural systems and agriculture over the time of the transition are included it is cheaper to limit the climate shift by going to 100%.

    Demand it now.

  58. Simon Warriner

    November 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    It is not solely the province of the “right”. Cassie O’Connor demonstrated that very clearly when she dismissed any concern for the health impacts of the dioxin mentioned in Les Barker’s leaked emails with a far too casual “well he would say that, wouldn’t he”.

    That statement comes from exactly the same place as Abbott and Hodgeman’s arrogant disregard Miriam is writing about.

    Until we demand and elect representatives that work for the electors, not the parties, we are doomed to see much more of this excrement masquerading as leadership.

  59. Miriam Moriarty

    November 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Chris Sharples, I think you’ve summed it up well. The cognitive dissonance for anyone still denying the reality of climate change must be staggering as we see extreme weather events mounting, weather maps redrawn, wheat and corn harvests failing, disappearance of Arctic ice, stronger and stronger IPCC statements etc. Issues around climate change and environmental degradation generally have always been far more about human psychology than science. As any discussion with climate change ‘deniers’ reveals, logic and facts aren’t ultimately what this is about.

  60. Chris Sharples

    November 24, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Miriam has put her finger on something important – the fact of climate change is a clear demonstration that the sort of doctrinaire right wing ideologies that assert that unlimited resource consumption (on a finite planet) is not only possible but also right and desirable, have been clearly shown to be wrong. As we all know, this is why right wing ideologues must necessarily deny climate change. However the evidence that they are wrong about this is mounting up so rapidly that I suspect a lot of them are quite literally beginning to lose the plot – they can’t acknowledge their denial is wrong, but are feeling the pressure of reality. I wonder if this stress has caused some of them to simply become “sheer bloody-minded” and just want to “show the greenies” by acting out their ideological convictions as strongly (and rashly) as they can? One hopes this will be the last hurrah for their failed ideologies.

  61. Isla MacGregor

    November 24, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    3# Thank you so much [i]name withheld for fear of violent retribution[/i] – your comments underpin the reason why the Tasmanian Integrity Commission needs some real teeth. But, before that, we need that whistleblower legislation with real protection mechanisms compensation provisions.

    Sadly, no word on either of these major free speech and accountability issues from the Greens.

    More Tasmanians should be speaking out to support and protect our ethical public servants. It is [b]this very fear of violent retribution that is precisely what continues to keep Tasmania back [/b].

  62. David Obendorf

    November 24, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Miriam writes: [i]A friend who is a wildlife expert once told me the story of how, while driving in the North West of the state, he saw a car swerve across to the opposite side of the road to deliberately hit an echidna. Why would someone do that? I asked, shocked. To prove that they can, he said.[/i]

    Comment #3 your own experience is particularly troubling on many fronts. You are very courageous to speak out. It is a very sad reflection on Tasmania.

    It is beyond deplorable that a manager within the Government Department responsible for the Animal Welfare Act, the Threatened Species Conservation Act, and the Nature Conservation Act, etc would act as you claim.

    Can I humbly suggest that you detail in full your incident with the name of the DPIPWE manager involved and your allegation. Please have it declared before a JP or a Commissioner of Affidavits forthwith and keep it secure.

    The fox program has operated for over a decade under the pretext that no one wants to be publicly identified or involved in that issue for fear of ridicule or intimidation. This form of publicised humbug is destroying Tasmania – daily.

    I am particularly concerned by wildlife hatred in Tasmania that induces [i]anyone[/i] to wilfully take such a risk on the road as you and Miriam describe.

    The last thing Tasmania needs right now is ‘self-censorship’ from individuals who fear reprisals from persons (or organisatios) who clearly need help. Thank you.

    David Obendorf Ph: 03 6234 5561

  63. Basil Fitch

    November 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    For anyone interested:-
    Sustainable Forest Solution
    Bio-Char Meeting
    Called by Tamar NRM
    Speakers:- Paul Taylor – Frank Strie
    Friday 29th November,2013
    Town Hall, Launceston 6.30 for 7pm FREE
    Sat. Exeter Workshop 10.30a.m – 4.30a.m
    FEES WILL APPLY
    Ring Amanda 63 233310 for info
    Limited Bookings – about 200 – Book early
    Basil

  64. john hayward

    November 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Neither the echidna nor the quoll mentioned by #3 were innocent victims.

    They were both enemies of the conservative yobs who ran them down by virtue of not being of immediate material use to them. As protected species, they were an affront to right-wing dominion.

    So are humans who think.

    John Hayward

  65. Penelope Marshall

    November 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    This is an absolute disgrace #3. But this is the calibre of stock we have running this state. This is a machine that has been ingrained for a very long time. Same bunch recycled over and over its time for a massive clean out of these departments and they should never be let back in the door. A few of them better start thinking about an early retirement while they still have the chance.

  66. name witheld for fear of violent retribution

    November 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    When I worked for the DPIPWE I found myself in a four wheel drive with one of the managers at the wheel. I saw a large Quoll on the opposite side of the road verge and pointed it out. The manager drove accross an unbroken white line onto the verge and ran the quoll over, the manager was laughing the whole time and told me the animal was ‘bush junk’. The manager went on to say that we could poison and kill our wildlife as much as we like as there is so much of it in Tassie it wouldn’t affect population densities. The same manager went on to become one of the leading authorities/coordinators of a … programme. Welcome to Tasmania.

  67. phill Parsons

    November 24, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Currently polar region land based ice melt pulses with a more rapid movement in summer countered by a slower than average movement in winter [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131122103859.htm].

    However, the below sea level ice is not so constrained. Higher water temperatures in winter will continue to assist in ice melt for glacial tongues resting in or on water.

    Clive and Gina divesting from coal and Tony seeing the light right after Nick Minchin’s epiphany [or phone call from the representative of the rich and powerful] will not stop this process.

    The ocean has not warmed to its full extend because the CO2 released has not yet warmed the atmosphere and ocean. That doesn’t hit until about mid-century.

    More warming will follow that because we will not stop emitting today. Rest assured the new coal and gas export ports will be closer to sea level.

  68. phill Parsons

    November 24, 2013 at 9:43 am

    The stressed might opt for suicide. The mentally ill might try biocide.

    Therefore we have to conclude that the greedy and their sycophantic servants are either mentally ill or do not believe the science.

    In not letting the science proving the climate is changing and its caused by what we do into their world they are saving it from unravelling.

    Their financial arrangements are safe and their beliefs remain unchallenged.

    Our only option is to save ourselves and by implication save them as well.

    The unfortunate thing is such actions will not follow in a democracy without the majority believing that we need to act.

    It is my view now that will only follow on a climate disaster that affects Australia manifesting itself in an unequivocal form.

    Of course that may be a series of different disasters across the country but following closely on each other.

    The majority will then thank Abbott and Hunt, Hodgman and Gutwein, Palmer and Rhinehart and all those others in denial provided those events are timely enough.

    It is possible for humans to drive the earth system beyond its tolerance for us as we are currently organized and structured.

    That could come at the same time as the undeniable disasters but I doubt that those named above will be more than dust then.

    Will they breed a new scientifically illiterate class of greedy,their acolytes, and the associated sycophants.

    Well, its a long standing result following on many trials of the model.

    Humans also delay change for as long as they can.

    Therefore the risks for an undeniable disaster are high and the potential for a positive outcome continue to loose ground.

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