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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 6 December 2007
It's time for News Limited & PM Rudd to ditch Piers/loggers' anti science rhetoric on climate
Mood:  bright
Topic: globalWarming


Picture: Clips from News Ltd press in Sydney Dec 5, 6 has a confused line on dangerous climate change, even allowing for diversity of opinion, despite owner Rupert Murdoch earlier this year acknowledging 'the planet deserves the benefit of the doubt'. Indeed it does.

A contact of ours sells (organic) fruit and veg in Sydney. He recently sold his farm near Young in the family for three generations because of desperate lack of rainfall. It took him years to walk away but his wife is 'overjoyed' not for the miserable loss but the fact he has survived the highy rational decision, environmentally, emotionally and financially.

But according to Piers Akerman today it's far better for Australia's new government to continue to keep its head in the sand as to the scientifically verified urgency: To continue down a blind alley and send our population to the wall with stubborn denial and inflexibility. To fail in the adaptation stakes. Akerman's has no insight to the cruelty of his rhetoric.

Well that's okay for near retired journo hacks who have made their whole career hating the environment and greenies generally. They've had their go.

News Ltd seem to get the quandary they are in with their neurotic coverage as shown by the contrast above. Opposite Akerman is the other view about drowning Pacific Island cultures. Meanwhile some 4 - 7 million depending on who you reference (World Vision here, ReliefWeb here)  Bangladeshis are struggling with massive cyclone disruption on their low lying areas. Over 3,000 died directly. More will.

Fairfax also seems to feel the turn of the tide. In the Sun Herald Miranda Devine's toxic anti ecological views are being balanced by a younger hip bloke on the facing page with about equal space and cogency most weeks. Devine has seniority but she is stalling.

Which brings us to PM Rudd's approach to Bali UN Climate conference. He may take comfort from front page picture embarrassment's to Indonesia showing devastated forest there compared with so called natural harmony here (see front page image below that last month, same newspaper).


But arguing selective hypocrisy of Indonesia's governance only gets you so far in Australia itself: The same destruction is happening in Australia - legally ....in East Gippsland


 ....in Tasmania

 ....in South East NSW

In Rudd's own delegation to Bali is a Howard machine fixer and apologist for logger political terrorism Catherine Murphy


(6th Dec 2006 - New paper: Logger terrorism under the Howard federal government) representing the National Association of Forest Industries (read woochippers of native forests) who issued this political rhetoric dressed up as (junk) science on carbon storage:

            Dec 3 2007 NAFI represents Australian forest industry at Bali climate change meetings

NAFI’s CEO and Deputy have been appointed as members of the official Australian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Bali

NAFI’s CEO, Catherine Murphy, and Deputy CEO, Allan Hansard, have been appointed as members of the official Australian delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Bali. .....“In fact, when a tree is harvested, the wood products created store carbon, while the new trees grown in place of the harvested trees continue to capture carbon. " [bold added]

In reality about 2% of native forest harvested in Victoria and we presume nationally has a life cycle  based on quality appearance grade wooden products, most of the rest is sawdust, woodchips for short lived paper products, or forest trash which gets burnt, and destroys humid canopy. Yep you read that right. About 95% plus is destruction of the carbon store. Why do they do it? We say for the privatisation of high rainfall public land transformation to higher profit plantations that really do produce high value appearance grade timber. Just like Indonesia. But they are so brutal over there? Like this attack on Adrian Whitehead in Victoria Australia in 2000, who is over at the Bali conference representing the civil society group Zero Emissions Network?




Rudd on Dec 3, 2007 the morning of the swearing in of his new government stated he was feeling "chipper". Unfortunate choice of words that. Not so coincidental from our point of view.

 We interpreted this turn of events like this:

Subject: Rudd feels "chipper" on govt swear-in day last Monday. Re: [Greens-Media] Rudd takes loggers to Bali

When PM Rudd was taking early interviews on Monday Dec 3 2007, his big day for the swearing in of the new government he said words to the effect of "I'm feeling chipper." What does one make of this? A coincidence. A throwaway line. A freudian slip?
 For what it's worth I've never heard Rudd use that particular word before.
He is a workaholic and almost certainly in this period was working up his prep for Bali which was well understood mid last week of being the next big real politik dynamic.
Methinks he was indeed thinking forests, whether to the good or the bad.
Certainly the weekend press had a two page feature in the Sydney Morning Herald about the pulping of Indonesian forests:

Stopping the rot in logging industry - Environment - smh.com.au  [not listed in the archive index, which is a caution to me]
Related story here: 
Up in the trees, the boss hangs on for a miracle - Environment ...

The head of NAFI as I recall is Catherine Murphy an ex  Howard staffer. What this means I have no idea. A naively hopeful view might be that he knows Murphy is no ideologue only a fixer and with change in govt she simply trims accordingly, a bit like a communist satellite pre and post Berlin wall, or pre and post Saddam Iraqi bureaucrat in the Dept of Energy. Same forelock different tug.
But my guess it's all negative just as Senator Brown states below. The only strand of hope seems to be that Qld outlawed the woodchipping industry, and if that approach could be rolled out to the rest of the country would a hope
against dismal expectation.
> Wednesday, 5 December 2007
> Rudd takes loggers to Bali
> Brown again calls for 10% cut in Australia's emissions by ending native forest logging
> The inclusion of the CEO and deputy CEO of the National Association of Forest Industries in the Rudd government's delegation to Bali is a signal of no change from the Howard years, Greens Leader Bob Brown said
> in Hobart today.
> "The fastest way for Australia to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent is to stop logging and burning native forests. NAFI, which fronts for Gunns and its pulp mill proposal, is there to agitate against this
> prudent move by Australia," Senator Brown said.
> "How can Rudd join calls for Indonesia, Papua New Guinea or Brazil to end logging when he has a loggers' lobby group in his own camp?" Senator Brown asked.
> "Instead, Mr Rudd should show he means business by announcing Australia will dump Gunns' pulp mill which will produce 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases if it is built," Senator Brown said.
> Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

Rudd's pulp mill for Tasmania is under constant legal barrage. His friend and colleague Peter Garrett is bleeding to death in the public credibility stakes over such forest vandalism at home.

Meanwhile the planet is going down the gurgler at a rate of knots and no amount of double talk or diplomacy can fool all the people.

What we need is some Bernie Banton style straight talk of which PM Rudd is so admiring, and rightly so. Because if dangerous climate change is going to destroy western civilisation as a result of runaway momentum, maybe people have a right to know their dismal fate and some JUSTICE? That would be common decency. As Winston Churchill said

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

Get it? If you don't have the courage to deal in scientific reality get off the platform.

Meanwhile Adrian Whitehead writes from Bali UN conference directly on the issue of science of natural forest carbon storage:

New Australian Forest Science - Released at UNFCC Bali Conference

From Adrian's Zero Emission Bali Blog. For more blogging see: www.zeroemissionnetwork.org.au

"The last event of the night was run by The Wilderness Society. It included a presentation of the excellent work by Brendan M Mackey from ANU on determining the natural Carbon Carrying Capacity (CCC) of different forest types in the South East Australia. His work builds on the previous data for the forests of SE NSW and the E. ragnans (Mountain Ash) forests.

Prof Mackey stated that Natural CCC was underestimated everywhere because foresters and forestry data is used as bases for calculating natural CCC. This is shown in the significant difference between between CCC calculations by the IPPC, 60 t C ha-1 yr-1 average for a temperate forest and Mackey's work which produces an average of 670 t C ha-1 yr-1.

This work relates directly to one of the key focuses of the Bali meeting which is the debate around reducing emission from deforestation and degradation (REDD).

Prof Mackey makes the point that current GREEN carbon (living terrestrial biomass and soil carbon) is not accounted for, unlike BLACK (fossil fuels), BROWN (agriculture and plantations) or BLUE (atmospheric and ocean) and that we must have definition of green carbon so we can actually see it in the context of action on climate change and REDD. Prof Mackey defined degradation of a natural system as any action that reduces its CCC.

One exciting bit of work the Zero Emission Network has been doing with Prof Mackey's previous data, was showing that if the forestry sector was included in a carbon pricing mechanism (either tax for trading) with a minimum price of $10 or more a ton of C the native forest industry would collapse over night. This new research seems to support this.

The report is currently only in limited release, but people interested in it should contact 

The second part consisted of a talk about the challenges of protecting one of the world's last natural substantial tropical rainforests, the forest of Aceh, protected for many years by a succession war run out of the jungle. Here the main drivers of destruction are palm oil plantations destroying lowland peat swamp forests, and illegal logging. However there are some positive programs including the elephant patrol which consists of former Acehnese fighters that patrol the jungles looking for illegal logging on the back of elephants."

Adrian Whitehead
Zero Emission Network
Level 2, 140 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

0403 735 118

Posted by editor at 8:34 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 6 December 2007 12:31 PM EADT

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