We recently discussed the disturbing allegations directed against an Australian MP who dumped pollutants into the Great Barrier Reef with impunity. The case raised questions over how powerful mining interests are overwhelming environmental concerns, even in the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Now, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has shocked many around the world with a speech to the lumber industry that not only promises to stop the establishment of any new national parks but commits his government to advancing the interests of the industry.
Calling the lumber companies and their workers “the ultimate conservationists,” Abbott pledged a moratorium on more national parks and would not allow “further lockouts of our forests.” One specific gift will be the delisting from a world heritage of 74,000 hectares of forest in Tasmania (left). Mr Abbott declared the area too degraded to be included and thus promises to degrade it more. To make sure that such areas are put to the saw and axe, Abbott announced the creation of a new Forestry Advisory Council to support the industry. It will be co-headed by Rob de Fegely, president of the Institute of Foresters Australia.
Abbott also denounced “the Green ideology, which has done so much damage to our country over the last couple of decades.” He heralded a new coalition to fight environmentalists and noted that “I’m pleased to see that there are some sensible Labor Party people who don’t buy it either.” He explained that God wanted us to exploit these resources and not just leave them in their untouched natural condition:
“Man and the environment are meant for each other. The last thing we do – the last thing we should want – if we want to genuinely improve our environment is to want to ban men and women from enjoying it, is to ban men and women from making the most of it and that’s what you do. You intelligently make the most of the good things that God has given us.”
It appears that nothing pleases God more than a logging road and a clear cut mountaintop. Of course, not cutting down a forest hardly means that you are not “enjoying it.” Indeed, millions come to Australia to hike and see such areas (as opposed to that wonderful trip down logging road to thrill in the vision of human industry). What is interesting is that Abbott and this Labor supporters formed a government with the support of one Green MP and three independent MPs in winning the 2013 election. That Green MP must feel a tad foolish at this point.
With that Abbott announced that his government was now a “friendly country” for the lumber industry. At a time when the world is moving toward greater protections of pristine areas, Abbott has placed Australia on the opposing course of development. The loss of Australia in the global efforts of conservation and protection is significant since countries like China continue to encourage Third World nations to open up their own resources and areas for short-term benefits. We recently saw similar moves in Canada in the lifting of protections from the Yukon territory. With the demonization of the “Green ideology,” these Western leaders could accelerate the damage to their own country and will likely accelerate the losses in poorer nations looking for the infusion of money from countries like China as was the case recently in Ecuador.
18 thoughts on “Australian Prime Minister Pledges Moratorium On New National Parks, Expanded Logging, And A Crusade Against “The Green Ideology””
Actually Abbott was born in the UK and came to Australia as a child. Nevertheless, stupid is what stupid does. As noted above, he is a right wing reactionary who imports many of his ideas and strategies from the republican party. The only policies he has are to undo everything the previous Labor government introduced including a tax on CO2, a tax on super profits for the mining industry, wind back funding to improve equality of education etc. We are going through a bit of a dark age here since his government was elected in September 2013. Rupert Murdoch’s screaming media also plays a key role in supporting him with News Corp owning 70% of the print media – think Fox News but in print.
This PM probably is the offspring of convicts who were sent to Aussieland.
We might as well live it up from now on, no? We’re just another step to destroying Earth and all that live on it. You know, truth is, we’re all guilty and we’re all in this together. But, on the bright side: our grandchildren and great grandchildren will most likely learn what a tree looks like in their biology class as the teacher will project a photo of one onto the board. As they walk outside to go home, they’ll just strap on their Oxygen tanks their parents were able to buy from them from one or other mega corporation selling it to the highest bidders. I am in California here and there is a serious drought as some of you may know. I’ve been putting buckets into my tub to catch the first cold water which comes out of the faucet before it turns warm for my twice-a-week shower (I learned to do the bird-bath thing and have never been accused of smelling badly). I then haul the bucket down the stairs to water my plants. What the heck am I breaking my back over if the most powerful people on the face of planet Earth are now brazen enough to tell us that we ought to use the resources like God told us to. That’s it, I need a stiff drink.
Thanks for the lead, Carlyle
Sometimes new governments do not win elections so much as old governments lose them. The only way tony Abbott could ever have become prime was when such a situation came about in the 2013 Australian Federal election. Tony Abbot happened to be leader of the Federal Liberal Party at the time that the Labour Party lost the election. Despite his obvious detachment from reality Abbott was the only Federal liberal memberwho had sufficient support to replace John Howard(the man of steel) when the the LNP lost the 2007 Election.
Tony Abbott is a culture warrior in the true Republican mold. He is against some things like conservation because of his hostility to the kind of dirty stinking hippies that support them, if the dirty hippies are for something like for example fighting global warming then all decent culture warriors must oppose it even if rational considerations tend to support the dirty hippies.
We are now at the dawn of the second age of the airship and this promises better coexistense betweeen forestry and forest conservation.
Currently forestry means clear cutting, because the only economic means of getting to a tree in the middle of the forest is to chop down and remove all trees between it and the road.However prototype airships are already flying with cargo capacities of 30 tonnes and on he drawing boards are those of 120 tonnes cargo capacity. This will make logging roads and clear felling unnecessary.
Instead an airship hovers over target tree, lets down a team of men with chainsaws and a grapple that they fasten to the tree near the top. Men then chainsaw through the base of the tree then are hoisted up beside the tree and use long poles to guide the tree out of the forest and prevent it becoming entangled with adjacent trees. Airship delivers tree to road or rail transfer point, then rinse and repeat.
BTW: There’s a legal challenge being mounted against the Canadian govt effort to exploit the Peel watershed.
isaac mentioned the XL pipeline. Barbara Boxer invited a Canadian physician to testify about increased cancer rates in the areas around the tar sands and the lies being told by the Canadian govt.
Who is this guy Abbott and where did he come from? I’m sure he’s some kind of neocon but who’s in his pocket. And how was he able to convince a nation to support him?
As an Australian may I say how proud I am that my country has produced such a world class political loon as Tony Abbott.
In that case, let’s just have throw a Nuclear war…. why delay the inevitable destruction of the Planet any longer? Wipe the ‘slime’ that is humanity from the face of Earth… the planet will recover very well without us…… in a few million years……….
Is this the voice of campaign contributions or do politicians really believe that the world is better off if it is destroyed?
Makes sense – Australia is part of the Trans Pacific “Partnership” which puts corporate interests above common sense – the fast track to slavery for the working class of all countries involved,
It’s a nation of convicts, what could we expect.
Money…. That’s what you mean to me…Mr. Tree…..
An infantile mind heads up infantile behavior, as does an infantile government.
Not many governments these
daysdaze are environmentally mature.
Survival of civilization is a result of mature policies which are incomprehensible to infantile officials at this time.
It is not clear when they will become mature, but it is fairly clear when civilization will subside.
“One would say that [man] is destined to exterminate himself after having rendered the globe uninhabitable.” – Lamarck
“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this –hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension.” – Sigmund Freud
“Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
One extreme typically causes another. The protection of the environment is obviously the most important issue. However, the environment, regarding trees, can be farmed successfully without clear cutting the remaining old growth forests. However, nature’s way is to allow these forests to burn from time to time. This releases seeds for nature’s reforestation process to work. So, in some cases maintaining old growth forests is not a good idea.
In BC, where I grew up, the practice of clear cutting old growth forests, which is immediate and produces the most valuable timber, is always at odds with the environmentalists. What is interesting, if you drive through the country, is noticing huge tree farms or areas that were clear cut and replanted, (I planted trees in the late 60’s), Signs point out that these forests will be harvested in 2025, 2034, 2040, etc. The practice of replanting or farming Douglas Fir trees takes a while to kick in, given the thirty to forty years needed.
Wise use of our natural resources is possible. However, one extreme such as no forestry whatsoever typically brings about idiots like the present Prime Minister of Australia who gives the green light to that industry. A more effective way to do this is with an environmental trust, protected by the courts/law that would not be subject to the political whims of whoever is in power. This would take into consideration the waterways and animal habitat.
For instance, not clear cutting down to the streams but leaving a protective stand of trees to intercept runoff, not clear cutting the tops of hills but allowing the forest to keep the sides which would be cut from eroding. Unfortunately when industry gets its way, large areas are clear cut and the logs sold and shipped intact by barge to the highest bidder, destroying the environment and taking away jobs in sawmills.
The absolute position of the PM of Australia reminds one of the likes of Ronald Reagan, “If you’ve seen one Red Wood you’ve seen em all.”
Germany is voting on whether to bulldoze 3 towns for new coal mining. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/140211-germany-plans-to-raze-towns-for-brown-coal/
China ignores the environment; India the same. US talks a big environmental game but then goes on a fracking rampage that releases huge amounts of methane to the air and contaminates groundwater. Keystone is just a formality that will be approved. Obama will wait until after the mid terms to approve it, so Dems can tout their environmental concerns.
Governments worldwide are damaging the environment. The only differences are their appeasement policies to silence the environmental crowd. Similar to Obama pushing better gas mileage for trucks while encouraging unlimited fracking. And most people would rather pollute the air and unseen waterways than pay an extra dime a gallon in gas.
Abbott at least tells the truth about how he plans to decimate the environment. It will be easier to counter Abbott’s actions, since at least you now where he is coming from.
We need a balance of course. I’m getting to feel that the Australian government is as messed up as ours. I wonder if they also have a Patriot Act and a National Defence Authorization Act? It goes without saying they have a messed up lobbying system like ours.
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