Tags: temperate rainforest

24 Jul 2007, Comments Off on The enemy of my enemy is not my friend

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend

Author: Helen

Sad, so sad today after listening to PM last night. That’s done it for me. I can’t vote for Krudd. Annabel Crabb in the SMH nailed it:

Mark Latham got into quite a lot of trouble three years ago when he went to Tasmania and announced the Labor Party’s policy on forestry.
Yesterday, Kevin Rudd was smarter. He went to Tassie and announced the Coalition’s policy instead, which seems to have gone down rather better on the whole.

Too clever by half. And Garrett. My god. Look at him learning how to weasel like a pro. Disgusting.

I’ll hurl if I hear another reference to laying Latham’s ghost to rest, yada, yada. He was a dill on many counts, but on forest policy he tried to do the right thing. It’s a pity no-one listened to him above the noise made by timber workers and executives lying on the ground chucking a tanty, otherwise they might have realised the “disastrous policy” was nothing of the kind.

So little left of the original cool temperate rainforest cover, and we’re going to lose more of it to Gunns Limited, the forestry division of the CMFEU, and the spineless Labor politicians who lie down and let those people walk all over them. The threatened areas in the Blue Tiers, the Weld, Styx and Tarkine wilderness, will be gone. My children and your children will never see them. It’s going to be sold for a mess of woodchips. Meanwhile, 600 auto workers get the sack in Geelong, but who gives a stuff? They’re not timber workers — Australia’s cutest, cuddliest protected species.)


Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

21 Apr 2007, Comments Off on Aaaaaaaarsehooooooole!


Author: Helen

Image from http://www.realfooty.com.au/

Yes, I know, I’m my own worst enemy. I spend three days in southern Tasmania walking around cool temperate rainforest, eating and drinking myself stupid and paddling a kayak past mighty mountains and through rocky gorges, and by the end of that time I felt pretty fabulous. And then I had to spoil it all by doing something stupid like opening a newspaper.

If you don’t live in southern Australia, you need to know that the mind-numbingly long Australian Rules Football season is just getting under way.

Aussie Rules isn’t just a game- it’s an elite and insular world, which gives disproportionate rewards to meatheaded young men with a narrow range of physical skills and, often, an attitude to women or other ethnic groups which hasn’t changed since third grade. These child-men are paid staggering amounts, treated like gods and generally allowed to piss on society in general with their unreconstructed thuggery, while teachers and scientists get the crumbs from our table.

Usually I try my best to ignore these glorified house pets, but unfortunately their caperings outside the football stadium are classified as news in this town. So, schoolchildren all over Victoria were edified by this news item:

West Coast footballer Adam Selwood faces an extraordinary tribunal hearing on Wednesday night after being accused of making sexually explicit taunts about the six-year-old daughter of Fremantle player Des Headland….

It is believed that even [Selwood’s] own version of what he said to provoke Headland concedes he made an unpleasant reference to a tattoo on Headland’s arm. The tattoo is of Headland’s daughter Madisan.
It is alleged by Headland that during the third quarter Selwood, pointing to the tattoo of Madisan on Headland’s left bicep, said “I f—ed her last night” to which Headland is understood to have replied, “What do you mean, she’s my daughter?”

The West Coast player is then alleged by Headland to have added: “Yeah, she’s a slut. I f—ed her.”

Let’s not get distracted by the issue of people not being able to spell their own childrens’ names. While some of the cooler heads in the footy world came out in condemnation, others stayed right on message with the predictable “suck-it-up-we’re-tough-guys” rhetoric. Did I say predictable? It went to a new low, even by my expectations – and I’m a total cynic when it comes to the AFL culture.

Former St Kilda player and coach Grant Thomas said he had never heard anything like this. But he said Headland acted against the interests of his team by reacting violently …
Thomas said he would have ignored the comments. “In the field of battle you heard most things, but none of it was ever true. I have eight children and I would laugh about it.”

What a great guy. I’d like to be a fly on the wall back at his house after that got printed.

Sydney ruckman Peter Everitt, who settled a racial vilification complaint from Essendon’s Michael Long by mediation in 1997, said …”You can go a little bit too far but like if he said it to me, I’ve got 13, seven and five-year-old daughters and it wouldn’t have worried me at all — I would have laughed it off. But other people take it to heart…”

Buncha sheilas, obviously. Footy culture is even sicker than I’d realised. Racial taunts and making fun of someone’s cancer are other examples; drugs, neverending stoush, drunken boorishness and everything else that goes with a massively inflated sense of entitlement. It’s why I never bother with them. But this, as TonyT says, takes the baked confection.

But get this, Selwood claimed that it was an OK thing to have said because he didn’t know the tattoo was a picture of a child. Yeah, I paid that one, for about a second. But, WTF?

OK, they’ve admitted that claiming you’ve pronged someone’s six-year-old daughter is perhaps a wee bit too far (although some people obviously don’t even get that). But comments that are simply misogynistic and contemptuous of women are perfectly OK in AFL-world. Still.

With the exception of Paul Roos, naturally. (Oh, and Greg Baum, but he’s a writer.)

1 Feb 2007, Comments Off on A million monkeys banging on a million typewriters for a million years

A million monkeys banging on a million typewriters for a million years

Author: Helen


I was happy to see this article about logging in the Thompson Dam catchment area on the front page of the AGE a couple of weeks ago. Well, when I say happy, I mean in a gloomy Eeyore-like, “thank f*cking Christ someone’s taking some notice of this”, kind of way. But after reading the article, I was gloomier than ever. Just because it’s a terrible and urgent problem doesn’t mean the Bracks government is going to do anything about it.

Against all reason and logic, the Victorian government continues to allow clearfelling of temperate rainforest in catchment areas such as the Central Highlands (Melbourne) and the Otways (Warrnambool). Once logged, these areas suck up exponentially more water in order to regrow the vastly inferior and drier regrowth– it ain’t rocket science. And if science is what you want, the point has been demonstrated by hydrologists here and in the US in numerous studies from the 1950s onwards.

But the Victorian government wants another study:

Despite the existence of studies dating to the 1950s, in 2004 the Bracks Government decided to conduct more research into the reduced water yields caused by logging. It is scheduled to be completed in May 2008.

…All the scientists spoken to by The Sunday Age questioned the need for further studies, saying the numerous existing reports, many of which were commissioned by the Kennett and Bracks governments and on which this article is based, were sufficient.
A Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman said the Government’s new study would use an updated model for determining water yields, examine timber substitution and look at economic, social and environment issues involved in logging in the Thomson. “Using the latest modelling for hydrological studies (the Macaque model) will produce more accurate and far more useful results, as previous models had wide margins of error,” the spokesman said.

However, Dr Watson, who developed the Macaque model, said when he applied it to the Thomson it didn’t produce fundamentally different results from the previous “Kuczera curve” model.

“Macaque model” – now that’s a name to conjure with. Macaques are monkeys, of course, so it suggests a roomful of monkeys employed by the Bracks government to bang out hydrology studies in the expectation that one day, one of the monkeys will come up with a result which supports clearfelling in catchment areas.

Cheap jokes aside, however, this means that even the scientist responsible for the Macaque model has said that his model isn’t going to give Thwaites what he wants. But it seems the Victorian government is just going to commission study after study until they finally get the answer they want, and probably until all the rest of the old growth is gone. After all, their cosy relationship with the forestry union and the woodchipping companies has to be more important than just… water.