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Finding the root of the problem

The mainstream media (MSM) will only ever print or do whatever advantages them the most. But when what you are looking for is often buried in the bowels of its publications, one has to dig somewhat deeper to find the roots of what one is looking for.

So much attention is given to renewable energy when discussing the lowering of our carbon emissions that we neglect just what can be achieved with a few trees. Well more than just a few.

In fact, you would have to be barking mad to dismiss just what effect a few trunks can have.

I recently found this article by Samuel Osborne in The Independent, where he talks about how China intends to raise the country’s forest coverage to 23 percent by 2020. With the aid of 60,000 foot-solders it plans two projects covering an area of at least 66,600 hectares:

“Asia Times recently reported that a large regiment from the People’s Liberation Army, along with some of the nation’s armed police force, have been withdrawn from their posts on the northern border to work on non-military tasks inland.

The majority will be dispatched to Hebei province, which encircles Beijing, according to the Asia Times which originally reported the story. The area is known to be a major culprit for producing the notorious smog, which blankets the capital city.”

When I mentioned all this to the editor of The AIMN he implied that I was barking mad. Sapped me a bit, then he tweeted:

He tore me to threads limb from limb telling me to concentrate on the trees. So I did. Further reading revealed that India was also planting in massive numbers. “India planted 66 million trees in 12 hours as part of record-breaking environmental campaign,” and all done using 1.5 million volunteers.

But that’s not all:

Last year volunteers in Uttar Pradesh state set a world record by planting more than 50 million trees in one day.

Meanwhile in Australia, the latest report on the condition of the Great Barrier Reef says that it has gone from poor to very poor according the Sydney Morning Herald. The next rating is “In Danger.”

I watched the Environment Minister, Susan Ley, who admitted it was as a result of climate change, tell the press that the government was doing all it could and that we were on track (broken record) to achieve our Paris commitment.

Her gloomy words were contrary to glowing report she gave the reef not long ago when she said, after a spot of diving, the reef was teeming with life.

One could be excused for thinking that some form of good news had come upon her, such was her demeanour.

“But 50 million trees in a day,” I thought. “I wonder how many starfish there are.”

Another report The Guardian Friday showed greenhouse gas emissions rose 0.6% in the year to March.

Watching the Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor, tell the press that the government was doing all it could and that we were on track (broken record) to achieve our Paris commitment was pure theatre.

As an aside, 80% of our coal is exported, and yes, coal is the real problem.

My thought for the day

Isn’t it rather ironic that coal and gas are the biggest contributors to climate change and that Australia is the biggest exporter of both?

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28 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    James Lovelock posited that the earth is actually a living organism and corrects itself from time to time when it needs to do so, usually by balancing its climate. I am
    oversimplifying, of course, but if Lovelock’s idea is right then maybe man’s activities are not rational because the earth is manipulating what we do to mesh with its own solutions. So two world wars, and deliberately elected lunatics like Trump, Bolsanaro etc are Gaia’s doing and not ours. They and their ilk are intent on destroying mankind and Gaia is just helping them to expedite its own Final Solution. We only THINK we count.
    It’s done it before. Enormous widespread volcanic activity would clear the earth’s ‘skin condition’ and allow it to start again.
    Maybe the ancients were right with their ‘earth mother’ beliefs.
    It doesn’t bode well.

  2. Terence Mills

    Remember when Tony Abbott launched his Green Army program as part of the coalition’s token attempt to be seen as environmentally aware ?

    He said at the time :

    “Mr Abbott says the Green Army would be a national conservation workforce of around 15,000 primarily young people.

    He says the project “puts together our two greatest assets, our land and our people; our beautiful environment with our idealistic young people.”

    It didn’t last long and in my area the Green Army initially did some very worthwhile tree planting but there was no follow up and most of the saplings died-off due to lack of watering and being overtaken by weeds and then the Green Army (around here at least) was disbanded.

    I wonder what happened to the idealistic young people who did all that work, many of whom were unemployed local aboriginal kids ?

  3. Jack Cade

    Abbott, like all sociopaths, said what got him off the hook at the time. He neither meant what he said, nor does he even remember it, probably. Trump is Abbott in spades. He contradicts himself within sentences and denies what he’s said even when confronted with proof.
    Cuomo, in his US show, confronted one of Trumps senior advisors, on camera, and challenged her to admit that Trump lies. She not only refused to admit that he lies, but denied categorically and emphatically that he does. Cuomo said that he invited RW people on his programme to discuss issues from the sincere RW perspective but saw no point in inviting her on ever again (she was a regular guest) if she was going to deny what was self-evident
    For all the US faults (and there are many) there is a lot of respected commentary in its media, far more articulate and fearless than we are prepared to entertain in Australia. John Pilger is the only truthteller we have ever produced and he is ignored and vilified, while the likes of Andrew Bolt are given credibility. Marr is the only LW commentator that ever appears in Australian media, and he only ever appears as a counter-balance to the Henderson, the Uriah Heep of the commentariat, and his protege, Greg Sheridan.
    I am prepared to entertain thoughtful views that conflict with my own – I read the Spectator, for example, but propagandists I cant stomach.
    Australia elected Abbott in full cognisance of what an arsehole he was, and similarly endorsed Morrison. I have learned, very late in life, that my country is not what it has always claimed to be. Dutton increased his majority. You need say no more.

  4. Keitha Granville

    Imagine how much we could achieve if we used anyone who wanted to help to plant trees – everywhere, anywhere.

    Not going to happen with the current regime.

    I have always thought, Jack Cade, that the planet will sort itself out. When we are annihilated the problems will cease and Nature will reinvent itself. We are a virus and we will be deleted.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Remember the 20 million trees programme?

    According to the ANAO…

    “The effectiveness of the award of funding under the programme was, however, undermined by widespread weaknesses in administrative practices. In particular: published assessment processes were not followed; conflicts of interest were not appropriately recorded and managed; eligibility assessments were not conducted in a transparent or timely manner; assessment practices were not efficient; and key issues relating to the conduct of the assessment and selection process were not sufficiently drawn to the former Minister of the Environment’s attention to inform funding decisions.”

    We can’t even plant trees without stuffing it up.

    https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/award-funding-under-20-million-trees-programme

  6. wam

    A great time in the pool this morning, lord, and reading about the roots of irony has warmed me up.
    One of the ‘roots’ you are looking for??
    “According to the IPCC, human-caused global warming is driving climate changes impacting both human and natural systems on all continents and across the oceans. Human-caused global warming results from the increased use of fossil fuels in transportation, manufacturing and communications.’
    But don’t worry climate change sounds better ironically it is associate with millions of years so not really urgent? The Amazon fires like the borneo fires are right up there with glacier melting as urgent????
    ps lord,
    there are two shiny blacks in essendon’s team for comparison?

    Kopika and Tharunicaa, born in Australia could get an Australian passport????

  7. Kaye Lee

    FFS wam, for an intelligent man you are incredibly stubborn in being deliberately obtuse. For the millionth time, the climate has changed in the past. It takes millenia to happen or it can happen quickly due to a catastrophe. Our pumping the atmosphere full of greenhouse gases is leading to catastrophic climate change in a matter of decades. Warming of 1 or 2 degrees, if that’s all that happened, wouldn’t matter so much. It’s how that changes the climate that is the problem. Your interpretation is like identifying the virus and then completely ignoring the symptoms.

  8. Geoff Mosley

    The Green Army was a great idea and needs to be expanded.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The Green Army was scrapped, as was the million solar roofs which didn’t even get to the starting line. They defunded Landcare and then made a one-off $100 million grant back to them to buy the Greens support in some deal over the backpackers tax.

    Landcare funding has been halved from more than $450 million a year on average between 2003 and 2013 to $200 million a year under the current National Landcare Program for 2019–2023.

    Direct Inaction.

    We hand over $423 million to Paladin to provide “services” in offshore detention for six months – $1,600 per day for each refugee and asylum seeker, not including food or medical care

    Prioritising is NOT this government’s best thing.

  10. guest

    Jack Cade,

    To suggest that two world wars and the election of Trump are the result of Gaia intervening and adjusting things to suit itself is truly weird.

    The plain fact is that humans caused the two world wars and the election of Trump.

    Humans are creating the present climate change/global warming. We know this because carbon isotopes from the burning of fossil fuels are increasing in the atmosphere because of human action.

    What humans can do, besides reducing the emission of such CO2, is to plant trees as the Chinese and Indians are doing.

    An interesting book about cooperation between humans and nature is Charles Massie’s “Cry of the Reed Warbler” which advocates a regenerative approach to agriculture.

    Here in Oz, what do we do? We are hell-bent on land clearing and shipping coal to be burnt.

  11. Jack Cade

    Guest

    If Gaia is a reality, the Gaia is God, and Gaia caused humans. It is at least as plausible as a bearded bloke sending his ‘only begotten son’ to earth for humans to torture and murder ‘for their own redemption’.
    And in the book that ‘yer Morrisons revere’, the word of the one and only God, said god says ‘you shall have no other gods before me’ ( I have foregone the Jacobean ‘ye’, despite the overwhelming evidence that God wrote the testaments in Reformation English.)

    ‘No other gods before me’ means there ARE other gods, but ‘yer Jehovah’ is numero uno.

    Gaia will do me, if only because Gaia demonstrably doesn’t choose sides.

  12. Aortic

    I wonder if Susan Ley met Pauline Hanson while diving on the reef, as they both agreed it was in wonderful shape. Probably the 440 million paid to some obscure Reef authority, who were nonplussed at such largesse, has made all the difference. Talk about fiddling while Rome. And the main worry apparently is franking and tax whilst one of the wonders of the world is being abused by our visionless pursuit of the almighty dollar. Where will their precious economy’s be, if the planet is uninhabitable. The men on Mars better look out if we ever perfect travel to and colonisation of their planet. Maybe they have a little rocket man to repel all incomimng. And what do we have. Morribund, Forrest Gump and van Piffel who makes buses out of sticks or whatever. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  13. guest

    Jack Cade,

    Gods – all gods – are human inventions. They are not real.

    Lovelace’s Gaia is his invention. And he kept changing what he meant by it and admitted that in some of his statements he was wrong.

    He accused Green activists of creating a religion – an accusation picked up by climate change/global warming deniers to ridicule Green activists.

    Both Lovelace and climate deniers fail to see that they have invented their own religions by which they describe the world.

    On this site we have seen described the kind of religion our own Prime Minister lives by and directs his politics – and it is spooky scary!

  14. Phil

    ‘ Both Lovelace and climate deniers fail to see that they have invented their own religions by which they describe the world.’

    Utter Bol……………………..locks.

    Reality is not a religion.

  15. Phil

    ‘ Gaia will do me, if only because Gaia demonstrably doesn’t choose sides.’

    Indeed me too however, when it gets angry of late, it has its favorites. The USA is finding this out on a now regular basis. I hope Gaia moves on quickly from the Bahamas, time is of the essence.

  16. king1394

    Lovelace’s Gaia hypothesis will expect the planet to eventually come back into a balance that suits itself. Humans are not necessary to the equation.

    Re the Green Army, I was a supervisor on a project under that scheme. Taking money from effective Landcare work carried out by dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers, there was huge expenditure on administration ( Generally job search related training organisations ) which was unsympathetic to environmental aims. Money was spent on small buses, uniforms, tools, many of which were unsuitable. The workers were simply reshuffled youngsters who were difficult to find jobs for. We had a contract to plant 5000 trees, among other things, but taking time to maintain and water them was not included.

    I think we did a good job on our project in the end but it was reliant on the freely given assistance of the local Bushcare system for its success

  17. ajogrady

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
    Scott Morrison’s “quiet Australians”,those who voted L/NP, have allowed evil to triumph.

  18. John Holmes

    Remember the “Billion Tree Project” of the early 90’s initiated by Bob Hawke? I missed seeing any reference to it during the celebrations and reflections after his death. Perhaps I was not paying attention. I would suggest that the impact was far greater than what has been remembered.

    I helped some groups in he wheat belt of WA to organize themselves to get benefits from the funds available and to implement land-care plans. Twenty odd years later one can see the pride in the groups of the changes they achieved. Healed salt scalds, better crops on ares still being cropped, trees growing well on marginal lands etc etc.

    We have the technology, now we need political will to do it. Time for a Revolution in thinking that does not focus on the selfish Neo-Conservative play book.

  19. johno

    I find that weird when climate change is called a religion. What the heck has it got to do with religion ? Zilch.

  20. johno

    I have grown and planted plenty of seedlings over the years. In my area kangaroos have gradually increased and can destroy planting efforts. Its like planting salad greens for the locals. The standard tree guard are useless against roos. Fencing them out until plants establish would be my preferred method. Some people cull but that must be continuous.

  21. guest

    Phil, sorry for the typo.

    Lovelock’s Gaia is meant to describe a living entity. That is his way of explaining the world. For some people it has become like a religion.

    Yet you take my reference to Gaia and climate deniers as if they go together and represent “reality” and therefore are not a religion.

    To me, the idea that the world of Gaia gets angry and takes revenge on whatever it disapproves of is simply a matter of anthropomorphism. It is imagining the world to be some kind of thinking being. It sounds like some kind of religion.

    That deniers also think in religious terms is seen in the way the Coalition took coal into Parliament House and fondled it and presented it as our number one asset to boost our economy, like manna from heaven.

    Both views, the dreamy half-baked myth of Gaia and the LNP worship of money, are religions of a kind.

    The reality is that science shows that humans are in the throes of destroying the planet as we know it, possibly making it uninhabitable for humans. Gaia has nothing to do with two world wars or the election of Trump as Jack Cade claims.

    The world will evolve according to the laws of physics. Not according to the tantrums of some mythical being as if it thinks like a human being.

  22. Zathras

    Calling climate change a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby or that baldness is a hair colour.

    Religious people often use the false argument that atheism is a religion only to boost and reinforce their own status.

    Also, if the the Gaia concept is real, how long before Mother Earth sees humanity as a viral threat and spawns a natural pandemic to cleanse herself of the infection?

    Rather, humanity is rapidly trying to convert the planet’s resources into landfill just to make a few dollars with no regard for the future – mainly in the last 200 years. It seems we have somehow turned up a blind alley with no long term strategy in place and our current leaders are the natural consequence.

  23. wam

    Don’t worry kaye ;
    I am obtuse but I talk to deniers from the below average sector up to a quartet of pre-baby boomers NP deniers PhDs, including a cotton farmer who sit on boards and are on national party committees.
    the emissions are green house gases. Over the last 200 years the greenhouses gases in the atmosphere due to man has increased exponentially.
    This influences global warming and in the long distant future global warming MAY change a climate but it is now killing reefs, drowning islands and deltas?
    Why is that hard for an non-obtuse woman to understand?
    Perhaps you think all the solid particles released with the greenhouse gases will coalesce and fall to earth like a giant meteor?
    We need to control the emission of greenhouse gases for me because of the example of venus. For you the control is to stop Cwa from changing to Awa?
    ‘As the climate warms, it changes the nature of global rainfall, evaporation, snow, stream flow and other factors that affect water supply and quality. Specific impacts include: Warmer water temperatures affect water quality and accelerate water pollution.’
    The bottom line is I am not a denier I am very upset a deniers tricking the electorate.
    So kaye talk to dummies, rabbottians and intelligent deniers and leave deeply concerned believers like me alone.

    ps
    Kopika and Tharunicaa, born in Australia could get an Australian passport????

    You must present your Australian birth certificate OR Australian citizenship certificate when you lodge your application.

  24. ChristopherJ

    ajogrady and everyone else on this site who blames Queenslanders for the LNP disaster we have… not to pick on you, but the meme that we are not up to date with our news, like the rest of Australia, is not really true. It’s true that we swung the election for the LNP government, but not because we are dumb arses, well some of us are…. but because our information, the oft repeated meme, was that Labor was no good, was loud, strong and persuasive up here.

    Regardless of what people think ‘Quiet Australians’ means in the current political context, ‘Quiet’ does describe many of my fellow Queenslanders. Quiet in that we try to stay informed with the ‘news’, but lack the time or the inclination (curiosity is my sin) to come to sites like the AIMN, Naked Capitalism, Macrobusiness et al, and find out what is really happening in Australia and the ROW. Many in my working class circle don’t read a lot (outside of what’s happening on their phones) and certainly don’t spend time commenting outside of Facebook. Consequently, most Queenslanders were seeing zero support in the media or indeed any inkling of some of the better, progressive policies being put forward by Shorten’s team. Why? Because our news sources up here were all spruiking the same shite about the LNP, not the stuff we learn from John, Kaye and others here.

    Be assured us Queenslanders keep informed through watching the early morning news – take your pick of ABC, 7, 9, 10 – Either station (there was some more balance on sbs) and all we got was how Labor and that shifty Shorten were going to tax the crap out of us and spend like fools. And, as most of the adults have only seen the likes of Rudd and Gillard in action, the meme that a Labor government was not in our best interests was one people here listened too. I had ‘friends’ tell me they liked Morrison, ffs, and when I’d go on a rant about how he was the worst choice of, well, anything, they’d still say they liked the smiling, happy clapping, lying little grub.

    We start work early in Queensland I can assure you, and we listen to MMM and the like each morning. So many feel that those news breaks on the radio that ‘keep us up to date’ are all we really need to stay informed. The more astute of us read and skim through the local newspapers too, so the idea that we can’t keep abreast of things and make an informed decision at election time is false.

    The Labor vote was destroyed by Murdoch and his ilk, helped on by an inept Labor campaign. No ifs, whys or buts about it.

    Shame on us, collectively, for not keeping up to date with things, but that is the truth of how it went down.

    As for the climate and so on. Call me foily, but I give humans less than 2 years.

    Insect populations are plummeting and so are the birds, fish and mammals that feed upon them, not to mention the plants and whole eco systems that rely upon them to survive. There are plenty of swallows, swifts, wagtails and kingfishers in my neck of the woods, all superbly adapted to eating airborne insects. But there are whole areas of the earth where humans are now living now that no longer support them and they are no longer seen. Anecdotal, I know, but such observations are the canary…

    No insects means no us, regardless of climate. That is just one of the shocks about to hit us.

    Thank you, John, for another excellent post.

  25. Paul Davis

    Christopher J, i agree with you. In my seventy plus years living in three capital cities, four large regional cities and several small towns i can attest to the dramatic loss of flora and fauna in our wilderness areas, our wetlands, our agricultural areas, around our cities, our towns, our suburban parks, even our backyards. As a kid i was a very keen birdwatcher and observer of butterflies, insects, beetles, bees, you name it, and so i noticed from the 1980s onwards the rapid decline of bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, frogs and small birds. Tragic. Even more tragic is that our elected troughsnouters don’t give a rats.

    Also Christopher, living here in Rockhampton for the last couple of years, it has been obvious that NewsCorp has been able to shape and direct the public opinions of this state through a monopoly on local and state print media. This, supplemented and reinforced by biased radio and television ‘news’ keeps the general populace misinformed.

    Talking with a fellow southern expat the other day, he asked what’s in the water up here that could produce such extraordinary politicians as Peter Dutton, Amanda Stoker and Matt Canavan. Well, there’s not much water here, but every state in Straya breeds these ‘special’ people, eg the sandgropers can lay claim to Jewellry Bishop, The Cormanator and Michaela Screech….. and as for us walers, well we can’t disown my all time ‘favourite’ troughsnouter, absolute vileness personified, the one and only Boadecia Bishop, retired but never forgotten or forgiven.

  26. Garth

    Zathras … wasn’t it Bill Maher that said Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position (?)

  27. silkworm

    It’s the climate science deniers who are the religious ones. George Pell is a case in point. As the most senior Catholic in Australia, he was the one who promoted the idea that the Greens’ belief in climate change/global warming was religiously motivated, and he explicitly invoked their supposed belief in Gaia to justify his argument. However, there are very few Greens who subscribe to the idea of Gaia. Most Greens are atheists, and those Greens who may toy with the idea of Gaia are few and far between.

    I would venture to say that those Greens who embrace a spiritual position with regard to the environment are either allied to Hinduism and/or Buddhism (and this includes Vegans) or they are progressive Christians who take seriously their Biblical duty to maintain stewardship over the Earth, as opposed to the conservative Christians, who follow the Biblical injunction to dominate the Earth. These latter Christians have made an alliance with the Neoliberals who are the main force destroying our planet.

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