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Traveston – Village of the Dammed

Traveston – Village of the Dammed
by Paul Walter

What could have knocked the fierce debate about asylum-seekers off the front pages?

Why, an intractable internal party feud in the coalition and within the liberals, revealed in its squalor from last Friday when Minchin astonishingly recommenced his irrational climate change attack on Malcolm Turnbull at the very time when Turnbull appeared to be making a dent in Rudd's fortunes, concerning the current sad asylum seeker events.

The following Monday, Four Corners presented a report so damning of the coalition having a collective and self induced nervous breakdown, as the neo con climate denialists completed their sabotage of the moderates attempts to draw their confrateres into the real world from a fantasy world constructed of delusional ideology largely imported from the contrarian bible belt of the American mid west.

We can see now why Rudd took the hardline approach with the asylum-seekers: all he had to do was endure a little longer and the coalition would self-destruct, leaving him a clear field for consolidation with right wing voters in strategic mortgage belt seats.

The latest piece of this developing diabolical reverse-Tampa wedge ironically applied largely by the coalition itself, to itself, must be the "the sweetest victory" for Labor.

Which brings us to a separate issue, yet one with tentative connections to the one mentioned abovethe spectacular dumping of the contentious Traveston mega-dam in south east Queensland, which represents a belated day in the sun for the long-maligned Peter Garrett and more eclipse for Labor's cover-girl of such a short time ago, Anna Bligh.

An interesting decision by Garrett, when you consider his Queensland bosses, like Rudd himself, have been talking up this ambit claim for much higher population, which depends to some extent surely, on water and land availability.

Also, because of Labor hostility to ecological sustainability, as exemplified in Tasmanian rainforests.

Clearly, the refugee issues have led to an opening out of an issue developers, construction companies and some unionists and party political brokers had hoped was silenced- economic rationalist "growth at any cost" as relates to our infrastructural unpreparedness for rapid population growth.

In other words a wider population/ecology issue further complicated, as intended, by the Carbon Trading issue so self-destructively raised by the right of the liberal party.

It may be that, if Rudd has finally succeeded in seeing off the coalition for a while, that he might then loosen up a bit both as to both asylum seekers and in a quieter moment re-examine this obsessive "growth at any cost" mantra that so threatens to create monumental downstream costs for future generations, in so many ways (also more generous humanitarian aid instead of military aid to third world clients?).

In the meantime, Rudd can thank his lucky stars that the opposition is feral; quite barking mad, at the moment.

The reality is, Rudd has been on "training wheels" to a degree, as has Turnbull, and thanks to Minchin, gets a second chance a good opposition might have denied him.


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P- ing against the wind.

Speaking of the Age and relevent contributions, also see Sean Carney's summary; "Bounded plains to share".

Ostensibly concerned with Rudd's performance re "Oceanic Viking", the real meat of the article is in the description of an electorate again coming to terms with the peculiar policies of large scale population expansion proposed by neoliberals, including Rudd himself, against the back drop of dysfunctional urban planning, defective transport and services,  infrastructure (eapecially water) against the backdrop of increasing public awareness of  climate change. 

The Oceanic Viking issue demonstrated that Rudd is (also) "human, too human". If he follows the same tactic of shrugging off an issue without thinking  it over first he will, if caught napping,  be in real strife sooner or later, as was his predecessor,  for the same character flaw.



A little village, set in the middle ages.

Anyone watching 730 Report tonight would have noticed a couple of incidents that typify what I'm trying to get at, re politicians, experts and policy.

Firstly, the renewed whining from Gillard, advocating for the mortgage-belt Hansonist school"league tables, in the face of reasoned criticisms from educators. 

Secondly, the sheer elation of medical scientists involved in stem cell research, in the wake of Obama's moving of the USA into the modern era thru the rescinding of Bush's religious-right driven bans pertaining to this field.

Exhibit A

 A crypto religious extremist movement that has no tolerance for dissenting opinions or even reasoned discussion. Opponents are condemned or threatened. New and highly offensive terms of abuse are coined or rebadged to attack heretics and the ideologically defective ("Denialists"? What the heck is that about?)

My sincere thanks to Marilyn and Paul for so ably, indeed elegantly, proving my case. 

taking the heat out of it

Don't worry, Geoff.

As someone monotonously tagged with labels like "politically correct", "anti-American", etc, I know all about being labeled, snubbed, and then ignored, on the basis of loaded, deliberately open-ended terminology.

And yes, it is stinking hot down here (Adelaide). Supposedly culminates tomorrow at 40, then we actually have a couple of days high twenties before it shoots up again.

Ideologues – or heads in the sand?

In a recent edition of Crikey, Bernard Keane (commenting on a Guardian article by George Monbiot) wrote:

Much denialism is driven by ideology. That’s why the ranks of denialists are rich with right-wingers, who hate the idea that someone, somewhere on the Left might have ever been right about anything, and who can only see climate change as a left-wing argument which must be refuted no matter how sound it might be. But, scarily, perhaps Monbiot is correct, and the real driver of denialism is an emotional inability to accept that we’re in serious trouble.

A more prudent approach might be: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. There may even be money in it …

Heads in the honey

... someone, somewhere on the Left might have ever been right about anything ...

This overstates the case a little. After all, the laws of probability dictate that someone, somewhere must have got something right, even if it's been at least thirty years.

Serious for a moment (sort of)

A more prudent approach might be: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. There may even be money in it …

I don't necessarily disagree with your first point, Fiona, provided that the decision-making is reasonable and balanced, as are any preparations. Indeed there are good reasons to control or reduce reliance on oil and coal, and to curtail native forest clearance and harvesting, quite apart from any possible impact on climate. As always, scientific and technological research, including energy, is critical.

But this is not the point I am trying to make. This is not a one factor equation. Few things in life are. There are many great dangers and challenges ahead. A strong global economy is a prequisite for strong investment in research. Anyone whose starting points are that this will be the greatest catastrophe in human history, it is imminent or has begun, the science is complete and certain, and that dissenting voices should not be heard, has lost me before they started.

I agree with your second point. There most certainly is money in it. That is one of the things that worries me about this campaign. There are fortunes at stake here. Why is the presence of bundles of big bucks deemed to be a disqualifying vested interest for those on one side of the argument but not the other?

Hey Geoff, come to Adelaide

Heat wave in November, no fun.

When is Adelaide ever fun?

If it helps to ease your mind at all Marilyn, it is a moderate, warm, typically beautiful, early summer day here, deliciously cooled by a gentle, salt-tanged, ocean breeze wafting over a clear blue ever so softly flowing surf and a clean, white, pristine, beach lovingly girt  by a narrow ribbon of green, low native scrub and trees crossed by picturesque sandy trails through the inviting, yet unpretentious dunes.

Fiona: Have you thought of a career change, Geoff? I can just envisage you writing blurbs for travel and/or real estate agents ... ;)

And it is not even summer

Yeah, yeah, I reckon it is nice in many places.   Adelaide this week just ain't one of them

In Garrett we trust?

After spending a weekend swimming in the bountiful Upper SA Murray (gloats to Marilyn and Paul) I'd like to be able to step of a jetty in the Lower Lakes without scalding my feet on dried mud.  Garrett's supposed to be overseeing this one too, and he'd make a few more SA friends if the procrastination stopped.

Meanwhile, if a skim of Facebook is anything to go by, it would appear Garrett's Midnight Oil fanbase have well and truly given up on him.

Geoff- fun in Adelaide?  You know where to find me. As Paul's discovered, we can probably keep you occupied for a while..

Richard, any actual water?

Richard, any actual water left , or is it all just  toxic algal bloom, now?

Water. water everywhere, must be an election

In Morook , Paul, it was like the olden days.  If you didn't know that the grass beneath the festival only existed due to local farmers contributing water entitlements, you'd never have known there was a problem.  Wouldn't be dipping my cup in there though .. 

Jiust listening to Premier Rann lifting restrictions to allow for five hours (up from three, and it's any day you like) of city garden watering a week.  Doubt he'd be doing it if he didn't face an election in March.  As I write Rann's telling ABC 891 that he's been "doing the right thing"  (twice-repeated catchphrase) and suggesting that people supecting water-vote-catching are being cynical.  

Personally I'm cynical enough to think that Rann reckons that people will be more keen on the new desal plant if they know that water crises can be made to be able to come AND go.   Of course, a government would never use water deprivation to maintain politcal power.  What was I thinking?

On such fronts, I'm surprised that nobody's discussed Anna Bligh's speedy announcement of the dam cancellation's causation of a new need for Queensland desal.

Anyone up to date on desal public approval polling?

De-sal vital

Ahhh, the two desal plants. Some  cynics writing to the newspapers etc, have suggested that Anna is punishing Queenslanders for not getting Traveston up.

She's in strife in the polls, because she announced privatisation on a big scale up there, after tending to indicate before the election that in the light of the NSW experience involving Iemma and Costa,  it was not on the agenda.

Probably  as much as the sneakines involved in sitting on it 'till after the election as the policy itself.

Incidentally, folk like Prof. John Quiggin, the economist,  have moved to criticise reasons proffered by Australian state governments, including Anna Bligh's, for privatisation,  so the sense of mistrust  within the electorate must surely only thicken in the wake of critical analysis of the policy and its implementation, in relation to professed goals.

Another premier discovers the extent of electorate hostility, when it comes to false election assurances. Like Iemma, or  Olsen back here in SA in the late nineties, after electricity and water privatisation were instigated after he lay doggo during that election on the issue, despite much quizzing.

Its not necessarily the policy, as much as the bloody dishonesty, I think.

contrary to contrarians

Geoff, the description you offer is a perfect description of what many saw last Monday night on Four Corners.

The whole denialist theology ought to hop on a plane, retreat back to Colorado Springs, and hop back onto the old sheet of Aryan Nation clap-trap it fell off of in the first place.

Cat ... Pigeons ... Toss

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 3:53 PM

The climate change campaign now has all the hallmarks of a mass hysteria contagion. A crypto religious extremist movement that has no tolerance for dissenting opinions or even reasoned discussion. Opponents are condemned or threatened. New and highly offensive terms of abuse are coined or rebadged to attack heretics and the ideologically defective ("Denialists"? What the heck is that about?) Bending the truth and outright lies are suddenly OK so long as they support or advance the cause.

This sort of thing is fairly common in human history. Regrettably there are many examples. Always they are dangerous and destructive.

Time to put the foot down. Support the petition.

Dammed souls

Garrett has lost so much public face that he needs a win.  I  hope that this wasn't the weighing factor in the dam decision.  Betcha it was!

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