Monday 11th of December 2023

the green holocaust .....

the green holocaust .....

Here in the ancient Tasmanian forest, the world's tallest hardwood trees rise 250 feet from the valley floor. These are the Eucalyptus regnans - the king of the eucalyptus - and some have been growing for more than 400 years. 

Now, many of the enormous trees in Australia's southernmost state are being clear-cut, turned into wood chips and shipped to Japan for cardboard. The logging of the old-growth trees has turned this valley, with its giant tree ferns and carpet of green moss, into a battleground in the fight to save the world's rain forests. 

Tasmanian officials argue that the state is doing a good job of protecting its forests and that 40 percent of the state is set aside in preserves. That includes nearly 16,000 acres of old-growth E. regnans, enough to guarantee the species' survival, they say. 

But environmentalists decry the use of old-growth hardwood to make paper products and call clear-cutting of the ancient forest on public land destructive and wasteful. 

Environmentalists also question logging practices in Tasmania, including dropping napalm-like jelly from helicopters to incinerate timber left behind on the forest floor, and spreading poison carrots to kill native possums and wallabies that come to eat new growth in cleared areas. 

Tasmania's Mammoth Trees Don't Fall Quietly 

and, on forests & climate change – examining the spin

`Action to preserve the remaining areas of natural forest is needed urgently”, wrote Sir Nicholas Stern, in his October 2006 Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, produced for the British government. And the Australian government’s consultant, Professor Ross Garnaut, in his interim report to the government on climate change, advocates re-forestation and forest conservation to provide breathing space for new technologies to “de-carbonise” our economy in the next decade before we trigger dangerous climate change. 

Deforestation and forest degradation contribute to around 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy. The federal government’s Department of Climate Change website states: ``There is the potential to reduce these emissions by encouraging more sustainable forest management practices.” 

Forests & Climate Change – Examining The Spin 

and, wood, wood woodchipping away …..

Environment groups have called on Victorian Premier Steve Bracks to immediately intervene to stop logging and woodchipping in the Royston Range, adjacent to the Lake Mountain ski resort, one of the last stands of old growth forest left close to Melbourne.

'Logging these coupes will severely impact upon the last remaining undisturbed scenic lookouts along the Lake Mountain ski resort trails, working against the aims of the Alpine Resort 2020 strategy,' said ACF's Forest Campaign coordinator Lindsay Hesketh.

'Premier Bracks must show leadership and stop the logging immediately.' 

'The case to protect the Royston from logging and woodchipping is irrefutable. This area contains significant stands of rainforest and old growth veteran trees that are designated critical habitat for the Leadbeaters possum, Victoria's endangered faunal emblem, as well as other threatened forest dependent species. It adjoins mature sub alpine snow gum woodland and is within the headwaters of a significant tributary of the Goulburn River.' 

Stop Destruction Of Old Growth Trees & Endangered Wildlife On Melbourne’s Fringe 


Gus: of course, these are 'old' news... but it still goes on and on and on and on and on......

cut, cut and away

Chainsaw massacre: They clean our air, reduce carbon and will save the planet ... So why are trees public enemy No1?

Lucy Siegle

The Observer,

Sunday October 12 2008

Everyone professes a love of trees. I cannot find anybody who'll admit to hating them, or the lesser charge of finding their gnarled trunks, light-blocking canopies or autumnal tendency to drop leaves everywhere even vaguely irksome. Ostensibly, then, we're a nation of tree fanciers and huggers who relish being custodians of a rich woodland legacy. No surprise that the oak tree is a potent symbol of Englishness, its proud crown even providing cover for the occasional monarch on the run. The sap of our great trees - a long and illustrious list topped by the oak, taking in the silver birch, beech and the ancient yew - runs deep in our very blood.

Except that this is all a lot of nonsense. A paltry 2 per cent of Britain is now covered in fragmented ancient woodland (once, admittedly some 6,000 years ago, it was 75 per cent) and according to the Woodland Trust and Ancient Tree Forum, hundreds of woods are under threat from development.

Head into town and things get worse. There's an embarrassing richness of council-loses-plot health and safety stories to choose from: highlights include South Tyneside's extreme pollarding of horse chestnuts into stumps to avoid injuries to children collecting conkers ('Conkers Bonkers' screamed the tabloids) and Islington council's removal of veteran pear trees, citing the risk of injury to passersby from 'oversized' fruit. But all these stories point to the same problem - we are losing our canopy of 'veteran', high, large trees in British towns and cities for no good reason.


see toon and story above...

planet Vamoose...

The Burning Season

8:30pm Tuesday, 14 Oct 2008  Documentary   CC PG 

As part of the Future Makers series, ABC1 presents this revolutionary documentary touted as the follow-up film to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Already making waves in environmental circles, The Burning Season is a story of contribution and hope; one that offers a solution to the frightening issue of global warming.

Every year, there is a burning season in Indonesia. Rainforests are cut down and burnt every hour to clear land for crops such as palm oil, making Indonesia the third largest producer of carbon emissions in the world. Indonesian palm oil farmer Achmadi confronts the impact of his deliberately lit fires on climate change: what is he to do when this is the only income he knows?

In nearby Borneo, Danish-born Lone Droscher-Nielsen rescues and cares for the hundreds of orangutans devastated by these very fires. Lone's goal is to find forest areas that are safe from logging and burning and return the rehabilitated orangutans to the wild.

Meanwhile, just as another burning season is about to commence, a young Australian environmental entrepreneur, Dorjee Sun, pursues a solution: a plan to sell the carbon credits represented by large forest areas to big polluters in the West. Does his concept offer new hope to the remaining forests of the world and the earth's climate? Met with a mixture of surprise, intrigue, confusion and scepticism in a period of four months, Dorjee's proposal is rejected 203 times.


See the program on the ABC, and may be on ABC Iview around the world tomorrow (day after tomorrow in the US)  if the ABC has a contract that allows it to be viewed there. See sad toon at top too...

we never learn...

triffids and cane toads...

A superweed spreading throughout the UK could be brought under control by introducing plant-eating predators from Japan, scientists believe.

Japanese knotweed was first introduced as an ornamental plant, but has since plagued the environment; removal is costly and time consuming.

Now a team has identified natural predators from its native home that could also control it in the UK.

The plans have been submitted to the government for approval.

If the proposal gets the go-ahead, it will be the first time that biocontrol - the use of a natural enemy to control another pest - will be used in Europe to fight a weed.


Folks of Pommyland, biocontrol rarely works but, more often than not, it fails miserably... Ausslieland is the best example of doing bio-thing like this resulting in grandiose failures. The rabbit plague still surviving after two biocontrol infectious bunny disease... the mice plague, the cane toads invasion..., all failures on the grandest scale... The only biocontrol that could appear to have worked was using the cactoblastis bug — a bug that helped control the prickly pear invasion of Queensland, yet the prickly pear (imported cactus species to Ausslieland) still thrive in many places... But the bug is now in plague proportion and destroying native cactus, especially in Mexico and the US...

The only way to eliminate weed is to mechanically remove the weeds before they have had time to seed and also be vigilant. Seeds can be dormant for years. But IT IS THE ONLY WAY. Domestic cats in Australia have escaped from homely moggiedoms and now are devastating the wildlife. The only way to deal with the cat problem is to stop breeding household cats forthwith and shoot the feral ones...

Some waterways here are now infested (totally clogged up — killing all fish and other plants) by little innocuous ornamental grass for aquariums, the spore or seeds of which found their way into the river system when people washed their precious fishbowls... no sense, no idea, no care...

Do not compound the problem by "importing" a "cane toad"...  If you are an English person reading this, please ring your local political representative immediately to lobby against the biocontrol solution... It's the lazy scientist way when they are in search of new problems to fix in order to perpetuate funding...

So, kill off your biocontrolic cane toad before you start or it will blossom like poison — and please also pest your politicians to ban GM crops and GM farm animals... These bio-abominabilities could become the triffids on your patch.


old tree was still young...

A Victorian environment group has radiocarbon-tested a felled old-growth eucalypt and the result suggests the giant gum was at least 500 years old.

The battle to save the old-growth forests of Brown Mountain in Victoria's far east has been waged by environmentalists since 1989.

When another coupe was cut down early this year, logging opponents decided to send a sample of a felled tree to the University of Waikato in New Zealand for radiocarbon dating tests.

Jill Redwood is the coordinator of the lobby group, Environment East Gippsland.

"Considering that ancient trees like these have been chainsawed down every day across south-east Australia, no-one has ever been able to give a definitive age on the trees," she said.

"We just thought it would be really interesting to try and get an absolute age for these trees."

The test results said there was an 84 per cent chance the tree was between 500 and 600 years old.

Botanist Steve Mueck has worked for the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment and is now a consultant in the private sector.

He says radiocarbon dating of eucalypts is unusual and the result in this case is significant.

"Current forest managements practices are looking at harvesting on rotation times in the vicinity of 80 to 120 years with the perception that that's a particularly long period of time," he said.

"Now it is, I suppose, in the context of a human lifetime, but it is a very, very short period of time in comparison to the age in which many of the components that live in these forests can in fact get to in a natural system."


Robbing wood... see toon at top

superb parrot

The New South Wales Government has raised concerns that hundreds of jobs could be lost because of a ban on logging in the state's south, imposed because of concerns about a rare parrot.

The state has been ordered to stop logging the central Murray wetlands because of the impact of red gum harvesting on the superb parrot, also known as the green leek parrot, which is listed as a vulnerable species.

New South Wales Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald says he has asked for an urgent meeting with Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to discuss the issue.

He says he will ask for the ban to be reversed.


"The logging undertaken by Forests NSW in the RAMSAR-listed wetlands of the central Murray is illegal under the Environment Protection Bio-diversity Conservation Act," she said.

"What's really needed is a structural readjustment for the industry so that we can have exit packages and we can have redundancy packages for workers, because the forests down there are running out of timber and continuing to log them at the rate that New South Wales is doing is not going to be able to be sustained in the long term."


See toon at top...

saving the parrot

The Senate has passed a Greens motion supporting the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett's controversial move to stop logging in Deniliquin in New South Wales.

Mr Garrett has ordered that redgum logging should stop by the end of this month because the area is the habitat of the endangered superb parrot.

But the New South Wales Government says that could cost hundreds of jobs.

State and Federal Government officials are negotiating to try to find a compromise and say that deadline will be extended if necessary.

Earlier today the Senate passed the Greens leader, Bob Brown's motion to support Mr Garrett's move to protect the parrot's habitat.


read comment above and see toon at top...

saving the birds...

A species of birds that are able to fly immediately after hatching from eggs buried beneath the tropical sand have just been given their own private beach in eastern Indonesia, a conservation group said today.

Maleos, chicken-sized birds with black helmet-like foreheads, number from 5,000 to 10,000 in the wild and can only be found on Sulawesi island. They rely on sun-baked sands or volcanically heated soil to incubate their eggs.

The US-based Wildlife Conservation Society said it has teamed up with a local environmental group to purchase and protect a 36-acre (14-hectare ) stretch of beach in northern Sulawesi that contains about 40 nests.

“conversion” of forests into factories...

The proposed provision in the revised RET to burn native forests for biomass power will help accelerate the current man-made extinction crisis from disaster to catastrophe, to global ecosystem collapse, writes Frances Pike — especially in those states signed up to Regional Forest Agreements.

THE INTENSITY of logging in Australia is visible behind the thin veneer of carefully retained trees along major highways and tourist routes, from planes and from satellite imagery (NSWWAVictoria).

Forestry has changed. Industrialised logging is the new norm. Silviculture now is highly mechanized harvesting technology capable of intense rapid clearing. There was no announcement to the Australian public that selective logging by manual extraction was being replaced by machines that flatten forestunderstoreys.

A disastrous set of clear fell “experiments”,  alongside the aerial application of herbicide and/or accompanying on ground “disincentives” to native animals (in the form of poisoned baits), is called “sustainable”. Systematically, industrialised logging modifies forest ecosystems. Deliberately or inadvertently, a process of “conversion” of forests into factories takes place. Australian deforestation is occurring at rate and of a scale never seen before.

read more:,7788


See toon at top...

destroying nature...

Victoria turns a blind eye to illegal logging while USA maps protected areas. Rich individuals and nations need to reduce their emissions and eliminate global poverty.


Logging Victoria’s forests

Over the last year I’ve covered stories about logging, legal and illegal, in South America, south-east Asia, central Africa and Europe. Here’s a story about illegal logging in Victoria’s central highlands. It’s a long and somewhat complicated tale – legal and technical issues involving coupes, slopes, percentages and pixels, and several different branches of the Victorian government – but the authors have done a good job telling it coherently. Fundamentally, VicForests is the state-owned company that harvests and sells timber from the state’s publicly owned forests. It’s supposed to make a profit but survives on government subsidies. The Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR) is the branch of the Victorian Department of Land, Water and Planning with responsibility for enforcing Victoria’s logging laws.

Professor David Lindenmayer and Dr Chris Taylor have produced evidence (based on VicForest’s own data) that VicForests has been logging where it is not allowed to log and that the OCR has taken little if any action when breaches of the legislation have been brought to their attention. Tell us what you think about this, David:

“The whole thing is now a charade.”

“You would have to describe VicForests as an outlaw organisation.”

“VicForests would not be able to survive without continuing to log illegally and continuing to log important areas for biodiversity” (and for Melbourne’s water supply).

“It’s bordering on corruption from the agency that is meant to be doing the regulation.”

Still, Victoria’s Environment Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, is on the case. First, she commissioned an independent review of the OCR’s investigations and said that “the OCR operated within the regulatory framework”, even though the report concluded that the OCR “did not demonstrate a strong, strategic, preventative and intelligence-led approach”. Second, she’s changed to the law to allow previous limits to be breached, although even that would not render some of the previous breaches by VicForests legal.

Mapping ecological threats and protection

The red areas in the map below are the places in the USA containing plants and animals at highest risk of global extinction. Not just the flora and fauna of the land but also of the rivers, streams and lakes. Iconic species such as gray wolves and brown bears are not included because they aren’t globally threatened. The green on the map shows areas permanently protected for biodiversity. It’s obvious that most of the red ‘at risk’ areas are outside the green ‘protected’ areas. Perhaps not surprisingly bearing in mind its enormous economy and traditionally politically progressive population, California is the state with the most red and the most green.





READ FROM TOP. (NOTE date of publication: see toon)