Re: birding-aus Wildlife Corridors in Suburbia

Subject: Re: birding-aus Wildlife Corridors in Suburbia
From: Tony Russell <>
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 1999 21:02:18 +0900
Hallo Scott, I don't think it would be good for you and I to meet, we don't
exactly see eye to eye do we!

I have clipped your letter, retaining only those parts I wish to respond to.
I agree with much of what you say ( which I have clipped), especially in
regard to us all contributing to the rape of the environment by way of
insisting on having the goods and services we have selfishly become used to
being made available to us on an ongoing basis. But there are a couple of
points I wish to make, and in this I have inserted some comments within
your text following  *********
All of us eat food.  And since I have met no complete carnivores, all of
>us will be eating plant material.
 Unless we have gone to some lengths
>to ensure that the plant material we eat was produced using some
>ecologically superior method, most of it will have come from monoculture
>(or close to).  And these monocultures can only be planted after the
>original vegetation has been cleared. 

*********** Yep, this is good stuff, but I think you might be preaching to
the already converted here.
 I'm afraid I don't buy the claims
>made by some that a vegetarian diet always results in less environmental
>harm. The first land to be cleared for cropping - 

************" cleared for cropping?" If you are angry about this why do you
use such polite phraseology? What about raped, or pillaged, or just common
old stuffed up by the European ferals? Ah, but might that be too close to
name calling for you?  For goodness sake, if you are angry why not allow
yourself the priviledge of sounding so?
   I am trying to point out that the
>"raves" of late read like environmental westerns, complete with good
>guys and bad guys.  That kind of analysis is simplistic and counter

*********** Here we go, name calling yourself now. Simplistic and
counterproductive? Hm! To my mind this sort of comment tends to deny people
the right to say anything which isn't academically verifiable, well
researched and well documented. Many people with very strong and useful
points of view have neither the time, skills, or inclination to be so
clinically correct in their utterings. But those who can are in no position
to deny those others a right to be heard. Sometimes it takes a bit of
oversimplistic abuse and name calling to get people to listen, especially
those who operate ( as do most politicians ) at that level themselves.  
Counterproductive? I think not, it at least got you, up there in your
rarified atmosphere, to take part in the discussion. Or was that ( on
reflection ) against your better judgement?
Environmental westerns - now there's an expression which captures the
essence of what should be going on. It is a war you know! Logging must be
stopped, mining must be stopped, land clearance must be stopped, whaling
and other overexploitation of the seas must be stopped. All of them,
stopped, dead in their tracks. And here's my $10 in extra tax to help those
employed in those industries until they, for instance , loggers, can be
relocated into growing maybe non toxic marijuana instead of cutting down
our precious forests.

 I'm not excusing those farmers who use destructive land management

*********** Aren't you now? All the while the community only uses softly
softly approaches to these people they'll see their way clear to continue
their destructive practices. Since when has softly softly stopped anything?
Oh, I see, we have all these national parks! All of them in places which
are too inaccessible or just plain non economically viable for commercial
operations, so can be offered as a sop to the environmentalists.

 But I am a bit tired of having them pointed out as a means of making one
group look good by making another group look bad.  I could almost say "grow
*********** Oh, so you're tired are you? You're all morally way above all
this slanging match are you? I suppose "growing up" means to continue not
putting enough pressure, of whatever type, on these people, such that all
the rational argument put by the environment movement continues to be
shoved into the too hard basket or into the Sulo bin as not economically

We should be treating the huge environmental problems we have with the
seriousness they deserve,

************* You don't believe this to be the case? Oh dear.I think you've
missed a few points.


  The view from the moral high ground is pretty much the same, though the
air may be a little more rarified.  

************* What sort of pompuos garbage is this??!!

We need to begin by recognising that solutions to these
>problems are always a community responsibility. 

************* Hooray, you finally got to it. Now, how do we get the
community at large to jointly acknowledge with us that there is a problem?
None of the industrialists are going to put a penny towards publishing any
information which might reduce demand for their products, and they control
the media and hence government policies. Government employees, as we have
recently had verified, are carefully looking after number one in the face
of precarious employment, they're not going to rock their own boats. So the
public at large are neither conscious nor concerned about environmental
issues and will continue that way until something seriously impacts their
standards of living. Then just maybe they'll awake from the stupor of
consumerism and insist on change. But I don't see that happening for many
decades; mother Earth still has enough resources left to keep things going
for a while yet. Nothing much will change until those resources start to
seriously run out.
So what's your solution to it all? What's this "getting down to "doing" a
solution" you talked about?
This sounded to me exactly like one of the vague approaches ( as used in
the past) which allows the destruction to continue apace.

I'll be interested in your response because I'm just a simple guy with
simplistic ways of looking at things. My background practising and teaching
in business management, economics, human resource management, research
methodology, and a host of other roles has left me with a very clear view
of what's going on and what we are up against, but not of course with the
inclination for academic environmental debate - I'm only an
environmentalist by choice, not by pretence.

Cheers mate. ( Ooops, that's not very academic is it!)
Happing birding.

Tony Russell,
Adelaide, South Australia
Ph:  08 8337 5959
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