Seawalls, Korea and Binoculars

To: <>, <>
Subject: Seawalls, Korea and Binoculars
From: "Chris Lloyd" <>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 09:25:09 +1000
The construction of sea walls in Australia versus Korea is a little bit of
straw person and stems from misconceptions of relative rates of development.
This is implied in the idea that we send old binoculars to "poorer countries
in SE Asia" like Korea. This is an economic stretch as Korea has been an
industrially developed nation for many decades albeit shattered by a couple
of wars and Japanese colonisation. A quick look at the numbers of tourists
leaving Korean Air flights at Sydney or the name under many binocular brands
from the '90s such as Kenko indicates a society that is a bit beyond a
"salvos" exercise. Labour costs in Korea are now far too high for binocular
production which migrated to China. The Kiwis run an interesting program in
alliance with Chinese high schools on migratory waders some of the picture
show a bus load of Chinese school teen humping their spotting scopes over
the dunes - no one could suggest this is common in all their school but then
I haven't seen too many spotting scopes in a lot of Sydney high schools
either. So may be a little patronizing on our part but also a bit like
sending coals to Newcastle. Countries like China (has never been less than
25% of world GDP), Japan (sank the Russian navy in 1911 and gave the yanks a
run for their money) and Korea are not really what we think they are - and
then again maybe we are not what we think we are...


There is probably little need to build seawalls in Oz aside from retaining
the foundations of high rise toilet blocks on the Gold Coast and
developments like Sandon Point in the Illawarra or Ralphs Bay in Hobart. But
before we look down our nose at Asian economies scrambling to have jet skis
and dishwashers have a little look at the Darling River and the allocation
of water 'rights'. Probably our most significant wetlands lie in river
systems such as this yet we think nothing of strangling them to export 98%
of a commodity to Asia - a commodity which is probably processed behind
those very sea walls. This is not some historical artifact created by well
meaning but scientifically ignorant rural communities - arguably the Murray
situation. No, the dramatic expansion of one of these commodities occurs in
the last 15 years. How many Ibis, Spoonbills, Snipe, Crakes, Rails ad nausea
to a pair of cheap jeans from your local hypermarket?


I heartily agree with the idea of binoculars going to those who can ill
afford them (I might even have a pair) but let's look at where these people
really are. How about Tiwai or Thursday Island, Timor Leste, Fiji or PNG. I
remember a similar exercise with old spectacles in Africa. Ciao 


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU