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Archive for December, 2005

New Year’s Eve 2005

A CNN/TIME survey of Asia-Pacific countries reports that avian flu is expected to be the biggest global issue in 2006, followed by economic slowdown and terrorism. What happened to global warming? Why didn’t it rate a mention in the survey? The Australian weather bureau is predicting that tomorrow will be the hottest New Year’s Day [...]


How Many Died at Chernobyl?

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and other best sellers, gave a lecture on 6th November with the text now ‘doing the rounds’ on the internet. Titled, ‘Fear, Complexity and Environmental Management in the 21st Century‘ it is a bit of a ramble covering issues as diverse as management of Yellowstone National Park and deaths [...]

Importing Doctors and Trees is Immoral

I was interested to read in today’s Courier-Mail (pg 29) that Queensland Premier Peter Beattie considers it “immoral” for a national as wealthy as Australia to rely on developing nations to provide its medical workforce. The Premier was referring to what I am told is a growing reliance on overseas trained doctors for rural and [...]

Blogs with an Australian Environmental Focus

A farmer from south western Queensland phoned me about one of my columns in The Land newspaper earlier this year. It was my column on koalas and he wanted to tell me about how many koalas, kangaroos and emus there were on his property. I suggested that there was some good information on kangaroo numbers [...]

Martin Ferguson Promotes Australian Forestry

“Australia has 155 million hectares of native forests. About 10 percent – 11 million hectares – of those forests are managed for wood production with less than 1 percent being harvested in any one year. The small proportion of forests that is harvested annually is regenerated so that a perpetual supply of native hardwood and [...]

Christmas Eve 2005

It feels like Christmas Eve … It is so hot here in Brisbane. I have eaten too many fruit mince pies and I have three packets of unopened Christmas cards that were to be written in and posted earlier this week. But nevermind. My Christmas tree has been decorated (no lights to save on electricity [...]

Intelligent What? Not Science.

This is the best news that I have heard in ages, from the Boston Globe Online: WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Pennsylvania yesterday ruled that intelligent design is “nothing less than the progeny of creationism” and should not be taught in public schools. The ruling, handed down by a judge appointed by President Bush, [...]

Pilot Whales, Really Just Sheep?

It is great news that the 100 pilot whales stranded on a beach at the top of New Zealand’s South Island have been refloated and are on their way back out to sea. But you have to wonder who gave these dolphins, that seem unable to orientate for themselves, the name ‘pilot whale’? The New [...]

Who Writes What for Whom?

John Quiggin comments at his blog today that a senior fellow at the CATO Institute in the US has resigned because he received cash for specific promotional articles. It reminded me of a newspaper article I was sent last week outlining the extent to which articles in medical journals are increasingly written by ‘ghost writers’ [...]

How Big is Your Christmas Turkey?

According to today’s NEWSMAIL@YOUR.ABC.NET.AU: Tasmania’s main turkey producer is warning customers to expect more than they have ordered, after climatic conditions resulted in bigger-than-usual birds. Nichols Poultry owner Robert Nichols says the company thought it courteous to let its customers know “we’ve overshot the mark a little bit this year”. He says a cool growing [...]