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Archive for May, 2006

More on Salt: Badly Wrong Public Science

Since last Sunday’s feature story ‘Australia’s Salinity Crisis, What Crisis?‘, I’ve pondered whether Wendy Craik’s claim on the program that decisions in the past were based on the best available information really hold’s up to scrutiny. If funding is secured on the basis of the best available information, even if it is subsequently shown to [...]


More on Salt: What is the ‘Rising Ground Water’ Theory?

Since last Sunday’s feature story ‘Australia’s Salinity Crisis, What Crisis?’, I’ve received comment that it is difficult to understand the different models and theories explaining dryland salinity. The dominant theory has been the rising ground water theory which Dr Brian Tunstall suggested was complete “bunkum” on Sunday. In my opinion the model has some application, [...]

Polar Bear Politics: Misrepresenting the Nature of One Smart Bear

Does the end ever justify the means? Some activists concerned about global warming, and who want the rest of the world to be as concerned as they are, recognise people care about polar bears and want to exploit them as a ‘victim’ of climate change. But if I was a polar bear I reckon I’d [...]

Australia Scuttles Opportunity for Whale Management Plan: Dr Graham Hall

A new NGO called Species Management Specialists (SMS) has criticised Australia’s stance at the International Whaling Commission and called for a resumption of negotiations to complete a commercial whaling management regime. Following is their media release: “In March this year, International Whaling Commission (IWC) negotiations to develop the Revised Management Scheme (RMS) for commercial whaling [...]

Investigate the Scientific Fraud: Rob Gourlay on Salinity Research & Funding in Australia

Rob Gourlay from Environmental Consultants ERIC, is calling for an independent investigation by the Australian Government to get to the bottom of the claims in today’s Channel Nine Sunday Program: “The Channel Nine Sunday Program on Salt Solutions (28 May 2006) was a wake-up call to public workers involved in dryland salinity science and administration [...]

Brian Tunstall Talks Dryland Salinity

It was not long after I started with the Institute of Public Affairs in July 2003, that Prof Bob Carter at James Cook University suggested I contact Brian Tunstall. Bob knew I was struggling with dryland salinity issues, that I was feeling outraged by the methodology used by the National Land and Water Audit to [...]

‘Australia’s Salinity Crisis: What Crisis?’ ask Ross Coulthart & Nick Farrow

“Unless you’re prepared to redo thirty years of scientific research yourself, the debate on this point [the salinity crisis] comes down to a pure question of comparative credibility,” wrote Professor John Quiggin in April 2004, click here. John Quiggin was suggesting that I had no credibility on Murray River issues because my thesis contradicted “thirty [...]

Who Should Look After the World’s Whales?

The next International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is planned for St Kitts in the Caribbean from June 16 to 20. Rumor has it that the meeting will mark a change in the balance of power at the IWC from the antiwhaling to the prowhaling nations. This would likely result in an eventual lifting of the [...]

Fudging Figures on Murray River Salinity: More Shame on CSIRO

CSIRO, Australia’s largest scientific research organisation, released a two-part report* last Friday on ‘water’ in the Murray-Darling Basin, a region often referred to as the food bowl of Australia. The icon within this region is the Murray River and salt levels in the river have long been considered an indication of the region’s health and [...]

Feeling Cold & Confused in a Warming World

It was all over local radio here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, this morning … that it was the coldest May morning ever, with temperatures down to -2C. That’s cold for subtropical Brisbane. As I sat shivering in my little wooden house with no central heating or insulation, I was trying to reconcile this one off [...]