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 on the internet at the Environment Australia website.
He replied that he didn’t trust anything he read on the internet – but he did trust what he read in The Land.
I was reminded of the George Orwell quote: Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.
I wonder what Orwell would have had to say about blogging?
I think he would have liked the medium, because it seems to potentially be the ultimate form of independent communication. It is a mechanism for those with an alternative perspective to make comment and tell their story.
Since I started my blog in April this year three other blogs have come on line focusing on environmental issues from an Australian perspective.
Peter Spencer first posted on 28th June, click here for first entry. Peter’s key issue is vegetation management but his blog has turned into something of a personal account of farming and families in the High Country.
David Tribe first posted on 11th November, with a short note listing sources of information on GM food crops, GM organisms and biotec websites, click here for first entry. David described his site as a clearing house for information on biotechnology, but it has evolved to cover a range of agricultural and environmental issues with a recent post on water.
Warwick Hughes’s first post is dated 26th November, click here for first entry. Warwick is passionate about climate science and very critical of established institutions including the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. His blog has already attracted debate and discussion amongst ‘global warming skeptics’ with an interest in the detail and an interest in scrutinizing information on global warming as reported in the popular press.
I have just today started a blog roll at my website, click here. I have added the above three sites and ‘The Domain’ which includes Australian political blogs. I have also included a blog maintained by Brendan Moyles, a Kiwi, who takes a keen interest in environmental issues in Australia and New Zealand.
I am interested to know of other blogs with an Australian environmental focus. Have any foresters started blogging? Are there any Australian blogs that take, for example, an anti-GM perspective? Is there an Australian blog that is more sympathetic to the Bureau of Meteorology than WarwickHughes.com/blog? I am keen to also include these on my list at my website.
Blogs and the internet potentially provide an important alternative perspective. Furthermore, they are likely to be providing a forum for the discussion of ideas several days, if not years before the mainstream media/popular press. But I wouldn’t believe everything I read, on the internet, or in The Land!