NO Longer is it enough to talk about growing intelligently or using technology to meet long-term problems. Instead, scarcity politics seeks to slow and even reverse material progress through what President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, calls “de-development.”
That’s according to an article by Joel Kotkin recently published in Forbes which laments, in particular, restrictions on the capacity of those who manage water in the Central Valley of California. Like the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, the Central Valley has been experiencing drought, and this has been exacerbated by the politics of “de-development”.
Australian agriculture has not only had to struggle with unreasonable demands on its water allocations during drought, but over the past two decades there has been a campaign against the introduction of new crop varieties.
Bob Phelps has been involved with The GeneEthics Network since January 1988 – since its inception. He is currently its Director. Working with Greenpeace and other groups the Network was successful at getting most Australian States to ban the commercial planting of most genetically modified (GM) crops at a time when most of the rest of the world was embracing the technology.
New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia recently lifted the bans, but it hasn’t stopped the campaigning. Indeed Greenpeace and the GeneEthics network have been holding forums over the past two weeks with a couple of Americans lecturing grain growers in Western Australia about why they shouldn’t plant a crop that North American farmers have been growing successfully for some time.
1. How Elite Environmentalists Impoverish Blue-Collar Americans
by Joel Kotkin, http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/16/california-environmentalists-water-agriculture-opinions-columnists-scarcity.html
“De-development”–that is, the retreat from economic growth–includes some sensible notions about conservation but takes them to unreasonable, socially devastating and politically unpalatable extremes. The agenda, for example, includes an opposition to population growth, limits on material consumption and a radical redistribution of wealth both nationally and to the developing world.
“In much the same way as seen in California’s water crisis, many of the administration’s “green” energy policies pose a direct threat to blue-collar workers employed in extracting and processing fossil fuels. The resultant high energy prices caused by the proposed “cap and trade” system–essentially a system for creating scarcity–also will cost middle-class consumers, blue-collar workers, truckers and manufacturers. These constituencies could well face the kind of water policy-related decline that is destroying farming communities throughout central California.
“Yet at the same time, such policies make the well-to-do and trustifarians in San Francisco and Malibu–for whom higher energy prices are barely a concern–feel better about themselves. In what passes for progressive politics today, narcissism usually takes priority over reality.”
2. Greenpeace GM forum draws ire, BY COLIN BETTLES http://fw.farmonline.com.au/news/state/grains-and-cropping/general/greenpeace-gm-forum-draws-ire/1457566.aspx
3. The following picture of some sheep was taken in north-western Victoria, Australia, by Jennifer Marohasy in November 2006.
Ann Novek says
Greenpeace smearing again at Jen’s blog….zzzzzz
I just want to say what George from the whaling debate told me ( and he’s hardly a fan of GP).
” Ann do you really think that writting for a small blog like Jennifer’s blog is comparable to writing for a multi million dollar corporation ( GP)?
You guys are just peanuts….
Jan Pompe says
Ann “You guys are just peanuts….”
So can we lay to rest that climate scepticism is funded by big oil when the Green Lobby is underfunded?
Instead of blaming the fish, we can blame the sheep
(read the comments in full after Kotkin’s article at Forbes)
Glad to see Ann coming to the realization that Greenpeace is just another multi-national.
Thats fine Ann this blog maybe peanuts so why are you here? I also thought the comments by Jennifer were about articles on Forbes and Farmonline are they peanuts as well compared the mighty Greenpeace?
Ah, fruitloop Ann sneering at this blog again. Piss off, Ann.
This article correctly captures that green groups are anti-development cloaked in environmental protection rhetoric.
Environmentalism is an easy position to utilise – there is no serious debate about whether it is appropriate and necessary to protect our environment. I think that the average punter though would be shocked if they knew the true ideology of many of the NGOs that they assume are disinterested campaigners (if they think fo them at all); campaigners that are no friend of Joe and Jane Average and their desire for a reasonable life and the expectation to take advantage of the things that modern technology has to offer (and I include things they directly enjoy like the odd flat screen TV and maybe even a holiday and indirectly like medical innovation, biotech crops and the right to breed. Many of these things the greens would deny them if they could).
That first comment didn’t sound like Ann.
Ann Novek says
Do we recall the days when JM told us that the aim of the blog was to destroy Greenpeace????
HAHAHA! Wouldn’t touch any of you guys with a pole , you’re the saddest bunch of trash I ever been in contact with.
Greenpeace think you’re evil and sleazy and what such people like you think and do are ignorant to me , you are just somebody in the backstage ,that people laugh at!
Ann Novek says
Eyrie : ” Piss off Ann from the blog”. That’s my highest wish!
I recognise that Greenpeace is an enormous and very powerful corporation. I guess that is one reason I follow and comment on what they are up to.
But I see you are conflicted, should I contribute to something unpopular like Jen’s blog that really tries to get to heart of issues – or should I stay popular and with Greenpeace and keep getting awards for being an eco-warrior?
Ian Mott says
Ann is a classic green. The daughter of high achieving parents who lacked both the intellect and self discipline to measure up. Free of the burden of paying her own way in life, she has taken solace in that most narcissistic of all cop-outs, gratuitous planet salvation.
The beauty of planet salvation, as a lifestyle choice, is its complete lack of individual performance assessment. Even the most mediocre can boast of their high ideals while never being required to reconcile their actions with their achievements. Ultimately, they seek recourse in the mere intensity of their yearning for planet salvation, free of the need to take any action, or achieve any result, at all.
And all the time her parents carefully avoid any recognition of her mediocrity in the vain hope that she might, eventually, achieve some ever declining expectation.
Get a dildo, Ann, and be honest for a change.
spangled drongo says
It has been inferred on this blog that farmers are philosophically bankrupt.
I would say that if you want a good case of PB, look no further than these “farmer’s friends”, ie Greenpeace and other elite “environmentalists”.
They visit us occasionally with their immature fixations with no intention of debating the facts, just ranting on.
spangled drongo says
Listening to ABC RN this morning [with gritted teeth] I am sure most of these people are living in a vacuum since “Bugga-up” ran out of billboards years ago.
Is Ann really Clive hamilton?
Ann you say your dearest wish is to take Eyrie’s advice and piss off. So why don’t you? Is it because you have been tasked by Greenpeace as a Cyberactivist to place your comments representing Greenpeace here. I suggest you sit down on your green prayer mat face whichever way Al Gore’s ranch and think long and hard about what you hope to achieve. I don’t see your comments achieving anything, at all.
Ian you think you know a lot about Ann how have you achieved this? Is there some register or other?
Ron Pike says
Just Google Ann Novek and it is all there.
Ann should grow up and realise that Greenpeace have never had any interest in protecting our environment or making it more sustainable.
They are a political organisation pushing many unscientific, unsustainable political ideas.
By hiding behind the “green environmental flag” they have managed to and continue to regularly extract donations from thousands of gulliable people.
None of this money is used on the envoronment; it is all used for political purposes and to give the chosen few a very relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle cruising the high seas.
” Piss off Ann from the blog”. “That’s my highest wish!”…..are you for real? Why are you here then???!!!!! Have you any idea how silly that comment makes you look?
Ever wonder why patrick moore a founder of greenpeace left it?…..actually you probably do and can twist it to make patrick look like the hypocrite.
“Greenpeace think you’re evil and sleazy”…actually thats what a lot of us think about greenpeace…” …they take it one step further though and deliberately break the lawand cause harm and damage and waste resources etc etc etc.
i guess we can look forward to not seeing you on this blog again then? or are you paid to annoy us …….a bit like SJT?
Ian Mott says
Having wasted far too much time on the village idiot, could we get back to the thread?
The article is dead right to highlight the fact that the people demanding this latest form of human sacrifice always target people who are outside their own community. They are masters at demonising minority occupations to make it easier for the uninformed majority to accept the injustices visited on those minorities.
sid reynolds says
Greenpeace should be re-named Greensleaze.
Ann Novek says
LOL! LOL! LOL! What do I see? A dozen of personal posts about me! And you Google me as well! FYI Google doesn’t say a s***t about me. I just want to be an unimportant and anonymous person living in the deep Nordic boreal forests taking care of my animals. A scaled back life . A down scaled life.
So why do I sign my posts AN? Actually I never been a coward. It was always me that had to ride the 2-year old stallions!
You must really have much time at your hands dealing with such an unimportant person like me . I’m not like Jen , that wants to pop up in the telly.
PS . And I have never understood why Jen asked me to write on the blog , a person that wants to live a scaled back life in the forest.
Helen Mahar says
And another important factor in de-development of Australian agriculture is the ADMINISTRATION of Australian conservation (and Planning/Environment) laws. Many of these laws have a clause stating that “no appeal” lies against a condition attached to a consent, or to a refusal. Appeal rights are only available through administrative appeal, i.e. the Supreme Courts. A very expensive process which effectively disenfranchises almost all rural landholders from due process and thus of rule of law.
The administrators of these laws know this, and the more activist-prone take full advantage of the weak financial, and weakend legal positions of their targets.
Having decisions made by “Authorities” or “Councils” comprised of ministerially selected “Stakeholders”, with more concern for conservation agendas than respect for the laws they are entrusted to adminster, only makes matters worse for rural landholders. But better for the activist administrators who can then blame-shift for the decisions they themselves recommend.
Decisions which exceed, or seek to exceed the powers of the Parent Act, thus become precedent, then backdoor, unlawful policy.
Under all Ausralain laws, the Parent Act defines and limits the powers under the Act. Regulations under an Act may not exceed the powers of the Parent Act. And Policies may not exceed either the powers of the p=Parent Act nor the regulations under that Act. Also, a policy that has not been properly promulgated (made appropriately public) is invalid.
How often have we landowners questioned administrative behaviour, only to be told that it is “policy”? Or heard Ministers flatly denying, even to their respective Parliaments, the very mis-conduct we are experiencing?
Disenfranchising the target group – rural landowners unfortunate enough to own land supporting conservation assets – from the basic right to rule of law is a pretty effective way to run back door “de-development” agendas. It also turns conservation assetts into serious liablilities.
We are all bound by law, are all oliged to abide by the law and to try to follow due process. The vast majority of us do. We are all entitled to receive due process. Many of us have not.
Add to that the systematic denigation of Australian farming (often just blame for the unforseen consequences of past government policy) and you have an influential proportion of the population who believe that farmers somehow deserve what is coming to them.
Ian Mott says
Spot on Helen. The scumbags in Qld even stooped to declaring, in the parent legislation, that certain regulations under the act were not only non-regulations but not even statutory instruments (which have obligations of probity etc). No, these non-regulations, for which defending a breach could set a landowner back $200,000, were merely a “document acceptable to the Minister”.
In effect, regulations that were capable of compelling a material change in existing lawful landuses, ie that constituted the taking of property, are entirely at the whim of whatever piece of political slime mould happens to occupy the Minister’s post, now or in the future.
Helen Mahar says
My experience is with South Australian Legislation, particularly Native Vegetation, but more recently with the Coast Protection section who seem to have picked up some of he Native Veg tricks. Queensland has a different type of Parliament – only one House. Does the lack of an upper house, a house of review, have something to do with the apparently casual adoption of “unofficial” regulations as instruments for exceeding the powers of the Parent Act?
Someone in Qld needs to take these dodgy powers to the Supreme Court – someone with money.
Under our constitutions it is the Job of Ministers to administer the laws under their prortfolios in a lawful manner, and to be accountable to Parliament for this. It is the job of the opposition to hold the Ministers accountable. Some Ministers do not seem to have a clue as to their job description. A few years ago a Shadow Minister was commenting on proposed changes to Native Vegetation Regulations.
From the SA Hansard 27/11/01 P2880: “Secondly, the bill requires significant biodiversity gain in return for any clearance approval. Once again I understand that this is the current practice of the Native Vegetation Council. It is not in the existing Act, and this bill today stengthens and makes Law what is currently only policy”.
Shortly afterwards, with a change of Govt, that honourable gentleman become the Minister for Environment and Heritage. You could weep.
Ian Mott says
Helen, in Qld it is patently obvious that informal discussions had taken place with the Parliamentary Counsel with a view to determining ways to ensure that the advice as to consistency with legislative standards and westminster principles etc, that the PC is normally obliged to provide for all legislation, could be bypassed in this instance. It is a substantial “smoking gun”, as it were, that could indicate that the PC has acted in serious breach of the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, but evidence of same is another matter altogether.
None of this would be possible if Qld still had an upper house. To my knowledge there has not been a joint parliamentary committee of inquiry into anything in Qld since Goss was elected in 1989. And the clowns who seriously believe that getting rid of an upper house achieves some sort of improved economy or efficiency, let alone major benefit for the effectiveness of government, are exposed as talking, entirely, through their own backsides.
It is interesting that Goss was shown on TV recently claiming that an upper house merely makes a difficult job even harder. But this is the dead$hit who ruled that membership of a green group did not, and could not, constitute a conflict of interest for a public servant engaged in any sort of NRM policy process. From that day onward, the scum were free to move straight from green group executive positions to senior departmental posts without a single raised eyebrow.
And Bligh is now claiming a mandate to ban the clearing of regrowth, in effect, denying a farmers very right to exist by restricting the capacity to carry out pasture maintenance. We are governed by some seriously sick perverts.
Helen Mahar says
Enough of what’s going on with our consevation laws. Except to say that I regard the difference between Greenpeace’s stunt flouting of laws, and the sneaky polictical / admininstrative udermining of process by PPPPT’s – People in Paid Positions of Public Trust – to be more a matter of degree than of principle.
Time to switch to the Anti GM lobbly. First, farmers are not fools. If it doesnt work, they won’t buy it. I would like to know if these American speakers, one a grower, the other a seed processor, while giving a picture of no productive gain from GM crops also gave the picture of comparative costs. For goodness sakes, GM Cotton is Roundup Ready – it needs a lot less spray than non-GM Cotton. That has to be good for the bottom line – and for the environment. Farmers are not stupid. For non – GM to compete, the market premium would have to cover the difference in cost of production.
Also the one about Royalties on GM seeds. Well welcome to the real world. We have royalties on conventionally bred seeds too. With all governments reducing their Ag research budgets, it is a way of paying the cost of developing these much needed seed varieties. If these new varieties did not give an advantage either in yield or in reduced production costs or, (yippee!) both – we would not waste our hard earned on them.
wes george says
I was a Greenpeace organizer back in the early 1980’s. I understand the culture.
Essentially, it is anti-humanist and therefore either a new kind of naturalist fascism or a postmod bolt back to pre-Enlightenment values. Either way, Greenpeace True Believers nurse (often only semi-conscious) fantasies of de-populating the Earth.
You know, “On the Beach” -like scenarios, only caused by a human virus, so nature is left intact cleansed of humanity.
Hey, I was there. It’s a very dark place and it has only grown much more powerful and sinister since those days of innocence…. was it Bertolt Brecht that said a young man who is not a collectivist has no heart while an old man who still is has no mind?
Anti-development policy is really just the foot in the door for the Greenies. De-development is next. Naturally, that won’t fly in a democracy, so democracy will have to be suspended, just for a wee revolution, mind you… nothing permanent.
And then they will come for you…
“JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.
Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.
The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.
Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.
“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”
….This is part of the thinking behind the OPT’s call for Britain to cut population to 30m — roughly what it was in late Victorian times.
Britain’s population is expected to grow from 61m now to 71m by 2031. Some politicians support a reduction.