Monday, March 30, 2015
Infantile Greenies and the "threatened" future of a pretty Tasmanian parrot
The article below is from the environmental writer at the Australian far-Left "New Matilda" magazine so its truthfulness cannot be assumed -- but the interesting thing is the approach of the article. It is typical of "stop everything" environmentalism. It offers no compromise and no middle way. Instead of assisting informed decision-making it just does its best to build a roadblock to action.
In those circumstances, if there are foolish decisions made about environmental matters the Greens are partly responsible for that. Most of Tasmmania is locked up under environmental regulations so there has been no balance at all so far. The voters have clearly grown tired of that and gave Tasmania's conservatives an unprecedented clear victory in the last State election. The conservatives are now doing what they were elected to do -- unlock some of the locked-off areas. It would be so much better if they could do it in a consultative way with all parties -- but compromise is unknown to Greenies. "We want it all" is their juvenile cry.
A more mature Greenie response to what the voters have clearly asked for would be to suggest alternative areas that could be opened up that did not threaten environmental harm. But in a long article (only partially excerpted below) there was no whisper of that. They are emotional toddlers
Concerns over the Abbott government’s plans to "deregulate” the environment and give up much of its environmental powers to the states found a compelling voice this week, as revelations emerged that the Tasmanian government approved logging in contravention of expert advice, knowingly pushing an endangered bird much closer to extinction.
It’s the sort of industry-first approach that environmental lawyers and conservationists are concerned could become far more common under the federal government’s so-called ‘One Stop Shop’ reforms.
The policy would drastically diminish the federal environment minister’s portfolio and see state governments - which stand to gain much more from big developments, mining, and forestry - vested with assessment and approval powers over matters of national environmental significance.
The government says the ‘One Stop Shop’ will cut red tape without a drop in environmental standards but documents obtained by Environment Tasmania under freedom of information laws, released earlier week, have raised serious questions over the state’s commitment to conservation.
The Hodgman government has approved the logging of at least three out of five areas of forest which provide key breeding habitat for the endangered Swift Parrot, it was revealed, despite repeated advice from experts that it will hasten the species’ already steep decline to extinction.
"Conservation objectives for the species at the [local] and regional scales will not be met” if the areas are logged, scientists within Tasmania’s environment department warned.
Less than 1,000 breeding pairs of Swift Parrot remain. Each year the bird undertakes the longest known migration of any parrot, to breed on the east coast of Tasmania.
The areas the Tasmanian government has now approved for logging are high-quality nesting habitat that are known to host large numbers of the just 2,000 remaining individuals during breeding season.
Cutting down forests in this breeding habitat, scientists within the department warn in one email, "will result in the continued loss of breeding habitat that has been identified as being of very high importance for the species with the further fragmentation of foraging habitat”.
"This cannot contribute to the long term survival of the species.”
Put simply, "there is no scientific evidence to support the position that continued harvesting of breeding habitat will support conservation objectives for the species”.
Ordinarily, where matters of national environmental significance such as threatened species are involved, the federal Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act would be triggered and the Commonwealth government would be tasked with ensuring conservation outcomes are met.
For the Swift Parrot, though, there was no federal safeguard.
The Tasmanian government was allowed to issue the approvals, and ignore the expert advice, because of a deal with the federal government, known as the Regional Forestry Agreement (RFA).
It’s a deal that is remarkably similar to the wholesale hand-over of powers the Abbott government is pursuing through its One Stop Shop reform.