Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Saturday, March 19, 2005

THE DARK SIDE IN OZ: The Australian timber company Gunns Limited works like this in Tasmania:
First, their loggers come and clear-cut an area. Then, rather than hauling out the felled trees, helicopters are sent in to drop incendiary devices to light the slag on fire. ... The dense hardwoods burn hot and slow for days, but eventually cool back down, and that’s when the loggers return —- but not to plant new trees yet. Instead, they scatter the charred forest floor with carrots soaked in a chemical known as 1080. All the animals that then come to feed on the carrots -- including wombats, possums, and wallabies -- quickly die. Only when all the native life has been drained do the foresters return, to plant non-native trees in massive plantations, which are then aerially sprayed with chemicals.

Whether those chemicals are dangerous or not is anyone's guess. Gunns lobbying has eliminated most oversight ...last December, a helicopter spraying near the town of St. Helens crashed, dumping some 80 liters of its load into the hillside. Gunns insisted there was no danger, and it took seven months for the Department of Health to check the small town's water supply. By then it was too late. In January, a "once in a lifetime flood" had roared through the area and within a week, more that 95% of the oyster beds in nearby George's Bay were dead or dying. Government and industry officials chalked it up to "excessive fresh water."
There are more horrors; read it all at "Fighting the Big Gunns in Tasmania". Thanks to Lying Media Bastards, which adds "Is Halliburton still single? Cuz we gotta set these two up on a blind date." Jean's reaction was to wonder if any member of the Bush family ever emigrated to Australia.


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