15 February, 2019

Conservation-Viv Forbes

Be Like the Beaver – Build More Dams

Water is essential for all life, and happily it is abundant on our blue watery planet.
However, salty oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface and contain 97% of Earth’s water. Salt water is great for ocean dwellers but not directly useful for most life on land. Another 2% of Earth’s water is tied up in ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow, leaving just 1% as land-based fresh water.
To sustain life on land, we need to conserve and make good use of this rare and elusive resource.
Luckily, our sun is a powerful nuclear-powered desalinisation plant. Every day, solar energy evaporates huge quantities of fresh water from the oceans. After a stop-off in the atmosphere, most of this water vapour is soon returned to earth as dew, rain, hail and snow – this is the great water cycle. Unfortunately about 70% of this precipitation falls directly back into the oceans and some is captured in frozen wastelands.
Much of the water that falls on land is collected in gullies, creeks and rivers and driven relentlessly by gravity back to the sea by the shortest possible route. Allowing this loss to happen is poor water management. The oceans are not short of water.
Some animals and plants have evolved techniques to maximise conservation of precious fresh water.
Some Australian frogs, on finding their water holes evaporating, will inflate their stomachs with water then bury themselves in a moist mud-walled cocoon to wait for the drought to break. Water buffalo and wild pigs make mud wallows to retain water in their private mud-baths, camels carry their own water supply and beavers build lots of dams.
Some plants have also evolved water saving techniques – bottle trees and desert cacti are filled with water, thirsty humans can even get a drink from the roots and trunks of some eucalypts and many plants produce drought/fire resistant seeds.
Every such natural water conservation or drought-proofing behaviour brings benefits for all surrounding plants and animals.
People have long recognised the importance of conserving fresh water – early settlers built their homes near the best waterholes on the creek and every homestead and shed had its corrugated iron tanks. Graziers built dams and weirs to retain surface water for stock (and fence-crashing wildlife), used contour ripping and good pasture management to retain moisture in soils, and drilled bores to get underground water. And sensible rules have evolved to protect the water rights of down-stream residents.
In some snow-fed rivers like the Nile, floods are generally a reliable and predictable annual event. For millennia the Nile delivered water and silt fertiliser to the farmers on the flood plains in Lower Egypt. The massive High Aswan Dam may have done more harm than good – it certainly did great harm to the farmers and land down-stream by stealing the silt and the water that supported the productivity of farms that have fed millions since Roman times. The value of the electricity generated by the dam probably does not compensate for these losses.
But in Australia, rainfall is usually a boom and bust affair. Much fresh water is delivered to the land surface suddenly in cyclones, storms and rain depressions. But “The Wet” is always followed by “The Dry”, and droughts and floods are normal climatic events. People who fail to store some of the flood must put up with the drought.

14 February, 2019

This Man is not all bad.

1600 Daily
The White House • February 13, 2019

Not one more person should suffer under socialism

Today, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed President Ivan Duque Marquez and First Lady Maria Juliana Ruiz Sandoval of Colombia to the White House. “We’re working on many things together: the eradication of drugs in Colombia and outside of Colombia; and obviously, Venezuela,” President Trump said.

“We want to work together to put an end to the brutal dictatorship that has been affecting the Venezuelan people,” President Duque added.

Three weeks ago, the United States officially recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela. “We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom, and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair,” President Trump said in his State of the Union address last week.

To keep its word, America has imposed tough sanctions on Maduro and his corrupt associates. The Trump Administration is blocking assets in the United States controlled by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, disconnecting Maduro and his cronies from their needed revenue sources and protecting crucial assets for the future of Venezuela.

Here at home, mainstream Americans are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our own country. From Venezuela to the historic horrors of Maoist China, Cuba, and the Soviet Union, socialism turns modern prosperity into primitive scarcity. Even Europe’s Nordic countries—often held up by American liberals as socialist “success stories”—reveal the failure of state control: Today, living standards in the Nordic countries are at least 15 percent lower than in the United States, according to the Council of Economic Advisers.

America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control,” President Trump told Congress last week. “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

13 February, 2019

Murray Darling Debate-Summary of My Key Thoughts

"I represent no one except myself.My background is grazing including flood plain grazing, dryland farming and irrigation, mostly cotton. Geographically it is mainly influenced by experience in the Lake Eyre Basin, the Darling Basin, but also includes the Lower Darling and the Murrumbidgee (Tandou). 

My only motivation is not to see  Australia's future productive capacity damaged by environmental over-reach.

I believe the Plan/Act is deeply flawed (Briscoe). Given the massive variability of MDB river flows the statistics thrown about are non-sensical, including setting single figure Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDL's), albeit they are claimed to be averages. There is widespread misunderstanding about the 2100 GL.entitlements purchased by the the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH). Without allocations this is "phantom" water, yet people believe it is real water and that man rather than nature is in control (Menindee drama). I understand that when allocations against entitlements are made then what the CEWH does with its water is a big issue. I thought the environmental needs were to be covered prior to allocations being made. Thus the CEWH strikes me as a second environmental dip-but perhaps we are too far down that road and a lot of money has been spent.

The variability demands adaptive management and this can be achieved by the Allocation process. This is clearly demonstrated by the yearly variation in MDB diversions as produced by the Bureau of Stats."

09 February, 2019

Poverty Progress -How the Left Hate it.

Progressives reluctant to recognise poverty progress

Is the declining rate of global poverty simply a neoliberal lie, spread by the likes of Bill Gates?According to a British-based academic, the answer is yes — because the data on global poverty only ‘looks’ better because of communist China’s rapid development.
This claim is blatantly wrong for several reasons. First, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty between 1981 and 2017 thanks to industrial development across the world, and the huge economic expansion brought about due to globalisation. Data from the World Bank shows that extreme poverty has still reduced dramatically — even if we exclude China from the equation.
In fact, China’s poverty rate only fell below the world average (living on less than $1.90/day) as recently as 2005. Therefore, prior to 2005, the inclusion of China made the global poverty rate look worse — not better.
Moreover, not only is his claim wrong, but — perhaps more importantly — there is no reason to exclude China in the first place.
Exclusion would suggest that reduction of poverty in China — the most populous nation in the world — is somehow less important than progress in other parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa.
Measures of global poverty should include all nations; it should not be about cherry-picking nations to suit particular anti-free market agendas.
Furthermore, it was not communism that reduced poverty in China. It was only after the Chinese Communist Party adopted massive economic liberalisation and exploited global trade, that it managed to lift about 800 million people out of poverty.
The country took advantage of the rise of globalisation when, in 1978, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping kicked off the ‘reform and opening-up’ campaign. Over the past few decades, this has slashed extreme poverty rates from 88% to under 2%.
Undisputedly, this is much better than starving to death under Mao.
The bottom line is: redefining poverty and excluding the largest nation in the world from the equation is a deliberate attempt to encourage a pessimistic view of capitalism. Bill Gates’ efforts to acknowledge human progress should be praised — not discredited.
Anis Rezae is a Juris Doctor student, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation scholar, and a research intern at the Centre for Independent Studies.