Monday, December 24, 2007


When I was in my late teens I read The Greening of America, later I read Catherine Caufield's In the Rainforest, both siren calls to protect our environment but the trends has been in the opposite direction. Reading today's paper the reticulated giraffe has been reduced from 27,000 in the 1990s to 3000 today. Even the big inconographic animals of Africa are disappearing There has been inevitable and rapid growth in consumption and in population.

I was surprised to discover that major contributor to global warming is land clearance, the quarter of remaining forests are being reduced further. This is a larger contributor or close to equal that of the use of fossil fuels there seems to be so much of a fuss about.

Even in first world Australia, and looking at just one of the states, 6000 sq km of bushland are cleared in Queensland every year. But Australia's land clearance is a pittance as a contributor to global warming.

When I started looking at these figures I was shocked that the graph of all indicators of world environmental health were so sharply down since I was a teen and there had been such eloquent defences written.

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