Environmental catastrophe awaits?

  • 01 February 2007

From Peter Beeson,

Dear Editor,

I have always been a bit “iffy” about this business (environmental debate) and am persuaded that the present Federal Government’s sudden interest in the subject, particularly associated with water, has more to do with this being apparently a good election year subject than anything else. Coupled with this has been the arrival of two pertinent new books among my Christmas gifts, “Burn – the Epic Story of Bushfire in Australia” by Paul Collins (this one well known to you) and “Back from the Brink – How Australia’s Landscape can be Saved” by Peter Andrews (Publisher ABC Books).

I haven't finished reading Paul Collin’s book yet, but it details temperatures as high as presently experienced back over a hundred years – certainly the 1939 “Black Friday” was as horrendous as anything recent albeit modern fire fighting methods have minimized property loss to some extent. Then Andrew’s – a “hands on” man; not a desk bound scientist - proposes methodology for reversing the damage caused by both white and aboriginal settlers in Australia extending back 40000 years. He does see a future for our rural areas including restoration of quality water supplies and a cure for salinity if remedial processes are set in place.

You Jesuits are great and thoughtful researchers and a much wider treatment of Collin’s book with perhaps the other can form the basis for a wideranging consideration of “global warming or not”. Too often the comments of scientists – even including those at CSIRO – have betrayed a lack of explained depth in my opinion.

Yours sincerely,




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