Confusion over Don Burke & co.

16 11 2006

So now we have Don Burke fronting up for the oddly titled Australian Environment Foundation.  They appear to be suggesting that land clearing is not a great concern and that its more important that farmers beome wealthy.  If they can just get on with the job of growing crops and farming animals without too many troublesome rules and regulations then chances are they’ll be able to afford to care for the environment. The ABC news editor seems to have swallowed the AEF’s line of being a “a new science-based green group”. No mention of its association with a right wing Australian “think tank” (IPA) and links to the timber industry.

Is it fair to describe as “green” an organisation that supports:

  • foresters over protestors
  • genetically modified foods
  • future unproven technology over present day behavioural change and energy conservation
  • a company like Gunns Ltd. – by giving it an “environmental” award
  • less regulation of commercial fishing

Truly, this organisation would be absolutely laughable were it not so dangerous.

Let’s have some quotes from its membership:

Don Burke – chair:

“The greatest threat to the world’s environment is the conservation movement”

Dr Jennifer Marohasy -director (advice to farmers):

“I would be tossing away the ‘stop climate change’ banners and asking for a lifting of the bans on biotechnology,”

It is this same misleading thinking that is used by neoliberals to suggest that China will probably start looking after the environment if it gets rich enough.  This is an absurdity.  Particularly given the prevailing scientific view that we probably have about ten years to start making large scale reduction in CO2 emissions.  If all the world lived like Aussies, we’d need between 3 and 8 planet Earth’s (depending on who you ask) to simply survive.

I really enjoyed Don Burke on his TV show in the past.  I remember being a little horrified though when he made remarks trashing (pardon the pun) the concept of recycling household rubbish. He has tarnished his reputation further by involving himself with this mischeivous organisation.




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