Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Madness

On Saturday of this weekend took a couple of hours off to get away for a drive and went west on the beautiful Darling Downs of Queensland.  Took along my camera and tripod and started taking images of the harvest in full swing.  Had done this some weeks back and even though on a main thoroughfare did encounter some farmers not very friendly.

Noticed the signs about the place concerning coal mining and the troubles they were facing.  I then decided to look into the matter and am astounded at what is occurring.  The farmers perhaps thought we were mining people taking levels and mistook the tripods for another piece of equipment that stands on a tripod, hence the hostility.

Firstly the country in question is arguably the finest agricultural land in Australia and Queensland, productive with rich black soil  going  deep into the crust.  In Australia's vast land mass not too much country is arable and viable and with climate change a real threat to the southern parts of this continent in the immediate future, this could well be and is the major food bowl of this continent.  Underneath this land lies vast deposits of coal and gas and herein lies the conflict.  As I understand the situation vast deposits of coal and gas and other mineral wealth lie in more isolated areas but am I being cynical in thinking that the multi nationals engaged in this situation are making the push for this land which has infrastructure in place already?

I am aware as are most people on the planet that our energy needs are growing exponentially and to deny the energy for some utopian solution is not possible without world wide collapse of economy and civil structure.  But to continue on a path of knee jerk reaction and allowing the mining industry carte blanch over our agricultural land is to be stopped at all costs if the information I have gathered in the past two days is correct and will stand correction.

From reliable sources the scientists in the government body who oversee and make the recommendations to the government on environmental issues associated with industry have been over ridden by the politicians, that is the Anna Bligh Government.  I believe the recommendation was made to the Government Minister that the gas extraction development in this area be put on hold until a solution was arrived at by all parties as to the disposal of the waste product from the gas extrusion process.  Australia's productivity exists due in large part to the Great Artesian Basin, huge aquifers underground from where the water is pumped to the surface.  The extraction of the gas from underground involves force pumping water through the man made cracks underground through the coal, the gas dissolves in the water and at surface is extracted from the water...Now herein lies the scary part.  What happens to the water which is now full of toxic waste.  Is it placed in holding pools to evaporate, and when it evaporates what happens to the carcinogenic sludge left behind.  On the other hand Australia is a land of drought and flooding rain and nothing has changed in that regard since the poetry of Dorethea.  Not if but when the flooding rain occurs on these plains and the holding pools overflow or leak through into the aquifer this stuff does it have the potential to contaminate the underground water supplies of this continent?  This is purely my understanding of the matter and will stand correction as only have been looking into this in the past few days.  The idea would be to have a look and see what the mining companies have done previously with the welfare and disposal of this waste in their past records all over the world.  I am hearing they have not given a shite.

I guess some are looking at the farmers as not in my back yard mentality but hey I think this involves each and every Australian to get to the bottom of this situation as this issue is more important than the Franklin Dam.  I am hearing the farmers are going to involve themselves in civil disobedience and I think if my understanding of the situation is correct and here I am open to correction this country should draw a line in the sand for the benefit of children and grandchildren and say what you as a government is doing is not right allowing the mining to go ahead in the face of your own scientific advise, and you need to be held accountable before it is too late.

 The ordinary person in the city with an eye on the five to midnight should stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers involved in this issue until it can be proven that this will not contaminate and destroy not only the soil but the underground aquifer.  What alarms me most of all is the State Government's complete disregard for the advise of the scientists employed within the bureaucracy, the people to advise us on such as this have been totally ignored, shut down and can not speak, and I know this little piece of information to be correct.  Food will be the commodity we need the most in the future.  If the information  I have been able to access is correct we as a community, state and nation have a duty to look into the veracity and ongoing development of this situation.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Exploring SE Queensland with a camera

Carr's Lookout, Killarney, Queensland, Australia

Carr's Lookout, Killarney, Queensland, Australia

Point Cartwright, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, pre dawn this beautiful silent white sailing boat emerged from behind the Point gliding over the rough waves with the appearance of something so elegant and out of this world.

Just waves, with a little light at a small cove at Coolum, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia

Taken into the sun rise, the sail boat traversing across the emerging sunlight with the huge cruise liner in the background negotiating the shipping channel heading for the Port of Brisbane.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Beautiful Killarney

Hiking in the beautiful Killarney area of south Queensland