Should tourists be part of the environment?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 24, 2012 at 23:01
ThreadID: 97067 Views:2647 Replies:8 FollowUps:22
This Thread has been Archived
I just came across this ABC news story from March this year.

I realise there are heaps more people touring the interior now, especially the Lake Eyre region, and there is a certain number of idiots but the vast majority of those travelling are following existing roads.

There is heaps and heaps of land virtually untouched by human contact. It just keeps on doing what it has done forever.

The article has such a negative overtone, I don't think the environmental scientist believes that humans have any right to be part of the landscape, it must be left for native animals, bugs and trees.

What about me??

Steve
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - nick b - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:38

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:38
Steve : This is on the same lines as thread 97045 Fight Against Track Lockouts .
You would wonder just who they are saving it for ...
I think the green Power would like to see it all locked up ...just for a few idiots that do the wrong thing , maybe if there were place's for them to do their thing they wouldn't do the the wrong thing so much....

cheers nick
Cheers Nick b
VKS 737 ( 0915 )

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 491612

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:46

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:46
Nick, I don't think is has anything to do with a few people doing the wrong thing. It is much more to do with an ideology that all things in nature are equal including people. Or perhaps that people are the least equal.

Cheers,
Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

2019 Mitsubishi Cross

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767124

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 09:37

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 09:37
Hullo Kevin
Being a Queenslander, you would no doubt be aware that some 80% of Qld is under an exploration or mining lease and that an alarming % of your prime agricultural land is being dug up and water sources contaminated by the coal industry, with 85% of the profits going overseas.
I suspect more land is being locked up with "no access" by mining than for any environmental reason.
If you want to find out more, suggest you read a book called "Rich land, Waste land" by Sharyn Munro
Cheers
Andrew
0
FollowupID: 767127

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 11:52

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 11:52
I think, Andrew, that you might have been watching too may news programs on the ABC. Who is Sharyn Munro that I would want to read what she has written?
Cheers,
Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

2019 Mitsubishi Cross

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767141

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 14:57

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 14:57
Kevin

Sharyn Munro is someone who spent 2 years researching and interviewing people all around Australia - farmers, townspeople, etc - who have been negatively impacted by coal mining, especially in the Hunter Region and central Qld, eg Darling Downs.

Families who have lived on properties for generations and are now experiencing polluted rivers, drying water tables, dust, noise and disintegrating social networks. People who previously have been rusted on conservative voters and who now feel totally abandoned and betrayed by their governments.

Her book is selling very well and she is being asked to speak by and to many communities in Qld, NSW and Vic. One woman even bought 100 copies to give to every member of parliament in her state.

Cheers
Andrew
0
FollowupID: 767163

Follow Up By: get outmore - Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 02:47

Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 02:47
Andrew & Jen posted

you are dreaming in fairyland

qld would be no different to wa where mining takes up about .001% of the land locked out be another bulk export comodity
- agriculture

its just sexy to blame mining wheras agriculture does colossal damage to the environment over huge areas and locks up vast areas of ground against travellers

if mining did .00000000000001% of what agricultre did lowly educated people like you would actually have something to complain about
0
FollowupID: 767220

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 08:02

Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 08:02
Hullo get outmore
Perhaps if you read the book, we could have a more informed and factually based discussion.
BTW, I am intrigued as to how you accessed my education record.
Cheers
Andrew
0
FollowupID: 767316

Reply By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:41

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:41
There is nothing unusual about that article Steve. You get a lot of that kind of reporting on the ABC and a great number of environmental scientists are "anti people". I think that a major problem with environmental management these days is that the government departments, both state and federal, are full of graduates trained by left wing academics in leftish university faculties. To some extent the asylum is managed by its inmates. This will only change if interested people become involved and act to change it.
And be careful about using the "What about me?" question. Pauline Hansen asked that question in her maiden speech to parliament and look what happened to her. :):):) I won't say more. I might get moderated.
Cheers
Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

2019 Mitsubishi Cross

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 491613

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:31

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:31
OT, I know, but did you get my MM's,last week, Kevin..?..cheers....oldbaz.
0
FollowupID: 767151

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:42

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:42
No Mate. I've been looking out for a response but nothing has come through.
Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

2019 Mitsubishi Cross

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767154

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:50

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:50
I thought so..I sent two..would you like to give me your email ? By MM if you
prefer....cheers....oldbaz.
0
FollowupID: 767155

Reply By: Member - blackbird1937 - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:45

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 08:45
Hi . I agree ,if environmental scientists and greenies had their way the most of Australia would be locked up for wild life , national parks ,etc . I don,t know where they would get their food , power for their life style , timber and bricks for the homes , paper they hand out at elections etc . If they lived in some other countries they would not have as much free speech as we are lucky enough to have here .
AnswerID: 491614

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:26

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:26
Steve,

I don't see it as negative. Richard is merely stating the fact that there's a big impact along these tourist corridors, with huge numbers of visitors and their vehicles. While there's thousnds of sq kms virtually untouched, as you say, all us tourists must have some bearing on wildlife.

All these vehicles carrying firewood must get it along the roads, and as that supply used, then the travellers will venture further off the road to get this "necessary" commodity. After all, gotta have a campfire every night.........

Back in the late '80's, I collected some wood that was left over after a fire had been lit near an airstrip, for a night landing by the RFDS. Threw it in the back of the ute, and planned to unload it in the morning. Being July it was pretty cold, and on unloading it, found a very cold and miserable marsupial mouse, shivering in the back of the ute. Must have been living in the wood pile?

Take the photo below, bit off topic I know. All that dust from one Patrol. Multiply that amount by 4-5,000 vehicles, and that's a lot of real estate that's being moved off site, and needs to be replaced. The same on all outback roads, especially in Lake Eyre Basin.

Image Could Not Be Found

Imagine if this article had been written by Bob Brown, now that would have been negative,

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 491626

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:41

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:41
Hi Steve,

I didnt read that article as calling for people to be locked out of areas, though I suspect the reporter was trying to push that line - after all reporters are trained to find a controversial angle to any story.

Richard Kingsford is a very experienced and respected researcher of inland wetlands and is just calling it as he sees it. I would agree that in arid areas where growth is generally very slow damage can be imperceptible but cumulative, especially in heavily used areas. We have all seen instances of unthinking damage that persists for years and maybe decades. Even in wetter areas we have all seen camping areas where there is no dead wood on the ground, no insects, hence no birds around. Just a little wildlife desert that just about everyone who has camped there has helped unwittingly to create .

Having said that I do agree that there is a strong philosophical view among many committed greens that humans are somehow not part of the environment, a view that leads to calls for people to be excluded from particular areas. I have seen and heard this view expressed many times and suspect its origin is more akin to a religious belief than any practical or biological considerations.

Most landscapes, including the Australian landscape have been managed by humans for thousands of years. But in the past century we have become mechanised managers with the capacity to change the land very quickly, so we do need to be aware of our capacity to do damage. We all have to be responsible.

Also there are now many more of us than even just a few decades ago, and each one of us makes some impact. I for one will welcome any political leader who has the intestinal fortitude to honestly tackle the question of population growth. Or do we have to have another plague (Black Death) to do it for us?

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 491629

Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 11:01

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 11:01
That's put very well Val.

As for another plague (Black Death). I suspect that is what will happen, either that or starvation.

Take a look at how the life and death cycle revolves around Lake Eyre itself. The rains come, brings out the fish, the pelicans come in, breed, continue to multiply, the warters recede, the fish die, and eventually thousands of starving to death.

This cycle is relatively short, but I'm sure it works for all living creatures, eventually.
0
FollowupID: 767137

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 12:39

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 12:39
Hi Val. Are you keeping an eye on us from the UK or are you home again.

I think most commentators call it as they see it but others will see it differently. Those who see their interests threatened by someone calling it as they see it have the right to respond. That is what is happening in this thread.

Bob's picture in the post above gave me a nostalgic pang as for the second year in succession I have been thwarted in my desire to drive the Birdsville track. But I thought that the cloud of dust was a bit puny and even multiplied by 4 or 5 thousand is still puny compared to even a modest dust storm. With all our mechanical devices humans are insignificant compared to the forces of nature.

Cheers,

Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

2019 Mitsubishi Cross

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767145

Follow Up By: Off-track - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:53

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:53
There is a problem with the human race unfortunately; it's the only species that is not an important part of the food chain and one that if it became extinct the rest would flourish.
0
FollowupID: 767156

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 15:07

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 15:07
In fact, many species would over populate and bring about their own demise. Scientists tell us that many species disappeared long before man came on the scene. We are, of course, at the top of the food chain. Except for crocodiles and great white sharks!:):):)
Cheers,
Kevin
Kevin
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

2019 Mitsubishi Cross

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767165

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 15:38

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 15:38
Kevin, very much at home at the moment. Dont disagree about the right and value of an informed discussion - provided that it is actually informed. And therein lies some of the problem!

I think Bob has a good point about dust. Many will remember the great Melbourne dust storm of 1983 link here which moved about 50,000 tonnes of topsoil. (How much rock and dirt can heavy mining machinery move in a day?) Most of that TOPsoil (not sand out of the desert) came off farmland so one way or another there was some human contribution. I dont think humans have an insignificant impact - but, on the other hand, not as great an impact that some would have us believe.

As for food chains - there are very many of them, and every food chain has a top predator ie an animal that is not preyed upon to any great extent by any other animal. So think lions, elephants, blue whales, eagles, big sharks, vultures the list goes on and must include humans as consumers of food. However the food chain concept is pretty simplistic and does not take account of microbes which, throughout history, have probably had the greatest impact of any living thing on the human population (think, plague, cholera, spanish flu etc).

Landy, you are spot on with your Lake Eyre analogy, that cycle just has different time scales, and sooner or later will catch up with us all.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767168

Follow Up By: Off-track - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:42

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:42
Species will and have become extinct as part of natural evolution but nobody can doubt that humans as a species of animal have had a great impact in this that any other.

I dont think it is a fact at all that many species would do worse off with out us, Kevin. Not at all.
0
FollowupID: 767183

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:43

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:43
I'd like to thank you all for your intelligent input to this little thread.

I love getting out there and travelling throughout this great land. I appreciate every magnificent scene, the variety of flora and fauna, the pubs and the people.

For me that is what makes up my environment. When I pick up some firewood and there are little critters underneath it I'm truly sorry I've upturned their life but to collect wood for a fire that gives me warmth and helps me cook my dinner is part of my life. Most of them creatures will move on get on with their lives and hold no grudge. I understand Val's point about those barren campsites we've seen. They are disgusting and we avoid them unless we have no other option but, in terms of the history of the Earth, if those areas are barren for 15, 20, 50 years that is nothing in the history of the Planet. I wonder if our concern for the environment is for the planet or our ambience.

I don't feel inclined to walk across Australia but I truly love to load up my Landcruiser and head off. There are consequences for me doing this but at this point in time what I do is an acceptable way of life.

I understand people that are concerned with the effects of human activity on the environment but I can't understand why many people believe Australia should be as it was in 1788.
Mining, farming, cities, industry, housing, roads, everything we see today is having an effect on the environment but that is who we are at this point in time. The Earth will survive whatever we do to the outside bit have an influence on. If the human race was wiped out tomorrow the Earth will keep on going and something else will start to be the dominant species, maybe ants, maybe cockroaches, maybe magpies but something will.

Humans are overrated because I reckon a colony of ants has more smarts about it than any think tank in the land. Mother Nature has it all over us. While we sit around carrying on like we're the best thing on the planet all these little creatures are going about their business doing their best to keep their species multiplying.
Imagine if termites did a risk assessment of the impact of their actions upon a timber frame in a house. I reckon they couldn't give a rats, they just carry on and do what is best for the colony at this point in time.

I've rambled enough (too much).
Thanks to everyone that contributed to the discussion because there has been much wisdom in what has been said.


Steve
0
FollowupID: 767184

Follow Up By: Off-track - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:44

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:44
...delete great, insert greater.
0
FollowupID: 767185

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 19:55

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 19:55
Steve, a good case of the Tragedy of the Commons!
[Quote: The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource, even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen.]
Cheers
Andrew
0
FollowupID: 767190

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 20:32

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 20:32
Is that deep or am I shallow?

I think I get it.... too many cooks spoil the broth?

Steve
0
FollowupID: 767194

Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 20:55

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 20:55
Hullo Steve

Sort of :-)

A classic example is fishing - eg, crays off the NW coast of Tasmania. First up there were stacks of very large crays and a few boats. Word spread and more boats moved in. Eventually they fished it so heavily that even breeding stocks got critically low. Nearly killed off the resource. Had to bring in quotas, number of boats, limited seasons, etc to try to achieve a sustainable catch, albeit of smaller crays.

In the longer term, it was not in anyones interest to kill the industry. But each boat owner acted in his own interest and ignored the cumulative impact.

The same goes for many environments we like to visit. For example, firewood in the desert. If the demand exceeds the sustainable supply, including enough for the survival of the local animals, the ecosystem breaks down. So we travel a bit further off the track and the tyre marks leave a slight depression. Not a problem, some people will say. Not until the next rains when the land begins to scour along the compressed tyre track depression over the flat land.

Cheers
Andrew

0
FollowupID: 767198

Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 19:28

Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 19:28
Fair enough.

I understand why many people are concerned about how we leave our mark on the land but I have been hearing people's concerns for a long time. Despite all the experts and laws and gates and fences all we hear is how everything is going bad. It makes me wonder if this is just our time and this is how we leave our mark.

I don't mean we should wantonly destroy everything. I mean the marks we leave, whether they be animal distinction, habitats changing, or scours in the Earth are just what we do.

If a lot of people go into the Lake Eyre Basin and leave their mark, that a shame but it's probably natural for humans to do that. Look at The Simpson now. It is more controlled than it ever has been and look at the state of the place. It's not a place I want to go to now but that's just me.

I admire people that have concerns for the environment but I have faith in Mother Nature. I do my bit to keep our land in good nick but I don't fret over things changing. I'm going to keep heading out and enjoying what we have until they lock me out, or up. I'll let others do the worrying.

Hoo roo
0
FollowupID: 767278

Reply By: Honky - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:53

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 13:53
there was a State forest near Dubbo NSW that Bob brown wanted closed off to the timber loggers. He came out and protested and had his photo taken near a 100 year old stump.
he got his wish and they put over 60 people out of work.
A few years latter a fire storm came through and destroyed all living things and it looked like an atomic bomb site.
Still has not recovered.

Honky
AnswerID: 491641

Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 19:04

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 19:04
The forests of south west Western Australia used to have the tallest trees in the world, until they were cut down - now I think that honor goes to Sequoia Valley in the USA.

Imagine the tourism potential now if they were still standing.

Buy now, pay later!!!!

Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 767187

Reply By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 15:31

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 15:31
Prof Kingsford was simply stating the bleedin obvious.
AnswerID: 491649

Reply By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:20

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012 at 18:20
Ignorance is bliss...continue on.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 491666

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)