Isn’t GDP (gross domestic product) a curious thing? Every economist has a different understanding. Following cyclone Debbie, big time taxpayer handouts for reconstruction and insurance claims actually add to GDP.
Meanwhile when you undertake large scale works for mitigation, cost of such work subtracts from GDP.
How insane is that? Disaster is good while mitigation is bad – only in economics, root of all evil! So much concern is debated today about cost of works for mitigation, big levee banks etc. But major fix is possible while actually saving money.
In good old days, big rainfall actually got stored, absorbed in the ground, from furthest reaches of catchment, onwards.
Trees were of major importance, along with under-storey, along with wide variety of flora and fauna above and below ground. Six hundred species, the kind that burrow, opening up soil for rainfall, are endangered because of land clearing.
Land clearing is about cattle grazing.
Queensland accommodates more than 50 per cent of national grazing livestock.
Livestock doesn’t need land clearing but large scale Collins/Pitt Street famers think they do.
Cloven hoofed beasties compact soil surface, baked into hard pan by the sun, so that heavy rain won’t penetrate and runs off. Soils are fine clay. When surface root mat is penetrated by cloven hoofs, big steep gullies are eroded away.
Negligible reparation is being done because you couldn’t possibly ask graziers to fix up so very many hectares at $30,000 per hectare and government is too busy with taxpayer handouts for reconstruction, a result of them turning a blind eye to major environmental damage.
Aquatic river life is killed off by ever more mirk of suspended fine clay solids, killing life in rivers and fine enough to stay suspended for many weeks killing off corals in the reef.
So all we need to do is cancel land clearing, 40 football fields per day, tripled since 2011. And ain’t it ironic that Kyoto allowed us 8 per cent increase in emissions, when rest of the world signed up for decrease, especially that this 8 per cent was to allow time to wind back land clearing.
Under ERF (Emission Reduction Fund) our leaders claim big results with emission reductions, by tree planting/carbon farming CO2 sequestration as well as reduced land clearing.
Yet land clearing is up by 300 per cent to 300,000 hectares per year, causing huge damage to the environment.
In comparison, hectares of trees planted is very small change.
So there are multiple benefits: stopping land clearing stops tidal wave floods, improves environment for graziers, stops damage to rivers and reef and even stops CO2 emissions.
When will we let our leaders know that we’re just a little bit less than satisfied with their uncertainty? It’s time they need to be seen to be actually doing something, especially changing rules of economics so that such huge cost of doing nothing is subtracted from GDP.
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.