Australia's restrictive Rudd government about to claim its first carbon bureaucracy victim

Wholesale theft in the name of carbon

By Jo Nova

Imagine a third world nation was mired in corruption so deeply that the ruling class were able to stealthily steal the rights to vast acreage of private property from landowners without paying any compensation.

Imagine that one of the victims of this injustice had approached every court of the land and had not even had his case heard, even after more than 200 attempts. In desperation, and with no other avenue available, having officially “lost the farm”, he starts a hunger strike, which has now gone for 28 days unbroken, threatening to starve to death if he has to.

Welcome to Australia — right on track for Third World Status.

Get ready to be shocked. This is an moving example of why “policy by accident” is a dangerous way to govern. In this case, innocuous feel-good laws end up crushing upstanding citizens. Peter Spencer is still alive (though he may only have 12 – 20 days to go) but how many other farming men were put through the environmental-ringer, and drowned themselves in brandy, picked up a gun, or crashed the car into the only tree near the road? None of these deaths would be recorded as victims of bureaucracy. 

 Peter Spencer bought a farm south of Canberra in the early 1980’s. In the mid 1990’s new laws rolled into action that prevented land clearing. That meant, even though the land belonged to him, Peter could no longer clear the regrowth. Eighty percent of what he paid for was effectively confiscated. He received nothing in return and there was no way out. He couldn’t sell the property — who would buy a piece of land they have no right to use?

But Peter still had a mortgage to pay, and no way of earning the money to do it. Recently, his last legal avenue was exhausted, and the sherriff gained a warrant to take the farm off him. That was the final straw…

Peter Spencer has issued the Prime Minister of Australia with a letter of his demands. He wants a Royal Commission and compensation for all the farmers who have lost the right to use their land.

Compensation would cost billions. But Kevin Rudd’s “stimulus package”  (spend-for-the-sake-of-spending), was 42 billion dollars big.

This is what happens when big government gets your money. It gives a “free” handout of $950 per tax-payer to randomly “stimulate the economy”, and uses the rest to build school halls, even in schools which already had a hall, or in schools which desperately needed a library.

Spencer points out that the land-grab by the Australian Government meant the nation met it’s Kyoto commitments, a target that would otherwise have been blown away. The carbon stored in confiscated land amounts to about  $10.7 billion in carbon credits. Probably the total value lost (with interest) from the productive use of that land would be many times higher.

Read the rest of this tragic story here at Jo Nova’s website.

=============================

Here’s the most important question: How does the Australian Government account for sequestered carbon when much of this land is prone to bushfires? Do they reset their Kyoto carbon sequestration tally for that land back to zero when all that carbon goes back into the atmosphere?

I’m reminded of this story, also from Australia, where even clearing land to save your home from imminent fire is met with fines and legal issues by the government:

“We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down…”

The whole carbon scheme is insane.

NOTE: I’ve made a change to the title, based on some commenters objection to the use of the word “retarded”. While some saw it in the context of “mental retardation”, that was not my intent. I was thinking of the use of the word in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom. They have certainly “retarded” the ability of people to use their land. I’ve changed the word to “restrictive”. I apologize if this offended anyone. It was a poor word to use. – Anthony

UPDATE: News just in this evening via WUWT commenter “helvio”: ABC Australia says the Mr. Spencer has ended the hunger strike. Details here

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214 thoughts on “Australia's restrictive Rudd government about to claim its first carbon bureaucracy victim

  1. “Welcome to Australia — right on track for Third World Status.”
    No kidding. I’ve already read on several different IPCC and UN websites where they talk about a convergence of GDP’s. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that every other nation’s GDP isn’t going to rise up and equal ours (because our way of life is “unsustainable according to most environmentalists), rather our (and other Annex 1 countries) GDPs will be lowered until they converge at some point to the rising GDPs of the developing and LDCs.

  2. I remember the comments to this story in the original (?) publication. There were many AGW supporters saying that this man was letting down his family by doing this. It is ironic that a bunch of AGWers would support Hansen during his publicity stunt demonstrations, yet look the other way on a farmer robbed of his one resource to provide food for the world, and also his family. What effect on CO2 is grabbing this man’s farm supposed to have? A carbon sink? Hope you don’t have any food shortages in Australia any time soon, seems that would be a disaster for your politicians. I could go on about the idiocy of this, but remember, if it were Jim Hansen stopping the death trains, it would be admirable, if it is a farmer being squashed by his government, it is selfishness. X(

  3. Kevin Rudd took office in December 2007. The previous PM, John Howard, took office in March 1996. Howard did not ratify Kyoto.
    Hope this helps.

  4. I’m no lawyer but I think he should have cleared the land anyway. The courts would have been forced to hear the case when they brought him up on charges. Hell of a choice to force upon your citizens.

  5. I’m not sure this story can totally be put down to to climate change policy. There is a lot of back-story here that is not reflected in the post.
    On a completely different topic, there is a new paper referenced on the Pielke site showing that land clearing at the right latitude reduces global warming http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/new-paper-climatic-impact-of-global-scale-deforestation-radiative-versus-nonradiative-processes-by-davin-and-de-noblet-ducoudre-2009/
    The farm in question is at the right latitude to have a nett cooling effect from land clearing

  6. This is not a beaurocracy…it’s a cleptocracy.
    If you can’t put your assets to use as intended (i.e. farming for land), then your property rights have been abridged. This seems to be the ugly truth today.
    What freedom is there if you can’t own and use assets? It’s the foundation of our society!
    I hope the Aussie govt bends to Mr. Spencer. Western govts are beyond our control!
    Ugh! My anger seems to be squelching my ability to express myself properly.

  7. I sent an email to the PM reminding him of his country’s inglorious record of taking land it didn’t own, that the world is watching, and ended it with Lincoln’s great words:
    Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of… this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves… The firey trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation…

  8. It is a sad state of affairs and we can only pray for Mr. Spencer and wish him well .. that the outcome unfolds properly.
    This is also related to political folly:
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/150858/Freeze-may-kill-60-000
    How many will die directly because of Al Gore, “greedy scientists” (and their egos) and politicians who have been forced to being “green” by immoral environmentalists?
    Blame the environmentalists for all of this. Criminals all.
    A sad state of affairs indeed.
    Clive

  9. The issue begs the question, whether land left to its own devices is better than proper land steawrdship.
    As for the fire issue, look up professor Rackham of Cambridge for the effect of fuel accumulation in the form of fire prone trees.

  10. It’s really an Anti-Eco Agenda: Anti Economy. They intend to break the populations and cast them back into the Dark Ages. That’s what Cap & Trade would do, but they have many other Tools in the Box of Horrors.
    To us, a tool is something we use to get work done.
    To them, a tool is something used to operate on the masses to turn them into beasts of burden. Welcome to the new Age of Socialism. They have the greater rights, we have only the right to be used by them.
    In this case, they shut his property down by hook & crook, then proceeded to wheedle it out from underneath him.

  11. Where do the analogous issues start and stop? I own an excavation company that would be decimated by higher fuel prices resulting from a carbon tax or from outright emissions limits imposed by the EPA. Those additional costs or limits may very well cost me the business, over 100 employees their jobs, and our means to feed and shelter our families. The takeaway story here is that ALL government takings in the name of climate change are as immoral and unfounded as that perpetrated on the poor gentleman depicted in this article.

  12. I love Rudd bashing as much as anyone but in my experience land clearing is a council (local government) regulation. On top of that as I pointed out earlier, John Howard who opposed Kyoto, was in Government in the mid-Nineties onward.
    I see a lot of knee-jerk posturing on this site. Perhaps we should think before we react.
    There is a story of possible injustice here, but it’s not the one being told.

  13. Joannova has had this up a while. It is giving her 3,000 visits a day.
    This is a simple example of tyranny. The government forces you to pay your debt on land but stole his right to make money off his land.
    There is more to this story. The government won’t discuss this issue. Passive aggressive politicians are an epidemic.
    We are getting more doses of this in America. Nature conservancy and the Sierra Club are now taking neighboring land owners to court and seeking liberal judges to dictate what land holders can and can’t do.
    This Greenie weenie flu has even spread to Alaska.

  14. Henry Galt (10:01:41) : “Have an accidental fire. Possibly claim some compensation.”
    Choice A: Chance of jail for arson and losing land
    Choice B: Certainty of starving to death and losing everything
    “A” would seem to be a better choice, unless he’s not really serious about “B”.
    This reminds me of a Supreme Court case here in the land of the “free”, i.e. Nollan v. California Coastal Comission, 1987.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/nollan-v-california-coastal-commission
    The court held that placing an unreasonable restriction on private property amounted to a “taking” of that property and couldn’t be done without compensation. The vote was 5-4; our liberties hang by a slender thread.

  15. Not to be overly PC, but why “retarded”? Why not “corrupt”, “morally bankrupt”, “coercive”, “ridiculous”, or any number of accurate descriptive words?
    Seeing the “retarded” in print is a bit off putting and weakens the argument, IMHO.
    REPLY: perhaps, but I viewed in in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom, which is exactly what they are doing. -A

  16. If this happened to me, I would make full use of my Second Amendment rights, long before I starved myself to death.

  17. When Federal and Supreme Court judges, in essence, apologise for the ruling that they are bound by law to hand down and acknowledge that the Legislation is unfair and has the effect of Sterilizing a famers land…. Then you know that you Government is out of control… and that when they finally replace these Judges with ones that won’t apologize….. Then Australians will truly live under the tyranny of our political class.
    I hope Peter Spencer sees that he has achieved a public reaction to his plight and ends his hunger strike.

  18. John Hooper,
    You posting is nothing but inuendo. If you have a point to make, I certainly don’t get it.

  19. Last years bush fires were made worse because land owners were not allowed to clear their land and create fire breaks.
    Also one of the reasons Australia has come out of the “depression” before anyone else is because they put the money where it was needed, in the tax payers hand through two rebates.
    Unlike the uk who gave it all to the banks, the Aussies got it right!
    Now if only they would repeal their age laws. The unfortunate truth is though that taxation is like an opiate to governments!
    Mailman

  20. John Hooper.
    I apprecaiate your concern that some of us may write a few lines in a blog which may later be considered as an abuse of electrons, but had you thought that your own contribution could also be considered as a “knee-jerk reaction?
    If you are an Aussie, perhaps you’d save our knee-reflexes, and post something of substance on what the REAL story is?

  21. Who is counting how many of these trees are dying and decomposing or do they bury them to “trap” the co2 that has been absorbed by the tree?
    The wild fire point is an excellent one!
    I found out a “green taxi” company were I live that claimed to be carbon neutral was not in a similar way. They sponsored a business that planted trees, and claimed the trees offset their co2. When I did a little digging though, I found out the forest being planted were copiced i.e. every year the new growth was cut down as a crop. The crop was being used to make charcoal for thirdworld families to cook on! There was no sequestration of co2 going on! Similar kind of thing. Most trees in OZ and most of the native bush likes a good fire everynow and then to stimulate things, and its a common occurance.
    At least in the UK when farmers were encouraged to set land aside they were subsidised making it attractive to the farmers. This is rediculous! The crown should have instead bough the land from, and they do in NZ

  22. **********
    jerry (10:04:53) :
    I’m not sure this story can totally be put down to to climate change policy. There is a lot of back-story here that is not reflected in the post.
    ***********
    If you have any information that would justify the government essentially taking control of this man’s land then let’s hear it!

  23. A criminally disgusting result of policy based on post-normal science, pushed through by bandwagon-jumping politicians, and heralded by politically correct media and anti-human environmental groups. Lovely. Unfortunately, I fear that there is more to come.

  24. I love Rudd bashing as much as anyone but in my experience land clearing is a council (local government) regulation. On top of that as I pointed out earlier, John Howard who opposed Kyoto, was in Government in the mid-Nineties onward.
    So what you are saying is that in the 200 times he tried to go to court to have his case heard, nobody told him he was arguing the wrong case or to the wrong level of government? Colour me skeptical.

  25. What is amusing is that Mr. “Let’s Give It Back” Peter Garrett is presiding over mass takings. He’s Australia’s white Mugabe.

  26. I find this story heart renderingly shocking. In the UK we have the absurd situation of government paying farmers not to farm. In extreme circumstances they can make a compulsary purchase of land at market value, but such an outrage as this, has not yet occurred here.
    It is shocking that even in a democracy, the power of the state can crush individuals just as completely as totalitarian regimes under dictators such as Stalin. Stalin said, “one death is a tragedy, but a million is a statistic,” before launching his war against the kulak class. In both cases, the power of the state, motivated by ideological fanaticism, sets out to impose a radical solution on the land owning class.
    It is shocking that one of the most basic functions of government – to protect private property rights – is being destroyed, or ignored, in a cynical attempt to comply with a supranational treaty. If this is indeed the case, then we have much to fear, as Lord Monckton has indicated, from imposition of world governance, and rule by decree. Democratic institutions, become little more than commisars enforcing the will of their political masters, who remain unaccountable.
    Democracy in the form of universal suffrage, is not even 100 years old, yet took millenia to win. This was handed to us by our parents and grandparents, but with are loosing it. We have screwed up.

  27. FREEDOM’S ON THE WALLABY
    (Henry Lawson)
    cho: Australia’s a big country, and
    freedom’s humping bluey
    And Freedom’s on the Wallaby, oh, can’t you hear her cooey?
    She’s just begun to boomerang, she’ll knock the tyrant silly
    She’s going to light
    another fire and boil another billy.
    Our fathers toiled for bitter bread while loafers
    toiled beside them,
    For food to eat and clothes to wear, their native land denied
    them.
    And so they left their native land in spite of their devotion
    And so they came, or
    if they stole, were sent across the ocean.
    Then freedom couldn’t stand the glare of
    royalty’s regalia
    She left the loafers where they were and came out to Australia.
    But now
    across the mighty main the chains have come to bind her
    She little thought to see again the
    wrongs she left behind her.
    Our fathers grubbed to make a home; hard grubbing ’twas and
    clearing
    They wasn’t troubled with the lords when they were pioneering;
    But now that we
    have made this land a garden full of promise
    Old greed must crook his dirty hand and come to
    take her from us.
    So we must fly a rebel flag as others did before us
    And we must
    sing a rebel song and join in the rebel chorus.
    We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting of those
    that they would throttle,
    They needn’t say the fault was ours if blood should stain the
    wattle.

  28. Victims of governmental abuse need to direct the pressure back on the government officials, not harm themselves. It’s a much better publicity stunt to camp out at the politicians’ doors until they solve the problem. And if they arrest you then they have to take care of you anyway. For them, any “solution” that doesn’t fix your problem will be a loss for them and great motivation for moving them toward your goal.

  29. All those pointing out that “Howard was PM during Kyoto” are polishing door knobs on the Titanic. Get your heads out and reread the article.
    The point is that, regardless of when Kyoto went into effect, the 80% no-clear regulation by the Australian government (of any stripe, by the way) has lead to Mr. Spencer being unable to pay the mortgage on the land HE PURCHASED. And who is there to confiscate the land? THE GOVERNMENT WHO TOLD HIM HE COULDN’T EARN A LIVING OFF OF THE LAND HE PURCHASED.
    The real story is the exact story that was told.

  30. Anthony, I’ve got a brain damaged member in my family. The term ‘retarded’ really bugs me. You are free to express yourself however you choose. I’m just saying, as one of your loyal readers: dude…
    REPLY: I was thinking in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom – A

  31. Even the Chinese government compensates its farmers when they decide to do a land set aside for ecological purposes like they did when they set up the program return of farmland to forest land to protect the rivers and dams from excessive siltation. The farmer should be compensated.

  32. ClimateProgress has a problem with the use of “retarded”.
    Of course it’s tougher to get a post to show up there than RC.
    I would have said.
    What is the problem?
    Retarded is not a four letter word or inappropriate.
    And goverment can certainly be retarded.
    verb (used with object) 1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
    –verb (used without object) 2. to be delayed.
    –noun 3. a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.

  33. I think I’m right in saying that he could still appeal to the Queen – though Aussies may wish he couldn’t, she is still Head of State. I wouldn’t blame the Aussies if they broke off all ties, though we in the UK wouldn’t want them to (despite the cricket and the rugby we actually do like them! – and feel a close bond with them, NZ and Canada), but in circumstances like this it’s his last option.

  34. Bob, my very sincere sympathies, but words are there to be used and are perfectly valid. There’s a campaign to reject words we don’t like, and it’s a very backward (see!) step. It annoys me intently that people are so sensitive to what is just a word. Substitute it if you feel the need, but the new word you use means the same!

  35. “jerry (10:04:53) :
    I’m not sure this story can totally be put down to to climate change policy. There is a lot of back-story here that is not reflected in the post”
    “John Hooper (10:23:07) :
    I see a lot of knee-jerk posturing on this site. Perhaps we should think before we react.
    There is a story of possible injustice here, but it’s not the one being told.”
    Would you two like to enlighten us all?
    It’s the man’s land.
    He bought it under certain conditions.
    Those conditions were taken away from him by the government.
    The government did not compensate him for it.

  36. Jerry Haney – my thoughts exactly. If I’m gonna be put down for good, the man who puts me down is coming along for the ride.

  37. [Reply: This is a reprint of Jo Nova’s article with the original title. ~dbs]
    The title of the Jo Nova post linked to in this piece is : ‘Wholesale theft in the name of carbon.’ :\

  38. BarryW (10:52:47) :
    Good one Barry W
    FREEDOM’S ON THE WALLABY
    (Henry Lawson
    That old Henry Lawson poem sums up the real Aussie character that we still see in all their sportsmen – sheer guts, determination belligerence, determination and bloody mindedness. But above all, fair-mindedness. l believe that the ‘fair go’ attitude of most Aussies is still there and will overturn this insane requirement.

  39. Just a small observation here.
    It would seem that the Euros and Aussies are much more law abiding than the Americans. Pretty much when we encounter a stupid law, we either ignore it or willfully flaunt breaking it. Examples : Prohibition and the 55 mph speed limit.
    Fire would be a good thing to rid his property of snakes and other vermin.
    Accidental of course. Perhaps with a little kerosene.

  40. As far as I understand the CO2 will eventually be released when trees, foilage etc. rots away. Clearing land does not really make any difference as it would be immediately replanted with CO2 eating plants. As such, by adhering to the Kyoto rules the Australian govt’ only postpone the CO2 release. The carbon cycle WILL go on. Only CO2 from fossil fuels make any real difference to the amount of airborne CO2 – not that it really matters anything major in regards to climate.
    What is really shocking is not politicians’ lack of insight into the science. It is the utter disregard of citizens and the law. F..k the law and let the citizens die seems to be the motto of the political class nowadays. We have not (in the western world at least) seen such contempt for both people and the law for the past 70 years or so. But in the name of holy AGW anything seems possible now.

  41. bob (11:01:30) :
    My beautiful son is severely learning disabled. When I hear the term “retarded” and it’s pointed at someone who is not truly disabled (which obviously an entire government cannot be) , I think “abject stupidity”. That way I’m not offended, and given that definition, it certainly applies in this case.
    Besides, my son is an Eagle Scout, so I think he’s far smarter than the people making these decisions.

  42. OT, but I just came up with an acronym to use /replace/describe the term AGWer’s –
    BORG – Bent On Reducing Growth
    Brainwashed.ORG
    Bent On Replicating Gore
    Believe Only Recycled Garbage
    Mod – snip if you think its crap

  43. John Hooper (10:23:07) :
    I get the point about Rudd bashing, but –
    “In the mid 1990’s new laws rolled into action that prevented land clearing.” – – “Eighty percent of what he paid for was effectively confiscated.” – – “He received nothing in return…” – – “….had a mortgage to pay, and no way of earning the money to do it.” – – “…his last legal avenue was exhausted…”
    “The whole carbon scheme is insane.”
    where is the “knee-jerk posturing”?
    So what’s the story? Howard is not in power, Rudd is. It may be unfair to blame Rudd for the situation, but he is the one in power to do something about it and, as I understand it, will not, but has dolled out billions (as here in the US) to feckless causes. But maybe you missed that last sentence, so let me repeat it – The whole carbon scheme is insane.
    And let me add – IT HURTS AND HAS ALREADY KILLED INDIVIDUALS AROUND THE GLOBE WHILE DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO CHANGE THE WEATHER!

  44. re: “Reply: This is a reprint of Jo Nova’s article with the original title. ~dbs”
    If it was the original title, it had been changed quite some time ago. I first read the article there circa Dec. 22. As someone who for many years was involved in the field of providing services to people with developmental handicaps, I would have noticed and written to Jo to ask her to change such a title.
    And the link to her site for the rest of the article does not contain this word – nor does a search of her site for the word “retarded” turn up any pages.

  45. We’ve got a (fairly extreme) right-wing, climate-nonalarmist government in Canada that blew $58 billion, achieving nothing of value for the majority of Canadians. I wouldn’t be so quick to conflate so-called “stimulus” waste, party lines, & science. There is something far more sinister going on globally that transcends all party lines – the threatening divisions are along class lines. Common folks will need to put aside political partisanship to neutralize the fake climate “issue” – the paradox is that any other course will escalate the issue to even more prominent status.

  46. “Have an accidental fire. Possibly claim some compensation”
    With the current heat wave in SE Australia, it is not a good idea to light fires. If it got away from him the penalties are severe and he would loose all support.
    •Starting a bushfire and being reckless as to its spread – maximum 14 years’ imprisonment;
    •Damaging property with the intention of endangering life – maximum 25 years’ imprisonment; and
    •Manslaughter – maximum 25 years’ imprisonment
    If only he was a union rep and was told he could not do anything with his land by his boss. Then he would Rudd and his 2IC down there to sort it out plus a mob outside his boss’s office protesting. Things would be fixed quick.

  47. As in Stalin vs. the Kulaks, the outcome is precisely what the government intended: destruction of capitalism.

  48. The same thing happened to a number of mining companies. After exploring their lease and finding an orebody they found that the govt had made their ground part of a national park. Once again no compensation was given. The greenies were in a win-win-win situation; mining stopped, no cost to anyone but the mining Co, a new national park.

  49. On the burning/land clearing issue. Native undisturbed plants sequester carbon in their root systems, whether that portion of the plant above ground is burned or not. Disturbing the root systems via farming eliminates this form of carbon sequestration. Not defending the governments actions, just attemping to clarify an issue on this thread.
    A taking is a taking. This is a heart-rendering story, but why are the government actions descibed here different than them taking our money (carbon tax) or our right to perform business activities (CO2 emissions limits)?

  50. latitude (11:17:10) :
    Compensation was offered. Discussed in detail here:
    http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/?p=2762
    “The Nature Conservation Trust offered to purchase Mr Spencer’s property for $2,170,000. Mr Spencer objected to the valuation and began proceedings.”
    Whether or not this represents a fair valuation is an interesting question I would like to know the answer to. According to this article – Spencer was fishing around for close to $40 mill in litigation from state/federal gov. Estimated loss of property value claimed to $1.2m – would be interesting to know his own valuation of property was. Then the restitution claim : “and restitution (for the appropriation of carbon credits between 1990 and 2020) of $37.5 million.”.
    Spencer went to the courts, trying to litigate against the government but didn’t lawyer up. Like trying to climb Mount Everest without prior climbing experience and without a Sherpa.
    A statement from Spencer’s family:
    “Native vegetation laws enacted over 10 years ago by State Governments (and certainly not the ETS proposals and “Carbon Sinks” which are a far more recent development) are not the sole reason for the collapse of Peter’s farm, and really have had a very small part to play. For MANY reasons the farm has not been profitable for a long time.”

  51. Moderators: pls delete previous version. Thanks
    Every Man Should have a Rifle
    So I sit and write and ponder, while the house is deaf and dumb,
    Seeing visions “over yonder” of the war I know must come.
    In the corner – not a vision – but a sign for coming days
    Stand a box of ammunition and a rifle in green baize.
    And in this, the living present, let the word go through the land,
    Every tradesman, clerk and peasant should have these two things at hand.
    No – no ranting song is needed, and no meeting, flag or fuss –
    In the future, still unheeded, shall the spirit come to us!
    Without feathers, drum or riot on the day that is to be,
    We shall march down, very quiet, to our stations by the sea.
    While the bitter parties stifle every voice that warns of war,
    Every man should own a rifle and have cartridges in store!

  52. Rudd says he won’t be “intimidated by one man”. Sounds just like those alarmists and their “one or two crack-pot shills”, doesn’t it?
    But look at all those farmers our there, protesting for the rights (in the video with the accompanying link). I hope to God they show the good politician the err of his ways.

  53. Joe Romm is trying o get all self righeous over this “title”
    Theft is also a great word. Unlawful deprivation of property rights.
    Romm of couse works for a convicted Fwelon named George Soros. soros was convicted in France for financial fraud as he was in Hungaryy.
    It is crooks working for thugs that make all kinds of judgemental claims.
    Romm is regurgitating stories from china today. [snip – inappropriate]
    This Australian rancher is getting ignored by the greenie weenie agenda.
    I fel Austrialia will get their brain together and fire the corrupt Rudd and what he stands for.
    Soros sock Puppets are not sympathetic to huma property rights.

  54. I am with Frank et al who object to the title. It is unnecessary, offensive and, as TH notes, diminishes this web site. Please replace it and simply note that the title has been changed. This is not a PC issue, it is simply a matter of bad taste.

  55. “policy by accident”? that’s too diplomatic (ethymology: double meaning), let us be clear, it is “policy by greed”, what else if not is it green politics?
    There must be thousands in the world by now. That is why it is so important a blog like WUWT. Those who expect making money from a GAS, from CO2…come on!

  56. It’s sad that the integrity of this site has become increasingly defiled by political tribalism. Once again I must point out the headline and draw attention to the timeline of the injustice. Yes, it happened under a conservative government. Why is this piece then targeted at solely at Rudd?
    To defeat this politicization of global warming we must not let this become a matter of Left vs Right politics. If for no other reason than you’ll alienate three quarters of the media who lean left. You don’t like that it’s that way. Fine, but whinge somewhere else about it. You won’t change it here.
    Try to put yourself in the mindset of those you’re trying to convince. The second they see they’ve arrived at a site that’s so obviously politically one-eyed, and politically one-eyed against them, they’ll immediately discount everything you have to say .
    Just like that. You understand because you’re the same. Right?
    The only way forward is to make this defiantly non-partisan. So the less you draw on sources that appear to be “right wing think tanks” and non-academic “institutes,” with names like the Free Enterprise Foundation, the better chance we have of making ground in this propaganda war.
    Oh and while we’re at it. If you believe in creation, FFS keep it to yourself.

  57. I fear many here miss the point. An individual, a family, a town, a city, indeed a whole country does not matter. The issue is population, not climate. Climate is the excuse! Population reduction, significant population reduction, is the objective. We are only ‘carbon units’ infesting planet Earth a’la Star Trek. Remember Scrooge? “Tis better to reduce the surplus population…etc.” Welcome to reality. Tisn’t TV, tis life; real life we’re into here, not a collection of wierdo’s on the tellie. There really is something real about reality TV these days, there’s a lot of wierdos on this here planet.

  58. Jerry Haney (10:32:29) :
    If this happened to me, I would make full use of my Second Amendment rights, long before I starved myself to death.
    Beg to differ Jerry. Second encourages the bearing of arms against predators of all kinds. ‘Specially the lyin’ cheatin’ stealin’ kind.

  59. I have great respect for Mr. Spencer and the actions he’s taken to reclaim his rights. However, I have no respect for the Australian people who have allowed this to happen, who have fallen for the global warming scam and support idiotic treaties like Kyoto. With any luck they will create a self-induced food shortage and starve themselves back to reality.

  60. Anthony, good question:
    “Here’s the most important question: How does the Australian Government account for sequestered carbon when much of this land is prone to bushfires?”
    The Australian National University carried out a much publicised study in 2008 from which they concluded that old growth native forests stored more carbon than regrowth (logged) forests.
    Then along came Black Saturday and wiped out their experimental plots!
    Peter Spencer by the way is only the tip of the iceberg of farmers disadvantaged by this stupid policy. Others have protested and been ignored.
    In some cases the invasive woody vegetation they are not allowed to clear is not even native to their areas.

  61. I’m not acquitting Rudd, but the headline should read: “Retarded Australia” or “Australia, Nation of Retards” to make it clear we reelected the Government responsible and then eventually replaced it with one even more clueless, which will almost certainly be returned at next election no matter what.

  62. Hi, sorry everyone but it is essential everyone now read McFoogal’s links.
    Peter Spencer is having a giant intra-family dispute over borrowings from the family involving $1m or so. His only asset is his land and the family are moving to re-possess this land to settle the debt. AGW is barely involved.
    The stress has apparently got to Peter and irrational things are going on.
    Antony Watts, this post and comments are making your excellent blog ridiculous. Call a halt before everyone beclowns themselves.

  63. Vincent (10:51:50) :
    “one death is a tragedy, but a million is a statistic,”
    And if one does not view a single death as a tragedy, a million becomes a meaningless statistic. Sad day for a man, worse day for mankind.

  64. Richard Henry Lee (11:35:11) :
    “This story could have been written by Franz Kafka.”
    Existentially impossible.

  65. Spencer is a human and a land owner. The left and the media are trying to tell his story for him.
    They are trying to coerce him and threaten him. If he doesn’t wan to sell, they can hit the road.

  66. I saw this story a couple of days ago and found it difficult to believe. The impact he could have had from cleaning the land is zero yet what he would have planted would have have had a positive impact.
    This is a bit out there but imagine if he had decided to increase the land he had left by excavating it to a depth (resulting surface area) equivalent to the lost land.
    The drop in elevation could also be used to gravity feed irrigation?
    Domed underground silos are an interesting idea for increased land use?

  67. Dougal McFoogal (12:06:25) :
    I don’t see how the farmer’s financial situation has any bearing on whether the issue he is protesting is a just one or not. It is not, so I believe that this is a character assassination.
    Is fair and just to render his farm land useless without offering compensation? If so, why?

  68. Pascvaks,
    Yes, all these treaties and regulations are pushed from the UN down to the municipalities to be implemented (i.e. comply). They are just a means to the end you describe. Ultimately, the big boys want to force everyone off the land and into the cities ala Soilent Green…I mean Agenda 21. From there, us mere serfs will be easier to control so that they can really have their way with us.
    There’s a larger agenda going on, as you seem to be well aware. AGW is just one weapon in the war chest they’ve thrown upon us.
    “It would seem that humans need a common motivation, namely a common adversary, to organize and act together in the vacuum; such a motivation must be found to bring the divided nations together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one invented for the purpose.
    .
    .
    .
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    – Club of Rome, First Global Revolution

  69. Be aware
    Peter is the victim of a remote bureaucracy, a remote legislature, a remote judiciary and an even more remote journalism.
    The people in these estates that are supposed to represent people like Peter and his family would not be able to comphrehend the injustice that has befallen him.
    The lesson here in Australia is do not allow political parties to create carreer paths for the people who are supposed to represent your community in a democracy. They soon team up to manipulate information and silence dissent, protecting their access to the trough.

  70. I fully agree Rudd’s government has been retarded. The timing is off, the response has been sluggish, leading to an ongoing waste of energy and poor performance by this government.
    The Australian government is in need of an immediate tune up!

  71. The basic premise is that if the government slaps on some new land use rules which financially disadvantage the farmer then compensation should be paid. The government of the day can act on that.
    In this case there are various issues with the individual – but it doesn’t change the above premise.
    I think theat the Rudd Government are political opportunists, chamealeons that will change their colours at the drop of a hat if it suits them. They have decided that there are more votes in being seen to act on the environment but their parroting of Gore and Hansen one liners may bite them if the cooling accelerates and an election next year but you watch them blame the scientists and walk away, the Rudd goverment stands for nothing.

  72. Whilst this is a tragic story, I believe that it is being wrongly characterised by the media as a land grab by the Commonwealth in order to meet Kyoto emissions targets.
    As a solicitor as well as a scientist, I have thoroughly reviewed the legal proceedings that Peter Spencer has been through. I summarise them briefly here.
    I also looked at the NSW Native Vegetation Laws under which decisions on land clearing are based here.
    Having done so, I am yet to be convinced that the kind of conspiracy that is being touted actually exists. But if someone can provide evidence to the contrary, I would be very interested to see it, as there is nothing I would like more to see the Rudd government brought down by such conduct.
    Simon
    Australian Climate Madness

  73. In case you haven;t noticed Australia is the most overregulated, overrated, overgoverned country in the world. basically lives off coal, mineral exports thats about it. Its lucky its got any tourist going there the service is about the worst in the world as well.

  74. There comes a time in all countries when the people need to make their displeasure against the government of the day felt. Normally this is done through the ballot box, but unless the opposition parties offer real choices, then the people need to act.
    Time, perhaps, for all Australians who believe in freedom and justice to stand together in support of Peter Spencer. Civil disobedience is a good first step, but failing this stronger measures may need to be taken.
    When talking to friends and acquaintances here in the UK, they are all sick of our major political parties. None of them have policies that vary by a hairsbreadth and de-facto will live in a dictatorship, the Labour, Conservative and LibDem cabal (LCLC).
    Many members of the LCLC fiddled their expenses.
    No vote on the EU Treaty allowed by the LCLC
    War in Iraq and Afghanistan agreed by the LCLC
    Carbon tax on UK population agreed by the LCLC
    Golden cushion for corrupt bankers agreed by the LCLC
    The list goes on…
    I just hope that people here are willing to try civil disobedience first, and that Australians do the same.

  75. Some more Australian flavour from the State of Queensland –
    There was a comment printed in the Ringers Column of Queensland Country Life some time ago about the Queensland Vegetation Management Act which went:-
    What is the difference between the N1ger1an scam and the Queensland Vegetation Management Act?
    Nothing really, except that the Vegetation Management Act requires the legal participation of all landholders.
    Peter Spencer is the focal tip of a very large iceberg IMO

  76. Paul Vaughan (11:40:07) : Canada’s current government is not far right unless you are a communist. It’s moderate at best.
    John Hooper (12:10:45) “It’s sad that the integrity of this site has become increasingly defiled by political tribalism.” John, I agreee to a certain extent and I wish we could just stick to the science, but it’s not right to ignore (almost put deny, but thought better of it :P) the political realities that exist. The governments of the world have taken this from a science issue to a policy issue as we’ve seen here in this post. Just look at the recent Cap and Trade vote and you’ll see that there is a big right/left divide on this issue now. I don’t think tribalism is being displayed here. It’s just the poeple on “our side” happen to be on the right side of the political spectrum which, I’m sure, makes a lot of people uncomfortable.
    Anthony, I appreciate your word play in your title explained above, but I don’t think most visitors will see your explanation and could be turned off by the word choice. Might be better to plead “No Contest” and change it.

  77. Anthony, big fan here, but:
    Skimming over the comments, I see you’ve been asked, asked, and asked again. Please change the #@(*@#& headline now (and the URL…), even if there’s still a discussion about whether the article is worth posting at all.
    Using people with MR as an analogy for being crap is something the President does. Yet another characteristic of his worth avoiding.
    What you write matters, lots of people read it and are influenced by it. I see already see people in the comments using you phrasing. No, it’s really not OK, even if (otherwise terminally wrong) lefties are jumping on it as an opportunity for indignant criticism.
    The only common uses of the word without much context are mental retardation, and as an epithet based on that. (In addition to verb uses in full sentences, there’s e.g. the ‘retarder’ engine brake, perfectly OK, but there would be a context if somebody was talking about trucks.) Retarding enterprise and freedom? Sure, except the adjective modifies the noun ‘government’, so it’s totally the epithet.
    Do I need to explain?
    Every use of the epithet describing something/somebody stupid leads to more listerners/readers thinking its use is just fine. That alone is really hurtful. Being a parent of a chil with MR, hearing somebody described as “so retarted” when the person is question is really just #@(*@#& stupid, is really rough.
    Furthermore, there is the increased thinking/feeling that its actual meaning of MR (as opposed to just being #@(*@#& stupid, without a diagnosis/reason) is actually something worthy of criticism or derision.
    And where does it end up? As the reverse, a lot of people (especially children) with MR having “retard” thrown in their face (especially by other children).
    My daughter gets enough of that.
    The president certainly added to it with his Special Olympics comment.
    Don’t add to it.
    As another reader wrote:
    “Anthony, I’ve got a brain damaged member in my family. The term ‘retarded’ really bugs me. You are free to express yourself however you choose. I’m just saying, as one of your loyal readers: dude…”
    Indeed, as another loyal reader: Dude, really…

  78. as for the people suggesting that the word “retarded” be changed – would you be asking it to be changed if the word was “insane” instead, on behalf of the mental health sufferers out there? Retarded has a meaning in the English language apart from referring to someone with some form of intellectual disability.

  79. “John Hooper (12:10:45) :
    It’s sad that the integrity of this site has become increasingly defiled by political tribalism.”
    John, the very subject is a man’s rights and government.
    Since when is government not political?

  80. There does seem to be a backstory, including both “Native Vegetation” laws and CO2-stupidity that are claiming “the first carbon bureaucracy victim” . The most fundamentalk problem for all citizens is when any government can “take away” in the future what an individual has a right to expect from his/her honest investment in the present.
    At the same time, I like Paul Vaughn’s warning that I reinterpret as meaning that a global elite, under financial and global corporate leadership, is taking away job possibilities, earnings, savings, and retirements from those in the middle classes for the old saw “power and greed” in whatever form. Today they use CO2 and Carbon Credits. (Examples imho: 1a) Republican — Bush economic bubbles, encouraging a consumer economy instead of a producer economy, energy “trading”, and relaxing financial regulations; 1B) Republican — John McCain a full on supporter of Global Warming and open borders; and 2) Democrats — the entire take-over of the Democratic Party by fraudulent means funded by financial corporations, including the gangster Chicago way, marxists (under the moniker of “Progressives”), supporters of Islamist- extremists, and ACORN-SEIU.)
    I am a liberal and I do not want my California developed out of its beautiful existence by (usually Republican) developers/corporations; at the same time, a contract is a contract. Most important is that Liberals and Conservatives must begin talking together about how we (and those in Australia and the UK) become producer nations again living with limits to expansion and development. And all CO2 rules and regulations must be deep-sixed immediately.

  81. Apologies for going O/T, but I had to get this off my chest…
    While I’m sure the use of the word retarded was not meant to offend those with genuine mental challenges, I want to point out something to those who see objection to the use of the word retarded as being “PC”.
    If anyone really wants to see PC at it’s finest, they need only read something economic news. They spin “depression” into “recession” or, worse yet, into “the recovery”. THAT’S what PC language is all about. It’s all lies, damn lies, used to alter the perception of reality.
    Using other words to soften the impact of meaning when refering to a person is…
    But come to think of it, if all people have challenages of one sort or another, then they are truly no different from anyone else. So even the term “special” or “mentally challenged” is ill-conceived. They are people, and that is what they should be refered to as, simply because it is the truth.
    And that is the difference between empathy and political correctness. The two things have absolutely nothing in common.
    (steps off the soapbox)

  82. I’ve made a change to the title, based on some commenters objection to the use of the word “retarded”. While some saw it in the context of “mental retardation”, that was not my intent. I was thinking of the use of the word in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom. They have certainly “retarded” the ability of people to use their land. I’ve changed the word to “restrictive”. I apologize if this offended anyone. It was a poor word to use. – Anthony

  83. Jerry Haney (10:32:29) :
    If this happened to me, I would make full use of my Second Amendment rights, long before I starved myself to death.
    Do they have a “Second Amendment” in Australia? Maybe the absence thereof is why they were able to pass the draconian firearms laws in Australia. Disarm the population first before passing abhorrent laws. Can’t say it’s any different here in Canada but at least we can still have auto loading rifles so far. I am not paranoid and not especially right wing but there is an elitist segment in humanity that regards itself as anointed with wisdom and a cut above the bovine masses. this is the scary part. Those anointed ones have no problem with sacrificing an individual for what they deem is the good of humanity. It was ever so and always will be.

  84. Peter Spencer has been on his hunger strike for now just over 50 days.
    Excellent short article in Quadrant that explains the background.
    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/12/peter-spencer
    Please read it.
    Simply put the situation is:
    1) Aust to meet it’s Kyoto targets locked up farmland as carbon sinks
    2) If the Commonweath (Federal) govt did this then according to the Aust constitution, compensation for the “lock up” would have to be on “just terms”.
    3) Instead, the commonwealth under a “heritage act” gave large funding to the State govts.
    4) The state govt then compulsarily locked up the farmland, essentially at the behest of the commonwealth.
    5) The state govt are not constitutionally required to pay compensation.
    So the Federal govt gets the land locked up to meet Kyoto and doesn’t have to pay compensation. Essentially, communism by stealth.
    In addition, just over a week ago on Mon 4th Jan there was a large protest in Canberra of people supporting Peter who also went to his property later in the day. Many were intending to travel in chartered coaches (buses) from around New South Wales. This plan was scuttled about 2 days before the event with allegations that Transport inspectors (who work for the NSW govt) were going to target the coaches and detain them at weighbridges and Transport inspection stations that all heavy vehicles need to call into when traveling in NSW to check either loads or log books. Because of this concern that the NSW govt was going to disrupt the travel intentions of many going to the protest, all people went to the protest in private vehicles.
    We live in sad days. Although I think that Rudd is naive in regards to Carbon trading and foolish in regard to AGW, the issue that has affected Peter Spencer has resulted from numerous Federal Govts, not just Rudds.
    All Peter Spencer is requesting is a meeting with Rudd, however, all Rudd wants is photo opportunities with school children to flog off the children’s book he has written about the tale of his dog and cat (I kid you not). The guy is a clown.

  85. The US EPA has been prohibiting property owners from using any portion of their land if designated “wetlands” for a number of years now. A friend of mine in Illinois has a four acre section of his 10 acre property under restriction for any changes because of this regulation. The only relief I’m aware of was in Oregon, where a couple of years courts ordered the state to compensate property owners for such “takings.”
    bob (11:01:30) : and TH (11:41:53) :
    As to the use of the word “retarded” … the moment we start apologizing for using a legitimate word every time someone is “offended” our lexicon would be reduced by 20-25% … and that would be retarded!

  86. I emailed the Prime Minister Just now. Everyone here should do the same.
    You can reach him via email here: http://pm.gov.au/PM_Connect/Email_your_PM
    Here is the text of my email.
    The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
    Prime Minister
    Parliament House
    CANBERRA ACT 2600
    Dear Prime Minister Rudd,
    Please let me introduce myself, I am a businessman in Santa Clara County California, in the great United States of America. I am writing to implore you to put a stop to the hunger strike being staged by your citizen Peter Spencer. From my limited understanding of your laws it appears to be within your power to grant him as well as other farmers, who are experiencing financial distress as a result of current environmental/green house laws, a full hearing and perhaps a little redress for apparent discriminatory treatment under laws enacted in a poorly thought out manner. Surely as a result of this little publicized incident you must be having second thoughts about the current state of your country’s treatment of land owners. I would point out that, should Mr. Spencer actually die, the publicity will most likely be fuller than it has been to date. It is certainly not too late for a rethinking of current policy concerning this whole global warming/carbon sequestration issue. As you must certainly have heard, there is much evidence coming to light that Global Warming is just a natural process the world is experiencing that may currently be in the process of reversing itself for a few years or more. It would be a real shame for your country and mine to do harm to such a vitally important part of our economies such as farming, over potentially faulty and possibly politically influenced science. As you know my country is debating the enactment of laws similar to your own and the public is becoming skeptical of the wisdom this type of taxation in the face of mounting evidence that atmospheric CO2 is not the cause of past warming. Now would be an opportune time for a person of your authority and stature to call for a complete reassessment of the seemingly universal wisdom that governments need to be involved in any attempt to affect the climate of our world. The plight of Peter Spencer and others in your vitally important farming communities would be a very popular and easily publicized reason to open a discussion on the possibility of governmental retreat from current policy. Should you opt to do this I feel that you would be a very popular leader with the world wide public. Although I am not Australian, there is increasingly a sense that we are all citizens of the world and as such I implore you to come to the rescue of Peter Spencer and the rest of us. I fear that time is short.
    Respectfully,
    William H Strouss
    Businessman and fellow citizen

  87. “It’s really an Anti-Eco Agenda: Anti Economy. They intend to break the populations and cast them back into the Dark Ages. That’s what Cap & Trade would do, but they have many other Tools in the Box of Horrors.
    To us, a tool is something we use to get work done.
    To them, a tool is something used to operate on the masses to turn them into beasts of burden. Welcome to the new Age of Socialism. They have the greater rights, we have only the right to be used by them.”
    Hey common, I’m sure it’s all one gigantic coincidence. If there was a plan to create a world totalitarian regime, than there would have to be a world bank, some kind of global bureaucracy(UN), global treaties, global currency, global army, global tax. It’s not like any of these goals are being attempted.

  88. TrevorG (13:26:09) said :
    “So the Federal govt gets the land locked up to meet Kyoto and doesn’t have to pay compensation. ”
    Clearly that is what happened although I recall that the animosity that existed at the time between the Liberal (Conservative) Federal government and the Labor State governments did not help the situation, I believe that Howard was trying to force the States to assist in meeting Kyoto targets as the Federal Govt had no legislative power in that area and of course the state Labor governments were aggressively resisting and so implemented policies that they knew would impact a traditional support base for the Federal government. Still doesn’t explain why Rudd is so naive in regards to carbon trading, etc, but you have already pointed that out.
    In another area we still have not learned our lesson in Australia with regard to bushfire. I have a (small) rural property in a bushfire rated area, I have controls over what reduction of vegetation I can do and cannot easily arrange for controlled burning to reduce fuel for wildfires, fortunately for me we were burnt out in the early 2000’s and I have maintained a policy of ensuring the resultant regrowth is not fire prone by keeping firebreaks clear and ensuring that the regrowth was of fire resistant species, and clearing fuel level through other means. Of course I cannot control the boundary I have with a State Forest plantation which currently looks prone to fire, but my firebreak on that boundary is much bigger and planted with fire resistant species.
    This activity all costs me money or time, but I think it is worth it to ensure that my environment is managed. I suppose some local authority “Sustainability Officer” would find fault with this, but so far they have kept clear and seem to be mainly worried about other areas in the shire where erosion and soil loss has caused problems in some regrowth areas. They see me as actively managing my property in this regard and so have left me alone as a result.

  89. “tony thomas (12:21:57) :
    AGW is barely involved.
    The stress has apparently got to Peter and irrational things are going on.
    Antony Watts, this post and comments are making your excellent blog ridiculous. Call a halt before everyone beclowns themselves.”
    Exactly my point. Anthony’s been on something of a feeding frenzy since ClimateGate and his judgment is starting to falter. There’s enough convenient hype on the warming side of the argument without needing to erode our credibility to match.
    I would scrub this story altogether and make sure each punch is a body blow.
    Here are the main points we need to question.
    1. The Earth has warmed, and will continue to warm.
    2. Sea levels have risen and will rise more.
    3. Glaciers have melted and will continue to melt further.
    4. Ice caps are receding and will continue to recede.
    5. The concentration of C02 in the atmosphere is increasing.
    6. An increase in atmospheric CO2 is related to temperature rise.
    7. Reducing C02 emissions will significantly negate a warming trend.
    8. We can reduce C02 emissions while increasing population growth.
    9. We can reduce CO2 emissions while industrializing the third world.
    10. We can reduce CO2 emissions while improving our living standards.
    12. We can afford to reduce CO2 emissions.
    13. There is no other factor, such as the sun, which could cause climate change.
    14. Bad things are happening right now because of climate change.
    15. We must act within x years or it’s irreversible.
    Do you see where I’m going with this?

  90. The right to life is the source of all rights — and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave. … [The right to property] is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.
    Ayn Rand

    Remember that this is about more than just land — it’s about all material things which a person can own, whether it be land, a car, or your baby’s diapers. When the government can tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, you are no longer free, but the property of the State.

  91. Anthony, I really enjoy your site, but you just made a mistake – in changing the title. As you said, the use of the ‘retarded’ word in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom is PERFECTLY valid! What you’ve done is to change the word simply because it can be used in a different context – yet you have just stated in what context you were using it, so it was okay! I must admit, I’m very disappointed. The UK has gone ‘politically-correct’ crazy – and I do mean crazy, like you wouldn’t believe. I didn’t think the US was just as afflicted. Shame, great shame. The English language is rich, diverse, and wonderful. Yet it’s being changed because some cannot see that it’s illogical to change a word when it conveys what you want to say. The word was created for a purpose of definition. Sometimes I really despair that people cannot see things logically.
    REPLY: My decision was mostly about time management. I could spend hours defending the use of the word, and the argument would simply grow as more people saw it. It would be a huge waste of my time. Better to pick a useful battle. – A

  92. John Hooper (13:56:28) :
    Exactly my point. Anthony’s been on something of a feeding frenzy since ClimateGate and his judgment is starting to falter. There’s enough convenient hype on the warming side of the argument without needing to erode our credibility to match.
    I would scrub this story altogether…

    You would delete the files? Hide the decline?

  93. What does an Australian farmer have to do to make the news?
    What has The Australian got against a destitute farmer? Compare their coverage of one farmers protest with other hunger strikers:
    * When a sex offender protesting his innocence went on a hunger strike, it only took 6 days for The Australian to write about it.
    * Taiwan’s former president went on a hunger strike which was reported as it ended after 5 days.
    * Serial killer Ivan Milat only had to wait a couple of days to make the Australian with a hunger strike that only lasted for five days all up, and its conclusion was noteworthy too.*
    * When three Australian Tamils went on a hunger strike they made headlines after 3 days, and also here.
    * Some Sri Lankan asylum seekers agreed to end their hunger strike after 2 days and the story was covered sympathetically.
    This is not to detract from the seriousness of some of the above claimants. But compare the reportage about Peter Spencer who started his hunger strike on November 23, 2009. For 25 days there was not even a short note to alert other farmers or landholders that there was a hunger strike underway by an Australian citizen, on Australian soil.

  94. John Hooper (13:56:28),
    Here, let me fix your post:

    1. The Earth has warmed, and will could continue to warm.
    2. Sea levels have risen and will may rise more.
    3. Some glaciers have melted and will continue to melt further.
    4. Ice caps are not receding over all. and will continue to recede.
    5. The concentration of C02 in the atmosphere is increasing.
    6. An increase in atmospheric CO2 is related to an effect of temperature rise, and over 95% of the increase is non-human related.
    7. Reducing C02 emissions will insignificantly negate a warming trend.
    8. We can reduce C02 emissions while increasing population growth.
    9. We can reduce CO2 emissions while industrializing the third world.
    10. We can not significantly reduce CO2 emissions while improving our living standards.
    12. We can not afford to reduce CO2 emissions and maintain our present standard of living.
    13. There is no other factor are many other factors, such as the sun, which could cause climate change.
    14. Bad things are happening right now because of climate change. Some are beneficial, some are not. There is no empirical evidence that human emissions have a measurable effect on the climate.
    15. We must act within x years or it’s irreversible the UN won’t get its scam money.
    Do you see where I’m going with this?

    Yes. In your case, failure is an option.

  95. Yes, Peter Spencer clearly has other issues including a family dispute about money owing and whether or not he should have have sold his property at the price that was offered to him.
    But none of that changes the basic point about the ways the Federal Government and the various state governments colluded to deprive landowners of the right to use their land without adequate compensation. The issue here is not Peter Spencer’s personal plight (as sad as that is) but rather the effect of laws against land clearing brought about by an act of collusion (supporters would no doubt call it an example of multilateral and bipartisan “agreement”) between the Federal Government and the several states. This was an issue long before Peter Spencer’s protest hit the media and the blogosphere. Over the years ABC’s “Landline” program has run several stories on the effect of these land clearing laws but most urbanites and suburbanites didn’t really get the message at the time. And it’s not just farming activity that is affected by these laws. As we have seen (and this is something I personally have been affected by) these laws make it virtually impossible to reduce a bushfire hazard.
    As a matter of law these are state laws and they are not technically laws of “expropriation”. They are laws limiting land use. Now of course the argument can be put (and I would agree with it) that restrictions on land use can become so great that they are *de facto* acts of expropriation and should be subject to compensation on just terms.
    Now the point about these laws coming in in the Howard years and Kyoto not being ratified until the Lu Kewen dynasty also misses the point. These laws were agreed upon by an act of collusion between the federal government under Howard’s watch and all the states in order to meet Australia’s Kyoto targets.
    Yes, Australia (quite sensibly) refused to ratify Kyoto Under Howard and (quite stupidly) ratified under the Ruddbot but merely focusing on “ratification” of the Kyoto Protocol misses the point. “Ratification” or not, Australia took part in the Kyoto negotiations and was determined to meet its negotiated target for greenhouse gas emissions (108% of 1990 baseline targets with a specially negotiated “Australia clause” in Art 3(7) of the protocol to include reductions in land clearing from 1990 levels in our “emissions” figures).
    The significance of “ratifying” the Kyoto Protocol is whether it takes effect as a *legally binding obligation* under public international law (1) at all and (2) (assuming [1]) for a specific country that ratifies it. Under (1), if fewer than 55 “Annex I” countries had ratified the protocol then it would never enter into force to begin with (i.e. it would be of no legal effect — even for those countries which had ratified it). Under (2), assuming 55 or more “Annex I” countries had ratified it and the treaty had entered into force, as a matter of international law it would still only be binding (subject to monitoring and in the case of a breach possible sanctions) on those countries that had ratified it.
    Australia didn’t *ratify* under Howard but it was a party to the treaty negotiations, fought hard for some concessions and intended to meet its negotiated Kyoto targets with or without ratification. Non-ratification simply meant that Australia wasn’t *legally* bound by the treaty but as I already said Australia under Howard was still committed to meeting its Kyoto target “emissions” figure.
    Art 3(7) of the Kyoto protocol is often derisively referred to as “the Australia clause” by hard-core greenies since on their view Australia unfairly benefited from it. In actual fact without the insistence of the Australian negotiators Art 3(7) probably would never had made it into final treaty text. Art 3(7) (for which Australia fought hard to be in the treaty) allowed countries which had a high rate of land clearing in 1990 (eg Australia) to use reductions in land clearing in their Kyoto “emissions” figures. In light of Australia’s dependence on coal for electricity generation and jobs (as well as for export) and its growing population and energy needs Art 3(7) was a relatively “painless” way for Australia to meet its Kyoto target emissions. Placing limits on land clearing (which mainly effects farmers) is a lot easier to achieve politically than taking on the CFMEU, coal companies and urban/suburban voters who like the idea of relatively cheap electricity, etc. And constitutionally it arguably lacked the power to enact such laws anyway (especially in the absence of a ratification of the Kyoto protocol).
    Under Howard’s watch the Feds and the states got together, with the states “agreeing” to enact laws limiting land clearing in order to meet Australia’s Kyoto emissions target. The fact that we didn’t “ratify” the treaty until Rudd came along doesn’t change a thing. These laws were designed to help Australia achieve its Australia’s Kyoto target — ratification or not.

  96. NOTE: I’ve made a change to the title, based on some commenters objection to the use of the word “retarded”. While some saw it in the context of “mental retardation”, that was not my intent. I was thinking of the use of the word in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom. They have certainly “retarded” the ability of people to use their land. I’ve changed the word to “restrictive”. I apologize if this offended anyone. It was a poor word to use. – Anthony

    Not a poor word, in fact it fits very well (no insult intended). It is a shame when good English gets hijacked exclusively for significant usage, eg ‘mentally retarded’ and ‘gay’, but I guess that is how language evolves, rightly or wrongly.

  97. Well said Smokey but:
    1. The earth has warmed when compared to a cooler period in its history and has cooled when compared to a warmer period in that same history.
    The rest can be just as easily side stepped. I suggest John take up reading Roger Peilke Sr’s site weekly rather than Gavin’s version of Climate Entertainment Tonight.

  98. re: John Hooper (13:56:28) :
    Sorry John, I cannot agree with you here.
    This is Anthony’s blog and he can run it how he likes. If any of us don’t like what he posts we can either ignore, comment or not visit.
    Looking back over the last couple of years, by far the majority of posts are scientific in nature, but you have to acknowledge that AGW and it’s presentation to the sheeple by the MSM is 90% political and 10% science. Previous posts such as about Hansen supporting protesters in the UK or the “dumb as” roulette wheel by the clowns at MIT are political or humorous and not scientific. The whole issue is political. I am not concerned about Anthony’s balance here. This story is major in Australia and making people aware of the potential impacts of AGW policies.
    Good on Anthony for posting it as it will raise international awareness of this travesty.

  99. Near where I live, there are piles of dead forest. The reasons for the piles is because the landowners knew of the changes coming down the line. So they cleared all the land before the law came into effect. So, instead of the last 10 years of native forests, supporting all types of biodiversity (and soaking up carbon, if that’s your thing), we’ve had 10 years of rotting logs and weedy grassland. Note that the landowners don’t use the land for anything (obviously not farmers) they just knew it would be worthless with a forest on it, so down goes the forest. That’s the law of unintended consequences. Measures taken to protect the forest can often have the reverse effect.

  100. Today, Wednesday January 13th in Australia, marks 52 days of the hunger strike (not 28 as suggested by Jo).
    That is a long time without any food.

  101. John Hooper and a few others have missed the point here. By not allowing the guy to clear and use his property the gov. has devalued it. If those who loaned Mr. Spencer money take the land to reclaim his debt to them, Mr. Spencer will have lost his land and principal, will have no money to buy any other farm, will not be able to feed himself and his family. The government has taken his land without compensation for ostensibly “green” reasons. That is the whole story, and the junk Hooper has thrown into the mix only obscures the core point. Mr. Spencer is in a catch 22 which has no resolution at this point that would restore his ability to support himself. Very sad indeed!

  102. Stephan (12:54:11) :

    In case you haven;t noticed Australia is the most overregulated, overrated, overgoverned country in the world. basically lives off coal, mineral exports thats about it. Its lucky its got any tourist going there the service is about the worst in the world as well.

    regulated and governed to death, but no way overrated. If you want bad service, mate, try American hotels and airlines, they are the worst! People who run them need to go to Asia once in a while to find out what service really means.

  103. Simon from Sydney (12:49:17) :
    I read your summerization and this is the part that upsets me:
    “The Native Vegetation Act 2003 (NSW) requires that before any clearing of native vegetation takes place, the landowner must obtain a development consent under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (“EPA”), much like you need a development consent to build an extension to your house. Mr Spencer applied for consent to clear 1402 hectares at his property, but was refused. The letter refusing consent said that Mr Spencer may qualify for the Farmer Exit Assistance, which is a scheme to allow farmers to sell their properties to the Nature Conservation Trust, if there was hardship as a result of the decision. Under such scheme, an an independent valuation of the property would be obtained, and the property purchased at that price.”
    It seems the government has set up a system where you are required to get government consent and when that consent is denied the government will now take the property off your hands. It doesn’t matter whether the price is just or not. It matters that, with schemes like this, the government can take your land simply by denying consent and therefore making the land unsellable on the open market so that you have no recourse but to sell it to them or go broke. Nice scheme to take whatever they want whenever they want for whatever reason they decide.

  104. Paul Vaughan (11:40:07) :
    We’ve got a (fairly extreme) right-wing, climate-nonalarmist government in Canada

    Excuse me? Fairly extreme in what way? If you think the Harper government is “right wing”, I’d HATE to see how far left you are!

    that blew $58 billion, achieving nothing of value for the majority of Canadians.

    That wouldn’t have anything to do with the other parties now, would it? I mean, it’s not like the Harper government could have NOT thrown some stimulus around and also retained control, right?
    The best part is, Harper IS “non-alarmist”, and a good part of that is myself and other CPC members ensuring he knew there was a debate. When he was first elected the entire party was awash in alarmists or alarmist apologists.
    I seriously doubt that Canada has been in better hands since before trudeau.

  105. @The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (14:08:45) :
    “Anthony, I really enjoy your site, but you just made a mistake – in changing the title. As you said, the use of the ‘retarded’ word in the context of retarding enterprise and freedom is PERFECTLY valid! What you’ve done is to change the word simply because it can be used in a different context – yet you have just stated in what context you were using it, so it was okay!”
    No, it wasn’t. He did explain, and the explanation (even as it stands now in the change notice) makes no sense, at least grammatically.
    You can accuse that government of retarding progress or even enterprise all day long (though not really “freedom”, since that is not a process).
    Saying “Australia’s retarded government does something” does not in any sense say that the action is causing a slowdown of some sort.
    It is simply applying the adjective to the noun, just like your average teenager (who’s been taught political correctness only with regard to the very protected groups) calling his friends’ stupid behavior “retarded”, just before typing on a car blog that some car’s styling is “gay”.
    “I must admit, I’m very disappointed. The UK has gone ‘politically-correct’ crazy – and I do mean crazy, like you wouldn’t believe. I didn’t think the US was just as afflicted. Shame, great shame. The English language is rich, diverse, and wonderful. Yet it’s being changed because some cannot see that it’s illogical to change a word when it conveys what you want to say. The word was created for a purpose of definition. Sometimes I really despair that people cannot see things logically”
    Calling a terrorist just that, or calling a groups of muslim fanatics just that, is very different from misusing a diagnostic term for innocently mental limitation as an epithet for willful stupidity.
    I understand that Anthony has that change notice up there to prevent lefties calling “he’s quitely changed the headline!”, but the explanation given (while reasonable as a basis in thinking up the title) really doesn’t do much good for the actual headline given its straightfoward grammar – it didn’t say what he meant, it said what it said. Can y’all quit saying it now?

  106. The Australian Movie “The Castle”
    “The story is about the Kerrigan family, who have been living in their home –their “castle”– for years. Their house is next to the local airport. The airport wants the Kerrigans to move so that they can build a new building on the Kerrigans’ land. Darryl Kerrigan is the father. He does not want to leave his house, so he fights the airport in court. At first he loses in court because his lawyer is not very good. Then he meets a very good lawyer (a Queen’s Counsel). The Queen’s Counsel argues very well and the Kerrigans can keep their house.
    “The Castle is funny to Australians because the movie is about ordinary people. They are not rich or stylish, but they are good people. Australians like the idea of “the little Aussie battler”, someone who is hard-working even when life is tough. The movie title is named for the English saying, which is said many time during the movie, “A man’s home is his castle.” The movie also talks about the land rights movement of the Australian Aborigines. Darryl Kerrigan compares his problem to the Aboriginals problems about land. The movie talks about famous Australian Constitutional Law Cases, like Mabo and the Tasmanian Dams Case.
    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Castle_(movie)

  107. The Australian government and the people of Australia should be deeply ashamed of themselves. They have been fooled by the Global Warming crap and they allow this to happen.
    Each and every person in Australia lives in a house. Each and every person lives off of farmland that was once cleared. To say that ” I can have cleared land and you cannot” is Eco-Facism. The Eco-Facists should give up their houses and food and lively hoods first.
    Land tax was initally inteded to encourage developement. The idea was to make the land productive. If you do not want to encourage land developement, then don’t tax UNDEVELOPED land!

  108. Anthony
    Latest Update
    As of 40 minutes ago 9.30 am Wed 13th Jan 2010
    “Peter Spencer ends hunger strike protest”
    Link
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/peter-spencer-ends-hunger-strike-protest/story-e6frg6xf-1225818713137
    “HUNGER striker Peter Spencer has ended his 52 day protest over farmers’ property rights and Australia’s climate change responsibilities but will continue his fight “on the ground” supporters said today.
    In a statement released shortly after 9:30 am today, his supporters said he would now be hospitalised until doctors could determine his medical condition…….”

  109. “ann riley (14:41:00) :
    John Hooper and a few others have missed the point here. By not allowing the guy to clear and use his property the gov. has devalued it.”
    Ann do you understand Rudd (see heading) wasn’t even in Federal politics when the land laws came in? It was the present opposition party led by John Howard. And that land clearance laws are not usually a Federal issue anyway.
    It had nothing to do with Rudd, so trying to sore petty political points from this will only demonstrate you do not understand the issue.
    Rudd may indeed be able to remedy it somehow or roll back the laws, but that’s a separate issue. He’s not the original villian.

  110. Smokey (14:12:48) you seemed to have missed the point of John Hooper’s post. He wasn’t saying he believed in those statements…he was saying those are the claims we should be fighting….

  111. Peter Spencer has ended his hunger strike and come down from the tower.
    He is now on his way to hospital, and as soon as he is well enough, he will continue the fight.
    He has the support of many Australians, including Barnaby Joyce, a very vocal politician who loves to take the fight to the government.
    I visited Peter 2 days ago at his remote property and he was in fairly good spirits and seemed to be very sane and reasonable. He took the extreme action out of desperation when he had exhausted all legal avenues open to him.
    The stories published in the Australian were part of an organised smear campaign against Peter Spencer, and John Hooper appears to be part of that campaign.

  112. @Tom in Florida: The reality is that we all own property subject to various restrictions. None of us can claim “absolute” ownership, since we are bound to abide by many conditions on what we can do with our land. The prime example is of course planning legislation. There are many ways in which an owner could theoretically increase the value of his land, by changing its use, or construction of additional buildings. But such changes must be considered in respect to the effect they would have on the surroundings, and that is what planning legislation is for.
    Similarly, there will be occasions where planning rules are introduced after the purchase of a property, and this will potentially reduce the value of that land.
    I realise my wording indicated an obligation, but Mr Spencer was free to choose whether to sell the land to the Nature Conservation Trust. The option was provided based on a market value offer, provided his property met certain conditions. Mr Spencer rejected the offer, and in fact took legal action to try to challenge the valuation, which failed.
    Simon
    Australian Climate Madness

  113. Anthony, I love your blog to bits, but please listen to what a few sensible people are saying. I fear the site will lose its street cred if issues are raised that risk stoking up the same kind of tribal hysteria that we see on alarmist sites re: every passing weather-related phenomenon.
    I agree with what one contributor has said, that this site could usefully concentrate on the science. Yes, there are political ramifications which I am not saying should be completely ignored, but imho they need to be dealt with in a sober way. Following up the links some have posted, this issue may not be as cut-and-dried as it appears on first glance, so maybe it was an unwise choice?
    Just twopence-worth, intended constructively, from a genuine fan of your site! 🙂

  114. “Smokey (14:12:48) :
    John Hooper (13:56:28),
    Here, let me fix your post:
    Do you see where I’m going with this?
    Yes. In your case, failure is an option.”
    Sorry, you must not have understood I was presenting key arguments we need to rebut to debunk the scare. It may interest you to know that many skeptics disagree with your assertions as well. That’s why it’s important to target the structure of the theory and systematically deflate it.
    In order to argue any case you simply need to reference a peer-reviewed study from someone with some credibility, and hopefully not connected to some Libertarian think tank with ties to the tobacco industry or promoting creationism.
    Watch me now:
    The theory of AGW relies on an increase in atmospheric CO2 leading to an increase in surface temperature.
    So let’s agree that CO2 emissions have risen, but question whether atmospheric CO2 has risen in tandem.
    That’s right. The science isn’t settled on whether atmospheric CO2 levels have risen, says this report:
    http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2009/6649.html
    Therefore, any rise in temperatures whether transient or trend could not be related to CO2.
    QED.
    And that’s all you need to say.

  115. ” Vivienne (15:27:43) :
    The stories published in the Australian were part of an organised smear campaign against Peter Spencer, and John Hooper appears to be part of that campaign.”
    Oh please. Shouldn’t you be calling talk-back radio?
    This story has nothing to do with climate science, and everything to do with the politics of land development. Do you still not get this is about the Australian way of doing things, and not just Kevin Rudd’s Government? Land developers and politicians are forever at odds/in bed.
    For what it’s worth, I’m not allowed to remove any native vegetation from my property either. It’s a council zoning by-law to do with my proximity to a wildlife corridor.
    I have no interest in defending Kevin Rudd, but if you’re going to take a pot-shot, pick your mark carefully. Don’t be like Malcolm Turnbull and end up taking out your own foot.

  116. @Simon
    That sounds good, until it is YOUR house or YOUR farm that is taken away. It especially hurts that it was taken for a fraudulant reason.
    I know exactly what it feels like. My family’s farmland was taken by the Communists in Hungary. It was reciently returned, too late, my father died before he could see it.
    Communism is another fraud.

  117. Troppo (15:24:04),
    Thanks for pointing that out. I am so used to hearing exactly those points endlessly repeated that I made an assumption – something I regret at least half the time.
    OTOH, the mast head states that this site is about: “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts”. Anthony takes commenters’ suggestions and often posts them as an article.
    With 135 comments in only six hours, this has been a popular post. People are interested. And WUWT has a wide audience, unlike the Soros-funded AGW echo chambers with the same relatively small group of true believers, repeating the same things to each other over and over.
    Thousands of people read this site every day, lurking in the background without commenting. The folks who post their opinions here get a much bigger audience, and much wider publicity for their views. Yes, the climategate scandal boosted traffic, but I think Anthony must be doing something else right. WUWT won the Best Science award well before the climategate story broke.

  118. While I sympathise with this man I think we need to make a few things clear. The legislation in question is a state law that is more than 10 years old – the Rudd government is Federal and is less than 3 years old. It’s perhaps a bit disingenuous to blame Kevin Rudd for the situation?
    Every farmer in NSW is subject to the same laws and while they may not be fair they are hardly ruining the industry. There are 39000 farms in NSW employing 82000 people. They produce more than 40 billion in revenue including 10 billion in export dollars each year.
    Mr Spencer’s problem is that he allowed his farm to go ‘fallow’. Now he is legally forbidden to clear the regrowth. It is a problem that all farmers face but most are able to ‘work around’ the situation by keeping regrowth from happening in the first place (usually by regular slashing). Mr Spencer’s unique problem is he pursued alternative business interests elsewhere and the regrowth (and legislation) occurred in his absence. It’s sad but is it sadder than (for example) a farmer going out of business because of drought – because that happens all the time in Australia and has done since Europeans settled this country.
    Above all – it has nothing to do with AGW and I honestly don’t see why it’s even on this site.

  119. Austrailians already lost their rights under the 1688 Bill of Rights. The original for Croc Dundee had his gun pried out of his cold, dead fingers.
    Yep, “extremism” is just a label you use on anyone who disagrees with you if you want to make them be seen as out of the pale, out-law.

  120. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, Anthony. I’d leave the story, as whilst there may be little in the personal circumstance to infer climate change, certainly the laws that prevent Mr. Spencer from selling his scrub were enacted with this in mind.
    SOT – John Hooper, your own personal agenda was even less relevant to the point of this blog. 😉

  121. @ DogB (16:10:30):
    It does have have something to do with AGW because the Commonwealth Government at the time (when Howard was PM) got the states to enact and use these laws to meet Australia’s Kyoto emissions target. You may want to read my earlier post (14:13:00) for an explanation of the link between the Federal Government, these state laws and the Kyoto protocol.

  122. @Joh4Canberra (16:28:17):
    What is your evidence for this collusion between the Commonwealth and the States, and for the link between the State’s native vegetation laws and Kyoto? Temporal association does not indicate causation.
    Simon
    ACM

  123. Hello all, I have been posting the following email to as many web sites as I can find to highlight this DISGRACE.
    Everybody please do the same for the sake of JUSTICE.
    ===========
    Hello,
    We are in Australia. You may not be aware of the issue we have over here, but it concerns CARBON SINKS.
    Basically various farmers around Australia have had their ability to earn a living from their farms removed by the government declaring them CARBON SINKS in order to fulfill this KYOTO TREATY TREASON. Their rights to clear any land for farming have been removed. Little to no compensation has been offered to them!
    This farmer Peter Spencer has had enough (he has been fighting this for over 10 years and had over 200 court appearances) and is taking a stand, not only for himself but for all the farmers who have been wronged by this COMMUNIST POLICY.
    He is trying to draw attention to this SHAMEFUL and DISGUSTING INJUSTICE BY THE GOVERNMENT!
    He has now gone over 50 days WITHOUT FOOD.
    The Prime Minister/federal government will not even meet with him!
    World Wide publicity has to be given to this SICKENING SITUATION!
    This is the support web site for the hunger protest against this INJUSTICE:-
    http://agmates.ning.com/group/peterspencerhungerstrike
    Please give this as much publicity as you can.
    Thanks for listening.

  124. Agree with you Simon,some are blaming the commonwealth government for what is state government laws.I was horrified to see the state government did not have to offer compensation,but after reading this blog I see that is not true either.Most state governments are in because of green preferences,they give in to the green party to get the votes.It is ridiculous to give power to a political party that only musters a few thousand votes,but that’s our political system.I don’t see the USA system as any different,didn’t Obama buy his health votes?In Australia the government promises the greens concessions(like building bike tracks,locking up land,no building dams) to get their bill through parliament,not money.The main reason why we have stupid burn off regulations is because of green concessions by various state governments,not in Tasmania though.We still burn off but that may change next election where the possibility of a hung parliament is looming,leading to a deal between liberal and greens which will be a nightmare,but is expected to happen because of the green campaign against the pulp mill.

  125. This is a sad case, however…
    There’s been an account of this saga running at Australian Climate Madness that includes analysis of his legal claims, an account of him failing to pay back a family loan of $1 million, and his being away in New Guinea and, as a result letting the farm go downhill.
    As much as it looks like the poster-boy case of AGW government stealing his land for a carbon sink–it’s a bit more involved. go check out Simon’s several posts on the case.

  126. If this is allowed to happen to even one person, you better beleive that you are next because what goes around comes around.

  127. “Sell the land to the Nature Conservation Trust” means “confiscate the land for the government.”
    Just like “Quantitative Easing” means “print money.”
    Most people don’t know what it means until it is too late.

  128. Food production absorbs CO2.
    If food production is halted then that amount of CO2 absorbtion must be taken away from the level of CO2 absorbed by the wild growth which replaces food production to get any net additional CO2 absorbtion.
    If any fire destroys the wild growth AT ANY TIME then that CO2 absorbtion over it’s lifetime is reset to zero, PLUS THE LOSS OF THE CO2 WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ABSORBED BY FOOD CROPS.
    In effect set-aside land like this could mean more CO2 in the atmosphere than would have been the case with food production.
    [Also note that any wild growth which dies will produce methane as it decomposes, 30 times more potent than CO2]

  129. Joh4Canberra @ 16:28:17
    So you’re suggesting that the native vegetation conservation act 1997 (enacted 18th Dec 1995) was a direct result of the Kyoto protocol which was finalised in December 1997?
    Tell us more of this wonderful time machine.

  130. John Hooper, I agree with you to a point.
    In this case, both sides of the political spectrum were involved for different reasons. Land clearing legislation is a state government responsibility…the motive of the mostly left of centre state governments was to stop broadscale clearing of both regrowth or remnant vegetation on both freehold and leasehold title. A lot of the driving force came from environmental groups. Generally speaking, the labor side of politics has more sympathy for the arguments put forward by those groups, and their point of view. They also need their political support. As you pointed out, the federal government of the day was Howard’s conservative coalition. While he refused to sign Kyoto, he maintained it was unnecessary to do so, as we were meeting our targets anyway (mostly as a result of the state legislation). His government never picked a fight with the states over the issue, mainly due to the fact that it was under pressure over the whole issue of global warming.
    So there you have it…poor legislation, trampling of landholder’s rights, inadequate compensation, and rather poor environmental outcomes. Driven by the agenda of the left/green groups and their political necessity, and compounded the right giving in to their own political necessity. Disgraceful on both sides, and the AGW/Climate change issue was heavily featured in both, at the time and since. Anthony is quite right to link this story to the issue.

  131. The government should actually be requiring burning, not banning it. The more frequent the burning, the more carbon is sequestered in the soil. Both charcoal and black carbon (carbon which doesn’t burn easily — only 20% of BC is lost in smoke) end up in the soil with low intensity fires. A ban only delays burning, and the resulting tinderbox burns hotter and deeper.
    The government only sees the smoke from a cigarette, and ignores the ash… and what happens if the cigarette is damp when lit.

  132. @Joh4Canberra: Thanks for those links. It will take me some time to go through all that is there, so you may not receive a response straight away. But I will read them and consider their content.
    Simon
    ACM

  133. Oh, that’s just lovely, not only are you stigmatising disabled people by using ‘retarded’ in a pejorative sense, you are also insulting the very popular, democratically elected government of my country. You’ve outdone yourself this time Jo!
    Disgusting.
    REPLY: Jo wrote the article, the headline choice was mine. See the note at the end of the article. – Anthony

  134. John Hooper (15:37:23) : “That’s right. The science isn’t settled on whether atmospheric CO2 levels have risen, says this report:”
    Minor correction: The study says only that the alarmist-predicted saturation of carbon sinks hasn’t happened yet. Atmospheric CO2 continues to rise (a Good Thing if you ask me, but inexplicably our Governator hasn’t).
    Anticlimactic (18:14:06) : “Food production absorbs CO2.”
    Until the food is eaten, and then some is metabolized back into CO2, and some is “sequestered” as human flesh. Personally, I’m doing my best to sequester as much CO2 as I can from as many different yummy sources as I can, but alas it’s only temporary, like all biological sequestration. This is of course a Good Thing, see my reply to John Hooper in this post.
    BTW, if Australia’s local governments want to sequester CO2, they should encourage tree plantations, lumbering, and large wooden house construction to sequester carbon for a few decades until fossil fuel use diminishes (which it will eventually, whether the greenies get their way or not).

  135. “Popular goverment” can also mean “mob rule.”
    Without checks and balances like proper constitutional rights and a judicial system that upholds those rights democracy is mob rule.

  136. As long as property can be taxed, no one but the government, through force of arms, can own it. Ownership, in this context, is a privilage belonging to the most heavily-armed party. That is no longer the citizen.

  137. @Dog B (18:17:21) :
    No time travel is involved. I said “got the states to enact and use these laws”. If you want to get technical perhaps I should have said “and/or” as yes, in some states, the legislative framework was wholly in place before Kyoto. The point was that a main plank of the Australian Commonwealth Government’s Kyoto strategy was to (1) negotiate to get reductions in land clearing put into the Kyoto protocol for Australia (which they succeeded in doing: that’s what the Article 3(7) point was about) and (2) use state laws against land-clearing to meet Australia’s targets without having to make the kind of serious efforts to reduce CO2 emissions (eg from coal-fired electricity plants) that would otherwise need to be made. This strategy was actually adopted before the Kyoto negotiations took place. The Australian representatives didn’t turn up to Kyoto not knowing what they wanted. On the basis that they thought they would be able to use state laws against land-clearing they fought hard to get Article 3(7) in the protocol and then duly got the states to use native vegetation laws to this end.
    This is all a matter of public record. I fail to see what the controversy is about.

  138. We are getting in to ‘interesting times’
    With sugar prices escalating because so much sugar cane in Brazil is converted to ethanol
    With the USA targetting 15 billions gallons of biofuel per year by 2015, mainly from corn
    With the EU targetting 10% addition of biofuel in petrol and diesel by 2020
    With set-aside schemes like the Australian one removing land from food production
    With developing countries like India and China expected to increase food consumption, especially meat
    With an expected cold period reducing food production for at least 20 years
    … perhaps soon we will all be ‘survivalists’!

  139. John Hooper (15:37:23) :
    “That’s right. The science isn’t settled on whether atmospheric CO2 levels have risen, says this report:”
    What is it with people and the Knorr paper? Just once glance at the paper and the figures therein, and you’ll see it doesn’t say anything remotely like what you think it says.
    Putting a QED after that sort of self-defeating argument will only invite ridicule.

  140. There’s plenty more to this story that you haven’t covered – for example, the members of his family who are accusing him of starting the hunger strike to escape his debts to them. Add to that the fact that he’s mentally unwell.

  141. Simon (15:32:35) : “I realise my wording indicated an obligation, but Mr Spencer was free to choose whether to sell the land to the Nature Conservation Trust.”
    I certainly agree with the pricinple that we all own land subject to certain restrictions. Normally one would know the planning and zoning of a property before purchase, understand those restrictions and buy only if those restrictions coincide with what the intended use of the property is.
    I also understand that there was no obligation for Mr Spencer to sell the land, however, once his request was denied that effectively devalued his land and made it unsellable to anyone but the Nature Conservation Trust who most likely wanted it in the first place. Causing the devaluation of land in order to make it unsellable to everyone else but the party (or it’s cohorts) that devalued it is fraud. At the least, too much conflict of interest for my blood.

  142. I don’t think land clearing issues were the real motive behind this protest. There is some interesting background to Peter Spencer’s protest. Graham Spencer the brother of Peter Spencer spoke to the ‘The Australian’ newspaper which outlining the background to this……http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/family-financial-dispute-helped-send-hunger-striker-peter-spencer-up-the-pole/story-e6frg6nf-1225817155039……
    quotes:
    “The sheriff’s office is expected to serve a notice this week following legal proceedings by members of Mr Spencer’s family to sell the Shannons Flat farm and recover a debt owed to them.
    On Friday, The Australian reported Mr Spencer was deeply indebted to a fellow family member. Mr Spencer’s brother, Graham, said the farmer’s problems were only loosely related to land clearing laws that restrict how he can use his land.
    Graham Spencer said his brother’s land was of “marginal” farming use and that his background was in public relations, not farming.
    Unquote
    Plus he has a history as an attention seeker.

  143. @Ben
    A lot of people who protested the confiscation of land during the Communist movement were declared mentally unwell and sent on a little vacation to Siberia to help them recover. Or they were encouraged to be “re-educated” in other ways.
    It’s interesting how China and Russia and other former Communist countries have embraced freedom. They lived through the Red Terror and have learned many hard lessons as a group. I fear that “We” meaning the west in aggrigate, will have to go through that ourselves in order for everyone to learn.
    Alas, it would be so much easier if everyone would just read Animal Farm and 1984.

  144. Can we not all at some time in our lives be labled “attention seekers,” or “a little bit crazy,” or even, *gasp* “deniers?”
    Calling his character suspect does not detract from the nastyness of LAND CONFISCATION.

  145. Well, this must be something of a record for ‘Watts Up With That?’
    Not only does bulk of the post bears no resemblance to reality and fact, I could only find one sentence which came close to the truth of the matter and that were about Spencer’s making demands of Rudd.

  146. Re: jonk (12:58:55) & CodeTech (14:58:21)
    Believe it or not, some of us are content with none of the political parties.

  147. Apparently he’s now given in and ended his protest. Not sure how this will achieve anything, the state Govn’t has made their decision.

  148. Joh4Canberra (14:13:00) :
    But none of that changes the basic point about the ways the Federal Government and the various state governments colluded to deprive landowners of the right to use their land without adequate compensation. The issue here is not Peter Spencer’s personal plight (as sad as that is) but rather the effect of laws against land clearing brought about by an act of collusion (supporters would no doubt call it an example of multilateral and bipartisan “agreement”) between the Federal Government and the several states. This was an issue long before Peter Spencer’s protest hit the media and the blogosphere. Over the years ABC’s “Landline” program has run several stories on the effect of these land clearing laws but most urbanites and suburbanites didn’t really get the message at the time. And it’s not just farming activity that is affected by these laws. As we have seen (and this is something I personally have been affected by) these laws make it virtually impossible to reduce a bushfire hazard.

    I have only quoted a segment, but thank you for this well balanced analysis of the situation.
    I had no idea that Kyoto has already had so much effect on our laws and actions. The whole AGW scam is literally a pox on mankind.

  149. While I feel tremendously for this gentleman’s predicament, I wish he would stop what he is doing, concentrate and utilize his efforts and passion towards fighting this issue instead of simply killing himself off. Killing himself does nothing to help the cause. Martyrdom is not as affective as a lot of people would like to believe. He will quickly be forgotten. The AGWer’s and his government will only applaud his demise and this will be just another problem that will be out of their way.
    Start eating! Start fighting! We need you as much as we need anyone!

  150. How about the cut off of water in California’s Joaquin Valley.
    http://thegreendragon.ning.com/profiles/blogs/joaquin-valleys-water-shut-off
    and
    http://www.sodahead.com/technology/water-shut-off-to-california-farms-because-of-endangered-fish/blog-129611/
    Unemployment rates are now 40% because of the water being shut off to farmers. Hundreds of acres of crops are now dead. 1 million acres of fields and orchards also have no aboveground water supply. People have to go to food banks for food. Fruits and vegetable prices have skyrocketed in central California.
    Federal water managers cut off water to thousands of California farms as a result of Water has been cut off since March.
    Farmers in the nation’s No. 1 agriculture state predicted it would cause consumers to pay more for their fruits and vegetables, which would have to be grown using expensive well water.
    Environmentalists are tripping over themselves to preserve every
    species that crawls, squirms, swims or flys (sic) but they are content
    to let humans die,” claimed Nunes. ” And now they have a government
    that agrees with them. This Congress and our President have chosen
    fish over people in my state.”

  151. Okay… we’ve had about enough of this economic calamity BS. These stories propogate only becuase they are born in the perverse virtual state of simulated computer models. In the REAL world – this is complete and utter hokum. Take a look at the stats from a typical northern California community in wine country…
    http://www.city-data.com/city/Ripon-California.html
    Median household income 2000, $56.9k. Median in 2008, $75,750. The economic “crisis” in the United States is about as believable as the climate crisis. California is booming as it always has. Standards of living are growing as they have for 50 years. The world demands the agriculture and technology products California delivers more than ever before.
    Tell me who loves ya Arnie.

  152. Having re-read “M. Simons” post, let me be absolutely blunt. This is the post of an agent of the CCP or sympathizer meant only to diffract reality with outdated propaganda. It is OLD, outdated, and utterly pathetic.

  153. Red Green (12:35:21) :
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.
    You do us a service to reiterate the Club of Rome agenda. Where they have failed, and failed miserably – is to see that it is not pollution, global warming or famine that will unite us. It is the recognition of those who perpetrate such a fabrication – that will.
    The world will unite, not against climate change, but those who would have us believe it to be real.

  154. Mr Spencer’s problem is that he allowed his farm to go ‘fallow’. Now he is legally forbidden to clear the regrowth.
    I see your point. It is like if I stopped driving my car for a year the government would forbid me from ever using it again.
    I can see the justice in that. (/sarc)

  155. “Water is our life – it’s our jobs and it’s our food,” said Ryan Jacobsen, executive director of the farm bureau in Fresno County. “Without a reliable water supply, Fresno County’s No. 1 employer – agriculture – is at great risk.”
    The drought would cause an estimated $1.15 billion dollar loss in agriculture-related wages and eliminate as many as 40,000 jobs in farm-related industries in the San Joaquin Valley alone, where most of the nation’s produce and nut crops are grown, said Lester Snow, director of the Department of Water Resources.
    Jeff Peracchi, a pomegranate and grape grower in Huron, said he was laying off employees because without water, there wouldn’t be much fruit to pick.
    “I can’t just say I won’t farm this year – I have to do something. But I’m having to lay off guys who have been with us for years,” Peracchi said. “At this point, I’m planning to farm to keep the fruit as healthy as I can, but I’m not sure I’m going to be able to be profitable.”

    http://www.sodahead.com/technology/water-shut-off-to-california-farms-because-of-endangered-fish/blog-129611/
    He will likely be profitable due to the rise of food prices.
    So who is suffering:
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_uSNpfk4dbL4/SrSuBvvXIaI/AAAAAAAAAUU/w9gU_5sTEFQ/s400/Farm+Water+people+more+important+than+fish.jpg

  156. Hmm…. Make an underground home or a masonry home with metal roof and metal “storm shutters”. When you need to “clear the land”, allow nameless transient to BBQ snake over open fire on windy day… Then apply to government for:
    1) Emergency payment for loss of income from natural disaster. (i.e. dole)
    2) CO2 sequestration payments for “new carbon” about to be sequestered.
    3) Global warming diaster payments / restitution (clearly more fires are due to global warming…)
    4) Plant crop.
    Repeat as needed.
    I think we have a new farming paradigm… 😉

  157. Good to see that Peter Spencer has ended his hunger strike. What it must be like to go over 50 days without food id beyond my imagination and I am so glad he has not died as a result. May you regain you health and fitness Peter and hopefully your battle will bring about a FAIR result.

  158. Cong Nunes on Valley Water:
    http://nunes.house.gov/
    ====
    http://californiafarmer.com/story.aspx/judge/tosses/delta/water/plan/9/16836
    http://aquafornia.com/archives/category/delta-issues/judge-wanger-salmon-ruling
    ===
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Rodriguez
    Rodriguez also has an interest in farming with operations in California’s Central Valley. He is the chairman of the California Latino Water Coalition, a group trying to draw attention to California’s dire water situation.
    http://www.latinowater.com/

  159. stumpy (10:43:02) :
    The wild fire point is an excellent one!
    Most trees in OZ and most of the native bush likes a good fire everynow and then to stimulate things, and its a common occurance.

    There’s a small area in the New Jersey Pine Barrens called the Pygmy Forest — dwarf pine trees that grow no more than 5 feet tall. The enviroweenies got this unique species put on the endangered list and the state built an aerial fire-fighting facility on a nearby WWII emergency landing airstrip to protect these unique pines from being wiped out by wildfires.
    After ten years, the enviroweenies were alarmed at what was happening in the Pygmy Forest. No seedlings. Beetle infestations in the northern half of the forest. Reduced growth in established trees.
    Man was *obviously* the culprit, so the enviroweenies investigated — unfortunately for them, they enlisted the top botanist in the state. He discovered several things:
    1. The pygmy pines evolved to use *fire* to their benefit. The seedcoating on their cones was thick and water-resistant and required the occasional wildfire to release the seeds. The fires also burned off the weeds in the area to reduce competition for the seedlings.
    2. The pygmy pines weren’t a unique species. They were normal white pines, identical to their neighbors a mile away, but they had rooted in shallow sand atop bedrock.
    3. The only thing in the region acting to break down plant debris and add nutrients to the sand was the occasional wildfire. And the forestry service had been extinguishing them for ten years.
    Upon the botanist’s recommendation, the forestry folks initiated a controlled-burn program. The pygmy pines are now doing fine.
    The enviroweenies claimed credit for saving yet another rare and unique species and proceeded to dump Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes into the Pine Barrens to “re-create the vanished ecosystem that the early settlers had destroyed.” They did it in October, and the snakes promptly scattered to seek shelter for the winter — I killed a six-footer that had crawled into my neighbor’s kitchen.

  160. Anthony,
    Rank speculation here.
    It looks to me like the PTB are giving up on control of energy supplies and are using control of the food supplies as a backup plan.
    And why do I think that? Holdren + events (Australia, CA central Valley)
    Of course it could just be chance. Or a confluence of interest.
    However, the Democrat’s strangulation of American energy resources is still on.
    Any way it could just be my mild schizophrenia seeing patterns where none exist. Or it could be my mild schizophrenia seeing a pattern before others do. It has happened both ways before. So I like to do reality checks. To keep on the sane side.

  161. to jerri;’m not sure this story can totally be put down to to climate change policy. There is a lot of back-story here that is not reflected in the post.
    yeah there SURE IS!
    theres a story of government CORRUPTION! that stinks to high heaven and KRUDD was in QLD paliament when the BRIGALOW Corp was going!
    READ THIS!
    http://www.nickmaine.info/Documents/update_re_brigalow_corp.htm
    and the mongrels managed to do it and not be outed till now?
    well, Aussies don’t like being sh*t on by the people we elect and we will sure be taking remedial action when this news gets more widespread.
    to the folks who say use the amendments. sorry Aus has little to no contstitution FOR the people, its mainly Govt biased as we were an English Penal colony to begin and they didn’t really care much about rights of the individual then..(or now)
    the sham of a constitution offered by Howard was so worded we all said No thanks!
    and go to http://www.agmates.ning.com
    for a lot more info on Peters story
    or
    http://www.climatesceptics.com.au for info too.

  162. I went to the Pine Barrens on a field trip for a botany class. The Pine Barrens are, well, umm… rather barren. But if there were no Pine Barrens where else would the Botany class go for a field trip?
    Watch, now they will change the name to the Distressed White Pine Conservation Area, because the old name allows for “incorrect thinking.” Thought crime.

  163. Peter Spencer will be the first of many in Australia, I own a small block of land on the beach in Victoria, the government is planning to stop development on that land due to “sea level rises caused by Global warming”. The land has never even flooded and has a population of about 200, the town next to (2km away) it has a population of 2000 and floods every 10 – 15 years – but you can build what you like there.
    The Australian Government is picking off the smaller communitys one by one, not causing too big a stir, get rid of the small land owners and work your way up. This could possibly effect millions of land owners in Australia and you hardly here a thing about it in the MSM, you just feel helpless in this situation. You go to local council meetings, ring lawyers, set up action groups and no one cares. Did I mention there is also a large deposit of oil under the town, and apperantly in Australia we only own to 6m underground, government owns the rest.

  164. Yes, the greenies want you to keep your land undeveloped so that they can enjoy it as a wilderness park while you pay the taxes on it.
    Why don’t the greenies buy land that is for sale on the open market and then put it into conservation? Oh, because then they would have to pay for it instead of you.

  165. This is not just happening to farmers. Our school, situated on about 100 acres but using only about 25 currently, is finding it almost impossible to build a new building because the government won’t let them cut down a handful of trees. Land worth millions of dollars is locked up for the government to say that it is being “green”. Yet Energex just came in and bulldozed down truckloads of trees to put power lines across some of that land, without asking and paying just pittance in compensation ($90,000 instead of the estimated $1.2m). Maybe our whole school should be up power poles fasting.

  166. DogB particularly took issue with the fact that I said that these state laws were enacted and enforced because of Australia’s Kyoto commitment. And Simon from Sydney questioned the link between “the State’s [i.e. NSW’s] native vegetation laws and Kyoto”
    I just want to add a few words of clarification. They should be read in addition to my earlier comments as I don’t want to cover old ground.
    In Peter Spencer’s case we are talking about New South Wales laws and, yes, in the case of NSW the native vegetation laws were enacted before Kyoto. But I actually stated that the point I was discussing was not Peter Spencer’s individual case (as sad as that may be) under NSW laws but the more general point about the way the Federal Government and the states agreed to use native vegetation laws in order to meet Australia’s Kyoto targets. I was talking about the states collectively and not specifically about any one state individually (such as New South Wales in Peter Spencer’s case).
    DogB correctly points out that NSW already had such laws on the statute book before Kyoto. Other states (eg Queensland), however, did not, and only introduced them after Kyoto and the agreement with the Federal Government about using reductions in land clearing to meet the country’s Kyoto target. Now, in the case of NSW specifically, although the state’s native vegetation laws were already enacted before Kyoto that doesn’t mean that Kyoto didn’t have an effect on the way these laws would subsequently be enforced. Most people at the time would probably have thought that these laws were directed against the felling of native forests. But post-Kyoto (as we saw in Peter Spencer’s case) they have been used to stop farmers cutting back regrowth on previously cleared land. Pre-Kyoto, very few people would seriously have imagined native vegetation laws being used to prevent a farmer keeping his already cleared and in working order, or indeed placing a virtually absolute ban on new clearing of scrub or trees of little value from an environmental heritage point of view. Again, I admit that Spencer’s case is somewhat unique in that he had left the land fallow while he was doing other things and that if he’d been continually working the land before the legislative change then he wouldn’t have had nearly as much difficulty as he’s now having. But again, I’m not really talking about Spencer’s case in particular.
    I also referred to earlier ABC reports on this issue. Here are a few I’ve managed to find if anyone is interested. I’m sure there are many more.
    * http://www.abc.net.au/landline/stories/s101450.htm (ABC Landline 20 February 2000)
    * http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s1820879.htm (ABC Radio 1 January 2007)
    * http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200309/s948774.htm (18 Sep 2003 — Then Federal Environment minister admitting that the reduction in land clearing has significantly contributed to Australia’s “emissions” being lower than a decade beforehand)
    * http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2005/s1371225.htm (22 May 2005 — includes a bit on Peter Spencer’s case, but deals more generally with state laws against land clearing (chiefly directed against farmers) as the main way Australia was meeting its Kyoto “emissions” target.
    * http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2006/s2226885.htm (27 April 2008 — a report on the Emissions Trading Scheme but which also has the remark “But the [states’] ban on land clearing has had the biggest impact on why the [agricultural] sector has been able to reduce its CO2 equivalents by 40 per cent and help Australia meet its first Kyoto Protocol target.”

  167. DogB-Every farmer in NSW is subject to the same laws and while they may not be fair they are hardly ruining the industry. There are 39000 farms in NSW employing 82000 people. They produce more than 40 billion in revenue including 10 billion in export dollars each year.
    {amazing thats just a smidge more than 2 persons on some farms, and our Farms are often thousands of acres, and in recent years many wifes work off farm and on farm too, unpaid and off the paybook, called love and commitment}
    dividing 82,000 people into an output ofproduction of 40 billion, ? HMM? that may be the endprice , but sorry the farmers are NOT seeing that…
    so? we feed ourselves
    and have 1/4( 10billion) of unsubsidised product to compete against subsidised slave labour wages product? tariffs and restrictions. while imports from O/S come in and take our existing trade and profit
    hell we have it made , don’t we?}
    DogB-Mr Spencer’s problem is that he allowed his farm to go ‘fallow’. Now he is legally forbidden to clear the regrowth. It is a problem that all farmers face but most are able to ‘work around’ the situation by keeping regrowth from happening in the first place (usually by regular slashing). Mr Spencer’s unique problem is he pursued alternative business interests elsewhere and the regrowth (and legislation) occurred in his absence. It’s sad but is it sadder than (for example) a farmer going out of business because of drought – because that happens all the time in Australia and has done since Europeans settled this country.
    {ok, and in times of drought, and low returns making even running sheep a no go,and for the actual protection of the fragile soils a Fallow period is what is best practice!and buying in food in a drought of many years is NORMAL in Aus, not AGW related! however less cropping done due to land losses- Thanks to AGW excuses….and even bought food is rare.
    however its NOT affordable for many- how many sheep per acre? 1 sheep to 3 acres or maybe 4. slashing is costly and deferring it may have reasons like that too. 200K+ for some machines.land loan,fuel and seed , now an ongoing yearly cost thanks to PVR and GM. add chem and pesticides , your,e carrying massive loans…
    Maybe “alternative , off farmbusiness was the only way to bring ANY income in? many many men go to the mines or drive trucks while the wife- and kids, maybe? cope.
    At any given time at least1/4 and maybe 1/3 of our countries land is under drought/water stress.
    there IS a reason kids dont stay on-farm, ever worked in 40 degree heat, dust and flies or cold mud and cow poop etc}
    and HOW? does the government have any right to tell a land owner he cannot use the land he owns, nor sell it for any use and be forced to sell to ONE purchaser?
    would you? accept that on the residence You own..really?
    BTW if? its a chunk in the middle of your property, how can you sell or work around it, try and plant a crop, with 120 acres( for eg) of forest and roos bounding around in the crop, and you cant slash, burn,shoot to remove them?
    see the DogB (18:17:21) :
    Joh4Canberra @ 16:28:17
    So you’re suggesting that the native vegetation conservation act 1997 (enacted 18th Dec 1995) was a direct result of the Kyoto protocol which was finalised in December 1997?
    Tell us more of this wonderful time machine.
    ———-
    NOW that time machine crack?
    so do you think KYOTO was an instant appearrance in 97?
    do you not think they were planning how to save any upsetting of polluters, and NO Carbon is NOT a pollutant.
    and really, they KNOW that, but its a wonderful revenue raiser!
    see the link to the Brigalow Corp i posted above,
    KRUDD WAS in Qld parliament then.
    its a truly longterm and nasty doings.
    KYOTO IS at the very heart of it along with the whole damned Warming Pack of LIES!
    it may have escaped general notice, ALL the 3rd world lands are being Assisted by Monmongrels and their ilk who Looove AGW to scare people into thinking famine without it, to get control of the land and food and resources.
    ALL of which including polluting Pharmas etc will get CCredits for their “effort” to be clean etc etc in said place, encouraging employment there, while killing us at home. T**on etc in O/S places producing cheap fast and dirty, Ca**ill too, and selling to us at local higher profit.
    All will do massively well with CC C&T ETS whatever you name it.
    You could look at Iraq Bill 81 for how its done.
    you could look into Delta Pine and Land W Engdahl did a great piece@ Global research.com
    , bushes clintons the whole it and caboodle! and you could benefit from, Gates foundation and Mon….o, the links are real.
    and its ALL a AIRY-Fairy TALE! the emperor is Buck Naked.”-)
    I am waiting for the first Earthquake in Haiti , blamed on AGW story to surface.
    yes! I DO believe some idiot will spin it.
    The Pope has joined i CO2 bashing I read. and the Vatican will sell( have been! Sold) GM as a way to save their flock of starving etc etc.
    Yes! Climate is Now a political issue because its been MADE to be one
    Carbon IS affecting the world NOW.
    BUT
    not of its GH Status but because of a LIE about its status.
    Shutting already cleared and used land off at a time of global need?
    yup thats the smartest move a country could make…
    Aussie version of an Nth American Indian story
    Dingos All the way down!

  168. Proverbs 13.23
    A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away!
    Glad to see tyrants look the same today as they did 3000 years ago.

  169. I live in a jurisdiction with a carbon tax implemented by right-wingers (yes, you read that right – right-wingers) that have racked up massive debt to host the winter Olympics – (they’re being called the “Bailout Games”).
    Right now we’re getting pounded by “tropical” weather systems that are dumping warm rain that is melting the snow at one of the Olympic venues.
    I’ve been following the media reports generated by the local right-wing-controlled media. There is NO mention of El Nino or La Nina to explain why this winter is so different from the last 2 (which were very cold & snowy by local standards). I mentioned this to a group of folks yesterday and I didn’t see this coming:
    I was PROMPTLY scolded for mentioning El Nino.
    I asked, “Why didn’t the story even mention El Nino?”
    I was told that it isn’t appropriate to mention El Nino anymore.
    These people were quite serious. The group’s irritation with me for mentioning El Nino was palpable – you could have cut through the tension in the air.
    Don’t try to tell me this issue divides along political party lines and that corporations can solve all of our problems. Regardless of whether left or right – or capitalist or communist – organized corruption will try to hijack any system.
    Bear in mind that some of us are just plain neutral politically, seeing all the hyperpartisan political wingnuts for what they are. The real problem isn’t the “other” political wing (that’s just a scapegoat to throw to gullible dullards), but rather: exponentially growing lying coordinated by global elite — ‘left-wing’ lies, ‘right-wing’ lies, ‘capitalist’ lies, ‘socialist’ lies — the liars all work together targeting common people worldwide.
    I always laugh out loud when I see goofy attempts to conflate politics with science in these threads. You guys are undermining the nonalarmist movement ….deliberately perhaps – maybe there is a reason so many operate under a handle instead of showing respect for WUWT guidelines.

  170. I suspect that much of the support for taking decisive steps to combat anthropogenic climate change among politicians is the desire to be seen by the public as actively working to improve our common environment. Those who indicate skepticism like former governor Palin are roundly dismissed as ignorant slackers who want to ‘fiddle’ while the planet burns.
    In the USA, I believe the partisan division on this issue is a product of the strong support and commitment to this cause by the President and the Press.
    I have seen one post on this site that claimed the Thatcher government in the UK was initially responsible for setting up the AGW agenda to enhance the international reputation of the Prime Minister.

  171. amicus curiae @ 06:06:26
    A few points…
    1) I have nothing but respect for our farmers. They do a spectacular job considering that they’re among the poorest subsidised farmers in the western world.
    2) I have nothing against Mr Spencer. I think what happened to him sucks. Same as I think it sucks when a farmer is bankrupted by drought or has his land resumed to build a dam that never actually gets built.
    3) The figures I quoted are from the National Farmers Federation website.
    Joh4Canberra @ 05:42:01
    As a general rule I agree with much of what you’ve said. Having said that, given your nic, I’m certain you’re familiar with the political furore behind the land clearing issue. I remember debates on this topic back when we were still worried about global cooling.
    The reality is that the roots of this problem lie in an act of a state government 15 years ago – blaming it on the carbon policies of a 26 month old federal government is disingenuous at best and this blog should be above such foolishness.

  172. David S (12:12:16) :
    I have great respect for Mr. Spencer and the actions he’s taken to reclaim his rights. However, I have no respect for the Australian people who have allowed this to happen, who have fallen for the global warming scam and support idiotic treaties like Kyoto. With any luck they will create a self-induced food shortage and starve themselves back to reality.

    Hold your fire there hombre. I don’t know if you are a countryman, but here in the US, property rights are taking a thorough beating. The Supreme Ct expanded the power of Eminent Domain, which is nothing short of theft, simply put. Zoning laws, Fed water regulation, creation of wetlands, the Omnibus Land Act – these all are depriving owners and states of the right to use their own land. And that’s just off the top of my head.

  173. And if the brave press corps have done a thorough background check on this poor farmer, I wouldn’t be surprised.
    Many of us remember “Joe the Plumber” asking Dem. candidate Barack Obama a question, who responded with his now infamous “redistribute the wealth” comment.
    The press took him apart, and found he owed back taxes, etc. etc.

  174. Down through the ages, to the present… many men have considered their land worth dying for.
    Rightly or wrongly, history has usually reported it heroically! GK

  175. Amicus Curiae,
    Love the passion and the tale you tell is close to the money. For those who need more info on the court proceedings see http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/?p=2783
    The Peter Spencer story has many facets as does every story. The fundamentals are that his trees/land are no longer his to deal with and the govt did obtain a benefit without compensating him and thousands of others. The stupidity of the whole Native Vegetation Legislation is that the govt took the big stick approach but by offering a carrot could have achieved much better results and kept farmers onside. Many of the practices forced on farmers by these laws are totally anti-environmental and have a negative effect. The govt consulted everyone except the land managers. Greens from Sydney flew in for country meetings with their idealistic solutions to problems identified by third and fourth generation farmers. The greens think trees are the ONLY solution but grass is often far better.

  176. The reality of this story is that this guy is over a million dollars in debt to the bank and family members, he has a history of stunt pulling and a multitude of other personal and financial problems, landclearing is not the reason he’s going to lose his farm again, his poor business skills are. This guy is being made a matyr by many different groups pushing their own agenda. Check some facts first, he is not the would be hero people wish him to be.

  177. Report: Top Obama czar: Infiltrate all ‘conspiracy theorists’ — ‘Ban advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud’
    This sounds like the old USSR.
    Very COMMUNIST.
    Let’s ban debate!
    What are they afraid of? Maybe the truth.
    Go and have a read of this drivel!
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=121884
    So much for Democracy and FREE SPEECH.

  178. Here is an example of public opinion expert Frank Luntz advising politicians, especially Republicans, not to get involved in debating climate change science. He is saying, in effect, that the American People have made up their mind, the do not want to hear any complicated technical arguments — they want to hear what their elected officials tell them how they are going to fix the problem.
    “Let’s make the change right now. Let’s not wait!” — [12/14/2009]

    Maybe ‘public opinion is settled.’

  179. Well, if he dies, the family gets whatever he has anyway, so I guess that is a way of “escaping debt” by paying off what is left to pay it off when you are gone.
    And mental instability, proven mainly by blatent assertion, is scarcely credible when it is applied to the situation described.
    Compared with the mental instability of those who created the laws described, this man is a paragon of sanity in the face of government madness.

  180. One part of the story reminds me of a story I heard years ago about a homeowner in CA losing his house to a wildfire because he wasn’t allowed to clear the brush beyond his property line. His neighbor did and saved his own house, but then he got in legal trouble. According to the state, the homeowners in the area were told explicitly before buying the property that they would not be able to clear beyond their property line. If you take that kind of deal in an area with wildfire risk you live with the consequences.
    It seems like there are some places in CA where people should just not be allowed to build a residence (or have extremely high insurance premiums if they do), because they’re too dangerous, at least with the restrictions placed on them. I’m recalling the landslides that occurred in one development there several years ago, which demolished a few houses, burying several people alive.
    Anyway, some farmers in the U.S. have faced the same sort of land use restriction policies for years now.

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