Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Academia is the opiat of the educated!

Since I returned to School as a mature aged student I have come to learn some important lessons about the world of academia and bureaucracies. Having sat in on several significant lectures based on contemporary issues in society and to do with the environment, I am convinced that the single most important function of academia is: To take those people who actually have the intelligence to be able to articulate exactly what is wrong and are able to present believable and convincing arguments for sensible, changes that will prevent the wholesale pillaging and waste of the Earth and all that is sacred within it Locked in an endless cycle of publishing reports, presenting seminars, writing essays and basically keeping their noses out of the real world! After hanging around the University/TAFE for too many years I am completely convinced that it's all a crock of shit!
I've attended architecture and housing planning seminars full of experts and politicians giving detailed descriptions of the type of housing that is suitable for the tropics and will soon become the standard... while right down the road yet another gated estate full of concrete boxes was being constructed!
I've volunteered with scientists who were content to witness the destruction of critical habitat while they measured it's effect on the local wildlife! Important work of course that will end up at the back of a report that may or may not be glanced at by a policy maker somewhere down the track! It's all BULLSHIT!

Well here's another one for the list! And I mean no offense to the presenter of this seminar or any of his team... It's important information... but nobody is listening! And while you were collecting your data which I am sure will prove to advance what we know about stream diversity... All our streams are being filled in, concreted, poisoned or bled dry! Surely we need more activists!

Today the school for Environmental Research at Charles Darwin University hosted the following presentation:

Water, Wind, Wood and Trees: Their Role in Maintaining River Complexity in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

presented by
Wayne D. Erskine
According to the promotional info the presentation focused on the significance of riparian vegetation and the presence of wood (trees etc...) as a contributor to bank stability, and reducing scouring along rivers.

"...The roughness created by dense bank-side trees is responsible for low flow velocities along the channel margins and hence the measured zero bank erosion rates.." (Wayne D. Erskine)
I have read one or two papers on this subject and there's a fair bit of evidence available that suggests maintenance of riparian vegetation is "GOOD", clearing vegetation along streams is NOT GOOD!
Land and Water Australia (The Federal Gov shut them down last year!)
Rip Rap Magazine
Or if you don't mind stepping out from conventional science and reading something a bit more Out there Peter Andrews

So with all this 'knowledge' and with access to great research as I am sure Mr Erskin has provided. Why? Why do our Government Land Managers continue to ignore and contradict practical and sensible land management practices?

Why have they only this week chosen to obliterate one of Darwin's best examples of a well structured ephemoral-stream/drainage line?

Natural erosion prevention
Turning This (McMillans Rd Marara NT)

Into This! (a little further along McMillans Rd Marara NT)
Removing trees from watercourse

My conclusion is that our Government Land Managers couldn't give a stuff about the Land and no one who knows better is about to stand up and tell them because Academia is a farce! So long as the right jargon is used it's business as usual and let's get some guy down there with a spirit level and a grader before the greenies try to stop us...
Gov has naught to fear from the wealth of scientific evidence they are ignoring because nobody of any significance is really looking!
Academia is a Farce! The Academic world/universe is simply the means by which otherwise useful people are distracted from taking meaningful action on issues that truly deserve their attention. Keeping the worlds greatest minds occupied with intellectual celebrity while the the greedy and ignorant rule....!
Or is that a little harsh?

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