Monday, May 14, 2007

an environmental activist is born (or 'sue me too')

Frank has been hopping mad for the last couple of days, and today I finally figured out why. (It's not me!) I just read something he read yesterday and now I'm hopping mad too!

Last week a friend alerted me to an article in "The Monthly" (an Australian "thinker's" journal I'd never even heard of until this week) by Richard Flanagan called 'Gunns. Out of control.' Frank and I have both been gripped by the devastating story it reveals.

Gunns is a large Tasmanian company intent on destroying this beautiful state. They tear down huge swathes of forest for the production of woodchips. This is a travesty Frank and I have been aware of for some time. We had not been aware of the extent of the problem.

As it turns out, Gunns is not only ruining our forests, it's also destroying the social fabric of our state through lies, deceit, bribery, and basically ripping everybody off for their own corporate profit. They are tearing the heart out of our state, and it would seem both sides of government are standing back giving tacit nods of approval.

More recently Gunns has been intent on constructing an enormous pulp mill just 40 kilometres from my house. This entails more than just a stinking mill pumping out pollution faster than it pumps out woodchips. It means doubling the rate of forest destruction in order to maintain wood supply to the ever hungry mouth of the mill. This will have even greater detrimental environmental and societal impact.

Of course Frank and I have been aware of the proposed pulp mill. We've even been to two anti-pulp mill rallies. We are aware that Gunns pulled out of the independent review process established for the mill. We know the government has consequently developed its own review process that will provide the rubber stamp Gunns needs to move ahead with its project. We know that anyone with any power in this state is working their butt off to ensure a smooth approval of the mill. We're fairly confident that Gunns is directly or indirectly lining every pocket in sight to guarantee their project succeeds.

We also recognise that unless every person in this state (and beyond) who does not want this pulp mill makes a loud noise, it will be built and we will all suffer its ill effects. Even if we all make a loud noise it may happen anyway - Gunns has a history of suing anyone who publicly disagrees with their activities. They have the money and the power to do what they want. What a sad indictment on our society.

So today I became a member of the Wilderness Society. (I know - how radical!) I spoke with a local campaigner and was invited to help out in any way I'm able. If I can get past the dreadlocked, flowing skirt, hippie stereotype I've built up in my mind, I just might do that! For now I'll be putting my money where my mouth is and making my voice heard in letters to politicians.

This has got to stop. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Let's keep it that way!

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At 12:21 pm, May 15, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

Good luck Cecily! Just what you need, another project. It's for a good cause though go for it.

At 12:40 am, May 16, 2007, Blogger Lucidiocy said...


Give em hell!

At 2:01 am, May 17, 2007, Blogger Angela said...

it's so frustrating/horrible, hey? good for you for educating yourself and becoming active in the face of such an overwhelming power.

At 9:29 am, May 17, 2007, Blogger Deanna said...

May your efforts bear fruit, and may you gain wisdom in the process. Sorry it's happening in your idyllic land.

At 4:06 am, May 19, 2007, Blogger Cherie said...

Grrrrr...I join you and Frank, if only in spirit.

My Wilderness Society sticker still decorates my guitar case. A good organization.

Do what you gotta do, girl! No regrets.


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