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Valerie Yule's blog

Choosing economic growth or choosing survival

Dr Valerie Yule describes how our economic system removes our ability to choose what we really want and need.

A use for pokies - another kind of public bank

Just 2.7% of the billions made from poker machines reaches community organizations and charities although Australia has more than 200,000 pokies — 21% of all gambling machines on the planet! The largest Australian operator of pokies is Woolworths, which owns about 13,500 machines. Here is a way that pokies might be used to make Australia more self-sufficient and bring the banks back under local control.

Dangerous Dogs

In the 1980s I made a survey of Trading Post advertisements selling dangerous dog breeds before Trading Post became cautious about such advertisements. While there were 101 advertisements for primarily pet, show, racing or working dogs, there were 158 ads selling larger guard and hunting dogs - the sort that can scare or menace the young and the old - even if foxies may be quicker on the nip. Some cross-breeds sounded doubly or triply dangerous ...

Carbon tax, households and jobs

If the reason for a carbon tax is primarily to change behaviour, what is the behaviour that households can change and reduce their carbon tax payments?

Don’t waste the Murray River

Remember the lesson of the great Newfoundland cod fisheries. Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous gives a description of fish so plentiful that the waters seethed with them. In 1977 Canada tried to stop the reduction of the cod stocks by declaring 320 kilometers off Newfoundland off limits to foreign factory ships. The local industry flourished, bringing prosperity to Newfoundland. In the 1980s marine biologists warned that the future was threatened by the heavy fishing and recommended an annual target of 125,000 tonnes of cod. But the community outcry about the economic and social damage made the government set the target at 235,000 tonnes. Stocks fell below a sustainable level and in June 1992 one of the richest natural resources was closed down. 30,000 jobs were lost and Newfoundland fell into rapid economic decline.

Doing something to stop roadkill

'It may be tempting to believe our 4WD has bumped over a wombat.' (from an article in a magazine). Tempting? Roadkill is driving some species towards extinction. Too few safe corridors for animals to find more food. Too many cars and trucks on many more roads through their habitats. How about a campaign to stop carelessness about road-kill?

Migrant workers - short-term solutions that make problems worse

How can the 'solution' demanded by employers to solve the claimed 'problem' of wages inflation (but not housing inflation, water scarcity, traffic congestion, hospital waiting lists, destruction of natural habitat, destruction of agricultural land, etc, etc) do anything other than make our overall circumstances worse?

When not to use elephants

How we can reduce our wasteful over-consumption of natural resources whilst retaining or even improving our quality of life?

See also Valerie Yule's home page at including Economic & Political Ideas, Planned Obsolescence of 27 May 07, Cutting waste - saving the planet without destroying economies of 7 Feb 08, Unchecked consumption will waste the planet of 31 Oct 07, Rubbishing on about plastic bags of 30 Apr 08, Climate Change at Animal F of 28 Feb 08.

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