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Sociologist Review of Donna Ward's book on spinsterhood - She I dare not name

It's not an easy life described within the covers of Donna Ward's semi-autobiography, She I dare not name: A spinster’s meditations on life, Allen and Unwin, NSW, 2020. In a vocabulary measured with precision but rich with imagery, Ward evaluates her experiences as an unmarried woman who achieved this status without wanting it at all. The book is very honest in its descriptions of how this came about and the importance that it has in defining the course of Donna’s life. The term "spinster," is initially called up like some daemonic creature. It is something she almost dare not name! As we read on, we realise that spinsters are not gothic inventions, but human like their married counterparts, probably equally defined by hazard.

About Australia's mineral resources

Australia's mineral resources rightly belong to this and future generations of Australians, not to foreign corporations. This was what Labor Energy Minister Rex Connor was trying to bring about with the AU$4billion loan that he tried to secure in 1974.

Deep Sea Mining is not the answer to poverty alleviation for the Pacific

Civil society groups across the Pacific criticise SOPAC and its development of a regional regulatory framework on deep sea mining (DSM). They argue that it facilitates and pre-empts DSM before Pacific Island communities have had the opportunity to debate whether this is a form of development they want.

Was the future sold?

What would Dr Nugget Coombs think of our treatment of the environment and the economy today? Quark applies a retrospectoscope to the problem as she reports on a 1970 Boyer Lecture on environment and economy.

Myanmar oil and gas, democracy and capitalism, commodities race to the bottom

(Article by Sheila Newman and Tony Boys.)Burma, now known as Myanmar, nationalised its oil and gas industries after a long history of foreign exploitation. Now the new government seems to be making friends with globalists and, Australian-style, setting up to sell their resources for what looks like the final gasp of the growth/industrial economy. Comments from Tony Boys, regional specialist, on how the locals may fare.

Does Australia need a national policy to preserve agricultural land?

An Australian Farm Institute study provides a comprehensive review of what is currently known about the amount and location of Australian agricultural land, the rate of land use change occurring, and how governments make decisions both in Australia and internationally. Whether or not there will be sufficient good quality land available for agriculture in the future has not been a high priority issue for most of the past two hundred years.

See also: The Groundwater Footprint: The Privatisation of the World's Water Resources of 16 August 2012.

Overdevelopment pushes koala closer to extinction - What is Environment Minister Tony Burke doing about this?

"Minister Burke has ruled out protection for all koalas and we are concerned these northwest NSW koala populations may be left off the threatened species list, even while their populations are falling dangerously low." Zoologist David Paull: 75 per cent decline in the relative abundance of koalas in the Pilliga from 1993 to 2011. Estimates only 500 to 2000 koalas left in the area. “The spread of mines and gas wells, tree kills from coal seam gas spills and increased vehicles through the Pilliga Forest will likely put extra strain on these already declining koala populations." Wilderness Society, 29 April 2012. (This article elevates to an article a comment "Media Release - The Wilderness Society on Koalas," posted by Bandicoot on April 29-2012.)

The Tarkine Wilderness under threat

Tasmania's Tarkine rainforests are important for their flora which has links to the ancient continent of Gondwana, and for their lichens and fossils which help tell the story of Australia's ancient flora and its evolution.
Mining companies like Venture Minerals are desperate to exploit the minerals beneath Tasmania's environmentally significant Tarkine area. Demand for metals being placed above the value of the environment.

Tim Flannery and Australia's coal-seam gas and mining industry

The way The Australian writes him up, Tim Flannery, who once wrote so articulately in defense of our land and its ecology and our place in it, now seems reduced to a quasi-apologist for extreme mining technologies. The Australian writes in such an unbalanced way. See also "Fracking Democracy..."

New Indian owners of Oz coal mine want West Australians to pay double for electricity or supply will divert to India

Six months ago an Indian energy corporation, Lanco Infratech, bought an Australian coalmine for $750 million dollars. Although, at the time, it agreed to lower-prices for customers, now it is telling the West Australian government that it will stop supplying electricity to West Australians by September unless Australian customers pay double. Six months ago Indian energy corporation, Lanco Infratech, bought an Australian coalminefor $750 million dollars. Although, at the time, it agreed to lower-prices for customers, now it is telling the West Australian government that it will stop supplying electricity to West Australians by September unless Australian customers pay double.

'Skills Shortage' - industry euphemism for 'migrants are cheaper than local training'!

The so-called 'skills shortage' in Australia is mere industry propaganda to avoid training costs. This is despite Australia have an advanced industralised base and a deep capacity as an education training nation and indeed exporter of education!
Yes, government and industry bleat unsubstantiated a 'skills shortage' so they can bring more and more immigrants for selfish short term economic ends while avoid financial cost of education and training locally and moral obligations to do so.

Mining companies are the worst. Their international ring-in approach sourcing foreign contractors suits mining companies to a tee - no give and all take!

Whatever happened to Australian manufacturing?

Kevin Rudd and his Federal Government ministers have lately taken to uttering the catch-cry that they "want Australia to be a place that makes things". However, this will not happen in a world of slave-labour economies, until the abandonment of protectionism, supported by both the major Australian political parties, is reversed.

See also: "Whatever happened to Australian manufacturing?" by Martin Feil in the Age of 20 May 10.

The consuming Dragon feeding China's economic and population growth

Unlike the Western dragon of Europe that is representative of evil, the many eastern versions of the dragon are powerful spiritual symbols, representing seasonal cycles and supernatural forces. Until 1912, the dragon was the national emblem of China. Many Chinese consider the dragon a god, one to be worshipped. Now, the god of Growth is the one that is worshipped!

Madang landowners fight ecologically devastating Chinese mining invasion

Chinese government owned China Metallurgical Construction (MCC) corporation's efforts to establish the massively destructive Ramu Nickel mine in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea -- the largest investment in metal exploration and mining by the Chinese outside of China -- is in serious jeopardy. Local landowners are successfully initiating court cases and protests to demand mine tailings not be dumped into the sea -- poisoning fish stocks and causing extreme ecological destruction -- or the mine be stopped.

Article originally published as "Resistance Growing to Ecologically Devastating Chinese Mining Invasion of Madang, Papua New Guinea" on o 1 Apr 10. What you can do: e-mail China Metallurgical Construction Corporation to let them know of your objection to their invasion of Madang.

Kelvin Thomson: Help protect Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York Peninsula

The mining company Cape Alumina has lodged a request to strip mine over 12,000 hectares in the western part of Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve for bauxite. This reserve is home to six highly vulnerable plant species. The nearby Wenlock River is the richest in freshwater fish diversity of any Australian river, including speartooth sharks, sawfish and the estuarine crocodile. Of the 32 ecosystems found on the reserve, 21 are threatened.

What you can do: If you are a Queensland resident, please sign the e-petition on the Parliamentary web-site (see text below), The petition is open until 17 May 2009. If you live outside of Queensland, please sign the petition on the Save Steve's Place. ( web site.

Disastrous Atlas Rig is evidence of a marine park needed off WA's coast.

(photo Wikipedia commons)
Thousands of litres of oil, gas and condensate has been leaking into the sea since August 21 from a wellhead near PTTEP Australasia's West Atlas oil rig, 250km from shore. A private environmental consultant's report commissioned by the WWF has found 15 species of whales and dolphins, 30 seabird species and five turtle species could be affected by the oil slick.

Security forces kill at least 31 indigenous Peruvians protecting rainforest

The local indigenous population is upset at Government plans to open up much of the land in Peru's Amazonia region to oil and gas and to mineral exploration, even though much of the land is officially protected.

See also: "Thousands of indigenous Peruvians protest invasion of Amazon by oil, mining and agricultural companies" of 1 Jun 09, Resource boom threatens indigenous people, EcoEarth newsdesk.

Thousands of indigenous Peruvians protest invasion of Amazon by oil, mining and agricultural companies

For the past 40 days, indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon are protesting investment laws passed under a free-trade pact with the United States and against concessions granted to foreign energy companies. Indigenous communities complain that some 70% of Peruvian Amazon territory is now leased for oil and gas exploration, putting at risk their own lives and the biodiversity of the Amazon.

See also: Action Alert: Resource Boom in Peru's Amazon Threatens Indigenous Peoples' Livelihoods and Their Rainforest Homes"

Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigatable lake, is suffering from pollution

Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between Bolivia and Peru, and which was venerated by the ancient Incas who ruled throughout South America from the 13th to the mid-16th centuries, is threatened by overfishing, the introduction of exotic species, pollution from 30,000 small illegal mines near its shores and the dumping of raw untreated sewage.

See also: Peru, Bolivia to clean Lake Titicaca of 22 Nov 08, 30,000 illegal mines pollute Lake Titicaca of 22 Sep 08, Bolivia's Lake Titicaca strangled of 3 Aug 07.

Stop the sell-off of Australia's mineral wealth!

The bids by Chinese state-owned companies to buy out Australian mining companies have alarmed ordinary Australians. As before, however, opposition to this growing encroachment upon Australian sovereignty has been equated with cold war 'yellow peril' racism in an apparent attempt to stifle debate.

Update: 75% of respondents to a Courier Mail online poll believed that Australia was too reliant economically on China, 2 Apr 09.

See also: Forum discussions "More on the Yellow Peril" of 31 Mar 09 on Laratus Prodeo, , "Federal government and China" of 30 Mar 09

Bimblebox's picture

Coal mine threatens Queensland Nature Refuge

There are serious flaws in state and federal policy that allow significant conservation areas, rich in biodiversity and carbon, to be destroyed for the sake of digging up more climate-changing coal. In an era where climate change and food security should be at the top of government agendas, the superior rights that mineral interests hold over all other land uses are in desperate need of review.

What you can do: 1. Queensland residents can sign the petition here, the text of which is to also be found here. 2. To learn more of the devastation with which the Bimblebox Nature Refuge is threatened by the proposed open-cut coal mine, please visit

Time to end Australia's dependence upon Chinese, Japanese and US corporations

Australia should take advantage of the financial crisis to re-establish a proper industrial base as well as to relocalise our economy.

Mining companies in Peru are making a small minority mightily rich!

Peru is still under the thumb of Colonialism, just the names have changed! Corruption is rife, and so is crime and human rights abuses. Mining companies are making a small minority mightily rich, and the indigenous and rightful owners of the land are suffering torture, death and death threats, loss of land, water pollution and loss of food.

How to end Australia's dependence upon population-growth driven financial speculation

The collapse of the global house of credit-cards and consequent stalling of demand for our mineral wealth is beginning to show up how truly unproductive our economy has become after decades of 'reform'. How can we begin to repair the damage?

Indigenous communities in Peru threatened with mining

Why is Australia helping to plunder Peru? The indigenous people in Peru are being dispossessed of their land by a corrupt government, and the mining companies with their "free trade" agreements are being supported by President Garcia!

See also: Peruvian forest laws overturned of 29 Aug 08 by Rick Kearns in Indian Country Today, Seizing Native land in Peru, one parcel at a time Peru of 4 Jul 08 by Rick Kearns in Indian Country Today

Insight program's take on Labor Shortage

Insight program shows limited perspective on problems surrounding labour supply in Australia.

See also : Transcript of Insight program of 17 Jun 08 Labour Pains

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