Jane Crafter – My blog

Welcome . I am a freelance writer and a (former) Journalist. My dear friend Kate Richards encouraged me to set up my blog – self expression she calls it. I write about the environment, my picpolitics, the Australian manufacturing industry, technology, the arts and society and a keen follower of Crikey. I edit a small local newspaper in Brisbane ‘ The Informed Opinion” – we have a small but growing circulation. This recent articles will give you a feel for our readership:

January 2005:

In my opinion the Federal Government has shown itself to be unworthy of trust with respect to many extremely important issues including :
  • the manipulation of, or lack of veracity in, the ’intelligence’ which ‘justified’ the engagement in war in Iraq
  • the mistreatment and vilification of refugees and detainees within Australia and via the Pacific Solution
  • the imprisonment of Hicks and Habib as a matter of principle
  • the lack of equity in dealing with Timor Leste over oil and gas reserves
  • the treatment of indigenous Australians
  • workplace relations policy as an means of destroying organised labour, exploiting workers and as an indirect attempt to limit political opposition
  • environment, greenhouse and energy related policy (in particular the abandonment of Kyoto and the attempt to protect existing large industry players and redirect the financial benefits of research funding toward technological investment)
I cannot help feeling that there is another, largely hidden agenda gaining great traction through this collective diminution of the right to dissent and to actively oppose the concentration and the misuse of political power.
More recently i wrote about one of my favourite debates in Australia – Climate Change:
Ian Campbell’s conversion to the science of human-induced global warming is very
recent and probably not very sincere – just since the signing of the climate pact with
the US and China actually. This means that the main emphasis is on subsidizing the development of coal gasification and geosequestration (in Australia) and nuclear technology (elsewhere).
Australia’s role is to supply plenty of coal and yellowcake. When he talks about the “need for wind,
solar, nuclear, gasification of coal”, I would say he is really thinking of them in reverse
order. The coal industry is first, followed by uranium (ie. BHP), a power tower (for show) and a
few wind turbines to make it look like the government supports renewable energy too. I would say the reason of course is that the government depends on campaign funds from the Mining Industry, so that is where the government will put its R&D funds. The  only reason that he speaks so highly of Tim Flannery is because Tim now entertains the idea that the climate situation is so bad that we must develop nuclear power too. He overlooks Tim’s uncalled for comments on coal power  stations. Uranium is flavour of the month because China wants it and BHP owns a major
chunk of it. Even that is a slight exaggeration because most of the WMC Olympic Dam reserves
are very low grade and much of it might not be recovered. It is only being mined at all because
there is lots of copper and gold there as well.Official rhetoric is never what it seems on the surface. When Senator Campbell starts funding the development of renewable energy in a big way and introduces emissions trading to provide a strong incentive for the commercial development of energy efficiency and renewable energy, then I will accept that his conversion is complete.

I published 2 months ago and article outlining my concerns re  Tree Planting to Combat Global Warming:

With the news on global warming impacts getting worse and worse by the day, many people are now seriously looking at what they can do to reduce or better still eliminate their contributions to global warming. Many people are looking at using tree planting offset schemes as a way of tackling the issue. So is it valid to offset CO2 emissions by planting trees? The answer I’m afraid is usually NO.

As a general proposition any land where we can grow trees is land where trees used to be growing. So when we plant trees we are paying back society’s historical CO2 debt for the original tree clearing. Basically we can’t offset new fossil fuelled emissions using typical tree planting schemes.

The only way to offset fossil fuelled emissions is to use an avoidance or sequestration method that goes beyond the normal tree planting – it would have to involve either:
paying someone else to use renewable energy instead of fossil fuelled energy sources, (like an extended greenpower scheme) or sequestering CO2 in the crust, or building up soil carbon levels to much higher than would accur in nature, or planting trees in areas where they never grew in the last 8000 years or growing stands of vegetation that have biomass higher than what was there naturally over the last 8000 years. Existing carbon offset schemes based on tree planting need to be changed to fit this profile – otherwise they mislead people about what they are achieving.

Don’t get me wrong, it is very important to have standard tree planting or bush regeneration schemes – because society has a huge greenhouse debt to pay back due to past bush clearance – so every bit of regeneration/planting that we do helps. But standard planting does NOT offset current CO2 emissions from fossil fuel sources.

Well, i hope you have an essence now for my writing, and a little about my interests. I leave this post on a slightly more humorous note. Being the wife of an Italian man, i was a little alarmed when i watched this:


Testimony to my son – now, dear reader. If you are wondering why my previous blog header has an image of Galleons doing battle – well its because my son installed this blog – when he arrives back from South America guess what his first job is?


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