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The Forum > Article Comments > Community Alliance SA protects own backyard > Comments

Community Alliance SA protects own backyard : Comments

By Malcolm King, published 7/6/2013

Greying greenies are taking a reactionary turn in Adelaide - progress in reverse.

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You can't really blame them: vague but hysterical claims of environmental naughtiness have worked so well for politicians and 'green industry' for so long. It's inevitable that others will seek to adopt the same tactic. After all, there isn't ANYTHING we can say or do that will not have SOME impact for better or worse on the lives of future generations: so by depicting present-day conditions as a Golden Age of complete perfection, critics can turn any change whatsoever into a negative to be resisted.

I look forward to the critics of gay marriage explaining why it will be an environmental disaster. It can't be long now.
Posted by Jon J, Friday, 7 June 2013 7:20:30 AM
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Everybody in all times and places has sought to both protect and improve the quality of their living circumstance. It seems to me that that is what these people are doing using the means available to them. Unlike the peasants who all over the world get their modest ramshackle dwellings bull-dozed by the powers that be. And/or live in the conditions described by Mike Davis in his book Planet of Slums.

The very rich protect (and extend) their turf by using all kinds of devices including fancy accounting and off-shore tax havens. And by using outfits such as ALEC in the USA to dismantle whatever provisions that exist which, to some degree at least, protect the health and well-being of ordinary people. The same people also use so called "free"-trade agreements to extend their turf and privileges, more often than not by privatising everything including water.

Meanwhile what people actually recquire is a small scale essentially natural environment in which to live and over which they can exercise some control in cooperation with others. But this is exactly what the capitalist world-machine has all but destroyed, and is in the process of destroying whatever such circumstances that still remain on the planet.

The usual city is essentially a pattern of chaos, a random collection of people who are glommed together for no other purpose than to pursue their own narrow self-interest. It is a place where emergencies both large and small inevitably arise on a daily basis, in which the quality of life inevitably (despite all the outward bright-lights) gets worse and worse.

The usual town is caracterized by noise and all the chaos of what you have to put up with because of whatever your neighbour, or some predatory outside corporation with no links to the community, feels like doing. Somehow, in the smallest space which you get to call your own you may get to create a temporary haven of sanity and peace and quiet (as long as you remember to wear your ear-plugs. Everyone is wandering around doing his or her own thing and disturbing everyone else.
Posted by Daffy Duck, Friday, 7 June 2013 1:15:23 PM
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Again find myself unreservedly agreeing with Jon J.
Malcolm, if you think you have problems with so called greying greens in Adelaide. Then try living in Queensland, where these inordinately obtuse and recalcitrant eco-fascists have presided over the closing down of quite massive swathes of our marine economic zone!
Well because it might hold a veritable bonanza of hydrocarbon products.
Their theory goes, if we find more hydrocarbons, then we will burn more!
Ignored is the fact that our own indigenous hydrocarbons produce four times less carbon pollution, from well head to harvester, when compared with fully imported double refined petroleum products. Or the tanker traffic their stance literally forces through the reef!
Our own sweet light crude is traditionally sulphur free, leaves the ground as a virtually ready to use diesel, (as is) needing only a little insitu, chill filtering, to produce a vastly superior product, when compared to the fully imported sulphur laden product!
What threatens the reef and has killed off around half of it already, is Co2, not a few holes we might make exploiting much much lower carbon producing petroleum products.
Given those very fuels, would produce in use, four times less carbon pollution, you'd expect those with some semblance of working grey matter, to dig their heels in and refuse to use any other liquid fossil fuel; given how much of the reef we have already lost to Co2 pollution.
And what about, those armies of tourists, we were promised, would replace the forgone potential hydrocarbon sourced wealth!
There is no doubt in my mind, that these people have just about cost labour almost any seat in Queensland; and younger voters will give them the bird in South Australia, come voting day!
Albeit for different and alluded to affordability reasons!
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 7 June 2013 2:11:01 PM
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you bet Rhosty, Queensland has the greying greenies in spades. I worry about the poor old Croweaters who seem to be drifting back in to some backyard boomer reverie when in fact, it was never that good in the first place in Adelaide. Lovely people though and fab wines.

It appears that a collection of ageing boomers have formed a mass collective of like minded boomer groups who are intent on 'saving things' and who have pretty much have given the finger to their kids re developing land and units close to the city. They have become prime 'cuckoo' material for the anti-population lobby.

I wonder what the real environmental groups think of having their movement co-opted first by boomers blocking building developments left, right and centre and then by anti-population groups who have no environmental credentials.
Posted by Cheryl, Friday, 7 June 2013 2:34:13 PM
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Thanks Malcolm for a good article. You make some excellent points, especially about self-interest masquerading as virtue, and mistaking consultation for a right to impose vested interests on the majority.

And I always wince when I hear baby boomers complain about Gen Y’s “sense of entitlement”. Talk about pots and kettles!

I take issue, though, with your comment that “they have hijacked the language of the environmental movement and used it as a reactionary battering ram.” In my experience, large parts of the environmental movement ARE reactionary. It’s no coincidence that the words “conservationist” and “conservative” have the same root. Many share suspicion of change, antipathy to social mobility and economic development, a romantic and sentimental view of nature but a pessimistic view of human nature, and disdain for the enlightenment value of progress (even some who call themselves “progressive”). Reactionaries aren’t “hijacking” the values of the environmental movement; they share them.
Posted by Rhian, Friday, 7 June 2013 3:01:46 PM
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A reality check is needed on Malcolm King's "excellent" article. It is amusing to see ordinary suburbanites concerned about the amenity of their neighbourhoods and thus perhaps their property values classed as "special interests" rather than the business elite who benefit from population growth. In fact, poll after poll have shown that majority opinion in Australia is that population growth is too high. If South Australia were losing people, as Malcolm King tries to suggest, then there would be no need for the extra development. In fact, its population is growing at 1%, according to the latest ABS figures.

<Stop Population Growth Now [SPGN] and the Stable Population Party [SPP] ... want to meddle in women's reproductive rights, slash the immigrant intake, boot out international students, evict the Kiwis while returning Australia to trade protectionism.>

Both of these parties have websites giving their policies. Neither has anything to say about trade protectionism, purely a figment of King's imagination. They don't advocate deporting anyone, New Zealanders or otherwise, and they say nothing specifically about international students. So far as women's reproductive rights are concerned:

"We do not favour any coercive strategies for family planning such as the Chinese one-child policy but we do not believe that couples should be encouraged or rewarded to have families of more than 2 children through baby bonuses." (SPGN)

"We do not support restrictions on family size - we simply support the withdrawal of government incentives to have large families." (SPP)

Hardly coercive.

<It is bizarre that Community Alliance SA has aligned itself with economic illiterates who want to reduce the number of people in the community.>

SPP advocates stabilising Australia's population at 26 million. Hardly a reduction, as we have 23 million now. I checked the World Bank Figures on GDP per capita and averaged the growth rates in GDP per capita from 2003 through 2011 for Australia and Germany, which actually has a slowly declining population. The averages were 1.5% in Australia and 1.4% in Germany. (Germany didn't have a mining boom of course.) It is a pity that the Germans are economic illiterates.
Posted by Divergence, Friday, 7 June 2013 4:43:29 PM
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