Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Greta Thunberg: A Living Explanation Of The Left

It is not easy to understand what the Left — as opposed to liberals — stands for. If you ask a Christian what to read to learn the basics of Christianity, you will be told the Bible. If you ask a (religious) Jew, you will be told the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud. If you ask a Mormon, you will be told the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Ask a Muslim, and you will be told the Quran.

But if you ask a leftist what one or two books you should read to understand leftism, every leftist will give you a different answer — or need some time to think it over. Few, if any, will suggest Marx’s “Das Kapital” because almost no leftists have read it and because you will either not finish the book or reject it as incoherent.

So, then, how is one to understand what leftism stands for?

The truth is it is almost impossible. What leftist in history would have ever imagined that to be a leftist, one would have to believe that men give birth or men have periods, or that it is fair to women to have to compete in sports with biological males who identify as females?

There are two primary reasons it is so difficult, if not impossible, to define leftism. One is that it ultimately stands for chaos:

— Open borders.

— “Nonbinary” genders.

— Nonsensical and scatological “art.”

— “Music” without tonality, melody or harmony.

— Drag Queen Story Hour for 5-year-olds.

— Rejection of the concept of better or worse civilizations.

— Rejection of the concept of better or worse art.

— Removal of Shakespeare’s picture from a university English department because he was a white male.

— The end of all use of fossil fuels — even in transportation (as per the recent recommendation by the head of the U.N. World Meteorological Organization).

— The dismantling of capitalism, the economic engine that has lifted billions of people out of abject poverty.

And much more.

The other major reason it is impossible to define leftism is that it is emotion-based. Leftism consists of causes that give those who otherwise lack meaning something to cling to for meaning.

Two things about Greta Thunberg, Time Magazine’s 2019 person of the year, embody these explanations.

With regard to chaos, here is what Greta Thunberg wrote at the beginning of the month: “The climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice and of political will. Colonial, racist and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fuelled it. We need to dismantle them all.”

Greta Thunberg, like all leftists, seeks to dismantle just about everything. As former President Barack Obama said five days before the 2008 election, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

As regards emotion and meaning, the Guardian reports, this is what Thunberg’s father just told the BBC: “Greta Thunberg’s father has opened up about how activism helped his daughter out of depression … how activism had changed the outlook of the teenager, who suffered from depression for ‘three or four years’ before she began her school strike protest outside the Swedish parliament. She was now ‘very happy’, he said … ‘She stopped talking … she stopped going to school,’ he said of her illness.”

The post-Judeo-Christian world the Left has created has left a vast number of the West’s citizens, especially more and more young people, with no meaning. This Grand-Canyon-sized hole is filled by leftist causes.

The fact is life is better, safer and more affluent, and offers more opportunities for more people, than ever before in history. Just about all emotionally stable, mature people should be walking around the West almost delirious at their good fortune. Americans in particular should feel this way. But leftists (again, as opposed to many liberals) are not usually emotionally stable and are certainly not mature. That is why depression among young Americans (and perhaps Swedes) is at the highest levels ever recorded. So, like Greta, they look to left-wing causes to find meaning and emotional fulfillment. Until she embraced climate crisis activism — a chance, as she sees it, to literally save the world — Greta Thunberg was so depressed “she stopped talking.” But thanks to climate activism and other left-wing activism, she is now “very happy” (an assessment I suspect many observers find hard to believe).

Feminism and “fighting patriarchy” (in an age when American women have more opportunities than ever before and more opportunities than women almost anywhere else in the world), fighting racism (in the least racist multiracial society in history), fighting white supremacy (which has almost disappeared from American life) and fighting on behalf of myriad other leftist causes — in other words, fundamentally transforming society — gives meaning to people with no meaning.

None of that is morally or rationally coherent. But it is very emotionally satisfying. Just ask Greta Thunberg’s dad.


Denim’s toll on the planet has long been fashion’s guilty secret. Not anymore: How BLUE jeans went green

Whiskering. I always had my doubts about this term used to describe a denim distressing technique. For a start, it sounded more like a pet’s pampering treatment.

Secondly, I always found the results themselves pretty distressing on the style front. Those pale streaks, meant to recreate vintage wear and tear, always looked far too white. I spent vast sums on distressed boot-cuts in an effort to find the perfect, elegantly aged pair. But no matter which brand I tried, I would realise too late that I looked like a Britney Spears backing dancer from the Bad Bleached Denim years.

I would always find that the wretched whiskers seemed to splay almost purposefully across the parts to which I least wanted to draw attention.

But never mind my style credentials, what I didn’t know back then was the harm they were doing to the environment.

Now the scary truth is out: traditional denim production is one of the worst polluters in fashion.

Creating that aged look in denim involves repeated washing, water wastage, and toxic dyes. Conventional (as opposed to organic) cotton is a water-intensive crop, requiring roughly 50 litres to grow enough for a single pair of jeans, as well as the heavy use of pesticides.

The good news, however, is that denim brands — from Levi’s to supermarket fashion ranges such as F&F at Tesco — are finally getting with the green programme.

The industry is seeking out new, non-toxic dyes, cutting water waste, investing in technology to recycle the water used and — crucially — trying to switch to organic cotton.

Passionate eco-pioneer Stella McCartney is launching the world’s first fully biodegradable stretch jeans. Lee is also a step ahead with its biodegradable jacket, above, with removable buttons as they’re the only part that will not decompose.

Now, I’m off to try on a pair of mid-blue Frame flares. Not a whisker in sight . . .


As ‘flight shame’ movement grows, more airlines and travelers seek to offset carbon footprint

You don’t need to speak Swedish to understand the idea behind “flygskam.” Its English translation is flight shame, and a growing number of travelers are feeling that shame and rethinking their mode of vacation transportation. The belief is that reducing air travel will help fight global warming.

Spurred on by teenage activist Greta Thunberg, flight shame is an environmental movement that highlights the aviation industry’s growing carbon footprint, putting pressure on carriers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The “Greta effect” has stirred up a new sense of urgency over airlines and climate change. Thunberg brought attention to the issue when she took a racing yacht to a climate summit in New York to avoid flying.

One immediate sign of the Greta effect is fewer passengers at Swedish airports, where the movement was born in 2017. Earlier this month, Swedavia, which owns 10 airports in Sweden, announced that it had seen a 4 percent drop in the number of passengers last year. In 2019, there were around 40 million passengers flying to and from all Swedavia airports, down from 42 million in 2018. The biggest drop was seen in the Stockholm airport, with numbers down 8 percent.

The flight shame movement isn’t confined to Sweden. A survey of more than 6,000 people in the United States, Germany, France, and the UK by the Swiss Bank UBS found that 21 percent had reduced the number of flights they took over the past year out of concern for the environment.

“With the pace of the climate change debate, we think it is fair to assume that these trends are likely to continue in developed markets,” the UBS analysts said in the report.

In England, more than 100,000 people have pledged to be flight free in 2020.

The CEO of SAS, one of Scandinavia’s largest carriers, has attributed his airline’s declining passenger numbers to flight shame (along with a weak krona). In Germany, where passenger counts are also in decline, one political party said improving the rail system could help make domestic flights obsolete. It’s reached the point where the CEO of Dutch carrier KLM wrote an open letter asking passengers not to fly unless necessary.

“Over the past 10 years, it’s gone from a trend to a lifestyle,” said Adriana Lynch, chief marketing officer at Office Outsiders. Lynch works with brands in the hospitality industry. “Consumers are no longer saying that it’s cute to be socially responsible. They’re looking for alternatives. In 2020 it’s an actual movement.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were confronted with an overwhelming amount of flight shame and finger wagging after taking four private jet trips in 11 days. Soon after, the prince announced that he was launching an initiative called Travalyst, an effort to bring greater awareness to sustainability and travel. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now flying commercial carriers.

The erstwhile prince isn’t the only one trying to make travel more sustainable. Last week JetBlue announced that it will go carbon neutral this year, offsetting its estimated 15 billion to 17 billion pounds of CO2 — equivalent to more than 1.5 million automobiles — by funding programs such as reforestation, supporting wind and solar projects, and exploring the use of biofuels. It comes on the heels of similar programs from EasyJet and British Airways.

"Though none of the larger US airlines have yet matched JetBlue, I won’t be surprised if at least one decides to do so,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst.

Air travel accounts for about 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, a much smaller percentage than automobiles, but according to projections from researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, emissions from the sector could more than double by 2050, even if planes become substantially more fuel-efficient.

While airlines grapple with solutions, travelers now have ways to check on how they may or may not be contributing to the problem. One of the shame-iest websites is called Shame Plane. It offers an estimate of how much Arctic ice will melt based on your trip. (Bon voyage!) There are also slightly less shame-based carbon emissions calculators, such as the Carbon Foot Print Calculator. The International Civil Aviation Organization also has a helpful calculator.

If you’d like to shrink your footprint and diminish your flight shame, you can donate to organizations that work specifically to fund earth-friendly, carbon-offsetting programs. Cool Effect funds reforestation projects and nature preserves. Green-e specializes in renewable energy projects, and Gold Standard focuses on reforestation and renewable energy. There are hundreds of choices of projects you can fund through organizations.

Many major airlines work with similar organizations and give travelers the opportunity to offset carbon emissions by making donations based on the length of their flight. Those airlines include: Alaska Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, and Qantas.

This week, the travel app TripIt announced it was adding a feature that not only shows a flight’s carbon emissions, but provides practical ideas on how to offset them. Also this week, the airline and hotel booking app Hopper announced it will donate four trees for every flight booked and two trees for every hotel booked through its app in partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects.

The International Council on Clean Travel regularly ranks the most fuel-efficient airlines. Choosing a fuel-efficient airline is another way to help reduce emissions. In the United States, the most fuel-efficient airline in 2017 and 2018 was Frontier, followed by Spirit and Southwest. The least efficient was JetBlue, because it operates its planes with a lower load factor and fewer seats per plane. Fewer seats means fewer passengers. It’s akin to driving with fewer passengers in a car. The ICCT reported Frontier ranked high because it has a newer fleet and more direct flights than competitors. Internationally, Norwegian Air was the most fuel-efficient airline. British Airways was ranked worst.

One key difference between the flight shame movement in Europe versus the United States is that European travelers have many more rail options, both domestically and continentally. If a vacationer wants to travel from Switzerland to Germany or Italy to France, there are ways to do so that don’t require additional hours, or days. In the United States, large swaths of the country are not connected by rail, or if they are, routes are limited or simply impractical.

“In the US, if you’re going to tell someone not to fly on environmental grounds, you’re often telling them not to travel,” said Seth Kaplan, an author and airline analyst. “Oftentimes there isn’t a greener option, or an option that anyone is going to put up with in terms of travel time. But generally no greener option at all.”

The lack of options is frustrating to Eva Martinez of Quincy. She said she wants to do the right thing and reduce the number of flights she takes each year, but not at the expense of missing time with her family in New Mexico. She said she has friends in the same boat, or, in this case, plane. Giving up flying means less time with family, or fewer vacations outside the United States.

So while travelers are more focused on the environment, Harteveldt said he doesn’t see flight shame taking hold in the United States, especially as airfares continue to drop and more routes open.

Even in continental Europe, where the growth of air travel slowed in 2019, it’s impossible to clearly ascribe the change to flight shame. David Tarsh, managing director of Tarsh Consulting, which represents a number of companies within the travel industry, said reasons could run the gamut, from riots in Chile, to strife in Hong Kong, or terrorism in Sri Lanka.

“Even if [travelers] tell you the reason for not flying was flight shaming, it is possible that other factors were dominant,” Tarsh said. "For example: higher air fares, slightly inconvenient dates, or corporate cost cutting. One needs to investigate very carefully before being able to assert definitively that flight shaming is having a significant impact.”

There is one easy way to eliminate flight shame, and that’s to stay grounded, but keep in mind that long car trips, particularly solo trips in heavy traffic, will not help the environment. But if staying on land is not an option, an easy way to reduce your footprint is by flying economy instead of business or first class. According to a study from the World Bank, the emissions associated with flying in business class are about three times as great as flying in coach, because more passengers per plane means fewer flights.

At last, cramped economy passengers have something to be happy about: smaller carbon footprints.


Facts blurred in climate coverage

Sobriety and perspective were once two of the valued qualities of serious media who considered themselves above the exaggeration and inflammation — commonly referred to as beat-ups — that they view as the domain of the tabloid or shock media.

Climate change has flipped that around. Nowadays media that would assign themselves the “quality” label while rejecting the accurate “green-left” tag are all about hysteria and twisting facts. Let me start with CNN, whose reporter Will Ripley spent a week or so in Australia reporting mainly on bushfires and weather, including a climate protest.

“They (the protesters) say the planet is dying,” Ripley reported. “And Australia is right on the frontline of this climate crisis: you have the unprecedented bushfires, you have the Great Barrier Reef drying up because of the ozone levels in the atmosphere.”

Oh, dear. Fact-checking goes missing when pushing the alarmist perspective. Only sceptical views tend to be treated with any, well, scepticism, by most media.

The word “unprecedented” has been invoked time and again in order to pretend terrifying events, the likes of which have scarred this nation forever, were something brought newly upon us by climate change.

Early in the season NSW had more emergency level fires on one day than ever before (due to arson, natural events and weather conditions), and on two other days the Sydney area recorded its worst fire conditions, and it has been the worst bushfire season in that state. But it is wrong to claim this is the worst season by any measure for any other state or the nation as a whole.

We could fill pages with such hype. Given the essential facts have been so drastic it seems implausible that anyone would want to embellish the story — but the sensationalism has been, well, perhaps unprecedented.

US ABC news headed a story “Wildfire Apocalypse” and chief meteorologist Ginger Zee said “unprecedented” fires were “consuming” Australia.

Maps on US and UK media had flames all over our continent; we were ablaze coast to coast.

At the BBC, TV host Ros Atkins bought into the sensationalism and Twitter-level political debate full-on: quoting people like Lara (Bingle) Worthington on social media, describing us as the “hottest place in the world” (as, of course, we often are in summer) and showing pictures of Scott Morrison holding a lump of coal.

Atkins along with most journalists in Australia adopted the word “megablaze” or “megafire” to describe the main Blue Mountains fire. This is of a piece with the climate change-induced language tweaks to make weather events sound different to all that preceded them. Storms are now “storm events” and heatwaves “extreme heat events” and so it goes. (The concocted word “megafire” even passed my lips as I read a breaking news update scripted elsewhere and presented live on air.)

But worse than the beat-ups has been the politicisation. Green-left politicians and climate protesters, led by former NSW fire commissioner and global warming activist Greg Mullins, were sowing the seeds before the fire season even began and have used every blaze and even every death to push their policies.

The basis of their concern is not seriously disputed in public debate: that global warming will make bad fire conditions more common in many parts of Australia. But the thrust of their arguments, amplified by compliant media, is based on untruths: claims this fire season is our worst, accusations our government is not acting on climate, inferences our policies can alter global climate and, perhaps worst of all, implicit and false promises that climate policies can ameliorate the annual threat of bushfires.

To avoid sensible arguments about historical context, policy options and global impacts, the green-left media deliberately creates a false dichotomy.

They characterise the argument in Australia as one between climate change reality and climate change denial.

This jaundiced falsification is social media click-bait. On the BBC Atkins used some of my commentary to this end, running a clip of me saying the activists and politicians were using bushfires to advocate policies that “can and will do nothing ever to prevent horror bushfire conditions” in Australia.

Instead of making an argument against this incontestable statement — perhaps by trying to explain how Australia’s policies can change a climate that has produced bushfires for millennia — Atkins falsely insinuated I didn’t accept the science and gave us the intellectually lazy climate science versus denial and inaction case.

He then falsely suggested Australia was not involved in global efforts to lower emissions. This is the inane “white hats versus black hats” level at which media conduct this complex debate.

In another segment Atkins asked London-based Sydney Morning Herald journalist Latika Bourke whether it was “fair to say the very existence of climate change is still an active debate in Australia?”

“Yes,” replied Bourke, “it’s been a very ferocious debate in Australia for about the last decade.” She claimed this debate has split the two major parties; one side accepting science and backing emissions reduction, and the other arguing “climate change, if it is happening at all, is not the fault of human activity”.

This is a mischaracterisation of our political debate where the choice at the last election was between a Coalition promising to meet our Paris climate agreement targets of 26-28 per cent by 2030 and a Labor opposition promising to increase that target to 45 per cent. Neither the science nor the need for multilateral action are in dispute between our major parties, but rather the targets and methods of achieving them.

Bourke then went on to say there was no resolution to the debate, “except what we’re seeing this summer and that is a catastrophic weather event.” Atkins aired another interview with Bourke in which she said: “Australia’s well used to bushfires but this extremity, this intensity, this degree, Australia has not seen before.” Plain wrong.

She went on to say, perhaps second-guessing her own hyperbole: “And these are the worst in living memory.” But, again, this is just wrong. It is only 11 years since the fierce firestorms of Black Saturday in Victoria where hotter temperatures and stronger winds saw 173 lives and thousands of properties lost and, of course, anyone involved in 1983’s Ash Wednesday will not have forgotten those hellish conditions or their toll. If we study the historical reports we know maelstroms descended in 1967, 1939, 1851 and many other times in between.

It is unpleasant to do these comparisons between horrible events. But it is sadly necessary to counter a loose conspiracy of misinformation designed to convince everyone that we have created something new, something more horrible than anyone else has experienced before.

It is of a piece with official edicts by news organisations such as The Guardian to inflame climate coverage by talking of “crisis” and “emergency” instead of climate change. It smacks of fake news generated to pursue green- left political goals. And it is as much of a worry as the climate.


Reducing Fire, and Cutting Carbon Emissions, the Aboriginal Way

The article from the NYT below gives a good sense of Aboriginal burning practices but does not give enough emphasis to the fact that Aboriginal burning practices -- very frequent small fires -- would not be tolerated for a moment in most of Australia.  They would rightly be seen as dangerous.

The Aborigines described below can get away with it for two main reasons:

1).  They live in Kakadu national park, which is only very lightly populated -- so they have few neighbours to bother them with criticisms

2).  The NT has predicable monsoons, which enables safer detection of risky/non-risky times to burn.  Rainfall in the rest of Australia is much less predictable, if it is predictable at all. So choosing safe times to burn is very approximate.

Adequate burns can only be done safely in most of Australia if plans for burning cover many areas -- so that a burn can start somewhere as soon as there is a good day for it.  Burns have to exploit ALL good burning days

COOINDA, NT. — At a time when vast tracts of Australia are burning, Violet Lawson is never far from a match.

In the woodlands surrounding her home in the far north of the country, she lights hundreds of small fires a year — literally fighting fire with fire. These traditional Aboriginal practices, which reduce the undergrowth that can fuel bigger blazes, are attracting new attention as Australia endures disaster and confronts a fiery future.

Over the past decade, fire-prevention programs, mainly on Aboriginal lands in northern Australia, have cut destructive wildfires in half. While the efforts draw on ancient ways, they also have a thoroughly modern benefit: Organizations that practice defensive burning have earned $80 million under the country’s cap-and-trade system as they have reduced greenhouse-gas emissions from wildfires in the north by 40 percent.

These programs, which are generating important scientific data, are being held up as a model that could be adapted to save lives and homes in other regions of Australia, as well as fire-prone parts of the world as different as California and Botswana.

“Fire is our main tool,” Ms. Lawson said as she inspected a freshly burned patch where grasses had become ash but the trees around them were undamaged. “It’s part of protecting the land.”

The fire-prevention programs, which were first given government licenses in 2013, now cover an area three times the size of Portugal. Even as towns in the south burned in recent months and smoke haze blanketed Sydney and Melbourne, wildfires in northern Australia were much less severe.

“The Australian government is now starting to see the benefits of having Indigenous people look after their lands,” said Joe Morrison, one of the pioneers of the project. “Aboriginal people who have been through very difficult times are seeing their language, customs and traditional knowledge being reinvigorated and celebrated using Western science.”

In some ways, the Aboriginal methods resemble Western ones practiced around the world: One of the main goals is to reduce underbrush and other fuel that accelerates hot, damaging fires.

But the ancient approach tends to be more comprehensive. Indigenous people, using precisely timed, low-intensity fires, burn their properties the way a suburban homeowner might use a lawn mower.

Aboriginal practices have been so successful in part because of a greater cultural tolerance of fire and the smoke it generates. The country’s thinly populated north, where Aboriginal influence and traditions are much stronger than in the south, is not as hamstrung by political debates and residents’ concerns about the health effects of smoke.

The landscape and climate of northern Australia also make it more amenable to preventive burning. The wide open spaces, and the distinctive seasons — a hot dry season is followed by monsoon rains — make burning more predictable.

Yet despite these regional differences, those who have studied the Aboriginal techniques say they could be adapted in the more populated parts of the country.

“We most certainly should learn to burn Aboriginal-style,” said Bill Gammage, a professor at the Australian National University in Canberra. “Our firefighters have quite good skills in fighting fires. But for preventing them, they are well short of what Aboriginal people could do.”

Last week, Victor Cooper, a former forest ranger in northern Australia, lit a wad of shaggy bark to demonstrate the type of fire that burns at temperatures low enough to avoid damage to sensitive plants that are crucial food for animals.

The preventive fires, he said, should trickle, not rage. They must be timed according to air temperature, wind conditions and humidity, as well as the life cycles of plants. Northern Aboriginal traditions revolve around the monsoon, with land burned patch by patch as the wet season gives way to the dry.

“We don’t have a fear of fire,” said Mr. Cooper, who burns regularly around his stilt house nestled in woodlands. “We know the earlier we burn, the more protection we have.”

This year, he will become certified to join the carbon credits program. Money earned through that system has incentivized stewardship of the land and provided hundreds of jobs in Aboriginal communities, where unemployment rates are high. The funds have also financed the building of schools in underserved areas.

NASA satellite data is used to quantify the reduction in carbon emissions and do computer modeling to track fires. Modern technology also supplements the defensive burning itself: Helicopters drop thousands of incendiary devices the size of Ping-Pong balls over huge patches of territory at times of the year when the land is still damp and fires are unlikely to rage out of control.

Those taking part in the program say they are frustrated that other parts of the country have been reluctant to embrace the same types of preventive burning. The inaction is longstanding: A major federal inquiry after deadly fires more than a decade ago recommended wider adoption of Aboriginal methods.

“I have many friends in other parts of Australia who can’t get their heads around that fire is a useful tool, that not all fire is the same and that you can manage it,” said Andrew Edwards, a fire expert at Charles Darwin University in northern Australia. “It’s hard to get across to people that fire is not a bad thing.”

Nine years ago, Mr. Gammage published a book that changed the way many in Australia thought about the Australian countryside and how it has been managed since the arrival of Europeans in the late 18th century.

The book, “The Biggest Estate on Earth,” uses documents from the earliest settlers and explorers to show how the landscape had been systematically shaped by Aboriginal fire techniques.

Many forests were thinner than those that exist now and were more resistant to hot-burning fires. Early explorers described the landscape as a series of gardens, and they reported seeing near constant trails of smoke from small fires across the landscape.

As Europeans took control of the country, they banned burning. Jeremy Russell-Smith, a bushfire expert at Charles Darwin University, said this quashing of traditional fire techniques happened not only in Australia, but also in North and South America, Asia and Africa.

“The European mind-set was to be totally scared of fire,” Mr. Russell-Smith said.

As the fires rage in the south, Aboriginal people in northern Australia say they are deeply saddened at the loss of life — about 25 people have been killed and more than 2,000 homes destroyed. But they also express bewilderment that forests were allowed to grow to become so combustible.

Margaret Rawlinson, the daughter of Ms. Lawson, who does preventive burning on her property in the far north, remembers traveling a decade ago to the countryside south of Sydney and being alarmed at fields of long, desiccated grass.

“I was terrified,” Ms. Rawlinson said. “I couldn’t sleep. I said, ‘We need to go home. This place is going to go up, and it’s going to be a catastrophe.’”

The area that she visited, around the town of Nowra, has been a focal point for fires over the past few weeks.

The pioneering defensive burning programs in northern Australia came together in the 1980s and ’90s when Aboriginal groups moved back onto their native lands after having lived in settlements under the encouragement, or in some cases the order, of the government.

Depopulated for decades, the land had suffered. Huge fires were decimating species and damaging rock paintings.

“The land was out of control,” said Dean Yibarbuk, a park ranger whose Indigenous elders encouraged him to seek solutions.

The Aboriginal groups ultimately teamed up with scientists, the government of the Northern Territory and the Houston-based oil company ConocoPhillips, which was building a natural gas facility and was required to find a project that would offset its carbon emissions.

According to calculations by Mr. Edwards, wildfires in northern Australia burned 57 percent fewer acres last year than they did on average in the years from 2000 to 2010, the decade before the program started.

Mr. Yibarbuk, who is now chairman of Warddeken Land Management, one of the largest of the participating organizations, employs 150 Aboriginal rangers, part time and full time.

“We are very lucky in the north to be able to keep our traditional practices,” Mr. Yibarbuk said. “There’s a pride in going back to the country, managing it and making a difference.”



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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