Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times:
Feed the world or save the swamps?
The carbon tax must have done the trick. It has been considerably colder here in Queensland lately. In fact, Queensland has had its coolest maximum December daytime temperature, 13 degrees at Applethorpe, near Stanthorpe.
For many of the eastern states of Australia it is the coldest start to summer in decades. People have had to deal with the anomaly of turning on their heaters in summer. If instead of being cold it was hot, we would have these banshees screeching about global warming, imminent instantaneous human combustion, prior to catastrophic inundation from rising sea levels.
It would appear that we have proved that it merely takes the power of thought to cool the climate. The nation chanting ”Om”. It is the enlightened spirit working in conjunction with the passage of a new broad-based consumption tax collecting from the power point in your house. The alignment of these temporal and fiscal stars in this new age global astrology has delivered, quod erat demonstrandum, cold weather.
Many of the crops in eastern Australia are now being downgraded, not so much by global warming seawater, but by ”send it down, Hughie!” rainwater. I know this is slightly incongruous to the proclamations that it would never rain again and the place would be a desert.
It appears that the La Nina weather pattern has not been reading Professor Tim Flannery’s previous dire predictions that it is not going to rain any more unless we put up the price of power with a carbon tax.
We are now also currently investigating ways to put up the price of food. We are going to do this by reducing the amount of water available for irrigation needed to grow the food. In some areas, the requirements of frogs and swamps are superior to the needs of keeping the shopping trolley full of groceries within the affordability matrix of Australians to pay for them.
I was talking to tomato growers in southern NSW, and read and weep as you digest this; they get paid 11c a kilogram for the tomatoes they grow. I presume you may pay slightly more than that at your local supermarket, because of the power of over-excessive centralisation in the retail market.
In our national wisdom, however, we have decided that it is a lesser good to grow our own food in the Murray-Darling Basin and the righteous thing to do is to close down farming and import the food. The Greens literally want to close the whole show down. ”Green” is obviously not an abbreviation of ”green vegetables”.
The choice the Coalition has is to either to say no, or to try and catch and saddle this horse called ”Labor Incompetence” and get the Murray-Darling Basin Plan to a position where it does the least amount of damage to the economic and social fabric of the 2.1 million people who live in the basin.
I also have this naive, old-fashioned belief that an area of our nation which is responsible for 40per cent of our agricultural production, including the majority of fruit and vegetables, should be protected to do the job we have assigned to it, that is feeding us.
For many generations, the people in the towns such as Griffith, Deniliquin, Kyabram and Mildura, have done what the nation has asked them to do; ventured out into the countryside and gone without as they scratch a living from the dirt. These people brought up a family, built their community, fed their state, fed their nation and exported to the world. The rice production around Deniliquin, so I have been told, has the capacity to feed 30million people a day.
It is quite a noble thing to contribute to the global food task to stop children from starving. We must expand our moral horizon and realise that the trade off between environmental desires and a lesser standard of living is also a matter of life and death for those we have never met living on the edge of starvation in Southern Sudan, Uganda or the Thai-Burma border.
It really does become a trade-off between happiness for frogs and trees or the most noble of tasks, providing the sustenance for the human condition.