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 The Peter Andrews Story

What it says about sound Conservation Culturesee the old site page on this subject ( set up in 2002)

 Summary             Best of all,  the program highlights the abhorrent lack of genuine commitment by government to making sure the talk is integrated and wholistic . The parts will not define the whole------YET  even NOW the ABC and our polys still run and fund first ---the myopic----the myopic first . This particular nonsense has got to stop and a better balance achieved before we can celebrate our progress again .  

Isn’t it great that so many Australians have twigged to what Peter Andrews and others of us have been saying about big picture conservation.


Things we already know  ( incomplete – any suggestions? ---- send us an  email)

·         That you don’t  always turn to universities for answers

·         ( who do you turn to ?------mythbusters at least for some things and some balance ! )

·         That too many media and  other outsiders treat rural people’s knowledge of less value than a piece of paper .

·         You must understand before you experiment .( otherwise you would go broke)

·         Half truths are plain dangerous !

·         That this hidden slur on rural people is often  a reason our leaders make mistakes;  going hunting for answers in places where there are just research budgets , inadequate experience , poor balance and inevitable cul de sacs

·         That the above slur and imbalance is totally irresponsible and unnecessary  ( sound practice should involve practice surgeons )

·         That there are serious environ challenges in our backyards and generations of Australians have been addressing them .

·         That it is unfair to say that just because we are European in origin we do not understand the land – we know have made mistakes  but understanding and improved practice HAVE made this a better country ( you want a list we’ll give you  one  if you ask ?)

·         It is not the job of the media or even polys to handpick  those who they think are acting unsustainably ( whose overweight here----by the way ?)


Things the public needs to know

·         Urgency is not the issue . Real competency and commitment ( living with systems ) to training  is

·         That the enemy is quick fix and its friends ,projection , nimbyism, guilt and false fear   ( probably more !)

·         That solutions are possible but only in a sustainable practice respecting time and working framework ( no t by listening to the marginal political noisemakers and half baked responses of many …………..  etc etc )

·         That its about time we celebrated the progress so far ,

·         That its about time  we stopped the careless cringeing  and targeting of our  neighbours.  

·         That we as a country can fix  the problems , if given enough time

·         That we as a country can help other countries . The tragedy of the reactionaries is that we have done little to help Africa and Asia

·         That other countries rural problems mirror our own , which means they are both fixable  ( but culture of quick fix must be sat upon across the board )

·         That much of the darkgreen movement is  about quick fix and builds on unhealthy elements of power and issue grabbing , projection and guilt in the cities *(* and therefore should not form part of the bipartisan agenda for mainstream action on envir )--- and yet it has )



Things that our leaders must change

·         Too much narrow  focus.

·         Too many CEO (Change Everything Often ) type managers

·         Too much paper and reflective kindergarten science and technology stuff

·         You  don’t need to fix environ problems by enshrining legislation closing down industries  

·         You must respect more the voice of experience and  train young people properly in BOTH science AND practice .

·         You need  to be more cautious about courtiers , with time to talk  

·         That govt  must understand  the danger for great injustice in ideologically driven political imperatives

·         That governments must respect the voice of experience in their own staff ( otherwise the taxpayers money on young Australians in rural health care  is wasted )

·         That  in the struggle for solutions,  it’s best to measure twice and cut once .

·         That  land managers are right to resist the innovative imperative when promoted by the ever growing new empires and quick fix agents clamoring for dollars to “try things out “  You must understand before you experiment – how basic is that!!!!

·         That our leaders/media  keep falling for the same quick fix nonsense

·         That our leaders must stop presuming , as the press and the preservationists declare” that we must act NOW to change everything”

·         That CEO is a dirty word in sustainability terms if it means Change Everything Often.  

·         That Victorian and Australians generally are making good progress on conservation --

·         That too much projection of city guilt on the managers of our environment  is dangerous  avoidable and counterproductive That


·         Australians need to take the lessons they have learnt    --- and be less willing to criticizing each other ( esp when its from the comfort of their own backyards )  Careless surgery kills  ( Project blue)



That government MUST  recognize that nearly all our conservation issues DON”T have to be solved in several years .




Things that experienced production ecologists know ( incl applied geomorph persons)



·         Urgency is not the issue . That we as a country do not need to rush in to fix most of the real challenges (Take a process view of soils , carbon .and geology and water etc )   

·         That much good has already been done in the last century in this country , on these very soils  – lessons have been learnt that make many farming systems  quite sustainable .

·         That its not just science and technology.  Its also ownership,  respect, knowledge , wisdom  and relationships that makes things work and stay sustainable !

·         That taking humans out of the picture is not only not an easy option , it assumes they can’t create new sustainable ecosystems .( wrong)

·         That there is not nearly enough proper training of  people to understand and apply sustainability and precautionary risk principles

·         That we as a country can fix  many of the remaining  problems if given enough time  as Australians are prepared to back solutions.  WOW!

·         That , because we have made progress , we as a country can help other countries understand and help fix their situation s




This note is incomplete . Please feel free to email us with relevant suggestions.  


For a wider discussion of the health  care implications -  see Alisiphobia – discuss or ask questions on cuttingedgecare













What is Sound Conservation Culture ?

  • Uses the Precautionary principle 2  Recognizes the high risk of short term gain and long term pain with those who rush in to solve complex problems.
  • Not impatient to change direction, but always willing to learn . Because the knowledge of cycles takes time and lots of study, CC can only afford to respect the voice of experience and extensive engagement.
  • Can predict the future and act to avoid damage . CC has some idea of what is coming in the future ( droughts and floods) and how to manage that future.
  • Its very efficient CC does what it does economically and efficiently and without the “constant injections”;
  • Stable because , if its working well , its cyclical . CC is neither a dependant culture, nor a visionless day to day wasteful one like the drug takers culture now so much more common in government circles . The advocates of such culture prefer to talk up the “innovative angle “as justification for their often careless and blind experimentation and modeling . see  risk of GPBI
  • Can be tested and observed . CC works effectively for very long periods with limited resources and without damaging those resources..


  • Is practiced on a daily basis by country people. Who then are their friends and critics? See CA 102 for qualifications
  • Whenever an activity has been carried out regularly and productively for decades and centuries. 
  • Like family, its custodians are those with training, commitment and experience.
  • Risk and orientated and confident . Its confidence about real threats is not common in politics where anticipation is not always evident and quick fix is the norm . Fractured experience of constant change outside stable ecosytems undermines confidence, rather than builds it .  

How   ( some questions)

  • Can we then trust farmers and other custodians to do the right thing ?

Of course not  see New Imperatives for government

·       How then does the community support CC? – Training students of environment and friends of custodians . The hardest jobs take consistent effort ,…… not consistent change

·       What form should CC take ?  Regional support,  not recipes .Use well known health care models. The diversity of ecosystems require a diversity of solutions.  Act local, then you can think global .All effective solutions build from effective practice and process at the local level .


Ditch disaster and danger, as decision making times

What communities need in the face of doom and gloom is the voice of objective reason. The big question is – is your government building that in regional areas or destroying it ?


Our Land     ©Ourland 2003 

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