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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Destroy the unbeliever! Kill the heretic!

Modern Greenism is a funny thing. In some ways it's like many other industries - it has products to sell and needs to create a market for them, it's ruthlessly protective, chock full of vested interests and it lobbies both governments and media all over the world to ensure that it gets lots of promotion and regulatory, ah, environments that suit it, which is why I often refer to it as Big Eco. Yet it's also like religion in that they've got people performing the prescribed rituals even when there's a self evident and needless risk of setting the cat on fire, they've persuaded courts that religious discrimination laws apply to them, and that they really, really, really hate infidels er... heretics er... unbelievers er... sceptics. Seriously, you only have to look at the reaction to Lomborg's 'return' to the fold and the whole more-joy-in-heaven-over-one-sinner-who-repenteth-y tone to it, even though the guy really wasn't saying anything very different from what he'd said before, and how the warmist zealots treated him when they thought he was an AGW apostate.

Nor do you even have to write a book saying it might not be as bad as all that and that anyway it'd be cheaper simply to adapt to any warming to attract the green wrath. Oh, no. Just saying you're not a believer can get your life ruined, as explained by Anthony Watts (update here).
I need your help, because they need your help. Please read this whole story and consider if you can help. WUWT readers may recall this story: Death of a Feedlot Operator …in which the anal-retentive government of West Australia has “licensed” a family farm out of operation due to some shonky science and arbitrary application of the “sniff test”. Yes that’s right, cattle farms smell, so do pig farms, as does any farm.
Even windfarms once you take into account the niff from the chunks of dead birds dropping from the sky. But this shouldn't be a problem in a country in which agriculture is still such a huge part of life and the economy that Aussie farmers are supplying beef to McDonalds not just domestically but even in the US. Just considering livestock alone and ignoring crops and wines the agriculture industry earns nearly a billion dollars from exports, about two thirds from beef. So it seems a little odd that the WA government would, as Anthony Watts claims, regulate out of business a cattle farming family - Rotarians, incidentally - who've invested in environmental standards by planting trees, using a worm farm to break down waste and have invested in odour reduction system precisely to address the concerns that people living nearby would have (though for my money living in rural Oz and complaining about farms is like moving to the end of the Heathrow runway and whinging about the noise). What could possibly be... it’s reason to shut one out due to baseless complaints from the local greens. And, it all started when Matt Thompson started doubting global warming and talking about it publicly.
Ah, yes. That'd do it.

Click to embiggerse
It goes without saying that my position on telling people what they can do with their own land, land that they occupy legally, is the typical libertarian one of non-interference unless you can actually show that someone else is losing out, and as I mentioned above not living with a farm-y smell in an area that is so heavily agricultural should not come anywhere near qualifying. However, Australia's track record on this is not something it should be proud of, especially since it so often seems to be in the name of that which is Holy and Green. The Thompsons are joining reluctant company such as Peter Spencer, a farmer driven to go on hunger strike to protest a ban preventing him from clearing his property of vegetation so that the land can count towards Australia's carbon sinks, incidentally rendering him effectively unable to farm on his own farm and making his land virtually worthless. A billion dollars of exports and they're simply not important enough for the the government to care about, and indeed, judging from Jo Nova via WUWT, the Thompsons weren't even on the radar at one point (my emphasis).
The Thompsons waited a full year to get Works Approval for a 15,000 head feedlot. After they had already committed the capital, the rules kept shifting. They discovered they’d need ongoing licenses as well. After several years of ramping up the capacity on these licenses, things changed. Matt spoke out as a skeptic. About that time, the renewals were delayed, then the numbers were cut in half, and new conditions were added that were impossible to meet. To feed and supply water for thousands of cattle the Thompsons had to sign agreements in advance to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of goods they could not use, but had no way of knowing that at the time. When they appealed, it took 18 months to get “vindicated” but by then there was only six months left on the “two year” license. Not enough to set up all the contracts and run a business. The new sub-clauses meant that even licenses for a qualified “10,000″ head had vague untestable conditions: the license you have when you don’t have a license.
The usual bureaucratic goalpost shifting up to a point and then suddenly, no doubt completely by coincidence, delays and restrictions and more delays that basically destroyed the farm as a business despite the Thompsons 'winning'.

It's a fucking strange kind of win that can really only be celebrated by the other side, and that's the situation now because the business is screwed and the Thompson family have just days to get out before the NAB bank, who had once promised not to act till the end of the year, repossess the property. This, by the way, is the same NAB bank who are currently running this advert about how wonderful they are towards small business. As such an appeal is running to help the Thompsons, and if you can spare a few quid I'd highly recommend you pop along either to WUWT or Jo Nova, read the whole thing and click on the Paypal Donate button on your way out. If not then please at least repost it, Twatterise it or do whatever you can do with Facebook about it. If you're in Australia you could write to the WA Premier and relevant minsters as suggested on WUWT (see 'Update 3' down the page), and if you bank with NAB you might think about moving banks and writing a letter to explain why.

And if you ever decide to visit West Australia, which is a beautiful part of the country, do remember to take a clothes peg with you on the off chance you might be in the area where the Thompson' farm is and hopefully still will be. It probably won't smell much even if by some miracle they're still farming there, but on the off chance that you find a greenie whining about the cow farts hurting the sky you can do everyone a favour and use it to peg his lips together.

H/T Obo. I was very late to this having been a little too busy to catch up on who on the blogroll has written what lately, and only a shirt while ago happened to notice Obo's appeal to Oz based folks to spread the word about it.

* 'Predictions' have mostly been long since downgraded to 'projections' and then 'scenarios'. I was under the impression that theories with a real claim to be scientific are normally not shy of making predictions. It's what they're fucking for. As with so many things this does not apply to warble gloaming theories, partly because it's half religion and half Big Eco business and partly because they seem to prefer any actual predictions they make to be untestable by anyone not prepared to wait around for a hundred years or so.
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