Not enough Murray-Darling to go around

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 16 2010, 9:00 am

(This item is my contribution to Blog Action Day 2010, whose topic this year is "Water".)

Australia is being confronted with a national dilemma which has a major impact on its society and the environment, and it will take a huge amount of wisdom, courage, co-operation and, yes, pain to reach a stable outcome.

Eleven years of good government: Part I

Submitted by Rick Eyre on October 2 2007, 10:40 am

Australia criticised over Solomons role

Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare has criticised the Australian-led RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands), accusing the mission of representing too much of Canberra's interests and of failing to focus on its mandate to restore law and order in the South Pacific nation. More from Associated Press in Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald.

A thousand wells for Darfur

Submitted by Rick Eyre on July 20 2007, 2:14 pm

It may be a tad simplistic to describe the conflict in Darfur as "the world's first climate-change war", but the following press release from Boston University on July 11 gives hope of a science-driven resolution to probably the world's worst humanitarian crisis of the present day:

'1,000 Wells for Darfur' initiative launched

Namibia leads the way in water harvesting, John Howard calls in the Scouts

Submitted by Rick Eyre on May 5 2007, 8:13 pm

A short item on the ABC Rural News yesterday grabbed my attention, about a Namibian scientist talking to locals in far west New South Wales about harvesting water from fog.

There's more on the Fog Collection Project at the Gobabeb Training and Research Centre website, and on the Canadian website fogquest.org.

States rights

Submitted by Rick Eyre on April 27 2007, 6:12 am

I have always been a vigorous supporter of the national interest taking precedence over states' rights in this country. The Australian Constitution, while in many ways robust and successful, was also a document of compromise, with the six states ceding specific areas of responsibility to the Commonwealth, and retaining everything else.

Water! Water!

Submitted by Rick Eyre on April 21 2007, 2:38 pm

"...if it doesn't rain in sufficient volume over the next six to eight weeks, there will be no water allocations for irrigation purposes in the [Murray-Darling] Basin."

- John Winston Howard, press conference, 19.4.07

It would be easy to see this as another example of the PM playing politics and thus response with the line Howard to Farmers: Drop Dead. But it's a problem much more genuine and more serious than that.

A shameful week in Australian politics

Submitted by Rick Eyre on February 10 2007, 10:17 am

KEVIN RUDD: Does the Prime Minister recall his industry minister saying just six months ago: "I am a sceptic of the connection between emissions and climate change"? Does the Prime Minister support this statement?

Mr HOWARD: It is not only remarks made by people in this parliament. There is a farmer I know who is sceptical about that connection as well! But we can debate. Let me say to the Leader of the Opposition that the jury is still out on the degree of connection.