Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Supercharged soil arrives down south on Sunday

No one likes to see the soil blow, especially when its grain producers in the middle of a very long drought. However their loss ( if it is theirs?), is a good gain for us . The heavy dusting on sunday night last was about 20kg /ha of good fertilizer for us; Not of course enough to greatly modify the pH here ( farmers would use more like 100 times that)
The dust contains significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulphates and carbonates, giving the material a pH of 8 – just what our southern acid soils need. The cycling of these various fertilizer compounds back to the topsoils of southern Victoria is a positive net gain thing, as the elements are easily leached out of our higher-rainfall soils.

The wide-spread and even distribution of eroded surface materials appears to only occur occasionally when the turbulent edge of frontal systems manages to transfer these flat, highly charged fine pieces high into the upper atmosphere.
Just where the dust came from may be revealed when Met bureau do a false colour analysis of the satellite imagery.(Here's hoping they do)
The source is most likely to be the mallee grain growing areas as the soil pH, colour and clay content indicate parilla type clays. These clays have been moving about for eons and this last trip south is, overall, a bigger plus for us and the southern ocean ( where the iron stimulates plankton production) than it is a loss for up north .
There are large areas of some similiar soil types in the dry centre and if there is another mechanism by which these highly charged particles get up there ( the sucking effect) and spread there (the superspreading effect everybody , it seems got about the same amount- amazing )it would be nice to know - esp for farmers currently implicated . Understanding dusts clear earth cooling effects ( climate changes)is another reason to better understand what actually happens here.

After all, these naturally highly charged particles haven't got the same attention as water and lightning has, (Apparently geologists have observed large discharges created by ash in active volcanoes-- so there you go !)
Saharan studies , for example, too , have shown that the transfer of particles to very high altitudes can occur with quite heavy silicate loads.( the physics of which it would be good to hear about! see posting on yahoo here)
We wait and see - great to have all those satellites, and all that data eh!
Maybe we can and will look after the earth better? - now that we have a more objective long term view - we don't have any excuse eh!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The suck it and see approach

(Stateline ABC) stands on ground that hasn't grown anything for ten years.

The oxidation and soil desequestration is well advanced so even bacteria, seeds and spores get their coats ripped off before they get started.

Why does it take a visit of the ABC to get our planning authorities to properly discuss real threats on the ground ? Do they have to damage the environment before they know anything about damaging the environment? Are there no professional earth planners who can speak up in time to prevent damage to sensitive ecosystems?
Ten years , many animals and 2 major wildfires - its been along time for some sensitivity to kick in .
Barwon Water claims it is not responsible, claiming they relied on expensive advice from the SRW and the CCMA ?

The great challenge for those who claim to govern us is to genuinely and effectively look after the wider interests of the local community and environment .
How long before the CCMA's valuable economic impetus into Colac is transferred to Geelong where " it will be more accountable???"

What in the world is the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority doing? - they spend big on maps to show us where the problems are without showing us where the problems are!

Politicians and USDA federal fabians take note.
Poorly prescribed research ( stuff that is NOT PROPERLY LOCALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY ACCOUNTABLE ) in Regional areas will be very detrimental for regional areas responsibility long term - look at the centralisation already happening to DPI and the greater risk of that - the country too is in uproar over conservation rhetoric that solves nothing but often shifts one problem to another area( cf REALITY and cuttingedge conservation)

Secondrate development - par for the current course

"Secondrate development all around us " Its quite a claim to make , I know, but one I didn't do lightly - in my letters to the papers. Quality, after all, is the basic test of good planning. This doesn't mean that some development isn't first class, but that the system is, after decades of working better, stumbling around, printing paper and losing the plot . We're paying heavily to get the job half done, because no fear , no favor footprint assessmentrs are being done.

And I'm not going to identify all the secondrate projects I know of in the district. That would be too easy for the powerbrokers to pass charges over and thereby paste over the deeper cracks that cause the evidence around us . The point is - people in power too have lost the plot on professional planning and the last thing the public need is some powerful institutions to paste over the cracks--- and put out more of the unprofessional pedantry and pennypinching nonsense ( nice sounding words that appear to be so important ) they are so often good at .

This blog like so many, is about people power and professional power. Blogging is for those who seem to lose it to those in power who generate evil in the name of the best intention . The point of good politics and professional work is not to point out problems ( lots of us can do that) but to ....prevent them . maybe even fix them long term .

How many wonderful professional people in the public service have lost their jobs in the last decades in the land of "she'll be right" by trying to do what's right - they did their jobs very well nurses, teachers just to name a few --just trying to do their jobs . Pushed out of ,or pushed over in the rush to paint over the past or play ' we will try something new and better " games .
Dedicated today to just one more casualty we know of today - To Madam : well done for sticking at the coalface for so long and with such little credit for a job well done !


How would you like to find your half finished house project cancelled forever because you weren't told you were building on a landslide ( click here) , How would you like it if your Shire told you it was reducing its commitment to "the arts precinct" so its offices could grow .( click here)
How would you like to have be told ( developing one of the SW biggest economic projects in the SW in recent decades) that , having finished your 500 page environmental risk assesment report , you are going to have to write a whole new report because you ar going to have to shift major parts due to active landslides under it. Sound planning - we don't think !More elsewhere