It is often claimed that French presidential elections are decided by key agricultural constituencies (so explaining in part the state support for agricultural subsidies); likewise British parliamentary elections supposedly turn on the decisions of less than 8,000 voters.
The Guardian claims that the Australian elections will be first to hinge on perceptions over climate change and the impacts of John Howard’s legacy. But they do things differently in Australia. The Labour party leader, Kevin Rudd, says he will sign up to Kyoto, but backs the construction of a pulp mill in Tasmania, where timber harvesting methods are reported to be somewhat extreme:
On the road that runs past his farm, huge logging trucks already pass every few minutes, loaded with wood cut from the hills. The scene confronting visitors to the forests is almost apocalyptic. Trees are bulldozed or blown apart with explosives and the ground cleared by fires, started by napalm dropped from helicopters. Any native wildlife that survives is culled by sodium fluoroacetate poison, allowing regimented new saplings to grow – monoculture on an industrial scale.
No chance of carbon credits for avoided deforestation for Tasmania then.
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