Friday, October 13, 2006

Not another Rum Jungle?

NT politics are a funny beast. Given the tiny population and the kind of money you can dig out of the ground up there, the fact that a Labor Chief Minister endorses a mine is no guarantee that the best possible science is being applied in a precautionary manner:

We have rigorously followed due process to ensure that economic gains are coupled with environmental integrity and community benefit.

Which means what, exactly?

Weasel words, when you try to reconcile the literal meaning of environmental integrity with the fact that, to Mr Lefty's ranting chagrin a few days back, they literally intend to dig a very, very large ditch and divert the McArthur river.

'The environmental damage will be outweighed by the economic gains' would be a more honest way of expressing the same proposition.

Time will tell whether she's right or whether this becomes another Rum Jungle. There's a major calamity they haven't included in Bishop's draft Australian History textbook, I'll bet.

1 comment:

Don Quixote said...

I've never really understood how economic gain can be weighed against environmental damage. How does one make such a calculation? It seems to be a rather subjective judgment. And surely as each new location is exploited the pressure raises on the next pristine space to come up negative in a formula with no specific parameters.