Possum on the Barbie?

by Viv Forbes, Australia.

Greens want to replace ancient grasslands and modern croplands with trees. They worship eucalypt weeds while chipping away at the growing space for priceless plants like Mitchell grass, saltbush, mulga, buffel grass, lucerne, wheat, barley, oats and macadamia.

To meet futile Kyoto and Paris climate targets, we are nibbling away grasslands, pastures, orchards and paddocks which feed cattle, sheep, people and kangaroos. In return we get green-sponsored carbon forests, scrub and woody weeds which harbour wild dogs, wild pigs, wild cats, possums, wait-a-while, rubber vine and lantana.

In this bilious-green world, when steak is a rationed treat, shall we chuck another possum on the barbie?

barbie cartoon

2 thoughts on “Possum on the Barbie?”

  1. Maybe we need to publicise ‘Dark Emu’ by Bruce Pascoe. His book is devoted to Aboriginal agriculture. One comment is ‘good land was grass or crop land, poorer land was where trees were allowed to grow. All management was via fire. Much grass seed was harvested and stored, many Aboriginal groups lived in permanent settlements, with fish traps, dams and irrigation eg the Bush Tomato will only grow with human help. The book is most interesting.

    Using goats a 4000 acre paddock was turned from mulga to mitchell grass downs in a few years. The mulga was rolled and then the goats did the work.

    1. The claims of Bruce Pascoe in ‘Dark Emu’, have been largely discredited by anthropologist, Peter Sutton and archaeologist, Keryn Walshe in their book ‘Farmers or Hunter Gatherers?’. They would see the notion of permanent settlements, with dams and extensive irrigation as unfounded.
      The fish traps were real but were only used for hunting and gathering. Today, Bush Tomatoes can be found in many outback areas growing well and self propagating without human intervention.
      Pascoe could be seen in a poor light by the greens, as, he suggested that tree growth could be reduced by ‘firestick farming’, which could promote invasion of grasses, like Panicum decompositum or native millet.
      This grass, grows over several millions of sq. km., in central, eastern and northern Australia, with Aborigines harvesting a minuscule fraction of the seed from it. Hence, deliberately trying to promote its growth, would have been utterly pointless. By way of comparison, only around 0.3 million sq.km.
      is cultivated by Australian farmers today, much of it under grain.
      ‘Firestick farming’, was used to hunt game, while lightning strikes exerted the ultimate control on burning in Australia and still does so today.
      Green sponsored carbon forests restrict agricultural food production and the constant efforts of companies, miners, banks, funds and other enterprises to obtain carbon credits, or promote themselves by displaying their green credentials, operates to increase the cost of food and the cost of doing business in general.

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