In his new book Collapse Jared Diamond contends that the Australian environment is generally unproductive and has been irreversibly damaged by European farming, forestry and fisheries practices. Diamond reflects a popular view that is continually reinforced by environmental campaigning in Australia. The reality is more complex. Many Australian farms are amongst the most productive and sustainable in the world and in some situations have successfully broken natural cycles of low fertility. There are many examples where in the past there has been over-exploitation resulting in environmental damage. However government policies now tend to favor conservation over industry. Many once productive forests and fisheries are now closed to harvesting. These areas have become part of Australia's increasing reserve systems. By ignoring the evidence of ecological renewal and suggesting there is everywhere an environmental crisis, Diamond spreads misinformation and makes it difficult to identify the remaining real environmental issues that do need to be addressed.
Energy & Environment – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2005
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