Indigenous Australians minimised firestorms for 60,000 years by scientifically burning a patchwork of different areas before any major drought developed, resulting in a mosaic of vegetation with many different uses and different fuel loads. (tinyurl.com/tradfire)
Then, in the south-east of Australia 200 years ago, English invaders drove the original settlers off their land and farmed it monoculturally, not realising that its soil and climate were quite different from Europe. Consequently the farmers have suffered endless cycles of flood, drought and firestorm.
The English tried to farm sheep and wheat, just as they did in England, where there was regular rainfall. However, most of the rain in the south-east of Australia comes from evaporation of seawater south of Indonesia. The rain's regularity is affected by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), similar to our El Nino/La Nina.
In some years the surface water near Indonesia is warmer than near East Africa, causing floods in the south-east of Australia, as happened in 2016. However, over the past three years it has been warmer near East Africa, drawing the Indonesian winds in that direction, and south-east Australia has suffered three years of drought. (tinyurl.com/ozfireflood)
The Northern Territory has no disastrous large-scale firestorms because the indigenous mosaic burnoff system is still used there. In stark contrast, a no-burnoff policy was introduced in the south-east and there have been calamitous large-scale fires there ever since.
Organisations with highly paid executives spending hundred of millions of dollars on high-tech equipment have evolved to unsuccessfully control these megafires. Bush fire researcher Dr Christine Findlay has repeatedly called for these organisations to reintroduce the cheap and effective indigenous burnoff system in the southern states.
This, however, would greatly reduce work opportunities for the lucrative firefighting industry, and her recommendations have been ignored. (tinyurl.com/fireloads)
Dozens of people and millions of animals are now being burned to death, with thousands of homes, farms and businesses destroyed, while the CSIRO has warned that global warming will make the IOD flood/drought/fire phases three times as extreme. (tinyurl.com/3xfireflood)
After witnessing the wanton destruction and removal of the magnificent palm and oak trees on the eastern side of the Sarjeant Gallery, I'm thankful I did not contribute to its restoration and strengthening fund.
Let's be clear about End of Life Choice criteria
While in favour of this work, I'm appalled and disgusted that, in these times of climate change, some idiotic bureaucrats have decided that another cafe is deemed more important as an add-on than the aesthetic and scientific contribution these trees provided for our local environment.
As if there are not enough outlets for coffee drinkers in this city already.
Racism was a big part of the colonisation of Aotearoa, and they recorded it all for those who doubt this fact.
They saw these islands as ripe for settlement by a superior people. And a resident servant class.
So a treaty was carefully crafted and signed, in some cases on behalf of those not present.
That document was ridiculed by some on the grounds that the natives, through their savagery and ignorance, were incapable of understanding and abiding by it. And could not be regarded as being equal in any way to the colonials.
So, within a very short period, that treaty was being misinterpreted and dismantled to the advantage of the settler government. To cut a long story short, that colonial government, made up entirely of immigrants, decided "the detribalisation of the Māori" was essential — for their own good, of course.
And to take away their lands would be an essential part of that policy.
About 100 years later, I got to read a book called 'The White Man's Burden', which made me quite grumpy. And 'Robinson Crusoe', which made me even angrier.
All of the above and a hell of a lot more is evidence that Aotearoa /New Zealand is a racist country and that that there is still no justice for Māori. All the lands of all the Taranaki tribes were unjustly confiscated or stolen. In spite of settlements, they remain so. White supremacy still dominates the hearts and minds of many New Zealanders.
•Send your letters to: Letters, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org