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Deforestation and degradation since European settlement

VICTORIA

According to the Victorian Government, ∼66% of the state’s native vegetation has been cleared since European colonization (Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment 2011), leaving 34% of the state’s land area covered by native forests (7 837 000 ha; Fig. 5) (Australian Bureau of Rural Sciences 2010). According to Lindenmayer (2007), this makes Victoria the most heavily cleared state in the country. Most of the clearance occurred prior to the 1890s as the wheat and livestock industries expanded with European colonization; thereafter, clearance continued at a relatively stable rate of ∼1% per year until 1987 when stringent anti-clearing legislation was introduced (Lindenmayer 2007). However, even from 1995 to 2005, proportional clearance rates remained high and even increased in the latter part of that decade to become the highest among all states and territories in 2005 (Fig. 4).

via Little left to lose: deforestation and forest degradation in Australia since European colonization.

If the U.S. breaches its debt ceiling this week, bringing with it the global financial panic economists predict, leaders of a little-known far-right movement called Christian Reconstructionism can claim partial responsibility. Their goal: to eradicate the U.S. government so that a theocratic Christian nation emerges to enforce biblical laws.

That\’s right — laws out of the Book of Leviticus prohibiting adultery, homosexuality, and abortion, with penalties including death by stoning.

The key leader of this movement is Gary North, founder of the Institute for Christian Economics in Tyler, Texas. He\’s a long-time associate of Ron Paul, intellectual godfather of the Tea Party movement — the very people responsible for Congressional deadlock over the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate.

via The Far-Right Christian Movement Driving the Debt Default | Deborah Caldwell.

Consumers and public policy analysts concerned with the information differential (governments, marketers and other businesses know a lot about us, we know little about them) may more broadly ask questions about government secrecy.

It is ironic that several government bodies, including the OAIC, are resisting access under freedom of information law to documents about the development of privacy policy.

via The Australian public cares about privacy: do politicians?.