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Social and political discourses surrounding climate change, water management and biosecurity

Unit 3 Outcome 2 Outdoor and Environmental Studies
by

Brendan Hodges

on 12 May 2017

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Transcript of Social and political discourses surrounding climate change, water management and biosecurity

What is it?
What action do our politicians take?
Should the argument even happen?
Climate Change
What is the discourse surrounding climate change?
Australian climate change discourse
Climate change sceptics vs Climate change believers
At times Australia has been an early adopter, establishing the world’s first government agency dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions; signing on to global climate treaties (Kyoto protocol ); establishing the world’s first emissions trading scheme (ETS) (albeit at a state level); and pioneering an innovative land-based carbon offset scheme.

$1.25
Thursday May 11th , 2017
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Definition:
Wait.. What is a Discourse?
What is it and why is it an issue?
Water management
"Verbal expression or action in speech or writing"

“A formal, lengthy discussion of a subject, either written or spoken.”

Put simply.. Discourse refers to anything discussed about a particular issue.

Socially
this can be seen today in many forms from general conversations through to blogs or tweets.


Politically
this can be seen through discussions within and between government organisations such as political parties, Parks Victoria and Department of Primary Industries.
Putting it simply it is the way Australians and Australian Government decide to manage our water supply

Social and Political Discourses
about biosecurity, climate change, water management and other environmental issues
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions.
Belief climate change is caused by human activity
Discourses:
CO2 causes temperature increases
Increased temperatures increases environmental impacts
Who?.. environmental groups, 98% of climate scientists, some political parties.
Perceptions:
Environment as a finite resource
Environment needs to be looked after
We need to preserve the environment for future resource use

Interactions:
Reduce fossile fuel use
Desire to increase renewable energy
Improve building techniques
Protection of forests to absorb co2
Alternative energy use due to economic responses such as carbon taxation and emissions trading

Impacts
Increased natural habitat and biodiversity
Less co2 pollution
Decreased coal- powered energy production through efficient housing
Climate change is not real or is simply a natural occurrence..
Discourses:
Human activities are not responsible for climate change
CO2 temperature changes are natural
Science is flawed
Nothing can be done even if we do cause it
Who?... 2% of climate change scientists, energy producing companies, some political parties
Perception:
Environment as a resource to be used for production of energy for human activities irregardless of associated co2 emissions
Interactions
Fossil fuels continued to be used as an energy
No need to alter current human interactions as there is no link between emissions and impacts
Impacts
Biodiversity lost
Increased sea levels
Coastal erosion
Drought
Severe weather events
Decreased snow cover
And at other times they have disbanded the climate change government agency; Creating a new one then disbanding that; Refused to ratify global treaties until the dying minute and introduced legislation to repeal the national Emissions Trading Scheme and Carbon tax.

It becomes an issue when multiple people and organisations want the same water supply or we are having water shortages, such as in times of drought often caused by El nino weather periods.
What are the viewpoints?

First read Pg224-227 and complete associated learning activity on page 227
Discourse on biosecurity
How is our water being controlled?
The Australian and Victorian Government decides how our water is managed, largely through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). Through this they have developed the Victorian Water Management strategy, which provides policy and framework aimed at improving the condition and function of Victorian waterways.
What is the discourse surrounding water management?
Read pages 220 - 223 to see what options they have chosen, completing the learning activity on page 220
Environmental perspective
Perception
Ocean and inland waterways as a place with intrinsic worth that should be maintained
Environment not as a limitless resource
Nature should be protected from human activities if possible
Interactions
Campaign against desalination plant
Capture, recycle, save water wherever possible
Water saving initiatives such as
Water efficient appliances
Promotion of water saving behaviours - target 155
Water capture - tanks
Water recycle - grey water usage
Impacts
Improve water storage levels
Maintain biodiversity of marine and coastal environments
Help reduce CO2 emissions through no desalination plant
Commercial discourses / perspective
Who?.. Industries requiring consistent water consumption.
Perception
Oceans and inland waterways are a limitless resource
Water should service humans industry and humans before the environment should be considered.
Interactions
Desire for desalination plant construction and use (has now occurred)
Continued high water consumption practices eg...
Not changing to low-flow shower heads
Not installing water tanks
Demand for continued irrigation allowances even when in drought
Impacts
Increase energy usage / CO2 emissions due to desalination plant
Unknown impacts on marine and coastal environment due to altered salt concentrations and industrial pollutants from desalination plant
Pressure on/deterioration of river ecosystems due to unnaturally low water levels (eg. Murray river mouth closing)
Biosecurity
What is it and where is it seen?
Biosecurity is a set of preventative measures designed to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, quarantined pests, invasive alien species and living modified organisms.
One element of Australia's biosecurity is seen through customs and quarantine
Your research and report task
Choose one of the following discourse areas:
Climate change's effect on the Grampians
Water management in the Murray-darling basin
Biosecurity in Victorian National Parks

Through completing further research, your job is to create a
Presentation
and
Report
detailing this discussion and its effect on contemporary relationships, focusing on:
Australian political opinions, standpoints and action on the issue (including the supporting arguments for both sides)
Public’s opinions, standpoints and action
The effect discourse from both sides of this argument is having on our relationships with this particular environment
This needs to be a comprehensive presentation and an accompanying 250 word report.

Who?.. Biosecurity (Aus govt.) & Victorian primary industries
Perception
Efforts need to be made to secure food and other natural resources for future generations
Who?.. Individuals
Perception
People have the right to interact with the environment without unnecessary restriction
Interactions
Primary industry
Clean and sustainable practices
Environment as a highly valuable resource that needs protecting
Impacts
Improves and sustains environmental quality
Maintains environment and biodiversity
Enables sustainable industries
Interactions
Unrestricted recreational endeavours - fishing, diving, bushwalking, camping etc.
Impacts
If biosecurity measures are not followed
Large spread of invasive species and disease
If measures are followed
Sustainable, low impact interactions
Bio-security issues in the Grampians
Grampians to Grassland Fox Control Program 2015-2016

Panyyabyr Landcare Group, will undertake this project with the sponsorship of Farm Tree and Landcare Association Inc. This project will implement a program of feral animal eradication on 25,000 hectares of private land in the Grampians in Victoria. Specifically, the project will implement a program of baiting foxes to reduce predation of native fauna and to improve protection of biological diversity in the region. Local Landcare groups, VIC Government (Parks VIC) and local landowners will be engaged in this coordinated effort to control the fox populations in the Grampians National Park.

Protecting the wine industry...

The main activities here are the development of region specific biosecurity protocols to reduce the risks of introduction of new pest and disease threats, and improvements to the signs marking the borders of phylloxera exclusion zones and phylloxera infested zones.
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