I object to Ben Oquist’s description of me as an anti-environmentalist as published by Crikey yesterday. I have always been interested in the environment – how it can be farmed and harvested for food and also how wildlife and wilderness areas can best be protected. I am often at odd with established environmental organizations as they take a romantic view of the nature world while I prefer science and evidence.

For example, Oquist states that I believe the health of the Murray River is not in decline. What I have shown is that since salt interception schemes were put in place 20 years ago, salt levels have halved. That’s good news.

Oquist says I have claimed that threats to the Great Barrrier Reef are exaggerated, well they are. Global warming won’t kill the Reef, corals love warm water and many pre-date dinosaurs. As long as sea levels keep rising, corals will keep growing up. But the next ice age will leave many high and dry.

As regards Tasmanian forests, well, here I am in agreement with The Australian Labor party’s resource and forestry spokesman Martin Ferguson who recently said, “The Greens are a political movement chasing votes like any other party. The campaign being run by the Greens (against logging in Tasmania) is aimed at capturing votes, it has nothing to do with the environment or sustainability, and above all, it is dishonest. The result of the Greens actions could well be to scare international customers away from sustainable forest resources in Tasmania to countries where illegal logging leaves a trail of total devastation, but where ignorance is bliss.”

In fact I come from a very Labor family, but how I vote has never been of concern to the Institute of Public Affairs. They just keep on encouraging me to take an evidence based approach to national environmental issues.

Then again, Ben Oquist’s objection was to Christian Kerr quoting from my blog, which is my own little hobby. My environmental blog is not financed, supported or promoted by the Institute, but it is a really good read.