Monday, December 04, 2006

Important: Save the Burrup Peninsula

Save Dampier rock art

This was originally meant for just my forum then I realised this is important for everyone not just Australians.

I know this isn't related to low carb, weight loss or health, but to me atleast this is much more important. I hope no matter where you reside, you sign this petition, send a personal message with your petition as well as show everyone you know this so they can too, sign the petition.

I think it would be great if people from other countries signed the petition too:

I meant to write this a week ago after researching it but I have been so caught up with personal stuff I havn't been able to.

This is really important, I petitioned when I first heard of this including sending a nice email to the powers that be but YOU need to do it too!

You may be busy but this is very important and will only take a minute to do!

The petition is here: Save Our Heritage

You will see there is also an option to send a message directly to Federal Environment Minister, the WA Premier, the WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister and Woodside. Please do that as well!

For those that don't know what I am talking about I will explain...

First a quote from the petition page:

Imagine a cultural icon six times older than the Pyramids, eight times older than Stonehenge. Imagine probably the earliest surviving rock carvings on this planet. Most Australians have never even heard of these rock carvings on the Burrup Peninsula, and have no idea this silent world treasure is at risk of being needlessly pulled apart and destroyed from blind industrial development.

Burrup Peninsula is estimated to have almost 1 million images as petroglyphs (pre-historic rock engravings or carvings), of our most ancient faces and fauna, including the Tasmanian Tiger. Remember those cave paintings I put up in my gallery from the Flinders Ranges?

Well these are much better then that, these are actual carvings in rocks, making them much, much more older and longer lasting but not just that there are hundreds of thousands of them spread across a group of small islands along the northern coast of Western Australia.
Despite the fact that these are actual rock carvings we have still managed to have already lost around 10,000 of them...

And yet Burrup is not heritage listed...


Well it just so happens it is also the site of a liquified natural gas (LNG) plant... owned by the largest petrochemical companies in the world...

But not only that... Woodside Energy LTD who manage this plant wish to expand by constructing a new LNG facility for themselves there which will result in the destruction of 40% of the remaining rock art...

There are other solutions to this so we both win by proccessing the gas in a different solution, it has being shown to be possible and agreed on by the experts so there really is no excuse.

The best way to get started on protecting this icon is to get Burrup heritage listed, something that has been blocked for far too long.

For those of you who want to read up some more on Burrup and check out some cool pics I have including some good links I found (there were some more but I have lost them and don't have time to find them yet and wanted to put this up now):

History of the Dampier issue

The Burrup Peninsula

Forum 2006

I wanted to do a quick quote from the 2006 forum as I find this really drilled things home for me and by simply telling you to just read the PDF you will most likely not see it and close the page:

Heritage and history are the DNA of human character.” Dr Marian R. Bukhari, Saudi Arabia

Destruction of cultural heritage is a crime!” Dr Dirk Huyge, Belgium

Dr Huyge from Belgium from the National Museum in Brussels has this to say and he is also written an article in a Belgium Newspaper but I can assure you it doesn’t say good things about us. I should warn you that this presentation is M rated, it’s for mature people only. Some of the comments made here are confronting. I’ve have to emphasise that the comments that I have selected were not only selected on the basis merit and relevance and of importance but they are all of people of some substance, eminent people, people who are decision makers, people who form opinions around the world and some of them are quite outspoken.

Failing to save this cultural treasure would perhaps lend credence to the notion that you’re all still just a bunch of yodels and thieves.” Professor Robert Johnston, Canada

Professor Abbott from the US talks about history and indeed if you look at the image some of us believes that it might be an image of a Tasmania tiger which became extinct we believe on the mainland about two thousand years ago so indeed yes this is about history.

Without our history we have no soul.” Professor Maggie Abbott, U.S.A.

Again some of the images are sacred. You are permitted to look at them but not to know their meaning. I draw your attention to the names of persons that made this comment.

Losing our history for profit will only serve to bring us nothing, and nothing will be all we'll have left!” Robert Dampier, U.S.A.

It’s very hardening to see that Professor Bolando from Santa Domingo in the Caribbean he knows what the main reason it is so important, we don’t seem to know it and the Professor Bolando has never been to this country.

Australian rock art is the most important in the world, because the people that made it are alive and they can explain to us the significance.” Professor Adolfo Lopez Belando, Dominican Republic

It is of course inevitable that there would be a comparison with the Taliban but I would argue that we are doing far worse than the Taliban blowing up a few statues.

It's as bad as what the Taliban did to the statues!” Dr Lauren Fureymoore, U.S.A.

Taliban did it with explosives; cowards do it with acids.” Professor Per Hagelia, Norway

My favourite comment is this one. I need to perhaps explain a little about what Professor Hagelia from Norway means what he talks about acids. You may have noticed that all of the petroglyphs have been produced by hammering through the dark brown patina that covers all rock surfaces in areas of Australia. If somebody was to come along and pour acid over this surface it would remove the mineral creation in the process it would also remove any petroglyphs that happen to appear on the surface. It would effectively destroy the rock art. I would like you to look very closely at this photograph. [Fig 7]

You will notice that the original rock colour, this rock is actually coloured grey. It’s coated by this deposit which we call patina but under the shrub it’s all been removed. It has actually been removed by acid. The massive emissions, eleven thousand tonnes of nitric oxides per year, that’s a quarter of a million tonnes since the plant came into operation is blanketing the surface with these emissions. What goes up has to go down and comes down everywhere within about a hundred kilometres radius. You will find that all vegetation has caused this effect. What happens is that the acidic materials are deposited on all of the surface but on the rock the deposit over a two dimensional surface in the canopy, in the foliage of the tree, deposited in three dimensional space when it has become activated by precipitation, they’re projected onto a two dimensional space, a two dimensional surface, in other words become quite concentrated. So what we have here is actually an advance warning of what’s going to happen to the rock surfaces. The concentration of acidity is about six times the strength here as it is on the rest of the rock surface. This has happened in twenty years as it looks now. In a hundred years from now all of these rocks are going to be grey and so there will be no rock art on them. Measurements of the deterioration of the patina show that in the 1980’s the acid deterioration became quite severe and if it continues at the present rate we will lose the rock art by the end of the century but if the state government has its way increasing the size of emissions at Dampier then we predict that we will lose the rock art by about 2030.

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