Patriots: Defending Australia's Natural Heritage

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Univ. of Queensland Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 406 pages
This is the story of the struggle by a small group of people who sought to defend the life that belongs to a continent. The name they gave that struggle was conservation. The conservation movement has battled indifference and hostility throughout its history. Government and developers treat Australia as a quarry, and yet the movement has won some great victories and secured the preservation of some of the world's most pristine landscapes. But much has also been lost. Powerful and provocative, Patriots travels through the history and politics of Australia's conservation movement, and describes a new national identity - an identity deeply enmeshed in nature, an identification with the land that non-Indigenous Australia has lacked.
 

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Patriots

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Covering the period between 1964 and 2004, William J Lines's Patriots is a history of the Australian conservation movement: a tribute to, and celebration of, those who have fought to protect and ... Read full review

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I was given Patriots to read recently. I am ashamed to say how little I had registered about the larger story of conservationists in the last 50+ years in Australia and the story told in this compelling book of a never-ending fight to allow nature to exist without being at the whim and mercy of men's (mostly men) ambitions to carve their names on everything and mold the world to their limited, greedy, destructive ends, usually in the name of a false economic god. As so much of Australia burns this summer in the entirely predicted and hitherto unprecedented conditions we face, the respect, reverence, bravery and continuing commitment of those in our society who have stood for decades against the agendas of all flavours of Australia's governments and their life-destroying greedy appetites stand out. Now they are being joined by people for whom conservationists have not been heroes and who are encouraged to call greenies dangerous, but perhaps we will learn, very late, that there is always a price and it's never just nature that pays it. Beware those who are not patriots. 

Contents

STORM
1
national parks Australian Alps Snowy River
37
Judith Wright and the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland
55
Fighting for Lake Pedder and the Great Barrier Reef
72
GADARENE SWINE
89
Challenging hubris challenging mining
106
Ripples from Lake Pedder subversion from ecology
124
REVERIE
143
VANITY FAIR
232
DONT YOU WORRY ABOUT THAT
249
HOUSE OF THEORY
265
Seeking an intellectual frame Greens share power in Tasmania
283
Dodgy venture into Ecologically Sustainable Development
301
TRESPASS
318
Eating yellow cake for Jabiluka and dying in a ditch for the Fitzroy River
335
Acknowledgments
356

COME IN PEACE AND LOVE
161
STREAMS OF VILIFICATION
180
Fudging population saving rainforest
197
Select Bibliography
363
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About the author (2006)

William J. Lines is the author of An All Consuming Passion: Origins, Modernity, and the Australian Life of Georgiana Molloy; False Economy: Australia in the 20th Century; and Taming the Great South Land: A History of Conquest of Nature in Australia.

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