Gus's Musings

March 31, 2014

What to do about the “Brink”

This review was written by me in 2009 after I had first read the 2 books, rip out and grab a copy if you haven’t already read them.

(“Back from the Brink” & “Beyond the Brink” By Peter Andrews)

     These two interesting books moved me enough to put something down on paper to encourage others to read them and be challenged by Peter’s ideas and interpretations of the landscape.  I’m not going to give a run down on the contents of the books as you will have to read them to capture that, I’ll just give you a taste of some of the concepts that peter deals with.

The first book (Back from the Brink) outlines the way that Peter interprets the landscape and how he has been able to re-invigorate the land on the properties that he has worked with.  The second book takes these methods and shows how they can be adapted to deal with some of the biggest land management issues going on in Australia, namely the Murray-Darling system and the salinity in Western Australia.  At the same time there are little gems and things that you can do on your own property no matter if you have ¼ ac or 100,000ac.

Some of the challenges thrown to you in the books are:  What is the difference between native and introduced plant species?  Why do we have to use only native species when rehabilitating an area?  Why do you spray out weeds when they may be doing a very important role?  Is carbon dioxide the cause of global warming or a symptom?

These are just some of the many challenges thrown out to you, speaking of “thrown” sometimes these challenges were very hard for me to take on board so you do feel like throwing the book against the wall, I guarantee though, that you will go over, pick it up and keep going until the urge grabs you again.  Both books are easy to read, you just have to be careful that you don’t miss some of his subtle methods so don’t be frightened to pick up a pencil and jot down ideas and page numbers to go back to them.

As someone who has met Peter Andrews I think that he has an enormous amount to offer land management both in Australia and around the world.  He is a very decent person that will happily sit and chat about his experiences for hours and I’d happily listen to him for hours.

Both of these books are available at ABC shops or online just ask for them by name.  Enjoy them and I would like to see more people read them so that we can have some really positive ideas for ways forward in land and water management in this country


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