John Weir

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John Weir A bit edgy about how much he can contribute - John will be 80 in a couple of months time. In Scotland - heck of an environment the mells and smog from teh pits exciting environment - kids dying in the pits Loved the environment but thought it wsas deplorable later on - went to University two degrees in Science and PhD - you had to do all lating french and German - heck of an education in language - recited the whole of Julius Ceasar from end t o end because the teacher said he couldn't - about two hours into it the teacher gave up.

Two years military service in RAF - posted to Australia because of two degrees and background in statistics from nuclear bombs - they offered a chanced to go to microbiological Weapions reseaacrch establishment - anthrax - how much would you need to poison dams to kill populations. They know no details about the life of anthrax. Finally did radar electronic surveillance of aircraft. All electronics was valve based and involved systems engineering.


After RAF (got out early by going to Russia - Boris gave a letter to say John would be working in russia and had to leave all notes and research behind) - John got married to a very nice girl from University and with two job offers - Africa and Australia - they decided Africa was the place - then Southern Rhodesia - every one was working on insects - got fed up with Taxonomy so decided on working on Elephants and water suplies in National Parks. NP need help to manage National Praks they didn't know how many elephants or tourists or roads or logging was acceptible. How do we spend our money from the Govt? roads? or tourists facilities or revegetation. No computers - it was all done with calculators and

Seats and elevators in the city centre had been allocated for whites and blacks. Politics was getting hot re segregation Politician Smith formed teh declaration of independence.

Field trip to the eastern highlands and on his return a number of Uni staff had been deported and it looked like John would be soon - eventually went back to England for a time. There were other opportunities in Africa - a job was pre ordained School of molecular biology - all they needed was MB

Resigned in disgust and went ot Armidale UNE 1972 to start up the School of Natural Resources summonsed to canberra. Fed govt wanted a review of a gas fired power station on the banks of the Yarra. they came out with a public statement to say it was the cheapest alternative. the land was grossly undervalued to make it look cheap 13,000 which was what was paid for in 1911 - it was now over 1 Million and subsequently they lost the Federal money.

Mos Cass minister for the Environment asked John to look into the dept. John asked why a letter from people in armidale about paper re-cycling had not been answered to discover there was a pile of letters that had suffered the same fate.

Next was a trip to Newcastle to try to tie in the pollution to BHP by dating the residue on tombstones to prove where the pollution had come from. BHP asked John to work with BHP to get a predicted result. the HOD became an advisor to BHP.

Eventually University seemed to ignore grants applications and change of govts was blamed for the lack of grants i.e. if you got grants under one govt you couldn't expect grants for the new govt.

John got other jobs by taking leave from work - Job in Kalimantan xxxxxlooking at rainforest orangutans were eating the tops of coconut palms and the orders were given to shoot them. John was being asked to turn blind eyes to certain environmental issues in exchange for fixing other things. John was warned not to travel in private planes.

Indonesia World Bank agreed to fund a xxxxx simple local Artificial intelligence systems in treating issues without a heirachical decision making process. It was rejected by the application body on the grounds that centralised control would be removed from Jakarta.

Zimbanbwe Hunting Licences were issued for Buffalo or Male Kudu xxxx village would get money for licence, meat, fur - hunting tourism - local communities made money .

Fundamentally concered about what criteria are need to manage National parks - trees, species density estimates of Elephants had it at 36000 but it was only sustainable for 6000 within the park. Elephants were dying.

John is basically an environmental problem solver.

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