Spring Has Sprung

……….the flowers is riz,

I wonder where the birdies iz?

They say the birds are on the wing,

But that’s absurd, the wing is on the bird.

This piece of doggerel from my father was my first introduction to poetry.  Then came “Jabberwocky”, some language torturing and invention from Edward Lear.  My interest in poetry has never climbed to a more refined level as I find a lot of it deliberately mysterious and pretentious.  This is my coded way of saying I don’t understand it.  I found much more poetry and meaning in the songs of my era such as Paul Simon’s “It’s no matter if you’re born to play the king or pawn, for the line is thinly drawn ‘tween joy and sorrow.”  

Still I digress, as old people will, and at Possum Valley spring has sprung with a vengeance.  In fact it seems to be to have been called off and we are launched straight into summer with day temps of 26C.  In August, the last month of winter, it didn’t take me long to total up the rainfall, 2 mm in a night shower that had burned off by 9 am.  At my daughter’s farm just 15 kms away, the rain chart was untroubled.  This is after a dry couple of months.  It seems the drought is creeping north.  Of course I am still surrounded by green, not the scorched bare brown dirt stretching to the horizon.  But it’s a worry.  A couple of days ago I had to fit a smaller nozzle to the hydro system, as the power and voltage crashes when it begins to suck air.  I looked at the 28 day rainfall forecast for Sept and there were only 3 scattered days where the probability reached ‘low’, and for the rest it was ‘nil’.  

Another worry is that we now have a government that doesn’t even seem to be bothering with the fig leaf of “oh, we would like to reduce carbon emissions but it’s all too hard/expensive”.  Nope, they are now going the full monty with “coal is good for you, choke on this son”.   Also totally irreconcilable with the Liberal claim to be money managers, as solar is now much cheaper than coal.  The only explanation I can can up with is that they are incredibly stupid, can’t count or make sense of economics, or are bought and paid for by coal interests.  I think it is likely that the entire front bench doesn’t add up to the IQ of Julie Bishop who they dumped, but I still don’t think this drags them down to the levels of stupidity required to be unable to grasp we have a problem with our power generation and the Earth has a problem maintaining climate equilibrium because of giga tons of CO2 put into the atmosphere from burning coal.  That they have little science understanding is plausible considering they are mostly lawyers, but they have heaps of staff capable of breaking it down to the level of a Trivago ad “how much would you like to pay”, and come up with the answer solar.  So that leaves me with the conclusion that the Liberal party members, and their campaign funds are dancing to the tune BIG COAL plays.  Mining of all minerals only employs 20,000 people in Queensland and getting ever more automated with driver-less trucks etc but ever holding out the promise, “but think of the jobs”.  Mining companies also have a great track record of not paying taxes and royalties because they don’t make a profit in Australia.  They have an office in Bermuda perhaps that charges astronomical ‘administration charges’ but doesn’t have a single lump of coal, and the annual profit in Oz comes to $47 for the year.  And by now we all know the “trickle down effect” is less convincing than a crepe-paper space suit at a town carnival.

So the Liberals are skating on thin ice, getting rapidly thinner with climate chance, standing like Canute denying the tide with fig leaf removed, and even Abbot had his budgie smugglers.  A huge number of Australians are doing the same sums as the power companies, and deciding to go solar, what future do the Libs have, these dinosaurs of politics?  Oh yeah, what happened to the dinosaurs?  Climate change wasn’t it?  The dinosuars had been pottering along nicely for a couple of hundred million years until the inconvenient truth caught up with them in the form of a big rock that screwed up the climate.  They didn’t cause their own demise and didn’t have the capability to understand it.  We don’t have those excuses.  To think we can see the future, yet blithely walk into catastrophe, is tragic.  I have lived in that so narrow time of good fortune where living standards increased so dramatically, yet I can see so many threats to my children and grandchildren some of them potentially catastrophic, that I feel responsible and sad.  Like any generation before, we like to think we leave a legacy to benefit our offspring.  Is the legacy of my generation a blight, a pox, a withering of the environment, an extinction event?  As my years dwindle and my grandkid’s increase, it becomes increasing urgent to me to preserve, conserve, nurture and curate the natural wonders of the world.  I have been doing my best for the last 42 years with my tiny but important little enclave, Possum Valley.  

Which brings me to the most imbecilic proposal ever to be offered for consideration, Adani digging up the Galilee basin.  It is wrong economically, environmentally, logistically, socially, and cannot possibly ever return a single dollar to any duped investor or any royalty to the people of Queensland who own the resource.  They are talking about a 60 year life-time, but it would be doomed to become a stranded asset as the world abandons coal, a whole caravan of white elephants and an ongoing environmental catastrophe.  It could also irreparably damage or destroy the artesian basin in an area much bigger than the mine site itself.  So, so stupid.  I can understand the Adani brothers just being ruthless, exploitive, mega greedy, bloated plutocrats, but I can’t forgive nor forget our state and federal governments for being such supine lap-dogs.  I’d better stop about now, I think my blood pressure is getting up there a bit.  Breathe in …. breathe out…  

It points to a lot of things that are wrong with our governments, our antiquated laws and mostly to our broken democracy which is so far from being representative anymore.  To lighten up a bit, I think I’ll drop in a fuzzy pic from 1976 of Blackbean Cottage being built.

Blackbean Cottage all sticks and tin 1976

Blackbean Cottage all sticks and tin 1976


  1. Peter says:

    Remember when we we very young, and scientists had a theory that we were overdue for another ice age? I do. I was quite worried we were all going to have to go and live in Africa, and it would get very crowded.


    How do you like your Civilisations, sir? Frozen or boiled? It would seem difficult to get 193 contries, and their billions of citizens, to agree on any solutions that don’t involve mass famine and the complete abandonment of civilised amenities and conveniences. We can’t even manage peaceable population control as a starting point. But after all, there is nothing at all unnatural about any of these processes. We ourselves , with all our needs, wants and abilities like all other life on Earth, are part of nature.

    • Thank you for the link supporting anthropogenic climate change, and indeed indicating a longer history of human input than many had supposed. Due to the vast input of data since those early days of climate speculation, it is now clear you may want to look for available real estate in the Shetland Isles and be thankful you will be spared jostling for space in already teeming Africa.

  2. Martin Belson says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head… lets just hope Musk keeps showing us the way..

    • I get your hero worship of Elon Musk, he has done amazing things, but recently showed signs of self-imploding. Even mental instability. Let’s hope not but be on the lookout for a successor with equal vision to carry the torch to the future.

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