Rant Warning! Toxic Waste Floods Canberra!

The LNP used to make much noise about factionalism in the Labour Party.  At least some of that huffing and puffing was justified.  But now it seems the LNP is wracked with worse.  Turnbull et al are paralysed and Abbot lurks like the ghost of Christmas past doing what he does best, wrecking things.  It was because of LNP internal dissent that we had to have a postal referendum on marriage equality, which was a complete no-brainer as the polls were so clear about what us proles think.  I bitterly resent $122,000,000, not including the nasty and irrelevant advertising, being spent to relieve Turnbull of the discomfort of being told off by a few of his own party, if it was dealt with in parliament.  Poor Malcolm.  Assailed from all sides by people who want him to do something or not do something.  I like the bloke.  I would invite him and his dearest to dinner except I doubt spaghetti bol is up to his usual fare.  It is unfortunate he isn’t temperamentally suited to be leader of a nation.  He would really like to please all of the people all of the time.  

That is an amusing contrast to another leader not fit to lead a country.  His fault is that he doesn’t want to please anybody, any of the time, except occasionally to suit his own ends.  You are way ahead of me …. Trump.  He also has a raft of psychological problems such as reality disconnect, a disdain for logic or reason, total lack of mirror emotions that could give him a hint of empathy, and a monumental ego.  How the US could make the transition from Obama to Trump, leads me to think I don’t understand the US despite all the information I have and despair of the notion that an educated people leads to an ideal democracy.  Oh well, the only consolation I have is that he is old.  He has limited time to do damage.

Meanwhile, back in the land of koalas, bilbies, turnbulls and other cuddly things, we have the power debate.  Debate is a good thing to air all the different sides of the arguments and bring them to the attention of the populace.  All the debates in history have never changed any parliamentarians’ mind, and that is not the point.  An elaborate charade where they sit in the house and supposedly talk to each other.  Except they don’t.  All the rhetoric is for people not actually there.  When searching for some direction about where Australia might source its future power needs, this government has been an abject failure.  To be fair, Labour has also failed before them, but now matters are coming to a head and still there is no direction or definite signals to the energy companies where to invest huge amounts of money.  So they don’t.  I don’t blame them.  Huge amounts of money at stake that may be trashed with a change of government.  Until there is a clear way forward they will keep their hands, and considerable cash, in their ample pockets in the sure and certain knowledge that their existing overstretched assets will provide a nice little earner as shortage makes electricity prices skyrocket.  Can’t lose.  Don’t need to compete.  

Nero fiddling as Rome burns comes to mind.  To his credit, Nero actually went out with the volunteer firefighters, but perhaps this is further evidence of the duplicity of politicians, as the fire did conveniently make way for the building of palaces he rather desired, and he is still a pyromaniac suspect. 

As to the future of energy sourcing in Oz, my mind is quite clear.  Or would be, but for a few glasses of vino.  Renewables are now cheaper, with or without subsidies.  The planet may/will become a nasty toxic place if we change the atmosphere, and I don’t want to take the risk.  I regularly babysit my grandkids, and this extends my view beyond my own lifetime.  The public in Oz get it, and have the highest uptake of solar in the world.  Another case, along with marriage equality where the government is way behind.  Leave the coal in the ground, because the steam age is over.  Let us preserve a few monster locomotives as a reminder, but let the smokey old power stations retire as we embrace the future.  Let us remember the fate of those that didn’t.  Kodak, swept away into history. 

Trivia Trove

I have now sufficiently recovered from the excitement a couple of months ago when I had a MAJOR EVENT happen at Possum Valley.  I am now back to the usual beat of reporting insignificant trivia.  I like insignificant trivia, because major reportable events are mostly bad.  Just look at the news.  Some news outlets struggle to find the last 20 second ‘good news’ story.  Some don’t bother.  So my deduction is that news is nearly all bad, especially when it happens to you.  So be careful when you ask for some excitement in your life, you might just get it.  The Chinese had philosophy worked out before the Greeks even invented the word, hence the well known Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”.  The Rohingya are living in interesting times, Puerto Ricans have had a surfeit of excitement.  So pardon me while I settle back into the comforting arms of the boring, the mundane and the inconsequential.

So the headline news is that I am sad to report that the white female duck died in my arms a few days ago.  A boy from Blackbean Cottage came to see me saying the white duck was rather sick.  I went down to the cottage to find the white duck gently wrapped in a towel lying on the veranda.  It was completely floppy and didn’t respond to the insults of being molested.  The only sign of life was blinking of the eyes.  Oh dear, this duck was way beyond ‘rather sick’.  I said some serious, but I hope consoling words to the boy about how maybe I could give some food to the duck.  A total lie, but not all lies are bad.  I think the duck died before I got her to the homestead.  I laid her in the workshop for some time still wrapped in the towel in case of divine intervention.  There was none, so I tossed the corpse off into the rainforest. 

The next night I heard the usual clatter in the kitchen of a possum raid, but managed to ignore it for some time.  When I belatedly decided to exert my authority, I discovered a possum scampering for the exit, and a dead possum in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Ah, a changing of the guard.  Senior possum dies and a new generation literally steps over the corpse to pursue the high value food source that is my vegie scraps bin.  The expired possum had no signs of attack.  I have not a single night of respite before another raider steps up to the mark.  The dead possum joined the duck.  

Other notes on the changing seasons is the new blush of leaves on the hairy-leaved bolly gum, also known as brown salwood to forestry, also known as black wattle to the woodies, also known as litsea dealbata to taxonomists, but hey, even they can’t agree and I think it may be neolitsea dealbata now.  Or perhaps the other way around.  Also the sasparillas are at peak flowering and the hum of bees fills the air.  March flies are about and also swarms of flying termites this afternoon so I had to vigourously shake the sheets on the line before folding to exclude these insects.  I am sure future guests will have no idea the lengths I go to to ensure their comfort.

Another seasonal adjustment occurred this morning when I went to change the nozzle on the hydro turbine for a smaller one.  The creek is diminished and so the power delivered is reduced.  Rather early in the year for this to happen.  Very little rain over the last few months.  Very warm also.  Seems like summer has occurred in spring.  Perhaps we should forget spring.  So many temperature records being broken, I think global warming is accelerating at an alarming rate.  Most models of a few years ago are behind the current data.  Mass extinction events typically happen every couple of hundred million years.  I think you would have to say it was amazingly bad luck that I am living through one of them.  I am an optimist so think humans have the ingenuity to survive the crisis.  However, I think would be a pity to have only scrubby bushes and slime molds for company.

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