For my own part, I am trying to pick up speed on my hoped for citizen journalism front, and spent some time today transcribing most of a programme I recorded in 2007 on the then Great Australian Drought (of 2006), which contains a lot of info and some great quotes. A dairy farmer called Les Martin is interviewed whilst irrigating his land with water abstracted from the river Murray, and is asked how much he is using. 2,000 litres a minute, comes the reply (on 72 acres). My tiny brain does not compute very well ( U for Unclassified in Maths O Level), but my calculator tells me that is 2,880,000 litres in 24 hours - one farmer, on 72 acres, in 24 hours. Scale that up across the Murray-Darling basin, which produces half of all Australia's food, all water stolen from the river, from natural systems, and you begin to see why they now have the kind of problems with catastrophic bush fires that they do. Climate change is only part of it. Modifying nature and the landscape to suit human purposes began with European colonisation, and has continued, entirely unsustainably, ever since. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. You shouldn't be dairying, growing cotton, rice, all these crops in a soil, climate and landscape like Australia. If you do, it is a deal with the devil. The debt will come due in the end; it cannot be escaped. Broadly speaking, that is the pattern worldwide; therefore it is clear that something needs to change; yet the zillion tonnes of bullshit which accompanied the Brexit debate tells you that the one thing that doesn't change is human capacity for brainwashing, grandstanding, and self-delusion. Trade deals with Australia have never made much sense to me, not least because it is on the other side of the world; but also because the way things are going, they are going to struggle to feed themselves, and indeed live in their own country, something the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg cannot really comprehend, because his brain has been parasitised by money, like Johnson, Trump, Putin et al; and they have brainwashed entire nations (or at least large parts of them) in their turn, encouraging environmental and economic suicide. The recording finishes with a man called Doug Meale, chair of the SW Irrigators ( ie: farmers, growers, wine producers etc, of Australia), who are now (in 2007) looking at drastic reductions in their water allowances, and therefore capacity to produce food and other commodities. He says, and I quote: "A lot of people round the world, if they were smart, would be looking at Australia and saying let's make sure that doesn't happen to us. That must be our early warning sign. What do we do to learn the lessons that they are experiencing right now?". Hands up who heard any of this in the Brexit debate, or indeed anywhere else? No, you won't hear it on the "news", never mind that this was all recorded in 2006/7, 12 or 13 years ago. The Australian clown masquerading as a prime minister, Scott Morrison, when he came back from holiday in Hawaii, said that hindsight was a great thing. Well, I'll tell you something, friend, and that is this: foresight is a lot better than hindsight. What is happening was eminently foreseeable; anybody with half a brain could have seen it coming. The problem is, that rules out the majority of the political class, and a large part of the electorate who are foolish enough to think that these idiots know what they are doing. They don't. It is form of mass psychosis, the herd mentality writ large. As one lemming said to the other:"Everyone else is jumping off the cliff. What could possibly go wrong?". I will expand on this at some point to discuss why a million odd hectares of eucalyptus (native to Australia, not Portugal) in Portugal (probably funded at least in part by EU money) is equally symptomatic of what has gone wrong in that country, why so much of their wildlife is redlisted, and their "wild" (for which read "manmade") fires so catastrophic; and why there is a certain irony that Scott Morrison was on holiday in Hawaii, which also has around 90 forms of eucalypt, again introduced from Australia, displacing and threatening native species, just as the Portuguese landscape, and the Australian landscape, and the landscape just about anywhere you care to look, have been modified by humans for greed and short-term gain; the losers being always, in no particular order, nature, and the future generations who will inherit the catastrophe inflicted upon them by their forebears - a rather biblical prospect, yet completely un-understood by most of those who profess allegiance to the Bible. The great Australian rugby player (but limited thinker) Israel Folau ( of "hell awaits gay people" tweet fame) said that these Australian fires are "a little taste of god's judgement". Again, I would suggest, that is a complete and utter misunderstanding, and misrepresentation, of the facts. The truth is very simple, and empirical - cause and effect. if you rip out the native flora and replace them it with species to suit human purposes and no other; if you modify the entire landscape therefore; if you abstract all the ground and river water, thus dessicating the land (and incidentally, hyper-salinating and so poisoning it as well), then when fires occur, you can expect them to be very, very bad. The phrase "you reap what you sow" occurs in the bible, and is also manifest common sense. Again, cause and effect. Who could argue with that? If we had politicians worth the name, this is what they would be saying. They would be leading people instead of following them, and telling them the truth, instead of pursuing the lie of consumerism, that you can have everything you want, at any time of day or night or year, all the time, for ever. You cannot. It is a lie, pure and simple. It is a Faustian pact. Once nature, the sole source of all human prosperity, is destroyed, then these people, and the fraudulent system they advocate and espouse, will be seen for what it is. The trouble is, then it will be too late. Regards, Rick.
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