Fiddling While Rome Burns


We should know better. Well, you'd think we would wouldn't you. The barely honourable prime minister ScoMo out on the hustings and there isn't even an election in sight. Our fearless pentecaustic would rather exhort us to prayer than to admit he and his government are wrong about Climate Change and to come up with some worthwhile plan to deal with the catastrophe that has begun to unfold. Instead, he'd rather mouth platitudes about the fearless fire-fighters and how they are doing such a Stirling job dealing with the mess. I don't doubt that these poor bastards are indeed fearless, but I'm sure that they, too, would rather that they didn't have to risk their life and limb to make ScoMo and his fellow imbeciles look good.

Prime minister ScoMo
If we had an opposition in this country it might be a different matter. After much thumb twiddling and a limited amount of introspection, the leader of the opposition, Anthony Albanese declared that the Australian Labor Party which he now leads did in fact get it wrong at the last election. Not the election before that, and the one before that even, but the last one, when Bill Shorten was leader.

Well, the problem is that he was a self-centered, power hungry, weaselly little creep. That's not what the Party's report said, but it is what many people in his supporter base know to be the case. Bill Shorten back-stabbed, made Kings and Queens only to bring them down again so that he could be leader. He even left his wife to do a bit of social climbing by marrying the Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce's damselesque daughter.

That all would have been forgiven if he actually could have lead his party and the Australian people into a new era of progressive politics. But no, the little right wing creep, who oversaw the erosion of working conditions while head of the AWU (Australian Workers' Union), historically known as a cesspool of dirty deals done dirt cheep, coo drinkuldn't lead the proverbial horse to water let alone encourage it. He rightly deserves any vitriol that comes his way. Not only spend years destabilising the former party of the Australian working classes only to become the incumbent with the only the people between him and power, only to fall on his own bloody sword and leaving the Australian people lost in the wilderness of climate denying neo-liberal buffoons for at least another three years.

I'm not convinced the current opposition leader is going to be any more successful, unfortunately, although everyone and then there are some glimpses of normality to his pronouncements. Time will tell.
Former leader of the opposition, Bill Shorten.

Meanwhile, in Northern New South Wales, in forests not formerly known to being fire prone, bushfires are reaping havoc. Towns burnt out and people killed. The only thing that one can perhaps say with any positivity is that it could be worse. Now, fires have again started in Queensland, in areas also not formerly known to being bushfire prone.

They are now. They have become more so the centre of this peculiarly Australian phenomena. Victoria, Tasmania and to a lesser degree, South Australia were historically normally the region associated with bushfires. Now the whole continent is burning. Here's one for you ScoMo, may God help us if we have a dry Summer in the Southern states. All we need is for a fire to come raging down the Yarra Valley and the inner middle suburbs could be at risk. Given the right (sic) set of conditions and this could be a catastrophe that envelopes major swathes of land in the city of Greater Melbourne itself.

Well, just hope that I forever remain wrong. Just as I hope that the eminent chemist and scientist James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis is wrong. I'm not going to extrapolate it here, needless to say, that the end point of that hypothesis is a catastrophe that makes the Holocaust look like a picnic. Unfortunately, many of the predictions that he made using his primitive by today's standards' computer modelling, are unspeakable just as the gruesome behaviours of the Germans along with their Eastern European collaborators remain unspeakable. The way the Rwandan atrocities remain unspeakable. It is a truly human debacle that defies the imagination. All I am prepared to say is that the anthropocene epoch may well be both short lived and not have a happy ending, not for loving creatures in any case.

The current Australian bushfires from a satellite photograph.

So, our politicians in the English speaking world at least, are the Fiddlers on the Roof, putting on a happy face for the populace who suspect there is something wrong but are not actually sure who to point the finger at. The asylum seekers, or illegal immigrants as these right wing miscreants would rather call them, are often spouted as a convenient scapegoat, but in reality, these people are the face of climate change already. It will only get worse, not better, if we stick our collective heads in the sand and hope that the problem goes away. It will not. If anything the situation is going to worse before if gets better.

The hypothesis of Lovelace, and corroborated by evidence collected since as well as modelling on supercomputers rather than an 80s model home computer, is that, yes, the climate will on average get warmer, not every day, or every year even, but that the trend is for a warmer climate overall. This is not such a bad thing for some people way of thinking.  This is to miss the point of the message.

The bushfires around the world have become more intense and harder to fight.
The actual message of Lovelock and of the vastly overwhelming majority if not just that the climate is getting warmer, but that the earth will develop ever more extreme patterns of climate: More rain followed by longer droughts. Stronger and more frequent hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones. This is of course to be accompanied by equally as extreme consequences to these climatic variations: glaciers melting, ice caps shrinking, months of still progressively hotter days, more intense fires as a result, and flooding and inundation of both coastal and inland areas either through rising sea levels or intense and prolonged storm activity.

Anybody who has been alive and has actually lived through the earliest parts of this proposed epoch would have witnessed this with their own senses. Of course, we cannot always trust our senses which is why we have scientists. The reason that we have politicians is to lead us into a safe and secure future by adopting the best available advice on how best to do this. The current batch of politicians in the English speaking world at least seem to have forgotten this, and to have instead led us into a dark and cavernous cul de sac.

The populace is passive in front of this looming debacle. I seldom know what to do. The young people are acting and that is good. We all need to learn that even though our current crop of politicians and their supporters are fiddling away on the after decks their neo-liberal dreamworld, there is no need for us all to stay behind and listen. They can't hold a good tune in any case. Instead we need to all man the life rafts of the future and row steadily into a new world where we live in relative, if not complete harmony with the magnificent world around us.

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