Thursday, 16 January 2020

Perspective


I don't really know what to call this post but when I was looking through my photos, the word 'perspective' jumped out at me.

I've lost my perspective. I think if one of these photos focussed on a section of the water in one dip, that might be my perspective at the moment. Although, have I?

I'm quite shattered, and life doesn't seem normal - or it does, but I'm burning to make things change. To make life have some meaning. To make the horror of the last few weeks meaningful.

I've a science background in Environmental Biology and Agriculture. I left Condobolin in a huge drought (we left 11 years ago) and it's once again in the grip of another, which seems way way way too soon on the back of the last one that is so fresh in my memory.

I know droughts happen. When I looked back at the historical rainfall records of Condobolin, the turn of the century had successive long periods of drought which horrified me. But we're seeing that replicated now, 100 years later, but the impact is much more.

Why's it worse now? Because there are more people, is an easy answer. More people are trying to make a living off farming, they're trying to feed a world that seems more obsessed with material things and not necessities. We seem to expect that necessities will always exist, and we can just chase the things we want (e.g. pleasure, entertainment, ornaments, etc etc).

And I'm a hypocrite because I belong to an industry where I'm trying to peddle entertainment and pleasure, I know this. It bothers me deeply.

For the past month, around me has been besieged by bushfire. It's horrendous. Not only have lives been lost, but so have homes, businesses, livelihoods, bushland, and in some way, our way of life.

Bushfires are associated with summer, more so with drought, but also with high temperatures that are associated with global warming. And yes, global warming occurs in cycles (like the ice ages), but humans have a knack of breaking nature's cycles. We speed up things that may happen naturally. We get in the middle of a feedback mechanism and tamper with nature's settings.

In agriculture, look at soil acidity. It's what I'm very familiar with having spent much of my career working in that area. Soil acidity occurs naturally BUT when we come along and farm, we speed the cycle up because we're adding extras, taking more away, pushing things faster than they should be pushed, breaking the natural system. Soils become more quickly acidic under our current agricultural practices.

That same principal relates to climate change/ global warming/ climatic cycles in earth. We're speeding up the processes...and have been doing this since the industrial revolution (how many years ago was that? About 200.)

So, what are we looking at now? We've been concerned about climate change for about 40 years...yet we've had a speeding up effect for 200 years. Does that worry anyone else?

And what have we done to lessen our impact on the earth in those last 40 years? Sweet FA is what I can see. It seems to me that the rich are getting richer and greedier and don't care about the earth - and they're the ones who are in power. Does this worry anyone else?

Maybe I've lost my perspective, but I'm not terribly optimistic about us changing our ways.

These bushfires seemed to me to be a huge wake up call... and yes, politicians are paying lip service to changes, people have thrown money at issues, but what changes are we making? How are we going to live more softly, tread more lightly, and survive?

I don't have answers. I don't have perspective. All I have are questions and concerns. But I'm going to try to find practical actions. One action is here on the 1 Million Women website. There are things you can change at your home that can have an impact on the environment.

Will you step up to the challenge to change your perspective, your life, your world - and maybe even THE WORLD?

Monday, 6 January 2020

Shoalhaven Council Bushfire Mayoral Appeal

Ash along the Shoalhaven River
I live in this Council area and the bushfires have had a huge impact right across this council area on the south coast of NSW. If you'd like to help out financially, there is a Mayoral Appeal:

https://getinvolved.shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au/BushfireRecoveryShoalhaven/news_feed/mayoral-appeal

You can donate via:

Shoalhaven City Council
BSB: 062 585
Account: 10948473
Please quote Reference: Bushfire

Our Mayor, Amanda Finley, has been a tireless figurehead during the last few weeks. She's a woman to be admired.