Monday, February 28, 2011

Quaking in our boots

I don't know if you noticed but New Zealand has had some terrible tremors that have left a lot of environmental damage and also claimed some human lives. If you are rational and objective it is hard to think too much about the human victims because, as the globe's most invasive species, humans should not there. New Zealand was a secure, isolated natural paradise until Captain Cook arrived when, like most colonisers, he announced the Europeans' arrival by killing the other-skinned peoples who were already there.

Still, it is hard to replace our instinctive empathy for our fellow pink apes with nothing but dispassionate rationality, so Verdant Hopes wishes those who survived a happy recovery from their injuries etc. When their minds are clear again they will owe it to themselves to think about cause and effect -- why did those earthquakes come, and why did they do such terrible damage.

Now the verdict is in. As the damage caused by our raping greed and lack of empathy with the planet gows and compounds, the number of earthquakes, tsunamis, mudslides and volcanic eruptions increases in step.

So let us by imbued with sympathy for our Kiwi cousins. But it also needs to be made clear to them that we reap what we sow.

UPDATE: The following graphs make the connection absolute. The first is the increase in earthquakes.

And this one shows temperature increases:

Hard to deny the evidence of your own eyes, isn't it (except if you are Andrew Bolt, that is)

I'm back!

IT has been two weeks since I last put my thoughts on this blog and the explanation is that I have not been very well. What started as a case of the summer sniffles turned into a ten-tonne chest cold with full-blown fever and bowels that were so runny they could have competed in the Olympics.

The weather has not helped either. If people cannot look out theior windows and notice that Melbourne's climate has changed dramatically and suddenly there is no hope for them.

In any case, it is good to be back. As someone who lives an isolated life I really, really enjoy the comments of my supporters and readers.

What I dobn't like are people from Tim Blair's blog who come here to scoff and villify, which is their bogan style.

So don't come. You are not wanted. You are not liked. You can cover yourselves with petrol and burn, babby, burn for all I care.

Got that? Now go.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just Lovely

A NEW reader sends the following quotation from his pastor. No name provided, but wisdom like this stands alone, regardless of who uttered it. Let me share a beautiful thought with you all:

...separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning....

Many thanks to Rudy for sharing this inspiring thought..

Tony Kevin's Write Stuff

I LAUNCHED this blog with a tribute to one of my personal heroes, Tony Kevin, who has found the time to write a note of appreciation -- and to clarify one of my comments. It seems that Tony is not sure if an Australian Navy ship left the SIEVX survivors to drown, but he now suspects that it was an Indonesian vessel. Either way it seems a small difference. The Indonesians were quite clearly acting on Canberra's instructions and it is Australian dollars that fund their navy and military. If your butler stabs the Mormon who comes knocking at your door and does so at your instruction, we all know where the real blame resides!

Tony could also use some help moving the unsold copies of his fabulous "Crunch Time" expose of mainstream politics' -- read "Labor's" -- refusal to come to grips with the looming catastrophe of climate change. Three peer-reviewed leaders in the field were featured last night on the 7:30 Report and how anyone can ignore their warnings is quite beyond me. Congratulations to the ABC by the way for sticking to the facts and not inviting a denier to spread more lies at taxpayer expense.

In any case, and to get back to the point of this post, Tony, could use some help moving the last, unsold copies of his fantastic book "Crunch Time." As he laments in his lovely note:

"Climate change advocacy is a crowded field, Most established people are too busy pushing their own organisations' barrows to be interested in what a newbie might have to contribute. In all kinds of ways, Crunch Time was patronised and sidelined. Not a pleasant experience for a writer. Which makes your essay all the more appreciated by me"
Now here, I think, we really need to stop and think. Team Gillard  today announced that Tim Flannery will chair the People's Climate Change Commission, which is fair enough. Tim has done wonderful work popularising the threat to us all and he has put millions of dollars on the line developing his geothermal approach to clean, green, ready-when-needed energy.  He is also a favourite commentator at the ABC, where he is now working on his second series of environmentally themed TV shows. All very well, and best wishes to Tim.

But...but...but... when a crusader like Tony Kevin is reduced to penury and about to be dropped by his publisher it seems to me that a fairer, more equitable and altogether appropriate way of supporting the leaders of the climate change community is needed. Clearly we could use a panel of experts who could dispassionately allocate the funding available to promote the responsible approach to curtailing Australia's obscene carbon pollution, the worst in the world.

More particularly, in Tony's case, wouldn't it be lovely if Canberra authorised the purchase of his unsold copies of Crunch Time and distributed them in schools, perhaps as end of year prizes to the best and brightest students.

Just an idea. Now here is Tony's lovely letter in its entirety:

Dear Alene,
I am touched and honoured by your essay. It is all pretty right as to facts about me except for one or two discrepancies as to my SIEV X book - I do not think I alleged the grey boat had to be Australian, my stated hunch was that it was probably Indonesian.

Crunch Time was an undervalued book when it came out. It only sold 2000 of its initial print run of 3000. The remaining copies are on Scribe Publishing's warehouse backlist as far as I know. It is likely to be my last book published with Scribe Publishing, who stood by me loyally on my first book on SIEV X, to their great credit.

I am now asking comparable public questions about why SIEV 221 was not safely detected and intercepted at sea like its 220 predecessors, that were so detected and safely intercepted. There is a curious but predictable lack of publicd interest in asking this question.

I put at least as much work into Crunch Time as into the SIEV X book, but it did not attract anything like the same degree of public interest and support. Climate change advocscy is a crowded field, Most established people are too busy pushing their owm organisations' barrows to be interested in what a newbie might have to contribute. In all kinds of ways, Crunch Time was patronised and sidelined. Not a pleasant experience for a writer. Which makes your essay all the more appreciated by me.

Maybe after the major natural disasters this year in every state of Australia except SA and Tasmania a few people might go back to my book. My final Dystopian chapter has interesting resonances with the Queensland floods and Yasi. Under pressure of natural disasters on this scale, Australians respond ib many ways as predicted in this final chapter. The SES, police and army come to the fore as social leaders, and our selfish competitive society is replaced by a far more cooperative society. Under the exiatential stress on Australia to be caused by more than 2-3 degress of global warmimg, I believe Australia will move permsnently to that kind of better society.


Tony Kevin

I am going to print off a copy and have it framed!

The Brown Stain On Abbott's Soul

I WROTE yesterday about Tony Abbott’s cavalier attitude to the sacrifice of an Australian fighting person and the scatological commentary he shared with genuine military types. Well, I have been thinking more on these two points and it seems to me that the incident provides a profound example of two grave deficiencies in the character of the Coalition’s current el supremo.

The first is that he is fixated on excrement. Katherine Murphy writes of the Opposition leader’s potty mouth tendencies in The Age, which no other paper notices and which gives us one more reason to celebrate the best news and commentary source in this country. It is “shit this” and “shit that” with Tony  Abbott and we can only wonder why  the infantile fascination with poo exerts such a strong influence on his words and thinking. One possible explanation – a supremely obvious one, actually – is his Jesuit training.

Abbott was raised and suckled at the breast of the Catholic church – ultra-religious home, all-boys school, “manly” hobbies like surf lifesaving, boxing and country fire fighting, a stint in the seminary and then into conservative politics, where female participants can only get ahead by culturally “de-gendering” themselves. If you want an example, look no further than Julie Bishop, whose very chromosones must be screaming in protest at the XY template she has had to jam her XXs into. No real woman could sport that laser stare, which is the same look you see on construction workers mentally undressing every woman who passes by.

There is nothing wrong with what Victorian medicos used to call "inversioon", but Julie Bishop does not fit naturally into that category – that her “I can see you in your underwear” glare which so unsettles female members of the government has become a fixture of her political repertoire says it all. In some sort of sick, parody of maleness, she intimidates by means of  the oppressive eye.

Abbott’s issues would seem to be more ingrained, deeply steeped in his personal narrative. Where Bishop has adopted maleness, Abbott has been its exploitive victim. Think here of the endless scandals that surround the church and weigh the probabilities that, like so many hundreds of thousands of young Australian men, he was at one time sexually abused by a priest, probably many priests. Damn the coy language! Let’s call sexual abuse what it really is: sodomy.

I think that explains quite a lot about the fascination with shit. In the eyes of a young, exploited boy, the traces of his own post-coital excrement on clerical abusers’ pudenda were the confronting evidence of his own weakness, his powerless and, as the juvenile “bottom” in those boarding school buggary sessions, his limp impotence. His needs, his right to sexual fulfillment, were ignored; it was the abusers’ orgasmic imperatives that were satisfied. And it was Abbott who carried that legacy forward into his political life.

 When Abbott says “shit” it is not just a dirty word, it is a manifestation of the excretory stains that were forcibly imprinted on his character as a child. So, too, the enthusiasm for boxing. Like the flagellants his creed reveres, he mistakenly adopts pain as the path to redemption.

Which brings us to the second great character flaw. Just as Abbott was victimized, so he now attempts to victimize others – one of the very first things any of us who have studied psychology come to know and understand. Every utterance of “shit” is nothing more nor less than a pathetic attempt to share that shame, to project it onto a wider audience and thereby dilute its psychological toxidity.

Think about it and think, too, of Katherine Murphy’s insight in picking up on this hallmark of a suppressed, self-hating homosexual. There is more, much more than male parts jammed into those appalling Speedos. There is guilt, fury, and a silence more profound and far deeper than those excruciating 24 seconds of silence that the helpless bully obliged Mark Riley and Channel 7 viewers to endure.

While we can -- indeed, must -- detest Tony Abbott,  anyone imbued with a concern for justice and empathy must also feel deeply sorry for him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mr Crusader Rabbit Shows His True Colours

WELL, as if we didn’t expect this reaction from the paid conservative apologists in the Murdoch press.

The most reactionary Liberal leader in living memory manifests his core belief that individuals are no more than cannon fodder, that Diggers’ deaths are just part of their job description, and then he disgusts every decent person with a dismissive obscenity – except Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt, who would not know decency if it bit them on their bought-and-paid-for arses.

“Shit happens” Mr Rabbit shrugged when discussing the latest Australian casualty in America’s imperialist occupation of Afghanistan. Read The Age account of Abbott's indifference. That paper gets it right, as usual.

Shit happens indeed!

A Digger’s death is “shit”, apparently, to be scraped off Abbott’s conscience like dog dirt on a shoe. It is a shocking, deeply disturbing moment in the Mad Monk’s gaffe-prone gallop across the stage of Australian politics.

Unforgiveable. Inexcusable. Appalling. Cringe-worthy. Disgusting.

They are the personal traits and characteristics that define the Liberal leader, a musclebound extrovert who delights in disporting his six-pack and bulging groin in those infamous Speedos. He is an actor, egomaniac and poseur, a man who goes bush to “help” Indigenous communities, but only if the TV cameras are trailing along to record his every noble act – and an act it is.  Now he has made those deficiencies of character the defining “qualities” of the party he leads. If his Coalition spear carriers do not come forward, speak up and demand that Abbott step down, the Liberals will forever be condemned as the heartless bastards we have always suspected them to be.

How could a man, an aspiring national leader, describe a dead Australian soldier as “shit”? It boggles the mind, but the explanation really isn’t that hard to find. All we have to do is look at Abbott’s dominant Catholic philosophy and the historical precedents his faith provides for dismissing human life as less than worthless in this existence. The value of human life comes only after death, in the Abbott view.

It is a perspective that is a time honoured tenet of Catholicism and it puts our crusader Rabbit firmly in the tradition of his spiritual guide, the Inquisitor Arnaud of Poblet, who was unleashed by the Pope against the peaceful Cathar “heretics” of Southern France.

"Kill them all. For the Lord knows them that are His," was Arnaud’s advice to a general who was wondering how to tell Cathars from Catholics in a town about to be put to the sword. Today we translate this doctrinal wisdom as “Kill them all and let God sort it out”, which is exactly what the Pope’s butchers did.

Now Abbott has donned the bloody armour of the anti-humanist papal legions of old. It is a good fit and he slips it on as easily as his Speedos.

As Bolt and Blair whip up their red-neck rabble (they have no shame; their followers have no brains), remember the truth about Abbott – the timeless truth about his disregard for human life (except in the womb) that his faith has woven into his political DNA.

FOOTNOTE: The link with the Cathars resonates through the centuries. The Cathars believed in equality of the sexes, non-violence, community property and every person’s right to commune directly with the God. Is it any wonder that Abbott finds their murderers’ sword fits so neatly into his callous, blood-stained hand?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Age -- Part II

THERE IS a lot of chatter on the web about the new Fairfax CEO, Greg Hywood, and why he must "remake" the Age. Since most of this comes from Murdoch lackeys I think we can conclude that Hywood would be foolish to take Murdoch's advice. Did Stalin consult Hitler about the next offensive in the Great Patriotic War?

The Age's redesign is a triumph and the paper's access to enlightened readers is secure. Please, Mr Hywood, don't take charge with a heavy hand. You could lose me and scores of other devoted readers if you do.

Still, I worry. If Hywood has ethnic sympathies with Israel, will he tolerate Paul McGeough's fearless truth-telling about the Zionist State's endless jackbooting? Fred Hilmer, a former Fairfax boss, never interfered with the editorial process and allowed his newspapers to mature into the unique organs of debate and uncowed opinion they are today.

Hywood should just bring back Bristow and leave good enough alone!

Sweetness on Saturdays

BECAUSE I exist on a limited budget allocating what financial resources I command always involves a tough choice. Disability payments only go so far, you understand, and there are all the bills that must be paid -- water, electricity, gas, Foxtel and ISP fees (to keep informed), food, cat supplies, a little chocolate now and then and a Boston bun once a week for that little taste of luxury. My neighbour (the nice one) brings around the supplies and I have carers who pop in to make sure that I am doing OK. When I need to see my therapist, a windowless van is on hand to keep the risk of an agoraphobic panic attack to a minimum. I couldn't say life is wonderful but it is OK and I am reasonably happy, especially when financial help comes from surprising places.

This brings me to why I love The Age, a question that I could begin to answer by saying that its editorial approach is as close as a corporatist publication can get to placing the best interests of readers  and society as a whole at the forefront of its daily miracle. You won't find the vile rantings of an an Andrew Bolt in the Age, nor do Age reporters allow themselves to be blinded by the smokescreens that Big Carbon emits via its legion of paid hacks and liars and industry-funded deniers to obscure the fever that is progressively reducing our planet to a steamy, uninhabitable sphere of barren rock. We get a little rain and the low-life likes of Bolt and Tim Blair begin scoffing about Al Gore and the scientific consensus getting it wrong. In the Age that doesn't happen because its environmental coverage is written by fine journalists like Adam Morton who write from the heart and the brain, not from the wallet or because Rupert Murdoch gets on the phone and orders his trained monkeys to spew lies and fling their venomous droppings on command..

That said, about a year ago I made the tough decision to cancel my subscription to the Age. It was a tight time, economically, for me. Sparkles, my little cat and best friend, fell ill with round worms, my electricity bills jumped (can we start investing in bringing cheap, sustainable green power online now, pretty please!!!!) and, well, something had to go. Sadly, that turned out to be the Age. So, with regret, I cancelled my subscription.

And here is the other reason I love the Age: They have kept delivering the paper without charging a penny for 11 months. I don't know if it is because I told the subscription people that I was homebound or because they value me as a reader, but seven days a week it arrives on my doorstep and a bill never does. Last Saturday also brought the "new" edition of the paper, which I awaited with a feeling of muted anxiety. There had been advance publicity that the Saturday edition was to be revamped and I feared the bean-counters might have ordered the editor to make the paper more appealing to the sort of people who, quite frankly, aren't intellectually worthy of appreciating Leunig and one of the world's great newspapers.

Well, I need not have worried. It is the same old, reliable Age, but with nice little design touches to present the quality journalism that wins so many Walkey Awards. The best article, in my opinion, was Michael Gordon's explanation of Julia's strategy and his argument that she is the real deal.

JULIA Gillard has a message for those who have lost faith in her leadership in recent months (and those who never had it in the first place): she has a plan to win their confidence and a newfound determination to deliver.
Michael has been one of Gillard's most ardent and astute observers, but seeing his familiar theme in a nice, new-look page was one of the weekend's highlights. I made a cup of tea, treated myself to a slice of Boston bun (with extra butter) and purred along with Sparkles. If you can believe the Australian, and you cannot, Fairfax is not travelling well financially. I think Michael's analysis and all the others like it are Exhibit A for initiating a federal subsidy for the maintenance of quality journalism in this country.

Monday, February 7, 2011

When Karl Drops IN

MY world is contained by the walls of my little house and my access to love by the mewing and purrs of a little cat. I accept that I live in a little world, but it is expansive too. The great minds who line my shelves come to talk daily with me and we debate the very themes of life and civilisation. I'm touched, flattered, that Aristotle stops off in Seddon to thrash out the Great Themes and happier to report that I often get the better of the grumpy old Greek. As to Adam Smith, we wrestle and tumble but when our conversations are done and he has conceded defeat, graciously, it is on to tackle Marx in the red corner and me in the white, about to be taught a lesson.

Marx is the one person you can't lay a glove on. The logic, pure and sublime. The profundity in cutting to the economic essence of  class, that endless tallying of exploitative economic units. There are cogs and Karl saw their spinning whir. We have met them and they are ourselves!  Ground down and ultimately discarded, Karl saw the fate for all of his day who inhaled the air just then starting to become saturated with modern industry's carbon-spewing onslaught.

Karl and I were chatting again just this afternoon and while his habit of appearing in his long johns is a bit disconcerting, he still managed to draw out of me the serum of solace,  the antidote to despair that I have distilled from so many, many sources. Karl could afford to be optimistic. He had diagnosed the problem and had reason to believe it could be cured. We have seen the world become less fair, the great philosophy never really executed, always compromised by human weakness.

I should be abject with gloom that the last, best hope for all mankind had been tried and failed, but I am not, not at all. Here are the ingredients that go into my tonic of optimism: Feminism. Aboriginality. You, dear Karl. And the Earth, Mother Earth, whose breast sustains us.

Of you I sing, and of you I will write.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Backyard Blitz

I MENTIONED in my last post the problems I have had with my neighbours, who are noisy and play cricket in the backyard endlessly. The owner is or was some sort of journalist (probably a sports-writing bogan, judging from the football club flag he flies in September) but he is not the problem.

It is his uni student son who lives there also and never goes a day without bringing his ocker mates over. They hit balls against the fence while batting with one hand while holding beer in the other. Because I cannot go out without working through the drills I need to control the panic, it is very difficult and trying. I have called the Council to see if they will stop them but the answer is no on both counts. You are still allowed to impair other people's enjoyment by playing noisily at cricket AND you are allowed to fly your flapping football team's flag.

Several weeks ago the son jumped the fence. I could not prepare myself to venture out but I did rush to the toilet window, which is the sliding kind and opens about 10cm. In the small space, speaking through a small space and one floor above the trespasser, I was able to speak up and demand that he leave the ball, go home and end the game. He pretended he did not know where my voice was coming from and kept talking with his back to my vantage point, which made it very difficult to understand his words.

But I picked up the tone alright! It was incredibly inappropriate, but what should I expect from a petrol head who is always tinkering with his car.

We rightfully have laws that stop home owners cutting down a tree until permission has been granted. It is hard to believe that there are absolutely no laws to protect the victims of what amounts to harassment.

The Real Australian of the Year

FOR many years I have admired Tony Kevin, the former diplomat  who has renounced the striped trouser circuit of international gabby-ness, rolled up his sleeves and knuckled down to do something worthwhile. He was one of the (many) reasons to visit Margo Kingston's ground-breaking, earth-shaking Web Diary in those innocent days before the Fairfax corporatistas realised that they were giving a pulpit to a woman who did not want advertising on her site. This must have stuck in the throats of shareholders because Margo left to blaze new trails and master new challenges. But in the meantime, along with Tim Dunlop (now a regular at the ABC's excellent Unleashed) and other left luminaries, we were blessed to make Tony's acquaintance. He is a challenging individual, that's for sure!

When John Howard's agents were implicated in the sinking of the SIEVX asylum seeker boat, with horrendous loss of life, in order to keep Australia white and Christian (just like the Hillsong crowd wanted), Tony sprang into action and applied his formidable intellect to what soon emerged as a first-rate detective  story, Cloak-and-dagger stuff was in the air, as well as some disquieting testimony from SIEVX's few survivors.

Why, for example, did a large, grey boat loom out of the darkness, shine a light on the floundering survivors and then sail away? It happened, make no mistake, because those who lived were not backward in coming forward to describe the mystery ship. As Tony quite rightly and logically asked, whose ship could it have been if not Australia's? David Marr and Marion Wilkinson also wrote a book about the Tampa-related scandals but stopped short of going where Tony boldly explored. Marr and Wilkinson are wonderful journalists, but they are mainstream journalists so touching this aspect of the story would have been career suicide and no doubt lawyers put the hobbles on a full exploration. The SIEVX outrage will always remain the most shameful episode in our nation's history since the anti-Chinese riots on the colonial goldfields.

Tony had no such restraints as he had nothing left to lose. While serving as ambassador to Cambodia he became embroiled -- smeared would be a better word -- in a kerfuffle about some missing backpackers. It was nothing really, a beat up by grieving people who needed someone to blame for a son's murder in a country that had been in turmoil since the secret US invasion, and Tony Kevin found himself the designated target. With his diplomatic career effectively at an end Tony took up his pen to raise awareness of Australia's appalling treatment of asylum seekers in his compellingly readable book "A Certain Maritime Incident" , which won many literary awards and Premiers' prize nominations.

Now he has expanded his one-man crusade to the climate frontier with another corker of a book, "Crunch Time", which was published almost 18 months ago but is, in many ways, more compelling now than it was then. It is a witty and amusing work, scholarly and erudite but humorous in parts as well (in a grim sort of way). You get the tone of the tome from the cover, which mentions John Maynard Keynes but also incorporates Kevin Rudd and  the economist as heads imposed on prizefighters' bodies. They have their fighting gloves on and are ready for some biff! It is on the bedside table as I type, just finished and, quite possibly more relevant today than when it first appeared, despite Copenhagen's bitter failure. Tony's question for Rudd are precisely the ones being ignored by Gillard: How can you make such big noises about Climate Change but refuse to do anything about it?

As Gillard drops in on the scenes of tempestuous destruction in Queensland, how she can be seeing that evidence of warming while doing nothing more than slapping a tiny tax on the few people without sharp accountants to help them duck the bullet is mind-bogging. As Tony writes in the magisterial voice of a man trained in engineering, nothing less than a sweeping reworking or our society and its means of production will suffice to save the next generations from misery and ruin. The book is worth buying, borrowing or stealing, as the clip below makes clear.

What is especially encouraging is the respect, enthusiasm and conscience of his young interviewer. If you were hear the bogan boys next door to my home on any night of the week, all drink and loud music and drunken cricket games in their backyard, you would think there was no point in even working to try and save the future. But this young man, well, he gives you hope.

Why I Write -- Part 1

WHERE do I start? With an explanation, perhaps, which only means looking out the window, where Mother Nature is displaying the symptoms of the torments and indignities our rapacious species has inflicted on the floating sphere of rock and gas that is our home. It is February and freezing when it should be fiercely warm, and this Australian nation, which has so often inspired me to shame and despair, is being lashed with merciless fury by the elements. It is our reward, our just and bitter reward, for building in our arrogance the roost to which the chickens of our greed are now returning, not in ones and twos but in gaggles and flocks and multitudes to many to mention.

Queensland, first it was washed away, now it has been blown away.

In Victoria and closer to home, floods are the scouring agent that is attempting, finally and predictably if only we had listened, to remove the poison of mankind’s greed and despoilation from the tortured face of a planet on its last legs.

In South Australia, our greatest river empties into a sea being stripped ruthlessly of fish, where soaring temperatures are wreaking havoc with the micro-organisms that are, in the ultimate analysis, the very basic.

In the Northern Territory, where John Howard’s racism lives on, black families must go cap in hand to white overseers for the basic needs of daily life. Deemed unfit to make their own decisions, the culture and family ties that have sustained Koori life for eons are crumbling.

In New South Wales the polls say a government that, for all its faults, better represents the hope of equality and decency is about to be buried beneath the crushing weight of the Murdoch press’s smears and villification.

In Western Australia, where the raping of the earth goes on day and night beneath the giant wheels of the mining industry’s diesel earth gougers, there are fires, just like we saw in Victoria two years ago.  That was a message as hot and pointed as any edict from Higher Authority we are ever likely to see. But we ignored it, as we ignore so much that does not mesh with the extractive, exploitative  regime on which our modern, Western lifestyle is based.

Did I say “our”?

Well, pardon me, because some of us are doing what we can — speaking truth to power, even if our voices are small and weak. That is in fact, the reason for this blog. One little voice that may be heard or may not.

Ultimately the audience that Verdant Hope manages to reach will be beside the point. The fact is that, philosophically, truths will have been articulated, and truth can never be destroyed as long as it exists somewhere and somehow. A century or more from now, because nothing ever entirely vanishes on the Internet, whatever is left of mankind will be able to consult this historical record. It may help our children’s children children (and their kids, too) to understand why the hairless ape that once ruled the world has become just one more vanishing species.