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.