Archive for the ‘gloom and doom’ Category

Woke yesterday and opened the paper to find this  article from the UK Telegraph on page 13. It can be summarised pretty much as “the end is nigh”.

“THE world’s leading scientists have issued a desperate plea to politicians to act on climate change amid warnings that without action the world faces decades of social unrest and war.

In what was described as a watershed moment, more than 2500 leading environmental experts agreed on a statement that called on governments to act before the planet becomes an unrecognisable — and, in places, impossible — place to live.

At an emergency climate summit in Copenhagen, scientists agreed that “worst case” scenarios were already becoming reality and that, unless drastic action was taken soon, “dangerous climate change” was imminent.”

As you can imagine, this cheered me right up, particularly given that the lead story on page one was devoted to the rather less important fact that the band Split Enz was re-forming for last night’s big bushfire benefit concert.  I think it would be accurate to say I felt DESPAIRING!

Fortunately, by this evening, when I heard  that the emergency services units that were two weeks ago fighting bush fires are now stationed around the state preparing for landslides and flash flooding, I had recovered my sense of humour (or at least of the ridiculous) (or at least a little).  Meanwhile, the rain has flushed ash into our reservoirs (not good for drinking) without managing to lift our water levels.

On the bright side (yes!), today I visited the Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative, which is tucked away in a corner of Yarra Bend Park, and bought 30 seedlings of Eucalyptus leucoxylon, which not only has sweet flowers, but thrives on sun and dry soil and tolerates drought. I’d planned to buy 50, but at $3.95 a pop, settled for 30, for now. And late this afternoon, I dragged Pete and Frannie to the end of our street and a rather barren nature

bald nature striprather barren nature strip

strip I’ve been eyeing off where we dug two good sized holes and planted two slender scraps of green and a third on the opposite nature strip. Like so:

number 4

They looked very small as we walked away.


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At work I spent too much of the day editing an essay on climate change and fossil fuels. It was so full of detail and so bleak that by the time I left I felt sick with it all. That’s one of the problems with journalism; there’s no getting away from it. I walked back from the station in the rain thinking apocalyptic thoughts. And when I got home, Pete led me outside and pointed to the five containers planted with eucalyptus seeds, only one of which has sprouted. At first I could see nothing different. And then in one of the tubes in one of the containers an infinitesimal dot of green. And then another.

Back inside, I said to my son, “What’s that thing I say to you when you say that everything’s shit and nothing good’s ever going to happen again?”

“Um. Everything’s going to be alright?”

“No, not that! I mean about thoughts.'”

“Oh. Your thinking affects your feelings affects the way you act.”

“You are wise beyond your years!” I said (or words to this effect).

When I looked at the Age website, I saw this photo:


And then an article that said it was snowing in the Victorian alps.

“Mount Hotham Skiing Company senior marketing executive Caroline Wheatley described it as a ‘very light dusting’ of snow.

‘We woke up to it, it was a beautiful scene of flecks falling down. It was quite surprising to see that,’ she said.”


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Today was not much of a day for planting trees. It was more of a day for keeping out of their way. So in the end I didn’t drive to J’s, father of Finn, to plant the fushcia gum I had promised in his backyard. Nor did i plant the new seeds I promised to put in two days ago. Instead I drove Finn to cricket training, where, amid the lashing of gum trees, I tried to talk his coach into sending them all home, where they would be safe. Instead I got hit hard in the ankle by a cricket ball. Then, as I hobbled away, the dog (“Boots”) discovered the only bit of water in the whole park, which was now a mud wallow, and proceeded to roll in it.

The only good bit (all things being relative) was that  a nice woman came to my aid and dashed home to bring me back a small carton of fruit juice and a cold compress from her freezer, which I rested on my throbbing ankle (thinking about thrombosis) as I sat for the next hour in the car hoping a branch wasn’t going to fall on me.

Pete rang on his mobile to say the power and home phone were out. In the end, though, the worst didn’t happen. The winds gusted up to 120 kilometres per hour, and fire fighters pulled out of some areas, but so far the containment lines seem to be holding.

Meanwhile, here’s a little something from One Hundred Months.


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This afternoon I received this text message on my mobile from the Victoria Police:  “Extreme weather in Vic expected Mon night and Tues. High wind and fire risk. Listen to Local ABC Radio for emergency updates. Do not reply to this message.”

The warning went out to almost five million Victorians. Almost 400 schools will be closed. Gale force winds are expected. People in country areas and the city fringe have been told to activate their fire plans  – and leave their homes now if they are going to leave. It is the first day of Autumn.

Today I planted in the icing-sugar soil of the backyard a tea tree, Leptospermum Petersoni. It is small and rangy and when it grows will bear small white flowers smelling of lemon.

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