“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”
Barack Obama, (Former US President).
I have lived through some frightening times (2007), when living in rural Victoria, and I know the fear presented by the blackened sky of bushfires, and the worrying - and oft frantic - fire prevention preparation of our home.
I have witnessed floods that washed away bridges and I have bottle-fed motherless lambs in time of drought.
There is a certain visceral knowledge of climate change effects that is possibly best understood by experience, more so that lectures and video footage on the tv news.
We should now mourn the wasted years, when we could have effectively dealt with the horror of what is to come, as our children and grandchildren inherit extreme weather events that may ultimately prove to be deadly for some.
And still politicians waffle on meaninglessly as they defend the fossil fuel worshippers (beneficiaries) as if we, in Australia, have nothing to worry about.
As Australia’s deputy prime minister makes a hash of pretending to care for our country’s contribution to alleviating the effects of Climate Change, he turns crucial ‘debate’ into mock decisions based on bribery and shonky dealing with our already shonky government, then utters the ridiculous: “There is no pantomime here; this is fair dinkum serious business.”
(Barnaby Joyce 19.10.21)
As Richard Denniss, Chief Economist at The Australian Institute says,
“It’s not climate change that needs to be tackled. It is the political power of the fossil fuel industry.”
I am using quotes from people far more knowledgeable than I am, as they are able to put the situation most succinctly, such as the brave 17 year-old Swedish Activist Greta Thunberg, who says,
“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope,
but I don’t want your hope.
I don’t want you to be hopeful.
I want you to panic.
I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.
I want you to act.
I want you to act as you would in a crisis.
I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
(Quoting WWF): “To adequately address this crisis we must urgently reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the consequences of global warming, which we are already experiencing.”
What is Australia going to do?
In May of this year (2021) we visited the site of the Myall Creek massacre.
Myall Creek is a place, where, in 1838, a group of twenty-eight Indigenous people, sitting peacefully around a campfire chatting and working, were brutally killed.
The group consisted mainly of women and children, with a couple of old men, no longer able to go hunting.
The young men of the tribe had gone after food for their families.
A group of colonists who came upon the group, simply massacred them.
Now, a warning here: These peaceful people were not shot, they were savagely massacred; their bodies chopped and slashed into unrecognisable pieces, heads were severed - by white men who objected to ‘Natives’ being on ‘their’ land.
This was not an isolated case of murder, committed by white men. The victims were First Nations people, going about the activities they had been involved in for thousands of years. Similar atrocities happened elsewhere.
The reason that the Mile Creek Massacre is often mentioned is that it was the first time the colonial administration created laws making Aboriginal people equal in the law.
As a consequence, the murderous Colonists were arrested and seven of them executed.
The site today is a peaceful place. There is a gentle path winding around the hilltop, over which some bodies were thrown in 1838. Information plaques offer some of the story and people have built small memorial rock cairns along the way.
To walk along the path, on a peaceful, blue-sky day, surrounded by eucalypt trees and bird song is very moving, as visitors take in the meaning of the site.
It is hard not to feel emotion and even blink back a tear, while also being horrified at the details of such a happening.
Despite its horrendous history, it is somehow a beautiful place; and very peaceful.
Up until NOW.
We have just seen in the News, that someone has desecrated this peaceful site, with racist words and wreckage.
I cannot fathom the ignorance and mindless action that would make someone do this.
Myall Creek is not a ‘handy’ place to visit. These fools must have planned such an action. Surely not, but why else would they have visited?
It is unimaginable that this could happen. It seems that 183 years later, there are bigoted and racist individuals still to learn the meaning of equality.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.