Stating ‘I dislike ANZAC Day’ does not win me many friends.
I do not attend dawn services and I take little notice of public happenings on that day. It’s a day that I prefer to keep to myself. It saddens me and confuses me. It also makes me angry.
Yes, I know we must be thankful for the sacrifices made by our armed forces, especially in the ‘World Wars’. We must remember the slaughter of the innocent young men sent to a hopelessly inevitable and horrible death on the shores of Gallipoli.
Australia lost many young men and women in the Second World War and what did that achieve? Australia’s involvement in that war ended not by actions of the poor young men ‘going off to war’ to die but by USA obliterating Japanese cities and the inhabitants in one of the most ghastly operations of all times - that still resonates today.
On ANZAC Day people place wreaths, shed tears, read meaningful poems, sing hymns and make stirring speeches. It is a sombre yet celebratory day.
Meanwhile, Australia will spend $200 million between now and 2028 as part of a plan to become the 10th largest arms exporter in the world.
Our country whose people were weeping two days ago in memory of dead soldiers, has recently signed a $410 million deal to supply Remote Weapons Systems* to ‘an overseas customer’.
Two months ago, Australia announced a plan to increase defence sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stating that “the Middle East is a ‘priority market’ for defence exports.” !!
Wars are no longer fought man against man, gun fire against gun fire, from muddy trenches, but by missiles operated from afar; missiles that wipe out towns, whole villages and the people therein. The resultant wreckage of homes and the bloodied bodies of men, woman and children seem now to be almost acceptable.
Lest we forget, indeed.
*RWS are a collection of sensors, cameras and lasers set around a small cannon, heavy machine gun, missile launchers or a combination of all three.
I have a memory from when I was a young school child, and we kids drew diagrams picturing trees, mountains, the sea (or a lake) and clouds. In our picture we added arrows, both straight and curved creating a message that trees breathed out precious air, which went up into the clouds to form rain. The rain fell on the land and into the ocean and lakes, from where some of it evaporated into more fresh clouds, creating more rain. Or that’s what I, as an eight year-old, understood from my primitive drawing.
How clever was nature!
Well, I may have been a bit off the mark but all those many decades ago I knew even then that the world needed trees to survive.
According to World Vision, ‘tree planting is one of the simplest and most effective ways of tackling climate change caused by greenhouse gas.
As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. When communities plant trees they can help to reduce the impacts of climate change in their local area and around the world.’
The Billion Tree Campaign was launched in 2006, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a response to the challenges of global warming, as well as to a wider array of sustainability challenges from water supply to biodiversity loss.
As of August 2018, 12 years since the campaign’s launch, the campaign’s website registered over 15.2 billion planted trees across 193 countries.
In many jurisdictions, trees in even suburban gardens, are protected and land-owners face restrictions about cutting them down. There are suggestions that for every tree cut down, two more must be planted.
TREES ARE IMPORTANT if we are to survive. We MUST keep planting trees!
Three weeks ago, travelling though outback NSW, I saw trees being knocked over by the hundreds – mile after mile - pushed into windrows and BURNT.
It beggars belief that this is going on.
The photo (above & below) shows what looks like grey water but is actually ash from burnt trees.
I am gobsmacked!
Yes, I know that farmers need more land to graze more sheep or to grow more crops but these same farmers are being devastated by drought, year after year, and the more trees they remove the further the drought spreads.
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!
So, some farmers, (not ALL farmers) are still clearing land at an amazing rate, while we worry about the rights or wrongs of removing one tree from a park or a garden. There are communities and even countries endeavouring to plant trees by the thousands and millions.
Who will win this tree war?
More importantly, who will lose?
Trees affect our climate, and therefore our weather, in three primary ways: they lower temperatures, reduce energy usage and reduce or remove air pollutants. Each part of the tree contributes to climate control, from leaves to roots.
(from: ‘How Stuff Works’)
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.