Slip Sliding Away

The erection of a fence at Australia’s federal parliament building is a symptom of the extent to which politicians are separating themselves from the people.  The parliament building and the elected who attend there were supposed to belong to the people but increasingly the building is being turned into a fortress and the enemy outside is the electorate.

The Parliament building was designed to allow the people to walk and sit on the grassed slopes while their elected representatives worked below them.  There were lifts that the people could take from the sides of the area down to the House and the Senate but these were closed off quite some time ago.  Last year, 2016, was the last time that Australians could actually enjoy the lawns that cover the parliament building.  Now, the entire area is fenced off altogether.

The fence represents the failure of our politicians to respond to the wishes of the electorate who have almost completed their own isolation from the people who elected them.  The fence is the ultimate failure of Australian democracy.

Image result for Australian parliament house with fence construction

Our politicians say “up yours” to the rest of us

The Pursuit of…

It seems that most people would allow that one of their most common pursuits is of happiness but it seems to me that happiness is, by its nature, and ephemeral thing.  For me the pursuit of contentment makes more sense.  Happiness comes and goes as events occur but the pursuit of contentment may result in the maintenance of real contentment.

I have to admit that contentment has eluded me so far but I may find it one day and if I do I will be able to say to myself that my life has not been wasted.  I have achieved some things in my life that I find highly satisfying and when I exercise the rights and privileges pertaining to those things I an both happy and content.  But there is too much in my life that pushes happiness and contentment away from me.

When I was very much younger I used to find contentment in wandering in the Australian bush.  I always saw kangaroos in their natural state, snakes in theirs, goannas and the occasional echidna.  There were no koalas where I lived back then.  I used to wander at night as well as during the day and way out there where there were no lights of towns and cities the night sky was magnificent and uplifting.  It inspired thoughts without limit.  The Milky Way and the full moon made nights almost like days, there was even some colour to be seen around one.

The bush was is quiet at night, very passive; it seemed to be very content in a way that attracted and influenced me and still does so many years later.

Coal

Coal has been used for a long time to generate electricity and has contributed substantially to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.  Roughly a third of Earth’s global warming is due to burning coal.  Coal is no longer necessary to provide electricity and all our needs can be fulfilled from renewable resources, wind, solar and wave.  Unfortunately our government has not the wit to relieve itself of vested interests that want to see coal being used to provide a electricity in Australia indefinitely into the future.

Coal is becoming increasingly unpopular outside Australia, so much so that its value is rapidly declining and at some point in the future it will become essentially worthless.  It appears that no Australian bank is willing to provide funds for the development of new coal mines and that no power-generating company is likely to invest in building new coal-fired generations stations even though our government is willing to subsidise them.  Our conservative, or should I say reactionary, federal government is still willing to donate billions of dollars to guarantee the continued use of coal.  The populace has largely voted with its rooves which are being given over at an ever greater rate to host domestic solar generation systems and battery backup for these systems has become extremely popular.  The actual demand for electricity from the coal powered grid has decreased over the last several years.

The very simple fact is that coal is no longer necessary and it is a pretty nasty substance when burned, releasing a range of gases into the atmosphere.  Mining coal is also a dangerous occupation, especially in underground mines where radioactive radon is released and where air can become a host for large amounts of dust that can cause silicosis, a very unpleasant disease.

What’s Eating Australia?

Right now one answer is India.  Our conservative politicians bend over and take it up their rears when India wants to turn Australia into one great big coal mine (Adani) but when Australia wants something from India we don’t get it and well our ratbag government just bends over again and take it up their bums and they expect all of us to do the same.

Coal is rapidly becoming a commodity that no-one wants!  Already burning it to make electricity costs more than renewables and this disparity will only become more in favour renewables in the future.  Adani may open it’s great Australian hole and then find that what comes out of it will be unsellable.  And this will be at the cost of the total loss of the Great Barrier Reef.  The Reef is already seriously damaged and in some substantial area damaged beyond recovery but it is still worth more to Australia via tourism and medical science than any coal mine, no matter how big, could ever be.

Australia’s coalition government is craven, disunited, stupid and fearful.  They hate the poor and middle classes but love the rich no matter how immoral or corrupt the rich may be.

Of course Adani is not the only thing eating Australia.  We are far too close to the USA and we really need to be more independent, to stand up for ourselves and not ask the US “How high sire” when they tell us to jump.  Especially but not exclusively now while the USA has Trump as President and Trump’s cabinet which reflects the President’s idiocy, ignorance and prejudice.

Honestly, I would prefer China as our closest ally over the USA!

Australia and the Syrian Civil War

Australia’s government and official opposition have publicly announced their support for the recent retaliatory strike by the USA against a military airport in Syria.  The retaliation was because of the use of chemical weapons by, presumably, the Syrian armed forces.  Many innocents were killed in the Syrian military action and yet I find it hard to believe that there will be any positive outcome for the US strike.

Using 79 cruise missiles which must have cost at least US$500,000 each the US has expended US$45,030,000 and within days the attacked base had returned to operations.  The US military action has been described as “proportional” but has achieved very little in fact, essentially nothing really.

Only a fool would advocate putting western military forces on the ground in Syria and as a result of the pointless attack using cruise missiles and the utter disaster that would result from putting western forces on the ground it must be clear that the only possibility for peace must be by negotiation.  Of course negotiation can only be successful if the sides, and there are more than two of them, are able to share some common goals and it is absolutely clear that no such common goal exists.

Lacking both a military solution and a negotiated solution the Syrian civil war is destined to continue and the targeting of civilians, hospitals and schools by the Syrian armed forces and government will continue unabated.  What a miserable failure humanity is!