"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Saturday 3 September 2005

Global Heating Strikes Home

Your Planet Needs You

Wet Sack Cloth, Burning Ashes



Flaming ashes raining from the sky, tanned inside and out with smoke, wet sack cloth, animals racing from the bush, gliders, koalas and owls calling by night, blackened forests, burned five hundred year old trees - and, of course, no accident; it almost never is. Some cattle 'farmer' - who actually grows nothing but harvests self-replicationg meat -  wants more grass than forest on everyone else's land and lit it all up. That way they can graze it illegally. A match in the hand of a halfwit is a dangerous thing. It's the usual method of destruction used by the ignorant redneck rabble we're meant to trust as 'experienced custodians of the land'. In fact, they destroy the home of all for unholy dollars.

With the canny and timely help of neighbours Moon and Bearbeard, frantically yet methodically working away, the site of the unfinished mansionette was cleared just before it was engulfed. Lack of sleep right now, but one image stands out beyond the random stupidity and Armageddon-like destruction; in the midst of the fire, with choking clouds filling the air and large trees smashing to the griound, the new next door neighbour turned up - to log the land. They wanted me to walk the boundaries with them, dropping everything in the middle of saving as much as possible and with the forest a very dangerous place to be.

'Sorry, I'm a little busy right now."

"How about tomorrow morning then?" with dollar signs for eyes.

They began logging while it was all ablaze - and it turns out the laws have changed. To clear 45 degree slopes full of endangered species in upper water catchment next to a National Park on 'private land' you don't even need a permit - as long as you call it 'native forest logging' and not 'land clearing'.

Yes, Australia is part of the Third World, where slash and burn agriculture is the norm and anyone with an indecent level of greed can make a motza if they can't see the forest for the trees. Any ecologists out there interested in free land? The only way to save nature is to have someone decent, thoughtful and compassionate living there. There's some here waiting for you.

Otherwise the so-called 'farmers' will steal everyone's birthright before walking away and 'leaving the land' - what's left of it after they've finished with it.

O wise children of the revolution - Come out of Babylon - your planet needs you!




Global Heating Strikes Home


Global heating strikes wherever you may be. Here in paradise the fires are out - stopped at the borders of the rainforest and five to twenty metres from the dwellings and other buildings. Animals pour from the forest, but koalas continue to call from the trees; week-old dingoes shrink from me as eye walk right by them, a metre away; as they're seeking refuge eye let them be. Despite the likelihood of their killing hundreds or thousands of other animals in their lifetimes, today's not the day to cut their time short.

The fire chief, who has been 'fighting' fires for sixty years, is nonplussed. "I've never seen the fire continue on into the damp gullies this way at this time of year," he says. "It's unheard of."

"The tortoises didn't hibernate at all this year," eye reply.

"Just as well I'm retiring," says he.

The fire and logging have left us peculiarly undepressed. Everything seems to be all right even as catastrophe strikes and our personal economies deplete to danger point. It's partly because the loggers have given up; instead of four months' work, they have only a week. The trees have been destroyed in a commercial sense, but are still there as habitat - and without the logging the soil on the mountainsides will survive in place, making regeneration likely in a way that wouldn't be possible if the logging had gone on. Yet a walk through the drier hills is still a walk through the Black Forest, apocalyptic black on white ash with a fringe of red leaves.

A fire like this once in a generation can be survived and the land can recover, even thrive from a little 'thinning'. But more often than that and everything disappears in a succession of depletion; water, soil, plant and animal diversity, until what's left is like the rest of the world that humans have 'touched' (in the sense of molested).

This land is very forgiving - moreso than most places. But, like the rest of the planet, it can only tolerate fools for so long...

Right now the kids are playing amid the devastation; they're quite happy. To them, life still shines brightly. After all, you actually can't know what you've lost when it's gone. The curse and blessing of a very long memory is that today's world pales before the remembered glories of an Earth that humankind had not yet damaged so severely - by extending our egos as far as our reach.

The only way to survive and thrive, according to the Aborigines and the Dalai Lama, is by caring and sharing. Nuclear families end in nuclear decay; we can only thrive and survive by actually dropping the bullshit and LIVING TOGETHER, abandoning the septic illusion of separation for something far more challenging, dangerous and pleasant - tribal life. Start now - there's no time BUT the present!


-         R. Ayana

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