Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Living Beneath the Hole in the Ozone Layer

I am always amazed in Australia when I hear people say that climate change isn't real, or who argue that there's no point in putting in measures against sources of it, because countries such as China and the USA won't.

I mean, it's not like we live beneath the hole in the Ozone, and that we have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

No, not that.

Besides, it's October and the Blue Mountains are on fire.

The smoke is drifting into the city, and last night, my girlfriend got up and closed all the windows and doors, because it had gotten so bad she couldn't sleep, I was coughing in my sleep, and the cat was sneezing. On Thursday last week the world turned yellow, like it was the inside of an old bruise, and the moon turned red, like a bad horror film. The fire reports have a serious man on it who says, "We're planning risky, dangerous back burning operations," and the like, which, if you've ever lived through a few of the Australian bushfire seasons, is a bit rare to hear said. Everyone is calm and contained, however. The Police Commissioner said, "If you're caught looting, Police will deal with you very harshly, and then they will book you," which seemed to send a clear and concise message about the situation for looters. Reports are some kids were caught starting a fire, and turning on the TV sees various scientists and commentators talking about the state of children in the world before they move on to the reports from fires in 2009 and the clear link to climate change, which someone inevitably argues against, because, you know, people are like that.

It's going to be a long summer.

It would be nice to believe that the current government (the new government, even) would take all this as a warning about the serious nature of climate change, but I think we can safely assume it won't. It has already shut down the climate commission, already plans to replace the carbon tax with an even less successful alternative, and is busy now planning a legal battle against the ACT, who made same sex marriage legal yesterday. They're still calling asylum seekers illegal, also. Seems an odd list of things to connect to bush fires and climate change, but it takes a real and concerted effort to deny reality to this extent, to push your world view upon others without care of evidence, support, or common sense. I don't actually feel angry about that, more resigned, really, and a part of me wonders about what kind of world we'll all be living in, eventually. Given that I write books with worlds that lie in disarray, with the environment radically altered, you might assume that the subconscious part of my mind thinks it won't be positive.

I don't know where it gets its ideas from, really.

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