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Crisis, chaos, collapse

Serendipity has resulted in my living in the capital of the Northern Territory for most of my life, and all of the later part, which means I am in one of the safest parts of the world – at present – until the NT Government opens our borders on Friday, 17 July.

So during most of the COVID-19 crisis, I have had, both more freedom to move around and less stress in relation to community infection (as we have had none), than my peer group in other parts of Australia have enjoyed.

I live alone now, so when I am driving to shops or appointments, I am usually unaccompanied, and my mind wanders around in a fascinating way!

Today, my mind took me down memory lane along paths which reminded me of my childhood.

When my parents married in 1931, they bought a typical English semi-detached house in a dormitory suburb, west of London. Typically for that period, it had a kitchen/laundry, dining room and sitting room downstairs (we were not upmarket enough to have a drawing room!), with a master bedroom, a second double bedroom, with twin beds, and a smaller box room, plus bathroom and separate toilet. We also had a good-sized back garden and a smaller front garden, which provided greater privacy.

My sister and I, who were nearly 3 years apart, shared the second bedroom, and my memory today evoked the many times we used to talk in bed, and then try to retrace our steps to where the conversation started! We never could remember the order in which one thing had led to another!

Well – today was Week 24 as far as my Parliament House vigil is concerned, and I had a very interesting conversation with a younger man, probably now in his 40s, who had come to Australia from the UK when he was 3. So he had heard his parents talking about the UK during WWII, even though he had not, like me, experienced it at first hand.

We were in agreement on the facts, as we saw them, of current problems in relation to global affairs and the need for urgent government action.

Greed featured prominently, in analysing current problems and their causes, as did the fact that too many governments seem to regard the economy as our master, not our servant.

As I drove home, my mind was remembering school history, going back to the Greek and Roman Empires, and my first thought for a title for this article was Decadence, Disaster, Destruction. This sticks in my mind in relation to the Roman Empire, of which there are many reminders in the UK.

After WWII, when it was possible to get the car on the road again, we spent a series of summer holidays in North Wales, travelling on the A5, much of which follows the old Roman Road called Watling Street.

A significant part of the original road remains, running dead straight for kilometres, and including bridges which were built by the Romans, and still usable, even though they cannot accommodate even 2 lanes of modern traffic!

On the way, in the distance can be glimpsed remains of portions of aqueducts, still proudly standing after more than two thousand years!

But, having developed a vast empire, conquering many warlike nations in the process, the upper echelons of Roman society became decadent, offering ‘bread and circuses’ to entertain the plebs, while the nobles feasted and the borders were no longer properly patrolled.

Just as previous empires, Chinese, Syrian, Egyptian, Greek (not necessarily in that order!) came and went, mainly through decadence and failure to secure their defences, so too did the Roman Empire pass, even though it left a great legacy.

But the modern world ignores the lessons of the past.

I am no follower of Gaia, but there are times whether I wonder whether Mother Nature is not fighting back at man’s arrogance in believing that it can mold the world to suit its needs, with no attention paid to the damage being done on the way.

The environment relies on a balance.

Increasingly, mankind’s activity upsets that balance and we get a backlash.

The Great Plague, the Spanish Flu, HIV Aids, Global Warming, COVID-19 – probably others, but less major or well-known.

We interfere with Nature at our peril.

We are destroying biodiversity and abusing our resources.

Greed is the driver.

Every developed country at present seems more interested in getting back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible, regardless of the damage that COVID-19 will cause if not contained – but since ‘normal’ no longer exists, that is a futile exercise!

Yet government policies have, rightly, put people and businesses out of work in order to save lives.

Unless they provide substantial support for the people they have saved from the infection, they will have achieved nothing!

And looking at Victoria, but even more so, the USA, Brazil, India and Russia – do we deserve to survive?

We ignore expert advice on how we are most likely to avoid becoming infected, and many governments do not take the advice seriously, either!

Yet, paradoxically,while the Australian government has, in large part, accepted the advice from scientific experts, they refuse to do so in relation to the even more malignant elephant in the room – Global Warming.

Inkl has printed the prediction (Saturday 11/07/20):

20%

– In the next five years we have a one-in-five chance of the global temperature average being 1.5Cº hotter than in the pre-industrial era. Reaching that milestone so soon in the century would represent an utter failure of our species to address an existential threat.

And the significance of that detail is clear from the most recent IPCC Report.

So I chose the title above because I believe the current world order is truly in chaos, the COVID-19 crisis is not going away any time soon – even if we get a vaccine, as with flu, that does not guarantee no further infections – and failure, on the part of all governments, to implement effective strategies to reduce rising global temperatures, is likely to lead to a collapse of the world’s government systems.

We have choices.

We cannot afford to make the wrong ones.

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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8 comments

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  1. Phil

    Gaia is on borrowed time, the virus that is doing the most damage is the human virus. It mutates on a regular basis and that mutation is a rapacious avarice, that is worse than any virulent cancer known to man and it increases every year and never seems to be satisfied. The Capitalists who are responsible for our current situation, call it growth. And it is not just the obscenely wealthy that is causing the problem. We have brainwashed the population, into believing the highest form of enlightenment, is owning a 4×2 house, in a nice suburb a 4×4 off road vehicle and a boat moored at the local marina, to impress people, we wouldn’t give the time of day too, and yet, we are still not happy.

    An increasing percentage of the population is hooked, not only recreational drugs, but prescription drugs, which are killing people every day of the week. Then there is the alcohol. The suburbs in every state in this country, are full of functioning alcoholics, leading to domestic violence and the scourge of gambling and other degrading vices. Which incidentally, if it was up to me, there would be no such thing as the TAB or Casinos. I would take a flame thrower to them.

    Instead of making ourselves aware of the problems and doing something about them, we waste our time in the worship of the inane, sportsman, movie stars and the worst worship of all, the pastors and other spivs and other nutters that belong to the Pentecostal happy clapper churches etc. . We have a piss head and a man who speaks in tongues as our Prime Minister and if you believe the polls, his supporters love him. Go to a footy ground in Australia on any day and there you will find the real mentally deranged. There they will be, getting pissed up and getting into deep meaningful conversations, about which player is rooting which other players wife and guessing what colour, the Captain of team A’s last motion was. Worshiping the players who wouldn’t piss on their supporters if they were on fire.

    Covid – 19 is all going to end in tears. The economy is imploding and this generation will go to peace’s. My old mum who is 93 soon, knows what’s coming. I mean, I have eaten bread and dripping, my mum has eaten just the bread, stale. Wait until the fast food outlets start closing and the beer starts to get rationed etc. It will really make a change for once, instead of us f%^&@#$ the planet, the planet will be f&^%$#@ us. The psychologists will think it’s Xmas. Oh happy days.

  2. Vikingduk

    World: “There is no way we can shut everything down in order to lower emissions, slow climate change and protect the environment.”

    Mother Nature: “Here’s a virus. Practise.”

    Anonymous.

    “In the past half-century, we humans — according to WWF’s 2018 Living Planet report — have managed to see off as much as 60% of the world’s mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, while placing one million plant and animal species under threat of extinction. Through the impact of human activities we have killed half the world’s coral reefs. We have cleared half the world’s tropical forests. We have polluted the oceans, shrunk the Arctic and Antarctic summer ice, caused droughts, heatwaves, desertification, fires, floodings and storms, along with food shortages, on an unprecedented scale.”

    Read it and weep. Read it and scream. Read it and rage at the dying of the light. Well done, humans, now begone. No more, says Nature, we’ve had our chance, now we all pay the price. Is it too late for sorry? Too late to promise to do better?

  3. RosemaryJ36

    Vikingduk – Having, as a child, lived in the UK under severe restrictions on civil liberties during WWII, I know it can be done. But persuading people of the need to accept those restrictions is the hard part – as Victoria is demonstrating.
    We ARE at war – at least Nature is at war against us – and inaction will lead to more deaths and destruction.
    Time for effective action is running out! And I am an optimist!!!

  4. Vikingduk

    Time running out . . . Yes, unfortunately so. So much beauty trashed, so many extinctions, so much lost. Yes, definitely, the human spirit is capable of surviving, overcoming privation. My long departed grandmother raised 6 children, alone, husband a casualty of war. This was done in a 2 up, 2 down terrace house, no hot running water, no pension for a large part of this time. And there’s the tragedy, we are capable of so much more. Why is it that greed and thoughtlessness become the norm for so many? In many ways I am a broken man, but still I will rage at the dying of the light. Cheers, Rosemary, you are doing an enormous job as you sit there day after day. Well bloody done. A little off topic, seeing as you are in the Territory, Valkyrieduk’s uncle, Clive Caldwell, features in the Territory’s wartime history, perhaps you are familiar with his exploits as a fighter pilot. An incredibly focused individual who despised war and medals and bullshit. If you have seen his flying suit on display, know that his dear wife, Jean, sewed that flower on the inside of the collar.

    Love wins, no matter what.

  5. David Stakes

    The far right have almost succeeded in imposing their new world order, with help from stupid voters.

  6. RosemaryJ36

    Vikingduk I looked up Clive Caldwell, and saw the mention of his activities during the bombing of Darwin, but I had not heard of him before.
    The population of Darwin has a high turnover rate!
    Many cannot take our wet seasons, but I love it here.
    When I left Heathrow to fly here at the end of 1970, there was snow on the runway, and I never want to be cold again!

  7. Vikingduk

    Rosemary, he was Australia’s number one fighter pilot, mostly flying Middle East in support of the rats of Tobruk, broke many rules, pissed off the hierarchy, a good man. During the New Guinea campaign, the yanks, of course, were very well resourced, so Clive, in free time flew the fighter to oz, stock up on available alcohol to be used by oz troops as a trading medium with the yanks for the use of their dozers, etc. landed in the shit, needed to be made example of even though the practice was widespread. Clive was responsible for teaching how to shoot a moving target, shadow shooting he called it, aim for the shadow, fire and your target was there to receive the rounds. He never lived in the Territory. A ruthless man when it came to war, after hearing the Nazi pilots were shooting allied pilots who had bailed out, Clive adopted the practice as well, shooting the German pilots as they bailed out. Didn’t win him a lot of friends, but, for him, all or nothing.

  8. RosemaryJ36

    Vikingduk – Many thanks!

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