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):
– 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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