The sun is back.

Correction from my last post. A few members of Extinction Rebellion Sydney did block Pitt Street on Monday. Not sure whether that is a good strategy, I’ve had that discussion with XR members before, we’re about ‘winning hearts and minds’ and is annoying some poor coot trying to get home or to work going to achieve that?

What is a good strategy? I totally agree with old sir David Attenborough when he said the battle is in the field of communications – convincing people there is a problem and one that needs to be addressed. It’s in communications that we are losing; no matter what you do out there in the street, as far as the public is concerned it did not happen unless it is on the evening news and / or front and centre on a news service’s website. To make matters worse, even if it is reported, what the public think about it will entirely depend on how it is reported. All you need is a few hard lefties turning up at a climate demo with red flags and the right-wing media would give them a blow job. “Anti-capitalist communist Uni students living off their parents disrupt hard-working taxpayers with their bullshit bla, bla”. Must say the lefties have gone missing recently, maybe they understood they did more damage than good in trying to hitch their political agenda onto the climate change movement. An old die-hard communist admitted to me that having failed to bring about the ‘inevitable revolution’, the strategy became to infiltrate and try to take over all other movements such as environment, gay, women’s, indigenous, etc movements and use them as platforms to bring about worldwide revolution. I think that’s called ‘delusional’.

The end result has been a weakening of all the above and a worldwide rise of authoritarianism. Sorry to say, it’s expected when you give too much importance to the opinions of old fools, the young and the inexperienced. I could add the self-interested and the self-pitying sex-addicted narcissists I need not name.

Anyways – the sun is back out and the flood waters receding. For now. What’s next? Floods, drought with crop failures, wildfires, massive cyclones? For sure nature is hell-bent on driving the message, “Wake up and Act!”

Thinking about a page on the subject of street boys and Piccadilly Circus. Share a few thoughts and hard truths.

It rained on our parade.

Fair weather protestors, OK there is moisture falling out of the sky, but still there were thousands of people going about their business in the city today, and so can’t see why the planned protest needed to be ‘postponed’. Maybe the police couldn’t spare the numbers needed to keep us well-behaved. Too busy rescuing people in the flooded areas maybe?

Anyway, went about my business as well, trying to find a shoulder mount rig for my DSLR – keep the camera steady when filming. No joy – one city shop said they have had them on order since August last year. I also looked into getting a monitor that would go with the rig and nearly chocked when the sales assistant said that he had, and they cost A$ 430! I think that’s because of the ‘Australia Tax’ which applies to anything not made here and that sadly means just about everything. For example, I brought a pair of Diesel jeans in Bangkok for A$30 whereas the same here in Sydney would have set me back A$200. My ladyboy friend (actually a 47-year-old in case peoples get the wrong impression) said I was ripped off, and he could have got them cheaper. For sure the 430 dollar monitor would be 50 in the King Power Shopping Centre.

Sydney rain and public stupidity.

Experiencing flooding in New South Wales and again media and right wing politicians are talking about a ‘one in one hundred year event’. I mean like – seriously? I think I can remember more than a few similar flooding events in New South Wales in the past 30 years or so. Once in a hundred years is like saying this won’t happen again for another one hundred years which is utter garbage; it could based on climate science happen again in a few years, dozen years or maybe next year or will we next year be experiencing another ‘once in one hundred year’ bushfire season – just like the one we had last year? Someone should call on these clowns, politicians and media, to explain how the hell they can straight-faced tell fibs as they do. Or is it the ‘public’ that is brain-dead stupid? The other day I was chatting in the street with a guy who told me half-a-dozen times in the space of five minutes he is a ‘fine artist’ and that the Earth is flat, climate change is hysteria sponsored by American billionaires, that the sun and moon are inside the Earth’s atmosphere, that landings on the Moon and Mars are Hollywood animations, and the scariest part of all that is that this individual has the right to vote. He is not Robinson Crusoe stranded on Stupid Island; eighty percent of evangelicals in the United States would probably agree adding that God – the bearded one who sits in the clouds on a big chair – makes up the weather each day. Imagine that for a moment – God sitting at his weather-control console selecting ‘Sydney’ and then pushing the ‘heavy rain’ button on the drop-down menu. Why? No reason given, but one can assume the happy-clappers would say it has something to do with the gay Mardi Gras. “Cop this perverts!” Says the good lord. Don’t laugh – the local Anglican bishop (Jenkins at the time?) said the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was God showing the sinful West what could lie ahead if it does not turn away from sin. A warning and pity about the 100 thousand or so brown people killed, but they as non-whites, not black either, and neither Christian nor Muslim or Lesbian, matter less.

Probably the biggest problem with democracy is that the problems we face are beyond the understanding of birdbrain politicians, media persons, and most of the general public. For sure science is not a popular subject in schools these days, and in Australia it was found 90 percent of the population are functionally illiterate, meaning unable to understand a complex text on a subject with which they are unfamiliar. Can read the sports page and short articles about perverts, sex scandals are popular, but Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, Polar Vortex, and God forbid anything as evil sounding as ‘Ice Albedo Feedback’ – phew.

I’m no genius, second last in class when I packed up and went off to take up a full-time career as a street kid, but I self-educated and eventually got a bullshit degree, still read a lot and trust those with PhD’s who work for reputable institutions such as the European Space Agency, NASA, various universities, etc that they know what they’re talking about and all say the same thing – act now or it’s time-up for life on this planet. Unfortunately here in Australia people, and especially in rural areas, are more likely to listen to a half-baked accountant trying to save his political arse by spreading disinformation at the local pub.

“Given the momentum in both the Earth and human systems, and the growing difference between the ‘reaction time’ needed to steer humanity towards a more sustainable future, and the ‘intervention time’ left to avert a range of catastrophes in both the physical climate system (e.g., melting of Arctic sea ice) and the biosphere (e.g., loss of the Great Barrier Reef), we are already deep into the trajectory towards collapse,” said Steffen.

“That is, the intervention time we have left has, in many cases, shrunk to levels that are shorter than the time it would take to transition to a more sustainable system.

“The fact that many of the features of the Earth System that are being damaged or lost constitute ‘tipping points’ that could well link to form a ‘tipping cascade’ raises the ultimate question: Have we already lost control of the system? Is collapse now inevitable?”

Professor Will Steffen, Australian National University, in an interview with Voice of Action.

Next climate demos.

As much as I despair we will get the action required to avoid catastrophic climate change, we have a moral duty to keep trying. So, this coming Monday it’s back out in the street and hopefully this time there will be more than just a few dozen of us.

Otherwise, the only recent news is that the leg I broke last year is basically still broken, and so I’m walking around with a titanium rod shoved down my right tibia and its screws being what’s holding the bone together. The surgeon told me to give it another three months and if there is no sign of healing, then it could mean a second operation. Have to think about that one…