Australia Day and the beach

There’s nothing much planned here for Australia Day (aka Invasion Day) except a trip to the (doggie) beach and an evening neighbourhood gathering at a local park. You won’t find much flag-wearing/waving, lamb eating, dunny-racing, gumboot-tossing fervour in this essay, probably because I am among the 16% of Australians who think a national day of commemoration is unnecessary. (Robbie Burns’ birthday (today) being the exception to the rule – Ed). The headline item in a…

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Confessions of a Tree Hugger

The derogatory label ‘tree hugger’ is worn with pride by environmental guerrillas, the ones who chain themselves to trees in a bid to prevent them being chopped down. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines tree hugger as ‘someone who is regarded as foolish or annoying because of being too concerned about protecting trees, animals, and other parts of the natural world from pollution and other threats’. Yes, well, that’s objective. Although chaining yourself to a tree…

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Rising sea levels and apocalyptic fiction

I’d always thought my song about the mountain dwellers ending up on waterfront row because of rising sea levels was not to be taken too seriously. It was an apocalyptic view of what might happen if it didn’t stop raining and, moreover, not a terribly original idea as it turned out. But the risk of flash flooding from above-average rainfall is only half the problem for people living down there, at sea level. A loyal…

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Renewable energy vs climate sceptics

Have you ever noticed, after giving your dog a bath, how it will head straight for the nearest patch of renewable energy? Ours has a favourite sunny spot next to the dining room table where he will happily bask, while our solar-powered camping lamp, calculator and torches are recharging on the window sill. Free sunshine – what’s not to like? As it happens, we have been preparing our little caravan for a weekend music festival…

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