Life on the planet in 2040

On days when the woes of the world are too much with us, do you ever think what life on the planet in 2040 will be like? That’s the year the Doomsayers say will be the End Times or the Apocalypse. The theory is that by 2040, planet earth will no longer be able to sustain its estimated population of nine billion. There are serious arguments for that proposition – extreme weather events caused by…

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Climate extremes – from bushfires to a polar vortex

February is the one month of the year when the climate extremes of the northern and southern hemisphere starkly remind us of the threat to civilisation posed by climate change. In the northern hemisphere, a polar vortex in January and February brought record low sub-zero temperatures to the UK, Europe, USA and Canada. Cars disappeared beneath mounds of snow; Chicago’s river froze as temperatures dropped to a rare -46 degrees Celcius (wind chill temperature). The…

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People without lists are listless

Someone (possibly one of my lecturers), once said: ‘People without lists are listless’ – perhaps an observation on my then lack of motivation. Decades later, I went in search of the origins of this quote and came up empty, although there are many other pithy quotes about the universal ‘to-do’ list. Author Mary Roach, who has many opinions about lists, says that by making a list of things to be done, she loses “that vague,…

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Six Prime Ministers and a potato class action

As the dry winter fades away, ushering in a hot and bushfire-prone spring and summer, here’s some sober reflections on ‘Single-use Prime Ministers’. I borrowed the single-use mention from a clever meme doing the rounds on social media, where, I might say in defence of the humble Kipfler, Sebago and Desiree, potatoes continue to be openly defamed. It might not be long before we see headlines where Tryhard & Associates, no win-no fee, mount a…

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