Climate Crisis on Election Back-burner

My reading of election coverage (such as it is), is that both major parties have shuffled the climate crisis to the back burner. It must be crowded back there, with homeless people and refugees trying to stay warm. What has been widely ridiculed as the ‘shouty’ debate (on Channel Nine) said nothing meaningful about the most important issue of all – the climate crisis. Such has been the pre-occupation with the election here, we haven’t…

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Pork barrels and billboards ahoy

You can tell there is an election looming when the government promises to reduce the price of beer – a classic example of ‘pork barrelling’. The move to halve the excise on draught beer would save beer drinkers 30 cents on the price of a schooner (a New South Wales term for three quarters of a pint of beer). Pork barrel, or simply pork, is a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localised…

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Extreme weather reminds us of Black Summer

As Australia Day passes by, is it safe yet to say the eastern seaboard of Australia has dodged a ‘Black Summer’ in 21/22? This typically runs from December to May in most parts of Australia. Too soon? The 2020-2021 bushfire season so far is relatively subdued due to the effects of La Nina and the wet winter and spring it brought in many parts of Australia. We’ve seen some freaky weather, though, including heat-waves, a…

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Purple haze – the jacaranda story

On Remembrance Day (November 11), we met a Year 12 student who had been singing in our community choir but had taken time out to concentrate on her studies. She told us (with some excitement), that school was set to finish the following week. That reminded me of the old Queensland maxim about flowering jacarandas and exam times. The story goes that if the jacarandas are flowering and you are behind on your studies, it…

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