Water theft a sign of crumbling civilisation

As communities across drought-paralysed Australia patiently wait for rain, reports of water theft, ranging from relatively trivial incidents to a 25,000-litre heist, are troubling. Can we be far from outright anarchy when dishonest (and sometimes honest but desperate), people help themselves to other people’s water? There are precedents for this – just think back to Cape Town‘s ‘Day Zero’ crisis in 2018 when a city of 3.74 million was set to run out of reticulated…

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Resolution: we all want to save the world

Blame it not on the Bossa Nova but on the ancient Babylonians, who, 4,000 years ago, invented the dubious practice of making New Year resolutions. The Babylonians were the first to hold New Year celebrations, although held in March (when crops were sown). The Babylonians pledged to pay their debts and return any borrowed objects (thinks: whoever borrowed Murakami’s ‘IQ84’ and Cohen’s ‘Beautiful Losers’, give them back!). An article in <history.com> cites these rituals as…

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Climate debate burning fiercely

As we prepared to move from the Sunshine Coast hinterland after 17 years, the air was full of bushfire smoke, dust and haze from an early, hot start to spring. It blew a gale up there for the best part of a week; strong south-westerlies, the last thing you need in an early bushfire season. Multiple properties were lost around Stanthorpe and in the Gold Coast hinterland between Sarabah and Canungra as hot gusty winds…

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Water shortages – here and there

When visiting friends in the water starved towns of Warwick and Stanthorpe, it does not take long for the local message to sink in – ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down’. This is a water-saving tip for times of drought – seemingly a more or less a permanent state of affairs in south-east Queensland. Southern Downs residents are currently on a per capita water limit of 120 litres per…

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