Welcome to this blog, the story of a great big Australian adventure. It documents my travels, life in Australia, and a subject close to my heart – environmental conservation. 

Australia's loss

Australia's loss

For two days I have been trying to write about the carbon price having been finally, splutteringly laid to rest by Tony Abbott's government on Thursday. Everyone knew this was inevitable, but big bluster Clive Palmer and his new PUPs in the Senate had chosen to prolong the agony.

In a masterful weird-how-things-turn-out moment, Friday morning dawned with the appalling news that a passenger jet had been blown out of the sky over troubled eastern Ukraine; the second major disaster for Malaysia Airlines in four and a half months. There were 27 Australians among the 298 who lost their lives. And so it was that those of us mightily disheartened by this nation's misguided carbon emissions 'policy' were spared any more self-congratulatory smirking by the LNP's worst culprits.

Airliners exploding out of the sky is the stuff of nightmares for most people whose every waking moment is not dedicated to their basic survival. Within a few hours of the tragedy in Ukraine, Israel began a ground attack on Gaza. As the Palestinian death toll surpasses the number of dead in MH17 – while Israeli losses can be counted on half a hand – this has rapidly become a dreadful week for supposedly intelligent humankind. We exercise the same degree of recklessness towards each other as we do towards our planetary habitat.

I intended describing the demise of the carbon price in national and global headlines, which would have gone something like this…

The carbon tax is dead. Wrong way, Australia – go back   Katherine Murphy in The Guardian.

'A perfect storm of stupidity†': scientists react to news the carbon tax is gone   Simon Thomsen in Business Insider Australia

Australia tax repeal is big blow to fight against emissions   Michelle Innis et al in The New York Times

Australia becomes the first country in the world to go backwards on climate policy   Charlotte Meredith in The Huffington Post UK

But I found I could only bring myself to read those articles reflecting my own dismay, of course. In the end, if I could cite just one source, I would choose my old friend First Dog on the Moon, who usually makes me laugh, and did so on this occasion. But sometimes its incisive commentary cuts to the bone with pathos.

An entire nation randomly driven hither and thither on the whims of petty resentments and unresolved rage… Direct Action isn't a policy position, it's the rules of a late night drinking game at Greg Hunt's place. It's not about economics or the environment, this is nothing more than gleeful glittering, skittering revenge.

To cheer you up in a week of mourning, here's the daft quote of the day award for Thursday. It went to Barnaby Joyce (is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?*), who, unfortunately for Australia's farming community, is Agriculture Minister:

Look at the weather today, look at the way you are dressed, no one thinks it is too hot.

† Professor Roger Jones, Research Fellow at Victoria University's Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies
* With thanks to Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell

This post was last edited on 20 July 2014


Mangling language

Mangling language

Trailers for sale

Trailers for sale