Saturday, May 28, 2011

Not Art, Not Funny

If you painted the sky where I live they'd lock you up. People have had quite enough of painters imposing their messy psychoses and emotions onto seemingly benign landscapes. It gets out of hand too easily, always has in the past, and soon enough 'art bars' are clogged up with raving lunatics drunkenly jabbering and cutting bits of themselves off and generally frightening people who are trying to admire each others' berets and tight black trousers.

There are clouds here like nowhere else on earth. Shaped like cartoon spaceships. Even the normal clouds have abnormal aspects to them, some sort of saharan sand texture off the edges, and there's generally three or four different types about the place at any one time. Maybe it's because this is an island, between three large oceans and a smaller sea, maybe because the next land of any size south of here is Antarctica. I have no idea, but I like it. The clouds can do what they like, and the animals can be as slightly askew as they like too. I'm very glad I found myself here when I had the falling out with my home town. I believe I shall die here, happily and healthily, in about 70 years. Maybe more.

I can't remember if there was a particular point of contention between me and Melbourne, and from this geographic and temporal distance I can only recall a creeping unease of wrongs unrighted, unchallenged, and before too long, accepted as necessary. Soon enough I started to frighten people in bars and thankfully not long after I took off. When I say not long after, I am counting ten years as not a long period of time. A lesser man would go back to that sentence and correct himself, but not I. These wrongs (the ones I perceived) were social, moral, architectural and political, and heartbreaking to me. I felt (and still feel) that my home town was being divested of the very soul that made the city "liveable" by people who had no affection for it, whose claimed affection was in fact an economic assessment that they could make yet more money out of it. From my secret island stronghold I see no reason to change my opinions in this regard. As I say, I'm glad to be here.

So it is with very little anger, and mostly sadness, that I watch the climate "debate", the "action" being taken. As with all things, it appears, the money has the final say. When it became undeniable to all but the insane, and those who profit from pretending they are, the Australian government appointed an expert to assess how the "challenge" should be met. The expert was of course an economist. Because that is the important thing. Oh, he boned up on climatology, which must have been heartening to those people who have devoted their lives to such study, but in the wash up at the end of the day, his report was a cost/benefit analysis. So we end up with not some way to deal with pollution, but an argument about how much the pollution should cost - initially- till we get around to a pollution trading arrangement much like the futures trading market which already props up a healthy number of fat-gutted greed nazis. (and reasoned opinion goes out the window, once again. Goodbye little friend!)
Last Monday,(according to The Australian) business leaders were urging the Prime Minister (they always 'urge') to focus on the design of her carbon price modelling to protect jobs and the economy. That is, to protect business leaders.
I read the Australian sometimes. Accidentally mostly, I purchase it Mondays and Wednesdays for the scrabble puzzle.

It has also come to my attention(via the Australian again) that brown coal electricity generators claim that they plan to keep these filthiest of power stations running well into the 2030's unless the govt moves to buy out their projected pollution to "force them to shut down". Interesting that they will be forced to shut down by issuing an ultimatum and a demand for money. Anyway, you get the picture. Big money threatens any action that doesn't garner them big money, and they appear to have the govt. over a barrel.

I have no faith in the govt standing up to these people and saying "You will just have to have a bit less money" any time soon, and I see in people an unwillingness to bother themselves with an argument they can't influence.

Except we can influence this argument. At the moment, power generators appear to think they are operating like Coles and Woolworths - that is naming both what price they will pay for goods, and what price they will sell them at. Power generators seem to think they will pass on the cost of their emissions to home users, who will just cough up and deal with it. BUT WHAT IF the populace decided that brown coal power was abhorrent and that they would only pay eg. 2 cents/megawatt for it? What if a big enough group of end users agreed to take this action together? They would have to be prepared, I dare say, to read by candlelight, and wear more clothes in the cold, less in the warm, but it could be done. BY PEOPLE ACTING TOGETHER. People used to do it. Accept hardship for a period of time to achieve a desired outcome. Sometimes they didn't know how long it would be for, but they did it, and cheered each other along whilst it was happening. So if a huge group of modern Australian citizens took this action together - it could affect the thinking of power generators, by stopping the supply of what succours them. Money.

It's crazy talk, it's off in economic fairyland, it seems to have some sort of 'organisation of the less wealthy' involved in it. It's arcane pseudosocialist nonsense. All true, I guess, and why I live where I do. Contentedly, off the grid, reliant on nobody for my happiness.

If you painted the sky down here, they'd lock you up.

6 comments:

Prinny said...

We're burning off a small tyre fire in the background, thinking of you. the plumes are lovely. One of them is shaped like a stretched kidney bean. Priddy. (noyce wroytin, Morgs)

fahey

www.faheyyounger.com

reggie said...

magical stuff, mr morgan.

reggiexx

Julia said...

I KNEW that I liked you Anthony Morgan and your sentiments expressed here have just confirmed it.

Firstly because you began with the sky which is one of my very favourite things because it's more difficult for humans to fuck up than anything else. It's also an amazing magical kingdom all of its own.

Secondly because we have the same opinion re the money god. I ran away from my husband because I could no longer stand his determination to worship at the alter of money at the cost of everything and everyone else (Liberal voter *shiver*). I was quite hopeful when the GFC arrived that all industry would come to a grinding halt forcing everyone to get back to the really important things in life. Alas, disappointed AGAIN!

However, I'm a little more optimistic than you. Don't forget we still have Bob Brown, and the 'hung' parliament makes for very interesting and unpredictable times. And I haven't given up on change for the better being driven by ordinary people just yet. I've discovered that many are just discouraged and have given up because they don't feel that they CAN make a difference. I firmly believe in the 'power of one (plus one plus one....)'and try to instil that belief in others.

I'd like to run away to the country too and be the 'crazy lady with the Irish wolf hound' but, for the time being, ill health and family keep me in the city. And, anyway, perhaps I can be of most use here.

Good writing! Not quite Tim Winton, but two Tim Wintons would be one too many and it's rather nice to have an Anthony Morgan.

Keep it coming, Julia

PS Have you read 'Ishmael' by Daniel Quinn? Highly recommended

Bali Travel said...

They sky has been clouds already for couples of days here at my hometown..the rain hit all the day, it seems the summer coming too late

Anonymous said...

can I come visit you in Tasmania?

Unknown said...

Clouds schmouds contrails are pretty