Climate change Miscellaneous writing

Left behind in the rush

‘Anyone happy in this age and place

Is daft or corrupt. Better to abdicate

From a material and spiritual terrain

Fit only for barbarians’

Roy Fuller (1912-1991), Translation (written early 1950s)

Climate change Miscellaneous writing

Leaving Glasgow

Draft CMA decision proposed by the President
The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement,
Emphasizing the importance of multilateralism in tackling climate change and the
crucial role of international cooperation in implementing the Paris Agreement to the highest
possible ambition,
Acknowledging the devastating impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and
the importance of ensuring a sustainable, resilient and inclusive global recovery, showing
solidarity particularly with developing country Parties,
Also acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties
should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their
respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples,
local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable
situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women
and intergenerational equity,
Noting the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including the ocean
and the cryosphere, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother
Earth, and noting the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice’ when taking
action to address climate change,
Guided by equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective
capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances,
Expressing appreciation to the Heads of State and Government who participated in
the World Leaders Summit in Glasgow and for the increased targets and actions announced
and the commitments made to work together and with non-Party stakeholders to accelerate
action in key sectors by 2030, noting that some Parties chose to endorse the Glasgow Leaders’
Declaration on Forests and Land Use1 and the Breakthrough Agenda,
Recognizing the important role of civil society, including youth and indigenous
peoples, in addressing and responding to climate change, and highlighting the urgent need
for action…

Climate change Miscellaneous writing

Praise of Folly

To sum up , if you could look down from the moon…on the countless hordes of mortals, you’d think you saw a swarm of flies or gnats quarrelling amongst themselves, fighting, plotting, stealing, playing, making love, being born, growing old and dying. It’s hard to believe how much trouble and tragedy this tiny little creature can stir up, shortlived as he is, for sometimes a brief war or an outbreak of plague can carry off and destroy many thousands at once.

Erasmus, Praise of Folly (1971). Penguin Books, London. Translated Betty Radice. (First published in 1511.)

Miscellaneous writing

Coming to Glasgow

We won’t be lectured by others who do not understand Australia. The Australian Way is all about how you do it, and not if you do it. It’s about getting it done…

We will also not be breaking the pledge we made at the last election by changing our 2030 emission reductions targets. I said we would meet and beat this target and we will. So at Glasgow I will update what we now believe we will achieve, demonstrating that performance is worth more than empty ambition. That’s the Australian way…

We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows.

We will not support any mandate – domestic or international – to force closure of our resources or agricultural industries…

At the end of the day it all comes down to whether you have a credible plan to get the job done. It’s no longer about the ‘if’, but the ‘how’, and Australians can always trust the Coalition to have the right economic plan to enable Australia to deal with the challenge of climate change.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, 26 October 2021.

Miscellaneous writing

Solid object in purple landscape

…for thousands of years people have been led to believe that anything and everything can be obtained if only one has the right techniques and methods. What is needed is to be aware of the ease with which the mind slips comfortably back into this age-old pattern. Certain kinds of things can be achieved by techniques and formulae, but originality and creativity are not among these. The act of seeing this deeply (and not merely verbally and intellectually) is also the act in which originality and creativity can be born.

David Bohm, On Creativity [1996], p.32. Routledge, London.

Miscellaneous writing

Returning from vacation

Dickens, C. The Voyage of the Beagle. Chapter xxi.

A yacht now, with every luxury of life, can circumnavigate the globe. Besides the vast improvements in ships and naval resources, the whole western shores of America are thrown open, and Australia has become the capital of a rising continent. How different are the circumstances to a man shipwrecked at the present day in the Pacific, to what they were in the time of Cook! Since his voyage a hemisphere has been added to the civilised world

Miscellaneous writing

Going on vacation

In the Southern hemisphere, where I live, summer is coming on. It has been a cruel winter season for us in Australia, with lockdown after lockdown, and Delta Covid taking grip.

For you Northeners, where I lived for 47 years, winter is not far away: just far away enough I hope.

So, remember…

‘…If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’

Shelley, Ode to the West Wind.

Miscellaneous writing

Dangerous plaything

I hear an army charging upon the land,/ And the thunder of horses plunging, foam about their knees:/ Arrogant, in black armour, behind them stand,/ Disdaining the reins, with fluttering whips, the charioteers.

James Joyce: ‘I hear an army’ (first verse)

Miscellaneous writing Thoughts on lettering

20 years

Turning and turning in the widening gyre/ The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/ Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/ The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity.

Yeats W.B. The Second Coming

Miscellaneous writing

Big Sneeze

The man is at the head of the queue for the AstraZeneca jab. I’m number two. It’s for the second vaccine. He’s older than me – probably 70s – and sits squat in the plastic chair that’s too small for his bulky frame. He grips firm to a wooden walking stick placed squarely between his legs.

He’s called in. I follow soon after, go to a curtained area where a nurse will jab me [‘…which arm do you prefer?’]. Another nurse comes in and says: My gentleman only had his first dose three weeks ago.

‘Oh, that’s too soon. It has to be 12 weeks, 8 minimum. Unless it’s for work or something. Why does he want it early?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘You’d better ask the doctor then. It’s too soon.’

I’m jabbed and leave, to wait for the regulated 15 minutes under a pop-up awning in the car park. I’m reading [Augustus by John Williams] when I raise my head to see the bulky man with his wooden stick limping towards a silver Jeep Patriot. He drives away, jab-less I guess.

A sticker on the rear window – There’s only one Jeep.