Summer in winter

Well, we’re still in winter here in Australia, but tomorrow the temperature here will be 27 degrees Celcius. That’s nearly 81 degrees Fahrenheit, most unusual for this time of the year given we’re in the southern half of the country. We even have fire warnings issued for tomorrow and dust haze forecast. Our turtles are already out of hibernation. Wattles trees started blooming 2 weeks ago, which I *think* is early.

Regular burnoffs in the area that are performed each year to reduce ground fuel have been cancelled due to the conditions. If they aren’t carried out soon, the window will be missed leaving bushland in a very dangerous state for the summer months.

Is this situation from global warming? Perhaps, perhaps not – can’t really blame everything on global warming can we? There’s always aberrations in nature that don’t necessarily involve man. A bump here, a hiccup there.

But the phrase “convergence of crises” constantly pops into my mind. A single event can be put down to many things; but when you spend as much time as I do reading of what’s happening to the environment, of all the “odd” climatic events around the world and their knock-on effects, you tend to become increasingly convinced that we are on the brink of something that will radically alter our existence. I don’t necessarily mean an apocalyptic type event where humanity is wiped out totally.. but it certainly won’t be pleasant for many poor souls either.

Time to prepare. Time to plan. Time to learn about making do with less as we may not have any say in the matter; regardless of our individual efforts.

Even though things are green here at the moment, on my rounds of the bushland reserve I help monitor, I’ve noticed the ground cracking already. City folk who don’t visit these places and look closely only see the green.

It’s not a good sign for the months ahead.

The rain we received over winter has been greedily sucked up the parched earth. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we seem to have more rain “events” these days than good soaks – the rain just runs off the surface. Salinity is getting worse as what we did receive didn’t flush the river systems properly; the water just became more saline.

A couple of months back I took some photos of the hills around here – I told my partner Kathy I wanted them as a memory because it could be a while before we see that green-ness again and that nature gave us a final tap on the shoulder last summer.

I can be a barrel of laughs at times :)

I do hope I’m wrong though.

This article is a sobering look at where things are at in Australia in relation to water – and we’re at the tail end of that river system mentioned – the Murray-Darling.

Some people ask me, “what’s the point of greening your life if everything is going to go to hell anyway?”. My response is “what’s the point of living when you’re certainly going to die anyway?”.

I attempt it because it’s what I need to do, it’s an imperative. I really wish I had started much sooner, when my “spidey sense” was tingling as a kid that something was wrong. My life would be very different.

It’s privilege and a responsibility to be a part of this planet. There’s a much greater chance we can turn all this around, or at least minimize the damage, than there is of immortality in the flesh form – so it makes perfect sense to me to give it my best shot. The choices I make not only affect me, but people in the developing world who don’t have the resources to defend themselves against climate change.

If we all start making little changes now, day by day, and learning about what’s happening to our environment, even if we can’t “fix” things it will be so much easier to accept and adapt to a radically changed world.

There certainly is a pony in among the pile of dung we find ourselves in. To me, a greener, simpler life is my idea of heaven rather than hell. Bring it on. Of course, I would like to keep my Internet connection if I can :).