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Dark thoughts

Posted May 19 by John Birmingham

It is 4.25AM as I write this. I'm at my desk because I can't sleep. I'm frightened for the future and angry with the present.
I believe in the science of climate change the same way I believe in the science of the internal combustion engine. They're the same fucking science.
This shit is coming for us, but a lot of people just voted for denial. Oh, they'll dress it up to disguise what happened. They'll say they voted against tax rises, or Bill Shorten or whatever.
None of that matters.
They just voted to waste another three years of the decade or so we have left before the science tells us we're done for.
And I can't sleep.
Because I think we're done for.

28 Responses to ‘Dark thoughts’

Dave W asserts...

Posted May 19
I pretty much feel the same way, JB. I'm going to detox from news media, left and right, for a while. I'd just like to think happy thoughts for a while, and I reckon that ignorance will be bliss, compared to the toxic rantings from below the line and the sheer mendacity of a lot of the stuff above the line.

I'd like to think that I'd do the same if it had gone the other way, but who can say.

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted May 19
But I'd also like to add: this too shall pass.

The sun came up. Eurovision was glorious. My bacon and eggs was delicious. Whatever happens from here, we should also always remember to enjoy the little things.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted May 19
I was nauseous all night after watching this election results. Still, feel queasy now. This is a terrible outcome.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 20
The real annoying thing is the lost opportunity. Not just get started properly on climate defence, but to build out the renewables market. It'll grow into a trillion dollar business. And we will be stuck on the outside looking in.

WarDog mutters...

Posted May 20
The economic cost is tragedy, and I think that's what infuriates me most. A party purportedly for business and the economy, keeping us firmly in reverse.

All those jobs that will be created overseas.

I've worked out what I'm going to do with my 15K tax cut. An industrial death robot that I can park at the front door to get you plebs away when everything goes to shit. I might even open it up on KickStarter.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted May 20
Two things that are deeply annoying me is the economic cost of failing to address this, like you've all said, we're missing out on getting into a trillion dollar industry, AND we're missing the opportunity to transition our coal mining communities to new industry. The people voting for jobs over climate action are, ironically, the very people who will suffer the most when the climate emergency hits us. The rich bastards in the southern states who are voting for climate action actually can afford to deal with the impacts.

The criminal waste of a supposed free market business oriented party clinging to dying industries instead of "letting the market rip" as they like to say is just mind boggling. We're truly through the looking glass now.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted May 19
I too have been quite sleepless, and I usually sleep through all sorts of crap going on in my life. I think this feeling is grief. I too see this as a waste of three years of climate action. Maybe, possibly you could give them their bullshit 2020 Kyoto whatever, but after that they've got diddily. I'm going to try and detox from media. It will be hard; I'm a junky.
Ms insomniac thinks it's Bill. No one like him etc, but I think he would have been ok. I'm more of the view it was lies and strawmen and lack of scrutiny and bullshitting and shouting and refusing to answer questions and the slack oh so slack media. Why does Barry suddenly start today asking Josh the questions that should have been asked weeks ago?
ScuMo has really pulled the wool over people's eyes. They have been hoodwinked. None of them are going to be any better off.
And fuck fat Clive too.
</rant>

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pitpat mutters...

Posted May 19
Well I didn't think it was going to be the great leap forward more a timid step in the general direction.

I remember a geography lesson ( year 10 I think and we were discussing the geo-politics as it related to the current situation which involved a pretty serious stand off between the USSR and USA. We ended up looking into the effects of 20 kiloton weapon on Brisbane because Bne wasn't big enough to go to war for but big enough to show intent. At an existential level the crater of the explosion would have engulfed the school with probably no warning. That night David Bowie was playing at Lang Park and if I stood on our back fence I could get pretty good sound and Lang Park was lit up with stray strobe lights shooting everywhere. I'd like to say he was playing Starman whilst I stood on the fence considering instant incineration ,but that would just be making the story sound better. Needless to say I spent too much time worried and fairly depressed in a kind of dread and it really didn't help either me or the situation. And it didn't happen. And I said well fuck it, enjoy what you've got when you've got it, try not to piss off too many people, look after your family, change what you can when you can. And Get Some Fun.

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Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted May 19
Remember the night is darkest just before dawn. Take the time to compose an alternative, regroup the forces of good and strike in force in 36 months. Hold up the mirror to the people what the consequences of the actions of your new government are; either good or bad. If they are the latter promote an alternative. And support people that know what he or she are doing in bringing up alternatives your consistence can cope with.

Climate change isn't the fault of the muslims, the jews, the blacks, the reds or other usual suspects. It's the fault of burning fossil fuels, corporate greed and malicious propaganda instilling fear and bringing false hope. And yes maybe sacrifices have to be made, be they financial ones or changes in our way of life. But compared with the certain death that awaits us all if we will not act - now or in a near future - those costs can be carried.

Invest in research, communication, technology and infrastructure for good of all. Not for it to bring financial rewards to the few. Help those that can't help themselves, and give them the trust no man or woman shall be left behind.

And foremost preach the message of hope. The hope that this dark night will pass. That common sense will prevail, maybe not totally in the coming 36 months, but that it will. We shall overcome, someday.

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jason would have you know...

Posted May 20
I think this election shows a lot about Australia. A two speed economy where self funded retirees and rich folks voted against Labor because they didn't want anyone dipping into their pockets, regardless of the consequences for future generations. A geographical divide where those who rely on mining to make a living chose for the short term and those who didn't rely on it chose for the long term. We can't criticize (though i sorely want to) those who voted differently to us and in their own short term interest.
We can criticize how Australian politics is no longer about policies and ideology. It's about personal attacks and media spend or strategy. It's about a blatant grab for power and not about how we move forward as a country.
The thing we need more than anything is what we recently lost, a genuine star in politics. A person who could bring the people together rather than divide them. A person who bought conciliation rather than adversarial attitudes. Sadly I can't see this person on the horizon.
The only real hope i have is the kids. They're brilliant and one day they'll be in charge. Hope I am still around to see that glorious day.

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tqft asserts...

Posted May 20
As I have said elsewhere, I am angry.
Not hot ranty angry. Cold calculating angry.

I am contemplating what I can do. Not much so far, but the Courier Mail keeps appearing on the edges of everything Qld related.

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WA n'ker has opinions thus...

Posted May 20
Maybe this is like the end of Empire Strikes Back. We'll just have to wait for the Return of the Jedi.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted May 20
Everyone here seems to be pretty much of the same mind. (Probably why we hang around). I was also a bit disappointed. Always a bit meh about 'shit lite' but we needed to take that step away from 'the shit party'. Will it get to the point of civil disobedience (to greater levels than current protesting) from those that believe in climate change? More violence, then more backlash - ideologies seem to be the motivating factor in conflicts and both sides think they are in the right. Face recognition software is getting more prevalent and will it be turned to evil to stop these infarctions getting traction? woah, now i'm sounding paranoid and a bit deranged. I'm shrugging my shoulders and focusing on my 5 acres. Planting more habitat whilst trying to convince my area to do the same so it can be a bit of an island/refuge in the times to come. I don't want my grandkids to be sitting there saying "pop? can you tell us about that time you actually saw a wombat in the wild?"

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jl is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20
Two words. "Holocene Extinction." Look it up.

Sobering reading. And it's happening right now with little fanfare.

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she_jedi is gonna tell you...

Posted May 20
Like all of you I was shocked and deflated at the result. But like tqft now I'm angry, in a cold calculating way. I had friends joking/not joking about moving to New Zealand on Saturday night, and my first reaction was to get angry and say NO! Stay and fight. Now begins the insurrection. We can't afford to sit back and wait for others to man the barricades, we have to do it ourselves now. Saturday night was the last night where we had the luxury of waiting for others to fix things for us, now it's on us.

So join a political party. Join an environment activist group. Hell, do both. But man the barricades and fight for our country and our future.

Ruth McGowan, sister of Cathy McGowan of Indi fame, wrote an instruction manual on how to get elected as an independent or a minor party rep. https://ruthmcgowan.com/book/. This is the next book on my reading list. We have three years to plan our assault on our democracy and take our country back from the the Shit and the Shit Lite parties. Let's get on with it.

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Oldy puts forth...

Posted May 20
I agree with Jason. We're a nation of 'I'm alright Jack, bugger the rest of you.'

My parents have voted with no fucks given for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

And I'm done being the only one in the house who gives a fuck.

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Leonard Cohen

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Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted May 20
Three more years of benefits for the rich, benefits for the mining magnates, same for Murdoch Media, three more years of happy clapping godbothering 'have a go to get a go' half baked marketing drivel, three more years without vision other than greed and short term gain. The Murdochracy continues to reign supreme thanks to Voting Public. Enjoy!

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted May 21
The last couple of days cold-turkey off the newsmedia. Have. Been. Bliss.

I realise that I've been mainlining that toxic drivel. I know that the writers are under the pump and haven't been allowed by their overlords to give their products the care and critical attention that they deserve. But that doesn't mean that I can't make a healthier choice.

It'll come back into my life. It has to. Burying my head in the sand is also not a healthy choice. The coming climapocalypse does demand action and forewarned will be forearmed.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted May 21
It took science for humans to not be afraid of an eclipse. Science now models what we should be afraid of and preparing for and also what preventative action we can take. Unfortunately Science doesn't fit in with the greed of the fossil fuel devotees andhappy clappers. (Do these churches ever do anything for anyone except their own? Have yet to see a Hillsong sponsored Wayside Chapel or homeless shelter.).
Valueless, self-serving religion is a problem and that same value of self above anything else was evident on Saturday. Science in Australia is dying in the face of greed, fairytales and ignorance.
I guess Invisible Friend will save the day. That's reassuring isn't it?

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Leftarc ducks in to say...

Posted May 22
Is it too late to tweak Zero Day Code from a novel to a training manual?

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted May 22
I was thinking along similar lines this morning. Is JB upset because his apocalyptic novel is about to become a non fiction history of Australia?

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Rob ducks in to say...

Posted May 22
I did vote Labor , mostly because of their IR policies.

But I can see why they lost seats in Tasmania. While their Federal policies and plan was honest, transparent and reasonable, the party itself, especially locally, has an awful born to rule attitude. When the local Labor opposition gets in bed with the Greens and the speaker of the house to ram through far reaching, untested anti discrimination legislation with no oversight from either the Government or the Public service and then calls anyone who objects a bigot, racist , stupid or reactionary , then people just won't vote for them when they get the chance. Transparency in government is a code word for honesty and I'm afraid some of the Labor party machine aren't keen on either transparency or honesty.

The Libs under Scomo really don't have it either. (Never bring an ad man to government, Australia will regret this in no time)

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Himura Kenshin mutters...

Posted May 22
lotta people here have made some good points I'm not an Aussie like most of you folks so i cant say that i completely grasp the nuance but it has been my experience that people are getting real sic real fast of political parties in general oh sure they SAY that these new taxes will go towards environmental restoration and new "clean technologies" and then 6 months later there's some embezzlement scandal or the tax money has gone to some other different pet project and the climate problem marches on and the other party (take your pick) promises that THEY have the solution it's usually something about keeping jobs and then Again embezzlement scandal or somebody cutting a deal that's detrimental to the average person but great for that politicians (and Friends) pocket and once more the problem marches on been like this for about the last 30 ish years that i can remember it just seems as communication has gotten easier the ability of a politician to make an actually difficult and moral decision has gotten harder Rarer as they try to please everyone to continue holding power

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 22
An observation or two.
I am pretty much convinced that the worst of Anthopogenic Climate Change is now inevitable. Our economic model is so 'baked in' that any change to minimise CO2 ( & other green-house gases, lookin at you Methane) that is likely, will be undone by the thirst for modernity by the billions still left in poverty. The population bulge will mean that this over-demand will only continue to get worse in the coming decades. I know the 'Africa skipped land-lines' argument, but the likely (as opposed to theoretically possible) ramp-up in low carbon technologies is just not going to be realised in time.
What remains to be seen is the trigger points of cascading consequences; the Methane from decomposing vegetation trapped in permafrost, the release of Methane from deep cold ocean clathrates and CO2 from burning temperate forests. We have some models, some pretty convincing models, but we do not know for sure.
I am not proposing we just throw our hands up in resignation and speed on to our doom in a supercharged V10 Ram pick-up, we will be held accountable by our children and doing anything will be better than nothing. Perhaps, just perhaps we could do enough to prevent some of the worst cascading consequences.
I just think it unlikely, given our experience of 30+ years of knowledge and 2/5ths of SFA action.
I am far from convinced that an ALP Federal government would be substantially more effective at taking action than the LNP. My reading of ALP policies was they didn't amount to much more than tokenism. Remember who disproportionally influences ALP policy; the CFMEU & TWU will not be lobbying for unemployment, despite it being largely inevitable in the coming decades of automation.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted May 23
This is super depressing.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted May 23
Just one of the services I offer

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jason is gonna tell you...

Posted May 24
Don't be too depressed. the Feds control the policy but other forces are at play.
Local governments are doing great things. I see all the tenders so I know how much solar they are installing. Corporations are making great environmental decisions based on financial decisions that also benefit the environment.
Average humans are doing great work .The folks who voted Lib are still installing solar.
Like so many things the ground swell will drive the policy eventually. Always has, always will,.

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Emma mumbles...

Posted May 26
I felt exactly the same. But now the dust has settled I am determined to keep using my journalism to promote action. Now knowing that it's not going to be top-down action... somehow the citizens are going to have to move this ship ourselves.

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