'Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller
Is there anybody there?' said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest's ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller's head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
etc. etc.(Hilaire Belloc, The Listeners)
Well, friends, I suppose you get my drift, no?
Since my subscription went AWOL, I thought, 'Well, this is good time to take a breather from this interminable discourse and reflect on the effectiveness of internet fora' (plural of forum).
Sometimes I wonder, considering some of the more outrageous things I've read, whether we've attracted more than our share of cyber nuts and others who a German cook I once knew would have described as "antialphabeticals". Dictionaries are everywhere, including the 'net, and there's no excuse for not consulting them.
Bend my ear? I think not!
The wars (yes, plural) continue, hapless people continue to be drawn into conflicts of others' making, and many continue to be killed and injured: the environment continues to be fouled by war, industry and bloody-minded selfishness; politicians of major parties continue to collude to exclude alternative social movements-cum-parties that might otherwise have a voice in parliament; the electoral system must be reformed if we are to have representation that reflects the diversity of opinion in the community; the world is running out of fuel and the excrement will hit the proverbial within the next five or so years, according to industry whistleblowers (if you doubt this, go to http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1515141.htm - ABC programme Catalyst 24 November 2005). As supplies run down, governments everywhere will make strategic decisions on who will and will not have access to fuel.Drivers of SUVs will grind to a halt, planes will be grounded, expensive freeways will become known as the "follies" of the 21st century (folly: a building in the form of a castle, temple, etc., built to satisfy a fancy, often of an eccentric kind - Collins Australian Dictionary).
While hybrid cars continue to be trialled and industry boffins continue to work on the development of alternative fuel (e.g. hydrogen fuel cell, see http://www.fuelcells.org/ ), there is no ready alternative for aviation fuel (see, for example, http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/1300.html ), so my friends, it's the end of the world as we know it, but NOT the end of the world (not yet, unless, of course, another nuclear arms race is unleashed, so watch the news on USA-Iran conflict.)
It will take an international effort along the lines of the Manhattan Project (the World War II project that developed the atom bomb) to fast-track development of alternatives to fossil fuel.
Living sustainably is no longer a "lifestyle" choice: it will be forced upon all of us, so start making plans now. How far will you have to travel to work or to buy the basics for survival? And how will you travel?Can you unplug from a dependency system that has been built on the assumption of a limitless supply of fossil fuel?
Dear friends, we can't afford to dally. The world is now faced with the largest species extinction ever known (see ABC News online at http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200603/s1586235.htm - 'Earth in grip of mass extinction: scientists', By environment reporter Sarah Clarke. Scientists say Earth is experiencing the largest mass extinction in 65 million years ... read on).
The Pope and capitalist entrepreneurs go forth hand-in-hand to subdue the earth, breed and buy! buy! Stupid and selfish! If this continues, it'll be bye-bye!
Be informed, committed and active! Let's sweep the conservatives from office at the next federal elections!
Out they must go! Out with their rotten industrial relations! Out with their rotten fossil-fuel lobbies!Out with their regressive economic policies, and their shameful indigenous and migration/refugee attitudes, their abuse of human rights of refugees through detention, their warmongering and slavish foreign relations ...
All this, and I might add: don't lose your sense of humour. If you lose that, then there is no hope!
"And he smote upon the door again a second time;
'Is there anybody there?' he said." ...