Monthly Archives: November 2011

Eco Woes

Eco woes.

On the radio an erudite professor is telling us that the Southern Ocean is warming at 0.2 degrees per annum. In other words, by a degree every five years. That’s a lot. Antarctic sea Ice is melting—that doesn’t matter much, but when it goes, the land ice melts and that matters. It raises sea levels. One metre rise and in Bangladesh alone fifteen million people are underwater.

The oceans are carbon sinks and as they warm they absorb more carbon di oxidethat turns into carbonic acid that dissolves the shells of the plankton and other crustacea on which lots of large sea animals depend. Mass starvation in the oceans = mass starvation on land.

The next item on the radio was a piece urging governments to Jack their ideas up and ‘grow’ their economies by mining more, increasing industrialisation and populations so interest rates can remain as they should be and we’ll all be richer.

Next item. Residents of country NSW and Victoria towns saying they’d prefer the rivers and estuaries, lakes and wetlands to die rather than cut back on their own water consumption, even if it means their land will be too salty to use in twenty years… They want to grow rice in a dessert so they should be able to! So there!

Makes you proud to be human eh?


Five and a half thousand million too many.

It is over three years since an academic USA study proved that if everyone lived in a similar way to the U.S.A. middle-class, then planet Earth could only sustain one thousand five hundred million [1,500,000,000] people. At the moment there are seven thousand million [7,000,000,000] people on the planet and they are all being urged to attain the U.S.A. lifestyle of endless consumerism, throw-away goods, fast foods, several cars…

The International Monetary Fund is insisting all countries ‘grow’ their economies. Put simply that means make more, use more, buy more. But the world is running out of resources. We are running out of fresh water. Of energy, of space, of land to grow food, of fish in the oceans. One in three off all animals is in danger of extinction.

Instead of growing economies, why don’t we grow wise?  We know how to live sustainably, we don’t need all the rubbish we create. Humans are not happier than in the past. At least two thousand million are starving. Millions are in slavery…

OK, so there will be pain, but nothing compared to the crunch that will destroy us if we do nothing. Yet people continue to have kids… I’d feel too guilty.

Anthem — Ayn Rand

I’ve just re-read Anthem by Ayn Rand. What a misunderstood philosopher. Reality, reason and personal happiness are not evils. We do not live in order to serve others. Such a pity Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and others have perverted her ideas to create the greedy, grabby, unfair societies we live in. Why don’t our bankers and corporate financiers realise it is in their interest to have a contented, reasonably affluent and healthy society who are able to work well and buy their products and invest in their ideas? A wealthy oligarchy squatting like toads on a heap of suffering humanity is only a revolution waiting to happen.

The Marriage of Figaro

Opera Australia’s production of The Marriage of Figaro is deeply flawed by two important things. The set is silly and Rachel Durkin as the countess, wobbled so far to each side of the notes it was unbearable. It sounded as if she was totally off key. She acted the role well, but should be dropped from the company unless she develops a diaphragm and stops that execrable wobble.
Teddy Tahu Rhodes, however, is absolutely the best Figaro I have ever seen. And Taryn Fiebig, as his wife to be, Susanna, is very good.
I dislike ‘trouser roles’ and surely it is time to make Cherubino a light tenor… a soprano young lover is too stupid. There are far too many high pitched sopranos already, although I have to admit Sian Pendry sings very well and is the most convincing ‘boy’ I’ve seen, having, presumably, left her ‘bottom’ at home. The count has no music in his voice, Kanen Breen gets through the role, but it is a production I never want to see again.

Peter Pan

I’ve just re-read ‘Peter Pan’. James Barrie was a most interesting man. It is an extraordinary book and as a child I didn’t get a quarter of it. It seems Barrie is proposing the opposite of what everyone always says…’Live every day as if it were your last’ He says, if you want to remain young at heart, live every day as if it were the first. In other words, try to recapture the joy of discovery, excitement and newness… see your life and the people in it with fresh eyes and stop always seeing things with the jaundiced eyes of past experiences.

In  his play, ‘Dear Brutus’ the characters, who have all stuffed their lives up in some way, get a second chance at life… guess what they all do?