Current Affairs

The bookstore in the fire-ravaged village of Cobargo, New South Wales, has a new sign outside: “Post-Apocalyptic Fiction has been moved to Current Affairs.

I used to work as a librarian so was particularly taken with the above line which was taken from an excellent opinion piece in the New York Times.

The whole purpose of my post is to request that you read this opinion piece, written by Richard Flanagan (novelist). Don’t let that put you off, it’s a must-read with some information re the politics in Australia that I didn’t know.

Link:    Australia is Committing Climate Suicide

—  As record fires rage, the country’s leaders seem intent on sending it to its doom.

Here’s what one Australian academic, @M_Heyward, tweeted by way of introduction:

Thank you #RichardFlanagan.Thank you #NYT. But why does it take a novelist to state the truth, published in an international non-Murdoch publication (where unfortunately many will not see it?) “Australia is Committing Climate Suicide“. #AustraliaBurning

And another fiery red flower photo, red bottlebrush flowers in the Australian garden at Dunedin Botanic Gardens, taken by Nigel on Christmas Day.


This is a follow-on post from my last one:   #AustraliaBurns

Text by Liz, photo by Nigel; Exploring Colour (2020)

18 thoughts on “Current Affairs

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  1. I listened to an interview about this very topic on the radio this morning, and the Australian former fire fighter pointed out all the misguided policies of the current administration. It’s another example of human greed and shortsightedness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A horrible situation controlled by greedy, short-sighted, power-hungry men who would sell out the future of their own children. Part of the solution would be a public education campaign, which, in a very calm non-hysterical manner, tells the truth about what is happening with our climate. Hysteria simply breeds more hysteria. We need to get things turned around in our own country. We must do that not only to turn our own situation around, but to inspire the rest of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michael Mann is currently on sabbatical in Australia and he’s doing an awesome job in describing for people exactly what’s going on and why, how climate change is influencing events. He’s very active in making himself available to media, very helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen that declaration used in a few contexts lately. Stranger than fiction is our reality these days.What is true in that article for Australia is true for all the developed world. Greed and lust for power will be our ruination.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for directing another former librarian (!) to Flanagan’s powerful piece. The line you quote directly in your post (“Post-Apocalyptic Fiction has been moved to Current Affairs.”) is so poignant and perceptive. In normal circumstances I’d add that it’s witty, but plainly this is no laughing matter. Heyward’s tweet is also very perceptive.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As an outsider, the destruction seems vast and it would appear that the consequences will be on the same scale – so it’s hard to see how the Australian government won’t suffer a huge backlash.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just saw a tweet via Rhett Burnie (ABC) that the PM “has announced 3000 Defence Force reservists will be deployed to help with the #AustralianBushfires recovery. He also says the Federal Gov will invest a further $20 mil to lease a extra firefighting aircraft”.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Most of what I have read about the wildfires has focused on the humanitarian crisis and the effects of the fires on the wildlife population. Those facts are tragic and undeniable. Flanagan makes a lot of good points in his piece, but it is hard for me to assess his commentary on Australian politics, its leadership, and the role of the media. In fact, when it comes to broader issues like climate change, it is hard enough for me to understand the views of leaders in my own country. My simple view is that the government should take care of its people and that does not appear to be happening right now in many areas of Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never understood Australian politics. I just knew that at federal level the politics seem really toxic. I couldn’t understand how in the last election the conservatives i.e. nationals / liberals managed to get into power. This article gives me an inkling as to how that was achieved. The super-wealthy and big commercial interests are well placed to “influence” political outcomes. It doesn’t look like true democracy is a reality in Australia.


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