My place. Wednesday, 6.35am
Okay. The world is in big trouble, right?
I believe that any moment – probably soon – we will be choking on our own industrial exhaust, barely surviving in a land so dry and hot from a changed climate that the bottom of open-cut coal mines will be the coolest place to manage your portfolio while the newly poor eke out a subsistence by harvesting coal with their teeth.
I have been warning my friends about this for months.
The government corporation will sell the black death on the global black market to any terrorists who support unhindered economic growth, while paying the impoverished workers with a daily ration of genetically modified Coal-Bix plus a dental and phone plan (Telstra Teeth & Talk) that includes fluoride juice and a weekly download of The Batchelor.
I believe this nightmare is just a few sleeps away. Already weird things are happening – like, my friends have all disappeared.
Last night, in my shack under the cliffs at the end of the world, I prepared my survival kit: two tins of baked beans (there were three, but survival prep makes you hungry), a packet of seeds (I could only find couch grass), a war sarong, a samurai short sword, a nearly empty bottle of Valium and a bottle of 2010 Bordeaux.
This morning I woke up expecting the worst. I dressed in my war sarong and laid my survival kit out on the table. What now?
I could go bush and be like Henry David Thoreau who said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Yeah, I dig that, I want to live too, but he didn’t have a dodgy knee.
The trouble is that, this morning, this mucked-up world is faking being lovely. There’s a soundtrack of birdsong showcasing the variety and musical skills of free fowl in my home valley.
The sun made its grand entrance rising up from Stoney Chute hill in golden splendour like Liberace (in a little golden something he’d thrown over his shoulders) rising onto a Las Vegas stage via an elevator through the stage floor. A wallaby leant back on its tail so a joey, head and an arm poking from its pouch, could enjoy the show.
A cool change, like a Scott Ludlam speech, has drifted into the valley, still carrying the scent of a recent shower.
Yeah, I know the air is loaded with more carbon dioxode than any sane speices would allow in their children’s bedrooms. I know that my feathered friends are in steep decline worldwide despite their importance to the smooth functioning of the biosphere. And I accept that Liberace may not have been the best musician ever.
But, here and now, I’m enjoying the avian symphony, the Liberace reference and an air that seems loaded only with the scent of percolating Byron Bay coffee.
Despite my war sarong, a peacefulness hangs over the valley like methane over a gasfield.
I know the planet is headed for a tomorrow where the seas turn so acid they’ll burn the speedos off any jock stupid enough to deny the acidification; where the seas are so dead that refugees seeking shelter from the government’s constant warring will also die when tipped into it.
But I feel a sort of happiness breaking through. What next?
I’m tempted to open the Bordeaux.
But I don’t.
Not because it’s early morning, no; because it has a cork and not a screw cap.
And my survival kit lacks a corkscrew.