Conversations about Climate Change and Wither the Groundhog Day Wheel”…


“Groundhog day” is an often used remark in small talks. I have certainly felt this way for a while. Every day, every week, just whiz past and it really does feel like one is running on a wheel like a little mouse.

So, another week passed by and Tress and I went to a local diner on Friday night for a TGIF time. We then came home and watched a really good movie. “Thirteen lives” was about the Thai boys’ soccer team that got trapped in a limestone cave that was flooded out. The story of resilience and persistence, on both the part of the boys and their coach as well as on their rescuers – made up of the Thai navy seal teams and a group of British/Australian cave diving experts – is a compelling and gripping one. Colin Farrell and Vigo Mortenson put in understated but effective and really good performances, as did Joel Edgerton, the Aussie actor who played the Aussie anesthetist that managed the soccer teams’ sedation as they were rescued.

On Saturday, it was very wet and when we took the little fellow for a walk, we got caught in the rain and were drenched. That fellow than had his quarterly grooming by Amber in the mobile unit while Tress and I did some housecleaning. Several hours later, after both the little fellow and the house looked and felt cleaner and tidier, we went and got lunch and did the groceries and a little shopping. Then we came home, walked the little fellow (the day had dried out and the sun gloriously appeared) and we just soaked in the rest of the beautiful day. It was the last weekend of “home and away” rounds of footy matches but all the talk was about Clarko going to North Melbourne as their new coach. It was very big news and dominated front pages when it happened on Friday arvo. The other focus was on the big game on Sunday arvo, between Carlton and Collingwood. The Blues had to win to play finals and the Pies had to win to get into Top 4 and the double chance that comes with that. These 2 big clubs, with such a big game, were going to fill the MCG and so it proved – nearly 90,000 packed in to see a very exciting game, which we watched on TV. The Pies clawed back from a 20+ points deficit in the 3rd quarter to get up. I messaged a mate and his family (Alex and Li Har and the boys) who were Blues folks to say I cheered for them but what do you do – they lost by a single bloody point, which is another blow 2 weeks in a row, having lost to the Dees last week by a final kick.

I had done the week’s cooks (for ourselves as well as for the boys) earlier just before the game, so the rest of the evening was just us unwinding, to get back on the wheel to run again, and emerge for another Groundhog day.

At St Alf’s on Sunday morning, someone from Tear Fund had spoken on Climate Change and at the Q&A after the talk, it was obvious that the folks at St Alf’s aren’t convinced we should jump of that wagon. We caught up with the Maurys at the car park after the service. Matthew is the head honcho of Tear Fund Australia so we spoke a bit about the work that needs to be done before better engagement or traction can be had. On my part, I feel that inevitably, conversations about climate change must be tied up with policy responses and that’s where the sting is. For Australia as a country that contributes such a minute amount to global emission (less than 1%), policy changes that mean drastic changes to local livelihoods and quality of life but little or no impact on global emissions, such conversations are always going to be had up the proverbial creek without the pedal. That’s the challenge Tear Fund and others like it will have. Yes, we must talk about it, but it must not come with the presupposition that Australia must act to “do more”, if “doing more” doesn’t actually do anything to alleviate the problem. It may be a problem that may mean some day, one will wake up and the wheel wouldn’t be there to run on anymore. It wouldn’t be a groundhog day then. It remains however, a problem that still isn’t Australia’s to shoulder. For the most part anyway.

Tress and I chatted about that on Sunday night. We do our bits – we drive very little now, avoid plastics, eat very little meat, recycle, compost, avoid air travel as much as possible etc. We can do all that but I can’t accept the country as a whole must “do more” if that means livelihoods and quality of life is adversely impacted, with zero or near zero impact to alleviate the problem.