Strange Days Indeed

Justin Simpson’s Letter from Australia 

IT  HAS BEEN a little hazy, rather smoky around Sydney of late – at times significantly more polluted than even Delhi or Beijing so, as the natives say, only the ‘firies’ can save us!

The various rescue and firefighting services that do fabulous work in saving human and animal lives, buildings and often complete town centres, are well lauded throughout this state and wide brown land where droughts have lasted years in some instances. It felt fantastical to read of the frequent rain and floods back in the UK – as unreal as Australia must sound to you cold, wet Poms. Brrr! Even recent daytimes in Sydney feature very dark skies with ash raining down, or a blood red sun glaring down from another overcast hot sky; but never any rain here . . .

Many experienced firies, farmers, academics and politicians say that these incidences are way more severe than ever before and, with many more months of similarly ferocious weather to come, the main suspect is continuing fossil folly. Oz is one of the world leaders in this folly, including ongoing coal exports on top of continuously climbing carbon emissions as we eat, transport and reproduce ourselves towards imminent oblivion on the altar of money and fantasies of eternal economic growth on our finite planet!

In the case of Straya, it’s all about the amazing bribery of the legislature via mining bodies who have both major parties done up like kippers, so we are going steadily backwards and downwards. But at least we’re not freezing like Brighton!


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