Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
Our home is girt by sea
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia Fair
The majestic beauty of our land
Its frailties so easily exposed.
Crops inundated by floods
And starved by drought
Farmers wandering what to sow
The beauty of our coastal plains
And our coral reefs diversity,
Whispering their bittersweet swansong
To our nation
A story of unrelenting turmoil and tragedy.
Affected by this new and terrible reality.
The imperceptible creeping rise of H20
It’s higher tides and storm surges
With its urges
To wash away all signs of our humanity
While we struggle to see the impending calamity
As it lurches ever closer
The harsh price we pay
With weather patterns
Taking no pity on our damaged lands
Our bedraggled homes pummeled by downpours and blight
Our browning lawns gasping
Eeking out paltry vapours as they fight
For their very survival.
We stare on in false ecstasy
With false bravado at our lucky country
With idle chatter and polite social conversation
We fixate on investment,
Of house prices with all their fallacies
Choosing to ignore the elephant trumpeting in our room
Can you not see Caesar!
Rome is burning!
We stare on…
Our gazes carefully ignoring that which is in front of our eyes.
Like lobsters in a pot
Oblivious of our impending culinary demise
An hors d’oeurve,
To be quickly nibbled, digested and our remains to be cast aside
Why so much apathy to this danger?
The signals clearly in front of our eyes
How big do the billboards need to be
to be recognised?
Do the neon lights need to be flashing?
The foghorns blaring?
What can we surmise?
What will it take
For us to stumble off the couch
Stumbling as if drunk
With bleary eyes
With sweaty bodies fattened by inaction
With little consensus of the right path
With trepidation and meditation
But now with conviction
Suck it in
We will enter the fray.
Lead on McDuff!
Are we deer frozen by some blinding headlights?
Is our political system too broken?
To focused on sound bites that have no might
Our media chasing headline stories
Of vacuous celebrities that amount only to a pregnant pause.
Our scientists shouting in the wilderness
Their voices drowned out
Not finding a voice that can be heard
Not finding a connection to the greater cause
In this desert
Do we simply bury our heads in the sand?
Is the problem too large for us to understand?
So do we shrug our shoulders and continue on our way?
Do we have the power and wherewithal to stay
Are we delegating our responsibility?
Believing that a higher power will be our salvation?
That there is no need for consternation.
That the Mighty Lord in his revelations
Will save us from our flaws.
Is that our mitigation?
But just in case…
Can we not in our busy lives,
simply take a moment to
Close our eyes
Do we not feel some foreboding?
A faint tingling in our bodies
The tip of our tongue
Our second sense
If we strain our eyes
do we not see the shadows lurking?
How do we tear away a popcorn generation.
One weaned on the teat that is our fixation.
A Facebook generation that will pout, take a pic, and share their devotion
Hungrily counting their ephemeral adulation
And a commitment so slight
That as a wispy breeze it simply ends with a like.
How do we put a stop to mind numbing activity
How do we shift our gaze to the fore
To help us realise that the world’s fuse has been lit
That this may lead to a moment
A moment that leaves the world with no option
No option but to eject us
Eject us while our species
Our species that is still in its infancy
A not-so-innocent babe in arms
Before Its legacy has even begun
How do we wake up a generation from its slumber
That it is being led by a Joker
An orange pied piper – a ludicrous New Yorker
Perhaps to our eventual elimination?
To shake man, women and child from their complacency
To show them it is not too late
That we can crawl to the starting gate
And That we through many small steps walk the talk with conviction
And then, as a nation our future generations will be ready to run at the problems head on, tempered by experience
and armed with the knowledge that there is no one else
That we have gifted this world to them
This problem to solve
In our shame…
For there is no one else to blame…
I hope …not too late…
The is hope…
Can we use technology effectively to connect emotionally
To tear the bleary eyed from their stupor
With tools to hook them
Not with far fetched fantasy
But to show them the effects of climate change now to their hometowns, communities and families
With tools that let them see the impact first hand
That tell a story that they can understand
To open their eyes and digest a future chapter to be written
From that dusty book
You know – that book that they never picked up from the library
In a lonely corner
What’s it called?
That’s the section
That’s called non-fiction
With attention hooked
Can we take the protagonist on their life journey
The ups and downs
Can we show them the bigger picture
The impact of inaction
not simply to the economy.
But life itself in all its glory
On a knife edge
and in that cutting moment
Which way will it fall?
Can we help them guide its sway?
Can we show them how the lack of environmental policy,
not demanding we answer the hard questions,
Gaia’s wicked problems to be solved.
Can we put data in their hands.
Help them with the crossword puzzle
To make informed decisions for our land.
Can we dis-intermediate the flow of information
Not controlled by faceless men
Of corporations who seek to profit
From a status quo
That cannot be maintained
Those who want to hide and ignore the worse cases
And those who seek to alarm of only worst cases
Allow people to understand
To understand the risks
and take their own journey
Allow them to find their own story
Can one empowered with information
Armed with knowledge
For with knowledge comes enlightenment
Can one build a sense of urgency
And With conviction to follow it to its bitter end
To be willing to make sacrifices on the way
A way that should have started yesterday
And though we fear our fortune
Let us believe, let us hope that it is not too late
Than our pregnant pause has not Sealed our fate
That we can get out of the starting gate
Let us embark on our journey
On its twisted and turning path
that will require some radical change
We must remember
To be resilient
To be tenacious
Not give up hope
We must realise that
To run we must first walk
To walk we must first crawl
To crawl we must first know why
In our youth and freedom
To rejoice, to be free
For history’s gaze
Will require that we toil
Nature’s gifts are waiting
And through our strains
We will rebuild our luck country
And we will sing
We will advance Australia fair.