I walked in for the weekly
and Daniel says,
Like it matters.
‘You can’t be late for extinction, Dan!
You’ll always be right on time!’
And down I sit.
He’s a newbie,
still thinks that being late
makes a difference,
when half the species on the planet are gone!
Do they care if you’re late for ExSuG?
Sharon gives me a look
and I sit down
‘Oh no, late for ExSuG,
that will never do.’
She starts our first mindfulness exercise:
‘Breathing in through the nose,
deep into your body,
and now let go completely,
breathing out through your mouth.
Feel your feet,
their connection with the land beneath us…’
But it’s harder to connect with Earth
now it’s booting us off for good.
It’s like the planet’s our landlord
and we’re being evicted.
All of us.
Every living thing on the planet –
No, you’re not getting your bond back!
There aren’t many people in most of Australia now,
most of it’s more empty and red than ever,
and now the centre really is dead!
Everyone’s in a few corners,
everyone’s that left who hasn’t died
or been one of the lucky ones to get refugee status to somewhere else,
somewhere seemingly less hard hit than here.
But everywhere’s got its issues.
If it isn’t lack of water, it’s floods and landslides.
Around Darwin they’re getting a regular battering,
cyclone after storm after cyclone.
But at least they have water.
There’s still some limping on in Perth,
for as long as their desal lasts anyway,
but the water’s not what it was.
The ocean doesn’t move much anymore,
and they suck up their own slurry.
So me, I made the move to Sydney.
Not what it was in 2000
when I was born.
It’s more like Adelaide now
– a million or two people and no one says they like it.
I like it,
because there’s still stuff alive here,
not like my hometown, Adelaide,
where there’s fuck all,
not for years.
The Murray’s long gone.
They couldn’t dig holes fast enough
to bury all the stinking carp.
There’re no barrages anymore
at the mouth,
no fresh water to contain in the lakes.
So, to Sydney.
Land of malaria,
the opera house makes a great evacuation centre
from the fires and drought and storms.
Still fuckin’ politicians in Canberra
blaming each other for not acting.
Can you believe it?!
In 2040 all the fuckin’ pollies are experts on climate change!
Everyone is now.
The data about the insects was right back in 2019
but most people ignored it.
Even biologists didn’t bargain
on how quickly the demise of insects
would ruin everything else too.
It was too much to imagine,
especially for a biologist.
All that life,
and so few noticing,
and fewer still acting to stop it.
So people still voted for the LibLab sideshow.
People still ignored the Greens,
still ignored the scientists,
still thought Attenborough
made great nature films…
his brother was an actor, you know?
But lots of people are dead now.
Might be billions.
The stats aren’t what they were,
there’s too much to add up.
The saddest thing is seeing no butterflies.
They were one of the first to go.
They were great pollinators,
everyone knows that now.
Fewer bees, fewer wasps.
Good luck finding a ladybird!
‘…and coming back into the room.’
I like to get angry at Dan.
It really makes me feel better.
© Palitja Moore: text 16 March 2019, image 2019