Tag Archives: Great Barrier Reef

How do you feel about that?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/03/red-cadeauxs-melbourne-cup-injury-not-life-threatening-but-horse-retires

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/nov/03/red-cadeauxs-melbourne-cup-injury-not-life-threatening-but-horse-retires

Recently there have been many news items of interest to those of us who consider ourselves animals. The Melbourne Cup racing day, of course, injured at least one and killed a couple of horses – one assumes Red Cadeaux’s days are numbered.

http://theconversation.com/trans-pacific-partnerships-toothless-environment-chapter-gets-the-wikileaks-treatment-22135

http://theconversation.com/trans-pacific-partnerships-toothless-environment-chapter-gets-the-wikileaks-treatment-22135

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been unveiled and is regarded as dangerous territory for those wishing to protect the environment.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-refuses-to-back-pacific-island-calls-for-moratorium-on-new-coal-mines-20151104-gkqy5e.html

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bill-shorten-refuses-to-back-pacific-island-calls-for-moratorium-on-new-coal-mines-20151104-gkqy5e.html

In Australia, the Leader of the Opposition refuses to support Islanders’ plea to assist with climate concerns by lessening support for coal.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/11961010/EU-cuts-subsidies-that-support-Spanish-bullfighting.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/11961010/EU-cuts-subsidies-that-support-Spanish-bullfighting.html

And the European Parliament voted to cut subsidies from Spanish bullfights. Well, that is good news. But humans still eat, factory farm and slaughter millions, nay, billions of cows without thinking about it. As you know, I believe at least the bullfight means humans have to face their actions. Let us be conscious of what we do.

In casual conversation with a woman waiting for a meeting the other day, an acquaintance, no more, we covered some of these topics. She sighed and looked out of the window, ‘Oh, I just can’t go there’.

What did she mean? This is a highly educated psychologist explaining that thinking about environmental news of the day is too much for her. She finds considering our relationship to nature too depressing to even contemplate. She feels overwhelmed. She feels hopeless.

This is one of my preoccupations. I even tried writing a short story about it once. I fear that the great beneficiary to human destruction of the environment is what they call ‘Big Pharma’.

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/tag/big-pharma-criminals/page/3/

http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/tag/big-pharma-criminals/page/3/

There are a great number of cynical pharmaceutical companies who are laughing all the way to their annual company meetings, patting their shareholders on their drugged shoulders. We are talking billions of dollars. Clearly many folk are assisted by taking antidepressants. But for those who are concerned about our life on Earth? The more depressed people become about the environment, disappearing species, cruelty to exported livestock and mining companies dredging The Great Barrier Reef (UNBELIEVABLE!) the greater the drug companies profit.

http://theconversation.com/calls-for-climate-action-as-great-barrier-reef-suffers-major-coral-loss-9922

http://theconversation.com/calls-for-climate-action-as-great-barrier-reef-suffers-major-coral-loss-9922

Instead of getting angry, taking to the streets, writing/phoning their representatives; DOING SOMETHING, ANYTHING, people take the meds, click on Change.org or thepetitionsite.com, or Aavaz.org and feel their protests have to be enough to assuage their enormous hopelessness before they look away.

I wish we could all wake up, start feeling and take action but I fully comprehend those overwhelming feelings of belittlement and weakness we all face. That said, perhaps it is time to examine the big picture and follow the money. Who is making money from your emotional well-being? What would make you feel better?

Perhaps we can trust in the angels.

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http://climacts.org.au/tag/climate-angels/

http://climacts.org.au/tag/climate-angels/

 

Heartlands, aim and reach …

What have Greenpeace and John Wolseley got in common? They’re both hanging around Fed Square in Melbourne, inside and out, trying to communicate their love of nature. Why?

Do they succeed? Can you share this love or just walk right past?

In their latest campaign, Greenpeace fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Last Thursday half a dozen young activists learned basic circus skills and swung themselves over the wall outside at Federation Square to dance/swim in projected animations to a jazzy whale sound track. They encouraged us to end the age of coal and ‘Take another look.’
Greenpeace-Reef-01

It was sold as a ‘spectacular’ and Greenpeace fans were encouraged to book tickets. Spectacular in comparison to what? A basic banner unfurling? Or Legs on the Wall? Not fair? How many people did Greenpeace want at this event? There may have been a hundred and fifty – including innocent bystanders – entertained and encouraged by Rod Quantock. Is that enough to Save the Reef?

Half the reef has died in the last thirty years.

What can Greenpeace, anyone, do to Save the Reef? How can activists grab attention and create action? You could look at some pictures online? Are you moved? Will you act?

In contrast you could wander inside to the NGV at Fed Square and check out Heartlands and Headwaters. This show is supposedly laid out in the shape of a tree, with big works on the walls surrounding the trunk. Well, it’s a nice attempt but there’s no getting away from the white box and clean lines of an urban modern art gallery. (Next time think Herring Island or Heide, perhaps?)

The most dramatic piece for me was ‘Dystopia – the last wetland Gwydir 2184’. In this work, Wolseley attempts to show cotton farms engulfing nature. Dystopeia-01

You can see the dead pelican print (lower right) more closely below.

pelican-print

You can see Wolseley making this work here. And here are the cotton farms:cotton farms

He is trying to get inside nature, show his connections, his own nature. Inside the rythyms and tensions, the cycles and evolution. He is certainly ambitious. The works around the walls are extensive, like this ‘From the edge of the great floodplain Garrangari and Garrangali’ in the Northern Territory.

floodplain

Inside this luminous paper work are smaller collaged worksfloodplain-detail-02

bringing such detail and evoking such life and depth that the piece seems to breathe.

floodplain detail 01

Floodplain took three years to make. In the words on the wall Mr Wolesley describes learning from an elder, also artist, about the use of some of the plants and mentions ‘deep time’ as compared to shallow time where humans are present.

heron-power-station

In ‘Natural History of Swamps III’, a heron examines CO2 at Loy Yang Power Station. Wolesley makes no demands on his audience. We are not expected to sign a petition. We are invited to wonder and perhaps to wander as in ‘Simpson Desert Sandunes moving across the Finke River’ in South Australia. Simpson-desert

You can see the smaller more detailed collages inviting closer examination.audienceHere you get a sense of the attempted tree down the middle of the space.

dancing-paper

These are examples of the paper he rescued from the burnt mallee – some he’d left there for months, one is even marked by roots after a burial. These papers are bent and stiffened by the elements and marked by the charcoal fingers of the scrub. Some are trapped in perspex boxes and turned into precious objects by their presentation. Others, like these, fly loose across the walls like china ducks. Am I influenced by his art? His skill? His humanity? Does his love for Nature get beyond the paper?

If we know not Nature, then how can we protect it? 
Thoreau

If we only see Nature writ large on the wall of a gallery, then how can we love it? Can our love be enough to save Nature?

How can we be moved to change?

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