Friday, 15 January 2010

Australians are the antichrists of the environment!

...Or some such unreasonably broad, controversial statement.

But it's true. Living Down Under for the last three years has led me to conclude that Aussies couldn't give a fig about their own beautiful country - much less the global environment - and as such have compelled me to re-flog ma flagging blog. I will elaborate.

But before that, let me first excuse myself by explain that I am no namby pamby, beardy weirdie eco warrior. In fact, I am a fully fledged Jeremy Clarkson groupie. I tried to grow a beard once but I was a girl. And still am.

However, it is with growing dismay that I have witnessed the systematic apathy for destruction of our beyoodiful surroundings here in SE Queensland - and that's only in three short years. Our local area of Noosa is famed for its amazing flora and fauna and the fact that it has UNESCO Biosphere status in recognition of the unique co-existence of man and nature. Unfortunately, all this loveliness means that everybody wants live here.

After a quick drive around Noosa, you'd be forgiven for thinking somebody had received a large back hander for declaring the region to be one of these special reserves. There seems to be no end to the clearances that have taken place to make way for the number of different estates and industrial parks that have sprung up in the area. Clearances means the removal of trees. And, while I'm no tree hugger, it seems to me this must also mean the removal or eradication of wildlife, such as koalas and flying foxes, etc. Let's not forget that this is effectively rainforest that is being chopped down and if this was the Amazon, all those people with fat back pockets would have Sting on their case, giving them a right old b*llocking by now (asterisk required for the Google Ads police!!) - or a benefit concert.

But the trigger for bringing me out of blogging semi retirement was a question posed by a local lad working in our favourite Eumundi restaurant: "Do you think that global warming's really happening?" Huh?

We knew that, with the exception of curing cancer, Australia took a long time to catch up with the rest of the world in just about everything topical but can they really be TWENTY YEARS behind everyone else in their environmental politics? Apparently, yes. It appears that a long line of Australian governments has successfully persuaded its electorate that global warming isn't really happening but, just in case it is, it isn't their fault. In fact, the rest of the world needs to cut down on emissions first before they'll consider doing it and, until then, we can all carry on contributing to the hole in the ozone by driving a four wheel drive - each.

So that is presumably why the unnecessary 4wd vehicle is still king here.

And maybe that's why the hole in the ozone seems to be directly over Australasia.

Just desserts? More like just deserts before long. Until they're covered in sea anyway.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Hermetically sealed in a Sydney YHA

There's always someone who spoils it for everyone else isn't there? You know who I mean: The selfish git who decided he wasn't going to give way to any traffic, thereby ensuring the invention of the traffic light; the UK fun police (all 3 of em) who decided to take offence at Brand and Ross's silly radio prank which led to one of them resigning and the other returning after a 3 months' suspension period as a watered down, sorrier version of himself; the psycho who decided to go out in a blaze of glory by gunning down a class of students, so that all schools have to spend their hard won budgets on turning themselves into Fort Knox;

And now the fruit loop who decided that throwing themself out of a hotel window would be the answer to all their problems, without due consideration of the consequences for millions of non-suicidal hotel guests. The end result of these nutters' selfish actions is that hotels the world over now come with rooms that have non-opening windows. At best these windows open a few centimetres. At worst they don't open at all. And when windows don't open at all in 30° heat without any air conditioning in the room, the urge to hyperventilate and fall down a lot is overpowering.

This was the situation we found ourselves in on a recent trip to Sydney. We had gone to spend the weekend there to see Top Gear Live (which was Top Banana), catch up with a friend and generally have a fab weekend eating our way around the splendid eateries of the big smoke. In fact we succeeded in our mission to find fab eating places: China town, the Spanish quarter and of course the Lindt Chocolate cafe in Darling Harbour!

We booked ourselves into the Sydney Central YHA and had almost got quite excited by the modern, funky reception area in a refurbished heritage listed building. We were also fairly pleased with our first impressions of the room: spacious, quiet and a great en suite bathroom. However, after less than 2 minutes, it became apparent that the windows were sealed shut and there was no air conditioning on a weekend where the temperature was forecast to reach 40°. Having watched me look wildly around the room and scrabble at the windows for a source of air, Dave left me semi-expired on the bed to see what the YHA staff on reception had to say about the lack of oxygen.

The answer was a sympathetic shoulder shrug and a desk fan. And whilst this desk fan was gratefully received, it remains the case that had it not been for the countless imbeciles hurtling themselves into the afterlife from their hotel rooms, we could have just opened the windows to let some air in. Without the need to run a fan, it would have been the more environmentally friendly option. Which just goes to show that hotel room jumping numpties are not only ensuring that we asphyxiate on our mini breaks, they are contributing to the hole in the ozone layer. Get the b******s! Wait - no, it's too late.