Maitland, NSW, Australia: and let it be reported to the future that upon the days just gone, an astonishing, punishing heat descended upon the town.
Indeed, hitherto those three cruel, remarkable days, the town and state had never before recorded temperatures of that awful ilk.
It was the biggest heat. A heat so fierce that slumbering inverted bats plopped to the melting ground; that birds gasped with beaks agape in the searing shade of wilting bushes; that cattle, baffled and smouldering, lowered themselves into the river, to slip the beastly furnace.
Outside, nothing escaped its wrath. Only swimming pool immersion, cold water showering, or electric air-conditioning could induce salvation. It was batten down the hatches and blinds; it was dark rooms and ice cubes, it was don’t go out there for the world was in turmoil.
And we are being told to expect more, and worse - and that’s right.
And such weather bodes ill for the future dear reader, bodes ill for the kids and the world they’ll inherit.
And what a sad, stupid thing to leave them with dear reader, burning paddocks and fields, a boiling planet …
And they’ll rightly condemn us for the crime of lingering, festering, moronic inadequate inaction on man-made weather catastrophes.
They’ll wonder why, despite the smartest people in the world warning and warning us about burning fossil fuels, about forest destruction and increasing greenhouse gases, we were somehow swayed to dithering, dumb, exiguous inaction.
They’ll sit, somewhere hence, in an air-conditioned bunker and discuss how we risked, and lost, the only home we had for the sake of money, for a few bucks saved on a power bill.
They’ll gather around their indispensable android air machine as a category nine cyclone storm bears down upon them, and they’ll listen to recordings of old parliaments; sadly, they’ll hear the infuriating obfuscations of politicians and lobbyists who, having zero scientific qualifications or expertise, boldly and bravely refute the overwhelming scientific evidence that told us, again and again, that we must stop polluting the atmosphere.
And they’ll probably hurl ice-cubes at the speaker while the tempest swirls around them, frightening their children …
And as they drift fitfully to sleep in their hermetically sealed apartments, they’ll wonder why everyone, the decent sensible people, their mums and dads and grandparents, didn’t just elect new leaders and stop them from their madness.
They’ll wonder why we took such a stupid gamble with the world, when we were given fair warning.
And the way that’s disgraceful really.
And I don’t know how long it will take until enough is enough. Don’t know how long until the penny finally drops. Don’t know how long until the wiser voices rise above the lamentable, dull, drongo droning of man-made climate change deniers - and that’s right.
But let’s hope it’s soon enough and not too late - for the kids sake.
And the way this is not for them, since they’re not for turning, they’re in too deep - this is for those that can feel me, that can hear.
And so it goes …
And so it goes. Goodnight.