Well, here is Bristling Brock reporting from the Antipodes. If it’s any consolation to those back in the UK it’s been raining cats and dogs here to the north of Sydney in monsoon like deluges lasting - in several instances, several hours long.
So what’s been happening ? Here in Aus there’s little evidence that the Corona virus dangers are being taken too seriously - there is public information but not much in the way of public sensitivity to it. We might attribute this to Australian isolationism - too far away, won’t affect us, and perhaps a more sanguine approach to world affairs in general. BB has had occasion to visit a regional hospital - and it’s not very evident in the corridors that there is a potential crisis looming - it’s all very Aussie laid back. Whether they’ve got the right idea I couldn’t say, but it makes for a stark contrast with Europe under siege.
BB asked his son, now an embedded Aussie, about electric cars - there are hardly any over here - and his immediate response was that they’ll never catch on with the high percentage of Aussies who’ve grown up with big, gas guzzling motors. Where would you locate the chargers, he retorted - in regional Australia people drive many, many miles just to go about their daily business and they need a vehicle that can do more than a 250 mile radius. Sounds logical, I thought, but aren’t the government pushing for cleaner emissions ? Oh no, dad, he smiled, the government here are so invested in massive coal production that they can export all around the Pacific rim that anything that challenges that business has a very rocky road to follow. So, little likelihood of a big ecological change there. This contrasts with a substantive technical and scientific camp of diligent explorers and data gatherers operating on a macro level around Australia - much of our global knowledge about Antarctica and pollution, ice melt, species loss comes from Australian researchers. Curious, isn’t it ?
In the round, Australia is a huge place, unbelievably huge and the perspectives here are geared to the benefit of Australians - an ethos which is hard to dispute. Yet somehow it is approaching a crossroads. Significant change will have to occur as the world hunkers down into new and intransigent circumstances. It’ll be interesting to see how this massive country adapts.