January 2011

City of Sound (on the Australian floods):

Speaking of which, it's times like this that reinforce the rationale for nomadism, as practiced by most Aboriginal Australians. Australia's weather is so fierce it makes perfect sense. Why indeed would you settle in a lands which flood like this? Or, at the other end of the country, say Victoria or South Australia, which are often bone dry and prone to devastating bushfires (wildfires)?

Indeed. So much of the trouble caused by natural events – ‘disasters’ – is directly linked to our insistence on permanence. Most of these troubles would vanish if we were less attached to our houses (and cities), and allowed ourselves to just move on as necessary.

Of course, this is not entirely compatible with our love of private property (particularly ownership of land), nor with our currently heavily-populated planet; there are not always new and empty places to go. (And I shall stop before we find ourselves debating immigration policy.)