Check out this lovely op-ed from Elizabeth Farrelly. Well worth a read. My favourite part was this:
Certainly, we should feel compassion. And certainly, there should be regulations. Quite probably there should be more assiduous back-burning. But to blame green policies – to cull already endangered shark species, to reduce tree cover – is to blame nature for human folly.
Loving nature does not entitle us to tangle with her at will. Nor does it set such entanglement on our terms, much as we may wish it. We may crave total immersion but, in truth, not to immerse is often better for us and almost always better for nature.
Some have to live in bush, or swim at dusk. But bush suburbs and forested hamlets are voluntary, designed for the illusion of paradise on earth. It works, too, like any bubble, until it doesn’t.
Once we’re in there, further, with our pools and parks and patios, we’ve sacrificed nature’s wildness without making it safe. Even if we could cut enough trees, kill enough sharks, to sustain the illusion, this would not only reduce paradise to the very thing we want to escape – namely, town – but exacerbate the long-term problem, namely climate change.
She wonderfully articulates something I’ve been thinking of for some time since the bushfires: to what extent do we fail to accept we live in a natural world, with natural processes and, yes, natural disasters. Escaping the city is fine and good, but it goes along with certain consequences.