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    Leaving Lanoma Point
    Project: What happened to nature?

    I was waiting for Mona to drive her VW Beetle through the gate I had opened. We were entering the sheep paddock and leaving the area around the shack at Lanoma Point, a northern spur to the westward hook that was Cape Portland in the far north east of Tasmania. Named after some political peer of a far away relam by the dutiful explorer.

    I stared at the top of the post on which the gate swung. In the chainsaw marks, weathered and lichened, I saw oil. In the metal of the gate's hinges I saw coking coal. The car drove passed me and I saw it as coal and gas.

    The paddock was cleared by tractors after world war two by soldier settlers. More oil, more coal. The sandy soils are fairly useless for agriculture, otherwise why give them to soldier settlers. They need superphosphate spread over them all the time, more tractors, more petroleum.

    I closed the gate, got in the car and as we drove up Charmouth Hill, in a post-colonial sort of way, and I went all chatty about, about, about…

    It was a peak oil peak experience.

    "I read in a Scientific American some time ago that one in three nitrogen atoms is fixed from the atmosphere in factories now.

    "One, Two, Three, you, you there, you would not be here without fossil fuels. No nitrogen, no protein, no you.

    "We are oil. No oil, you see, no us.

    We went through a few more gates, passed the flocks of mated pairs of Cape Barren Geese and black swan at home on the wet paddocks.

    "No geese either, it'd be all scrub here still, and heath, no pasture for them to graze either.

    "No oil, no us.

    "Okay, okay, alright. You would be here Julie and not me.

    "No, not me, okay?"

    Fri, Jan 4, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany
    Sent to project: What happened to nature?
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