Climate-change guru and distinguished Adelaide local Tim Flannery appears in a new TV ad, backed by the South Australian government, giving a few chilling stats and making a few suggestions for thinking globally and acting locally. I saw this ad for the first time last night and it kicked in this morning when I was scooping a handful of underwear out of the washing machine prior to hurling it into the dryer and getting on with the next task.
Or so I thought. I got as far as the scooping part when the ad replayed itself in my mind. It's a beautiful sunny day today and there was absolutely no excuse not to spend five minutes hanging up a bunch of knickers. 'I don't have time for this,' I thought fretfully as I scooped the peg-bag off its hook and headed for the clothesline.
Hanging up knickers not being all that intellectually demanding, I had space to reflect that what I'd actually meant by 'I don't have time' was 'This doesn't have priority.' So I gave it priority, and will continue to do so. I might even go back to my local pharmacy and buy that cute shower-timer I saw on their bargain table yesterday.
I note that a new word for Flannery and his eco-aware ilk has crept into neocon rhetoric: "catastrophist". They really do seem to think that denial is enough to make something go away. Maybe they're right: Howard's method for dealing with anything he doesn't like is to dig his heels in, stick his bottom lip out and say 'I refute that,' or 'That's just wrong,' or 'No.' Seems to be working for him so far.
In the meantime, though, my peg bag itself is a monument to the principle of recycling. This stout little pale-green cotton bag with my initials appliqued onto it in bunny-patterned braid was made by my mum, 40 years before her death in 1999, as a book bag for me to hang on the hook at the side of my desk, the day I started school.