Australians are, per capita, among the worst polluters in the world.  We have a poor record of energy conservation and environmental protection.  The country’s neoliberal development agenda has prioritised large-scale coal mining for export – producing pollution in other countries.  For the last twenty years our national governments have denied or trivialized climate change, and fiddled with carbon policies that were either ineffective or outright fakes. 
A week ago, members of the current national government brought a lump of coal into parliament and played with it, for the cameras, to show their commitment to the coal industry.  On that day, the weather bureau was predicting over 40 degrees for western Sydney.  This southern summer in Australia, after years of high temperatures, has recorded record-breaking heat, with frightening bushfire conditions.
Yesterday in Sydney, a tremendous thunderstorm came from the west, the interior of the continent.  Another one came today.
I don’t go in for Earth-mysticism.  I have been in a tropical cyclone and under the ash of a volcanic eruption, and they were simply part of what happens.

But these two days, as the lightning flashed and the rain slashed down, it was easy to believe in a message.  I have never felt so strongly that nature was angry.
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