November 23, 2014 | Ronda Jambe

Dear Julie, if you’re going to shoot the messenger…

…perhaps the President of the United States is not the best choice. After all, our relative status to this behemoth is one of minnow to a shark and client to a corporate.

No one can believe Julie Bishop when she leapt to dispute that the Great Barrier Reef is vulnerable to climate change. We all know she doth protest too much.

To claim that Obama was poorly briefed when he dared to state what our own scientific reports have been saying for at least a decade shows poor form. Too easily refuted, dear Julie.

Time to get real about the challenges that our reliance on fossil fuel exports is placing on our economy.

And selling uranium to India won’t help much, as the nuclear industry also slowly sinks:

Yesterday I attended a good workshop on climate change in Moruya. An opportunity to meet some of the new players in that space, and say hello to more familiar acquaintences. Power to local action, say I.

We will rain on your parade yet, dear Julie.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 11:46 am | Comments (20) |
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November 15, 2014 | Ronda Jambe

Under the Moruya Moon (17)

There is busy and rewarding and then there is too busy and uncertain rewards. We have been caught up these past few months working out how far to go with developing our little land on a ridge. The kangaroos are part of the considerations, but are not amenable to negotiations about our relative rights. Are we the settlers and they the Palestinians in this scenario?

The workmen tell us we have created an all-you-can-eat buffet for the roos, by putting in 580m2 of kikuya turf. I note that this is about 50% larger than most of the house sites they are offering in the newest development area of Canberra. But I like a bit of Lebensraum, and being surrounded by more trees than people.


Once it gets established, it won’t need mowing or watering, and the roos won’t do it too much damage. In the meantime, I run out shouting and occasionally throwing stones at them around dusk, when they arrive in clusters for the party. Seeing them bounding out of sight conjures up images of Jurassic Park, but they don’t frighten me. And who could begrudge this pretty rock wallaby a few nibbles, all by herself, enjoying a bit of compost?

rock wallaby

Men with Machines! They are the best, moving earth if not heaven to my designs. All in the hope of a) managing water as we are on a ridge coming off another ridge and b) creating defined places suitable for landscaping and veggie beds and c) one flat area on the whole 17 acres that could be used for badminton and croquet, two activities of my childhood that still appeal. That would provide an alternative to the table tennis we play frequently inside. Finally d) is another garage on this block, closer to where we need it. Any place not being planted must be mulched, and the trucks have brought in and spread heaps of it:


This year has seen some real progress, including the outdoor closet for boots and an alcove for putting them on:


Some hardy vines are already growing on the trellis to screen it in. I am very pleased with my design and the carpenter who built it for me.


All this is a satisfying distraction from the nonsense of the Abbott government (they don’t seem capable of thinking as much as 16 years into the future) and the interesting developments in the dropping price of oil (is it really a plan to pressure the Russians and Iranians?)

I spent a lot of time this week making orange-iced cupcakes for our local State Emergency Services awareness event. All the locals, women and men, seem to have heaps more practical skills than we do, so I am content to be the kitchen hand. There is a lot of technique to icing a cupcake!

cup cakes

The local gardening group ran a public discussion on local food production, and an old colleague is running a workshop in town next week on climate change. I’ll be there for that one, after attending the annual general meeting of the peak oil group I belong to in Canberra. Interesting times, good people doing good things in the community. I don’t ask for more than that, and am grateful to participate where I can.

Like anything worthwhile, developing a vision of small scale rural independence requires a lot of quiet time puttering away, weeding and watering, planting and harvesting. My little craft cabin will soon enough have lavender plants to soften its outline.

Soon enough, too, the path now indicated by the US and China will become the start of real international action on climate change. Growth without shrinkage in emissions won’t work, other paths to prosperity are available.

me at cabin

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 12:39 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Environment