Month: August 2010

An impoverished landscape – Part 1

This essay is the first of a series of planned reports discussing the Australian landscape and its natural environment and how it has become significantly impoverished especially in recent years. A land depleted of its natural heritage After more than a half a century of exploring Australia to identify the best of its natural heritage, I must now reluctantly conclude that, despite the best efforts of conservationists and others determined to leave the world a better place for our grandchildren, we have failed.  Apart from the legacy of a world depleted of resources (their stolen inheritance), we are bequeathing them a world overpopulated by people and with a dramatically impoverished natural and cultural heritage.   Fewer than 0.01% of Australians would have seen as much of the Australian continent as I have over the past quarter century.  Even fewer would have been assessing the quality of the natural environment as closely or as critically as I have. My observations lead me to reluctantly conclude that my grandchildren will inherit a very impoverished environment. All my life I have been interested in the environment.  It began with farm holidays as a kid.  It was nurtured by my love of the bush and was developed through scouting, through travel as a student at Agricultural College specifically looking at land management, and then while traversing half a million miles to organize Rural...

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Connor’s Lost Football

A story from Kakadu July 2010 by John Sinclair for his grandchildren and others   When Connor lost his football in the tall dry grass while on holidays with his family in Kakadu he thought that was the end of the matter.  He and his sister and cousins had searched and searched in the long grass near their camp at Gunlom but they couldn’t find the ball that Connor had had for more than half his life and which he dearly loved. Still Connor was having a marvellous holiday and Connor went on to explore other parts of Kakadu and discover some amazing Aboriginal rock art in the caves. BUT the ball was lying in very dry tall grass and long after Connor and his family had returned to his home in Brisbane, an amazing series of events took place because of Connor’s football.  Perhaps it would be better to blame Connor’s lost ball AND a spark from a camper’s fire that set the long grass near Connor’s long lost ball. In Kakadu there are two very distinct periods — the Wet and the Dry.  In the Wet the grass grows.  It is green and it grows very fast and very tall.  However when the dry period arrive in Kakadu, and that is usually the cooler months, the grass becomes very brown and crisp.  That was how it was...

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