The ‘New’ Government

I didn’t realise it would be so hard being in Qld for the federal election. Daniel and I pre-voted in Winton, not knowing where we were going to be on the day. We’ve been traveling the Outback and most recently Central Queensland for the last two months.

Then, on the night, we were in Rubyvale Caravan Park (The Gemfields). Remarkably there was a tv room with a satellite connection. We shared the viewing space with a couple from the Blue Mountains who voted Lib, and a tough old Queenslander who did too.

Daniel and I were crestfallen as we watched the results come in, especially with what was happening in Qld. The results were bought, as we’ve heard, by Clive Palmer. His big election spend on advertising, he said, was designed to ‘polarise the electorate’. The opposition took risks, creating policies to support us into the future. And, taking strong actions in addressing the climate crisis. 

It’s been feeling like the only thing that could save Australia’s environment from climate disaster would be a drastic change in government policy. A new government.

This current not-new government will likely go ahead with the Adani mine and go on approving fracking licenses in Qld. I have to admit I took the high ground, indignation. And arrived at the familiar refrain, we’ll all be rooned!

We’ll find a way

Then, I got a bit of a comeuppance. For a couple of nights, we parked our little van at the Bluff Hotel. We did happy hour with the locals. We heard how the whole economy of this tiny town depends on coal mining. The Bluff Railway Station is directly across the street from the pub—a major depot for the surrounding coal basin.

The publican was thrilled that a new coal mine was soon to open. Although he did bemoan the fact that most of the Bluff population is itinerate.

(Incidentally, the next nearest town to Bluff—Blackwater— is called the coal capital of Qld, home to The Australian Coal Mining Museum.)

We had a look at one train that was ready to roll, with its myriad cars filled up to the brim with the black stuff. Here’s a fact I ran across: the value of saleable coal per train is approximately $850,000 to $1 million. How often do they roll? I don’t know.

I can’t imagine how people in this State will change. I’m glad I had the opportunity to hear from a few Queenslanders, though. Being on the ground and listening to those who will be most affected has to be the first step in favour of change happening.

But the more I hear about temperatures and sea levels rising and have viewed the terrible drought in Australia up close, the more I am concerned. It seems like there’s a big train coming down the track and it’s not just a coal train.

I’ve decided to dedicate time and energy to educating myself re climate change. I’ve decided to somehow marry my yoga practices with positive actions and intentions for the planet.

I don’t have a roadmap for this, but I thought a good place to start would be facilitating a workshop for yogis. The Ekam Festival 2019 organisers have kindly provided a forum for me. The workshop is called Climate Yoga. I invite you to come along for some lively discussions and practices: September 14 and 15 – Ekam 2019. 

I think that together we can figure some things out. We can take the energy we receive from our practices and give back to the planet in practical ways.