Image for Look Who’s Laughing. Flannery, Booth

*Pic: Photograph by Peter Essick from National Geographic’s coverage of the Canadian oil boom, here

This short note is certainly no exegesis of scriptures as nothing scientific is proven by quoting any sacred scripture.  The realms of “I believe…” belong to philosophical discussion.  However, I remember Miss Peterson, my third grade teacher, who started each day of class with a bible quote.  One has always stuck in my mind, as it never made sense…until today.
 
Canberra prepares for yet another potentially disastrous government.  Miss Peterson’s quote, most likely a transliteration from Swedish was, “God sits in his heavens and laughs at human foolishness” (Psalm 2.4).  This may not be quite accurate according to the New English Bible.
 
Coming from a large extended family of reasonable mirth, it always made sense that many of the things we did were pretty funny and foolish, like poaching two baskets of fish when one was more than enough food and then using the rest to put into the newly planted corn circles, picking up many buckets of coal along the railroad tracks,  breaking street lights and daring each other to walk on new ice on a local lake until someone fell in.  Maybe that, I thought then, was what God laughed at: our senseless and provocative acts.  We performed many in our village which included belonging to a gang, the nasty racism of a small town or the gagging pollution of railroad steam locomotives which put many people, including father, into an early grave.

God may sit in his heavens and laugh at humanity’s miscreant behavior but I cry today over where our new government seems to be taking us.
 
Will we see the Tasmanian Tarkine mined like primal and pristine Northern Minnesota has been, leaving great holes, mountains of slag and ghost villages?  I weep for the simple gift of clean groundwater.  Will funds for climate change investigation be whiffed away in the name of development?  I moan as I think of places like the Gold Coast and St Helens Bay slipping into the encroaching waves and king tides while the developing Canadian Athabasca Tar Sands and coal field fracking, now threatening Tasmania, destroy whatever it touches.

Is this new government going to really use warships to stop desperate and dying people trying to escape from wasteful wars in the false name of ‘border protection’?  I am reminded of the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I have become Death, the Destroyer of worlds”.  I do not like my homeland becoming a Destroyer.

God may sit in his heavens and laugh at the seemingly inane dealings of humankind.  Today I finally understand what Miss Peterson meant: I am sitting in my canoe on George’s Bay, the sun is shining warmly.  Happily, the fish are not biting.  I weep for what my government is moving towards … and I speculate that is what God laughs at … our continuing and increasingly destructive foolishness.

Is there a Voice amongst us?

Draining the Lifeblood - Galilee Basin at Risk

ABC: Tim Flannery to relaunch scrapped Climate Commission as community-funded body

Christine Milne: Greens welcome Climate Council

Kim Booth: Liberal plan to scrap CO2 price to cost Tasmania $50m per year