The message we can't ignore: it's the environment stupid
STINKING piles of dead fish in the Murray Darling, a savage drought that has no end and summers of heat waves tacked end to end have given humans a message we can no longer ignore.
It's the end of an economic model that relies on a natural world with no horizons sustaining an endlessly growing economy.
When the 100-year-old fish that went belly up in the Menindee Lakes last week were spawned, World War 1 had just wound up.
Turning battle fields into death factories was the industrial revolution's final bullet to the brain of the feudal system.
For the next century the world pressed ahead growing wealth, apparently with no tangible limits to our ever-expanding economies.
In the Murray-Darling, the efforts of individual farmers were too tiny to have any noticeable effect on the environment, but by the late 1980s we finally came up with a plan that could really do some damage: growing water-hungry crops like rice and cotton on a dry continent.
The blue-green algal blooms of the early 1990s were the beginnings of localised environmental crises that began cropping up around the world as the environment began to remind us of its limitations.
If those dead fish could have any message to give us it would be an unapologetic new take on an old political slogan: "It's the environment, stupid.”