The week that was

Well, that was an interesting week or so: state-wide blackout due to fallen towers; fallen towers due to cyclonic winds; hail and lightning (very, very frightening); king tides; tidal surges; flooding here, there and everywhere; vineyards up to their knees in water; market gardens ready for harvest – gone; great slabs of bitumen lifted off road surfaces due to flooding; sides of hills slipping down onto roadways; people trapped in lifts (what a nightmare!); traffic slowed to a crawl because all the traffic lights were out; confused and terrified pets gone missing, and a house fire or two due to candles being left burning…  You can’t say life in South Australia is dull.

Of course, the politicians had a field day trying to use this state-wide, extreme weather event, as an opportunity to do some politicking. They just can’t help themselves, can they! One prominent National Party politician from Queensland has, several times, told the media that we were in such dire straits because our state uses renewable energy systems (wind and solar) as well as coal-based energy. “A little thunderstorm took down the whole state!” he keeps blurting out, thereby showing his ignorance of how a power system operates, as well ignorance of what actually occurred weather-wise, and a lack of compassion for all the people affected by this disaster. Come on, mate! When Queensland has severe flooding due to cyclones we don’t say, “Ooh, a little bit of rain and Queensland gets its feet wet.” No, we send people and resources to help.

The amount of time spent in a blackout depended on where one lived. One of my Facebook friends was only in the dark for 90 minutes. We had no power for 12 hours. My in-laws had no power for a couple of days. Some country towns were without power for even longer. There were a lot of complaints on FB. However, a number of my friends said it was a nice change, sitting with the family by candlelight, playing cards and talking with each other, instead of being glued to the television or the mobile phone. A lot of people treated it as a sudden opportunity to “camp out” in their own homes. I figured that as long as the toilet still worked, we were all good.

Meanwhile, out in the storm and the darkness, power company workers, S.E.S volunteers, the fire department and the police were working hard to get things fixed, to rescue people who were in difficulty and to keep the rest of us safe. Good work, boys and girls!

And, you know, most of us had a bit of discomfort for only a relatively short time. There are many, many people around the world who live in worse conditions all the time. Think, Aleppo Syria; think, the slums on the edge of Rio; think, the Sudan; think, Haiti; think, many areas in Africa and China and South America… We really don’t have too much to complain about, do we?

Meanwhile, I’m grateful our state sees the need to switch over to renewable energy. We’re doing our little bit towards helping the environment cope with climate change. That’s a good thing.

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