The photos are a bit too beautiful to resist sharing. And the stories taken from the archive of the already screened: “like scenes from Mad Max,” “like waking up on Mars,” “like a nuclear winter morning”. . . White urban Australia’s dreamtime apocalypse of being taken over by the Outback, the uncanny aboriginal sacred that still haunts the landscape, as cinematized in Peter Weir’s Last Wave and countless other Australian films. Somewhere in there one can find a climate change signature, or at least an El Nino initial. Jon Snow writes:

“Australia, in the past twenty-four hours has suffered earthquakes, hailstorms and dust attacks. Leaving the earthquakes aside (but we shouldn’t) the red dust storm was ignited by a red sun catching the thick granules of soil erosion blown together from half way across the continent and left to hang on the eastern rim of Australia.

“The country has been suffering a drought for the worst part of a decade – acute dryness, acute heat, stoking increasing anxiety that where the Australian climate leads, the world will follow.”

All of which reminds me of The Age of Stupid, which I attended the local ‘global premiere’ of a couple of days ago, and which, despite its not-too-promising title, was pretty impressive. A multiple-narrative documentary on global warming (I can hear the yawns) wrapped in a sci-fi narrative convention a little reminiscent of Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil, but well put together and not too heavy-handed. The post-screening satellite link-up featured Kofi Annan, UK enviro czar Ed Miliband, and Thom Yorke playing the beautiful (if a little inscrutable in performance) tune “Reckoner”, which you can watch here.

See Times Online and Google images for more of Sydney’s red dawn.


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