Most Australians think that global climate change is more of a worry than terrorism, according to some poll or other. Thats reassuring. Upon close inspection the fabricated fear of terrorism dissolves like coral in a warmer ocean.
Last week, people packed the city hall to listen to that great warrior for the environment, David Suzuki. Hes retiring and on tour flogging his autobiography.
People care. Theyre smart. They understand whats really important clean air, clean water (pity Lismore Council wants to poison it) and a future for the kids (pity the public education system is being dismantled).
But (and this is just between us) I was a bit disappointed.
Dont get me wrong, I love the guy, but David was a little bit, well, boring.
Look, I love a good wedding photo as much as the next person but what Im really thirsty for are strategies, inspiration some hope! I wanted the planetary lowdown on the environmental state of play from a dude who knows. I wanted a rallying call from the general; an inspirational tirade from the coach.
I wanted to leave that hall with a fire in my belly. But no.
It wasnt exactly listening to Nero fiddle, but it wasnt lets grab-a-bucket-and-put-out-the-fire stuff either.
When I went to Byron to see Bob Brown launch his book last year I ended up in Tassie confronting my own, and the environments, demons. I was inspired by Bob.
After Davids gig I felt like getting a PhD, marrying a younger woman and having talented kids.
Anyway, Suzuki will always have a pleasant resonance in my mind.
The only vehicle I ever bought brand new was a Suzuki Titan 500 road bike. I loved that bike. Simplicity itself. A two stroke, two cylinder engine with wheels on it.
And then theres David of course. Complex. He felt alienated as a chid. Named after a motorbike. Then he became an environmental hero. Now hes an environmental retiree.
Anyway I hotted up my Suzuki by putting a sissy bar on the back (so I could attract a pretty pillion passenger) and by fitting high-rise handle bars. Did the work myself.
How do you retire from saving the planet?
Once I was riding to the Gold Coast with my sister on the back. I love riding. I was road king. A two-wheeled, 100km/hr highway god with a woman on the back and a carbon footprint bigger than Fiji. I wanted to put my hand on her leg and ride one-handed like a bad-assed, womanising bandit. But she was my sister.
Aw hell, I did anyway.
She hit me so hard in my kidney area, the bike ran into the Mercedes in front. She catapulted past me, her feet running but not yet touching the ground, still clutching the now-disconnected sissy bar behind her.
I guess hell go fishing. David, that is. I learnt he loves fishing. Hope you enjoy it, champ. Thanks for the good work. But you know me. Im on the fishs side.