‘Camp isn’t it ironic that we’re living the most comfortable lives of any generation since the beginning of time. We are the most mobile, the technically, medically, socially and financially most advanced, the best fed, pampered and educated of any species ever to wander this planet. and yet, here it comes: we are not happy and the future looks shaky.’

‘I could say something silly like the future always looked rocky, as in the middle-ages, as in the depth of a world war, as in the middle of an earth quake. But you’re right, Instead of a natural disaster, we’re on a path to self-destruction. We are so successful and ingenious that we’ve introduced problems that we have neither the political will nor the resources to solve. Ronald Wright outlined this brilliantly in his 2004 book: A Short History of Progress, a series of Massey lectures about societal collapse.’

            ‘As a young lad so succinctly put it to me the other day when he said: ‘Back in the 70ies you had the best music, the best sex and the best drugs.’ Free love, drop out and turn on, against a backdrop of ten years of the best music from around 67 – 77? It was a time when music defined and mattered. You were either in the Stones or the Beatles camp, a blues or a soul fan and to be a hippy was still a somewhat honourable aspiration, like ‘Peace and Love, wear flowers in your hair and make love not war’ and all that good stuff. What happened to all that youthful optimism?’’

            ‘The forces of righteousness from religious fundamentalist to social conservatives as well as all the money makers opposed all that free thinking and loose association and suppressed the naïve and unstructured revolution of these dreamers and seekers.’

            ‘And then came the internet and the new communication tools and today we have electronic slavery and a world-wide cult of social media and instead of focusing on how to make this a better and more sustainable world for all we are increasingly divided and pitted against each other.’

‘ Human nature?’ Small tribes, small wars. Big tribes. Big wars,’ Camp was on his cynical best footing.  We now have territorial wars and food fights wherever there are water and arable land shortages and meanwhile the world is burning up and everybody knows it.’

            ‘And yet we’re flying around the planet in search of the perfect beach, the most exotic foods and customs, the best entertainment and leisure luxury, the most bacchanalian and self-indulgent adventures while practising yoga and vegan diets. We are what we seek and get what we deserve,’ I said.

            ‘As you put it: we have the best of all worlds, live like lords and kings of old, pick and choose at random whatever we want and like and yet, nature and our eco systems are struggling and failing all around us. Are we caught in Dante’s nine circles of hell or are we the chosen few, destined to survive in an apocalyptic world. Unlikely, but there are some folks who think that to be rich is to be favoured by some mythical Godhead.’. 

‘We are living the best of lives while our children will have to bear the consequences of our foolish and self-indulgent behaviour? I wish them well.’ 

            ‘It’s called progress. Nine billion homo sapiens (9’000’000’000) sharing finite resources inside an onion skin atmosphere on a nice little planet that we all call home. There is nowhere else to go.’

            Camp nodded sagely into his beer. ‘We should all try and take care of it but when the house is on fire and the firemen are busy elsewhere, the garden hose is not enough to save it and ashes will be all that’s left.’

            ‘Another uplifting sentiment Camp. How about enjoying your time and have a few laughs while we’re at it. Let’s just get another pint and look out at our beautiful, snowed in Sunshine Coast.’

Vicky was right on cue as usual, exchanging our empties. ‘Who said the planet is warming up? Not around here in winter wonderland,’ she quipped.

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