Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

My staff have been more distracted and dopey than usual lately. I think it's because they're contemplating installing solar power and the substantial expense involved in such a project. It doesn't bother Badger and I one way or another. We cavies do not use a lot of power. Actually we have the potential to generate quite a lot of it. If our staff would invest in a couple of those little wheels and hook it up to some sort of dynamo, we could belt along and produce enough power to run the fridge in order to keep our beans cool. My staff could also produce a lot of sustainable energy themselves simply by attaching wind turbines to their bottom passages, true it would make sitting down a little awkward but there'd be enough power to run a medium sized hospital.

My male staff's main concern (Apart from letting the pet moths in his wallet escape.) is that the outlay for the solar panels takes far to long to recoup by means of the savings made by having no power bill. Five to eight years he reckons. That, sadly, is  lifetime for a guinea pig. He reckons that if the climate change models are correct and northern Australia's climate becomes cooler and wetter, his precious solar panels' efficiency will degrade over time because there will be more cloud cover. Those same climate change models say that southern Australia will become drier and hotter and so more suitable for solar power production. So we could all move a few hundred kilometres south. The trouble with that is that southern Australia will then have a water shortage due to decreasing rainfall and that would mean that my staff would have to pay through the nose for their water. I can imagine my male staff's wallet moths getting itchy feet already.

Badger may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even he can see that climate change is a reality. In fact you'd have to be blind, deaf, stupid or Tony Abbott not to see that the world's weather is going a bit nuts. Even if you don't agree that human activity is contributing you can't deny that something unsettling is happening. Glaciers are shrinking, deserts are expanding and the amount of hot air emanating from parliament house multiplies year after year. In my male staff's capacity as an African travel expert he keeps banging on about how the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro have retreated in recent years. Anyway, if only you humans could get your act together you'd see benefits in reducing pollution whether or not it makes a difference to the climate.

Australians - the human ones at least, are per capita the world's greatest polluters. Yep, that's right, worse than the Yanks, worse than the Europeans and worse than the Chinese and yet we are one of the slowest nations on earth to begin to put climate change remedies in place. Ye Gods! Can you imagine the whinging from certain sections of Australian society when the entire population of the Pacific Ocean turns up on our shores in leaky boats because their islands have disappeared due to rising sea levels caused by melting polar ice caps. I can see Tony Abbott in his budgie smugglers knee deep in water like some modern day King Canute waving his arms and yelling "Turn back the boats." at the top of his voice. Trouble is of course that they will have nowhere to turn back to - and guess who's fault that will be.

Now that I've got that off my furry little chest I can relax and talk about something  far more important than the end of the world as we know it. I have started doing a hyena impression, or so my staff say, and they should know. When I'm placed on a towel recently vacated by Badger I start to giggle. I can't help it. He leaves behind such a funny smell. I giggle and sniff and try to bury my nostrils in the towel. It's great fun, you should try it one day. This observation by my staff led me to recapping the many different species I have been likened to or mistaken for. So far - mongoose, dog, beaver, ferret, lion, skunk, fruit bat and now hyena. Not bad for cavy in only his second year. I could be a "one cavy zoo", charge an entrance fee and help pay for my staff's stupid solar panels.

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