“Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”
Blue Planet in Green Shackles
October 26, 2009
The Kevinator -
a nourishing wind and
successor to the Coolgardie Safe
A cunning plan to bring water to Lake Eyre,
rain to south east Australia and
prosperity to the Murray Darling Basin,
A proposal by William York,
sometime financial journalist (failed)
It has long seemed to me that the attitude of Lake Eyre being some 39 feet below sea level and the inclination of water to flow down hill should be usefully combined by the geography of South Australia to provide relief and prosperity to the farmers of the State of New South Wales and to create new opportunities for South Australia.
My simple proposal is that a canal be constructed from Spencer’s Gulph to Lake Eyre (the First Lord of the Admiralty would be delighted that his inlet was being put to some use and no doubt his neighbour John Jervis would agree despite their sometime difficulties). The resulting cascade of sea water will flood Lake Eyre and through evaporation from the heat of the sun carry the water vapour into the sky where the general drift of winds being out of the north-west should deliver the vapour over the fertile plains of the Murray Darling basin where it may fall as rain. This process will ensure an agreeable and well regulated temperature about Lake Eyre as the vast body of water will remain warm by night but by day will be cooled by the winds and the creation of the vapour. This is by way of an analogy with the operation of the Coolgardie Safe. I have chosen to call the process Kevination in honour of our Prime Minister of the moment and those who have gone before in the business of refrigeration.
I consider that this proposal conjoins a number of important concerns of the government of the day. I understand that Doctor Garnaut has given the Murray Darling basin less than one hundred years of productive life unless some remediative action is taken. This proposed device should restore environmental flows and perhaps reform the centre of our land to the glory of the inland sea that our learned geologists such as the good Doctor Plimer teach once existed. Further there is great concern that the approaching burden of unemployed workers will place severe strains on the finances of the country as a whole. Thus the construction of a canal by a large work force equipped with spades and wheel barrows should help both populate South Australia and relieve pressure on the Treasury as this should be a most productive exercise and funds readily raised on the stock market by the enterprise’s projectors. I recall that a Lord Keynes speculating on the burial and subsequent recovery of bottles of banknotes by newly employed workers suggests to me that if sufficient workers were not employed with spades then replacing the spades by trowels would ensure an expansion of the workforce.
There are manifest collateral benefits with this great project. The creation of a waterway will allow the establishment of new towns, the evaporation should allow the harvesting of salt and other manufactories may well follow. Communications will be effected where there were none before. This project combines the aim of your National Broadband Network to speed the delivery of new ideas with the ability to also speed the delivery of materials.
I am at a loss to imagine what other great gains might flow from such a project so I have not sought to establish the cost believing that there are manifold benefits.
However I remain willing and able to advise the government should it show an inclination to support this plan.
I remain yours
The Quadrant Book of Poetry: 2001 - 2010
edited by Les Murray