UWA Publishing, $24.99 pb, 240 pp, 9781760800079
According to the online resource Climate Action Tracker, Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels and industry continue to rise and are heading for an increase of nine per cent above 2005 levels by 2030, rather than the fifteen to seventeen per cent decrease in emissions required to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement target. What this means for our environment and how the changes will manifest is a matter for speculation.
Lucida Intervalla is set in that not-so-distant future: the atmosphere is ‘smudged’; Centralia is the barren heart; posting, tweeting, and messaging are out of control; surgical and genetic modification has brought humanity a step closer to immortality. The joke is that Perth hasn’t changed that much. But this is not a typical ‘pisstake’ (the title of one of its many short chapters) in the style of Ben Elton’s Stark (1989), though the themes are similar. Acclaimed eco-poet and self-confessed anarchist John Kinsella lampoons big business, ignorant government, and ineffectual activism almost as an aside, a habitual response to a culture and society he finds inexplicable at best and reprehensible as a whole.