The Boomer Legacy

Environment

The Good Earth Will Abide Forever

We were part of an infinite world.

Atmospheric cycles cleansed our air; Fresh water was limitlessly abundant; Forests and coral reefs always grew back; Ocean algae bloomed and sank into the abyss in a continuous cycle to replenish all our oil.

Habitats were indestructible. The climate has always changed. There have been countless warm (and cold) periods in the past. Even dinosaurs flourished for millions of years in a world devoid of frost or snow or ice.

Generations come and generations go. We humans are spirits trapped in bodies which are merely vehicles. What we did or didn't do to the Earth during our custodianship really doesn't matter, for the big question is: Where Will We Spend Eternity?…

Sample #4059
Game the system    (Jan 2019)

Topic Images

There are currently 102 photographs in this section.

Unknown knowns: The systematic destruction of the environment was an event so terrible that even mentioning it became a taboo

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Hornby Lighthouse gun emplacement, South Head Sydney [Dec-2014 203kb]

Remarks…

The original quote used for this image is also apt: I direct council to amend its draft planning-scheme to remove any assumption about a theoretical projected sea level rise due to climate change (Seeney, 2014)

Terra nullius: I direct council to amend its draft planning-scheme to remove any assumption about a theoretical projected sea level rise due to climate change (Seeney, 2014)

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Rock ledge at The Waterrun, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2019 645kb]

Aquatic dysphoria: The hydrosphere was loaded with enough micro-plastics and heavy-metals to make our marine-life indestructible

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Storm-water grating at McCauley Lane in Alexandria [Mar-2018 434kb]

Cars with grunt: Politicians fought hard to ensure tradies could keep upgrading their utes (SMH, 2019)

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Penrith Station car park [Oct-2019 344kb]

User funnelling: To paraphrase Lewis Mumford: the apotheosis of cities was to channel people from one checkout to the next

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The M4 Western Distributor at Darling Harbour in Sydney [Jul-2012 99kb]

Black poles: Our cities were filled with reminders of people we lost

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Old Canterbury road, Lewisham [Sep-2015 475kb]

Disregarding our descendants: The town did get a bit dangerous after dark

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Hickson Road, Dawes Point Sydney Cove [Jan-2020 934kb]

Through an augmented sky: All the atmospheric particulates ensured a golden hour for everyone

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Sunrise over Bourke Street, Melbourne [Apr-2019 57kb]

Remarks…

The 135mm TEM (11861) in action again. While on holidays in Melbroune, looked out the balcony and noticed hot-air balloons being launched just after dawn. A few 40mm shots looked okay, but the 135mm pointed into the sun did the trick

Outlier Nation: Founded on penal servitude, maintained by the dispossessed, for the benefit of the super-rich

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Sugar cane digester spheres in Waterfront Park, at Jacksons Landing [Jan-2013 485kb]

Scenes from Planet B: More than fifty years later, we were still just a warm dot in the cold dark void

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North Era camp-site before dawn, Royal National Park NSW [Jul-2019 204kb]

The curated home: Redesign your nest with hygge cosiness

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Sutherland Crescent, Darling point [Jan-2017 184kb]

Buckley's chance: Going nowhere was better than going backwards

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Coastal track upgrading works at the Royal National Park, NSW [Jul-2019 641kb]

Dam the Franklin: Environmental activism to prevent the construction of dams in one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the planet

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Protesting the building of dams on the Franklin River in Tasmania [Feb-1983 476kb]

Under the waning gibbous moon: The goal was to squeeze as much as possible out of the status quo before it collapsed

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Recreating Quartermass and the Pit at Parramatta [Nov-2017 890kb]

Day-tripping: The greater our impact on nature, the more we wanted to see it

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The Waterrun, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2019 411kb]

Remarks…

Many people liked to travel for hours just to take photographs of themselves. In the background you can see one of the cliffs mentioned earlier

Sunset industry: The party had to end some time

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Tower cranes at Barangaroo, Sydney [Jan-2020 135kb]

Hidden externalities: A vivid pile of inclusive spaces to facilitate social cohesion

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Centre Place lane-way, Melbourne [Apr-2019 475kb]

Boom without end: Sprawl was right, sprawl worked. Sprawl clarified, cut through, and captured the essence of the evolutionary spirit

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Diamond Bay cliffs at Dover Heights, in Sydney [Feb-2014 508kb]

Inside the tiger: Every rabbit was chased down every hole

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Coal Loader tunnel, Waverton [Jul-2017 489kb]

From the plateau the shore: Our every step drove us further apart

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Garie North Head, Royal National Park [Jul-2019 481kb]

The wealth of future generations: Natural capital was limitlessly abundant, so we were prepared to make any sacrifice to ensure a better future

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Olympian Rock walkway after a deliberately lit bushfire in Leura [Oct-2011 351kb]

My variegated village: Machines of extraction between funds and their intended recipients

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UTS construction site, Broadway [Jul-2018 336kb]

Foundations of a globalist millennium: Ceaseless construction activity underpinned our economic vigour and internationalism

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Parammatta Square construction site [Jul-2018 165kb]

Across the roaring forties: Just one summer in western Sydney: 43.5°C (2017-12-14), 44.1°C (2017-12-19), 43.6°C (2017-12-20), 42.1°C (2017-12-24), 40.4°C (2017-12-29), 42.3°C (2018-01-06), 47.3°C (2018-01-07), 42.5°C (2018-01-08), 40.5°C (2018-01-19), 40.2°C (2018-01-20), 40.3°C (2018-01-21), 43.2°C (2018-01-22), 40.0°C (2018-02-14), 40.0°C (2018-02-24)   (Aust BOM, 2018)

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117°F in the shade, the hottest Sydney temperature since 1939 (ABC News, 2018). The following summer on 2019-01-04 there was a new record of 48.9°C [Jan-2018 85kb]

This brown and angry land: City dwellers still had a lot of trouble adjusting to the chaos of the Bush

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Scribbly gum moth trails, Illawarra Escarpment track [Oct-2020 371kb]

Potential harbour views: Uninterrupted vistas for our tax-shelter investment properties

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Harbourside Serviced Apartments, McMahons Point [Sep-2018 305kb]

Troglodyte world: Going underground to evade the consequences

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Underground escalators at Macquarie University railway station, Sydney [Feb-2016 306kb]

What mean these stones?: We were at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all we could talk about was money and fairy-tales of eternal economic growth (Thundberg, 2019)

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Iron slag at the Blast Furnace Park in Lithgow [Aug-2012 331kb]

Remarks…

Another early Hasselblad 120-film image, but one which turned out to be the main instigator for this project. Had always wanted to get a V-System 6×6 camera, but could only afford to do so in 2010 when they started being dumped onto the second-hand market. Although the results were good, the project was pretty much directionless for 18 months without any theme or subtext. Then this image at Lithgow changed everything

Made by We: The four seasons of positive climate reform

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Blue mountains seasons [Dec-2019 467kb]

We were here: Passing paths that climb halfway into the void (Yes, 1972)

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Royal Coastal Track, near Wattamolla [Aug-2020 911kb]

Remarks…

Roger Dean everywhere, although without the tarns or waterfalls. Which we tend not to have in Australia, so how about some a lot of burnt scrub, scorched by yet another deliberately-lit wildfire?

Shoulder season: Work commenced to identify and implement the next wave of positive reforms

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Backyard firewood at Blackheath NSW [Aug-2019 523kb]

Surf's up: Sandy beaches became problematic in a world of rising sea levels

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Fairy Bower rocks, Manly [Jan-2021 761kb]

Infinity pool: Unlimited growth was questioned many times, but it never let us down

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Figure 8 Pool, Royal National Park [Oct-2019 428kb]

Memories of what's to come: The last thing we wanted was to extirpate all the large vertebrates (WWF, 2018)

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Deceased sulfur-crested cockatoo, Warrimoo [Dec-2017 149kb]

Remarks…

The cockatoo — which had died overnight — was lying in a neighbour's front yard. What was fascinating was watching the ants explore the corpse. Used the 100mm APO (11352) to get in close to bring out the details. And yes the Dali references [1] [2] were deliberate

Wish the sun to stand still: For a short while it remained possible to spend all day outside

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Sunbathing on the steps at Nielsen Park, Vaucluse [Dec-1990 323kb]

A domain of wreaths: Ideally, we should live as free people. Sensibly, we must live under guard (Daily Telegraph, 2018)

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Papered-over window display in Henry Str Lewisham [Sep-2015 169kb]

Travel in stylllleeee: And what I hate about traditional carbon offset programmes is so many companies are using them, and they are a fig leaf for a CEO to write a cheque, tick a box, or pretend that they've done the right thing for sustainability when they haven't made one wit of difference in the real world (Kirby, 2021)

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Primary school mosaic in Sydenham Green, near Sydney Airport [Sep-2012 397kb]

Tranquillity Bantustan: The charred tree-trunks, the ferns and weeds, the track which went on forever

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Forest Trail, Illawarra Escarpment near Wollongong [Oct-2020 921kb]

Build a better rookery: It was amazing how well organisms could adapt to living on the sixteenth floor

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Rainbow lorikeets at the kitchen window, Harbourside Apartments [Jan-2019 172kb]

Neo-Monogorod: To encourage immediate relaxation, new apartments promoted a sense of calm and well-being among their residents

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Melbourne Docklands [Apr-2019 425kb]

Intelligent design: Architects don't merely design – they create environments, inside and out, and spaces that function well, to mediate the dialogue between the boundaries of architecture and design, exterior and interior realms, structure and psyche

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The remains of the Jonley Australia plastics factory in Meadowbank [Jan-2014 587kb]

Hedge city: O beautiful for spacious skies, to park our excess wealth

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Central Park apartments, Broadway [Jul-2018 350kb]

Down from the trees and into the meat: It was as if we knew the plague was coming…

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82nd street apartment entrance, NYC [Oct-2017 361kb]

The hikikomori archipelago: An intricate superstructure of domestic ideology to increase the rate of self-incarceration

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“Sirius” public housing at The Rocks, which in 2022 was redeveloped into multimillion dollar condos for offshore investors [Sep-2016 173kb]

Magnificent isolation: Many embraced the rolling lockdowns because it finally gave them enough time to do all the things they always wanted

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Waruda Street apartment stairwell, Kirribilli [Nov-2020 42kb]

Reinforced bulwark: The oceans were an ideal place to dump all our unwanted stuff

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Concrete erosion blocks, South Wollongong beach [Sep-2014 397kb]

PETM reloaded: Nine-month summers, super El Niños, category-five hurricanes, wildfires, methane fumaroles, acidified oceans, cubic-kilometres of eutrophication and rivers awash with millions of dead fish. Years of drought followed by months of flooding rain. 1000-year events every five years. Every decade and season among the hottest on record. The sixth mass extinction. Aim low for +1.5°C and overshoot by at least 100%

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Truck exhaust pipes at Woolloomooloo, in Sydney's east [Oct-2012 115kb]

Remarks…

We lived in a world where roads were filled with 2-3 tonne petrol-guzzling vehicles, racing each other to their own demise

Epic ruin porn: Jack & Jackie died a long time ago, and Camelot became an abandoned car-yard

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Leo Cushieri Quality Used Cars in Blacktown [Dec-2012 192kb]

The moral precedence of humanity: We peered through the bay-windows of our tastefully renovated homes, yet could not see the yachts for the trees

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Vandalised Moreton Bay fig tree roots on Wunulla Road, Point Piper [Sep-2012 612kb]

Apogee of despair: A tide of opiates and synthetic analogues washed through our suburbs

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Kent Street pyramid and A4 overpass, Millers Point [Jan-2014 158kb]

Controlled flight into terrain: There was never quite enough time for the Eagle to land

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Looking south from Garie Head North, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2020 437kb]

Snafu City: A patchwork of failed-states, ruled over by appointed leaders, where distrust, stagnation, corruption and absence of social cohesion were systematically ignored

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Apartment towers surrounding Chatswood railway station [Feb-2016 254kb]

Untapped potential: Sustainable development opportunities could be found in every direction

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Florabella Pass walking track, Blue Mountains [May-2019 797kb]

We were the memories we created: How and why will people remember us?

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Tree growing in the old Fosters brewery wall (since demolished), at Broadway in Sydney [Apr-2014 552kb]

Remarks…

Had photographed the tree growing in the brewery wall a few times before, but got lucky on this occasion when a couple of pigeons inserted themselves into the shot. Of course a few months later the wall was demolished when the Central Park development neared completion

A machine to make the land pay: (Gilbert, 1905)

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Flinders Road Industry lookout, Port Kembla BlueScope steelworks [Sep-2013 241kb]

Siri versus wild: Here's one of me tweeting that I uploaded an Instagram of myself taking a selfie while on holidays somewhere

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The viewing platform of the Scenic Railway at Katoomba [Nov-2011 561kb]

Ready-made solutions: Our “developers” were given a blank cheque to do whatever they want

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Sandbridge pedestrian crossing, Melbourne [Apr-2019 272kb]

More days at the beach: Personally, I love drumming with a samba band if there is some environmental action going on. Everyone loves the band. One year, even the police got into trouble for dancing. So don't do nothing. Just find activism that you enjoy. (The Guardian, 2022)

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Miniature snowman at Blackheath Oval [Aug-2019 526kb]

Captive audience: Cruise liners, nursing homes, schools and daycare centres proved to be ideal ways to disseminate contagious disease (Sepkowitz, 2014)

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Cruise liner berthed at Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal [Dec-2014 207kb]

The big smoke: Bushfire smoke pushed Sydney's air quality index rating to 2,552. That's 11 times higher than the level considered hazardous. And it's well below air quality index readings in cities in China, India, and other places known as hotbeds of air pollution. (Gizmodo, 2019)

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Weeks of bushfire smoke in Sydney [Jan-2020 213kb]

It was fun while it lasted: 82 256 493 barrels a day — the greatest achievement of our generation was to make the deserts bloom

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Nike Savvas installation at the Art Gallery of NSW [Apr-2014 364kb]

Appeasing demand: Sawtooth factories rapidly made way for empty apartments

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Zetland redevelopment [Nov-2018 279kb]

The signs were all there: The pressure kept increasing, but everything appeared to be still within limits

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Steam relief chimney, Dey Street NYC [Oct-2017 173kb]

This tun of treasure: We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives (Criswell, 1959)

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The Green Square Waste garbage facility (since demolished) at O'Riordan Street (Daily Telegraph, 2014) [Aug-2014 343kb]

Charting success: A million schemes for the world we were going to make

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Parramatta Square construction site [Jan-2018 124kb]

Force majeure: For years politicians were elected on a platform of denying climate change. Then they were amazed when they were thrown out of office

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Post-election garbage bins at Copeland Ave, Macdonaldtown [May-2022 553kb]

Frame your reference: An existence punctuated by cranes & crosses

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Elm tree memorial at Lewisham building site [Sep-2015 123kb]

Liens Den: The potential for redevelopment was endless

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View from beneath the Western Distributor, at Darling Harbour [Jul-2017 72kb]

Crosswalk puzzle: Waiting for the white man with the upraised orange palm

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Pedestrian crossing at 37th and 5th, NYC [Oct-2017 264kb]

Rocks & Crops: Diggers and drillers drew heartfelt inspiration from the island paradise of Naru

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The Port Kembla coal terminal (PKCT) [Sep-2014 251kb]

Where even the windows wept: Our villages were filled with community and a common sense of purpose

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Factory windows at Chester Lane, Zetland [Sep-2014 414kb]

Multilevel regression with post-stratification: Cityscapes were continually redesigned to uplift the soul

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Liberty Place, Castlereagh Street Sydney [Jan-2019 288kb]

Rising above: Endless views to match our ambition

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Eureka sky-deck, Melbourne [Apr-2019 329kb]

Black bird: … singing in the dead of night

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Freshly harvested pine logs awaiting export, Dunedin NZ [Dec-2017 386kb]

From lives to livelihoods: Consumption for symbolic, signalling and cultural reasons

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New apartments from old flour mills, Lewisham [Sep-2015 163kb]

Re-imagine urban life: Traffic and cranes were used to measure our prosperity

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Tower cranes at Australian Technology Park [Mar-2018 371kb]

Bright shining billions: The Great Architect stood with his hands on his hips and proclaimed: You too shall have a bone-yard

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The Westfield World Trade Center atrium, NYC [Oct-2017 248kb]

111 false dawns: Waiting for the pandemic to recede for long enough to celebrate another birthday

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Sunrise over the Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne [Apr-2019 91kb]

The albatross beneath our feet: Rows of apartment blocks where agent-orange once bloomed

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The decontaminated site of the Union Carbide plant, at Rhodes [Jul-2013 284kb]

Situation normal: Everything was fine, until it wasn't

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Lawsons Auctions car-park, Moore Street Annandale [Sep-2015 302kb]

Remarks…

Walk the suburbs for hours and you will inevitably be rewarded with the most surreal experiences

Multinational style: Curtain walls of glass and steel as far as equities would allow

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6th Avenue office buildings, NYC [Oct-2017 530kb]

Well-hidden symmetries: What to nearly everyone was hopeless chaos, was to INTJs a landscape filled with intricate patterns and connections

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Southbank lighting store, Melbourne [Apr-2019 611kb]

This fatal shore: A remote and hostile continent where the unwanted were sent to be forgotten

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The boulder-strewn shoreline on the way to Figure 8 Pool, Royal National Park [Oct-2019 390kb]

Permissive Occupancy: We, the legatees of adverse possession, hereupon swear to lobby and plead and flatter and appeal and threaten and randomly proclaim “significant heritage values” in order to enjoy our rightful seaside retreats deep inside a public national park

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RNP shack at Little Garie, NSW [Jul-2019 511kb]

Less is more: A rectangular lattice to corral our inoffensive and risk-adverse lives

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Housing demolition on Gray Street, at Kogarah [Apr-2011 161kb]

Late for the sky: The air was eaten, promise crammed

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The final blast-furnace at BlueScope Steel, in Port Kembla [Sep-2014 97kb]

Remarks…

“Scheduled Trackwork” meant having to catch replacement buses between Wollongong and Port Kembla. The problem was that they were infrequent and had a habit of leaving a few minutes before you arrived. So had to instead catch a hilariously indirect suburban bus, which went randomly up and down every side-street before finally arriving at the end destination. Then, during the slow-motion journey, it clouded over and completely trashed the light. But what the hell, after such a l-o-n-g trip you may as well walk out to the steelworks anyway. And then as if on cue, the clouds parted and steam started billowing from the blast furnace chimney…

Neptune's Navy: Broadsides for peace on the wide ocean blue

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Sea Shepherd cruiser, Australian National Maritime Museum [Apr-2014 204kb]

Home! Sweat Home!: An exile from home splendour dazzles in vain
Oh give me my lowly thatched cottage again
The birds singing gaily that came at my call
And gave me the peace of mind dearer than all
(J.H. Payne, 1823)

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Egan Street red-brick flats, Newtown [Nov-2022 898kb]

Outwardness within: The world was only as small as you wanted it to be

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Sightseeing at The Balconies, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2019 620kb]

Remarks…

The northern part of the Royal National Park tends to be overrun by day-trippers on weekends. Most of them stand around posing for selfies, but occasionally you can also find people reflecting about what they see

Wildfulness everywhere: Sometimes the bush was so wild that even the signposts wore out

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Illawarra Escarpment Track, above Coalcliff NSW [Oct-2020 584kb]

Markers of social progress: Signs were erected to reinforce things we already knew

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Abandoned used-car dealership sign, Church Str Parramatta [Jul-2017 127kb]

Ready to enjoy your renovating touches: Deceased Estate — First Time Offered in 37 Years. Lifestyle studio apartments with iconic Oprah House, Bridge and Harbour views

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Misspelled blurb on a real-estate hoarding, Waruda Street Kirribilli [Nov-2020 242kb]

Right by conquest: Our rules-based social order continued to function very effectively

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Poisoned trees at Larkin Street, Waverton [Jul-2017 309kb]

Golden sunlit uplands: Import alien species to remind you of home, then watch helplessly as they spread throughout the environment

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The invasive plant species Common Gorse spreads along the Taieri Gorge, NZ [Dec-2017 818kb]

Remarks…

This shot was taken while hanging out the door of the Taieri Gorge tourist train. Actually wanted shots of the train taking a curve, but looked around and saw the weed-covered gully. Next time it might be an idea to stay safely inside inside the car and just point the camera out the window. There might not be a “next time” however, as the line was closed in 2020 due to COVID related financial pressures, and the reopened line now only runs to Hindon, well short of where this photo was taken

Volunteer sacrifice: According to former fire chiefs, relying on large numbers of volunteers to fight bushfires was not necessarily a sign of inadequate funding, but possibly the best way to do it (SBS, 2019)

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Waterfall Bushfire Volunteers Memorial, commemorating the death of five volunteers in Nov 1980 [Sep-2020 748kb]

The wound that would not heal: Meanwhile, up in the stratosphere…
O2 + (UV) → 2 O•
O2 + O• → O3
O3 + (UV) → O2 + O•
CCl2F2 + (UV) → CClF2• + Cl•
Cl• + O3 → ClO• + O2
ClO• + O• → O2 + Cl•
2 ClO• + (UV) → O2 + 2 Cl•

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Sunburst above the Wollongong Sewage Works [Feb-2011 113kb]

After Nature: An all-new Pliocene, with polybutadiene gastropods in a reinforced concrete sea

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The front yard of an abandoned spare-parts dealer at Tempe in Sydney [Sep-2012 209kb]

Stack trace: International trade agreements led to enormous economic benefits

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The concrete base of the demolished Port Kembla copper stack [Sep-2014 349kb]

Remarks…

The Copper Stack was a south coast landmark since its construction in 1965. After standing derelict since 2003, it was finally demolished in Feb 2014 . A few months later a security fence had to be scaled to obtain this image, along with risking arrest by waiting around for the sun to peek out between the clouds to light the remains of the base

Game the system: Those with the best view won

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Friday night on Sydney Harbour [Jan-2019 190kb]

The men in the high castle: The benefits of fifty years of neoliberalism were there for all to see

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BP Site bund wall, Waverton [Jul-2017 425kb]

A two-speed world: The landscape was altered to better reflect our social order

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The remains of Lawrence Hargrave Drive beside the Sea Cliff bridge, near Coalcliff [Dec-2016 742kb]

Remarks…

Most people drive over the Sea Cliff Bridge and don't notice the abandoned Lawrence Hargrave Drive beside it. It had to be closed in Aug 2003 due to large rockfalls from the escarpment along its western side. The road still remains open to intrepid walkers, and the truck-sized boulder which finally shut the road is still visible

The problem with problems: Owing to the proliferation of psychology graduates, everyone was constantly reminded about how dependent/ fragile/ isolated/ powerless/ anxious/ disabled/ confused/ helpless/ harassed/ victimised/ violated/ dehumanised/ devastated/ traumatised/ wild-eyed panic-stricken they were

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Domain car parking station [Jul-2018 271kb]

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