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 #4107
Force majeure    (May 2022)

Topic Images

There are currently 104 photographs in this section.

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]

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]

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 often you will be rewarded with the most surreal experiences

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]

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]

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]

Game the system

Those with the best view won

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

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 546kb]

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

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]

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

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]

A 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]

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 446kb]

Black poles

Our cities were filled with reminders of people we lost

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

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]

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

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]

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 310kb]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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

Untapped potential

Sustainable development opportunities could be found in every direction

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

Hidden externalities

A vivid pile of inclusive spaces to facilitate social cohesion

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

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]

The curated home

Redesign your nest with hygge cosiness

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

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]

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]

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]

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 638kb]

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 on what they see

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 final destination. Meanwhile, 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 part and steam starts billowing from the blast furnace chimney…

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]

Sunset industry

The party had to end some time

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

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]

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]

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]

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]

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…
South Head turned out to symbolise the end of the line in more ways than expected

Surf's up

Sandy beaches became problematic in a world of rising sea levels

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Fairy Bower rocks, Manly [Jan-2021 765kb]

Appeasing demand

Sawtooth factories rapidly made way for empty apartments

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Zetland redevelopment [Nov-2018 279kb]

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]

Made by We

The four seasons of positive climate reform

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Blue mountains seasons [Dec-2019 467kb]

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]

Captive audience

Cruise ships, nursing homes, schools and daycare centres provided an ideal way to disseminate contagious disease (Sepkowitz, 2014)

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Green Thunder waterslide on the Carnival Spirit cruise ship, berthed at Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal [Dec-2014 207kb]

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]

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

Troglodyte world

Going underground to evade the consequences

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

Charting success

A million schemes for the world we were going to make

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Parramatta Square construction site [Jan-2018 124kb]

Potential harbour views

Uninterrupted vistas for our tax-shelter investment properties

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

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 this time when a couple of pigeons inserted themselves into the shot. A few months later the wall was demolished when the Central Park development neared completion

The problem with problems

Owing to the proliferation of psychology graduates, everyone was constantly reminded about how dependent/ fragile/ isolated/ confused/ powerless/ helpless/ humiliated/ depressed/ anxious/ anguished/ harassed/ stalked/ victimised/ violated/ dehumanised/ traumatised/ wild-eyed panic-stricken they were

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Domain car parking station [Jul-2018 271kb]

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]

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]

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]

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]

For the rest of my life

Reschedule everything to make retirement a success

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Brisbane Str vehicle tarpaulin covers, Bondi Junction [Dec-2018 366kb]

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]

Hedge city

O beautiful for spacious skies, to park our excess wealth

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

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]

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]

Snafu City

A patchwork of failed-states, ruled over by unaccountable 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]

What mean these stones?

We were at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all we could talk about was money and fairytales 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

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Black bird

… singing in the dead of night

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

A machine to make the land pay

(Gilbert, 1905)

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

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]

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]

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]

Rising above

Endless views to match our ambition

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

Inside the tiger

Every rabbit was chased down every hole

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

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]

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]

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 779kb]

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

Out in the open

A few growing pains were a small price to pay to ensure our city remained a true global city

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Brocks lane construction appraisal, Macdonaldtown [Dec-2022 263kb]

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]

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

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]

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]

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]

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?

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]

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]

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

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]

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