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The world's most cautious optimism

20 May 201904:00PMlifeclimate

I'm increasingly glad didn't rage tweet about this weekend's election result.

I slammed some doors and walked a block or two to grab some of my favourite beer instead, and I'm glad that I did, because having taken some time to process things I'm not actually sure the things I would've tweeted would have been warranted.

the damage doesn't look as bad from out here...

The truth is that last night was a shock, but it wasn't from the end of the world. At least, not yet.

As humans we have this innate desire to tell stories about what happened, to try and explain phenomena larger than we can possibly comprehend. If that helps you, go for it, but I'm not sure that speculation is particularly useful right now - at least not for me. Everyone who voted on Saturday did so for their own reasons. Thanks to the wonders of the secret ballot, we can never know what those are.

Here is what we do know. As a nation, we are not morons. We do not deserve every inch of sea level rise and every degree of warming, or to be alternately boiled alive and flooded to death in our negatively geared homes.

(All very real thoughts, which I definitely thought on my walk to the shops, and which I have definitely seen articulated on Twitter since.)

We are selfish, and short-sighted, and overly concerned with what others think of us, but that doesn't make us bad people - it just makes us people.

Getting involved in this election was all about feeling like I could do something. Six months ago, I sat in a room and helped write what I thought our goals should for the Swan campaign on post-it notes. Two themes showed up pretty quickly - we wanted to get enough senate votes to return our senator, and we wanted the current member for Swan to have "a really uncomfortable evening."

Jordon is almost certainly back, and Steve Irons has scraped re-election with a 4% hit to his primary vote.

All things considered I'd say we actually did pretty well.

But I still need to feel like I'm doing something, and if you're reading this I suspect you might too.

The reality is that not much has changed. Our goalposts are exactly where they were before. We have a biosphere to maintain and a government that's not interested in doing so. We have put the people whose job it is to fight for this kind of stuff back where they need to be, and they are sure as shit going to keep doing it. But electing a government is just a tiny part of our job.

So I'm going to be doing some writing, because that's going to help me. And I am going to write about some things that you can do to feel like you're doing something too. I hope you can join me!

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