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The concept of living a truly green lifestyle is beyond comprehension to most city folks, and even those who understand it and yearn for it may enjoy it only for brief periods. My friend has an important job in the city, surrounded by tar and cement and millions of cars.  The city tries hard to supply some greenery, and the city’s vegetables are trucked in each morning so life is not too bad. But every Friday afternoon the outlets to the hills and countryside are jammed with traffic and they have to come back to city life for Monday.  The feel and smell and taste, and even a glimpse of true green lifestyle is beyond reach, beyond the senses, and, in its true essence, beyond imagination.

But my friend comes from a rural community where green lifestyle is the only way of life.  He goes back there when he can.  Recently he took me.  Some of the details he pointed out are why city folk can only slap green paint over their polluted, polluting lifestyle.  His dad planted the lychee tree 60 years ago.  The chickens and ducks supply just enough eggs and meat for the family of 6 live there.  The grain comes from 6 mu of fertile land that does not use artificial pesticides.  The vegetables on the table are home grown.  The air and water are clean.  How many dollar millionaires can enjoy this green lifestyle, and how often and for how long?

The miracle of greenery is that it traps electromagnetic forces from the sun and from the chemical bonds in water, and stores them within carbohydrates that we then eat, releasing these forces for the our body to be maintained, to grow and to move about.  We can quantify human actions by estimating how many times a carbon atom in food breaks oxygen molecules that we breathe. The number for an average person for a day in the number 1 followed by 25 zeroes.  The basic fact that typically an average person has about half a kilogram of food a day consisting mostly of carbohydrates can be understood as the need for 200 grams of carbon atoms to unleash the required bond forces from oxygen.

Measuring human activity by the number of oxygen molecules broken by carbon is a very useful analytic tool.  It can serve as an objective universal currency.  The phenomenon is ubiquitous, from breathing, living, moving, to lighting fire, to all factory processes and global industry.  Atoms are incomprehensibly small and the coulombic attractions between positive proton and negative electrons are even more of a mystery – invisible, wavelike and untrackable.  Yet in a set of units that are anachronistic and of dubious justification, the numbers comparing bond strengths actually show the force released.  The number for a bond strength between two oxygen atoms in the air is 118 and when carbon locks in on oxygen the bond is 191.  The difference is a force dissipated in all directions, but because they are in the trillions of trillions, given the right circumstances, able to be harnessed and used.  That force is what makes up human activity.

fig-2

Green lifestyle of Du An Village Man is sustainable breaking 10 trillion,trillion oxygen molecules per day. Han Dan City Man uses fossil carbon to break 12 thousand trillion trillion oxygen molecules per day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than call the difference 73 calories, we can just count one bond exchange as a single unit and measure them in tranches of some huge multitude – maybe trillion trillion (ie 1018)  and make each tranche some money name, in the same vein as penny or dollar.  We can call them “oxycarbs” (氧碳) referring to the oxygen’s bond with oxygen trading up to stronger bond with carbon. The exciting fact is this currency is not made up by governments, but is true reflection of reality.   All lifestyle was green until it was found that the trade in swapping  oxygen with carbon which led to a profitable force release could not only be sourced from live vegetation, but the carbon in fossil fuels.  The exchange was not only for eating and living, not just for fires to warm and cook, but to enter into complex processes that burgeoned to be the Industrial Revolution. The combustion in furnaces in one year became next year’s capital equipment, at first ploughs, then steam engines and then billions of tons of new products.

Europeans began in about 1750 exploiting the fact that carbon in fossil fuels could also release the bond force in oxygen.  Within fifty years the leafy sprawling towns of north west England transformed cottage industries into acres of blackened foundries and metal mills, pocked by coal mines.  The per capita oxygen bond break count went up a thousand times.  Instead of an annual carbon cycle and oxygen break-and-remake limited to above ground greenery, a once-only extraction of fossil fuels– about 70% carbon atoms – began and spread around the world.

The dream and desire for a “green lifestyle” can be traced to when societies started to have black lifestyles.  “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

A simple sketch shows the vast difference between green lifestyle and modern fossil-dependent existence. Based on studies of idyllic green lifestyle in a village in Guangxi, Du An Yao County 1989, and the unsustainable fossil-dependent case of Hebei, Han Dan City 2015, the daily per capita trade up from oxygen-oxygen to oxygen-carbon bonds was 1 x 1025 for Du An Man and 1.2 x 1028 for Han Dan Man.  The ecological footprint of the former is small and above ground, while the latter is a thousand times greater.  Every day that amount of carbon is brought to the surface and emitted into the air, already stifling after decades of abuse.

Contemplating the true meaning of a green lifestyle leads to two conclusions which should change what economists and policy advisors are saying.

  1. Any financial solution is unhinged from reality. The chemical bonds exchanged between carbon and oxygen may be tiny and invisible but they cannot be made up. If plans were made beginning with chemical accounting of the bonds available, borrowing would be a very sobering experience.
  2. Secondly, the mantra of growth stridently promoted now without challenge would be silenced if where growth was to take place was penciled into this simple sketch. We are already overgrown and bloated, choking on what we are doing to our surroundings.  Pubescent growth is admirable.  Maturity leads to enjoyment on a plane of what has been achieved in basic material benefits.   When economists gloat with glee over growth in the health care sector, be sure that society is very sick.

Current “growth” policies planned in how much money is spent and “made” are taking us further way from any return to a green lifestyle.  Counting the oxygen bonds broken is an accounting method that reveals the nakedness of the proponents of financial growth models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concept of living a truly green lifestyle is beyond comprehension to most city folks, and even those who understand it and yearn for it may enjoy it only for brief periods. My friend has an important job in the city, surrounded by tar and cement and millions of cars.  The city tries hard to supply some greenery, and the city’s vegetables are trucked in each morning so life is not too bad. But every Friday afternoon the outlets to the hills and countryside are jammed with traffic and they have to come back to city life for Monday.  The feel and smell and taste, and even a glimpse of true green lifestyle is beyond reach, beyond the senses, and, in its true essence, beyond imagination.

 

But my friend comes from a rural community where green lifestyle is the only way of life.  He goes back there when he can.  Recently he took me.  Some of the details he pointed out are why city folk can only slap green paint over their polluted, polluting lifestyle.  His dad planted the lychee tree 60 years ago.  The chickens and ducks supply just enough eggs and meat for the family of 6 live there.  The grain comes from 6 mu of fertile land that does not use artificial pesticides.  The vegetables on the table are home grown.  The air and water are clean.  How many dollar millionaires can enjoy this green lifestyle, and how often and for how long?

 

The miracle of greenery is that it traps electromagnetic forces from the sun and from the chemical bonds in water, and stores them within carbohydrates that we then eat, releasing these forces for the our body to be maintained, to grow and to move about.  We can quantify human actions by estimating how many times a carbon atom in food breaks oxygen molecules that we breathe. The number for an average person for a day in the number 1 followed by 25 zeroes.  The basic fact that typically an average person has about half a kilogram of food a day consisting mostly of carbohydrates can be understood as the need for 200 grams of carbon atoms to unleash the required bond forces from oxygen.

 

Measuring human activity by the number of oxygen molecules broken by carbon is a very useful analytic tool.  It can serve as an objective universal currency.  The phenomenon is ubiquitous, from breathing, living, moving, to lighting fire, to all factory processes and global industry.  Atoms are incomprehensibly small and the coulombic attractions between positive proton and negative electrons are even more of a mystery – invisible, wavelike and untrackable.  Yet in a set of units that are anachronistic and of dubious justification, the numbers comparing bond strengths actually show the force released.  The number for a bond strength between two oxygen atoms in the air is 118 and when carbon locks in on oxygen the bond is 191.  The difference is a force dissipated in all directions, but because they are in the trillions of trillions, given the right circumstances, able to be harnessed and used.  That force is what makes up human activity.

Green lifestyle of Du An Village Man is sustainable breaking 10 trillion,trillion oxygen molecules per day. Han Dan City Man uses fossil carbon to break 12 thousand trillion trillion oxygen molecules per day.

 

Rather than call the difference 73 calories, we can just count one bond exchange as a single unit and measure them in tranches of some huge multitude – maybe trillion trillion (ie 1018)  and make each tranche some money name, in the same vein as penny or dollar.  We can call them “oxycarbs” (氧碳) referring to the oxygen’s bond with oxygen trading up to stronger bond with carbon. The exciting fact is this currency is not made up by governments, but is true reflection of reality.   All lifestyle was green until it was found that the trade in swapping  oxygen with carbon which led to a profitable force release could not only be sourced from live vegetation, but the carbon in fossil fuels.  The exchange was not only for eating and living, not just for fires to warm and cook, but to enter into complex processes that burgeoned to be the Industrial Revolution. The combustion in furnaces in one year became next year’s capital equipment, at first ploughs, then steam engines and then billions of tons of new products.

 

Europeans began in about 1750 exploiting the fact that carbon in fossil fuels could also release the bond force in oxygen.  Within fifty years the leafy sprawling towns of north west England transformed cottage industries into acres of blackened foundries and metal mills, pocked by coal mines.  The per capita oxygen bond break count went up a thousand times.  Instead of an annual carbon cycle and oxygen break-and-remake limited to above ground greenery, a once-only extraction of fossil fuels– about 70% carbon atoms – began and spread around the world.

 

The dream and desire for a “green lifestyle” can be traced to when societies started to have black lifestyles.  “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

 

A simple sketch shows the vast difference between green lifestyle and modern fossil-dependent existence. Based on studies of idyllic green lifestyle in a village in Guangxi, Du An Yao County 1989, and the unsustainable fossil-dependent case of Hebei, Han Dan City 2015, the daily per capita trade up from oxygen-oxygen to oxygen-carbon bonds was 1 x 1025 for Du An Man and 1.2 x 1028 for Han Dan Man.  The ecological footprint of the former is small and above ground, while the latter is a thousand times greater.  Every day that amount of carbon is brought to the surface and emitted into the air, already stifling after decades of abuse.

 

Contemplating the true meaning of a green lifestyle leads to two conclusions which should change what economists and policy advisors are saying.

 

  1. Any financial solution is unhinged from reality. The chemical bonds exchanged between carbon and oxygen may be tiny and invisible but they cannot be made up. If plans were made beginning with chemical accounting of the bonds available, borrowing would be a very sobering experience.
  2. Secondly, the mantra of growth stridently promoted now without challenge would be silenced if where growth was to take place was penciled into this simple sketch. We are already overgrown and bloated, choking on what we are doing to our surroundings.  Pubescent growth is admirable.  Maturity leads to enjoyment on a plane of what has been achieved in basic material benefits.   When economists gloat with glee over growth in the health care sector, be sure that society is very sick.

 

Current “growth” policies planned in how much money is spent and “made” are taking us further way from any return to a green lifestyle.  Counting the oxygen bonds broken is an accounting method that reveals the nakedness of the proponents of financial growth models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concept of living a truly green lifestyle is beyond comprehension to most city folks, and even those who understand it and yearn for it may enjoy it only for brief periods. My friend has an important job in the city, surrounded by tar and cement and millions of cars.  The city tries hard to supply some greenery, and the city’s vegetables are trucked in each morning so life is not too bad. But every Friday afternoon the outlets to the hills and countryside are jammed with traffic and they have to come back to city life for Monday.  The feel and smell and taste, and even a glimpse of true green lifestyle is beyond reach, beyond the senses, and, in its true essence, beyond imagination.

 

But my friend comes from a rural community where green lifestyle is the only way of life.  He goes back there when he can.  Recently he took me.  Some of the details he pointed out are why city folk can only slap green paint over their polluted, polluting lifestyle.  His dad planted the lychee tree 60 years ago.  The chickens and ducks supply just enough eggs and meat for the family of 6 live there.  The grain comes from 6 mu of fertile land that does not use artificial pesticides.  The vegetables on the table are home grown.  The air and water are clean.  How many dollar millionaires can enjoy this green lifestyle, and how often and for how long?

 

The miracle of greenery is that it traps electromagnetic forces from the sun and from the chemical bonds in water, and stores them within carbohydrates that we then eat, releasing these forces for the our body to be maintained, to grow and to move about.  We can quantify human actions by estimating how many times a carbon atom in food breaks oxygen molecules that we breathe. The number for an average person for a day in the number 1 followed by 25 zeroes.  The basic fact that typically an average person has about half a kilogram of food a day consisting mostly of carbohydrates can be understood as the need for 200 grams of carbon atoms to unleash the required bond forces from oxygen.

 

Measuring human activity by the number of oxygen molecules broken by carbon is a very useful analytic tool.  It can serve as an objective universal currency.  The phenomenon is ubiquitous, from breathing, living, moving, to lighting fire, to all factory processes and global industry.  Atoms are incomprehensibly small and the coulombic attractions between positive proton and negative electrons are even more of a mystery – invisible, wavelike and untrackable.  Yet in a set of units that are anachronistic and of dubious justification, the numbers comparing bond strengths actually show the force released.  The number for a bond strength between two oxygen atoms in the air is 118 and when carbon locks in on oxygen the bond is 191.  The difference is a force dissipated in all directions, but because they are in the trillions of trillions, given the right circumstances, able to be harnessed and used.  That force is what makes up human activity.

Green lifestyle of Du An Village Man is sustainable breaking 10 trillion,trillion oxygen molecules per day. Han Dan City Man uses fossil carbon to break 12 thousand trillion trillion oxygen molecules per day.

 

Rather than call the difference 73 calories, we can just count one bond exchange as a single unit and measure them in tranches of some huge multitude – maybe trillion trillion (ie 1018)  and make each tranche some money name, in the same vein as penny or dollar.  We can call them “oxycarbs” (氧碳) referring to the oxygen’s bond with oxygen trading up to stronger bond with carbon. The exciting fact is this currency is not made up by governments, but is true reflection of reality.   All lifestyle was green until it was found that the trade in swapping  oxygen with carbon which led to a profitable force release could not only be sourced from live vegetation, but the carbon in fossil fuels.  The exchange was not only for eating and living, not just for fires to warm and cook, but to enter into complex processes that burgeoned to be the Industrial Revolution. The combustion in furnaces in one year became next year’s capital equipment, at first ploughs, then steam engines and then billions of tons of new products.

 

Europeans began in about 1750 exploiting the fact that carbon in fossil fuels could also release the bond force in oxygen.  Within fifty years the leafy sprawling towns of north west England transformed cottage industries into acres of blackened foundries and metal mills, pocked by coal mines.  The per capita oxygen bond break count went up a thousand times.  Instead of an annual carbon cycle and oxygen break-and-remake limited to above ground greenery, a once-only extraction of fossil fuels– about 70% carbon atoms – began and spread around the world.

 

The dream and desire for a “green lifestyle” can be traced to when societies started to have black lifestyles.  “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

 

A simple sketch shows the vast difference between green lifestyle and modern fossil-dependent existence. Based on studies of idyllic green lifestyle in a village in Guangxi, Du An Yao County 1989, and the unsustainable fossil-dependent case of Hebei, Han Dan City 2015, the daily per capita trade up from oxygen-oxygen to oxygen-carbon bonds was 1 x 1025 for Du An Man and 1.2 x 1028 for Han Dan Man.  The ecological footprint of the former is small and above ground, while the latter is a thousand times greater.  Every day that amount of carbon is brought to the surface and emitted into the air, already stifling after decades of abuse.

 

Contemplating the true meaning of a green lifestyle leads to two conclusions which should change what economists and policy advisors are saying.

 

  1. Any financial solution is unhinged from reality. The chemical bonds exchanged between carbon and oxygen may be tiny and invisible but they cannot be made up. If plans were made beginning with chemical accounting of the bonds available, borrowing would be a very sobering experience.
  2. Secondly, the mantra of growth stridently promoted now without challenge would be silenced if where growth was to take place was penciled into this simple sketch. We are already overgrown and bloated, choking on what we are doing to our surroundings.  Pubescent growth is admirable.  Maturity leads to enjoyment on a plane of what has been achieved in basic material benefits.   When economists gloat with glee over growth in the health care sector, be sure that society is very sick.

 

Current “growth” policies planned in how much money is spent and “made” are taking us further way from any return to a green lifestyle.  Counting the oxygen bonds broken is an accounting method that reveals the nakedness of the proponents of financial growth models.

Just jotting a couple of thoughts about out time as trainee army pilots at Point Cook Airforce base.

Recall we were treated very much as second class, being army on and airforce base (by general personnel – not by our instructors, who were tops).

Recall talking about what we wanted to do and Andy Westman said he wanted as many engines under him as possible.  That was a new idea to me.  I just wanted to skim over the land like an aerial motorbike.

One instructor at the outset said he didn’t want trainees with bad habits. He wanted a blank sheet to work on. I thought “that’s me”.  I really had not thought about how to fly.  Couple of minutes straight and level in my brother’s second hand Auster was the reason I joined the army.  Later when I had been scrubbed and I came back to see mates at end Andy fessed up that he had a fair bit of training before (that he had not admitted).

At a written exam, signals or communication or meteorology – I forget, I sat in the front and when papers were handled out with multiple (4) choices per question, bugger me if I could see the indent marks from a paper that had been on top, presumably the right answers chosen by the instructor.  I looked around and wondered if it was an honesty test.  I figured it wasn’t, and anyway the questions were hard for me so I just followed the indented ticks.  I though this is gonna look funny so I messed up one question.  When we got the results there was awe from instructor and mates that I only had one wrong. And some smart alec chimed in that it was an easy one.

There was an open cockpit plane on stilts down the back, maybe reject from a museum.  I went down with a leather helmet, took out my top and bottom false teeth and gave a gummy smile and thumbs up for a photo and it did the rounds captioned “Sleep week, your airforce is ready to defend you”.

A Navigation Instructor we had was Al Pinches.  I had a neutral impression of him. He did his job, that’s it.  But a couple years later I read he was missing in a Canberra bomber over Vietnam. I thought that was end of that.  Then when I was at Griffith Uni Asian Studies he turned up as amature student couple of years after me. He had had a wing shot off, ejected, and rescued next day.  Traumatic encounter with potential capture.  I don’t think I ever said hello to him.  Those days essays were marked and scattered around a big desk in admin and when I went to collect mine, one caught my eye cos of all the red annotations. It was Al’s paper something about Vietnam and the marker was Prof Colin Mackerras, who is extremely soft on communism.  Hilarious to read the comments. Al had had rough treatment and Prof was telling him he was biased. You betcha!

2018-2
23

I don’t like war.  Stupid.  Insane. I don’t want to talk about it again. I was in one.  I want list a few thoughts and memories while in my own room and then leave it at that.  I don’t want to get dragged back into conversations and triggers of those times.

This was all based in Laos and the eastern border with Vietnam and north border with China and the west with Burma.  Walked through a minefield and when got to the other side the rafferty soldiers lined up and were stunned that I had made it and then came and fondled my ankles, murmuring,  like I was a ghost to be honored. Only later did I realize it was a miracle.

At Luang Prabang Airport the Colonel was trying to get me to do something that was wrong. Bomb people we shouldn’t. I told him the CO (the Prince, and brother of the King) did not agree.  We walked into the CO’s office and he told it like I said. Then we went outside and Colonel repeated his orders and I realized the CO was just a joke.

In a DC3 with no seats, just a hold full of village people and I dunno who, we were flying from Luang Prabang to Ban Houie Sai.  I went into the cockpit and there were two pilots and that Colonel. I backed off smart.  Soon the Colonel came back to the hold and his mind was considering throwing me out. I knew it happened when there was conflict of goals.  I got in with the villagers who were friendly and I made light with them. The Colonel weighed it up and went back into the cockpit.

There were some hippies in Vientianne and Luang Prabang that I would drink Ovaline with and hear their meandering opinions. They seemed unified on the story that the US and Lao army were running in drugs. I was naive and refuted that.  But it was in Ban Houie Sai I saw the drug industry and transport system.  If I had taken a photo they would kill you.

I did time placed in front lines with infantry as observer for air strikes.  The platoon was camped beside a village which was nice for social comfort but made dangerous for the villagers.  We got eggs and honey and honeys. The captain spoke French and the second lieutenant English. It was surreal situation.  We would drink rice whiskey on the banks of the Mekong and fish with handgrenades.  But at night get mortared.  We would call in the Stookies, DC3s with 3 vulcan guns mounted to fire through the windows and they would rain bullets down on the sources of the mortars. Each vulcan fires 600 rounds a minuet. Tracers formed an arc from the plane down the mountain on the other side of the Mekong. That area must have a concentration of metals higher than any mine.

I was with one private soldier walking and instead of clinging to the bush he short cut across a rice field. I was perplexed. There was enemy.  He told me he would run if there was a warning shot.  Warning shot?  Well they would shoot you first – that is my warning shot.

We had a gun boat on the Mekong at camp and it came under fire and a guy I knew fell in the water as they tried to make a run for it. I ran into him, later at the airport and he had a bullet wound in the shoulder but was going back.  He was super nonchalant. I had thought he would be dead.

My first encounter with open gay guy certainly caught me unawares. He was flaunting his drag. As an Aussie from the bush, 1971, I reckoned this was a lark, and joked with him.  He wrote his address and later I visited. Didn’t take long for him to show me porno of what he wanted me to engage in. I was shocked and politely left.  I learnt his dad was a macho army major in the jungle and revered by his men for his toughness. Could not help thinking his son may have reacted to that extreme in a father.

February 1971 had 28 days and my plane did 198 sorties.

I was walking across the tarmac and a T28 landed with a rocket that had not fired. It dislodged on landing and streaked into a line of parked T28s at the side. Huge ball of fire.  Lao personnel were running round yelling Bopin Yang (“doesn’t matter”).  I will remember that line.

 

I was fortunate to be grazed by the burning steel soul of Dawn Gage.  Her demeanor and drive and cutting observations lead me to think of her as on fire, tough as steel and yet still in the furnace process.  She threw herself into challenges as an extension of God’s will.

In 1989 I was assigned to an Australian Government poverty alleviation project in a poor mountainous county 3 hours by road north of Nanning, capital of Guangxi, in south China.  The county was so backward and no one spoke English or understood standard accounting so we engaged the Guangxi Economic Management Cadre College as a subcontractor. Dawn taught English there, she visited our project, and also in Nanning, took me on her Sunday trips to the “Welfare Institute” opposite the local brewery where there were quarters for old people, abandoned babies, and for abandoned children aged 18 months to 15.

The One-Child Policy in 1980s-90s. China’s population was becoming unmanageable, multiplying as the mainly rural demographics wanted more children for farming life. But after 1980 there was better health and life expectancy, and it became logistically impossible to intensifying agriculture more densely than the one mu per person millennia old formula (1 mu =1/15 hectare). A One-Child Policy was increased in stages with increasing severity, culminating with horrifying cases of forced late abortions and other problems as publicized by Stanford Uni doctoral candidate Stephen Mosher after his field research. There was great pressure for the one child to be a boy, especially driven by the mother-in-law, with threats of “don’t make a mistake”, and “don’t break our lineage to the farmland”.  Having a girl and no son would mean the ancestral land would be lost to a husband’s family.  The pressure on pregnant women to have a son was so great that a proportion (maybe 1 in a thousand births of females) resulted in abandonment.

In the city of Nanning, the result at the Welfare Institute was about 3 baby girls a day being delivered.  Found by citizens in the street soon after birth, with the only response being to move them on.  What I saw in this place was room with a few cots and a few babies in each cot.  There were two or three nurses who sat in a staff room and watched black and white TV. They had no resources to feed the 20 to 30 babies there.  A dominant factor in this era was that assignment as a nurse to welfare duties was because of failure in the school system. They hated the stigma and just wanted to hide.  The babies were dying and could not last 3 days with zero sustenance. I never saw one disposed of but the stats must have been 3 die a day. They cried in thirst, and were ignored.

Any normal person seeing and comprehending this scene is moved to tears. I was distraught.  I stood at the main gates with racing thoughts and saw 3 adults bring another bundled baby towards me. I shouted, waving my hands and trying to stop them. They told me, “Hey, this in not ours, we found it in the street. We are just bringing it here”.  On another occasion a taxi driver who picked me to go home told me, “I know what you are thinking. I found a baby girl outside my place and my wife scolded me and said, “you already have a girl – you don’t want another. So I dressed her in some of my daughter’s clothes so she would look pretty and put her back on the street.”

Dawn came to this place every Sunday and I never saw her pay any attention or enter the room of babies. She had closed it out as too hard for her. One reality is that any hint of compassion, buying powdered milk, or somehow getting a baby adopted locally or internationally, would have become a faint justification for a mother to think she could abandon her baby “to be cared for by others”.  I heard Dawn say something like, “forget about the babies”, which shocked me and only later could I realize the agony she would have gone through to reach that point.

The abandoned children.  Sharing the same courtyard as the dying babies were other rooms with children from toddlers (18 months) up to 15 years old.  About 40 kids.  They looked after themselves.  The nurses had nothing to do with them that I could see. About 70% were girls but it was hard to tell because no one taught them to distinguish boy and girl clothings. Most were under puberty and only if they were sitting with no underwear might you be shocked to see by private parts that they were wearing “wrong” clothes.

The amazing point to notice was that these kids cared for each other. No one else did. A clearly mentally retarded boy of 10 spoon feeding a toddler.  A toddler guiding a blind girl round the courtyard.  It must have been a nurse that put all the dirty clothes in a boiler to clean them, but then the kids hung out the washing, put it in a pile when dry, to chose items – any items – when they needed to change.  All done quietly with murmurs of cooperativeness.  Dawn would arrive on Sundays with bags of fruit, and bring quiet words for each individual.  How they loved her.  And she knew each as her own.  Two girls had had their faces scalded and disfigured by boiling water, done in fits of rage by some family adult because they were a girl.  Some kids had lost limbs.  The 15 year old was a lovely girl, totally blind, who somehow had learnt to dress nicely.  Lovely kid. Abandoned either because she was a girl or blind or both.  Dawns favorite (to rely on) was 12 year old boy who had “nothing wrong” and was clearly intent on protecting each member of the group.  He had a big smile and a big heart.  These were Dawn’s life.  It was an era when China pretended it was a social paradise and there was no tolerance of foreign “interference”.  So Dawn had a recognized job 6 days a week and was careful whom she shared her mission with.

Dawn Gage. Dawn had an aura about her that struck me. She was going about God’s business.  She was quietly, steely confident in that assurance.  The Chinese did not know what to make of her.  She had long flowing golden red wavy hair down to half way between her shoulders and waist. There was a large photograph of her posted on a board as part of a high scale city photographic competition. It had the sun backlighting her hair as she rode on a bicycle. Stunning effect.  Men around her made fools of themselves.  She hinted to me some of the idiotic advances she endured.  From my experience I know many Chinese men get wrong ideas from foreign movies.  She was particularly disgusted when seeking out some improvements in conditions for the kids from the silly old bureaucrats who had been so inept in government to have been demoted to welfare issues.

Dawn told me she was going to Beijing for two years of language training so she could come back and fight bureaucracy.  I lost track of her but know that is what she did.  About 10 years later and after years in north China I returned to Nanning on a short consultancy and sitting in the lobby of a five star hotel, saw Dawn come in with several  young foreign couples, obviously on a visit to adopt a baby.  She had eventually worked out a way to at least save some babies.  It was nightmare of official red tape and evil corruption (the evil strategy of charging many thousands of dollars to adopt babies into a loving home for the start of a new life when the status quo was dying when they are 2 days old!).  But Dawn was getting somewhere. And she had founded a real orphanage for her beloved kids. “Living Stones” Orphanage. With foreign funding.

That was not the end of her struggles and there were other undercurrents later on that seemed to leave out Dawn’s amazing achievements.

Through the power of the internet, I found out today of the obituary to Dawn, dying of cancer in US Easter Sunday 2017.  Only the good die young.  Here is one time we can truly say this person left the world a better place.

 

 

Other memories

Dawn was a tower of strength to anyone who would tune in. In 1992 in a Nanning hotel I got news one of my best friends, in the army together in officer and pilot training, was killed in a plane crash.  I was meeting Dawn and poured out my sadness. She told me her dad was a test pilot and killed in a crash.  So matter of fact. Her strengths radiate.

I was honored to have one of my sons (14 years old) with me and meet Dawn for a meal and talk.  I felt I could see Dawn’s calmness instilling something special in him.  So proud to have known her.

One time I inquired about her social life and any hint of romance. Seems like some guy had followed her to Nanning but he was not on the same track and had faded into dismissal.  Not sure but seemed inconsequential to her mission.

I took one of my friends, an Australian Embassy official, to see the Welfare Institute and it moved her to go through the process of adopting a baby girl.  I am still in touch with the family and know that it would not have happened without Dawn.

My son went back to his junior high school with stories and photos of the dying babies. He raised A$600 at school which was a good effort.  I sent it over.  He came with me again and found what the Welfare Institute bureaucrats had done: Installed an air conditioner so the room the babies were suffering in and dying within 2-3 days would be  cooler.  Good lesson for my son on charitable intents.

 

Follow up on One-Child Policy: The brutality of forced late abortions and terror campaigns by officials on women in second pregnancy faded with the advent of scanning to ascertain gender of the fetus.  If there was pressure not to have a girl it did not get born.  The demand was so great that supply became technologically available at 20 yuan for a scan (Though formally deemed illegal but of course widely practiced). The result of the abandonment era followed by the abortion era has left Chinese men of marrying age with a deficit of 20 million potential partners.  Many kinds of social repercussions.  Lately there has been move to allow second child.

Western readers are not well equipped to pass judgement on what they see as social problems in China. The population pressures – the “competition” to put it politely – is hard to imagine. In general Chinese are very loving to kids and to any kids.  The stories and cases of abandonment or anything negative towards children only make the news because of the huge “universe” of events in China, which has 3 times the population of US or EU.    Most bad news stats in China (orphans, domestic violence, murders, etc), if on a pro rata basis, are low compared with world averages.

 

The three photos at the top are 1) Dawn and her College Dean (on her right) visiting my project (I am wearing a cap) in 1989. 2) My second son in the room with the babies left to die. 3) My eldest son and I with some of Dawn’s dear orphans.  The sweet girl between us was twelve and quite bright but had deformed spine and was malnourished most of her life.

http://www.capecodtimes.com/obituaries/20170422/dawn-j-gage

On Youtube there is a 1995 half hour documentary “The Dying Rooms” and at 15 to 19 minutes is the orphanage Dawn attended.  She was not there at that time.

 

2017-10
27
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When I was 17 in first year college in Armidale, in the bedroom where I boarded, I faced the big question of what I am here for. At that time Albert Schweitzer was held up as a noble role model, yet I know even he had detractors.  It came to me that if God assigned a purpose, detraction was irrelevant.  The next question flooded in – what was God’s purpose for me?  And the answer was there instantaneously in one word:  China.  From then on whenever there was no question.  But no question many times meant I forget the question. But somehow I would scramble back on track.

In my PhD years I came across the line from Weber that for a truth to be truly universal it must be accepted, “even by a Chinese”.  That drove me.  Now I look at the way Chinese behave with unemotional intrigue.  At the age of 71 the next step is to unfathom the relationship between the human soul (“even Chinese”) and material world.

2017-10
27

I was staring at fish swimming around in a small space in a glass tank as I waited for takeaway food in a small restaurant.  I don’t think they were for cooking, but aesthetics.  Some were silver, some red, and with flowing filmy trailings on their fins. Pretty.  Entrancing.  I wondered what they were doing, circling, suspended, searching, looking, sucking in sustenance.  I wondered, are we like that?  In our lives?  That petty?  Our lives?

Only if we set our confinements as narrow as those fish find themselves in.  We have oceans to explore.

2017-10
2

You have enjoyed a respite and refreshing in Du An, and realized the enormity of the challenge in delineating a universal objective metric for economic analysis.  And gotten insights into the way ahead (attack on oxygen). Now dive into a commonsense analysis of the Jiamusi question, get the best answer, and be ready for the long road back in Du An.

2017-9
15

We grow old and think we have seen the world but Kyogle had a big surprise and lesson for me when I went back in January 2015.  After reaching 65 it was hard for me to renew visas in China –  they are frightened you are gonna cark it and kept sending me back to Australia hoping I stay away but I kept coming back to Brissy and getting another visa and going back – lots of pleasant surprises and rewards of many kinds in China.  In fact on visits to Brissy I tried finding out about Centrelink and got a rude shock. Not eligible for pension cos I was “expat”.  In January 2015 after 4 rebuffs in the city over 2 years I figured go back to Kyogle where surely I am accepted as Aussie born and bred, Army Officer, fought in Vietnam, 20 years paying taxes in various government agencies.

Not much money so I stayed in the cheapest room at the Commercial Hotel, $36 a night.  There seemed no one else on the second floor and I was just across from the showers and toilets so that seemed a quiet set up.  I was there a few days (had to visit Casino Centrelink –good to me as a hometown boy and met up with 3 classmates – great yarns, and I climbed Fairymount ). On the second last night it was stinking hot 27 January and I had no ventilation. At midnight it poured and went out in the corridor in undies to celebrate and see if there was a window up the end. From a door 10 meters way a guy had come out stark naked. I was surprised to see anyone, and certainly not that.

I went back to bed and heard the showers going. Then stopped and footsteps and an almighty crash on my door. It was not a mistaken stumble but a huge deliberate crash. I was so concerned I barricaded my door with a full height cupboard backed with draws pulled from another cupboard. So weird.

Next morning I inquired of the guy at the bar if my neighbor was one night or regular. Did not get an answer.   The thought troubled me through the day and then I realized, I had already had an odd encounter with this guy.

I had arrived on the one train there is each day  early in the morning I had gone back to the station when people were about to see when there was a train back to Brissy.

There was nothing going on except a guy sitting on a bench with a can in a brown bag. As soon as he saw me he said rather leerily, “I like your shirt”.  In fact it was purple uni T shirt. I said, “yeah, Tsinghua Uni, China” and asked about train times and his answer was just rubbish. As I turned he yelled “I still like your shirt”.

What was the deal with the two events?  Had he checked in stalking me? I was due to catch the one train back 2.46am. No bloody shower that evening, that’s for sure. His door was ajar and maybe he che cked out but I just kept quiet. On sunset I came back to the hotel and at a door looking out from the 2nd floor was a guy enjoying the sunset. Back to me. He seemed about 40, over 6 foot. It was either the weird guy or the hotel manager (similar from the back and maybe he lived on this floor). I still had 6 hours hanging around and must check this out.

“Nice sunset” I said and he turned around. It was not the manager. He rubbed his fist and said “you nearly broke my hand last night….He went on, “you know you shouldn’t go round naked like that. You know what that can do to a man”.  Shit. We have a problem.  No point arguing who was wearing what and happy in my secret I was on the train in a few hours. I apologized for upsetting him and disappeared down the stairs and wandered my hometown till  2 am then fetched my backpack and headed for the station.

I reflect. I was being stalked by a man that could overpower me and he was lustful. It wasn’t that he was sick that haunted me, but the first ever feeling of what women might often experience.  Had to wait 70 years to get that taught to me in my hometown.

Dunno if he was a local pervert or passing through.

2017-8
26

Money is such a gamechanger invention, demonstrating an unspoken mutual agreement between users that it represents real goods or services, that we are prepared to accept it at face value even as manipulators in public and private finance siphon off profits from transactions.

Bartering limited cooperation in economic activities to very simple deals.  Once some symbols agreed as representing a good or service was introduced, the chains of supply and demand spread, enabling new scales  of development, and more leverage into rearranging the atoms on Earth.