The Condamine Theory


For an outsider looking in, the current state of affairs in American politics is disturbing. "America First" is like meeting the United States for the first time. Another America.

Where did these massive groundswells of populist feeling come from? And why does it seem to have taken the rest of us in the Western world by surprise?

Perhaps an Australian analogy can help. In 2016 the Condamine River in southwest Queensland caught fire. And, yes, you're right. Rivers are not supposed to do that.

To quote a news report by Fairfax Press dated 25 April in that year:


Large bubbles of methane gas gurgle along the surface of the river before Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham waves a kitchen lighter over the side of a tinny boat. Without warning the river explodes in flames, forcing Buckingham to retreat to the other side of the boat. The flames continued to burn throughout several minutes of footage to the MP's Facebook page...

Mr Buckingham travelled to Chinchilla in south western Queensland in April - where hundreds of CSG wells owned by Origin Energy, QGC, and Arrow Energy, dot the landscape - as part of the Green's campaign to ban fracking in Australia.

Chinchilla community members said the river never bubbled with such ferocity or frequency before CGS mining came to the region. "Over the last few years here more and more patches of bubbles have appeared on the river and the pressure of the gas has increased to the point where it is like an over-sized spa bath. It's a river, it shouldn't be doing that", said local John Jenkin, who lives next to the gas field and captained the boat in the video.

Origin Energy said the methane in the river are not caused by CSG activity. The gas leaks that seep into the river are the result of natural geological faults and they were concerned that locals were setting them alight, according to an Origin fact sheet...

The CSIRO have backed Origin's position. "The methane that is bubbling to the surface is like many other deposits around the world that have coal in them and it's finding its way through natural cracks and fissures to the surface through the Condamine River", said Professor Damian Barrett, research director of the CSIRO Onshore Gas Program.

[But] he confirmed to the ABC in February that the bubbling had intensified. "There have been changes in the flux of methane through the river over the past 12 months", he said.

"I just don't believe it. I just don't trust what the CSIRO is saying and the farmers who've been there for many generations are saying that they only started seeing this in 2012", Mr Buckingham told The Project. "They only started seeing this after the frackers had been in, after the drilling had occurred", he said.


LINKAGE 1: The River Condamine is a critical source of fresh water for people, stock and crops, in otherwise water-less outback country. The importance of its unhindered 'normal' flow might be compared to the USA's post-WWIII role as the world's policeman. Without it, life becomes nasty, brutish and pretty bloody short!

LINKAGE 2: On the river surface, the idiot-politician out in the 'tinnie' with his cigarette lighter is POTUS. He is having the time of his life, taking full advantage of the weirdness of the situation in front of the cameras, like any 'big kid' playing with a book of matches.

LINKAGE 3: Beneath the riverbed, are the geological fault lines through which the methane gas emerges. In past times of drought there have always been a few bubbles escaping from the buried cold seam, but nothing on this scale. The ugliness of America's unresolved issues has likewise been glimpsed occasionally since WWII, but present circumstances are something else.

LINKAGE 4: Away from the river, off-camera and somewhere in the out-lying scrub, are the gas frackers, the force-feeders of subterranean destruction. Think manipulative ideologues like Calhoun, Buchanan, Koch Bros, and Fox-Murdoch (the long dead, the just dead, and the nearly dead) - the Engineers of resentment politics.


If the Condamine theory contains any value at all, it is in the 'insight' that Trump isn't the real problem. He's just hanging on with one-hand to the 'bucking-bronco' machine, waving his hat in the air with the other, and yelling out "Yeehaa" to the crowd. 

There is a fundamental dysfunction in American society, and that dysfunction has been deliberately aggravated in recent decades. Impeachment proceedings will not fix that.


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