I'm flying from Canberra to Brisbane today for a house-sit. As always, I've got a window seat, and, as always, when I look out of the window, I'm struck by the humanisation of the land: this trip is 950 kilometres, and it's mostly flying over farmland.
The huge area of Australia is mostly modified (some of it heavily) for human use, except for some of its deserts – it’s a vast machine that serves humanity.
Here’s farmland in central New South Wales:
This is farmland in northern New South Wales:
I’ve been even more impressed by extent of humanity’s adaption of the landscape on other flights - flying from Sydney to Adelaide is a much longer flight (1600 kilometres) and it, also, is farmland all the way.
Of course, humanisation of the landscape happens all over Earth. Even flying over a frozen Mongolia on the way to Europe reveals continuous signs of human intervention, which you can see in a previous post. However, flying from Reykjavik, Iceland to Toronto over the frozen north of Canada was a rare view of mostly wild landscape.
I’m flying 2700 kilometres from Melbourne to Perth soon for another house-sit – I'm curious to see how pervasive the human intervention of the landscape is on that long flight; although, a lot of it will be over the Great Australian Bight.
A humanised landscape isn't a recent phenomenon for Australia; we’ve had a humanised landscape for 60,000 years – longer than almost anywhere else outside of Africa. No doubt when humans first came here the landscape experienced huge changes in, and a reduction of, biodiversity; but a new balance was struck and maintained for most of that 60,000 years. Not so in more recent times - in the last 200 years the rapacious human use of the Australian landscape has been much more destructive, with many species becoming extinct, many more threatened, and whole ecosystems greatly reduce in size and complexity, with no likelihood of a new balance being struck this time.
As with most flights, the clouds didn’t always let me see what was happening on the ground; but the clouds themselves are always great to see from above, like this continuous sheet of low cloud:
And these beautiful and varied clouds:
More pictures from the flight
Here are a few other interesting shots from my flight from Canberra to Brisbane:
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