Saturday, 9 February 2008


I had reason the other day to pull out the land title deeds for the family farm. It is a Torrens title, a very common form of land deed in Australia. It contains such things as the address and a description of the land in the form of lot/ section/plan.
On looking out my window I reflected on how little of what was written on that piece of paper was actually related to what I was seeing before me, and decided that it is an artificial construct that relates to our society rather than the land itself.
My grandson had excitedly told me that dinosaurs had walked here, I couldn't argue with that.
This got me to thinking about ownership in our society. How could anyone claim definitive ownership of land or any object that was there before they were a twinkle in their father's and mother's eyes, and will be there generations after they have gone.
Perhaps in the light of what we are finding our about the planet, life systems, greenhouse problems etc, we should re-think our language and our use of it.
I think stewardship might be a better word and concept suited to our times. This has rights attached to it as well as responsibilities.
I for one am aiming to hand this small plot on to future generations with the best biodiversity of native flora and fauna I can and still be economically viable. I am amazed at the number of people who believe that the society they live in and its economy have nothing to do with the environment that supports them. Who don't understand that if that fails so do they. Perhaps I should spend less time on the tractor, it gives you too much time to think.

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