Monday, September 11, 2006

World: Credit to a true conservationist

Like a number of Australians, I was rather surprised by the sudden global interest in Steve Irwin. I’ll stick my neck out and say he was possibly more popular overseas than in Australia.

I read that this was the biggest news item ever to spread on the internet (partly because the internet population is now much bigger than it was a scant few years ago). Even Securitymonkey blogged off-topic – something I’ve never seen before.

Not that I knew too much about Irwin, but personally, I didn’t care for yet another cartoonish portrayal of Australia, like Skippy or Crocodile Dundee.

However, I was also surprised to find out he was a genuine conservationist, who popularised such issues, disdained a wealthy lifestyle, and ploughed most of his money back into conservation, in one form or another. I’m not prone to eulogising someone just because they’re dead, but I’m certainly happy to praise someone who works for the better good.

On a personal level, it’s rather close to the bone that he was born just a month before me, and also had two young kids. Sobering.

1 comment:

Bazza said...

Yes, Stephen. He was a bit of a (low-profile) figure of fun in the UK too. You are correct about how he reinforced Aussie streotypes. However, there does seem to have been a genuine amount of world-wide grief over his death. As you point out he was a good person.