What if there was a country that was like America in many ways, such as the obstinate refusal of its government to acknowledge that pursuing economic growth at the expense of the environment is simply a way to commit suicide faster, a fondness for beer, and an enormous capacity to live the high energy lifestyle as if there was no tomorrow?

Could Americans learn anything from it?

Bart A’s always-excellent Energy Bulletin brings this chilling story about the very non-chill Australia, where a drought is putting big thermal plants out of business due to water restrictions.

Is it possible — maybe just barely? — that Americans could look at a people much like themselves, see what disasters are befalling them, and not simply go back to sucking on the 55″ plasma screen glass teat?

Do we even possess the empathy needed for self-preservation, to recognize that the pain that others are experiencing as the the environmental chickens come home to roost is a foretaste of the pain we will experience if we don’t get smart (and busy) fast?

I sure hope so.