The Climate is now Personal for All of Us

When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will discover that we can’t eat money. Cree Native American Prophecy

Like most non-scientists with an interest in knowledge I defer to science, which is derived from the Latin word “scientia” meaning knowledge. So when serious groups of scientists join together, and tell us that the earth’s climate is changing, for the worse, I believe them.

When I do so I expect that I am not alone. I do not fear a conspiracy wherein all the climate scientists have forged an unholy alliance, and are busy buying shares in renewable energy companies. I cannot understand much of the science, but I know that insurance companies worldwide accept that sea levels are rising. I know the Arctic is losing ice at an alarming rate, and that the average temperatures in Australia are going up, year on year.

That confounds many critics, but the main thing to note is that we are talking about 1 degree, on average, over the space of years, and more days of extreme temperatures can be expected. That does not mean Canberra is going to be balmy in winter, but it will have slightly higher temperatures, in winter and summer.

Similarly to the tobacco industry in the past, energy companies have been sitting on the facts of climate change for years, for reasons of base profit. So when I am faced with what appears to be a looming catastrophe I turn to my government for solutions. One cannot rely on the good will of for profit multi-nationals.

Australian Governments have, almost universally, failed me. As far as I can remember, Julia Gillard is the only leader of this country who actually put a price on carbon, which is believed to be the most effective method of reducing carbon use. And we know what happened then.

But let us take a look at the other, so-called leaders. Remember that this is an existential threat to our country, and our planet:

John Howard: “…I instinctively feel that some of the claims are exaggerated.”

Kevin Rudd: “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. That was before he retreated from the challenge.

Tony Abbott: His description of the relevant science in 2009: “absolute crap”?

Malcolm Turnbull: Has been rolled as leader of the Liberal Party twice because he is a believer in the science, but allowed the climate science deniers to dictate policy to him, and when he defied them, he was deposed.

Scott Morrison: Considering he has come to power twelve years after John Howard left office, he has had time to become informed about climate change, and as a marketing person he is aware of the concerns held by a majority of Australians. Even those who voted for the Coalition recently believe in climate change. So you would expect his choices for ministerial office in this challenging area of concern, would be appropriately focused, and committed to searching for solutions.

Not so. Angus Taylor is a climate science denialist, and a self-described believer in renewables, as long as they are not powered by wind. That is because his grandfather worked on the Snowy Scheme, apparently. So he claims some sort of genetic greenness, apart from his aesthetic objections … We suspect his attitude to water buy-backs is more favourable, because they are so, so very profitable. He is also in favour of coal powered power stations, and against electric cars. Read about him and his fanciful ideas, here https://askbucko.com/2019/06/08/a-tale-of-mighty-winds/

Sussan Ley is the new Environment Minister. She has stated that she will be an environmentalist as the Minister. Her first thought has been that nature has got spare water hanging about, and so farmers should be allowed to ‘borrow’ it for farming, as long as they pay it back. I would say tell that to the millions of dead fish which littered the Murray-Darling basin last summer.

Scott Morrison has chosen these two as his front line defence against environmental degradation and climate change. I consider the choices to be disgraceful, and contemptuous in the extreme, when he well knows the overwhelming desire of Australians to ‘do something’ for the environment, and also to pull our weight internationally.

If and when the full effects of global heating become evident, where will these people hide? I for one, want my government to do the decent, sensible thing, follow the expert advice, and deliver solutions. But what we get is smoke and mirrors, and a bunch of old white people in power, too blinded by their own importance to heed the will of the people.

The day after Bob Hawke’s memorial service, we discover just how degraded the political system has become, where no side has the courage to act on our behalf.

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