It’s amazing how much money can be found to respond to a disaster when people seem so unwilling to spend anything to avoid one.
Remember how emissions reduced when we had a price on carbon? And how our power prices were supposed to tumble when it was removed?
It’s also fascinating how innovative companies become when sticking with the old polluting ways may hurt the bottom line as well as the environment.
Not to be outdone in this flurry of philanthropy, up steps Twiggy Forest to announce he is donating $70 million towards relief efforts and to building the nation’s long-term resilience to bushfires.
Except he’s not really donating it so much as deciding how he will spend it.
His charity, Minderoo Foundation, “has committed to mobilise volunteers from Western Australia”, for whom he will pay interstate travel and accommodation expenses. He is calling for “at least 1250 volunteers – including firefighters, medics, tradespeople, mental health workers and ground clean up personnel.”
These volunteers will be deployed “in response to direct requests from relevant authorities and communities.”
Another logistical headache? And what about employing the locals?
Twiggy will give another $10 million to a recovery fund.
“The initiative will provide funds directly to communities, in collaboration with organisations such as Australian Red Cross and The Salvation Army, with all administration costs covered by Minderoo.”
Why not just give it to the Red Cross Appeal?
But the bulk of the funds – $50 million – will go towards “convening leading experts to develop a globally relevant national blueprint for fire and disaster resilience.” Is such a thing even possible?
“With the support of leading international non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International, these efforts will draw on existing research and expertise in Australia and overseas and accelerate innovation to develop new approaches to mitigate bushfires.”
Who is Conservation International you may ask?
They are an American “environmental charity” who have no connection to Australia and nothing to do with firefighting.
A 2011 report questions their credibility as well as their “close links with controversial companies, including Cargill, Chevron, Monsanto and Shell.”
“A leading environmental charity has been accused of corporate ‘greenwashing’ after a senior employee was secretly filmed by undercover reporters discussing ways in which the organisation could help an arms company boost its green credentials, the Ecologist can reveal.
The female CI employee was recorded describing how the organisation could help the arms company develop key environmental messages, identify target audiences and craft a communications plan as part of one package offered by the charity.”
In their 2018 report, What If, Conservation International discuss part of their strategy to combat climate change.
“Fortunately, nature can provide at least 30% of the annual emissions reductions needed. We work to confront climate change by protecting and restoring the forests and mangroves that absorb and store carbon.”
Oops. Too late.
This ‘what if’ approach appeals to Twiggy’s Minderoo Foundation.
“We begin with a sense of curiosity – is there a better way to solve this intractable problem? We form and test ideas, then seek to implement and analyse them. Once evidence bases exist, we work to ensure these new approaches are embedded in mainstream policy and practice. Success is doing ourselves out of business. We want to find sustainable solutions to the challenges we are tackling.”
The old trial and error method? Or damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead?
Speaking about his foundation to the AFR Magazine in May 2018, Twiggy said “We are prepared to lose, to come second, to fail, in order to explore what systemic change looks like.”
Or you could read all the research by the myriad of experts in the various fields and listen to their advice,
And maybe stop making a fool of yourself before you even begin by saying, whilst global warming might be a thing, “the biggest part” of the devastation was caused by arsonists.
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