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The face of wilful ignorance

By Ad astra

To whom do you believe I’m referring? There are no prizes for the correct answer!

I’m referring to someone who I believe is guilty of immoral ignorance. His actions have the potential to destroy our civilization, not today or next week, but in the foreseeable future – we don’t know when, nor does he.

I am referring to Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America.

No, I’m not referring to his ignorant adventurism in international politics, or his provocation of the unstable and unpredictable Kim Jong-un, with his growing arsenal of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles with which he threatens to annihilate Seoul, American cities, now even Australian cities. In this instance, Trump’s behaviour is dangerous and stupid, and should he miscalculate, he could precipitate a tragic outcome – a nuclear holocaust.

No, I’m calling Trump wilfully ignorant because of what he is doing about global warming, which threatens all living things. What he is doing has the potential to destroy habitation on our planet. If global warming is not reversed or at least checked to limit it to no more that 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, or preferably 1.5 degrees, catastrophic outcomes will overwhelm us.

I can already hear the climate skeptics out there murmuring that this is a grossly alarmist exaggeration. Some of them even applaud Trump’s moves!

Before we look at the extent of Trump’s malevolence, let’s summarize the global warming problem, which he is content to dismiss as ‘a hoax’: (“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”. 2012 Trump tweet.)

Writing in The Conversation on 20 April, Eelco Rohling, Professor of Ocean and Climate Change at Australian National University, described the contemporary situation in this way: “Getting climate change under control is a formidable, multifaceted challenge. Analysis by my colleagues and me suggests that staying within safe warming levels now requires removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (My emphasis).

Rohling continued: “

To put the problem in perspective, here are some of the key numbers.

Humans have emitted 1,540 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide gas since the industrial revolution. To put it another way, that’s equivalent to burning enough coal to form a square tower 22 metres wide that reaches from Earth to the Moon.

Half of these emissions have remained in the atmosphere, causing a rise of CO₂ levels that is at least 10 times faster than any known natural increase during Earth’s long history. Most of the other half has dissolved into the ocean, causing acidification with its own detrimental impacts.

Although nature does remove CO₂, for example through growth and burial of plants and algae, we emit it at least 100 times faster than it’s eliminated. We can’t rely on natural mechanisms to handle this problem: people will need to help as well…

The Paris climate agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C, and ideally no higher than 1.5°C. (Others say that 1°C is what we should be really aiming for, although the world is already reaching and breaching this milestone.)

In our research, we considered 1°C a better safe warming limit because any more would take us into the territory of the Eemian period, 125,000 years ago. For natural reasons, during this era the Earth warmed by a little more than 1°C . Looking back, we can see the catastrophic consequences of global temperatures staying this high over an extended period.

Sea levels during the Eemian period were up to 10 metres higher than present levels. Today, the zone within 10m of sea level is home to 10% of the world’s population, and even a 2m sea-level rise today would displace almost 200 million people.

Clearly, pushing towards an Eemian-like climate is not safe. In fact, with 2016 having been 1.2°C warmer than the pre-industrial average, and extra warming locked in thanks to heat storage in the oceans, we may already have crossed the 1°C average threshold. To keep warming below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris agreement, it’s vital that we remove CO₂ from the atmosphere as well as limiting the amount we put in. (My emphasis.)

So how much CO₂ do we need to remove to prevent global disaster?

Rohling concludes:

”Right now is the time to choose: without action, we’ll be locked into the pessimistic scenario within a decade. Nothing can justify burdening future generations with this enormous cost.

For success in either scenario, we need to do more than develop new technology. We also need new international legal, policy, and ethical frameworks to deal with its widespread use, including the inevitable environmental impacts…

The costs of this are high. But countries that take the lead stand to gain technology, jobs, energy independence, better health, and international gravitas.

If any more damning evidence is needed, read what John Abramson, professor of thermal sciences, concludes in an article in the 7 April issue of The Guardian titled: New study links carbon pollution to extreme weather that reported on a study of these links: “We came as close as one can to demonstrating a direct link between climate change and a large family of extreme recent weather events. (My emphasis)

Given this scenario, which spells out global catastrophe if urgent action is not taken now, what does Trump intend to do?

Dana Nuccitelli, an environmental scientist and risk assessor, spells out Trump’s reckless plans in an article in The Guardian of 29 March.

He begins:

“Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order taking aim at America’s climate policies. On the heels of a report finding that the world needs to halve its carbon pollution every decade to avoid dangerous climate change, Trump’s order would instead increase America’s carbon pollution, to the exclusive benefit of the fossil fuel industry. (My emphasis.)

“One part of the executive order tells the EPA to review and revise (weaken) its Clean Power Plan and methane regulations… However, revising these regulations isn’t so simple…Environmental attorneys are confident “this is another deal President Trump won’t be able to close.”

“A second part of the executive order tells the EPA to ignore the government’s estimated price on carbon pollution. The Republican Party wants to lower the current estimate, but most evidence indicates the government is dramatically underestimating the cost of carbon pollution. Trump gets around this inconvenient evidence by ordering the EPA to simply deny the existence of those costs.

“A third part of the executive order ends a moratorium on new coal leases on public lands before a review is completed to determine if taxpayers are being shortchanged due to the lands being sold too cheaply. Environmental groups are set to immediately challenge this order. Regardless, lifting the moratorium would have little effect on coal production or mining jobs.

“[Newly appointed] EPA administrator Scott Pruitt [who does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming] undoubtedly will be happy to follow Trump’s orders. In his previous job as Oklahoma Attorney General and fossil fuel industry puppet, one of Pruitt’s 14 lawsuits against the EPA was aimed at the Clean Power Plan. However, the Clean Air Act requires the government to cut carbon pollution. Trump and Pruitt may not like it, but the law, scientific evidence, and public opinion fall squarely against them.”

Nuccitelli goes on to describe Trump’s anti-science budget:

“A few weeks ago, Donald Trump released his first proposed budget, and it’s also fiercely anti-science and anti-climate.

“Among other cuts, it would slash nearly one-third of the EPA budget, hundreds of millions of dollars from the NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] research budget, and terminate four NASA Earth science missions as part of a $102 million cut to the agency’s Earth science program.

“The budget even goes as far as to propose eliminating Energy Star – a purely voluntary program that helps companies certify energy efficient products, saving Americans money while cutting carbon pollution in the process – possibly out of pure spite for the climate.

” “Pruitt has been filling EPA staffing positions with climate deniers from Senator James “the greatest hoax” Inhofe’s office. Trump recently selected coal lobbyist and former Inhofe advisor Andrew Wheeler to be Pruitt’s EPA deputy chief.

Pruitt also hired Washington State Senator Douglas Ericksen, who actively fought the state’s proposed carbon tax, and who invited an obscure climate denier blogger named Tony Heller to testify before a Washington State Senate committee for 40 minutes. To put that in perspective, invited witnesses are normally given just a few minutes to testify. University of Washington climate scientist Sarah Myhre – an actual climate expert – had spoken to a State House committee two weeks earlier, for 8 minutes.”

Image from salon.com

Nuccitelli concludes by stressing the danger of an aggressively anti-science agenda:

“As the Trump administration unleashed its assault on science and the climate, we learned that huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef are dead or dying, 30 years sooner than expected. Despite the last El Niño event ending nearly a year ago, the first two months of 2017 were the second hottest on record, behind only the El Niño-amplified 2016, pushing the world into what the WMO [World Meteorological Organization] calls “truly uncharted territory.”

“Arctic and Antarctic sea ice are at record-shattering low levels. Research is finding increasingly strong links between climate change and extreme weather.

“Americans across the political spectrum are now more worried about global warming than at any time in the past 8 years.

“Fortunately, Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations will be fought in court, and his budget proposal only tells Congress what he’d like to see. Nevertheless, it’s a dangerous time for America’s leaders to be denying climate change, defunding its scientific research, and unraveling its climate policies.

“Science always wins in the end, and if we fight it [science], we will lose.

During the announcement of his anti-climate executive orders, Trump announced, “My administration is ending the war on coal.” Their wars on science and the Earth’s climate, on the other hand, are in full force. (My emphasis)

Trump’s anti-science actions have precipitated worldwide protests. On 22 April The Guardian reported: Tens of thousands of scientists are rallying around the world in a rebuke of Donald Trump’s dismissal of climate science and attempts to cut large areas of scientific research. More than 600 marches in the US, Europe, South America and Australia, began amid warnings from organisers that science is “under attack” from the Trump administration.

Similar protest marches are taking place again this weekend to mark Trump’s one hundred days as President of the United States of America. What a condemnation these protests are of his attitude to science and its warnings about global warming!

Melbourne immunologist and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty called for a price on carbon, adding that there were “major threats to the global culture of science” in today’s world. In San Francisco, Professor Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, and professor of Global Environment and Sustainability, labeled Trump’s anti-science actions as ‘oppression’.

So there it is. Trump’s immorality, Trump’s malevolence, Trump’s wilful ignorance is on full display. Should he be able to carry out his anti-science agenda, should he be able to implement his destructive plans to diminish global warming to irrelevance, should he be able to convince his electorate that global warming is, as he asserts, simply a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, should he be able to halt or curtail evidence gathering about global warming, should he carry out his threat to defund countless agencies devoted to climate science, he would be condemning mankind to horrifying outcomes: many millions displaced as sea levels rise, mass starvation as water supplies wane and crops fail, obscene loss of diversity and biological resources, and all the consequent turmoil: civil disruption and wars over water, food and territory.

If you think all this is just alarmist exaggeration, think again. Look at the evidence, take note of the facts, and listen to the thousands of climate scientists who every day are pointing to the effects of global warming that are already upon us, warning us of the disaster ahead.

Trump is the most powerful person on this planet; the USA is the most powerful nation on earth. What Trump says and does has superordinate influence. If he carries out his threat to pull out of the Paris Agreement, that might render that momentous accord worthless, and all its lofty intentions null and void. What then will be the fate of our planet and all who live on it?

In the face of this immorality, is anyone prepared to counter the assertion that through his iniquitous disregard of the overwhelming evidence of destructive global warming, Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, is the face of wilful, culpable ignorance?

Image from newscult.com

What do you think?

What do you think of Trump’s anti-science attitude?

What do you think of his climate change denialism?

What can be done to stop this behaviour?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword.

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39 comments

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  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I wonder what Trump’s last words will be when standing on the altar of political execution.

    Will they be words of humility in acknowledgement of his wilful ignorance?
    Will they be apologies for compromising our efforts to mitigate global warming and CO2 controls?
    Or, will they just be more bare-faced belligerence, arrogance, ignorance and sociopathic enjoyment of our anguish over the potential loss of our beautiful planet?

  2. Kronomex

    If it gets in the way of him, his family,billionaire parasite mates and assorted corporations to enrich themselves even more then it is to be removed. If it happens to include the environment, poor people and greedy foreign powers among other things then eh, shit happens.

    The bile that spews from his diseased brain is something to behold.

    Jennifer, if he stands on the altar he will proclaim that he is the greatest leader the world has ever seen and was stabbed in the back by those jealous of his genius. Humility does not exist inside The Donald, let it alone being a word he even comprehends.

  3. Kaye Lee

    In a meeting held during the visit to Franz Josef Land, and in the premises of the Russian Arctic National Park, Putin highlighted not environment and climate change, but the major oil and gas potential of the region.

    The Russian Arctic zone includes energy resources worth up to $20 trillion, he maintained and said that the country’s production on the shelf by year 2030 will amount to 2,2 million barrels per day.”

    https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2017/04/rosneft-spuds-northernmost-arctic-well

  4. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    No wonder humpty dumpty Trump wants to have a bromance with Putin.

  5. bobrafto

    Just figured this out.

    What do you think?

    What do you think of Trump’s anti-science attitude?

    What do you think of his climate change denialism?

    What can be done to stop this behaviour?

    Fair enough to ask the reader what do you think, but the next 3 questions.

    It’s though Ad Astra has delivered a lecture and at the end he is asking the class to think about 3 specifics about his lecture and to make an analysis about them.

    Perhaps Ad Astra was a teacher or a lecturer, old habits die hard.

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Maybe the bigger consideration is for you to make whatever response you think appropriate to Trump’s mendacious, exploitative and destructive control of our planet.

  7. bobrafto

    Maybe you missed my 2 comments above, one of them being opening national monuments for exploitation which wasn’t covered in this piece.

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    We’re on the same page, as the Yanks say.

  9. Frank Smith

    As a scientist who was privileged to receive an education at a major US university during the 1960’s I am very alarmed by both the Trump and Republican Party’s position on climate change and global warming – it is illogical given the unequivocal scientific data presented to us and the clear evidence of changes in weather patterns that we are currently experiencing. Trump is an absolute fool whose only interest is in pumping up his own “grandeur” and wealth. I have children and many relatives in the USA so feel free and obliged to present my views on the US political situation. I find Trump and his Administration absolutely repulsive on so many fronts and totally unworthy and incapable of leading the USA and, by default, the rest of the so-called “free world”. The sooner this loon is impeached the better for all of us – civilization is at risk unless this is done very soon. And of course our own lap-dog Trumbles is only too ready to lick this idiots a*#e. What hope do we have? I despair!!

  10. astra5

    Folks
    I thank you all for your comments and for the additional information about monuments, which I had not seen.

    bobrafto, you have made an accurate diagnosis. I was a ‘lecturer’ in latter years. Old habits do die hard. Any thoughts you have will always be welcome.

  11. philgorman2014

    Thanks for your thoughts too astra. A worthy summation.

  12. Michael

    I won’t say “out of left field” for attracting reflexive responses but coming from “outside the nine dots” (although Ch10’s owners have not made a good go of that, except for Waleed Aly) our thanks could go to young Donald – he has:
    (a) reaffirmed to us that it is about time we gave ourselves permission to stand up and fight back, from grass roots upwards, instead of naively thinking that by continuing to vote in entitled elites and in desperation other nut jobs to downwards solve our problems for us, and
    (b) has put renewables firmly on the map for us to make happen for future generations.

    The contributors to the AIMN is a testament to this trend – thank you – democracy is not a spectator sport.

  13. Harquebus

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H.L. Mencken

  14. Aortic

    Mencken also wrote, ” the aim of all practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and thence clamorous to be led to safety.” And boy is Forrrest Gump keeping us alarmed, what an utter fool who should be led away before he destroys us all. The ugly face of unbridled unprincipled capitalism good old USA style.

  15. Macha

    What a propaganda article. Total rubbish that man made CO2 drives temperatures or that 2 degrees is unheard of.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Which man, Macha?

  17. Michael Taylor

    I can already hear the climate skeptics out there murmuring that this is a grossly alarmist exaggeration.

    That certainly turned out to be true, Ad astra. They have now arrived.

  18. astra5

    Michael Taylor
    Many thanks for the link to the article describing the hero-worship of Trump by his supporters. I have used the link in a piece i’m preparing: ‘100 days of President Trump’.

  19. Terry2

    I heard a woman in Austin Texas – I think it was – being interviewed on Trump’s first 100 days saying that every morning she awoke and thanked the Lord for Donald Trump and prayed that he would achieve all his policy goals.

    She seemed to think that the Democrats were blocking his legislative program, evidently not aware that the Republicans’ control the numbers in both Houses of the Congress.

    It seems to me that lack of education in both the US and here is fundamental to the problems we are facing and cutting funding to our universities and forcing fee increases is just going to entrench this problem. All this talk about 457 visas and the need to bring in overseas expertise to fill jobs that Australians’ don’t have the skills to perform is totally cynical when we are relying on countries that do train their young people to do our job for us, and we are content to gut TAFE and make tertiary education out of reach of the majority.

    Spending money on education, apprenticeships and skills training is not wasted money, it is the foundation for our future as a nation.

  20. Freethinker

    Unfortunately Terry2 , educating the “other classes” is a bad idea for the “one above” therefore in this budget education will be hit hard and students from poor families will be the ones that will suffer more.
    One of the problems is that students are immature or just simple do not care and things will not change until they start protesting in mass about the fees, money allocated on the budget to education and how it will be distributed.
    I was without words today when I read the salary package of the vice-chancellors, average $ 873,571 and the one in Sydney University $1,385,000 which included a “modest” increase since 2014 of $220,000.
    Something have to give and I hope that will be soon.

  21. Keith

    Suggesting scientists are wrong is only an opinion set against objective scientific datta.
    Ignorance is no excuse.

    The recent marches conducted in the US protesting Trump’s first 100 days had an estimated million participants, more people than celebrated his inauguration. Numerous articles are being published in relation to Trump’s clandestine dealings with the Russians just prior to being elected. The question is why isn’t Trump using legal action against these commentators?

    At a time when we need rational carefully thought out policies we have Trump, a number of Psychiatrists and Psychologists have diagnosed him with a Personality Disorder; check DSM V or ICD 10. Self interest being an apparent determining factor in decisions.

    Sadly, politicians worldwide are not taking climate change seriously enough, Trump is probably the worst.

  22. helvityni

    “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

    Donald Trump on climate science.

  23. Andreas Bimba

    The Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton gave Trump an opportunity to win because they fell well short of the mark themselves and blocked a much better Presidential candidate – Bernie Sanders. I can understand blue collar workers voting for Trump when he promised restrictions on imports from China and Mexico and the rejection of the TPP and under Obama nearly all of the new wealth generated since the GFC went to the top few percent and he promoted the TPP. When you are unemployed or a member of the working poor in the dog eat dog U.S. economy, the possibility of a decent job will be given a higher priority than everything else. Moderate levels of trade protection would enable highly automated U.S. manufacturers to compete.

    The Democratic Party must reform and reject the neo-liberal path that is driven by the wealthiest few percent.

    Unfortunately Trump has so far delivered very little in the area of trade protection and the critical fight against global warming will be severely curtailed. Given that Hillary still received more votes than Trump means that it is realistic for Trump to be booted from office next Presidential election.

    I too am disgusted with the poor response by nearly all the world’s political leadership in regard to tackling global warming and realise that many of the best scientific sources have concluded that we may have already gone beyond the point where catastrophic consequences are likely in the next few decades. A war time mobilisation level of urgency and active measures to remove atmospheric carbon are now necessary.

  24. guest

    Macha,

    you sound a bit like a voice crying in the wilderness, more in hope than certainty.

    What is your scientific explanation for the rise in temperatures over the past 60 years?
    So far you have offered one inaccurate statement about CO2 and another about temperature.

    It is surprising that in all the discussion about Climate Change over the last umpteen years you have not picked up a few clues.

    Even Bob Carter in his book “Taxing Air” (you can see his scepticism in the title) admits that CO2 has an effect on climate. Tony Eggleton (“A Short Introduction to Climate Change”) offers a clear explanation of what the fuss is about.

    So, I ask (1) What is the part played by CO2 in the Greenhouse Effect which keeps Earth temperatures above freezing on average?

    (2) When were there temperature rises above 2 degrees?

    (3) We know there have been times when the Earth has been hotter and cooler. Which is more important, the temperature or the rate of temperature rise?

    I ask these questions because I really want to know your explanations. At present I am following the explanations of Tony Eggleton, Emeritus Professor at the ANU. He says (p 133): “At present the world is warming at the rate of 1 degree C in 60 years; that is, 20 times faster than any previous sustained rate of temperature change.”

    What is your explanation – or the explanation of your favourite climate change sceptic – for that kind of temperature change?

  25. Kronomex

    I see The Donald is inviting Duerte to Washington. Wonder how it will be before Malcolm invites him to Australia, “If Donald can do it so can I. I like Donald ’cause he is so brave and strong.” There’s a thought, Duerte and Dutton could have a meeting and brainstorm (bwahahaha) about the inconvenient “irregular Maritime arrivals” and how best to resolve the situation.

    Now that’s three names guaranteed to send a shiver up any sensible persons spine: Duerte, Dutton and Trump.

  26. Phil

    No argument from me on the proposition, in essence, that Trump is the biggest dickhead the planet has every had to suffer.

    A minor aside: stating that Scott Pruitt “does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming” sounds to me like the writer is wandering into the realms of theology where belief is a defining characteristic and where logic, rationality and evidence are the very essence of the devil.

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate and informative to say something like: “Scott Pruitt, who despite providing no evidence to support his position, disputes the consensus findings of the world’s climate scientists and continues to speak in tongues to a befuddled Republican base”

  27. Keith

    Macha, science is about producing evidence. Please provide evidence as requested by Kronomex.

    There have been many responses from deniers; the problem being they keep regurgitating the same responses that have been proven wrong.

    I’d like you to show how the Arctic Ocean has not lost 75% of sea ice volume since 1980.
    Just one of a number of clangers for deniers.

  28. Keith

    Sorry, as requested by guest.

  29. guest

    Keith,

    I could be wrong, but I suspect that Macha’s position is not scientific and is entirely political ideology, requiring no explanation at all – because it is indefensible on scientific grounds.

    As Eggleton says: “Surely there is a body of science that underpins [Macha’s] views?…The answer is because there is no such body of knowledge. I looked. I searched extensively.” (p168)

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    At the end of the day, “willful ignorance” equates to pretending one doesn’t know the real problem.

    That means Trump knows his actions are contributing to stuffing the world up for his own grandchildren whom he appears to quite like.

    It also means he knows he’s stuffing it up for his supporters: BIG and small.

    I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist but blind Freddy and Freda can see that Trump is a seriously screwed homo sapien to know something harmful will hurt his loved ones and the rest of us, and yet do nothing to ameliorate the harm.

  31. guest

    A classic “fake truth” question involving misinformation on Q&A tonight (1/5). An audience member stated that Tim Flannery said that there would be no more rain and the dams and reservoirs in WA would run dry – but he was wrong.

    No one on the panel picked up the “fake truth”, but a tweet respondent did. Flannery said, in time of extended drought, that IF the rains did not come in time…

    Fortunately the rains came. But in the meantime there had been talk of piping water to Perth from the Kimberley. And a desalination plant was built (insurance in the next drought).

    But the questioner used his “fake news” to challenge Flannery’s qualifications, the use of modelling, the reality of Climate Change and the wisdom of spending money on desalination plants.

    And there are plenty of people out there with heads full of mis-quotes and fake truths who need only one of them to justify their scepticism.

    Such is the level of debate in this country. Think also of the way Gillard’s carbon “tax” was trivialised by what Credlin has admitted was a fake campaign against what was not a tax.

  32. astra5

    Folks
    I thank you all for your comments, which have added so much to the discussion of this topic.

    I took Macha’s comment as satirical. Surely there can be no one left on our planet that does not know that CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat below it. That’s why it is called a ‘greenhouse gas’, along with methane and several others. Macha is having a piece of us!

  33. guest

    Astra5,

    you are very generous in your estimation if Macha’s intentions. But I think you are wrong. People who understand something about Climate Change do not treat it with frivolous jokes.

    We see something of the hypocrisy of some people who claim to understand Climate Change but who betray themselves by their actions or real intentions. We saw that with the statements on Q&A this week made by Barnaby Joyce. He said he understood what Climate Change was about and that human action was the cause.

    Gradually Joyce demolished his stance. He said we cannot attribute every extreme weather event to warming of the planet, which seems reasonable, but he also goes on to say we cannot cause extreme events by turning on the lights. Turning on the lights is a very important topic for Joyce, and he wants to turn on the lights for the 300m poor in India – this despite the fact that India itself is attending to giving lights and cookers with solar power.

    But Joyce is obsessed with the failure of renewable energy technology, citing the blackout in SA, brought about by the blowing down of 22 power line pylons in high winds. What he does not say is that there were blackouts in NSW where power is generated by coal-fired power stations.

    Joyce is all for coal as the source for power. He claims the new Adani mine will create jobs in Qld, but he did not say how many. He thinks large amounts of money will be accrued from mining coal and shipping it to India. Never mind that India is winding back its importation of coal. Meanwhile India is importing uranium from Oz for its nuclear power stations.

    In short, after claiming to understand Climate Change, he proceeded to advocate the burning of coal without mentioning the deleterious effects of emitting large amounts of CO2 which would destroy the commitments the Coalition had made in Paris. Nor any reference to the possibility that jobs in tourism on the Great Barrier Reef would be lost. All this was dressed up in the populist do-good motive of lifting 300m Indians out of poverty, with no consideration of whether they could afford the electricity.

    Add to that display of obfuscation the question I mentioned earlier about how Tim Flannery was “mistaken” about dams running dry and we realise how the whole discussion has been riddled with political ideology, obfuscation and cheap political populism without the true implications or facts being revealed. It boils down to jobs and lights vis a vis the cooking of the planet.

    Hence the simplistic statement by Macha, which contributes nothing to the discussion.

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Guest says it as it is.

  35. Michael

    Does “fake news” = crooked thinking?

  36. astra5

    guest
    Thank you for your comment, and yours too Jennifer.

    I do not know Macha, but I assumed (it seems wrongly) that he (she) would not be so ignorant as to not understand the greenhouse affect of CO2, a phenomenon so widely documented that even school children know about and understand it.

    It is as widely accepted as is the fact that the earth is globular rather than flat, and revolves around the sun. Still, there may still be some ‘flat-earthers’ around, and even some who dispute that our solar system is heliocentric. There’s no accounting for monumental ignorance.

    I agree with you assessment of Barnaby Joyce, so starkly illustrated in this week’s Q&A.

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