Batillus – This supertanker was built for Shell Oil in 1976. The condition of the international oil market did not improve between 1977 and 1980 and the number of voyages undertaken by the Batillus was considerably reduced to just 4 trips round the year; which were further reduced to 1 or 2 trips by 1982.
Have you ever realised how far out from port a super-tanker or an ocean liner needs to start reducing speed, to ensure it can safely dock?
Check it out – the answer might surprise you.
But think about the last time you were approaching traffic lights in an empty lane, as the lights change to green.
Moving your foot from the brake to the accelerator, you sail through, ahead of the pack – because of the momentum you are carrying.
Students of physics know that momentum is calculated by multiplying velocity by mass, so the greater the mass of the vehicle or vessel, the greater its momentum – and the higher that is when it meets an obstacle, the greater the damage done.
“So what?” you might say.
Well in many ways, this is analogous to the situation we face with global warming.
Unchecked emissions of greenhouse gases have been building momentum and causing ever greater forces to spark fires, boost floods and create droughts, with increasing levels of damage resulting.
We need to apply the brakes to this process, yet the longer we delay, the harder it will be to dissipate that momentum.
AUSTRALIA’S CLIMATE HAS WARMED ON AVERAGE 1.44C SINCE RECORDS BEGAN IN 1910, LEADING TO AN INCREASE IN EXTREME HEAT EVENTS (STATE OF THE CLIMATE 2020 REPORT).
And we have barely touched the brakes, despite our awareness of the consequences of failing to do so!
A change of President in the USA, to one with a commitment to tackling climate change, and, believe it or not, a growing awareness in China that more needs to be done – and remember, the ruthlessness of the current leader in China can be turned to produce good results, just as forcefully as it is being used to less desirable effect – both give us a hope that all is not yet lost.
Whether it is stupidity, ideology or some other flaw that drives our current leader in Australia, we have got to force a change of policy, if our children’s children are not going to inherit an uninhabitable world.
Concentrating on ‘growing the economy’ is a total waste of time and effort if, in doing so, we totally destroy the quality of life of a majority of those who survive the increasingly hostile environment which our government’s efforts are creating.
The failure of the Coalition government to use the hiatus caused by COVID-19 to enable a whole new approach to planning for the future – instead they are refusing to accept that ‘normal’ is a memory of the past and the future is uncharted territory – has got to galvanise us to take over the reins and plan for a realistic future.
The very way they are proceeding to penalise those least able to help themselves – re-introducing the ‘mutual obligation’ approach for job seekers, and extending the introduction of the cashless debit card – shows their contempt for those who are unable to aspire to have all they want – let alone an abundance!
Greed is NOT good.
Caring for the welfare of others is NOT a weakness.
Being guided by a sincere moral compass is NOT related to religious beliefs, but to a desire for a cohesive society, where at least a majority strives to live in harmony, following a ‘do as you would be done by’ approach.
Recent events and disclosures make it very clear that those who boast of their religious affiliations are, too often, among those whose behaviour is truly selfish and antisocial.
Do we really want people like this in control of our lives – particularly when it seems their selfishness is destroying lives?
Now that borders are opening up and – with suitable social distancing, as the pandemic is merely in abeyance – activism is becoming an option, those who care, need to be out there making it clear that the current national government is out of step with what is needed.
Step up, shape up – or go!!
We CANNOT change the past but we CAN change the future!
This is the message we need to get out there!
Look to the future and avoid the mistakes of the past.
Change is inevitable.
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