I have a very dear family member, who subscribes to The Australian, and with whom relations have been heavily stressed in ‘debating’ what I see as a cut and dried issue – climate change.
This is part of an email I have just sent:
“Throughout the ages, scientists have been doubted, sometimes sanctioned to the point of being burned at the stake – this being usually because of the church’s insisting that the Bible is truth and the word of god – but time has proved the scientists were right.
Research into the effects of fossil fuel emissions on the atmosphere and the climate has been going on for well over a century and it is documented fact that the corporations with a vested interest in mining, drilling, fracking etc are fully aware of that research and its outcomes – and have deliberately put money into supporting bogus reports that indicate that climate change is not related to those fuels.
Scientists in other discipline areas have supported the oil companies in this (has that been for financial gain or other support?) and this has added credence to the lies.
The major point is time.
Because the Industrial Revolution started the Greenhouse Gas phenomenon, as industry has expanded, so the effect on climate has increased, at a now verging-on exponential rate, in terms of raising temperatures. This in turn has resulted in changing weather patterns and encouraging increasingly severe adverse weather events.
To stop – or even (hopefully) reverse – this process, becomes a matter of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, replacing them with viable alternatives, adjusting our behaviour to fit with these changes and generally abandoning life as we have known it and entering into a changed way of regarding life – noting not only that greed is not good but we are the custodians of earth, not its owners.
There are additional issues, with increasing consumption of meat and accompanying increases in emissions of methane, another, more intense but with a shorter life, greenhouse gas, and, of course massive levels of pollution across the world causing severe damage to marine life as well as land-based flora and fauna. Recycling is not even in its infancy as yet!
These issues have to be addressed worldwide, virtually simultaneously and urgently.
And that is verging on the impossible.
Yet we cannot afford to give up, because life will not be viable for children born 20 years from now if we fail to act. Look at how many children, alive today, will suffer health problems in later years because of the current daily inhalation of the bush-fire smoke!
China is actually doing far more than most people realise, as are many USA states, and other countries, like India, are likely to make more effort if they see other, more developed, countries making major changes.
Leading by example is critically important and we have the means and the ability – but not yet the political will – to do this.
I fear my frustration with people’s unwillingness to not only accept that this is truth, not fevered imagination, boils over into impatience with having to argue the same points over and over.
I am not a fanatic with some impossible story to sell.
I am one of a (fortunately) growing group who are trying to find how best to force our current decision-makers into realising that the need to make decisions and commence effective planning and action NOW is beyond essential – and failure to do so is criminal.
We need every intelligent and informed person out there forcing the government to act – and, if it will not, forcing a change of government.
Sitting idly by and accepting the status quo is no longer an option!
The recent bush fires have seriously damaged our economy but earlier action and preparation could have reduced the severity of the nature and impact triggered by the existing drought.
I fully appreciate that hindsight is a marvellous teacher but complaining about past failures has to be abandoned in favour of rapid and effective planning for future success.
The economy is not our master. It should be our servant, but, under Coalition governments, that is unacceptable!
So, given the above, I do not see a debate on the reality of climate change as possible.
I see it as a question of accepting the facts and acting on them.
The only discussion then becomes one of action priorities.
Because the Murdoch empire is widely recognised as being at the forefront of climate change deniers, (despite Rupert Murdoch’s statements to the contrary!) and being well aware of the Goebbels techniques of brainwashing intelligent people into accepting and promulgating lies and falsehoods. I have been concerned about its influence on you on an issue which is not a ‘debate’ but one of acceptance or denial of fact.
I am not likely to change my views and can only hope you are not swayed by deliberate misinformation.”
Having written that, I proceeded to read an article in the SMH:
”What is ‘real’ action on climate change?”
And, clearly, an important further question “what would it cost?”
How long is a piece of string?
How long will full recovery from the bush fires disaster take?
Can we guarantee that recovery will not be hindered by more disasters?
Can we afford to keep asking questions to which there are no clear answers when the absolute priority is action?
The economy is not our master and if people are suffering and in need of help, that help has to be provided.
And that is true at all times.
Australia is a wealthy country yet we have homeless people living on the streets.
We have disabled people waiting endlessly for adequate help.
We have a shortage of housing for low income people while we pay out money to property owners using negative gearing.
We have women who have been unable to contribute effectively to personal superannuation, who are now living below the poverty line, while wealthy retirees pay accountants to reduce their taxable income to zero so that they can receive a cheque for franking credits.
We have inherited too many of the American attitudes that admire those who can make good and sneer at those who fail to do so, ignoring the fact that a true community spirit ensures that those who can and have, help those who cannot and have not.
We, superior white people, invaded the land of people who saw themselves as custodians of their country. We have raped and pillaged that land and deprived those people and now we are rapidly destroying that land.
I am a dual British/Australian citizen, and I am not proud of either the country of my birth nor the country of my current residence.
Both have embraced greed and selfishness while simultaneously claiming Judaeo-Christian values! What utter hypocrites!
I have joined – but not yet had an opportunity to join action with – Extinction Rebellion.
Non-violent civil action appears to be the only way we can unite those seeing policy change as essential in order to force the government to act – or go!
There is only one priority.
A flexible action plan to deal with emissions, phase out the use and production of fossil fuels, reduce pollution and increase effective recycling, use the defence forces to assist recovery activities, change tax laws to ensure our billionaires and multi-millionaires contribute effectively to the country which has helped them accumulate their wealth and, above all, establish a National, non-partisan governing body which will oversight the change and draw on all expert resources.
And how will we achieve this?
If you really want it to happen – that is where people power comes in!
The economy is not our master. It is our servant and politicians who fail in the integrity and transparency stakes should be booted out!
Once more – this is my Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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