A few days ago, I wrote the following, sending it to senior politicians at national and local level, and to my local (Murdoch) paper – in which it was published today:
“I am 83. I have had a good education and I have done my research on the climate emergency.
I am convinced that with every day that passes without initiating action we reduce the probability of capping and reducing emissions enough to avert disastrous global warming.
I’ve three great grandchildren who now face a grim future.
I think our current leaders are responsible for criminal negligence in preferring to support use of fossil fuels, thereby reaping party donations, rather than accepting the well documented scientific evidence of the certain disasters that will trigger. I think responsibility for the pending climate emergency must be shared by the media, particularly the Murdoch controlled media.
If any politician or media manager feels I have in any way defamed them, I have limited means but am happy to generate free publicity!
The Canberra Bubble is real but not quite in the way usually Implied. Our politicians seem blindly unaware of life in the real world. Not only do they lack the integrity to accept that the scientists know what they are talking about, they wrap the corporate world (ie generous donors) in cotton wool, while sadistically torturing offshore refugees (how long has that continued?) and illegally billing Robodebt victims and also making money with the cashless debit card.
IMHO we have gone about as low as we can. The one and only good action has been recognising the rainbow nature of human sexuality, and even that has opened a Pandora’s box of venom.
Efforts to ‘protect’ the right to practice religion (despite all that was revealed in the child sex abuse RC) requires no new laws. Indeed, those of us who, despite being agnostic or atheists, but still living with a moral compass, are ourselves at risk from those whose claim to follow a religion is not supported by their hypocritical and often cruel words and actions.
I for one have had enough of greed, lies, deceit and downright cruelty. How about you?”
One of my children, whose BA was obtained with majors in Social Science and Philosophy, and who turned down an invitation to study a further year for Honours in Philosophy, read the letter and emailed me the following:
“The study of History is a good way to understand how humans behave, the consequences of their behaviour and how well we predict the future. Most people behave with compassion but ideological behaviour treats an ideal as more important than individuals. Ideologies tend to end badly, eg communism, because they build on ideal principles rather than evidence. Our predictions can also be either realistic or wildly out, depending on the premises from which we start. There are many predictions in history about the end of humanity, including beliefs that we will run out of food from overpopulation, be wiped out by nuclear bombs or other man made catastrophes. What those predictions failed to take into account is humanity’s ability to find solutions to problems. History shows that Open societies that value the scientific method for creating knowledge are the best type of societies for finding solutions, as well as ensuring the welfare of citizens.
So while our society is not perfect (and such a society will never exist), I do not feel there are grounds for catastrophising about matters such as climate change, self-interested politicians, human rights and social justice. Now if I lived in Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, or many other countries, I would be much more concerned about local issues. I don’t know enough about China to feel confident it is currently acting in the interests of humanity. As well as being a repressive state, corruption is pretty high. I hope communism collapses there soon, to the benefit of its citizens and the world. India also suffers from corruption, as well as poverty which is itself a major cause of carbon emissions (I don’t think cooking fires are counted in the stats on emissions by countries?)
I think the climate emergency people are over simplifying the problem and solution, while at the same time catastrophising with insufficient evidence. I think they work from an unjust view of politicians and capitalist societies and an insufficient awareness of human ingenuity. I think they are pretty mixed up in their thinking, which makes them unlikely to be taken seriously. I don’t say this about all protest movements, as many have clear and just aims. I would prefer to see much more targeted pressure groups on matters such as research, transparency, climate adaptation. It would help of course if climate change was depoliticised. Unfortunately protest movements are the surest way to politicise an issue there is.”
Several issues spring to mind!
‘The Australian’ is subscribed to in this child’s household.
I appreciate that local issues are most certainly of greater importance than the menace of global warming in many war-torn countries, but that does not discount its significance as a universal menace.
As for catastrophising the issue – how else do we break the flow of misinformation?
It is not we who learned from the tobacco corporations’ campaign to prove that tobacco is harmless!
The fossil fuel industries and their shareholders have beaten them and Goebbels hands down when it comes to propaganda and misinformation!
Above all – we are running out of time!
My reply to the email was brief:
“I truly wish I could agree with you.”
I would be delighted beyond description if I were to be proved wrong!
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