How bad does it have to get before we stop the madness of climate change denial?

I’m boiling mad! There’s a lot to be boiling mad about in this mad world, but in this particular instance, I’m boiling mad at the right-wing Australian government. In particular, how they have blood on their hands from the out-of-control fires raging there.  Slashing public funding for essential services was a really bad idea.  Now, I’m not an Aussie, but I know a bit about right-wing governments, because we had one here in New Zealand for nine years, and public funding got slashed left, right, and centre while they held the reins of power. And then the Prime Minister got a knighthood for it. Not sure how he scammed that, but his adoring fans – those he had made even richer during his tenure – then adored him even more.

No government is exemplary, but all right-wing governments are a disaster waiting to happen. Right on cue, the Australian right-wing government has brought disaster to their land. No, they didn’t light the fires that are currently raging uncontrollably there, but they turned them into a disaster of biblical proportions. Which, is right up the Prime Minister’s, evangelical Christian alley. I bet there’s some serious praying going on down there in the church right now. Still the fires burn, though – Scott Morrison’s god must have turned his ears off.

Australia is a country prone to bushfires – you can count on them like clockwork – yet the Australian right-wing government thought it was a good idea to cut funding to the rural fire service. Then they decided that they didn’t need to listen to any of the rural fire chiefs, who felt that better fire control methods were imperative. As in, not just nice to have, but imperative. I mean, it was just going to be annoying for the government, wasn’t it, to have to listen to things that they didn’t want to hear.

If a government is going to sell tax cuts, lower government spending, and more individual responsibility (aka: you’re on your own) as its ticket to power, then public services are first in the cutting line to achieve this. It’s a no-brainer. Except that the spin that right-wing governments put on it doesn’t include spelling this out to the public whose public services are going to be cut. The last thing the government will then listen to is any essential service asking for more money, to do silly things like keep the essential service ready to serve.

Like any right-wing government, the Australian right-wing government is a climate-change denier. No scientist has been able to penetrate that wall of denial so far – until maybe now, when the country is going up in flames, and the Aussie people are spitting with fury about it. A few reluctant mutterings about it have finally been heard from the Prime Minister’s mouth, which amounts to too little, too late. Fires have always been a feature of Australia, but for years scientists have warned that increasing temperatures and increasing drought conditions brought on by climate change will exacerbate them. Looks like they were right – and right a lot sooner than most of them actually expected.

People have died, homes have been burned to the ground, and the wildlife is suffering immensely. One and a quarter billion animals of all varieties are estimated to have been horrifically burned to death so far. Farm fencing trapped both farmed and wild animals. The ones who have survived have no food left to eat, and are starving to death. Money is pouring in from around Australia and from around the world to aid in medical care for burned animals who have survived, and food drops for the ones still in the wild. I know of someone who is going out to the country with some other people just to shoot those animals still alive, but beyond help, with death being the kindest option. Not an experience that will be easily forgotten, I imagine.

Deservedly, fossil fuels are getting the blame for exacerbating climate change, and Australia is a big producer of fossil fuels – i.e. coal. The trouble is, we can’t just turn of fossil fuel production right now. The global economy relies on it too much – our whole world is based on transport with fossil fuels. That’s not to say that the production of alternative fuels doesn’t need to be stepped up as of yesterday, but it’s a long switchover process.

The United Nations has identified four things that we as individuals can all do right now that will have the fastest impact on mitigating the harm from climate change, rather than wait for snail-paced government action. Most of us would find it difficult to do all four things, but most of us can do at least a couple of these –

  • Have no, or fewer, children
  • Avoid air travel
  • Be car-free
  • Eat a plant-based diet

Which ones will you choose?

 

PS: Here’s a chart which shows how long different gases stay in the atmosphere, from the time they get there – http://chartsbin.com/view/2407

Some brief bullet points from that chart –

  • Carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will stay in the atmosphere for another 200 years if emissions stopped today
  • Nitrous oxide from fossil fuels will stay in the atmosphere for another 100 years emissions stopped today
  • Methane from animals will stay in the atmosphere for another ten years if emissions stopped today

19 thoughts on “How bad does it have to get before we stop the madness of climate change denial?

  1. TheDogMother

    Loved your post, and like, a few human, insured homes is nothing compared to a whole species being burnt to death, or the terrible suffering of individual animals.That is the most terrible outcome of this climate change catastrophe.
    We can do a lot as individuals, and being vegan, not reproducing, having e-bikes 🙂 and not flying is wonderful.But those personal Aristotlean character traits need to go beyond the personal to political change and maybe over throw of the system. 🙂
    But us as individuals need to force government change.
    We have so much wind, so much sunshine and so much hydroelectric, we should not be using any fossil fuels, the dairy industry is a huge consumer of fossil fuels.
    But the UK, like who thinks the Uk is green? 60 million people, no sunshine, lots of coal mines, north sea gas…because of government strategies and long term plans and legislation, for over 1/3 of the year the Uk is now fuelled exclusively by renewable energy and year on year, despite a conservative government, it has got better.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/07/renewables-beat-fossil-fuels-greenest-year-uk-energy
    Why are we not demanding more of our politicians and forcing them to make dairy pay above and beyond for using fossil fuels? There are only so many children I cannot have….but we could shut down the dairy industry by making them pay real money for their fossil fuel consumption.
    Meanwhile, keep riding the bike, demand free contraception, and vasectomy at birth for all males, till they are proven worthy of fatherhood, eat plants and get political. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. TheDogMother

        There was one day last year where the entire national grid demand was supplied by only solar power in the UK. The entire national grid demand of 60 million people and countless industry. If the Uk can do it, NZ should so be able to do it. We should demand more of our politicians. We should not shelter behind claims that we are voiceless and powerless as individuals. Hand wringing does nothing. Claim your own individual power and make our government change to be more like the Uk in whatever way you can.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s feckin incredible! Our current government is trying to make changes in line with climate change, but omg the obstruction it faces from the old guard and those with a vested interest in things staying the same, is to be believed! Plus, these obstructers are fully supported by – you guessed it – right-wing regressives. So far, the changes have been a bit toothless, but maybe what is currently happening in Oz may scare the obstructers enough to obstruct a little less now.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. TheDogMother

        As for solar power, the government in the Uk had an incentive whereby they gave interest free loans for ten years to people to have solar power put on their houses. Any extra power beyond the home owner’s daily use was put back into the national grid and you got paid for the power . One of my mates took them up on this, he has a north south facing house, with no shadowing( trees. other houses) and it was a modern house so not listed, and easy installation, and in his first year he earned from the national grid enough to pay 1/0th of his loan back plus £800 tax free! It was so good that it was too good, the government back tracked and stopped it for a while. They are just starting to offer financial incentives for installing ground source heat pumps and other renewable power sources. Imagine if the NZ government funded solar power upfront? We do not have listed houses here, even non-north south houses here get enough sunlight to generate power, and most of our housing, especially in Christchurch, is modern and easily can take solar panelling. Why is it not compulsory to have solar panels on new builds? That is the time to install them.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said. Now I’m boiling mad, and I don’t mean to be funny. I have a saying about government: Expect the worst and most foolish results out of their so call leadership, and you’ll never be disappointed. Flabbergasted and outraged, but not ever disappointed. They’ve never let me down.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Katrina and Peter,

      Peter, I have not forgotten about replying to your long comment at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/

      Please bear with me as I would like to take time to give you a decent reply after I wade through many other errands.

      Katrina asked which ones I shall choose from the following “four things [that United Nations has identified and] that we as individuals can all do right now that will have the fastest impact on mitigating the harm from climate change, rather than wait for snail-paced government action”,

      Have no, or fewer, children
      Avoid air travel
      Be car-free
      Eat a plant-based diet

      Well, I have been doing all four of them for a long time. What does that say about me that is the weird creature of SoundEagle?

      It has been an ecological crisis in many parts of Australia, whether or not the conservative government and climate change deniers admit it.

      According to some estimate, about 30% of koalas have perished in those fires, and thus putting the species on the endangered list. Here’s a video regarding 10 Fun Facts About Koalas:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice video about Koalas 🙂 Do you live in Australia? I’m impressed that you do all four of those climate mitigating actions! I do two, although I do have a hybrid car as well. That’s not really the same as being car-free, but I thought I would just see if it got a few points anyway 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hello Katrina,

        I like very much that you care about the environment, and hence has become a follower of your blog.

        The post by which you can find out the most about SoundEagle is available at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2019/08/31/khai-khim-for-always-and-beyond-goodbye/

        May you enjoy reading the said post, which also contains a lot of my musical compositions. I look forward to interacting with you there.

        Happy February to you soon!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Please be informed that this post of mine will benefit from being viewed on a large screen of a desktop or laptop computer, because many of the multimedia posts published on my blog could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.

        May you have a very lovely week ahead and happy February to you soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jennyredhen

    Hi Katrina my grown up children all live overseas. I have to fly or I would never see my grandchildren.. However I try to make up for it in other ways. eg never buy anything in any plastic packaging,.. well actually virtually never buy anything. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although doing what we can as individuals is important, because we all have to be in this together, the most effective things we can do as individuals are those four things. I realise that it’s extremely difficult for us to do all four, however, doing at least one of those four things makes the most change. I myself find it impossible to do more than two of those things, unless I wanted to alter my life utterly and completely. Which we all might have to do anyway 🙂

      Like

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