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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

The net of guilt

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Charles MacFarland, Ewingsdale

S Sorrensen wrote a rather clever article attacking ‘corporate collusion’ for advancing the Adani coal mine and thus worsening global warming. I agree with everything he says, but I think we can spread the net of guilt a little wider than that.

Labor put in a carbon tax a few years ago, and the Australian people voted them out of office. President Obama initiated several programs to combat global warming, and the American people voted in President Trump, who they knew full well would repudiate the programs. Not everybody voted to promote fossil fuels and the ‘corporate collusion’, but many did.

The general public in both countries often commute a long way to work. This burns petrol and creates CO2 just like coal-fired power plants.They do it because they want a job, ie they want money, just as the big business wigs do.

Granted, these people are making a living wage rather than getting rich, but I wonder how many of them even think about how much CO2 they are creating. Do they ever worry, or try to find some way not to drive so far?

Here in Byron we have holiday letting as a hot-button issue, debated and complained about constantly. Yet I have never known a single mention of what for me is the worst thing about holiday letting. Holiday letting makes it difficult for the people who work in Byron to live here. So they commute and burn up lots of petrol.

Holiday letting causes global warming. Why has this never been mentioned by its opponents?

The reason is that nobody really cares about global warming, not in a meaningful way. People may deplore it, but they don’t let it affect their lives. 

How many people here in Byron go merrily jetting off to Bali or Thailand or Europe every year? Do they ever consider how much CO2 their jets are making? (Full disclosure: I’m one of them myself.) Some of these people use all that jet fuel just for a trip of  two or three weeks.

So we can all join S Sorensen in pointing fingers of blame, but as the old cliché says, when we point at someone, our other three fingers point at ourselves.

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