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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Editorial: Climate alarm bells

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While the world is literally melting before our eyes – for once I can genuinely say ‘literally’ – major organisations from the UN to the Australian Post, not to mention scientists across the board, are sounding the alarm on the climate catastrophe.

In the meantime it appears that Australia remains mired in the juvenile, misogynistic, bullying antics of the likes of Alan Jones. Add to this the disturbing argument, apparently put forward on your behalf and mine as taxpayers, by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance that, as Australia accounts for just 1.3 per cent of global emissions and our Pacific neighbours for even less, then helping our neighbours and addressing our own contribution to climate change ‘will do virtually nothing’.

Well, that’s the spirit! Let’s all start selling drugs to children, hey? I mean, if someone else is going to do it it may as well be us? Right?

We are in a climate crisis and if we don’t start to look at how we function as a global civilisation then we are going to be in serious trouble

Well, no. We are in a climate crisis and if we don’t start to look at how we function as a global civilisation then we are going to be in serious trouble.

Currently, we base our success on a constantly growing GDP (Gross Domestic Product). That means that as long as the population continues to grow and people buy more stuff then we are good. Our economy continues to grow, we are a success and we don’t move into recession or, even worse, depression. That’s why governments have been keeping interest rates low and are talking about increasing spending on infrastructure – to keep the money flowing and you and me buying more stuff.

The massive, overwhelming problem with this (we could call it a tsunami) is that the increasing number of humans, along with the continuing drive to consume and ‘buy more stuff’ to keep our economies going, is destroying the planet. The need to feed, clothe, house, and encourage people to spend more on ‘stuff’ is not only emitting enormous amounts of greenhouse gases that are warming up the planet; it is also drying out our water sources, clearing land, and destroying other species at a pace never seen before.

To escape from this death spiral there are real, practical steps that can be taken by each individual and at all levels of government

To escape from this death spiral there are real, practical steps that can be taken by each individual and at all levels of government. Rather than removing the word crisis from the Pacific Islands draft declaration, as our PM did on Thursday, as well as removing references to coal for deep-pocketed mates, our government and PM should be inspiring Australians to embrace the changes needed to stop the temperature rising beyond 1.5 degrees.

In fact this week I’ve been inspired by my youngest son who has stopped collecting ‘ooshies’, plastic dross now handed out free at Woolies to keep the kids encouraging the parents to come back and shop for more. Even he recognises that his choices – each small choice – have an impact. If he can see it, then what is wrong with the likes of ScoMo and his dodgy mates?

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  1. How true! Tony Abbott has a lot to answer for, he started all this non believing of climate change and refusal to do anything years ago and wasted valuable time. I thought things would be better once we got rid of Tony but things have got worse with Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton and all the Liberal/National Governments.

  2. Your son’s understanding is in line with the young way
    of knowledge-thinking that puts so many adults to
    shame. Australia accounts for 1.3% of global emission
    & about 80% of horse-sense by up-rooting & selling
    the very stuff causing Global emissions allowed by
    governments & dodgy mindset buddies. If we continue
    on this rout of shameless money laundering in what’s
    seen in a ‘legal way’ & last long enough to witness
    our stupidity & greed we will realise that we were
    responsible for the newly named ‘planet killing fields.’

  3. Great article, at least you guys are reporting on it. If you watch the latest doco from Sir David Attenborough – Climate Change: The Facts – https://iview.abc.net.au/show/climate-change-the-facts

    You may wonder why a state of emergency is not being announced in Australia, everything put on hold and the military step in to help us plant a few billion trees.

    Don’t despair there is so much we can do, as you mentioned like not buying ‘Ooshies’!

    No.1 is to buy most of your food at your local farmer’s markets.

    Check out the Local Futures website for more positive guidance, https://www.localfutures.org/

    Good luck and see you at the farmers’ markets!

  4. Abbsolutely agree when is the revolution starting we need to turn out on the streets to make our collective voices heard.

  5. This government is the most retarded in history, I think we should start calling him SlowMo instead of ScoMo as he does seem like a very slow learner….

  6. I believe that until we stop buying stuff we don’t need. Stuff that doesn’t last. Stuff that uses massive amounts of energy to get to us. Stuff that will end up in a hole in the earth for thousands of years. Stuff that makes us sick! We will get nowhere on climate change. Stop mindlessly consuming shit people.

  7. Australia loves to write the facts ‘Australia accounts for 1.3% of global emission” which looks very small but if you look at Australian’s per capita CO2 emissions its 15.4 second only to USA 16.5. So Aussies are the 2nd greatest polluters per capita of CO2 in the world!
    Stefanie Bennett makes a very good point that Australia actually is a greater offender since it sells it coal to China and elsewhere.
    Re Monica Morgan: starting a revolution, “we need to turn out on the streets to make our collective voices heard”…Fat chance, Australian’s knew what the ScoMo and the Coalition was capable of and they voted them back in!!!

  8. So we have the Pacific nations, blaming Australia for Global Warming..because we have 22 operating coal fired power stations ..and China have how MANY 1247 and counting…sea level rises in the Pacific is pie in the sky propaganda as usual..in FACT they are growing in size …so may i suggest the Pacific nations give china a call to clear the slate regarding their debt..happy to take money from the biggest polluter in the world …hypocrites!!!
    Not to mention jacinda Ardern , very well intentioned it would seem ..nice lady …but she wont be closing down the dairy industries anytime soon in NZ …no no no …once again the hypocrisy!!! Still not ONE response from any scientists regarding the Roman Warm period 2000 years ago 1.5 Degrees warmer than the present day Temperatures…what were the contributing factors?? Nothing from the climate council emailed about 6 times …i guess they would not be in a position to give any predictions or advice on GLOBAL Warming would they !!

    • And for the record !! Have never supported the Adani project , on the grounds of the water usage ..which is our MOST precious resource on Earth !! Ask our farmers who feed our country!!! And finally all you ever hear, regarding, Global warming protests is government inaction on climate change…its not governments, its INDIVIDUAL’S “inaction “happy “to blame everyone else except themselves…so until YOU all have a ZERO carbon footprint on earth , and you all know what that means ?? Uh ? ZERO coal in your lives !!! And if you all are unsure how to achieve this outcome for mother earth..Google it …otherwise you are all denialists, pretenders… reasonable request?? I think so !!,

      • The Burrow says and then he says again to himself for what, a nodding conversation with himself? He likes to throw the numbers around but misses the important number, that China has 1 billions population as opposed to Australia’s 25 millions and yet Australia is one of the worst polluters in the world on the only measure that is accepted for international comparison ie per capita. Hmmm, 6 emails to climate council and no response. Double check the address you sending to. There is also that thing called the telephone, try dialing the climate council, I’m sure there someone there to assist.

        • Good on ya captain planet joachim !! For your info ..i did call the climate council… however with Tim Flannery at the helm why would anyone bother ..and the answer i received in regards to my Question was lame …now joachim hows your addiction going ? That is your coal addiction?? For some reason Australia signed up to the paris agreement .
          Lecturing Australia..and France themselves are NOT going to comply to the agreement..a country that supplies the nations power supply with 70% nuclear
          So captain planet here it is !!! Iam in the process to organise a contract for all individuals to sign onto regarding Global warming..this contract is absolutely binding !! Everyone has a responsibility to minimise their carbon footprint..not only governments, but more so individuals…climate change activists, rebellion extinction, the greens,
          Etc ..so i was at one of the protests in Brisbane and informed one protester of my idea , and would he be keen to sign onto the individuals agreement for mother earth…yeah , yeah , yeah mate for sure mate
          Was his answer ..are you sure i asked again ..yeah , yeah , yeah ..so then i proceeded to inform this person what that commitment means .
          All your day to day privilege’s will be gone
          Phones , cars , flights, housing, computers, itemized list is in the thousands…you will have to go back to the dark ages …still keen mate ??? Sign right here ?? Uh uh uh ..get back to ya mate …just as i thought ..pretender ..talk the talk , not prepared to walk the walk …have to go back outside mate to the protest ..to hold the government accountable ..just as i expected…want to sign onto the agreement Joachim??

  9. As usual, alarmist crap. Co2 is run at a higher rate in food production in greenhouses….why for a 30% greater yield. Fort Denison shows no rapid increase in sea levels. Record freeze across Europe, UK and the Americas. C02 is not a heat producing gas. Bei g the heaviest has, it is not creating a shield to hold heat in. Our seasons are determined by our orbit around the sun not anthropomorphic.

  10. The elephant in the room, but one starting to be mentioned, is economic growth. Because it isn’t an optional add-on, the only way it can be tackled is by building another non-growth economy from the ground up. While this is a huge challenge, at some point soon it will be recognised as more feasible than the other available options.

  11. Regardless how valid and accurate the climate models that predict warming are,99 +% of people don’t see the connection between our financial system and it’s impact on the planet’s life support systems. For the monetary system,perpetual “growth” is the only way it can survive! Without that “growth”,there won’t be enough money to service the gigantic,record amounts of debt that has been created ,especially in the last few decades. The desperate need for his “growth” drives the ever escalating assault on our natural resources,deforestation and depletion of ocean fisheries and also drives the gigantic arms industry and,of course,consumerism in general,and chemical industries which poison our ecosystems. Without addressing the paradox of mandatory,perpetual growth on a finite planet,we are doomed,climate change or not!

  12. Barrow – you do go on. For sure I agree that there’s
    a large number of Aussies who have forgotten just
    how to think things through for themselves & or too
    lax to reign-in their overspending. Easy indulgence
    & ‘let some other coot’ carry the weight is in vogue.
    Get up off the couch, forget the footy & think how
    most grandparents, some great, during 2 world wars
    created budgets. Make a point of finding out the
    truth of the Emergency that we all face & take
    the responsibility that’s yours. Why? Because this
    government & opposition won’t. Why… it’s also your
    world & responsibility to help look after it. Don’t we
    ‘call Australia home’? It won’t be for anyone if each
    one of us doesn’t wake up. Listen to the students &
    join the protests. You owe them that. I’ll see you

  13. Maybe if we stopped selling coal to china they would stop using it to make steel and generate power. Win/win for the planet and economies can adapt and diversify with renewables. We’ll be forced to rip up those rail tracks if pollies refuse to take action!


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