Paris starts next week. I am not hopeful, but I would love to be surprised by the outcome. It is a terrible shame and I believe likely the result of deliberate forethought, that all reporting of the event will be coloured and overshadowed by the attacks of a fortnight ago.
I don’t believe our present government has any interest at all in acting on climate change. Turnbull lost all sense of integrity for me in his handling of the NBN, now the MTM or Malcolm Turnbull’s Mess. It is disappointing to me that the internet issue, which is going to directly affect most peoples day to day lives, gets so little attention. Bandwidth is going to be like the weather within a few years and thanks to the LNP we are doomed to many years of dismal grey days. Internet speeds and openness is another story though. On climate Turnbull is hamstrung by the far right of his party such that even if he did want to move on climate change -which is questionable- he would lose such significant support that he wont risk it. Belief in climate change falls very clearly along partisan lines according to the most recent review by CSIRO. Unfortunately as long as Snub Boredom or whatever his name is remains head of Labor, Turnbull will breeze the next election with his nose held high.
I do wonder what it will take for country -read National Party- Australia to cotton on that the LNP coalition doesn’t value them. They certainly are not acting in the long term interests of rural Australia. The LNP are bizarrely willing to steamroll legitimate concerns about the sustainable livelihoods of their own constituents. Rural towns take a sedate approach to change, social change in particular. Sadly it seems to me that the Greens and other progressive independent groups are treated with such suspicion, defensiveness and resistance. It is as if the left has caused some great affront rural Australia for which they have never apologised and all peace offerings since have been grossly misjudged and perceived as condescending at best. It may be many terms in some seats before centrist, let alone left wing candidates are even remotely plausible.
I’ve had quite a few arguments with climate deniers over the years. I used to follow the issue a lot more closely and even kept track of r/climateskeptics (not linking, because you really don’t want to go there) for emerging trends to counter. That ways lies madness, ulcers and aneurysms. These days I don’t regularly read many articles from my field (Ecology) mostly sticking to what shows up in my general and pop science feeds. So lets say I am far from an expert on the actual mechanisms of climate change or the current state of monitoring. I am however quite confident that the likelihood of climate change not having an anthropogenic origin is so small as to be considered ludicrous. The fact that this is not universally common knowledge is due to a few factors; Chief among them a dedicated and expensive misinformation campaign by people and organisations like Exxon and Koch brothers as well as the way certain attention seekers continue to spout the same spurious twaddle week in week out even after being corrected. As with many big issues I think a significant portion of the problem stems from a fundamental lack of imagination. Because we can’t see carbon gases, because we have no reference point for visualising how much carbon our car puts out, let alone our electrical devices where the power stations are far away and our usage is some tiny fraction of the total output. The sheer vastness of the scale on which our species pollutes is astonishing.
A back of the napkin calculation of the global pollution output going on right now from cigarettes alone demonstrates that even small actions can on mass have huge consequences. Something in the order of 27 million tons of CO2 per year based on some very loose assumptions and this is not accounting for the growth, harvest, manufacture and transport of the product. That is but one of the seemingly inexhaustible number of ways our species makes waste some of them in amounts orders of magnitude larger.
No one wants to look to closely at climate change, it is too frightening but if we do not act, it will affect all of us and our children directly.
I implore you to join me on the street wherever you are. Stand up and be counted.