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article imageOp-Ed: Australia’s climate future – ANU’s new study of idiotic apathy

By Paul Wallis     Mar 31, 2021 in Environment
Sydney - New projections of super heat waves and other issues by the Australian National University are showing a familiar trend – Total catastrophic breakdown of climate norms, and no action. What’s new is the level of deadly certainty.
The Australian National University’s Institute for Climate Energy and Disaster Solutions doesn’t mince words. The reassuring word “catastrophic” is very much part of the mix in this new study. Projections are based on a 3C rise in temperatures, double the 1.5C of urban myths.
Decades of total global inaction are about to bear fruit. Australia’s contribution to this is well-known. We have a miniscule percentage of the world’s population, but by scale, we’re one of the major emissions sources. We have 0.3% roughly of the world’s population, but we’re responsible for 1.3% of the emissions. We emit roughly 43 times what we should per capita.
It’s not a pretty picture to start with, and the climate change mirror is looking downright ugly.
The ANU study includes a few scenarios:
• Massive “one in a century” floods every year. Billions in costs, is what that means.
• Crop failures -aka murder for our very profitable agricultural exports and higher prices locally for food.
• Spread southward of tropical diseases, some of which are very nasty indeed.
• Economic chaos and disruption of Australia’s sacred high carbon emission resources economy.
• The 3C benchmark is likely to be reached in 2090.
• Increased and more severe heatwaves with many more days in high temperatures.
The ANU does include a few suggestions in its study, but it’s questionable if any of our non-decision-makers can read so many syllables. Just read the links and you’ll hear the quaint but unforgettable sound of millions of Australian teeth grinding in frustration.
Meanwhile – Do these projections sound much too familiar? This is the global scenario, just in a local environment. These are drastic, dangerous, changes to core environmental behaviour, and the costs will be incredibly high if nothing’s done.
Dumb is no longer an option
There’s a difference, though. Australia can’t even pretend to play dumb on any of these issues. The future is looking hideous, and it’s our responsibility to manage the risks.
Our national psycho-myopia about emissions is as selective as it is incomprehensibly stupid and shallow. Accustomed to huge revenues and related political clout on the part of the oil and carbon industries, Australia is simply sidestepping.
We have no excuses at all. With our small population and vast resources, we should be able to manage our climate change commitments better than any country on Earth. It’s not like we’d even be inconvenienced in any way by simply moving to other sources of energy. Solar power, in fact, is booming in Sunny Australia, despite idiotic obstructions and ridiculous/obscene solar rooftop tax proposals. It’s a huge growth sector.
Even the holy-of-holy resources causing the emissions can be converted into high-value non-polluting assets. Carbon chemistry isn’t exactly unknown in Australia. We could create graphene, resins, polymers, any number of new carbon materials compounds, and useful recyclables on a Biblical scale, and do it quite easily.
We know how to sequester carbon. It’s no mystery and never has been. We just don’t do it. We tolerate insane levels of land clearance to appease the other god of Australia, property prices. We can clone 250,000 gum trees from one gumnut using 1970s technology, and we don’t do it. We could reafforest the whole of Australia in a few years, and it’s not happening. We could generate gigatons of new topsoil with basic green tech and better land management, and we don’t do it.
Put it this way –
I was asked to create an article for an oil and gas company about 10 years ago. I suggested, “Carbon, the unknown resource” as a title. I thought the title alone would be enough to attract some interest from those who got the joke. The client, however, didn’t get it. They came back and said, “Oh, no; we don’t do carbon. We just do coal and oil.”
… Meh.
That’s the mindset, which despite being long overdue for extinction for people with even grade school levels of education, persists. Australia is the classic case of no excuses for not cutting emissions. We have the money, the science, and the overwhelming community will to do so. There are no real obstacles to achieve any of these goals.
What we lack is basic honesty. We know a lot better, but we don’t do better. We don’t even try. The short-term interests of a few politicians and corporate slime molds are more important than the future of the world.
The geriatric/insane/economically retarded fossil fuel industry is now well on the way to the grave. It’s dragging the world with it, and we’re the microcosm example. It’s “grow up or die” time, and we can’t make up our minds?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Australian national university, Australian National University Institute for Clima, Australia climate 2090, climate change impact Australia, Australia carbon emissions
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