Australian news, and some related international items

Australian values on climate- Bugger you mate, I’m alright Jack!

Selective Impact of Climate Change. Time to question Australian Values?  John Pratt. 21 Apr 17   In some popular accounts of the future depredations of climate change, there is a tendency to suggest that its effects will be felt more or less democratically around the globe ― that we will all suffer to some degree, if not equally, from the bad things that happen as temperatures rise.

And it’s certainly true that everyone on this planet will feel the effects of global warming in some fashion, but don’t for a second imagine that the harshest effects will be distributed anything but deeply inequitably.

It won’t even be a complicated equation.

As with so much else, those at the bottom rungs of society ― the poor, the marginalized, and those in countries already at or near the edge ― will suffer so much more (and so much earlier) than those at the top and in the most developed, wealthiest countries.

(AUSTRALIAN VALUE NUMBER ONE: Bugger you mate, I’m alright Jack!)

As a start, the geophysical dynamics of climate change dictate that, when it comes to soaring temperatures and reduced rainfall, the most severe effects are likely to be felt first and worst in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America ― home to hundreds of millions of people who depend on rain-fed agriculture to sustain themselves and their families.

Research conducted by scientists in New Zealand, Switzerland, and Great Britain found that the rise in the number of extremely hot days is already more intense in tropical latitudes and disproportionately affects poor farmers.

(AUSTRALIAN VALUE NUMBER TWO: Never discuss politics or religion)

Living at subsistence levels, such farmers and their communities are especially vulnerable to drought and desertification. In a future in which climate change disasters are commonplace, they will undoubtedly be forced to choose ever more frequently between the unpalatable alternatives of starvation or flight.

In other words, if you thought the global refugee crisis was bad today, just wait a few decades.

(AUSTRALIAN VALUE NUMBER THREE: Charity begins at home)

Climate change is also intensifying the dangers faced by the poor and marginalized in another way.

As interior croplands turn to dust, ever more farmers are migrating to cities, especially coastal ones. If you want a historical analogy, think of the great Dust Bowl migration of the “Okies” from the interior of the U.S. to the California coast in the 1930s.

In today’s climate-change era, the only available housing such migrants are likely to find will be in vast and expanding shantytowns (or “informal settlements,” as they’re euphemistically called), often located in floodplains and low-lying coastal areas exposed to storm surges and sea-level rise.

As global warming advances, the victims of water scarcity and desertification will be afflicted anew.

(AUSTRALIAN VALUE NUMBER FOUR: She’ll be right mate! )

Those storm surges will destroy the most exposed parts of the coastal mega-cities in which they will be clustered.

In other words, for the uprooted and desperate, there will be no escaping climate change.

As the latest IPCC report noted, “Poor people living in urban informal settlements, of which there are [already] about one billion worldwide, are particularly vulnerable to weather and climate effects.”
The scientific literature on climate change indicates that the lives of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed will be the first to be turned upside down by the effects of global warming. “The socially and economically disadvantaged and the marginalized are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change and extreme events,” the IPCC indicated in 2014. “Vulnerability is often high among indigenous peoples, women, children, the elderly, and disabled people who experience multiple deprivations that inhibit them from managing daily risks and shocks.” It should go without saying that these are also the people least responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming in the first place (something no less true of the countries most of them live in).
Failing to halt the advance of climate change… means complicity with mass human annihilation.

Inaction Equals Annihilation………

April 22, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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