Australian news, and some related international items

Pathetic Australia ?- freeloading as the rest of the world grapples with climate change

Richard Glover on climate policy: Australia insignificant? Pathetic and absurd, Brisbane Times By Richard Glover , 24 Aug 18  “……..Australia was a small place of little import, dwarfed by these [overseas] humming centres of real life.

Once you’ve grown up with that idea, as many Australians did, it can be hard to shift gear. That’s why – some years on – I was taken aback when I acquired a copy of the Times Atlas of the World. It had a table listing the great cities of the world, according to the size of their population…….

Australia now has the 13th largest economy in the world, with predictions it will be the 11th largest within a decade. If NSW went it alone, as a separate country, the economy would be the 26th biggest in the world. In military terms, a recent comparison listed the country in 21st position, out of 136.

Do these rankings matter? I think so, if only because the idea of “little ole Australia” is constantly used as an excuse for failure, for accepting the second rate, for shrugging away our responsibilities…..

The latest version of this dire, cringing attitude formed the background to this week’s leadership spill. The Dutton forces kept repeating the same mantra: Australia is so small it has no impact on carbon emissions. We may as well do nothing. Anything else is grandstanding or “virtue-signalling”.

It’s true, of course, that Australia’s emissions are less than those of the United States and China, but that doesn’t mean they are “nothing” or “negligible”, the terms always employed.

Australia was responsible for 1.1 per cent of global emissions in 2016, making us the 16th most polluting country in the world. Per head we’re among the worst.

Then there’s the idea that – due to our size – we should give up the ambition of having a positive impact on the world. Important battles – this is the underlying thought – should be left to others. We can stand on the sidelines and freeload………

It’s the cringe, writ large. It shows neither national pride nor global spirit. It’s also out of step with a balanced understanding of our relatively-significant place in the world.

We need, finally, to overcome this demeaning sense of self. The alternative: a fresh generation of Australians, fingers tracing maps, dreaming of a country that treats itself with a bit more dignity.–pathetic-and-absurd-20180821-h149jc.html

August 25, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international

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