Australian news, and some related international items

Only a few years left, for action on climate change – but do we care?

The reality is we just don’t care enough about climate change, WA Today, By Harold Mitchell, 24 October 2018  “………The recent report by the International Panel on Climate Change is endorsed by Sachs and he says: “Time is short. We love our lives and all we and our forebears have accomplished, yet there is a tremendous fragility that we don’t always see. We can’t take this great life for granted.”

The key point is that we have little more than 12 years to stop increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It’s now 26 years since the first Rio earth summit when the world agreed to avoid dangerous climate change. Sachs argues we are not doing enough.

But why aren’t we? Well, it’s all about our politicians being re-elected. Even though many of them believe that action is required, many feel they will not lose their seats if they support inaction…. Power prices today are more important to them than a liveable world for the children of tomorrow.

Polling organisations such as the Lowy Institute, The Australia Institute, CSIRO, and our own Foreseechange consistently show that most people in Australia believe the climate is changing and that we should act now, even if it is costly to do so.

But polling also shows that climate change is not regarded as important an issue for the future as others. Issues of highest future concern are cost of living, security of personal information, housing affordability, and congestion on the roads. Climate change is perceived to be the ninth most important concern about the future, out of 12 issues measured.

Plainly real leadership is required and Sach’s favourite president was JFK, because of his resistance to “dumbing down” important issues for a few votes. Sachs quotes the great president’s inauguration speech: “For man holds in his hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life”. He was speaking of nuclear war but could have added our ability to destroy millions of species including ourselves.

I’m also an admirer of JFK and I agree with him when he said: “The ignorance of one voter in democracy impairs the security of all.”

October 27, 2018 - Posted by | General News

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