Australian news, and some related international items

Yes, Virginia, Australia’s carbon emissions DO MATTER!

Yes, Australia’s carbon emissions do have an impact, Independent Australia, By Nicholas Bugeja | 24 March 2019,   Don’t listen to the climate sceptics that say Australia’s emissions are irrelevant to tackling climate change. Our contribution does matter — and it has real consequences for fighting this most urgent threat.

For about the last decade, the vast majorityof Australians have believed in the prevailing climate science. Yet the issue was hardly closed, with conservatives and so-called “climate sceptics” constantly trying to impugn what 97% of scientists accept: that climate change is occurring, is human-induced, and will radically alter weather conditions, the natural environment and the world itself.

Over the past year, however, a seemingly widespread, unassailable consensus has emerged in Australia. Finally. That climate change is a matter of the utmost moral and political urgency. Although this conclusion was reached by scientists roughly 30 years ago, the increase of public consciousness around climate change has proven promising and heartening……..

For Sky News’ Chris Kenny   , those committed to lowering Australia’s emissions – “the kids, and the Greens, and the Labor politicians” – are “just kidding themselvesThey know they will hurt us for no environmental gain.”

This kind of rhetoric is deft and manipulative, meant to lull the public into a sense of disempowerment and ineffectuality about Australia’s role in combating the greatest modern threat to humanity and the planet.

What proponents of this view don’t acknowledge is the need for global unity on this issue. Climate change cannot conceivably be stopped if states, like Australia, throw their hands up in defeat. Imagine if every country of a comparable size to Australia remained passive: the Netherlands, Taiwan, Canada. We’d be condemned, most certainly, to a perilous future of climate instability and disaster. Every bit of carbon reduction matters.

To put it another way, there are 24 countries, Australia included, that contribute between 0.5-1.5% of carbon emission in the atmosphere, an aggregate of 21% of all emissions. This is comparable to China’s total emissions, an admittedly big player in the battle to tackle the problem of climate change. As one cooperative unit, these countries can make a real difference in reducing carbon emission. Australia – one of the world’s richest countries – must be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

It is true climate change cannot be solved by one individual country. But it certainly won’t be if countries fail to make substantial and swift emission cuts in line with their international obligations. Indeed, it’s the cumulative effect of carbon emissions, that extends across borders and nations, that must be focused and acted upon. Australia’s inertia will only further guarantee that the IPCC’s worrying predictions – of widespread flooding, droughts, heat-related deaths, smaller crop harvests, greater amounts of poverty – come true.

Should Australia continue along its current path, its moral authority on the climate change issue will be utterly diminished. The old adage “practice what you preach” has enormous application here. Those states with the highest carbon footprint – the U.S., China, India, Germany – would hardly accept any appeal Australia might make about emissions cuts. And who could blame them? It’s imperative that Australia takes action – for it to have any moral or diplomatic agency in urging other states to mitigate their emissions.

For its size, Australia’s emissions are staggeringly high. In 2015, we ranked 13th in the world for total carbon emission, ahead of much larger countries: UK, Italy and France, as well as most of Africa. Our emissions per capita were the highest in the OECD, at 16 tonnes for each person. …..,12499


March 25, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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