Australian news, and some related international items

You can have four more years of Trump, or you can have a habitable planet. But you can’t have both.

Climate Apocalypse Now, Maybe it’s just a failure of human imagination to understand what is coming, Rolling Stone, By JEFF GOODELL   28 Aug 20

I’m not a religious person, or someone who sees messages written in clouds, but if I were, I might believe that Mother Nature is trying to tell President Donald Trump something right now. California is burning, a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph just blasted into the Louisiana coast, and nearly 180,000 are reported dead from a viral outbreak that is just a harbinger of what one scientist calls “a new pandemic era” driven in part by our changing climate and wanton destruction of ecosystems. But on the eve of Trump’s big speech to accept the Republican nomination, if Mother Nature had a voice, I imagine she would say something like this: Pay attention to me, asshole, or you — and every generation of humans to come — will regret it.
Despite what Mike Pence says, there are no miracles in America, or anywhere else. We humans are on our own. If we fuck this up, it’s on us.

And, of course, we are fucking it up. We are heating up the planet so fast that large parts of it will be uninhabitable by the end of the century. We are amping up storms like Hurricane Laura — it is the strongest storm to hit the Louisiana coast since 1856 — and turning the Gulf Coast into a shooting gallery — which city is going to get hit next? New Orleans? Houston? Tampa? Miami? They are all living on borrowed time. And it’s not just the hurricanes: As Greenland melts and Antarctica falls into the Southern Ocean, they will be swamped by rising seas, as will virtually every other low-lying city in the world. The rich will huddle behind sea walls; the poor will flee or drown.

We are mowing down rainforests, destroying the lungs of the planet, and pushing animals — and the viruses they carry — into new places, increasing the risks of spillover into humans. You think Covid-19, with a fatality rate of about one percent (depending on risk group), is bad? Wait until a Nipah virus, with a fatality rate of 50 percent or higher, morphs in a way that allows asymptomatic transmission. ………..

Maybe it’s a failure of human imagination to understand what is coming. Maybe it’s a failure of democracy and the media (including writers like myself). After all, at this vital turning point in the climate crisis, at a moment when most scientists agree is the last chance to save a stable climate, America elected a president who sees science as a church for losers, and who believes the climate crisis is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese. ……

Maybe the real message that Mother Nature is sending with these storms and fires in the midst of the Republican National Convention is not to Trump, but to us. And it says this: You can have four more years of Trump, or you can have a habitable planet. But you can’t have both.

August 29, 2020 - Posted by | General News

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