Thursday, October 03, 2013

Blog #4: Australian Coal Burning

With the world dealing with the startling news given out by the IPCC this week one would expect countries to get together and create a new normal, a new way to live that isn't pathological to our well-being. Maybe that's just the naivety of a bleeding-heart liberal in me; I can't be the only one seeing the limits being passed by in our march towards "progress and a brighter future." Yet shockingly there exists very little momentum behind any movement in making meaningful strides in diverting disaster for the human race. In fact, the exact opposite is occurring.

Australia, run by a conservative government, continually destroys their old climate change mitigation policy. Currently they are looking at extracting coal from the Galilee Basin and sending it to foreign markets to be burned there. This is key in that the 705m tonnes of carbon created from the burned coal will not contribute to Australia's carbon footprint just the world-at-large's footprint.

Climate change is the greatest problem facing humanity currently and it will continue to be for the next century. Yet we stare at disaster and shrug it off. We could change to renewable energy rather easily. Australia itself could run on only renewable energy in a few years time for the same cost of "business as usual." But businesses and politicians tied to oil companies seeking short term profit in favor of long term losses deny any chance of movement towards mitigating the effects of climate change. The general populous views climate change as the problem of the next generation, a far off calamity to be fought years down the road. This simply being viewed as real makes it our current “reality.” The true reality, one that is uncomfortable and terrifying, is that climate change has been here and is now knocking down the door to our home, ready to kick us out for what we have done to the place. Many fervent environmentalists have been screaming for needed action in saving the human race, yet those in power never do. Sure they offer platitudes and give it needed lip service to attract liberal voters but nothing is ever done. This global world needs to understand that the butterfly effect is the brutal advantage our enemy has over us. 705m tones of coal burned in China or Australia or anywhere for that matter has the same effect on every global citizen. Each particle of carbon emitted affects all people. We are a global world, we all need to start taking action, climate change is at our doorstep and the way we are going it’s going to kick us out.

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