Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Climate Change & Appeasement

A new WWF report illustrates the growing sense of crisis and urgency surrounding global warming, and contrasts with the fundamentally inadequate and insincere approach of the Howard Government.

There is now irrefutable scientific evidence that human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing an ongoing rise in global temperature and that this warming is having impacts on human society and the natural environment today. Of great concern is the fact that many impacts are emerging at the high end of past scientific projections. In other words, international scientific reports appear to have been underestimating the speed and seriousness with which impacts would be felt. As a result, scientists are increasingly concerned that we may be approaching a set of tipping points, thresholds where large-scale qualitative changes will occur and new processes will be triggered that further amplify global warming. The result of reaching these tipping points could be that climate change becomes unstoppable and irreversible.

A climate tipping point may occur with global warming of 2-3oC but if warming reaches 3-4oC then the thresholds for irreversible change will almost certainly be crossed.

A favourite idea of the warmongers and far right is that the war against Hitler is never over, every enemy is a 'new Hitler', and anyone who speaks against a new war is an 'appeaser'. Overlooking the fact that, as John Pilger has said, the US is the Third Reich of our time (a great power bent on military aggression that must not be appeased and must be stopped), Hitler is long dead and the great crisis of our time is not the threat of Nazi militarism but the threat of global warming.

Its not enough that Hitler got jailed for mounting a coup, that he published a long book revealing his whole repugnant philosophy, that he made any number of screaming anti-semite and anti-democratic speeches, that once in power he simply murdered opponents and established a dictatorship, that he marched into the Rheinland.....

What does it take for people to wake up?

With there being no real dispute in the scientific community for many years, the Howard government has simply sat on its hands for a full decade and watched this crisis relentlessly develop. Of course there are links between the Government and the polluting industries, and the whole idea of putting the common good or the environment ahead of profits and markets is ideologically foreign.

The steps taken now are essentially 'public relations' in response to bad polling results. The Howard Government can generate no conviction in what it does. If it in anyway grasped the seriousness of the problem, chimeras like nuclear energy or clean coal would be abandoned; a carbon tax immediately introduced; firm targets set; renewable energy mandated; and many other action, including of course, abandoning the mulish stubbornness of its refusal to sign Kyoto.

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