Reap (don’t) sow
Back in the mid naughties, Australia and Australians were a bastion of all that is best in a people. (I know, I hired and befriended some.) A mix of the quick wit and social nature of us Brits + the industrious work ethic and love of outdoors activities of Californians. Upside of this is a people who were not only hard working, but interested in matters environmental. After all, look after Earth, and it looks after you!
Not sure what happened, but between then and a few years ago, something went wrong and the country has become obsessed with dirty energy and characterless sprawling trashy outdoor strip mall ‘neighbourhoods’ like those that cover America. (Drop a pin on a random location in the USA on Google maps and drag the yellow pegman onto a road to Streetview what I mean!)
Like most occasions when one makes a mistake, Australia has just been run over by their own karma, again.
“Don’t worry Sir, you’re safe up here. It’s only the little people who will perish.”
You may say this is only to be expected, low laying flat lands covered in water due to a periodical cyclone. Actually, not so. If you read to the end of the article, you get to the worrying part: Their food producing farmland has been devastated. Yes, for all we know, when the waters subside, it will leave behind nutritious soil (after all, that is why there are fertile lands besides rivers in the first place), but it is probably too early to tell.
The core issue – and why refusal to deal with climate change quickly should be humanity’s number one priority – is that we should not experiment with our planet’s eco system. Dabble in the lab and use supercomputers, but not outside.
I have repeatedly stated in this blog and on comments on other publications that the second the price of food rises to more than the income of more than a certain threshold of a populated area, we will have civil unrest. Food shortages caused by climate change will cause that. Have you ever been to the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon or just before the Christmas holidays? The shelves are empty because stock is cleared ready for replenishing with fresh produce the following shopping week.
It is annoying and makes you think just how reliant on the convenient availability of basics we are as a species.
The problem in the West is that we are so good at saving ourselves that few of us die when a major natural disaster strikes, unlike say in Pakistan where earthquakes and such lead to a far higher toll due to poor infrastructure design.
On the other hand, we get away with it because it didn’t hurt enough. If more Westerners were harmed directly by our self caused ‘natural’ disasters, we would do something about it quicker. For example, if a loving family member of an Australian (or other) politician was killed or injured by an event that may well have been caused by human induced climate change, being it is now ‘personal’, would they stop being pro coal and invest the nation’s billions in solar and other clean energy instead?
Fight back club: Don’t experiment with our only planet for short term capitalist or geopolitical gain.