Monday, August 19, 2019

Australia sinks island hopes

At the recent Pacific Island Forum, Australia has appeared to prefer burning coal to saving lives

The leaders of the Small Island States had all agreed to a declaration for stronger action on climate change. Perhaps not surprising considering these nations' future existence is at stake. But then Australia stepped in.

Instead of giving them what they need (action on climate change) Australia gave them foreign aid money. Cartoonist Cath Wilcox illustrated how (not) useful that is.

And even worse, it's not extra money - it's been redirected away from other foreign aid orther worthy programs no have to go without.

So basically Australia, having heard that climate is the biggest issue for all these Pacific Island nations is not giving one extra dollar and not reducing pollution by one single gram.

Back in Australia, the Deputy (and acting) Prime Minister made some bizarre remarks about fruit-picking, and also,

“I also get a little bit annoyed when we have people in those sorts of countries pointing the finger at Australia and say we should be shutting down all our resources sector so that, you know, they will continue to survive,”

Two things here. First is the exaggeration/lie about what was being asked - it was only ever about coal. Second is the display of priorities where he seems to be saying that a polluting industry is more important than people's lives - that he wants to continue burning and exporting coal forever - even if it wipes out several nations along the way. Stunning.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Climate Change: The Facts - by David Attenborough

If you missed last night's ABC screening of Climate Change: The Facts here's the link to see it on iview.

David Attenborough's Climate Change: The Facts

There's an explanation of climate change, it's impacts and what we can do to reduce it. Being a David Attenborough documentary it also contains some amazing footage:

  • Australian bats littered on the ground after a heatwave, (perhaps turn away at that point if you're an animal lover)
  • Dashcam footage as a father and son driving through a bushfire to escape it - only to realise that was impossible, (their escape was quite miraculous)
  • Flames coming out of ice. This was a demonstration of the quantity of ice-trapped methane in the permafrost. When this permafrost melts (due to climate change) this methane will be released and cause even more climate change. This is what's called a tipping point.

There's also amazing stats:

  • British heatwaves are 30 times more likely than in the 70's.
  • Greenland is losing ice at 5 times the rate that it was just 25 years ago.
  • The US state of Louisiana is losing land the size of a football field every 45 mins - due to sea level rise - and already people have had to abandon their homes.

Sometimes our tendency is to avoid change even when it's necessary. It's important to remember that the "cost of action is dwarfed by the cost of inaction".

Some more David:
David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef

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