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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Captain Abbott and his Titanic climate stupidity

Captain Abbott and his Titanic climate stupidity

Captain Abbott and his Titanic climate stupidity



Lyn Bender 31 May 2014, 7:45am 142





Tony Abbott is insanely bent on taking us down with the ship if he doesn't address global warming, reports psychologist, Lyn Bender. 



TONY ABBOTT openly declared his war on the environment and our home
the earth from the outset. It was his consistently expressed intent.
Australia has elected a home wrecker.




The story of the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic is an old tale that warns us of the folly of hubris, the danger of disbelief in the possibility of failing, and the foolishness of unfettered commerce.



The fate of people who will live over the next century is in our
hands. What are we bequeathing to them? A trashed planet wracked with
drought, floods, fires, storms, food and water shortages disease and
conflict.




Meanwhile in the lavish opulent first class dining room of the unsinkable Titanic, the Captain reclines, confronting big decisions about the menu. Our Captain Tony Abbott is making captain's calls.



Those who sit at his table are among the world’s wealthiest citizens,
and have paid a hefty price to dine in his company. Any doubts about
icebergs or storms are scoffed at as merely alarmist. In
drunken moments, the Captain calls these fears absolute crap.




His closest cronies are often inebriated and smoking cigars on
deck.The commoners in third class steerage are complaining about cramped
airless cabins and seasickness. They cry that it is unfair and
inequitable on board.


 


The Captain and those who sit at his table, call them a pack of
whingers. They wouldn't be sailing at all if it weren't for the wealthy
paying the bulk of the cost and doing most of the heavy lifting. The
Captain prides himself on not wasting money.




Despite the obvious mathematics of the numbers of passengers and the
numbers of lifeboats, he has not squandered money on too many lifeboats.
He has nevertheless ensured that there are enough life boats for the
important passengers.




It is a pitch-black moonless night. But those dancing inside are
having the time of their lives shimmering beneath dazzling chandeliers.
Except for the plebs in steerage of course. Hubris and a belief in the
superior capacity of humans to overcome nature is to be their undoing.
The ship is going full steam ahead – with coal-fired engines – as the
captain has ordered. The owner insists that they get to their
destination in record time, despite the warnings about ice flows.




They are on a course to catastrophe. How many will survive?



The disaster of the Titanic sinking is over a century old; but what has been learnt? Not much.





The warnings about human induced climate change have reached a
crescendo. The big melt is on. Huge sea level rises are now set in
train. IA reports
that the Western Antarctic glacier shelf melt is now believed to be
unstoppable. Can I repeat that in the way of Captain Abbott? The Western
Antarctic glacier shelf melt is now believed to be unstoppable! Can I be crystal clear? This ominous warning is based on NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States.




In climate science parlance it is a tipping point from which there can be no retreat.





 


The unknowns are how long will it take and how high the sea will
 rise? Estimates are four feet over next centuries. But don’t relax
about that. It’s not something we can fix over time. Coastal cities are
doomed to be inundated. But we have a captain who is doing less than
nothing to try to avert the full catastrophe.




Abbott is turning the clock back decades on climate action. He is
promoting fossil fuels and drowning renewable industries. (The fossil
fuel industry receives over $10 billion
in subsidies.) Tony Abbott is dismissing all warnings and worse than
that, he is ruthlessly undoing any mechanisms already in place to reduce
the rising emissions.






In fact, climate change may be the one thing he almost told the truth
about. He fought the election on the axing of the carbon tax and the
scrapping of the mining tax. These two measures had been heading in the
right direction, to reduce our carbon footprint. They were applauded
internationally.




Al Gore praised the Gillard Government’s carbon price as ‘inspirational.



Jeffrey Sachs US leading economist has also applauded the carbon tax on polluters.



The recent budget cuts have justifiably spawned protests and rage throughout Australia from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.



But in all this furore, something life shattering has escaped notice.
Yes it’s the planet again. Yawn. I mean who needs a planet when you
have an economy? But that concept is like the value of money on the
Titanic as it sank and is rendered of little worth. With a destroyed
environment there is no viable economy. Yet climate change barely rated a
mention in this budget. The Sydney Morning Herald reveals that




 ‘an analysis of the budget shows that climate change commitments are to be left to the eleventh hour’




When do we start to visibly sink?



But the onslaught of the 2014 budget has voters reeling like punch-drunk boxers in a ring.







Cartoon by John Graham



Thus, the assault on the environment has seemed to go unnoticed.



In quietly received announcements, we learned that renewable energy bodies are to fall under the axe. The following actions are part of Abbott’s war plan on our environment.



  1. Scrapping the carbon price and any progress towards an emissions trading scheme.
  2. No mining tax.
  3. ARENA the Australian Renewable
    Energy Agency is to be abolished. ARENA chairman, Greg Bourne, expressed
    anger at the decision in the budget to rip $1.3 billion out of the
    agency and reduce it to "a  branch of an agency in the Department of Industry with a ‘token amount’ of funds."
  4. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEFC which the coalition has vowed to scrap.
  5.  In addition, climate change denier ex Caltex Australia Chairman, Dick Warburton, has been placed in charge of reviewing the renewable energy targets.
  6. Abbott has all but dropped the pretense of Direct Action being a credible answer to climate change with its miserly puny laughable five per cent reduction target.
  7. The CSIRO climate research has also taken cuts in the budget.
  8. Paying polluters to not pollute with no penalties for pollution.
  9. No more than $3.2 million will be spent on Direct Action whether it actually achieves its target or not.
  10. Axing of the Australian Government’s environment ministers’ forum — after 41 years.
  11. Fast tracked environmental approvals to allow increase in mining in Galilee Basin.
  12. Abbot Point to become world’s biggest coal port. News Flash: Deutsche Bank has pulled out of funding due to environmental concerns.
  13. Dumping of three million cubic metres of dredging waste on barrier reef.
  14. Ditched marine parks management plan.
  15. Delisting sought of Tasmanian Forest World Heritage listing.


Environmental groups and activists are fighting back and with some
wins, but climate change has become the great-unnamed humungous elephant
in the room.




 Our planet, mother earth, our only home, supplier of all
infrastructure and life sustaining services, underpinning of all
economies, is facing life threatening danger! 






 


The conversation has been stymied, suppressed and distorted. It has been mocked and science has been denied.



Tony Abbott has at the same time hijacked the lexicon of the actual
emergency: global warming. He repeats the following, but in relation to
his false
(budget) emergency. Yes, it is the great challenge of our time. Doing
nothing and business as usual is not an option. The lives of our
children and grandchildren and the, as yet, unborn, depend on the decisions made today. World-renowned economist, Jeffrey Sachs, has noted the Abbott government’s obdurate recalcitrance regarding climate change action, saying




"It's amateur hour, at a time when we actually need something serious."




 Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State in the Showtime series 'Years of Living Dangerously’:



“We are the first generation to experience climate change and the last generation who can do anything about it.”




Our world and its future are in dire straits and we need to talk seriously about climate change now.



We can’t afford a leader at the helm who criminally denies this. 



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