Sunday, February 24, 2008

Garnaut report....

Sometimes I think I am going mad... not just angry, not just confused... but truly insane. It's OK I'm taking steps to remedy this problem but my efforts are constantly hampered by living in an insane society. I'm sure you can see why it is so difficult for an individual such as myself to find equilibrium when there is no sane standard I can find in my own society.

Just when I think I'm doing OK and can happily live in the world as it is I am reminded of just how bloody inconsistent our collective consciousness is. For example I work in an educational institution that claims to be at the forefront of indigenous knowledge systems yet I can find precious little evidence of this in our library. We also claim to be at the cutting edge of environmental sciences yet there is no evidence that any of this knowledge is transmitted to university policy or function.
An example is the weeds management unit I studied as part of my Lands Parks and Wildlife studies a few years ago. Every year teams of students study tropical weeds and how they can be treated and eradicated yet, as far as I know, not one group has addressed the enormous weed problem on campus! Our university contains a few areas of native habitat that back on to parkland. The universities land is heavily infested with the most invasive of weeds yet we have done nothing to prevent this! Meanwhile our academics write papers on environmental issues they even recommend actions that may solve the problems of our times but it all seems to amount to no more than academic theory! Rarely would our own institution attempt to put it's own expert advice into practice. Having recently read our environment policy I am saddened and appalled that we can make such grand claims while our own policy doesn't reflect in any way what we are claiming.

The theory that human beings are influencing Global Warming, the effects of global warming threaten to disrupt the systems we rely on for our social, economic, and environmental stability. We are facing very uncertain times and potential catastrophe. What will 'WE' do about it?

On the Thursday 21st February The 7:30 Report ran a story titled 'Garnaut issues climate change wake-up call', in which, Federal government appointed economist Ross Garnaut claimed that Australia will be severely impacted by the effects of climate change and that drastic measures are needed to halt the warming process. In short he recommended a 90% reduction in emissions from year 2000 levels!
I believe that the 60% reduction our government has already suggested will require major alterations to the way we live, but 90% is unimaginable! So why, If the writing is on the wall, aren't we acting right now? Surely if the projected outcomes of climate change were the potential result of an enemy attack on our nation, the whole of the countries resources would be willingly spent on defense! All our efforts, scientific knowledge, resources and time would be devoted to the prevention of such a catastrophe. What are our institutions, our governments, ourselves doing right now to ease this terrible burden we have put on all future generations?

Have I lost the plot again? Is this not really happening? As I continued to watch the 7:30 report, the following story was a direct contrast to the message given about Global Warming. The next story was about Australia's dwindling supply of oil and how we must search farther and farther afield to find new reserves... It was an optimistic story about the technology we are using and the possibility of stretching Australian borders so we can claim more of the world's oil and reduce our imports... Am I missing something here? Isn't it the burning of fossil fuels that is threatening our very existence? Shouldn't we be scouring the planet for new ideas on how to live in a changing world? Shouldn't we be focusing all our attention on redesigning our infrastructure and lives to function without relying on fossil fuels? Have I gone completely mad???

Last week was a weird one for me... Maybe having a head cold hasn't helped my ability to think rationally or laterally. Maybe I snapped after receiving those emails....

Oh yes the emails!
I think it was last week when I received the same forwarded email, one from a friend and the other from a family member. The email was put out by a group of people who are so incensed by the price of fuel, that they are calling on all car drivers to boycott petrol stations on a particular day! They claim this would through the petroleum companies into a state of panic and force them to reduce the cost of fuel at the bowser. (I believe here in Australia we have close to the cheapest fuel of any country in the world).
So amid all the injustices, all the issues that are actually worth fighting for it seems Australians are most concerned about how much they have to pay for petrol! I can't f--ing believe it! We are given clear and undeniable evidence that burning fossil fuels is a major cause of global warming but we protest the right to continue to do this at bargain basement prices!

Maybe I should just give in now and have myself committed!

1 comment:

Theresa said...

Life in an asylum would probably be more comfortable without any news of the stupidity of society coming in to bug you!

Australia has the second cheapest fuel prices in the world, second only to the US--the two countries that whinge the most about how expensive it is. My partner and I have regular tirades about how there should be climate tax on things like big vehicles, petrol, etc. Maybe, just maybe, that would encourage people to develop new technology for solar and wind power, rather than searching the ends of the earth for oil.