Thursday, 14 May 2009

Thirty years too late - I'm serious

News of some protest against the government’s totally unsustainable climate policies ought to be some relief: it has been clear to me for several years that, despite what many political ideologues like to believe, a country’s emissions record really reflects its culture’s willingness to resist corporate power.

The virtually pacifist tone of mainstream Australian culture really is closely linked with its exceptionally poor emissions record. People who should be fighting to ensure that all money currently spent building roads to pay for:
  1. a carbon-free transport system with one-minute public transit across all cities
  2. high-speed intercity trains which are more economical than air transport
  3. restriction of motorised road transport to short-haul freight and emergency vehicles
  4. houses so efficient that no electricity baseload is needed
actually do nothing to end wastage of public and private money on projects that ensure Australia has continued and will continue to have the highest per-capita emissions in the world. Whilst I have emphasised the wrong strategy is being taken against Australia by those concerned abroad, there is still some need for mass protest to take resources from corporate polluters and create an economy where the incentive to conserve that prevails strongly abroad is extended to Australia.
The fact that the protests are concentrated in the place Michael Woolridge said is the stronghold of the Europe-like "policy culture" is despairing. It suggests firmly that the outer suburbs where demographics remains healthy are becoming more and more passive and pacifistic in face of a climate that within a few years will be as arid as Coober Pedy has historically been. They actually ignore the politicians as if they were greenhouse sceptics, though there is some suggestion in opinion polls that the situation really isn't quite that bad.

Still, protests that should have began in earnest to demand transfer of every single cent of transport investment to rail when the dreadful Lonie Report was made still do not appear forthcoming and it seems likely that Australia will be so different a place when - if ever - they are.

It is far more likely that as the self-centredness, greed and resultant demographic decline in Europe and East Asia will encourage Australia to take on less and less sustainable policies that will nonetheless make it a power through retaining policies that allow for the existence of a feeling-oriented "community culture" that can avoid demographically destroying itself - something already practically unique to Australia.

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