Monday, 24 August 2009

Is support for reduced emissions a dying breed of thought?

In this recent article for the Ballarat Courier, some extremely sensible suggestions are made that Australia should really try do much more.

When one considers:
  1. Australia is the country that on relatively elementary ecological grounds should have the lowest per capita emissions in the world
  2. Australia actually has the highest per capita emissions in the world
  3. There is little political pressure abroad to change this because the economic costs of sanctions would be intolerable for the selfish and materialistic cultures of modern Europe
then what the Courier is saying is very reasonable and it seems as though they are actually trying to plan something for the future of Australia and, in their own words,
write down their “hopes and fears” under a changing climate
The problem is that the newspaper points out that
  • as many as ninety-seven out of one hundred and seventy-seven people involved were over fifty-five
  • only thirty of the people involved were born after 1980
What this suggests is that support for a carbon-free economy that Australia should have been obliged to achieve as the single first step in dealing with the global warming crisis is likely to evaporate as most children are born in areas far from public transport and where moving into solar research is simply an unlikely option with good-paying jobs available at much less cost in education fees.

Such trends could well lead to an Australia with policies more pro-freeway and more pro-fossil fuel than ever at a time when the rest of the world has moved to completely renewable energy systems, especially if funding of public transport declines. As Europe, Asia and even the Americas shift to renewables, Australia is likely to gain monopsony access to the last oil reserves, which would further encourage fuel prices deeper into the Mariana Trench and increase global warming.

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