Thursday, 12 November 2009

Koalas dying out, but no hard solution

According to this article, oddly published by a newspaper in Iran, koala numbers have fallen by as much as fifty percent since 2003. The article calls for their listing as an endangered species.

Whilst the article admits climate change is the problem, it simply fails to deal with discussion of how Australia must be at the very least punished by a total ban on trade unless its greenhouse emissions are reduced to a respectable level of around one percent the per capita world average. Alternatively, given Iran's oil resources, it could consider whether it is fair, owing to the high climate sensitivity of Australia's water resources and its unique flora and fauna, that oil be sold to Australia at greatly higher prices than it is to Europe or North America or New Zealand.

Nor does it discuss – a little strangely given Iran has itself had to deal with sanctions –- whether Australia's appalling greenhouse emissions justify something like trade sanctions (they certainly do). Nor does it consider that the majority of Australians have much less incentive to preserve koalas than Europeans or North Americans do to preserve their own “iconic” species.

Nor does it discuss how paleoclimate data collected no later than 2004 show that even Tasmania will be within the descending limb of the Hadley circulation as soon as 2020 under present climate trends, so that even the dry schlerophyll forests in which koalas live will die out.

In such a scene of ignorance, the koala will go extinct. What Tim Flannery showed in The Future Eaters about how koalas are adopted to a food source that is reasonably typical of most plants in the three hundred and thirty million years since the land first became vegetated will be lost forever if they die out. This is vital knowledge that we must fight the corporate polluters for the zero-emissions Australia that should have been the first thing demanded by any climate change conference.

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