Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Climate change is real; unicorns are not - could someone tell the Australians?

(Photos: Greenpeace, Dr Kumi Naidoo)

Here in Australia for only a week, Dr Kumi Naidoo (Greenpeace International's ED) has undertaken an intensive schedule in a bid to warn Australians of the perils of our continued 'ostrich' behaviour.

We can no longer pretend the planet isn't in crisis, and to continue to do so will only jeopardise our own economic future, let alone our children's future - FULL STOP. The further we drop behind the other nations the more difficult it will be to catch up again. This is stuff we all know but embarrassingly we, in Australia, carry on as though 'not-facing-the-problem' might make it go away - why are we so infantile?

As Kumi noted in his 'Breakfast with Fran Kelly' interview, addressing climate change is now the new race - 'the arms and the space races are over' (thank whoever we all thank!), and the important one now will be the race concentrating on who can 'develop competence, technology, & expertise' to combat this man-made looming catastrophe in order to 'dominate in the emerging green economy.'

Equity cannot prevail when such a 'disproportionate amount of influence is exercised by the oil, gas and coal industries over politicians.' Neither can equity prevail when these industries are inexplicably given carte blanche in terms of favourable media opportunites.

How can the rest of us compete with their splashing around of 'silly' money to secure the very best lobbyists & advocates for their catastrophic projects?...& do we really comprehend that these reluctant 'climate changelings' have completely 'polluted & contaminated the global debate?'

Kumi is here in Australia to ask us a tough question:

$$$ Does Australia want a democracy where particular sectors of industry exercise a level of influence over our politicians that serves industry but not the common man, woman or child?

The world wants our answer today... will get it next Sunday


  1. I wonder if you have seen Dick Smith's recently published book "Population Crisis: The dangers of unsustainable growth in Australia". Excellent.

  2. Kumi spoke eloquently on this issue at the Lowy Institute today, and he warns against looking at population figures and attempting to create instant 'shoot-from-the-hip' solutions - he reminded us that 1 person in the west has the carbon footprint of at least 50 from the continent of Africa (for example)

  3. "...1 person in the west has the carbon footprint of at least 50 from the continent of Africa"

    I've been using this argument for years with people I know who have many children as 'they're outbreeding us in Africa'. I point out that unless the sub-Saharan Africans are outbreeding us by 50:1 we have no argument at all. The fact is that they're not and that we need to not only slow our population growth (it should really reduce slowly) but we need to kerb our per-capita consumption.

    It will happen one of two ways: slowly and controlled or abruptly and destructively. Politicians don't understand that these are the only choices... they keep clinging to the notion that we can keep growing. Fools...

  4. right, Paul, we in the west definitely need to stop consuming but our leaders have no desire to do this because basically our leaders are the Big Corporations and their acolytes (our politicians) can only bleat 'how high?' when asked to jump