These fires are just one disaster, of course, and the planet has many test cases like it ahead. But it would be among the most perverse grotesqueries of climate change if it brought about the end of these kinds of global prejudices — not to be replaced with a sense of common humanity but a system of disinterest defined instead by ever smaller circles of empathy.
Michael McCormack said people in disaster areas “don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time”.
Here is a link to the audio:
On average, Australians are willing to chip in an extra $200 a year to prevent climate change. It turns out that money could go a long way.
Dr Tom Beer’s pioneering 1980s research into bushfires and climate change has, to his dismay, proved all too accurate
“It seems obvious, but actually we found the correlation was not temperature and fires, but relative humidity and fires. Temperature goes up, it gets drier, and then the fires go up,” says Beer.
In 1999 I travelled to Iceland to document a number of the country’s glaciers from the air. Back then, I thought of the glaciers as beyond human influence. They were awe-inspiring and exhilaratingly beautiful. They seemed immobile, eternal. I was struck at the time by the difference between the human scale and the scale of geo-history. For me a glacier or a rock seem solid, but on the geological scale, rocks and glaciers are constantly in motion.
This summer, twenty years later, I went back to photograph the same glaciers from the same angle and at the same distance. Flying over the glaciers again, I was shocked to see the difference. Of course, I know that global heating means melting ice and I expected the glaciers to have changed, but I simply could not imagine the extent of change. All have shrunk considerably and some are even difficult to find again. Clearly this should not be the case, since glacial ice does not melt and reform each year, like sea ice. Once a glacier melts, it is gone. Forever. It was only in seeing the difference between then and now – a mere twenty years later – that I came to fully understand what is happening. The photos make the consequences of human actions on the environment vividly real. They make the consequences felt.
This August, I joined a group of people to commemorate the passing of Okjökull, the first glacier in Iceland to vanish entirely as a result of human activity. It was a humbling experience. A plaque laid at the site bears an inscription, drafted by the Icelandic writer Andri Snær Magnason, that poses a question to future generations: ‘We know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.’
Science and climate will make disaster experts of us all.
During this week’s bushfire crisis, many politicians were hesitant to answer questions from journalists about climate change. But now thanks to satirist Mark Humphries and his co-writer Evan Williams, there’s a new program more willing to accommodate their unwillingness to address the issue.
Pat Campbell has added his perspective:
While Katherine Murphy explains that Morrison’s avoidance is because of the current governments record is one of unmitigated shame and failure.
With Morrison’s silence, Harold Holt, the prime minister who went missing, has started trending again:
Where’s Scott? Is he under the desk? Noooo. Is he under the pews? Noooooo. Is he listening to the fire chiefs? Nooooo. Is he listening to the scientists? Noooooooo. Is he under the bed? Nooooo. Oh! There he is! At the beach! Oops. No. That’s Harold Holt. Silly Scott #HaroldHolt pic.twitter.com/lRPld2Buiy
— GendaGirl (@tinagirl4579) November 15, 2019
We live in a consumerist society where everything is presented in terms of products. So, let’s talk products. Tim Burton’s Batman was released 30 years ago. So was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And, yes, Star Trek: The Next Generation is thirty-two years old. In less time than that, it could all be over.
The IPCC has been criticized for being “too alarmist. If anything, it is the opposite. With their latest report, they have been overly conservative.”
To survive the summer heat, Qatar not only air-conditions its soccer stadiums, but also the outdoors — in markets, along sidewalks, even at outdoor malls so people can window shop with a cool breeze. “If you turn off air conditioners, it will be unbearable. You cannot function effectively,” says Yousef al-Horr, founder of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development.
Eight of them are in Asia: the Yangtze; Indus; Yellow; Hai He; Ganges; Pearl; Amur; Mekong; and two in Africa – the Nile and the Niger.
The hard truth is that the answer to the question “What can I, as an individual, do to stop climate change?” is: nothing. You can’t do anything. In fact, the very idea that we, as atomized individuals, even lots of atomized individuals, could play a significant part in stabilizing the planet’s climate system or changing the global economy is objectively nuts. We can only meet this tremendous challenge together, as part of a massive and organized global movement.
According to Homonoff’s research in both Chicago and Montgomery County, Maryland, “very small financial incentives can lead to big behavioral change,” she said. The fact that small fees, 5 or 7 cents, can lead to a big reduction in disposable bag use suggests that a sizable portion of the population is perfectly happy to use a reusable bag or not use a bag at all, and need just the smallest push to get there. Homonoff said that in her surveys, people would tell her, “I have a reusable bag in my car. Now I bring it into the store and actually use it.”