Bookmarked Global Apathy Toward the Fires in Australia Is a Scary Portent for the Future by an author (Intelligencer)

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.

David Wallace-Wells discusses the lack of global outcry at the current bush fire crisis in Australia which has been unfolding for months. He suggests that the biggest challenge we face is working together globally.
Listened Deputy PM slams ‘raving inner city lunatics’ for bushfire climate link from ABC Radio National

Michael McCormack said people in disaster areas “don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time”.

Hamish Macdonald challenges Michael McCormack on the connections between the current crisis and global warming. McCormack argues that it is not the right time for such discussions that are being driven by Greenie lunatics, instead we should be focusing on supporting people. The question that comes up again and again, if not now when?

Here is a link to the audio:

Replied to I’m sick of the same circular climate change discussion. This is what I’m doing instead (ABC News)

There’s nothing stopping me aiming to cut my own emissions by the recommended 45 per cent. But have I tried? No. Far easier to wait for an agreed, society-wide consensus.

That’s when it hit me: we can’t bemoan passive self interest at a global level while practising the exact same approach in our own lives. Succumbing to the lure of disempowerment is what has cost us most dearly in the response to climate change. That is what I would go back in time to warn people.

Conal Hanna, although I do not necessarily agree with Martin Lukacs that individual change is a bit of a con, I wonder if it is a useful narrative strategy for getting people to actually think about the problem?
Replied to Mallacoota residents and holidaymakers describe ‘apocalypse’ as Victorian bushfire approaches – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
I remember standing on a beach in Rye twenty years ago wondering if y2k would cause havoc. It seems like nothing compared to what is being faced this year. All I can say is stay safe everyone.
Bookmarked If we each spent $200 to help prevent climate change, here’s how we could transform Australia (ABC News)

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.

Responding to the findings of the Australia Talks National Survey, Nick Kilvert and the team at the ABC speak with a number of specialists to identify what they would do now in response to the climate debate. Some of the suggestions provided include investing in research, subsidising electric vehicles and installing solar panels.
Bookmarked ‘What could I have done?’ The scientist who predicted the bushfire emergency four decades ago (the Guardian)

Dr Tom Beer’s pioneering 1980s research into bushfires and climate change has, to his dismay, proved all too accurate

Graham Readfearn discusses Tom Beer’s research with CSIRO in the 80’s and 90’s exploring the impact of global warming on bushfires after the Ash Wednesday Bushfires of 1983.

“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.

Liked The glacier melt series 1999/2019

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.’

Watched Not Today – the television program which tackles the big questions, but not today | 7.30 from YouTube

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.

Mark Humphries’ responds to Scott Morrison’s unwillingness to get involved in any sort of discussion around the current bushfire disaster grappling Australia with a satire of the Today Show. I especially liked the question cancelling headphones from Denial Direct.

Pat Campbell has added his perspective:

The right time to discuss Climate Impact

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:


Liked Climate crisis stories must be human centered by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

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.

Liked Facing unbearable heat, Qatar has begun to air-condition the outdoors (Washington Post)

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.

via Clive Thompson

Bookmarked 90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers (World Economic Forum)

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.

Alex Gray explains that there are two common factors which lead a river to be a leader in plastic pollutants: a generally high population living in the surrounding region and a less than ideal waste management process.
Liked Naomi Klein’s Advice for the Next Generation of Climate Activists (Literary Hub)

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.

A speech given in 2015 published in On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein
Bookmarked Do plastic bag taxes or bans curb waste? 400 cities and states tried it out. (Vox)

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.”

Matthew Zeitlin compares the different approaches used in US to curb the use of plastic. In regards to changing habits, it has been found that taxes work more effectively. This is something touched upon by the RN Future Tense podcast.