This post highlights the new Greenpeace report of the same name. A worthy document giving a comprehensive account of the dangers to our way of life from known planned expansions of the fossil fuel industry through increased CO2 emissions by 2020. Just seven short years away.
How old will you be in 2020?
While the report is quite comprehensive, well written, well presented and carries an important message, it, like many such documents that aspire to a level of academic authenticity (which it has), is lengthy, hard to read and digest for the average person in spite of the excellent illustrations. I am not sure who the intended audience is meant to be but I doubt if many, even interested people like myself, will get around to reading it thoroughly.
The chart below, extracted from the report, illustrates the situation quite simply. It is, if anything, a conservative view of where we are now and the possible future effects.
As an Australian citizen I am ashamed and saddened to find from this report that my country will by 2025 be second only to China in responsibility for the increase in amount of CO2 emitted worldwide. You will need to open the report to see relevant visuals but here is a revealing quote:
“Australia: by 2025, coal exports would increase to 408 million tonnes a year above 2011 levels, pushing associated CO2 emissions up by 1,200 million tonnes a year once the coal is burned. By then, the CO2 emissions caused by Australian coal exports would be three times as large as the emissions from Australia’s entire domestic energy use.”
So much for the Australian Government’s fabled stance on Climate Change. So much for the vaunted Carbon Tax. Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.
Apart from saddening me that this action is being done in my name, though without my consent or approval, it does not change my view of things generally. I am also aware of what the alternative is for my country if we stop exporting coal. It is a good, grand and glorious alternative. To use their own words, the government focus would have to shift from ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs’ to perhaps ‘People, People, People’ which is what democracy was always meant to be about, is it not?.
Forget jobs. Jobs are passé. We don’t (or won’t) need jobs. Jobs are only needed to sustain the current Global, National and Personal economy. Jobs are there to occupy the people so that they don’t think too much but continue to buy stuff, to hold debt, to consume and be entertained, in order for the government to have a raison d’être and the means to sustain the current system of power. The problem with that is that if the current economy continues the way it is going, there will soon be no economy, and therefore no jobs. I repeat, jobs are passé.
People need a sense of purpose, not jobs.
There is no greater sense of purpose than staying alive, living, breathing deeply, experiencing and interacting with the beautiful and terrifying world of nature, being responsible for your own well-being and nurture. Oh, of course, and caring for others, the world around you and sharing.
Please note: This has nothing to do with jet-skiing, sky-diving, partying, holidaying, accumulating riches or property, entertaining or being entertained. That, is not living.
I wonder how many people who claim to support action on climate change, quite realise that the logical extension of what they desire to achieve in this regard will result in far-reaching effects in the way that they live ie. that they will have to give up most if not all the ‘perks’ of modern living. Their nice house, their car(s), their iphone, travel, holidays, entertainment (by others), shopping (except by barter), packaged or frozen food, dining out, etc., etc.
Either way, voluntarily or by force of circumstance, that is what is going to be the situation going forward. Climate action or no climate action. Government policy or no government policy. Climate, Resource Limits or Our Own Fiscal Folly; These are the Game Changers and one or all of them are about to change the game.
So where does that leave us? I have accepted that no genuine attempt is going be made by humanity to alter the trajectory of human industrial and commercial progress. I also accept that no amount of huffing and puffing by activists and environmental groups or the publishing of beautifully presented reports like ‘Point of No Return’, however true and virtuous their content, will be allowed to affect the eventual outcome. Take any metaphor you like:
The brick wall is looming and we will drive straight into it.
The cliff is approaching and we will rush headlong over it.
Que Sera Sera.