Carbon conundrums and claptrap

Australia is constipated over carbon - the carbon dioxide emissions kind. The methane kind. The stuff that exists in coal, oil, and gas - each made from fossils. Each locked up in the ground, sometimes very deep, and locked up under the oceans and Arctic and Antarctic ice caps. 

Nature locked these fossilised minerals away for a reason, so that life could evolve in a diverse way, and so that humans could evolve to live on a planet that allowed them to thrive.

200 years ago the genie was let out of the bottle. Fossil minerals (fuels as they became to be known) changed life forever on the planet. They spawned the Industrial Revolution, provided cheap power, gave rise to the motor car, made possible the invention of plastics. The list is huge. 

But once these fossils were released from their earthly chambers, there was (and is) no turning back. 

Today, all around the world, every national economy is reliant on fossil minerals. It is incredible how much these fossils dominate the lives of the living! How much they dominate the very existence of nation states

These fossils, long dead, are now dominating how the planet functions, and how every living thing plays out its life.

But let's stop there … and turn our attention to what's happening in our own country.

Why Australia is constipated

Australia is in a bind of its own making. It has created an argument of polarised positions, entrenched attitudes, ill-informed statements, selfishness, and hypocrisy.

So, what the heck am I saying? 

Isn't it about time we all got educated on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on planet Earth? This is not a recent issue. It has been debated and discussed for more than 60 years in the public domain, and for more than 100 years when it was first recognised as a potential issue for the planet.

So, what has gone wrong that has polarised this nation of ours so much, that decisions on essential action and behaviour change are so far away that they look like they'll never become a reality. Here's what I think.

  • Our politicians are poorly educated on the big issues around the big C - the carbon in the molecule of those fossil minerals - so that instead of the insipid and destructive arguments that the public is constantly being bombarded with from all sides of the political spectrum, it should be given the facts as science knows them. Facts about the known effects on the wider environment, on humanity, and on the future; facts about Australia's actual carbon account, and the best courses of action that are necessary to avert the inevitability of "climate change"; and facts about what other countries are doing right now in their quests to limit the predicted conseuqences of escalting greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Our politicians need to get serious and honest with not only themselves but also the very people they represent. It is not all about the economy, it is all about whether humanity can actually survive in the next century or so. I'll tease this one out in another article.

  • The public needs to be educated, because from how I see it, there is a huge and growing antipathy and malaise towards a basic understanding of the global effects of everything humans are doing. There is a worrying simplicity in the opinions expressed by the general public. When questions like - "Do you think climate change is real?" - are posed, the result is merely glib answers that pull against each other. Entrenched positions. Ignorance. Stupid question.

  • The scientific community, the general media, informed individuals, governments of all persuasions and all levels, the business community, all need to take responsibility to articulate the truth about fossil minerals. Why is it that every nation on Earth that has fossil minerals, does everything in its power to pull them out of the ground - only to emit more pollution into the atmosphere? That same pollution is changing the way Earth's oceans and climate are functioning. 

This is the greatest conundrum of all. Why? Why are humans so locked into fossil fuels that they can hardly see a way out and choose not to see another way?

Time is short. But who really cares?

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