The threat to climate defenders in Australia – report.

An interesting report on as the title says, how climate defenders are threatened by both government and fossil fuel corporations. Some would, and correctly, ask whether there’s any difference between the two. The executive branch of government, police, etc, get a lot of criticism in this report but as in any barrel of apples, there are always a few that would be best removed. All should remember the words of Peel, founder of the London MET, “The police are the public and the public the police.” In other words the police have no more power than any adult citizen, we the public delegate our duty of policing to professionals, and therefore we can remove our consent to be policed by these professional if it becomes clear they have ceased to act in the public interest. There are many historical examples of police forces which became oppressors of the public, and all went down with the interests they served.

In any case, the only difference between climate change and a massive chunk of space rock hurtling towards Earth, is that in the case of climate change the extinction event will in human terms, be slow and extremely painful compared to the impact of an asteroid which would eliminate all life in a matter of days. In that we have a few problems, the first being the urgency to act is not obvious to the average citizen, and the other is that there will be a relatively short period of time during which human inhabitants of the planet will realise they are all going to die a painful and slow death, and will seek to punish those they hold responsible. That period could be say a century or less of civil unrest, maybe a world war as nations with powerful military forces will seek to save their people and by any means. How? By taking control of areas closer to the poles and replacing existing populations with their own. I would remind everyone of the proposed neutron bomb which was a weapon developed to stop the invasion of western Europe by the Soviets, but without damaging the pretty German countryside. It works by killing the crews of the then expected 100 thousand Soviet tanks pouring over the Iron Curtain, but without damaging anything that does not get around with its back to the Sun.

Whatever, all predictions are frightening and a group of retired French generals recently warned of the possibility of civil war with millions of Middle Eastern migrants fleeing regions that will – not ‘maybe’ or ‘it is possible’ – become uninhabitable with summer temperatures reaching to above 60 degrees Celsius. Those populations would have no choice, and anyone with the responsibility of caring for children would seek a place where life remains possible, and if the locals don’t let you in, then of course you would fight because the life of your children is always not negotiable.

It doesn’t need to get to this type of horror scenario: we know what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what needs to be done.

Download the report ‘Global Warming: The Threat to Climate Defenders in Australia.’

Professsor William Rees on why we fail to act on the climate crisis.

It’s a mystery, climate inaction, and I came a long while ago to the conclusion that the problem is not evil politicians and their puppet masters the ‘captains of industry’. The problem is that homo sapiens were evolved to survive in what thousands of years ago, appeared as a boundless environment upon which human activity could only have limited impact, if any at all. Unfortunately it’s hard wired in our DNA. Rees has a somewhat different take on this but in practice it amounts to the same thing; humans in their present state, are the problem.

Universe and flying underpants around the place.

Stuck in Sydney for a while longer. Hopefully not too long, but the extra bucks working in a warehouse will come in handy when I do hit the road. It’s actually interesting experiencing the work conditions of a contemporary low-skilled worker, and reflecting on efforts to ‘save the planet’ when a pair of cheap underpants can be delivered overnight to the other side of the continent. It surprises me none of these things have been discussed in the ‘mainstream media’; they must be pro-business, or big users of e-commerce themselves. Not saying it’s all bad but maybe a carbon tax would make the cost of flying single pairs of underpants thousands of kilometres better reflect the damage done to the planet’s life-support system. Short of people asking themselves whether they really need the pair of underpants displayed on their computer screen rather than those on the shelves of a local store.

Saving the planet’s life support. As I’ve written before, it’s not the planet we need to save but ourselves, and all other sentient life that call it home. The planet has been through five great extinction events, and logically could recover from the unfolding sixth. Just that there’s the issue that for humans to emerge and become the dominant species, an incredible list of ‘coincidences’ had to occur, including the size and distance of the planet from the Sun, which itself had to be a certain age and size, the fact Earth was hit by a Mars-size chunk of rock that resulted in the formation of the Moon which keeps the Earth tilted at 23.5 degrees plus or minus a degree, and therefore we have four seasons. For us to become dominant the dinosaurs had to be eliminated, again no problem, another big chunk of rock did the deed 64 million years ago. The list of things that had to happen so we exist would fill all volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s inexplicable and out of fear of having to admit our knowledge is limited, a multiverse was suggested as the answer; that being an infinite number of Universes with random laws and we just happen to be in the one where things came together and life appeared. Trouble with that is that this ‘multiverse’ must have a single set of laws, or is there an infinite number of multiverses?

How did randomness lead to a being that can look back and reflect on the Universe? More randomness known as evolution, a theory held as religious dogma by those who fear not being ‘as God’ themselves, complete freedom to do whatever and with no responsibility nor consequences. I would suggest they actually read Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ and without skipping the introduction.

The physical Universe, as we can observe, may well have started with a big explosion. It’s the best theory we have and works in well with what we know thus far. It could be though, that consciousness also had a ‘Big Bang’ origin once the physical was ready for it to emerge, and the point in the Universe where it happened we call planet Earth.

Again those who fear even a little discomfort and personal responsibility, would say there has to be other life out there somewhere, that we just haven’t found it yet, and will keep sending ‘Hello’ messages into outer space. Maybe there is and that would be very nice if the Universe is as full of life as is our little planet, but we haven’t any proof whatsoever that is the case. We are therefore duty bound to assume our planet is unique, and act accordingly.

Also, things appear and disappear here and the reason for that is I struggle to remain engaged when my reality is an existence as beyond the fringes of the human community as is possible without sitting in a deserted place waiting to die. Not complaining about it, and I’m sure I’m not alone, but it is a situation that feels untenable for any length of time. I do believe we, all humans, have a responsibility to participate as best we can and with all we received as personal abilities and the accumulation of life experience and learning, but for some of us, meeting that responsibility has been made as difficult as is possible. Is it our loss?

It has been said that the greatest damage a person can do to the human community is to deliberately withhold all they had to contribute, and that I believe is true. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, whatever your IQ might be, whether you are a manual labourer or the person who makes a great discovery, whether you are a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person – an enlightened person will know they are both – everyone has a place in a Universe because they are all the Universe is. That’s getting a bit Zen and Christian mysticism, basically, if feeling a bit useless and alone, do hang in there because survival is a victory in itself. Someone said the greatest of all dissenting words can be, “I’m not leaving.” Don’t know who it was but think Julian Assange who called a rapist of Swedish virgins, a friend of terrorists, a danger to democratic government, is not dead. Despite all efforts to break him and all of which have failed – his heart still beats.

“When life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live.”