Sydney rain and public stupidity.

Experiencing flooding in New South Wales and again media and right wing politicians are talking about a ‘one in one hundred year event’. I mean like – seriously? I think I can remember more than a few similar flooding events in New South Wales in the past 30 years or so. Once in a hundred years is like saying this won’t happen again for another one hundred years which is utter garbage; it could based on climate science happen again in a few years, dozen years or maybe next year or will we next year be experiencing another ‘once in one hundred year’ bushfire season – just like the one we had last year? Someone should call on these clowns, politicians and media, to explain how the hell they can straight-faced tell fibs as they do. Or is it the ‘public’ that is brain-dead stupid? The other day I was chatting in the street with a guy who told me half-a-dozen times in the space of five minutes he is a ‘fine artist’ and that the Earth is flat, climate change is hysteria sponsored by American billionaires, that the sun and moon are inside the Earth’s atmosphere, that landings on the Moon and Mars are Hollywood animations, and the scariest part of all that is that this individual has the right to vote. He is not Robinson Crusoe stranded on Stupid Island; eighty percent of evangelicals in the United States would probably agree adding that God – the bearded one who sits in the clouds on a big chair – makes up the weather each day. Imagine that for a moment – God sitting at his weather-control console selecting ‘Sydney’ and then pushing the ‘heavy rain’ button on the drop-down menu. Why? No reason given, but one can assume the happy-clappers would say it has something to do with the gay Mardi Gras. “Cop this perverts!” Says the good lord. Don’t laugh – the local Anglican bishop (Jenkins at the time?) said the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was God showing the sinful West what could lie ahead if it does not turn away from sin. A warning and pity about the 100 thousand or so brown people killed, but they as non-whites, not black either, and neither Christian nor Muslim or Lesbian, matter less.

Probably the biggest problem with democracy is that the problems we face are beyond the understanding of birdbrain politicians, media persons, and most of the general public. For sure science is not a popular subject in schools these days, and in Australia it was found 90 percent of the population are functionally illiterate, meaning unable to understand a complex text on a subject with which they are unfamiliar. Can read the sports page and short articles about perverts, sex scandals are popular, but Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, Polar Vortex, and God forbid anything as evil sounding as ‘Ice Albedo Feedback’ – phew.

I’m no genius, second last in class when I packed up and went off to take up a full-time career as a street kid, but I self-educated and eventually got a bullshit degree, still read a lot and trust those with PhD’s who work for reputable institutions such as the European Space Agency, NASA, various universities, etc that they know what they’re talking about and all say the same thing – act now or it’s time-up for life on this planet. Unfortunately here in Australia people, and especially in rural areas, are more likely to listen to a half-baked accountant trying to save his political arse by spreading disinformation at the local pub.

“Given the momentum in both the Earth and human systems, and the growing difference between the ‘reaction time’ needed to steer humanity towards a more sustainable future, and the ‘intervention time’ left to avert a range of catastrophes in both the physical climate system (e.g., melting of Arctic sea ice) and the biosphere (e.g., loss of the Great Barrier Reef), we are already deep into the trajectory towards collapse,” said Steffen.

“That is, the intervention time we have left has, in many cases, shrunk to levels that are shorter than the time it would take to transition to a more sustainable system.

“The fact that many of the features of the Earth System that are being damaged or lost constitute ‘tipping points’ that could well link to form a ‘tipping cascade’ raises the ultimate question: Have we already lost control of the system? Is collapse now inevitable?”

Professor Will Steffen, Australian National University, in an interview with Voice of Action.