In Australia, we will lose the Barrier Reef and the Kakadu wetlands, the Murray River will dry up completely and snow vanish from our Alpine regions. Sea level could rise precipitously as the great ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic melt.
On the economic front, things have actually gone from bad to worse. The sub-prime crisis has morphed into fears of a global recession, perhaps even a depression. Bastions of United States capitalism such as General Motors now teeter on the brink of bankruptcy. Here in Australia, companies that run child-care centres and shopping malls are collapsing. Even our iron ore shipments are now being cancelled by China. The world price of oil has plummeted 60 percent in just a few months – the reason is an anticipated reduction in global demand.
So, why isn’t all the bad economic news openly embraced as positive news by those that advocate we urgently cut carbon dioxide emissions. Surely, if solutions to global warming are so pressing, the best thing that could possibly happen is a recession if not a depression?
It is very confusing to me that the Federal government is so determined to maintain domestic growth above 2 percent, on the one hand, while at the same time telling us we are ruining the planet with our emissions. The reality is that you cannot have it both ways. Economic activity and emissions are related.
John Abbot lives in Noosa, Australia.
[Photograph taken at dusk on November 1, 2008, by Jennifer Marohasy from the Mantra Hotel, Southbank, Melbourne, Australia. ]