In Australia, political expediency has undermined attempts to stop global warming

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Galilee Basin

The Australian authorities have consistently argued that their feral cats destroy far too many native wild animal and so they have embarked on the mass slaughter of feral cats by any means possible, no matter how cruel. This is well documented.

Galilee Basin
Galilee Basin

However, they are being highly hypocritical because those same authorities, the politicians, the elite, have decided for political reasons i.e. to remain in power, to mine for coal from 105,000 mi.² of coal-rich outback land known as the Galilee Basin.

… if all of the Galilee Basin coal was burned, an estimated 705 million tonnes of CO2 would be released each year…There is 27 billion tons of coal in the area..

Pinterest and The Times

In making this decision Australia has undermined attempts to keep the increase in global warming under 2°C. For the sake of political expediency they have put back attempts to prevent global warming. Therefore, not only are they damaging the health and welfare of humans in the long term, they’re also affecting all wild species on the planet. This is our relationship with animals: the gradual destruction of the planet due to short-term political thinking and the desire for economic growth and the preservation of jobs.

Of course jobs need to be preserved but if the world was better organised governments would work together and we could have as an objective stability in terms of the economies of countries rather than constant growth which requires a constantly increasing workforce with the incumbent damage to wildlife habitat that that brings.

What happened in this instance was that the Labour Party panicked because they feared a wipeout in state elections next year amid a rise in pro-coal workers and a rebellion against its plans to halve Australia’s carbon emissions.

They were chasing votes and this change of heart has been taken as representing a victory for the workers of Australia, the armies of mineworkers in high visibility shirts. Australia is the world’s biggest coal exporter. They intend to export their coal to India to service their coal-fired power stations.

This brings us nicely to India, a highly polluting country with a high carbon footprint, a terrible track record of conservation of wild species, the near decimation of the Bengal tiger in a failed programme of conservation for that iconic species and where the leopard is in constant conflict with humans because humans have taken away their habitat. I could go on but I won’t bother.

The politicians are out of step with the citizens of Australia. A poll conducted by the Australian broadcasting Corporation found that the environment was the primary issue for the participants. Twenty-nine percent rated the environment as their most important concern. This is up 9% from the 2016 election.

Jobs, economic growth and inter-country competition with respect to trading works against attempts to stop global warming. America is the second most damaging country in terms of carbon dioxide emissions after China. They’re competing against each other and business and economic growth trumps conservation always so I have little optimism for the long-term future of our wild species because many of them are sensitive to climate change. They will die out in the wild and our children and grandchildren will only see them in zoos.

My thanks to The Times newspaper of May 25th 2019.