Back in 2013, I wrote a blog called “What’s Australia doing to protect their Environment “ It was a climate change what if!
I have reread that post and it appeared to be written in a fairly positive tone. As a more progressive nation it appeared that the Australian government was taking the right steps to improve their situation in respect to combating climate change. Unfortunately this appears not to be the case. As in many cases in the world, the vagaries of politics and economics have changed their focus.
Without doubt, Climate Change has not changed its course…as I write bush fires are devastating Sardinia, Greece and Spain, unprecedented flooding is occurring in China, Europe and the UK! We are not immune from climate change because our governments say its not a problem! We must act now to turn things around. The top 1% of our wealthiest population must help drive this by divestment in the companies and the funding of politicians who are trying to maintain the economic status quo. Instead they need to put their money and their efforts into finding solutions.
Here are some articles that update that blog
Australia after Saudi Arabia is one of the highest per capita CO2 emitters in the world, the United States coming in fourth! Australia’s lower population than the US China or Saudi Arabia of course means less quantitative carbon dioxide (at only 1.4% domestically you must add 3.6% of Global total based on exports). Australia you must remember is the worlds top exporter of coal and is soon to be the worlds largest natural gas exporter. This means Australias exports helps fuel carbon emissions throughout the world!
Much of what I wrote about in 2013 is in the process of or has come true. Bush fires have ravaged Australia much like what has happened in the US over the past five years. Change in the focus of the government has backtracked to the point that there has been little or no improvement to the environmental future of the this Southern Hemispheres nation.
Australia should not emulate America
Once again this sounds familiar to the US where Former President Donald J. Trump came into office and negated all the environmental improvements his predecessor promulgated.
Number one being the removal of Americas participation in the Paris Climate Accord!
Number two was the replacement of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in 2019 with The Trump-era Affordable Clean energy rule. This rule removed caps on vehicle and power plant emissions. All in all the Trump government reversed over one hundred environmental rules that had been in place prior to his taking office.
Fortunately for America’s environmental future, the new Biden presidency has reversed Donald Trumps gutting of the environmental regulations. What has been lost is four years of any progress against climate change reversal!
What has changed in Australia?
How does this correlate to politically driven changes to Australian environmental rules?
Number one is undoubtedly the Abbott governments reversal of the 2012 Gillards Carbon tax where wealthy carbon polluters had to pay the government a tax for their carbon emissions. Undoubtedly an attempt to have them self regulate and reduce emissions. Which according to records did happen for the two years it was in place.
Unfortunately, the Abbott Government reversed this tax and made it a 3 Billion dollar subsidy to those polluting industries on the promise they would self regulate to reduce emissions!
This method has not worked effectively as Emissions have continued to rise.
Secondly, the Abbott government has made it perfectly clear that when it comes to the environment, economic benefits will always win out.
The good thing is that Australia has remained in the Paris Climate Agreement and has committed to changing things in the future. Lets hope that the change comes sooner rather than later.
As mentioned earlier Australia is one of the largest exporter of coal in the world. Their main purchasers? India and China.
Australia produces around 25% of the worlds coal. They exported 41.2 Billion Dollars worth of coal in 2019…so yes there are lots of economic benefits.
The wealthiest woman in Australia Gina Rinehart has made her fortune off Iron ore and Coal. She is worth $32 Billion dollars. Recently she has tried to expand to the Canadian rockies to mine coal there, however the Canadian government has so far denied her applications. She is known to have given millions of dollars to climate change doubters to back up her quest for domination in the coal world.
How much is enough?
When will these wealthy industrialists begin using their money and brain power to produce clean energy? Evidently Gina, like Australian leadership, cares more about economic gain than the negative environmental aspects of coal mining/burning. She should use her power and money to invest in new ways to develop clean energy and help curb the ravaging effects of climate change!
Attached is the summary for policymakers. Read it for yourself and work with your elected leaders to come to a consensus of what needs to be done!
Many of the scientists working on the 2021 climate change report for the inter-governmental panel on climate change feel that we have reached the tipping point. That is the point in which we cannot turn around the changes that are occurring with our climate. Attached is the summary for policymakers. Read it for yourself and work with your elected leaders to come to a consensus of what needs to be done!
The Great Barrier Reef is still threatened, more so now than ever before!
Concise and well written, way to go Rob.