I love Monty Python, and there is a particular scene in “Erik the Viking” that is particularly appropriate to describe the state of Climate Politics in Australia. It seems that Monty Python accurately predicted climate politics back in 1989.
This month so far in Australian politics we have seen more evidence that the Australian Government is caving in on pressure from lobby groups with conflict of interest issues. As Robert Manne so eloquently put it in the Monthly (ref Robert Manne: A Dark Victory: How vested interests defeated climate science,The Monthly, August 2012):
“As greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, as evidence of global warming has continued to grow, as the unwillingness of the world to act to curb emissions has become increasingly clear, a determination not to notice the looming catastrophe has taken hold of large parts of the population. At one level, this determination is psychological – the incapacity of a society of consumers to accept the need to sacrifice even a part of material prosperity to ensure the wellbeing of the Earth. At another level, the determination is political – the willingness of large numbers of people to listen to those who are telling them that the group of experts upon whom they customarily rely, the relevant cadre of trained and published scientists, have comprehensively got things wrong.”
At least in Australia deliberate misrepresentation for commercial gain is illegal under the trade practices act 1974. Personally I’d love to see the ACCC go after these mining magnates and their ironically named ‘think tanks’ as described in Robert Manne’s article. The ACCC has never shied away from going after the big names (think Christopher Skase and Allan Bond).
I have personally seen Tony Abbott yell “absolute crap” at a climate action protester while grinning, and I think we’ll see more of this sort of callous approach to these issues in the future – especially as the Right in Australian politics seems to be wrongly confusing environmental issues with socialism.
Meanwhile the inconvenient truths keep refusing to go away, and climate change symptoms just get harder to ignore.
High Brazil may in fact be sinking.
Peter Wadhams, professor of Ocean Physics at the University of Cambridge, a world leading chryosphere scientist who has been predicting for years the things we are currently witnessing in the Arctic, has started an alarming and very informative blog the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (www.ameg.me). This blog shows that the loss of Arctic Ice volume decline is not a linear phenomenon but an exponential curve, with loss of the Artic Ice cap due not in the range of 2050 to 2500 as predicted in the last IPCC report, as we thought just 5 years ago, but before 2016. This is due to feedback factors such as Albedo Flip and abrupt release of Methane Hydrates. No Arctic Ice cap in summer is a radically different planet, with massive implications for northern hemisphere weather patterns as we have been seeing over the last few years with unprecedented floods, fires, blizzards, super-cell storms, tornadoes etc.
And we are meant to believe the media’s cry that “High Brazil is not sinking!”
Personally I’ll keep working on my Viking ship designs.