I recall the mouse plague of ’75 in the same area – stretching 100s of kms from Eyre Peninsula across the Nullarbor to Eucla. I was driving with my brother across to Perth to take up my first ministry post. We left Ceduna at dusk. The road was nothing but a seething mass of mice until midnight. At Eucla we threw our sleeping bags down on the ground in an area enclosed by an electric boundary to keep the mice out. An hour later it shorted and mice were swarming over us. Nothing for it but to get up and keep going. One of those surreal experiences. The link to climate change? Best tap on the heading and read the article.
… is not my favourite pastime as people’s minds are generally made up and difficult to sway. As a flunkee in high school physics I’m somewhat behind the eight-ball when countering climate skeptics’ arguments. What I can argue, however, is human responsibility to care for the planet. When someone gleefully seeks to trump this argument with the observation that the Genesis mandate is to “subdue” the earth (Gen 1:28), I can counter with a Hebrew word study that suggests “understanding” and “walking amongst” as a counterpoint to the violence we habitually associate with the word “subdue” – in other words it carries a benevolent relational flavour.
Anyhow Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the science really says is a most excellent resource for scientific ignoramuses such as myself. I might just point my friendly adversaries there.
Fasten your seat belts, folks – we’re in for a bumpy ride. Tony Kevin does a good job of identifying political, scientific and economic juggling pins that must be kept in the air over years to come in Celebrating the carbon tax – Eureka Street.
“What’s to celebrate?” is a question I hear, however, from both climate change protagonists and deniers. Perhaps it’s the fact that we are now moving from debate to action, no matter how slight. My take has always been that, regardless of your stance on climate change, clean energy is a worthwhile pursuit in its own right.
Neither Prime Minister Rudd nor Opposition Leader Abbot sponsor policies that deal adequately with climate change challenges. Inevitably, the politics of funding gets in the way. A Eureka Street article by Peter Hodge points to a possible solution called the “Tobin Tax” – a tax on foreign currency transactions.
“Set at a tiny 0.005 per cent (the most commonly cited rate), the tax could collect around $76 billion each year, although estimates vary significantly. The funds could assist developing countries cope with the effects of climate change and finance the necessary technological adaptations; it is unlikely any legally binding climate agreement that includes most developing countries will be signed without such commitments.” (Hodge)
I guess it would be ever so slightly irritating for those of us who buy books on Amazon, but it would be a tax less worth grumbling about if we knew it was invested in constructive solutions to protect developing countries from the effects of climate change catastrophe.
Not that this alone would address our global ecological responsibilities – incentives for renewable energy sources and reduction of carbon emissions would still be on the table, but funding arguments would differ.
I wonder if economists and accountants who are much more qualified than I would be prepared to discuss the merits of such a solution?
Here’s a helpful chart setting out recent debating points between climate change skeptics and their opposites. Found it while taking a break from Christmas service preparations. Will there be peace and goodwill on the climate change front? Will Copenhagen chaos lead to something more than a whimper?
Great to see Norman Moore’s annoucement that geothermal energy is to be implemented as a viable alternative for the cooling of Perth.
In the meantime and on the eve of COP15, the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, PlanetPrayer begins its daily prayer cycle. You can subscribe for a daily email that includes environmental care tips, relevant scriptures, liturgy, stories and a daily prayer. Todays, prayer is:
Gracious and loving Creator,
Help us to stand against the culture of our times
where people speak cordially with people they meet while living lives that will destroy the lives of people they will never meet;
where institutions show no regard for the works of the Lord and what his hands have done;
where corporations are getting fat by consuming our children’s inheritance,
We ask that you transform them to respond to your divine calling and regard your creation with reverence.
Guide the leaders of the nations to find ways to support the earth.
Over the last day, the scene has certainly changed dramatically for what Australia can put on the table. The offering was going to be fairly paltry and ineffective anyway, and there is a sense in which I and others are relieved that it’s back to the drawing board for us as a country. There are so many more creative, inclusive and responsible environment care schemes than ETS that we might expect our government to encourage. COP15 is a critical gathering and we need to hear the voices that speak for environmental stewardship that includes the well-being of the planet’s poorest.