Home > Uncategorized > It’s a hard rain a-gonna fall…

It’s a hard rain a-gonna fall…

Julia Gillard

Image via Wikipedia

There are record-breaking rainfalls and floods throughout Australia at the moment, causing billions of dollars worth of damage, and much loss of life, and the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, decides that she cannot definitely attribute that to global warming and that the reconstruction needed in the flooded areas can be funded in part by slashing spending on renewable energy and carbon emissions reduction programmes! She then defends that spending cut by saying that a carbon tax would be a much better way of moving to a lower carbon economy, although she can’t say when such a tax will be introduced or what price will be put on carbon. This is simply unbelievable stuff, and totally the most inappropriate way of dealing with a situation in which Australia is already experiencing the effects of catastrophic climate change.

Some of Australia’s own climate change scientists are linking the present Australian floods to global warming and calling for increased spending on measures to prevent climate change getting worse, such as spending on renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuel energy such as coal and oil. And yet Australia, which gets 80% of its electricity from coal-fired power stations, is going to spend substantially less on clean energy technologies and still has no carbon tax! This is equivalent to deciding to repair damage from an extensive wildfire by reducing the amount of money spent on fire services in the area suffering from fire-damage; when the next wildfire hits the area, the fire service will be less able to control it, which just makes no sense! This is taking the “no worries, mate!” insouciance of Aussies in the face of adversities to ridiculous extremes. Climate change induced by global warming is real, and it is hitting the whole world, not just Australia, here and now.

Any money spent on measures to prevent it getting worse has to be money well spent, just as money spent on relieving the suffering caused by the effects of extreme weather events is well spent. Money has to be spent on both now; reducing spending on one to pay for the other is just robbing Peter to pay Paul. More torrential rain is now forecast to hit already devastated Queensland in the next few days. The question is: how much record-breaking rain does it take to make people like Julia Gillard realise that climate change has already hit Australia hard and will hit it harder still over the coming months and years?

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