There are some who know the world is flat
And the moon is made of cheese
And most of us say “fancy that”
And things are as you please
A madman on the railway track
Believes the train will stop
While those who stand by watching
Know that it will not
It’s hard to face the things we fear
And truth is rarely clear
But the reality that we deny
Is to others crystal clear
The climate change locomotive is bearing down while we stand frozen on the tracks. Those with sight have seen it coming for a while. Those with hearing can hear it. They cry out in vain. “Please stop the train, we are frozen on the tracks and we cannot move.” The politicians and business owners driving the train reply. “We will not the stop this train, it is taking us to a good place where we will all be rich.” “But the train will kill us all.” “Now you are being alarmist.”
Greed and self-interest can only take you so far. We all want a comfortable life and in Australia most of us have everything we need. We have peace, prosperity and security and we take it for granted that we will always be fed, clothed and sheltered and looked after when we are sick. We have compassion for those experiencing droughts, floods and fires but most of us are not directly affected. We are sad for the flying foxes dying in their thousands in a heat wave but a bat is a bat. It is inconceivable that it will be us dying in our thousands as vast areas of the planet become uninhabitable. The right winged shock jocks contend that you would need to be off with the fairies or a greenie alarmist to believe that there is genuine peril on the horizon. And yet that is what 97.2% of the published papers on climate science are forecasting https://thebulletin.org/2019/08/millions-of-times-later-97-percent-climate-consensus-still-faces-denial/. But what about the other 3% the deniers shrilly cry? These so-called scientists cannot agree on anything. But here’s the interesting thing. There is no credible 3% alternate view. https://qz.com/1069298/the-3-of-scientific-papers-that-deny-climate-change-are-all-flawed/. The other 3% are shonky papers that do not pass scrutiny. They cherry pick, they misinterpret and their data is not reproducible. They are also invariably funded by those who believe that their business interests are threatened by action on climate change. There is no credible alternate view. None! Don’t believe me! Well, have a go a finding one like I did. Each and every alternate view Paper will have been pulled apart by a multitude of credible scientists and exposed for what it is. A fraud. And yet the newspapers are full of “alternate views” by uncredentialed people living in some kind of alternate reality or by outright liars. And they are believed by many because it is easy to believe what is convenient. The people that write this stuff, the trolls on social media and the self-interested politicians with their populist agenda are evil and by their efforts they have managed to move the doomsday clock 40 seconds closer to midnight https://www.npr.org/2020/01/23/799047659/the-end-may-be-nearer-doomsday-clock-moves-within-100-seconds-of-midnight . The social media trolls frequently call those advocating for urgent action on climate change alarmists. Well, anyone who is not alarmed by what is happening must be truly mad.
· Glaciers and polar ice in rapid retreat.
· Pacific nations disappearing beneath the waves from sea level rise.
· Great Barrier Reef bleaching and dying.
· Flying foxes dying in their thousands in summer heat waves.
· Unprecedented floods, droughts, fires and cyclones.
· Collapsing ecosystems and particularly in the oceans.
· Disease, war, famine and the displacement of millions of people as a consequence of unprecedented drought and food shortages.
And all this with a 1 degree above normal increase. What’s it going to be like at 2 degrees, 3 degrees or more. Or perhaps a runaway greenhouse effect that will create a lifeless earth with rivers of molten lead like Venus! Now I am being alarmist.
The damage already done by climate change is incalculable. Perhaps already sufficient to destroy our civilisation and much of our biodiversity once things equilibrate. But it could get much worse. The mythical 2oC safe level rise is not and never was any kind of safe level but it may be one our civilisation might tolerate and much of our biodiversity might remain. We can still achieve this if we have the will. The first priority is to take on the liars. When people repeat lies that they have read in the newspaper or heard from their learned friends in the pub call them out. The same goes for politicians. We need zero tolerance for the mythical alternate view.