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CLIMATE CHANGE: A MORAL ISSUE November 28, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, CLIMATE CHANGE.
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Christine Milne was kind enough to ask for my story. I guess there is a certain degree of idee fixe. but I believe the propositions I advance are verifiable.

Offer a soapbox, and sometimes the offer is taken up – but who cares and who listens?

Hello to everybody

The issue, and it is global in its implications, is fundamentally a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, in particular Carbon Dioxide, and the creation of conditions for environmental sustainability in a hotter world. Carbon Dioxide plays the major role in setting the levels of atmospheric water vapour, which in turn accounts for about 75% of Global Warming. To our best understanding, confirmed by the recent IPCC report from Working Group One, the scientific conclusions over the period of the last seventy years or so (and before, of course) are now both becoming refined, as they are robust and probative.

My story is:

Thus we think it is unconscionable not to act having in mind the future and present conditions of the young and those in poorer countries. The fair go should extend to all. We notice the incidence of extreme weather events which subjectively appear to becoming more frequency and of greater intensity in the 21st Century.

We do what we can – and sometimes not all we should. This is a problem that cannot be solved by individual households acting alone, or even in concert with their neighbours. One neighbour is currently renovating, which included installing solar panels and a water tank. As a consequence we have installed solar panels as well. As we have talked about them with others, this technology is still linked to coal-fired power, and the feed in tariffs do not promote technology and further innovation.

The vision for ecological sustainability requires an objective of 100% installation of roof solar panels combined with renewable energy sources. The wider vision for ecological sustainability requires many things, including “rewilding” to restore the environment to its former state, with safeguards to prevent the spread of bushfires.

A Conclusion:

A shared vision we must have. This will include technology and science and innovation. As well we must promote transferable technology and skills, so that whole systems, as appropriate, can be installed in less developed and poorer societies, and we might learn from others in turn.

I did not mention appropriate employing economic theory. The carbon price galvanized attention of the major polluters, but rather than address the ethical responsibility they would prefer to change the law.

A democratic process that does not seek in essence truth and morality is fundamentally corrupt. All members of parliament who vote on these environmental proposals have to address their own conscience. Otherwise, as Oliver Cromwell, said, “begone”.

Chris Mooney concludes:

. . . the “declining trust in science” theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.

Further research will no doubt unravel what’s going on here. In the meantime, we can simply observe: In the political science wars that have wracked America for well over a decade, both sides are consolidating their forces.

As far as I know,Neither Tony Abbott, or Greg Hunt, are fundamentalists. Tony is not so much anti-science as willfully ignorant. God’s nature is to evoke metaphors. Human beings have agency and understanding and thus responsibility.

Chris Hedges, who has the religious standing to comment, draws a parallel with the experience of the European death camps in the middle of the 20th Century and human, in particular Corporate and Governmental induced climate change and global warming:

With the folly of the human race—and perhaps its unconscious lust for self-annihilation—on display at the U.N. Climate Talks in Warsaw, it is easy to succumb to despair. The world’s elite, it is painfully clear, will do little to halt the accelerating destruction of the ecosystem and eventually the human species. We have, through our ingenuity and hubris, unleashed the next great mass extinction on the planet. And I suspect the reason we have never discovered signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is because extraterrestrial societies that achieved similar levels of technological development also destroyed themselves. There are probably more wreckages of advanced civilizations, cursed by poisoned ecosystems, floating through the universe than we imagine.

The death spiral we face means that resistance will increasingly break down along two lines—those who have children and those who do not. It is one thing to sacrifice one’s self. It is another to sacrifice one’s children. No matter how grim and apocalyptic the world becomes, a parent is compelled to protect his or her child. One cannot totally give up hope. When resistance becomes an act of almost certain futility and suicide, and this is what is fast approaching, violent confrontation will mean the extermination of your children. And that is too much to ask of a parent. Parents—and I am one—do not make great revolutionaries. We have to go home to put a child to bed. Those who do not have children more easily rise up. Most parents, for this reason, are able to embrace only nonviolent protest. And nonviolent mass protest offers, as long as we remain in a period of relative stability, our best hope. Resorting to violence would, right now, make things worse. But as societies unravel, as desperation becomes worldwide, both nonviolence and violence will do little to alter our impending self-destruction. In the coming struggle against the global corporate elite there will be two sets of priorities—those of parents and those of fighters. These differing priorities will have to be respected if we are to build a cohesive movement. There are some things a mother or a father cannot, and perhaps should not, do.

. . .
“When one knows death so well, one has more responsibility for life,” he said. “Any, even the smallest chance for life becomes extremely important. A chance for death was there all the while. The important thing was to make a chance for life.”

Edelman noted the collective self-delusion that prohibited the Jews in the ghetto—as it prohibits us—from facing their fate, even as the transports were taking thousands daily to the Nazi death camp Treblinka. The Germans handed out oblong, brown loaves of rye bread to those lining up outside the trains. Those clutching the loaves, desperately hungry and overjoyed with receiving the food, willingly climbed into the railway carriages. In 1942 the underground sent a spy to follow the trains. He returned to the ghetto and reported, in the words of Krall’s book, that “every day a freight train with people would pass that way [to Treblinka] and return empty, but food supplies were never sent there.” His account was written up in the underground ghetto newspaper, but, as Edelman remarked, “nobody believed it.” “ ‘Have you gone insane?’ people would say when we were trying to convince them that they were not being taken to work,” Edelman remembered. “ ‘Would they be sending us to death with bread? So much bread would be wasted!’ ”

. . .
Traditional concepts of right and wrong, Edelman pointed out, collapse in moments of extremity. Edelman spoke to Krall about a woman doctor in the ghetto hospital who poisoned the sick children on her ward as the Germans entered the building. “She saved children from the gas chamber,” Edelman said. “People thought she was a hero. So what, then, in that world turned upside down, was heroism? Or honor? Or dignity? And where was God?”

Edelman answered his own question. God, he said, was on the side of the persecutors. A malicious God. And Edelman said that as a heart surgeon in Poland after the war he felt he was always battling against this malevolent deity who sought to extinguish life. “God is trying to blow out the candle and I’m quickly trying to shield the flame, taking advantage of His brief inattention.”

“He is not terribly just. It can also be very satisfying because whenever something does work out, it means you have, after all, fooled Him.”

The forces of life, including the ecosystem, are being transformed into forces of death. The monster Typhoon Haiyan is only one of the first tragedies. Nature and global elites seeking to exploit the planet’s last drops of blood and its repressed masses are joining to make the days of descent squalid and terrifying. And in this extremity we will have to find our place. There will come a time, if there is no radical change, when we too will be forced to choose how we will die, whom we will cling to, what we will risk. There will be no moral hierarchy to resistance. We will be pulled one way or another by fate and love. And these different routes of resistance will all be legitimate as long as we do

Morality is more fundamental to life and survival than we might realize. Frans de Waal on “Morality in Animals”:

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