A common future. Do we have one?

Australians have investigated 142 countries to check the value of carbon pricing.

Australia is not pricing carbon to reduce emissions. Neither is America.

New Zealand is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050.

What are other countries doing? How are their citizens voting? What are they being encouraged to do to reduce emissions? Consider the information below.

This photograph of a coal-powered station in Germany was chosen by students to encourage the government in Singapore to move to clean energy. The Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times used this photograph to lead an article entitled ‘Go fossil-fuel free’.
Did a Singapore government legislate to reduce emissions? Does it have carbon pricing? Is it one of the 142 nations Australian researchers investigated?

Our public ABC Radio National’s Future Tense’ has provided us with this information.

Australian researchers have done the maths.

The truth about carbon pricing and how to capture CO2. ON Future Tense with Antony Funnell

‘Does carbon pricing work? It’s long been a contentious issue, but Australian researchers have crunched the data from 142 countries and now have what they reckon is the definitive answer. Also, are group purchasing plans the way to fund future renewable energy needs? And, the California research that could give new life to carbon, capture and storage.’ 29mins 7secs. Sun 23 Aug 2020, 10:30am. Sun 30 Aug 2020, 10:30am

This is Australia’s story as I see it. What are the stories in the northern hemisphere?

In 1988 the United Nations published the Brundtland Report. ‘It was the result of the deliberations of an impressive panel of international experts chaired by the Prime Minister of Norway and convened as the World Commission on the Environment and Development. It ought to be compulsory reading for every educator in the world.’ That statement was made by the late Professor Hedley Beare, Professor of Education, University of Melbourne, in The Curriculum for the 1990s. A New Package or a New Spirit?’ published by the Australian College of Education, 1989. It required STEAM at least. Not this 2020 separation of STEM from HASS. Hedley Beare wrote: ‘Since the Earth is a living entity. The Earth can become sick.

He went on, quoting the Brundtland Report: ‘Most of today’s decision-makers – it was 1988 – will be dead by the time Earth feels the full impact of illnesses like: acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or wide spread desertification and species loss. In 2020 we feel it happening. Still, we have corporations, governments ignoring the evidence.

Australian climate change policy to 2015: a chronology.
In 1976 the Australian Academy of Sciences reported – ‘human activities are likely to contribute to warming.’ In 1979 the first International Conference on climate change was held. In 1989 Hedley Beare was encouraging educators to face the future needs of our young people. Brundtland saw young people, in 1988, as needing to lead the charge. How old ARE they now? It is the adults who do the voting!
Australia had a Hawke Labor government From 1984. In 1989 it considered emissions targets. In 1990 we adopted the Toronto Target. In 1992 the government set up the National Greenhouse Response Strategy (NGRS), endorsed by every State in the Federation. In 1994, Australia met its first commitment to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – the UNFCCC. [Remember this. Corporations, not wanting to change, had the language softened from the more urgent sound of ‘global warming’.]

Then came 1996 and the influence of climate deniers in the media. Finally, we established a carbon price mechanism from 2010 to 2012. [The Coalition government was defeated in 2007.] ] Our emissions were going down! Then came 2013 and according to the new Australian Prime Minister, ‘climate change [was] crap’. Our human contributions to climate change were rejected. In 2020, we have a Coalition government opening the door to oil and gas exploration in and near the Ningaloo Reef and near Sharks Bay, a World Heritage site on the coast of Western Australia. And there’s logging. This Federal government is talking about a gas-led, fossil fuel so-called ‘transition’, not aiming for zero emissions by 2050! Nor is it willing to establish the independent, national environmental protection authority, as advised in Graham Samuel’s interim report, to save Australia’s fire, drought and flood ridden, fragile environments from State and /or Federal politicking and corporate profiteering. NOW – Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation wants a climate policy!

Professor Hedley Beare gave us this knowledge and made this plea for us 31 years ago!

Regeneration or Degeneration.

Where is there concern for bio-diversity? Is it enough in our governments?

What have our extremes of climate been telling us? Think of our fires. Check NASA’s fire map!

Consider the question on the cover of ‘Encounter 2020’, the Flinders University raises. issue.

The only constant in life is change. But is it in the right direction?’

Regeneration is the direction if we choose wisely.

Fresh green regrowth growing on burnt trees in the morning sun after forest fire in Australia

Found in SENT  –  Internode.on.net Mailbox.


Amazon fires increase by 84% in one year – space agency …

www.bbc.com › news › world-latin-america-49415973

The largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. It is also home to about three million species of 

Logging is ripping apart the Solomon Islands. One man is …

www.nationalgeographic.com › science › 2020/01 › de…

And in Australia! 850 coal seam gas wells for the Pilliga Forest in NSW …

www.youtube.com › watch      2:05

And that is not all, of course. Logging in old growth forest in the Tarkine in Tasmania and protesters. fighting to protect it from the Liberal government and the logging companies, are treated as criminals. It’s not just Liberal. The Labor State government of Victoria has allowed loggers into the areas burnt in bushfires. When the great trees, burnt or otherwise, are gone so are the real carbon sinks. So are the hopes of life for all of us. We are part of the animal kingdom. When we destroy forests, we are – slowly – destroying ourselves. That was the warning in 2016. Now the NSW Liberal government, despite the impact of the fires, is letting Santos go ahead. And this Coalition government is offering our money to help it to happen.

Professor Corey J A Bradshaw is a Matthew Flinders Fellow in Global Ecology in the College of Science and Engineering. [See his extensive credentials on page 16.]

He describes the catastrophes. Our massive contribution to mammal extinctions in Australia. The way we approach water management!! Almost 70% of the Earth’s land surface has been altered by humans. What can we do? That is the question as voters we need to consider. It will be no good moaning afterwards if we allow worse to happen. Democracies have to deal with who wins – and why they are allowed to win. Who we hand the power to! And for how long!!

Professor Bradshaw describes what we’ve done and gives answers. ‘We can demand a more responsible government and tougher legislation to protect our native plants and animals.

We can insist on development that does not require additional deforestation and we can restore great tracks of previously stripped land. [All the clearing under Howard and since!]

We can implement a broad network of clean energy technologies to transition our emissions-heavy economy toward one with a low footprint and we can invest in smarter low water agriculture. [ See the post for June 2020 ‘Complexity and Stability’.]

On a community level, during pandemic restrictions, we have been forced to re-think how and where we work, how our food is grown and distributed, and how cities can support this transition – all aspects that can reduce the impact of climate change.’

As I report Professor Bradshaw’s presentation of what we can do, I remember a Year II Drama teacher, Gay Maynard, at Marion High School studying a theme with her English students – ‘Stepping Lightly on the Earth’. That was in the late 1980s. The Humanities were ‘doing their bit’ thirty years ago! The evidence was in teachers in schools knew it. They were making the connections we need. [Those students are voters in their forties now. ]

In Australia now, this Coalition government is going to increase the cost of Humanities degrees by 113% and decrease the cost of degrees in science, maths and IT.  They are going to exacerbate the divide, focusing on STEM! And this Coalition has a gas-focused, fossil- fuelled committee, chosen by the Prime Minister, to look to our future. Besides this fearsome direction, we have loggers and miners, being supported by governments – Federal and State.  All this, while this global corona virus offers time and a chance for us to re-think. Multi-nationals and foreign companies and commercial media moghuls do not have to live with the results of their actions. Cultures destroyed. Fragile environments destroyed. Regeneration made almost impossible. Still. they and their shareholders made money.