Let me resume this blog with a life-affirming vision. My wish is for our descendants to live fulfilling lives into the indefinite future. What must we accomplish, eventually, for it to be possible? Here is an extract from my draft book Our Place (see My Books tab). The painting is by indigenous artist Julie Tucker Hughes. See more of her story.
[This is punchier than the version I posted 23 March, which was for a different Senate enquiry.]
The Government fails completely to appreciate the urgency of the climate situation, which must be seen in terms of dominos and tipping points. The first big domino seems to be tipping now, and there may soon be no way to prevent or reverse catastrophic warming.
The Government also fails completely to appreciate the opportunity to rapidly reduce emissions while creating an economy that can secure Australians wellbeing indefinitely.
This submission focusses on reframing the policy discussion. It is intentionally brief. Details are irrelevant unless the problem is properly framed.
I tried this on The Monthly magazine over a year ago, twice. Some of it is a little dated, but the essence is not. It covers not just the science and the economics (already unusual), but the nature and culture of science, and the feedbacks that so alarm scientists at present. They didn’t deign even to acknowledge receipt of course. OK, so their writing is excellent, but mine’s not so bad. And if that’s their primary criterion then they’re only providing a form of entertainment, however sophisticated.
There is a discernible pattern in the trajectories of many vanished societies and empires. Their lives were not long, graceful arcs with a gradual rise, a plateau and then a slow decline. Rather, their demise was sudden, and their greatest accomplishments came just before their collapse. The grandest Mayan temples were built near the end of the Mayan civilisation. The pattern of such societies was acceleration into sudden disaster.
In a sane world, a shrinking GDP would be greeted with relief. However the world is not sane, and people suffer when the GDP shrinks, mainly by losing their jobs. Meanwhile, insanity has faltered slightly and disturbing thoughts are being put about. However our leaders are working to ensure normal insanity is restored as quickly as possible.