In the lead-up to the climate change conference in Bali, it’s been revealed that changes in our planet’s weather are more advanced and much worse than was previously thought.
A report in The Age began thus:
“CLIMATE change is already more advanced than the world realises, and tackling it will present “diabolical” policy challenges, says the head of Labor’s climate change review, Professor Ross Garnaut.”
But what’s even more staggering to me is the kicker hidden further down the article.
“Australia’s dry climate and fragile environment exposed it to bigger risks from climate change than any other developed country.” (You can read the full article here).
From some of the stuff that I’ve read, and that Cathy’s been studying, this is something of an understatement. There are predictions that large parts of rural Australia could become uninhabitable if we don’t respond to climate change in a big way, and soon.
It baffles me that so many Australians seem to have only a simple understanding of the issues. Heaps of Aussies are tree-changing and sea-changing to get closer to nature, but their very lifestyle choices could be under threat if they don’t get active about responding to climate change – and that means politically active too.
While big mining companies are ripping resources out of the ground to produce lots of stuff that we don’t need and churning emissions into the atmosphere, we happily shop with less plastic bags and buy fair trade and think we’ve done our bit for the planet (and yes, I shop with less plastic bags and buy fair trade – I’m pointing the finger at me too).
Unfortunately, sustaining our Australian way of life is going to take a lot more sacrifice than that, and I’m not sure that the majority of Australians are ready to make those choices yet. It seems that most of us live in a sheltered little urban bubble that separates us from the realities of nature – and the water crisis is only just starting to fracture that bubble a little.
I want to live in rural Victoria sometime in the future, but the way things are going I’m not sure if it’s going to be a feasible option.
Next year one of Cathy’s lecturers, Professor Michael Northcott, is coming to Australia to do lectures and workshops about a faith-based response to climate change and the environment. It’ll be worth checking out. I’ll put more information up here when his dates are booked. It’s also worth checking out his new book, called A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming.
I’ve got no conclusion to come to here. I just know that we all have to commit to learning and responding if we want a nice place to live in the future.