Posts tagged ‘climate change’

Link: “One percent of the world’s population accounts for more than half of flying emissions”

Original post found at: https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/one-percent-worlds-population-accounts-more-half-flying-emissions

I can’t say I’m surprised; it’s always seemed like those to blame for aviation-related emissions are not really ordinary people who jet off for the occasional holiday,1 but business travellers who fly multiple times a week (and as this article says, especially those with private planes).

Of course, I think wherever possible, high-speed trains should be used ins­tead of planes, being considerably less polluting as well as way more pleasant to travel on. Australia could eliminate the need for sooooo much flying if we had a high-speed line connecting every city from Adelaide around to Bris­bane. But not everywhere is easily accessible without flying (think about islands, or relatively isolated cities like Perth…). Sometimes I see “environmentalists” online basically arguing to abolish aviation, but it’s not really a huge problem if people occasionally take a long-haul flight, or a flight to one of these isolated/island places. The bulk of the emissions are from frequent flyers, who are predominantly concentrated on short-haul routes like Mel­bourne-Syd­ney that could easily be replaced with trains.

  1. Although note, the article also says that only 11% of the world’s population flew at all in 2018 (as a representative, recent pre-Covid year), so this definition of “ordinary people” is definitely skewed towards the “ordinary people” of relatively affluent, developed countries. But still. ↩︎

Link: “The Cure to Climate Anxiety? Smashing Capitalism”

Original post found at: https://www.leftvoice.org/the-cure-to-climate-anxiety-smashing-capitalism/

Conspicuously absent from the IPCC report is that this climate change is all the result of capitalism. Centuries of prioritizing profit over people and the conditions that improve human and planetary health have landed us here, not individuals taking showers for five minutes “too long” or using plastic straws at restaurants. Of course, there are measures that individuals can take to decrease their resource consumption and ecological footprint, but individual behaviors pale in comparison to the absolute havoc that corporations have wreaked on the planet. The 1 percent and the largest corporations continue to be the greatest drivers of climate change and our eventual climate catastrophe.

Link: “The media frames the climate crisis as hopeless – but that’s because they’re hiding the solutions”

Original post found at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/media-frames-climate-change-hopeless-hiding-the-solutions-2021-8

While a large majority of Americans agree we need to act on the climate crisis, no one seems to know exactly what we should do, except push our government to do more. 40% of people who believe in climate change feel “helpless” about it.

But this helplessness is not an inevitable result of the severity of the crisis – severe as it may be. Instead, it’s a conditioned response to a world in which the most powerful politicians and corporations want to cast the issue as too difficult and overly complex. To protect their bottom line, those in power want to obfuscate what should be an obvious truth: We can only stop global warming if we end fossil fuel extraction. And we can only do that through direct action, protest, and political revolt.

In order to hide this truth, the powerful have used the mainstream media to make it seem like the answer to the climate crisis is in small, incremental, largely electoral steps. Mainstream news has made everyday Americans feel like we have no options to impact climate change beyond voting, and that’s given us the illusion there’s nothing else to be done. Until we adjust our media diets and start paying less attention to the everyday, overwhelming destruction, and more attention to the people who are already combating climate change, we’ll keep vacillating between overwhelm and helplessness.

Link: “Climate change: What we can learn from our reaction to AstraZeneca”

Original post found at: https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2021/07/19/climate-change-panic-alan-kohler/

Good piece comparing the indifference of our government to the very high risk of catastrophic climate change to their panic over the 0.00044% chance of dying from an AstraZeneca blood clot… (Published a couple of weeks ago, but because I had the tab open on my phone, I forgot to save it until now.)

Link: “Plans of four G20 states are threat to global climate pledge, warn scientists”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/25/plans-of-four-g20-states-are-threat-to-global-climate-pledge-warn-scientists

Australia has been called out, along with Russia, China and Brazil for effectively not having climate change policies (as in, whatever policies these countries do have are so laughably weak that we would see a 5°C rise in temperatures if the rest of the world adopted the same).

Link: “Massive Texas gas failure during climate extremes gets blamed on wind power” by Ketan Joshi

Original post found at: https://reneweconomy.com.au/massive-texas-gas-failure-during-climate-extremes-gets-blamed-on-wind-power/

It’s only been a half year since blackouts spread across California during intense summer heat. Those blackouts were immediately blamed on renewable energy; of course it turned out later on that a string of failures in the state’s gas plants were to blame. In fact, it turned out later on that a major part of those blackouts was an instance of a misheard verbal instruction issued to a gas generator. Instead of turning up as instructed, they decreased their output. And it’s five years since South Australia’s 2016 blackout, in which precisely the same sequence of events occurred. A pattern is now clear.

Major blackout events, usually instigated by grid stress related to climate extremes, become opportunities to attack renewable energy. Media articles, political pronouncements, tweets, Facebook posts, everything – the entire media ecosystem assumes that renewable energy must have done it and runs hard with it. And of course, later, it comes out that fossil fuel failures played a significant or even majority role in the cluster of causes of the event – none of which is covered with the intensity of the original stories.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.