Green fever

I really don’t know whether to laugh, cry, applaud, heckle, rejoice or ridicule.

In the last week or so particularly, there’s been an increased flurry of activity from big business and governments who now appear to be taking climate change very, very seriously indeed. Why?

I should be happy, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s connected to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report summary  in Paris early next month.

The report has been referred to as not only a smoking gun on climate change, but by one scientist who participated in compiling the report; a “batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles”. The report is said to reveal “explosion of new data” on observations of current global warming.

Something I find most odd is that  the12-page summary is being edited by government officials under tight security prior to its release to the public on February 2. Why so secret?

As mentioned in a recent post; climate change is like the butterfly effect, and the consequences of this particular butterfly flapping its wings are revealing new crises and revisions of predictions daily.

Maybe the general population is about to get a very, very nasty shock as to how bad things are going to get in relation to climate change. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the report points to runaway global warming not being just a possibility, but a reality in a very short time. Perhaps the secrecy around the report summary editing is to soften the blow, make it more digestible without causing panic?

What sickens me somewhat is that in the last week, the heads of 10 major corporations suddenly very publicly urging George Bush  to support mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and establish reductions targets. Two of the companies involved in that are DuPont and General Electric. These are massive businesses that have an absolutely disgusting environmental record. Someone might like to tap them on the shoulder and also remind them that the environmental havoc they’ve caused goes way beyond just global warming.

Is big business seriously turning over a new leaf or have these executives seen a leak of the IPCC report perhaps and understand this is now endgame for them and their shareholders; that the angry mob may turn on them very, very soon? Are they looking to give an impression of concern and positive change while still continuing to destroy our planet in sneakier ways?

Then we have President Bush’s speech yesterday where he spouted reduction of USA gasoline consumption by 20 percent over 10 years, mainly courtesy of an increase of alternativel fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. It sounds great on the surface; but the road to using food for fuel could pose its own environmental problems. He didn’t urge anyone to cut down driving; he made no recommendations for decreasing the number of vehicles on the road. He basically just said “don’t worry about reducing anything, we’ll take care of it all”.

Did George Bush grab a sneak peek at the IPPC report too? Would you trust this man or any of these politicians who took us to Iraq under false pretenses?

Closer to home, our own Prime Minister, John Howard, announced today that the federal government would be wresting control of water resources from State Governments and also throwing a stack of cash in investigating “utilizing” water resources in Northern Australia. Will yet another part of Australia will be ruined and the Murray river be even more at the behest of big business? And how will any of this contribute to positive action on climate change? It deals with some of the effects, certainly not the cause.

Did John Howard also get a glimpse of the unedited Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report summary and as a result can he see disaster looming for southern states?

Perhaps I should be rejoicing at all this somewhat newly found green-ness in big business and government; but the timing and rapid acceleration of environmental concern tells me that something smells here.

The question also remains – will these half measures continually proposed be enough to avoid environmental catastrophe? Do any of these measures really have anything to do with the environment, or are they about squeezing what they can out of an environment as it rapidly crumbles; just extending its death throes. Time will tell.

One thing I can tell you for certain. When you see big businesses and government doing a 180 degree turn on environmental issues very quickly; don’t take it as gospel that intentions are honorable and then let them just get on with business or governing unharassed. 

Question, criticise, nitpick and exert even more pressure; otherwise once the masses are somewhat placated, they’ll just keep doing what they’ve always done. Control, consume and destroy – with us happily helping them to do so and somewhat oblivious to what’s really going on.

Bear in mind it was only a few years ago that governments were attempting to silence scientists who were trying to warn us of global warming. Big businesses were paying groups to attempt to cast doubt on the issue also; much like big tobacco did years ago regarding their products. Big business and government should be treated as guilty until proven innocent.

As for the real solutions; tt’s really all quite simple. Until we as individuals and as a species finally face the fact that we not only need to change what we consume, but how much we consume, perhaps foregoing some of the “conveniences” of this modern life, the end result for the environment will ultimately be the same.

The issues facing our environment aren’t *just* global warming either. Until the environment becomes the centerpiece of all human activity, we will learn absolutely nothing. We must bow down to it; recognize and respect its superiority. It’s not our enemy, but a strict parent.

We have created a world so far removed from the natural environment, for the most part we’ve forgotten what it actually is. We’ve also forgotten how simple and fulfilling our lives could be if we played by Mother Nature’s rules a little more.

Nature does not tolerate a species that attempts to break too many rules too often for too long.