September 23, 2014 | Ronda Jambe

Global Climate Opinion heats up

The joy and relief of being back in Australia, and the gorgeous, green and peaceful landscape of Canberra in particular has been somewhat deflated by the threats against us made by certain violent nut-cases. It would be a mistake to credit their violence with religious dogma, as no religion preaches genocide.

It would also be an error (not to mention a lack of dot-connecing ability) to disregard the connection between climate change and an increasingly violent world. The very cradle of civilisation, that broad span of fertile land in the middle latitudes of the most massive landmass, which Jared Diamond wrote about in Guns, Germs and Steel, is precisely where civilisation is now falling apart.

Enter climate change, and you owe it to your general background to at least read some of the reviews of Christian Parenti’s book Tropic of Chaos: climate change and the new geography of violence. Better scholars than me, or he, have linked the Syrian and Egyptian uprisings with drought, rising food prices, and populist revolt. Same goes for Yemen, Somalia (remember the line about the over-fishing in the modern pirate movie Captain Phillip?)

People tend not to sit back and think of England when they are hungry. Or, thinking of England’s colonial depredations, as Parenti describes, can incite some severe responses.

The climate change event in Canberra was more subdued than the one in New York, which attracted 300,000 people. Probably the last time Times Square saw that size protest was Vietnam war days, and I am proud to say I was there.

Ever larger numbers are now demanding action, and you can look up ‘5 reasons why NATO should be talking about climate change’. Security and climate are entwined. Stallholders at the Canberra gathering covered bees (nasty chemicals that Europe has now banned are still legal here), veganism (having cut way back on meat, I now have to think about all the dairy I enjoy) and electric cars (we test drove a Tesla in New Jersey, and are just waiting for the smaller, cheaper, other side drive version to hit Australia).

But the big one on my plate now is divestment, and whether I divorce the NAB or just go to counselling with them. Stop all fossil fuel investments, or I will apply for custody (of my money).

Another one you can look up (try USA Today, if you don’t trust NOAA) is the temperature: more records set for last month, get used to it. Hopes of limiting the increase to 2 degrees this century are going up, in smoke.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 12:26 pm | Comments (4) |


  1. Exactly Ronda, and welcome back. How’s your mum settling in?
    It seems money talks louder than our survival, given the carbon free alternatives are as cheap or cheaper than coal; which itself could be even cheaper, if we could but lever the cold dead hands of the parasitic, price gouging, gold plating, carpet baggers off of it!
    Perhaps that very outcome could be vastly accelerated, if we simply took back our purloined economic sovereignty, and just started to roll out small micro-grid connected thorium power plants!? [Those pollies, with possible share holdings in fossil fuel projects, can be relies on as always, to trot out that hoary old chestnut, “the government has no business in business”!]
    Or better yet, local biogas projects, which scrubbed and connected to ceramic fuel cells, produce the world’s lowest costing energy, and without ever adding to the current carbon load.
    Pray tell, what’a wrong with vastly cheaper energy, and more money being returned to discretionary spending, the very lifeblood of the domestic economy! [It’s the economy stupid!]
    Those who doubt the veracity of your post, need only venture as far as Alaska, if only to see with their own eyes, the disappearance of the formerly usual summer sea ice; and or, witness first hand, the melt down of formerly permanently frozen tundra/permafrost.
    Which now releases, millions of tons of formerly trapped annual methane; one unit of which is worth at least 21 units of carbon, as a greenhouse gas!
    The only real problem, it would seem, are politicians, with investments in fossil fuel?
    What else could possibly prevent the rapid roll out of vastly cheaper, fossil fuel free alternatives?
    If there’s a more cogent explanation, I’d like to hear it first hand.
    Perhaps some research is required, into the share registry, if only to find which pollie/family member owns what; which by the way, probably explains the quite extraordinary cost of housing here in oz, or why we alone are the only nation which is just dumb enough to handout welfare for the rich, I believe, merely masquerading as so called negative gearing!
    Alaskan melting tundra, evidenced as huge new lakes, formed from the new melt water!
    And you can see the methane bubbling up through it, and even prove it is methane, by trapping some, then applying a b-b-q lighter.
    Be careful to stand as far back as far as you can, if only out of respect for your eyebrows.
    And if it can be trapped under large plastic sheets, it could be stored and used to power and heat Alaskan homes; where ceramic fuel cells, (endless free domestic hot water) would ensure, not even carbon would be added to the atmosphere!
    Tesla, is building cars in China now?
    Where I suspect the less expensive left hand drive will come from?
    Perhaps you should wait until GM finishes developing their new battery, which is said to double the range currently belonging to Tesla?
    And will probably appear here in the plug in volt hybrid, which by the way, currently has a reported extended engine free range of 87 kilometers, before the engine kicks in?
    Cheers, Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — September 25, 2014 @ 12:46 am

  2. Left hand drive being applicable to the left side of the road, which down under is the right side, and the right side is the wrong side.
    If you stand on your head, it’ll all make perfect sense?
    Cheers, Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — September 25, 2014 @ 9:07 am

  3. “It would be a mistake to credit their violence with religious dogma, as no religion preaches genocide.”

    Actually, Ronda the Koran teaches, perhaps not precisely genocide, but violence against unbelievers, Mohammad was a bandit after all.

    Comment by RussellW — September 25, 2014 @ 10:52 am

  4. Yes, Russell, but I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    Ah, Alan, if only the gov were listening to your common sense. You might have heard AM on radio national yesterday, warning about the speculative bubble many of our companies are in.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — September 25, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

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