Suicide of Humanity

For many decades now environmentalists have warned that governments and people in general have not given sufficient consideration and care to the natural world. In recent years it has become quite obvious to anyone with even moderate intelligence and an open mind that our shared planet is suffering badly for this neglect.

Due to the ignorant behaviour of voters, the wealthy effectively run the world and they seem to care more for tomorrows' share prices than how damaging their actions will be to the world in ten years time.

I started writing this page 2019/05/19, it was last edited 2021/01/08
Contact: David K. Clarke – ©
 


The problem

In the Australian election of 2019/05/18 a coalition of political parties that had refused to take action on reducing greenhouse emissions for the previous six years was returned to government. This was a demonstration of human stupidity, the shortsighted selfishness of a great many of the Australian people and, in the international context, it was a small milestone along the way to mass human suicide.

The big political parties in Australia have been corrupted by political donations and the lobbying of the fossil fuel industry. They are effectively controlled by the perceived profits, employment and votes involved in coal and gas. Many voters support coal mining and exporting because they see jobs or the possibility of jobs; fewer seem able to see the far greater potential of the renewable energy industry. Of course the disinformation campaign about climate change carried out over the last couple of decades by the fossil fuel industry with the assistance of the Murdoch media empire has also been a big factor.

There is no reason to believe that the Australian people are more stupid, short-sighted, apathetic, selfish or susceptible to harbouring delusions than the remainder of the world's people, so the long-term outlook is not promising.

My greatest concerns

Climate change, together with the closely related threats of ocean acidification, sea level rise and the air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, coal in particular, that kills millions of people each year, have long been my greatest concerns.

 

Infinite

"The only two things that are infinite in size are the universe, and human stupidity. And I'm not completely sure about the universe."
Albert Einstein
I have especially been occupied in debunking the lies of those who oppose the desperately needed transition to renewable energy (particularly wind power) for about the last 16 years. This has not been because I have felt that wind power was of the greatest importance, but because much of the wind power development in this period in Australia was in my region (Mid North South Australia) and there was a huge amount of ill-informed or downright dishonest opposition to this form of renewable energy.



Wattle Point Wind Farm, South Australia
Wattle Point
Renewable energy installations such as this are essential if Mankind is to phase out the burning of fossil fuels that are the main cause of the progressive destruction of the Earth as we have known it.


The environment must be put first

If our grandchildren are to have a world to live in that is not greatly inferior to the one my generation has enjoyed we will have to start prioritising the environment above all else. Environmental considerations must come before profits, environmental considerations must come before jobs.

A job in the fossil fuel industries is now more to be despised than a job in the tobacco industry. Tobacco harms people's health, the burning of fossil fuels is a big factor in destroying the planet. There is no longer any doubt about this.

But it seems that humanity is unable to see this.



How has it happened that Mankind is destroying the world?

Our intelligence allows us to consider the big picture but our evolution fitted us out for looking after ourselves.

Perhaps no organism will ever evolve in such a way as to place the greater good first?



 
 
This comment added 2020/05/19

The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change

The response around the world to the pandemic in early 2020, while sometimes bumbling and incompetent, was generally swift and decisive, certainly when compared to the lack of response to climate change. Far more human and economic effort has been put into the pandemic in just the first half of 2020 than has been put into the almost infinitely greater threat of climate change, ocean acidification and fossil fuel related pollution in the previous four decades.

I have discussed the reasons for the difference on another page on this site.

Scientists, those of the general population who appreciate science and even a great many of our school children see the way the world is going, but one of the main problems seems to be that those who are controlling the world, the wealthy and the politicians, are often ignorant of science or even dismissive of the value of science.

Many of the wealthy (in Australia for example, Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer) seem to care only for making more money and not to care how they do it.

Politics is dominated by people having a background in law or economics; few politicians have a science background. Many on the conservative side of politics choose to ignore those sciences that do not fit in with their preconceptions.

Capitalism is the dominant system running commerce; it does not take into account environmental damage or ethical considerations. These matters need to be protected by governments, but governments are failing in this duty.
 
Home
Top
Index




Contributing factors in humanity's suicide

Nation states

A strong thirst for power is needed for a leader or a leading group to obtain control of a nation. The desire for retaining power overrides any desire to protect the long-term good of the nation controlled, even more it overrides the long-term good of the whole planet.

Unethical governments

In 2018 Donald Trump, an habitual liar and probably the US president with the lowest ethical standards in history, decided that the USA should make no effort to lower its greenhouse emissions. It is among the nations with the highest per-capita greenhouse emissions.

In Australia the The Howard and Rudd governments failed to treat Australia's greenhouse emissions with anything like the urgency that the problem required. The Gillard government did better, bringing in an effective emissions trading scheme, but Prime Minister Gillard was replaced by Rudd in a come-back and then he soon lost an election to the Liberal/National coalition. The Abbott Government repealed the emissions trading scheme, the Turnbull Government was a great disappointment and the Morrison Government (still in power at the time of writing) was perhaps the worst of them all.

I've written more on Australia's culpability below.
 
Home
Top
Index




Australia's part in humanity's suicide

My nation, Australia, is in the important measure, its per-capita figures, one of the worst greenhouse gas emitters in the world. This fact means that Australia, and Australians, have a higher ethical responsibility to reduce our emissions than most other peoples and nations.

 
 
This section added 2020/06/08

A great criminal is rewarded!

In what must be one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in history Australia's ex prime minister, Tony Abbott, the man who has done more than any other to slow Australia's response to climate change, received the nation's top honor in yesterday's Queen's Birthday list.
In this Australia is failing on many counts, at the time of writing, May 2019:

  • Australia ranks 53rd in the world in population, but sixth in the world in the CO2 produced by its electricity industry;
  • Australia has 0.3% of the world's population, but produces 1.2% of the world's greenhouse gasses;
  • Australia's per-capita greenhouse gas emission rate is about 17 tonnes per annum, more than three times the world average, which is about 5 tonnes per annum.
  • If Australia's fossil fuel exports are taken into consideration the nation is responsible for about 3.6% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Australia has an ethical obligation to bring its greenhouse gas emission rate down at least to the world average. Not only is the Australian government failing to fulfil it ethical responsibilities, it is doing practically nothing to combat climate change.



 
This section added 2020/01/04

What does the presidency of Donald Trump suggest about the sustainability of human civilisation?

As of the time of writing United States President Donal Trump has been documented in the making of over 20,000 false statements during the four years of his presidency. That such an habitually dishonest person can be in any position of power in any democracy is shocking, but what should worry us in relation to the future of human civilisation is the fact that, again at the time of writing, Trump was the preferred presidential candidate to 43% of US voters. To add to this, based on the 2016 election it is likely that 45% of eligible US voters will be too apathetic to bother voting.

To this must be added the insistence from Trump that climate change is 'fake news' and his refusal to do anything to lower the USA's very high greenhouse gas emissions, as mentioned above.

The fact that Trump's behaviour is acceptable to such a large proportion of the people of one of the world's great nations is surely an indication that democracy as a form of government is not credible. Yet, as I have argued elsewhere, democracy is the only form of government that can be called legitimate because it is the only form of government that the people of a nation choose for themselves. Any other form of government is one that is imposed upon the people by some individual or group.

All together it seems that the Trump phenomenon is only further evidence that humanity is incapable of sustainable occupancy of planet Earth.

 
Home
Top
Index




Home
Top
Index





Index



Home
Top
 
Home
Top