Cognitive dissonance over climate catastrophe

Fiona Colin, Melbourne, May 17, 2024

A Guardian survey of hundreds of top climate scientists indicates only six percent think the 1.5C goal is achievable. Nearly eighty percent warn of dire consequences, a “semi-dystopian” future of wider famine, mass migration and conflict driven by dwindling basic resources. An agreement signed last year between Tuvalu and Australia was a world-first bilateral agreement on “climate mobility” (The Conversation, 11/11).

Australia has, commendably, created migration pathways for people from Tuvalu who face the existential threat of rising sea levels. Yet in the context of the Federal government’s gas strategy announcement, our commitments to the Pacific nations are sounding thin.

Resources Minister Madeleine King says “The strategy makes it clear that gas will remain an important source of energy through to 2050 and beyond, and its uses will change as we improve industrial energy efficiency, firm renewables, and reduce emissions.”

Including technologies like carbon capture and storage as part of your emissions reduction strategies is foolhardy: CCS doesn’t work. Opening new gas (and coal) won’t reduce emissions. Offsets won’t reduce emissions.

Will the dissenting Labor MP voices give pause to the decision-makers who now appear to spurn those who voted for them in the climate election of 2022?

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