In Sydney last weekend, thousands gathered in support of action to stop human induced climate change and made it clear that if a tax would help, they were for it. A short distance away, an opposing rally was told by the leader of the Opposition that a carbon tax was futile and unnecessary. The narrowness of the 'debate' was illustrated by one banner wielder's worry about her old Mom.
That banner reminded me of an octagenarian complaining in 1966, when Australia adopted decimal currency. Quote: "I just don't understand it. Why can't they put the damned thing off until all the old people die!"
The old irresponsible breed
Who march to Conservative creed;
Are arrogant fools,
Who ignorance rules,
And live in delusion and greed!
Greed: Economic growth now is more important than ocean, air and human survival.
Delusion: Abbott's answer to climate change; "We can plant trees."
The math is as follows (very roughly).
To absorb the CO2 for one car-year needs a hectare of trees. We multiply that by ten milion cars. In the next twenty years that is 200 million hectares, or 2 million square kilometres.
Coal fired powe stations produce 36% of carbon emissions. For each 20 years, if they continue as now, we need to plant out (say) 4 million square kiometres. By the time we add in cow flatulence and landfill dump emissions and a few miscellaneous, we are up to around 8 million square kilometres already.
But hang on, the total area of Ausralia is less than 8 million square kilometres.
We will just have to live somewhere else!
Limerick first published by Poetry 24.