Commentary on the Australian Fires from Der Spiegel Magazine – Ed O’Rourke

I used Mr. Google to translate the article.  See below for the link to the original article.

EdTranslation Climate crisis in Australia
Betrayal of the population
Young against old – this is not the decisive line of conflict in the climate crisis. The real contrast is between the interests of fossil fuels and the protection of people. Nowhere is this clearer than in Australia.
It’s been thirteen days since Scott Morrison made a public decision to protect the welfare of the domestic coal industry from the protection of the population.

“We are not going to compromise on careless climate targets and give up domestic industries, which would endanger Australian jobs,” the Australian Prime Minister wrote in a newspaper article shortly before Christmas. At the end of last week, he reaffirmed his stance. This is a remarkably frank treason on the part of a head of government, the protection of life and limb for his countrymen should be more important than anything else.
Huge bush fires have been raging in Australia since October. In the particularly affected states of New South Wales and Victoria, around 140,000 people are at risk of fire, and authorities have declared an emergency. 3000 military reservists were called in to help – a mobilization that has not been seen since the Second World War. An area as large as Switzerland is affected, firefighters are helpless in view of the sheer dimension of the inferno, at least 23 people and, according to scientists, around half a billion animals lost their lives. And the flames continue to rage.
The industry for which Morrison appears to be willing to fire large parts of his country is the coal industry.

Alongside Indonesia, Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of the raw material and itself obtains three-quarters of its electricity from coal-based electricity. Paradoxically, it is coal that burns like no other substance contributes to the escalation of the climate crisis and acts as a fire accelerator for catastrophes like that in Australia (you can find out more about the connection between the bush fires and the climate crisis here).
Since the youth movement Fridays for Future became a defining political force last year, the climate crisis has often been discussed as a generation conflict. Young people rightly accuse the elderly of leaving little space in the atmosphere for further carbon dioxide emissions – unlike their parents, today’s students are therefore doomed to living in CO2 asceticism if they are still reasonably able to control global warming want to hold. But the real front line has to be drawn between the fossil industry and the rest of the world.
Every price is right
A small group in the executive levels of the coal, oil, and gas corporations are enriching themselves from the continual destruction of the planet, while the majority of people have to endure the consequences. Since the Paris climate protection agreement, global emissions have continued to rise, while science is increasingly urging moderation. But instead of at least trying to reverse the situation, the fossil industry – supported by willing parts of politics – is working to even increase CO2 emissions in the future.
In the summer, climate protection experts calculated that new coal-fired power plants with a capacity of 579 gigawatts are currently being planned or under construction – if they are implemented, the coal output will increase by 29 percent globally. At the same time, the IPCC warns that a large part of all coal-fired power plants would have to be shut down by 2030 in order to slow down the global warming, as agreed in Paris. Nobody can claim to be ignorant of the consequences of this business policy. Rather, we are witnessing an industry that is fairly priced in the endgame for its future.
In this fight, Scott Morrison decided on one side: for the coal – and against his country. Australia has long since become a front country of the climate crisis, regardless of the bush fires: The unique Great Barrier Reef has been dying acutely since 2016 at the latest. Increased water temperatures are affecting the ecosystem. In August, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) feared it could lose its World Heritage status.
The Great Barrier Reef is dying, but the Morrison government wants to expand coal production
In a government report, the state was downgraded from “bad” to “very bad” for the first time. “The report draws attention to the fact that the long-term prospects for the Great Barrier Reef are very poor, mainly due to climate change,” said David Wachenfeld, Chief Scientists of GBRMPA. But the Morrison government is now also planning a gigantic coal mine in the hinterland and wants to push ahead with the construction of the world’s largest coal port, Abbot Point, directly on the reef. At the same time, numerous regions of the country are struggling with extreme drought. In December, Australia experienced the hottest day since weather records began.
Klimakrise in Australien: Verrat an der Bevölkerung – SPIEGEL ONLINE – Wissenschaft
Klimakrise in Australien: Verrat an der Bevölkerung – SPIEGEL ONLINE – W…SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, GermanyJung gegen Alt – das ist nicht die entscheidende Konfliktlinie in der Klimakrise. Der wahre Gegensatz tut sich a…

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