Thursday, March 15, 2007

Great Post

Just found this over on contradiction, I hope they dont mind me quoting almost the entire text but I think it says it all

"Two things struck me on my way into Melbourne yesterday. The first was seeing the great coal power station at Sale. It is the most polluting power plant in the entire developed world. I’ve seen it from the ground, but in the air it was even more impressive, as you could see the clouds of CO2 heavy smoke drag out for miles. It was intense and beautiful at the same time.

I hitchhiked into central Melbourne, which was also an eye opener. The great thing about hitching is that you see things you’re unlikely to see otherwise, and often get taken outside your comfort zone. In this case I was taken via Footscray, past the freight distribution centre for much of Australia. It really struck me how intensely this country relies on fossil fuels to generate economic activity. The other thing that couldn’t be missed was how brown and dry the city is, much more so than the last time I was here. While the drought cannot be definitively attributed to climate change, the prospect of severe and sustained weather events is being dramatically increased. Unlike New Zealand, somewhat anachronisticly dependent on an agrinomic economy, this place is invested in resource and energy intensive activities for it’s prosperity. Agriculture still plays a significant part, but in many places on the point of collapse. One of the world’s major grain sources is almost dead. I probably don’t need to express what emotion that evokes.

It appears to me that Australia is faced with a choice. On one hand going further down a path of destruction and resource extraction and risking collapse should agriculture fail and easily usable energy supplies dry up. The other is unwinding from that, and moving to a system that only uses as much as it can sustain indefinitely. I know the eternal optimists will argue that there are always substitutes, and the human ingenuity conquers all, but given our history of destroying systems necessary for life, I’d like for humans to take a much more cautious approach."

1 comment:

George Darroch said...

No worries, quote me anytime you want!