Australian coal: why we are not saving the ecosphere

Another terrifying, spot on Davos warning from Greta, but I cannot believe Siemens was the only bidder for the Adani rail contract. Greta and XR are ignoring the Tragedy of the Commons.

I have several times discussed the first of the two reasons why a threat to the entire ecosphere has been ignored for nearly 50 years: my last two blog posts for example, namely that until there is a massive cultural shift, no government purporting to be democratic dare propose anything other than economic growth. They need to get in at the next election.

The Siemens débacle is a small example of the second reason: no one can put themselves at a disadvantage, however short term. Tackllng individual symptoms will not work. Adani would simply have used a company less sensitive to criticism than Siemens

Greta can ‘speak truth to power’ until she is blue in the face, and XR can keep strangling city centres, but until cattle ranching, hydraulic fracturing, mining (not just coal), steel production, over-fishing or anything else which looks like a commercial opportunity ceases to do so, we are all doomed, even the perpetrators..

It has always been obvious to me that a cessation of economic growth was necessary, at least as something which could be accepted as normal from time to time, but a political party cannot suggest this, right? I have been suggesting the unconditional basic income (UBI), but it would not work immediately.

What if a ‘Buddhist’ ethos became consensual word wide? Utopian? If we eco-doomsters re right, it will have to happen anyway, post crisis. (If it doesn’t, there will be some form of oppression, akin to Feudalism, or a caste system.) Suppose all individuals felt secure that their basic needs would be met, and they could devote much of their time to other things, provided of course that they did nothing to harm others, or the wider environment? This would have been more realistic if started earlier, but it is not utopian, only a survival strategy.

Many, as worried as I am by the gathering symptoms of ecological damage, reject the UBI, some angrily, as a distraction from the measures we all agree on. Others accept the UBI, but only as one of many ideas. I think both miss the possibility of, and need for a mind set change as a catalyst. It is not claimed as a panacea. Why have none of the measures obvious to all of us in the eco-movement not even started the cultural shift? Only a guarantee of material security can do this.

As I explain at the end of my (unacknowledged) appeal to Jacinda Ardern, New ZealandPrime Mnister, (last week’s blog) the basic income strategy has worked, in an unexpected place.

Oddly enough, Adani includes solar power in its publicity. Some will cynically dismiss this as greenwash, but my main proposition remains, all we have to do is make solar a better proposition than coal.

To begin with, briefly, what became the Green Party did have a long term ecological vision, but now, it only sees the UBI as a social justice measure. Do we have a longer term?

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