As I wrote previously, when you mention climate change, people generally fall into one of two positions. Either they believe all that they have read seen or heard or else they are skeptical and are often called ‘climate deniers.’ As I previously wrote, I am not taking an absolute position on this. I am not denying climate change. Rather, I simply want to draw attention to the aspects of climate change that have not always been reported in the mainstream media, at least in America.
We can see some of the differences when we take a look at both the reports on the bushfires in Australia and also the situation in China and India.
I grew up in Australia and could only watch from afar as a nation went up in flames. The Australian bushfires have become, for climate change advocates, a vivid example of the effect of climate change. The Washington Post ran an article entitled ‘In Australia, Climate Denial Goes Up in Smoke,’ as though bushfires ended any discussion on the subject. But is this so?
\Recently, I had a letter sent me from my old homeland which pointed out bushfires like these ones have happened before. Let me quote, “EIGHTY-ONE YEARS AGO (13th January 1939) with temperatures above 110°F (45°C) across Victoria and the state in drought, bushfires consumed 3,700 buildings across the state, 71 lives were lost and 5 towns COMPLETELY DESTROYED- never to be rebuilt. The ROYAL COMMISSION into ”Black Friday” concluded; ‘There had been no fires to equal these in destructiveness or intensity in the history of settlement in this State, EXCEPT PERHAPS THE FIRES OF 1851, which, too, came at summer CULMINATION OF A LONG DROUGHT'” This was written by someone who was there in the bush fires of 1939. The writer goes on to say, “Every child in every Australian school should be taught about the events of ‘Black Friday’ 1939 to give them an understanding and appreciation of the extreme danger of the Australian bush. However keeping them IGNORANT of Australia’s bushfire history makes it far easier to radicalise them and recruit them into the CLIMATE CULT. As Orwell noted; ‘The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.’ And yet today we are being told by our leaders that this is the NEW NORMAL??? Oh, no, this time is DIFFERENT —- now we are being brainwashed into believing the GOSPEL of the NEW religion of CLIMATE CHANGE!!”
On the same day, I received the above letter, I received another one with an opposite point of view stating, “Even in Oz many people make the mistake of citing earlier droughts, fires, and floods as proof that the land has always been buffeted by such catastrophes. And, to a point, they are correct. Indeed, in the past Oz has endured many severe natural disasters, which at least in some aspects have been worse than we are currently suffering. But the difference now is that such events are happening earlier, lasting longer, occurring much more frequently, and causing more extensive damage. The costs to our economy are enormous. And there is a general scientific consensus that climate change is a major contributor to these events, and that human activity is at least partly (if not largely) to blame for our rising temperatures (2019 was the hottest year on record for Oz) and our altered climate.”
And then, on top of that, I received another article that made the case that “Australian aborigines practiced land management, including ‘cultural burning,’ which helped prevent fire risks and protected natural habitat.” The article later stated, “The carefully managed fire practices used by Indigenous Australians were drastically altered with the arrival of Europeans in 1788 – with disastrous consequences” (abc.net.au). Europeans unleashed a whole new era of wildfires, more intense and more frequent fires.
Steve Pyne, an Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, specializing in environmental history, says, “A renewed focus on Aboriginal land practices must guide our future thinking . . . you are not going to do it with air tankers and engines, you’re going to have to do it with fire” (abc.net.au).
Well, there you have it. This is a complex issue, especially when you throw in the controversy over recent laws to forbid ‘back burning,’ called ‘controlled burning’ in America, along with the arrest of arsonists (at least 20 people have been charged). Furthermore, you have the economic issues of mining coal and the power stations that run on fossil fuels, as well as the exportation of coal.
CHINA AND INDIA
One aspect of climate change that is not sufficiently confronted is the fact that no matter what America (or other Western nations) do to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere, no sizable change will take place unless there is a major change in the use of fossil fuels in both China and India. Now, this then becomes both a political and economic issue. It affects all sorts of things. A recent article, ‘Australia’s China Syndrome’ points out Australia’s increasing dependence on trade with China. It also stated, “Australia’s increasing economic dependence on China is perhaps clearest in its education sector. In Sydney, three universities-the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, and the University of Technology at Sydney-enroll 36,500 Chinese students, more than double the population of central Sydney. Each enrolls more Chinese students than any American school” (city-journal.org). So climate change is one part of a larger economic and political picture.
I will be interested in receiving feedback from these last two Langstaff Letter on climate change. This is a complex issue, but one that we are forced to face, so this will not be the last letter on the subject.