Compromising normal human activities

An insightful perspective from Jonathon Green on the ABC website today on the ongoing dismal state of Australian politics.  He concludes:

“As the IPCC says, climate change, unchecked, will destroy the economy we recognise. Isn’t that what we can read beneath its anodyne, phlegmatic phrasing: “compromising normal human activities”? The idea that acting to thwart climate change might “clobber the economy” is so disconnected from logic and simple common sense as to suggest some other line of thinking entirely.

Language, as ever, is full of meaning. Parsing the Prime Minister’s repeated offerings on climate and economy reveals a politician with concern for one, and at best a watching brief on the other. The language betrays a complete lack of connection between what climate change is and what it might do.

To suggest that the economy needs to be protected from the only policy path that might in the long term secure its very existence, is so close to absurd as to leave you wondering just whether in fact Abbott does accept any recognisable concept of climate change.

There is another possibility: that he does concede the menace of a warming world, but for the sake of effective short-term politics has elected not to act in its interests. It’s hard to imagine any greater betrayal of national – human – interest.”

Indeed – but on the off chance that the second possibility is not the case, and in case there might be some minuscule chance of someone with similar cognitive difficulties being helped to understand the seriousness of the problem, xkcd this week offered an interesting attempt at portraying what 4 degrees of warming might mean for normal human activities, by looking the other way.

4.5 degrees

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