Australia – 3

DSC01687Should we deprive people of all hope? I’ve been thinking about this these past few days. Because hope is the worst. And, as we all know, it’s the last to die. Maybe we can finish it off somehow? Covertly poison it. Attack it, when it turns its back at us. As long as we will all still have hope, not much can be done. Imagine that some important guy, lets say Obama, has all the necessary data. Researchers draw up some fancy charts and graphs explaining in great detail the prognosis for the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and to what levels to oceans will rise. Here we bid farewell to Hawaii, here New York becomes New Venice. Obama sits at his desk, cries a bit, and then pumps another billion dollars into the arms industry. And what is he thinking at that moment? “Fuck the flood in Luisiana, I never really liked that state anyway, what’s important is that we’ll finish off those guys wearing flip-flops in the desert. After all they’re the ones threatening American dreams, not the Koch brothers or the relentless desire to eat meat.” So, no. I don’t think that’s what he actually thinks. Actually I think that Gen. Keith Alexander comes to him and says: Don’t worry, buddy. We’ll build a perpetuum mobile, we’ll have an unlimited source of energy and you’ll soon be able to tell the oil barons to go fuck themselves. Maybe you’ll even be able to introduce your whole Obamacare, although I honestly don’t know why bother.

So what do normal people think? Those that I’ve met think for example that scientists exaggerate. Not so long ago they predicted that London would be flooded by tones of shit because of the excessive number of horse cabs. And what happened? Cars were invented. Scientists could say that London is still being flooded by shit but in a gaseous state. Air pollution will soon exceed smoking on the charts for factors leading to lung cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But didn’t we just say that scientists exaggerate? Luckily there are other brave scientists who instead of exaggerating and depriving people of hope keep working on lovely new nuclear reactors. Or even more exciting things. At least we hope so. So maybe we should be deprived of that hope?

People also think that it’s impossible for a man to do so much harm to nature in such a short period of time. We’re too weak for that. The ocean levels may be rising, but hasn’t the world always been changing? Maybe various species are dying out, but we need to eat something! And on this point I do agree with people. It’s difficult to prohibit people from eating. Although on those that could use this kind of prohibition, we can’t even impose taxes, much less make them go on a diet. Prohibiting things is easier when it comes to poor people. And that’s nasty.

Not having to look too far, the Australian government is trying to discourage people form smoking. So a pack of cigarettes costs about $15. I couldn’t believe it, as producing a packet of cigarettes costs a few pennies (in Australia maybe a bit more, due to high labour costs). But it’s true. If you’re rich it makes no difference. But when your’e poor it’s quite a lot. Thanks to this idea some people may actually give up smoking. But as far as I know, when it comes to oil, the restrictions are much more lax. It’s funny how the government that is doing its absolute best to destroy the Great and oldest Coral Reef completely, takes such good care of its citizens. They care so much that soon all that will be left of the ecosystem will be citizens with healthy lungs. Well, maybe not so healthy, because of the air pollution. But at least it won’t be from cigarettes.

Maybe it’s just easier to impose taxes on those who burn tobacco than on those who burn oil? All in all, awareness of the harms from smoking has become widespread. So maybe the awareness of the fact that consuming oil is not such a good idea will also get to into every house? The trick is that even though living without smoking is perfectly possible to imagine (and billions of people do this), living without oil seems a bit trickier. Maybe a few guys on the desert in flip-flops can, but probably not even them. Their flip-flops have to be made of something. And if it’s not human skin it’s oil.

DSC01675aNow I’m going to get some beer. Korean, because it’s the cheapest here. It’s cheaper to import beer from Korea, where the labour cost is low. Air pollution comes along as a free bonus. Air is also free. Maybe it shouldn’t be?

World Leaders Unite Against New Terrorist Threat

 

It began yesterday with strong words from President Barack Obama at a press conference at the White House:

‘In the light of recent events, it has become clear that we have turned a blind eye to this danger for too long. We have ignored those who tried to warn us, and the cost has been tragically high. This new terrorist organization is like nothing we’ve faced before, an unprecedented threat to our way of life. I consider it a failing of my presidency that, of all the many things Americans fear, they aren’t scared enough of this. Because make no mistake about it; the scale of the catastrophe we face could not only eclipse every other terrorist act in history, it could exceed the damage caused by both world wars combined.

Terrorist Threat-Obama-2‘It’s time to step up and face this head on . . . and the United States of America is going to do just that, with all the resources at our command.’

His words were echoed by British Prime Minister, David Cameron:

‘We stand shoulder to shoulder with America on this. What they do, we do. Where they go, we go.’

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was next to weigh in yesterday afternoon, stating that the environmental protests in his country against mining and the pollution from factories had been like a warning hiss, but Terrorist Threat-Li Keqianghad barely hinted at the size of the serpent that lay beneath the surface.

These reactions came in the wake of the discovery, earlier this week, that the undermining of the Western Antarctic ice sheet, whose collapse could cause devastation across the globe, had been an act of deliberate sabotage, perpetrated by a new extremist group known as CO2, formed by rogue elements of carbon and oxygen. The terrorist act was believed to be just the latest in a meticulously planned campaign of attrition. Originally members of the politically moderate Greenhouse Gas Alliance, this fundamentalist splinter group have reportedly become frustrated with the lack of recognition for their cause and dissatisfied with the slow pace of climate change.

Professed radicals, CO2’s forthright message and dramatic methods have been attracting a growing following of new fanatical molecules. In a statement released online two days ago, they told the world’s media:

‘For too long, humans have attempted to impose your will upon our people. You disturb the slumber of our ancestors and disrespect the bonds that are an inherent part of our identity. You make us slaves to your industry, discarding us when we are no more use to you. You have an insatiable greed for material possessions, possessions made from the bodies of our children. But your time is at an end. We will blow you from the land and sweep you into the sea. The elements will prevail. Glory be to the Universe!’

One by one, the world’s leaders have been stepping forward to acknowledge this new threat and make clear their resolve to combat it. Francois Hollande, France’s President, stated today that:

‘This marks a revolution in the attitudes of nations. From this point on, the people of the world shall be united in equal partnership, a brotherhood to stand against the perpetrators of this vile outrage. These rogue elements will not succeed. We will claim back the sky.’

Even historic enemies are putting their differences aside to face this extraorTerrorist Threat-Netanyahudinary enemy. Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu met the press just an hour ago, telling them:

‘We shall embrace our Arab neighbours, standing with them at this momentous time. We’re going to have enough problems without fighting amongst ourselves. We’re all living on this fragile land together and we’re going to need each other if we’re to survive. CO2 and their insidious plot to change our climate will not recognize borders. Let us usher in a new era of cooperation and God bless our neighbours!’

Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia’s leaders have already indicated their desire to join the campaign against CO2, with the rest of the Arab world expected to follow suit. In a sun-baked region facing constant challenges with water supply, they know bettTerrorist Threat-Solar Powerer than anyone how easily the environment can be adapted to create weapons of mass destruction. The United Arab Emirates have pledged to stop trying to figure out how to get water to the tops of towering skyscrapers in the desert and, instead, to plough their oil profits into their ongoing research into solar power.

‘If we can crack the battery and transmission problems, we can power whole nations,’ one source claimed. ‘We’ll pull the rug from under CO2’s feet.’

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, has just appeared on ABC television, a visibly chastened man:

‘It’s time we gave due consideration to this land we’re living in. We need to understand its past, its nature, if we’re going to survive the future. Terrorist Threat-AbbottOur mining, logging and farming have seriously weakened the land’s natural defences. We should have listened to the Aboriginal people and others who warned us about what this land could and couldn’t take. There’s nothing but open ocean standing between us and the Antarctic. This new enemy’s going to hit us first, and it’s going to hit us hard. And despite our military might, we are woefully unprepared.’

President Putin, speaking from Moscow yesterday evening, called a halt to all drilling for oil in the Arctic Circle.

‘I am announcing a stop to all drilling pending an investigation into the environmental effects. Russian naval forces are being deployed to protect the polar ice cap itself. And I’m not just talking about stopping Russian companies. Nobody’s taking any more oil out of there until we can find a more responsible way to do it. This process of environmental plunder has become a recruitment campaign for CO2 and others like them.’

There is widespread recognition that the developing world will bear the brunt of these new terrorist attacks and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has led the call asking for the leaders of nations across Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia what they need, how and where. Terrorist Threat-Ban Ki MoonHe appeared moved to tears as he faced the cameras today, saying:

‘It’s just so inspiring to see everyone agreeing on something for once. But that’s how crucial this issue has become.’

There has been talk of deploying a peace-keeping force of UN sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, though this has already been criticized by some experts as ‘too little, too late’, or ‘kicking the can down the road’. There are also plans for pre-emptive strikes; a Shock and Awe campaign of forest plantation and a targeted climate engineering strategy, including establishing phytoplankton zones coordinated by NATO.

In the US base on Guantanamo Bay, construction has started on a research facility for ‘experimenting’ on rogue elements of carbon captured in the atmosphere. Once again, the spectre of extraordinary rendition has raised its ugly head, but this time, to a far less critical reception.

And it was President Obama who demonstrated the strongest commitment to an unflinching defence against the new terrorist group – after being challenged by a journalist, that ‘these could just be more noble, but empty words’.

‘I have just ordered the National Security Agency to hand over control of the majority of their vast computing power to the scientific community to aid in computer climate modelling,’ Terrorist Threat-NSA Logothe president declared. ‘To help anticipate the changes to our weather and help us prepare for them. The NSA has had a bottomless budget to find enemies and yet they remained oblivious to the greatest threat of all, leaving us horribly vulnerable. They dropped the ball. Now, our fate is in the hands of the scientists we’ve ignored for too long. They’re going to need all the resources we can give them.’

After this shock announcement, and speaking off the record, one source in the NSA told me: ‘Frankly, most of the staff here are relieved. It’ll be great to be doing something worthwhile for a change. Spying on our own people, and the leaders of our allies, was just making everyone here unhappy anyway. And I think a lot of the British folks in GCHQ feel the same way.’

A rather unsettled-looking David Cameron acknowledged the long-standing ‘special relationship’ with the United States, and stated that he would have someone look into the possibility of GCHQ getting involved in a similar quest for life-saving knowledge.

President Obama, when asked if this new campaign could be considered a ‘War on Weather’, replied: ‘We’re not fighting the weather, we’re fighting those who would turn it against us. Besides, there’s big a difference between “weather” and “climate. It’s a difference we all need to start understanding.

‘Because one thing is clear, we’re facing the possible collapse of our civilization. So it’s time to commit – you’re either with the human race . . . or you’re against it.’