A word on burning Australia

Started by N-drju, January 08, 2020, 09:03:33 am

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N-drju

As I write this, I am very sad. It terrifies me to see what is currently going on in Australia and it doesn't seem like there is any near end in sight to the cataclysm that is ravaging through this otherwise beautiful country.

I have a colleague living in Canberra who is a terrific person. A knowledgeable, witty and (too) frequently jovial individual with a great mind and a traveler spirit. A kind of person you can rarely be bored with. I can't possibly imagine how hard his life currently is. And I remember how genuinely fascinated he was last year when he came to Europe in February and have seen snow for the first time in his life... Something that most Europeans simply take (at least took) for granted.

I want to make it clear that I make a direct connection between anthropogenic global warming and the recent bushfires. Extreme temperatures have always given a way to extreme atmospheric conditions. And I have always been taught that fire needs three components - fuel, air and temperature.

Even if you do not accept (a scientifically accepted) view that human industry causes global warming, there is no logical way to deny that elevated temperatures and dry land is a recipe for a disaster. I think that anthropogenic climate change denialists has formed their worldview out of a very simple factor - fear. Why?

Because it is always very uncomfortable to admit that you are the root of a problem. And from that, comes another important point - being the root of the problem, you are also able to make an effort to solve the problem. But it is a looong and hard work, so you are not in a rush to accept the truth.

On the other hand, if you accept something as being out of your human control, you can just sit back and enjoy the orange skies Down Under, explaining it as something that happens on itself.

I am just as appaled by the inaction of the biggest governments of the world that have wasted untold years and achieved practically no consensus on how the world should fight the climate change problem. It got even harder in the recent years with quite-recent withdrawals from the Paris Accord. I am simply enraged at a thought that all it takes in our stupid World, is just one denialist loon determined to derail every single attempt that eco-minded countries and citizens make at trying to alleviate the problem.
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"

Dune

It is very saddening indeed, and watching the fires rage on on tv makes you feel insignificant and helpless. Unfortunately what is good for nature (and mankind) isn't always good for economy, and that's what's still running the world.

PabloMack

I was in Australia in October of last year. We were there for the SVP meetings which were held in Brisbane. We spent about 5 days driving South and visited Lamington NP. The Binna Burra area was closed due to a recent fire. After the meetings we went on a field trip to Riversleigh which is probably the richest fossil region in all of Australia. Our trip leaders were Michael Archer and Suzanne Hand who are experts on Australia's prehistoric life. We got them to autograph our book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0253339146

I have no doubt that humans are influencing the climate. Most of the worlds problems are directly due to human over-population. Solve that problem and you solve a lot of other problems including anthropogenic climate change as well as many others (resource depletion, pollution, mass extinction, habitat destruction, etc.). I did my part by having no children. What we need is solutions. Blind mandates are no solution. Countries like China would love to see the West shut their industries down in order to limit emissions. They would have a hey-day and burn all the fuel for themselves. One of the things that I think we should do is to cut way down on commuting to work. It makes no sense to drive 50 miles to work and then sit at a desk all day and send emails to the guy in the office next door. This is total insanity. People should be able to walk to work to a building that has offices for different companies. You next door neighbor works for someone else. But you could use the Internet to have direct video meetings with your coworkers. I know that some companies don't think they can guarantee that their employees will work as hard if they weren't physically present. But you could use video to check on people just like you would by walking over to their office. Cars are the biggest wasters of fuel in the USA.

Dune

Totally agree... but when you rely on internet for work you get other problems. Like here we have a network used to login to a lot of companies (Citrix), and it's under threat, and companies are advised to shut down this network until the problem has been solved.
The problem of people lazing about when not in office could indeed be solved by video, but that would give more Chinese Big Brother circumstances. Not very pleasant. You could also have employees work more like self-employed, having to do a certain job within a certain time. When you laze about and can't, fire him/her, or give him/her a less demanding job, (with lower pay).

PabloMack

Quote from: Dune on January 27, 2020, 01:53:38 amThe problem of people lazing about when not in office could indeed be solved by video, but that would give more Chinese Big Brother circumstances.
Privacy on your own time is one thing, but when you are supposed to be at work, your time is not your own. It belongs to the company. So I would have no problem with the company looking over my shoulder when at work. Arguably, cubicles provide less privacy than what I am talking about. The only difference is that you can't necessarily see who is watching you like you could with a physical person. But the technology could be improved so that there is always a monitor that shows who is "visiting" your office by video link. That would make it more like them being physically there.

Dune

You have a point there. Anyway, glad to be working from home ;)