A victim and perpetrator of climate change
I shall probably be labelled a curmudgeonly old so-and-so, but am I the only one wondering about the enormous amount of donations being canvassed for the Australian bushfires?
Of course it has been a terrible experience for those involved, and for us all to see. But a few things disturb me.
For a start, I am cynical about the rush by celebrities and sportspeople to contribute. It appears to me more an exercise in grandstanding, and fear of being shamed if they do not join in.
Watching Serena Willams' reaction to journalists' questions seemed to prove the point. She obviously had not really thought of it, and then came up with the great idea of auctioning her playing outfit (autographed of course). Whoopee, that will cost her exactly nothing!
More to the point is the justice of all this. Australia is, by world standards, an enormously wealthy, Westernised country, with huge resources. It is not called “the lucky country” for nothing.
Yes, they are probably, at least in part, victims of climate change. But, as many Australians themselves seem to be recognising, their record on this (or at least their government's) is not the greatest, particularly in burning and exporting coal. (When they claim to only have 1.3 percent of world CO2 emissions, do they take into account what they export to China, one of the biggest emittors?)
But what of other countries suffering from climate change? What of the island nations disappearing under rising seas, or African and other countries with evermore failing rainfall?
These effects are long-term, arguably much worse, and they are in no position to cope.
Where are the “Givealittle” pages for them?
Perhaps we need to think before indulging in emotive, and some might say hypocritical, responses.