Finger-pointing infant style . . .
by Bob Hughes
An accusation last month of 20-odd years of harassment on global warming inspired me to write my Weekender column that ran last Saturday.
For the theme, I drew on observations and data obtained by scientists, naturalists and experts who study humanity’s impact on nature and our contribution to climate change.
I reinforced my piece with recent calls for action from reliable international and national sources who together warn humanity must reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately to avoid catastrophe. I concluded my article with a list of facts for my critics to fault, instead of attacking me and others.
It seems I failed in this. Three critics came back in attack mode, as in the sequence of responses published here on Monday and Wednesday. Readers may have noticed the only substance connected to my column was the response regarding the synthetic jacket of my profile image; too silly to repeat.
Also, I was uncomfortable to see others picking on other campaigners including the School Strike 4 Climate kiddies for the mode of transport to venues, and the online critic who ridiculed Greta Thunberg and her mother for their eco-yacht trip to New York. Finger-pointing from adults not yet grown up, I say.
However, what interested me most was the main antagonist saying, “radical and immediate measures you call for will simultaneously increase the cost of living while decreasing overall living standards . . . .
Initially, the hardest hit financially will be farmers”.
I admit he is probably right. Yet his words only go to highlight how economic thinking is so divorced from nature.
One of my earliest columns in 2009 was titled “The environment must come first”.
It’s lost in time, but if I remember rightly I covered how economic growth invariably impacts negatively on nature, and it might have been there that I first mentioned we can’t have an economy without a well-functioning ecosystem.
When we run down our resources we will be forced to change, or find alternative ways to manage.
Since then more than a decade has passed by, with further damage done, resources rapidly depleting and the climate more unstable — yet, still the blindness and deafness to nature’s desperate warnings.
Graham Gibson, who baited me with over 20 years of harassment, has just come back at me to say I’ve been devoid of solutions. Weird stuff from a guy who last year claimed he’d withdrawn a request for my knighthood and incinerated all my published material that he had saved. He must know of the many attempts to inform readers.
Graham is in the same camp as the others — finding my answers that clash with status-quo thinking completely unacceptable.
Prioritising the environment and living on less on a resource-depleted planet affected by climate change — as our grandkids surely will — is to them a foreign language.
I have championed rail for the same reasons Graham gives. The mountains of rubbish issue, recycling, plastic bags — yes, and I also avoid using other resources not mentioned as much as possible.
To have a chance of escaping total civilisation collapse, the whole of humanity must unite and change our lifestyles entirely. I have said it before, we humans are fundamentally part of nature and as with all other lifeforms, need to be connected as such.
Basic needs are food, water, shelter, body protection, sleep and physical-emotional connection to others.
As a species, we must learn to differentiate between our basic needs and nice-to-have things; fossil fuel should be out.