Climate vs Covid: Humbuggery distracts from the climate emergency

Covid humbug distracts politics, media and virtually everyone from what really matters — solving the existential climate emergency

It is reasonable to fear Covid. It is a nasty pandemic disease, it will make a significant fraction of the world’s population too sick to work for a few days. However, even if we did nothing to manage it, a very small number (no more that 5% and probably less than 1%) of people might die from it. Where the scope of human history is concerned, this is insignificant. Who remembers the 1918 ‘Spanish’ Flu? that was at least as lethal, and people still die from flu today. Also, humans have faced much worse pandemics before (e.g., the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages), and we will probably have worse ones in the future. That is the nature of life on Earth. We keep on trucking.

Covid-19 total deaths per 100,000 population in each country from WikiMedia Commons.
Updated shades and values for 15 Jan using Our World in Data. The maximum value, 555 per 100,000 is a death rate of 0.555%.

What is wrong is that we are allowing Captain Humbug, his troop of COALition puppets and like-minded fellow travelers in the social and news media to blind and distract us (i.e., don’t look up!) from seeing and paying attention to the vastly more fearsome reality of the rapidly escalating climate emergency. Although the climate emergency is developing on a timescale of years rather than months, good science and risk management show that it is likely to be vastly more deadly than Covid. Those paying attention to the environment can see and fear that global warming is already passing some important tipping points where natural positive feedbacks from the environment will cause Earth’s Climate System to ‘flip’ over to its Hothouse Hell state.

However, looking over the history of the last three COALition Governments, it has been increasingly clear that the common thread has been to deny, distract and disrupt any real action to resolve the climate emergency by government or citizens. By contrast, it is equally evident that the COALition puppets have always been working to subsidize, protect, put the interests of the special interests of their patrons and masters in the fossil fuel and related industries first, above any actions in the favor of citizens that might in any way harm their patrons. In this, Scotty from Marketing has always been up front with his line of humbug, lies, disinformation, and distraction to keep citizens from looking over the curtain of blather to see what is really happening. This is exquisitely demonstrated by the man himself, in the famous episode of marketing coal to his colleagues.

The puppets show and tell
Captain Humbug showing the parliamentary puppet troop what it is all about. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared, it won’t hurt you. It’s coal.” With these words Australia’s [then] Treasurer Scott Morrison taunted the Opposition, attempting to ridicule its commitment to renewable energy.” – From That Lump of Coal by Professor Clive Hamilton in The Conversation (15-02-2017)

Michelle Grattan’s article in The Conversation reviews some of the signs of growing chaos amongst the Humbug troop of puppets, clowns, backstabbers, liars, fools, and suspected grafters. Captain Humbug is hoping to con the Australian people that Covid is the only thing that matters and that his team will manage it best.


Lukas Coch/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Scott Morrison’s ministerial team looks far from match-fit

Michelle Grattan, 20/01/2022
The Conversation

It sounded a touch desperate – Prime Minister Scott Morrison imploring backpackers to “come on down” to Australia, as the Omicron crisis escalated.

“Enjoy a holiday here”, said the one-time managing director of Tourism Australia, and “at the same time join our workforce and help us”. The backpacker flow is slow, so there’ll be a $3 million advertising campaign (minus Lara Bingle) to lure them, and they’ll get a rebate on their visas if they come soon.

People were quick to see the irony – while Morrison was spruiking working holidays, travel advice in the US was updated to say “avoid travel to Australia”.

Read the full article….

Here I have shown several ways the morally corrupt LNP COALition Government helped by tame media has created a blinding cloud of humbug and bulldust. Helped by distractions Government hyperinflation of real concerns about Covid and playing the Djoker, few people have noticed that virtually nothing has been done or even planned to stop or even reduce carbon emissions. Nor have many people taken any real notice of the fearsome possibility that our inaction on the climate emergency may be committing the global biosphere and our own families and history to near term mass extinction. These circumstances have given fossil fuel gluttons a free pass to continue pumping their greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere to continue forcing GHG concentrations and global temperatures ever higher when we should all be working flat out to stop emissions and start working to reverse the global warming process.

We need to replace the LNP and other fossil fuel puppets NOW with sensible people who have committed to putting action on the climate emergency as their first order of business if elected. Vote Climate One’s Traffic Light Voting System is designed to give you information from a variety of sources to help you to rank the candidates in YOUR electorate on their likely performance relating to the climate emergency if elected to a ‘green’ tinged Parliament. Red lights for COALition and those whose preferences are likely to go to the COALition; green lights for those who have publicly committed themselves to placing the climate first if elected and Greens because of their official policy; and amber lights for those who we think can be trusted to work with or join a green tinged coalition if Labor fails to gain a majority. Currently we include the Labor Party as a whole in the amber category because their policy is still very ambivalent about shutting down the fossil fuel industry.

Help us leave our only planet in a fit state to give our offspring a bright future!

Posted by William P. Hall

Some call me a 'climate scientist'. I'm not. What I am is an 'Earth systems generalist'. Born in 1939, I grew up with passionate interests in both science and engineering. I learned to read from my father's university textbooks in geology and paleontology, and dreamed of building nuclear powered starships. Living on a yacht in Southern California I grew up surrounded by (and often immersed in) marine and estuarine ecosystems while my father worked in the aerospace engineering industry. After studying university physics for three years, dyslexia with numbers convinced me to change my focus to biology. I completed university as an evolutionary biologist (PhD Harvard, 1973). My principal research project involved understanding how species' genetic systems regulated the evolution and speciation of North America's largest and most widespread lizard genus. Then for several years as an academic biologist I taught a range of university subjects as diverse as systematics, biogeography, cytogenetics, comparative anatomy and marine biology. In Australia, from 1980, I was involved in various activities around the emerging and rapidly evolving microcomputing technologies culminating in 2 years involvement in the computerization of the emerging Bank of Melbourne. In 1990 I joined a startup engineering company that had just won the contract to build a new generation of 10 frigates for Australia and New Zealand. In 2007 I retired from the head office of Tenix Defence, then Australia's largest defence engineering contractor, after a 17½ year career as a documentation and knowledge management systems analyst and designer. At Tenix I reported to the R&D manager under the GM Engineering, and worked closely with support and systems engineers on the ANZAC Ship Project to solve documentation and engineering change management issues that risked the project 100s of millions of dollars in cost and years of schedule overruns. All 10 ships had been delivered on time, on budget to happy customers against the fixed-price and fixed schedule contract. Before, during, and after these two main gigs I also did a lot of other things that contribute to my general understanding of complex dynamical systems involving multiple components with non-linear and sometimes chaotically interacting components; e.g., 'Earth systems'. Earth's Climate System is the global heat engine driven by the transport and conversions of energy between the incoming solar radiation striking the planet, and the infrared radiation of heat away from the planet to the cold dark universe. As Climate Sentinel News Editor, my task is to identify and understand quirks and problems in the operation of this complex heat engine that threaten human existence, and explain to our readers how they can help to solve some of the critical issues that are threatening their own existence.

Views expressed in this post are those of its author(s), not necessarily all Vote Climate One members.