Australia Steps Up Climate Fight, U.S. Republicans Step Back In Time

With the announcement yesterday of a new carbon tax proposal, Australia is set to become the world leader on addressing climate change. Right now, Australia leads the world in per-capita carbon pollution. The carbon tax, which has been described as “modest, riddled with exclusions, bribing voters and corporations“, is still the best national carbon plan in the world. It is expected to pass in both houses of parliament before the end of the year, but the Conservative opposition and the Australian coal industry seem determined to whip up public sentiment against the carbon tax (remember, Australia is where climate scientists have been receiving death threats and über-denier Monckton is invited back regularly ). Right now, polls indicate 60% of the population is opposed to carbon pricing, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labor government is the most unpopular in 40 years. A lot is riding on the government’s ability to convince voters that it’s time to tackle climate change.

In the meantime, closer to home, U.S. Republicans, bowing to their tea party members, are set today to repeal legislation that promotes energy-efficient light bulbs, one that was signed into law by none other than President George W. Bush and is now embraced by industry. Sounds like the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Washington these days!

More Links:

Australia Carbon Tax Modest Beginning

Australia Steps Up Climate Fight, Unveils Sweeping Carbon Plan

Climate Scientists Angered By Denier’s Death Threat Campaign

Republicans Defend “Personal Liberty” in Fight To Ban Energy-Saving Lightbulbs

Carbon Fee and Dividend: Building a Green Economy

Global Weather Destabilization & Our Food: Change is Coming

The changing global climate related to unchecked burning of fossil fuels threatens food security, livelihoods and the environment worldwide but particularly those who are already most vulnerable. This summer, we are seeing this in the extreme weather events that have destroyed food crops in Pakistan and Russia.

Here in North America most of us take our food system and security for granted. It’s hard to imagine a time when we can’t buy apples from New Zealand and plums from Chile in the middle of winter. But climate change, and the end of cheap oil, will dramatically change our current food system. The good news is that our present  method of delivering and growing food is relatively new,  having developed in rich industrialized nations over the last 50 years. The “old-fashioned”, more local ways of growing and preserving food are still within living memory, even in North America and Europe.  Human beings are also infinitely creative. Here is a video on the Windowfarms project, one response to the need and desire of urban dwellers to have access to fresh produce they’ve grown themselves. After viewing the video, I now know what I’m going to do with the windows in my daughters’ bedrooms when they leave for university in September!


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Climate Change: Agriculture and Food Security