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Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 23:59 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 23:59 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Climate change paradoxes

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29 April 2009 14:36

Two responses to my climate change questions. First, Jon:

I think the logic in your posts stacks pretty well — worryingly so, one might say. Your second point might be 'offset' by the diminishing supply of fossil fuels (who'd have thought anyone would be pleased about the finite qualities of oil, LNG, and coal??) — although this wouldn't be for a decade or three. But in our (arguably) present need to develop alternative fuel sources quickly, perhaps we're actually going to see a negligble net effect...at least until fossil fuel sources start to dry up, and their price goes back up again.

Or maybe some radical technology will save us all, and we can go back to contetedly panicking about swine flu (clearly the past tense of 'when pigs fly').

Next, Will Grant: 

I'm no apologist for the Rudd Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, but it has come under fire from various sources for making the action of individuals irrelevant. While it may seem harsh and unfair that the efforts of those of us who have diligently used energy efficient lights and ridden our bikes to work are made worthless, it is, sadly, the only way we can go forward.

Your point about energy efficiency demonstrates this — we simply aren't able, as a community, to make and sustain the personal changes necessary to fight climate change — particularly given that for most of us climate change is a highly abstract, impersonal issue. Even if we did find a way to make such changes, the cost and other advantages of alternate (carbon intensive) options would not go away. And so government efforts (in whatever form) to cut off carbon at the supply side are perhaps the only options available.

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