At Just 1.3% of Global Emissions, Why should Australia Have to Cut Down?

We are back after a lengthy stint of holiday mode and we have a backlog of folks asking questions.

So without further ado, let's: Ask ARSE.

"Hi ARSE,

You seem on top of everything going on, why should Australia have to cut down on our emissions?

It seems like everything that is happening is only going to get worse, but we are barely to blame.

It just seems unfair."

- Gracey

Yarloop, Australia bushfire before and after.

Thanks for the question Gina and a good one at that.

There seems to be two potentially damaging schools of thought when it comes to emissions.

  1. The science says we've headed into a spiral of unnatural global climate change and man-made emissions are responsible (correct). 

  2. We have not influenced climate change, it is a natural occurrence (wrong). 

What seems to be at the core of both these ideas is that we have little control over the number of emissions we, as a planet, are currently contributing to climate change.

The bad parts of both are responsibility or the lack thereof. 

On one hand, understanding climate science has made nations start pointing fingers.

On the other, people take no responsibility for emissions 

While we only contribute 1.3% of global emissions, we are only a small population country.

Consider that we are only 0.33% of the world's population and that 1.3% seems a little bigger.

This means that per capita we contribute a lot, considering.

But what does that have to do with climate change-induced bushfires and greenhouse gas emissions?

Australia has always had the ability to influence other countries by example. 

In 2011, the Obama administration backed by our government persuaded China to slow its massive 27% carbon emissions.

They did.

China's emissions 1990 to 2020

Their predicted rise in emissions was expected to reach upwards of 14 billion gigatonnes by 2020.

Instead, they were near flat.

China adopted more non-emission means of generating electricity in hydro, nuclear, wind and sun. 

That is until Trump's 2017 presence in the white house - along with key members of the Coalition in Australia -  eased the political pressure on China to limit emissions.

The Paris Agreement was anything but.

And now, unfortunately, our stance has gotten us banned from the 2020 Climate Conference.

Sad really.

However, the fact still remains that we are an influential bunch with the potential to create a big change in the world.

No matter our size.

 Australian firefighters are testament to the Australian spirit

Per capita, Australia has a culture of pulling our socks up when it matters.

Droughts?
We abide by water restrictions as a form of civic duty.

Fires?
We volunteer.
We give the shirts off our back.
We donate money we don't need to those who don't have.

Emissions?
We took the initiative and made a promise to led by example.

And did.

We influenced the world's most prominent contributor of greenhouse gases.

So yes, while we contribute a finite amount of emissions in the grand scheme of things, we also have the ability to lead by example with a smaller populace and more readily altered infrastructure.

Together in solidarity with larger powers, we do have the ability to make a global change if we walk the walk. 

We hope this helps!

 

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