I AM not a climate-change sceptic, but I am a three per cent sceptic.
Australia produces less than three per cent of global carbon emissions, but to save the global environment in any meaningful way, a much higher reduction is needed and so I have a proposal.
For every minute of air-time given to reducing our tiny footprint, spend at least half that time on ending global poverty.
Why, because as Tim Flannery and others use projections to predict how bad things might get with the environment, poverty is already killing millions of people each year.
Environmentalists might argue that stopping global warming will help in ending poverty.
If only it were that easy to help an African farmer.
Even if the weather was perfect, most poor African farmers would still live in poverty because many have less than one hectare of land, their land is not irrigated in most cases, meaning they can’t really take advantage of good rainfalls, they lack storage facilities and up to 50 per cent of crops grown are lost as a result in some parts of Africa each year.
They lack access to affordable fertiliser, there is inadequate road infrastructure and so even if it was the perfect temperature to drive to the local markets, they could not get there, and in many cases there are no local markets to go to.
If they wanted to sell the goods to us, it would not be carbon emissions stopping them, it would be trade barriers and that’s if they could even get their goods out of their country given the conditions of some of the shipping ports and the high fees charged to export.
In the end, a lack of food because of bad weather has never been the real reason that millions go without food.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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