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« A dismal account of life in a remote PNG village | Main | Australia to set up new security college as Pacific focus sharpens »

12 August 2019

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Paul Oates

The NZ Deputy PM has come out swinging at the Pacific Islands Forum pointing out that the funds Australia is giving to the Pacific are no doubt originating from the sale of coal, etc. to China.

It's like the old parable of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Maybe we just need to better plan for a future where the sea will rise no matter what Australia does? If King Canute couldn't stop the waves, how are we to stop everyone else in the world using fossil fuel and wood when that's all they have to keep warm and cook their food?

Are those who traditionally practice cremating their dead to now be told to stop this tradition and find other means of disposing of dead bodies?

Just because Australia has a large land mass doesn't mean that most of it isn't uninhabitable desert and can't support a large population.

The increasing populations in the Pacific nations often seem to have a correlation with the decreasing land and resources.

Let's now start planning for the future. If we are indeed family, then we should be accepting the closure of nonviable Pacific nations and transplanting their populations to where they can go. Currently, Australia is suggesting new arrivals move to the rural areas where resources are somewhat scarce and life styles are vastly different to mostly warm Pacific Islands. We therefore need to start planning now before the situation becomes even more urgent.

Why can't the leaders of Tuvalu and Kiribati for example, see that? Maybe PNG's climate and opportunities might be more suitable if those affected were to be asked where they want to be relocated?

William Dunlop

Phil in your travel's have you been to China and seen the extent of its daily output of pollution emissions.

I have - over a 2-1/2 year period when I lived in Shunde, Guangdong Provence, in 2009-11. And today very little has changed.

Much worse than the London smog of the late 1950s and 1960s.

It's coming from coal fired power stations which also supplied power to blast furnaces.

The coal fuelling this massive pollution is supplied from China's own extensive coal mines.

No one complained. I wonder why. Perhaps the fear of the Gulag.

Former Chairman Mao was a Stalinist. What is different now is a new wufwuf with an unlimited money printing press but still the same fleas. Slainte.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I agree with what you've said Paul except for one thing.

"Climate change will occur whether we like it or not. If Australia, which only produces a small carbon signature on a world scale, stopped using coal and exporting coal, nations that still use oil, gas and coal wouldn’t stop using their own or another’s resources."

This is a much too handy cop out. Everyone should be doing their part to tackle climate change whether their efforts are big or small.

We shouldn't be taking such a defeatist attitude just because big emitters aren't pulling their weight.

What we should all be doing is transitioning to renewables as quickly as possible while trying to contain activities like deforestation and land clearing.

As for selling our coal and other carbon emitting products that is a real dilemma. I've no answer to that one.

I do agree with your point, however, about PNG being an exporter of fossil fuels that should be considering its position.

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