It used to be the song "money changes everything" by Cyndi Lauper. But now it's the all encompassing issue of dangerous climate change shaking up conventional wisdom. And DCC itself is a subset of the even greater unifying reality of ecology - that is simply everything alive is connected. Whether you believe God created that circumstance and thus a sacred obligation for stewardship, or by some other process, it's still all connected.
Never has moral credibility on matters of ecological sustainability been at more of a premium in our 15 year downshifting 'career' as an environmental reformist/lobbyist.
Crikey.com.au, very commited to the creative destruction of capitalism and thus market forces wrote this about climate influenced drought today, quoting approvingly in turn editorial of the conservative, pro fossil fuel The Australian newspaper, in turn echoing community medi The Big Issue March 2007 edition above. The "enlightened" irony of the text will become apparent, and we don't actually mean that in such a judgemental way. We really are in scary unchartered waters for western civilisation and this writer for one is scared, for real:
The trouble with drought relief is that it props up unviable farms. The Australian recognises the terrible pressure a drought puts on individuals, families and communities, but drought assistance is a government intervention and as with any government intervention, it distorts the market. So long as farmers in marginal agricultural enterprises know that the Government will bail them out, they defer the difficult decision to cut their losses and leave the land. Whereas other unviable industries go to the wall in the face of changing conditions, there is an assumption that farmers should not be allowed to go broke, and if they do, they should be given assistance to exit the industry. When droughts break, as the always do, new entrants go in, enjoying the good times and then expecting a handout when the next drought hits.
Sadly, the lead up to a federal election is no time to expect rational economic decisions, but this is what is required. Handouts to unviable farms are a drain on the public purse and on scarce resources such as water, and by putting subsidised products in the market, they make it harder for viable farms to survive. [bold added]
On the other hand, and likely much more certain is the prospect of way too much 'water' inevitably? We noticed Nobel medical science winner Peter Doherty on 7.30 Report last night quoting the taboo 4 to 6 metre sea rise figure for melting ice by turn of the century (it's the melting of the ice and sea level rise'), which is the thesis of climate experts like Dr James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute and his colleague Australian/Troublemaker of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery: