Albanese mission to fix Morrison’s problems
Reluctant kiaps: 'We don't want hero status'

Life itself is threatened by the profit motive

We have created a civilisation capable of destroying the environment on a global scale and that is exactly what is happening.  The warning bells from history are ringing loudly but our leaders and too many of the rest of us are not listening



ADELAIDE – The proposal by Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold to dump plans to dump hundreds of millions of tonnes of mining waste into Huon Gulf shows why the people of Planet Earth are collectively doomed to disaster.

There is no chance this side of hell that international capitalism will stop despoiling the planet as long as there is money to be made.

MapThe Wafi-Golpu project is just one of many around the world that would not proceed if there was a true commitment to limiting global warning to a manageable level.

Last week’s COP26 summit had all the usual suspects making all the usual promises.

These are largely worthless because the actions required to make a real difference to the current trajectory towards catastrophic climate change will necessarily dampen the ability of international capital to make money.

Consider the scale of the problem just as it relates to international shipping.

At any given moment, there are thought to be 50,000 vessels plying our oceans.

The largest vessels burn around 9,000 litres of oil each hour, the smaller vessels perhaps 3,000 litres an hour.

Estimates of the total amount of oil burned each hour varies from low estimate of 300 – 450 million litres.

Paradoxically perhaps, it is only nuclear-powered vessels, invariably warships, that do not spew CO2 into the atmosphere at an astounding rate.

Consider also international air travel. There are around 9,000 aircraft in the sky in any given moment and the hourly burn rate for jet fuel is enormous.

An A380 flying from Singapore to London burns up to 100 tons of fuel while the more efficient Boeing 787 Dream Liner burns about 80 tons on the same route.

As for the pollution from coal and gas fired power stations, it dwarfs the outputs from ships and aircraft.

There is no way we can reverse climate change in any meaningful way with solar panels, windmills, electric cars, improved insulation and the odd nuclear power station.

Those who rule us know this is true, so they engage in what amounts to an elaborate Noh play, where gestures and deliberately formalised utterances are a substitute for meaningful action.

The truth is that only if we abandon the current economic system where rampant consumerism and unbridled greed are normalised will we have any hope of avoiding the predicted catastrophe.

The idea of simply dumping mining waste in the ocean fits right into this ethos where the pursuit of wealth comes before trumps any other considerations.

These considerations include the health, perhaps even the very survival, of people deemed to be standing in the path of 'progress'.

Civilisations of the past have fallen at least in part because they exploited available resources in an unsustainable way. Previously, this has occurred on only a local or regional scale.

However now we have created a civilisation capable of destroying the environment on a global scale and that is exactly what is happening.

The warning bells from history are ringing loudly but our leaders and too many of the rest of us are not listening.

There will be a price to be paid for this deliberate deafness and I’m very afraid it will be horrendously worse than anyone today can understand.

We cannot say we have not been warned.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Lindsay F Bond

Is it a 'bit rich' or a 'belated recognition' that a North Queensland non-Labor politician is linked with the term 'capitalist greed'?

“Federal politician Bob Katter has emerged from his Charters Towers shed to spread the good news and rail against capitalistic greed. What the heck is he up to?”

It's the season to say golly, link to text of someone’s folly, that one’s of Bob but not solely, his cause blooms, with help as holy.

Bernard Corden

"Mankind may wing her secrets from nature and use their knowledge to destroy themselves" - RH Tawney

"A reasonable estimate of economic organization must allow for the fact that, unless industry is to be paralyzed by recurrent revolts on the part of outraged human nature, it must satisfy criteria, which are not purely economic." - RH Tawney (Religion and the Rise of Capitalism - 1926)

Paul Oates

'After me the flood', translated from the French, refers to an utterance by King Louis 15th who could anticipate but couldn't or wouldn't care less about what happened after he died.

His successor, Louis 16th was beheaded after the French revolution demanded someone responsible for their appalling situation and lack of food be punished.

Apparently human nature has learnt nothing in nearly 200 years. Are the 'Captains of Industry and Mining' still thinking they can get away with such a travesty without being held responsible?

So it would seem.....

Are those who will be adversely affected prepared to let it happen? Follow the money.....

That's the real question.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)