COP this Mr Morrison

 COP26 is coming up. It's a get together of world leaders and negotiators. It's happening in Glasgow at the end of October and the aim is for everyone to agree to do more to combat the causes of climate change.

Some people say there's nothing to worry about, that climate change is all recurring natural cycles. It is true that climate cycles of the past have caused widespread changes in the environments of the day and no doubt many species have come and gone as a result. But natural climate cycles typically happen slowly - slowly enough for evolution to work, thereby giving species the chance to adapt. So evolution carries on wending its way wheresoever it is going - and who knows where that is? Certainly not us - we'll be long gone by the time it gets there.

The change in climate which is happening now though, is happening so fast as to make the suggestion that it is due to anything other than human activity laughable.

And anyway, if a tree is falling and you look up to see that it is about to land on your head, does it matter whether it is falling due to natural causes or the action of a chainsaw?  No, anyone with a modicum of sense will get out of the way. 

My point is that the scientists tell us that we can do something about climate change and I would rather heed them than any astologer, hoax-caller, naturopath, faith healer, conspiracy theorist, or shaman. Should we not at least try? Rather than saying "It's not my fault therefore I'm not bothered".

I think  we have a responsibility to look after the version of the planet which we, for the time being, inhabit. Not for the benefit of those to come in the millenia ahead; that's too far away even for the best of us to worry about. No, I mean for our children and their children. That's about as far ahead as anyone can reasonably look. 

Unfortunately it seems that one of our very close neighbours can't even look ahead to the end of the month: The Australian PM is apparently undecided on whether or not to attend COP26. In July, a UN report ranked Australia last out of 170 member nations for its response to climate change. Australia, one of the world's top exporters of coal and gas, and the most carbon polluting nation in the world per capita, recently approved a coal mine expansion south of Sydney.

 How important does something have to be to get Scott Morrison's attention? But then I suppose it's not surprising - he did recently downplay the effects of climate change before taking off on an overseas holiday while his country was on fire. Sorry about your future kids, I'm, off to the pub.

Whether the current bout of climate change is man-made or not, surely the right thing for our leaders to do is to get together and see if something can be done about it?

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