Global Warming – Taking Our Eyes off the Ball

Blog, Climate Change, Environment, Les Routledge (historic), Uncategorized, Water

…when money is allocated and attention prioritised to making contingency plans for vague hypothetical scenarios in the distant future, real priorities are neglected and real risks overlooked.

The Victoria Herald-Sun has run an article that asks if the global warming fixation of the Green Party of Australia and the green movement in general is responsible for increasing the damage done by heavy rains and flooding in Queensland http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/greens-be-dammed-we-need-protection/story-fn6bn88w-1225992915021

Like Canada, Australia is governed by a minority government.  However, in their situation, the Green Party holds the balance of power and has a strong influence over government priorities.  Within this context, the article highlights the following:

… it may emerge that it was this very preoccupation with climate change that caused authorities to take their eye off the ball.  Leaked emails from a Wivenhoe Dam engineer, published in The Australian last week, suggest the Brisbane floods were caused by water released too late from an overfull dam.  If the water had been released before the dam had reached 190 per cent capacity, some experts claim Brisbane could have avoided the worst of the floods.

In a previous posting, I have suggested that public policy should be focused on “ruggedizing” communities instead of investing scarce resources in attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions http://archive.fcpp.org/blog/?p=315 .  As stated in that post

Wouldn’t it be nice if the environmental alarmist out there stated talking about concrete action to deal with those real world risks, challenges and problems instead of spending scarce investment and leadership time on nebulous topics such as carbon trading or reducing our carbon footprint?

Governments around the world including Australia have been fixated on expanding the role of the state in what will likely be a futile attempt to stop global warming from occurring.  As stated in the Herald-Sun article

… when money is allocated and attention prioritised to making contingency plans for vague hypothetical scenarios in the distant future, real priorities are neglected and real risks overlooked.

When leaders proclaim climate change as the greatest moral challenge, the entire machinery of government becomes preoccupied with the busy work of solving an imaginary problem. It is then easily blindsided by a real emergency.

Governments need keep their eye on the ball in the real world and define their priorities accordingly.