Sunday, December 22, 2019

Wilsons Promontory

Before leaving Umeå, I was able to give some last minute travel advice to our department secretary as she was about to fly down to Australia for three weeks. Obviously, I was not the slightest jealous of her. Assuming that many of my favourite Melbourne cafés and bars would no longer be there after a decade, I went for safer bets such as Philip Island for penguin encounters and Wilson Promontory National Park for hiking and escaping the world.

As a mean of procrastination, I have been uploading old photos from my server to Google Photos which has triggered a whole new level of flashbacks, including the picture above from Whiskey Beach 11 years ago. While I know that Australia is going through a difficult time right now with all the bushfires, seeing such pictures clearly makes one question why one ended up living at the North Pole.

Cutting his Hawaii vacation short, the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison does not seem willing to reconsider his lukewarm stance on climate change despite the new wave of catastrophic fires. Similarly, Vladimir Putin has also been busy spreading misinformation, saying that “nobody knows the origins of global climate change”. This again speaks to the sad conflation of physics and policy. Accepting the reality of climate change should not mean that one has to accept what the Malthusians have to offer in terms of “solutions”. Russia, for instance, has every chance to be a real leader on climate change, but a necessary first step is acknowledging the reality of the problem.

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