A Politician’s Dilemma

The Canadian Government is striving to find a balance between the environment and the economy. The difficulty is that climate change risks to the environment have little correlation with economic risks. If the economy is maintained on the basis of advantages to the fossil fuel industry, there will be a political showdown that could result in voters rejecting our Government.

The Australian Government is likewise seeking the middle ground. There is a need to have something that identifies a current policy with environmental relief. To do this, the Australian government will allocate approximately $500m to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. This generosity was prompted by a recent study that found 30% of the reef’s corals died in a catastrophic nine-month marine heat wave in 2016.

The Government is spending large sums of money under an agreement with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to tackle crown-of-thorns starfish, reduce pollution and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This step will be a demonstration to Australian voters that the Government is seeking the middle ground.

Instead of tackling GHG emissions, politicians continue to tinker while they curry favour with the forces that control the root cause of the problem.

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