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Questions Q&A Won’t Ask: Awful Truth on Population, GHG Inaction, Biodiversity Crisis, Mass Extinctions

by : Dr Gideon Polya
Monday April 19, 2010 - 15:31

The taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Australian equivalent of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), has a TV program called Q&A (touted as "adventures in in democracy": http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/ ) in which the studio audience or viewers submit questions to a mostly right wing panel of half a dozen MPs, commentators or other public figures.

In my view, the Australian ABC in general (and like the BBC and other Mainstream Media organizations in the other "2-party" Western Murdochracies) achieves "balance" by positioning its editorial policy between the extreme right wing, pro-war, pro-coal, pro-Zionist Liberal-National Party Coalition and the extreme right wing, pro-war, pro-coal, pro-Zionist Labor Party (collectively known as the Lib-Labs). The Libs are currently in Opposition and the Labs are in Government Federally.

Having submitted many important questions to Q&A without any being asked I thought it would be instructive for decent folk all around the World to see what questions ABC TV’s Q&A won’t ask.

Accordingly, and in the interests of public education, Humanity and the Biosphere, I have created a website called “Questions Q&A won’t ask” (see: http://sites.google.com/site/questi... ) which presents Key Questions submitted to the ABC TV Q&A program, records whether these Key Questions were asked (so far none have been) and provides authoritative, well-referenced Answers to the Key Questions.

It seems to me that this represents a useful approach to the problem for Western Murdochracy and Lobbyocracy citizens of finding a Hole in the Mainstream Media Wall of Silence.

I have submitted the following question in particular for the Q&A panel members for the Q&A program for Monday 4.19..2010 : “A top science teacher friend has suggested that the following key questions be asked of all MPs in this Year of Biodiversity and hence should be asked of Q&A panellists. What is your core understanding about (1) Carbon-trading Emissions Trading Schemes and their consequences; (2) Carbon Tax proposals and their consequences; (3) the effect of growing population on biodiversity; and (4) the global effects of rapidly declining biodiversity?”

None of these Key Questions were asked on ABC TV’s Q&A and the panel was overwhelmingly right wing, including a right wing former Labor premier, a right wing pro-Zionist Israeli immigrant and "communication consultant", a right wing conservative Coalition Shadow Minister and a right wing industry group chief executive - the only odd man out was an excellent, thoughtful humanitarian Simon Sheikh, National Director of the national humanitarian action group Get Up.

Below are detailed, documented answers to these Key Questions.

1. Top climate scientists and economists slam the Carbon Trading Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) approach as flawed, empirically ineffective, counterproductive and indeed fraudulent and instead advocate a Carbon Tax to recover the full environmental and human cost of fossil fuel burning. [1-4].

In short, the ETS approach involves the fraudulent selling of something that the vendor doesn’t have a right to sell, specifically of licences to pollute the common atmosphere of all countries on earth including global warming-threatened countries like Bangladesh and Tuvalu. Put simply, it is like fraudulently selling your neighbor’s house without his knowledge and in the full knowledge that there is a demolition order on the property.

2. Top scientists and economists advocate a Carbon Tax (e.g. a revenue neutral Carbon Tax that is returned in full to ordinary citizens) as a means of recovering the enormous environment and human cost of fossil fuel burning. [1-4].

Thus it is estimated that 5,000 Australians die each year from the effects of coal burning pollutants from electricity production. At a risk avoidance-based value of $10 million per head, this corresponds to a $50 billion annual subsidy for coal burning in addition to the further $10 billion annual subsidy for fossil fuel burning. It is estimated that the Carbon Tax based on coal-based human mortality alone should be $200 per tonne of carbon ($50 billion/250 Mt coal carbon for domestic use). [5-8].

3. Population expansion and resource depletion is currently associated with an animal species extinction rate that is 100-1,000 times greater than normal. [9-16].

Australia, a dry continent with a population of 22 million leads the world in coal exports, annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, coral reef destruction, rainforest destruction and species extinction. Yet incompetent, do-nothing, spin-driven politicians (notably Labor politicians with the outstanding exception of Kelvin Thomson, MHR for Wills, Melbourne, Victoria) are committed to population growth coupled with world-leading carbon pollution as a means of obtaining voter-demanded economic growth. [17-20].

4. Rapidly declining biodiversity is associated with loss of coral reef (crucial for fisheries); loss of fish stocks; loss of rainforests (this being associated with global warming-inducing methane production and loss of major carbon sinks); loss of ecological systems vital for agriculture (e.g. loss of pollinators); irreversible loss of sources of novel pharmaceuticals (notably from rain forest and coral reef ecosystems); and, fundamentally, a deadly loss of human respect for the diversity of nature. [21, 22].

[1]. “Science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed and NOT Cap-and-Trade Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)”, 300.org, 2010: http://sites.google.com/site/300org... .

[2]. “Experts: Carbon Tax needed and NOT Cap-and-Trade Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group, 2010: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... .

[3]. Gideon Polya, “Top Climate Scientists Opt for Carbon Taxes & Slam ETS”, Open Forum, 2009: http://www.openforum.com.au/content... .

[4]. Dr James Hansen (Head, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York), “It’s possible to avert the Climate Crisis”, Countercurrents, 29 November 2009: http://www.countercurrents.org/hans... .

[5]. “How many people die from Carbon Burning and Climate Change each year?”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... .

[6]. Gideon Polya, “BAU, Labor appeasers, LNG, ETS etc”, Climate Change Action: http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/Cl... .

[7]. Gideon Polya, “Pollution deaths from coal” fossil fuel-based power plants”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... .

[8]. Paul Gipe, “Ontario study identifies social costs of coal-fired power plants”, EV World: http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?new... .

[9]. Dr Phillip S. Levin, Dr Donald A. Levin (Dr Donald A. Levin is Professor of Biology, University of Texas, Austin; his son Dr Phillip Levin is a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service), “The real biodiversity crisis”, Macroscope, January-February 2002: http://www.soc.duke.edu/~pmorgan/le... ).

[10]. “Mass extinction underway”, The Current Mass Extinction: http://www.well.com/~davidu/extinct... .

[11]. “Endangered species project”: http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/spp/ .

[12]. United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), “Endangered species project”: http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/spp/ .

[13]. Professors O. Hoegh-Guldberg, P. J. Mumby and colleagues, “Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change and Ocean Acidification”, Science 14 December 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5857, pp. 1737 – 1742: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conte... .

[14]. J.E.N. Veron, O. Hoegh-Guldberg, T.M. Lenton, J.M. Lough, D.O. Obura, P. Pearce-Kelly, C.R.C. Sheppard, M. Spalding, M.G. Stafford-Smith and A.D. Rogers, “The coral reef crisis: the critical importance of <350 ppm CO2”, Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 58, (10), October 2009, 1428-1436: http://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc... .

[15]. Output of the technical working group meeting, The Royal Society, London, 6th July, 2009, “The Coral Reef Crisis: scientific justification for critical CO2 threshold levels of less than 350ppm”: http://www.carbonequity.info/PDFs/T... .

[16]. Johan Rockström, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart Chapin, III, Eric F. Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen & Jonathan A. Foley, “A safe operating space for humanity”, Nature, 461, 472-475, 2009: http://www.nature.com/nature/journa....

[17]. “Post-Copenhagen Australia will INCREASE its per capita Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution”, YVCAG: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... .

[18]. “Australia’s “5% off 2000 GHG pollution by 2020” endangers Australia, Humanity and the Biosphere”, YVCAG: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... .

[19].”Kelvin Thomson joins population roll of honor”, ” Sustainable Population Australia: http://www.population.org.au/index.... .

[20]. “300.org - return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm”, 300.org: http://sites.google.com/site/300org... .

[21]. Memmott et al, “Global warming and the disruption of plant-pollinator interactions”, Ecol. Lett., 10(8):710-7, 2007: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/... .

[22]. Gideon Polya, “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds. A pharmacological reference guide to sites of action and biological effects”, (Taylor & Francis, CRC Press, London & New York, 2003): http://www.amazon.com/Biochemical-T... and http://books.google.com.au/books?id... .

Conclusion.

In the event, none of the above Key Questions were asked on “Q&A”.

Even if by some miracle they had been asked then the answers from the typically overwhelmingly right-wing panellists would no doubt have left a lot to be desired.

If a goal of Australian ABC TV’s “Q&A” is to inform the public as well as to entertain, then one supposes that (a) the Questions should critically address key important issues and (b) the Answers would be more useful as well as more credible coming from top scientists, economists and social scientists rather than from spin-driven right wing MPs and right wing celebrities or commentators.

Indeed, my “Questions Q&A won’t ask” approach to getting through the Mainstream Media Wall of Silence addresses both of these 2 key deficiencies. Please tell everyone you can about “Questions Q&A won’t ask” – they will discover all kinds of important and shocking things that the neocon- , warmonger- and Zionist-beholden Mainstream Media won’t tell them.



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