Protesters in Sydney have kicked off a fresh round of global climate protests Photo: AFP
world

Climate protests kick off in smoke-covered Sydney

50 Comments
By Andrew BEATTY

Protesters in smoke-covered Sydney kicked off a fresh round of global protests against climate change on Friday, with activists and schoolchildren picketing the headquarters of bushfire-ravaged Australia's ruling party.

Hundreds of people gathered at the conservative Liberal party's offices to heed the call to action from 16-year-old climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg.

The protests have taken on extra urgency in Australia -- the country's southeast has been devastated by hundreds of damaging bushfires in recent weeks.

The protestors -- brandishing placards that read "You're burning our future" and chanting "we will rise" -- turned out as Sydney was again enveloped in toxic smoke caused by the fires that has blanketed the city for much of the last month.

Six people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the crisis, which scientists say has been worsened by rising temperatures.

Drought and unseasonably hot, dry and windy conditions have fuelled the unprecedented blazes.

The target of the protesters' ire was Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has angrily denied any link between the fires and climate change while defending his support for fossil fuels.

"Our government's inaction on the climate crisis has supercharged bushfires," said school strike leader Shiann Broderick. "People are hurting. Communities like ours are being devastated. Summer hasn't even begun."

Australia, with a population of 25 million, has low carbon emissions compared with the planet's biggest polluters, but is one of the world's leading coal exporters.

"The suggestion that (in) any way shape or form that Australia, accountable for 1.3 percent of the world's emissions, that the individual actions of Australia are impacting directly on specific fire events, whether it's here or anywhere else in the world, that doesn't bear up to credible scientific evidence," Morrison claimed earlier this month.

Protests are expected later in the day in Melbourne, Brisbane and in cities across the world.

Last month, millions of people took to the streets in nearly every major global city for a series of "climate strikes".

The latest demonstrations come as 200 nations prepare to gather in Madrid next week for a 12-day U.N. climate conference.

The meeting will focus largely on finalising the "rulebook" for the 2015 Paris climate treaty, which becomes operational in 2021.

Scientists have warned that efforts to cap warming to 1.5 Celsius are failing, and that carbon emissions - which are on the rise -- would need to fall 7.6 percent a year to meet the target.

The U.N. has reported that greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, the main driver of climate change, hit a record high last year.

The organization has also warned that global temperatures are on pace to rise almost four Celsius by the end of the century -- an increase that could make some places virtually unhabitable.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


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Drought and unseasonably hot, dry and windy conditions have fuelled the unprecedented blazes.

Blah, blah, blah! These millennial wanna-be hippies have no flipping idea! The hottest summers on record and the longest droughts happened in the 1930's and the 1950's. These blazes are not really 'unprecedented' as they like to state. These large blazes have always been a part of Australian life. Besides the extreme weather conditions, the main reason these fires were so extreme is because these same millennial retards protested controlled burning of the forests and had it stopped.

They wanna protest climate change, but they all have their mobile phones, cars and a myriad of plastic goods, right down the shoes they wear. Yeah, they are hippies - hippycrits!

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Wonderfully informed young deep thinkers, undoubtedly all with thorough scientific background having read and evaluated large volumes of research and reached the conclusion that politicians can and should regulate the planets climate like a thermostate. Lets lower the voting age to give them more power.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Don’t like Morrison, resent big business, want a fun free day off school?

No brainer.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Finally smart people becoming mobilized to save the planet, even for those skeptics who don't give a damn and will not take it seriously until it's way to late to do anything to stop it.

When the best scientists on the planet all agree after studying records going back 150 years or more and studying the planets past climates from geological sources, that we are in dire peril due to man made effects on the climate, we either take immediate action or we kill the current civilization and most life on the planet. Since we are not taking appropriate actions then those born now will be born to a dying world and I feel sorry for them. We the current custodians have let everyone and everything down more than anything in this worlds past.

I hope we are being studied by aliens from other worlds so that our folly may help some other world in the future and that we may be recorded in some way and not forgotten in time as if we never existed at all.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Six people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the crisis, which scientists say has been worsened by rising temperatures.

Goes to show us the Scientists making commentary don't know much, only ten years ago there was far worse fires that killed nearly 200, Climate Change wasn't mentioned then, in fact if you go back every 10-15 yrs there have been major bushfires recorded.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Finally smart people becoming mobilized t

Yes, these fine people with their eloquent slogans are clearly very smart, and they have obviously intensively studied what the best scientists on the planet, such as Al Gore, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Don Lemon have concluded after studying records going back 150 years. I am glad we have such deep insight on this forum. I am glad we have such a critical readership here.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Blah, blah, blah!

This is actually a pretty accurate summary of the substance of the arguments being used to deny the effects of climate change at this point.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Wonderfully informed young deep thinkers

Well they do have the consensus of climate scientists behind them.

What deep thinkers do those, usually on the political right, have behind them?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I am haunted by the look of sheer terror and despair on the faces of these people facing the final decade of humanity. The stress has caused them to grimace in a way that pulls their lips back to expose their teeth - almost as though they are smiling. Which obviously, given the gravity of the situation, they are not. Oh, cruel irony.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

This is actually a pretty accurate summary of the substance of the arguments being used to deny the effects of climate change at this point.

Our resident rightists, libertarians and conspiracy theorists are a bit more literate than that.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Our resident rightists, libertarians and conspiracy theorists are a bit more literate than that.

I was quoting verbatim from the first one to post on this article.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Our resident rightists, libertarians and conspiracy theorists are a bit more literate than that.

I was quoting verbatim from the first one to post on this article.

Oops, sorry. Looks like I gave them more credit than they deserve.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Our resident rightists, libertarians and conspiracy theorists are a bit more literate than that.

I don't think it's helpful or accurate to describe those who disagree with you like that.;)

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I don't think it's helpful or accurate to describe those who disagree with you like that.;)

Nothing particularly negative in the terms, and in my experience, pretty accurate.

Rightists - the US right in particular tend to be uniform thinkers on this point. It’s almost an article of faith. Trump himself called it a hoax created by the Chinese in one of his idiotic outbursts.

Libertarians and conspiracy theorists - not always the same but conspiracy theorists are very often libertarians. It makes sense. Libertarians regard the government and large organizations with suspicion.

As I said, nothing really negative. Just observations. As you know, libertarians are almost never poor and can be a bit nutty ;)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The target of the protesters' ire was Prime Minister Scott Morrison

They should target Mother Nature, that's the main instigator of climate change.

"Our government's inaction on the climate crisis has supercharged bushfires"

That's just an unproven theory.

"The suggestion that (in) any way shape or form that Australia, accountable for 1.3 percent of the world's emissions, that the individual actions of Australia are impacting directly on specific fire events, whether it's here or anywhere else in the world, that doesn't bear up to credible scientific evidence," Morrison claimed earlier this month.

He's right.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The target of the protesters' ire was Prime Minister Scott Morrison

They should target Mother Nature, that's the main instigator of climate change.

According to which authority? Tucker Carlson?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Australia may be responsible for 'only' 1.3% of global emissions BUT they only make up about 0.003% of the world's population so the amount of emissions is large per capita.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They should target Mother Nature, that's the main instigator of climate change.

According to which authority? Tucker Carlson?

No, common sense. But Tucker is almost always right. Let us know if you find something he's wrong about, OK?

Australia may be responsible for 'only' 1.3% of global emissions BUT they only make up about 0.003% of the world's population so the amount of emissions is large per capita.

So? Morrison's still right.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

They should target Mother Nature, that's the main instigator of climate change.

According to which authority? Tucker Carlson?

No, common sense

Common sense can’t be trusted on scientific matters. Science 101.

Again, on what or whose authority are you making your claims?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Again, on what or whose authority are you making your claims?

Facts. It's a fact that the Earth's climate has been changing for millions of years without any input from humans.

There is no scientific evidence that worldwide human activity, let alone Australia's 1.3% of global CO2 emissions is causing the supercharging of the wildfires.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

These millennial wanna-be hippies have no flipping idea!

They wanna protest climate change, but they all have their mobile phones, cars and a myriad of plastic goods, right down the shoes they wear. Yeah, they are hippies - hippycrits!

Ok, boomer.

It's very telling that angry males of a certain age have to attack protesters because they aren't living in sack and cloth.

these same millennial retards protested 

Is that word really allowed in this day and age?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There is no scientific evidence that worldwide human activity, let alone Australia's 1.3% of global CO2 emissions is causing the supercharging of the wildfires.

Apart from the scientific evidence

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauratenenbaum/2019/09/12/16-years-of-satellite-data-show-carbon-emissions-from-increased-fire-activity/#27d190e52610

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The "protesters" look as if theyre having a fun time - laughing and celebrating. Hard to think they really believe the end is nigh.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There is no scientific evidence that worldwide human activity, let alone Australia's 1.3% of global CO2 emissions is causing the supercharging of the wildfires.

The worlds best climate scientists disagree with you. They say mankind has added to the normal climate changes and tipped the delicate balance to a point where it will be disastrous to every living thing.

This has been done by many different human actions for example deforestation, burning fossil fuels, farming animals for consumption and crops for manufacturing including palm oils. The list goes on and on as to how we have added to what happens naturally and made it so much worse than it should be or would be if we were able to be a zero emission civilization.

Saying that all the recent natural disasters would have happened anyway and been just as devastating is not only contra to all scientific evidence it is harmful to attempts to correct the issues behind it. Not a smart thing to do. In fact it is plain dumb.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Apart from the scientific evidence

From your forbes.com article:

While they burn, the fires release carbon that's been stored in the trees or in the soil. Then even more carbon gets released as the dead trees decompose and these dead trees no longer pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

So, it's the fires burning that are releasing the carbon, and killing the CO2 sucking trees, not humans burning fossil fuels.

You're gonna have to get another source to support your claim. This one's not cutting it.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The worlds best climate scientists disagree with you. They say mankind has added to the normal climate changes and tipped the delicate balance to a point where it will be disastrous to every living thing.

For the sake of argument, let's say "the world's best climate scientists" are right. See if you can get the world's biggest emitter of CO2, China, to reduce their output. I'm sure they'll be receptive to the idea as I'm sure they want to be good stewards of the Earth.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

China is not perfect and it has a form of government that I would not want to be under. Apart from it's deplorable human rights breeches, it is building the most solar powered energy stations in the world and although it is making more coal power plants as well it is reducing the percentage of fossil fuel used for energy production each year. It has cleaned up the air in many big cities and recognized that reducing harmful manufacturing and power production is in its own benefit. America will be harder to convince to reduce its CO2 emissions, especially while Trump is in power.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sleepy Joe says China is the good guy.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

No wonder the US right was nicknamed the American Taliban. Their ideologies respect science to about the same degree. Trump thinks global warming was a hoax created by the Chinese and his VP thinks men rode around on dinosaurs like in the Flintstones.

Terrifying.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Those 'humans' burning the Amazon and Indonesian jungles will have to take some of the blame too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If you stand on your head and view the Australian temperature chart, you will see that things are getting cooler there.

http://www.bom.gov.au/state-of-the-climate/australias-changing-climate.shtml

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

So, it's the fires burning that are releasing the carbon, and killing the CO2 sucking trees, not humans burning fossil fuels.

Or perhaps we could put our thinking caps on and realize that burning trees (containing carbon) and burning fossil fuels (also containing carbon) are both activities that release carbon into the atmosphere?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Thus wrote Mahatma Gandhi: “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not am inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.”

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Warmism has become a religious cult led by ideologically motivated politicians, media, and scientists who have intentionally generated a level of hysteria well beyond the ability of science to sustain.

The climate models have continued to fail to predict future warming with any reasonable accuracy. Mann’s hockey stick was proven to be factually wrong yet it was used for years to gather support for the cause. Whistleblowers turned over two sets of documents which showed scientists colluding to create evidence out of thin air. Scientists with opposing hypothesis are hounded, ostracized, denied funding, and even threatened by legal action. Prominent proponents of Warmism preach one thing and do the exact opposite.

Its not that a large number of people are in denial about changes in the climate. If you ask if the climate is always changing you would get near universal agreement. What they oppose is the lack of perspective and the group think and hysterical propagandizing. Every solution to climate change is driven by Leftist ideology. Nuclear power is forbidden despite dire warnings that their will be a climate cataclysm in a little over 11 years from now. Fracking is bad despite the fact that it has allowed the US to decrease CO2 emissions by greater levels since 2000 than just about every signee of the Paris Climate accord. Warmism is a cult because rationale responses to the claimed threat have been ruled out because they fail the religious purity test.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Warmism has become a religious cult led by ideologically motivated politicians, media, and scientists who have intentionally generated a level of hysteria well beyond the ability of science to sustain.

You are criticizing people who believe in climate science for being overly politicized, yet your whole post frames it as a political issue and avoids addressing the substance of the scientific evidence in any serious way. You just throw a scatter shot of random things up in the air trying to make something stick. Climate models can’t predict with certainty the rate of future warming? They never pretended that they could. A few scientists colluded to fudge data? Is anyone actually relying on discredited data or information , or are they using that produced by the thousands of credible, scientifically sound studies out there? Scientists pursuing hypotheses that aren’t backed by science aren’t getting grants? Who in their right mind would give them one?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

rainyday

You are criticizing people who believe in climate science for being overly politicized

I understand he is criticizing the politicised fanaticism, not the science. Science is a process, not a dogma to be "believed" or "denied". Those are religious terms, not science terms. When people toss those around, it is a clear indication we are talking about a pseudo religion, not science.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

JimizoNov. 29 03:58 pm JST

Wonderfully informed young deep thinkers

Well they do have the consensus of climate scientists behind them.

Consensus about what? And by which climate scientists? You are aware of the wide-ranging disagreements among client scientists, or are you not?

> What deep thinkers do those, usually on the political right, have behind them?

Plenty of climate scientists strongly disagree with the political "global warming" agenda. Which you would know if you looked outside the corporate media echo chamber.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The comment that the bushfires are "natural ", not related to climate change and that a lack of hazard reduction burning by opposition and Green groups are the arguments doing the rounds of Facebook and Twitter.

Actual Rural Fire Authority experts ARE blaming climate change , are saying the drought is climate change related and this influences the dryness of the fuel load, and reduces the amount of days available for safe back burning.

The political class and the chattering class cant accept this because we would have to have a conversation about change...something Australians fear.

The only climate doubt is being driven, mainly from the USA and the shadowy "Thinktanks " and "Institutions " most funded by fossil fuel and free enterprise advocates, with a tax break peculiar to America, allowing the funders to fly under the radar.

Same tactics, indeed the same people at times , were behind any moves to regulate tobacco or speak of its health ill effects.

The books "Dark Money " and "Merchants of Doubt " inform my opinions herein.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I understand he is criticizing the politicised fanaticism, not the science.

Yes, my point exactly. Its easier to criticize protesting teenagers than it is to digest, understand and make an informed critique of the actual science.

Science is a process, not a dogma to be "believed" or "denied".

Yeah, which is why climate scientists generally avoid phrasing it in those terms.

Those are religious terms, not science terms. When people toss those around, it is a clear indication we are talking about a pseudo religion, not science.

The scientists who research this follow scientific methods. I’ve read some of their academic papers, none of them use anything that could be described as religious terms in them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes, my point exactly. Its easier to criticize protesting teenagers than it is to digest, understand and make an informed critique of the actual science.

The actual science says that CO2 levels have risen from .03% of all atmospheric gases to about.04% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. There are an infinite number of factors involved in the weather and climate. I understand the greenhouse effect but the alarmism seems way out of proportion from the science.

The Left has historically pushed particular scientifically based ideas that comport with their ideology - including eugenics, disproven limits on food production and population sustainability (Malthusian “science”), peak oil, and other scares that are backed by scientists and are later disproven long after the proponents have moved onto some other sky is falling catastrophe that aligns with their politics.

Science is not perfect. Unlike Math, a scientific hypotheses or theory whether subject to the strictures of the scientific method or a peer review article remain subject to common human failures, errors, and group think. It seems that the climate science community has ruled out any explanations other than those commonly accepted and these assumptions are being enforced by professional ostracism.

The hostile reaction by Warmism believers to alternative explanations to climate change gives away the game. You cannot say that cloud coverage affected by the sun is the primary driver of climate change. It’s gotten to the point where agreeing with the alarmist conclusion of catastrophic climate change is occurring can cause you to be condemned if you do not agree with the “consensus” that it’s caused by man made CO2. The reason is that it’s politically driven, propagandized science with evangelicals like Al Gore and Michael Mann leading the believers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@rainyday: The scientists who research this follow scientific methods. I’ve read some of their academic papers, none of them use anything that could be described as religious terms in them.

The proponents, like the children featured in this article, are not motivated by dry scientific terminology. They are reacting with emotionalism and the propaganda pushed to them by politicians, celebrities, and other elites. Leading Warmism scientists like Michael Mann have not been restrained either.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The proponents, like the children featured in this article, are not motivated by dry scientific terminology. They are reacting with emotionalism and the propaganda pushed to them by politicians, celebrities, and other elites. Leading Warmism scientists like Michael Mann have not been restrained either.

You are absolutely incorrect. It's always humorous to watch laypeople argue against experts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The actual science says that CO2 levels have risen from .03% of all atmospheric gases to about.04% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. 

The actual science also says that this increase is extremely significant, not due to natural fluctuations and has occurred extremely rapidly relative to natural processes. You can phrase it to sound small all you like but it doesn’t change the underlying facts.

There are an infinite number of factors involved in the weather and climate.

Most of which are known and have been studied. The same complexity of course explains why models can’t tell you exactly how warm it will be 50 years from now, but they are capable of revealing overall trends and they don’t look good.

The Left has historically pushed particular scientifically based ideas that comport with their ideology - including eugenics, disproven limits on food production and population sustainability (Malthusian “science”), peak oil, and other scares that are backed by scientists and are later disproven long after the proponents have moved onto some other sky is falling catastrophe that aligns with their politics.

Just to be clear, the right has used those extensively over history as well.

Also you are conflating three things in that list : things that were disproven, things that were solved and things that are still issues. Eugenics was disproven as junk science (by.....scientists!) Limits on food production were overcome thanks to the green revolution in agriculture, not because previous warnings that there were limits on what could be produced using old methods were wrong. Peak oil is obviously something that will happen at some point since it is a finite resource, what effects it will have will obviously depend on a lot of factors.

Science is not perfect. Unlike Math, a scientific hypotheses or theory whether subject to the strictures of the scientific method or a peer review article remain subject to common human failures, errors, and group think. It seems that the climate science community has ruled out any explanations other than those commonly accepted and these assumptions are being enforced by professional ostracism.

Its tempting if you have a specific conclusion in mind (CO2 in the atmosphere isn’t a problem for example) you want to reach to attribute all these things to the majority view that reaches the opposite conclusion. Yup, people make mistakes, but when you have thousands of researchers contributing data and information it becomes easy to weed those out.

Does this lead to group think and ostracism of those who reach your conclusion? I haven’t seen any other explanations which stand up to scientific rigor. They have alll been explored to death and revealed as either dead ends or marginal factors. So maybe ostracism is explained by those people simply being wrong and nobody wanting to talk to someone beating a dead horse?

The hostile reaction by Warmism believers to alternative explanations to climate change gives away the game. You cannot say that cloud coverage affected by the sun is the primary driver of climate change. It’s gotten to the point where agreeing with the alarmist conclusion of catastrophic climate change is occurring can cause you to be condemned if you do not agree with the “consensus” that it’s caused by man made CO2. The reason is that it’s politically driven, propagandized science with evangelicals like Al Gore and Michael Mann leading the believers.

What gave away the game for me was when you went to Obama buying a beach house as one of your lead pieces of evidence. Cloud coverage affected by the sun is not how the greenhouse process you purport to understand works BTW.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dr.Cajetan Coelho - Thus wrote Mahatma Gandhi: “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not am inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.”

And after Gandhi was done with India, millions were dead, millions were left homeless, and Pakistan had been created in order to separate two peoples who have hated each other ever since. It appears that the road to heck is paved with good intentions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peter14 - When the best scientists on the planet all agree after studying records going back 150 years or more and studying the planets past climates from geological sources, that we are in dire peril due to man made effects on the climate.....

Going all the way back 150 years? The current climate change warming cycle has been occurring since the last ice age. Do you really think that 150 years is a large enough sample?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

60% of Australian electricity is generated by coal fired plants. That is polluting the air and leading to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

So 200 years of massive industrialisation has done nothing to damage the environment ? The poison in the air, rivers and oceans are all part of a natural climate cycle. The billions of tons of plastic getting into the oceans and killing the fish is natural. The burning of fossil fuels in cars and coal fired plants turns many Indian and Chinese cites into a smog hell killing people who live in them.

Some of those polluted particles reach Japan from China and can effect the quality of air here. About 4 million people die globally from air pollution every year.

All part of a natural cycle. Good to know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are absolutely incorrect. It's always humorous to watch laypeople argue against experts.

There were Progressive “experts” pushing eugenics too. Boy were they wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There were Progressive “experts” pushing eugenics too. Boy were they wrong.

But the conservative experts pushing it weren't?

Approaching science as though it were a political debate is idiotic.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Approaching science as though it were a political debate is idiotic.

Then Al Gore and Michael Mann should stop politicizing it.

And did you hear the latest on young Greta Thunberg? She was so dedicated to Warmism that she flew the captain of her solar powered sail boat from Europe to the US so she would not have to fly herself and emit the same tons of CO2 into the atmosphere herself. Hilarious hypocrisy!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Weird how climate change deniers all seem to be of a particular political persuasion from a particular country.

Sure there are a couple of other morons around the rest of the world, but they are extremely concentrated in one country. In one political party.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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