Hi Australia. We need to talk about the "[This country] would have no impact, therefore we should do nothing to act on climate change" meme that comes up in far-right media but also outlets like the SMH.
There is no science that quantifies the impact, on bushfire risk in Australia, of ceasing the extraction and export from Australia. @CroweDM refers to the "science", but that's a rhetorical tool to make a political point: climate action in Australia is meaningless, and pointless.
Here's the problem. Bushfire *is* increasing in Australia. Climate change *is* the driving force, and the human fingerprint is decades of greenhouse gas emissions from human actions, injecting into the hot and cold fluids circling the surface of our space rock.
But.....it's a lot of things. A bunch of other variables make bushfire risk more intense, too. Like a thing called the "Indian ocean dipole" (read 'Sunburnt Country' for good info on this) https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/11/climate-change-partly-to-blame-for-early-bushfire-season
What we see happening here happens a lot: snapping to a binary. It's so frustrating, like when Microsoft word keeps snapping images to imaginary gridlines.

A bunch of necessary conditions converge in a single outcome. Human actions are changing this, for the worse (not to scale)
Australia is already a world-leader in impacting global climate agreements to increase emissions. During Kyoto, Australia successfully watered down the agreements, and even had its own clause created, which other countries adopted. This keeps happening.
For domestic+exported emissions, Australia is responsible for ~5% of total human-caused emissions. That'll be around 13% of global emissions by 2030, if current plans are realised. Aus is, what, 0.1% of the world's population?


What if the world adopted the philosophy espoused in the SMH article? "The science says our contribution is so small that any resulting change wouldn't be substantial".

That is an absolute guarantee of the continued increase in bushfire risk every year. https://twitter.com/timinmitcham/status/1185492945706745856
It's just a slightly more verbose, slightly more long-winded way of saying exactly what Alan Jones is saying here: https://twitter.com/SkyNewsAust/status/1125720087510446080

- Australia already has an outsized impact on *increasing* global emissions. This could stop.

- Australia could also export clean energy and power (undersea cables)

- Australia could influence other gov'ts by demonstrating the immediate benefits of decarbonisation
*That* would not be insubstantial. That is what most politicians who are listening to the science are advocating for, because the science doesn't say "Australia can do nothing, it's all good", the science says a global effort is the only way to lessen these impacts.
Part of why getting this happening is so hard is because if we'd started two decades ago, it'd be easy and do-able, but because the hour is so late, the change must be extreme.

And so, the Klein principle applies, again.

I also think that the communication from Greens MPs has been pretty clear on this - the action of a country like Australia is necessary, but it is insufficient on its own.

*Nobody* is suggesting Aus act alone. But it's easy to pretend they are, and argue against that.
Anyway. Rant over, but honestly. I feel like we ought to be past this already.
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