AURORA EXTRA: Two sides to the divestment debate

I write in reference to Thea Ormerod’s article in the September 2016 issue of Aurora magazine where she is promoting and applauding Catholic organisations divesting in the coal industry.

It is certainly the prerogative of any organisation to invest in − or divest from − companies they feel reflect the attitudes of those who support that organisation. What does concern me is the demonisation of those industries that legitimately employ many people, particularly in the area where I live.

The simple reality is that many within my region would not have jobs if the coal industry was not there. The coal industry does allow many to provide for their families, instilling positive self-esteem and the means to contribute to their community and importantly, providing cost-effective energy for our economy which again encourages jobs. Dismantling legitimate wealth-producing jobs based on flawed ideology has its own moral implications, especially when we are asking others to forgo their future so that we may feel good for doing something for the planet.

Asking Governments and others in the community to foot the bill is too common. If we were fair dinkum, those of us who have a green agenda should lead by example, by putting their money where their mouth is − even organising like-minded individuals to buy properties so they can re-plant trees, not using fossil fuel cars, not travelling overseas, buying only locally produced food and products and so on.   

I know there is a counter claim that the renewable energy industry can lead to future jobs. This is true, but to what extent? With Australia adopting a Free Trade ideology, it is already apparent that most of the wind turbines and the solar panels are being manufactured overseas and Australians end up simply as installers of this technology.  The main technology, and employment, are simply being generated overseas. Also, the dislocation and the reduction of jobs in the interim period would need more than superficial solutions. 

The claims prophesied by the global warming advocates have very little to do with objective evidence and more to do with speculative predictions. The predictions may end up being vindicated but nobody can predict with certainty what the future holds. We can have educated guesses, but science as a discipline cannot provide such guaranteed outcomes.  

The article also claims global warming/climate theory is “threatening the very survival of the human race”.  We certainly have a responsibility to be good stewards for the gifts we have been given, which includes protecting the environment, but I feel the environmental alarmists go too far as they are claiming that an apocalyptic outcome is inevitable. The scenario that the human race will be wiped out is actually contradicting biblical revelations. God the Father is the only one who knows when the earth will end and how many will be there to witness the Second Coming.

Global warming is a prediction of what might happen in the distant future based on the greenhouse effect caused by an increase in carbon in the atmosphere. Without going into the arguments for and against, as that has been well debated, the point I would like to make is that science (or any other discipline) cannot predict the distant future as there are too many variables that influence the weather. To concentrate on just one variable is to be open to ridicule by future generations. For example, as a high school student in the 1970s, I can clearly recollect being taught that we were heading towards a new ice age.

As far as the ocean rising and inundating some Islands, maybe the islands are just sinking? For instance if the ocean is at the same level over a period of time in places like Australia and other Pacific nations, the laws of physics (water level) simply dictate that the islands are sinking (tectonic forces) rather than that the oceans are rising.

But what really causes me to cringe is when somebody declares global warming is the greatest moral challenge we face today, which is absurd. Abortion, wars, famines and the attack on families such as the push to legalise same sex marriage and current fluid gender advocates are the greatest threat to mankind. These are evils that is happening here and now that are actually  killing millions of people each and every year and creating social disorder, whereas global warming is a hypothetical possibility and its real effect is unknown. It may even have some positive spin-offs such as increasing agriculture possibilities in snow- bound countries.

The fact is we simply do not know.  


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Tony Van Dorst

Tony Van Dorst is an Aurora reader from “Dalvan”, Gunnedah.

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