Thursday, January 10, 2013

An open letter to The Age on "financial terrorism"

Dear Mr Holden,

As bushfires rage around Australia, let me suggest an alternative to yesterday's editorial, shriekingly headlined, "Sharemarket damaged by financial terrorism".

You might have instead considered "Climate damaged by carbon terrorism" - it gets you much closer to the truth.

A vastly larger group of "shareholders" is hurt by the exploitation of fossil fuels and routinely deceived by lies and misinformation denying the impacts of the resulting carbon emissions - including more frequent and severe bushfires.

That tragic fraud affects the global population, far beyond those affected by market changes following a media release purporting to announce ANZ's withdrawal of funds from a coal project.

Jonathan Moylan's corrective activism certainly has The Age fired up. More urgently, the reckless pursuit of fossil fuels such as coal is, quite literally, setting the world on fire. Where's your moral outrage at that?


Darren Lewin-Hill

P.S. Your editorial follows recent excellent coverage by Tom Arup of projected increased insurance costs for State assets in Victoria based on climate change and resulting bushfires.

Earlier this week, Peter Hannam reported that money for bushfire research is running out. In his piece today on Meekatharra, he quotes Dr David Jones, head of climate analysis at the Bureau of Meteorology, regarding new record temperatures set for Australia in the present heatwave.

In terms of climate change trends, the rising mean temperatures provide a clearer "finger-print", not to mention the rate and scale of the new records being set, Dr Jones said.

Unfortunately, as "A Nation Burns" - in the words of yesterday's page one headline - your editorial tips the "balance" of your coverage towards a perspective that values the market over damage to the climate, and those who live with the impacts of climate change - or die from them.