Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 23:50 | SYDNEY
Monday 23 Jul 2018 | 23:50 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: The concert, the climate

12 October 2011 16:03

Trish Hamilton responds to Graeme Dobell's reservations about the term 'concert' to describe Asian regionalism. Graeme suggested 'machinery' or 'system' instead:

While we're being wimpish, what's wrong with the unassuming word 'process'? 'Machinery' and 'system' both have some of the same problems as 'architecture', surely — and why have two words when one is so much easier? And it's honest: keeping the thing moving will be a helluva process, nothing surer. Unless, of course, you go for an APEC analogous model entirely and call it an APSC (where 'Cooperation' is the process)? After all, 'process', as such, has actually worked for ASEAN (even if, admittedly, at an agonizingly slow speed).

And here's Peter Layton responding to Sam Roggeveen, who noted a Rolling Stone article (Climate Change and the End of Australia') which claims climate change could add nine degrees to the earth's temperature:

Perhaps the issue is not if nine degrees is likely or not. Assigning a probability to the outcome of an uncontrolled experiment in global climate modification may be inherently rather difficult. Maybe another way of looking at the problem is that if things do get this bad for Australia at nine degrees, or some other figure, would Australia be justified in taking national action to independently lower the temperature? 

The emerging science of geo-engineering appears to indicate that there is real potential for affordable climate modification, albeit it would mean that this would be both an on-going cost and no one is completely sure of the outcomes. And of course if Australia took such action unilaterally others who were benefiting from global warming – Arctic countries perhaps – may have some concerns. Even so if things turn out as bad as Rolling Stone postulates maybe we would take a punt on geo-engineering at some point.

Implicit in such a suggestion is that maybe other nations — or wealthy entrepreneurs — could as well act independently to lower global temperatures (not sea acidification, so the Barrier Reef will have to fend for itself). If Bangladesh or another nation became worried about being swamped, but the rest of the world was unconcerned, would it be justified in taking steps to implement some geo-engineering scheme in its national interest, and maybe long-term survival?