In 2014 the world is commemorating the start of World War 1 (28 July 1914) and the D-Day landing (6 June 1944) that opened a second front to assist defeat of Nazi Germany by Russia’s Red Army in World War 2. WW1 and WW2 were associated with military and civilian deaths totaling about 40 million and about 100 million, respectively.
Young people were dragooned into these appalling conflicts of the 20th century but in the 21st century they are being dragged into a worsening climate genocide in which 10 billion people or an average of 100 million people every year (and half of them children) are set to die due to climate change inaction. Further, young people and future generations will have to pay the presently $220 trillion Carbon Debt associated with One Percenter profligacy (and increasing at $10 trillion every year) or die in their billions.
Australia (population 24 million) is one of the worst annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters. Australia’s annual Domestic plus Exported GHG pollution is about 2 billion tonnes CO2-e , this giving an Australian annual per capita GHG pollution of 83 tonnes CO2-e per person per year as compared to the World average of 9 tonnes CO2-e per person per year and Bangladesh’s 0.9 tonnes CO2-e per person per year (see “Climate Genocide”).
The climate criminal Australian Coalition Government is effectively climate change denialist through resolute commitment to climate change inaction and in so doing is committed to climate criminal One Percenter and Ten Percenter wealth acquisition at the expense of young people and future generations. The Australian Coalition Government has further shown its contempt for the young by draconian treatment of unemployed youth, disabled children and school children, and by deregulating universities so that the student “HECS Debt” via Australia’s student university fee loan system will rise massively.
The One Percenters now control about 50% of the wealth of a world in which 17 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year, with these 2 parameters set to increase (see Gideon Polya, “Key Book Review: “Capital In The Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty”, Countercurrents, 1 July 2014 and Gideon Polya, “4 % annual Global Wealth Tax to stop the 17 million deaths annually”, Countercurrents, 27 June, 2014).
The latest UN climate change report ( Executive Summary of “Pathways to Deep Decarbonization, 2014) states that “The world is not on track to stay within the 2 degree C limit” i.e. One Percenter and Ten Percenter greed will inflict what the UN calls a “catastrophic” over 2C temperature change on the world. To add insult to injury, this climate criminality involves damage measured in terms of a Carbon Debt (currently $220 trillion and increasing at $10 trillion per year) that young people and future generations will have to pay. Neoliberal governments are destroying the future and making young people and future generations pay the Carbon Debt for this immense crime or die – One Percenter climate terrorism, climate criminality, climate injustice and intergenerational inequity (see “Climate justice & intergenerational equity” and “Stop climate crime”).
Young people in Australia and around the world are thoroughly disenchanted with anti-youth, anti-environment, anti-future, pro-One Percenter, pro-Ten Percenter, neoliberal and Corporatist governments. It is time for young people to REVOLT (peacefully of course) to ensure that Humanity reverts to a decent and safe course of sustainability and social humanism involving maximizing human happiness, dignity and opportunity for everyone. To that end I have written the Open Letter to young Australians set out below.
Open Letter to the Young People of Australia re Huge Carbon Debt
The average HECS debt is $15,200 and is repaid over 8.3 years (The Australian, 2013). Despite the reality that undergraduate teaching can be provided for about 10% of the current cost using casual academics and for about 1% of the current through part-time expert accrediting assessments for top quality courses emplaced for free on the web (MOOCs) by top institutions like 152-Nobel-Laureate Harvard and 83-Nobel-Laureate MIT (see Dr. Gideon Polya, “Accredited Remote Learning” ), the anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti- youth and climate criminal Australian Coalition Government is hell-bent on hugely increasing the average HECS Debt.
However as set out below in a letter sent to MPs and Media, Australia’s historical Carbon Debt from greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is $1.7 trillion and increasing at $300 billion each year (for details and documentation see Gideon Polya, “$10 Trillion Annual Carbon Debt Increase For Young People On A Threatened Planet”, Countercurrents, 8 July, 2014). Given that Australian under-30 year olds (“young persons”) total 9.4 million (representing 39% of the overall population) this means that the per capita Carbon Debt for this section of the population is $1,700,000 million /9.4 million = circa $180,000 per young person and this is increasing at $300,000 million/9.4 million = circa $32,000 per young person annually.
This horrendous climate injustice and intergenerational inequity gives powerful support for the 1960s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) adage “Don’t trust anyone over 30”.
Humanity and the Biosphere are increasingly threatened by man-made global warming but climate change inaction means that it may soon be too late to act to prevent catastrophic global warming. In the face of resolute climate change inaction by their elders and horrendous, mounting Carbon Debt, young people world-wide must REVOLT to stop climate crime and save the world, and in Australia that simply means vote 1 Green and put the Coalition last as well as Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) applied against all people, politicians, parties, companies, corporations and countries complicit in catastrophic climate change (see Gideon Polya, “$10 trillion annual carbon debt”, MWC News, 8 July 2014 ).
My letter, sent to MPs, Mainstream Media and Alternative Media (including the excellent, pro-youth and pro-Planet Green Left Weekly and New Matilda), is as follows.
“According to climate economist Dr. Chris Hope from 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge University the damage-based Carbon Price of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is $150 per ton CO2, and according to Dr. James Hansen from NASA and 101-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University industrial man has added 1,466 billion tonnes CO2 to the atmosphere (1751-2014), this yielding a global Carbon Debt of $220 trillion or about 2.6 times the World’s GDP.
A revised annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution is 64 billion tonnes CO2-e (CO2-equivalent, including other GHGs like methane, CH4) and thus Carbon Debt is increasing globally each year by $150 per ton CO2-e x 0.064 trillion tonnes CO2-e = $9.6 trillion i.e. by about $10 trillion annually, to be paid by future generations.
Australia’s historical Carbon Debt is about 11 billion tonnes CO2 x $150 per ton CO2 = $1.7 trillion and this is increasing each year at $150 per ton CO2-e x 2 billion tonnes CO2-e per year (Domestic plus Exported) = $300 billion annually, to be paid by future generations.
Those rejecting a Carbon Tax are complicit in an immense crime against Humanity, the Biosphere, the young and future generations (for documentation Google "$10 trillion annual carbon debt")”.
Please feel free to publish this communication and please inform all Australian students and young people you can of the urgent need for them to take resolute action over the worsening threat to their future and the horrendous Carbon Debt burden being placed upon them by the climate criminal climate change inaction of their elders (for further details and documentation see “Climate justice & intergenerational equity” and “2011 climate change course”).
Dr. Gideon Polya (a Melbourne-based biological chemistry scientist, academic, artist, writer, and climate change and human rights activist).
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