14 Nov. 2007

Shame, Australia, Shame

11 years of Howard and what do we have to show for it? Check out this frontpage story from the BBC:
Australians were found to be the world's worst polluters per capita, producing five times as much carbon from generating power as China...

Carma points out that while US power plants emit the most CO2, releasing 2.5bn tonnes into the atmosphere each year, Australian power stations are the least efficient on a per capita basis, with emissions of 10 tonnes, compared with the US's 8.2 tonnes.

China's power sector emits the second-highest total amount of carbon dioxide, pumping 2.4bn tonnes of the gas into the atmosphere annually.

However, its emissions are only one fifth of Australia's when measured on a per capita basis.
This will come as no news to climate change activists in Australia. But one hopes the wider electorate have begun to appreciate the message.

NB: The story below is also worth a read:
It is hard to meet a monk who is prepared to talk to foreign journalists. Many have gone into hiding or are under guard - either in their monasteries or in detention centres.

"More and more people struggle to give us rice. They want to, but they have to spare it for their own mouths." ...

"The soldiers didn't shoot us because it is still more a community here. We all know each other and in every family there is a monk, a soldier, a government worker and a dissident," the monk says...

"Of the 2,800 monks in one of the main monasteries, only 200 remain," he adds.

As one Rangoon-based intellectual puts it: "Never in our history have the monasteries been so empty." ...

The most influential Buddhist universities are in and around the city and in nearby Sagaing, across the Irrawaddy river.

The young monks from these training institutes took part in the marches.

"They are sophisticated, well informed young men - partly because of access to the internet, partly because of foreign teachers, many of whom are Japanese," according to a journalist who met some of them a year ago.

They had been working for some time on a strategy to get rid of the regime in co-operation with veterans of the abortive uprising of 1988.

The monks had been studying Mahatma Gandhi's civil disobedience philosophy and the Buddhist scriptures.

One triumphantly points to a passage giving monks the obligation to intervene when Buddhism is under threat or when rulers breach moral laws and the people suffer too much.