On arts funding

Peter Matters writes: Re. “‘A bloodbath’: excellence is out, innovation is in, arts are still screwed” (Friday). Politicians love using weasel words because platitudes are so meaningless that they can always crawl out from under them. However, ARTS (in capital letters) are play things for the wealthy middle class because the poor cannot afford them. Arts —  lower case — are the birthright of all human beings and have been ever since the appearance of the first homo sapiens and the great majority of us do in fact have creative talents somewhere hidden within us.

The real cause of all our troubles such as global warming, pollution, poisoning of land, air and sea including the food we eat and the air we breathe, is the decadent, profligate, out of control consumerism of our lifestyle. If we change from 24/7 escapism of the commercial TV, the gutter press and shock jocks belting out tsunamis of prejudice and intolerance, the latest I-this, I-that or I-whatever growing out of our ears or stuck to our fingers, 300km cars for speed limits between 30km to 110km, McMansions just for show, etc, to the active and passive pursuit of arts, we will not only prevent our poor little planet turning into a half dead global garbage dump, but also retrieve our values inside us from our current values we buy at the shopping centre.

Our emissions targets

Climate campaigner for the Queensland Conservation Council Kirsten Macey writes: Re. “Three cheers for our failing economy” (Friday). Thanks for the article on Australia’s target for 2020. A few things to mention, namely that Australia managed to negotiate so many loopholes in the Kyoto accounting system including adding deforestation to their 1990 base year that no matter what happened, Australia would have easily met their Kyoto two target from 2013-2020. The Climate Action Tracker calculated that Australia was able to exceed its target in the order of 50%.

“Based on the CAT assessment Australia may not need to do anything to meet its Kyoto second commitment period obligations (a 0.5% reduction from 1990 levels – or 99.5% of its 1990 baseline), a situation that also prevailed for the first commitment period (2008 to 2012). The CAT has quantified emissions credits from land use activities that could result in Australia’s allowed emissions from energy and industry approaching or exceeding 50% above 1990 levels in 2020.”

Furthermore, there are over 100 countries asking to stay well below 1.5 degrees C and not 2degrees C. And they are receiving pressure from bigger countries to not ask for 1.5 in Paris, even though a scientific review undertaken in 2013-2015 by the UNFCC found 1.5 was safer.


Peter Fray

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