Today’s announcement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to spend $800 million dollars on a fleet of drones is nothing more than strategic posturing and does nothing to protect the Antarctic environment. At a time when scientists are clear that Antarctica is melting faster than ever before, Morrison and his government of climate criminals have decided to make a flashy announcement with very little substance.
“Just weeks ago, scientists announced that the Thwaites Glacier, which was previously expected to melt and fall into the ocean in the next 100 to 150 years, may do so in as shockingly little as 10 years. If this happens, it will result in a global sea-level rise with massive consequences. While the Morrison government approved $600 million for new gas projects that directly contribute to Antarctica melting, it seems they are happy to spend another $800 million so we can watch it happen via drones,” said Alistair Allan, Antarctic campaigner at the Bob Brown Foundation.
“As usual, the Australian government’s interest in Antarctica is sadly misplaced. Rather than spending $800 million on drones, that further invite the militarisation of Antarctica through dual-use activities, the $800 million could go towards removing the abandoned Wilkes station, with its leeching fuel and chemical dumps, and restoring that area. It could go towards suggesting and creating an Antarctic Specially Managed Area in the Vestfold Hills outside of Davis station, an area that Australia almost destroyed with a proposal to build a concrete airport.”
“How Prime Minister Scott Morrison can boldly declare these drones will help with climate research, while he and his industry mates recklessly plough on with climate-destroying projects, is beyond comprehension. The biggest threat to Antarctica is a heating Antarctica. From sea-level rise to krill populations and the penguins we love, all of us face dire consequences if we don’t address climate change. The prime minister should use this $800 million to help transition out of fossil fuels right now. Not fly a bunch of cameras over Antarctica to show us what we are about to lose.”