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approaching the tipping point « Previous | |Next »
November 15, 2004

Well now.

People are beginning to think through the implications of climate change now that it is widely accepted that global warming has both natural and human causes.

Here is one kind of thinking through.

Hotter temperatures, less rain, and less water for the Murray-Darling Basin and cities, such as Perth, is another kind of thinking through.

The evidence is mounting that Australia is facing a drier, hotter, windier future. The latest modelling by the CSIRO shows that by 2030 Australia could warm by up to 2 degrees.

I managed to catch a bit of Bob Carr on Lateline after coming back from having a drink in Manuka. Carr has become a national ALP spokesperson on Greenhouse and global warming. He is the one making the running on it-----far more so than the Federal Labor Party. It is the NSW Government that is playing host to the international climate change task force in an effort to find a new formula acceptable to the countries who've refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

This is part of what he said on Lateline:

"....a 40 per cent drop in rainfall in parts of Australia is going to create severe problems.It strikes at the very habitability of the Australian continen....A rise in the world's temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius over the industrial era and scientists believe that there is another 0.6 per cent or 0.7 per cent already locked in, the effects of which we haven't yet seen....[That is] totally irreversible.Can't claw it back.And that brings us to a total of 1.3 or 1.4 degrees rise in average temperatures.

This is getting us close to that awful tipping point of 2 degrees where the polar ice caps just melt away, the oceans rise, the rain forests around the globe dry out, Bangladesh floods and a lot of other extreme things happen.Now, that would have us living at temperatures that recognisable human beings have never lived at.We've produced a situation where the planet has been cooked up, been heated up, and no other culture or civilisation, no recognisable humans have lived under such conditions."

Where is federal Labor on this? All you hear about is Australia should sign Kyoto. Australia should sign Kyoto. Where is the thinking about post-Kyoto?

Where are there attempts at informing Australian citizens about the significance of global warming for Australia? At the moment they seem to be more interested iin consulting with big business in the form of dining out with the big end of town.

Where is the advocacy about needing to change our sources of energy? Where is the public persuasion about Australia needing to shift from electricity generated by polluting, coal-fired power stations to clean, renewable energy like solar, wind, biomass and micro-hydro power?

If Carr is so hot on global warming and green energy then why is he planning to build more coal-fired power stations to meet the state's future energy needs?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:31 PM | | Comments (0)