Archives for December, 2013


Jeff Canin Comment:  The last paragraph in this article says it all: don’t hold your breath for effective action on climate change. Its not that our governments are filled with morons who just don’t understand the science. Okay, there is a certain percentage in there. But not all. They just don’t want to make it a priority. Long term thinking is not the name of the game. They won’t be in office then, so why bother, let the next lot of mugs deal with the problems we are causing. And who wants to annoy the Murdoch media empire or the mining or fossil fuel industries?

If we want them to change this short sighted behaviour, we have to somehow get them to realise that there are short term consequences for failing to take long term action. As in, vote them out. All Parties need to realise that this is a priority for us, and we will only vote for a Party that is genuinely concerned about climate change and has a program of action.
So it is vital that we communicate with all political parties and let them know this. Let them know that the price of inaction is years in the political wilderness. Only then will they take it seriously and do something.

The Conversation
11 December 2013, 6.42am AEST

Government doesn’t need climate bodies: it needs commitment
Neville Nicholls
Professor at Monash University

In closing the Climate Commission, and introducing legislation to abolish the Climate Change Authority, the government has said it can instead rely on information from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. Is that claim reasonable?
The Climate Commission
The Climate Commission was established to provide information about climate change to the public. The most obvious impact of its closure will be on local governments and businesses.
The Commission has been providing such bodies with the information they need to determine how best to adapt to the future climate. Most local governments do not have the resources they need to identify how climate change should affect decisions, such as deciding whether sea walls are an appropriate reaction to rising sea levels and changes in storminess. In the absence of the Commission such bodies will need to employ consultants, at considerable expense, to provide such advice.
Read more →

Still Time to Change

Jeff Canin Comment:  Is it all too late to do anything about climate change? This is such a commonly asked question. If it is, why spend our time and energy worrying, changing our lifestyles, instead of partying (on the Titanic), and seeing if we can get a little closer to the lifeboats, just in case.

Here is a very interesting take on this question. I would argue that while the answer is still uncertain, we have a moral responsibility to do whatever we can to reduce our own personal carbon emissions, and encourage our family, friends, corporations and governments to do the same. As Clive Hamilton says in 2 Degrees, “its that old classic cliché: what did you do in the war daddy, and I hope I can say, I did my best”.

The Conversation
11 December 2013, 6.42am AEST

Still time to change Earth’s long-term forecast
Jørgen Randers
Professor of Climate Strategy at BI Norwegian Business School

After a lifetime promoting sustainability – sadly, with limited success – last year I sat down to consider what will happen to my beloved world over the next 40 years. The main question I asked myself was whether I should continue worrying about the future during my final 20 to 25 years here on Earth.
My answer is in 2052 – A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years. The main message is simple: I predict that the world average temperature will surpass 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times – the internationally agreed danger threshold – in 2052. And the temperature will continue rising, condemning our grandchildren to the likelihood of climate disaster in the second half of the 21st century.
This means that the global future will resemble one of the 12 scenarios from The Limits to Growth, which I co-authored in 1972. The world will resemble the “persistent pollution scenario”, with carbon dioxide as the “persistent” pollutant which, once emitted, resides in the atmosphere with a half-life of 100 years. (For more on the original Limits to Growth forecasts and how they fared compared to reality, you can read this CSIRO discussion paper or this article in The Conversation.)
I do not forecast an energy crisis, a resource crisis, a food crisis, a water crisis – but neither do I expect to see one of the more optimistic “sustainability” scenarios from Limits. I believe that man-made greenhouse gas emissions will prove to be the real problem. Read more →