Scientists warn there’s only 5-6 years left to be able to take action to mitigate manmade climate change before we reach irreversible tipping points – triggering runaway global warming.
The International Monetary Fund Chief advises that unless climate pollution and fossil fuel use can be slashed in time, future generations will be “roasted, toasted, fried and grilled” by “merciless” extreme weather events and rising temperatures.
The alarming scientific evidence gathered on climate change by thousands of scientists over our hottest years and decades so far is in, showing us that time is running out to be able to stop global temperatures rising by a catastrophic +4-6 degrees and beyond.
Doctors, church and community leaders, eminent scientists, scientific organisations such as CSIRO, NASA, NOAA, the IPCC and Climate Council, environmental protection groups, the Climate Change Authority, famous Australians, a former Australian Defence Force Chief and a former Australian Governor-General are among those calling for urgent action to prevent the worst.
World officials from the UN, IMF and World Bank advise us to rapidly divest our investments from the polluting fossil fuels causing climate change based on the scientific warnings, and to re-invest in clean renewable energy instead to quickly transition economies to zero emission.
Yet despite this urgency and looming global crisis (see #jointhedots on #climatechange) – and against all scientific knowledge and advice – our own Australian Government is trying to wind back the small steps we’ve taken so far by repealing our Clean Energy Package.
While international efforts are being stepped up by other countries raising targets to slash emissions and boost renewable energy, Australia is instead going backwards – the Abbott LNP Government seeking to remove a price on pollution (the “carbon tax”, which has already started reducing our emissions), to abolish our remaining effective climate action bodies (Climate Change Authority, Clean Energy Finance Corporation) and reduce our beneficial Renewable Energy Target (which has actually lowered the wholesale costs of electricity and buffered grids during heatwaves).
While other nations take the real threat of climate change seriously and are reducing emissions by up to 30-40 (100% in Scotland) by 2020 on 1990/2000 levels, Australia is doing the exact opposite – proposing a low, voluntary 5% target emissions reductions scheme which has been widely criticised by experts. Taxpayers would pay polluters billions, on top of the $10 billion paid out by Australians each year to subsidise polluting fossil fuels.
A known climate sceptic has been appointed by the Abbott LNP Government to wind back the RET which stands to cost this vital industry thousands of jobs, lower Australia’s international standing and seriously jeopardise Australia’s efforts to help global efforts to turn down the heat.
Deforestation adds to climate change and raises temperatures, yet the Australian Government is seeking to open up World Heritage-listed areas in Tasmania for mining and logging, and the WA Liberal Government continues to sanction logging of our dwindling carbon sinks of trees up to 400 years old. Despite science showing that burning fossil fuels causes dangerous global warming, we’re also still green-lighting extensive new coal, oil and gas exploration, production and exports around the nation.
In fact, Australians are among the largest climate polluters per capita in the world, and our planned fossil fuel expansion will soon see us produce 10% of the world’s climate-changing greenhouse gases. Why then are we knowingly continuing to burn our own, and our kids’ future?
Ignoring the scientific warnings, we’re also still promoting and buying new petrol and oil cars reliant upon climate-polluting fossil fuels instead of clean zero emission electric vehicles which can be charged on 100% renewable solar energy. We’re still developing and building on low-lying coastal areas despite scientific evidence showing that the ice caps are melting at unprecedented, accelerating rates which will likely cause metres of sea level rises.
All the while the clock is ticking towards irreversible climate tipping points…and extreme weather records continue to be broken – Australia just suffering through yet another angry summer, this time breaking 156 records in just 90 days.
Public foiled by misleading debate – Climate Change Authority Chair Bernie Fraser speaks out
Australian companies among the 90 most responsible for climate change – list includes the sponsors of some of our major sporting and arts events – Chevron, BHP Billiton
Based in Perth, Tanyia Maxted writes on the climate crisis, divestment from the fossil fuels causing climate change, and solutions such as solar-charged electric cars. The mother-of-two previously worked in water science communication for an Australian Government-funded national research centre, and in science communication for two Perth universities. See archived articles for ScienceNetworkWA and her UK-published books via Amazon.