Dear Editor –
The latest IPCC report on the world’s climate is the loudest wakeup call we will get before it’s too late. The safe ‘guardrail’ of 1.5 degrees in global heating set at the Paris talks will be reached within ten years. After that, temperatures go ever higher, bringing more severe heatwaves, droughts and bushfires, or in a wet pattern more high intensity rainfall leading to disastrous floods.
It’s happening now in the northern summer, we’ve seen it here on the north coast in the past two years, and there is much more to come. There is now no doubt climate change is caused by human activity, burning coal oil and gas, and destroying forests. The report confirms that record-breaking extreme weather is virtually impossible without the influence of climate change.
Some changes are now irreversible. Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification and the loss of coral reefs. The UN Secretary General calls it a ‘Code Red’ warning for humanity. So, how much longer are voters going to support state and federal governments making the problem worse?
Australia is the world’s largest exporter of gas and the third largest exporter of fossil fuels. Coalition governments are approving and funding vast new coal and gas projects, yet they have very few effective emission reduction efforts.
I cannot help wondering why these governments listen to medical science experts while ignoring climate science experts. The IPCC report is written by 234 scientists, reviewing 14 thousand research papers. No doubt campaign donations from the coal and gas industries and winning seats in coal mining areas account for much of this climate policy criminality.
All politicians should put our safety and security uppermost. That’s the number one priority of governments in a democracy. Yet they continue to ignore these warnings at our peril.