Australia’s Climate “Collapse” Is Our Future

Australia's climate collapse is our futureThe climate crisis continues to intensify down under, as large areas of Australia endure an unprecedented heatwave [ark], adding to the misery of years of severe drought [search]. Melbourne's temperatures have topped 43C (109.4F) for three days for the first time, causing trees to lose their leaves and railway tracks to buckle. This is clearly a climate change exacerbated event and portends humanity's future if we do not immediately embark upon massive emissions reductions.
For over 15 years EcoInternet's Earth Action Network has given warnings to successive Australian government's regarding their unique vulnerability to climate change, exacerbated by deforestation and reliance upon coal. Our and many other voices have been completely rebuffed. Is the current political system capable of addressing global issues of this sort? How about society, people, business or the economy? Who is going to solve climate change and what it is going to require? We are looking for answers here.

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7 Responses

  1. R. Gates says:

    Dr. Barry,
    What Australia is experiencing this season will seem like the “good ol' days” in the not too distant future. This is not alarmism at all, but simply put…from a pure atmospheric physics perspective, there is already so much CO2 forcing in the system (and now methane of course, as the peat bogs and continental shelves are releasing billions of tons of methane from postive feedback global warming) that massive climate change is inevitable. We already have hundreds of years of forcing in the system.
    Yes, we must reduce our carbon emissions now, but this reduction will be for generations of humanity many centuries in the future. Most critical, I believe, is to develop plans to cope with the inevitable change. Austrialians should be devleoping plans to survive with the assumptions that things will only get hotter and dryer. Green Technology should be brought to task to develop food production techniques with the assumption that Australia will be more like Saudi Arabia in the not too distant future. This is more real world from the perspective that carbon forcing is already in the system. The good people of Australia may even come to realize that their once lovely continent can no longer support the population that it has currently. This of course, brings up the other great issue that will be upon us in the coming decades…the mass migration of peoples to ever dwindling habitable areas of the planet.
    R. Gates

  2. Greg Bretton says:

    R.Gates, your raise some good points on how to solve this most important of questions… however, particularly in Australia's case, we cannot forget the economic side of the equation. If we focus too heavily on radical change, we will inevitably cripple our industries. Have a look at John Hewson's blog (http://www.openforum.com.au/content/carbon-economy-0) where he discusses the necessary balancing act between the climate and the economy.

  3. R. Gates says:

    Greg,
    Years ago, Theodore Rozak wrote the amazing “Person/Planet” book, in which he eloquently stated that what's good for the planet is ultimately good for the person. This idea of the ecological connection between all things on earth, includes the economics as developed by humans. Afterall, what is the economy for, if not to better human life? Therefore, any and all truly sustainable economics must be a green-based economics. It must take into acccount the ecology of the whole system. In short, any product or service must be a net-zero effect on the ecology. Therefore, countries like Australia, and truly, the rest of the world, must re-build themselves as truly green, with a net-zero carbon footprint, or the end result will only be their ultimate destruction, as it has been for non-green civilizations since humanity first dropped from the trees…
    A green economy is the only sustainable economy…and this fact is not open to debate, but to the very laws of natural balance.
    R. Gates

  4. Daved Moore says:

    Who is going to “solve climate change”? As R Gates, says, it will not be solved – its already guaranteed.
    The issue is to limit it to the least horrific level possible so the forests and oceans can eventually recover and absorb the CO2 over hundreds or thousands of years. Southern forests may be lost to carbon storage and new forests may have to grow in the far north on the thawing permafrost and bogs.
    Humans should limit their numbers radically now by adopting a China like one child policy, move to more habitable climates, and reduce carbon fuel consumption beginning with coal fired electricity.

  5. Tristan Mules says:

    Or, you could spend $42 billion on trying to prop up our economy – with negligible amounts going to environmental causes. Where is the renewable development? Where is forest protection? Where are city farms and community agriculture? Bicycle infrastructure? Public transport? They would all help the economy too, but of course are overlooked because of being too forward thinking.

  6. R. Gates says:

    Tristan,
    Have you ever seen an advertisement on television telling you to come and buy green beans?
    Probably not. This is the same reason you don't see money flowing to renewable development and bike trails and forest protection. There is no “profit” in it…at least according to the current economic models used by humans to govern their social and political systems.
    In fact, green beans and bike trails are quite good for both us and the earth, and until they are more valued than McDonald's hamburgers and highways, and until good teachers make more than Pro Football players, the future is dark because human values are skewed to the unreal and unsustainable…
    R. Gates

  7. alan hill says:

    If it takes numerous deaths at an intersection before a set of traffic lights are installed how many people need to die before climate change is top of the agenda in Australia?

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