Mood: on fire
The enormously powerful message of Professor Tim Flannery on ABC Lateline show last night 7th February 2007 is compulsory viewing for Australians concerned for their future:
Tony Jones speaks with Tim Flannery Tony Jones speaks with Australian of the Year Professor Tim Flannery, on the issue of climate change.
He notes the UN IPCC report in all the news recently was based on 2005 science and limited by a consensus approach where "reasonably well-supported [science] also gets weeded out".
He calls for the 'social license of the coal mining industry' to be withdrawn.
He calls for 'geothermal hot rocks to power the national power grid out of the Cooper Basin in South Australia'. (We at SAM like this idea and agree with him as radical as it sounds.)
He calls for 'thermal solar power development' too, and notes the 'contentious nuclear power industry is not needed here, and problematic for controversy in itself'.
[For instance Crack in nuclear option with interesting use of our term water "guzzling" power plants, echoing other reports of water guzzling Olympic Dam uranium mine in South Australia: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1839044.htm]
He repeats his diagnosis of 'ice melt causing dangerous sea rise within 5 to 15 years'.
He spoke in a very calm and courageous manner, facing a world threatening situation with the gravitas it deserves. He likened it to 1939 preface to World War 2. He spoke in a way fully understanding this is not the message Big Politics or even Big Media want to hear, and can't cope with really.
As such he said economic imperatives are necessarily secondary. There was much discussion too of China and India's current dependence on coal in massive dimensions and the need to move against coal there as much as here to protect our common future.
To echo this profound reality, the Opposition Environment Minister Peter Garrett referred in question time Federal Parliament earlier the same day as follows:
"PETER GARRETT, OPPOSITION ENVIRONMENT SPOKESMAN: Will the minister confirm that Sydney University research shows rising sea levels could lead to erosion, extending up to 70 metres inland from the promenade at Bondi Beach?"
at Climate change puts spotlight on Garrett, Turnbull The broader climate change argument is continuing to dominate the political debate in Canberra – not only between the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, but also putting the spotlight and the pressure on two of the nation's best known but least experienced parliamentary frontbenchers."
Federal Industry Minister McFarlane was on abc World Today programme earlier in the day too rejecting extreme predictions of '30 feet sea rise' (in fact predictions of 12 metres sea rise which is more like 40 feet):
"Well, we need to look at the context of where we're at, at the moment and I know the Labor Party is jumping to quick fix solutions, but there is a long-term context to managing our greenhouse gas emissions.
The Prime Minister and I have both repeatedly said, and you can go back over the statements, that climate change is real and is happening, and we're not going to be verballed by Kevin Rudd on this.
The Prime Minister's made a clear statement in the House yesterday which clarifies his position and after the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report on the weekend, I accept that human impact is altering the globe's temperatures, but not the extreme claims of sea level rises of 30 feet.
The IPCC report actually said at the bottom end, around about half a metre and, sorry, at the top end around about half a metre and the bottom end, half that. So, let's be realistic about some of the extreme claims."
in Macfarlane discusses carbon trading paper 7th February 2007 at http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1842303.htm
It's pretty obvious who is right and who is wrong. Who is protecting Establishment industry and financial/political interests and who is facing the best scientific advice on its merits without fear or favour.
It's not PM Howard and his government as currently constituted. This global warming diagnosis is an unprecedented threat to Australia's national interest, and its not going away as commentators note the polls moving into "landslide" territory against the Howard government.