Saturday, 31 March 2007

Turnbull's challenge - climate change in Australia.

From Crikey dot
I cannot improve on this list, so I quote it exactly as it came to me, from, in an email advice.

1. Australia becoming a barely habitable hell hole. But you knew that

Thomas Hunter writes:

The federal Environment Minister last night reassured Australians that he is alert to the dangers of climate change, or at least those detailed in a soon-to-be released report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, telling Lateline :

The IPCC report is based on peer-reviewed published science, everything in there is well known to us, we know that there is the possibility or the probability of a hotter and drier future in southern Australia.

I mean we know about this, this has been published, the CSIRO has been writing about this for years so I'm glad that you think it's a revelation, I'm sorry to say that it isn't, it isn't, there's nothing new in that.

A few hours earlier, The 7.30 Report revealed what the Minister already knows about Australia’s environmental future:

  • A reduction of up to 50% in stream flows into the Murray Darling Basin;
  • Within 800 kilometres of the Australian coast, temperatures will warm from 0.1 degree to 1.3 degrees by 2020;
  • By 2050, it could warm anywhere from 0.3 to 3.4 degrees and, by 2080, the mean temperature could be 6.7 degrees warmer than it is now. As a result heatwaves and fires are virtually certain to increase in intensity and frequency;
  • Floods, landslides, droughts and storm surges are very likely to become more frequent and intense;
  • The frequency of severe tropical cyclones on the east Australian coast will increase by 20%;
  • Up to 20% more droughts … are simulated over most of Australia by 2030 and up to 80% more droughts by 2070 in South Western Australia;
  • An increase in fire danger in Australia is likely to be associated with a reduced interval between fires, increased fire intensity, a decrease in fire extinguishments and faster fire spread;
  • In South East Australia the frequency of very high extreme fire danger days is likely to rise 4-25% by 2020 and 15-70% by 2050;
  • Annual stream flow in the basin is likely to fall 10-25% by 2050 and 16-48% by 2100. Toxic algal blooms are likely to become longer and more frequent;
  • By 2050, 97% of the Great Barrier Reef will be bleached every year and, by 2080, there'll be catastrophic mortality of coral species annually;
  • Greater coastal inundation, erosion, loss of wetlands and salt water intrusion into freshwater sources, with impact on infrastructure, coastal resources and existing coastal management programs;
  • In the next 50-100 years, 21% of the Tasmanian coast is at risk of erosion and significant recession from predicted sea-level rises;
  • According to the science, the number of deaths is likely to rise from 1,115 per year at present in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane, to as many as 6,300 per year by 2050.

Knowing is one thing. Doing is another.


My comment: Politics is all short-term vision stuff, these days. Howard cares not a fig if Stern is correct about paying much more in the future than if we start solving the carbon problems now. Howard will be out of office long before the bills start being paid, and dead, before the effects of his inaction make a terrible mess of the climate, and the economy of this country, and many others. Why then, should we expect him to care?

As I have said before, the Body Politic is ill, in Australia.

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