The World is facing a Climate Emergency but you wouldn’t think so from the response by governments. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere is 390 parts per million (ppm), well outside the range of 180-300 ppm over the last 600,000 years during which Man (Homo sapiens) finally evolved (see: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/
Top climate scientists like NASA’s Dr James Hansen tell us that we must return to 300 ppm for a safe and sustainable future for the Planet (see 300.org: http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org ) . However Big Business-beholden governments are resolute in inaction and the CO2 concentration is presently increasing at a record 2.5 ppm per year. The World has already suffered massive climatic disruption with a temperature increase of 0.8 degrees C (see: http://www.usclimateaction.org/userfiles/JohnHoldren.pdf ) but 90% of scientists polled at the March 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference believed that 2 degrees C or more was unavoidable.
Time is running out and we ask despairingly: how can we get politicians to act in the face of worsening Climate Emergency? Paradoxically, pro-coal, pro-pollution, climate criminal Australia, a world leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and the world’s biggest coal exporter, may provide an answer.
The pro-coal Rudd Labor Australian Federal Government is committed to coal exports and use of coal burning to generate power domestically. So too is the Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Opposition (Labor and the Liberal-National Party Coalition are collectively known as the Lib-Labs and are supported by 90% of the electorate with the Australian Greens getting about 10% of the vote). However, Australia is being seriously buffeted by the consequences of Climate Change (floods in the north, savage drought and massive bushfires in the South and the Murray-Darling River System and the coral of the Great Barrier Reef is dying) and the public is increasingly concerned.
The Labor Government was elected in 2007 on the promise of tackling Climate Change but its actions have been purely cosmetic or worse so far. Thus the Labor Government finally signed the Kyoto Protocol for Australia but succeeded, with the US, in sabotaging the 2007 Bali Climate Change Conference. After nearly 2 years in office, Labor has devastated and almost destroyed the renewable energy industry. With support from the Opposition, Labor recently passed Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme legislation that finally gave desperately needed certainty to the renewable energy industry – but which manipulated the truth (calling all kinds of non-renewable energy sources “renewable” ) so that a mere 2.4% new solar energy component of Australia could be deemed to meet the ostensible target of “20% renewable energy by 2020” (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya160809.htm ) .
With only several months before the Copenhagen meeting of governments about Climate Change, the Australian Government is re-submitting Cap-and-Trade Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation before Parliament. This dishonest and indeed fraudulent Carbon Trading ETS (similar to that of the Waxman-Markey Bill in the US) pretends to tackle Climate Change but in reality this scheme, oxymoronically named the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), will actually involve Australia’s Domestic and Exported GHG pollution INCREASING by 80% over the 2000 value by 2050.
The Australian Greens and the Coalition opposed the first version of the Labor Government ETS but now the Coalition Opposition is wavering in the face of huge support for the spin-master Rudd Labor Government in Murdochracy Australia in which the pro-coal, pro-pollution, climate denialist Rupert Murdoch media empire has 70% of big city daily newspapers.
Below is an Open Letter sent personally addressed to all Federal Opposition MPs in Australia and copied to media and NGOs in a last ditch attempt to get the Coalition Opposition to oppose Labor’s disastrous Business As Usual (BAU) carbon pollution ETS policies. Of course, as an anti-war Humanist I have never voted for the pro-war Coalition.
We are running out of time but one must still hope beyond hope that facts, reason and indeed self-interest will prevail to produce rational, humane and science-based climate change risk management in Australia and indeed throughout the World. The Open Letter below explains to the Coalition MPs how they will win a landslide electoral victory if they Accept the Science, Support 100% renewable energy ASAP (it is inevitable in the end anyway) and Oppose Labor’s Business As Usual (BAU) ETS.
If the conservative Australian Lib-Labs and the equivalent US Rep-Dems are so committed to protecting the fortunes of high polluting corporations to the extent of electoral defeat then there is no hope for Australia, the US or the World.
Open Letter to Australian Opposition MPs.
Dear Mr, Ms, Mrs, Dr, Senator … ,
ASO Protocol: Coalition will win landslide victory if it Accepts the Science, Supports 100% renewable energy ASAP and Opposes Labor’s fraudulent ETS.
The Coalition will win a landslide victory in the next election and long-term electoral support with Green preferences (notably from Labor-betrayed former Labor voters) if it (1) Accepts climate emergency advice from top climate scientists, (2) Supports 100% renewable energy ASAP; and (3) Opposes Labor‘s fraudulent Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
Incompetent, dishonest and corrupt Labor has betrayed Labor voters, Australia and the World by ignoring expert advice from top climate scientists about the worsening Climate Disruption and Climate Emergency and by supporting high–polluting, foreign-owned corporations at the expense of the Great Barrier Reef, Green Jobs, Australia, Humanity, the Biosphere and a safe future for our children and grandchildren. [1, 2, 3].
1. Top climate scientists are telling us that it is already too late to avoid a catastrophic 2 degree C rise in temperature and that: extraordinary droughts, floods, hurricanes and bushfires are already the norm and no longer the exception; the Arctic summer sea ice will be completely gone by 2013 (4 years’ time); the atmospheric CO2 must be urgently reduced to 300 ppm from the present 390 ppm; massive climate disruption has already occurred, requiring urgent adaptation (e.g. energy efficiency and new agriculture, forestry and fisheries) as well as mitigation (reducing CO2 pollution); the species extinction rate is 100-1,000 times above normal; coral reefs will die above 450 ppm CO2 (in 24 years at the current 2.5 ppm increase pa); and that the worsening climate genocide may kill 10 billion people this century. [Labor ignores the science, intends to hugely increase GHG pollution, and its policies, if generally adopted, would mean a temperature increase above that in 1990 of 7 degrees C and global disaster this century]. [3, 4].
2. Given the climate emergency perceived by top climate scientists and by top scientists in general, some top climate scientists and climate change analysts (including Nobel Laureate Al Gore) are demanding “100% renewable energy by 2020” (some countries are already implementing this) and “cut carbon emissions 80% by 2020”. [Labor’s pro-coal, BAU policies have devastated renewable energy in Australia and will increase Australia’s world leading annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution – “annual per capita GHG pollution” in units of “tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year” is currently 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 23 (Canada), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included)]. [5, 6, 7].
3. The Labor Carbon Trading Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is assertedly a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) but will actually increase Australia’s annual GHG pollution by 80% over the 2000 value by 2050. Labor’s ETS has been described as “fraudulent” because it involves rigged auctions for pollution permits with a carbon price 10-20 times lower than the carbon costing of 5,000 annual Australian deaths from coal burning pollutants; has potential for off-shore and market manipulation scams leading to price collapse (that is inevitable anyway); and returns most of the receipts to major polluters. [Major climate scientists and climate economists argue for a transparent, non-manipulable, revenue neutral Carbon Tax of the kind that already exists in Australia for petrol]. [7, 8].
At the next election, a grassroots coalition of Australians, from children to retirees and spearheaded by several hundred Climate Action Groups around the nation, will campaign against the disastrous, un-Australian, anti-Australian, terracidal, pro-coal, BAU, carbon pollution policies of the Labor Government that are destroying our future and our children’s future at the behest of high polluting, foreign-owned corporations. [9, 10, 11, 12].
Unlike ephemeral political spin, the laws of Physics and Chemistry are inexorable – the ongoing Climate Disruption, Climate Emergency and Climate Genocide are worsening realities. Just as we turn to top medical experts for advice on life-threatening disease, so we must turn to top scientists about the Climate Emergency. Thus Professor James Hansen (top US climate scientist, head, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): “We face a climate emergency”. Australian Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty: “We are in real danger.” Professor David de Kretser AC (eminent medical scientist and Governor of Victoria, Australia) “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest problem confronting mankind at this time and that it has reached the level of a state of emergency.” .
The Synthesis Report of the March 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (2,500 participants), held at the 8-Nobel-Laureate University of Copenhagen, stated: “Inaction is inexcusable. Society already has many tools and approaches – economic, technological, behavioural, and managerial – to deal effectively with the climate change challenge. If these tools are not widely and vigorously implemented, adaptation to the unavoidable climate change and the social transformation required to decarbonise economies will not be achieved. A wide range of benefits will flow from a concerted effort to achieve effective and rapid adaptation and mitigation. These include job growth in the sustainable sector; reductions in the health, social economic and environmental costs of climate change; and the repair of ecosystems and revitalisation of ecosystem services.” [14, 15].
Climate Change disproportionately impacts on Older People – people with the time, money and wisdom to do something about it. Older people are peculiarly threatened by the worsening climate emergency in three key areas that can be summarized by the “three Ds” of Devaluation (GDP growth to prevent devaluation of their pensions and superannuation is only sustainable via renewable energy), Death (older people are frailer and also more susceptible to death from heat stress through a weakened signalling mechanism) and Descendants (their descendants will hate older people for what they have done to the Planet). .
In the next few months the Coalition will decide whether to support Labor’s traitorous and terracidal BAU carbon pollution policies OR to opt for the prospect of a landslide victory at the next election and long-term electoral support if it adopts the ASO Protocol of (1) Accepting the Science, (2) Supporting 100% renewable energy ASAP and (3) Opposing Labor’s fraudulent ETS.
This Open Letter to Australian Coalition MPs has been written in the public interest.
Dr Gideon Polya,
Convenor, 300.org .
Macleod, Melbourne, Victoria 3085, Australia
. “Climate Emergency: What Top World Scientific Experts Say “:
. “Climate emergency: What Outstanding Australian Scientists Say“:
. “Climate change power point lectures”:
. “Climate Disruption, Climate Emergency, Climate Genocide & Penultimate Bengali Holocaust through Sea Level Rise”: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/
. “100% renewable energy by 2020” : http://sites.google.com/site/100renewableenergyby2020/ .
. “Cut carbon emission 80% by 2020”: http://sites.google.com/site/cutcarbonemissions80by2020/ .
. “Australia’s “5% off 2000 GHG pollution by 2020” endangers Australia, Humanity and the Biosphere”:
. “Experts: Carbon Tax needed and NOT a Cap-and-Trade Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)”:
. Yarra Valley Climate Action Group:
. Climate Emergency Network: http://www.climateemergencynetwork.org/ .
. Climate Movement: http://www.climatemovement.org.au/ .
. Climate Action Summit: http://climatesummit.org.au/campaign-
. “Climate Emergency Facts and Required Actions”:
. “Summary of the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference Synthesis Report” :
. Synthesis Report from the March 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (“Climate Change, Global risks, challenges & decisions”, Copenhagen 10-12 March, 2009, University of Copenhagen, Denmark): http://climatecongress.ku.dk/pdf/synthesisreport/ .
. “3 reasons why older people must care about climate change action” :
. 300.org: http://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org .
I repeat that If the conservative Australian Lib-Labs and the equivalent US Rep-Dems are so committed to protecting the fortunes of high polluting corporations to the extent of electoral defeat then there is no hope for Australia, the US or the World.
If both the Major Parties in climate criminal Australia lock into Business As Usual over Climate Change and Australia’s world leading per capita GHG pollution, then the only options for a World threatened by worsening Climate Disruption, Climate Emergency and Climate Genocide will be to apply Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs, Reparations Demands and International Criminal Court prosecutions to climate criminal Apartheid Australia.
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003: http://www.amazon.com/Biochemical-Targets-Plant-Bioactive-Compounds/dp/0415308291 ). He has recently published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ and http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya ) and an updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History, Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2008: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ). In recent years he has been teaching Biochemistry theory and practical courses to second year university agricultural science students at a very good Australian university. When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for Peace and for Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ .
By Dr Gideon Polya