Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change action can’t wait until the 2020 election: it’s critical NOW

Australia's politiciansThis Is The Climate Change Election, Despite What Turnbull Or Shorten Say NewMatilda,     June 10, 2016 Both parties are ignoring the big, coal-coloured elephant in the room. With the world speeding towards a tipping point, action can not wait for the next election cycle to begin, writes Costa Avgoustinos.

Climate change is the number one issue this election, whether Turnbull or Shorten are willing to frame it that way or not. This is not only because averting climate disaster is important. It’s because our ability to do so is time-sensitive – after decades of delay the window for effective climate action is closing rapidly and will soon shut forever.

Here is a quick and dirty summary of the climate science: If the world heats up 1.5°C, we’re screwed.

Why? Because it is expected at this “tipping point”, how hot things get begins to significantly fall from our control. A series of events we have no power over are triggered once 1.5°C is breached – for example, the ability of oceans and forests to absorb our carbon emissions are substantially exhausted and greenhouse gases currently trapped under ice start being released.

We may soon be placed in a position where all we can do is powerlessly watch as temperatures climb to Mad Max levels; where sea rises will gobble at our coasts (where 85 per cent of Australians live), food and water sources are devastated, heat-thriving diseases are incubated, and conflicts and a meaner streak of politics are inevitable.

Because politicians are not taking the task of staying below the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C seriously, many predict we are “locking in” temperature rises of 4°C, which Professor John Schellnhuber, one of the world’s most influential climate scientists, bluntly stated at a conference in Australia would threaten nothing less than “human civilisation”.

The World Bank, hardly an organisation of tree huggers, stated “all our work, all our thinking, is designed with the threat of a 4°C degree world in mind” with the unnerving warning that there is “no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible”………..

Both the Coalition and Labor stoke and exploit our psychological blindspot, the difficulty we all have in seeing the climate crisis for the danger that it is, to get us talking about what they want us to consider an emergency. Don’t let them do it. This election, vote for climate action and against new coal mines. It is literally the most critical issue on the table, and its time is now.

June 11, 2016 - Posted by | election 2016

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