Imagine PM Turnbull, stooping to Nuremberg defence on ABC radio to deny campaign about ‘No New Coal Mines’ by distinguished Australians and Pacific Island Nations in danger from sea level rise.
“It won’t make any difference. Not buying our coal means they’ll just buy from somewhere else.”
Revenue in Queensland, from vehicle rego, is more than royalties from coal. Why risk our only planet? Leave coal in the ground.
Just to be clear, climate change deniers make the case that to stabilise to previous climate conditions, we just need small reduction in tonnes of CO2 per year and we’ll live as happy as recovering from obesity.
But the nature of problem is that however many tonnes of CO2 emissions just add to the problem each year. In pre-industrial times, there was some CO2 up there, to maintain the temperature we used to have. There was a cycle in equilibrium between emission and absorption of CO2.
Over millions of years, much carbon disappeared from the cycle, stored in coal, oil and gas. Now so much is burnt, accumulation of CO2 is like adding blankets to a bed in winter.
When you hop in, you don’t feel warmth instantaneously. Eventually, you feel too warm. With blankets you can remove them. With CO2 you can’t – it’s too slow, difficult and expensive.
Most CO2 that’s already up there will still be there after 100 years of inexorable warming.
You may know that Copenhagen Climate Convention agreement was to keep GHG (greenhouse gas) concentration below 450ppm (parts per million) to limit warming to 2degC.
Recently mainstream news reports now that figure is exceeding 400ppm. But that’s just CO2. As long ago as 2012, Mauna Loa observatory, in clean air of Hawaii, registered 475ppm for CO2e complete GHG’s.
The only way to fix it is to transition to zero carbon energy, producing more than we need in hope that CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) might become more realistic.
This means safe target is less than zero emissions, ASAP, or start digging yourself a long holiday in a well-stocked, deep bunker.
Bernie McComb, Cowes.