Looking at possible big taxpayer spend on the car ferry, the people who know about these things have been asking us, politely, to try to take climate change seriously, especially as a key criterion, right up front to decide whether or not to go ahead with significant projects.
Because the car ferry is floating on Western Port, it’s obviously going to be affected by sea level rise.
In mainstream media, a while ago, the subject was dismissed as maximum 0.8m by 2100.
Late last year, it flashed past on our TV screens that the biggest ever iceberg had calved from the West Antarctic Ice Shelf, capable of raising sea levels, as ice melts of 1 to 4m.
Just recently, from East Antarctica, the Totten Iceberg is also said to be big enough to cause 1 to 4m rise in sea level.
These massive volumes of ice were supposed to be sitting on the ocean floor. Unfortunately warm fresh water has somehow managed to undermine them, which explains unexpected separation. So 2 x 1 to 4m is coming to a place near you sometime sooner than you think.
It’s important to recognise that the 0.8m rise comes from IPCC and is based on nothing more than expansion as oceans get warmer.
It also depends on warming limited to 2 degC. Also 0.8m is not a limit, just a value at 2100, which continues to increase because our emissions, which cause warming, are an invisible floating blanket which is up there for centuries.
IPCC doesn’t take any notice, at all, of projections for sea level rise from melting icebergs, or anything else of interest to climate scientists. Politicians can’t handle other than simple how much volume might increase for a very few degrees increase in water temperature.
Values for sea level rise are referred to as “bathtub level”, the rise of the point midway between low and high tide. As the oceans continue to get warmer, we see things like Hurricane Sandy in New York City, which arrived with a storm surge sea level rise of no less than 14 metres.
New York is further north than Melbourne is south but let’s not bother with that for now.
Other recent news in climate change — scientists have a new expression: They talk about MMEs. That means “mass mortality events” – a single, catastrophic incident that wipes out vast numbers of a species in a short period of time.
Apparently these events are on the rise and will become more common because of… once again: climate change. In Kazakhstan, there was a rise in temperature and an increase in humidity in just a few days.
It stimulated bacteria to pass into the bloodstream where it caused blood poisoning, and 200,000 antelopes fell over dead, just like that, overnight. Killed not by the heat, but from bacteria that came because of the temperature rise.
So how do we really feel about climate change? Is it time yet to take it seriously? With icebergs above and, if you take any notice, you’ll know our emissions are increasing, also if you know that IPCC science is seven years old and out of date when released, sea level rise is going to be a lot more than 0.8m and a lot sooner than 2100.
Are you starting to get the feeling that a spend of more than $100 million on a car ferry is one of the most stupid things we could do?
Any chance you can talk about it, just friends and neighbours, for starters, building up to confident and cranky enough to hustle politicians later, but not much later?
How many metres allowed for sea level rise in fuzzy crystal ball of Draft Business Case – 2, 4 ,6 metres or what? None whatsoever, doesn’t even get a mention, nothing but dodgy $, especially for benefit of consultants.
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
Are we not there yet?