Reply to Rod Gallagher’s letter of March 11, 2020.
Three degrees increase in average global surface temperature by 2030 is just one of many possible scientific models for climate change, Rod.
The Bureau of Meteorology uses a number of different models to assist its role in predicting the weather for next week.
No individual model is completely right or wrong.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has a very conservative view of increases in global temperature because they publish a consensus-based on thousands of individual reports and models.
The only problem with the IPCC is that the reality of climate change has exceeded the theoretical expectations in every report they have made.
The IPCC case for holding average global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is already a joke.
Figures published by the United Nations FAO show an increase of 1.3C in average world temperature between 1961 and 2019.
Figures published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) demonstrate an increase of 1.4C in global surface temperature since pre-industrial levels up to 2020.
In other words, Rod, we have almost achieved a global increase of 1.5C in surface temperature and the question now becomes: What is a realistic target for the future?
In Australia, we have a complete lack of commitment towards addressing this problem at the federal level.
We are also on the brink of extracting and selling-off the huge coal deposits in the Galilee Basin of Queensland.
Burning this coal will undoubtedly push climate change beyond anything that anyone alive today can imagine.
The Adani deal is just the thin edge of the wedge. Clive Palmer is sitting on 100 billion tons of coal in the Galilee Basin. Once that goes up in smoke, you can kiss your grandchildren’s futures good-bye.
This is not threatening our generation Rod; it’s about future generations, so push a bit harder mate.
Sea level rise probably won’t affect older people like us Rod, but that doesn’t justify inaction.
Scientific reports already warn that tipping-points for the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet have already been exceeded which means that 3m of sea level rise is coming towards us with barely 1.5C increase in atmospheric temperature already achieved.
What the models don’t tell us with any reliability, is how fast it is coming. There is presently an international team investigating the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica which is literally a wild-card in relation to ice retreat/melting controlling the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
The current news is not good, but don’t take my word for it.
Remediation? Nuclear power is probably not the strategy that Australia or the world needs to follow Rod. Why? Cost and logistics!
The cost in cents per kilowatt-hour of power generated by nuclear power stations is greater than renewable power generation.
Large thermal nuclear power-stations need large supplies of water to maintain cooling and heat extraction.
They also need to be close to population centres to minimise line-loss.
This means that economists and engineers will want to put them near our coastal cities. Even our heroic Liberal/National Government is not promoting that option.
You all have choices. You can sit back on the beach with Norm and watch the world go by or you can work for change. The clock is ticking.
Ted Minty, North Wonthaggi.