Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Climate change discussed in Geelong

from w
Some of my friends attended a meeting last weekend on climate change - with an audience of nearly six hundred, mostly polite, no real stirrers which was a surprise. There was not only one speaker but a panel who answered questions from the audience.

There seems to be much truth in the scientific findings and certainly our weather has gone crazy the past year.

The event was written up in the Addie as follows:
Climate experts ring alarm bells for city

Martin Watters | March 27th, 2011

GEELONG will swelter under intense heatwaves and the Great Barrier Reef will become a bed of algae should we fail to act on climate change, the Climate Commission warned last night. A carbon price was also essential for heavy industries, such as Shell's refinery and Alcoa's Point Henry aluminium smelter, the first national public forum heard.

After a week of vitriol over denialist protests in Canberra, chief climate commissioner Professor Tim Flannery led the discussion before more than 300 people in Geelong West.

Yesterday morning the Federal Government's newly-launched commission visited Shell's Geelong operations and lunched with city leaders to understand Geelong's specific challenges.

Climate science expert Prof Will Steffen said the "mega-event" week of the 47C heatwave of 2008 would seem like a a cool summer day by 2080 without action.

Prof Steffen said the globe had already warmed by 0.8C since pre-industrialisation; this would rise to 1.2C in 2080 if we stopped all emissions tomorrow. Without action, warming estimates ranged from 2.5C and 6C. "Four degrees is frightening," he said. Nature as we know it would be changed forever, with the Great Barrier Reef becoming an "algal bed" if global temperatures rose as much a 4C.

Biology expert Prof Lesley Hughes said mass deforestation accounted to 18 per cent of the nation's emissions. "I don't even like to think about a plus-four (degree rise) it's too scary," she said.

But the good news was action now could halt the damage.

Commissioner and former BP Australasia president Gerry Hueston supported compensation to trade-exposed industries and energy providers, such as coal power stations, to avoid destabilising the electricity market and help ensure companies survived. "History has taught us market-based mechanisms that allow industry to innovate and make investment decisions are the right way to get the best outcome," he said.

Prof Flannery agreed, saying Shell needed to be compensated during any changes. "(Shell) are competing directly with petroleum exports from Singapore or India," he said.

The science behind climate change was questioned only a handful of times at last night's gathering, swiftly addressed by Prof Steffen. "There isn't a debate in the scientific community," he said. "Is the climate shifting, is it getting warmer? Unequivacable is the word that we use. What's the cause for that? The emission of greenhouse gases from human activities."

Prof Hughes added: "Climate scientists ... are the only scientists that wake up every morning and hope that they are wrong."



Blogger Penny said...

Wonderefully alarmist stuff so we will accept a new tax. Of course climate is changing, it will to the end of the world but they do not know what triggered ice ages, the world temp has not gone up since 2005, not 8, and we have done nothing to stabilize it so what happened? I am sick of people who are paid to say this and who have jobs to protect. As a scientists daughter never believe everything you are fed by governments,
Sorry for my rant, I could go on, especially about Tim Flannery.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Penny, You think they are being political rather than scientific? I don't know. Some comments in the Addie afterwards didn't like it.

Your Say

"I just wish Flummery and his band of merry climateers would go away and leave us alone. Go and try and scare someone else, it won't work in Australia, we're not that daft."

And a letter to the Editor today was that we shouldn't knock Alcoa etc. in Geelong because they try to do the decent thing and that we should be talking with China and their appalling record re pollution.

7:24 PM  

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