Climate Emergency Facts and Required Actions
Just as we turn to top medical specialists for advice on life-threatening disease, so we turn to the opinions of top scientists and in particular top biological and climate scientists for Climate Change risk assessment and Climate Emergency Facts and requisite Actions as exampled below (for detailed documentation of everything below see the Yarra Valley Climate Action Group website: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/Home ). Professor James Hansen (top US climate scientist, head, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): “We face a climate emergency”. Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty: “We are in real danger.” Professor David de Kretser AC (eminent medical scientist and Governor of Victoria, Australia) “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest problem confronting mankind at this time and that it has reached the level of a state of emergency.” Dr Andrew Glikson (palaeo-climate scientist, ANU): “The continuing use of the atmosphere as an open sewer for industrial pollution has … raised CO2 levels to 387 ppm CO2 to date, leading toward conditions which existed on Earth about 3 million years (Ma) ago (mid-Pliocene), when CO2 levels rose to about 400 ppm, temperatures to about 2–3 degrees C and sea levels by about 25 +/- 12 metres.” Please tell everyone you can.
Major Climate Emergency Facts
1. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has increased to 390 parts per million (ppm) as compared to 280 ppm pre-industrial and is increasing at about 2.5 ppm per year with average global temperature about 0.8 degrees C above the pre-industrial.
2. Man-made global warming due to greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides is already associated with major ecosystem damage (Arctic, ocean, coral reefs), melting of glaciers and Arctic sea ice, sea level rise, methane release from melting tundra and positive feed-back effects accelerating GHG pollution and warming.
3. Consequences of atmospheric CO2 concentration increase and warming to current 390 ppm: major ecosystem damage; current species extinction rates are 100-1,000 times greater than previously; to over 400 ppm: “new territory” not seen for millions of years with acute dangers from positive feedbacks; to over 450 ppm: major damage and death to coral reefs and associated fisheries; to over 500 ppm: major loss of ocean phytoplankton, ocean life, cloud seeding, the Greenland ice sheet and densely populated global coastal regions due to massive sea level rises.
Climate Emergency Actions URGENTLY Required
1. Change of societal philosophy to one of scientific risk management and biological sustainability with complete cessation of species extinctions and zero tolerance for lying.
2. Urgent reduction of atmospheric CO2 to a safe level of about 300 ppm as recommended by leading climate and biological scientists.
3. Rapid switch to the best non-carbon and renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tide and hydro options that are currently roughly the same market price as coal burning-based power) and to energy efficiency, public transport, needs-based production, re-afforestation and return of carbon as biochar to soils coupled with correspondingly rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning, deforestation, methanogenic livestock production and population growth.
1. “All men are created equal and have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” … “Love thy neighbour as thyself” ... YET:
“Annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution” in units of “tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year” is 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), less than 3 (many African and Island countries), 3.2 (the Developing World), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 16 (the Developed World), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included).
Professors James Lovelock FRS (Gaia hypothesis) and Professor Kevin Anderson ( Director, Tyndall Centre, UK) estimated that fewer than 1 billion people will survive this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming – noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, these estimates translate to a Climate Genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis.
In 2003 16 million people (about 9.5 million of them under-5 year old infants) died annually due to deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease, this already impacted by global warming. In 2009 22 million died avoidably annually - 10 billion avoidable deaths this century due to global warming yields an average annual avoidable death rate of 100 million per year.
2. ABC of tackling climate change: (A) Accountability – hold products, politicians and polluters accountable; (B) Badge e.g. bear witness with a “300 ppm CO2” badge; and (C ) Credo e.g. “Return atmospheric CO2 to 300 ppm for a safe planet for all peoples and all species”.
3. Three Ds for Older people and Climate Change Action: Devaluation (of pensions, superannuation and savings in a non-sustainable carbon economy yet continued growth is possible with renewable energy); Death (older people frailer, more susceptible to heat stress through deficient signalling); and Descendants (they will hate us for what we have done to their Planet).
4. Respect Science ( take advice from top climate scientists, top scientific bodies; science is about disproving through the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses); inform others (silence kills and silence is complicity); and have zero tolerance for lying e.g. under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme or ETS Australia’s Domestic plus Exported GHG will increase by 80% by 2050.
5. Rational risk management successively involves (a) accurate data; (b) scientific analysis; (c) informed systemic change to minimize risk (obverse: (a) lies; (b) spin, selectively using facts to support a partisan position; and (c) blame and shame).