Key Climate Emergency Facts and Actions Summary for 2009 Australian Climate Action Summit
The 2009 Australian Climate Action Summit of Climate Change Activists will be held in Canberra on the weekend before the first day of the 2009 Federal Parliament - Saturday 31st January â€“ Monday 2nd February 2009.
According to the organizers: â€œAustralia's Climate Action Summit will be two days of facilitated meetings and workshops. There will be an open public program for anyone to join, and a restricted program for people from climate change groups, who will create a strategic national climate campaign and form a national grassroots network. The weekend will be followed on the Monday by one day of dynamic training in climate campaigning skills for taking action, facilitating climate action groups, effective lobbying and more.â€
On Tuesday 3rd February, the first day of the 2009 Federal Parliament, there will be a demonstration at Parliament House and the grassroots climate network created at Australiaâ€™s Climate Action Summit will launch its national campaign at Parliament House.
According to the organizers â€œOne year into the Rudd Government we still haven't seen strong action for a safe climate. Current policies doom the Great Barrier Reef to extinction. Time is running out. 2009 is a critical year for an international agreement on climate change, so join with thousands of other Australians in demanding urgent action from our Government! Come to the two-day Summit or join the human circle around Parliament Houseâ€.
CRUCIAL to effective action on the Climate Emergency is clearly INFORMING the public, politicians and climate activists about (a) Climate Emergency FACTS and ( required Climate Emergency ACTIONS.
The following suggested SUMMARY of key Climate Emergency Facts and Actions for the Australian Climate Action Summit is a distillation of key concerns raised within the Australian Climate Emergency Network (CEN) since its inception in Melbourne, Australia in 2008. Authoritative documentation of the following assertions can be found in many detailed documents placed on the Web for public information by the Melbourne-based Yarra Valley Climate Action Group.
Climate Emergency Facts
1. Expert opinion on Climate Emergency. We must take very seriously the views of top climate scientists and top scientists in relation to the Climate Emergency â€“ just as we would the views of top medical specialists in relation to a serious medical problem â€“ and many are stating that the World is facing a Climate Emergency and Sustainability Emergency e.g. Dr James Hansen (Head, NASAâ€™s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): â€œwe face a climate emergencyâ€ ; Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty â€œwe are in real dangerâ€ ; Professor David de Kretser AC: â€œThere 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 emergencyâ€.
2. Expert opinion on climate position. According to Dr Hansen and 8 UK, French and US climate change scientist co-authors (2008):
3. Expert opinion on where climate is going. Dr Andrew Glikson (an Earth and paleo-climate research scientist at Australian National University, Canberra, Australia):
4. Expert opinion about current and future biological consequences. With atmospheric CO2 at 387 ppm (versus 280 ppm pre-industrial and presently increasing at 2.5 ppm per year) and global average temperature 0.8 degree C above pre-industrial, the World is already seeing mass species extinction at rates 100-1,000 times that in the fossil record (see: nature.com and nationalgeographic.com); major ecosystems are being destroyed due to drought, deforestation, Arctic ice melting, tundra melting, glacier melting, and ocean warming and acidification (see IPCC); world coral reefs have already been severely damaged and will die above 450 ppm CO2 from ocean warming and acidification (see: sciencemag.org ; abc.net.au); ocean phytoplankton and the Greenland ice sheet go above 500 ppm CO2; (see Dr James Lovelockâ€™s book â€œThe Revenge of Gaiaâ€); already 16 million people die avoidably each year due to increasingly climate-impacted deprivation (see my books â€œBody Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950â€: and â€œJane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainabilityâ€); and according to top UK climate scientist Dr James Lovelock FRS over 6 billion people will perish this century due to unaddressed anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
Climate Emergency Actions
1. Our core values must be that we have no right to bargain away the lives of others â€“ there must be a safe climate future for all people, all species, and all generations, NOW e.g. the survival of Australiaâ€™s Great Barrier Reef is simply NOT negotiable.
2. Our core goals must be concurrent halt to man-made greenhouse gas emissions, removal of excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to less than 350 ppm, and active cooling of the Earth (by re-afforestation, biochar addition to depleted soils).
3. Core scientific risk management methodology must be generally adopted â€“ this successively involving (a) accurate data (with zero tolerance for lying), ( scientific analysis (this involving the critical testing of potentially falsifiable hypotheses), and © systemic change and INFORMING (to rationally minimize risk with requisite urgency).
4. Cessation of fossil fuel burning must occur ASAP with concurrent rapid uptake of non-carbon renewable (solar, wind, wave) and geothermal energy systems, the best of which are now roughly equivalent in cost to the â€œmarket costâ€ of coal burning.
5. To accelerate cessation of fossil fuel burning, society must insist that the â€œtrue costâ€ of fossil fuel burning (4-5 times that of the â€œmarket costâ€; huge environmental cost and human avoidable morbidity and avoidable mortality) be identified, sourced and fully met by the perpetrators (the World may apply Sanctions against the worst climate criminal nations).
6. There must be immediate cessation of huge direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuel burning (currently $10 billion per annum in Australia, population 21 million).
7. Livestock contribute 18% of annual man-made greenhouse gas pollution globally. Methanogenic livestock must be rapidly phased out (e.g. by high conversion efficiency fish aquaculture, soy milk, plant-derived protein and fat).
8. Deforestation contributes about 20% of annual man-made greenhouse gas pollution globally but can be halved for a mere $20 billion per annum disincentive paid to the Third World (cheap solar cooking can also make a massive contribution).
9. Non-carbon public transport must rapidly replace carbon-based private transport, freeway-based systems and the genocidal Western â€œfood for fuelâ€ biofuel perversion.
10. Urgent population control is required coupled with major resource use efficiency and global equity (e.g. Australiaâ€™s annual per capita carbon pollution is about 10 times the global average) â€“ all achievable with truth, reason and cultural change.
Australia is the Worldâ€™s biggest coal exporter and is among the Worldâ€™s worst greenhouse gas polluters (Australiaâ€™s annual per capita Domestic and Exported fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution is about 10 times that of the World and of China, about 40 times that of India and about 160 times that of Bangladesh; see â€œâ€œCoal is Kingâ€ Australia CO2 pollution Fact Sheetâ€) .
Paradoxically, while Australia is a world-leading carbon polluter, Australia is itself seriously threatened by climate change â€“ the Great Barrier Reef is acutely threatened by ocean warming and acidification; the warming of the Indian Ocean is forcing water-bearing weather southwards, causing severe, sustained drought in the southern Australian states; the Northern Territory Kakadu wetlands and the huge and agriculturally vital Murray-Darling River system are severely threatened.
For a cogent analysis of this kind of greed-driven, denial-enabled, slow, collective suicide see Professor Jared Diamondâ€™s seminal book â€œCollapseâ€ about the collapse of civilizations (it includes a chapter on Australia).
The global Climate Emergency means that ALL countries need to act urgently on man-made greenhouse gas pollution to reduce atmospheric CO2 to below 350 ppm. Please use the above key Climate Emergency Facts and Actions Summary in YOUR advocacy in YOUR country.