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Dr Gideon Polya
Dr Gideon Polya

Australia 2020 Summit: 25 Ideas for Greening Climate Criminal Australia

Australia is having an “Australia 2020 Summit†in which1,000 chosen delegates will gather in Canberra for 2 days to discuss ideas for a better Australia (http://australia2020.gov.au) . Australians had the opportunity of submitted ideas on 10 topics and these have now been placed on the Web (http://australia2020.gov.au). Topic #3 is Sustainability and Climate Change - population, sustainability, climate change and water.

I did my duty as a citizen of Australia and of Planet Earth and sent them 255 Ideas (see: http://australia2020ideas.blogspot.com/.../) which I then edited back to about 200 in the formal submission (see: http://australia2020ideas.blogspot.com/.../).

This was indeed an important opportunity because Australia and the World are facing a Climate Emergency and Sustainability Emergency as cogently outlined in the recent book “Climate Code Red – the case for a sustainability emergency†by David Spratt and Philip Sutton (see: ; for my book review on Green Blog see: climatecodered.net ; for a review of this book see Green Blog).

Despite the fine rhetoric of the newly-elected Australian Rudd Labor Government and its signing up to the Kyoto Protocol (a decade late for Australia), it helped the US sabotage the December Bali Climate Change Conference by rejecting specific 2020 pollution reduction targets. Rational approaches to save the Planet are STILL being resolutely opposed by racist, greedy, climate Bush America (arguably still the world’s worst greenhouse gas polluter and stand-out Kyoto non-signatory) and by Bush’s “Asia Sheriffâ€, climate criminal Australia (the world’s developed country with the worst annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution and the world’s biggest coal exporter) (see: http://green-blog.org/.../).

Thus 2004 data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA; see: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov) reveal that “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution†in tonnes CO2/person is 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australia’s coal exports), 19.7 (the US), 18.4 (Canada), 9.9 (Japan), 4.2 (the World), 3.6 (China), 1.0 (India) and 0.25 (for Bangladesh). Neither Bush America nor Bush-ite Australia will cut greenhouse gas pollution but the countries facing devastation from global warming are the mega-delta, below-World-average polluting countries of China, India and Bangladesh.

Australia is the world’s big country with the highest annual per capita greenhouse polluter and STILL currently playing “dog in the manger†(together with the US and Canada) in opposing short-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction targets.

Of course “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution†is but one – albeit a very important – indicator of climate criminality. The Germanwatch Climate Change Index 2008, a comparison of the 56 top CO2 emitting nations (see: http://www.germanwatch.org), takes other parameters into account in ranking climate criminals. In this ranking of 56 top CO2 emitting nations, Sweden and Germany are #1 and #2 for greenhouse responsibility, while shale-oil-rich Canada (a US lackey), coal-rich Australia (another US satrap), the USA and oil-rich Saudi Arabia (a puppet of anti-Arab anti-Semitic, Islamophobic Bush US ) rank #53, #54, #55 and #56, respectively (see: http://germanwatch.org) .

On this basis Australia is one of the worst greenhouse gas polluters and shows little sign of doing anything substantial in the short term to change the situation. In climate criminal Australia Coal is King.

With this as background, here are 25 carefully documented ideas for Greening Australia that I sent to the co-chairmen of the Australia 2020 (Prime Minister Rudd and University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis).

i. Australia’s population is too great already as assessed from the enormous environmental impact and flora and fauna extinctions – public education and action are urgently required in this area (Australia is a world leader in greenhouse gas pollution, land destruction, flora and fauna extinctions and ecocide; see “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability†(G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com; http://climateemergency.blogspot.com).

ii. Indigenous Australians have a tremendous cultural contribution to make in relation to sustainability – White Australia should seize this opportunity for collaboration (largely ignored for over 2 centuries) for the benefit of the land and ALL its People (the Indigenous culture involved sustainable use but was supplanted by a highly destructive non-Indigenous, non-sustainable culture that has brought Australia and the world to disastrous tipping points; see Diamond, J. (1997), Guns, Germs and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies (Jonathan Cape, London); see: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com).

iii. Water is needed for citizen consumption, agriculture, industry and the environment and there must be a New Deal to meet these needs (thus profligate citizen and agricultural uses should be urgently controlled. While financial return/megalitre of water for vegetables can be $1,000/ML as compared to $100,000/ML for an expensive car, we must have food – but the world’s driest continent should NOT be exporting water).

iv. Enough is enough – there should be CESSATION of flora and fauna extinction in Australia and that means national and global action to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to about 350 ppm (10% BELOW the current atmospheric CO2 concentration of 383 ppm) (see: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com).

v. Urgent action on CO2 pollution is needed NOW in the light of our arrival already at key “tipping points†for mass extinctions and massive ecosystem destruction ( QUOTE: “Based on climate model studies and the history of the Earth the authors conclude that additional global warming of about 1°C (1.8°F) or more, above global temperature in 2000, is likely to be dangerous. In turn, the temperature limit has implications for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), which has already increased from the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 383 ppm today and is rising by about 2 ppm per year. According to study co-author Makiko Sato of Columbia's Earth Institute, "the temperature limit implies that CO2 exceeding 450 ppm is almost surely dangerous, and the ceiling may be even lowerâ€â€ - see NASA report “Research finds that Earth’s climate is approaching dangerous pointâ€: http://giss.nasa.gov ; see also “Climate tipping points get scarierâ€: http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/.../ ; Imminent tipping point for total loss of Arctic summer ice - “Arctic sea ice gone in 5 years?â€: http://news.nationalgeographic.com).

vi. Stringent duty of care must be observed by local, state and federal Governments in relation to coastal assets – to avoid irreversible damage through storm surge and sea level inundation AND to avoid litigation (see NASA’s Dr James Hansen “Huge sea level rises are coming unless we act nowâ€, New scientist: http://environment.newscientist.com).

vii. The 85% fossil-fuel-based electricity production in Australia is an international disgrace in the light of the Climate Emergency and existence of cost-effective and cost-competitive technologies that can be implemented NOW on a big scale (e.g. the top US climate expert Dr Hansen has written to UK PM Gordon Brown over planned coal-burning plants – according to a BBC Report: “present concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (380 parts per million by volume, ppmv) had already committed the Earth to large climate impacts, such as the loss of summer sea-ice in the Arctic and sea level rise greater than one metre. But Dr Hansen stressed that the point of no return had not been reached - that irreversible change had not taken place. He said that to get the Arctic ice to recover would require a reduction in CO2 concentrations down to about 300 or 350 ppmv. He believed this was possible, and called for greater energy efficiency and corrective pricing of carbon to allow cleaner technologies to compete and take over from fossil fuelsâ€: http://news.bbc.co.uk/.../ ; and Greenpeace: “Indeed, Gordon Brown very recently committed the UK to generating around 40% of our electricity from renewables by 2020. If he means it, Britain could become a world leader in clean energy and his case for nuclear evaporates. At the moment Germany has 300 times as much solar power and 10 times as much wind power installed as the UK and has given up on nuclearâ€.: http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/.../).

viii. Possible Antarctic sea ice loss comparable to that already in the Arctic, impending total loss of the Great Barrier Reef, elevated Indian Ocean temperature (2 degree rise in 40 years), predicted intensifying Southern Australian drought (due to Indian Ocean warming) and cessation of Southern Ocean absorption of CO2 all represent acute “mine canary†warnings in the Australian region alone that we have gone too far – and must do everything we can to reverse the CO2 pollution of the atmosphere (see: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071212-AP-arctic-melt.html ; http://csiro.au/.../; http://abc.net.au/news/newsitems/.../ ; http://abc.net.au/rn/.../).

ix. Examination of US Energy Information Administration data over the last quarter century shows a constant rate of increase of Australian CO2 pollution and fossil fuel exports that has been impervious to increasingly forceful and alarmed scientist and IPCC warnings over this period – “waiting for Garnaut†for a year is NOT an option for the world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas polluter, Australia (see “Climate Emergency, Sustainability Emergencyâ€, submission of Dr Gideon Polya to the Garnaut Climate Change Review: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com).

x. The Climate Emergency means that the Bali-wrecking Australian Government (US and Canada) position of “no 2020 targets†is an insult to Humanity demanding immediate retraction when according to top US climate scientist Dr James Hansen and top UK climate scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS we need “negative CO2 emissions†NOW (see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/.../ ; Lovelock, J. (2006), The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity (Allen Lane, London); http://climateemergency.blogspot.com ; http://green-blog.org/.../).

xi. Australia must act urgently on Climate Genocide NOW by observing the post-Holocaust protocol of C4A (CAAAA) involving Cessation and reversal of CO2 pollution, Acknowledgment of the ongoing crime, Apology, Amends and Assertion “never again to anyone†(see “Climate Emergency, Sustainability Emergencyâ€: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com ; Article 2, UN Genocide Convention, “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group†: http://edwebproject.orgl ; 25 years of sustained, deliberate, remorseless, unrestrained Australian CO2 pollution that IS CONTINUING, see “Rudd Australia Report Card #2. Climate criminal Australia and Climate genocideâ€: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/.../).

xii. Australia must act urgently and comprehensively to avoid International Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands over its Climate Criminal policies that are contributing to a mounting Climate Genocide (see: “Climate criminal, Bali-wrecker Rudd Australia faces World sanctionsâ€: http://green-blog.org/.../).

xiii. “Waiting for Garnaut†should CEASE – there is an urgent need for ACTION and updated public education about the Climate Emergency (the “waiting for Garnaut†approach is a complete denial of the horrendous emergency ACTUALITY: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com ; the science and technology has been well reviewed internationally (see the 2007 IPCC Reports: http://www.ipcc.ch and a recent review of renewable scenarios: http://martinot.info) as indeed has the economics of climate change via the Stern Report (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stern_Review).

xiv. The Government should legitimately act against racist, irresponsible, genocide-ignoring electronic and print media not reporting ethically about the Climate Emergency and Climate Genocide by removal of licences and taxpayer-funding purchase for Government schools and other bodies (this how they would act if such media engaged in denial of the Jewish Holocaust that involved the murder of 6 million Jews in the period 1941-1945 – yet Professor James Lovelock FRS estimates acute damage to 6-9 billion people and over 6 billion deaths this century: and ALREADY 16 million people die avoidably each year due to deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease: http://www.rollingstone.com/.../).

xv. Rational Risk Management instructs that Australia must urgently face up to the harsh reality of its World leading criminal status as the World’s worst developed country for “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution†(2004 data from the US Energy Information Administration reveal that “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollution†in tonnes CO2/person is 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australia’s coal exports), 19.7 (the US), 18.4 (Canada), 9.9 (Japan), 4.2 (the World), 3.6 (China), 1.0 ( India) and 0.25 (for Bangladesh): http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/.../).

xvi. Australia must urgently recognize that the Rudd Labor Government election commitments actually mean that Australia’ s annual per capita CO2 pollution will INCREASE over the next 4 decades (The Rudd Labor commitment to “20% renewables by 2020â€, “â€60% reduction on 2000 greenhouse gas pollution by 2050†and no constraint on fossil fuel extraction for export ACTUALLY means (based on US Energy Information Administration data, assuming current constant coal, gas and CO2 pollution growth rates, constant population and including Australia’s fossil fuel EXPORTS) “annual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 emission in tonnes per person per year†of 43 (2007), 56 (2020) and 65 (2050): http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/.../).

xvii. There must be urgent changes to infrastructure and energy provision – there must be a rapid shift to high efficiency, low cost, zero CO2 polluting renewable technologies (such as wind, concentrated solar, non-silicon thin-film photovoltaics, balloon- and sliver- based silicon photovoltaics, wind power, wave power and geothermal) , fully renewable-energy-run, comprehensive public transport, demise of the private car, and cessation of urban sprawl and highway building (for details see Item #2, Economic infrastructure; see “Renewables – how they stack upâ€: http://newmatilda.com/.../ ; see key articles by Dr Mark Diesendorf (A sustainable Energy Futrure for Australia), Professor John Deevers (The Innamincka Hot Fractured Rock Project) and Martin Mahy (Hydrogen Minibuses) in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics†(a compendium of essays by 28 variously prominent Australians edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://abc.net.au/.../).

xviii. Apropos of urgent changes being required, using Australia’s annual $10 billion pa fossil fuel subsidies to build wind farms at $2 per watt would replace our current 50 billion watts of 85% coal-based electricity capacity with 100% renewable wind energy in 10 years (of course in reality there would be a sensible “mix†of renewable technologies for efficiency and base-load but the example demonstrates the climate criminal incompetence of successive Australian Governments).

xix. Deforestation contributes about 15-20% to increased net global greenhouse gas production annually and should be countered urgently by Australia both at home and abroad (According to Sir Nicholas Stern: "For $10-15bn (£4.8-7.2bn) per year, a programme could be constructed that could stop up to half the deforestation†(see: http://guardian.co.uk/.../).

xx. The fundamental qualitative position that is backed by quantitative estimates of “total economic value†is that further extinctions and ecocides are intolerable and what is left of wild nature must be used sustainably (It has been estimated by Balmford et al in the prestigious scientific journal Science (see “Economic reasons for preserving wild natureâ€: http://sciencemag.org/.../) that for a variety of “biomes†(ecological systems) the total economic value (TEV) is about 50% greater when the resource is used sustainably as opposed to destructive conversion. Further, these scientists have found that the economic benefit from preserving what is left of wild nature is OVER 100 TIMES greater than the cost of preservation).

xxi. Australia and the World must make an immediate Declaration of a Climate State of Emergency, a State of Emergency to prevent catastrophic run-away climate change (see: http://countercurrents.org , http://green-blog.org/.../ , http://mwcnews.net/content/view/20133/42).

xxii. There must be a fundamental shift in public attitude to Government disposal of grossly under-valued public resources to selfish and corrupt private hands (there must be a new transparency in order to save Australia and indeed the World from run-away climate change).

xxiii. Massive changes to water-related infrastructure are urgently needed as Indian Ocean warming forces more drought on Southern Australia (e.g. pipes rather than channels for long-distance water carriage; expansion of enclosed hydroponic farming).

xxiv. Australia should join with other countries in applying Green tariffs, Sanctions, Boycotts and Sanctions against climate criminal countries involved in Climate Genocide (unfortunately Australia is currently on a per capita basis the worst developed country in this respect; see “Australian Genocide – Oz ignores Aboriginal, Ira2i, Afghan & Climate Genocidesâ€: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/12578/42).

xxv. In addition to a Declaration of a Climate State of Emergency and urgent actions toward NEGATIVE CO2 emissions, Australia must recognize its overall PAST contribution to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) pollution and respond correspondingly with EXTRA cuts and Reparations (indeed the World will insist upon this; see climate Sustainability Emergency: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/20133/42).

Well, I hope that my amended list (shortened to meet the Submission Guidelines) gives the delegates pause for thought. I am not going to hold my breath. Coal is King in climate criminal Australia and public life in this Western Murdochracy is dominated by egregiously dishonest Mainstream media - Australia is the Land of Flies, Lies and Slies (spin-based untruths).

However my last suggestion on the final Topic #10 “Australia’s Future in the World†in my formal Submission (Submission ID 2015) was: “19. URGENT - a Global Declaration of a Climate State of Emergency to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to a safe and sustainable level of 300-350 ppm.â€

My more fulsomely-expressed, very final suggestion in my 255 Ideas sent to PM Rudd and VC Glyn Davis was as follows:

10.xx. There should an immediate Australian and Global Declaration of a Climate State of Emergency and urgent adoption of policy, as advocated by America’s top climate scientist Dr James Hansen, of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to a safe and sustainable level of 300-350 ppm (see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7143567.stm).

Many of these ideas may well be relevant to Greening YOUR country too.

Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950†(G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contribution “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality†in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics†(edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ). He is currently preparing a revised and updated version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History†(see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a possibly 100-fold greater famine catastrophe (see: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya310308.htm ) than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten†World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html ).

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