Australia has just had a 2-day Ideas conference in Canberra called the â€œAustralia 2020 Summitâ€. This exercise was brought on by the right wing, Bush-ite Rudd Labor Government, ostensibly to garner Ideas for a better Australia.. Unfortunately the Australia 2020 Summit was quickly revealed as a quite crudely â€œstackedâ€ and biased gab-fest vehicle for endorsement of Bush-ite Rudd Labor Government policy. For details of the Australia 2020 Summit process, the 10 Topic Areas considered, submissions, participants and the Initial Report from the Summit see: http://australia2020.gov.au) .
Global warming due to man-made greenhouse gas pollution was one of the key 10 Topic Areas considered by the Australia 2020 Summit. Climate criminal Australia is one of the worldâ€™s worst greenhouse gas polluters, is the Worldâ€™s biggest coal exporter and the Developed Worldâ€™s worst CO2 polluter on an annual per capita basis. On a per capita basis and including our fossil fuel exports, Australia is the developed country with the highest greenhouse gas pollution. Thus 2004 data from the US Energy Information Administration reveal that â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollutionâ€ in tonnes CO2/person is 19.2 (for Australia; 40 if you include Australiaâ€™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). However Coal is King in greedy, climate criminal, war criminal Australia â€“ a country with a seemingly unending ability to â€œlook the other wayâ€ when it comes to immense genocidal crimes with which Australia is associated (see my formal complaint to the International Criminal Court over Australiaâ€™s involvement in Aboriginal genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com/.../) .
Yet due to biased selection of participants, Rudd Government politicization of the process and anti-science spin, the Australia 2020 Summit managed to avoid offering ANY major solutions to man-made climate change. Extraordinarily the Climate Change part of the Initial Report of the Australia 2020 Summit not only failed to offer any major solutions but also failed to even MENTION solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave, concentrated solar, non-silicon PVs, silicon PVs, climate emergency, sustainability emergency, Dr Hansen, Arctic sea ice, zero emissions, negative CO2 emission or EVEN carbon dioxide (CO2).
This perversion approaches that of George Orwellâ€™s â€œ1984â€ in which Big Brother stated â€œwar is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength and 2 plus 2 does not equal 4â€. When reality exceeds the most implausible satire we must know that we are in serious trouble.
Australians were asked for Submissions covering 10 Topic Areas that included 1, Future directions for the Australian economy â€“ including education, skills, training, science and innovation as part of the nationâ€™s productivity agenda; 2, Economic infrastructure, the digital economy and the future of our cities; 3, Population, sustainability, climate change, and water; 4, Future directions for rural industries and rural communities; 5, A long-term national health strategy â€“ including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population; 6, Strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion; 7, Options for the future of indigenous Australia; 8, Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design; 9, The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens; and 10, Australiaâ€™s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world.
Over 3,000 Australians responded with over 8,000 submissions in the various 10 Topic Areas and these have been placed on the Web, each with a numerical ID â€“ thus my 171 suggestions covering all 10 Topic Areas are given the ID number 2015 in the Web-displayed submissions: http://australia2020.gov.au/submissions.
The 2-day Australia 2020 Summit was held in the Great Hall of the Federal Parliament House in Canberra. The co-convenors were PM Kevin Rudd and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Professor Glyn Davis. Each of the 10 Topics Areas were co-chaired by a Government Minister and a Government-invited co-chair. Unfortunately while 5 of the co-chairs had PhDs only one of these was a scientist (a top medical scientist). One of the co-chairs was the CEO of the Rupert Murdoch News Limited media empire in Australia (that owns about 70% of city daily newspapers) and his employerâ€™s son Lachlan Murdoch was one of the 1,000 selected delegates.
Further, the composition of the mob of 1,000 delegates (spun as â€œAustraliaâ€™s one thousand best and brightestâ€) was evidently extraordinarily BIASED as revealed by the fact that the delegates overwhelmingly supported Australia as a Republic by standing ovation - whereas a recent poll indicated 45% for, 36% against and 19% unsure (see a Republican report of this poll : http://www.republic.org.au/.../) .
At the end of the conference the 10 Topic Area Groups delivered consensus suggestions out of the thousands of ideas submitted to the Summit. However the â€œprocessâ€ was well controlled in this â€œstackedâ€ conference as reflected in the outcome â€“ 40 non-controversial suggestions, substantially of the â€œletâ€™s set up a committeeâ€ kind and consonant with Rudd Labor policy. The Bush-ite Rudd Labor Government has said that it will â€œseriouslyâ€ address the Summit suggestions â€“ thus giving itself lots of time to do NOTHING about serious problems (notably the endemic Australia Child Abuse epidemic and the global warming Climate Emergency; see â€œAustralia 2020 Summit betrayed Australian childrenâ€) and a licence to pick and choose from the Summit-endorsed policies consonant with those of the Government.
One of Australiaâ€™s top political commentators, Michelle Grattan of Melbourneâ€™s The Age newspaper, provided the following summary of what she called Ten of the Biggest Ideas arising from the Australia 2020 Summit (see: http://www.theage.com.au/.../): 1, Introduction of an Australian republic with a two-stage, beginning with a plebiscite on the issue, followed by a referendum; 2, creation of "community corps" to allow students to reduce their HECS through volunteer work; 3, a national preventative health care agency funded by taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and junk food.; 4, increasing the formal and legal recognition of Aborigines, with the possibility of a treaty; 5, contributing 1% of federal funding allocated to each government department to the arts; 6, all new buildings to be carbon neutral;.7, bringing regulations for transport and agriculture across states into line; 8, establishment of a new federation commission to review the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local government; 9, a comprehensive reinvigoration of Asian language literacy and a recruitment drive of foreign language teachers; and 10, a charter of rights and a national action plan.
Of these â€œTen of the Biggest Ideasâ€ from the Australia 2020 Summit, as perceived by a top Australian political commentator, only ONE is related to Climate Change (the proposed carbon neutrality of new buildings) and while worthy per se ranks relatively LOW on any list of solutions to the Climate Emergency facing Australia and the World.
Thus top US climate scientist Dr James Hansen (Head, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York and adjunct professor at Columbia University) at the December 2007 meeting of the American Geophysical Union stated that at 385 parts per million (ppm) atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) we have already passed a â€œtipping pointâ€ at which the Arctic summer sea ice is doomed (and some scientists say may be completely gone by about 2015) (see: http://blog.wired.com/.../) . Dr Hansen says that the world must REDUCE atmospheric CO2 to a safe and sustainable 300-350 parts per million (ppm) by cessation of CO2 pollution (e.g. through a moratorium of fossil fuel burning: http://www.thebulletin.org/.../) and reduction of atmospheric CO2 through re-afforestation, returning carbon to the soil as biomass-derived biochar and if necessary by global dimming sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) aerosol generation (see: http://columbia.edu/.../, http://en.wikipedia.org/.../, http://green-blog.org/.../).
The problem is acute as perceived by major scientific bodies such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/.../), the US National Academy of Science and other G8 science academies (see: http://royalsociety.org/document.asp?latest=1&id=3222), the UK Royal Society (see: http://royalsociety.org/news.asp?id=3226) and the IPCC (see: http://ipcc.ch and http://green-blog.org/.../).
According to top UK climate scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS over 6 billion will perish this century due to unaddressed climate change (see: http://businessandmedia.org/printer/.../) and that billions are already at great risk (see: http://royalsociety.org/news.asp?id=7226). UK Chief Scientific Adviser Professor John Beddington CMG FRS says that "billions" are threatened by the US, UK and EU biofuel perversion (see: http://theaustralian.news.com.au/.../) that is grossly CO2 polluting and ALREADY contributing to huge global food price rises and threatening biofuel famine, biofuel genocide and climate genocide (see: http://opednews.com/.../ , http://mwcnews.net/.../ and http://countercurrents.org/polya310308.htm ) . Al ready 16 million people die avoidably every year due to deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease and this is set to rise as global food prices soar (see: â€œBody Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950â€ (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/.../ , http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com and http://earthpolicy.org/.../).
It is not as if the Australia 2020 Summit had not been informed about this and been offered well-attested solutions to the Climate Emergency. Here are my suggestions under Topic Area 3 â€œPopulation, sustainability, climate change and waterâ€ (submission set 2015: â€œ1. Australia's population is much too great (as evidenced by the enormous environmental impact and flora and fauna extinctions) â€“ public education and action is urgently needed. 2. Exploit the Indigenous Australian sustainability culture for the benefit of the Land and ALL its People. 3. Water is needed for citizen consumption, agriculture, industry and the environment and there must be a New Deal to meet these needs. 4. Enough is enough â€“ there should be COMPLETE 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 385 ppm). 5. Urgent action on CO2 pollution is needed NOW in the light of our arrival already at key â€œtipping pointsâ€ for mass extinctions and massive ecosystem destruction (see top US scientist Dr James Hansen).. 6. Stringent duty of care at all government levels is needed to avoid irreversible damage through storm surge and sea level inundation AND to avoid litigation. 7. The 85% fossil-fuel-based electricity production is a disgrace â€“ cost-effective and cost-competitive renewable technologies can and must be implemented NOW . 8. Antarctic sea ice loss, Great Barrier Reef loss, elevated Indian Ocean temperature, intensifying Southern Australian drought and cessation of Southern Ocean absorption of CO2 - must be reversed NOW. 9. Constant rate of increase of Australian CO2 pollution and fossil fuel exports impervious to scientist and IPCC warnings over decades â€“ urgent action is needed NOW. 10. According to top scientists (Dr Hansen, Professor Lovelock FRS) we need â€œnegative CO2 emissionsâ€ NOW. 11. Act on Climate Genocide NOW by observing the CAAAA protocol involving Cessation and reversal of CO2 pollution, Acknowledgment of the ongoing crime, Apology, Amends and Assertion â€œnever again to anyoneâ€ (Lovelock: over 6 billion will perish this century). 12. Act NOW to avoid looming International Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands over Australiaâ€™s Climate Criminal, Climate Genocide policies. 13. â€œWaiting for Garnautâ€ should CEASE â€“ an urgent need is for ACTION and public education about the Climate Emergency. 14. Act against irresponsible media reportage re Climate Emergency and Climate Genocide. 15. Australia is the Worldâ€™s worst developed country for â€œannual per capita fossil fuel-derived CO2 pollutionâ€. 16. â€œ60% decrease by 2050â€ actually means that Australiaâ€™ s TOTAL annual per capita CO2 pollution will INCREASE over the next 4 decades. 17. Fully renewable energy, comprehensive public transport, demise of the private car, and cessation of urban sprawl and highway building. 18. Use annual $10 billion pa fossil fuel subsidies to build wind farms at $2 per watt for 50 Gigawatt 100% renewable wind energy in 10 years. 19. Stop deforestation both at home (Tasmania, pulp) and abroad. 20. Further extinctions and ecocides are INTOLERABLE and what is left of wild nature must be used sustainably. 21. Australia and the World need an immediate Declaration of a Climate State of Emergency, a State of Emergency to stop run-away climate change.â€
Indeed the very last of my 171 suggestions to the Australia 2020 Summit was: â€œ10.19. 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€
Yet the Climate Change Panel of the Australia 2020 Summit opted for ambiguous platitudes as revealed by the following â€œRudd-speakâ€ blather under the heading â€œTop Ideasâ€:
â€œWe could adopt a National Sustainability, Population and Climate Change Agenda and develop robust institutions to support it. Australia would have a whole-of-government approach to climate change and sustainability policy, encompassing government expenditure, taxation, regulation and investment. As part of this agenda we could include an audit function to report on governmentsâ€™ performance against these climate change and sustainability objectives. We could implement a set of national environmental accounts, including carbon and water accounts, to inform government, business and community decision-making. These could be linked with the current national economic accounts. We will explicitly link the environment to productivity and innovation to underpin our future competitiveness.â€
The only clear-cut (but long-term) proposal offered of actually DOING something was the POSSIBILITY of doing something about carbon-neutral NEW buildings AFTER 2020: â€œA particular initiative in this point could be to require carbon neutrality for all new buildings constructed beyond 2020.â€
A further specific suggestion related to Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) mechanisms (see PDF: http://ceem.unsw.edu.au/.../) favoured by the Australian Coal Industry and the Bush-ite Rudd Labor Government, but the specific were not spelled out: â€œThe urgency of responding to climate change makes it imperative that the ETS and the ensuing long-run carbon price drive a transition to clean energy technologiesâ€.
The problems with an ETS approach is that it is (a) predicated by society DOING something that it should NOT be doing (i.e. polluting the atmosphere with MORE CO2 when it should be REDUCING CO2) and ( the various pricing mechanisms are based on â€œmarket mechanismsâ€ and ignore the â€œtrue costâ€ of fossil fuel burning. Thus the Ontario Ministry of Energy has determined that the â€œtrue costâ€ of coal-based electricity taking the environmental and human health impact into account is about 4 times the current â€œmarket priceâ€ (see: http://wind-works.org/.../) . The cost of electricity from ALL the latest renewable energy sources now fall under the â€œtrue cost of coalâ€ (see: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com).
Perhaps the most EXTRAORDINARY thing about the Climate Group summation of â€œIdeas on dealing with Climate Changeâ€ was that it did NOT refer to â€œrenewablesâ€ EXCEPT in a footnote about â€œDisagreementsâ€ , quoted here in full so you can appreciate the sheer INCOMPETENCE of the Australia 2020 Summit performance: â€œThe points of contention during the discussion were the respective merits of clean coal versus renewables, population restrictions versus reductions in per capita footprint, the transfer of all Commonwealth funding to public transport (rather than roads), and GM crops. A substantial number of the group felt strongly that no new coal-fired power stations be built in Australia until carbon capture and sequestration is commercially available, proven, safe and efficient. However, there was no consensus.â€
The extraordinary perversion of the Australia 2020 Summit over Climate Change reveals continuing Rudd Australian Government intransigence over climate change and its utterly irresponsible, cowardly, climate criminal subservience to fossil fuel interests. This had already become apparent within weeks of its landslide election when it helped the US and Canada wreck the Bali Climate Change Conference (see: http://green-blog.org/.../).
What climate criminal, climate genocidal Australia is doing is far more serious and intrinsically racist than the crimes of Apartheid South Africa, a system that was eventually disposed of through international Sanctions and Boycotts.
Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs and Reparations Demands may well be applied to Australia, the US and like climate criminal countries that are threatening the Planet with climate genocide.
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 â€œBody Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950â€ (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/.../ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com); see also his contribution â€œAustralian complicity in Iraq mass mortalityâ€ in â€œLies, Deep Fries & Statisticsâ€ (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://abc.net.au/.../). He is currently preparing a revised and updated version of his 1998 book â€œJane Austen and the Black Hole of British Historyâ€ (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://countercurrents.org/polya310308.htm ) than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the â€œforgottenâ€ World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://open2.net/.../).