Southern Australia has been suffering an unprecedented heatwave over the last week. In Melbourne we have experienced successive daily maxima of 43.4, 44.3 and 45.1 degrees Centigrade (corresponding to 110.1, 111.7 and 113.2 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively). The temperature finally reached 45.1 degrees C on Friday 30 January â€” the first time temperatures had been above 43 degrees for three consecutive days since records began in 1855. The heatwave caused bushfires and blackouts, crippled the Melbourne train network and caused a record number of ambulance operations (the number of people who died will not be known for a week or so).
The human physiological thermostat attempts to keep us at about 37 degrees C or about 98..6 F , the normal range being 97-100 F - which is why we have been struggling in Melbourne in this last week.
Australia is the worldâ€™s biggest coal exporter and a World leader in annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution, threatening billions of impoverished non-Europeans with climate genocide - but the pro-Coal Federal Government still refuses to rake effective action against man-made global warming that acutely threatens the Planet (see â€œAustraliaâ€™s â€œ5% off 2000 GHG pollution by 2020â€ endangers Australia, Humanity and Biosphereâ€) .
Perhaps this shocking heatwave (above 43 C for 3 days, and it will be in the 30s for the next week in Melbourne) will make Australians demand action from their Federal Government which chooses to IGNORE the advice of top Australian, UK and US climate scientists about the acute seriousness of the Climate Emergency.
I spent the hottest day (30 January 2009) writing to Australian media and Federal MPs about the extraordinary IGNORING of the Climate Emergency and asking for a Senate Inquiry to identify the people who are evidently falsely advising the Government and People in relation to (a) the seriousness of the situation, ( the futility, expense and lack of practical proof of â€œcarbon dioxide sequestrationâ€ and © the importance of biochar for bringing down atmospheric CO2 to a requisite safe level of about 300 ppm (as recommended by leading climate scientists).
It should be noted that both the Labor Federal Government and the Liberal-National Coalition Opposition are pro-Coal, fervently supporting Australiaâ€™s world leading coal exports and supporting fossil fuel burning-based power. However the Liberal-National Coalition Opposition have recently broken ranks with the Government and supported more investment in renewable energy and return of carbon as biochar (charcoal) to the soil.
The following LETTER was personally addressed to each Federal MP of Australia and sent to ALL Australia Federal MPs over FALSE Climate advice to Government and the Public.
PPS Below is a concise 1-page summary of Climate Emergency Facts and Required Actions â€“ please transmit this to everyone you can in the interests of Australia and Humanity.
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).
Professor James Hansen (top US climate scientist, head, NASAâ€™s Goddard Institute for Space Studies): â€œWe face a climate emergencyâ€.
Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty: â€œWe are in real danger.â€
Professor David de Kretser AC (eminent medical scientist and Governor of Victoria, Australia) 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 emergency.â€
Dr Andrew Glikson (palaeo-climate scientist, ANU): â€œThe continuing use of the atmosphere as an open sewer for industrial pollution has â€¦ 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 2â€“3 degrees C and sea levels by about 25 +/- 12 metres.â€
Major Climate Emergency Facts
1. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has increased to 387 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 387 ppm: major ecosystem damage; current species extinction rates are 100-1,000 times greater than previously; to over 400 ppm: â€œnew territoryâ€ 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.
I would urge everyone around the world to similarly write to their Leaders and all their Government and Opposition MPs about the mounting Climate Emergency â€“ and to distribute the above â€œClimate Emergency Facts and Required Actionsâ€ summary to everyone they can.