Geoff Lazarus points out that the essence of the GLOBAL WARMING problem is that current world Co2 levels are at 360 parts per million. This has already taken us through some of the tipping points that could lead us to an eventual catastrophic and irreversable climate change later this century.
What James Hansen-NASA, David Spratt- author of Climate Code Red, and also Al Gore are saying is, to ensure the planet doesn’t go through a final and fatal tipping point of carbon and temperature feedbacks, we must have an emergency program to cool the planet over the next ten years that will take Co2 levels to around 300pp million.
This will require an immediate reduction p.a of around 7% by the major developed and developing countries- 22 in all.
Ross Garnaut is suggesting a much more modest reduction program than Spratt and others that will see Co2 levels rise to 450 to 550pp ml. This implies temps will rise to 3 to 4 degrees from the current 0.8 degrees rise that has taken place since pre-industrial days. This would mean the end of the barrier reef and the Murray/Darling basin and absolutely ensure uncontrollable GW takes hold, possibly in 20 years according to the father of climate science James Lovelock(discoverer and solver of the Ozone problem in the 1980s).
Tony Jones tackled Penny Wong on this point on Lateline a couple of weeks ago and she was visibly shaken when confronted over the paucity of Garnautâ€™s position.
Up until recently our Government had not set any targets apart from a pointless 60% reduction by 2050.
A just announced belated short term target of 10% by 2020 is less than a third of what is required to avoid a global catastrophe eventuating.
The Government’s poor positions on Climate Change is based on a political strategy of attempting to develop a position somewhere between environmentalist organisations and what industry (and the Murdoch Press) is saying.
The essence of the problem is that you can’t compromise on what the scientific evidence is requiring major world governments to do.
To do so will invite a global disaster being played out through the rest of the century.
GEOFF LAZARUS is a green activist in Canberra.