Current Climate Change equals Four Hiroshima Bombs per Second
Peter Gardner, formerly of Ensay and now living in Bairnsdale, is running as a “climate emergency” Independent in the seat of Gippsland. He said that “climate change was difficult to visualise because of its mostly gradual nature. But it was happening now and affecting us all.”
He quoted David Holmes of Monash University who recently stated that the “planet is building up heat at the equivalent of four Hiroshima bombs worth of energy every second. And 90% of that heat is going into the oceans” and that “representing climate change and ocean warming as Hiroshima bombs attracted the attention of the news media around the world.” This is a simple way of illustrating how much extra heat the planet is absorbing.
Climate change remains the greatest threat to humanity we have ever faced. It has almost certainly been happening for more than 100 years and probably since the industrial revolution began burning fossil fuels at an unprecedented rate. Since 1780 the amount of carbon dioxide – the major greenhouse gas – has increased from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 400ppm. The last time the planet experienced these high levels of greenhouse gases was 3 million years ago. Then the planet was 3 degrees warmer and sea levels were 23m higher than today. The major parties have chosen to ignore climate change during this election.
The changes we are beginning to feel are more abrupt. This century in Gippsland has experienced an increase in both the frequency and severity of extreme events – droughts, floods, storms, heatwaves and related bushfires. This was predicted by climate scientists in the 1980s. Imagine the next heatwave with “Black Saturday” conditions or worse followed by bushfires and power failures. It is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’.
In his “Vote Climate Vote Solar” campaign Gardner has offered a wide range of policies to reduce the production of greenhouse gases and for adaptation to the further warming we are bound to experience. These policies include reduction of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, a levy of the export of fossil fuels, a cut in funding in carbon capture and storage programs and positive support for solar and other forms of renewable energy. These policies can be viewed on his website.
An overflow meeting of the East Gippsland Shire Council was attended by more than 100 Save Bastion Point members and their supporters last night. This popular demonstration was unsuccessful in preventing the contract for the development being later awarded. Speakers pointed out many arguments against the project including problems associated with sea level rise, public safety and public liability. The fight continues. See the press release by the Save Bastion Point group.
Federal Election in the Seat of Gippsland
‘Climate Emergency Independent’ Candidate Peter Gardner
Vote Climate Vote Solar Vote Gardner for Gippsland
As a climate emergency independent I am running a ‘Vote Climate Vote Solar’ campaign in response to the threats posed by climate change. Adopting a wide range of alternative energy sources will help reduce our carbon footprint. The Latrobe Valley Plan 2013 offers a rapid and seamless way to convert from harmful fossil fuels to renewables such as solar, wind and producing power from green waste. Wind projects can provide income for both landholders and the community as well as permanent jobs. The process of converting to renewables and adapting to climate change will provide employment for everyone who wants to work.
Indications are that global warming is happening more quickly than mainstream scientific projections and at the worst case upper limits of their predictions. The best science is now linking polar warming directly with more frequent extreme weather events. It is these extreme weather events – droughts, heat waves, storms, floods – and related events like bushfires, that pose the most immediate threat to Gippslanders.
During the 2003, 2006/7 and 2009 bushfires much of Gippsland was threatened and burned. We worked as communities to protect ourselves and our assets. Imagine if either of the earlier major events had been accompanied by the prolonged extreme heat and winds of 2009 and widespread power failures. It is human nature to hope for the best but wise to prepare for the worst. Urgent action is required at all levels of government to both mitigate global warming and adapt to it.
If you are at all concerned about climate change and/or wish to see the promotion of solar energy I urge you to give me your first preference. Vote one solar is a small step in this direction. On a personal note I have lived and worked in the Ensay and Swifts Creek districts for 40 years and been involved in various sporting, educational and cultural activities. I now live in Bairnsdale.
I wish to write in support of the protests against coal seam gas, tight gas and other fossil fuel projects in the Seaspray district particularly and in Gippsland generally.
Scientific consensus now clearly states that current climate change is man made. It is being driven by carbon dioxide(CO2) in the atmosphere caused by burning fossil fuels. The strength of this greenhouse gas has been known for more than 100 years and it was calculated in 1895 that a doubling of CO2 would increase the average earth temperature by 4 degrees Celsius.
Evidence from many sources including James Larsen (late NASA) and Bill McKibbin (350.org) is stating that only a fraction of current fossil fuels reserves can be burnt without disastrous effects for the planet. Professor Steven Sherwood of the UNSW recently stated in the New Scientist (17.11.12) “… if we fully ‘develop’ all of the world’s coal, tar sands, shales and other fossil fuels we run a high risk of ending up in a few generations with a largely unliveable planet”
Banks and financial institutions (including your superannuation fund?)are valuing these companies – including Lakes Oil – as if these assets can be mined and used. But in reality they are part of a “carbon bubble” and will eventually become “stranded assets”.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution CO2 levels have increased by more than a third and the global average temperature has risen by a degree. This relatively small rise is already causing more extreme events, droughts, floods, heatwaves and related bushfires to occur more frequently. More is in the pipeline with humanity producing more CO2 – there is now more CO2 in the atmosphere than there has been for 3 million years.
These projects must be stopped.
Thank you for your letter detailing your (party’s) proposed ‘blue print’ on C(oal)S(eam)G(as). Although it was heart warming to realise that CSG has become an election issue for you, I am confused by the following statements at the House of Representatives debate (23/3/13):
Darren Chester, ‘CSG has the potential to secure Australia’s energy self sufficiency’
Darren Chester, ‘to turn (our) back on CSG would be fool hardy’
Where does the National Party stand on this issue (it’s all a bit confusing) and are you going to permit Mr Ryan to give Gippsland to Esso so that they can continue to sink Lakes Entrance and 90 Mile beach below Sea Level?
Please let me know if your office requires more scientific evidence on the issue.
There was a demonstration of Mallacoota residents and their supporters against the proposed development at Bastion Point in Bairnsdale today. They pointed out that “3b” proposal of the East Gippsland Shire was the worst option possible and that the development benefited few people and was a “white elephant”. To highlight this a large blow-up white elephant was erected in Main St Bairnsdale and the case against the development was clearly presented to TV, radio and the print media. The demonstration then proceeded to the Shire Offices where the message was then presented to the Mayor. From a climate change perspective all developments on the coast are threatened with long term sea level rise and thus in the medium to long term a waste of money.
I urge you to reconsider the proposed development at Bastion Point and opt for the least cost option.
Global warming will threaten all coastal developments possibly within twenty to forty years. A more realistic appraisal for the coast can be found on the publications page of my website.
It is incumbent on the shire to adopt both a prudent and cautious approach on this matter
(Also Published in the Bairnsdale Advertiser 28.3.13)
Climate Change bigger problem than fuel load (edited)
i read Ralph Barraclough’s letter with interest regarding recent fires. The letter began telling how there had been major fires within eight years and in some places had been burnt three times in that period…
For some perspective with areas burnt out three times in eight years clearly the biggest contributor to bushfires these days is the fact that our environment is becoming hotter and dryer. Fire scientists tell us that reducing fuel loads reduces the intensity of fires; they also tell us that dryness and high average temperatures contribute to the ferocity of fires…
As this year saw another record breaking summer, the hottest on record, Bureau of Meteorology figures show hot days have doubled since 1960…Global warming is sending us on atrajectory of exponentially hotter drier average weather, unless we cut greenhouse emissions…
Maybe we do need a carbon tax after all, to continue the good, cost effective work of bringing non-polluting renewable energies on stream…I wonder how many people realise it is already far cheaper to put solar panels on your roof than to buy coal or gas generated electricity. That leaves more money to spend on other stuff – great for our economy, especially if we buy Australian.
Ian Onley, Sale