COP 26 Comment from Metung by Tom Moore

Extract Metung Science Forum Weekly 4.10.21

As Cop 26 approaches and our Federal Government continues to feverishly develop climate policy on the run, I thought it worthy of quoting my favourite astrophysicist, Neil de Grasse Tyson as follows:

“One of the great challenges in this world is knowing enough about a subject to think that you are right, but not knowing enough about a subject to know when you are wrong.”

Pretty hard to keep strictly to this statement and I have to acknowledge not doing so more often than I like to admit but it certainly does set the tone for many discussions that we have in our day to day lives.

So, whilst scientists have been making a clear case for “Net Zero by 2050” for quite some years now, and as our government tries to convince the Man in the Big Cowboy Hat that we belatedly need to adopt this target, the latest science is screaming from the rooftops that to actually achieve this goal we need to adopt “50% by 2030”. That is to say that it is widely accepted that, because the world has not taken meaningful action earlier, we must now half our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 2010) in order to have any chance of keeping temperature rises to those outlined in the Paris Agreement.

In the meantime, we should note that on current trajectories we are heading for a 16% increase in global emissions by 2030. So, will the World wake up in time? Will our own government accept Neil’s advice and accept that it doesn’t know enough about the subject and listen to the scientists? Will we hold our heads high at Cop 26 or come away from it with our tail between our legs?