In this election I have been careful not to run a scare campaign. Perhaps I should have. Ten years ago (i.e. 2004) I wrote the following:
“Several things about global warming are already certain. Firstly the “greenhouse effect” exists for without the presence of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere there could be no life on earth as we know it whatsoever. The planet would be too cold with low CO2 in the atmosphere. Secondly Carbon Dioxide is a prominent Greenhouse gas (though not the only one) and the amount of this gas in the atmosphere has been steadily increasing over the last 150 years. This increase is a result of human activities – in particular the burning of fossil fuels. Finally computer models have been predicting for more than 30 years that this increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead to increased average global temperatures commonly referred to as ‘global warming’.”
This is what is happening and is measured by the CSIRO, BOM and other reputable agencies around the world. My 2004 words continued:
“Some of the predictions made 20 years ago are already occurring: the average earth temperature is at its hottest since measurements began; the summer of 2003 was the hottest in the northern hemisphere for 500 years; many glaciers and ice caps are in retreat or thinning. Thus we are living in the middle of a global experiment. The debate between scientists is over. Will the changes be on the conservative side and manageable or on the high side and disastrous? The relationship between lung cancer and smoking is a classic, and forbidding, example. The vested interests pursued a strong campaign of misinformation, significantly delaying the general acceptance of scientific evidence on the dangers of smoking – a rear guard action, and it was many years before the obvious became accepted fact.
“The political power of the oil and coal industries is far, far greater than that of the tobacco lobby. Currently they have the most senior politician of the most powerful country (on earth) in their pocket (George Bush). And they no doubt fund many organisations to search for so called “scientific” information favourable to their cause. They have the power to delay ameliorating changes almost indefinitely, thus eventually exaggerating the effects of global warming. Perhaps we all should be preparing for a worst-case scenario.” (to be continued)