Published in The Age (letter), 2nd January 2006
For the past nine years, John Howard has told the world to go to hell on the issue of climate change. Well, Saturday's record scorcher gave us a foretaste of exactly how hot that version of hell will be. The future is one of temperature extremes, and a catastrophic transformation of the natural - and human world, unless we act with extreme urgency and effectiveness to counter global warming.
Australia has refused to cooperate with attempts to create an effective and binding international treaty to tackle global warming. It is now truly time for the Howard Government to outline a plan of genuine cooperation with the international community on this, the most important and threatening of global environmental issues.
Beginning with ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, such action must also include a national strategy for adaptation to climate change, and substantial measures to wean Australia off its fossil fuel-addicted economy.