Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What we have here is a failure of politics and democracy

Lesley Canold's characterisation of "failures of communication and tactics" as the barrier to our society taking real action on climate change (Age 16/6) is not entirely accurate.

There is now a common understanding that increased greenhouse gas emissions are the major cause of the climate change now upon us.

However, our current political framework based on adversarial debates, incremental changes and political compromises, is where the major barriers to action lie.

Our politicians must realise they cannot negotiate and compromise with the laws of thermodynamics and nature that govern the maintenance of a safe climate. Then we may get legislation and policies for the immediate emission reductions that scientists around the world are now demanding.

The flawed CPRS is a case in point. The scheme has been designed to reduce impacts on the worst polluters and will not be effective in reducing emissions.

With climate tipping points now upon is and the some of the impacts of catastrophic climate change now evident, we need immediate and substantive emission reductions.

These can be achieved by implementing energy efficiency programs, providing more renewable energy, cutting back fossil fuel usage and protecting native forests and the carbon they store.


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