Tim Longhurst's Blog

Minister for Erratic Weather and Rising Sea Levels

July 26th, 2005 · No Comments

aph.gifAustralia’s “Environment Minister” Ian Campbell has shown the Australian people his own special brand of foresight.

A federal government report has warned that in the near future, 30-50 years time, climate change will make Australia a very different place. Campbell’s got a plan: pretend 30-50 years is a long, long way away.

The following quotes are from the ABC News article: Don’t panic over climate change: Minister.

(All emphasis has been added.)

The federal Environment Minister says a climate change report warning of more erratic weather and rising sea levels is not cause for alarm.

Not cause for alarm? Why not? I’m guessing it’s because if Australians were alarmed about climate change, we might pressure the government to make the kind of tough decisions that might lose a few friends in the oil, coal, automotive and associated industries…

The new government report on climate change says there could be more droughts and storms, higher temperatures and rising sea levels in the next 30 to 50 years.

The Climate Change: Risk and Vulnerability report predicts more possible threats to water supplies, ecosystems and agriculture.

Environment Minister Ian Campbell says the report is evidence that even if all greenhouse gas emissions were stopped tomorrow, climate change would continue because of the build-up in the atmosphere.

So you’ve heard it straight from the Government: We’ve already f*┬ód the planet… Why stop now?

Senator Campbell says the warning could be painted as alarming but there is no need to panic.

“The reality is that these changes will happen over time, they’re talking about a 30 to 50-year time span,” he said.

I’ll be 55-75 by then, and if I ever apply SPF 300+ sunscreen to go outside, plan a beach trip to Canberra or watch a televised memorial for the Great Barrier Reef, I’ll reflect on John Howard’s conservative government.

I’ll remember the government’s refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol; their championing of fossil fuel industries and the way Ian ‘Business as Usual’ Campbell pretended climate change wasn’t alarming, when his own department reported that it clearly was.

I’ll probably think to myself: I wish we had panicked.

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Category: Our living planet

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