The Dreaming

garnaut.jpg The final version of the Garnaut Climate Change Review on Australia’s response to climate change was released today. I haven’t had time to read it (it’s big, and detailed), but I will be taking it into account when I finish my long-promised post on targets. Money quote (from the synopsis):

There are times in the history of humanity when fateful decisions are made. The decision this year and next on whether to enter a comprehensive global agreement for strong action is one of them. Australia’s actions will make a difference to the outcome, in several ways.

The chances of success at Copenhagen would be greater if heads of government favouring a strong outcome set up an experts group to come up with a practical approach to global mitigation that adds up to various environmental objectives. On a balance of probabilities, the failure of our generation on climate change mitigation would lead to consequences that would haunt humanity until the end of time.

Quite. Barry Brook’s blog (Brave New Climate) will be a good place to go for informed analysis and comment over the next few weeks. And there will be considerable interest in Wellington and from our politicians.

[Title reference: Kate Bush at her daftest (with Rolf Harris on didgeridoo)]

5 thoughts on “The Dreaming”

  1. We had a restless night last night reading this as we sailed out, and I know many others, too many, who spent an equally sleepless night because I fielded several telephone calls that started with, ‘Does this mean..?’ and ended with expletives.

    Stark choices await:
    ‘We know that the possibilities from climate change include shocks far more severe than others in the past that have exceeded society’s capacity to cope, and moved societies to the point of fracture.
    Here we are talking about global fracture’ (p592)

  2. Unfortunately, Garnaut’s recommendations are incredibly weak and very political.

    He proposes a very weak emission reduction target by 2020 of 5% if no international agreement is reached at the UNFCCC talks in Copenhagen in 2009.

    Essentially, he recommends a “playing to lose” role for Australia for Copenhagen which is very disappointing.

  3. Why, why, why, why, why, why, whyyyyy!
    And by that I am mostly referring to the tragic Kate Bush video.

    I think you missed an opportunity here Gareth, as it seems may have Australia and Garnaut. The draft report looked very promising with the Platinum Age stuff – and swift and deep cuts needed for developed nations. 5%, wow that’s gotta hurt.

    Oh, and your opportunity Gareth was to play with Garnaut and Garrett overh your post title. “Beds Are Burning” would seem appropriate.
    You know, “the time has come……………… pay our share”
    Another time maybe.

    BTW – I watched once (all 4 minutes) to see Rolf but didn’t recognise him. I couldn’t bring myself to start again.

  4. [chortle] Any song that begins “Bang goes another kanga on the bonnet of the van…” can’t be all bad. Rolf is on the backing track, not the video (for which we may give thanks).

    I’m saving Midnight Oil for another day.

  5. Special climate statement from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued 10th October 2008 (PDF warning)

    Here on the ground things are not pretty. Our property over the last few years has steadily reduced stock numbers and in the last month we sent the last of our Merinos to southern inland Queensland where they have had above-average rains. We will have no rice crop again this year and the property next door (one of the largest rice producer in the Southern Hemisphere) has started selling off some of their land. Other rice farmers in the area have sold property and/or water rights, usually to grape growers. The problem with that is rice is a staple food, Chardonnay is not.

    The drought’s effect on rice has produced the greatest impact so far in our region with an exodus of workers from the area (about a 10% decrease in the population in our local town). This along with decreased spending from the farming sector is having a major impact on the local business. This drought is also one of several factors contributing to skyrocketing prices of rice, which has spurred panicked hoarding and set off violent protests in a lot of countries around the world.

    While a link between short-term changes in weather and long-term climate change is not certain, this severe drought is consistent with what climatologists predict will be a problem of increasing frequency. Many scientists believe it is the earliest sign that a warming planet is starting to affect food production. Anybody that thinks that we can sit on our hands and do nothing about climate change is living in la la land. If few or no limits are placed on greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of climate change on agriculture would hurt total food output and cripple crop production in many countries.

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