We all know climate change is an immense problem, and at the same time, a profound mystery to human society. Though we have understood its severity and urgency for a generation, and pretty much known what we should be doing - we haven't done it.
Australia has been among the most confused national societies, acting collectively just as if we both knew and did not know, at the same time. We are not the only ones. It's not hard to write a prescription for this malady, but quite another thing to take the medicine. That's because a great deal about our prosperous life would have to change if we ever got serious about it - as we surely will, some day.
In July 2017, NewYork Magazine published an essay by deputy editor David Wallace-Wells. It quickly became the most read thing they had ever printed. It was about the climate problem.
The response to this piece was interesting. Wells confessed he had never been a 'greenie' and was doubtful of environmental claims in general - until that is, he decided to investigate carefully for himself. In the essay, he says, he tried to be very truthful in his assessment of the seriousness of the problem - but it was that truthfulness that provoked the most interesting reactions.
A lot of people said: 'bad news makes people feel helpless - tone it down'. Others said: 'unless we hear it like it is, we can't be properly alarmed'. Some of his claims and judgements were challenged. So shortly afterwards, he published an annotated version with heaps of notes and reasons backing every statement.
Here it is. See what you think.
Australia has neglected its responsibility as an international citizen
Australia's government signed the Paris accord in bad faith.
An excellent summary of the state of the climate in Australia by the BOM & CSIRO, 2018
The Climate Council, a research group entirely supported by voluntary donations, provides some of the best reports on the problem and solutions
Australia has the best renewable energy resource of any rich country. We could be using that advantage to turn sun and wind into hydrogen
The agreement signed in Paris in December 2015 is the only real international promise to do something about climate change. Here are a couple of things:
Prof Kevin Anderson on prospects for Paris
Mark Hertsgaard on the limitations of Paris
The meaning of Paris
A sober assessment of the climate situation three years after Paris, by two Australian advocates
This is a careful short report on progress of de-carbonising energy & transport around the world
In October 2018 the IPCC published its report to the UN, summarising what is known about 1.5 degrees of warming - consequences & comparisons (where possible) with 2 degrees. Here's the summary
If you want a an easy introduction to the subject of climate change, visit: