One of Latham's policies was to sign the Kyoto Protocol. I admire that. Forward planning.
The article attached hereto shows why losing someone like Latham, one of the Labor left is a tragedy.
Global warming at critical point, report says
By John Garnaut
January 25, 2005
Australia and the US must be lured into a new, post-Kyoto Protocol agreement that halts global warming before it passes a calamitous tipping point, an international taskforce of business leaders, politicians and scientists warns.
The International Climate Change Taskforce, endorsed by the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and whose members include the Premier, Bob Carr, says the risks of "abrupt, accelerated, or runaway climate change" will lift sharply if average global surface temperatures rise by more than two degrees. On current projections, the world could confront this danger point within a decade.
The taskforce's report, Meeting the Climate Challenge, released yesterday, urges Australia and the US to adopt a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and an emissions trading scheme.
"The plan builds on existing international treaties to provide a way for Australia and the US to rejoin the global efforts to tackle climate change," Mr Carr said. "They are the only two industrialised nations that remain outside of the Kyoto Protocol."
Developed countries are urged to lift renewable energy targets to 25 per cent - compared with Australia's 2 per cent - and promote the use of hybrid petrol and electric cars that cut emissions by one-third.
Governments should also heavily subsidise emissions-reducing technology, including for coal-powered generators, the report says.
Controversially, the report suggests transferring agricultural subsidies from food to biofuels such as ethanol, although there is mixed evidence as to whether the organic growth of sugar cane and wheat absorbs more carbon than that emitted by converting and burning the plant-based fuel.
Mr Blair has listed climate change policy as a top priority during his term this year as president of both the G8 group of rich countries and the European Union.
The taskforce, co-chaired by US Republican senator Olympia Snowe and British MP Stephen Byers, a close ally of Mr Blair, says environmental and human costs would increase dramatically if global surface temperatures rise more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels, measured at 1750.
"Average temperature increases larger than this will entail substantial agricultural losses, greatly increased numbers of people at risk of water shortages, and widespread adverse health impacts," the report says. "[It] could also imperil a very high proportion of the worlds' coral reefs and cause irreversible damage to important terrestrial ecosystems."
Average global temperatures are estimated to have risen 0.8 per cent since 1750 and the effect of new emissions already in the atmosphere will push temperatures up further. An atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide of 400 parts per million (ppm) would cause temperatures to rise by two degrees.
CO2 concentration is already at 379 ppm, it says, up from 280 ppm in 1750.
The taskforce also proposes a scheme for developing countries to join the global program during or after the Kyoto Protocol's target period of 2008-2012.
Developing countries are asked to first reduce energy intensity in production, then reduce the use of carbon in their fuel mix and ultimately accept binding emissions targets.
The federal Minister for the Environment, Ian Campbell, welcomed the report and said it confirmed many of the Government's policies. "[However] we strongly disagree with the recommendation about the national trading scheme due to the high cost it would impose on domestic and industrial power bills," he said.
Please note the comments of the Minister for the Environment. Seems to care more about how much we spend then the future of this planet. The day the Libs won was a very sad day.
Personally I'd rather have high energy bills and a future. I don't know what anyone else thinks.
And the Government policies the Libs have? Not enough. Definately not enough. It's a serious issue and you can't just band-aid. There are no restrictions on industry, just on residents. Residents also only make about 10-20% of the pollution going into the atmosphere anyway.
Global warming in a theory. One which I probably won't like to see proven correct but is a theory none the less. Humans have been monitoring temperature and documenting it for less than 100 years and in that time the average temperature has dropped by half a degree c'. Im not a big fan of fear tactics but everything other than speculation tends to point to the earth being just fine. Although an alternate fuel source would be a good idea.
Yes, its a sad situation. I often ponder exactly how a company like coles can charge so much for there food, make a 260Billion profit in aus alone per year while families struggle to put food on the table. Kids are starving while companies have that much money in there accounts.
I don't want to be a smart arse Flipper but here is a rundown on Coles Myer.
Has 1900 stores in Oz & NZ and employs 165,000 people.
Total sales were 32,266 Million dollars on which they made a profit of 530 Million.
They paid tax of 247 Million dollars
They gave 14 Million dollars to charities
They have 400,000 share holders who got a princely return of 3.2% on their money invested (for every $100 you have invested they paid you $3.20 for the year).
I am sure they might be able to be more generous but the profit they made on their sales was just 1.64%. Additionally they provide shops for the poor such as Kmart and Target that provide reasonable goods at cheap prices.
The profits sound enormous but when you look at the whole organisation you get to see how those figures stack up and their impact for everyone. If they didn't make a profit then there would be real problems.
Screw profits and feeding people...
we can't eat when there is no food... if the average temp goes up by 2 degrees, we will lose alot of land to the melting polar ice caps, much of the land will be come inhabitable, the weather unpredictable... so really, Earth is screwed.
Damn I hate being depressed...
If both of the polar ice caps melt, you won't get a water world. Its not hollywood. I have read the sea levels would rise by just 3/4 of a meter which is by no means a good thing but we arn't all going to drown. In fact some of us may just get water frontage!
As for droughts because of hot weather, its quite the opposite. Yes, its hot in drought affected areas, granted, but to create rain you need evapouration. To get evapouration you need a heat source and the hotter the better. Ever wondered why the tropics get the cyclones. Because they are closer to the equator and thus the temperatures are higher and humidity levels are appropriate for the heat.
One last thing. Is some places of the world, temperatures are known to fluctuate 20 even 30' in a 24 hour period. half a degrees average over 50 years is hardly anything to worry about. It just not much to go bye when you consider theres a whole 6 million years we wern't there to see if temperatures fluctuate on our planet.
I dont know that everything would be able to evolve fast enough at 1 degree per hundred years flip. - evolution takes a long time. - if we go at that rate (and this is the problem we are facing) in another 2 - 3 thousand years seas will be boiling and antarctica will be the only habital place on earth. Not a good thing, we need to start now, and its not that hard.
Any government could invest in a hydrogen powered car - there is one driving around tasmania, the guy sold the patent for 100 million + to caltex from memory. Driving in hydrogen powered cars would reduce the output of greenhouse gases by a long shot.