Friday, October 18, 2013

Wild Weather But Climate Action Grinds to a Halt

There is a massive disconnect between the weather we are experiencing – drought in Queensland, bushfires in New South Wales, wild winds in Victoria, to say nothing of the typhoons in India and Japan – and the steps being taken by the new Liberal Government to bring action on climate change to a halt – disbanding the Climate Commission, stopping the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and drafting legislation to end the carbon price.

At the very time when the signals from our climate are that we need more action on climate change, not less, it is deeply irresponsible of the Liberal Government to abandon measures which are reducing carbon emissions.

I have noted that people who draw attention to the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events – floods, droughts, bushfires and storms – sometimes get accused of seeking to profit from the tragedy and misery of others. This is pathetic nonsense.

When an accident happens on a country road, and the local MP demands the road be improved, I don’t assume they are trying to profit from the tragedy and misery of others. I assume they want to make the road safer, and make the world safer.

We don’t assume that people, who demand investigations into plane crashes, or recalls of cars and trucks following crashes, are seeking to profit from the tragedy and misery of others. If a Chairlift or a Ferris Wheel causes an accident we don’t assume people who demand action are seeking to profit from the accident. We assume they want to prevent repeats, and make the world safer.

So it is with climate change. It is just not right to leave to our children and grandchildren a legacy of floods, droughts, bushfires and storms, and people who point out the increasing frequency and severity of these events are doing us all a service.


  1. I completely agree with this sentiment Kelvin. Thanks for expressing it, and making your views on this public.

  2. At a time when conservative commentators are coming down hard on anyone who makes this link, thanks for doing so. Need more people doing this.

  3. Excellent point Kelvin. We are having a foretaste of things to come and it isn't pleasant. It is critical we mitigate climate change as best we can so we do not leave a legacy of constant bush fires, wild weather, droughts and a depleted ocean for our grandchildren. It is utterly shameful that the Australian Government is dismantling the Clean Energy Legislation. The Direct Action Plan has some good things in it but is nowhere near enough to get our emissions down significantly. More importantly, of course, we should be ending coal exports as soon as possible because the potential emissions from the Galilee Basin coal will make us, in effect, the seventh biggest emitter in the world.

  4. Actuaries and scientists have already found and described the signature of anthropogenic climate change in the increased number of heat related extreme weather events on record in recent decades, relative to historical records.

    To deny any causal link between increasing carbon dioxide concentrations and extreme weather events is akin to claiming that the link between the bronchogenic carcinoma and 30 pack years of smoking in a patient is at best a theory, that some eminent scientists remain unconvinced, that the debate is ongoing, grandpa smoked to 102 and died in his sleep, and that nearly uniform consensus in the medical community is no way to "do science" and anyone who claims smoking causing causes cancer is part of a research establishment conspiracy.

  5. Fantastic to read your comments here Mr Thomson. Please do not cave to the LNC's plans to repeal the price on carbon. Please stick to your guns with the courage required of real leadership. Please argue the case as strongly as you can. Thanks.